OK, enough messing around in the present day, back to 1987!
– Starting out in the UWF this time, where Jim Duggan and the Fantastics were both released from their contracts. Duggan had been trying to get free from Watts for months, openly wanting to go to the WWF, and now he’s got his chance. Dave notes that the Duggan thing is “complicated”, but basically he’s the highest-paid guy on the roster and Steve Williams has basically usurped him as #1 babyface, so it was increasingly pointless for the promotion to continue paying him at that level when he wasn’t delivering. Duggan had been asking out for months, but Watts refused because having ironclad contracts was the only thing keeping the WWF from just raiding their roster at will and he wanted to make a point about it.
– As for the Fantastics, they’re kind of fucked. Crockett already has the Rock N Roll Express, Verne has the Midnight Rockers, and the WWF has Vince McMahon in charge. So for the moment they’re going back to Florida to explore their options.
– Doctors are still nagging Dynamite Kid to retire from wrestling, but at least he’s being transferred out of the hospital and back home to Calgary. Titan is still plugging house shows that feature title defenses by “The British Bulldogs” all over the country, of course. For the moment, Junkyard Dog is being using as a replacement, which makes Matilda the second-best worker in the match. OUCH. Speculation is that Johnny Smith might get called up from Calgary to replace DK on a more ongoing basis if worse comes to worst.
– Dave wasn’t that impressed with the now-legendary cage match between Hogan & Orndorff from SNME. And, SPOILER ALERT, he completely exposes the editing tricks used to create the “tie”, which were apparently all just smoke and mirrors. Since it was a split screen, what they did was start with the shots where each guy had his feet on the floor, and then wound the tape backwards to create the illusion of a well-timed escape on both ends. In the arena, both guys landed at nowhere near the same time. Thanks for raping my childhood, Meltzer. Elsewhere on the show, Harley Race continues to embarrass himself as “The King” and Roddy Piper looked really rusty.
– Crockett did a show in Dave’s area that did OK, but the guys were so burned out from the ridiculous travel schedule (plus a stopover in Vegas for some extracurricular activities that stayed in Vegas) that the show was pretty bad as a result.
– Dave corrects himself and notes that new Russian dude Vladimir Petrov is actually Al Blake, not John Nord as reported last week. Blake had a rep of being the “baddest bouncer” in the Twin Cities, which is impressive considering his competition is guys like Rick Rude, Barry Darsow, and the Road Warriors. Blake was actually trained by the Road Warriors, although they apparently forgot to teach him about not getting busted for drug trafficking.
– They continue to hint on TV that Ole will be turning, although Dave hopes they’ll change their mind.
– To the WWF, where Savage-Steamboat shows are now doing strong business with the program heating up on TV, and Hogan-Kamala is a runaway hit as well. Although Kamala later complained loudly that he wasn’t seeing any of that money.
– Ken Patera (who Dave is told is looking in great condition) will be joining up again in March.
– The WWF shows start on the Fox Network this weekend, which isn’t necessarily a big positive for them, but it WOULD be a big negative if someone else had gotten that spot, so it’s kind of a necessary move to make.
– They’re also doing their own version of the bunkhouse stampede matches, although in this case Blackjack Mulligan wins every night. He looks TERRIBLE and his singles matches with Volkoff have been even worse, only running 30 seconds typically.
– Vince signed Brad Rheingans as an underneath guy, not because he wanted Brad but because he wanted to destroy Verne’s training school.
– The UWF is sending Rick Steiner to Japan for the next tour, and Dave thinks he could be a big star over there. Bold prediction there.
– The negotiations with Bam Bam Bigelow to come to the UWF have hit a wall because Watts is all about contracts now, and Bigelow doesn’t want to sign one.
– With Lex Luger on his way out of Florida, they’ve suddenly decided to bury him and show losses to Bad News Allen on TV after months of fiercely protecting his image.
– Dave didn’t see the legendary 60 minute draw that aired on New Year’s Eve, and heard that people who love 60 minute matches loved it, and people who don’t love long matches found it boring. He gives Verne credit for balls, though.
– To World Class, where things are still in the shitter. Their last show drew 150 people, and they’re resorting to stuff like free admissions for kids and free drinks and popcorn for them all night.
– Gary Hart was only booking in the interim, and Bruiser Brody is being considered as the lead person for the job. So there you go, whoever was pointing that out last time.
– Just to rub salt into Fritz’s wounds, Reunion Arena is looking at booting them out and renting to other wrestling promotions.
-Jesse Ventura filmed a pair of movies with Arnold, called “Predator” and “The Running Man”. Sounds like some direct-to-video trash.
– Finally, Dave invites anyone in the area to join him for a “videotape party” on 1/9 in Fresno. I’m not one to judge consenting adults, but…
Pretty light news week this time. See you tomorrow!