Wrestling Observer Flashback – 04.30.90

Fair warning, I’m doing this on a netbook in a hotel room during the downtime of my conference, so basically you get what you get and you don’t get upset.  I’m having to compose this within WordPress (ugh), which is my least favorite thing to do, so we’ll see how it goes.

– Sad news to start, as Gory Guerrero passed away at 72.  He begat Chavo Guerrero Jr, Hector Guerrero, Armando Guerrero, and Eduardo Guerrero.  He was actually a star in Mexico from 1937 all the way until the 70s, and acted as a shooter for Dory Funk when he was promoting in Texas.  (He actually gained some more posthumous fame when the “Gory Special” became one of the favorite moves for Mike Tenay to call on Nitro.) 

  • Sometime WWF referee John Bonello was arrested in a bizarre incident where he offered an undercover cop $5000 to murder his wife.  Obviously, he’s in some deep trouble over that one.  (I remember that one!  It was big news in Canada, dunno about the rest of the world.) 
  • The jury is still on Warrior as a draw, but the early returns aren’t good.  His match with Mr. Perfect in Providence drew only 4700 for his first title defense (in the US), but it’s still early and the TV is geared towards Rick Rude anyway.  Plus it’s usually deadsville after WM for a while.  So, basically, we’re gonna let it play out and see where it goes.
  • Speaking of things playing out, the tournament was the IC title was announced, and it’s already obvious that Perfect v. Santana will be the finals, with Perfect winning and replacing the Genius with Bobby Heenan.  (One of the lamest of the lame duck tournaments in the grand history of the WWF’s lame tournaments.) 
  • Dave got a chance to watch the Nippon TV version of the Wrestling Summit, and it did a pretty damn good rating for a show that aired at 3:30 PM on a Sunday afternoon.  Apparently public curiosity about the debut of Koji Kitao was high for it.  Dave gives all five matches aired ratings at the low end of the scale that his minions gave them.  Savage v. Tenryu was unsurprisingly the best, at ***3/4.
  • Dave found the Hogan match to be a very interesting contrast to his usual style, because Hogan normally doesn’t move very much when he’s doing the Hogan Formula.  When the heel is selling, Hogan just stands there flexing, and when Hogan is selling, he’s usually just laying there and taking it.  Here he did an array of moves and holds, at least moreso than usual for him.  ***
  • The WWF wants to go back, but Hansen doesn’t want to work for them, so that idea is pretty much dead in the water.
  • Holy cow, Dave is getting a FAX MACHINE.  Hope it doesn’t steal his soul or anything.
  • Lots of positive press for the show “Tag Team” with Jesse Ventura and Roddy Piper after the pilot, and everyone thinks it’ll be a hit.  (Did it even make it past the pilot?) 
  • Final numbers for Wrestlemania look to be 495,000 buys, which Dave would have called a giant flop back in January when they announced it.  Fear not, however, because the WWF is announcing the number as 852,000 buys, because they can just make shit up and get away with it.  (That’s probably where the myth that the show was a big hit came from.)  Oddly, the price was such a barrier for some cable companies that a sizeable number of them actually offered the show for $24.95, feeling that the WWF’s “suggested” price of $29.95 was too high.


  • It sure was, Bob.
  • Given that there was no competition from the NWA or otherwise, but closed circuit was way down as well, the price is probably not the only reason why the world was not watching this one.  The face v. face dynamic just doesn’t work for big shows.
  • So what this means is that not only is Hogan-Warrior II not a sure thing for Wrestlemania VII, but in fact there’s already talk about Warrior dropping the title back to Hogan at Summerslam!  (Now, I’m just a simple hyperchicken, but that would seem a TAD reactionary to me, even by Vince’s standards.) 
  • Although there was lots of public curiosity in the debut of Koji Kitao, people don’t actually LIKE him.  The Japanese crowds have been chanting “Go home Kitao” due to his dubious sumo rep and seeming US-style offense.  In fact, he used a legdrop to win his debut match and people didn’t care for that at all.
  • To the USWA, where one of the “strangest angles of the year” took place.  This Steve Austin kid brought out a new valet, named “Jeannie”, and this enraged Chris Adams for some reason, who came out and yelled at Austin during a squash match.  Afterwards, Adams revealed that Jeannie was his first wife (which is of course a shoot) and begged for a match with Austin, but Austin was already booked for a match with Eric Embry.  So Embry agreed to give up the match, as long as he had a title match with Jerry Lawler in exchange, but this somehow led to Embry taking on Terrence Garvin with one hand tied behind his back.
  • Eddie Marlin is introducing new rules in Memphis, with titles now changing hands on a DQ and draws eliminated.  Now, the match goes to an “overtime period” where the first takedown wins.  Easy way for guys to avoid pinfall losses, Dave notes.
  • Magnum TA underwent yet another spinal surgery, this time to decompress some of his vertebrae, and he now has some feeling in his bad hand, which is a big improvement from where he started.
  • Jeff Jarrett is supposedly booking both ends of the USWA circuit, in both Memphis and Dallas.  (No wonder he was challenging Lawler for the title this week.) 
  • Here’s a SHOCKER.  Shane Douglas was supposed to do a TV job to Mean Mark via heart punch, but Shane decided that he didn’t want to lay down for that particular move and threw a huge tantrum about it until he was fired.  However, Dave points out the essential hypocrisy here, since there’s one set of rules for big stars (who get to change finishes all the time) and one set for job guys like Douglas.
  • The latest memo from Jim Herd is no more low blows, no more using the guard railing for heat, and no more cussing in the ring.  It’s already being ignored.
  • Paul E. Dangerously signed a one year deal for $120,000, but it’s just for TV announcing and not managing.
  • Scott Steiner also signed a new deal, but only after the booking committee voted to fire him if he didn’t.  (Holy shitballs, can you imagine Vince being free and clear to get his hands on SCOTT STEINER in 1990?) 
  • Barry Windham is planned as a “surprise” for the 5/19 PPV, which is less surprising since he already debuted on the TV tapings.
  • Speculation is running rampant that the Road Warriors are not long for WCW, with their contracts expiring in December and a better deal looming in Japan.  Titan is a possibility, but Vince would probably change their gimmick, so it’s not considered likely.
  • For those wondering what the hell the connection between WCW and Robocop is about, Turner Home Video owns the rights to distribute the home video for Robocop II on behalf of Orion Pictures (the studio that the produced the movie).  The studio actually wanted “Robocop” to throw around the heels at the PPV, but even the WCW booking committee was like “Um, no.”  to that one.
  • Current plans are for Sid Vicious to return in July as the fourth Horsemen.  But you know how WCW plans can change.
  • And finally, for those who didn’t get the extra wacky layer to the Ric Flair twin brother story, “Herman Rhode” is the real name of “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers, which Dave explains in the letter column to end the issue.  (That actually makes it SLIGHTLY funnier.)

I guess we’ve been told.