HOLD ONTO YOUR HATS, Dave notes, because it’s BIG NEWS week.
Wait, what if we’re not wearing a hat? Oh shit, we’re screwed now.
Previously in the Flashback: http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/11/11/wrestling-observer-flashback-11-06-90/
– First up, in the move that ended up sinking the promotion in record time, the UWF has suddenly split between Akira Maeda and president Shinji Jin. Turns out that although Maeda was dead set on UWF workers not going to SWS shows, Jin was much more open to negotiations.
– So the immediate fallout is that Maeda is “suspended” for five months for some made-up bad behavior in the past, while they work out the messy details of who will own the company from now on. The messy part stems from Maeda’s failure to sign a wrestling contract back in March, since he figured that he would never leave his own company, headed up by his best friend Jin. Jin apparently was greatly offended by this slight and started going behind Maeda’s back from then on, including sending guys to work the SWS show as repayment for some funds that were contributed by the SWS ownership. Maeda thought that any association with “normal” wrestling companies would tarnish the “IT’S STILL REAL TO ME, DAMMIT!” perception that Japanese fans had for the UWF, where they don’t even do irish whips or flying moves. And once Maeda learned about Jin’s betrayal in THAT department, he had lawyers start investigating what else his best friend had been up to behind his back, which apparently included embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company. So sometime in spring, the company is going to split into two, with Maeda’s group on one side and Jin’s group on the other, although Jin will likely end up as a part of SWS with whatever guys he takes with him. (Unfortunately, Maeda’s stubborn nature cost him the company, as we’ll soon find out.)
– In other depressing news, Jim Cornette and Stan Lane finally had enough of Jim Herd’s bullshit and quit the company this past week before the Center Stage tapings. Bobby Eaton decided to stay. The departure came as a result of Ole Anderson booking Eaton three times on the show and Cornette feeling like his input was being completely ignored, until Ole finally blew up and told him to quit if he didn’t like it. So he did, and Lane (who was looking for an exit strategy from the business anyway) went with him. Eaton has a family and a long-term deal and would have been dumb to give it up, so he’s staying. There actually wasn’t any significant inciting incident, Dave notes, but it was more a case of Cornette getting increasingly frustrated as the team was moved further down the ladder and he had to deal with more of Ole’s nonsense on a nightly basis. However, even after giving notice, Jim Herd was still trying to reconcile (Probably just to spite Ole if I’m guessing correctly) because they actually had plans for the team coming up right away. Ironically, Cornette was Ole’s biggest supporter when he got the job initially. For his part, Lane had been feeling like a second-class citizen since they re-signed early in the year, since Lane & Eaton were literally only kept from being terminated because WCW wanted to keep Cornette around, and the company made no secret of telling them. Otherwise they would have been long gone.
– Hey, more problems in WCW! Remember a few weeks back about how the NWA was kind of annoyed that Turner’s company had never actually applied for the rights to use the name? Well, now the remaining members of the NWA board of directors are seeking money from WCW to continue going under the NWA banner and might be taking things to court if they don’t get it. For the moment, Jim Herd has banned all references to the name “NWA” in advertising or on TV until they figure it out. In fact, WCW isn’t even technically a member of the NWA, although to be fair at this point the NWA wasn’t even actively promoting. If they can’t reach an agreement, then the NWA name will be gone and they’ll just be WCW from now on.
– The Rockers won the tag team titles from the Hart Foundation at the TV taping in Fort Wayne on 10/30, as expected. It’ll air on 11/24. The match was said to be good, but strange in that Bret Hart got pinned for both falls. This is weird because Anvil is the one being fired. And then after the show was taped, NBC informed the WWF that SNME was cancelled, but they’ll get a one hour prime time special on the Friday instead to make it up. However, they taped a 90 minute show, including several long matches and angles, and they now need to trim 30 minutes from it somehow. Further, the show is being aired the day after Survivor Series, so they’re kind of in competition with themselves now.
– More trouble in paradise, as Bill Eadie and Barry Darsow both gave notice and will be leaving on 12/3, apparently over the New Japan deal gone sour where Vince ruined it for them by changing their gimmick to masked wrestlers at the last minute. They’re already panicking and trying to come up with a new gimmick for Crush, since he can’t just be Demolition Crush as a single. In addition to the Japan problem, the Demos were upset at essentially being used as job guys to get the LOD over, especially since the LOD have been such a disappointment and have basically brought down both teams in the process. (Obviously Barry Darsow would have a change of heart shortly.)
– Although reported reasons for Rick Rude’s departure have dealt with his payoff at Summerslam being so shitty, Dave admits that he was worked because payoffs don’t even come until at least three months after the show, so that COULDN’T have been the reason. As to what the real reason is, we still don’t know yet.
– It’s TOKYO DOME WARS ‘91 coming up! The UWF had, as mentioned last time, booked the dome for December 29, but now without Maeda they won’t be able to sell 1000 tickets, let alone 60,000, so that’s a no-go. Meanwhile, New Japan had planned a joint show with the NWA WCW (Sadly typewriters can’t do the overstrike gag but I’m surprised Dave didn’t just use pen. Instead he just said “NWA…er WCW” which I corrected into a better joke for him here. YOU’RE WELCOME, DAVE.) while competing SWS wants to run the Dome the same week with WWF as a partner. The WWF might want Tenryu and a partner to work some US shows in exchange for their partnership. Dave thinks they should put the WCW show on PPV if possible, since doing a big show from the Tokyo Dome will make the company look slightly less like southern yokels to the general public. But that might be foolish, since the WWF is going to have their own Dome show in America the week before, what with the 85,000 to 100,000 people that will be packing the LA Coliseum for Wrestlemania VII.
– Hallowen Havoc ended up doing a 1.3 buyrate, which is decent, although house show business remains in the toilet.
– World Class continues their freefall down to 140 people at the Sportatorium show, with most people surmising that they just can’t survive like this. Those same people peg the middle of the month as the drop dead date, at which point Jarrett will likely swoop in and buy up the corpse. (See, unlike Jim Crockett, Jerry Jarrett knew when to LET THE COMPANY DIE and then buy it up at a bargain price!)
– Minor note from the UWF show on 10/25, as indy wrestler Vince Torelli made his debut there against Yoji Anjyo, and has changed his name to “Ken Shamrock”.
– Without Maeda, Dave’s not even sure there’s going to be another show. (Like how crazy is that? They went from constant sellouts and having the biggest star in the country to DEAD in less than a month!)
– To the USWA, where I try to research who the hell “MC Jammer” even is, and he seems to be cross-referenced with Brickhouse Brown in a lot of places. Dave was pretty sure it was a rookie at the time, and from the matches I’ve found on YouTube he sure WRESTLES like a rookie, but no one seems to know for sure. He was a tall, muscular black guy under a mask, that’s all I know for sure.
– Speaking of Brickhouse, he introduced a new valet named Sweet Georgia Brown, who Dave thinks might have worked around Texas before. (I wouldn’t call this an understated debut or anything, but she eventually became Jacqueline.)
– To the WWF, where Al Blake got tryouts on the 10/30 TV taping. Scotty the Body also had a tryout, but they think he’s too small and would be at best a Barry O type.
– They also did their HILARIOUS rib on the Black Scorpion on those tapings, using Jonathan Holliday as the manager of “The Black Demon”. SO HILARIOUS.
– Minor note, but in the multiple times this issue that Dave references the tag title switch, he never once says anything about the rope breaking or anything like that.
– During a show in Indianapolis on 11/1, Warrior was wrestling Randy Savage in the main event with a local radio DJ as the ring announcer. Savage won by countout, but the DJ mistakenly announced Savage as the new champion and Warrior went nuts, giving the poor guy a legit clothesline and busting his lip open. However, thankfully the guy was just so excited to be involved in the show that he’s not suing and actually didn’t even seem annoyed by the attack.
– Dave notes that the thing coming out of the egg won’t be a new wrestler or Mean Mark (although Mark will in fact be Dibiase’s mystery partner) but rather some sort of WWF mascot.
– Dusty Rhodes is officially done with the polka dots, as the company has decided that whatever lesson needed to be taught to him has been taught.
– At this point, the “NWA” section officially becomes the “WCW” section, where it would remain for the next 11 years.
– The Lex Luger v. Stan Hansen rematch at Starrcade will be a bullrope match because neither guy wants to be pinned.
– Owen Hart is still promising to come in for January.
– There is actually talk about bringing Terry Funk back as the big reveal of the Black Scorpion, but Dave doesn’t think it’ll happen.
– At the Toronto show, the part of Black Scorpion was played by Barry Horowitz. Also, announcers spent the night encouraging fans to order Halloween Havoc on PPV, but of course the problem is that Canada didn’t get PPV until late 1991.
– The Oreganian had a scathing story about Art Barr signing with WCW, with quotes like “I guess Ted Turner doesn’t mind sex abusers as much as the Oregon state commission does” and other zingers like that. (That one would turn into a bigger problem for WCW pretty damn soon.)
– The SST are now unfired again, working squashes at the most recent TV tapings.
– And finally, Dave’s confusion about the identity of “Magnum Force” was made worse at the TV tapings, because they debuted…twice. First up they squashed a pair of jobbers early in the show and were said to look decent, but WCW officials were so unimpressed with them that the second appearance of the team saw the team previously working as The Ring Lords come out as Magnum Force instead. Why? Because, for the first time officially now, BECAUSE WCW.