Wrestling Observer Flashback–03.18.91

Oh hi!  Miss me?

I decided to binge through the entire second season of Supergirl thus far for the past few days, plus work on getting the new Google Mobile theme up and running, so these went to the backburner for a bit. Supergirl is really hitting it out of the park this season, with the glaring exception of everything that James Olson does or says because he’s worse than Dino Bravo.  However, the terribleness of James “I’ve wanted to be a superhero and help people all the way back since last episode” Olson and his transformation into the Guardian is thankfully balanced out by Chyler Leigh just acting the FUCK out of everything she’s getting this season. Which is a LOT. Plus I find Mon-El kind of hilarious and have been a longtime fan of the comic book version, so I’m loving this season much moreso than the faltering Flash this year.

Oh hey, a letter to start:

My memories of RSPW are fuzzy now that I’m in my 40s, but was Meltzer ever a part of that newsgroup back in the day? He doesn’t seem to be too technologically savvy based on the Observer flashbacks, but I know that everybody posted excerpts. Did he know his news was getting posted even if he wasn’t on Usenet at the time?

From what Bryan Alvarez has described when he talks about it, up until about 10 years ago Dave’s attitude to the net was pretty much:

So no, he definitely wasn’t on RSPW and probably had no idea what it was.  His subscriber base really didn’t explode until the Monday Night Wars, though, so it’s not like a whole ton of people were subbing and posting news from it.  There was an address in the FAQ to subscribe, though.

To the news!  As a special treat, Kevin Dunn will be guest director for this edition.

– In the top story, the last weekly wrestling show takes place at the Mid-South Coliseum, with a USWA title match between champion Terry Funk and Jerry Lawler.  Basically the Jarrett faction had been engaged in a long and drawn-out dispute with arena management (Remember a few weeks back about how the arena wanted to reinstate beer sales and Lawler was fighting against it?  The relationship fell apart from there.) and now Memphis is becoming the latest in the long, long line of territories to slowly fall into the vortex and die off.  Ironically, wrestling was about the only draw that was left for the Mid-South Coliseum, as most of the business is moving to this new arena called “The Pyramid”, which opens shortly.  (The Coliseum itself stuck around until 2006 and then closed for good.) 

– The Jarrett promotion is moving to a smaller building, that seats 2500 people, but Jerry Lawler is saying that he won’t go with them, which leads most to speculate that Jerry will build the promotion around Jeff Jarrett as the top star instead.

– Dave actually gets a scoop from PWI Weekly here, noting that they reported that Sensational Sherri will end up with Ted Dibiase after Wrestlemania, which pretty much gives away the result of the retirement match.

– With the war over, the WWF TV shows are basically ignoring it and acting like it’s still in the thick of the fight.

– The WWF/SWS show is still struggling mightily in the ticket sales, with paid still below 10,000.  Apparently the SWS will work with the new Fujiwara UWF, which will make for an incredibly strange mix.  The first UWF show basically featured all the mat wrestling and martial arts of the original UWF, but with NONE of the showmanship or kicks.  Meanwhile SWS wants to be the WWF.  It’s all very strange.

– WCW hasn’t decided which matches from the Tokyo Dome Supershow will air on the PPV yet, but Jushin Liger might make it to the US version “if he doesn’t fall flat on his face”, according to Jim Herd.  (Yeah, who would want to watch that Liger guy, anyway?)  Politics will be STRONG with this one, because they’re not gonna show Sting laying down for Muta, or Doom teaming up weeks after they broke up.

– WCW has also announced some matches for the un-named 5/19 show in Florida, with Flair v. Fujinami on top, plus Steiners v. Sting & Luger and El Gigante v. Sid in a stretcher match.  Dave is CONVINCED, like two weeks in a row now, that Sid v. Gigante is doing to draw the first time they do it. (Spoiler:  It didn’t.  It was a moot point after their one and thankfully only match anyway.) 

– Hey, our buddy Herb Abrams is doing a PPV on 6/9.  Isn’t that special?  Main event might be Rude v. Orndorff and some sort of tag match with Gordy and Williams doing something.

– Herb ran a TV taping on 3/10 in New York, but the TV crew declined to continue the relationship for reasons that I’m sure are obvious, so Herb used an entirely new TV crew and thus the show was delayed for hours and looks like complete nonsense, with stuff like the cameramen getting right into the ring to shoot close-ups during matches.

– Dave, by the way, has now had three different people send him photocopies of bounced cheques from Abrams.  (Herb should do what Paul Heyman learned and just not pay anyone at all.) 

– Dave actually interviewed the head of the commission in New York about the bounced cheques and the wrestlers who were filing complaints with the athletic commission over it (including Honky Tonk Man), and SHOCKINGLY the government agency claimed that things needed to be in writing and thus they had no knowledge of the complaints unless the proper paperwork was filled out.  Abrams, through his lawyer (think about how low you have to fall on the legal totem pole to be representing HERB ABRAMS in legal disputes) claimed that, gosh, he’d love to pay Honky Tonk all the money owed, but the gimmick is tied up in litigation with Titan right now, so no can do.  Maybe after it’s cleared up?  OK then bye bye.  However, Herb then blamed the cancellations of his February tapings on the Honky Tonk Man, stating the athletic commission just wouldn’t let him run shows while the dispute with Honky was ongoing.

– This guy gets it.

– Akira Maeda’s new promotion in Japan will be called Rings, and debuts in May or June.

– Sounds like Takada’s new UWF spinoff, the UWFi, is already in some financial trouble.  Plus he’s got no sponsors, no talent, and a main event that’s been done to death in the old UWF already.  (Well, time to shutter this “UWFi” thing already, I guess.  Shame they never even made it to their first show!  Sounds like it might have been interesting and possibly spawned the mixed martial arts scene in Japan and led to the creation of Pride.  But it wasn’t to be, I guess.) 

– Week Two of BATTLE DALLAS: SLAP FIGHT IN TEXAS saw the Sportatorium win with “a second round TKO” with a whopping 555 fans to Gary Hart’s 86.  Hart is on the verge of getting kicked out of the building, but the TWF TV ratings are so strong that the station wants to find a way to keep him alive.

– The Joe Pedicino deal to buy the USWA syndication package is ALIVE again.

– Turns out that ESPN is already pissed at Jarrett and doesn’t like the product he’s putting on their channel and actually had some pretty specific complaints about it:

1)  No more screwjob interference finishes.

2)  No more blood.

3)  No more talking about the war. This was actually proactive, because USWA never mentioned it, but the WWF got in DEEP trouble with TSN in Canada over the war stuff and ESPN wanted to avoid any similar issues.

4)  No mixing of the men and women in the ring.

5)  No more airing “Supercards” where there’s less than 300 people in the building.

So with that deal already falling apart for Jarrett, he’s a motivated seller again and wants to unload the problem onto Joe Pedicino.

– Joel Goodhart in Philly continues to draw crazy good money for his promotion, upwards of $30,000 for the last one.

– Terry Funk did a guest role on Quantum Leap, which will air in two months.  (The classic episode where we learned that all wrestling matches are fake, except for the title matches, where they REALLY try to win!) 

– So back to the UWF (Herb, not Japan) and the TV taping on 3/10.  It’s getting to the point where they draw a crowd of 400 people who are pretty much there to hate-watch and boo the promotion itself.  They spent the night chanting “UWF Sucks” and getting more and more unruly and pissed off with every screwjob finish, which was pretty much all of them.  Herb even booked a double DQ in a CAGE MATCH between Paul Orndorff and Steve Williams due to outside interference.  A CAGE MATCH!

– Dave thinks that the next wrestling death will be Abdullah the Butcher, due to suffocation from having his pants over his head.

– Former Stampede guy and Hart family member Ben Bassarab is in pretty deep trouble, as he was arrested for beating the shit out of a drug mule.  He and some buddies left $30,000 of cocaine with the alleged victim, who was so high that he mistook a cable repairman for a police raid and flushed the coke down the toilet in a panic.  Bassarab found out and beat the guy half to death over it.  He’s facing 14 years in prison.

– To WCW, where Owen Hart finally did debut at the TV tapings on 3/5, along with One Man Gang.  Gang is being brought in as the insurance policy if Butch Reed no-shows the matches with Ron Simmons, and they even shot an angle to transition from Reed to Gang if need be.

– Buddy Landel got fired.

NO WAIT!  There’s more.  It wasn’t drugs this time. Well, not SPECIFICALLY.  In fact, I’ll let you guess the actual inciting incident that led to his dismissal this time after months of being on “double secret probation”, with one real answer and two I just made up:

Choice #1:  Trying to arrange a drug deal with Jim Herd’s secretary

Choice #2:  Blowing snot at a hotel manager after a house show

Choice #3:  Accidentally stealing someone else’s rental car and crashing it.

We’ll reveal the actual answer at the end of the recap.

– In order to execute his plan to get Brian Pillman over as a big star, Dusty had him get beat up repeatedly by Barry Windham in multiple matches and brawls during the TV tapings.   Solid plan!

– Dave wants to clarify here that Jason Hervey is NOT engaged to Missy Hyatt, no matter what we may read.

– Black Blood in fact will either be Kevin Nash or Billy Jack Haynes, but either way Nash is getting repackaged because they want so badly for him to be a big star.

– All mentions of Flair as a seven-time World champion have been BANNED from TV, and if he breaks the record it will never be mentioned on TV or acknowledged.

– Dave isn’t sure if Piper’s hip injury is a work or not, but he’s leaning towards “work”.

– Ratings are so bad for Prime Time right now that Vince actually wants to bring back Jesse Ventura to save the show.

– Speaking of ratings, they managed to pop a big number on Monday night for a controversial show where Bobby Heenan puked and there was a skit with dead bodies that had erections.

– And finally, ticket scalpers are getting $450 for ringside seats at Wrestlemania, so at least SOMEONE is making money off that show.

No newsletter for March 25 because Dave is doing stuff, but we’re back for 04/02 with a DOUBLE SIZED extravaganza and the Wrestlemania VII rundown!

 

And for those playing at home, Buddy Landel blew snot at a hotel manager to get fired this time.  We were looking for “snot”.

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