Wrestling Observer Flashback–06.24.91

Previously on the Flashback…  http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/12/22/wrestling-observer-flashback-06-17-91/

Bye, Edwin.  Hopefully Cleveland is good to you. 

– In our top story, Dave reviews Clash XV, which ended up being a victim of trying to do too much in too short of a time.  There was nothing WRONG with the show, but they were trying to be everything to everyone and it was all rushed.  Dave thinks that perhaps they should have aired the first 90 minutes live and then taped the remainder of the show for TV in the following weeks.  It failed at everything but filling up TV time, which is pretty much WCW in a nutshell. 

– Kids still make Austin Powers references these days, right?  To the review!

1. Tom Zenk & The Young Pistols beat the Freebirds & Badstreet in 4:54 when all three babyfaces used sunset flips on the heels.  About as good as could be expected given the very limited time. *3/4  It was so rushed that DDP couldn’t even tell the crowd that they were a bunch of coupon-clipping, Copenhagen-dipping rednecks, good God! 

2. Oz pinned Johnny Rich in 1:28 with the whirly bird.  Oz has now miraculously grown to 7 feet tall and 325 pounds.  DUD

3. Dan Spivey pinned Big Josh in 2:48.  Dave notes it’s particularly insulting that they emphasize how inexperienced Big Josh is supposed to be when everyone knows it’s Matt Borne.  Also, he’s never seen any Japanese wrestler ever use the move that Jim Ross calls a “Japanese arm drag”  (THANK YOU!  I thought I was the only one that bugged.)  Spivey pinned Josh with a german suplex after Kevin Sullivan interfered.  1/4* 

Paul E. Dangerously interviewed Jason Hervey, doing a shortened version of the Brother Love gag with Hogan from a few years back where he’d ask a question and then cut him off.  And of course he whacked Hervey with the phone and knocked him out.  The segment was good, but then never referenced again for the rest of the night. 

4. Dustin Rhodes beat Terrence Taylor via DQ in 4:27.  Dave notes that the computer told Taylor “You’ve only got 4 minutes to get him over tonight.”  The match was so short that they went to near-falls right away, and then Ricky Morton came out for the DQ, as the ref just assumed that he was interfering on Taylor’s behalf.  Good while it lasted.  *3/4 

5. Sting pinned Nikita Koloff in 9:32 with a rollup, in the only match on the show that had enough time.  Dave thought it wasn’t a good match and exposed Nikita as a worker.  *1/2 

PN News did an interview with “Salt and Peppah” (in Dave’s words) until Johnny B. Badd interrupted.  Badd might not be able to work, but he’s hilarious walking to the ring at least. 

6. Barry Windham & Arn Anderson beat Brian Pillman & El Gigante in a loser leaves town match in a ridiculously 3:07.  “They were already going into the finish during ring introductions” notes Dave.  Match was all hot action, until Windham kicked Pillman in the face and pinned him.  He’s already six feet under, might as well throw some dirt on him too.  The announcers immediately brushed off the supposed retirement of Pillman and no one believes it anyway, plus Windham didn’t even screw him!  *

7. Rick & Scott Steiner beat Hase & Chono in 8:14 to retain the IWGP titles.  Just a super match.  Chono broke Rick’s headgear with a Yakuza kick, so Rick tried to break Chono’s neck with clotheslines.  Give WCW credit for basically making it Japan-style with both teams as faces.  Scott pinned Hase with the Frankensteiner, and then the Hardliners attacked both teams.  ****

8. Diamond Studd pinned Tommy Rich with the Diamond Death Drop in 1:59.  1/2* 

Next up, Sting met the winner of a fictitious lookalike contest (in reality Kevin Sullivan’s son Ben) (Hey, why isn’t HE in developmental by now? ) and then Nikita attacked him.  Ben’s mom on the show was Ben’s legit mom as well.  It was a great angle. 

9. Lex Luger pinned Great Muta in 3:43 with a powerslam.  The length of the match kind of doomed it from the start.  They showed Bill Kazmaier in the audience and Dave is dreading that they’re bringing him in next.  Dave thought Muta doing the quick job here was a waste of a great talent and too quick to give Luger any momentum heading into the PPV.  DUD

10. Steve Austin pinned Joey Maggs with the stungun in 25 seconds.  Lady Blossom probably got over from the aerial camera shot alone.  DUD 

Ricky Morton came out for the announcement of his joining the York Foundation in another incredibly rushed angle, and then turned on Robert Gibson and gave him a piledriver.  Could have been an awesome emotional angle, but they tried to squeeze it into two minutes. 

11.  Ric Flair retained the WCW World title over Bobby Eaton in two out of three falls in 14:25, in another rush job.  Live crowd didn’t get into the match or buy that Eaton had any chance at winning.  Dave thinks that Flair has lost his magic from years of putting guys over, and the WCW title is getting close to worthless now.  (Oh, it’s about to get even more worthless.)  Match was technically good, however.  ***1/2 

– The show drew a 3.9 rating, tying for second-lowest of all Clashes.  Basically they got killed by an NBA game, but even without it there was still going to be low ratings for this one.

– Scott Steiner suffered a major tricep tear at the WCW house show in St. Louis, ripping the muscle while skinning the cat during a battle royale.  (Huh, and I always thought it was the Hardliners attack that did it.)  So he’ll be out of the Bash PPV, which is more bad news for a show that already looks lackluster.

– Now, onto the story that gained strange amounts of momentum this past week, as Derrick Dukes took a dive in a boxing match against Mark Gastineau and became a celebrity.  The footage of the knockout became a laughingstock for news reporters in the days following. Not only that, but when reporters wanted to speak to Dukes after the fight, they were told by promoter Rick “Elvis” Parker and manager Rob Russen that Dukes was in the hospital with “spasms and shivers and was out of control”. 

And then the next morning, a reporter from the National ran into Dukes at the airport, who was walking around without a mark on his face.  At this point Dukes apparently confessed to taking a dive and the paper ran with the story, but then Dukes denied ever speaking to the reporter.  The promoter noted that Dukes was paid $600 for the fight and “it would take a lot more than $600 to get somebody to take a dive.” 

– The boxing commission reviewed the tape and thought it was a legit shot, but after talking to the reporter the next day, they suddenly weren’t so sure.  (Do they not have EYES?  He practically did a Marty Jannetty clothesline bump off it.) Further controversy erupted when someone actually checked the records for Dukes’ supposed 3 professional fights where he went 2-1, and discovered that no such fights occurred.  And no one in the media was aware of Dukes being a pro wrestler until Zane Bresloff of the WWF outed him.  Rob Russen is claiming that the whole thing is a New York media grudge against Mark Gastineau. 

– In sad news, The National went out of business after losing $100 million in 16 months.  Dave was with it from the start, although the ending came abruptly, without warning.  (Dave retooling his writing style for the paper, and being mentored by Frank DeFord, was the combination of circumstances that really turned the Observer from a bunch of house show results with snarky comments into what it is today.) 

– Vince McMahon’s WBF opened with a rousing success in Atlantic City, drawing 4.200 people to the Taj Mahal.  Really, it doesn’t matter if it was actually a success or not, because the point was to make everyone THINK it was.  Gary Strydom won the inaugural contest, which wasn’t exactly a secret in the weeks leading up to the show.  It was presented more like a Broadway show than a traditional bodybuilding exhibition, with guys doing “characters”.  

– Dave finally did watch UWF Beach Brawl and thought it was a good first try.  The main event was a solid ***1/2 match, and the rest was OK.  It did 2000 buys nationally, which makes it by far the least-bought show in wrestling history.  (Until TNA.) 

– Jushin Liger finally regained the IWGP title from Norio Honaga on 6/12 in the best match of the Budokan Hall show.

– Yet another splinter promotion is forming in Japan, and Dave thinks it’s an angle but everyone assures him it’s legit, as Mr. Pogo is splitting from FMW to form “Wings”.  (W*ING, to be exact) Pogo and others are jealous of the success that Onita is having, while not sharing in the wealth.  Pogo wants to use Jose Gonzales as the lead heel in his promotion.

– Tenryu has taken over operations of SWS and interest is picking up as a result.  Yatsu & Haku as the top heels appears to be catching fire.

– Randy Savage is trying to work out a deal with All Japan so that he can work there while staying with the WWF in the US.  Unfortunately he doesn’t appear to understand the political landscape and this probably won’t go well for him.

– Joe Pedicino’s takeover of the ESPN timeslot was finalized on Monday and they’ll be taping a shitload of stuff, including a tournament for the first GWF TV title.  ESPN was denying everything up until the moment they pulled the plug on Jarrett. 

– Jerry Lawler’s return to Memphis unfortunately only juiced the crowd to 465 people, which is an incredibly sad state of affairs.

– Terry Funk is going to test his back for a potential comeback match against Bob Backlund in August, but if it doesn’t hold up, then that’s probably it for his wrestling career.  (This was written TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO.  He’s still wrestling today!) 

– To WCW, where Dusty Rhodes is definitely off TV due to orders from on high. 

– TV ratings continue to be BRUTAL, hitting all-time lows.

– The St. Louis show drew 1700 people to the arena, which pretty much means the end of their deal already.  They paid Sam Muchnick $2000 to come out and greet the fans in a desperate attempt to buy respect in the city.  They promoted it hard, but people just don’t want to see the product right now.

– Oz and Diamond Studd are getting promoted to the top of the card in the fall as lead heels, underneath Flair v. Luger matches.  (Ha, Oz and Diamond Studd as top heels for WCW?  That’ll be the day!) 

– To the WWF, where Dave discovered that the Summerslam main events will be the wedding of Savage and Liz (after only 7 years of marriage in real life) and Hogan & Warrior v. Slaughter & Mustafa & Adnan.  The latter could be setting up Warrior turning on Hogan, Sid Justice turning on Hogan, or Mustafa & Adnan turning on Slaughter.  (Or absolutely nothing could come of it, which is what happened.) 

– Haku is pretty much being sent to Japan full-time now, which makes everyone involved happier.

– Coach John Tolos is already flopping as a manager.

– And finally, the Legends of Wrestling theme for the stadium show in St. Louis has been dropped, since literally everyone they asked has turned them down. 

Next time:  ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.  I am not exaggerating in the least.

  • God I always hated Jason Hervey.

    • Chris B

      he could have been a heck of a heel manager

    • Comrade TatR! The Snowman

      TV Superstar, aka the guy 5th on the bill in an *almost* forgotten TV series

      • The Silver Fox

        I have forgotten that series.

        • Comrade TatR! The Snowman

          He was the kid in Alf that even Alf thought was a dick

          • TheDDG

            I can’t tell if you’re kidding.

          • The Silver Fox

            I don’t think I watched either The Wonder Years or ALF since they were on when I was working on my bachelor’s, and later master’s degrees.

          • RG-Dallas

            You know Hulk Hogan and Alf were buddies once.

          • JasonMK

            Just so there’s no confusion, Jason Hervey was never on ALF. It’s possible he’s being confused with Benji Gregory, who played the younger Tanner child. It is confirmed fact, however, that Alf thought Jason Hervey was a dick, anyway.

    • RG-Dallas

      Fred Savage and Danica McKellar are remembered.

  • Adam The Reindeer

    Due to the repeated references in these recaps, I went and looked up the boxing “match” on YouTube. I could buy people not being able to tell he dived in real time, but re-watching or in slo-mo it was insanely obvious. He started going down before the punch hit, and it only glanced him, he even went down the wrong direction.

    • Bettis

      I’m disappointed he didn’t go down like Don Flamenco.

  • The boxing commission reviewed the tape and thought it was a legit shot

    Oh, it must be on the level if a boxing commission reviewed it.

    • JasonMK

      I think there was a typo. It should read “The boxing commission reviewed the tape and couldn’t find anyway to profit by saying it was a dive.”

  • Comrade TatR! The Snowman

    That would have been an awesome ending to Summerslam 91 if Warrior or Sid had turned on Hogan. 9 year old me didn’t enjoy Hulk and Sid’s extended posedown routine at all.

    • Devin Harris

      Someone should have turned on someone. The match was Hogan and Warrior vs three jobbers. Not sure how he even got away with that one.

      • markn95

        IIRC people were hot for the undercard. Virgil/DiBiase and Bossman/Mountie had a lot of intrigue, believe it or not (and they paid both off masterfully). People were also ready to see LOD finally in the belts.

        Plus, the Liz/Savage wedding was a payoff of about six years of storylines. That was probably the true “main event.”

        • Devin Harris

          I agree but the Hogan match just felt so underwhelming unless you were a big Hogan or Warrior fan. It was house show level. Do that match in the middle of the show or something

          • PATRICKisLEGEND

            That match was something that would kick off a SNME and lead to an angle.

          • Devin Harris

            Exactly

          • markn95

            I agree the heel team sucked but there could have been some intrigue in the sheer fact of Hogan and Warrior teaming up for the first time since WM VI (or at least SurSer 90). But so far as I know, their Mania match was never brought up in the promos or storylines leading up to Summerslam. Slaughter (or even Sid) bringing up the match to try and sew dissension in the face team would have been interesting. But I’m guessing Hogan wanted to bury his clean pinfall loss to Warrior as much as possible.

          • Devin Harris

            If there was some kind of angle then maybe but it was never treated as anything more than a house show mail event

          • JasonMK

            And they could’ve had some type of fall out between Slaughter and Adnan & Mustafa, as from the taping schedule Slaughter is purposely left off the programs immediately after SummerSlam (he went into seclusion is what was mentioned on TV) and Adnan & Mustafa start bad mouthing Slaughter at the first tapings after SummerSlam, so there was most likely already a plan to turn Slaughter face – which is something I understand Slaughter asked for after this angle was finished.

            So why not have an angle where somehow Adnan and Mustafa blame Slaughter for causing the loss or not truly being an Iraqi sympathizer or a true Iraqi, and have the two of them start beating the snot out of Slaughter. Maybe you have Duggan come out to help him, but he refuses the help and goes into seclusion as mentioned and have the angle progress afterwards like it did. Or, instead of Duggan, you have Sid help Slaughter out, to demonstrate that he was actually impartial, instead of having him pose with Hogan which only served to make Sid look like he took sides and was somewhat biased.

          • Griffin99

            Instead, dire and entirely non-credible Slaughter “getting his country back” tedium, leading to him plummeting down the card to a near-jobber level tag team with Duggan which made the New Foundation look like worldbeaters.

        • PATRICKisLEGEND

          As far as angles go, it was a loaded show. MSG was hot that night, but the main event was the very definition of filler.

        • RG-Dallas

          Too bad they were heading for divorce prior to the big angle.

    • PATRICKisLEGEND

      Sid poking his head out through the curtain at MSG and looking confused is one of the greatest visuals in the history of wrestling.

    • HITMAN7204

      Hogan ripping Sids referee shirt off was a bit gay…

    • ADF

      There may have been a plan at the time the match was made (mid-June), but by the time the event rolled around Warrior was on his way out the door, so nothing with any long-term consequences could happen during the match itself.

  • Miko363

    “The latter could be setting up Warrior turning on Hogan, Sid Justice turning on Hogan, or Mustafa & Adnan turning on Slaughter.”

    Instead, we got Warrior turning on Vince!

  • thejob111

    I always liked the Match Made in Heaven and the Match Made In Hell theme. Great marketing.

    Also I thought for what it was the Macho/Liz wedding was a good idea. People were into the relationship. And the Macho proposal was awesome.

    • Miko363

      Roddy sold everything like it was life or death on commentary:

      “GET ON YOUR KNEES!!!!!!”

      • -Things Roddy never said to Elizabeth for $500, Alex.

        … at least I know of no heat between Roddy and Randy while they were still alive.

        • James M. Fabiano

          -…but things Randy may have said to Steph for $1000.

        • Linz G

          Actually there was an incident that Roddy has mentioned on some Shoot interviews where all the wrestlers + Elizabeth were at some bar after a show… and Roddy had too much to drink and to irritate Vince pulled his pants down. Savage I guess got annoyed that he did that ” in front of his wife” .

        • Kuetsar

          Savage would have killed him. . .

  • Devin Harris

    -4200 is actually a good number to watch people pose (no judgement)
    -This is around the time my interest in wrestling started to take a nose dive. I always chalked it up to puberty, but if everyone stopped watching then it’s probably because all wrestling sucked
    -WCW always had an eye for talent. They just didn’t know how to get people over
    -How y’all gonna say Coach was a flop? That’s bullshit *blows whistle*

    • Rainbow Sherbet

      The Coach made Frenchy Martin look like the Grand Wizard.

  • I am SO EXCITED for the next edition, and I just can’t hide it. I’m about to lose control and I think I like it…

    • Andy PG

      You’re so excited… you’re so excited… you’re so… scared?

      • Do I look like a high school girl taking caffeine pills because the network said I couldn’t use speed because it’s a Saturday morning kids TV show?

        What’s that?

        I do?

        OK, well, carry on…

        • PATRICKisLEGEND

          I legit stopped drinking soda after watching that one.

      • James M. Fabiano

        ….cause I heard Screech is going to kill everyone for Christmas.

      • Rainbow Sherbet

        (Screech enters the girls locker room dressed as an Irish washerwoman to secretly record three of them singing using a microphone hidden in his mop).

  • Napoleon Blownapart

    GARY STRYDOMMMMMMMMM

    WOWWWWWW

    LOOK AT THE STRIATION

    OH MYYYYYY

  • Wade

    The “Match Made in Hell” moniker seems like a better fit for Warrior vs Taker.

  • slapdabass

    Was Oz’s finisher call Over the Rainbow?

    • Rainbow Sherbet

      That’s brilliant! I’d also throw in his big boot being called “Who rang that bell?!” and his choke in the corner “The Horse of a Different Color”.

    • Justin Henry

      Emerald City Twister, which is actually not a bad name. Until you realize it can be turned into Emerald Titty Twister.

  • IS next week when Flair left the NWA?

    • JasonMK

      No. There’s mention of something going down, with Flair’s side claiming they don’t know about it yet, but nothing is substantiated and the rest of the issue still talks as if Flair is staying around. Next week is the disclosure of a big name in regards to the steroid trial, which seems to take up most of the issue. It should be interesting if you’re into the steroid trial news.

      • ….is this when Superstar Billy Graham started calling Vince a child molester as well as a steroid dealer?!

  • Buster Abbott

    Maybe Summerslam 1991 was when the 10-year-old mark version of me got a bit cynical about wrestling, since even I thought the “match made in hell” was a really lame main event. Hogan/Warrior was a dream team that couldn’t be matched by anyone, let alone Slaughter, his manager, and some random new guy (remember, I was 10 and didn’t know who the Iron Sheik was).

    Slaughter/Undertaker would’ve been a much more imposing team, though in hindsight, keeping Undertaker away from the beyond-stale Slaughter angle was probably a good idea.

    • markn95

      I know the Jake Roberts turn didn’t happen until late summer but if they had moved it up and had time to promote Hogan/Warrior vs. Jake/Taker, that would have been much more interesting. But I guess they wanted to keep Hogan vs. Taker fresh for the Survivor Series and Jake hot for his heel run.

      And turn Slaughter face in, say, July and put him in a handicap match vs. Mustafa and Adnan.

    • Rainbow Sherbet

      Even as a child there was no way the Triangle of Terror (a nickname that’s both really awesome and really stupid at the same time) was going to beat Warrior and Hogan. Only Vince could have imagined millions of 8-year-olds screaming “Look out Hogan, Gen Adnan is going to use another one of his backrakes!”

    • Was just thinking the same thing about what a ridiculous mismatch this was. At the very, very least, if this was what they wanted to do, they should have allowed Adnan the little name value he had as the Iron Sheik. The guy was a former champ. And huge gut aside, he was still pretty legitimately tough. He could have squashed a bunch of jobbers with The Camel Clutch and maybe been positioned as some kind of threat.
      I knew who the Sheik was and I didn’t even get that that’s who Gen. Adnan was (I was young too) because it was so weird they were calling him a completely different name with no acknowledgement of his previous identity (or at least none that I’d heard). I just thought all bald, mustache’D guys looked the same.

      • You mean Col. Mustafa. Gen. Adnan was Billy White Wolf way back in the day, as well as Adnan-AlKhassie or whatever the fuck the spelling was.

        • Oh yeah, sorry, had them backwards. But same point. I guess they wanted to emphasize that he’d jumped from Iran to Iraq, but his name was probably worth more than a political affiliation.

  • Shlocko

    I just remember Missy Hyatt running out to make the save and my mom happening to wander through the room and saying “Do your roots, honey.”

    • PATRICKisLEGEND

      I fucking love when women get catty like that.

    • flamingtoilet

      You have such lovely blonde hair, but why do you insist on dyeing your roots so dark?

  • Manjiimortal

    The reports Dave has been giving in these old Observers real shows that putting the belt back on Flair really did nothing to improve WCW’s business, and I’m convinced that the whole GAB controversy did little more than speed up a falling that was always going to happen. Flair was a bogus champion at the time as he wasn’t drawing anything. Know what fuck it, good riddance to Flair going to the WWF as his presence in WCW wouldn’t have helped, and if anything he wouldn’t have allowed for Sting revitalizing his career a bit in late 1991 and 92, Vader getting to the top, the Dangerous Alliance wouldn’t stand a chance of happening if he was still around, which means to big push for Austin in the following years.

    Fuck Flair, as his absence at least allowed some guys to rise to the top.

    Some more details on the formation of W*ING. The promotion came about because Kazuyoshi Osako and Mickey Ibaragi (respectively, the then President and Vice President of FMW), the two guys that had helped create FMW in 1989 were tired and frustrated of dealing with Onita and his ego, so they broke away from him to start a new promotion. They got Mr Pogo on board by promising him lots of money and the position of the Top Heel, and they also attracted Victor Quinones by giving him the position of booker in W*ING. With thy also gained access to all the foreign talent (mostly from Porto Rico) that he had been booking in FMW. This meant FMW had lost their top heel and the guy that brought in most foreign talent, so it was a considerable blow for them.

    Finally, SWS really started improving around this time, as the Tenryu vs Natural Powers (Yatsu and Haku) feud had all the right ingredients, in lots of stiffness, cheap-shots and hate!

    • Pete Labozetta

      Had no idea Shane Douglas posted on The Blog.

      • Miko363

        Only during his authorized 15 minute breaks.

      • Manjiimortal

        Nah, just a guy for whom these old Observers showed that Flair’ drawing power was gone by mid 1987, and that he should have dropped the belt for good in 88. You can’t read these and say he was a still a star in any way.

  • PATRICKisLEGEND

    “– Kids still make Austin Powers references these days, right?”

    You bet they do, PAL! HAW HAW HAAWWW!

    • Rainbow Sherbet

      Just thank Christ that an Ace Ventura reference hasn’t popped up yet.

      • Miko363

        “Howard Finkel is Einhorn!”

        • Joe Klunk

          “Alberto del Rio can go straight to hell. Would you like a cookie, son?”

          • David-Shea Gomory

            That almost made me spit out my beverage. Well done, sir.

  • PATRICKisLEGEND

    “– Randy Savage is trying to work out a deal with All Japan so that he can work there while staying with the WWF in the US. Unfortunately he doesn’t appear to understand the political landscape and this probably won’t go well for him.”

    Savage trying to work out a deal in Japan is just hilarious to me.

  • PATRICKisLEGEND

    Anyone find clips on this Mark Gastineau vs Derrick Dukes fight? I keep pulling up the dude’s wife and daughter and get distracted.

    • Alan

      About 45 seconds in there’s a slow motion replay

      https://youtu.be/oRuwbQ0u1kA

      • PATRICKisLEGEND

        HA! Well… that’s a fucking flop.

        • Kuetsar

          With a nice back bump no less. . .

          • RG-Dallas

            He knew he was going down. That is a dive.

      • He started selling the last punch 2 punches too soon. -*1/2

  • Rainbow Sherbet

    DDP was great as the sleazy talking head of the Freebirds, but I swear he used the line “GOOD…GAWWWD!” at the end of everything he said.

    • The_Bo

      better than calling everyone scum

    • RG-Dallas

      And he said scum a thousand times once he went baby face.

  • HITMAN7204

    I still watch the first Austin powers for Liz Hurley alone.

  • Desmond348

    LOL at Jim Ross: “Ricky! Don’t hit Robert!”

  • Boomska316 .

    “Coach John Tolos is already flopping as a manager.” Perfect didn’t really need a manager anyways. He had good chemistry with Heenan, but he was fine on his own.

  • The Coach thing was, indeed, dreadful. The character was super-annoying (and not in the right heel way) and just never fit with Mr. Perfect at all. Hennig would have been better off on his own as a heel with no manager, especially given the limited time he had left anyway.

    • markn95

      Tolos was such a legend in the business I’m surprised they didn’t try and re-package him as a heel manager without the stupid gimmick. They certainly needed the heel managers at the time with Heenan and Slick switching to full time announcing duties.

      • tamalie

        It was odd with John Tolos. He was rightfully a legendary heel wrestler in Los Angeles during the promotion’s glory days of the 1960s and early 1970s doing despicable things and cutting great interviews, yet he totally bombed as a manager. He couldn’t get himself or his charges over.

        • JasonMK

          I think the whistle hindered his effectiveness as a manager. I think if they dropped the whistle and honed the gimmick a little he could’ve been successful. But he’d have to be the type of coach who yelled and screened as his wrestlers and not the rah-rah type of coach.
          It’s possible with the whistle they were going for some type of thing like Jimmy Hart with his megaphone, something the heel manager does during the match that’s distracting and annoying, but the whistle was too distracting and annoying. In fact, I always found Jimmy Hart more annoying without the megaphone.
          Also, Tolos may have been a victim of them not having much for Lanny Poffo to do as the Genius, and the Genius managing Mr. Perfect seemed like a natural match, and the Beverly’s were somewhat effeminate so the Genius worked with them as well.
          The coach gimmick felt like it should’ve been tailored to a specific wrestler’s gimmick, like Paul Bearer was tailored to the Undertaker’s. He was probably just missing the right wrestler to manage.

      • Yeah – that gimmick, in particular, didn’t work with Mr. Perfect. He was PERFECT, for cryin’ out loud – he certainly didn’t need a coach!

      • JasonMK

        Slick turned full time to announcing? I don’t remember that. I thought he disappeared a little bit, then came back a changed man and trying to lead Kamala down the straight and narrow.

        • markn95

          Well, maybe full time is a stretch. But he was one of the regular co-hosts of Prime Time Wrestling with McMahon, Perfect, and Monsoon in the fist part of 1992. And he gave “sermons” from the Event Center on the syndicated shows from time to time. They eventually brought him back as a manager for Kamala’s face turn in very-early 1993.

          • JasonMK

            Didn’t know that. Didn’t have cable at the time. But the point is Slick was phased out for a bit of 1991.

  • Hammertime

    I know it’s WCW and because, but I never understood the point of Ricky Morton turning on Robert Gibson when they had such a lack of tag teams at that point.
    The R & R’s could still go in 1991 as evidenced by their run in SMW in 92/93 and a feud between them and a heel Young Pistols could have produced some good matches as well as matches against Double A & Larry Z later on in the year.
    I wonder if they would of gone through with the break up if they has known Scotty Steiner was going to miss 4 -5 months with Injury?
    As for Ricky Morton being a heel there was no change to his look apart from tying his mullet up into a ponytail. He still wore his R & R tights.

  • Michael Weyer

    Tomorrow’s Observer recap is going to be a true Christmas treat for all. Sadly, handling family stuff so will miss talking on it early but the discussion about the Flair bolting is going to be glorious.

  • KJP

    Who could have foreseen that having Tolos cut promos with a whistle in his mouth would come off looking ridiculous?

    • RG-Dallas

      It could have worked five years earlier.

      • markn95

        I think they counted on him getting heel heat for incessantly blowing the whistle during his wrestlers’ squash matches–kind of like Jimmy Hart with the megaphone. A good idea in theory but very, very annoying in reality.

        And yeah, it messed up his promos something awful. Also, by this time in pro and college football, coaches had given up wearing whistles around their necks during games. Refs, sure, but not coaches. They should have had Coach walk around with a headset at all times, lol.

        • PeteF3

          For some reason Bobby Heenan gave the headset thing a go for like one taping cycle…I think it was in 1990.

    • Brian Scala

      And yet Bill Alfonso got over doing the same thing five years later.

  • Benjamin Leatherman

    So much history to look forward to in the next few issues: Flair and Herd, Flair and the WWF, the worst Bash ever, Ultimate Warrior and Summerslam…

  • RG-Dallas

    Flair gets fired is the next issue?

  • Kenola

    Boy did 91 start out boring then escalate quickly.

  • JasonMK

    “Next time: ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. I am not exaggerating in the least.”

    I think its correct to say that all hell breaks loose for the WWF next time. The fit doesn’t truly hit the shan for WCW until the issue following. And unlike with the WWF, WCW’s is totally self-inflicted.

  • Ary Rosenbaum

    The National was a great sports paper

    • Bill Fitzmaurice

      Loved it. Still own issues, including the last one. First time I read Meltzer.

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