Wrestling Observer Flashback–07.22.91

Previously on the Flashback… http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/12/28/wrestling-observer-flashback-07-15-91/

Well, Flair is fired, but there’s still a PPV to look forward to this week.  How bad could it be?

– Oh no, no Bash review for us QUITE yet, as first Dave wants to talk about false advertising and a movement to regulate pro wrestling in Florida.  It seems that WCW did a TV taping this past week, drawing 6500 people on the promise of Ric Flair, Barry Windham and Lex Luger appearing.  None of which did.  Flair is of course gone (although they were treating it like a pro wrestling angle on TV), Windham is injured, and Luger was turning heel and winning the title at the PPV and so couldn’t really appear on TV tapings before that.  Fair enough, but why advertise them all in advance, then?  And in fact, one of the state legislators was in attendance for the show, which they knew about.  Dave thinks everyone in charge should be fired, for reasons we will of course get into shortly.

– Back to Dr. Zahorian and the steroid trials.  The whole thing is becoming quite a nightmare for the WWF, ironically not because of the trial itself or his testimony, where he essentially admitted to selling steroids to every wrestler alive in Western Pennsylvania for most of the 80s.  No, the real problem is coming from Lyle Alzado, who is claiming that his inoperable brain tumor was caused from years of doing HGH and steroids.  The theory (which was Alzado’s alone, completely debunked by medical professionals who have never found a link between steroids and cancer) is what has suddenly ignited the media firestorm against the WWF, which would have faded away quietly if the story had merely been “Zahorian goes to jail for selling steroids to roided up wrestlers”.  But now sponsors were freaking out over the issue, because the WWF supposedly markets to children on the backs of giants who use drugs to maintain their freakish physiques, and that’s too much for them.

– In particular, Hogan is being raked over the coals by the media for getting excused from the Zahorian trial, as the press wonders why exactly he deserves to be “protected” when hundreds of thousands of high school football players are not?  Bruno Sammartino’s comment on the matter is that Hogan talks about saying prayers and eating vitamins, when clearly he’s never seen the inside of a church and “we all know what kind of vitamins he uses”.

– Now the WWF is promising a steroid testing program, by the way.  Best in the world, they’re claiming.  Well, then the media called them on THAT bullshit statement immediately as well, and Vince had to actually cut into Prime Time Wrestling to clarify his company’s statement and note that the WWF has “one of” the most comprehensive programs in the sporting world.  But still, drug-free entertainment for the whole family awaits when you see the WWF logo, Vince promises!  Oh, and it has nothing to do with the Zahorian trial, in case you’re thinking in that direction.

– WCW has commented here or there on the issue, but are largely getting more flak from the media because they were stupid enough to fire their World champion than for the steroid issue.  Dave thinks it’s kind of sending a bad message about steroids right now when they make LEX LUGER the World champion, but really the more pressing message is about what happens to your wrestling business when you let people who know nothing about the wrestling business run it.

– So then Vince called a press conference from Trump Plaza, where all the wrestling media was banned from it, and claimed that he had only used steroids once as an experiment and would open himself to a test any time as long as the results were printed in the newspaper.  John Arezzi, who snuck in using the credentials from another reporter, asked Vince if he’ll stop pushing wrestlers based on size and looks now.  Vince said that they don’t push wrestlers, the public does based on personality and charisma.  (So there you go, the Roman Reigns thing is YOUR fault, based on his personality and charisma alone.)  Vince “clarified” that he didn’t know when the program would actually start or what it would be testing for or how, and also that the problem wasn’t as bad as the media was portraying it.  (Yeah, clearly if there’s one thing we know, it’s that drug problems in wrestling were WAY overblown all these years, and all those people just happened to die of natural causes in their 40s.)  Vince pretty much danced around all other questions, before finally giving a soundbite to Entertainment Tonight to close out that sordid era in the history of wrestling.  And then Vince sat back and he was like…

– And whatever other memes you might find appropriate here.

– Dave thinks that steroid testing is a positive step, but eventually there’s going to be deaths and fallout from drug use, and at that point Vince can’t just bullshit his way out by crying “STEROID TESTING!” because he’s already supposed to be doing it now.  Fans will continue to buy tickets because for the most part, they don’t care about the issue and are mostly as guilty of the promotions as “see no evil” and that’s why the business has lasted for so long.  However, while it’s not realistic to think that ALL steroids can be flushed from the company, at the very least he should pay lip service to the problem by pushing people who AREN’T on the gas.  And with the media now paying attention, the game has changed.

– Speaking of gamechangers…

– On July 8, WCW offered Ric Flair a one year deal for $750,000, largely because the TBS legal department stepped in when it was realized that Flair was fired without any just cause.  Not to mention that Flair was working with a valid contract that the company was attempting to replace with one for half as much money.  However, since there was no guarantee given on how he’d be used, Flair turned it down.  Dave wants to reassure us that he’d be used ineffectively because it just goes without saying at this point.

– Case in point, the Great American Bash, which sits at 0% positive and 99.2% negative in the poll.  Dave does note that the 0.8% of people who gave the show a thumbs in the middle fall within margin of error, since he never would have believed it was statistically possible for so many people to hate one show.  (Minor note for you fellow Observer geeks:  This is the first PPV review done by Dave where he lists real names after some of the gimmick names, although it’s not quite the “all real names” format that he would soon adopt.)

1. Junkfood Dog pinned Black Bart in 10:00 in the dark match.  Crowd watched the pre-game video on the big screen instead of the match.  DUD

2. Bobby Eaton & PN News defeated Terry Taylor & Steve Austin in a scaffold match in 6:00.  They didn’t even announce the change to the scaffold stip before the show.  Dave thinks that they should similarly alter “I Quit” matches so that the winner has to beat the loser in a game of “hide and go seek”.  Suffice it to say, this was one of the worst matches in history.  What does it say when the booker takes three of the best workers and sticks them in a match where they do nothing at all?  -***1/2 is what it says.

3. Diamond Studd pinned Tom Zenk in 6:59.  Action moved pretty well and Studd got the win with a back suplex.  *3/4

4.  Ron Simmons pinned Oz in 7:55.  No heat, and Dave says that this is the end for Oz, although Nash will probably be kept around with a new character.  DUD

5. Richard Morton pinned Robert Gibson in 17:01.  Tons of stalling.  Technically not bad, but there was no heat and it seemed to drag on as a result.  Morton used the computer for the pin.  *1/2

6. Dustin Rhodes & The Young Pistols beat the Freebirds in an elimination tag match.  Should have been a great match but it just didn’t work. Really bad early and never recovered.  Dustin got the win for his team over Bradstreet with the bulldog.  *1/4

7. The Yellow Dog beat Johnny B. Badd by DQ in 6:00.  A very long 6:00.  Badd is all ring entrance and little else at this point.  He’s got potential but he’s YEARS away.  3/4*

8. Big Josh pinned Black Blood in a lumberjack match in 5:39.  Nobody cared but the work was solid. Dustin Rhodes interfered for the Josh win, thus making it four people he single-handedly beat on the same show.  *3/4

9. El Gigante beat One Man Gang in 6:09. Really bad, but Gang took an impressive slam off the top rope.  -*1/2

10. Nikita Koloff beat Sting in a chain match in 11:37.  Lots of pops for the low blows.  **1/4

11. Lex Luger beat Barry Windham in a cage match to win the WCW title at 12:25.  You knew Barry was doomed when they spelled his name wrong on the graphic.  Kind of a tough situation for them because the whole crowd was there to turn on the match, and they couldn’t have a good enough match to turn them back. Lots of near falls and good moves, but Barry had a bad knee and Luger is Luger.  Luger turned heel at the finish, although no one actually figured it out.  And if Barry turned babyface here, then who’s paying the bounty on Yellow Dog?  ***

12.  Missy Hyatt & Rick Steiner beat Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously in a cage match in 2:08.  Missy wasn’t allowed to work because of Maryland commission rules that men and women can’t mix, which Dave interprets as colossal stupidity on either side (WCW if they advertised it while knowing about the rule, and Maryland if they saw the advertising and didn’t bring it up until the night of the show).  Murdoch carried off Missy, and then dropped her on her head so he could take a shot at a fan who was going after him.  Rick pinned Paul with a clothesline.  DUD

– Overall, Dave’s not sure if it’s the worst PPV in history, although he’s sure they’ve gone WAY too far in the wrong direction.  On the bright side, Dusty knew about the “We Want Flair” chants and didn’t do anything to stop them because he wanted to let the fans get it out of their system.  However, he did get security to rip up a fan’s anti-Dusty sign, because you have to draw the line SOMEWHERE. The state commission made it clear that there would be NO blood allowed on the show.  (Did that include Black Blood?  Because I would have been fine with that.)  The stips had no reason for existing (scaffold match, lumberjack match, multiple cage matches, elimination match…all meaningless) and even worse, the push for Dustin is already out of hand and everything that people worried about the Dusty Rhodes Regime have either happened or have been attempted by Big Dust.  Basically, the company is at an all-time low.  (Clearly this is a dangerous company to use phrases like “all time low” around, because that just encourages them to prove you wrong as a challenge.) 

– Meanwhile, the WWF ran their stadium show in St. Louis, and four people no-showed, including Mr. Perfect (back injury), Jake Roberts (neck injury) and Roddy Piper (retired from active wrestling again, for good this time.)  As a result, the entire card changed around, including robbing us of a Bret Hart v. Ricky Steamboat match.  The show drew 14,500 paid and 19,000 overall, which is about 5000 short of where Dave had it pegged.  But hey, considering that wrestling is in the toilet right now, that’s still the largest crowd in the US this year.  Hogan beat Slaughter in the main event with help from guest ref Randy Savage, and the Megapowers reunited afterwards.

– In All Japan, Rick Rude is surprisingly already doing jobs.

– In Global, the big story of the weekend was this skinny jobber named The Lightning Kid, who weighs 170 pounds, and shocked everyone by winning the lightheavyweight title tournament over Jerry Lynn in the finals and getting himself over in the process.  Kid actually beat “The Handsome Stranger” in the semi-finals, which probably doesn’t count as an understated Observer debut but it’s of course the very young Buff Bagwell.  Skip Young refused to put Waltman over in the tournament and was fired, but returned the next night anyway.  Hector Guerrero was also fired for refusing to do a job in the tournament.  Buddy Landel was fired because he’s Buddy Landel.

– Makhan Singh and Rip Rogers have been promising the appearance of “The Boss”, aka the big money man for the heels, and Dave thinks it’ll be a huge letdown when it’s just Skandor Akbar again.  (Aha, Dave, you’d be WRONG about that payoff!  It was actually pretty clever when they revealed who the evil genius all along was.) 

– In Memphis, everyone is still raving about this Rob Zakowski kid.

– Samu is now going by “Sabu” by the way.

– Herb Abrams is claiming that he’s got Ric Flair signed and sealed for the UWF.  Dave is skeptical.

– To WCW, where they started the US title tournament in Florida before Luger even won the World title.  Johnny B. Badd won a qualifying match and is already turning babyface.

– Tommy Rich turned heel, meanwhile, and joined the York Foundation.  Mr. Hughes will be moved away from that group and put with Luger as a bodyguard now.  And Ron Simmons will be taking Hughes’ place as Lex’s first challenger.

– Dead Eye Dick and Dutch Mantell of the Desperadoes didn’t sign the dreaded $300 contracts, so the group is history.

– Young Pistols are toying with a heel turn on house shows.

– To the WWF, where the Mounties always get their man.  In this case, they came to an agreement with the WWF that Jacques Rougeau will not portray the character in Canadian arenas or appear on Canadian TV.  The RCMP spokesperson said that the character will be “phased out” according to their agreement.  (Vince sure has a funny way of phasing someone out, then.  But then he never was good with contracts or agreements.) 

– Sid got his WWF contract this past week, and was so unhappy with the number that he made contract with WCW, but everyone has been ironed out.

– Suburban Commando has been pushed back from August to October, which clearly has nothing to do with anything in the news.

– Dave runs down the 7/9 TV taping in Edmonton, which was the first ever Superstars taping I attended!  I took my little brother and I was pretty hyped for it, until it ran for 18 hours straight and we were wishing for death by the end.  Biff Wellington won a tryout match with a tombstone, which Dave notes “pretty much assures him of not getting a job.”  This was also the show where the Jake Roberts/Ultimate Warrior angle kicked off.  Plus Dino Bravo returned as a babyface with brown hair.  Isn’t he the BEST?

– And finally, I’m moving this one to the end because I can’t top it:  Lou Thesz has a new book of photos and programs out in Japan, which is available to buy directly from Lou in the US. I only note this because I feel like he should have started his own publishing imprint.  Horatio?…

– YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!

Until next time.

  • taabr2

    What was even the point for Herb to announce that he signed Flair? Did he really think that it would convince Flair to actually sign or something? It’s like he wants to come across as a slimy doucebag.

    • He may have imagined signing Flair during a coke binge and just assumed it was real.

      • Justin Stark

        I always picture Herb as Alfred Molina’s character from “Boogie Nights”.

    • jabroniville

      Possibly he just wanted some publicity, figuring that it was good no matter what?

      • taabr2

        WWF was getting alot of publicity at the time, sometimes it’s best to just stay low.

    • Bettis

      Maybe it was Rick Fleer, an evil baseball card dealer.

      • Big D Wangston

        “Awwww, I was looking for Rick Upper Deck!!”

        • Bettis

          After victories, he crams old gum in the opponent’s mouth.

          • Grampa Mongolian Stomper X

            “That man has no dental insurance, and Rick Fleer doesn’t give a damn!”

  • TheOriginalDonald

    Surely The Chenbot and Horatio Crane can’t be SERIOUS!?

  • “So then Vince called a press conference from Trump Plaza, where all the wrestling media was banned from it”

    No shit. Vince wanted the mainstream media to take what he was saying seriously and not get snarked to death by dirtsheet writers and radio hosts. But it does raise the question, did Stu Saks call in for credentials for Matt Brock to show up?

    • Justin Henry

      When I picture Matt Brock, I picture Yoda with a press hat

    • Justin Stark

      No Eddie Ellner no care

  • jabroniville

    This is a really fascinating period- both companies are falling the fuck apart behind the scenes, it’s nearing the end of the “Hogan Era” as we’d know it… but the business’s “Game Changers” are toiling around in the undercards (Stunning Steve, Lightning Kid, Diamond Studd, Oz, Johnny B. Badd… well he introduced his wife to wrestling, so that counts), and they’d all take off in another 4-5 years, sparking another Boom Period.

    It’s bizarre how little time really separates this from the Attitude Era if we think about it, when you consider how big of a difference there was in the product.

    • Miko363

      The length of time separating the eras is barely half the length of John Cena’s babyface run with WWE. That’s insane.

  • Boomska316 .

    “Case in point, the Great American Bash, which sits at 0% positive and 99.2% negative in the poll. Dave does note that the 0.8% of people who gave the show a thumbs in the middle fall within margin of error, since he never would have believed it was statistically possible for so many people to hate one show.” This has to be the only time I’ve seen absolutely NO positive feedback for a show. Usually there’s at least a few positive votes.

    • y2j420

      Heroes of Wrestling PPV?

      • Boomska316 .

        Well, it looks like it’s close, but not quite: HEROES OF WRESTLING POLL RESULTS

        Thumbs up 1 (01.2%)

        Thumbs down 85 (98.8%)

        In the middle 0 (00.0%)

        .

        • Theberzerker #HOHOHUSS

          That 1 guy was just a proto-hipster being ironic.

        • MaffewOfBotchamania

          Jake Roberts was that one guy.

          he didn’t enjoy the show, he just pressed the wrong button

      • RG-Dallas

        Heroes of Wrestling could have been fun, but Jake Roberts ruined us from seeing Yoko vs. Bundy. Man, that match would have been awesome.

  • Boomska316 .

    “Basically, the company is at an all-time low.” I’m constantly amazed that WCW lasted long enough for the Nitro/nWo era to happen. That used to give me hope that TNA could survive long enough to catch a spark and actually compete with WWE.

  • mike

    “Lyle Alzado, who is claiming that his inoperable brain tumor was caused from years of doing HGH and steroids. The theory (which was Alzado’s alone, completely debunked by medical professionals who have never found a link between steroids and cancer)”

    The documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster spends a few minutes on Alzado. It brings up a great point that the big TV interview that he and his wife did that garnered so much attention was conducted by Maria Shriver, who was of course married at the time to one of the most famous steroid users in history.

    • Vince

      Did you enjoy the doc? I watched it when it first came out and liking it at the time, but I could not tell you a single thing about it today.

      • mike

        One of the best docs I’ve ever seen. It’s just a brutally honest search for the truth.

      • jabroniville

        I was gonna say I liked the bit where a guy taunted someone with “well I’ve supposed to BE the best, and now you’re telling me that I’m not allowed to do what I can to be the best?” but now I think that was a Mick Foley book.

    • hulksmash

      Check out his other docs if you haven’t, Prescription Thugs and Trophy Kids. Good stuff.

  • thejob111

    What a mess for both companies. It is interesting to see how their problems (WCW being incompetent, WWE and steroids) would end up leading to massive changes that would end up creating the Nitro vs RAW era. WWE ends the Hogan era and moves onto an entirely new group of wrestlers and then WCW hires Bischoff and opens up the checkbook.

    Of course it would take a few years, but you an see the cause and effect in motion.

    • Kuetsar

      Its not like HBK and Bret weren’t on the gas too. . . .

  • tamalie

    Unless he sneaked on to Prime Time or All American, I don’t think once again brown haired and babyface Dino Bravo ever made TV, at least not stateside.

    I truly thought the St. Louis show didn’t come off as planned. A 19,000 crowd in a 51,000 capacity stadium scaled for probably 30,000 isn’t bad actually. You’d have thought the WWF would have had a TV shoot to show a good sized stadium crowd at a time when it was circling the wagons.

    • J. Frizz

      There’s a youtube/dailymotion vid of one of his babyface squashes from Challenge out there, I saw it recently..although not sure if that was an international version of the show & it never aired in the US.

      • Dino Bravo Sucks

        There’s a reason it never aired in the U.S….because he was the worst. The absolute worst.

        Dino Bravo Sucks.

        • Earl Chatterton

          Didn’t do so well in the illegal cigarette business either!

          • failSafe

            That’s not really fair to Dino. He did well enough to upset a competitor.

          • jabroniville

            It got so bad they had to buy out his contract! With lead currency.

          • RG-Dallas

            I was going to make a joke, but seriously knowing how he got rubbed out – I can’t do it.

          • ADF

            It’s okay to make fun of Dino Bravo. Seriously. I’m sure God doesn’t mind.

      • Mr. P

        We’ll find out when Bayless gets to 1991.

    • Bettis

      I’m about 4 months late (in flashback time) but Bravo should have come out at WM 7 during the Valentine Earthquake match so Heenan could yell “Yeah, but whose side is he on?!”

    • Boomska316 .

      I’ve seen a few matches with dark haired Bravo, but always as a heel still.

      • RG-Dallas

        There is one they shot in Canada and he comes out to a full babyface reaction. I think he went defacto heel in a 1992 match with Bret during a European tour, but a lot of his final matches were in Canada only and feuding against “Jacques” because you don’t call him THE MOUNTIE in Canada.

  • “Sid got his WWF contract this past week, and was so unhappy with the number that he made contract with WCW, but everyone has been ironed out.”

    It’s time for FUN! WITH! TYPOS!

    So Sid’s signed to both companies? And Vince, among others, is now feeling warm and flat?

    (This has been another episode of FUN! WITH! TYPOS! Anyone taking it seriously… please don’t. You’ll merely hurt your own head.)

    • TatR!

      This is my new favourite show

    • Brian Scala

      Sounds a lot like Sid’s promos.

    • CDN

      Could’ve meant that Sid went with an iron instead of scissors to go after Vince & Herd

    • Big D Wangston

      The ironing is delicious

      • Grampa Mongolian Stomper X

        I’ve had enough with people stealing my material!

        Damn Patton Oswald….

  • Theberzerker #HOHOHUSS

    Amazing, after all this shit and Vince almost going to jail later, and steroids STILL came back to bite them in the ass 15 years later. Of course now you can’t get a prescription for Flonase w/o getting popped, but at least that saved us from King Roman for a little while this year.

    • jabroniville

      Vince’s weird fetish for muscle mass is all-encompassing. I can’t believe the guy is STILL that into them at his age.

      • RG-Dallas

        You didn’t see his muscular fitness cover a few years back then.

        • jabroniville

          Oh, I know he is. I just can’t believe it.

  • Night

    I wonder how much money Flair got for his WWF contract. It can’t be more than $750,000.

    • Bettis

      Vince doesn’t give contracts, he gives opportunities.

    • mike

      Flair said that Vince promised he’d make at least as much as he was in WCW.

    • Starscreamlive

      Vince promised to pay his bar tabs every night, which worked out to being $1.3 million a year.

  • Rainbow Sherbet

    Road Agent: “Dusty, the fans are furious! They won’t stop chanting ‘We want Flair!'”

    Dusty Rhodes: “Well daddy, you got to just let the fans do what they do. They paid their money, and just want to let their voices be heard”.

    Road Agent: “But Dusty, a fan is holding up a sign that says that when you look at a menu at a restaurant, you say ‘OK!'”

    Dusty Rhodes (pulling out a gun): “If he knows any prayers, he better say ’em”.

    • Grampa Mongolian Stomper X

      Dusty (as he’s leaving): You know, I AM a bit hungry, order some pizzas! Extra CHEESE, if you weel!

  • Dino Bravo Sucks

    Serious question – how many times has Buddy Landell been fired in these recaps?

    • Rainbow Sherbet

      “If God didn’t want me to snort coke, then he wouldn’t have given me such big nostrils!”

    • Non-serious answer: 56. One more and he beats DiMaggio’s streak!

      • Seriously, I bet we’re into double digits by now if you count the “pseudo-firings”.

      • Bettis

        Landell and Billy Martin are neck and neck on firings.

  • markn95

    As bad as WCW was at this point, it didn’t take them long to turn things around. I’d argue that from the November 1991 Clash that featured the debut of Rude and Steamboat to circa the GAB 92, they had their best run of matches and programming since 1989.

    • Bettis

      It was really this show through Halloween Havoc (which wasn’t awful) where WCW sucked. Even then, there was some good stuff. Though it was a year before they really pulled the trigger, the Ron Simmons build was great. The training montage they used before the Luger match was top notch.

      • Justin Stark

        That Luger/Simmons match is pretty good actually.

    • Mr. P

      I agree. Compare the product in January 1992 to the product in January 1991 and to me it isn’t even close.

    • Justin Stark

      Love that period.

      I’d argue it extended a little further though. Maybe to the Simmons title win and Sting/Jake feud.

  • MaffewOfBotchamania

    ‘– Herb Abrams is claiming that he’s got Ric Flair signed and sealed for the UWF. Dave is skeptical.”

    HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

    • Boomska316 .

      I assume you’re laughing at Dave’s skepticism and not doubting the word of a great man like Herb Abrams.

    • RG-Dallas

      We could have gotten Paul Orndorff vs. Ric Flair with Paul Orndorff beating Flair for the title with a last minute pile-driver.

  • Kuetsar

    So did the wrestlers intentionally dog it for the Bash as a protest? I remember Scott implying it during the old review, but wasn’t sure if they actually did or not.. . . .

    • Earl Chatterton

      Yeah considering how back stabby and selfish wrestlers can be, its hard to imagine basically a whole roster of talent intentionally sucking on a major show and potentially getting punished by the higher ups for it. Then again, dudes like Sid and Nash made a career out of it..

    • Michael Weyer

      I think more an urban myth as it’s hard to watch the show and not think they were tanking it on purpose. Given how WCW put on even worse shows over the years, theory doesn’t hold much water.

    • Justin Stark

      You know Flair was so popular among the boys……

    • Hbkslush

      It was probably just a case of morale being in the toilet, which will affect people unintentionally. “We’re run by a moron who just canned our top guy and a booker whose ego is a mountain unto itself, many of us are being pressured to take pay cuts, the crowds are tiny, many of the fans hate the company, TBS doesn’t seem to care, and the mainstream world considers us a bunch of jokes. Man, I’m depressed. I don’t feel like wrestling.”

      Any of us who have worked for a lousy company seemingly circling the drain can understand.

    • Mr. P

      Pillman was unusually bad and maybe the RnRs. But I didn’t see much else out of the ordinary. Did people really expect that much from Oz, El Gigante, and a Scaffold Match?

      • RG-Dallas

        OZ vs. Ron Simmons is a good power match.

  • ebEliminator

    “Nobody cared but the work was solid” sounds like the honest tagline of the recent era of WWE.

  • johntcole

    And even after all that Vince is a 6 figure multimillionaire and works 100 hours a week still.

  • Michael Weyer

    So is GAB 91 still among the top 5 worst PPVs ever? Heroes of Wrestling of course tops the list and so many bad ones from WWE and TNA in the last few years to fill it up. Still, watch the show and just so horrific and downright painful at times, remarkable WCW made a comeback in quality after that.

    • Mr. P

      I’m not even sure it is bottom ten. It is bad, but there are at least two worse Great American Bashes alone.

  • CDN

    Steamboat v Hart in ’86 at the Boston Garden was pretty sweet, but the Hitman’s spot was only a lower-mid card player, and half of a mid-card tag team, still looking for their mojo. But obviously Titan & the fans saw some potential. And Steamboat was well on his way up, way, way up. So a pretty awesome one-off match. Reminds me a bit of the Macho Man v Dynamite Kid match.

    So the script is totally flipped in ’91 if this match happens in St. Louis. The Hitman was clearly on his way up, & the Hart Foundation was very popular by then. And Steamboat, well, he was simply “The Dragon”, spewing fire, with stupid ass dragon wings, with zero mention of his historic past in the WWF as Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, former IC Champion, who by that point arguably had the greatest match in WWF history against Savage at historic Wrestlemania III.

    They should try that “Dragon” gimmick today, & give the guy a valet with silver hair, & go all Game of Thrones with the gimmick.

    • Manjiimortal

      I prefer the Bootcamp match. The Savage/Steamboat match felt very coreographed for my taste. Hate will always be a winner as far as I’m concerned.

    • chrisH

      The WWF absolutely acknowledged who Steamboat was during his 1991 run:

      The package for his Hasbro figure (released in 1992, when he was back in WCW) listed his name as “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat.”

      I have a Prime Time episode on tape where Vince, in the studio, used the full name when pitching to Steamboat’s match.

      There’s at least one Steamboat squash match where Vince and Savage stated on commentary that one of the matches set to air on the “WrestleMania’s History and Heroes” PPV (a “best of” show looking at the first 7 Manias) would be Savage/Steamboat.

  • cultstatus

    Was Dustin’s push really out of control? He was in the midcard.

    • jabroniville

      When the son of a booker is involved, people tend to look carefully every time he beats multiple bad guys by himself. They all go “Do you want Greg Gagne? Because this is how you get Greg Gagne!”

    • Bob Caudle, Jr.

      Considering the talent level in WCW at the time and where we was at by comparison I didn’t think it was out of control.

      • Starscreamlive

        Yep. I always thought Dustin fit in perfectly with 1991 WCW. Dusty gave him a good push, but he was no Greg Gagne or Erik Watts.

        • RG-Dallas

          DId he already have his infamous “Natural” theme at this point? Was he “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes at this point?

          • Bob Caudle, Jr.

            The theme song didn’t come until very late ’92 with the release of the immortal “Slam Jam” album. But I think they’d given him the nickname by early ’92.

    • Hbkslush

      Not so much his general push as how he was protrayed in the individual matches, where guys would bump around for him as though he were Hogan, Ultimate Warrior and Vader all rolled into one. Dustin’s match at Wrestlewar ’91 was a good example of it.

      You actually have to give some credit to Dustin for not coming out of it with a huge ego problem (the Nick Gulas effect). At some point, he must have realized that he’d need to suck it up and work hard to improve, which he did.

  • jabroniville

    Weird thing: I never saw the angle, but why was the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express’s feud such a dud? Were they just too past their prime at this point? Because the Rockers had a TON of heat for their feud, and their team was never even at the highest level.

    • Mr. P

      That’s a big part of it. The last time the RnRs were relevant the Rockers weren’t even in the WWF yet, and even then fans were tiring of them rapidly.

    • Starscreamlive

      Past their prime was part of it, but the other was it just wasn’t organic in any way shape or form. Ricky became Richard out of the blue to join the York Foundation and no one bought it at all.
      The Rockers had a slow build up to the barbershop window. The RnR breakup was just crap booking.

    • Kevin Hall

      There was no build, the match sucked & nobody cared about them at that point. 5 years earlier they were massively over.

  • Buster Abbott

    Rougeau had some funny promos for house shows around this time, when it cuts to just him in his normal gear, saying things like “I’m the….uh, Jacques Rougeau! And….um, Jacques Rougeau always gets his man!”

  • JLAJRC

    Why was the Missy Hyatt match the last one on the PPV?

    The only brown-haired face Bruno match I’ve seen was from a house show very early in his run. They must have turned him heel quickly

    • PATRICKisLEGEND

      Try to send the fans home happy?

  • Boomska316 .

    I’ll never understand why they just had to turn Luger heel on that night. Even if they felt they needed a heel champion they should have at least waited awhile until the Flair thing blew over to do the turn. They should’ve given Lex the big babyface celebration after he finally got the belt after all those chances.

    • GRod827

      Could have let him stay as a face and turned him over the fans constantly chanting “We Want Flair”.

  • Oddly my favorite part of the whole GAB pay per view was how much Ricky Morton was into for cheering Black Blood during the lumberjack match.

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