Previously on the Flashback… http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/12/30/wrestling-observer-flashback-07-22-91/
OK, OK, look, I know things are looking pretty messed up for the WWF right now, but DON’T PANIC. Vince has this steroid testing thing on lockdown, and Hulk Hogan is going to go on Arsenio Hall’s show and clear EVERYTHING up, sharpish.
Would either of those people ever lie to you?
– In our top story, both Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan are pretty much looking like giant liars at this point. However, Dave notes, let’s not get sidetracked from the real issues by all the nonsense about Vince supposedly only ever using steroids once, in the 80s, and then never again. Really, even if he still does, it’s his own business and doesn’t affect the livelihood of anyone who works for him. Also, Hulk Hogan is not the problem, he’s a symptom of the problem. That being said, his appearance on Arsenio Hall is nothing short of an act of complete fraud and hypocrisy, even by the standards of people who work in pro wrestling for a living. So here’s the rundown of his “story”: According to Hogan, he only used steroids three times in his entire career, starting when he was champion in 1983. He didn’t even win the title until 1984, but we’re just getting started. The steroids were to rehabilitate an arm injury that would have put him out of action for a whole year otherwise. Yet miraculously he never missed a single show with an injury that year, especially not an arm injury. Basically Hogan used what is known as “The Bosworth Defense” for his steroid troubles, which is when pro athletes get popped for drugs and claim that they only used them one time, long ago, for rehabilitation. In fact, he’s created his own category, the Hogan Defense, where he claims that he weighed 196 pounds at 10 years of age, brother. Immediately everyone in wrestling called him out for being completely full of shit, desperately trying to protect an image that is probably already destroyed on a permanent basis. However, had Hogan manned up and told the truth, the story would have blown over in three weeks and everyone would have moved onto the next news cycle (something that Hogan thankfully took to heart with his most recent troubles), but now the sharks in the media are circling, looking to punch holes in Hogan’s ridiculous non-apology and Vince’s non-testing.
– Vince is equally screwed, since he tried to deflect the steroid problem away from Hogan by essentially throwing himself on his own sword for the media’s benefit. Dave is pretty sure that the WWF will survive this one with no long-term damage…as long as it only happens ONCE. If the mainstream media starts poking a SECOND time, however, after Vince has already declared his company to be drug-free, then there’s gonna be trouble.
– On the bright side, Dave is convinced that, at the very least, the WWF is pretty serious about cleaning up and enacting steroid testing. They’re talking to some high-level guys in the drug testing world trying to figure out who will administer the program. Are they serious about getting rid of steroids? Well, if people start dropping 30 pounds overnight, we’ll know they are. (Of course, we know what the real answer to that one was.) Getting rid of the drugs is impossible, but getting it under control is not only very reasonable, but should be expected. However, no matter how good the testing, they can always be beaten, so it’s really a more beneficial system if you let people know that you don’t need to be a giant steroid freak to get pushed. In fact, beating the tests is a pretty trivial matter, just by flushing your system with water and then switching to HGH (still untestable even today, I believe). Even Alka Seltzer can mask drugs pretty easily.
– Basil DeVito does want it noted that it’ll take six months to have “fair” testing because it takes that long for everything to get flushed out of the systems of current users, so don’t expect anything major to happen until then.
– Not-So Great American Bash update: There are now 19 “thumbs up” votes for the show. Dave now rates it as the worst PPV of all time when everything is considered. The buyrate appears to be about 145,000 orders, or a 0.97, one of the lowest in company history. However, the NEXT show is the one where it’ll likely hit rock bottom.
– Dave isn’t terribly excited about Summerslam, and the main event sounds worse every time he types it. He’s pretty sure it doesn’t have a prayer of hitting the buyrate numbers of the previous couple of shows. (Which was true. It did OK, not great.)
– Hey, it’s time for an Understated Observer Debut! In discussing the CMLL section, Dave mentions that “Canadian Vampire Casanova is now the most popular wrestler in the promotion for reasons beyond my comprehension”. He’s a 24 year old kid from Montreal who is pretty much a raw rookie. Today we know him better as Vampiro, of course.
– Tenryu was officially named the new president of SWS, replacing Hachiro Tanaka. Tanaka, however, is going to start ANOTHER promotion, featuring Koji Kitao on top. (Not sure what that was, but it didn’t happen.)
– The UWFI is selling out at the moment, but using a lot of no-name Tennessee guys on their shows because booker Shinji Sasazaki is retired and working at a Japanese restaurant there.
– Chris Champion is doing the Ninja Turtle gimmick again, this time for FMW. (Wait, I’ve got it! That’s how he got in touch with his Oriental side and transitioned into Yoshi Kwan!)
– SWS will be reuniting the team of Tenryu & Ashura Hara for their 8/9 show at the Yokohoma Arena, and it’s already looking to be a disaster since their last show did less than 3000 paid and this is a 17,000 seat building.
– In Memphis on 7/15, Rob Zakowski beat Sabu. (Somehow I feel like we haven’t seen the last of that match.)
– To the WWF, where Hogan was pulled from all his dates in order to work with the Special Olympics. Time to rehab that image!
– Jim Neidhart has been beating Earthquake all over the country, which might be explained by rumors that Quake has given notice.
– Apparently Mr. Perfect will be taking a few months off after Summerslam to heal up his back. (Just a BIT longer than that, unfortunately.)
– Dave is just as mystified as we are about why Undertaker, the hottest character in the company, isn’t even on the Summerslam card.
– The Mountie did a house show in Toronto, and was billed as mere mortal Jacques Rougeau, wearing a t-shirt and shorts.
– And now it’s time for an exciting new feature that I’d like to call:
– Ned Brady, who worked in Florida as “Repo Man”, had a friend who knew WWF honcho JJ Dillon. So Brady’s friend decided to call Dillon and let him know about his friend Ned Brady and his cool gimmick, at which point JJ trademarked “Repo Man” for future use and sued Brady to prevent him from using the gimmick any longer.
– Andre the Giant now needs two canes to walk to the ring.
– To WCW, where it turns out that Jim Ross was suffering from kidney stones during the Bash PPV and had six hours in surgery to remove them afterwards. (I felt like I was passing kidney stones while I was watching the show as well.)
– Dave is curious as to why Jim herd still has a job at this point. (Don’t have to wonder for long, Dave!) Herd appeared on George Michael’s Sports Machine and declared that no one was sadder than him about Flair’s departure. Dave notes that compared with Hogan, Herd might sound sincere. But then they aired the finish of the Luger-Windham PPV main event on the show, and TBS freaked out on the show’s producers and told them not to air any more finishes. Dave is like “Can you imagine MLB demanding that a sports show not air the finish to the World Series?”
– The whole Missy v. Dangerously feud was pulled from house shows at the last minute because Jim Herd pulled the plug himself. Dave notes that the sad thing is that most people aren’t even mad about the false advertising, they just don’t care enough about the promotion to feel anything but apathy.
– And finally, the reader pages reveal that Rob Feinstein of Pennsylvania has tapes to trade. Hopefully he does well with that.