Wrestling Observer Flashback–09.09.91

Previously on the Flashback… http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2017/01/06/wrestling-observer-flashback-09-02-91/

Turns out that this Warrior deal is kind of a big thing.

– There’s still nothing official on the reason for Warrior’s suspension, aside from vague accusations of “unprofessional activities”, so of course the rumor mill has gone crazier than Warrior.  For the moment, we don’t know if he’ll actually be released from his contract or just held hostage until it expires.  The wrestlers are being told that it’s a firing, however.

– Now, if he COULD jump to WCW, would he be of any value to them?  Hard to say, but he certainly wouldn’t justify the pay he would ask for via house shows.  He might pop one big number on PPV, but it won’t last.  Dave offers as an example Sgt. Slaughter, who was fired in 1985 for attempting a union, and immediately jumped to the AWA with a huge push and flopped.  Basically, WWF fans are fans of the WWF and won’t cross over to the competition just because an ex-WWF guy happens to be there.  In fact, the AWA pushed him so hard that it made their own guys look like clowns and actually damaged the brand in the process.  And does WCW really need another superman babyface who won’t put anyone over?

– Warrior’s first no-show due to the suspension was in Oakland for a body bag match against Undertaker, where Sid took his place.  And no one cared that he was gone.  (Sounds like Sid when he’d disappear for softball.) 

– Meanwhile, WCW is just into complete freefall right now, with a horrendous 1800 people at the Meadowlands and 650 people in Philly.  And Clash XVI is widely expected to be the lowest rated one in history.

– Dave’s review of the Oakland show, drawing 7800 for the second half of a double-shot, where everyone was pretty much phoning it in.

1. Jerry Sags beat Bushwacker Butch in 8:19.  All stalling, slow-paced with bad timing.  And those were the GOOD points!  Sags rolled him up for the pin.  -*

2. Kerry Von Erich pinned Skinner in 7:53.  More stalling.  Kerry won with the lame double pin shoulder lift spot.  1/2*

3. LOD beat the Beverly Brothers to retain the tag titles in 10:37.  Hawk got the heat, but doesn’t actually sell while playing face in peril.  Doomsday Device finished it.  **

4. “Sid the Second Coming” beat the Undertaker in a body bag match in 16:39.  As a wrestling match, it was one of the worst of the year, but as two stuntman doing horror movie fight spots, it was good.  They would take turns choking each other down until one guy was “dead” and then he would suddenly pop up for the dramatic comeback and they’d reverse the spot.  Sid looked to have 35 pounds on Undertaker, and Dave is pretty sure it wasn’t orange juice.  Sid hit Undertaker with the urn and stuffed him in the body bag for the win.  *

5.  Virgil beat IRS by DQ in 8:31 when Dibiase interfered.  Better than Dave anticipated.  *1/2

6.  Bret Hart beat Dibiase by countout in 14:56 to retain the IC title.  Biggest babyface pop of the night for Bret, but it didn’t sustain.  Boring match, ending with Virgil getting his revenge and costing Dibiase the match.  *

7. Warlord won a battle royale by tossing out Ricky Steamboat.  DUD

– Ric Flair still hasn’t officially signed with the WWF, but it’s a formality at this point.  With Warrior gone and Sid as a babyface, this seems to make Hogan-Flair a sure thing for Wrestlemania.  In fact…

– There was some talk about Hogan-Undertaker, but that’s now the main event of Survivor Series, and Hogan’s getting a clean win out of that one.

– Dave clarifies that most of the Mountie jail skits didn’t air on the big screen in MSG, so he didn’t see them until the TV version was available to him.  It was pretty funny, and at least they followed through on their stipulations.

– The Riki Choshu “retirement” show is still on, so it looks like he’s working an angle.  The idea is that Inoki is going to talk him out of retirement and get him all fired up to revive his career again.

– Toshiaka Kawada & Kenta Kobashi scored a huge upset over Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey on 8/29, with Kawada getting the pin on Spivey, which sets up Kawada to finally be a top level guy and challenge for the Triple Crown.

– The 12/12 SWS show at the Tokyo Dome might end up with Tenryu v. Flair instead of the planned Tenryu v. Hogan, because the NWA title means way more than the WWF title does.  (Well that would be a moot point by then on both counts.)  In fact, Dave thinks that Tenryu has been doing way too many jobs to begin with, and no one in the US would even care if Hogan or Flair lost that one cleanly.

– Chris Champion, wrestling as the Masked Turtle, teamed up with real life brother Mark Starr in FMW to take on Pandita (a masked panda bear) and Amigo Ultra (a masked superhero).  Dave is like “Can you imagine how weird Mark Starr must have looked to fans?”

– Dutch Mantell debuted for the USWA, interrupting a Jerry Lawler interview to ask him if he’d seen Stan Hansen anywhere.

– Koko B. Ware is working USWA now, because with reduced house shows there’s about 15 guys who won’t be getting booked but they don’t want working elsewhere.  So they agreed to let a bunch of people do however many indy dates they wanted, as long it’s not Herb Abrams or WCW.

– Verne Gagne was negotiating with ESPN to reclaim the Monday and Tuesday slots and show old AWA tapes, but the network is actually quite happy with the ratings that GWF is doing thus far.  Unfortunately, they’re so happy with the ratings that they now want 46 new shows for the fall.  What kind of company could produce that much output without completely burning out creatively, Dave wonders?  (Certainly not the one we have today.) 

– Vince Torelli was fired from South Atlantic Pro Wrestling because he’s just been staying in Japan the whole time anyway.  (Wonder if that “Ken Shamrock” kid ever amounted to anything?) 

– Controversy out of WCW, as they’re now denying that “The Hunchbacks” were ever a thing that was going to happen.  This flies in the face of the common knowledge that Jim Herd has been pushing for that exact gimmick literally since the first day he was hired and everyone had just been lucky enough to dodge the bullet for the past two years.

– Dick Murdoch and Dick Slater have already been fired for cost cutting reasons, although the Hardliners deal was a huge disappointment anyway.

– Overall, Dave doesn’t know how much longer TBS will allow the company to survive in this state.  They keep making wholesale changes and somehow manage to keep getting worse.

– Randy Savage actually gave notice to the WWF, but Dave thinks it’s not a big deal and it’s just a paperwork issue.

– Jim Neidhart is already off the commentary job and being put back on the road as a wrestler.  (And thank god for that.) 

– And finally, Curt Hennig is scheduled to be out for three more months with the back injury, although he allegedly has a Lloyds of London insurance policy that pays him $25,000 a month while he’s out, which is more than he would be making by working.  (I feel like this one might bite them in the ass later on…just a hunch)