Wrestling Observer Flashback–09.16.91

Previously on the Flashback… http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2017/01/08/wrestling-observer-flashback-09-09-91/

It’s time for the Clash of the Champions again!  And it sucks!

Plus Flair signs with the WWF.  So, you know, slow news week.

– Ric Flair officially signed his deal with the WWF, which surprisingly had no guarantees beyond the usual TV appearance minimums.  WCW had reportedly made one last Hail Mary offer to him that was “so lucrative he couldn’t refuse”, but apparently WCW has some definition of that phrase that means the opposite.  Flair is already on TV, taping an angle in Ottawa where he lays out Roddy Piper with a chair and Piper tries to hit him back but nails Vince instead. (That was CRAZY!  Dave way undersold that one.)  Flair will work the first ever singles match with Hulk Hogan on the 10/25 Oakland house show, and he’ll debut at MSG against Piper on 10/28.  (Hey, I reviewed that show when it was on 24/7.  The show was awful but the Flair match was GREAT.) 

– Dave notes that outside of the Flair program, there’s pretty much nothing going on as far as WWF box office potential.  The B-show with Sid Justice v. Jake Roberts isn’t exactly going to light the world on fire. And Sid has already been a disappointment as a main eventer against Undertaker thus far.

– Sorry, we’re live, pal.

– Halloween Havoc isn’t looking great, with a main event of Lex Luger v. Ron Simmons in a 2/3 falls match, with Dusty Rhodes rumored to be inserting himself somehow.  The Hunchbacks were scheduled to debut in the Chamber of Horrors match, but now it’s “The Creatures” because “certain people” are just never going to admit to pushing for the gimmick and then killing it due to embarrassment.  Scott Steiner is also being advertised for the match, but COME ON.  (He was still months away from returning, as it turns out.)  Also, Barry Windham is scheduled to be on the heel side in that trainwreck for reasons not yet explained.  Because WCW.

– Dave’s summary of Clash XVI:  At least it was better than Bash ‘91.

– On the bright side, they tried really hard to make people care about Ron Simmons as a main event guy.  They failed, but they TRIED hard.  (Really, that’s the best that you could hope for with WCW at this point.)  Dave does think that the emphasis on Ron Simmons having a chance to be the first BLACK heavyweight champion comes off as behind the times and mildly racist.  But at least they’re not doing stereotypical black character with Simmons.

– Also, the show wasn’t boring, and they didn’t overload it with angles like Clash XV, so there’s that.  The negatives were everything else.  The wrestling sucked, and they need to bring in actual wrestlers and not just a musclehead with bleached blond hair where they can just stick a guitar in his hand and say “Hey, you’re the next Ultimate Warrior!”  Or not just a 6’9” bouncer where they spend $250,000 on a gimmick no one wants to see and say “Hey, you’re a main event heel now.  Plus you’re 7 feet tall.”  (To be fair, both sides have been telling that particular lie about Nash ever since, so at least it’s consistent.)  And when all the gimmick guys destroy the business to the point where the company is nearing the point of collapse, what’s the solution?  MORE GIMMICK GUYS.

1. El Gigante won a “Georgia Brawl” battle royale, throwing out One Man Gang and Oz to win at 9:33.  Oz’s bump was on a seven second delay.  Just a bunch of guys doing stuff.  One Man Gang had lost a match in the Omni where the loser got their head shaved, so of course his head was not shaved in the least.  DUD

2.  Brian Pillman pinned Badstreet with a flying bodypress in the light heavyweight tournament semi-final at 6:52.  This was the one and only match in the whole tournament that actually showed why the division could and should be something different and exciting.  They stole a bunch of Jushin Liger spots and it was pretty great.  ***3/4

3.  Sting pinned Johnny B. Badd with a small package at 6:11.  Dave still loves Badd’s ring entrance.  Started hot, but broke down quickly from there.  The gift box for Sting brought the match to a screeching halt, and Cactus Jack popped out and mauled Sting after the match.  *

4.  Richard Morton pinned Mike Graham in the other semi-final in 7:40.  This was the opposite of the other semi, and no one cared about Graham in the least.  Match was fine and had no heat Morton got  the pin with a rollup holding the trunks.  **

Bill Kazmaier did a test of strength deal with a steel bar, where WCW neglected to gimmick the bar and thus it didn’t look particularly impressive to the common fans.  The Enforcers attacked him afterwards to set up the main event angle.

5. The Freebirds beat the Patriots in 5:42.  The title switch was already in the can, so neither team had the belts and they just ignored the US tag titles on commentary so as to not make anyone look stupider than they already appear for insulting people’s intelligence this way.  The Patriots are nowhere near ready for this push.  *

Sting and Cactus brawled again at this point, with Jack taking some incredible bumps.

6. Ron Simmons pinned the Diamond Studd with a shoulderblock in 2:25.  Short but hard fought.  *1/4

7.  Van Hammer pinned Terrence Taylor with a knee off the middle rope in 1:07.  He missed by a foot.  Dave sums it up as everything wrong with pro wrestling demonstrated in 67 seconds.  -**

8. Steve Austin retained the TV title over Tom Zenk in 9:07.  They did the Randy Savage “counter a back suplex with a foreign object” finish.  It was slow.  *3/4

9.  The Enforcers won the WCW tag titles over Rick Steiner & Bill Kazmaier in 3:33.  Yes, a whole 3:33.  The Enforcers hit Bill in the injured ribs (specifically on the left side, despite injuring the right side earlier) and got the pin.  Dave counts this as a low point for the tag titles.  (He wasn’t wrong, but it would get better soon.) 

– To Mexico, where there’s a very large battle looming with EMLL about to start airing their weekly show on network TV, and rival UWA is very upset about that. There’s actually a wrestler’s union in Mexico, and their stance is that airing the EMLL shows on TV will overexpose the product and “kill the goose that lays the golden eggs” so to speak.  (This actually triggered a whole BUNCH of stuff, with EMLL beginning a boom period and becoming CMLL shortly after, while Antonio Pena broke off and formed AAA, all of which ended up destroying the UWA a few years later.) 

– Back to the Clash, which indeed set a new record as the lowest rated Clash ever with a 3.7 rating.  Still, many in the company were actually pleased with this number, since they expected worse.

– Oh hey, we haven’t piled onto Herb Abrams in a few weeks, so let’s catch up.  Seems that Herb made the local papers in Florida because he skipped out after the PPV show without paying any of the bills.  The manager of the Manatee Civic Center alleged that Abrams left via the back door and ran away in a limo, without paying the $7000 fee for renting the arena.  Also, Herb has yet to pay “several thousand dollars” worth of advertising bills to local radio stations.  The group running the Civic Center is attempting to have Herb’s television equipment and/or revenues seized if he returns to the state for another TV taping.  Herb’s official response from his answering machine is that he’s out of the country for a month, although Dave knows for a fact he’s actually in New York as we speak.  Oh, and the hotel in New York where a wrestling convention was recently held insisted on a cash only deal with organizer John Arezzi because they had been burned by Abrams too many times in the past and now didn’t trust any wrestling people.  (Frankly I’m shocked WCW didn’t hire Herb as booker!) 

– WCW cancelled their upcoming Meadowlands date due to the pathetic turnout of the last one, although they do have a return date on 12/27.  (I believe that’s the one with the FUCKING AWESOME Pillman v. Liger match that circulated in the tape trading scene for years afterwards.) 

– WCW did come to Oakland for a house that only 500 people attended.  Everyone worked hard, unlike the WWF show, but the problem is that no one was there to see it and what was advertised isn’t what people want to see.

1. PN News & Big Josh beat Johnny B. Badd & Mike Graham in 9:12.  Badd got the biggest cheers of the night despite being a heel.  Everyone booed when the faces won, in fact.  3/4*

2.  Tom Zenk & Bobby Eaton beat Terrence Taylor & Richard Morton in 17:44. Crowd chanted “Rooster” at Taylor, but he was hilarious dealing with hecklers.  Lots of stalling and comedy spots.  Zenk pinned Morton with a superkick.  Taylor is great and one of the best workers in the promotion, and look where that gets you.  **1/4

3.  Dustin Rhodes pinned Diamond Studd in 11:31 by reversing a slam.  Studd’s whole deal loses a lot without DDP.  *

4. The Enforcers beat the Patriots to retain the tag titles in 13:51.  Mainly walking and talking.  Larry clotheslined Chip to reverse a rollup and Arn got the pin.  *1/4

5.  Sting pinned Oz in 9:05.  This was awful.  It was actually unfair to Oz to put him in this position in the first place.  Dave says, and I quote:  “Kevin Nash will be a force in wrestling because of his size, but: a) It won’t be for a few years; b) It won’t be with this company; and c) It definitely won’t be with that name” (I guess he was only half-right about not being with this company, but otherwise BULLSEYE.)

6. Steve Austin retained the TV title over Rick Steiner with a DQ loss in 10:24.  Started slow but turned into the best match on the card.  This Steve Austin has so much poise that he’ll be one of the top guys in the business before too long.  (Dave’s on a roll this week!)  ***

7.  Barry Windham & Ron Simmons beat Lex Luger & Mr. Hughes via DQ in 11:48.  Fast packed and all action.  The Simmons push seems to be taking a little bit with crowds after the Clash.  Luger tried a figure-four at one point, which drew groans from the crowd.  Race interfered for the DQ.  **3/4

8.  El Gigante beat Gang in a cage match so bad that words can’t even describe it.  -**1/2

– To Japan, where the mega-push of Misawa continued, as he and Kawada retained the tag titles over Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue when Jumbo submitted to a Misawa facelock in 26:34 in a shocking finish because Tsuruta doesn’t do jobs for ANYONE right now and certainly not by submission.  The show drew a sellout of 15,000 fans.

– SWS is creating a “WWF junior heavyweight title” with a tournament on 9/16, with the finals coming on the joint WWF show on 12/12 .  It’s clearly a vehicle to put Naoki Sano over, and notably the WWF will send “five junior heavyweights” to compete.  Dave has no idea who would even be classified as such in the promotion, outside of the Orient Express.  (As it turned out, they didn’t even send anyone for the tournament and just had Rick Martel face Sano in the finals)

– In the USWA, Jerry Jarrett was DOUBLE-CROSSED by his own box office, as he was advertising tickets for $1 more due to all the talent appearing on the big Labor Day show, but the box office forgot to raise prices and just charged everyone normal rates.  That’s $2000 out of his pocket!

– In kind of a funny running bit for the past few weeks, Jerry Lawler had been trading the World title with “The Dragon Master”, and Dave is confounded because he has no idea who is playing the character.  (Cagematch.net thinks it’s Kazuo Sakarada just like in WCW, but Dave was pretty sure it wasn’t him.) 

– As noted last week, ESPN is about to order 46 shows from Global to fill 13 weeks of programming, which is insane.  Dave thinks that if they try it, and don’t start doing more angles and long-term storylines to go with the squash-squash-squash format of the tapings, it’s going to burn out the Dallas market FAST.

– Erik Watts, son of Bill, is the starting quarterback at the University of Louisville.

– Florida is threatening to begin regulation of pro wrestling and steroid testing, and both WWF and WCW are threatening to pull out of the state if that happens.

– Dick Murdoch is already booking dates in Puerto Rico, so the firing from WCW was real.

– WCW had to cancel their house show in Phoenix because the ring crew brought an 18 foot ring, but the ropes were only 16 feet.  There was only 450 tickets sold anyway, but obviously fans were none too happy.  (They’re just inventing new and creative ways to fuck up now!) 

–  A new guy called “The Web” is booked for shows this week.

– Neither Badstreet nor Brad Armstrong is anywhere to be found on booking sheets after this week.  (Come on, Dave, put the pieces together!) 

– To the WWF, where the annual King of the Ring tournament in Providence came and went with a thud, drawing only 2500 people to see Bret Hart win the tournament over IRS.  This is already really long so I’ll skip the rundown.

– The Sgt. Slaughter babyface turn began on TV this weekend.  (God, I did not buy into that one AT ALL.  If ever there was a case where someone desperately needed to be taken off TV for months, this was it.) 

– And finally, Kerry Von Erich missed his weekend dates, although we’ll find out the reason next issue.  Spoiler:  It’s not a happy reason.

  • AnInternetToughGuy

    If Omega laid out Okada, and then Okada retaliated but accidentally took out Red Shoes, it would get Six Stars.

    • Ludwig Bore-ya

      And rightly so. Red Shoes is more over in NJPW and ROH than 90% of guys in PPV matches in WWE.

  • Adam Wright

    What was the actual in universe storyline/reason for the Chmaber Of Horrors match. Did WCW just annoucne the match was happening and name 8 random guys as competing or was there some kind of team warfare build-up that i’ve forgotten about.

    • They literally just announced the match and guys. Not only was there no buildup, the teams didn’t even make any sense.

      • Matt Johnson

        IIRC, they were teasing dissension b/t Cactus and Abdullah and I think they’d worked some tags vs. The Steiners before that but that’s about it for any real storylines in that match.

    • AnInternetToughGuy

      They needed an excuse to have Abdullah no-sell an electric chair?

    • It COULD have been tied in to the Sting storyline of being attacked at every turn, so he recruited some friends to take care of business. But that didn’t happen. They just tossed Sting and company into a match against Jack, Abdullah, VADER (before the Sting-Vader feud was even a thing) and Diamond Studd.

      They put the top babyface and top tag team in a clusterfuck opener with an electric chair with no story behind it. This is the very definition of “Because WCW.”

      • If “Because WCW” was a dictionary entry it would take up at least half the book.

    • TooDarkMark

      At the time, and I watched every minute of WCW, they did that all the time. I didn’t even know half the matches that would be at the PPV, Clash or House Show. Or at least I knew not to expect what was advertised. The Chamber match was “Here are 8 people you may know, they will be in this cage with horror things.” A story to sell the match? Why, here are 8 individuals you know because they squash jobbers on TBS and the cage is Halloween themed!

      You just accepted it. WWF had their angles planned out months in advance so their magazine could reflect it, WCW did stuff on the fly.

    • Bettis

      I think the face team was always intact (Sting, El Gigante, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner in his first match back from injury). The heel team was Studd, Oz, Vader, and Windham. Windham was replaced by Cactus(or Abdullah) due to the hand injury in the show opening and Oz was replaced by the other for no reason I can recall.

      • The Gambler

        The Windham as part of the heel team never made sense to me, but I guess I missed his babyface turn that I think Dave mentioned a few issues back. Windham is announced with the heels, but shows up at the show with Dustin Rhodes. OK…

        • Bettis

          I forgot exactly when he turned face but I think it was him saving Ron Simmons from an attack by Luger. This was probably August or maybe late July. Not sure when the Simmons Main Event Push 1.0 actually started.

  • flamingtoilet

    The Vince getting clocked angle was so great. We’d never seen Vince get anything close to physical before, and here he is taking a shot from Flair. Really helped sell the “reality” of the angle.

    We also get a brief glimpse of a sort of proto-Mr. McMahon when he’s trying to angrily direct traffic before getting smacked, which is kinda cool.

  • Kenola

    Well Meltzer was right about Kevin Nash on all counts. If Nash never crosses over and becomes Diesel for a few years I don’t think he’d ever have been anything staying in WCW.

    • Kuetsar

      Plus he only got over as Diesel because Bret and HBK were freaking miracle workers.. . .

      • Griffin99

        The Rumble booking was what established him, it’s called the “Diesel push” when someone eliminates a pile of people from the Rumble for a reason.

        Probably best not to change it to the “Roman Reigns” push either.

  • Supermark25

    “Dave does think that the emphasis on Ron Simmons having a chance to be the first BLACK heavyweight champion comes off as behind the times and mildly racist.”

    But the first BLACK president of the United States is just fine to say.

    • Devin Harris

      When he was raised by his white mom and white grandparents

      • Night

        Yeah, but you know American culture. You got one drop of that negro blood, you’re black as Wesley Snipes.

        Hell, that was (is?) the law for centuries!

  • Rainbow Sherbet

    What’s “great” about the Creatures is that prior to the event, they were advertised as hairy apemen, the kind that would inexplicably show up in an Italian Mad Max-ripoff movie from the 1980s. By the time the show rolled around, they were just two jobbers dressed in generic green tights and masks.

    • GRod827

      Yeah, I remember being hyped over who they would be. And through the glory of scramblevision I could see their masks and knew instantly they were going to lose.

  • Adam Wright

    “– WCW had to cancel their house show in Phoenix because the ring crew brought an 18 foot ring, but the ropes were only 16 feet. ”

    How the hell do they not have uniform rings for their shows?

    • Doctor Funkopolis

      Because it was WCW and they absolutely refused to ever do anything that made sense.

    • JasonMK

      I don’t know if it was happening at this time, but WCW didn’t always travel with their own ring and would rent from local guys as a cost saving measure.

  • Devin Harris

    Is herb Abrams still alive? I bet a shoot with him would be something

    • flamingtoilet

      Oh no. He’s quite dead.

      From Wikipedia: “Before his death, while high on cocaine, Abrams was found naked and covered in a “vaseline” type substance, destroying furniture with a baseball bat in his New York office. He was in the company of prostitutes at the time. Not long afterwards, he died while in police custody, of a heart attack. He had cocaine stuck all over his body when he died.”

      • Devin Harris

        That’s kinda the way I imagine him dying

        • flamingtoilet

          Really, it’s the only way his story could’ve ended.

          • RawisStoned

            I mean…if your gonna go…go out with a bang.

          • flamingtoilet

            There’s a bang, and then there’s a mushroom cloud.

      • If you’re gonna go, go out with a fucking bang. And I think given the circumstances, even that may be understatement.

        • flamingtoilet

          His candle burned out long before his legend ever did.

      • AnInternetToughGuy

        (Scribbles note on bucket list)

      • TooDarkMark

        How did McMahon not use this as an angle during the Attitude Era?

        • flamingtoilet

          He’s saving it for when things get REALLY desperate.

          • riraho

            So, like tonight??

      • Boomska316 .

        Herb was insane even by wrestling standards.

  • thejob111

    I think it was ok to have the Slaughter face turn happen on TV immediately.

    The poor guy got so much bad heat and threats doing the Iraq gimmick that I imagine that Vince pretty much did this turn quickly just to get Slaughter back in good graces with the public. He didn’t have any big plans for him and just gave him a year to get his reputation back.

    Even if you didn’t buy it, it was a minor thing for them.

    • Night

      “Sniff…I want my country…sniff…back.”

      • KJP

        And as CRZ memorably put it, we never did find out who took his country.

    • RawisStoned

      Hacksaw, as I recall, refused to trust him right away. Good touch, actually.

    • Stephen

      The other problem was that he’d been such a heel that it smelled like a setup from moment one.

      • thejob111

        don’t disagree at all. just think it was done more for personal reasons than for business reasons.

    • markn95

      The problem with the face turn is that Slaughter got beaten so decisively in the Hogan feud. In a kayfabe sense, it looked like Slaughter was only coming back to “his country” because being a traitor left him at a dead-end career wise. If they would have kept him heel for a few months, have him beat a few mid-card faces and THEN turn face it would have seemed more genuine.

      Also, turning face by vignette was lame. Either have Adnan and Mustafa turn on him in the ring after a match or have Adnan and Mustafa do something so something so despicable in kayfabe terms that Slaughter “can’t take it anymore” and turns face in an emotional split second.

      • Imagine if Darth Vader had relinquished the Darkside by going off by himself and talking to a camera, confessional style.

  • jabroniville

    A bunch of stuff:

    * It’s funny reading about the Diamond Studd in these like he’s just some nothing guy, when one year later he’d be a big star on the rise. Hell, he’d be a big star before either Nash or Austin (Nash even cut a worked-shoot promo about how unfair and awful WCW was during this time- “I was a little green… but Scott Hall was ready to be a STAR!”)

    * Dave of course nails Nash & Austin’s career paths in the same issue, which is nice to see. The running gag of “understated debuts” is funny, but of course it’s impossible to tell who’s gonna be big just from their first matches.

    * I’ve never even heard of the UWA or EMLL before- Mexican wrestling has always been kind of a mish-mash to me. All I really know of is AAA & CMLL.

    * I remember reading about the Misawa “facelock” victory, and how Tsuruta jobs were so rare that the fans popped even more than a decade later whenever Misawa grabbed a facelock on a guy.

    * Is that the same WWF Light Heavyweight Title that ended up on the J-Crown?

    * The mention of Kerry made me realize how long it’d been since “THIS WEEK IN KERRY VON ERICH STUPIDITY!” I guess embarrassing situations haven’t happened for a while, since he’s been shoved into the midcard and all.

    • SuckaFreeSince83

      Used to get EMLL/CMLL on one of the Spanish stations when we lived in Southern California. Very confusing to keep track of, language barrier aside.

    • Stephen

      “I remember reading about the Misawa “facelock” victory, and how Tsuruta jobs were so rare that the fans popped even more than a decade later whenever Misawa grabbed a facelock on a guy.”

      Yeah, watching AJPW tapes that always struck me as particularly insane, since I didn’t have the context.

      • taabr2

        Yeah it looked like a simple rest hold but the fans and wrestlers would treat it like a big deal, that was the brilliance of Baba’s “king’s road” style booking.

        • Stephen

          Any submission hold gets over if you start beating guys with it. Look at how quick Cena turned the STF into a big finish.

    • MyronB

      It’s easier to cover up Von Erich’s stupidity when you’re in the WWF but he did eventually get fired due to being too zonked out to perform.

    • GRod827

      I think Nash is being Nash here. He clearly is green but I don’t think anyone in the moment saw Hall as getting to where he eventually got. He had already flopped several times being a top guy for various reasons prior to this in various places (and Dave admits this in previous his write-ups). I wrote about this in Scott’s Clash rant but I feel that the Razor thing was really lightning in a bottle for him.

  • Chris B

    For those who have never seen the Flair/Piper/Vince madness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ2XToXS6Zg


    • RawisStoned

      Say this for the WWF. As cartoonish as it could be at time’s, when shit got real, it got REAL.

      • PeteF3

        Late ’91 was just packed with angles like these. The WWF was somehow the darkest, most “adult” promotion on the continent.

        • nwa88

          As a kid, late 91 seemed a thousand times more interesting than the rest of the year.

          • markn95

            Even early 1991 was pretty heavy, too. Exploiting a real-life war, burning a Hulk Rules T-shirt (as an obvious stand-in for the flag), Taker locking Warrior in a casket, Earthquake killing Damien, and the Jake-Warrior “dark side” vignettes were all pretty edgy for a kid’s audience.

            But yeah, things seemed to get even darker once the Zahorian stuff went down. Jake attacking Savage with his snake and slapping Elizabeth live on PPV were legitimately shocking. I wonder if Vince pushed Jake’s “dark side” as a personification of the WWF’s real world problems.

          • JAWAS ♥ SMOAK

            And at the Rumble, Sherri seemingly wantes to give the Warrior a bj on the interview platform!


    “– Erik Watts, son of Bill, is the starting quarterback at the University of Louisville.”

    He wanted to be the punter as well, but, as you can imagine, THAT dropkick sucked as well.

  • Boomska316 .

    “(They’re just inventing new and creative ways to fuck up now!)” I always knew that 1991 was a bad year for WCW, but these flashbacks really bring into to focus just HOW bad a year it was.

  • Flair’s Superstars debut was the greatest moment in the history of wrestling in Ottawa, and I can’t think of what would even be runner up.

    The worst moment, of course, was the Raw after the Montreal screwjob.

    • riraho

      I was 11 or so and it was very very shocking to see Vince get laid out.

    • Ludwig Bore-ya

      Runner up to worst would have to have been when WCW came to the SuperEx in like 89 or 90. Horribly advertised, none of my other wrestling friends knew anything about it even a few days before it happened, it was impossible to tell what the matches were going to be, and when it happened half the wrestlers on the poster no-showed. I seem to recall that Flair, Sting, Lugar and Windham (?) were on the poster and Sting was the only one if them that showed.
      That was the first live show I saw, I fucked around and missed most of it because it sucked. I had way more fun at the few indie shows I went to before I finally saw most of the Raws and PPVs in Toronto 1999 and after.

    • anotheraccount24get

      That’s funny, because I was going to say that the runner-up to greatest moment in the history of wrestling in Ottawa was the promo The Rock cut the night of the Raw after the Montreal screwjob. I can’t remember what he said, but I remember writing an email to Micasa, who was publishing reader feedback in the days following Montreal, where I specifically mentioned my surprise at how charismatic Rocky was on the mic. I’ve always regarded that as being where his career started to take-off.

    • Diamond Jim Lowe

      I was at that Raw!

  • Boomska316 .

    Man, someone just has to do tv show based on wrestling. There’s enough outrageous material to last multiple seasons.

    • The Professor

      netflix is doing one based on glow

      • Phrederic

        With Alison Brie as a struggling actress turned wrestler.

        I am…pleased with this development.

    • tonybell73

      A show set in a mid-sized territory during Vince’s expansion could be incredibly interesting.

      • Phrederic

        Do you do an AWA ripoff or a southern one?

        • brocore

          Southern. Who wants to watch Verne Gagne wrestle Nick Bockwinkel and slowly descend into Alzheimer’s?

          • Phrederic

            I’m just wondering if the crazy hillbilly shit all the southern wrestlers got up to would be more fun than the weirdo stories about the Crushers.

        • tonybell73

          I’m thinking Southern, more like Mid-South/UWF

          • Phrederic

            You can do the economic situation with the oil too.

          • tonybell73

            If it’s a fictionalized account I’d make the territory a combination of Mid-South and the AWA, but set in the south. I think, if you’re telling a pro wrestling, you have to include a promoter pushing his no-talent son, so we’d need Verne-Greg analogies. Other characters would be a Brody (difficult to deal with star who pops the territory), a Dusty (booker always putting himself at the top), a Sting (humble young guy everyone sees star potential in), a Luger/Road Warriors (arrogant up and comer on the cusp of being huge and knows it), and a grizzled champion who knows his time is running out (think an older Harley Race). Obviously you mix in a bunch of other guys and gals, all on the road in the late 70s/early 80s, and you could have one crazy show.

          • Phrederic

            I mean, WCCW would be a pretty great story too.

            I think you’d need a Gino Hernandez character too, young dude who dies in a tragic fashion from their vices. Honestly, this would be a great show for Showtime or HBO, you have sex, violence, drugs.

            I’m just imagining the episode where the traveling champion comes in, and they just fuck shit up due to them being a crazy lunatic.

          • tonybell73

            I like both those ideas – the Gino character and the traveling champ episode.

            The funny thing is how in some ways, you’d have to dial back the insanity of actual wrestling history. If Fritz Von Erich was a TV character, everyone would say he was too unbelievable and too evil to his sons.

          • Phrederic

            Well, if you had a couple seasons you could have Fritz go crazier and crazier. And I don’t think you should do exact parallels. You could have the old man pushing his kids as a mix of Verne, Fritz AND Watts.

            I think actually Jerry Jarrett would be a great character. The conniving “friend” who slowly decides to “betray” them cause they’ve lost their goddamn minds.

          • tonybell73

            The Jerry Jarrett character is a great one, I like that.

            Of course, you actually need a couple stars of the show that people would want to root for. A young guy on his way up ala Sting or Barry Windham, and maybe a likable but doomed guy who’s already peaked but doesn’t know it (like Kerry Von Erich or Tommy Rich)

          • Phrederic

            Yeah, I was thinking the main character could be a rising star, or maybe a dude who just retired to become an agent/booker. Maybe a manager type? Gary Hart or Jim Cornette?

            And you’d need the guy you know is fucked, but is just so charming and good-natured that you want to see them succeed.

          • tonybell73

            Gosh, you have a really good sense of this. I REALLY like a guy who retired who became a booker, but maybe someone like Arn – a solid hand, not a world title guy but kind of a name, but injuries forced him out. He gets a tragic backstory we can root for, and also a tragic flaw like a pain pill addiction.

            Then you have the guy you know is fucked as the guy our main character is grooming, where he sees in this young guy all the potential he had and more, and he somehow can’t see the young guy’s fatal flaws that in the end doom him.

          • Phrederic

            Magnum TA might be an okay archetype to take from, but maybe he’s a little too tragic as a main character. A Dutch Mantell type maybe? Never a big star, but he’s respected by all and has a place at the booking table.

            An Eric Embry or Eddie Gilbert character would also be essential. A really talented dude who can book and get heat, but is just a total crazy asshole who then starts a feud with the “main promotion” after some slight.

            I’m gonna storyboard it out. Season 1’s main arc should be the rise of the National Promotion and maybe ends with wrestlers breaking off to create their own promotion. Season 2 can have the tragic death of a Von Erich or a Hernandez. Season 3 can have the talent poaching of the National Promotion and maybe an economic collapse. And Season 4 won’t exist cause there’s no way this will be a hit.

          • tonybell73

            Who would have thought a show about ad execs in 1960’s Madison Avenue would be a hit?

          • Phrederic

            You have a point.

            Counterpoint, Vinyl.

            Though that show was just bad. My fictional prestige drama would be great, damnit!

          • tonybell73

            TV is all about characters you’re interested in and/or care about. I can’t imagine a show that would have more interesting characters than a show about pro wrestlers.

            One season should have a Freebirds-like group as the antagonists. Three complete pricks who draw, know they draw, and hold it over the head of the main booker character how they could go “big time” whenever they want.

    • Alan

      My pipe dream is a mockumentary based on the traveling nwa champion. Race, Rhodes and Flair caricatures as your main characters.

  • Stephen

    I know college football has changed a lot over the years, but… to think that Erik Watts played the same position as this guy:

    Methinks Mr. Jackson could throw a dropkick if he wanted to.

  • Adam Wright

    in a Funny Factoid, the WWF junior heavyweight title ended up being part of the J-Crown that Ultimo Drgaon defended at Starrcade 1996. So a WWF title was defended at Starrcade.

    Even better. NEITHER company, WCW or WWF realised it until after the event.

    • TomaxAndXamot

      I always thought it was interesting, even then, that the physical belt was very similar to the clasic IC title. It’s interesting to read the origins here.

      • Manjiimortal

        There’s a mistake going here.

        The WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship was originally created in the 60’s but was deactivated in 1972, only to be brought back in 1978 so that NJPW’s Tatsumi Fujinami could have a Junior title to defend and set him up as the Junior ace (as an overall plan to later have him graduate to Heavyweight), and thus despite the name the title was a NJPW one, and was very rarely defended on WWF shows. The title was extinguished in 1985 when the WWF and NJPW cut off their relationships, and it hasn’t been used since then.

        The WWF Light Heavyweight Championship was created as part of a partnership between the WWF and the Mexican promotion UWA in 1981, and was only used on the UWA, never on WWF shows. After the UWA died the title went to Japan, first to Michinoku Pro, and then to NJPW where it became part of the J-Crown, which was defended on WCW PPV on two occasions (WW3 96 and Starrcade 96), until November of 1997 when the WWF demanded for the belt to be returned to them so they could establish their Light Heavyweight division, thus bringing the J-Crown to an end.

        Also, some nice bits of trivia: The WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship was also defended on UWA shows on occasions by Fujinami during his reigns, and the original Tiger Mask won his third reign by beating Fishman on a UWA show. Fujinami also defended the WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship on NWA Hollywood shows at the Olympic Coliseum on LA, and The Cobra won his first WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship on a MSG houseshow (December 28, 1984). Both Fujinami and Tiger Mask defended the belt on WWF shows during their reigns.

        • TomaxAndXamot

          Damn. thanks for the info. So the belt the SWS created was unrelated to both the NJPW and UWA titles mentioned here?

          • Manjiimortal

            Yes, the belt was simply the SWS Light Heavyweight Championship and had no connection with the other 2 belts whatsoever.

  • markn95

    Were those pre-PPV King of the Ring shows supposed to be a big deal? Obviously, they weren’t promoted nationally. But did they get special treatment in their local markets? Or was it just the standard “Event Center”-style hype where Sean Mooney runs down the card and you get a few localized promos?

    • Stephen

      It was a local thing. They just liked the sound of the name enough that they kept it for the PPV.

      • markn95

        They toured Providence pretty regularly back then. It would have been a nice touch for Bret to “defend” his King of the Ring title there on every stop through.

  • And A Diddly New Year

    Not long ago, the ESPN network approached the bookers of the Global Wrestling Federation with a simple request: 46 new shows to fill a few holes in their programming lineup. That’s a pretty daunting task, and the bookers weren’t up to it. Instead, they churned out three GWF spinoffs, transplanting already popular wrestlers into new locales and situations. First up, a gritty crime drama starring Dallas’ beloved King of the Deathmatch Cactus Jack. Keep at least one eye open because his best friends, The Cartel, just might pop in to wish him luck. Let’s us wish him luck too. Good luck, Jack!

  • rxchrisg

    As an 11 year old kid I thought it was really weird and racist-seeming that Simmons was the first black champion when black guys are on top in most real sports. Of course I was new to rasslin and didn’t realise WCW was the hick promotion.

    • brocore

      What’s funny is the hick promotion had a black champion seven years before the non-hick promotion.

      • JosephM

        And even then the non-hick’s champ was a half black/half samoan…

        Wait a minute, half black/samoan?

        Quick, someone get Tarantino to write a Tony ‘Rocky Horror’ film for The Rock!

        • failSafe

          Pffft, noone would buy Ving Rhames tossing the Rock out a 3rd story window.

          • GRod827

            They would if he gave their woman a foot massage

      • Stephen

        Eh, the WW(W)F was built on an Italian (back when being Italian was the equivalent of being Latino today) and then a Perto Rican. It’s not like they were the AWA.

        • brocore

          You underestimate the racism of New York City pre-1980s. Having ethnic champions doesn’t mean your company still wasn’t racist to some extent.

          • brocore

            To clarify: The WWWF did promote black stars occasionally, like Bobo Brazil (who was wildly popular in the heavily black market of Washington DC), but almost every promotion of the era, including the WWWF, had a “one black star” rule. There was generally only room for one black guy in a promotion because promoters wanted black fans’ money but didn’t want to cater to them too much and draw a crowd that was “too black” for fear of running off white fans.

            The WWWF promoting ethnic Italian and Puerto Rican World Champions is significantly different than actually having a diverse roster and treating those other out-groups as anything but stereotypes. Italians, while still something of an ethnic out-group, were a majority population in New York and Philadelphia, the WWWF’s two biggest markets. Bruno was never portrayed negatively. He wasn’t a pasta-eating goombah. Even as a top babyface for the company, Brazil was still portrayed as the “Buck” stereotype, and one of his defining attributes was that you couldn’t hurt his head because “he had a thick skull.” That latter characteristic was associated with a number of ethnic savage characters in wrestling — Samoans, most prominently.

          • markn95

            How about Ernie Ladd? From the Hall of Fame footage you see of him, it seems like they pushed him as a legitimate football star (which he was). Was there also an undercurrent of racism in his push that they’re too embarrassed to dig up on the Network?

          • brocore

            Ladd was something of an exception to the “one black star” rule as he spent most of his career as a heel. That was odd for the territory era because you would typically see black wrestlers portrayed exclusively as faces to appeal to the black audience in the territory along with a fear among promoters of inciting race riots if you ran with a black heel beating up on a white babyface too severely. Ladd was also an exception in that he would also feud with the region’s top black star, as in the cases of Bobo Brazil and, especially, Ray Candy in Mid-South, and cut “blue” promos where he would throw out racially-inspired insults at opponents (calling Ray Candy an “Uncle Tom,” and Wahoo a “Drunken Indian”) which was fairly rare for the era despite the prevalence of such clips on YouTube now.

      • Jordan

        You could argue that the WWF/E still hasn’t had a black world champion. You can only count the Rock (who’s not really black) and Mark Henry (who wasn’t holding the top belt) if you’re being generous.

        • brocore

          How is the Rock not black? His father is black and he self-identifies as such.

          • Jordan

            It’s not something I feel comfortable arguing either way, but I’ve heard arguments from other black wrestling fans that he doesn’t really embrace that aspect of his background or black culture in general.

          • Phrederic

            Sorry, calling bullshit on that.

            Maybe they played up him being more Samoan than black, but they pushed who his dad was.

          • Jordan

            Again this isn’t my opinion, but something that has been pushed by others. JTG went on Jim Ross’ podcast in 2014 and said that WWF/E had never had a black world champion and that Rock didn’t count. This led to several mainstream articles and podcasts about the matter. I don’t think I’m qualified to say one way or another.

          • Phrederic

            The idea of being “actually black” or not is regressive as hell.

            I get your reluctance to talk about this, but sorry, I’m calling bullshit, even if it involves speaking against JT “Voice of a Generation” G.

          • TPrincess

            It is your opinion…YOU clearly typed “The Rock (who’s not really black)” so it’s your opinion. Don’t back track now.

            Who gives a fuck what JTG says? He’s no more qualified than you are to assess someone’s racial makeup for what it’s worth.

          • Jordan

            I’m not backtracking. The Rock is half-black/half-Samoan. Does that count as black? Maybe, maybe not. I’m a white guy and don’t feel qualified (or comfortable) saying one way or the other, but I have heard other black wrestling fans say they don’t count him for whatever that is worth.

            Consider this article (http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/07/the-not-so-fictional-bias-in-the-wwe-world-championship/374042/) that ran in the Atlantic in 2014. Direct quotes from the piece include, “The only person of African descent ever named world champion was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a special case. Half Samoan and half African-Canadian, Johnson identifies as Samoan and comes from a line of famous wrestlers. As WWE’s first third-generation fighter, he was allowed a narrative that reflected his specific family history, not the mere fact of his race” and “In its 62 year history, WWE has never chosen a black wrestler to hold its world championship.” I don’t think I’m taking a unique or uncommon position toward WWF/E and its booking of African American wrestlers.

        • Bettis

          To me Rock counts but there have been very few. Lashley never won the belt? Must have been just ECW.

        • A Wrestling god

          Booker T also had the same title as Mark Henry. Also, do you consider President Obama to be black?

        • y2j420

          By that argument, the US hasn’t had a black president yet…only a half black one…

          • Phrederic

            …people have made that argument.

      • Mr. P

        They also had a much greater respect for Japanese and Mexican wrestlers than the WWF ever did.

        • Jordan

          I tend to agree to with you but let’s not forget Sonny Onoo’s lawsuit against WCW for discrimination.

  • Diddly

    Looks like Erik Watts was only the starting QB for the 1991 season. And according to Wikipedia, Louisville went 2-9 that year, which sounds about right.

    • Stephen

      And they had a legendary head coach – Howard I’mnotgonnatrytospellhislastname, who was the head coach of the Hurricanes when they developed into a national powerhouse.

      • daveschlet

        Howard “the man” Schnellenberger. Brought The U to prominence. #TheU #GoCanes

        • PeteF3

          He was down this year, but he brought Louisville into prominence as well. They went from being a program on the level of the MAC to clobbering Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl.

    • PeteF3

      Here’s Erik at his probable college peak, going into Columbus, throwing for 300 yards, and giving a scare to Ohio State.

    • TomaxAndXamot

      Louisville was an independent who played in a minor league baseball stadium. They’ve come a long way, a lot of it due to Howard.

      Dustin Runnels also committed to play football at Louisville, but chose to wrestle.

      • Diddly

        I recall Howard hating the formation of the C-USA since it didn’t give smaller schools the opportunity to play for the national championship

  • Manjiimortal

    “Jumbo submitted to a Misawa facelock in 26:34 in a shocking finish because Tsuruta doesn’t do jobs for ANYONE right now and certainly not by submission”

    And that’s how you put a guy over, though to be fair Jumbo did job to Gordy and Misawa in 1990, but by this point in 1991 he had yet to job. That win also did wonder for Misawa, as it gave mileage to his facelock submission for a decade or so despite Misawa never again winning a big match with it (just some multi-man tags). I’m pretty sure Baba’s plan was to have Tsuruta challenge Misawa for the Triple Crown in 1993 and lose, but then Jumbo got ill… Misawa still ended more than fine, but it’s a shame we never got that match from them.

    WCW’s incompetence is just astonishing, and I’ll reiterate what many have already said here… It’s nothing short of amazing that the company didn’t die before Nitro started, and even more unbelievable that they actually became the top dog for a couple of years!!

  • Bettis

    Those first two memes are gold.

  • Bettis

    I hear The Web was an IWC darling.

  • ebEliminator

    Dave does think that the emphasis on Ron Simmons having a chance to be the first BLACK heavyweight champion comes off as behind the times and mildly racist. But at least they’re not doing stereotypical black character with Simmons.

    Today, it’d be praised as progressive.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’m still shocked the buildup to the Luger feud, in which I believe Harley Race used the N-word, even made it to television in the 90’s.

      • Bettis

        It definitely wasn’t the N word. I believe he said “boy” which is also quite derogatory. It may have even been censored on TV which could be why people think he said something else.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Right. I may just be remembering the censoring, and assumed.

        • nwa88

          Yup, I believe Bill Watts made the call to censor him saying “boy”. TBS got many calls.

        • GRod827

          Also, and it might have been in the same interview, Luger and Race offered a position to Simmons if he reconsidered. Luger stated that he had bodyguard in Hughes and a mentor in Race but could use a driver which I remember being censored in later highlights.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I loved when everyone left the GWF at the same time, and they were basically pushing a bunch of guys off the street on ESPN.

    • James M. Fabiano

      Pretty much. That and strictly local guys near the Dallas area. Got a bit better when they mixed in WCCW legends like Chris Adams and the Freebirds, and kept good hands like Rod Price, JBL (yes…), and Ahmed Johnson/Moadib (yes x 2…), but….yeah.

      The champions who quit while still being champion took their belts with them (most infamously, Eddie Gilbert posing as GWF champion in Memphis). For the rest of the company’s run, they only had the tag belts to use for all the championships. Killer Tim Brooks tried to make it less obvious by donating belts from his Dallas company, then this happened and was just resolved a couple years back: http://www.waxahachietx.com/article/20131016/News/310169963

      Also not helping was, you guessed it, GWF’s new promoters trying to use WWF-like angles (we can see this issue pop up now in these updates, in WCW). That’s how we got the Bungee Match, “Elvis” the color commentator, and more.

      That said, like with everything at the time, I still watched GWF on ESPN, and think it’s woefully underrepresented in WrestleCrap, moreso back when that was more of a phenomenon.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        This is gold. Thank you.

      • Barry Gilpin

        Early on Global had quite a bit of talent. With competency they could have made some noise. You had a young Foley, young Waltman, Eddie Gilbert, young Raven, young Harlem Heat, Jerry Lynn, the Patriot, and all the Dallas guys. There’s some workers there. Could have marketed it as kind of an alternative to the cartoony WWF and WCW was going that way too. Wrestling for purists.

        • James M. Fabiano

          See it started out as such. But got sillier and sillier as they lost talent.

    • Greg Dufour

      Lol the make up of the fans attending were literally guys off the street. Homeless people used to attend shows for free entertainment

      • Robinson Tilapia

        So that’s how Terry Simms got a face pop.

  • The Gambler

    I thought the famous Pillman/Liger match was at The Omni.

    • Manjiimortal

      The Omni match was the title change, the Meadowlands one is the famous non-title fancam one. That show also had a pretty nice Luger/Rick Steiner title match.

      • MyronB

        Pillman/Liger at the Meadowlands was the best match I have ever seen live. It was just wall-to-wall action and some amazing spots.

      • Bettis

        News to me, I gotta check out that Meadowlands match. I’ve only heard about the Omni Xmas night match that I believe was shown (in clips) on WCW TV. I’ve really only seen one WCW fancam ever outside of a single match here and there.

        • Manjiimortal

          The match is on Youtube, check it out.

  • Michael Weyer

    Buying ring ropes too small for the ring.

    That is the most WCW thing I have ever heard.

    • Phrederic

      I think I’ve heard something more WCW…but for the life of me I can’t remember it.

      • brocore

        The Observer stuff from the late ’90s is way more WCW. You get random nuggets of gold like Scott Steiner commandeering the PA to tell the crowd to blow him during a random match at a house show (when he wasn’t even present in the ring) and other bizarre stuff that makes absolutely zero sense even within the context of the era.

        • Phrederic


          I mean, that’s kind of brilliant in a heel-sense, but who the fuck okayed that?

          • brocore

            There are old Observer writeups from the late ’90s floating around the Net. That was one of my favorites but it’s also just scratching the surface. There’s so much insanity packed into that era. I get the sense that no higher ups attended house shows so guys just did whatever the hell they wanted. There’s another with Steiner where he just shows up with a tiger one day and it almost takes Rey’s eye out.

          • Phrederic

            So what I’m learning from this is that Scott Steiner is amazing.

          • brocore

            Oh my god, he did all kinds of crazy shit. If I can find more I’ll post it later.

          • Phrederic

            How has he not served prison time?

          • RawisStoned

            To be fair that clip of him at Shoney’s makes me think that he’s more or less normal when not in character.

          • Phrederic

            He has gotten older.

            And does that mean that he was in character for 10 years straight.

          • Ripner Cabbit

            Vince Russo probably . . .

          • Phrederic

            That’s an answer for far too many questions.

  • Theberzerker #HUSStag

    Everyone remembers Sting/Cactus from Beach Blast ’92, but it was around this time that they had a Falls Count Anywhere match on Worldwide or Main Event (one of those) that was AWESOME. Sting top rope splashing Jack in a giant Rubbermaid trash can remains one of my favorite spots ever.

    • Bettis

      I think it was Worldwide but it also aired on Power Hour around November (sweeps?) From what I remember, it was better than the Beach Blast match.

      • TPrincess

        Here’s a “submit or surrender” match from Nov. 19, 1991.

    • Big D Wangston

      It’s on Micks newest blu-ray

  • “That was CRAZY! Dave way undersold that one”

    I didnt see the angle where Piper hit Vince until way later and I now have NO IDEA why they were trying to run Flair/Hogan with that angle on TV. Flair/Piper is where the $$$ was at in fall 1991 and those Flair/Piper house show matches, especially in MSG, prove that.

    I always thought Flair/Hogan was a white hot angle the WWF never capitalized on. But beyond the Heenan bit at SummerSlam, they didnt even really try. They just thought sending out Flair with a belt would work. So stupid in retrospect.

    Almost as if Hogan didn’t want Flair to get on his level….hmmm……

    • TPrincess

      They could have painted themselves in a different corner I guess with Flair winning RR 1992 and defending against Piper at Wrestlemania? Would have left Bret Hart with a different situation. Maybe defending I-C title against up-and-coming Shawn Michaels?

      • It’ll be interesting to see what the thinking was before Bret had to drop the IC title, because the Piper/Bret stuff seemed to pop up overnight at the Rumble. And we do know the big plan for the summer of 1992 was Shawn/Bret, before SummerSlam got moved to England.

        • TPrincess

          You could really carry over some of that Summerslam 1991 stuff and make Piper-Flair the mid-match at Wrestlemania with Savage-Roberts blow off and have Hart win the I-C title back at RR and pair him with whoever (Michaels makes sense at the time I guess).

          The Hogan-Sid trajectory can stay the same really

  • “Erik Watts, son of Bill, is the starting quarterback at the University of Louisville.”

    In 1990, Louisville went 10-1-1 & beat Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl.
    In 1991, Louisville went 2-9 & did not play in a bowl game.

    Erik Watts was not good for business in the 1990s.

    • Corwin Haught

      But how did he effect attendance?

    • brocore

      Watching WCW shows from late ’92 into ’93 is hilarious because even the hick Southern crowds who would give PN News a polite applause can muster nothing but bile for Erik Watts.

    • PeteF3

      In fairness, Watts became the starter because Jeff Brohm broke his leg in the second game of the year.

  • James M. Fabiano

    “Your sociable suburban Web?”

  • Sexy Miz

    This is the same Herb that appeared at Wrestlemania 2, right?

  • Interesting trivia note: Bill Kazmaier and Tony Romo are from the same town. (Only I care, because I’m from here too.)


      Burlington! I used to work at the newspaper there. I think Fred’s claims of the world’s greatest burger are as dubious as the coffee shop’s in “Elf,” though.

  • Guy Smiley

    I’m sad that the next recap spells the end for “This Week In Kerry Von Erich Stupidity”. Those are some of my favorite segments; I wish there were more.

    • Diamond Jim Lowe

      Kerry doesn’t pass away for another 18 months.

      • Guy Smiley

        My mistake! I got caught up in the moment and just assumed that’s what Scott was alluding to. So, yay?

        • Diamond Jim Lowe

          Yeah. It actually bounces around the WWF for almost another year.

  • Benjamin Leatherman

    “A new guy called ‘The Web’ is booked for shows this week.”

    Did he appear on Worldwide? Since, yanno, that would be fitting.

  • TwentyTimes

    I had no idea therte was a King of the Ring ion 1991, and Bret won it. Am I reading that right? I thought Savage was the last “king” until the big PPV in 93, which Bret definitely won?

    • Stephen

      It was an annual non-TV tournament for years.

      • TwentyTimes

        I know Duggan, Haku, Race and Savage won it, Muraco too? But I’ve never heard of Bret winning it in 91. Just seems odd to me, like it was never mentioned anywhere.

  • ReinEngel

    It’s hard to take a step back and realize how bat shit crazy it was that Sid Vicious, The Roadwarriors and Ric Flair were not only in WWF one year after dominating the NWA, but they were main-eventers being pushed over home grown talent. I would have teamed all of them up and done an invasion angle… not a “we’re taking over your company!” angle, but a “we’re the best wrestlers in the world and we’re here to prove it!” angle, like Cornette ran in 1998. The timing was perfect with Survivor Series RIGHT THERE. They could have done Flair/Sid/Warriors against Hogan/Warrior/Harts and then let them dominate the Rumble with the intention of letting Flair, their leader, win the title.

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