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Wrestling Observer Flashback–01.10.92

Oh man, turns out that I missed the Jan 10 issue with big stuff in it due to Dave’s mis-filing of the Observers for January.  So it’s time to go BACK TO THE FUTURE.  Past?  Whatever.

Doc Brown knows the score.  Hulk’s kids ARE kind of assholes.

– In the top story, Inside Edition did a massive hatchet job on Hulk Hogan, who it turns out (and you might want to be sitting down for this one) is a huge liar who actually used a shitload of steroids during his career, according to a bunch of people.  In fact, Billy Graham says that he personally injected Hulk on several occasions. 

– Right, “vitamins”, whatever you say, LIAR.

– Further, David Shults was also interviewed and he said that Hulk used to stay at his house in exchange for steroids, back when Hulk was just breaking into the business.  Further, the show actually aired a copy of the FedEx records from the Zahorian trial, showing Hogan receiving steroids after months of Hulk lying to the media about how he only used them on three occasions in 1984 or 1983 or 1982 or whatever his story was each time.

– Not surprisingly, Hogan’s attorney, Jerry McDevitt, tried to get the piece pulled at the last minute, but lost.  (No surprise there, either.)  For his part, Vince is just upset that the piece chose to focus on Hogan’s bad side instead of balancing it out with all the good that he’s done over the years. 

– However, that proved to be only the start of the media frenzy, as Billy Graham then did a radio interview with John Arrezzi in New York where he and Shults levied one accusation after another against Hulk and the WWF.  Some are so serious that Dave can’t even discuss them here.  (So call the Observer Hotline for more details!)  However, he can discuss a few of them, and they number thusly:

1.  Hogan never would have even gotten into wrestling without steroids.

2.  Hogan used “excessive amounts” of steroids for years, and both Shults and Graham both personally injected him hundreds of times.  Dave notes that this isn’t exactly a shocking revelation.

3.  After the WWF started cocaine tests in 1987, the boys would carry jars of clean urine around in their luggage, just in case.  (Also makes a refreshing cocktail in a pinch!  Er, so I’ve heard.) 

4.  Hulk broke into the wrestling business by claiming to be a “black market steroid dealer” and making contacts in the business that way.

5. Hulk’s physique has been changing rapidly over the past year, like someone cycling off and on steroids. 

6. Graham alleges that when Hogan started, he knew so little about steroids that he injected himself once a day for an entire YEAR. 

 

7. Graham also alleges that the WWF is actively trying too cover up their involvement in the whole thing, as well.

8. Shults said that Vince told him to “go see the doctor” before he would be programmed with Hulk for the WWF title so he could get his arms bigger.  (This sort of thing was actually a major point of the prosecution of Vince later on, although much like everything else, the government couldn’t actually produce any witness who could testify that Vince said “Go take steroids”.) 

9. Shults alleges that there’s tons of other drugs being distributed by other “doctors” within the WWF, and steroids are only the tip of the iceberg.  (Yeah, buddy, you said it.  Sadly we’d learn in later years about muscle relaxants like Soma all too well.) 

– The WWF is naturally hesitant to comment on ANYTHING until they’ve seen the tapes of the interview.  Dave expects the smart play on their part to be casting aspersions on the moral fiber of Graham and Shults, but talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  Dave thinks it’s very unfair to make Hogan the scapegoat here when the problem is WAY deeper than Hogan (Yup.) and he’s also a very positive role model in a lot of other ways.  But really, the issue isn’t even Hogan using steroids, it’s lying about using them.  (It’s true.  Had Hogan just come clean on Arsenio that one time, things probably would have been drastically different for the WWF and the press would have been like “Wrestler uses steroids, film at 11” and moved on.) 

– Dave does a very lengthy interview with Billy Graham for this issue, which is well worth reading, but I’m not gonna recap it all here.

– Lex Luger officially gave notice to WCW that he’s done as of the Superbrawl PPV show, although his contract doesn’t expire until 03/93.  (Hence why he couldn’t actually appear as a wrestler for the WWF until then.)  WCW will let him work in Japan, but not anywhere else in the US until the contract is up.  The hot rumor (hotly denied by Vince McMahon) is that Lex is leaving WCW to join the World Bodybuilding Federation for something like $600,000 a year.  He would then move to the WWF after that year is up.  Luger’s story is that he’s taking a year off to open a gym (aka the Ricky Steamboat Story) and he’s generally sick of the lifestyle and wants out of wrestling.  (That part was true, in fact.) 

– Dave notes that they need a big new babyface to replace Hulk Hogan in 1993, and that seems like a good fit for Lex Luger.  Bret Hart might be the guy who can carry that role, but that would require a major shift in the promotion’s philosophy, and that’s just not gonna happen.

– WCW and New Japan held their combined Supershow at the Tokyo Dome, and it was nowhere near the quality of the first one.  However, it did draw a sellout crowd of 60,000.  Riki Choshu won the IWGP title from Fujinami in the main event, and afterwards Inoki came out to celebrate with both men and Fujinami stared icicles at him due to legit bad blood between them at this point.  Fujinami thought he was heir apparent to Inoki and now he’s losing all his political power to the Muta contingent. 

– After winning the title, Choshu cut a promo on SWS, with the intention being a joint card due to Inoki losing money while running around playing politician.

– Dave lists the initial reports of the Nasty Boys getting into the incident with the three men that we’ll cover next week.  Last week?  Whatever. 

– More info on the Trevor Berbick fiasco with Takada, as it now comes out that UWFI double-crossed the boxers involved, and for example told Berbick that it would be an exhibition match, only to have Takada come out SHOOTING.  Berbick was legitimately concerned that Takada would injure his leg, since he wasn’t trained for leg kicks and was told that it wouldn’t be an issue.

– Dan Spivey is definitely done in Japan due to some kind of falling out, although there’s still no details on why.  Stan Hansen’s new partner will be Johnny Ace.  (How much money would YOU pay to see a WWE Network sitcom about them trying to live together?) 

– Terry Funk’s big break into TV stardom is now called “Tequila & Bonetti” and it debuts on CBS on 1/17.  (And leaves almost as fast.) 

– To WCW, where Terry Taylor’s babyface flirtation ended quickly with him staying heel as The Taylor Made Man. 

– WCW ran the Meadowlands and Pillman and Liger had a match said to be upwards of ****1/2 by an “inordinate” amount of readers.  Apparently the initial report last time had the match at ***3/4 and it was a NERD UPRISING as a whole bunch of people freaked out and told Dave the real story.  (I’m with the nerds on this one, it’s a fucking awesome match.) 

– To the WWF, where Flair v. Hogan headlined at the Omni and only drew 4500 people, although they’re still doing good business in the other markets where Flair hasn’t been before.

– Dave managed to get a copy of the current WWF depth chart, and here’s the rankings in their eyes:

Babyfaces: Hulk, Macho Man, Sid Justice, Piper, Bret Hart, Boss Man, Virgil, Janetty, Tornado, Bulldog, El Matador, Valentine, Chavis, Walker. Heels: Flair, Undertaker, Snake, DiBiase, IRS, Mountie, Michaels, Repo Man, Berzerker, Skinner, Warlord, Kato, Hercules. Face tag teams: LOD, Slaughter & Duggan, New Foundation, Bushwhackers. Heel tag teams: Natural Disasters, Nasty Boys, Beverly Brothers.

– And finally, Hawk has been no-showing dates, with Animal working as a single, but no word as to why.  (They try to make me go to rehab, I say “No, no show”.) 

(OK, now we’re caught up again!  Back to the regular continuity next time.)