Wrestling Observer Flashback–02.24.92

Oh hey, I can already tell it’s gonna be a slow week, because the teaser is “Doll wins title”.  Is it Steve Doll or Baby Doll?  You’ll just have to read on to find out!  I’d better get some memes ready right now!



Dave DOES love his Japanese rundowns.

– Dave, just a few weeks ago, thought that Hulk Hogan and/or the WWF getting brought down completely by the steroid scandal was a long shot.  Now, he’s not so sure.  Turns out that the WWF was doing a house show in St. Louis and they got raided by the DEA.

– So about 6:00 in the evening, a bunch of federal agents and police officers hit the St. Louis Arena and searched everyone entering the building, looking for drugs.  Thankfully for Vince, they had been tipped off about an hour in advance and presumably everyone flushed their shit.  The DEA is publically denying any involvement, but someone inside the police department said it was either a DEA investigation or “one hell of a strong tip”. 

– The police department first denied that any search took place, until informed that people actually saw them doing it.  Then they admitted that yes, maybe a search was taking place, but it had nothing to do with drugs.  Then they were informed that people saw the dogs sniffing everyone’s bags, at which point they admitted that OK, MAYBE it was a drug raid, but the DEA had nothing to do with it. 

– Without the warning from inside, one WWF worker estimated that about 10 of the wrestlers would have been caught red-handed.  (I’m sure we can fill in the names ourselves)  Basically if someone had been busted with steroids in their bag, things would have gone all to hell for the WWF in a hot minute, as the kids say.  (Probably would have made those charges stick on Vince a LOT easier, too.) 

– Just to play it safe, the WWF has suspended Hawk, Kerry Von Erich and Jimmy Snuka, and in Snuka’s case it’s a firing.  This pretty much spells the end of the LOD in the WWF, but there’s no guarantee that WCW would even want them at the moment. (I always found their “triumphant return” at Wrestlemania for an interview to be weird as a fan at the time, because I literally had no idea they were even gone and PWI Weekly, my only source of “inside” info at the time, didn’t really say anything about them not being around.) 

– In addition to those, Hercules and Greg Valentine have been officially released from their contracts as well.

– Oh wait, could it be time for the return of the greatest segment in Flashback history?  YES IT IS.



– So as noted, Kerry was suspended for various things by the WWF, and while serving that suspension in Texas he was arrested on 2/9 at a drug store in Dallas.  Seems that he was trying to add “forging medical prescriptions” to his resume and failing at it.  Unfortunately for him, he’s facing two felony counts of fraud for doing so, worth up to 10 years in prison each.  Dave doesn’t think he’ll serve time if he can complete rehab, but his future with the WWF looks bleak.  (His future in general was pretty bleak, as he couldn’t complete rehab and ended up facing some hard time as a result.  OK, I gotta say these are getting exponentially less funny the closer we get to February of 1993.  Should we just agree to stick with the foot jokes instead?)

– Oh hey, more famous legal trouble for the WWF, as former jobber Barry Orton went on a radio show and made allegations of homosexual harassment in the front office.  Specifically he alleges that three members of the office made advances on him and promised him a big push in exchange for gay sex. 

– The gay part, not the “sexual favors in exchange for a push” part.  Anyway, Dave thinks the crazy thing is that Orton is even more embittered than Jim Wilson was, and served time for vehicular homicide on top of that, and yet he’s STILL more credible than the WWF is at this point in time! 

– Oh, what’s that WCW, you think you’re getting off easy this week?  THINK AGAIN.  A TV station in Atlanta is doing a story where they allege racial discrimination within WCW after claims from a former wrestler that black people earn less as a result of their blackness.  Also the story pointed out that WCW current employs two white men (PN News and Johnny B Badd) portraying black men, so that’s just not a good angle for WCW.  So that’s why Junkyard Dog is getting hired AGAIN, and Teddy Long is being brought back as a babyface announcer after months of getting paid to sit at home. 

– Kip Frey is promising some kind of steroid policy soon, but it won’t include any punishment for failing tests because he doesn’t want to “create a police state”.  (Did he sing them a rousing chorus of “Lesbian Seagull” afterwards?) 

– Hulk Hogan, who just last week was 100% not leaving the WWF after Wrestlemania, is actually negotiating with New Japan after all.  There’s no deal yet, but the offer on the table is $100,000 per appearance once he “retires” from the WWF.  Dave apologizes for burying this three pages into the issue, but hey, there was bigger stuff going on.

– Although Tatsumi Fujinami supposedly quit New Japan, although with the Blond Outlaws and a couple of others, it’s actually all a “shoot angle” and they signed new contracts recently, with Riki Choshu wanting to come up with a big angle to set up their return.  (Hmm, a fake invasion angle, you say?  Someone could make big money off that idea!) 

– Fans of All Japan have been complaining that it’s the same guys on TV wrestling each other all the time, so to remedy that Baba will start booking matches with Misawa, Kawada and Kobashi against each other instead.  (Kind of funny to think of a time when Misawa v. Kobashi was the hot new singles match!) 

– The Pacific Northwest show was down to just 150 people as the promotion goes into the death spiral, and it’s here we learn the SHOCKING SECRET of the teaser:  Steve Doll won the PNW title on 2/7.  Really?  Kerry Von Erich gets arrested for felony fraud is WCW is accused of racism and that’s what makes the top headline on the website?

– Although things are bad for the WWF right now, at least the SNME rating was pretty good.  They did an 8.2 rating, which was good for 74th out of 92 shows for the week and was up from the average that FOX usually gets in that timeslot. 

– Jim Neidhart is gone with no explanation, so Owen Hart is working singles as “The Rocket” now.

– Jake Roberts was also absent from the TV tapings with no explanation.

– JW Storm got a dark match tryout, looking very jacked for someone who is adhering to steroid testing regulations.

– A guy named Lee Armstrong got a tryout, looked terrible, and ended up doing a bunch of TV jobs later in the show.  (Is that like being forced to work off your dinner bill in the kitchen or something?  Also I was like “Was that Road Dogg with a different name or something wacky like that?” but a quick check reveals he’s indeed a nobody who only had a few matches and then never got another shot.) 

– On Primetime, they announced that Dibiase & IRS, with new manager Jimmy Hart, won the tag titles, but never said who they won them from.  Also, they said Jimmy Hart used the megaphone to give them the titles, which is completely not what happened at all.  This led to the Disasters doing a rushed babyface turn to set up a tag title match for Wrestlemania, which seems to confirm that LOD is gone.

– “Shawn Michaels has better entrance music”, Dave notes off-handedly. 

– To make sure everyone at the taping knew that Undertaker was a babyface, they had Mountie do a dark segment where he challenged anyone in the building to a fight, and of course Undertaker answers, then no-sells FOUR shock stick attempts and squashes Mountie with the tombstone.  (I’d say that would do it!) 

– Meanwhile, Sid’s gimmick of killing jobbers and now putting license plates on them (“CALL 911”) is only getting him an even bigger babyface reaction.

– Ric Flair started a new angle with Savage where he does a six-minute promo of a lifetime, showing pictures of himself and Elizabeth and claiming that they were together before she met Savage.  And of course, he dumped her.

– Papa Shango did a squash match and his skull caught on fire, so the ring crew had to try to put it out while the match was going on.  (Dave doesn’t specify here, but I would HOPE that he means the prop skull and not Wright’s actual head.) 

– Hulk Hogan did a promo where he compared Sid to Charles Manson and hyped their match at the “Pontiac Hoosier Dome”.  They didn’t make him redo it, because it’s Hogan.  (What is WITH that guy and messing up Dome names?) 

– At this point, Dave doesn’t even know why we bother discussing the WWF steroid policy, since everyone at the Tampa tapings was twice as roided as the last taping and amazingly no one has been suspended under their supposed super-strict industry-leading steroid policy.

– There was talk of George Foreman being a guest ref for Hogan v. Sid, but he turned it down.  (Clearly it would be beneath his high standards.) 

(Never mind.) 

– The figure of 20,000 tickets sold for Wrestlemania thus far was actually a worked number, and the real number is MUCH lower so far.

– Ric Flair actually did his first clean job in the WWF in Orlando, taking the pin in a tag match against Hogan & Piper in the main event after partner Undertaker walked out on him.  (Won’t be the last time Flair takes a clean pin against Hogan in Orlando.) 

– Dave is really impressed with the Moondogs v. Lawler & Jarrett matches in USWA right now, calling them the best brawls in the country since the Eddie Gilbert/Cactus Jack matches. 

– Paul Roma has decided to quit the wrestling business and become a pro boxer for Bob Arum.  (He was even worse as a boxer than he was a wrestler, if that’s possible.) 

– The WWF was heavily interested in raiding Brian Pillman, so WCW signed him to a two-year contract worth a lot of money.  Dustin Rhodes and Steve Austin were also signed to long-term deals just in case.  Johnny B. Badd signed a one-year deal worth about $150,000.  (No wonder they had to bring in Watts to trim all the excess spending!) 

– Terry Taylor and Greg Valentine won the US tag titles from the dream team of Ron Simmons & Big Josh on 2/17.  (And retired them soon after.  Also, this match aired on TV at the same time as the beginning of the SuperBrawl PPV, because WCW.) 

– The weekly World Championship Wrestling show is going to have a MAJOR overhaul in the format and content very soon.

– Sting and Cactus Jack both welcomed new children into the world this week.  (Obviously Mick’s bundle of joy was future WWE writer Dewey.  Did Sting Jr. ever get involved in the business, I wonder?) 

– And finally, Gordon Solie is being phased out of WCW TV completely and replaced by Eric “The Mannequin” Bischoff.  (Clearly that guy has no future as a TV character.)