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Wrestling Observer Flashback–03.09.92

RIP to Nicole Bass and George “The Animal” Steele.  We’ve had enough death and tragedy in THESE issues without more people dying in the present day as well.

I’m doing this one on a new computer because it’s been, like, two months since I changed laptops and WHAT’S THE POINT OF LIVING if I have to continue to use the same one for a whole year at a time like some kind of caveman.  So let’s break in the new computer with the Terry Garvin sex scandal issue!

– In a very famous story to lead off the news this week, Pat Patterson and Terry Garvin quit the WWF as a result of the Barry Orton sex allegations against them.  Even more damaging were allegations by two ringboys who were underage at the time of the alleged incidents.  So that’s not good.  Vince McMahon was said to be furious about the charges due to the people making the allegations not being credible. Also, the people who were slandering Hogan were also big fat liars.  (Alternative facts!  Fake news!) 

– Vince also admitted that maybe, MAYBE, Hulk didn’t tell the WHOLE truth on the Arsenio Hall show, but the main idea of it was truthful or something. But what’s really important is that Kip Frey’s steroid policy is dogshit, so everyone should pay attention to THAT and not Vince’s steroid issues.

– Meanwhile, Vince instituted steroid testing for the WBF this week (talk about closing the barn door after the horse has not only run away, but has also been arrested for possession charges and is facing 20 years in horse prison) and in a totally unrelated development, Lou Ferrigno immediately quit the promotion.  Despite all his other denials, Vince admitted that losing Lou was kind of a major blow to them.

– With the departures of Patterson & Garvin, JJ Dillon will be taking over booking and administrative duties.

– Dave ponders for a while on what all these horrible stories breaking at the same time will mean for the WWF machine and the business as a whole.  Basically, if mainstream media picks on the sex abuse story, then it’s likely sponsors will “sprint faster than Ben Johnson on steroids” away from the wrestling business, for good.

– SuperBrawl II was shaping up to be the best of the show of year, but it ended being merely good, which was kind of a disappointment. Prelim buyrate is looking like 0.6, which would be a disaster, and a good indication that the main event just didn’t interest anyone.

0. In the dark match, Big Josh pinned DDP in 7:38 with the top rope butt drop, made famous by Josh’s father “Tough Josh” in the 60s.  (Dave is joking, by the way)  Page’s best spot was spitting into the crowd.  3/4*

1.  Brian Pillman pinned Jushin Liger to regain the WCW Lightheavyweight title in 16:58.  They wanted to start with a blowaway match, but the match was SUCH a blowaway that nothing else on the the show could possibly follow it.  Crowd cheered both men for the most part, and it was filled with so many hot moves that Dave is unable to even recount them all.  Pillman won with a rolling cradle and they hugged it out afterwards.  ****3/4

2.  Marcus Alexander Bagwell pinned Terrence Taylor in 7:36.  Taylor was wearing a “Ted Dibiase hand-me-down” outfit, while Bagwell “looked really gay” in his white outfit that was three sizes too small.  Bagwell got lost during the finish and the crowd turned on him, then cheered when Taylor laid him out with a five-arm after the match.  *1/2

3.  Ron Simmons pinned Cactus Jack with a powerslam in 6:33.  Cactus took some frightening bumps as usual.  After the match, Abby came out to attack Jack, but went after Simmons instead and JYD made the save.  Dog has lost about 60 pounds, but his starting point was 345 so there’s still work to be done.  **1/2

4. Tom Zenk & Van Hammer beat Vinnie Vegas & Richard Morton in 12:00 when Zenk pinned Morton with a sunset flip.  Zenk was subbing for Johnny B. Badd, who is currently in a contract dispute and was pulled at the last minute.  And then Morton is subbing for Mr. Hughes, who was pulled for some sort of “non-drug related misdeed”.  (Perhaps he was getting his sunglass prescription adjusted?)  Should have been OK, but Vegas and Hammer ended up working the whole match and it wasn’t good.  Zenk and Vegas were yelling threats at each other afterwards to set something up, and Dave hopes it was for a one-on-one basketball game and not a match.  -1/2*  (That’s pretty harsh.  In my original review I thought it was a pretty fun match and gave it ***.) 

5.  Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes beat Larry Zbsyszko & Steve Austin in 18:21.  Tremendous match.  Austin’s timing is just incredible.  Windham pinned Larry with a lariat.  ***3/4

6.  Bobby Eaton & Arn Anderson beat the Steiner Brothers by DQ to retain the tag titles in 20:00.  Lots of good moves, but it was slow-paced and didn’t have good crowd reactions.  Anderson threw white powder in Rick’s eyes and he gave the ref a suplex, but then Scott supposedly pinned Bobby to win the titles.  BUT WAIT!  Nick Patrick came out and reversed the decision due to the suplex.  (And then Kerry Von Erich showed up in the dressing room trying to buy the bag of powder afterwards.)  ***1/4

7.  Rick Rude pinned Rick Steamboat in 20:01 to retain the US title.  This was a 70s style match, because it was a slow paced 20 minutes with some good moves thrown in.  Steamboat turned it on at the end, but then the Ninja revealed himself to be Paul E. Dangerously in disguise, and Steamboat took a phone to the head and got pinned.  **3/4

8.  Sting pinned Lex Luger in 13:01 to win the WCW World title.  Luger was “so huge he looked like a member of a different species”.  (Bet he had trouble getting his t-shirt off before the match!) Luger blew up within 2:00 and the match was kept very simple, with Luger no-selling most of Sting’s stuff before losing to a crossbody out of nowhere.  *1/2

– Tatsumi Fujinami was in town, in advance of winning the NWA World title tournament when it happens.  Dave doesn’t think that’s the right choice, but “he’s got the seniority”.  (Well, the NWA would know about booking senior citizens.) 

– The Shawn Michaels v. Tito Santana announced for Wrestlemania was of course originally booked as Shawn v. Marty before the whole drug arrest thing occurred.

– Vince met with the LOD about their future in the company, and it’s still up in the air.  Animal wants to stay, but Hawk has wanted out for a while now.

– Dave also attended a WCW house show in Chicago, and the main event saw Rick Rude pin Sting in a cage match that was never explicitly defined as a title match or non-title match one way or another.

– Koji Kanemoto debuted as Tiger Mask III on the big New Japan 20th anniversary show, and got over huge doing an impression of Sayama.  Also in what I believe is his Observer debut, prelim boy Satoshi Kojima did a job in the opener.

– The USWA debuted their own version of “Dr. Death”, a guy who uses a proctologist’s glove as his gimmick, with a nurse valet who uses a bed pan as a weapon.  (Oh, Memphis, how I adore you!) 

– Jeff Gaylord managed to get perma-banned from GWF (Or as we call it here on the BOD, “pulling a Dougie”) by getting into an argument with Eddie Gilbert backstage after claiming that he wanted a job and told Scandor Akbar weeks earlier to give the message to Gilbert.  Eddie claimed ignorance of the situation and Gaylord attacked him, smashing his face in until Doug Gilbert made the save with a cola bottle that he smashed over Gaylord’s head to make him stop.

– Mondo Kleen lost the IWF title to Blackjack Mulligan in Orlando, because the GWF apparently has interest in him.  (And so did the WWF, as it turned out!) 

– The story on Badd’s contract dispute is that WCW offered him a $156,000 yearly deal, but he won’t sign unless Frey gives him better injury benefits.  He made some calls to the WWF, but things should be worked out soon enough.

– Brian Adams is headed into the WWF as Crush again soon, and Del Wilkes is also coming in full-time.  (Nope, he’s not.) 

– Despite all the turmoil behind the scenes, business is still very strong headed into Wrestlemania.

– Paul Roma makes his boxing debut soon, having dropped from 250 pounds down to 215 thanks to the miracle of getting off steroids.  He had to agree not to give Titan any bad publicity in order to get a release and keep his “Glory” nickname, although he immediately went on a radio show and called his WWF tenure “six years of hell”.

– And finally, Bill Eadie filed his historic first ever lawsuit against the WWF this week, claiming he came up with the Demolition gimmick and deserves a share of the profits made from it.  (I’m surprised he didn’t dogpile on the company as a part of the Superstar Graham Bridge Burning ‘92 Tour as well)