Wrestling Observer Flashback–04.20.92

Previously on the Flashback… http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2017/02/25/wrestling-observer-flashback-04-13-92/

So Wrestlemania didn’t do too well, apparently.

“Hey look, it’s Joe Weider”

– Not sure what that refers to, but I’m sure we’ll find out.

– Dave is kind of shocked at the response to Wrestlemania, in that it was not only one of the biggest responses to a show that he’s ever had, but also there was pretty much no consensus on the quality of the show, with a fairly even split between thumbs up / down/ middle.  The only agreement was that Flair v. Savage and Piper v. Hart were both varying degrees of great, and Hogan v. Sid was the ass end of the show.  But there were also a surprising number of people who didn’t hate it.  (Can’t imagine why.  It was about as clear an example of a god-awful main event as I’ve ever seen.)  Dave does defend the match somewhat, saying that anyone who considered it the worst match in PPV history should probably watch a tape of Piper v. Mr. T.

– Dave is still in the dark as far as what the actual paid attendance for the show was, with reports on free tickets ranging anywhere from 8000 to 25,000, which would make it the most papered show in a long time.  It’s still high up on the list of paid attendance, trailing behind the 90,873 of Wrestlemania III (Dave was still riding that train back in 1992) and the Big Event and Wrestlemania VI in Toronto.  And all those numbers were achieved with virtually no freebies.  And people were paying $40 for ringside seats from scalpers, so clearly there was very little demand for tickets before the show.

– The buyrate currently sits at 2.1, which is a major flop.  The key factors appear to be too many shows in a year, which is killing the specialness of Wrestlemania, and the high price tag.  (Oddly, while the first factor would get more and more pronounced for the next 5 years, fixing the “Wrestlemania isn’t special” factor would eliminate the second problem because people were willing to pay premium for a show perceived as premium.) 

– Also, the hype for the card was severely lacking, with only Flair v. Savage living up to the Wrestlemania presentation.  The only match that they NEEDED to hype was Hogan’s match, because he’s the reason that casual fans buy shows, and there just wasn’t a buzz for his match with Sid.  (Yeah, and then once he was gone completely by Summerslam, that show pretty much bottomed out on PPV.)  And really there was no interest in anything else on the show.

– The scandals were also a negative, of course, but probably not a huge one.

– Over to Global, as the promotion has been gutted due to financial problems.  Joe Pedicino and Eddie Gilbert are both gone, fired by Max Andrews via fax.

– Basically the Andrews group didn’t want to fly anyone in from Atlanta for the Dallas shows, so they made the decision to only use local talent.  And they mean LOCAL, not even reimbursing people driving in from Tennessee any longer.  So this is not only going to purge North American champion Gilbert, but brother Doug, as well as Barry Horowitz, Danny Davis, Sam Houston, Bruce Pritchard and a bunch of TV announcers like Scott Hudson.  Gilbert is scheduled to defend the title against a mystery opponent right away, which should be how they get it off him, if he decides to show up.  (Nope, and nope.  Eddie never returned and the promotion began the slow swirl down the toilet.) 

– Dave does in fact finally figure out that “JJ Dillon” was Billy Red Lyons last week. Also, after watching Superstars and the WBF show, he feels ashamed for congratulating them on being “steroid-free”, because clearly they’re anything but.

– Rita Chatterton and Murray Hodgson appeared on the Geraldo talk show to get their shit in, and it turned into a complete circus.  The “kissing bandit” Morganna Roberts appeared on the show and set the women’s movement back 50 years, implying that any woman who goes on a 45 minute drive to a player’s house is asking to be raped.  There was also a freakshow of wannabe starfuckers and quasi-celebrities (like former Penthouse models and such) and it was a huge mess.

– Rita told the same story about her alleged rape that she had previously told, but due to legal threats from Titan they bleeped out the word “rape” multiple times.  Dave thinks her insistence that Vince was offering her a $500,000 contract is nonsense because Vince doesn’t give ANYONE guaranteed contracts, certainly not back in 1986.  At any rate, by the end of the show both Rita and Hodgson just appeared ashamed to be involved with the show and sat quietly while all the other nonsense was going on.

– Dave finally explains the context behind the Weider quote, as Joe is trying desperately to get bodybuilding into the Olympics and he’s turning into Verne Gagne in the process while Vince tries to advance the “sports entertainment” angle on the sport.  And now there’s commercials with Weider, which is where the quote is from, where you see some guy who has been using steroids for 10 years telling you to buy “Placebo Brand Mega Mass” and you’ll have a body just like him.  (Good thing Vince wouldn’t stoop to that level.) 

– Never mind.  Also, Dave is so completely out to lunch on this bodybuilding stuff that it’s kind of funny.  He keeps insisting that Vince is gonna make “Fetch” happen, but he never did.  “FETCH” IS NEVER GONNA HAPPEN, VINCE.) 

– Down in Mexico, the Love Machine lost a mask v. mask match to Blue Panther and indeed unmasked as Art Barr, although he’s supposed to be a babyface and yet people still hate him.  (Perhaps he might be more effective as a heel?) 

– Apparently New Japan actually wanted Sayama to reprise his role as Tiger Mask instead of Koji Kanemoto, but Sayama considers the role such a dark time in his life that he refused to even work a single match with the gimmick.

– Kokina the Samoan is working main events in New Japan, but he’s up to 485 pounds now and has to slow down the matches a lot with chinlocks.  (And Vince was like “Hey, a 500 pound guy from Japan…hmmm…”)

– Koko has left the USWA and is returning to the WWF full-time.  (Maybe he’ll get some new gear!) 

– Oregon is dying fast, with the latest show down to 85 people without TV.  Most of the guys left are local and work other jobs during the day.

– John McAdam is promoting a show in New Hampshire, featuring Bill Wilcox and Perry Saturn, who are apparently two of the best unknown wrestlers in the US.  (Well, John was spot on about one of them.) 

– Billy Jack Haynes has decided to train to be a pro boxer now that he’s burned all his bridges in wrestling.  Dave thinks that might be a tough career move.

– “Congrats to reader Michael Foley on his wedding in two weeks.”


– To the WWF, where indeed Koko B. Ware returned as part of a team with Owen Hart called “High Energy”.

– The Genius also returned, winning a TV squash and wearing an outfit that made him look like the Riddler.  (He would have made a pretty good Riddler, actually.) 

– Flair and Perfect are already teasing a breakup.  (That one got dropped pretty quick.) 

– Dave’s latest amusement is listening to Rick Martel trying to say “Tatanka”, because “it’s like you’ve got this arrogant European model who sounds like he’s stuttering while he’s doing interviews”.

– Howard Stern was on Letterman this week, and Dave zinged him by speculating that Howard’s first job was working as a ringboy for the WWF.

– The Warlord had all his gear stolen in Winnipeg a few weeks ago, and Dave is incredulous that someone would risk breaking into WARLORD’S hotel room. Plus, who would possibly fit those outfits?  And how much would a black market pitchfork collection go for, anyway?

(Dave is just bringing the quality snark this week.) 

– Beach Blast is on PPV for WCW on 6/20, featuring undercard matches like JT Southern v. Johnny B Badd for the right to use initials and Van Hammer v. Greg Valentine for the right to the name “Hammer”.  (Wait, Dave’s gotta be full of shit here, right?  RIGHT?) 

– Sting cracked a rib against Vader on 4/12 and he’ll be out for about a month.

– Jake Roberts is indeed rumored to be coming in, but nothing is final.  Regardless, Jim Ross was hyping up the “Snake Watch” on his 900 line.  (The whole hilariously sad story behind this one should be coming soon.  Jake REALLY gambled on this one, and it turned out that Bill Watts had 22.) 

– The second edition of the new format WCW Saturday Night show wasn’t nearly as good as the first, with the Freebirds v. Taylor & Valentine 2/3 falls match in particular a real sleeper.  As in, everyone fell asleep.  (Full disclosure:  That joke was in last week’s issue and I just moved it here instead.) 

– And finally, Steve DeTruth of the Atlanta wrestling TV block made some friends in WCW when he wished Eric Bischoff the best after his tragic accident:  He fell down and broke his hair.

(Can’t top that one, so time to pull a George Costanza and go out leaving you wanting more!)