Previously on the Flashback… http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2017/03/16/wrestling-observer-flashback-07-20-92/
This really does appear to be a slow news week judging by the headlines. Hopefully there’s lots of meme-worthy stuff to fill 2000 words.
– The Bash’s final buyrate came in around 0.4%, or pretty much exactly what Beach Blast did. And this is with literally nothing for an undercard and zero promotion in the three weeks between shows. Dave thinks this can mean three things:
1) That figure is the hardcore WCW fanbase right now, comprised of about 70000 people, who will buy anything above the level of “mini-PPV”.
2) Beach Blast was terribly promoted and the Bash was slightly more attractive despite zero promotion on WCW’s part.
3) Beach Blast’s buyrate was actually hurt by the Holyfield fight the night before, which means that the buyrate was artificially low.
Oddly enough, this show did half the buys of Bash 91, which is considered the worst PPV ever to that point and seen as the low point in the history of the promotion. So think about THAT.
– So the WWF announced on the European TV shows that their math was slightly wrong and in fact there are tickets left for Summerslam after all.
– Dave has a theory here. The WWF announced immediately that Summerslam sold 70,000 tickets in six hours (Wembley says 60,000 in five days), and fans heard the words “sold out” and stopped buying tickets. Also, they decided not to air the show on closed circuit after all, so there’s no longer a secondary market in the area for them to push, and now they just need to sell the last 20,000 or so tickets after all.
– Dave also mentions that the much-anticipated Kerry Von Erich v. Papa Shango match has been cancelled because Kerry was fired. (But he could have claimed that those needles were from the voodoo doll!)
– In what cannot possibly be seen as a positive sign for the future of the promotion by ANYONE alive, except for the WWF PR department of course, the WBF Magazine was shut down effective immediately. The actual reasoning given by the press release is that the magazine was perceived as a “barrier” to a “more cooperative relationship between the different organizations within the industry.” Dave likens this move to WCW suddenly announcing that they’re suspending their TV shows so that talent can work together in other organizations.
(And then 10 years later THIS happened…)
– Steve Planamenta, the hardest working PR rep in wrestling, of course spun it as a positive and stressed that there’s nothing else going on with the WBF right now. Of course, the facts undermine that, since multiple “stars” of the promotion have quit and word within the WBF is that the company strictly exists to sell ICOPRO now and fulfil the TV contract for “Body Stars”. The Weider group has graciously offered to take back anyone who previously quit, provided they pay a $50,000 fine and sit out for a year.
– “Dangerous” Danny McShain, who is generally credited with the popularizing of blading during the 50s, died on 7/16 from complications due to pneumonia at age 79. He was one of the biggest drawing cards of his era and specialized in the bloodbath matches in Texas at the time.
– And then a weirder death, or maybe not a death, Dave isn’t sure. George Arena apparently died of bone cancer at age 84, with the national headlines crediting him as being Gorgeous George. However, that’s an entirely different person who’s been dead for 30 years already, George Wagner. Arena had claimed to invent the Gorgeous George character in 1936 and supposedly filed a lawsuit against Wagner over it. The problem is that no one from that era who Dave spoke to even knows who “George Arena” is. In fact, there’s barely any record of Arena even being a wrestler, with the only reference being a 1984 newspaper interview with him where he came up with the story of being the “real” George and inventing the gimmick.
– WCW made their triumphant return to the Charlotte Baseball Stadium, 7 years after Ric Flair sold it out against Nikita Koloff in 1985, for the crown jewel of the Great American Bash tour on 7/18. It drew 2200 people. Because WCW.
– Jason Hervey and Missy Hyatt were injured after they got hit-and-run while driving motorcycles, but were quickly released from hospital and didn’t suffer any major injuries. Missy was said to be pretty dizzy after hitting her head. (Insert your own joke here.)
– Even in the midst of a massive money period for the company, All Japan still donated all the merch proceeds from the 7/21 show at Korakuen Hall to Bruiser Brody’s son, as a trust fund for his college education. (That’s pretty cool of Baba.)
– Tatsumi Fujinami is rebranding himself as a boxer in New Japan, hyping a future mixed match against Marvis Frazier.
– WAR debuted at Korakuen Hall with sellout crowds on 7/14 and 7/15, and they announced that 9/15 would feature a main event of Tenryu challenging either Savage or Warrior for the WWF title. (Spoiler: It was neither one.) WAR is ridiculously low on talent so bottom level job guys like Fuyuki are suddenly being pushed as big stars.
– In a correction from last week, it turns out that WCW didn’t threaten any SMW jobbers, it was just one specific guy who was double-booked for both companies and chose to work for WCW instead. (I can see how one person in particular might over-react to that one and blow it out of proportion. Not naming names, of course, but it rhymes with Schmim Schmornette.)
– John Tatum’s glorious reign as booker of Global lasted all of a month as he quit over money this week and will be replaced by Gary Hart.
– Hart announced that he’s signed Terry Gordy & Steve Williams for the promotion. Dave is pretty sure that he’s lying.
– A Japanese tour group is doing a wrestling tour of the US, which includes a WWF Superstars taping, a WCW Clash of Champions show, and some indy shows. The price per person is $10,000. (You laugh, but then consider how much people spend on Wrestlemania weekend doing the same thing now.)
– The Center Stage tapings saw the debut of Vinnie Vegas & DDP as “The Vegas Connection”. (Oddly enough, 7 years later they’d win the tag titles under a totally different gimmick.)
– Paul E. Dangerously has been removed as Rick Rude’s manager for unknown reasons and the entire Dangerous Alliance crew is in limbo at the moment.
– Terry Taylor will be brought back with yet another new character.
– Bill Watts fired the guy responsible for filling the buildings at TV tapings, because the new policy is to just turn down the house lights and make the show look so dark that you can’t tell that the building is empty. (YOU LITERALLY CANNOT MAKE THIS SHIT UP.)
– There’s talk of a “major heel” debuting 7/27 at the Center Stage tapings, who is listed on the booking sheets as “Big Bob”, so Dave thinks Bill Murray is a possibility. This would appear to line up with Jake Roberts (of whom there has been “no talks with” for what, a month or more now?) although there might be legal problems with the “Snake” gimmick because WWF has merchandise tied up with it.
– To AAA, where Dave is RAVING about this Rey Mysterio Jr. kid and his crazy suicidal dives, and also another newcomer named “Psicosis” who dresses like Jushin Liger.
– To the WWF, where the Natural Disasters won the WWF tag team titles from Money Inc on 7/20. The match was rated between DUD and **1/2 by Dave’s various minions. The Disasters got a big pop for the title change, but the crowd was dead when they did another squash later in the night.
– The Samoan team debuting ended up as Samu & Fatu, with Afa managing them as “Big Daddy”. (I’m assuming THAT got retooled before airing.)
– Konnan debuted as Relampago, which is Spanish for “The Flyer”, wearing a space-suit costume. (Funny to think of Konnan as a high-flying luchador.)
– The Warrior & Savage main event continues to build well, with Perfect & Flair stirring things up by “negotiating” with each side to be in their corner and playing them off each other. (I totally bit on it at the time, and was really disappointed by the non-payoff.)
– Razor Ramon was pushed hard with three squash matches, but still isn’t getting over.
– Bob Backlund still hasn’t officially signed, but was backstage and is 90% sure he’s coming in.
– And finally, Dave got to see Hogan’s new movie (Mr. Nanny, I’m guessing?) and everyone was shocked at how small he looks when he’s off the steroids. (I’m more shocked that anyone would admit to paying for that movie!)