Wrestling Observer Flashback–10.19.92

Previously on the Flashback… http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2017/04/07/wrestling-observer-flashback-10-12-92/

Apparently there was a WWF TV taping right here in Saskatoon.  Wonder if anything big happened?

– OK, enough teasing:  Bret Hart won the WWF World title for the first time on 10/12 at the TV tapings in Saskatoon, beating Flair with the Sharpshooter in 25:00 in what was said to be a last minute decision.  They’ll be announcing the title change right away, but no word on an airdate yet.

– Basically the babyface side is in major turmoil at the moment, with injuries and some other stuff we’ll get to later, and they needed to make Bret into a superstar IMMEDIATELY.  Bret actually knew about the title change about a week beforehand, but Flair was informed a lot later.  Bret broke a finger and sprained his ankle during the match, but is expected back for the tapings in Regina the next day.

– Also on that show, Money Inc. were carrying around the tag titles again, but they didn’t beat the Natural Disasters for them as far as Dave is aware, so he’s not sure what’s up with that.  (Answer:  They would win them the next night in Regina.) 

– OK, back to the “other stuff” that Dave was teasing:  There’s a “situation” with one of the performers in the main event of the Survivor Series (Flair, Savage, Warrior or Ramon) and they had to cancel all the pre-taped Event Centers because someone is no longer with the company.  After further investigation, it appears that the most likely suspect is Ultimate Warrior, although he was in Saskatoon for the tapings.  There’s already talk that Bret will be replacing Warrior at the PPV, although as of press time Warrior hasn’t been pulled from any cards officially.

– The Warrior situation is so serious that WWF officials are even trying to schedule meetings with Hulk Hogan to arrange his return to the company, which originally wasn’t even on the table until after Wrestlemania.

– Warrior was reportedly upset about the finishes given to him for the Flair matches on the house show circuit, although it could always be about money or number of dates.  Regardless, while the plans were to put Warrior over Flair as World champion at one point, their house show matches have drawn at record low levels for the company and ratings have hit rock bottom.

– All is not well in WCW, either, as Scott Steiner had a blowup in the locker room with Bill Watts, and he’s been taken off all the booking sheets and removed from Halloween Havoc.  Oddly, WCW officials are still insisting that the Steiners are negotiating a new contract, and the TV title switch will still air as scheduled.  (Like really, why did they even bother?  They could have just canned the title switch and no one would have ever known.)  The Steiners are putting up a major fight over all the “draconian” clauses in the offered contracts, like the medical coverage getting dropped and WCW having rights to the Steiner name in perpetuity, and it’s looking more and more likely they’ll end up in the WWF.

– Speaking of Halloween Havoc, they still haven’t announced the whole card, despite being a few days away from the show.  At the moment that only announced matches are Spin the Wheel Make the Deal, Ron Simmons v. Barbarian, Chono v. Rude for the NWA title, Rhodes & Windham v. Williams & Gordy, Rude v. Koloff for the US title, Steamboat v. Pillman and Zenk & Gunn & Shane Douglas v. Hayes & Anderson & Eaton.  (That was pretty much the entire show anyway, wasn’t it?)  They’re keeping the stips of the “Spin the wheel” match secret for some reason, plus the two referees for Rude v. Chono, and of course the biggest secret is how the heck any of this makes sense given that it’s totally different from what’s built up on TV.  Dave has heard that Rude is going to be swapped out for Big Van Vader and somehow the US title will still be at stake, because WCW.

– In a rare stroke of good luck for WCW, there was ANOTHER strike threatened by city employees, but the contract situation was settled in one day after they called for action.  Dave is pretty sure that means that World Series is going seven games again, though, just to screw them over.

 

– The WWF will supposedly be adjusting their TV product starting this weekend, with Sgt. Slaughter now acting as troubleshooting enforcer and a stricter adherence to the rules.  Vince has decided to follow the lead of Bill Watts to a certain degree.  So now it’s time for Vince’s new rules of working:

1.  The matches will be worked realistically with an emphasis on holds.

2.  All the action is to stay inside the ring, outside of main eventers.

3.  Yelling at the crowd for cheap heat is to be avoided.

4.  Managers are not supposed to be involved in the match unless specifically involved in the finish. In fact, they have been instructed to sit in a chair at ringside and stay there.

– These new directions are being taught by Ray Stevens, due to the product going too far into the “fantasy” direction and a feeling that they need to swing back to the other direction for the good of the product.

– Dave thinks this is all wonderful, but if you actually watch the TV it sounds ridiculous to say they’re moving in any kind of “realistic” direction.  Not to mention that WCW actually has wrestlers who can WRESTLE, whereas the WWF has a bunch of guys in stupid gimmicks and Ric Flair.  Not to mention that Watts said all the same stuff when he came in, and now you’ve got evil midgets and Jake Roberts running around threatening people with a snake.

– Louis Acocela, aka Gino Brito, was arrested on extortion and loan sharking charges in Montreal this week.  Basically Brito was charged with being a “collection agent” for loan sharks, with more arrests on the way.  He actually worked in the WWF in the 60s and 70s as a jobber under the name Louis Cerdan.

– Congratulations to Prime Time Wrestling, which set a new record for all-time lowest rating this week, with a 1.7.  The WCW shows did a bit better, but not much.

– To Mexico, where Love Machine and Eddie Guerrero are both scheduled to start with AAA this week.

– Jun Akiyama was already doing his first jobs in All Japan, losing in tag matches to Furnas & Lafon.

– Also making his pro debut, with New Japan,  is former Olympic wrestler Manabu Nakanishi, who was Akiyama’s rival in the trials to make the Barcelona games.

– Hawk is finally scheduled to start in New Japan in November.

– The actual paid attendance for the PWFG show last issue, which was reported at 25,000 for a show with 40,000 in the building, was actually closer to 18,000.

– The Universal promotion out of Japan, which mainly uses lucha libre wrestlers, will be folding in November and most of the talent switching over to the new Michinoku Pro Wrestling.  There’s actually lots of groups in Japan in the same kind of danger, since the country can only support so many promotions.

– The “GWF light heavyweight title”, which is just the physical belt and not the actual championship from GWF, has been defended in Memphis and changed hands a couple of times this week, going from Danny Davis (who was the last real champion in Global) to Brian Christopher and back to Danny Davis. (Meanwhile the real promotion is still using a tag belt for the title at this point.) 

– Just to clarify from last time, Eddie Gilbert quit USWA because he wanted a guaranteed deal and Jerry Jarrett wouldn’t give him one.

– To Global, where Butch Reed had been announced as “suspended for life” when he quit to go work for WCW a few weeks ago, and then returned from his lifetime suspension because they needed someone.

– Mike Davis has gone back to being Maniac Mike after a few weeks of being millionaire playboy Michael Worthington Davis III.

– Bobby Duncum Jr. made his pro debut, saving Big John Hawk from a Black Bart hanging.  (Bobby didn’t have a good ending in the business, sadly, overdosing to death in 2000.) 

– To the WWF, where Undertaker is out with more shoulder injuries, but they won’t acknowledge the injury because it would hurt his character.

– There’s no guarantee that Animal & Crush as the new LOD will actually make TV, as Animal is pitching brother Marc as the new member of the team.

– Kokina’s new gimmick in the WWF will be “Yokozuna”, playing a sumo champion.  “At least he looks the part”, notes Dave.

– Marty Jannetty returned to TV, attacking Shawn Michaels and breaking his mirror over Sherri’s head.  (That was a pretty awesome angle.  Too bad Marty fucked it up.) 

– Mondo Kleen showed up as “Damian Demento”.

– Matt Borne was hanging around in the crowd, wearing a clown suit similar to JWP’s Borshoi Kid.

– Max Moon was put on TV and looked excellent, and they even gave him hair extensions to look like Konnan.

– To WCW, where Paul E. Dangerously was brought back to TV, in advance of a Dangerous Alliance breakup.

– Michael Hayes will be producing new theme music for all the WCW wrestlers, including everyone “who doesn’t need new music” like Ron Simmons and Sting.

DON’T STEP TO RON!

– Tony Atlas looked terrible on TV and at house shows, and will be challenging Ron Simmons at the Clash on 11/18.  Dave hopes they at least have a decent undercard.  (Well there was ONE notable debut.) 

– Hercules is already fired, and Greg Valentine walked out after being asked to job to Sting.

– Although Vinnie Vegas was previously released, they changed their minds and will be putting him and DDP together as a tag team on undercards.

– And finally, they’ve been airing segments talking about Masa Chono, leading to his Halloween Havoc match with Rude.  They’ve shown clips of his wedding, and clips of him playing soccer with kids.  You know what they DON’T show?  Wrestling matches, so that people actually give a crap about the match.