Wrestling Observer Flashback–12.14.92

Previously on the Flashback… http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2017/04/24/wrestling-observer-flashback-12-07-92/

After a year of shocking jumps back and forth, one of the most shocking comes this week, and sticks for the next 25 years, give or take…

– In our top story, Jerry Lawler has signed with the WWF as the new lead color commentator.

– Previously Lawler’s public stance was that he would only go to the WWF when hell froze over, and now here we are.  He’ll mostly be an announcer, but he’ll also wrestle on occasional major shows.  He was introduced on Prime Time Wrestling on the 12/7 show as the new color commentator, and he’ll remain the minority owner of the USWA in Memphis. He’s already made it clear that he’s not going on the road full-time (Yeah, until the Bret Hart feud started drawing…)

– Lawler will continue working Monday night shows in Memphis, although the WWF will have first dibs if they have anything else going on Monday nights.  (But how likely is THAT?) 

– For the moment, he and Jeff Jarrett are being written out of TV in Memphis because they have a small part in a movie that’s filming in Toronto.  (That would be Michael J. Fox’s “Life With Mikey” in case you’re wondering.)  In order to explain his eventual appearance on the WWF TV shows to Memphis fans, Lawler did a “shoot” promo with Koko B. Ware where he talked about challenging WWF guys all the time and none of them having the guts to come to Memphis and face him, which all led up to Koko winning the USWA title and drawing 2500 people to the Mid-South Coliseum in the process.

– Speaking of surprise WWF appearances, Carlos Colon will be appearing at the Royal Rumble, which has rumors flying that they want to build up business in “certain areas of the country”.  (Keep in mind next time Del Rio comes back and get pushed again that this is a business strategy that has been failing for DECADES now!)  Dave’s feeling is that Colon is too old to be pushed as a new guy.  (Not in Gorilla’s eyes!)  Tenryu will also be in the Rumble, but that’s more of a political favor than anything else.

– Dave thinks Mr. Perfect is the obvious winner of the Rumble, with Yokozuna as the dark horse.

– Misawa & Kawada won the annual All Japan tag team tournament, back when Misawa & Kawada winning a tag team tournament was not something that happened all the time.  They drew a shitload of money and the winning team was awarded the vacant tag titles after Jumbo Tsuruta was hospitalized with liver problems. 

– Also of note, Kawada pinned Steve Williams on 11/30 in Osaka as the finish of the Misawa/Kawada v. Williams/Gordy main event, which was the first time Kawada had actually beaten one of the top guys in the promotion. 

– With WWF TV ratings down, there’s going to be some kind of a format change for Prime Time Wrestling starting with the 1/11 show, although Dave isn’t yet clear on what that’s going to be. 

(Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure Vince will just change his mind 1500 episodes later.) 

– WCW, meanwhile, has a new strategy whereby they’re just airing classic Flair-Steamboat matches on the Main Event, starting with the Chi-Town Rumble PPV match from 1989, and it drew the highest rating for either promotion in months.  What does that tell you, Dave wonders?

– Eddie Guerrero debuted for AAA on the 11/27 show, coming in as Mascara Magica and then removing his own mask before the match.  This was only the second time in history that someone in Mexico has voluntarily unmasked.

– Rey Mysterio did yet another move of the year, coming off the top rope like a missile dropkick but turning into into a Frankensteiner instead.

– Just to show that stereotypes aren’t confined to the US, a new Japanese wrestler is debuting soon for EMLL, and his name will be “Hong Kong Lee”.  (It actually wasn’t a Japanese wrestler, it was the guy who eventually became the third Pentagon in AAA, according to Wikipedia.  I was hoping to look it up and have it turn out to be something crazy like Taka Michinoku.) 

– Giant Baba actually managed to have a ****3/4 match on the last All Japan TV show, although to be fair it was by teaming with Kobashi in a tag match against Misawa & Kawada.  Although, Dave notes, it wasn’t ALL Kobashi, just mostly. 

– Meanwhile, Baba had reportedly turned down both John Tenta and Ted Dibiase because they DARED to work for SWS at one point, although British Bulldog is coming in for February and he worked for them too, so who knows?

– Dan Spivey was supposed to marry the daughter of The Destroyer, but she called it off at the last minute a few weeks ago.

– The heat in the New Japan v. WAR matches is INCREDIBLE, says Dave.

– Hawk & Sasaki (aka Power Warrior) have been demolishing every other team in under 3:00 night after night, and that’s including top guys like Hase & Muto.

– Back to the topic of hell freezing over, the Moondogs turned babyface in Memphis and got over big in the role.

– Ultimate Warrior, who isn’t allowed to use the gimmick or name anymore, did a run-in on an indy show for a promoter dumb enough to pay his $4000 asking price.  He wasn’t named and wore a trenchcoat and no makeup.

– To the WWF, where the Bret v. Flair matches have been great, but gates have been less so.  They’ll be doing something called a “Marathon Match” next month at the Boston Garden, where the most falls in 60:00 wins.  (If you’re asking “Did that match circulate in tape trading circles like the Holy Grail?” right about now, the answer is “HELL YEAH.”)

– With Earthquake leaving, Typhoon will take his place in upcoming matches with Bam Bam Bigelow.

– Jim Garvin will not be coming in after all.

– They’ve been running Nailz v. Jim Duggan matches at the house shows all week, where Nailz attacks before the bell and no match takes place.  Dave thinks that’s for the better.

– The Steiner Brothers start touring in early January, and no gimmick change will occur.

– Hulk Hogan isn’t coming back any time soon, although his face is all over the current Wrestlemania promos.

– Paul E. is scheduled to wrestle Madusa at house shows over Christmas, but he’s telling people that it’s not happening because he’s contracted to be a manager and not a wrestler.  (Aha, I wonder if that’s where the legal loophole came from that ended his WCW career?) 

– And now, Dave Meltzer’s Music Critique for 12/14:  “Ron Simmons’ new music sucks.”

– Van Hammer won the arm wrestling tournament, beating Ron Simmons in the finals, which Dave interprets as continuing his newfound push.  (Just wait until Slamboree.) 

– The rumor mill continues to churn around the idea that Dusty Rhodes and his $300,000 / year salary will be cut at the end of the year.

– The January Clash will apparently be LOADED.  (I wouldn’t say it was “loaded” but it did have one HELL of a tag title match, plus a Thundercage main event.) 

– Nobody from WCW has even called British Bulldog yet, which Dave finds mind-boggling. 

– And now it’s time for the…

– So Greg Gagne was introduced to the WCW folks backstage as the newest member of the creative team, which has people wondering what exactly his qualifications are, considering what happened to the AWA?  Well, fear not, because as Dave points out, he was a third-string quarterback in college and the son of a famous wrestler, so that qualifies him for any job in the business.

 

(What else can you add to that one, but…)

 

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