Previously on the Flashback… http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2017/07/08/wrestling-observer-flashback-05-31-93/
And now, the very beginnings of the story that would nearly destroy the WWF.
How’s that for a teaser?
– Vince McMahon resigned as President of Titan Sports, but it was kept quiet, as he transferred power to Linda McMahon and didn’t tell the press about it. However, the PR department has confirmed the story. No one knows why it was done, but it’s suspected that it’s connected to whatever the federal agents investigating the WWF are doing.
– Slamboree is coming in between 0.3 and 0.4 percent buyrate, which would make it the lowest buyrate in history. However, if there’s a bright side, the show was priced at $24.95 instead of $19.95 and thus they made slightly more money.
– WCW released information that they’ll be cutting back their house show schedule from 300 to 200 in 1993, only touring the South. Everyone is expecting major changes within the next few months, like company-wide major overhauls. Also, the crazy Orlando taping schedule appears to have gone from 48 hours of TV to merely 18.
– So Dave is at the halfway point of the year, and here’s his picks for the best and worst of the year thus far:
Wrestler of the Year: Really, you can go with either Misawa or Kawada from All Japan, given the shit year that both WCW and the WWF have been having.
Most Outstanding: Kobashi or Kawada.
Best Babyface: With Hogan persona non grata for most of the year, that leaves Konnan.
Best Heel: It’s a weak category this year, so Vader wins by a landslide.
Feud of the Year: If you’re going by box office, it’s Konnan v. Cien Caras. If you’re talking about ring work, it’s New Japan v. WAR.
Tag team of the Year: Very weak field. The Hollywood Blondes and no one else is even close.
Match of the Year: Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki v. Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada from 4/11 in Osaka.
– AAA has already lost interest in booking Ultimate Warrior, but they will definitely try to work out Jake Roberts’ licensing issues and bring him in for a match with Cien Caras.
– A paper in Japan wrote a piece on 5/28 reporting that Jumbo Tsuruta would be retiring from wrestling, but then Jumbo did an interview the next day saying he was planning a comeback. (He did, but was never the same and mostly just worked comedy matches and undercard stuff.)
– Bobby Eaton & Tony Halme, the world’s least likely gaijin tag team, are actually undefeated in Japan and beat Muto & Hase on the last tour, getting a big push towards a match with the Hell Raisers as the next challengers. (I guess that for those who think it could have been worse than the Jurassic Powers, there you have proof.)
– Jeff Jarrett actually suffered a pretty serious car accident, along with Eddie Marlin, but returned on 5/28 in Covington TN, crediting seat belts for saving his life. (As a Canadian who has been obligated by law to wear seat belts for my entire life, it constantly astonishes me that there’s actually a significant portion of the US populace who thinks that seat belts are a BAD THING, and there’s actually commercials airing on TV telling people to wear them. I mean, how else are you gonna stay upright in the seat when you’re driving drunk? It’s just common sense.)
– Dave is amused at Memphis bringing in Spaceman Frank Hickey as an “all time legend” on the level of Lou Thesz and others, when he was basically the lowliest of jobbers in WWF history, and was actually called the worst wrestler in history by color commentator Pat Patterson on an episode of Superstars.
– And now, Memphis brings us a new segment we’ll call…
– Brian Christopher did a promo making fun of Jeff Jarrett’s seat belt interview, and then continued his feud with Miss Texas by calling her “Ms. Third & Vance”, making reference to the local hooker hangout in Memphis. Also, he added that where Toni Adams comes from, they own people like Miss Texas.
– To SMW, where Jim Cornette’s mystery team is apparently going to be Ron & Don Harris.
– Tammy Fytch continues searching for her man, and she wanted the Rock N Roll Express but wanted to retool them for the future into a rap tag team instead.
– For those who think that WCW’s attendance woes are rock bottom for any wrestling promotion, witness the National Class Wrestling group out of Dallas. They ran three shows from 5/24 to 5/31, with one show drawing 11 people, the next one with 12, and the finale drawing a whopping 4 people. (Dave’s note was “paid attendance was listed as three or four”. How dumb are Texans that the guy couldn’t tell whether it was three or four people? So we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and call it four.)
– Global promoter Gray Pierson nearly had a wrestler revolt on his hands when he announced that the promotion would be handling all the Polaroid picture souvenirs at the merch stands, which traditionally earned the wrestlers $5 a picture and often produced better payoffs than Global gave out. Chris Adams threatened to stage a protest in the ring and basically destroy the current main event angle, so Pierson caved and the plan didn’t move forward.
– In the metaphor of the week for Global, they brought in hillbilly characters Plowboy Wilbur and Cousin Elvis, and Wilbur has a live pig as a part of the gimmick. The pig chose to take a shit in the middle of the ring.
– The company that produced the Global TV show for ESPN (resulting in quality like “CALVIN KNAPP vs. JOBBER” in the on-screen graphics) was fired by Gray Pierson, after they also botched the home video editing on the Kerry Von Erich benefit show.
– Marvel Comics is trying to put together a comic book about Road Warrior Hawk.
– OK, so back to the WWF for more legal troubles. Tom Cole, the former ringboy who was involved in the Terry Garvin/Pat Patterson scandals, filed a $1.6 million lawsuit against the WWF. Since the WWF had apparently agreed to give Cole a tryout as a ring announcer as a part of their original settlement, but then failed to deliver on that promise, Cole’s lawyer is calling it a breach of contract on Titan’s part and alleging that the company also harassed Cole into retracting his initial sexual harassment charges. Curiously, the new suit doesn’t name names or give specifics on the incidents being detailed.
– Hulk Hogan’s new movie, Mr. Nanny, will be released in mid-June.
– Dave is still mystified as to why Typhoon has been pulled from his bookings.
– The Nasty Boys are now taking indy bookings, so their suspension appears to be permanent.
– Mike Shaw was given a new gimmick after all, “Sebastian Booger”, playing a gargoyle.
– Razor Ramon continues to challenge Sean Waltman to a rematch, although Sean is in Japan for the Super J tournament at the moment so he can’t answer. His name is changing every week, and this week he’s “The 1-2-3 Kid”. (Yeah, like that’ll stick.)
– Tiger Jackson has been retooled into The Little Hulkster, doing a mini gimmick like they do in Mexico, with the idea being that some heel will beat up the midget down the road to get heat against Hogan. (Jackson really dodged a bullet there.)
(On second thought, maybe he would have been better off…)
– To WCW, where Sting, Bulldog, Vader and Sid were in Tampa filming an $80,000 mini-movie to promote the PPV on 7/11. (Yeah, we’ll get to that later.)
– Shane Douglas is done with WCW, although details are sketchy. (I’m pretty sure we’ll hear about THAT later, too, like for the next four years every time Shane does a promo in ECW. Just a hunch.)
– Dusty Rhodes pitched an angle where he would reunite with Dick Murdoch and face Tex & Shanghai, but those heartless bastards above him obviously failed to see the brilliance and vetoed it.
– Tim Parker was working ringside at the most recent TV tapings, doing his Bongo the Caveman character from Florida the same way WWF used Doink at the beginning. Chris Champion also debuted as “Japanese” martial artist Yoshi Kwan.
– Sting v. Sid Vicious appears to be the main event of Halloween Havoc. (Well, I mean, it certainly happened on the show. Wasn’t the main event, though.)
– While they were in Tampa, WCW let Jody Hamilton and Blackjack Mulligan run things in a sort of tryout for them as agents, and they hired Thunder & Lightning from the indy circuit and “Lestat the Vampire”, who was naturally Dave Heath. (I have no idea who Thunder was, but Lightning was repackaged into evil military man Cobra and then ended up as nWo Sting.) Jimmy Del Ray got a tryout as well, but didn’t pass, which is why he ended up as a Heavenly Body instead.
– Apparently part of Cactus Jack’s amnesia angle will be that he’ll forget about turning babyface and return as a heel. (Sounds like Seth Rollins.)
– Random thought from Dave: What was the deal with the secret service guys who were with Flair when he returned? Was that ever mentioned again?
– Robbie V is gone, although to be fair no one realized he was there in the first place. (OUCH. Sick burn on RVD.)
– And finally, Steve Regal was repackaged into Lord Steven Regal, with his butler Sir William. Dave heard it was GREAT. (I feel like that gimmick might have staying power.)