Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Great American Bash ’89: Glory Days

Live from Baltimore, MD

Airdate: July 23, 1989

Attendance:  14,500

Hosted by Jim Ross & Bob Caudle

Thus far, 1989 has been great. Can the NWA continue the trend with this show? Read on!

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash of Champions VII

Live from Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC

Airdate: June 14, 1989

Attendance:  dehydrated, perspiring Army soldiers (no A/C)

Hosted by Jim Ross & Bob Caudle

Ten-hut! Reading this reflection brings purpose, direction, and spirit to your miserable life. Drop and give me twenty!

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on…NWA WrestleWar ’89

NWA WrestleWar ’89: Music City Showdown

Live from Nashville, TN

Airdate: May 7, 1989

Attendance:  5,200

Hosted by Jim Ross & Bob Caudle

Can Steamboat/Flair III stand up against the first two classics? What will the rest of the show entail? Let’s find out!

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on…NWA Clash of the Champions VI

NWA Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin’ Cajun

Live from New Orleans, LA

Airdate: April 2, 1989

Attendance:  5,300

Hosted by Jim Ross & Michael Hayes

We begin with Steamboat’s historical defeat of Flair to become World Champion at Chi-Town Rumble. Can the “Nature Boy” reclaim the biggest prize in the game today?

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on NWA Clash Of the Champions V: St. Valentine’s Massacre

Live from Cleveland, OH

Airdate: February 15, 1989

Attendance:  5,000

Hosted by Jim Ross & Magnum T.A.

Are you ready to hype Chi-Town Rumble? Well, Ross and Magnum are as they detail what tonight’s show contains and add the spice of NWA World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and #1 contender Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat being here. This episode has to be awesome, right?

Read more…

WCW Wednesday: Part XXVII – the Third Time’s the Charm Edition!

On May 7, 1989, in the third of three spectacular matches, NWA World Champion Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat defended his title against arguably his greatest challenger— “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Having defeated Flair at Chi-Town Rumble in February for the title, Steamboat once again beat Flair on April 2 in a 55-minute best two out of three falls classic at the Clash VI.

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on WWF Royal Rumble ’88

Live from Hamilton, Ontario

Airdate: January 24, 1988

Attendance:  16,200

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

“Why pay for a bunkhouse when there’s a free Rumble on TV?” – Avid wrestling fan in the late ‘80s.

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on SNME XI

Taped from South Bend, IN

Airdate: May 2, 1987 (taped 4/28)

Attendance:  9,345 (sold out)

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

For all of my SNME faithful readers, here is a present for you. There’s an additional present at the end of my reflection too. Stay tuned!

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on WrestleMania III

Live from Detroit Pontiac, MI

Airdate: March 29, 1987

Attendance:  93, 173 (announced), 78,000 (75,700 paid)

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

With the previous Saturday Night’s Main Events completed, the table is now set for one of the biggest shows in sports-entertainment history. There’s a key to why I say that—according to Pat Patterson on Legends of Wrestling shown on the WWE Network, similar to WrestleMania I, Vince McMahon risked EVERYTHING for this show. Let’s see if his gamble paid out.

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on SNME X!

Taped from Detroit, MI

Airdate: March 14, 1987 (taped 2/21)

Attendance:  21,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Opening the show, Hogan spews his need for vengeance against André the Giant in tonight’s battle royal. Wait a minute! Andre’s a heel? How’d that happen? Oh.

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event VII

WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event VII

Taped from Cleveland, OH

Airdate: October 4, 1986 (taped 9/13)

Attendance:  21,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

First, Jesse welcomes us to the show and notes that the pleasure is all ours. Woohoo!

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WWF The Big Event!

Live from Toronto, ON

Airdate: August 28, 1986

Attendance:  74,000

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon, “Luscious” Johnny Valiant, and the “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd

This event is sponsored by Chex Mix. Thanks, WWE Network!

Before I get started…

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on…Saturday Night’s Main Event VI!

Taped from Providence, RI

Airdate: May 3, 1986 (taped 5/1)

Attendance:  not given

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

This review is sponsored by Kay Jewelers! Thanks WWE Network!

Hogan promises a surprise for the Funks.

Read more…

WCW Wednesdays Part 2

To those in the good ol’ USA, Happy Veterans’ Day! Kudos to those of you who served your country.

To celebrate, let’s discuss Clash of the Champions VII: Guts and Glory. It emanated from none other than Fort Bragg, NC.

From top to bottom, the card looked like this:

  1. The Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) defeated the Dynamic Dudes (Johnny Ace & Shane Douglas).
  2. Ranger Ross pinned the Terrorist (a.k.a Jack Victory).
  3. The Ding-Dongs beat George South & Cougar Jay.
  4. Midnight Express (w/ Jim Cornette) defeated the SST (w/ Paul E. Dangerously).
  5. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams fought Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy to double count-out.
  6. Norman the Lunatic (w/ Teddy Long) squashed Mike Justice.
  7. The Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan & Mike Rotunda) beat the Steiner brothers.
  8. Sting retained the World TV title by pinning “Wild” Bill Irwin.
  9. The Freebirds won the World tag team titles by defeating the Midnight Express.
  10. Ricky Steamboat beat Terry Funk by disqualification.

After the main event, the “Total Package” Lex Luger saved Steamboat from Funk then turned on him.

Please share your thoughts on this great if not intriguing show. And be sure to check out rockstargary.com for all of my wrestling reflections.

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event IV!

Taped from Tampa, FL

Airdate: January 4, 1986 (taped 12/19/85)

Attendance:  not given

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan/Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Out by the swimming pool, WWF Champion Hulk Hogan mixes a concoction called

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on…The WWF Wrestling Classic

It’s only fitting that I review a show from the Chicagoland area on the night the Cubs advance to the NLCS. Go Cubs!

Live from Chicago, IL Rosemont, IL

Airdate: November 7, 1985

Attendance:  14,000

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

This review is sponsored by the candy bar Payday. Thanks, WWE Network!

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on Saturday Night’s Main Event III

As I promised earlier in the Daily thread, here is my latest reflection. Go Cubs!

Taped from Hershey, PA

Airdate: November 2, 1985 (taped 10/31)

Attendance:  8,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Read more…

Rock Star Gary reflects on…WWF WrestleMania

Live from New York, NY

Airdate: March 31, 1985

Attendance:  19,121

Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Here we are–the very first WrestleMania that has spawned over three decades of supershows for the WWF/WWE. Let’s dig in to how the World Wrestling Federation got to this point:

Read more…

1993 WCW Disney tapings

As you may already know Eric Bischoff prides himself more as
a television producer than a wrestling promoter. The seeds of such thought were
planted back in the summer of 1993 during his first year as Executive Producer/Vice-President
of WCW.

Instead of the darker, papered crowd atmosphere in Macon, GA
or Dothan, AL Bischoff wanted to put bright lights, glitz, and glamour on WCW’s
television programming. For instance, from January to April of 1993 WCW
Worldwide was taped 9 times in seven different locations. The programs, while
entertaining, looked bland and boring compared to the higher production values
of WCW’s competitor, the World Wrestling Federation.
From July 7-10, WCW taped FOUR months of WCW Worldwide in
front of a papered (mostly tourist) crowd at the Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando,
FL.
Here is a list of the current champions heading into the
Disney tapings:
WCW World Heavyweight champion: Big Van Vader
NWA Champion: Barry Windham
US Heavyweight champion: held up after a controversial match
between “Ravishing” Rick Rude and Dustin Rhodes
World TV champion: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
WCW World tag team champions: The Hollywood Blonds
(“Stunning” Steve Austin and “Flyin’” Brian Pillman)
Let’s break down the highlights day by day:
Day 1 (7/7/1993):
For the August 28th episode Arn Anderson and Paul
Roma were taped as WCW World Tag Team champions in spite of the fact they had
not yet won the titles. Their title victory would take place on August 18 at
the Clash of the Champions as Lord Steven Regal had to be substituted for Pillman
due to an ankle injury.
Additionally, for the September 4th episode “Nature
Boy” Ric Flair was involved in a match as the NWA champion against Big Sky. In
actuality, he won the belt at the Beach Blast PPV over Windham on July 18.  This would not sit well with the NWA.
For the September 11th episode Ricky “The Dragon”
Steamboat was featured as the World TV champion against Denny Brown although he
was not yet the champion. He won the belt at the August 18 Clash.
Day 2 (7/8/1993):
During the September 18th episode Dustin Rhodes
was featured as the US Heavyweight champion in a tag match with Sting against Orndorff
and Chris Benoit. Rhodes actually won the belt against Rude on August 30 in
Atlanta, GA.
On the September 25th episode Regal defended the
World TV title against Keith Cole.  He defeated
Steamboat for the belt on September 19 in Houston, TX.
Also featured on that show were the WCW World tag team
champions the Nasty Boys. They won the titles from Anderson and Roma on
September 19 in Houston, TX.
On the October 2nd episode the Hollywood Blonds
were featured in a tag match but did not bring their title belts to the ring.
On the October 9th episode Rude was featured as
the new World Heavyweight Champion (formerly NWA champion) in a match against
David Dee.
The importance of this match derives from the withdrawal of
WCW from the NWA in September. The NWA felt that these tapings were a breach of
kayfabe. WCW withdrew their affiliation from the NWA making the belt worthless
in the process.
Day 3 (7/9/1993):
However, in an attempt to legitimize Rude’s championship,
WCW renamed the title the International World champion on its October 30th
episode. Rude would defeat Brady Boone on this show.
For the November 6th show Regal successfully
defended his not-yet-his TV title against Johnny B. Badd.
Day 4 (7/10/1993):
Also on the November 6th episode Rude won a
non-title match against Frankie Rose. While describing the match Tony Schiavone
recognized Rude’s title as a World title rather than just a “Gold Belt.”
On the November 13th episode despite being the
current TV champion Orndorff won a match while not showcasing the title since
Regal would be champion by this point. Furthermore Steamboat won a match but
did not possess a belt in spite of winning and losing the belt between the times
this match took place and when it would finally air.
For the November 20th episode the Nasty Boys were
featured again as WCW World tag team champions.
So, in spite of three PPV and two Clash of the Champions
broadcasts, WCW gave away months of booking plans within this 4-day span.
Although I cannot locate the specific instance, it has been documented that Sid
Vicious was taped as WCW World Heavyweight Champion. This video was supposed to
air after Starrcade ’93; however, on September 19 Sid and Arn Anderson were
involved in an infamous late night brawl overseas involving safety scissors.
Subsequently Sid was fired after several wrestlers threatened to quit. Flair
was inserted in Sid’s place.
While money was saved in the process of filming these shows WCW
had two problems on their hands. The first problem was fulfilling the title
changes. The Regal substitution on August 18 stands out as a glaring example of
what can go wrong. The second problem was the wrestlers’ attitudes after the
tapings. Since title plans were already put into place during the tapings, the wrestlers
who would not hold titles held grudges instead and their work ethic in matches
suffered. At the very least WCW would learn from this mistake and not tape wrestlers with titles for Worldwide in the future.
WCW lost $23 million in 1993 not because of the Disney
tapings but due to overestimated revenue. Having seen the extremely low
attendance figures for the house shows I can safely say that WCW lost money
whenever they stepped into a gym or an arena.  Amazingly, they even cancelled a show at the
Omni on July 3 dubbed “The Great American Bash.”

Wrestling in 1993 was no longer a mainstream product. The
positive mainstream attention wouldn’t resurface until 1996; however, the
negative stigma was due to the WWF steroid trials. With such a black mark on
the industry it was difficult for WCW to make a profit. The Disney tapings only
served to facilitate further losses. 
Be sure to visit http://www.rockstargary.com to check out more info on me!