Wrestling Observer Flashback–08.08.88

– Top story this week is more updates on Bruiser Brody’s murder, with a whole lot of “We’re not sure what’s going to happen with charges against Gonzales”.

– Dave revises the Bash PPV numbers from 4% to 2% due to various errors in reporting from the cable companies.  This would indeed put the numbers closer to 200,000 buys rather than the ridiculously high 400,000 that was reported in the last issue.  This is kind of a problem for Crockett, as they were depending on the PPV revenue to carry them through the next year, and now they’re in a pretty bad financial position and pretty much have to sell out to Turner to stay alive.  Dave thinks that whatever happens, Flair needs a babyface turn and the Road Warriors need a heel turn, although only one of those would happen before the sale. 

– Dave wants to stress that despite whatever rumors are floating around, Paul Orndorff is NOT dead, from a bowling ball injury or otherwise.  He was running a bowling alley at this point, in fact.

– Down in Continental, Sika has recovered from his WWF experience and is part of a new Samoan team with his son Kokina, aka Rodney “Yokozuna” Ano’ia. 

– A note about Danny Davis and Nightmare Ken Wayne doing a title switch is innocuous here, but Ken Wayne was a very bad person recently.

– The Rock N Roll Express’s glorious NWA comeback ended when Robert Gibson quit over a money dispute with Jim Crockett this week, even though no one really knew they were back outside of house shows.  The whole thing was Morton’s idea in the first place and Gibson was happier working Memphis and doing indy dates.

– The Midnight Express v. Horsemen run begins in Columbus GA, although the Midnights are clearly going to end up as babyfaces and Dave feels like that’ll be bad news for Jim Cornette’s long-term prospects as a manager. 

– Big show in Detroit with an appearance from the Sheik to pop the house.  Dave is highly amused by the main event of Dusty Rhodes & The Sheik v. Dick Murdoch & Kevin Sullivan.  It went 4:00 with all four guys blading immediately, and ended with the Sheik turning on Dusty and then Murdoch turning on Sullivan to reunite the Texas Outlaws.  It was described as horrendous and yet another attempt by Dusty to find someone else in the world besides himself who sees him as the top babyface.

– Over in All Japan, Stan Hansen is getting the megapush in Brody’s place.

– A scheduled Lawler v. Von Erich title v. title match in Central States, where Dave was wondering how they’d get out of the finish, ended up as a non-issue since Lawler was double-booked and just no-showed anyway.  Instead fans at the show (all 700 of them) were “treated” to Kerry facing the WWA World champion MIKE GEORGE in a title v. title match.  YEAH.

– Over in Memphis, another Lawler v. Von Erich non-finish was resolved by doing a 60 minute draw, which was said to be awesome.

– Briefly in the AWA, Dave is skeptical about Verne’s 55,000 seat Metrodome supercard actually occurring.  Me, too.

– Curt Hennig was “suspended for life” by Stanley Blackburn in advance of him showing up on WWF TV.  I’m sure he was losing sleep over that one.

– Billy Jack Haynes’ opposition group finally limped to a merciful death after crowds of 50 – 75 people each.  A young kid named Brian Adams would find a home in Don Owens’ promotion afterwards, however. 

– Longtime Stampede heel manager JR Foley died this week.  That one made me sad when I heard it at the time.

– The record-breaking tag title reign of Brian Pillman & Bruce Hart finally came to an end after 18 months, by far the longest in the history of Stampede.

– There’s supposed to be a Brother Love segment at Summerslam featuring a wrestler who has “never appeared in MSG before”.  This ended up being Jim Duggan in a lame payoff but I think original rumors were that Ric Flair was going to jump.  Either way, it SUCKED.

– And finally, Mean Gene had another one of his weekly blowouts with Vince McMahon and quit the promotion, but basically pulled a George Costanza and just showed up for work again the next week.  Apparently that sort of thing happens all the time between them, but Gene’s contract is too lucrative for him to walk away and Vince doesn’t have anyone better at the job, so they just keep doing the same dance.

And that’s it for this week!