Wrestling Observer Flashback–01.23.89

What better way to kick off a wild and crazy weekend than 25 year old wrestling news?  To the Meltzer-mobile!

– The big news of the week is that Dusty Rhodes has finally quit the promotion completely and walked out on his remaining bookings.  He’s moving back to Florida and bought the FCW promotion, and will be starting there right away. 

– The other big split of the week is, also to the surprise of no one, Jerry Jarrett and Verne Gagne already giving up their “partnership” over SuperClash III payoffs.  As in, Verne says there are none because the show lost money.  Although Lawler had surrendered the AWA title back to Verne on 1/7, he still holds the “Unified” World title, which is basically the World Class title at this point.  And then he already dropped THAT to Dutch Mantell in Memphis.  So much for the new golden era of the #3 promotion.

– Ricky Steamboat debuted on NWA TV although Dave hadn’t seen it at press time.  It was pretty great, actually.

– Dave watched the Royal Rumble and would have been happier going bowling instead.  To the review!

The Hart Foundation & Jim Duggan beat The Rougeaus & Dino Bravo in a 2/3 falls match.  This was originally advertised as a flag match, but they forgot about that leading up to the show and no one noticed anyway.  Decent match thanks to Jacques and Hart.  **1/4

Rockin Robin retained the Women’s title over Judy Martin in 6:24.  Bad timing, no heat, and Sensational Sherri on commentary was somehow even worse than Superstar Graham at Summerslam.  *1/2

Rick Rude and Warrior had their posedown and Dave HATED it.  Mostly because it was such an affront to bodybuilding competitions.  I mean, who ever heard of doing a posedown with long tights?  Also, Rude hit Warrior with something that the announcers called a “bullworker”, but that was not technically correct.  WORST POSEDOWN EVER.  -*  (Yes, he actually rated it.) 

Haku pinned Harley Race at 9:01 to win the held up crown with the thrust kick.  No heat, and it was just sad watching Race go out there and die, although Bobby Heenan was funny in his role of cheering for whoever was winning at that moment.  DUD

Big John Studd won the Rumble at 64:53.  A much better Rumble that last year’s, but the heat really died off once Hogan and Savage were out.  Well, DUH.  Studd looked impressive due to Dibiase bumping for him at the end and he’s set for a summer feud with Andre, but he’s barely been on TV so no one cared.  **1/2

– Apparently the USA Network will be running a three hour WWF special on 2/20, the same night as Chi-Town Rumble.  What a coincidence. 

– WM5 will come from Trump Plaza again and due to inflated high roller ticket prices, will certainly beat out the gate for WM3, despite the “library-like enthusiasm” of last year’s crowd.  Dave called WM3’s attendance “90817 paid” here, by the way. 

– Inoki is really desperate not to lose TV, so the Soviet “Red Bull Army” will debut at the Sumo Hall on 2/22.  They sound really energetic!  Sadly, this week lacks the “Dave can’t remember the Russian’s name” running joke. 

– Over in Stampede, the Bulldogs dropped the tag titles to Makhan & Vulcan Singh (Gary Albright).  Oh yeah, that’s right, totally forgot about that one.  This proved to be the impetus for the final split of the Bulldogs, by the way. 

– Sadly, the inspirational title reign of Cactus Jack, the world’s largest lightheavyweight champion, ended already this week with Embry regaining it. 

– Also, Jerry Lawler retained the Unfied World title over Kerry Von Erich in Dallas, even though he already lost it to Mantell in Memphis the week before.  So that shows you how much attention they were paying from territory to territory.

– Mil Mascaras officially unmasked and retired this week, revealing himself to be Aaron Rodriguez.  That retirement would prove to be as long-lived as any other.

– Titan Sports got into a legal dispute with the Connecticut athletic commission over whether they have the power to regulate wrestling in that state.  Vince was obviously arguing against it, although just two weeks before they were arguing FOR it in Illinois while trying to screw over Verne.  How about that?

– Nintendo will be releasing a “Wrestlemania” game on the NES this summer.  And what a piece of dogshit THAT was.

– There’s supposed to be a Clash of Champions on 2/15, called Valentine’s Day Massacre, with The Road Warriors & Tenryu defending the six-man title in the main event, but they ended up moving that one back. 

– Bigelow is in fact gone from the promotion with no plans to bring him back.

– Finally, lots of guesswork from Florida wrestlers about who Dusty will bring down from the NWA, although basically he just ended up pushing Fred Ottman anyway. 

Peace out.