Wrestling Observer Flashback–04.03.89

It’s Von Erich Mania on the blog today!  Hopefully Kerry did something stupid this week so we can carry on the theme.  I’m thinking chances are good.

– The lead story is that Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express have given notice to the NWA and will be leaving imminently.  Basically Jim Herd was pissed off that Eaton and Lane were making $225,000 a year each and moved to cut costs by negotiating new contracts for them.  The new deal is said to be between $100,000 and $125,000 each, and their new role will be putting over the SST on spot shows.  The common feeling is that George Scott was doing that thing where bookers act all cold and distant until their tag team decides to break up with them first, and in fact he had been booking them in opening matches almost exclusively in the Carolinas.  The irony is of course that Herd was concerned about paying them too much and then proceeded to bury them instead of actually trying to justify their salary. The other strike against them is that babyface managers are not worth anything, so Jim Cornette really had no place in the company.  The WWF, however, is already calling with big offers, which I suspect might change Herd’s mind, but that’s just baseless speculation on my part.  Their last match will be 4/9 against the SST, and hopefully everyone enjoyed the exploits of the Midnight Express before they faded into obscurity and never returned. 

– Speaking of the WWF, they’re extra paranoid leading into Wrestlemania and are refusing press credentials to anyone they don’t trust.  The whole “wrestling is fake” scandal has been hitting them hard. 

– Barry Windham went for his hand surgery, which will put him out for nine weeks, and in fact he went to the WWF when he was recovered and was basically never the same again.

– Haku was arrested AGAIN for a bar fight, and get this:  He got drunk and demanded that a girl bow down in servitude to him, and when her boyfriend objected he gave the guy and his buddy a double noggin knocker.  Wouldn’t you love to be the cop writing up THAT report? 

– The NFL is severely cracking down on steroid use, which Dave thinks is part of the reason why the WWF is on the witchhunt against athletic commissions, lest they become the next target of the anti-steroid investigations.  COME ON, like that would ever happen.

– Davey Boy Smith did in fact win the Stampede North American title from Don Muraco, who flew in to drop the title and then screwed off back to Hawaii again. Harley Race is into the promotion as the next challenge, but crowds are dropping rapidly. 

– Here’s a weird one from the last New Japan show:  Tatsumi Fujinami defended the IWGP title against Jerry Lawler, and Lawler actually wrestled a straight match and was pretty decent at it.  But man, talk about a style clash.

– Sid Vicious continues to job in the opening six-man matches.  Later on the tour, Riki Choshu completely squashed him with a lariat, and Dave completely buries Vicious and the matches, saying he looked even worse than people had described.  Aw, poor Sid, I feel like his big break is just around the corner, though!

–  Dave thought the Russian invaders looked impressive with their suplexes and godless communism, but the shows aren’t drawing like they want thus far.

– Johnny Ace & The Terminator have been teaming up as “The Young Warriors” in Japan.  Har har. 

– Dusty Rhodes, after drawing 400 people for his big homecoming show, has turned US Steele into the Big Steel Man, dressing him up like Big Bubba Rogers to create his own version to slay.  Dave thinks that Mr. Ottman will inevitably end up with the WWF, since he’s big and fat can’t work worth shit.  Good call, Dave!

– Kevin Von Erich was, if not fired, at least put on suspension for no-showing yet another card in Dallas. 

– And now, it’s time for everyone’s highlight of the issue:  THIS WEEK IN KERRY VON ERICH STUPIDITY.  So Kerry was supposed to wrestle the Beast on the TV show, but the taping started at 9am and Kerry showed up at noon, by which point they had already stuck Chris Adams into the match.  So Kerry runs into the ring in street clothes to beat up the Beast, claiming that Iceman Parsons had slashed his tires.  Afterwards, Jarrett told him that he’d end up on the street with Kevin if he did it again.  In retaliation, Parsons got to cut a promo on TV against Kerry, saying he was going to rip off Kerry’s leg and give it to his daughter to use as a baseball bat. 

This has been another thrilling episode of THIS WEEK IN KERRY VON ERICH STUPIDITY!

– Meanwhile, Eric Embry lost a loser-leaves-town match to Gary Young weeks ago, but just never went away due to “fulfilling his obligations”, and they’re having a rematch which is also loser-leaves-town.  One guess what’s going to happen in that one.

– Down in Memphis, Sid Vicious returns soon as Lord Humongous to face The Master of Pain on 3/27.  I MUST HAVE THIS MATCH!  I want to paint it like one of Jack’s whores.   How could it not be the most gloriously horrible thing in history?

– The awesome duo of Brad Rheingans and Ken Patera won the AWA tag team titles from Badd Company at the latest TV taping, as the AWA barely warrants mention outside of the “Other Stuff” section at this point.

– The rapidly dying Central States did a tournament to crown a new champion, and the number of no-shows almost outnumbered the crowd.

– New Line Cinema was the lucky company to pick up distribution rights to No Holds Barred, at the bargain price of zero dollars since all the other distributors walked out on the screening and wouldn’t pick it up. 

– Toronto, which already has a $200,000 advance for the closed circuit showing of WM5 at Maple Leaf Gardens, is probably getting WM6 at the new fangled “Skydome” that is currently being finished.

– Dave notes that Tim Horner has taken the place of Barry Horowitz as the best TV jobber in the WWF.  I’m sure he was thrilled to hear that.

– Around the house show circuit they’ve been announcing that Run DMC will be the musical guest at WM5, and crowds have been booing them out of the building.  They were pretty much stuck in the dead zone between “Walk This Way” and their resurrection with “Down with the King” at that point, I guess.  They were definitely not cool in 89, that’s for sure.

– Dave loses his shit over the Hogan-Bossman cage match in MSG with the superplex finish (which they would repeat for SNME) and puts over Bossman as an incredible worker for someone his size.  That’s quite the turnaround.

– Junkyard Dog missed a bunch of shows (gee, I wonder why?) and was fired. 

– And finally, Dave has a new nickname for Muto:  THE FUCKIN’ GREAT MUTA.  Amen.