Wrestling Observer Flashback–04.10.89

Uh oh, what wacky shenanigans is Kerry Von Erich going to get into this week?  Stay tuned to find out!

If anything.  I mean, I haven’t actually read the issue yet.  But I’m just assuming.

Oh yeah, also, some shows happened a week before this issue and we’ll be talking about them.

BUT FIRST…

– In news to open this issue that should surprise absolutely no one who has been paying the slightest bit of attention for the past two months, George Scott has already been fired as booker for the NWA. The impetus was Clash VI, which only sold a few hundred tickets before showtime, plus the generally crappy state of the entire promotion leading up to it.  A booking committee headed up by Kevin Sullivan will take over for the moment until they can find someone new.  Which wasn’t until 1990, actually.  Bill Watts is the #1 name up for the job.

– Although WM5 was a huge financial success, Dave was completely bored by the 3.5 hour show (3.5 hours for a WM?  I WISH!) although he called the work better than average by WWF standards in most cases.  Glowing praise there, but really that show was total dogshit.  Ratings ahoy!

1.  Hercules pinned King Haku with the stupid double suplex spot at 6:57.  Pretty bad.  1/2*

2.  The Twin Towers beat the Rockers at 8:02 when Akeem splashed and pinned Michaels.  Dave thinks it was counterproductive to kill off the Rockers like that. Michaels worked his ass off, although it came out later that he was hungover and stoned at the time. I believe that’s known as the Kerry Von Erich Special in wrestling.  *3/4

3. Ted Dibiase went to a double countout with Brutus Beefcake in 10:01.  Dave struggles to find something nice to say about Beefcake, and settles on “He has cool entrance music.”  Well that’s nice.  *3/4

4.  The Bushwackers beat the Rougeaus in 5:10 of “one of the worst matches in the history of any civilized nation”.  Does New Zealand count as a civilized nation?  -****

5. Mr. Perfect beat the Blue Blazer with a Perfectplex in 5:38.  Seemed like Owen got psyched out by the “library atmosphere” of the Trump Plaza.  Still good.  **1/2

6.  Demolition retained the tag titles over the Powers of Pain and Fuj the Stooge in 8:26 with of course Fuji doing the job.  DUD

7.  Dino Bravo pinned Ron Garvin in 3:48 with his side slam.  No heat, and Garvin gave one last Garvin Stomp to Frenchy Martin to send him on his way out of the WWF.  DUD

8.  The Brainbusters beat Strike Force at 9:17 with the spike piledriver.  It had actually been touch-and-go if Martel could get back into the country leading up to the show.  Everything was executed well, including the turn, but again the crowd just killed it.  **1/2

The Brother Love/Piper skit then proceeded to completely kill the show even deader, as Dave called it one of the worst skits he’d ever seen in the history of pro wrestling.

9. Jake Roberts beat Andre by DQ in 9:44, and this was of course heinous.  -***

10.  The Hart Foundation beat Greg Valentine & Honky Tonk Man in 7:40 as I’m getting bored just recapping this show again.  **1/4

11.  Rick Rude won the IC title from Ultimate Warrior in 9:34 in Warrior’s FIRST GOOD MATCH EVER.  Dave actually liked this one, mostly.  First thing on the show to get sustained heat, too.  **1/2

12.  Jim Duggan and Bad News Brown went to a pointless double DQ in 3:49.  Awful.  DUD

13.  Red Rooster beat Bobby Heenan in 27 seconds.  DUD

14.  Hulk Hogan pinned Randy Savage to regain the WWF title at 17:31.  Good match, but the finish was flat and it’s beyond stupid to pin Savage clean when he’s selling out arenas every night.  **3/4

Overall, thumbs down.  It was a one match show (which, Dave notes, did break every record for money as it is) but there was literally nothing else to justify the running time.  No arguments there.

To the Clash of Champions VI:

– With only 900 tickets sold before showtime, they had to paper the shit out of the ridiculously huge Superdome to get it up to an acceptable looking 4200 people.

Dave actually breaks into his own review at this point and reports that Bill Watts is out of the running for booker, and they’ll just do the committee with Ross/Sullivan/Flair instead.  Dave thinks that’s gonna overextend Flair, since being the Nature Boy is a 24 hour a day job as it is.

To the review!

1. The Samoan Swat Team beat the Midnight Express at 20:32 when Fatu pinned Bobby Eaton after the telephone to the head.  They wanted a hot opener to keep people from switching to Wrestlemania, I guess.  ***

2.  “The F—–in Great Muta” pinned Steven Casey with the moonsault at 8:11.  Muta is just incredible, sez Dave, and this was an amazing one man show.  ***1/4  He could be the Jimmy Snuka of the 90s!  Man, I’m glad he wasn’t.

3.  Junkyard Dog pinned Butch Reed in 9:56.  Despite missing NINE shows in a row and getting fired because of it, they were desperate for a local draw and brought him back for this one.  And then put him over!  Lots of stalling and Dog managed to blow the cradle finish for good measure.  -*

4.  Bob Orton pinned Dick Murdoch in 9:33 when Gary Hart tripped up Murdoch during a suplex.  They were booked to go 17 minutes and started slow, and then suddenly got the signal to go home after 9:00, so this sucked.  1/2*

5.  The Varsity Club won the tag titles from the Road Warriors in 11:40 when Teddy Long turned heel and fast-counted Hawk.  Dave was amused because Jim Herd was paying tribute to guys like Sam Muchnick at the start of the show, and Sam would have dropped dead from a heart attack seeing that kind of ridiculous screwjob finish on one of his shows.  This was the first pinfall loss for the Warriors since 1985.  ***1/4

6.  Ranger Ross beat the Iron Sheik by DQ in 1:56.  -1/2*

7.  Eddie Gilbert & Rick Steiner retained the US tag titles over Kevin Sullivan & Dan Spivey at 3:40 of a rushed match using the dreaded WOMAN’S SHOE OF DOOM.  Missy’s in this case.  *3/4

8.  Ricky Steamboat retained the NWA World title over Flair with the double chickenwing in the third fall of their match at 55:32.  This was OK.

At this point, the WWF manages to get a 900 line commercial on TBS where you can call for Wrestlemania results.

– The murder case of Jim Leon continues…wait, what?  Oh, you wanted the rating for Flair-Steamboat!  Sorry, just messing with you.  Dave gave it ***** and thought it was pretty brilliant that they ended the match at 55:32 when everyone “knew” that it was going the full 60 for the draw, and he was equally impressed that Flair would drop a fall by submission.  He thought that Chicago had more magic, but this was still awesome for different reasons.

– A radio station in New York starts a new call-in show with John Arezzi.  This is not notable on its own at the time, but would unfortunately produce the spawn of Satan that is Vince Russo as a result.

– Down in Memphis, MASTER OF PAIN won the Unified World title from Jerry Lawler, his first championship in the sport!  This was immediately ignored by World Class, who still announce Lawler as champion, but I’m proud of 6’9” green rookie Mark Galloway.

– Minoru Suzuki and Masaharu Funaki both jumped from New Japan to the UWF this week, as Funaki was something of an MMA prodigy and a hot commodity for Maeda to get his hands on.  I can’t believe Suzuki has been around since 1989, though!

– I apologize to you, my loyal fans, because Kerry Von Erich did not do anything stupid this week, or at least nothing that was chronicled here.  However, World Class ownership is getting increasingly annoyed with the fans who insist on booing Eric Embry despite his stellar job of booking himself to be the top babyface in the promotion week after week.  I bet the Von Erichs fired all the fans too and that’s why crowds are dropping.

– Big Steelman is indeed already ear-marked for the WWF.

– The WWF fired a bunch of agents in their post-Mania bloodletting, including (but no limited to) Nick Bockwinkel, Pedro Morales and Grizzly Smith.

– King Kong Bundy was in the front row of Wrestlemania, but they made sure to comp him seats facing away from the camera and never mentioned him at any point.

– Davey Boy is trying for a singles career in the WWF already, but he’s kind of hampered by the fact that Dynamite not only burned his bridges but pissed on the ashes on the way out.

– George Scott’s pet project Vincent Young (Joe Scarpa Jr.) was mercifully fired as one of the first acts of the new booking committee.  They’re also bringing in Shane Douglas and Brian Pillman immediately.

– Sting won the TV title from Mike Rotundo this week. Twice.  He beat Rotundo at the last tapings at Techwood Studios in a completely shitty match, so they redid it the next night in the brand new Center Stage studio and had a better one.  To cover for the live crowd they just announced that the title was held up due to controversy in their first match.

– Nick Patrick has been hired as lead ref to replace Teddy Long, who will be managing the heel team of Butch Reed and Ron Simmons.  Kind of jumping the gun there, Dave.

– Terry Funk might be coming in to wrestle.  Who would want to see old retired Funk in the ring again?  Lame.

– With George Scott gone, the door is open for the Midnight Express to return.  Dave thinks they should work some indies and make ‘em want it more.

Speaking of leaving ‘em wanting more, that’s all for this week!  Hopefully Kerry does something stupid next time so I can continue that running gag.