Wrestling Observer Flashback –04.24.89

Couldn’t do this one last night, because Daredevil is a thing that exists.  Sorry. 

– The WWF is on hiatus for a bit after WM, so Dave apologizes in advance for the light news week.  Which is still 10 pages long.

– But the big news this week is the apparent firing of Barry Windham from the NWA.  Turns out that the supposed hand operation Windham took time off for might just have been a big fat lie on his part.  The real story appears to be that he had his feelings hurt when they organized a booking committee and didn’t even call him to be on it.  I can’t imagine why one of Dusty’s biggest ass-kissers and first lieutenant wouldn’t immediately be put in charge of the company’s direction.  At any rate, Windham was actually off the grid for the past few weeks and couldn’t be reached for updates on his “surgery”, which led to them cutting ties this week.  They are hopeful something can be worked out to fix the whole mess.

– Tama is coming in as “Tonga, the Polynesian Savage” although that ended up getting tweaked into “The Samoan Savage” later on.  Dr. Tom Pritchard was supposed to come in but couldn’t reach a deal and changed his mind.  The Rock N Roll Express are trying to get back in again, but there’s no scenario there beneficial to the company.  And of course Terry Funk signed recently and will be getting a push. 

– Dave thinks there’s nothing wrong with TBS making mistakes and learning from them, but he hopes that rock bottom for the company has been reached and things can go upwards from here.  Oh, poor sweet naive Dave, the company can’t even SEE where they’d end up at rock bottom in 93 from the position they’re at right now.  They’d need a map and a base-jumping kit to get to that point.

– Dave goes on a rant about how TBS sports announcers barely mention wrestling, and when they do it’s Hulk Hogan that gets named as the example of a wrestler, not Ric Flair.  If I’m not mistaken, Ted Turner actually went on a whole big tear later on where he made TBS sports guys always name Ric Flair and other WCW wrestlers when talking about our so-called sport.  I think it was actually part of the TBS rules for announcers for a while, like Vince’s crazy rules but actually something that made sense.

– Up in Stampede, Chris Benoit & Biff Wellington won the tag team titles from Karachi Vice.  They were actually a hell of a tag team internationally, and Wellington’s tragic death in 2007 was overshadowed a few days later by Benoit’s. He always was in the shadow of Benoit, even at the end.

– Tatsumi Fujinami surrendered the IWGP belt so they could run a tournament for the giant Tokyo Dome show that might break WM5’s money record already.  Both the Japanese and Russians will be be involved, although Inoki’s favorite Russian, Salman Hashimikov, will be kept out so that he doesn’t have to job. 

– Scott Steiner left Memphis and will be a low level guy in the NWA. 

– Lawler’s “unified” World title isn’t exactly living up to its name, as he dropped it to Master of Pain in Memphis while still defending it in World Class, and fans in Memphis are starting to get really pissed off about it.  Well, Texas will be gone soon anyway.

– Kerry Von Erich didn’t do anything stupid this week, but he was involved in a funny angle with Lawler.  The “unified” title had been held up and they did a rematch to settle it, but before the match Kerry used a metal detector to scan Lawler’s tights and found two dozen foreign objects hidden there as Lawler kept pulling them out like a clown doing a handkerchief gag or something.  Of course, the finish was the ref getting bumped and then another heel (in this case Buddy Roberts) just handing him a fresh object to get the pin with. 

– Also in World Class, the announcers are now saying Lawler’s title is sanctioned by the “United States Wrestling Alliance”, whatever the fuck THAT is.

– An arm-wrestler named Scott Norton is going to be trained to wrestle for the AWA.

– Joe Blanchard has taken over the fake president role from Stanley Blackburn, speaking of the AWA.  Well, Verne needs SOMEONE to blame for his stupid booking.

– Promoter Joel Goodheart ran a show in New Jersey with the usual case of WWF-castoff indy names, but local guys Larry Winters and DC Drake stole the show with a crazy brawl that left everyone else unable to follow.  And that is the wee tiny fetus of a promotional idea that became ECW, for those keeping track. 

–  Over in England, “Flying Fuji Yamada” is doing a tour there against former Black Tiger Mark “Rollerball” Rocco.  Those would be some amazing matches, since Yamada was young Jushin Liger.

– No Holds Barred is set to open at the end of June, although Titan is having trouble getting theaters to actually show it because the screenings were such a flop.  Apparently the home video rights weren’t actually sold for $2.5 million, but actually closer to $1.5 million.  And the production budget is something of an argument as well, with the WWF claiming $20 million, then revising it to $11 million, and now it appears that $3 million may be closer to the truth.  The real number never came out, but at $3M they would have made money with no problem, and it was pretty decisively stated by both Vince and Jim Ross that no one made money on that thing.

– Dave goes into more detail on the Windham thing, as it turns out that he actually did sign his big new contract and cashed a big bonus check immediately afterwards.  And then walked out on the company.  That’s a pretty big dick move if true.

– Teddy Long has potential to be an “excellent manager” sez Dave.  Also, they’ve been giving him tapes of Slick and telling him to do everything the exact opposite. 

– Rick Steiner was hugged by a girl in the stands on the latest TV show, which would of course pay off in a big way later on. 

– The Midnight Express announced on TV that they’re leaving, but Dave expects them back in mid-June when they’ve done some indies and revived their career a bit.

And then five pages of letters to end, so I guess we’re done!