Wrestling Observer Flashback–05.01.89

Lazy Sunday, let’s flash back!

– Dave mostly goes over the state of the wrestling union in the absence of any breaking news to start.  WWF is #1 despite slightly sagging popularity, and it’ll take a miracle to get them out of that position at this point.  The NWA is improving under TBS, but perception as the #2 promotion is the major stumbling block.  WrestleWar doesn’t feel like much of a big show right now and will probably do the lowest buyrate outside of SuperClash III.

– Turns out that Inoki’s Tokyo Dome madness is going to destroy Wrestlemania V, with a gate of anywhere from $2 million at minimum all the way up $3 million.  The show is headlined by a judo match between Inoki and a Russian with a “$1.2 million purse” (Dave actually stops to say “ha ha ha” here), plus the one night tournament for the IWGP title.

– Jim Herd is open to talking to Barry Windham about the situation, but Windham has retreated to Florida and won’t talk.  Herd wants confirmation from Windham’s doctor that this hand surgery really happened, but doctor-patient privilege prevents it without Windham’s permission.  So they won’t grant Windham a release until then.

– Hey, the AWA gets a section again!  Verne, always classy, is running an angle with Col DeBeers v. Derrick Dukes, where the winner gets to paint the loser black or white as the case may be.  The company is fielding some complaints from fans about that one, shockingly.

– World Class time, with Embry getting out of another loser-leaves-town stip by booking his match with Skandor Akbar as a no-contest due to a bunch of heels locking the cage and running in to destroy him.  Embry’s in the hospital and things are touch-and-go for his long-term health, but this new USWA governing body is investigating the shenanigans.

– Chris Adams & Jimmy Jack Funk apparently did an angle where they pretended to be jobbers, billed as “Virgil Runnels & Richard Fliehr”.  Wow, so edgy.

– Dave notes that an upcoming Lawler v. Matt Borne match is for the “disputed version of the undisputed unified un-unified World title”.

– The Oregon TV show is greatly improved with hot angles and hilarious commentary from Scotty the Body.  Dave thinks he has a big future in the business.

– Bruce Hart has taken over as booker of Stampede from Dynamite Kid again, after Kid tanked the territory.

– Dave corrects himself in the Memphis section, noting that Master of Pain’s real name is actually Mark Calaway, and not Galloway as he’s been saying for weeks now.

– Master of Pain is facing Lord Humongous in a “lights out” match on the next show.  I’m assuming that’s because they’ll have to turn out all the lights to make the match watchable.

– Roddy Piper is still talking about signing with either WWF or the NWA, although Jim Herd is pretty pissed at him for doing the WM5 show while he was supposedly in negotiations.  In fact, Herd had missed Chi-Town Rumble completely to meet with Piper’s manager David Wolfe in negotiations that ended up being a smokescreen.

– Dusty Rhodes is quite confident about the future of his promotion, and is now claiming that they have a deal to take over the AWA’s ESPN timeslot in 90 days, and that Jim Herd is begging him to come back as booker.  We’ll just have to see if either of those come true.

– Dave notes that the Hogan-Savage shows are doing PRETTY big gates, but they would literally be turning people away from shows with a better finish at Wrestlemania.

– Danny Davis has been un-fired and will be used as a heel ref against Ronnie Garvin instead.

– Correction from the WM issue:  King Kong Bundy was not actually at the show. It was another big fat bald guy who happened to look just like him.

– Kendall Windham has joined Barry in no-showing all his dates and is considered gone at this point.

– Tonga the Polynesian Savage debuted on TV, but he had already been fired before the show aired.

– The new working name for the Ace/Douglas team is the “Dynamite Dudes”.

– Mike Shaw (Makhan Singh from Stampede) will start in June but with a different name, along with Brian Pillman.  They’re really trying to recapture the teen girl audience with Pillman and the Dudes, notes Dave.  Really, so 30-something Ricky and Robert weren’t the answer, I guess?

– The Gilbert & Steiner v. Varsity Club US tag title match for the PPV was on the books as a hair match, but they (rightly) decided to drop that stip with a week before the show because they hadn’t actually mentioned it on TV anyway.

– Interestingly, Flair has been getting big babyface reactions around the horn and Steamboat has been roundly booed.

– Terry Gordy is coming in to reform the Freebirds with Michael Hayes for a feud with the Road Warriors

– The bit with the baseball announcers last week not knowing who the NWA World champion was is apparently opening up a big can of worms with TBS, and now Herd and Petrick are on a rampage, making sure that all references to wrestling on sports broadcasts are properly linked to WCW properties.

And my computer is dying, so we’ll wrap it up for another day while I figure out what the fuck is wrong with it.