Wrestling Observer Flashback–05.22.89

Speaking of Flashbacks, FLASH IS BACK.  Quite the change from the darkness of Daredevil.

Cross your fingers that Kerry Von Erich does something hilarious this week again!

– The big news is that Rowdy Roddy Piper has chosen the WWF and made his return to the ring out of nowhere this week.  Jake Roberts had injured his neck pretty badly and they needed a last minute substitute against Ted Dibiase on the B-shows, so Piper got the call.  He probably won’t be featured on TV unless he agrees to some kind of long-term commitment, though.

– Speaking of Roberts, his bad week continued with a very public arrest for beating up some dude in Florida over an argument about a woman.  I guess that’s why he’s the Snake. 

– Early buyrate estimates for WrestleWar put it 1.3%, equaling 150,000 buys.  Basically the show came just around the time when people were getting the bill for Wrestlemania, which probably hurt orders.  This was considered an OK number.

– The next Clash will feature the semifinals and finals of the World tag title tournament, which by extrapolation from the weak bracket will end up with Freebirds v. Dudes and Midnight Express v. SST.  Believe it or not, the Express had actually left the promotion and ended up staying out for literally a week and this is their big return. 

– The latest UWF show in Japan actually topped Wrestlemania’s gate by nearly $100,000, meaning that Vince’s record was beaten TWICE already and we’re not even out of May. 

– Although no Kerry stupidity this week in World Class, Eric Embry continues to make friends with the crowd.  During the TV tapings, he grabbed the mic and went on a temper tantrum against the fans who wouldn’t cheer him, swearing up a storm to the point where he needed to be bleeped constantly to make it usable for TV.   The main event was a match with Embry vs. Zodiac (a masked Gary Young), with Embry putting his career on the line against Zodiac’s mask.  Since they didn’t want to deliver on either stip, they just had a bunch of guys running for a double DQ.  Embry might seriously be one of the worst bookers in history at that point.

– Down in Florida, young Mike Awesome debuts for Dusty as a job guy.

– Future UFC pioneer Jeff Blatnick is strongly considering a pro wrestling career in Japan for Inoki, which is really weird considering how many times he’s trashed wrestling in the media. 

– Even after his big showing on the all-time record-breaking New Japan show, Shinya Hashimoto still returned to Memphis as Shogun, Japanese jobber. 

– Dave notes that for any rap fans out there, there’s some group in California that calls itself NWA (N—- with Attitudes), but don’t send him any letters about what it stands for, he’s just reporting it here.  I really, really loved that movie, by the way, and it was completely robbed at the Oscars. 

– Hogan v. Savage did monster numbers on the West Coast, like legit sellouts, which Dave attributes to the short attention spans of fans in LA and Sacramento.  See, they’ve already forgotten the clean pinfall job that Savage did, so they still see him as a star.  Meanwhile, in New York, the Hogan-Bossman cage match did the third biggest gate in MSG history, around $300,000.  So that’s pretty good.

– Zeus is, how shall we say, not catching onto the finer points of the wrestling business.  So WWF hired jobber Dusty Wolfe to babysit him and get him to shows on time and hopefully smarten him up a bit as well.  Summerslam 89 will be Hogan & Beefcake vs. Zeus & Savage so that Savage can do all the work and disguise his numerous weaknesses. 

– Terry Funk is plowing through underneath guys like a hot knife through butter and getting over as a dangerous crazed heel, which bodes well for the Great American Bash.  One of the guys who got laid out by his piledriver and branded was young Eddie Guerrero, youngest brother of Chavo, who is reputed to be the best worker of the whole Guerrero family!  Sounds like this Eddie has a bright future ahead.

– Finally, Dave does his list of all the PPVs in history up to that point, in order of greatness:

1.  WrestleWar 89

2.  Chi-Town Rumble

3.  Wrestlemania III

4.  Starrcade 88

5.  The Wrestling Classic

6.  Survivor Series 87

7.  Bash 88

8.  Survivor Series 88

9.  Wrestlemania I

10.  Wrestlemania II

Next week Dave talks about the remaining seven PPVs, which were even worse than WM2.  That should be fun. 

Not much notable news for a 10 page Observer, but a lot of it was letters.