Wrestling Observer Flashback–06.12.89

Apparently it’s a short news week, but it’s a Saturday anyway so that’s OK.  Well, I mean, it’s Saturday from your perspective.  For me it’s Thursday afternoon, but I don’t wanna blow anyone’s mind with temporal physics here.  To put it in Kerry Von Erich terms, I press the “magic button” and LP change the date of this post.

– No Holds Barred was released on Friday, or as Dave notes “escaped”, and was a complete disaster, but the WWF immediately declared it a smashing success and likely would have claimed that it won Best Picture at the Oscars if they were legally allowed to lie about it.  At this point, Dave notes, even if it’s a huge money loser they’re still going to clean up on Summerslam, so it’s Vince 1, Everyone Else Zero.

– Dusty Rhodes has started doing vignettes where he performs menial tasks like picking up garbage (was he the distributor of No Holds Barred?) or delivering pizza, but despite the humiliating skits he’s in line for a fairly big push in Jake Roberts’ place.

– Barry Windham, on the other hand, is already on the backburner and might not even debut until the fall now.  Mike Rotunda is definitely not coming in and will be finishing up his contract with the NWA after all.

–  Jake Roberts had a second major neck surgery, stemming from the original injury where Honky clobbered him with a guitar, and that actually turned into a downward spiral of painkillers and booze for him, although it was a fairly minor story at the time.

– Despite people white-knighting for the NWA’s supposed turnaround at the moment, houses and ratings remain down and still haven’t really recovered from the disaster that was George Scott’s booking regime.  Dave doesn’t want to start writing the obituary for the company quite yet (I’d personally say they still have maybe 12 years left in them, give or take) but the lack of Flair on TV is really hurting them.

– Dave gets some notes from the theater owners about No Holds Barred, and apparently the audience is heavily skewed to children, many of whom are minorities who end up cheering for Zeus like crazy because he’s portrayed as a bigger star than Hogan in the movie and they’re not particularly big wrestling fans.  I can’t see that info going over well with Hulk.

– At a house show in Oakland, which Dave attended, he saw history and didn’t even realize it.  Scott Steiner was wrestling Mike Rotunda in one of the openers and a couple of minutes into the match they turned it into a tag team, with Rotunda & Sullivan v. Rick & Scott Steiner.  So Dave got to see the first ever Steiner Brothers match.  It was a hot match, and then the next night they did a rematch just as a straight tag match and it was even better, like ***1/2 out of the gates.  Dave was blown away by Scott, who is a “monster” in person.  No kidding.  I see potential in this young Steiner team.

– Sure, people are booing the Dudes right now, but they’ll get over in time, Dave says.

– No Holds Barred is projected to do $4.7 million for the weekend, according to the WWF, but that’s actually a reasonable guess sez Dave.  So it’s not a total disaster but that’s pretty much what it’s going to earn right there.  Dave also clarifies his ignorant and horrible statement from last week where he declared Road House, the greatest of all movies involving Patrick Swayze and bouncers and perhaps greatest movie of all time, a flop.  In fact it’s considered a “disappointment”, but decidedly not a flop.  OK, I can live with that.  Later in the issue, Dave confirms that the $4.7 million is a real number, of which the WWF will be the last people to see that money and will probably make almost nothing when all is said and done because the movie business is even sleazier than wrestling.

– Koji Kitao, former champion level sumo, has announced that he’s becoming a pro wrestler in Japan, and this is a pretty big deal.  Hell, he even ended up working Wrestlemania VII!

– Apparently Dusty Rhodes will be staying on as owner of FCW after all, so my joke about Mike Graham taking credit last week was TRUE.

– Dave, in the Oregon section, stops to mention how god-awful this Brian Adams kid is.  Of course, he’d be in the WWF within a year.

– Lawler, with new partner Austin Idol, is doing a series of angles where he posts the groins of every heel who ever did it to him.  Given who the most famous person to do that was, you can see where this storyline is going to end up.

– After Stampede did the awesome angle where the British Bulldogs broke up and Dynamite brutalized Davey Boy, Ed Whalen just cut the whole thing from TV because he didn’t like the violence.  Yeah, I remember that.

– And finally, the NWA had the gall to book the Boston Garden for a Bash tour date, so the WWF threw a snit and won’t be returning there until the fall.  Because they’re not about hurting the competition.

Until tomorrow, remember that pain don’t hurt.