“Bad Movies With Wrestlers” Observer Flashback–06.19.89

Dave brings the funny by changing the title of the newsletter this week in honor of No Holds Barred, as it’s time to talk about the movie business!


– Dave goes over the financial end of No Holds Barred after getting a crash course on the movie business, and as noted last week the movie opened with $4.7 million.  Because New Line got such a shit distribution deal (due to no theaters actually wanting to show it) the revenue split is 65/35 for the first week, when typically a blockbuster release is split 90/10 in favor of the production company.  So this means that at most Titan gets about $1 million out of the movie.  However, the good news is that the production budget was supposedly as low as 1.5 million (although Vince has claimed as high as $20 million), which means that they already made their money back when they sold the home video rights for a measly $1.5 million to RCA.  So all and all, the movie is definitely not a bomb, but it’s not going to make Vince any money either.  However, what IS going to make money is Summerslam with Zeus on top, although they only get one shot at that before he’s completely exposed.

– Barry Windham actually did debut at the most recent TV tapings, although he’s already been rebranded into The Widow Maker, which is admittedly a pretty cool name.

– Owen Hart finally quit this week and he’s going to Japan to feud with Jushin Liger.

– Also quitting was Big John Studd, who was sick of shitty payoffs, especially when his WM money came in at a measly $8500 after winning the Rumble and main eventing with Andre all over the place. Dave notes that, to be fair, their matches didn’t draw for shit, but apparently there was some other bitterness involved in the split because Studd made it his personal mission to “aggravate Vince as much as possible” on the way out.  Studd is taking a break from wrestling completely at the moment, although soon after this it would become a permanent break for other tragic reasons.  Apparently the crappy payoffs are across the board in the WWF, leading to a lot of locker room grumbling, but the reasons are solid on the WWF’s end:  The NWA isn’t really a threat right now, so fuck you.

– The new team of the British Bruisers (Dynamite Kid and Johnny Smith) should hopefully be heating up Stampede via a feud with Davey Boy & Chris Benoit (The Roid Ragers?  The Wife Beaters?), although it’ll be a challenge with the initial angle edited off TV by Ed Whalen.  Jason the Terrible has returned to feud with the Angel of Death, who is using a clawhold as a finish due to having a “bionic hand”.  How do you put a clawhold on a guy with a hockey mask?

– Sadly, we never got the Memphis “Jerry Lawler smashes the ballsacks of everyone who wronged him” payoff, as Austin Idol no-showed and got fired this week, before Lawler could turn on him and run his nuts into the post.

– Eric Embry beat 104 year old Tojo Yamamoto to win majority control of World Class in a match where if he had lost, he would have had to (gasp!) LEAVE TOWN.  Well thank god it didn’t come to that.  We’re still a little ways from the final blowoff with Embry tearing down the World Class banner and all that shit, but getting closer.

– THIS WEEK IN KERRY VON ERICH STUPIDITY:  With Kevin successfully begging Jerry Jarrett for his job back, Kevin is scheduled to return to team with Kerry.  To explain his absence to the fans, Kerry comes up with the story that Kevin has been travelling the world as a goodwill ambassador for World Class.  Hopefully he visited a few rehab clinics while he was touring.

– So last week Dusty told everyone in Florida that he would continue to run the promotion while employed by the WWF, and in fact Titan would be funding them as a feeder system.  Well, turns out that he stretched the truth a little.  In fact, none of that would be happening and Dusty lied about everything, and now the promotion has already lost TV after failing to come up with enough capital to do a taping, and will be out of business very shortly aside from a few spot shows with guys who already live in Florida.  On the bright side, Big Steel Man is in the thick of a bidding war between the WWF and NWA for his services.

– Kevin Kelly debuted at a WWF TV taping, and he must not have made TV because I don’t remember him in the WWF at all until he came back in 92 as Nailz.

– Dusty Rhodes did a job to Ted Dibiase in an untelevised match, which was to prove to the boys that he was there to play ball and would do jobs.  He’s just a common man, you know.

– For you lucky people who had been scheduled to see John Studd v. Andre, those matches are now being changed to Andre v. Hillbilly Jim.

– Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey are going to be a team, managed by Gary Hart.

– Mike Rotunda is now going to be Captain Mike Rotunda, teaming with Kevin Sullivan, but they’re not the Varsity Club, as that is dead.  Rotunda is indeed staying, as the WWF just didn’t want to get into a legal battle over someone as trivial as Rotunda.  Poor Mike.

– Sid, meanwhile, has been working dark matches and people are already going crazy for him.  Scott Hall was also in doing dark matches and will start on TV soon.

– The NWA actually had the balls to run the Silverdome, and drew 878 people, so they were about 78K-92K short of the attendance record, depending on who you believe.  They did, however, set a different attendance record, in that it was one of the smallest crowds for an event of any kind at the stadium.  Way to go, NWA!

– Finally, Rick Steamboat’s deal expires after the Bash PPV and odds are good that he’ll sign a one year deal.  Boy, would that one go south on them.

And that’s the news for Sunday!