Wrestling Observer Flashback–07.10.89

Not much in the way of major news this week, sez Dave, so of course this is a 10-pager. 

– The lead story is “The Road Warriors actually did a clean job to the SST at a house show” so you know it’s a slow news week.

– Jesse Ventura is strongly considering running for mayor of Brooklyn Park, MN, and would essentially forgo the $10,000 a year salary and work for free if elected.  Apparently he can work around his WWF commitments, but that turned out to be a moot point since he left the company anyway.

– No Holds Barred pretty much wraps up its theatrical run this week, finishing with $13 million gross.  The WWF is kicking around the idea of running it as a PPV after Summerslam to try and recoup their money on it.  That’s just wacky enough an idea that it might work!

– The Bash tour is not doing good by any measure, as the lack of Flair is really killing houses.

– Dave’s latest tip for tape traders this week:  The match between the Foot Loose and Furnas & Lafon from this past week was supposed to be even better than Flair-Steamboat and Tenryu-Tsuruta.  Apparently 1989 was a hell of a good year.

– Dave goes into a lengthy discussion of the troubles that TBS is having with their new toy, WCW Inc., and rumors are now flying that Turner wants to divest himself of the wrestling promotion after the summer because they’re doing so shitty right now.  Apparently they didn’t count on immediately losing $10 million a year.  Man, WCW had years in the future where they’d be dancing on the tables at 1 CNN Center if WCW was only losing $10 million a year! 

– Dave actually brings the funny in his usual “This is the [x] issue of your current set and here’s rates for subscriptions” paragraph, noting that he doesn’t want it to sound like a chain letter, but if you want to know what might happen if you don’t re-sub, then just ask George Scott. 

– Speaking of George Scott, Superstars tapings saw the dark match tryout of Big Steel Man, managed by Slick, and Scott’s pet project Mark Young (aka Vince Young), doing a breakdancing gimmick that died just as horrible a death as it did in the NWA.  Am I crazy that I don’t remember this dude, like, AT ALL?  I mean, he was clearly around both major promotions during the period when I was full-bore cuckoo-nuts for wrestling and watched literally every show I could get my hands on plus all the Apter mags.  And yet I don’t remember the name or the gimmick in the least. 

– Anyway, apparently Big Steel Man was a big hit with the agents and he’ll get a big push.  Yes, Owen Hart was turned into a jobber within two months of coming in, but FRED FUCKING OTTMAN was apparently impressive enough to earn a main event run as Hogan’s buddy.  To quote Kylo Ren, WHAT THE SHIT?

–  Apparently they’re going to be testing this wacky new Pat Patterson gimmick match on the house show circuit, where the Rockers and Rougeaus wrestle for an hour and whoever gets the most falls wins.  I feel like that might be a gimmick match that works well for Shawn Michaels for some reason.

– Barry Windham has already lost his name and he’ll just be The Widow Maker from now on, working opening matches with Paul Roma.  I see big things in the future given this career path!

– THIS WEEK IN KERRY VON ERICH STUPIDITY:  Down in Memphis, manager Ronnie Gossett claims that he has paid off Kerry and will be managing him from now on.  Kerry is supposed to do an interview explaining that this is not the case, but he’s so wasted that literally no one can understand what he’s saying, and the fans are so confused that the announcers have to stop and do Kerry’s promo themselves to explain the storyline.

– World Class just keeps getting weirder.  First up, Dave tries to make sense of the “Eric Embry battles Tojo Yamamoto for stock options” storyline that seemingly changes by the week, and fails.  Second, and more interestingly, Embry is in the midst of an ugly and ongoing real life battle with a bunch of fans who really hate his guts and won’t stop booing him.  They had previously congregated in a section of the Sportatorium, so Embry had it roped off and reserved for wives and friends of the wrestlers.  So the heel fans ended up sitting right by the interview area instead, and loudly booed Embry every time he did a promo, to the point where he started ejecting people from the building.  So a bunch of the disgruntled fans decided to call the ACLU, and they’re champing at the bit to get involved in this one.  Dave notes that you’d think Embry would be happy to have fans who are so passionate that they’ll loudly support or boo the promotion’s characters, regardless of whether it’s the reaction that he wants.  Good thing today’s product is so much more enlightened and we’re not having anyone shoved down our throats while the audience vocally rejects them!

– Stampede is a complete mess right now after the backstage brawl between Bruce Hart and Dynamite Kid, and unfortunately there’s no happy ending to the story.  The company will be done before this year of Observers wraps up.

– THIS WEEK IN STUPIDITY THAT IS FROM SOMEONE OTHER THAN KERRY VON ERICH:  Larry Sharpe, trainer at the Monster Factor, relates to Dave a story about a student asking him about using a move like a neckbreaker that is the “patented hold” of Honky Tonk Man according to Gorilla Monsoon, and if he could be sued for doing so.  Now, hilarious as this is, in recent years WWE has become so litigious that in fact they have trademarked wrestling moves and move names, so this would no longer be a stupid question.  But at the time, yes, totally stupid.

– Dave clarifies that the joint AWA/David McLane show last week may have been papered up to 600 people, but the paid attendance was only 175.  How fucking sad do you have to paper a building and still only get 600 people?!

– In the final word on the Florida ownership question, it now turns out that Dusty never actually owned shit.  He promised to buy 60% ownership of the group and had the papers drafted up, but never actually signed anything, and so essentially conned everyone into believing he was the owner for months.  So now a friend of Gordon Solie has actually fronted money and taken possession of the company.

– The NWA is doing some really lame finishes to the two-ring battle royales around the horn, like Sting and Steamboat as the last two guys and they both go over the top at the same time and split the money.  The other finish sees Sting alone with the Steiner Brothers, at which point Rick throws himself out and Sting wrestles Scott for a bit before getting a fluke win. 

– Finally, Dave had the pleasure of seeing the Dusty Rhodes plumbing skits on WWF TV this week, and he notes that it’s very similar to a bit that got Southwestern Championship Wrestling thrown off the USA Network years back.  He suspects that it’s a bit deeper than dookie jokes and it’s actually Vince making a sly comment on how he can do stuff that got other promotions shut down because he knows USA would never do the same to him.  I disagree with this analysis, because Vince is Vince and sometimes he just thinks a man sticking his arm elbow-deep in shit is hilarious.

And that’s all the shit that’s fit to print for this week.