Wrestling Observer Flashback–07.31.89

It’s the Bash 89 review issue!  I wonder if Dave likes it or not…?


– First up, a NEWS FLASH as Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson won the WWF tag team titles from Demolition, which actually ends Demolition’s record-breaking reign as champions.  Surprised Dave didn’t note that part. 

– OK, so now for the main event, as Dave just spends the whole first page printing the glowing reviews for the Bash PPV, although the results of the poll were 214-5.  Who the hell would vote that show as a thumbs down?!  Vince McMahon?  Consensus is that it’s the greatest PPV of all time. 

– The show actually did a 12,000 seat sellout, even with Vince trying to sabotage the show by running a week earlier.  It’s the biggest gate for the NWA since last year’s Bash PPV, in fact.  To the review!

1.  The Skyscrapers got a joint victory in the two-ring battle royale to start the show, splitting the $50,000 and giving Teddy Long the crown.  Good action all over, especially from Pillman.  ***

2.  Brian Pillman pinned Bill Irwin with Air Pillman at 10:38 in a good-paced squash.  **1/2

3.  The Skyscrapers squashed the shit out of The Dynamic Dudes at 9:14 in the only bad match of the show.  Regardless of the lack of quality ringwork from Sid, Dave notes that he’s got money written all over him and the match had crazy good heat because fans were going nuts for him.  Dave notes that the crowd chanted “We want Sid” when he was on the apron and cheered like crazy when he was in the ring.  The reaction was so rabid that they’re even talking about running a Flair v. Sid main event for the new Halloween Havoc PPV in October.  Sid pinned Ace after a power bomb.  * 

4. Jim Cornette beat Paul E. Dangerously in the tuxedo street fight at 6:22.  Good comedy, but Cornette legit blew out his knee the night before and thus spent the whole match “selling” it.  *3/4 

5.  Rick & Scott Steiner beat Sullivan & Rotunda in a tornado match at 4:42 when both Steiners pinned Sullivan after a bodypress.  **1/2  Dave notes at the beginning that he hasn’t seen the televised version yet but he’s heard it came off way better on TV.  Which is true, the match was crazy and awesome and way better than that rating would indicate. 

6. Sting and Muta went to a no-decision in the TV title match after both got pinned during a double suplex at 8:40.  Super-hot action that the crowd was going crazy for, although Sting needs to work on the middle portion of the match.  ***1/4  Again, the televised version was WAY better to me. 

7.  Lex Luger beat Ricky Steamboat by DQ in an EXCELLENT match at 10:26 to retain the US title.  They did about 25 minutes worth of stuff in a 10 minute match and Luger was incredible.  ****1/4  Even the DQ made sense in the context of the match, so no one was pissed about it.

8.  The Road Warriors & Midnight Express & Dr. Death beat The SST & Freebirds in a Wargames match at 22:18 when Hawk submitted Garvin with a hangman’s hold.  Another excellent match, with the highlight being Williams pressing Gordy eight times into the cage.  Dave heard it didn’t come off as well on TV, which is correct.  ****

9.  Ric Flair pinned Terry Funk by reversing a small package to retain the World title at 17:23.  Both guys bled big because the NWA told the Maryland athletic commission to fuck off before the show and WON!  It ended up as an awesome brawl all over the arena with Funk & Muta v. Flair & Sting and many are rating the whole thing as five stars.  ****1/2 

– Bam Bam Bigelow is telling people that the Mike Tyson match is a done deal, and will happen in Japan in the fall of 1990 for a $500,000 payday. 

– Zeus did a TV angle on SNME, destroying Brutus Beefcake after the best match of Beefcake’s career with Randy Savage (It totally was!) in what was a surefire big money angle.  The WWF is pleased as punch with how it turned out. 

– Hulk Hogan is legitimately injured right now with neck problems, so the WWF pulled him from the road and replaced him with Brutus Beefcake, and actually ADVERTISED that fact!  That’s a distinctly un-WWF move to make.

– The new format of Primetime Wrestling, with Roddy Piper as host for 90 minutes followed by the Bobby Heenan Show for 30, was decidedly a creative disaster. Although ratings were at least good.

– With the impending debut of the American Gladiators show in syndication, Verne Gagne is now pitching his own version in what would become the Team Challenge Series.  The idea is to do a 52 week series with three teams of wrestlers competing for points, captained by Larry Zbyszko, Sgt. Slaughter and Roddy Piper (?!).  The show would basically run exclusively on PPV and home video.  So there you go, proof that it wasn’t Bischoff’s stupid idea after all.

– Dave also attended an NWA house show in Philly the night before the Bash, which featured a legendary Steamboat-Luger match that was even better than the Bash match and I believe became a hot commodity for tape traders for a while afterwards. 

– The new owners in Florida have dropped Dusty’s PWF name and now it’s back to FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) again.

– Over in All Japan, the success of the UWF has prompted Baba to drop all screwjob finishes on his shows, with the mandate now that everything will be clean pinfalls.  And not surprisingly, they’re doing great business right now.

– The Red Reign ended fairly quickly, as Riki Choshu won the IWGP title from Salman Hashimikov to end that experiment for the moment.

– Apparently Davey Boy Smith might already be ready to go again after the car accident, but he’s staying out for a while longer for insurance reasons. 

– The NWA has closed a deal with CTV in Canada and will start getting national coverage in September.  That would be a “no”, by the way. 

– Robert Gibson’s house was struck by lightning while he was on the road, and is a disaster.  I wonder if he told some promoter “I’ll be at your show and may lightning strike me if I’m lying” and this is the result?

– There’s a group of heel fans who support DDP in Florida called the Shade Brigade, and they’ve taken to chanting for Russia during Comrade Nick Busick’s matches.  Now that’s dedication to your heel fan gimmick!

– Big Steel Man apparently flopped in his dark matches on the latest Superstars taping and may not get a job after all.

– The new “Skydome” is the leading candidate to get Wrestlemania VI, but might not be the lock that the local papers are declaring it. 

And that’s the news on Saturday!