Wrestling Observer Flashback–09.11.89

So it’s 9/11, back when that meant absolutely nothing.

As a housekeeping note, I’m going to start posting these in the afternoon instead of the morning to space out the website traffic a bit.  I tend to get all the action in the morning with the Daily Update and this stuff, and then it dies off for the rest of the day, so we’ll experiment a little bit and see what happens.

– In the top story this week, the NWA is starting to run B-shows because they have just so damn many people on the roster now and can’t fit everyone into the regular tour.

– Summerslam was a huge financial success, to the surprise of no one.  With PPV and live gate it made somewhere between $10 million and $12 million, and a buyrate somewhere between 550 – 600K.

– As I noted last week, Terry Taylor did a quick job to Mr. Perfect because he blew out his knee in the first minute and they just went home right away.

– Jake Roberts is petitioning for a retrial due to “inadequate representation” at his original trial, and the WWF is proceeding as though the whole thing is going to just go away shortly.  Meanwhile, Andre the Giant no-showed his first hearing, so they scheduled another one for 9/8.

– Big Vader, wrestling as “Bull Power White”, won whatever title Otto Wanz recognizes in his home promotion, making him the only person to hold two different World titles on two continents under two different names, at the same time!

– Although Stampede was going to close down with the departure of Owen Hart, they decided to power through anyway and keep touring.  Tick, tock.

– The gimmick shows in Memphis, “booked” by Ronnie Gossett, are hitting an all-time low for the promotion with all the stupid movie monster crap that’s killing the towns.

– Master of Pain lost a loser-leaves-town match to Dutch Mantell (wrestling under a mask as Texas Dirt), so I assume he’s on the way to the USWA as PUNISHER DICE MORGAN now.

– The latest brilliant Eric Embry finish: Your lord and savior Embry was wrestling Lawler for the World title, but Lawler kept beating up referee Tony Falk and finally knocked him down.  Embry put Lawler in the abdominal stretch (with Lawler screaming “I quit!” the whole time) until the ref woke up and called for the DQ because of Lawler’s abuse. And because titles change hands on a DQ, Embry was declared the new champion and they did the big celebration.  BUT WAIT.  When the match actually aired on TV, they explained that the people who were in charge of moving the records in the changeover from World Class to USWA had forgot to file the papers detailing the title changing on a DQ rule, so Lawler is still the champion.  Dusty has nothing on Eric.

– Speaking of which, Chris Adams is set to face PY Chu Hi, in a match where Adams gets five minutes with Tojo Yamamoto if he wins, and if Chu Hi wins, Yamamoto gets five minutes to “do whatever he wants” to Toni Adams.  Good lord.  This actually wasn’t a subtext type of angle – they actually shot a TV angle where Tojo ripped open her blouse.  So yes, if Adams doesn’t win, it’s RAPING TIME on USWA TV!

– Aha, suspicions confirmed, as Dave reports a newcomer called The Punisher will soon be debuting in USWA.  Did anyone have a cooler run of wrestling names than Mark Calaway?  Master of Pain, The Punisher, Mean Mark Callous and then The Undertaker.

– Over in Japan, Tatsumi Fujinami is hinting at retirement if his back problems don’t improve.  Is he even retired NOW?

– Dave is getting really tired of poor Toshiaki Kawada doing jobs for Jumbo Tsuruta in their tag matches night after night.  Hopefully it gets better for that Kawada kid!

– Another new women’s promotion will be starting up, thankfully with no connection to David McLane: The LPWA.  That one actually stuck around for a bit.

– The UWF is rumored to be running a Tokyo Dome show with Akira Maeda v. George Foreman in the main event.  Sadly, that did not happen.

– Down in Mexico, there’s this Japanese kid working there to gain experience and people are losing their shit over him.  His name is Yoshinari Asai, but he would gain later fame as The Ultimo Dragon.

– In a wacky story, Hasbro is currently negotiating with Leon White to provide the voice for the Big Van Vader character in cartoon show, like Sgt. Slaughter does for GI Joe.  This would allow Vader to bring the gimmick to the US and work for the AWA or NWA, since Inoki would basically need to sign off on selling the international rights to the gimmick to make the plan work.  As a part of the deal, there will also be Vader dolls and toys produced.

– They finally settled the TV title controversy, as Muta pinned Sting at the Omni before a sellout crowd of 15000 to win that damn thing once and for all.

– Apparently Zubaz was created by the Road Warriors?  MIND BLOWN.  No wonder Hawk wore those stupid things everywhere.  Now I wonder who created the fanny pack?

– NWA jobber Ray Lloyd has retired to become a high school gym teacher again.  Yeah, I feel like his career was ICE COLD anyway.  Things were moving at a GLACIAL pace for him, you know?

– Randy Savage pinned Jim Duggan at the Superstars tapings to win the coveted King title, and they did the big coronation with all the heels.

– In an offhand note in the letters, Dave notes that cable companies have had enough of the WWF v. NWA shenanigans and there will be no more head-to-head battles.  That was actually a pretty major development!

– And finally, Florida Championship Wrestling is “still alive”.  Sadly, however, General Francisco Franco is still dead.