Wrestling Observer Flashback–10.30.89

Who else is with me on getting Robert from 60 Days In to sign with WWE as the greatest heel manager of all time?  Vince can stick him into a Hell in a Cell match with Undertaker and he’ll be like “I call it Meditation in a Cell!” and people will want him to DIE.  No wonder Smackdown is getting its ass kicked by that show on Thursdays.

– Apparently John Tenta went on a huge rampage in California this week and interrupted the World Series.  No?  Nothing?  OK, moving on.

– Anyway, yes, this is the week where a major earthquake caused the postponement of a World Series game and did billions of dollars in damage, and more importantly meant that Dave temporarily lost his usual telegraph service or however he was still getting info in 1989 while putting these out on a friggin’ typewriter.  So it’ll be a slow news week.  Also, the postponed World Series game was moved to the same night as Halloween Havoc, so that’ll suck for the buyrate.

– The extortion trial for Lia Maivia began in Hawaii this week.  I was wondering if Dave was ever going to follow up on that one!  Basically the defendants are all telling completely different stories and claiming that the voice the police have on tape (where Maivia’s associate basically calls and threatens to kill the defendant and his family if he doesn’t pay them $5000 and get out of promoting on the island) is a forgery.  Meanwhile Maivia is continuing on with her PR campaign to save her image, promoting a wrestling show where proceeds go to fight drug abuse on the island.  I feel like Kerry Von Erich should be involved in this story somehow.

–  The LA Coliseum is still the leading candidate to get Wrestlemania VI.  Don’t count out Toronto yet, though!

– For those, like myself, anxiously awaiting Roller Games news this week, here you go:  The company that bankrolled syndication for the new show has already filed for bankruptcy, which pretty much puts a bullet in the whole endeavor.

– Dave goes into a discussion of the problems that the NWA is having right now, as one year into this new “World Championship Wrestling” company, Turner is losing millions on it.  Dave runs down four options (Stay the course, cut their losses right now, scale it back to regional, or throw a shitload of money at it and compete with the WWF once and for all) and we all know which one eventually proved to be the most successful.  Clearly, though, Flair has no direction or goal as booker right now and they need to make a change.

– As an update on Inoki, apparently he was actually stabbed a lot worse than the pro-Inoki media was initially trying to pass off.  He suffered a deep, 6 cm long gash in his neck and lost 2000 CC of blood, and was ordered home for a month to recover.

– Atsushi Onita’s wacky new FMW promotion appears to be a hit, as he has now lured Tarzan Goto and Dick Murdoch over to his circus and drew sellout crowds this past week.  And with gimmicks like “Boat People Joe”, “Monkey Magic Wakita” and “The Sambo Kid”, how could it NOT be a success?

– You know what’s NOT a success?  The Blackhearts gimmick in Stampede, as they’ve now fired both guys playing the role and are looking for new people to be under the masks.  And these are the tag team champions, mind you!

– Afa & Sika are running a card in Philly in opposition to the WWF coming up, with a main event of themselves against John Studd & Junkyard Dog in a match that Dave thinks will literally have to be seen to be believed.

– Dr. Jonathan Holliday went to the police and snitched out Jerry Morrow and Dynamite Kid as the guys who beat him to a pulp in the dressing room, so don’t worry, Chris Benoit’s name has been cleared!  Man, if you made a handbook of everything to do wrong if you want to ensure a career in our so-called sport, Holliday could write the foreword.

– Angel Acevado is the new booker in Puerto Rico (aka The Cuban Assassin from Stampede) so apparently all the Stampede guys are getting ready to abandon ship and start working down there instead.

– Akira Maeda is the latest person trying to put together a fight with Mike Tyson, although he’ll have to get in line behind Bam Bam Bigelow!  In Imaginary Land.  Dave jokes that it’s telling how the biggest fights that Tyson has left are all with wrestlers.  Oh Dave, don’t speak so soon…

– TBS has ordered a stop to all blood on NWA product, be it TV, PPV or house shows.  That didn’t last long.

– Dave talks about how TBS is sending someone to do a piece on Friar Tormenta, the priest who wrestles in Mexico part-time to fund an orphanage. That story actually ended up being a movie starring Roddy Piper in his final role last year.  I think the basic story was also adapted into Nacho Libre with Jack Black if I’m not mistaken.

–  Referee Joey Marella was in a car accident and ruptured his spleen, and is in critical condition in the hospital.  Luckily, he pulled through THAT one.

– Barry Windham was mysteriously pulled from the booking sheets for two weeks straight with no explanation.

– Koko B. Ware was fired during the European tour after getting into a fight in a bar.  That story is actually in Bret Hart’s book, in fact.

– The Rockers were also fired on the tour, but re-hired the next day.

– And finally, apparently there’s some obscure law on the books in England where you can’t stage a wrestling match between two people from non-Commonwealth countries, so WWF had to book a bunch of British indy geeks to grease the commission.  Good to know this kind of bullshit was universal at that point.