Previously on Dave’s of our Lives: https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/04/25/wrestling-observer-flashback-april-1984-part-2/
Dave’s getting ready to move back to California as we head into May. Does he have an aching in his heart? Let’s find out!
– Thankfully nobody died this month, so Dave’s top story is an examination of the North American wrestling scene, broken down by territory.
– First up, New York, which can easily support three or four promotions, and yet the WWF is the only one to ever make any serious attempts at staying there. A combined Georgia/Mid-Atlantic show will be hitting the Meadowlands in May, but the only TV available is a Spanish station, so Crockett is pushing the shit out of Carlos Colon as his headliner and will probably run with Flair v. Race on top now.
– The biggest war right now is over St. Louis, where Vince alternates shows with the Geigel/Gagne twosome and both sides are pulling out all the stops and typically selling out every week. One week you’ll get Flair v. Brody, the next Hogan v. Studd. Of course it goes without saying that the WWF product is total crap, but Dave says it anyway. Oddly, the wild card in the whole thing is Fritz Von Erich, because his WCCW show is the most popular in the city and both sides are trying to work with him and bring in the Von Erichs. The other wild card is Sam Muchnick, who apparently sees what a shit job that Geigel is doing with the territory and now wants to return. This would put Vince at an advantage because Muchnick’s protege, Larry Matysik, is a Vince team member.
– San Fran is the big head-to-head battle between the AWA and WWF, and Vince won that one handily thus far. He literally stole Verne’s TV slot out from under him (the AWA wasn’t even told by the station until the day the show was supposed to air!) and Verne’s big show at the Cow Palace in March as a complete debacle due to scheduling mishaps and no-shows. Dave is pretty sure that Vince can run the AWA out of town whenever he wants.
– In Greensboro, Vince is picking off NWA talent (Piper, Valentine, Orton) and now the WWF TV show will be airing in that city for the first time. Later we found out that the Carolinas were a particularly tough nut for Vince to crack.
– In Memphis, Vince is also there with TV when no one thought he’d try it. Dave describes Memphis as a totally different audience, not really wrestling but wrestling with comedy flair. Like indoor soccer, which isn’t really soccer but he likes it better than regular soccer. Dave thinks that if Vince can pick off Lawler or Austin Idol he might have a shot, but otherwise people will go once and then realize how much fun the regular Mid-South Coliseum shows really are.
– In Dallas, Vince is also running TV, but this is one place where he’s not going to win the war. If he tries to oppose Fritz and the Von Erichs without first getting the Freebirds or the Von Erich kids himself, he’ll die in Texas. This was absolutely true and Dallas ended up being a market that the WWF could not draw in to save their lives until well into the Attitude era.
– Minnesota is the one place where Vince can’t even get on TV because it’s too much of an AWA stronghold. That would eventually change, but not yet.
– Toronto is going downhill fast and Vince recently tried to buy the Maple Leaf Wrestling TV show away from Jack Tunney, and is already running big shows in opposition. As it turned out, Vince did buy the territory out completely and made Tunney the figurehead president to replace Hisasha Shinma.
– In San Antonio, there’s no Vince yet, but the battle is between Southwest Wrestling and World Class. Fritz is winning that one pretty handily.
– In Indianapolis, Dick the Bruiser’s WWA is soon to become extinct and he’ll likely just let the AWA take the city over.
– In Ohio, it’s a battle between the Georgia group and the WWF, and Vince is winning thus far. Dave feels like Ole deserves to lose for running Jake Roberts v. Ron Garvin as the main feud anyway.
– In conclusion, the WWF is going to keep expanding, and Ole Anderson will keep making stupid moves.
– Speaking of stupid moves, Dave reprints a newspaper article about the arrest of Ken Patera and Mr. Saito after their drug-fueled brawl at a McDonalds, and his takeaway is “Man, it’s kind of weird how the media exaggerates heights and weights, and it’s also weird how this minor story gets big play but everyone kind of ignored the Snuka story.” Of course this story would get much more important very shortly. I wonder if Dave just didn’t think Patera would serve time?
Stay tuned later tonight for our trip through the news about the territories!