Wrestling Observer Flashback–12.05.85

Previously, on Glee:  https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/05/17/wrestling-observer-flashback-10-16-85/

Flash was awesome tonight, but I think Barry Allen was the only person in the world not to see that ending coming.  No spoilers, but [redacted] might as well have been two days away from retirement and putting a down payment on a boat. 

November is missing, so let’s jump to the STARRCADE ‘85 issue instead!

– Dave’s book is done, but the editors are dragging their feet on getting it out because they’ve got some new ideas about it, which has him worried due to the fact that wrestling merchandise is about to hit rock bottom judging by the sales of the WWF album.  I feel this must have triggered Dave’s lifelong hatred of editing his work given that the book never did come out. 

– It’s almost time for awards, and Dave is disappointed in us all, because there’s too many nominations for Crockett and McMahon guys.  This isn’t some popularity contest where awards are decided by who has the most TV time!  It’s a serious endeavor, where awards like “Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic” are won by “Bob Backlund’s WWF title reign”.

– So the big news was Starrcade ‘85 (which Dave still spells wrong even after weeks of hype on TV!) The show was a resounding financial success for Crockett on closed circuit, drawing close to a million dollars total.  Unfortunately Dave was unable to see the show because the people handling the satellite feed did a cracking good job of scrambling the signal, but he got reports from his minions as follows:

1.  Krusher Khruschev won the Mid-Atlantic title from Sam Houston with a sickle after Houston missed the bulldog.  Original plan was Houston going over here, but Darsow complained loud enough that they decided to switch the title instead.

2.  Manny Fernandez beat Abdullah the Butcher in a Mexican Death match, which was to be won when someone climbed a pole and got a sombrero.  How could Abby ever climb a pole, Dave wonders?  He heard that both guys looked bad.  He heard WRONG, this match ruled.

3.  Ron Bass beat Black Bart in a bullrope match with double juice (Dave notes that 17 guys total juiced on the night) in a pretty good match, and then Bass got 5:00 with JJ Dillon and ended up losing thanks to Bart’s interference. 

4.  Superstar Graham beat Barbarian in an arm-wrestling match, and then won a match by DQ in less time than it took to do the arm-wrestling portion.  Bad match.

5.  Buddy Landel won the National title to the surprise of no one, beating Terry Taylor when JJ Dillon hooked the leg on a suplex attempt.  More blood here as well.  Landel was in line for a big push off this, and as usual ended up fucking it up for himself.

6.  Magnum beat Tully in the I Quit match to regain the US title.  Dave was told that the match wasn’t as good as their usual match due to the microphone hindering them, but it was a good match overall.  I don’t think he ever did go back and evaluate the match himself in the newsletter, making this one of the most crazily underrated matches we’ve come across thus far. 

7.  Ole & Arn Anderson retained the National tag titles over Billy Jack & Wahoo when Arn pinned Haynes using the ropes for leverage.  Haynes pitched a big hissy-fit to Crockett over doing the job here, we later discovered.

8.  Jimmy Valiant & Miss Atlanta Lively beat the Midnight Express when Garvin pinned Condrey after the punch.  Some reports had this as the best match of the show.  COME ON NOW.  It was a really fun brawl, but let’s not go there.

9.  The Rock N Roll Express regained the NWA tag titles from the dirty Russians in a good match, and then poor Robert got destroyed afterwards. 

10.  Dusty Rhodes pinned Ric Flair to apparently win the NWA title in the main event, but of course it turned out to be the first of many (many, many, MANY) Dusty Finishes on major shows.  All the papers were told it was a title change, but Flair is going to “file a protest” with figurehead Bob Geigel and get it overturned because it should have been a DQ when the Andersons interfered. 

– World Class also had a Thanksgiving card, featuring the first big show appearance of Lance Von Erich, plus the Dynamic Duo regaining the tag titles from Kerry & Kevin.  The show drew somewhere between 10-13K, which was a disappointing number. 

– Thanksgiving also saw a head-to-head battle between the WWF and AWA in St. Paul, with Macho Man already laying down for the big boot and legdrop in the main event, brother.  Savage was managed by Bobby Heenan for this show for some reason, to which Hogan countered with Mr. T.  Dave calls him a “slimebag” for reasons that escape me.  Meanwhile, Verne ran a battle royale and gave the win to “Hulk Hogan imitation” Scott Hall, who is apparently better looking but a far worse worker according to Dave. I wonder what he’ll say about Lex Luger, then.  Anyway, apparently Buddy Roberts got really drunk on this show and mooned the crowd, resulting in the Freebirds getting fired.  Sgt. Slaughter, meanwhile, is completely checked out and doesn’t even talk about his opponents during promo time, instead just putting over his line of dolls and toys.  Even with all that going on, they still drew a healthy 12,000 people to the show.

– The next head-to-head match was 11/29 in St. Louis, with the WWF battling the NWA, and both sides struck out.  Only thing of note on the Crockett show was Magnum TA beating Arn Anderson for the TV title, but since he’s already US champion the title was vacated and a tournament will be held. Then why was it a title match in the first place?!  WWF ran with Andre v. Bundy on top and flopped with 4000 people, but next time it’s Hogan v. Funk while Crockett counters with Tully v. Magnum. Yeah, Vince is definitely winning that one.

– That upcoming Crockett show on 1/1 is actually an OUTLAW SHOW, as the Missouri athletic commission has denied his license to run that night because the WWF claimed the date first.  However, Crockett’s strategy is just to ignore them and do it anyway.

– In New Japan, the ex-UWF guys are wanting to return, but Inoki is being stubborn.  However, the TV network desperately wants them back, so much like the Trump presidency, it’s probably gonna happen regardless of what anyone actually wants.

– Amazingly, the Road Warriors are improving by leaps and bounds due to working All Japan and having matches with the best workers in the business every night. 

– Next up on Dave’s rookie radar is “Canadian Superman” Tom Magee, who debuts for All Japan on 1/1 and shows great promise despite only making his pro debut in October.  If only he could have a great match with somebody to fool Vince McMahon into thinking he’s the next Hulk Hogan!

– With Barry Windham apparently gone from the WWF now, his replacement, former Starship Eagle Dan Spivey, has cut his hair to look like Windham and changed his wrestling style to copy him as well. 

–  Hogan is just beating Savage like a drum around the horn already, by the way.

– Crockett is indeed going to try to run the Meadowlands again on 12/29 with an AWA joint card, so I guess he managed to patch things up with Verne again.

– In Memphis, there’s this new team called the Freedom Fighters, who are two huge bodybuilders from California who can’t work a lick.  So you can add that one to the “most understated Observer debuts for future World champion megastars” list.  To be fair to Dave here, no one in their right mind thought those two goofs would last the year in the business, let alone do what they did. 

– Another understated debut, as the AWA section sees newcomer Leon White go to a draw with Scott Irwin. 

– In the WWF, it seems likely that the PPV deal for the Wrestling Classic was a huge flop. 

– The 11/25 MSG show saw the Spider Lady win the Women’s title from Wendi Richter and then unmask as Moolah.  Dave speculates that either Wendi is regaining the title with help from Lauper later, or she’s just leaving the business entirely.  We know which way that one went.

– David Sammartino has suddenly started doing jobs to jobbers, so apparently he and Bruno had a falling out and he’s done now.

– Update on the Bulldogs refusing to sign contracts limiting their Japan appearances:  It looks like they’ll be given the tag titles in exchange for committing to Titan for two years. 

– In World Class, Lance Von Erich is actually getting over pretty big. 

– And finally, apparently Mike Von Erich was in a really bad car accident on 11/17, rolling his car three times but absolutely not injuring his shoulder because that would mean he couldn’t return to wrestling in 1986, you see.  By this point it’s getting harder and harder for the family to cover this shit up, but they give it a good try, saying that Mike and Kevin stayed up to 3:30am watching wrestling tapes and just plum forgot the time, which is why Mike was so darn tired behind the wheel.  In fact, why even bother with a sobriety test, Fritz told the police.  So none was done.  I feel like if they did, this is how it would go…

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