Wrestling Observer Flashback–07.28.86

Hey Scott, any chance of a re-rant of Starrcade 86 once you get that
far in the flashbacks?

All things are possible with Jesus and/or the Olive Garden.  A re-rant of the Big Event is definitely coming when we get there, for instance.

Previously… https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/06/02/wrestling-observer-flashback-07-21-86/


– Sorry, Midnight Rockers fans out there, but Dave was in fact premature in reporting that they had won the tag titles from Rose & Somers.  As with every Vince Russo angle from 1999 – 2007, our heroes forgot to read the fine print and in fact Doug Somers was the illegal man when he was pinned, so the belts have been returned to the champions now that whatever Doug’s issue with the AWA has been cleared up.

– Also, Dave is pretty sure that despite Roddy Piper going on every media outlet he can find and claiming to be retired, he’s full of s--- due to his participation in a rather huge angle that took place at the most recent tapings and seems to indicate a feud with Adrian Adonis.  More on that later.

– As an update on the continuing disaster that was the Memphis stadium show, paid attendance may have been as low as 800 people (IN A STADIUM!) which is like TNA levels.

– So to the real news, as “World” champion Chris Adams was arrested and hauled off an airplane for an “altercation” that involved making death threats to the co-pilot, and later turned out to be headbutting a stewardess.  He’s being charged with felony counts of interfering with a pilot and attempted assault on a pilot, which could mean a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  He didn’t get that, but he did serve some pretty serious time and it was a major embarrassment for the company to boot.

– There’s some pretty bad blood brewing between Bill Watts and Jim Crockett, as they run in opposition to each other in several markets in the south and midwest but are apparently going to try co-promoting a show in Texas because the only thing they hate more than each other is Fritz Von Erich.  I’m constantly astonished that wrestling promoters can get ANYTHING done without trying to backstab each other.  It’s just in their DNA or something.

– In World Class, the hot young tag team of the moment is Dingo Warrior and Mark Lewin.  Talk about a downgrade from Sting.

– Fritz’s next plan to revitalize the tag team scene:  Bring in the Mod Squad from Memphis and feud them with the Batten Twins.  Dave says that he legit thinks this is gonna be Midnights v. Fantastics all over again.

– Dave finally got a chance to see Mike Von Erich 2.0 on the 7/7 show in Fort Worth and he was just agape at what he saw, likening it to watching Kendall Windham when he first started as far as someone who doesn’t look like they even belong in a wrestling ring, let alone winning matches.  Clearly, Dave notes, he came back far too soon and in fact probably shouldn’t have come back at all.

– With Kevin out with a legit shoulder injury, the territory is falling apart faster than ever, leaving Lance Von Erich to carry things as top babyface at the moment.  That should tell you everything.

– Crockett debuts in Inglewood California on 8/28 featuring – SURPRISE SURPRISE – Ric Flair v. Dusty Rhodes on top.  Dave is annoyed, but unsurprised, that Dusty somehow feels he’s a nationally known name that can just headline in new markets like that.

– In addition to Dutch, Bill & Budro from Memphis, Crockett is also bringing in Bobby Jaggers, although Dave can’t see a role for him.

– Dave thinks that the Rock N Rolls will regain the tag titles in August because he can’t see them waiting until November.  Good call there, Dave.

– OK, lots of WWF news to go over this week, coming out of the latest TV tapings.  Into the promotion are Dick Slater (who is already flopping as “The Rebel”), and new manager Slick to replace Fred Blassie.  Interesting note here, as Dave admits that he actually knows Kenneth Johnson because they would attend the shows together in Dallas when Dave was living there.

– One of the seeds planted was JYD smashing up the Flower Shop set, which causes Adrian Adonis to hire free agent Bob Orton as his bodyguard.  So of course Roddy Piper will likely be unimpressed with that when he returns.

– Jesse Ventura officially announced his retirement because the health concerns were getting so serious that he couldn’t get licensed to work anywhere.  He actually got his movie deal on his own, and not through the WWF, so he’s not beholden to Vince like Piper is.  Yeah, that became ABUNDENTLY clear a few years later.

– The WWF wants to clear out all the old merch before introducing a staggering array of babyface Piper merch, so all the old stuff is ridiculously cheap at the arena shows right now.

– The WWF’s swing through Western Canada drew monster numbers, around 16,000 per show at Calgary and Vancouver.  I’m kind of excited to see if Dave reports on the Vancouver show later in the year that was my first ever WWF house show, with Hogan v. Bundy on top!

– Dave mentions the Bruno/Tito v. Savage/Adonis cage match at MSG on 7/12, which drew 16,000 as well, and notes that the unique WWF escape rules for cage matches were actually invented for Bruno in the 70s, because he was wrestling Stan Hansen and neither guy wanted to do a job, so they came up with the “walk out the door” finish for cage matches so Stan didn’t have to lie down.

– With the Machines working dates on top against Studd & Bundy, that actually gives the WWF a solid B-show main event so that they hit the same city twice (one with Andre, one with Hogan) before burning it out.  And Piper as a babyface should be a good main event drawing card to sub for Hogan as well. Plus indications are already there that this Hogan v. Orndorff feud might liven up crowds a bit.

– Koko B. Ware is coming in, with the plan being that Butch Reed can destroy a series of low-level black guys to lead up to the big feud with JYD.  Yikes. Between that and Slick’s racially offensive stereotype character, it’s a bit dodgy to be a black guy in the WWF.  I’m surprised Akeem didn’t suffer more racial intolerance than he did.

– John Studd was actually shooting angles where he turned babyface on Bundy, but when George Scott got fired that whole storyline went away.

– Apparently there was a fan incident in Memphis during a tag match with Fire & Flame v. The Nightmares, a “fat lady fan” attacked Roger Smith (Fire) and he responded by beating on her and suplexing her guy on the floor.  The heels were then suspended for life on TV as punishment.  Dave concedes that this might have been a setup.  YOU THINK?!

– The longest running joke in wrestling finally ended, as Florida crowned tag champions again after months of vacancy.  In true wrestling fashion, they just had a fake tournament in “Portland” and gave them to the Fabs.  The titles had actually been vacant since Starrcade ‘85 (Wahoo and Billy Jack were champs and Haynes basically just walked out on the titles after the show) and they even held a tournament in March that ended up somehow having no winner.

Dave News Flash


– Big Bob Owens shat his pantaloons during a match in St. Joseph, MO, turning his bright yellow trunks dark brown by the end.  You think Bill Apter is gonna report on the REAL news like this?  THINK AGAIN.

– In the start of a WON tradition, Dave introduces “X looking for Y” request into the reader pages.  I also have to pass along the best letter of the week, written by someone who has to look like the “Back in my day” meme come to life.  If you think Dave is grumpy as f---, check out this list of grievances:

1.  Selling is bad. The Bruiser didn’t sell anything for anything, and people RESPECTED him.

2.  He thinks Dave should shut his hippie mouth about Brian Adias, who is a tough, clean wrestler that everyone can respect.

3.  He doesn’t care about the size of the crowd or the gate, and feels wrestlers should try their hardest no matter how many people are in the building.

4. He only admires LOU THESZ as World champion, and not Ric Flair.  Flair is too big-headed with success and he won’t let his own kids admire Flair.  Now Nick Bockwinkel is someone kids should look up to.  Also, Rick Martel.  Maybe Bruno, because he tells it like it is about the WWF.  Also, we need more wrestlers like Bob Backlund.

johnny unitas


– In the late notes, Nikita Koloff is now up 3-0 on Magnum in their US title series, but Magnum should win the next three straight to setup the finale in August.

– And finally, on the last page in the last paragraph, Dave off-handedly notes that he saw the Hogan-Orndorff turn on TV this week, but wasn’t paying attention to it.  “Seemed good, though.”  I just don’t even know what to do with that.