Wrestling Observer Flashback–10.26.86

Previously… https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/06/08/wrestling-observer-flashback-10-06-86/

Unfortunately we skip another couple of weeks, but that just gets us closer to 1987, I guess.

Also unfortunately, this week is a very sad one for fans of the NWA…

– The big story of the week is of course the horrific car wreck involving Magnum TA that ended his career and nearly his life.  At the time of this newsletter, he was in critical care with a broken neck and paralysis from the chest down after crashing his Porsche at 55 miles an hour.  Apparently he was surprisingly calm through the whole thing and talked with rescue workers the whole time without losing consciousness.  Now that’s a tough son of a bitch.  He wasn’t expected to live, but had been upgraded to “serious” by two days afterwards, before falling back into critical condition again and needing life support systems to continue.  The hospitals have been flooded with flowers and teenage girls, although Allen is taking it remarkably well and seems happy to be alive.

– Jim Duggan appeared to be a lock to head to the WWF last week, but now it seems like his mind hasn’t been made up yet.  Watts desperately wants to keep him because of the national expansion plans.

– The strip-mining of the Montreal promotion continues, as now Dino Bravo (who was booking and running the promotion behind the scenes) has been taken by the WWF in a package deal with the Can-Am Connection and Frenchy Martin (who, Dave notes, is actually Rick Martel’s older brother.)  Steve DiSalvo is also part of the deal, but he’ll be sent to Dallas to learn how to work because he’s “future superstar material” in Dave’s eyes.  How he can complain about the quality of WWF’s product and then champion Jack Victory and Steve DiSalvo as future superstars is beyond me.

– He also clarifies that despite being mostly dead, the Montreal promotion is not quite all the way dead.  Not as long as they’ve got Gilles “The Fish” Poisson on the roster, by golly!  And yes, that was his name.  They’ve also got Dan Kroffat, and poor Dave has to then try to explain the difference between Kroffats.  The Kroffat here is the future Phil LaFon, not the original from Calgary.

– Inoki’s business-killing freakshow ended up drawing 11,000 people for somewhere between $800,000 – $1.2 million, making it the largest gate in pro wrestling history.  Inoki pinned Leon Spinks in the eighth round of whatever their match was supposed to be, cradling him after a double-leg and getting a five count.  Inoki wore boxing gloves and the crowd was said to be very disappointed in the quality of the match.  THE QUALITY OF THE MATCH?!  Anyway, speaking of quality, the undercard saw Lance Von Erich make his Japanese debut against Kengo Kimura and HOO BOY did that not go very well for him.  Kimura basically roughed him up and left him with broken ribs and broken fingers, and Lance disappeared after the show and missed the rest of the tour.  He finally called home to Fritz to check in and Fritz told him to man up and finish the tour, but New Japan politely declined any further dates for poor stupid Lance.  Dave notes that most of it was Fritz’s fault, because he should have known that Lance had no legit wrestling background and had no way to defend himself against freakin’ KIMURA if things went south.  The dude’s got an armlock named after him!

– Apparently the show was such a success that the plan is to come back in May with Maeda v. Bruiser Brody on top.  I’d like to hear the negotiations for that one.  Anyway, apparently the whole thing was so that the IBF could get a foothold into promoting in Japan, and the price was sending one of their top boxers to do a job to Inoki.  And, Dave points out, in the end there’s little different between boxers and wrestlers aside from needing a little bit more money to grease a boxing promoter.

– Starrcade ‘86 is coming up next month and Dave still has no idea what’s happening with it.  Apparently there was some kind of stip match between Magnum and Nikita planned that’s now out the window, and “obviously” the main event is going to be Ric Flair v. Ron Garvin, which Dave thinks would be insane.  Speaking of insane, the co-main event is rumored to be a scaffold match between the Midnight Express and the Road Warriors, and Dave is like “Why would you ever agree to go 16 feet up in the air alone with the Road Warriors?”  I can’t even imagine what a flop that Flair v. Garvin at that show would have been.

– The next SNME tapings will feature Randy Savage v. Jake Roberts in a heel-heel match, although Dave suspects that Jake is turning anyway because he gets more cheers than most of the babyfaces.

– Over to Crockett, where Dave wasn’t terribly impressed by the “Make it look good” skit where Dusty had his arm broken.  He notes that videotaping a violent crime against someone and broadcasting it on national TV is how most people would end up behind bars.

– Back to Magnum, as Dave has learned that doctors had to take bone from his pelvis and put it into his neck, with hopes that he’ll walk again someday.  Wrestling is out of the question, of course.

– The vacated Central States title will be decided in a tournament filled with big stars from Crockett, and Sam Houston.  Dave thinks that Sam will get to beat a genuine star like Tully or Arn to win the thing.  Aw, that’s sweet of Dave to say. Sam actually got to beat Bill Dundee.

– Buddy Landell was supposed to be the other “main eventer” in Central States but jumped to the UWF instead and will start there next week.

– Also next week, apparently the UWF TV show will feature three title matches!  That sounds like it might be a good show.

– The Cotton Bowl show for World Class was a Cotton BOMB (that’s my joke, not Dave’s, so make sure all hilarity is attributed to the right place on that one), drawing only 5800 people for a show headlined by Brody v. Abdullah.

– George Welles has come to Dallas, and has bleached his hair blond like Butch Reed and is calling himself Master G.  Oh god, I remember that.

– With the stadium show such a miserable flop, Fritz Von Erich is threatening to come out of retirement again against Abdullah at the next big show on Thanksgiving, with Kevin Von Erich defending his “World” title against Black Bart on the undercard.




– Mike Von Erich is so bad…

(How bad IS he, you might ask?)

– Mike Von Erich is so bad that Dave is now sure that Dingo Warrior is only the SECOND worst wrestler in the world.

– Speaking of bad, the AWA ran their annual battle royale show in St. Paul, and only drew 1500 people (down from 12,000 the year before).  So that’s not good.

– John Nord quit the promotion abruptly due to his wife having “a little barbarian” and he’s working as a car salesman for his family business while he decides what he wants to do with his life. Dave thinks that the smart wrestlers won’t be burning their bridges when all their employment options are getting destroyed by Vince and Crockett.

– Speaking of burning bridges, Scott Hall no-showed the card, and is strongly rumored to be headed into the WWF.

– Buck Zumhofe is supposed to be returning for an upcoming Chicago show, but “there was no physical evidence concerning this malicious rumor at the St. Paul show.”  I know at the time it was all just hearsay and whispers, but Zumhofe really is a monster and I hope people are doing horrifying things to him in prison right now.  And really, lots of people could have stopped him and no one chose to do so.

– It appears that the Midnight Rockers are staying in the AWA for a while, because the WWF doesn’t want them.  Yet.

– To Florida, where it sounds like Jack Victory has a serious competitor for Dave’s affections in the form of this Ron Simmons kid.  He’s only been wrestling for two weeks but he has the body of Hercules and looks like Billy Dee Williams, although his college football career came to an end when he got caught ripping off stereo equipment and suddenly was viewed as damaged goods.  Anyway, Dave thinks that he’ll be an all-timer if he doesn’t screw it up.

– Lex Luger was FINALLY booked in an angle where he had to sell something, getting beat up by all the heels and bloodied while saving Kendall Windham.

– On 10/12 in Orlando, Barry Windham reportedly took a bump from the upper deck to a platform in the lower deck during a falls count anywhere match.  I presume a young New Jack was in the crowd and got inspired to be a wrestler by that.

– In Memphis, the latest terrible babyface team name is Ric McCord and John Paul – EXCITEMENT, INC!   Dave notes that never has a name fit worse.

– In the most Memphis match possible, Jerry Lawler and a team of five faced Tojo Yamamoto and his team of five in a LAST BLOOD match, where it’s Survivor Series rules but the only way to be eliminated is to be busted open.

– In Hawaii, Lia Maivia and Lars Anderson have apparently ended their business relationship over a big argument.  That’s a shame.

– To the WWF, where in addition to the rumored Scott Hall addition, Tom Magee will also be coming in after doing a tryout match with Bret Hart in Rochester and apparently stealing the show.  Man, that sounds great, does anyone have a tape?

– Jimmy Jack Funk has been no-showing for about two weeks and finally just quit completely.

– This Honky Tonk Man character has been a complete flop for Wayne Ferris thus far, since he’s supposed to be a babyface but gets heavily booed wherever he goes.  However,the gimmick is the personal brainchild of Vince McMahon, so Dave is pretty sure that any objections will be cheerfully ignored and he’ll be repackaged until he gets over somehow.

– Funny note:  Vince wanted a bleached blond black guy so badly that had negotiations with Butch Reed fallen through, he had promised the same spot to Rocky Johnson.

– The WWF is moving from the big arenas for TV tapings to smaller fieldhouses again, because they’re easier for Hulk to sell out.

– If you want tickets to a Saturday Night’s Main Event taping and try to get ringside seats, you’ll be out of luck because Vince doesn’t put them on sale.  Instead he holds them for himself and puts planted fans there to assure the best reactions for TV.

– And finally, Bret Hart’s younger brother Owen is working prelim matches as a green rookie on the West Coast tour, outworking everyone on the show by far, which Dave notes is pretty pathetic.  He’s probably got a future in the business, I think.