Wrestling Observer Flashback–12.01.86

We’ve gotta skip all of November due to more gaps, but at least I can now promise that everything from now on is 100% complete!  And we didn’t miss Starrcade.

Previously…  https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/06/10/wrestling-observer-flashback-10-26-86/

– Another quiet week in the world of wrestling, as we’re waiting for Starrcade and Superdome results.  Dave thinks the biggest news of the week is the ongoing power struggle in New Japan between Inoki and his very vocal rival Maeda, which could reach “dangerous proportions”, even though he doesn’t expect anything to happen during an upcoming match between them.

– Dave also has some “hazy” stuff about Brody not coming to an agreement with Inoki over money and thus delaying his entry into the tag team tournament with Hansen, although Dave is being deliberately vague because apparently something else is going on with it that he’s not able to talk about.  Part of it is that Maeda actually only signed a one-year contract when he left the UWF, and that contract is coming due.  Not only that, but some very powerful people within the TV network would like him to be the #1 guy in New Japan and replace Inoki.  Inoki’s big plan was to dominantly beat Spinks and thus become a huge star again, but it kind of backfired when Maeda got over much bigger against kickboxer Don Nielsen on the undercard.  Dave is amused at the Japanese papers acting like it was a “shoot” fight between Maeda and Nielsen, which was because fans couldn’t understand Nielsen’s trainer speaking English between rounds and basically laying out the match for him.  It looked like he was giving him advice, but what he was actually saying was stuff along the lines of “Keep doing that, you’re getting over really big” or whatever.

– So Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage did a big angle on TV, with Savage crushing Steamboat’s throat with the ringbell, and Dave said it came off “better than expected.”  That’s practically a glowing review!  He calls it a great match, but then makes sure to note that he watched a Japan tape right after and realized that it was merely a great US match, “if you get my drift”. With that kind of subtlety, how could we not?  He’s also pretty sad that they’re dragging Bruno out of retirement for the angle because it’s basically being shot for three or four cities where Bruno can still get over big in the Northeast and “won’t play anywhere else”.  That is some BULLSHIT right there.  I can speak from personal experience that the group of kids at school who watched wrestling were MOLTEN to see Bruno kick Savage’s ass.  At any rate, Savage will headline with Bruno in the New York / Boston / Philly markets, and it’ll be Billy Jack Haynes everywhere else.  I actually remember that they announced that match for the house show in Vancouver around that time and I forget if it happened or got changed.

– The now-legendary UWF TV episode where all three titles changed hands has given Dave a flood of reader mail praising it, bashing it, or just plain talking all about it, which might be a record.  Dave has since gone on record calling it one of the greatest hours of TV in history, but apparently not everyone shared that belief at the time.  Also, why would they neglect to put that episode up on the Network?  If you’re gonna put 10 episodes up, that one should have been a no-brainer.  One Man Gang might not be the ideal UWF champion (to say the least) but there was reasons why they needed to get it off Terry Gordy, so he understands.

– Dave continues to put over newcomer Tom Magee, at least outside the ring, running down his awesome performance in a strongman competition where he won a bunch of stuff.

– Crockett will be headlining for the next little while with Bunkhouse Stampede main events, but Dave thinks this might lead to problems in California, where no one knows what a “Bunkhouse Stampede” match is.

– Hawk broke his fibula in four places and by all rights should be out for months, so Crockett is just lying and saying that he’s having car troubles at every show to explain his absences.  After a month he’ll return and transition to standing on the ring apron while Animal does all the work against the Midnight Express.  Dave thinks that perhaps it’s still a bit carny to lie about the injury to protect his tough guy image.

– Barry Windham is coming in around Christmas, which Dave thinks is a huge coup for Crockett.

– Sam Houston won the Central States title tournament to the surprise of no one, and he’ll defend his title against Bill Dundee at Starrcade 86.  The show only drew 1500 people in St. Louis, and it was apparently one of the most disorganized ever in the city.  Houston apparently lost twice in the tournament (once to Tully Blanchard and then again to Bill Dundee) and still showed up for the finals at the end of the show, at which point Dave’s correspondent got so fed up that he just went home.  Here’s the actual tournament bracket from Jason Campbell’s site:

Arn Anderson____
                |Anderson___
Dave Peterson___|           |
                            |Houston___
Sam Houston_____            |          |
                |Houston____|          |
Tully Blanchard_|                      |
                                       |Houston___
Bill Dundee_____                       |
                |Dundee_____           |
Robert Gibson___|           |          |
                            |Dundee____|
Todd Champion___            |
                |Champion___|
Teijo Khan______|
 
Brad Armstrong__
                |Draw_______
Rick Rude_______|           |
                            |___________
The Warlord_____            |
                |DCO________|
Dusty Rhodes____|

–  Magnum TA has been upgraded to “fair” and he’ll start rehabbing shortly.

– Dave is offended at Flair’s claims of Starrcade being estimated to gross $15 million off 100,000 fans, because that would make the average ticket price $150 and there’s also no chance of getting 100,000 people to pay for the show.  Flair is also claiming that he will personally take home $1.5 million of that gross, which is even more ridiculous because Dave knows for a fact that Flair made $25,000 off Starrcade ‘85 and this year’s show isn’t making anywhere near that.

– Crockett drew big in Baltimore on 11/22, with about 14,000 in attendance, and the Big Bubba Rogers character is actually getting over big.  Dave calls it a big compliment to the booking acumen of Dusty, making something out of nothing.  Also, Nikita’s babyface run is extremely hot and juicing crowds everywhere.

– To the WWF, where the medics who tended to Steamboat on TV were apparently Dr. Pat Patterson and Dr. Jay Strongbow.

– Kamala is next in line for Hogan after the Orndorff thing runs its course.

– The Islanders are doing a house show run against the Hart Foundation at the moment, which isn’t a big deal, except that the same night as these shows, Tama has been competing in New Japan in six-man matches.  So what’s happening, apparently, is that the future Fatu is working Japan in Tama’s place because no one knows they’re twins at this point.  Kind of weird, though, because they look nothing alike these days.

–  Dave exposes the business yet again, even worse than Ospreay/Ricochet did:  Turns out that the Honky Tonk Man “vote of confidence” storylines (one skit asking for votes, one skit talking about the vote count, one skit with the results to turn Honky heel) were ALL TAPED AT THE SAME SHOW.  I am SHOCKED and appalled that Vince McMahon would betray the voting process like that and just make up the vote totals.  Now I’m wondering if Roman Reigns actually did win that Superstar of the Year Slammy…

–  Dave’s guesses for the Wrestlemania card:

1.  Steamboat v. Savage

2.  Hogan v. Orndorff based on Danny Davis screwing Hulk out of the title.  Well, he was a year early on Hulk getting screwed by a crooked ref.

3.  Vince & Bruno v. Danny Davis & Jesse Ventura

4.  Piper & Mr. T v. Adrian Adonis & Bob Orton

Not quite, Dave.

– To World Class, where Dave’s nightmare team of Lance Von Erich & Dingo Warrior won the tag team titles after Buzz Sawyer decided to leave the territory rather than drop the titles.

– Tony Atlas is now being billled as “The Black Superman” and actually dressing in a Superman outfit.  Not sure how they got away with that one.

– Kerry is actually moving around well and might be back by next summer.

– Buddy Landell, only two weeks after coming into the UWF with a big push, is already no-showing due to his various personal demons and Dave is worried he’s about to blow a very promising career as a result.  Yup, that’s exactly what happened, unfortunately.

– JJ Bins, the Philly commissioner who hangs around WWF shows, is becoming a cult hero in the city, as fans at ringside point him out and chant “We Want Blood” during matches.

– And finally, we finish with a pretty tough riddle to win a year of Observer issues.  The question posed is as follows:  Name the famous Super Bowl NFL quarterback and current pro wrestling personality who were roommates in college.  Answer next time!