Wrestling Observer Flashback–07.20.87

Oh hey, remember a couple of weeks ago when Vince sprung a drug test on the locker room during a TV taping…

– In our top story, the WWF has suspended several wrestlers for testing positive for drugs, including at least one main eventer.  They’ll be suspended for six weeks and pulled from all their bookings.  (Was Sika one of them?  Because then Roman could claim it was some kind of hereditary deal!)  Dave doesn’t know names, but he DOES know that they weren’t tested for steroids, painkillers, or pot, but rather cocaine. (Wellness Policy 1.0).  Dave’s policy is not to reveal names unless they’re fired.  (Because then it’s hilarious!)  Besides, Dave is unconvinced of the legitimacy of these drug tests, and he thinks they weren’t actually done to catch users, but rather to act as a deterrent.  Dave does think that the combination of steroids and painkillers MIGHT become a powder keg later on given the schedules that these guys have to live by, however.

– In lighter news, Steve Williams did in fact win the UWF title from Big Bubba on the 7/11 show in Oklahoma, because DUH.  Amazingly, they did a 20 minute match with “lots of holds” that was supposedly quite good, leading up to Doc finishing him off with the Stampede.  Dusty Rhodes was at ringside, but everyone swears he did nothing to steal the spotlight from Williams.

– Meanwhile, Lex Luger won his first major title, beating Nikita Koloff as a part of the Bash tour in Greensboro.  JJ Dillon threw a chair into the cage and Lex hit Koloff with it and put him in the torture rack for the “submission” win, which in fact saw Koloff already blacked out.  Also on the show, Flair pinned Jimmy Garvin in another cage match, using the figure-four, to win a night with Precious.  Overall, the Bash has been a big success this year, and Dusty deserves credit for actually turning July (typically a dead month) into a big draw.

– Dave himself attended their show in San Fran, which he categorized as “disappointing”, although the building was sold out.  However, overall the problems with Crockett still persist.  While the WWF is laying low and prepping Hogan v. Andre II and Randy Savage’s babyface turn for the fall, Crockett keeps running the same 8 guys on top and Dusty Rhodes always winning and they’re gonna burn out the audiences if they don’t find new main eventers soon.

– JJ Dillon injured his shoulder in the WarGames, so taking his place in WarGames II will be a big masked man named the War Machine, who is definitely NOT Big Bubba, because he’s already booked elsewhere that night.  (And yet somehow it still was him…)

– Dave notes that they’ll be running lots of Flair v. Ron Garvin matches in August, coming off the Precious angle (whatever it ends up being).

– Another program will be Flair v. Hayes (Ugh, I remember that one) and Dave wonders why they don’t do Flair v. Gordy instead and just let Hayes do the talking?

– Dave also advises Ricky Morton not to act so cocky on TV when his popularity is “falling like the 1929 stock market”.  (Thanks, JBL.)

–  David Sammartino is back in the WWF!  And he’s already doing jobs for jobbers.

– Tom Zenk has walked out of the WWF and possibly out of the business completely, sick of the travel (or so he says).

– Dave has read “rumors” about Dino Bravo and Rick Rude’s status in the WWF, but there’s no truth to them.  (Is the rumor that Bravo sucks?  Because if so, that’s TRUE.) 

– The WWF insists on continually advertising Ken Patera to appear on Canadian shows, even though he’s legally not allowed into the country.

– Dave notes that are putting LITERALLY a ton of hype into the Bigelow manager deal.

– We’re still waiting on that Randy Savage face turn, which should come any day now.

– With Jake Roberts still on the shelf with the shoulder injury, they’re using Randy Savage, Bruno Sammartino and even Ricky Steamboat for one-shot matches against Honky Tonk Man while Jake heals.

– A few notes from the UWF show with the Williams-Bubba title match:  Windham did a 45:00 draw with Dick Murdoch in a so-so match for the Western States title, and then afterwards Murdoch cut loose with a string of 27 or so four-letter words while they were still taping for TV.  Terry Gordy and Black Bart had a brawl that was so bloody that people at ringside were getting spattered with it.

– Jim Duggan is trying to return to the UWF, but Crockett seems unsure about him.

– To the always fun World Class area, where they’ve now forgotten about titles changing hands by DQ because Al Perez retained the Texas title on a DQ finish against Tony Atlas.

– Also, they’re now claiming that Kevin Von Erich is the only World champion recognized in Africa, Australia, Japan, Mexico and “Western Canada”. (I’m pretty that sure that neither Al Tomko nor Stu Hart, both of whom were shameless promoters of their sons themselves, were even aware that Kevin Von Erich was supposed to be a World champion). 

– Last week, there was a masked guy named Texas Red in for a tag team tournament who Dave identified as Gene Lewis, who used to wrestle under that name.  However, it wasn’t him, but rather a “tall green guy”.  I think I know who he’s talking about:

– (Or, you know, this could be another patented Wrestling Observer Understated Debut from Dave.  Hopefully that tall green guy got better and amounted to something.)

– Dave saw the TV debut of Wild West Wrestling, with main event star “The Fabulous Lance”, and he thinks it leaves a lot of room for improvement and he’ll leave it at that.  They spend more time putting over the bar that they’re taping at than actually building up wrestlers.

– Randy Rose & Dennis Condrey will be coming into the AWA as “The Original Midnight Express” sometime in the summer.  Dave notes that they are technically correct in calling themselves that, since they did team up in Alabama before Cornette’s team took the name.

– Austin Idol and Tommy Rich are gone from Memphis and won’t be back due to bad blood.

– Lawler has been main eventing against Brickhouse Brown, which have caused houses to drop dramatically, to say the least.

– Sadly, the Hulk Hogan Rock N Wrestling cartoon was cancelled.

– Roddy Piper’s next movie project is a non-union shoot for a film called “Hell Comes to Frogtown”, which leads Dave to believe that he’ll probably be back in wrestling again.

– Terry Taylor is ignoring his injuries on TV because they don’t want fans cheering for him or giving him sympathy, thus ruining his heel run.  (Sure, but all you have to do is spend weeks making inspirational videos about his amazing comeback, and then have him get a huge babyface reaction for his first show back and then turn on the fans for no reason to make him heel again.  SIMPLE!) 

– Dave is outraged at Dusty Rhodes going on TV and accusing Missy Hyatt of being able to suck the chrome off a tailpipe, because it’s low-class humor.  (And yet probably true.  And really, this coming from the guy who spent two years calling someone “Anabolic Warrior”)

– Nick Kiniski got fired by the WWF weeks ago, but Dave finally just noticed this week.

– With Paul E. Dangerously fired from Memphis, he has shown up in the AWA to manage the Original Midnight Express.

– There’s a new Moondog in Memphis called Spike and Dave has no idea who he is.  (According to Cagematch, it’s journeyman Bill Smithson, who passed away in 2013.) 

– And finally, Dave corrects himself from earlier and decides it WILL be Big Bubba Rogers in WarGames II as the War Machine, but he’s mystified as to why they don’t just call him Big Bubba Rogers.