Wrestling Observer Flashback – 11.14.94
“I’m tired of sitting.” – Randy Savage, on his final appearance on Monday Night RAW.
This week, a 10 year relationship falls apart, once and for all.
– Randy Savage, who turns 42 on 11/15, severed his relationship with the WWF in a stunning move, amidst negotiations with WCW that apparently mean things are OK between him and Hulk Hogan again. (Geez, I’m now 2 years older than Savage when he jumped to WCW!)
– After months of Savage previously bashing Hulk in the media, his attitude has now switched to talking about how they’re friends and he doesn’t want to say anything bad about him. Word is that Savage will come in a babyface and then turn on Hulk during the summer to set up a program for Halloween Havoc. (One of Hogan’s friends, TURNING on him? Shocking!)
– Savage had been doing promos that would lead to him being the special referee for a rematch between Bret and Bob Backlund at MSG on 11/26, but when Vince got wind of Randy negotiating with Bischoff, the relationship fell apart. Although Vince was mad about the situation, he still considered Savage to be a good friend and gave him an unprecedented farewell on the 11/7 RAW.
– Savage had been seeking $600,000 per year from WCW but wasn’t going to get it, although Hogan reportedly enticed him over by dangling the prospect of signing Elizabeth to join the storyline. However, she currently has a non-compete clause in her contract that doesn’t expire until 1995, which was included as a part of her deal to leave in 1992.
– With the Halloween Havoc buyrate settling around 0.9, there’s a lot of disappointment inside WCW, and concern about how well the Hogan v. Butcher main event is going to perform at Starrcade. (Spoiler: Not very well.)
– Over to ECW, where Chris Benoit was wrestling Sabu on 11/5 at the ECW Arena, and accidentally dropped him on his head while attempting a suplex. The match was immediately stopped due to Sabu fearing that he had broken his neck, and if SABU requests that the match be stopped, he must have been in extreme amounts of pain. (That’s where Benoit became “The Crippler”, by the way)
– AAA put on their biggest US show in history, “When Worlds Collide”, at the LA Sports Arena on 11/6, co-promoted on PPV with WCW. The show drew 12,000 paid, which makes it the third-biggest attendance of the LA shows they’ve run, and also the third best in Dave’s opinion. Although it was the strongest lineup they’ve done on paper, it didn’t sell out.
– The results of the poll were the third-highest positive response in Observer history, trailing only Wrestlewar 89 and Clash IX. People wouldn’t even pick a worst match!
– This was actually the television debut of Mike Tenay, who did an amazing job on color commentary with Chris Cruise.
– Dave was a tad triggered by the announcers constantly calling wrestlers by their real heights and weights, when the rule is supposed to be that you NEVER go below 6 feet tall for a wrestler’s worked height.
1. Mascarita Sagrada & Octagoncito defeated Espectrito & Jerrito Estrada in the minis match in 8:46. The sound went out for several minutes due to satellite problems, but was filled with incredible moves, although it ended too soon. ****
2. Fuerza Guerrera & Madonna’s Boyfriend & Psicosis defeated Rey Misterio Jr. & Heavy Metal & Latin Lover in 12:54. This was the Rey Mysterio Show. Heavy Metal has been having some personal issues as of late and didn’t look great here as a result. Another excellent match that was too short. ****
3. Pegasus Kid & Too Cold Scorpio & Tito Santana defeated Jerry Estrada & La Parka & Blue Panther in 14:51. This one was the Chris Benoit Show, and the other point of the match was to turn La Parka into a babyface. Tito actually got booed by the heavy Mexican crowd, which was surprising. ***1/2
4. Octagon & El Hijo del Santo defeated Love Machine & Eddy Guerrero in a 2/3 fall double mask vs. double hair match in 22:29. First fall saw the Gringos win with Eddy hitting a rana onto Santo off of Barr’s shoulders, in a move that was debuted here. Then they did a Power & Glory superplex onto Octagon for the second pin, giving them the first fall. Second fall saw Guerrero pin Santo with a top rope rana, but Octagon came back to pin both heels and win the second fall for his team. Third fall had tons of near falls, leading to Love Machine hitting the tombstone on Octagon for the pin, leaving Santo alone against both heels. The Gringos threw all sorts of finishers at him, but Blue Panther pushed Machine off the top rope and Santo gave him a piledriver and pinned him. Guerrero went crazy with suplexes on Santo, but Santo got a surprise cradle and rollup for the pin at 22:29. Guerrero and Barr had their heads shaved backstage. Dave thought it was one of the best matches he’s ever seen live. *****
5. Perro Aguayo beat Konnan in a steel cage match in 17:54. The worst was pretty basic, but the match was bloody as hell. This was actually Perro’s first cage match ever. Lots of crazy interference with Gringos Locos helping Konnan and throwing a drink in Aguayo’s face. Konnan was going to escape the cage, but Cien Caras interfered and stopped him, allowing Perro to hit the double stomp and climb out for the win. And then there was nearly a riot when Eddy got into a fight with a fan and Konnan went into the crowd to back him up. Nobody can build drama and intensity like Aguayo can. ***1/2
– WCW’s latest lawsuit came from Charlie Norris, who is suing the company, and Greg Gagne individually, for racial discrimination and breach of contract. Norris claims he was asked to perform “stereotypical Indian actions in the ring” and then was fired when he eventually refused, with the company citing him as being “lazy and uncooperative.”
– In addition, Norris claims that when he was at the Power Plant, Gagne in particular repeatedly called him “Big Chief” as a rib and tried to teach him how to dance like an Indian. Norris claims that WCW would only push white men as wrestlers and relegated all other races to “character actors” who presented only according to racial stereotypes. (I mean, he’s not entirely wrong.) However, the belief is that Norris is trying to cash in on the recent rep of TBS for settling any lawsuits quickly out of court to get them off the books.
– All Japan is doing an angle where Misawa and Kobashi are refusing to relinquish the tag titles before the annual tournament, claiming that the titles and the tournament are two different things.
– Antonio Inoki is still trying for that match with George Foreman in North Korea, trying to break the Hogan-Andre record. Fun fact from Dave here: It turns out that there were only 78,000 people in the stadium for Wrestlemania III. (So there you go, a historic argument that would rage for the next TWENTY FIVE YEARS begins as an off-hand mention.)
– Anyway, the Foreman idea completely fell apart because he won the title and that kills off any idea of doing a worked wrestling match with Inoki. Some people are just so selfish.
– New Japan is also trying to get on US TV, but TV-Asahi wants to maintain all their rights to the footage, so the deals keep falling apart. (And good thing they did!)
– WAR has a main event on 11/8 of Tenryu v. Fuyuki, with the loser having to raft down the river.
– Frank Shamrock, younger brother of Ken Wayne Shamrock, debuts for Pancrase on 12/16. (I guess that’s an Understated Observer Debut.)
– UWFI is claiming that they have Dan Severn under contract, and thus Dan won’t be working for UFC on 12/16. (They definitely lost that war.)
– Jim Cornette and KC O’Connor finally settled their legal dispute, with Cornette agreeing to pay for the smashed window and all the legal fees.
– Cactus Jack is doing promos in SMW where he claims that he’s there not to win titles, but to save Boo Bradley’s soul and lead him to Heaven. All of which leads up to him saying that he’s in a “Missionary Position” as the big payoff.
– Jim Cornette is trying to manage the Gangstas because they hate the Rock N Rolls as much as he does, but New Jack keeps blowing him off, claiming that Cornette is just another hillbilly who “wants to own a black man.”
– Back to ECW, where Jason finally lost the TV title, to Scorpio on 11/4 in Hamburg. Dean Malenko debuted and won the title later in the same taping, however. And Public Enemy won the tag titles back from Cactus & Mikey on the 11/5 Arena show.
– “Doink the Osborne” missed the show, by the way, because he decided to switch over to the Dennis Coraluzzo promotion. (And he probably regretted that decision for a LONG time.)
– Also on the tapings, they did an angle after the Dreamer-Cairo bloodbath where Sandman revealed that he was faking the blindness all along and destroyed Dreamer to pay off the storyline.
– In another note on the show, the opening with the guitar player screwing up the national anthem and getting chokeslammed by 911 is an inside joke about WWF and WCW having the same problem on their shows. Dave notes that about 40% of ECW seems to be Paul Heyman making inside jokes about the other promotions.
– Tito Santana and Sgt. Slaughter debuted the American Wrestling Federation on 11/4 in Chicago, using a cast of castoffs 10 years too late for most of them. The wrestling was said to be good, but there was only 120 fans in the studio and wrestling is about forward momentum and not reliving the past.
– Jim Crockett’s TV taping was 11/5 before 350 fans at the Sportatorium. He wanted to turn Moadib into Tony Norris, but everyone kept chanting “Moadib” during his match so they’re just gonna go back to that name next week.
– Dave is starting to think the heel-face barriers are breaking down in the Dallas product, and the future of the business might be fans just cheering who they want regardless of which “role” they play.
– Even though Crockett is still part of the NWA, he’ll just be ignoring whoever wins the tournament held by Coraluzzo and using his own champion. (Much like everyone else in the world.)
– Dave notes that a group in Australia is about to run some shows under the name “World Championship Wrestling”, and “boy is there a copyright infringement suit about to take place.” (Frankly I’m shocked WCW didn’t manage to lose the rights to their own name from that one)
– Speaking of WCW, plans have changed again, and now they’ve scrapped all the stuff with Sherri managing Steve Austin, and she’ll be managing Harlem Heat instead.
– The Bruise Brothers, who had debuted on the Disney tapings, have already quit because they didn’t want to do a job to Stars and Stripes.
– Steve Keirn is doing another Skinner gimmick, but not called that.
– Hogan has a new 2 year contract on the table, but hasn’t signed it yet.
– Apparently during the Hogan-Flair match at Havoc, Flair’s daughter Ashley tried to jump the railing and help her father, but got stopped before doing anything stupid.
– Steve Regal will be forming a heel team with fellow aristocrat Jean Paul Levesque.
– Over to the WWF, where “word on the street” is that Backlund is going to win the title from Bret Hart and hold it until the spring, and there’s no plans to take it from him nor any idea who the person will be.
– The Portuguese Man of War debuted, and it was jobber PJ Walker in a new gimmick. He screwed up the finish of his squash and they had to redo it later.
– And finally, also on the RAW tapings, they did a tryout match with some kid named “Matt Hardy” from North Carolina, who was really green but got over doing big moves. (He sounds TREMENDOUS!)