Wrestling Observer Flashback – 08.07.95
Gonna try to get these consistently out on Friday mornings now.
Guys, it’s looking like Ricky Morton might not be around the business for much longer.
– In the top story this week, Ricky Morton was fired from both SMW and USWA at the same time, while involved in the super-hot SMW/USWA feud, due to his girlfriend getting into a fight with Tracy Smothers’ girlfriend. Basically all four people were at a bar in Tennessee on 7/8 and Morton got into a very loud argument with longtime girlfriend Andrea Calloway that led to him getting beat up by her. (He was desperately looking for someone to make the hot tag the whole time!) So then Angela Lambert, who is Smothers’ fiancé, jumped in and started beating on Andrea to get her off Morton, and then finally everyone calmed down and decided to go to Lambert’s house. And then a fight broke out in the car AGAIN between the women, with Lambert jumping into the back seat with Calloway and giving her two black eyes, which led to assault charges getting filed by Morton’s girlfriend against Smothers’ girlfriend.
– However, when Calloway gave her statement to the police, the story had become that she was beaten up by both Tracy Smothers and Angela Lambert, with the pair supposedly dragging her out of the back of the car while bleeding and in pain, and then slamming the door on her and threatening to kill her. (Hopefully someone yelled “MAKE IT GOOD!” first.)
– Naturally, this led to some tension between Morton and Smothers at the SMW shows, with Ricky no-showing a few promo shoots and reportedly getting into fights with Tracy backstage. Further, Ricky’s girlfriend had been working for both SMW and USWA as manager for the Rock N Roll Express and also handled the merch table for them. So that arrangement quickly came to an end to hopefully prevent any further eruptions of violence. Further, the story of Tracy Smothers getting arrested for allegedly assaulting a local woman was starting to make the rounds, so Randy Hales and Jim Cornette both tried desperately to convince Morton that he needed to make his girlfriend drop the charges. Hales and Cornette even agreed to cover any court costs of doing so and would cover medical bills for Morton’s girlfriend to make the story go away.
– However, Calloway refused to drop the charges, so the arrest of Smothers went through, which both Hales and Cornette thought was complete bullshit since Smothers was seemingly an innocent victim here and it was only his fiancée who was guilty of assault. So Morton was fired by both groups, since they figured that he should be able to control his woman. (I gotta say, there’s some pretty messed up justifications on all sides here. Really Smothers is the only one who doesn’t come off like a complete douchebag.)
– Cornette actually gave Morton another chance to smooth things over and said he would hire him back if things went away, but instead Morton deliberately took a booking with an outlaw promotion in Knoxville in order to spite Cornette. And that was that. (SMW wasn’t around for much longer anyway and the feud with USWA was really the last gasp of a dying company.)
– For those wondering, Robert Gibson will still be used by both groups moving forward.
– In case you haven’t had your fill of Tennessee drama, there’s more on the situation with Jeff Jarrett and the Roadie leaving the WWF. To recap, they both walked out in the middle of the In Your House II show, allegedly because they felt their on-screen split was progressing too quickly. Jarrett and WWF officials were still talking after the split and trying to patch things up, since the company actually thinks he’s an important enough talent to forgive an unforgiveable dick move like walking out on a PPV. (He really did get a lot of chances after burning bridges!) Plus the company is desperately thin on the heel side at the moment. Jarrett does still have several months left on his contract and would be unable to work elsewhere, and so does Roadie. Roadie will be working SMW in the meantime, though.
– Fingers are mainly being pointed at Jerry Jarrett, who is currently employed as a consultant in the WWF, getting in his son’s ear and telling him that losing his title and losing his Roadie in the same night would be something of a burial for him. Dave notes that this was known as the Bruiser Brody strategy, where you’d get built up to the top and then leave before you had to do jobs on the way down. Although Jeff says he voiced his concerns about the angle several times to key people and those key people admit that he did so, Vince McMahon claims to have heard nothing from anyone regarding all the unhappiness. (I’m PRETTY sure that Jerry at the very least would have been telling Vince this stuff, so I’ve gotta call bullshit there.) Most importantly, they want to get both guys back by Summerslam to recoup the money spent on the music video.
– Oh man, you guys, things are looking dire for this proposed new WCW show on Monday night! They’ve been trying to get some hot new talent in and it’s not happening, apparently. Al Snow was supposed to come in, but he’s going to the WWF now and so that’s fallen through. (Think how differently the Monday Night Wars would have gone with Al Snow on the WCW side!)
(I just like being mean to Snow, what can I say?)
– Anyway, Snow was never actually offered a deal by WCW, despite promises from Bischoff that he would be. So Al signed with the WWF instead, after they picked him up in a limo and gave him a much more exciting pitch for his services. (Joke’s on him I guess.)
– Eddy Guerrero was also supposedly signing with WCW, but that deal fell through as well and he returned to ECW and got the TV title back. The concern is becoming that WCW won’t be able to sign any new top talent because they’re trying to cut costs so much and won’t give anyone guaranteed contracts. (Yes, you read that right: ERIC BISCHOFF is being criticized because he WON’T spend money and WON’T offer contracts!)
– Speaking of cost-cutting, more updates on the bloodletting in the WWF offices. Tony Garea was fired because they hired Mike Rotunda as a road agent and felt he was a better deal due to his ability to act as last-minute substitute at house shows if needed. Although Doink and King Kong Bundy are being phased down, they aren’t fired yet because they have name value and will be working small shows in the Northeast. Hakushi’s manager Shinja was fired and written off the show by Bret Hart. Hakushi himself was supposed to be going, but was so impressive in the Bret Hart match that he’s now sticking around for a while. The Heavenly Bodies are technically not fired but will be going to SMW and USWA to replace the Rock N Roll Express.
– To Japan, where WAR is changing their name from “Wrestle and Romance” to “Wrestle Association R”. In addition, they’re pushing Typhoon as a top guy and doing a tag team stable with Dr. Luther and Big Titan as “Team Canada”. (Good times ahead for that promotion!)
– Terry Funk’s career-ending back injury has gotten better and he’ll be working the entire IWA tour instead of just one last show for them.
– To Memphis, where the territory has caught fire as a result of the SMW feud, and now is getting hotter with Doug Gilbert returning to the territory in the name of his late brother and Terry Gordy debuting on the SMW side. Even with the WWF in town for TV tapings, crowds were still strong.
– On the SMW side, shows were scarce despite the upturn in business on the USWA side of the feud. Although they did a TV taping where Buddy Landel did the promo of his career talking about throwing away his entire career for drugs and alcohol and how he blew shot after shot as a result. But now he’s dropped the booze, found God, and he’s clean and sober and ready to reclaim his place in the business again. (Don’t worry, he’d have plenty of more chances to blow yet to come.)
– To ECW, where Little Snot Dudley was in a serious car accident and might be done, so the Dudley Boys tag team is just one guy now. (Hopefully they can find some more Dudleys.)
– Dave watched some Eddy Guerrero matches on ECW TV and thinks that he doesn’t quite have the charisma of a Shawn Michaels, but he might be a better worker.
– Ricky Morton is trying to get into ECW as a part of Raven’s crew.
– Tod Gordon’s jewelry store was robbed on 7/27, although there’s no word on how much was taken. (No truth to the rumor that cheques suddenly started clearing from Paul Heyman right afterwards.)
– And now, time for a unique edition of…
– The Hart Family ran a show at a rodeo in Calgary on 7/22 and 7/23, featuring a bunch of former Stampede guys. In addition, the second night featured a kids’ tag team match, with Stu’s nine year old grandson Harry Smith opposing a team of fifteen year old Teddy Annis & Matthew Annis. (Matthew probably would have gotten into the business as well, had things not gone horribly tragic for him the next year. Let’s just leave that one alone.)
– To WCW, where the mystery TNT show will be debuting at the Mall of America on 9/4, with a three hour taping that will feature one hour live and then two hours taped for WCW Saturday Night the following week.
– WCW will also be putting Marcus Bagwell together with USWA jobber Scott Studd (“a Tom Zenk lookalike” according to Dave) as a “Fabulous Ones type tag team”. (That’s one way of putting it.) In even bigger news, the State Patrol might be reunited to fill TV time and get a push!
– The upcoming twist in the Sherri-Parker feud will be that Sherri is going to hit her head at the Clash of Champions and wake up with amnesia, in love with Parker. Also, Big Bubba Rogers is going to return with severe itching because he’s allergic to the imaginary rabbit. (Was that really a thing? Apparently it was. Oh, WCW.)
– Jim Duggan is also doing interviews claiming that his grandmother was taped fist champion of County Cork, which is going to set up his new gimmick as master of the taped fist matches.
– Arn Anderson and Ric Flair continue doing their argument gimmick to set up their match at Fall Brawl, with Flair kicking Arn out of the limo.
– Cobra debuted for WCW as the evil nemesis of Craig Pittman, using a cobra clutch as a finisher, and looked awful.
– Kurasawa also debuted, doing a gimmick where he breaks the arm of every jobber he faces, and he looked like he was wrestling in slow motion. (As if someone could get over doing a gimmick where they break everyone’s arm!)
– Also, Hulk Hogan is strongly hinting that Paul Wight is in fact the son of Andre the Giant. In fact, Hogan is now claiming that Wight was at the Silverdome watching his father’s match with Hogan and he remembers seeing him there.
– Jim Hellwig continues to have marathon meetings with WCW officials, with the only holdup being money according to Hellwig. However, WCW’s stance is that they don’t want to get sued for using a WWF gimmick and so the deal is unlikely to happen.
– Latest idea for the Monday night show is that Bischoff will do commentary along with Bobby Heenan and maybe Steve “Mongo” McMichael, who wants to become a wrestler eventually. Dave thinks he’s gonna have to be a heel because he’s so cocky. (Good call.)
– To the WWF, where they drew an astonishing crowd of 10,000 to St. Louis for the final Wrestling Challenge taping, which is even odder because St. Louis doesn’t have WWF TV right now. Even so, the show probably lost money, which shows how shitty the business has become. However, Dave has done some digging and he’s pretty sure that they’re not lying about the giant advance for Summerslam.
– Tony Norris and Rico Suave had a tryout match at a taping before the Houston one last week, and the original one was so good they actually got heat from the agents and were told to tone it down for Houston because they didn’t want to upstage the main roster talent. (Source: Ahmed Johnson). Rico Suave is just a guy for Norris to work with, by the way, and isn’t getting a deal.
– Shane McMahon worked as ring announcer for the B show circuit this past week.
– Speaking of house shows, they ran one in Stateline, Nevada, that was supposed to be headlined by Shawn Michaels & Diesel v. the Corporation in a cage match, but due to various no-shows ended up as Shawn v. IRS in a cage match as the main event. Once they announced that to the crowd, there was an audible groan and it killed the rest of the show. It ended up with only an hour of wrestling total, plus 40 minutes of intermission while they set up and then tore down the cage. (Sounds like RAW these days.)
– Apparently the Sid v. Michaels match at Summerslam will be announced but is already in jeopardy because even Vince McMahon realizes what a shitty card they’ve got so far and they might need to find a better match to shake things up.
– The alleged Fridge/Mongo tag team deal fell apart because William Perry wanted a guaranteed deal and wouldn’t work with Owen & Yokozuna for whatever reason. Plus he refused to go on the road for his guaranteed money and WWF had concerns about him maintaining weight anyway. Mongo was free and clear because his career is now over, but WCW made him a deal first.
– Dave is already sick of the Dean Douglas gimmick after two weeks.
– In the Louisville and Evansville tapings for RAW and Superstars, fans were vocally pro-Lawler and pro-Jarrett, so they had to edit some stuff off TV. (Wouldn’t want people to think any other promotion could make stars.)
– Brickhouse Brown worked as a jobber for Hunter Hearst Helmsley at the Evansville tapings.
– And finally, in a bit from the WCW section that works much better as my “And finally…” gag to end this, apparently Gordon Solie’s sign-off from WCW was fittingly during a horrible Dave Sullivan squash on their syndicated show, where he ended with “And they wonder why I’m leaving.” (Is that a real thing that happened and do we have the YouTube evidence?)