Flashback Friday: WWF Magazine November 1987

From the pages of WWF Magazine… this week, we look back at an issue that went to press in October of 1987 that sold for $2.25 in the U.S. and $3.00 in Canada. With a cover featuring Bam Bam Bigelow, we’re also teased with stories about Randy Savage, Strike Force, and Koko B. Ware. So let’s make like Macho and jump into the danger zone!

We begin with Around the Ring by Ed Ricciuti. He says this issue of WWF Magazine is especially interesting because of the diverse subject matters it covers. There’s a lot about wrestling, of course, but there’s also a story about the hottest new record in stores, Piledriver, and also a story about Andre the Giant’s major motion picture, The Princess Bride. Ed then touches on Randy Savage and Brutus Beefcake, marveling at how they have both turned over new leaves. “Savage is destined for great things,” he says. “His career is far from its zenith.” As for Brutus, Ed has a message: “Don’t let your barbering go to your head. Remember to concentrate on your wrestling or else you might end up the one whose pride is shorn.”

Next, Fan Forum: Diane from Hopewell, Junction, New York has sent in a typed letter written on computer and printed on one of those new fangled dot matrix printers. She says, “I’m a loyal fan of the WWF and want to tell you I’m very impressed with your magazine. The photographs are excellent, the articles are interesting, and I like that you don’t spend time criticizing others, which demonstrates your professionalism. The other magazines constantly try to pat themselves on the back to prove how great they are. It seems to me they’re jealous of the WWF. Besides, if a magazine is good, it sells itself and there is no need to blow one’s own horn. With that in mind, I’ve enclosed a poem dedicated to the staff of your publication.” And here it is:

Ode to WWF Magazine

Sitting on a magazine shelf with all the rest
In full color, it’s the best.
All the news and latest information
From the wonderful World Wrestling Federation
There’s nothing like it anywhere.
No other publication can compare.
With full-color action, it’s jam packed,
Something all the other wrestling magazines lack.
So sit back and relax for a while.
I’ll tell you why it has class and style.
First of all, there’s Around the Ring
Where the editor can say something.
Fan Forum is part of the magazine too
The fans get the chance to state their point of view.
With a curious and unusual twist,
Wrestlers state their views in WWF List.
Can’t forget the latest newsmakers
Who are featured in the section Newsbreakers.
In the Personality Profile, fans get a peek
At in depth info on wrestlers they seek.
So here’s to the staff of WWF Magazine.
It’s the best we fans have ever seen.

(Apparently there were many other verses cut for brevity. I was curious to see if I could learn more, so I found this woman on Facebook and reached out to her, but I never heard anything back.)

Meanwhile, Kim from Jersey City writes in to say Brutus Beefcake is obviously the best wrestler in the WWF. “He’s fast and smart too.” Then there’s an anonymous woman who wrote in to say the WWF is responsible for her meeting her husband. “We met in 1986. I walked into a department store wearing The Wrestling Album on a sweatshirt and a Hulkamania hat. He was playing a video game but turned around and said, ‘Hulkamania is dead.’ I turned around and said, ‘No, it isn’t.’ Then I walked away. But something inside me said, ‘This guy likes wrestling.’ So I went back to see if he was still there. He was, and we began talking about wrestling. He asked me for a date and to go to the next match with him. I really fell in love with him that night. We were married in early December. Thank you for bringing us together.” (That’s the most 80s story I’ve ever heard.)

Next, an advertisement for MicroLeague Wrestling that mentions “the lengendary Bruno Sammartino.” (This was obviously before spellcheck. I’m sure they’ll have it fixed the next time we see the ad.)

WWF List of… most embarrassing moments: Superstar Billy Graham says he was in a restaurant and, thanks to his bald head, he was mistaken by a fan for Jose Estrada. (Ouch.) Koko B. Ware says that on his first night in Madison Square Garden, Frankie flew away from him. Magnificent Muraco says his most embarrassing moment in retrospect was picking Bob Orton for a tag team partner. (Ah yes: good guy Muraco. Considering Savage, Beefcake, and Orndorff just turned babyface, Muraco couldn’t have timed this turn worse.) Ken Patera says that one time he was changing into his wrestling trunks when his wallet fell out of his jeans. Without thinking, he slipped the wallet into his tights. The ref noticed the bulge, and Patera said, “Oh, that’s just my wallet.” He proceeded to pull it out and hand it to the official, which made things worse. “Everyone thought I was paying off the official.” Ax of Demolition said he accidentally sat on one of his spikes in the dressing room. Outback Jack said he was trying to throw away some garbage in New York and mistook a blue mail collection box for a garbage. “A crowd started to yell at me.” (That was probably the biggest reaction Outback Jack ever got.) Ron Bass said he once rode a horse to the ring, and the horse decided to answer nature’s call on the timekeeper’s table.

Newsbreakers! Heenan has signed Rick Rude. Insiders say Heenan wanted to acquire Rude to replace Paul Orndorff.

Next, in Personality Profile, we have a new Women’s champion, Sherri Martel, who has dubbed herself, “Sensational.” How long can Sherri hold the title? Probably not nearly as long as her predecessor. (This was written at a time the WWF refused to acknowledge Wendi Richter and basically pretended as if Moolah had been holding the title for thirty years.) “But she is by far the cream of the present crop, and it will be tough to unseat her.”

Next, an Interview with Koko B. Ware, who was riding high at this time, with his song “Piledriver” headlining the latest Wrestling Album. The WWF asks him about going after Andre the Giant at the battle royal on Saturday Night’s Main Event just before Wrestlemania III. (Koko jumped right onto Andre before Andre threw him out.) Koko says, “Paul Orndorff was assisting Andre, so I was hoping to distract Andre to give Hulk the advantage. I didn’t really think I could take down Andre the Giant right there.” Koko says, however, that he would wrestle Andre if scheduled to do so, and that Andre can be beaten like anyone else. “It wouldn’t take anything but one big mistake from him. Let me get on my perch, the top rope, and hit Andre with a dropkick. He won’t get up, I guarantee you that.” (I’m not sure it would even knock Andre down.) Koko’s asked what his most satisfying victory has been so far, and he says, “Beating Nikolai Volkoff on Saturday Night’s Main Event. It was nice to achieve a victory in front of a national audience.” Koko then talks about how he always wanted to be a wrestler, and he and his friend Jerome used to go out to a field during recess at school and pretend they were wrestlers. “We got grass stains all over our clothes.” Koko says that sadly, Jerome died in a car accident some time back. The magazine then asks about Koko’s dropkick, and asks him to compare it to Jim Brunzell’s, the gold standard. “Well, Brunzell gets up really high and lands well. I think I have the more effective dropkick because I’m coming off the top rope and putting more force behind it. It’s also important to land right. It’s an art to spin the air and come down without hurting yourself. A lot of wrestlers out there don’t even know how to throw a dropkick; you’ll see one leg hit the guy in the belly and the other hit the guy in his shoulder. When you throw a dropkick, you must have both feet together, spring up and kick out. Otherwise it’s foolish to take the risk of using the move.” Koko adds that he keeps the spring in his legs by regularly jumping rope. (Funny note here: The magazine then quotes Koko as saying, “Every morning, I do two hours of road work.” I’m sure he actually said, “rope work,” but WWF Magazine would have us believe he spends his spare time as a construction worker.) He’s then asked about Frankie and goes into the Frankie origin story: “I was reading about wildlife when the Morris Day song The Bird came on the radio. I climbed the couch and began moving and flapping. It was time for a mascot. Frankie’s been a good luck charm for me.” (In an interview many years later, Koko shared the real story: “My late-wife and I were sitting at home, and we were watching the movie Purple Rain with Morris Day and The Time, and they were on the stage doing this bird dance, and she just got up and said, ‘You could do this dance really easy. Everybody can do this bird dance.’ Then she went to a pet store, and she saw that blue and gold Macaw and she had this Polaroid camera, so she took a picture of it. She came back home, and she said, ‘This is what you need to help you get on top.’ When I went to New York, I met with Vince, and at the end of the conversation, I was walking away, getting ready to leave, and out of the blue, he said, ‘Is there anything else that you would like to add to your gimmick?’ I said, ‘Oh yeah…’, reached in my pocket and took out the picture, ‘I would love to have… THIS!’”

Battle of the Titans recaps a Hart Foundation title defense against The Young Stallions, Paul Roma and Jim Powers, from Superstars. Initially, the official in charge of the match awarded the bout to The Hart Foundation when Bret Hart used the leverage of his feet on the ropes to pin Paul Roma. However, Mr. T, who has returned to the WWF to fill the role of “special enforcer” and advisor to the referees, charged down to the ring to tell the official what happened. The ref immediately reversed his decision and gave the win to The Young Stallions. (What?! That doesn’t even make any sense! It’s not illegal to put your feet on the ropes. It’s just supposed to negate the pin.) Roma and Powers, however, did not win the title because a title can only change hands by pinfall or submission. (And this is Exhibit A on why we have this rule.) This match would go on to be referenced in a rematch on Saturday Night’s Main Event.

Next up, an article about Mind Games in the ring. Jake Roberts is highlighted, with Damian, his 12-foot python, giving him a psychological advantage. “No one, not even the toughest wrestler, likes to do battle knowing that if he loses, he may wake up with something large, cold, and scaly crawling over him.” (Sounds like the end of a date I once had.) George Steele opts for a different route: he tries to intimidate his opponents by ripping up turnbuckles. “Brother,” says longtime friend Hulk Hogan,  “when the Animal starts chewing on a turnbuckle, I don’t go near him.” Other wrestlers, like The Hart Foundation, use trash talk. Take a recent interview, where the Harts said Tito Santana and Rick Martel don’t deserve a title shot. “Put it this way,” said Bret Hart. “Why would we lower ourselves to wrestle with a tortilla maker and a refugee from a backwoods lumber camp?”

We move on to exclusive coverage of Piledriver, the latest WWF Album! “Following the success of the classic Wrestling Album, CBS/Epic has released Piledriver—and created a dilemma for FM program directors in the process. Which tune do disc jockeys play first? The musical on the record is so outstanding that no one is really sure.” (Wait, there’s a musical on the record too? Or did you mean “music”?) “On the horizon: videos from Calhoun Productions, the group who helped entertainers like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and Luther Vandross sizzle on music television. Coliseum will distribute the video on the making of this piece of recording history.”

This album, of course, is a bit more serious than the first, with Vince trying to create a more “proper” rock album as opposed to a novelty piece. The magazine runs down the songs:

  • “Every guy’s highway fantasy comes to life in “Girls in Cars.” Robbie Dupre, best known for Stealaway, tells of dreams inspired by passing ladies on the highway in this Southern California-style frolic. Backing him up are Rick Martel and Tito Santana from Strike Force.” (Wow, they sure put this together for Strike Force in a hurry, didn’t they? I mean, the team just got together! And who knew they did the backing vocals?) Anyway, for the record, the singer’s name is actually spelled “Dupree” and he’s best known for “Steal Away.” Dupree says, “I had been dropped by Elektra Records and was doing live shows and session work. Rick Derringer and his engineer, the late Tommy Edmunds, contacted me and said, ‘Hey, we got this thing.'” That “thing” would be “Girls in Cars,” written by WWF’s Jim Johnston. “I didn’t really want to,” Dupree continues, “but I thought, ‘No one is ever going to hear this, so whatever. I’m going to get paid good money and it’ll vanish.’ But it didn’t. I’d be in a market somewhere and two little kids would tug on their mom’s shoulders and go, ‘Look who it is.’ It wasn’t about ‘Steal Away,’ it was about recognizing me from the video for ‘Girls in Cars.’ What I thought would go away has gone on to be ever-present.” Jimmy Hart would go on to sing the song at the 1987 Slammy Awards, with the “girls in cars” becoming girls riding bicycles and wearing car-like pictures while roller skating. (That’s almost as 80s as the arcade story earlier.) Bonus fact: the song was used as Ted DiBiase’s theme music in the 1989 WrestleMania video game made by Acclaim for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • Next, the title track, “Piledriver,” sung by Koko B. Ware. “Few know Koko is an accomplished gospel singer. He’s been singing in church all his life and still does. The song will be the first single released off the album and will be available soon.” (This, of course, was the signature song from the album, with Koko, a minor player, getting a lot of screen time to help sell it, and the WWF even showing the video in full on Saturday Night’s Main Event.) Referee Jimmy Korderas recalls when they were shooting the in-ring segments for the video: “In San Francisco, they brought Koko and Barry Horowitz out early, and a camera crew recorded Koko giving Barry the finisher several times, recording it with the camera shooting up from below.” (Wow, what a trooper Barry Horowitz was! That move is meant to seriously injure people, and Barry willingly let Koko do it to him.) “They left the canvas off the ring  and slightly separated the ring’s plywood planks so that they could put the camera under and shoot up. Later in the night, Koko and Barry had their actual match. The video only used a short clip of that, but you can see my face in the background. I had made it into a music video that was shown on MTV!” The song itself was written by Jim Johnston & Mike McDonnell, but Koko later said it was thanks to Jimmy Hart that he got to sing it. “Thank God for Jimmy Hart! He was the Mouth of the South. If Jimmy says something about you, he’ll hound everybody about it. He hounded Vince McMahon about how great of a singer I was. Vince never heard me sing, but Jimmy said I was great. That’s really how it started.” And he’s still singing it today!
  • Up next, The Honky Tonk Man with his self-titled Elvis pastiche that was the last piece of the puzzle to making him the wrestler we remember him as. “Honky’s manager, Jimmy Hart, wrote the song,” the magazine acknowledges. (J.J. Maguire helped too.) My favorite performance of the song is from the 1987 Slammy Awards, featuring a cameo by The Hart Foundation. Bret wrote in his book: “The night before the show there was a rehearsal. Under the guidance of a choreographer who’d been with the now defunct Solid Gold Dancers, Jim and I were asked to dance across the stage during Honky’s performance, but I offered that it might look better if Jim went to throw me and I reversed, sending him sliding across the stage on his knees. From there I could run and jump over him, and together we’d come up snapping our fingers and coolly dance off the stage. She loved it. From nine to noon the next day, we did a rehearsal. Then we did the whole show without an audience so if there were any screw-ups in front of the crowd, we could edit them out. As a rib, during the actual performance that evening, I threw Jim as hard as I could, launching him like a giant, out-of-control pink tumbleweed. He ended up rocketing across the stage on his rear-end, trying as hard as he could to put the brakes on so he wouldn’t crash on the tables down in front, and then I realized I somehow had to jump over the top of him with less than a foot to land on! Feeling a bit like an Olympic long jumper, I ran and jumped, my foot barely grazing the top of Jim’s head. We came up smooth, snapping and dancing, and exited the stage. Dick Ebersol loved it.”
  • Next, it’s the “Demolition” theme written by Rick Derringer, Jimmy Hart, and J.J. Maguire and performed by Derringer. “The hardest-sounding song is clearly Demolition,” the magazine says, “a heavy metal tribute to Ax and Smash. Visions of destruction are conjured up as the demonic tag team partners pound bass drums.” (Wow, they played drums on the song? I had no idea!) Demolition had been using mockups of the song for some months, but there’s no beating the fully-realized version. In fact, while initially there had been the idea that Demolition would use an instrumental version of the song as their theme (ala Strike Force), the lyrics themselves proved so popular, the WWF quickly pivoted to using the version straight off of Piledriver.
  • We move on to the sleeper hit of the album, “Jive Soul Bro.” The magazine says, “Jive Soul Bro is a talking tune of love and rejection. Slick’s charms are unsurpassed, he brags. But if he was so desirable, would he have to brag at all?” (This song was written by Dave Wolff, who previously recorded it as “Jive Ol Fo” under the name of his alter-ego, Captain Chameleon.) Slick, of course, nailed this song, and it went on to define his career and put him in the realm of Heenan, Hart, Elizabeth, and Coach as one of the biggest managers in the WWF in the late 80s, early 90s. (Just kidding about Coach.) Slick’s take later in life: “You have people who think I wrote that song, but I don’t know anything about writing music. Vince chose some of us to be on Piledriver, and Dave Wolff taught it to me at the studio. I never expected it to have the longevity or popularity it has had because I thought I was horrible. But it caught on, and it was a matter of coming up with the dance moves.” (Sidestory: I attended The Main Event in February of 1989 where The Twin Towers took on The Megapowers. If you remember, after The Twin Towers made their entrance, television viewers were treated to a Megapowers video. Well, back in those days the WWF didn’t have television screens at the arena to show us these things, and so we fans at the event itself were treated to several minutes of Jive Soul Bro, with Slick and Akeem dancing around the ring, hamming it up and keeping us entertained. It’s still one of my enduring memories of that electric night.)
  • Onto side B for Jimmy Hart’s “Crank it Up.” Jimmy, of course, contributed “Eat Your Heart Out Rick Springfield” to the first wrestling album, and he returns here with another great song. The magazine notes, “After much whining and fussing, Jimmy Hart was allowed his own song, a hard rock, party number.” The WWF then concocted a storyline where The Young Stallions stole it and used it as their theme music, taking it before The Hart Foundation could use it, as Jimmy Hart originally intended. (I guess Jimmy will just have to write a different theme for The Harts. Hopefully he can come up with something good.)
  • Next, a slower number, with Hillbilly Jim, another contributor to the first album, returning for a song that’s not meant to be anybody’s theme: “Waking Up Alone,” by Jim Johnston & Mike McDonnell. This one is actually a duet. The magazine notes, “The likable Kentuckian shows shades of Willie Nelson, crooning about lonesomeness of life on the road with professional country & western singer Gertrude.” Who is Gertrude you might ask? I have no clue. Neither does Hillbilly Jim. “Here’s the thing about that,” he says. “I never to this day met this woman. I wouldn’t know that woman if she ran up to me and gave me a hug. I cut my part of that song in a studio in mid-town Manhattan. She did hers in Nashville.” On a sad note, rumor has it that Hillbilly Jim still occasionally wakes up alone.
  • That brings us to one of the most infamous songs on the record, Vince McMahon’s “Stand Back,” where the mild-mannered announcer throws a wink to the smarts in this song written by Jim Johnston. The magazine says, “Vince rates himself as one of the world’s greatest admirers of James Brown and soul music.” The performance of the song everyone remembers, of course, is from the 1987 Slammy Awards, with Vince killing it and stealing the show. (As someone who loved both sports and musical theater growing up, when I saw this in 1987, I jumped off the couch and said, “That’s it, I’m going to devote the rest of my life to being a WWF fan!) In his book, Bret Hart wrote, “Jim and I changed into pale pink tuxedos and took our seats in the audience to watch Vince perform. He gave his all, confidently gyrating his hips like Tom Jones. But the message of the lyrics he belted out—all about how no one could stop him as he headed for the top—wasn’t lost on wrestlers who had rehearsed and performed a show for him three times in the space of twenty-four hours.” My two cents: it’s Vince McMahon’s trademark growl that makes the song. (You know what would be cool? If they had celebrities doing these kind of performances on TV, but they were wearing masks, and you had to try to guess who they are.)
  • The penultimate number features the return of Mean Gene, who previously surprised everyone with his rendition of Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti,” returning to team up with Rick Derringer for Derringer’s hit, “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo.” The magazine says, “So impressed was Derringer with the chrome-domed commentator that he was considering taking Okerlund on his next tour.” As for the video, Wrestlecrap hits the nail on the head: “Apparently someone within the WWF saw Van Halen’s ‘Hot for the Teacher’ video and thought, ‘You know what would be a great idea?  Let’s rip that off completely!  But instead of David Lee Roth, let’s book a middle aged bald man to do the vocals and have the Hulkster play guitar.  Oh, and here’s $5 for props.'”
  • And we finish with “If You Only Knew,” written by Jim Johnston, which I would say is an improvement over the prior album’s “Land of a 1000 Dances.” The magazine says, “The only sure thing in the WWF is the unexpected. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that Piledriver will leave listeners mystified with the up-tempo final cut, ‘If You Only Knew.’ There are at least a half-dozen familiar WWF voices in the song. Who are they? Even the CBS/Epic brass seems stumped.” Johnston himself would later note that his enduring memory of Piledriver was chasing the wrestlers around and recording snippets from them for this song before putting it all altogether. This song was basically the “We Are the World” of the wrestling world.

And… that was pretty much it for the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling connection, as Piledriver didn’t sell as well as was hoped (and wasn’t even subsequently issued on CD), and the WWF wouldn’t put out another album until 1993, which, under the direction of executive producer Simon Cowell, was something else entirely. (That’s not to say, the WWF didn’t produce some good songs in the interim, such as “All American Boys” and “Sexy Boy.”) The Slammy Awards themselves would not return until 1994. In the meanwhile, I probably listened to the first two wrestling albums about a thousand times. Anyway, back to the magazine…

Next, we get a look at WWF Merch, which is getting somewhat out of date, with Dick Slater, last seen on WWF TV in May, and The Machines, who went back to Japan around the same time, still appearing on T-Shirts and posters for sale. (I’m sure, of course, Vince was still sending guys like Slater a cut of the money from sales.)

Time for our feature article on Bam Bam Bigelow! All the WWF managers were scrambling for his services. “The Slickster will mean big green mon-nee,” oozed Slick. “Brains, prestige, power, fame. You can only get it from me,” said Bobby Heenan. “Bam, Bam, baby, I’m your future,” hollered Jimmy Hart. “Fuji teach you great secrets of success,” argued Mr. Fuji. One by one, however, Bam Bam rebuffed them. Treated them as if they were invisible. Egos were already bruised when Bam Bam pulled off a shocker and chose the little-known round, red-bearded former grappler named Oliver Humperdink to guide his career. (Genius move.) Now managers like Slick and Heenan are sending their men after Bam Bam to get revenge. Whether Bam Bam can weather the storm remains to be seen.

Next up, an article about Randy Savage. He’s a good guy now, and Bruno puts him over. “I’ve criticized Randy Savage before,” he says, “but I believe he is one of the finest wrestlers in the ring today, maybe the man with the most athletic ability in the WWF. He’s got all the right moves, tremendous talent, and a feeling for what to do at the right time.” The magazine writer adds, “He never gives in, never stops trying, and fights to the limit in every match. He is a ring warrior, the essence of a man who cares not for himself but what he stands for. And what he stands for is the highest standard of professional wrestling. Love him or hate him, Randy Savage is the stuff of which champions are made.”

And now, onto the formation of my favorite tag team growing up. Yes, I was a Strike Force guy. Anyway, we’re told that Rick Martel’s former partner, unnamed in the article, deserted him, breaking up a dazzling tag team and leaving Martel alone and vulnerable to harassment and attack from enemies. At one point, Martel was being attacked by The Islanders, who attempted to end his career. As Tito Santana, at his post as announcer for WWF Spanish-language television, watched on, he finally decided he couldn’t take it anymore and jumped into the ring to make the save. Martel was grateful, and a few days later they announced they were teaming together as Strike Force. “We thought about it,” Santana said. “I’m a Mexican. Rick is Canadian. Why not join forces to combat ring terrorism?” Martel adds, “That’s what we are: an international Strike Force. And we’ll strike fear into the hearts of opponents.” (As one person on the blog recently noted, this wasn’t the first time these guys had teamed up. In fact, according to Nick Saikley, they wrestled eight tag matches together in 1982.) “Considering that Santana and Martel are two of the best athletes in the WWF,” the magazine concludes, “Strike Force could very well be aiming at a championship belt.” (You mean title.)

Andre the Giant has a new movie coming out. It’s The Princess Bride, and Andre plays Fezzik, a member of a band of thugs that kidnaps the golden-hair heroine in the movie. “How did the 7-foot-5 inch mat star marvel feel in front of the bright lights and cameras? Very good. Andre’s one-in-a-million look has earned him roles in movies and television productions before. He was featured in six prior films, such as Micki and Maude with Dudley Moore, and has guested on TV shows like The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, B.J. and the Bear and The Fall Guy.” (The interesting thing is that Andre was cast in The Princess Bride under the assumption that he could handle all the physical stuff, and any acting would be a bonus. As it turns out, he had problems with all the physical things because of his health, but he was so charming on screen that he made up for it with his acting.)

In Private Eye, Salvatore Fodera recently gave Brutus Beefcake hairstyling lessons. Hopefully Gorilla Monsoon remembers to mention this from time to time in the future.

WWF Lowdown: Australia and New Zealand are going crazy for WWF wrestling. Among their favorites? King Kong Bundy. WWF Magazine explains this by noting Australia used to be a penal colony. (Way to make fans, guys.) At a post-match cocktail party, Outlaw Ron Bass brought a most alluring date: his whip, Miss Betsy. (Slow news month?) Mr. Fuji has his eyes set on Matilda, and Smash promises to deliver her to him on a spit. “Our manager has an appetite for ‘hot dogs’.” Paul Orndorff has signed Oliver Humperdink as his new manager. Ken Patera suffered a couple of injuries to his elbow and knee but says he’ll soon be back. And finally, DiBiase offered a fan $300 if she would bark like a dog, which she did, but withheld the money claiming her performance was inadequate. (Interestingly, this whole magazine doesn’t mention the upcoming Survivor Series at all.)

WWF Wrap Up: Hulk Hogan recently hung out with Billy Graham. No, not the Superstar, but the famous reverend, whose charismatic crusades have filled stadiums. Hulk also recently hung out with Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson. (Thompson, the longest serving governor in Wisconsin history, would go on to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush.) Unfortunately, Hulk has also caused a bit of a crime spree. It’s not his fault, but fans keep trying to steal the Hulk Hogan cardboard cutouts that are part of the Thirstbuster soft drink displays in convenience stores. “These are not easy to steal,” notes Steve Schwitalla, a Circle K senior vice president. “The entire piece doesn’t fit into a car very easily. Some people have strapped them on the car roof before speeding off.” In non-Hulk news, Johnny V. is happy to finally have an LJN doll. “Fans demanded it,” he says. LJN has also made an S.D. Jones doll. (Had it!) Lastly, Ken Patera was presented with a plaque by U.S. Olympic team representatives in recognition of his continued support.

Moving on, in Wrestler’s Rebuttal, Butch Reed argues that he won his posedown against Billy Graham.

And lastly, here’s the crossword puzzle!

That’s it for this week. I’ll back back, same blog-time, same blog-channel next week for coverage of the meeting of the Megapowers, a talk with Slick, and new WWF merch!