What the World Was Watching: WWF Royal Rumble 1990

Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura are in the booth and they are live from Orlando, Florida.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, this show drew a sellout crowd of 16,000 fans.  It also drew a buyrate of 2.0 (an estimated 260,000 buys), an increase from the 1.5 number the Rumble did the previous year.  This would also be the last pay-per-view that Schiavone would call for the WWF.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – January 13, 1990

Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura are doing commentary and they are concluding the tapings in Huntsville, Alabama.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – January 8, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan host tonight’s broadcast.  Tonight’s two feature bouts come from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and were taped on December 14.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Wrestling Challenge – January 7, 1990

Tony Schiavone and Gorilla Monsoon handle commentary duties and they are taped from the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.  This taping took place on December 12, 1989.  Schiavone has a guitar and tries to play a song and does terribly.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Prime Time Wrestling – January 1, 1990 (Start of a New Series!)

1989 was a strong year for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).  The Mega Powers angle between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage created a strong buyrate for WrestleMania V and rematches between the two throughout the spring and summer generated healthy gates.  In addition, the company expanded its revenue streams by adding The Royal Rumble to its pay-per-view lineup in January.  And other competitors were faltering as the American Wrestling Association (AWA) was on its last legs and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) was riven by divisions between Executive Vice President Jim Herd and talent like Ric Flair.  Times were good for the WWF’s Golden Age.

However, there were some cracks underneath the surface that the WWF would grapple with as 1990 began.  The company’s star, Hulk Hogan, wanted to make his mark on Hollywood and WWF owner Vince McMahon wanted to find the next big act to replace him.  And without Hogan it was unclear whether casual fans, who fueled the WWF’s rise throughout the late 1980s, would continue to tune in.  Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior appeared the most likely successor, with a physical build similar to Hogan’s and laying claim to being the second-biggest star in the company.  Both men had been kept away from each other in storylines and McMahon looked at a clash between them as a way to resolve the conundrum.  And beyond the Hogan-Warrior transition there were questions as to who the big heels of the company would be.  Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase had failed in their efforts to win the WWF Championship, reduced in standing by multiple losses.  Mr. Perfect, Rick Rude, and Zeus were considered possibilities but Perfect had not held a singles title yet, Hogan refused to work a program with Rude, and Zeus was limited in the ring.  So, the WWF was on the look for new talents that they could slot into main event programs and continue to draw houses on par with those of the late 1980s.

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Andre the Giant, El Canek & Villano III vs. Yokozuna, Bad News Brown & 2 Cold Scorpio (and other Dream Matches)

This is like what happens when you hit “Random” in Fire Pro.

RANDOM DREAM MATCHES:
* So randomly searching YouTube for stuff, I found some true gems and some weird stuff, and decided to make a thing of it. This first one is just BONKERS and it got a great reaction when I posted it in the live thread a week back, so I had to share it here. Some are ironic “LOLWTF THOSE guys wrestled!?!” while others are legitimately good. A few of these are WWF & WCW matches posted on YouTube, so I won’t post them here (it demonetizes the blog or somesuch thing), but they’re easy to find.

ANDRE THE GIANT, EL CANEK & VILLANO III vs. KOKINA MAXIMUS, BUFFALO ALLEN & BLACK SCORPIO:
(Universal Wrestling Association, Mexico, 03.05.1992)
* Yes, it’s YOKOZUNA, BAD NEWS BROWN & 2 COLD SCORPIO! Fighting ANDRE, plus Mexican legend El Canek (one of the few guys to slam Andre) and Villaino III (elder brother of IV & V). This is like what happens if you hit “Random” in Fire Pro to make your teams- Andre dressed in a red singlet teaming up with fighting Yokozuna, Bad News Brown and 2 Cold Scorpio! Andre is BEYOND washed up at this point, while Yoko is almost ready for his WWF run, being not quite as fat as he’d be in his 450-lb. debut. Andre’s in a red singlet, Canek’s in white, and Villano’s in blue. Kokina’s in black trunks, Allen’s in his usual black, and Scorpio is wearing a yellow mask and long tights- he’s got a great physique here, too.

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Rock Star Gary reflects on…WWF Wrestlefest ’88

Live from Milwaukee, WI

Airdate: July 31, 1988

Attendance:  25,866

Hosted by Sean Mooney, Lord Alfred Hayes, and “Superstar” Billy Graham

This is the Coliseum Home Video version from Milwaukee County Stadium, former home to the Brewers and occasionally the Green Bay Packers.

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