The Ring Report TV Update 1/30/96 Vol. 1, No. 154

The Ring Report TV Update 1/30/96 Vol. 1, No. 154
[NOTE: These are rumors as reported by local hot-lines, on-line wrestling boards and from talking to people in the wrestling industry. As they are *rumors* and not *facts* we ask that you make up your own mind as to their validity. Also note that rumors are prone to changes from time to time so what you read here may have changed by press time.]

WCW News:  Before I get started, I’m going to get on my soapbox for a second . . . Tuesday night, after the Clash was over I decided to check out the WCW chat on CompuServe ERIC BISHOFF had mentioned during the broadcast that he would be there after the show. I never was able to find out whether he was actually there. When I went to the chat area, there were fifty-one people there. Fifty-one people could have had a wonderful chat session on the state of wrestling and maybe we could have relayed our concerns to Bischoff and other WCW officials . . . Instead, my computer was jammed with childish little threats, put-downs, insults and other mindless crap directed not at WCW or it’s wrestlers, but at each other. I was never able to find out if Bischoff or anyone from WCW was present, because of all the other bullsh!t that was going on. If Bishoff was there, he probably took one look at what was going on and left. I would have! We have more access to wrestlers and the federations they represent than ever before, but how can we expect that to continue if they have to put up with the childish behavior of a few very immature brats. If you are interested in talking with the wrestlers and the officials of these federations in a meaningful way, great! If all you’re going to do, is use that chat room as play areas, please do it somewhere else. We don’t need you and we don’t want you . . . I’m sure I probably pissed some people off; if I did, so be it. Now on with the news . . .

WCW NEWS: BOBBY HEENAN is in hot water with WCW and TBS for letting the F-word slip out during the Clash . . . FLYING BRIAN may be kicked out of the Horsemen and replaced by DEAN MALENKO, who has just signed a new WCW contract. This would be the most technically sound group of Horsemen, since the original four . . . Don’t be surprised if KONNAN beat ONE MAN GANG at Super Brawl for the U.S. title. He will be getting a huge push . . . Last Tuesday’s Clash was the highest rated Clash in six years . . . There is no word yet on what WCW plans to do with both WOMAN and ELIZABETH. WCW was concerned about Elizabeth looking old, which is why you didn’t see any close-ups of her . . .

WWF News:  “ROWDY” RODDY PIPER is the new full-time president of the WWF . . . VADER’S “suspension” will last until he is recovered from shoulder surgery. Vader is expected to face YOKOZUNA at Wrestlemania XII . . . Yokozuna will be making a face turn very soon . . . Debuting at the most recent TV tapings was JOHN HAWKE, who will be wrestling under the name JUSTIN BRADSHAW . . . Also debuting was TEX SLAZENGER, who will be known as Henry Godwinn’s brother and will be teaming with him. The team will be called Hog and Pig . . . CACTUS JACK will be coming in around WRESTLEMANIA or shortly after. He will have a Hannibal Lechter type gimmick and will be called THE MUTILATOR . . . TATANKA is back wrestling full time with the WWF . . .

Announcer Dutch Savage(17 time PNW Champion and successful Real Estate Agent)

Rick Lee vs. The Grunt: The Grunt is a protégé’ of SLAM and like SLAM, he is dressed in camouflage with a black mask. Only the finish airs with The Grunt pinning Lee.

Sumito vs. Dane Rush: This match goes to the 10 minute time limit with the bell ringing as Sumito had Vern Gagne’s sleeper on Rush who was just about out.

Interview with Sumito: He wants another shot at Rush and explains his extensive tattoo on his lower torso signify that he is a Samoan Prince.

SLAM vs. Tackle: This is a grudge match since these two were a tag team originally called the Serbian Terrorists(I believe). Tackle turned face and started feuding with SLAM a few months ago. Both wear camouflage and black masks. My guess is that these two are former students from Sandy Barr’s Wrestling School. After 10 minutes a ref. bump occurs with both wrestlers going down. The bell rings and Tackle is DQ’ed. The mutants yell and scream.

Interview with SLAM: Dutch announces the decision has been reversed and Tackle is declared the winner. SLAM challenges Tackle to a street fight next week. Tackle appears, then Sandy Barr who announces the loser will be unmasked even if there is a DQ like tonight.

Interview with Jimmy Snuka: “Fans here have no common sense. Billy Jack, whatever your problem is, you’d better get it together!”

– The mutants start a “BILLY JACK, BILLY JACK” cheer.

“You think you’re the master of the full nelson? I was using that hold long before you got into professional wrestling.”

– Billy Jack appears

Snuka: “Get your but into the ring!” as Snuka heads toward the ring.

Haynes shakes his head. The doctors have told him that he suffered a concussion last week(from Snuka), and can’t wrestle this week. Furthermore, the *Commission* told Haynes that he will lose his wrestling license for 3 months and Sandy Barr’s Promotion will get shut down if he wrestles.

Eventually, Billy Jack heads to the ring but is held back by 3 other  wrestlers. He continues to try and get in the ring but is held back for 5 minutes or so. Haynes grabs the house mic and says one of their careers will be over next week when they meet. The mutants go nuts.

Interview with Snuka: “All he can do is come out here and say nothing. You ain’t got it Billy Jack! Next week, I gonna beat the living life out of you. BBBAAAAAaaaaaa!”

Billy Jack comes out again and another pull apart occurs.

Next Week at the Bagley Center in beautiful Vancover, Washington: Billy Jack vs. Jimmy Snuka.

WHAT YOU MISSED: THAT MM GUY won the World Title when he beat RIC FLAIR. Woman reappeared in WCW . . . BRIAN PILLMAN defeated DEAN MALENKO when Malenko’s leg was tied up in the ropes . . . LEX LUGER & STING beat HARLEM HEAT when Lex used a roll of silver dollars on one of the Heat to become new Tag Team Champions. Clever finish, but is it just me or is Sting on ever single Nitro? Oh well, it’s better than Hogan . . . THAT HH GUY beat ONE MAN GANG with the Legdrop of Doom. Non-title match and very unclever finish. Wait a minute? THAT HH GUY is on every Nitro too. Come to think about it, Lex Luger, Savage, and Ric Flair are always there too. Wait a minute? Those same guys are RARELY on WCW except on Nitro . . . My Thoughts: People STILL give WCW a hard time. I grew up on WWF, but let’s face the facts. Nitro is beating RAW. And from September until December, WCW was better than WWF. Big Mac woke up in 96, but Uncle Erik is still neck and neck with him and will soon pull ahead. He has the resources . . . NEXT WEEK: RIC “WHOOOOOOO” FLAIR vs. HULK “BOOOOOOOOO” HOGAN and if Hogan wins I . . . I . . . I’ll do something!, ROAD WARRIORS vs. MENG and THE BARBARIAN, WCW Title Match — THAT MM GUY vs. THE GIANT. . . .!

IPW on Jan. 23, 1996 by RELAXONE
It went like this . . .

“It Was The Greatest Show . . . Nobody Ever Saw” A. Barrie
Never were more honest words spoken. AOL’S own, Allan “the Duke” Barrie put together one h3ll of an entertaining show.

I started my new job on Monday and after getting 3 hours. total sleep the weekend before, Tuesday morning i contemplated actually going to the show. Asheville is 2 hr. away and the card did not start until 8 . . . . I figured if i went i would get home at 2 a.m. and sleep until 4 or 5 in the afternoon the next day thus destroying my “Employee of the Hour” status and getting me terminated before i could actually get them to hate me. Tuesday came and i sleepwalked through work, the sun was shining and i got off at about 5:15, 15 minutes to get home, change and be on the road . . . .. Was i really going to do this?? H3ll, it’s only a job . . .

I’m back on the road after i run home and check any OL IPW updates (I would have killed if i drove all that way and the show was off), and Knoxville traffic is in full homicide mode. The time read 6 as i got out of town and was headed east. ASHEVILLE 108 the sign read, “ok, i can do this” i said to myself. About 15 more miles the sign reads ASHEVILLE 121, what the f***? I am going to be late, i will have to sit behind the fat guy (a staple at southern Indy shows), or it will be sold out . . . .. “should i turn back, the Clash is on anyway?” . . . . . . my little Honda roared the answer as my foot suddenly sprung to life and landed on the floor.

I defied the laws of physics, i took turns that no car would have taken, at speeds unreachable by most american sub-compact cars. The radio faded in and out as i searched the stations i came upon a NASCAR show and as they were interviewing Daryl or Michael Waltrip (SP?), i swear i saw the ghost of Jackie Stewart in a formula car outside my window and he was smiling (Jackie is not dead either so you figure it out). “Yes!!! I will make it”, i screamed and with that the signs passed me in blurs.

I made it to O’Sullivans at around 7:40 and i race to the front door. I did not have time to visit the ATM God before so i sucked in my pride and said “Do you take checks?” (i thank you guys for taking it) . . . “Is there any seats left? Allan said i could get a front row seat, (using whatever AOL clout i had . . . . none. But dammit, i sounded professional!), there won’t be a problem will there?” The girl looked at me as if i was crazy . . . “oh, i don’t think there will be any problem . . . go find Allan, he’s the only guy here wearing funny looking jean shorts” (Allan, that’s what she said, I swear it!). As i walked in i knew why she looked at me like that. There could not have been 30 people there . . .

O’Sullivans is one of the most incredible spots I’ve seen for a show such as this since being down here, it has 2 levels and a bar top surrounding 1/2 of the lower level with 3 rows of seats in front of it. 5 or 6 rows on the sides of the bar and an upper level (4 or 5 stairs up), with tables and such. Allan had the ring in what i believe was the dance floor and on the 2 walls on either side of the long bar were big-screen TVs. The lights were pulsating around the ring and the music was blasting out of speakers at each of the 4 corners. Laser lights were drawing pictures in the middle of the ring and occasionally coming out to the walls.

I looked for Brian who i had planned to meet up with there he sat at the bar facing the ring, with a buddy of his James. Brian AKA “BATES FAN” to those on-line, is an Indy wrestler who I’ve seen now 3 times in a great promotion he works for called “Southern States”, it’s run by Beau James who is a main heel within the promotion . . . he was there as well. Brain is 6’2 and 425 lb. legit and does some incredible things in the ring such as a moonsault and he will debut a top rope chokeslam in his handicap (4 on 1), match on the 2nd. Both he and Beau are great guys and if you have the chance to see their promotion, see it. I catch a glimpse of Allan who is indeed wearing funny looking jean shorts running all over the place making last minute preparations. I sat at the bar and observed all the wrestlers wandering around and talking with other wrestlers, on the big-screen TVs they had ECW on . . . . this was indeed going to be a night to remember (i had never seen ECW before this!), Brian and i are talking about the next show when all of the sudden who walks up to talk with us but New Jack of the Gangsta’s. He began asking Brian all about his work and he wanted to know if Brian could ever get up to Philadelphia, Brain is planning on attending the ECW con and New Jack told him he wants him to give his number before the show finished and he wants to see him as soon as he gets there saying “if I bring you in . . . . . . you’ll be over”. Brian is excited about this and if anybody who reads this is going to the con, go up to him and wish him luck.

Allan steps into the ring and gets on the mic with a few announcements saying that some of his wrestlers were not there and if we wanted refunds because of this we could get them (Allan i would have paid you more not to see Tommy Rich). He thanked us for coming out and the show would go on with 40 or 400 people. He said that his promotion would be different from others and that he has instructed his refs. to be as lenient as possible and that there will be no 10 CT. count-out rule should the wrestlers go outside the ring. A great speech and it really set the tone that Allan wants nothing more than for his promotion to be as exciting as possible to watch. He said the show would go on a little later than was originally planned but nevertheless will go on. So there i sat enthralled with ECW on TV and there Brain sat enthralled with opportunity and probably sick of me asking him “now, who’s that? and “he’s what-his-name right?” every time a new match was shown on ECW.  Allan did finally come up to us after a while and i got a few words with him, for those of you who don’t/didn’t know him (like me), he turned out to be a really great guy.
The lights went out for a second and the fireworks went off thus signaling the start of the show, Allan came up with an IPW theme that really sounded incredible on the sound system and the show was underway . . . . . .

1st match: Steve Skyfire vs. Dave Jericho. Ricky Morton came to the ring with Jericho (they are the New Rock & Roll Express in many of the Indies down here), and sat in a chair by the ring. The match was exactly as i expected, fast! Both are very talented and agile, they both tried the high spots (which was funnier than h3ll because each time any wrestler went up to the top rope they paused and measured the distance between themselves and the lights), Steve Skyfire at one point went up to the top to perform a moonsault and slipped on the rope (IPW used the plastic piping around the rope itself thus making any highspot that much more entertaining as the wrestlers slipped several times), anyway he got up and executed it. Jericho sells moves really well (but has a problem selling them for long), and he played the face to perfection and as the match went on Skyfire pulled tights and hair thus making Ricky angry (awwwww ). In the end Jericho pulled out a victory with a roll-up and shook Skyfires hand in the ring . . . . Morton brushed them both off and left.

2nd match: the Beautiful Blondes (Eddie Golden and Stan Lee), vs. the Headbangers. This was by far the funniest match i had seen in a long time. The Blondes are two of the most gifted wrestlers/comedians around and every time i see them they become funnier. The Headbangers have been one of my favs. ever since they debuted the gimmick in SMW. The match went back and forth kind of slowly, Eddie Golden didn’t want the HBs to touch him and every time they locked up the HBs would yell “Don’t touch me there!” this infuriated the Blondes and as the match progressed it became harder and harder to watch because you were laughing too much. Chazz and Glen work well together and broke face several times . . . Glen gets Eddie Golden over his knee in the corner and Chazz climbs up the ropes behind him only to slip, “Chazz, you’re killing me by god!”, Glen shouts as he practically falls over himself laughing. Chazz finally came off the top rope with the leg drop. The Blondes have a show they put on were Eddie grabs one of the opponents and takes him down, Stan is playing the fans and keeps asking Eddie, “Gimmie his arm! Gimmie his arm!” with his back turned to his partner, he motions that he wants to take the arm and bend it repeatedly over his shoulder. The opponents always get the better of Eddy in the ring and then give Eddies hand to Stan. Stan then starts bashing away on the arm with his face to the audience asking them “am i bad or what?!” . . . .”I’m gonna break it!!” meanwhile Eddie is screaming in pain “C’mon stop Stan it’s me! IT’S ME!!!!!!!” . . . . “OWWWWW, YOU’RE HURTING ME STAN!”. Stan is oblivious to this and as the Headbangers make there way around the ring to look at the Blondes killing each other unknowingly he begins to get this really confused look on his face slowly slowing down smashing the arm he thought was Glens. The Headbangers get a kick out of this and so do the fans. In the end the Headbangers come out on top, getting the clean pin.

3rd. match: “Jumpin” Joey Maggs vs. David Young. This was a ground match with many arm bars, takedowns and rest holds. Joey really started to piss me off at his not being into it. David Young has plenty of talent but really couldn’t show much of it as Joey basically kept the match slow and boring. Joey won it with some weak move and it was over . . . I gave him much s*** as he left the ring.


I had a chance to speak to the Glen Ruth of the Headbangers after he tried like h3ll to get with this porker 3 stools down (why? don’t ask me because i don’t know), I asked him when are they going to drop the spider gimmick because it really was terrible compared to the Headbangers, he said “They told us not yet and maybe not at all because it’s too close to the Rad Radford gimmick . . . .”, i told him that they were crazy and that the Headbanger gimmick could work . . . He said “I know, they don’t understand that the Headbanger gimmick is way beyond the Radford idea . . . we’ll keep trying.”

Dave Jericho came out and was selling R&R merchandise and visiting with his girlfriend . . . I’ve seen him before at a Southern States show and she was there, I’m telling you, it’s pretty F’n hard to concentrate on anything else when she’s around she is incredibly attractive.

4th match: Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy vs. Billy Black. Slow and predictable as Terry has become 2nd only to the Hogan menace. Billy Black i was told was quite a high-flyer but he showed none of that that night . . . Terry can still give a mean slam though and his DDT’s are great. Gordy wins with a DDT. Highlight was the “Freebird” entrance music.

5th match: Brad Armstrong vs. Ricky Morton. Brad came out to the biggest pop of the night and they worked a great match. Quick moves executed with a lot of feeling on Brads part and as the match progressed Morton began assuming the heel role. Brad is a h3ll of a worker and he is capable of some great moves and Ricky performs better when somebody like him is in the ring with him . . . They knew they were putting on a good show and during a resthold against the ropes Ricky looked up to the stairs where most of the wrestlers had come to watch and yelled “what’s the matter Joey???”, big grin on his face as Joey looked down. In the end Ricky grabbed the tights and used the ropes as leverage to get the pin. Brad was pissed as he walked out Jericho came into the ring asking Ricky “Why, did you need the ropes? why? why?” Ricky started to talk to him and settled him down enough to leave the ring with that stupid R&R anthem blaring. As Jericho got to the ropes Ricky gave him a beautiful clothesline thus setting up IPW very first angle.

The Main Event: Body Count (the Punisher & “Heavy Metal” Rick Savage)vs. the Gangsta’s. Now i have been a fan of the Gangsta’s for a long time and this was going to be a treat for me. Body Count are a very impressive team and Savage is as big as the Punisher! Great brawl inside the ring, New Jack at one point was handed a slapjack (SMW TM.?), by their manager and put it in his pants, the fans went wild “it’s in his pants!!” the ref. becomes curious and New Jack pulls it out into his hand . . . “it’s in his hand!!!” the ref. again becomes curious and backs New Jack into a corner. New Jack puts it in his mouth and puts his back to the ref. and holds out his hands . . . “it’s in his mouth!!”, the ref. backs off and orders the match to continue New Jack puts in back in his pocket yelling at the female fan who was talking to the ref. . . . . “I’ll put somethin’ in your mouth . . . .. and you’ll like it too!!” the crowd went nuts (all 40 of us . . . ), The brawl went outside and the Gangsta’s gave wicked chairshots . . . Body Count took them all then dished a few of their own they knocked row after row of chairs out and even as New Jack and Rick Savage brawled by the door they inadvertently threw Joey Maggs out to the parking lot (this got the biggest pop from me . . . ). The ref. got a chairshot and thrown into the ringpost and he ordered a double disqualification but the brawl continued and eventually the Gangsta’s left Body Count in the ring.

It was one h3ll of a show, i loved almost every minute of it. I got to talk with just about every wrestler and enjoyed the conversation as most of them really took the time to visit. I think it was great that despite the size of the crowd almost all of the wrestlers gave it their all. The place was great and Allan really gave his 110%.

Now the bad news: It’s all over (at least for now), that was the first and (hopefully not), last show he can put on. Allan had a falling out with his partner and the future of the IPW does not look good which is really terrible because he has the perfect place and the right desire to really produce top-notch product. If you all enjoyed my summary (I’m sorry if i rambled, it’s my first . . . ), and you want tape info contact “”

Thanks to everyone that was there and to BATES FAN for the ECW tape . . . if you are in the Knoxville area i urge you to see Southern States wrestling on the 2nd of Feb. They have a new manager coming in and it is none other than “the DUKE” that’s right Allan Barrie, the undaunted, will surface in SSW.

Hope you enjoyed the report, send all E-Mail, comments, etc. (including ECW tape lending offers), to “”


WHAT YOU MISSED: ROB VAN DAM made his ECW debut against AXL ROTTEN in the opening match. Van Dam frustrated Rotten throughout the match with his martial arts skills and his high-flying abilities (including a somersault tope’). Van Dam wins with the split-legged moonsault . . . ECW remixed the opening credits to include a great recap of the last three weeks of ECW action, which included a verbal attack by JOEY STYLES on the WWF’s new “extreme attitude” . . . the ECW will return to Reading, PA at the Bodyslam’s Arena on Feb. 2nd, and to the Lost Battalion Hall in Queens, NY on Feb. 3rd . . . TAZ destroyed HACK MYERS, finishing him with the Tazmission. Taz continued his verbal on SABU after the match . . . Hype Central featured the new FONZIE MUST DIE T-shirt . . . highlights of the Sabu/STEVE RICHARDS match from HOUSE PARTY 96 were shown.  Sabu wins with the Atomic Arabian Facebuster. Very good match by both wrestlers . . . Joey Styles comments on possible “poor management” by Woman, allowing 2 GOLD SCORPIO to put the Tag Titles on the line in a TV Title match against MIKEY WHIPWRECK, who happen to win both titles. This leaves THE SANDMAN with only the ECW World Title, which doesn’t sit well with him . . . KONNAN made his final ECW appearance, facing The Sandman for the ECW World Title (mutants chant “SANDMAN’S GONNA KILL YOU”). Sandman showed he had wrestling ability as he went to the mat with Konnan. Konnan bled BIG TIME in this one as The Sandman eventually went hardcore, caning Konnan during the match. REY MISTERIO JR makes the save, tossing Konnan a second Singapore cane. Both wrestlers cane each other until Konnan cannot answer the ten-count . . . Hype Central hyped the new BUH BUH RAY DUDLEY T-shirt . . . Konnan had his good-bye speech, saying kind words about The Sandman . . . TOMMY DREAMER agreed to team with SHANE DOUGLAS on Jan. 27th at the ECW Arena against CACTUS JACK & MIKEY WHIPWRECK, with the stip. being whoever wins a belt first (Douglas or Dreamer), gives the other the first shot at it . . .

WWF in SAN JOSE by (David)
Jan. 23, 1996- San Jose State Events Center- 7 PM
While traveling the Events Center, I noticed heavy traffic. It turned out that plenty of people showed up to the first Bay Area appearance of the WWF over two years. Here is the major developments of the card:

-it was revealed that Yokozuna turned face the previous evening (Raw TV taping in Stockton)

-Hunter Hearst Helmsley is now feuding with Duke The Dumpster Droese (more details later)
-Tatanka returned (groan); debuting were Justin The Hawk Brenshaw (John Hawk from Dallas wrestling), with Uncle Zebakiah and a new tag team of  Henry Godwinn and his brother Phinneas Godwinn, who I believe is Shanghai Pierce. The Godwinns are man aged by Hillbilly Jim. Also there was Devon Storm but he took an assumed name and wrestled as a jobber.

Now for the card:
1. Ralph Timson vs. Robert Thompson These guys must be two local wrestlers. They were very green and sucked. This match was just a warm-up. WINNER: Timpson in about 10 minutes

Then Jim Ross, Mr. Perfect and Vince McMahon came out to the broadcast podium, located behind the floor seats and to the side of the entrance. Ross introduced the evenings card, and it was time for TV taping. Ring announcer Bill Dunne told us to yell and scream for 15 seconds, and the first wrestler was introduced.

2. Fatu vs. Ringmaster with Ted DiBiase. Fatu gets a brief pop because he is native San Franciscan. The Million-Dollar Belt is beautiful and shiny. Ending comes as Fatu is on  the top rope, DiBiase knocks him down and Austin slaps on the MD Dream. WINNER: Ringmaster by submission.

Ross, Mr. P and Vince leave as the squashes begin.

3. Savio Vega in a squash. Savio dances too much.

4. 1-2-3 Kid with Ted DiBiase in a squash.

5. Tatanka (groan), with Ted DiBiase vs. Robert Thompson. Thompson is from San Jose and wrestled the opening match. Tatanka is back and he still sucks in this squash.

6. Owen Hart with James E. Cornette vs. Aldo Montoya, Portuguese Man O War. Not much of a match. Hart wins, I forget how, then he applies the sharpshooter after the match. WINNER: Owen Hart by pinfall

7. Isaac Yankem DDS vs. Avatar

This was the biggest disappointment of the match. I told my friends Avatar was awesome. He stunk. Yankem caught Avatar while he tried a moonsault, then gave him the DDS for the quick victory. What the h3ll? I thought Avatar was going to have some kind of push. Al Snow can work. WINNER: Yankem by pinfall

8. Marty Jannetty squash. For some reason the fans like him. I don’t.

9. Hakushi squash.

10. Next is the Godwinns, Phinneas I. and Henry O., with Hillbilly Jim. Phinneas is the dumb bumpkin type, who likes to spend time with the fans. He got lost on his way to the ring. The Godwinns win the squash when Henry executed the slop drop. The Hillbillies are over. I must say Hillbilly Jim is big, and looks to be in great shape.

Vince comes to ringside to interview Shawn Michaels. Michaels is way over. The interview was just to add heat to the Michaels vs. Owen Hart match at the next In Your House. Afterwards, Michaels jumped into the stand causing a frenzied mob. Jack Brisco and Earl Hebner had to act as the bodyguards.

While Shawn’s music still plays, Devon Storm comes to the ring. He is a jobber with a normal name, but for some reason he is in the ring for a long time as the broadcast crew films a new intro. Devon dances to the music, yells with fans and does a  heel gimmick to last the five minutes or so of dead time.

1. Duke Droese vs. Devon Storm (under a normal name). The Dumpster is wrestling, so I decide to take a bathroom break. Basic squash for Droese. After the match, Hunter Hearst Helmsley comes to the ring and attacks Trashman with a steel trash can. The can is flattened. Then, HHH pedigrees Droese on the lid. To add insult to injury, HHH cuts Droese’s hair. Major heat. My friends and I loved it.

Jim Cornette comes out alone and grabs the microphone. I thought he would introduce Vader. Instead, he tells the crowd that he fired Yokozuna last night because he was a no good back-stabber. Out comes Yoko and he grabs Cornette. Owen Hart comes  to save his manager, but Yoko deposits Owen over the top rope. The fans pop for The Mighty Yokozuna.

12. Justin The Hawk Brenshaw with Uncle Zebakia vs. Bob Holly. Brenshaw dominated most of this match. He looks a lot like Barry Windham in physical stature. Brenshaw executed some suplexes and looked impressive in putting away Holly. After the match, Uncle Zeb had to pry The Hawk away with Brenshaw’s cowbell.

Ted DiBiase comes out and grabs the mike to give his famous schpeil. He waves his money and already the ringside fans are pointing wanted to be picked. I haven’t even told you what I wanted you to do yet, he responded. Ted wanted people to kiss his feet. After everyone was willing, Ted, in the heelish fashion of which he is great at, said I just wanted to see if I could make you do it. The crowd was pissed. Ted has perfected his role as million dollar jerk.

13. Hunter Hearst Helmsley with a hot chick squash. HHH has a hot, hot chick. She got the second biggest pop of the night. HHH was about to execute his pedigree, which made hundreds of kids run to ringside. He paused, which I thought was for effect. He was waiting for Duke Droese to make it to ringside so he can get revenge. Duke had another steel trash can but he nailed HHH opponent with it. HHH escaped and got the DQ win.

14. Tatanka with DiBiase vs. Shawn Michaels. Shawn continued to mock the Indian heritage of Tatanka. He did the Tomahawk chop, made Indian sounds, sat Indian style, etc. The match was not to great. Shawn won when DiBiase held him, but let go as Tatanka came in with a fist. A superkick sealed the win for Shawn. After the match, Shawn picked up the hottest chick in the arena and freaked her in the ring. Then Shawn jumped on my side of the crowd. I warn the WWF not to let Michaels do this again. In the mob of people that tried to touch him, little kids were getting trampled. Not very safe.

15. The Godwinns with Hillbilly Jim in another squash. Phinneas left to say hi to McMahon.

16. Jeff Jarrett vs. Razor Ramon. This match wasn’t televised. These guys put on a lazy, poor performance. It is like they didn’t want to be there. The result was a double-countout in 10 minutes. Out comes The 1-2-3 Kid who attacks Razor with a baby bottle and stroller. Ahmed Johnson makes the save. Disappointing match.

17. The Mighty Yokozuna wins in a squash handi-cap match. The crowd is behind Yoko.

18. Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. My hero Barry Horrowitz. Barry is the sole reason my friends and I went. We had a Shalom Barry sign in Hebrew. I waved the Israeli flag. Barry saw this, gave me a thumbs up and said thank you. Barry, the only Jewish wrestler with a Jewish gimmick. Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on his side, as HHH beat him with the pedigree. Good match overall. HHH chick is hot, hot, hot!!!! WINNER: HHH with the pedigree

19. Justin The Hawk Brenshaw with Uncle Zeb returns for another squash

20. Ahmed Johnson vs. 1-2-3 Kid with DiBiase boring match until Double J comes out for the DQ. Double J tries to nail Ahmed from the top rope with his guitar, but Ahmed catches him in a bear hug. Out comes Razor Ramon, but he is nailed with the guitar. The heels leave and Razor is on the ground. WINNER: Ahmed by DQ

Vince is back to interview Bret Hart. This is to add fuel to his cage match vs. Diesel at IYH. Bret claims he is the master of cage matches. He says he has no respect for Big Daddy Fool.

21. Undertaker with Paul Bearer vs. IC champ GoldDust with Marlina Spectacular introductions by both. GoldDust did his whole gay act with the ring poll, ropes, ref., etc. I displayed my sign: GoldDust- King of Queers. This Butt is not for you. The match kind of sucked. GoldDust tried to come on to UT, then UT slapped him. After a series of unsuccessful moves, GoldDust executed his top offensive move of the night. What’s the capital of Thailand? Bangkok. UT was down, but he made his usually sit up, come back. But, another Bangkok and he was down again. Dustin used some chinlocks to control the match for the next few minutes. UT came back and Dustin left the ring for the countout after being chokeslammed. Poor match. WINNER: UT by countout

Now was construction of the cage. It took the crew about 15-20 minutes. Now for the main event starting at 11:34.

22. Diesel vs. World champ Bret Hart in a steel cage. By far, the worst match of the night. Almost no action. Bret tried to escape the match too much. The only offense by either man was Diesels body checking Bret into the cage. The end came when Bret went to climb, Diesel went for the door. Bret made it out first clearly to win the match in about 6 minutes. Then, Bill Dunne announces as an act of sportsmanship, Diesel would like to hand Bret his title. Geez, I wonder what is going to happen. Diesel walloped Bret with the belt. After this, I knew it was time to go home. The crowd was pretty split in this match.

Further notes: Not a great night of action, but this was my first TV taping, and it was fun. Plenty of explosives, fireworks, lasers, etc. Hunter H. Helmsly easily was the best of the night. His sneak attack and his chick made him awesome. He is a future champion.

No Vader, no Bodydonnas and Sunny, no tag team champions. The crowd at one point got into a Vader chant. McMahon was aware of it. The crowd was mostly kiddy marks and their parents. I think a rap station had a  ticket give-away. The house though,  was packed, which must have been good for Vinnie Mac. There were about  6,000 people there.

We arrive in plenty of time, despite heavy traffic and a motorway full of the world’s most stupid drivers. Unfortunately, the crowd is down on last time, probably because of the snow that’s fallen here again.

The referee is “The Extremist” Justin Richards, a wrestler who is currently out of action after having an operation on his arm to remove a cyst or something. More on him later . . .

We begin with the KOTR tournament:

1) DAVE McMILLAN (w/ Tony McMillan), v PHIL POWERS: This was a good match, nothing wrong with it, but it was too lively for the opener. Tope suicide from Dave, springboard splash and springboard drop-kick from Phil. End came on the 7:45 mark when Dave whipped Phil into the ropes, Tony hit him with the flagpole and Dave hit a great looking tombstone piledriver for the pin to a chorus of jeers. I tell you, on this run, the Macmillan’s have started to develop into really good heels.

2) GARY STEELE v TITAN: This was another solid match, with Gary rocking the big guy to make the crowd wonder if tonight was the night Titan would finally be beaten. End came on 4:07 when, after knocking Titan out the ring, Gary missed a clothesline and hit his arm on the ringpost, which Titan squashed (his arm, not the ringpost, though I’m sure he could squash the ringpost if he wanted to), and won by submission with a simple armbar. Justin and I tried to get him to release the hold, which he finally did, and then he shoved me to the ground. Worryingly, the crowd cheered this action. Why does everyone cheer when I get attacked?? :0)

3) GUY THUNDER v JASON THE TERRIBLE (w/ Alexandra Masters): Guy is a local boy, so he gets a push on the Tonbridge shows. Jason is Mavis’s alter ego, in case you don’t know by now, and good God, does he play the role well. Does sit ups like Undertaker, did some great looking over the top spinkicks (where they both go over), the Cactus clothesline and the Cactus elbowdrop off the ring apron. Guy was very vocal and worked the crowd well. A longish but never dull match, with a bit of outside interference, end came when JTT got a handful of powder from Ms. Masters, but got it kicked in his face by Guy for the pinfall on 12:27.

4) TONY McMILLAN (w/ Dave McMillan), v JCB: JCB is from Tonbridge, and again gets a push as he gets the local guy pop too. This was full of heel tactics from the Macmillan’s and was basically a toe to toe brawl with JCB trying to fight off two opponents at once. End came on 8:08 when, with Dave and Tony discussing their next heelish plot on the ring apron, JCB ran up and caught Dave in a reverse rolling cradle for the pin.

5) GUY THUNDER v TITAN: Guy did well, punching and kicking Titan, trying to wear him down. However, Titan ducked a punch, put his hand around Guy’s throat and chokeslammed him to the mat for the pin in an amazing 51 seconds!

6) DAVE McMILLAN (w/ Tony McMillan), v JCB: Again, a two on one brawl, but I was otherwise engaged for the majority of this match (huh huh huh huh huh), but the end saw Tony come in the ring for Dave and catch JCB in a small package for the pin. But your ever watchful ring announcer spotted this and after debating with the referee and asking the crowd, the decision was reversed. Two unhappy campers, those Macmillan’s, but two promising heels.

7) Mixed match: THE ULTIMATE B!TCH v ADAM C. EXCLUSIVE: This saw the crowd have a go at Adam for taking on a woman and hitting her etc. After Adam worked over her with throws and suplexes etc., UB made a comeback and scored the pin on 3:56 with a nice looking standing moonsault (i.e. not off ropes).

8) Ladder match: ANDRE ‘SLEDGEHAMMER’ BAKER v ‘THE ANARCHIST’ DOUG WILLIAMS: Before the card began, when the ring was being set up, Andre asked me to get a ladder from the Angel Centre. The only one they had was a bloody great big solid steel 8 foot high one (the same size as the WWF one). So they couldn’t do much with using the ladder as a weapon on the outside for fear of injuring a spectator (or Doing a Dixon, as it’s known). Match began with normal non-ladder assisted wrestling, including Doug’s Asai moonsault in and out of the ring, and Andre’s spinning tope and twisting Asai cross body block to the floor. Then the ladder came into play. Andre got it, Doug tried to get it, but instead got a  ladder shot to the guts. Then Andre hit him in the head with the side of the ladder and propped it up, steps facing the ring, against the apron, grabbed Doug’s head and <whack> Doug’s head caught the crossbeam of the metal ladder, opening up a legit, non-bladed cut on his head. Having looked at it after the match, it was a small cut, about half an inch long just above the hairline, but was it ever deep! Blood poured down Doug’s head and face, and he was forever flicking blood out of his eyes. End came on 9:50 when Andre placed the ladder over what was left of Doug’s head, and climbed up to grab the key to the locker with the belt in. Long story, but he did bring out the belt at the beginning. Doug staggered off, looking for a washbasin.

9) TITAN v JCB: A short final, saw Justin give JCB slow counts, and Titan an incredible fast one off a powerslam for the win in 2:32. Afterwards, JCB tore off Justin’s shirt. We’re turning him heel across the county. :0)

Doug needed a temporary butterfly stitch from the first aid guys at the centre, amidst questions of “But isn’t it all fake?” and was given a very stylish looking bright blue plaster across his forehead. We didn’t stop off anywhere on  the way back for some reason . . . :0), Next show 1/2/96 in Sittingbourne.

WHAT YOU MISSED: The end of last weeks Nitro match between RANDY SAVAGE and RIC FLAIR where Savage won the title . . . JOHNNY B BADD beat JOHNNY SWINGER . . . BIG BUBBA ROGERS trashed some ham -n- egger . . . THE SHARK mauled EDDIE JACKIE . . . SUPERBRAWL control center w/MEAN SCHEME GENE . . . Announced: HH vs. TSANH in a cage, Savage vs. Flair for the title in a cage, STING/LEX LUGER vs. HARLEM HEAT for the belts, ONE MAN GANG vs. KONNAN for the US title, THE PUBLIC ENEMY vs. NASTY BOYS in a “street fight” . . . Also mentioned that the FOUR HORSEMEN could become three, but the info ain’t for free . . . EDDY GUERRERO beat some jobber . . . DEAN MALENKO twisted “ROCKIN’ REBEL” CHUCK WILLIAMS into a knot . . . Clash highlights . . . DIAMOND “DOLL LESS” PAGE cut down BUCK  QUARTERMAINE . . . Ugh, they could at least have one match with two non-nobodies . . .

WHAT YOU MISSED AND I DIDN’T: “DIAMOND” DALLAS PAGE beat STEVE ARMSTRONG and then gave an interview. Page said he would put up all of his money for a shot a JOHNNY B. BADD and THE DIAMOND DOLL . . . Highlights from the CLASH . . . “LORD” STEVEN REGAL beat DUSTY WOLFE . . . A Clash Control Center was next . . . Johnny B. Badd beat MENG and then gave an interview where he turned down Dallas Page’s offer . . . Highlights of LEX LUGER and STING beating HARLEM HEAT for the tag titles . . . MEAN GENE interviewed Sting and Luger. Sting and Luger then beat THE BARRIO BROTHERS . . . ERIC BISHOFF interviewed KEVIN GREEN, who said after the Steelers beat the Cowboys, he was going to go home and watch Nitro . . . JOEY MAGGS beat V.K. WALLSTREET by disqualification. Following the match, CRAIG PITMAN came to the aid of Maggs and then asked TEDDY LONG to be his manager. Long accepted . . . THE GIANT beat a jobber and then yelled at us . . . Highlights of THE NACHO MAN winning the title . . . RIC FLAIR beat ALEX WRIGHT and then gave an interview . . . Eric Bischoff continued his series of meaningless interviews by interviewing STEVE MCMICHAELS and his dog. McMichaels dog recently scored higher on an IF test than McMichaels did . . . Another Super Brawl control center . . . Here are the matches announced so far: that HH thing vs. The Giant in a cage, Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage in a cage, Lex Luger and Sting vs. Harlem heat, One Man Gang vs. KONNAN and THE NASTY BOYS vs. THE PUBLIC ENEMY in a street fight . . . Harlem Heat beat THE AMERICAN MALES and then gave an interview . . . The last ten minutes of this show were taken up with interviews with Randy Savage and the HH monstrosity . . . I have made it through another week . . . One of the last commercials I saw while

Hack Meyers Over Mr. Hughes
Hack surprisingly wins with a roll up.

Judge Dredd Over Blue Meanie
Horrible match. Dredd is in because he is a friend of someone in the federation. He is truly sad. Meanie and Dredd brawl in and out of the ring. Dredd juices and wins.

Dudleys Over JT Smith & Axl Rotten
JT and Axl!! WHY??  Buh Buh tries to say his name and JT keeps taking the mic from him. Axl gets mad and tells JT to let Dudley speak. JT nails Axl with the mic. Buh Buh bombs JT for the pin. Only set up for a JT v Axl feud. Why?

HeadHunters Over Bad Crew

2 Cold Scorpio retained his title Over El Puerto Ricano (Ubas)
Jimmy Del Rey comes out in a sling and announces that he is unable to fight tonight because he was jumped by 119 guys up in Syracuse. It was hysterical!! He brings out Ricano who does a few high spots before getting pinned by 2 Cold.

Gangstas Over Pit Bulls
Before the match began, Stevie and Meanie came out with a jar of Fluff. Stevie was talking to Francine about the good old days when he would lick it off her stomach. (Or something similar, the sound wasn’t that great). He finally asked her if she was pregnant. She screamed no and he called her some derogatory names.

The match started as almost everyone from the dressing room got in the ring and started brawling. Finally, Tod called for the match to begin. The 4 men bled and fought all over the arena before finally getting back in the ring. Gangstas win via pinfall. After the match Stevie comes out and superkicks Francine (She’s hardcore)

Sabu Over Rob van Dam via DQ.
Both men did great high spots in the ring and on the floor. At one point Sabu set up a table right where I was sitting. He yelled move, so I did. He flew out of the ring, over the guard rail, through Rob and the table. When they got back in the ring, Ricano ran in and jumped Sabu from behind causing the DQ. Rod then whipped Sabu into 911 who chokeslammed Sabu. 911 said he warned Sabu not to F*#k with him!

Mikey Whipwreck & Cactus Jack Over Shane Douglas & Tommy Dreamer
Cactus had on a WW Fn F T-shirt and gave a great speech about how March 9 would be his last ECW appearance. He was mad that he came in 7th place in the hardcore voting. Shane told Jack that if he was going to WWF he better get the Vaseline ready.

This was the best match of the night. Why?? As Mikey and Shane were fighting in front of us, Mikey clotheslined Shane over the guard rail and into my lap. Now I like being part of the action but this is ridiculous. Mikey then climbed onto the ring apron and yelled for me to move. I nicely got Shane off of me before I ran like h3ll. The ending saw Cactus trip Shane face first into a chair in the ring.

Raven defeated The Sandman for the ECW Heavyweight Title
Raven won after a DDT on a chair. Raven had new female manager who has to be seen to be believed.

After the match Woman told Sandman that it was great because now he can “COME” with her. He screamed no because he is the King of Extreme and called her a b!tch. 2 Cold came out and Sandman told him to choose. After several minutes 2 Cold chose Sandman and carried Woman out the back door. He returned to the ring and chugged a beer with Sandman.

Overall, this was a good card. I was glad to see Woman one last time. I was happy that they wrote her out of the storyline instead of Paul E. just getting in the ring and badmouthing her. The 2 reasons I started going to ECW were Cactus Jack and Woman. She will be greatly missed as will Cactus come March 9. I hope ECW can continue the excellent job they have been doing without these two great talents.

I was able to get my Polaroid with Nancy during intermission. It will most likely be my last on with her.
PS Thanks to Joe Pedicino for using my screen name and some of my info on his hotline.

USWA Report 1/28/95 by KATHRYN D LIZENBY
Match 1: Doug Gilbert vs. Brian Christopher. Doug does a great job of working he crowd, and even gets in their faces and insults the fans. He is over now as a heel. Brian Christopher controls the first part of this match-up with a lot of various moves. Doug then retaliates with slamming Brian into the ring post and asking the fans “How ya like your boy, TOO SEXY, now?” Brian retaliates again, but only to get hit by a chain, and pinned by Doug with Scott Bowden counting. TD Steele comes out and takes over the ref. job then mayhem ensues. Great match, but was a double disqualification.

The next match was set up by showing highlights of how JC Ice hurt his leg.

Match 2: Tracy Smothers and Jesse James Armstrong with Scott Bowden vs. PG-13. PG-13 now have the belts but this is a non-title bout. There is lots of back and forth in this match with Wolfie doing most of the work because JC is injured. Doug comes runs in for a clothesline, then leaves. Tracy Smothers and Jesse James Armstrong both using  frequent tags and work consistently on JC’S, who just tagged in, leg. They used the partial figure four, and finally  Tracy puts on the full figure four.. Doug comes out and  hits Wolfie with the hubcap and starts biting and choking  him, Koko comes out and bullwhips Brian Christopher who  has came in to help, and Tracy Smothers uses the flag  repeatedly on Jc’s leg. This match was a Draw because of  time limit.

Want to tell the promoters how you feel? the USWA  hotline is not up and running 1-900-988-USWA.

Match 3: Red Tyler vs. Spellbinder. This was a decent match-up. the spellbinder has really improved and Mr. Tyler seems to be a decent wrestler. These two look to be up and coming  headliners

Patricia who is New to the USWA, claiming to be from New York with a definite New York accent is managing the border Patrol. She says that she has a surprise for Miss Texas. Miss Texas comes out only to be attacked by Susan  Sapphire. Susan and Patricia both attack Miss Texas.

Scott Bowden comes out with a bag of fan mail saying he will read one of the letters next week. Brandon Baxter  comes out, it sure is nice to see him again, and when Randy Hales comes out, both Bowden and Baxter repeatedly kick and punch Hales. The Spellbinder finally clears the ring.

Match 4: Ripley Prim vs. Koko B. Ware. Very quick match, easy pin, then Koko handcuffs Prim to the ringpost and repeatedly whips him with that bullwhip – ouch!!!! Brian Christopher comes out with the save and just shakes his head as he looks at Prim’s back.

WHAT YOU MISSED: {Due to the fact that I set my VCR to the wrong channel I missed Superstars, but a friend saw it and this is what he said happened.}  JUSTIN BRADSHAW beat BOB “SPARK PLUGG” HOLLY . . . SLAM JAM w/ DOK HENDRIX . . . GOLDUST interview . . . DUKE “THE DUMPSTER” DROESE won a match . . . HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY won a match . . . SHAWN MICHAELS beat TATANKA . . . SLAM JAM w/DOK . . . !

I first want to thank ZACJACKSON for offering the tickets for the show. This was my first live card since April in Steubenville, OH, and if it weren’t for the reunion of the Road Warriors, I would not have been there. He told me earlier that the tickets would be about $2.50, but ended up free.

Anyway, I got in my car at 5:00 to make the 2+ hour trip from Delaware, OH (on your map, find Columbus. Okay? Now just go straight north about ten miles . . . there!), to Canton, and nothing eventful happened until Mike Tribusano came on WWWE from Cleveland, singing the praises of my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. He congratulated the team for winning “one for the thumb,” and started to play the Steelers polka (Here’s to the town with the great football team/ Here’s to the Pittsburgh Steelers . . . ), and had me swearing at the radio. Here’s this dumb@ss geek from Cleveland making fun of the Steelers, while the Browns are leaving town! Then he announces he put a bundle on the Steelers (+13 1/2), as well as on the Steelers out-gaining the Cowboys in every possible offensive stat. He made a bundle, and was going to vacation in Florida, thanks to my favorite team. Whatta team! Now, if only Andre Hastings and Neil O’Donnell knew what each other was thinking on that one pass . . .

I arrived in Canton just after 7:00, found a parking space in a lot half a block from the Civic Center, and waited outside for Zac. Apparently, he was waiting inside while I was outside, because we finally met at 7:45. I went in and looked for a seat (d@mn general admission . . . ), but they were all full. Finally, I saw one about 50 feet from where Bobby, Eric, and Pepe would be sitting, and found it taken. Fortunately, there was an empty seat two down, and I leaped in it. After I sat down, I found out why it was empty. Ladies and gentlemen, I have never seen a complete episode of “Beavis and Butthead,” and now, thanks to my trip to Canton, I won’t have to – I know what they’ll be like after they grow up. “Hey, me and him won tickets to this through the TV station! We went to Desert Storm together, and now we’re going to wrestling together! Heh-heh-heh! Bobby “the Brain” Heenan Sucks! Bobby “The Brain” Heenan Sucks! Heh-heh-heh!” “Huh-huh, you said ‘suck.’ Huh-huh-huh.” And yes, they actually tried to get a chant of “Bobby “The Brain” Heenan Sucks” going.

But that was to my right. To my left, an oasis in this desert of Rhodes scholars (insert Dusty Rhodes jokes here). His name was Boris Smirnow, and he’s coming to AOL soon. He said he was in Jim Thorpe, PA for ECW on 1-26, and if you watch the 6th Survivor Series, he’s in the front row for the entire card. Boris was telling me how he’s filling out applications to all the organizations, and he wants a job badly. So, if you see anything cross your desk with his name on it, and you make decisions on hirings, consider this an unofficial reference for him: he’s a good egg that knows what he’s talking about. He even had one storyline I had not thought about, and it makes sense. I can’t mention it here on the Ring Report, but for $1.49 a minute (hint, hint), I’ll tell all. He also asked me to phone him with any results from shows I go to, but since I go to one show a year, if that, I’ll let all of you have his number: 1-800-591-7912.

Around 7:55, Geno comes out to the screams and adoration of all the kiddies and the two guys to my right. He tells us that we’re going to be doing a couple live promos for the show during the next few minutes, “during ‘Thunder in Paradise’ on TNT at 8:00.” Gene’s doing a commercial for a show we came to the arena so we could avoid watching it. What’s with him? He introduces Ric Flair, who does a promo. However, thanks to the sound tech geniuses, we could hear nothing in the arena. After he left, Gene talked to us about the hotline, then introduced “the star of ‘Thunder in Paradise,'” Steroid Boy himself, for another promo. Once again, we could hear nothing.

Five minutes later, we finally have the first match of the night.

I thought they lost Renegade! Why the %$#@()>?]= did they find him again? Pillman does his “chicken” act I hear he’s doing now (I desperately need cable!), Nothing great happened in this match until the end. Pillman backhands Renegade, who sells it like he was shot. Pillman goes to the top rope, but slips up there, and Renegade slams him. Renegade then goes to the top, and goes for the double ax handle, but Pillman drop-kicks him as he’s coming off the top for the pin.  .5 *

As the match ended, a 5-year-old in front of me wearing a Steroid Boy hat and clutching his new “Steroidster” shirt turned to his mother and burst into tears. She hugged him while looking around at us, with a look in her eyes that said, “What do I do?” As the father of a 3-year-old, I can see myself doing this if I ever take my daughter to a card. At the same time, I could see myself doing that 23 years ago. What a scary sense of deja-vu.

After some technical problems, we get our next match.

This match was for the Gang’s US title. Konnan’s shoulder was wrapped up, and Boris and I knew how half this match would be spent. After some circling and jumping, Gang punches Konnan’s shoulder, who goes down. Some kids behind me decided to razz the Gang by singing “1-800-96- JENNY!” After a while, Konnan gets up, goes to the ropes and drop-kicks OMG’S knee. After some more punching, Gang is in the ropes, and Konnan gives him a flying tackle through them. They fight for a few seconds outside the ring, then Gang crawls in. Konnan gets up on the apron, but Gang grabs him and scoops him for a slam. Konnan grabs the top rope, Gang loses his balance, and Konnan gets the pin. Your new United States heavyweight champion, Konnan! The match itself was not that good, but I give it 1.5* for the title change.

Something I forgot. During the first match, Terry Taylor came to the broadcast area. Hmmmmm . . .

JOHNNY B. BADD (with the Diamond Doll), v. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE
Johnny is just great, but DDP surprised me by how good he was here. They fought outside for a few minutes, then went into the ring. After some punching, DDP goes down, and JBB brings himself from the apron over the top rope into a legdrop (2 count). DDP gets a full nelson, but I’m not sure how JBB got out, because Beavis and Butthead kept bumping me while screaming “Johnny, Johnny.” Anyway DDP gets a backslide (2), JBB gets a small package (2), followed by a JBB clothesline (2). More punching and kicking, some choking by DDP. JBB gets up and runs to the ropes, but DDP gets a stun gun. He follows it up with a low elbow (2). JBB gets up after some punching, hits a reverse atomic drop, goes to the top rope and hits a double ax-handle. He then turns to the Diamond Doll (as a David Bowie fan, I love that name!), who gives Johnny a “10.” JBB goes to the top and hits a sunset flip (2). He then picks up DDP and hits a power bomb (!), (2). DDP gets up and gets a swinging neckbreaker (2). DDP throws JBB to the ropes, and JBB goes for a spinning head scissors, but in the middle, DDP falls forward for a powerslam (2). DDP throws him to the ropes, and this time JBB finishes the move (2). DDP rolls outside and grabs the Doll, and JBB goes over the top rope for a cross body block. They get back in the ring, and JBB corners DDP, climbs up to the top, and punches him twice, but DDP grabs him, brings him out, and hits the Snake Eyes from Vinnie Vegas’ days in WCW (2). JBB goes to the ropes, but DDP hits a swinging DDT (2). DDP then goes for a tombstone piledriver, but JBB reverses, hits and wins. 3*.

The rest of the matches, you saw on Nitro, so I won’t go into them here. Instead, just some stuff you didn’t see. When they came on the air, about seven of us got together and chanted “Raw sucks!” long enough to get them to get their attention, then switched to “ECW!” We were very close to Eric et al, but they couldn’t hear us. However, Boris and I noticed someone holding a sign in front of the main camera that read “VADER TIME” just before Doug Dillinger saw it and sent one of his goons to get it. Another sign confiscated from the same person read “1-900-GENE-SUX.” We yelled “First amendment!” to the guy, but, as Richard Dawson said in the movie “The Running Man,” I guess steroids make you deaf.

Later, during the Road Warriors match, the same group of us started another “ECW” chant, and were noticed real quick. “ECW! ECW! ECW! EC . . . Oh, wait, it’s Doug Dillinger. Hold on.”

“Do you kids want to stay here?”

Now, as a 28-year-old, I resent being called “kid.” I shaved my head and grew a goatee just so people would stop thinking I was a 19-year-old punk “kid.” (No offense to any 19-year-old punks, of course.), Still, not wanting to make a scene, I pretended to hang on his every word.

“Now, listen to me. This is our show, not ECW’s. So if you want to stay, you’ll stop the chant.”

Boris, knowing the ACLU would support us in a lawsuit, asked, “What about freedom of speech?”

Doug, knowing that Ted Turner has more money in his underwear than all of us put together, answered, “That’s fine. But we have the freedom to let anyone in that we want to, and the right to throw people out that we don’t want.” He then walked away.

We stayed quiet for the rest of the match, talking amongst ourselves. I still don’t know if we got on the air. If you heard us, please let me know.

The rest of the night was uneventful. In the car, I opened my Pizza flavored Doritos (c), found WMVP-AM from Chicago, and drove back home. All in all, a nice evening of wrestling by WCW standards, but kinda sorry by others. Thank you, God bless, and try Pizza flavored Doritos (c).

ROB’S RANT by K.R. Maury
I’m ROB and it’s time to RANT! WCW-send gramps to the home! Put Hogan, Flair, and Savage in their wheelchairs, let them wheel themselves to the Old Rassler’s Home, where they can start their own PPV – WHEELCHAIR GAMES. Their moves are so predictable that my wife, who hates wrestling, knows when and what they are going to do. Then WCW can let wrestlers like Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Public Enemy, and maybe Hugh Morris rise to the top. You can keep Sting, Arn Anderson, Kevin Sullivan (Kevin – Hogan is not Dusty Rhodes), and Brian Pillman. You can even keep Lex Luger as long as he stops whining. Thank you for bringing back the best tag team ever, The Road Warriors. The only problem is how long is it before they go to the home?

WWF-I love the GoldDust gimmick. Reminds me of The Exotic One, Adrian Street. But stop what I feel you’ve been doing for years – feuds only lasting through 1 or 2 PPV’S, then the focus moves to something else and before you know it the last feud has been forgotten. Let the GoldDust-Razor scenario last past Wrestlemania. And finally, get some real tag teams not these Jake and the Fatman reruns!

ECW-What can I say you’re great but you’re losing talent left and right. Sabu and Douglas are in and out while Malenko, Benoit, Guerrero and Public Enemy are out. It really hit me when Austin made a stopover from WCW to WWF. I hope for everyone’s sake ECW keeps bouncing back after a loss of talent. By the way, at first I thought the Dudleys were duds but they are turning into some of the most entertaining and fan motivating wrestlers that I’ve seen in a long time.

I’ll end this RANT with two comments. WCW and WWF- quit the bashing. It has been going on for years (and WWF started it by trying to humiliate Dusty Rhodes), but WCW has fueled the fire with all the NITRO comments from Eric “The Antichrist” Bischoff and Steve “It must’ve been my twin brother at Wrestlemania” McMichaels. Now I got to watch some Saturday Night Live wannabe skit about Ted’s Wrasslin’ War Room. My last comment is for those wrestling fans in the Philadelphia area (like me). Check out Channel 48 WGTW at 1 a.m. M-F for wrestling, not WCW or WWF but DSW, IWCCW, ECW, USWA and SMW. The programs may be reruns but excluding ECW where else are you going to watch these promotions on TV.  SEE YA!!

I’m sure some readers of this column think that all I ever do is bash WCW and praise the WWF. Well, this week’s column is dedicated to you.

Let me first express my disgust at GoldDust’s winning of the IC title. Razor Ramon has been a hard worker for the WWF, and has made Vince a lot of money. For him to loose in such a clinched matter (1-2-3 Kid interfering), is wrong.

Before I go any further, let me also say that discussions of things like homophobia do not belong in pro wrestling. Politics and wrestling do not mix. When I want to hear discussion of issues, I listen to Rush Limbaugh.

Let me next vent my frustration at the screw job the Undertaker got. I know it was predicted. Still, I think the Undertaker was done wrong. He has been in the promotion for years, but has only been allowed one championship belt. This is a man who thrills the fans night after night. He has had to put up with jobbing to Fatozuna. He has been looked over when it comes to title matches. The Undertaker deserves better.

While I’m on the subject, let me express my disgust at whomever’s idea it was to have Diesel flick off the Undertaker. It was in bad taste. What happened to ‘family entertainment?”

I give the Brian Pillman overacting award to Vader. His crazy-man stunt on Raw was dumb. I don’t know what he thought he would accomplish by attacking Monsoon and acting like he has no self-control. The Vader I want to see is the man who says he can kick your butt, goes in the ring, kicks your butt, and leaves.

Finally, I wish the WWF would stop trying to pretend to be hardcore. The warnings about “Action of a Graphic nature” is an attempted rip-off of ECW. VINCE, THE WWF IS NOT HARDCORE! STOP TRYING TO PRETEND LIKE IT IS!

I want to start off by saying hello to all of you readers. I thought I’d start my own post. (Some of you may remember me from a King of the Ring post I did last summer.)

The first thing I want to address is a comment made by Jim Sondergeld last week. He made some sort of joke about “Where was your bodyguard a few months back Shawn? <*snicker*>”, referring to the Syracuse attack. I did not find his comment funny. It is one thing to not like a wrestler because of his gimmick or your opinion of his workrate. It is another thing to find humor in something tragic. I’m not an Ed Leslie fan, but I did feel sorry for him when he was involved in the parisailing accident a few years back. It’s a very immature comment to be made from a so-called columnist.

Some people, like Jim Sondergeld, don’t seem to be able to separate the wrestler (Shawn Michaels), from the person (Mike Hickenbottom). Until people can start to see the difference unfortunate incidents like this will continue to happen.

On to other things . . . I liked the Vader/Gorilla Monsoon angle on RAW. That was a good way to let Vader get his shoulder worked on and establish him as the ultimate monster heel. Also, it’s a great way to bring back Roddy Piper as Monsoon’s replacement.

As far as WCW goes, I was glad to see that Sting and Lex Luger were given the tag belts. Both of them needed titles, and this will probably set up the Sting/Luger feud for the middle of the year (I’m predicting The Great American Bash). WCW needs to have Konnan win the U.S. Title from One Man Gang. I still can’t grasp why Bischoff gave the title to Gang. Benoit is the perfect choice for the belt IMO, and I really thought he would get it when he wrestled Sasaki (at WW3?). If Bischoff thinks the Gang is supposed to get any heat I have 4 words for him: Akeem the African Dream. Does anybody take the Gang seriously anymore?

Finally, I’m looking for the old Starrcade music the NWA used until 1988.  WWF recently used it for a Shawn Michaels clip. If anyone knows it please e-mail me at   Thanks, and until next week . . .

Flair VS. Hogan, How It REALLY Should Be! by Will Wiehe
The following is EXACTLY how a match between Ric Flair & Terrible Terry Bollea (AKA: That bald headed blonde bimbo Horrible Hulk Hogan), should go. Especially if that bald headed egomaniac Hogan would grow up & quit trying to muscle in match making decisions & plans & stop letting his over inflated ego get the best of everything & he does & says while ruining WCW & the rest of the world of pro wrestling in the process.

******** START OF MATCH ********
big fist


H.HOGAN 2 move Flurry

elbow smash
foreign object * H.HOGAN
flying clothesline H.HOGAN

Disaster #7: R.FLAIR

H.HOGAN 2 move Flurry


poke in the eyes H.HOGAN
flying forearm  R.FLAIR

Disaster #7: H.HOGAN

R.FLAIR 2 move Flurry
hair pull takedown H.HOGAN
boot to the gut  H.HOGAN


H.HOGAN 5 move Flurry

leg sweep
grab shorts taked R.FLAIR

snap mare
quick jabs

R.FLAIR 3 move Flurry
suplex off 2nd rope H.HOGAN
shoulder breaker H.HOGAN

Disaster #4: Reversal  H.HOGAN
face rake *

flying tackle
face rake *
foreign object * H.HOGAN

H.HOGAN Injury to the Head

R.FLAIR 3 move Flurry

R.FLAIR 3 move Flurry


Pin Attempt on H.HOGAN
throw over top rope H.HOGAN

Disaster #3: R.FLAIR

Pin Attempt on R.FLAIR
elbow smash
flying head sciss H.HOGAN
hair pull takedown R.FLAIR

reverse cradle  H.HOGAN

Pin Attempt on H.HOGAN

R.FLAIR 2 move Flurry
poke in the eyes H.HOGAN
flying head sciss H.HOGAN
monkey flip
reverse chinlock R.FLAIR
acrobatic kick  R.FLAIR
elbow drop

R.FLAIR 2 move Flurry

choke w/turnbuckle t H.HOGAN

Submit Attempt on H.HOGAN
Figure 4


Submit Attempt on H.HOGAN

SUBMITS at  22:19

R.FLAIR is Victorious!!

R.FLAIR owns the Belt!!!

Flair wins the match. Flair OWNS the belt. That is EXACTLY how it should &
must be! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Learn to live with it & learn to love it as it’s the best thing going around
today! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

******** END OF MATCH ********

Herewith commences a triple-header report on three consecutive nights of big-time pro wrestling — yes, including the Royal Rumble. Yes, I actually managed to stifle my gag reflex and sit through an entire WWF pay-per-view. Nobody can say that I’m not striving for objectivity, though it may cost me a hernia brought on by an unremitting case of the dry-heaves (NOTE: Only PPVs. will be formally graded).

This is the first PPV I’ve ever seen (well, the first WRESTLING PPV, anyway), that opened with a quasi-pornographic disclaimer. Just what demographic IS McMahon targeting, anyway? The preface to the card was reminiscent of network-quality NFL telecasts and was first-rate. It was one of two first-class bookends with a lot of garbage in-between.

AHMED JOHNSON defeated JEFF “HONKY-TONK MAN” JARRETT (DQ), — Jarrett is back after a lengthy contract dispute with Titan Towers. For a wrestler of his top-flight reputation, he certainly doesn’t show much between the ropes. He doesn’t even have an original gimmick; HTM bashed Randy Savage over the noggin with a break-away guitar almost a decade ago. Beats me why the WWF wanted Jarrett back. GRADE: C.

SMOKIN’ GUNNS pinned NUDIEDONNAS — Oh, sure, they call themselves the “Bodydonnas,” but seeing as how Tammy Fytch is their manager, and that Fytch bared her buttocks for the latest issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated, “Nudiedonnas” seems more appropriate. Having the ‘donnas wrestle stark naked might have given this match a shard or two of humor; even with the American Snails you can have fun laughing at them. This match put me to sleep. GRADE: D.

1-2-3 KID (substituting for DUSTIN RHODES), pinned RAZOR RAMON — Or something like that. In that sense, this match reminded me of Arn Anderson’s Starrcade world title victory over Randy Savage (on Ric Flair’s behalf). I never thought I’d be casting that travesty as the lesser of two evils.

Obviously the other stipulation in Rhodes’ WWF contract is that he cannot display the slightest wrestling acumen in his performances. All one sees from “GoldDust” is straight — and remarkably ineffective — brawling, without so much as a bulldog or Japanese armbar. Which, in McMahonland, is natural: the cartoon is all. Actual WRESTLING might distract from the omnipresent persona; which, in Rhodes’ case, would make a leaky arena ceiling a godsend.

This is one towering difference between the WWF and WCW. In the latter, toons (One Man Gang not withstanding), don’t win championships. Rhodes has paid a terrible price for his first gold in more than two years. And yet, even McMahon flinched from the, well, climax this match should have had. After the Kid KO’D Ramon from behind, GoldDust should have torn off the I-C champ’s trunks, mounted him, and kissed him full on the lips while the ref. made the three-count. Instead, WWF producers chickened out. Call it McMahonis Interruptis. GRADE: F.

ROYAL RUMBLE — This is definitely a better battle royal format than WCW employed in World War 3. And, frankly, the debut of Big Van Vader was the only reason I tuned in this PPV. He and Yokozuna should have steamrolled all twenty-eight other participants, including Diesel, and then beat the h3ll out of each other. And Vader should have won.

But no. Shawn Michaels (who resembles nothing so much as Alex Wright with hair, earrings, and make-up [must share a locker with GoldDust]), has been anointed the new god of Vinnie’s realm, and will be coronated at Wrestlemania XII. Thus, we saw the wholly improbable spectacle of Michaels eliminating Vader AND Yokozuna AND Diesel, among others. Which led to his stomach-turning, rope-twanging celebratory gyrations (Goodness gracious, at least all Wright used to do was pump his hips; Michaels looks like a man whose genitals have been attached to a berserk milking machine).

What an anticlimax the Michaels soap opera is. Everybody knows Bret Hart is going to job for him at WM XII (though a Hart-Michaels match should be a bout for the ages), just as we knew that Diesel was going to rob Undertaker against Hart later on, and as we know that Undertaker will rob Diesel against Hart at the next In Your House, setting up a Diesel-Undertaker match at WM. Such poor-quality angles denote another area in which the WWF is far behind WCW. GRADE: B.

UNDERTAKER defeated BRET HART (DQ), — Finally, a good match. Not great, but very good. Hart once again displayed talents equaled by nobody else in the business except Sting. I didn’t think he deserved the Survivor Series title shot against Diesel, but you can’t fault his ring ability. And still he would have succumbed to Undertaker’s tombstone piledriver had it not been for Diesel’s smirking intervention. Later, the latter said he “isn’t afraid of the dark” over and over. But if that’s true, why does he need to repeat it? GRADE: B.

OTHER NOTES — It’s hard to miss how McMahon now has his own version of the WCW hotline. And, wonder of wonders, Little Mac actually mentioned that Dory Funk, Jr. is a former NWA world champion. When he was on top of the pro wrestling hill, McMahon would NEVER have made such a concession . . . Curt Hennig made his return as McMahon’s broadcast sidekick, and sounded a lot more restrained than he used to. Vincy should still step aside in favor of Jim Ross, the greatest broadcasting talent in the business nobody is hearing. Why the h3ll else did he sign Ross if not to do the announcing? . . . Jake Roberts, who finally has grown all his hair back, also dropped in — and quickly out — of the Rumble. His snakes are bigger than ever, but does anybody care anymore? . . . Vader has been given four first names by his new boss: “The Man They Call” Vader . . . Reportedly WM XII will feature a mock match between the “Huckster” and the “Nacho Man” refereed by none other than “Millionaire Ted” himself. What hatred and
bitterness McMahon must harbor to desecrate two of the greatest living legends of WWF history. And the best part is, Eric Bischoff comes out smelling like a rose. Mission accomplished. OVERALL GRADE: C-.

RANDY SAVAGE pinned RIC FLAIR — OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH YEEEAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!! I’m a-toasting with wineglasses full of Slim Jim grease tonight as the Denture Boy has been relegated once more to preliminary jobbing, where he belongs. Obviously the latest Horsemen incarnation isn’t working, and Flair as world champ was working even less, and now that mistake has been fixed. Now that the sop to the Flairies is done with, maybe we can get serious again.

BRIAN PILLMAN pinned DEAN MALENKO — Many is the time this question is asked: Why does a heel ALWAYS have to win by underhanded means? After Pillman’s second-rope, 180-degree DDT, Malenko was ripe for the pickings, but Pillman showboated instead. And how did the latter eventually win? By tangling Malenko’s feet in the ropes. Very bad business in what could have been a lot better match. I think this “loose cannon” gimmick is taking away from Pillman’s ring performance, and given Arn Anderson’s fist-work a week ago, I’m not the only one who thinks so.

STING/LEX LUGER pinned HARLEM HEAT — Second of what should have been three title changes. Does Luger secretly have it in for Sting? It looks a lot more like Luger is either trying to use Sting, or at least lure him into acceptance of less reputable tactics, such as the roll of silver dollars Jimmy Hart slipped to him, and which he used to clobber Booker T and score the pin — all without Sting’s knowledge. How will Sting react? Who knows? And that is why this Luger is such great fun to watch. You never know what’s coming next.

HULK HOGAN pinned ONE MAN GANG — This match shouldn’t even have been on the card, much less made the main event over two other title bouts. As bad as the ring performance was, the illogic of the match was even worse. After Savage’s fourth world title victory, Hogan said he’d do all he could to attain the #1 contender’s spot — which, by tradition, is occupied by the U.S. champion. So who does Hogan wrestle later on? One Man Gang — the U.S. champion. Only it was a non-title bout, because Hogan won’t condescend to accepting a lesser title belt.

Which means, in turn, that the U.S. title will remain with the Gang, where it is atrophying
horribly. WCW threw that belt into a cul de sac when they failed to have Chris Benoit win it from Kensuke Sasaki at World War 3. The joint venture with New Japan Pro Wrestling obviously hasn’t continued since Starrcade, and yet Sasaki still had the U.S. belt. So now WCW abruptly reintroduces it by giving it to arguably the worst wrestler in WCW (depending on whether or not Ric Flair retires), a man for whom they will have a devil of a time scaring up a decent enough feud to get the title to somebody better qualified to hold it.

It would have been far better to give the U.S. title to Hogan, where it would have played into his growing rivalry with Randy Savage. Another opportunity has been lost.

But Ric Flair is no longer the world champ, so nothing can get me down on this night.

DEAN MALENKO vs. ALEX WRIGHT — I missed this match due to excessive commuting traffic. A rematch from WCWSN, where Malenko put the Texas Cloverleaf on Wright and refused to let go, one would think Wright would have won this time. My money would still have ridden on Malenko.

NASTY BOYS vs. PUBLIC ENEMY (double countout), — Saggs and Nobbs have finally met their match. Indeed, Public Enemy may well have made the Nasties redundant. They should feud for a long time, just as the Nasties won’t get close to the world tag team titles again any time soon.

KEVIN SULLIVAN defeated AN ELVIS IMPERSONATOR (substituting for DISCO INFERNO), — Actually, this was a lot better match than if the Inferno had showed up. Hopefully he’ll never be seen again.

BRIAN PILLMAN (substituting for CHRIS BENOIT), pinned EDDIE GUERRERO — Just as on Nitro, Pillman’s “loose cannon” character got in the way of what could have been a tremendous match. Instead of the kind of mile-a-minute action of which these two are capable, Guerrero was left standing in the ring, hands on hips, watching Pillman’s antics for most of the first ten minutes of the bout. The “loose cannon” should save that act for interview segments and concentrate on business inside the ring. And where was Benoit, for that matter? Did he come to his senses and hold out until he can be reassigned to a different gimmick? As a Horseman he’s withering on the vine, and he’s too good for WCW to waste like this.

STING/LEX LUGER submissioned BLUE BLOODS — A decent match overall. Luger’s performance was subpar, if not outright lethargic, but Sting picked up the slack. I was half expecting Road Warrior interference to stimulate interest for the reputed match on the next Nitro, but I suppose the ‘Bloods don’t rate high enough anymore to avoid jobbing for Sting & Luger. Supposedly WCWSN will take a look at Sting’s reaction to how he and Lex won the titles from Harlem Heat. What’s more interesting to me is whether they’ll even have the belts after Hawk & Animal get through with them.

KONNAN submissioned PSYCHOSIS — It’s a pity this match couldn’t have gone longer. It had some moves that most fans don’t see very often, including the combination figure-four leg- & armlock that won the match. In a larger sense, this further indicates the trend in pro wrestling wherein the lesser promotions are becoming farm systems for the Big Two. On the whole, it’s clear WCW is getting the better talent.

RIC FLAIR/GIANT pinned HULK HOGAN/RANDY SAVAGE — Hogan’s performance, like Luger’s earlier, left a lot to be desired. Also, the Giant was less than totally crisp between the ropes himself. Savage made an adequate accounting of himself, and Flair wasn’t bad for a fossil. But you just had the feeling that this match was never really in since from the start. If not for the presence of the Steelers’ Kevin Greene and the still stunning Elizabeth (the real deal, not a counterfeit — eat that, WCW-bashers), it would have been totally anti-climactic. Still, to have another main event match end with yet another pair of brass knucks making the difference is really starting to get old.

OTHER NOTES — The Road Warriors are back! YESSSSSSS! . . . Paul Orndorff will keep the Horsemen busy once his vacation is over. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him join Hogan and Savage. With the inter-twisting histories these three have, there’d be no end of intrigue even without bringing Sting and Luger back into the mix . . . I’m still kicking myself for not predicting the Parker-Martel “wedding” as a setup for a Martel-Madusa feud. I’m still not a fan of women’s wrestling, but Madusa is easy enough on the eyes that it might just be tolerable . . . I happened to log on to CompuServe and sat in on the live on-line conference with Eric Bischoff. He was asked about Hulk Hogan’s reputation with steroids (he clearly was on them in his WWF days; watch the old tapes and look at him now; he looked inflatable back then), and replied that WCW has a strict drug-testing policy, and that those who couldn’t abide by it are now working for the WWF. Inevitably, he was asked about Vince McMahon’s “Millionaire Ted” segments. Bischoff’s answer was that they show how desperate Little Mac really is. He was then asked if WCW was going to respond in kind; Bischoff’s response was classic: “Nope. We have better things to do with our air time.”


THE RIGHT VIEW by Jim Sondergeld
As the Newest Four Horsemen inexorably fly apart, it is a good time to look back over the past year and examine what WCW could have done to actually make the concept work for the first time since the late 1980s. And to do that we must first understand why the original Horsemen were legendary in the first place.

That reason, obviously, is because Ric Flair was the Hulk Hogan of an NWA being swamped by it’s northern neighbor and knowing that it’s #1 star had it by the short hairs. But in the context of the current discussion, the two central factors to the Horsemen’s success were that each of them had their appointed role, and each of them accepted it. Ric Flair was the designated world champion; Arn Anderson was the designated world tag-team champion, along with Ole Anderson and, later, Tully Blanchard. Blanchard was the secondary singles title-holder (U.S. or TV), and after he moved over to tag with Double-A, Lex Luger and his successor, Barry Windham, occupied that slot. And, most crucial of all, the team had a full-time manager in JJ Dillon who gave them the stability they needed and haven’t had since.

Much was written about the “revolving-door” fourth spot, which was held by Ole Anderson, Lex Luger, and Barry Windham in quick succession, but the group remained on top throughout that period. When it all began to fall apart was when Flair ousted Dillon, which came not long after Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard departed for the WWF. Flair continued his act and had a spectacular feud with Rick Steamboat (followed by a less-than-spectacular one with Terry Funk, but without hired goons, the Nature Boy was all but defenseless.

This was the brief dark age of WCW, when Flair became beloved and Lex Luger became an arch-heel. It got so bad that Flair tried to reform the Horsemen as a fan-favorite stable with Sting as a charter member. This went over about as well as Texas salsa in Pittsburgh, and WCW producers quickly returned it’s alignments back to something sensible and recognizable.

These were the Horsemen of Flair, Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, and Sid Vicious, managed by Ole Anderson. Though Ole was an outstanding choice as manager, you’ll notice two things that were wrong with this roster: only one tag-team specialist (Anderson), and the presence of Vicious, who is the Prudential Rock of volatility. The celebrated hotel room brawl between Vicious and the “Enforcer” was more or less inevitable, and this group was disbanded soon thereafter. Not long after that, Flair bolted to the WWF.

I had hoped that the Nature Boy might try again with Curt Hennig and perhaps try to lure Arn Anderson and his then-partner Larry Zbysko back to McMahonland, but it wasn’t to be. The WWF went with it’s “Lame Generation” campaign, and Space Mountain was closed down.

Flair returned to WCW telecasts as a mock talk-show host, which everybody knew wasn’t going to last long. He and Anderson recruited “Pretty Young Stallion” Paul Roma to form “the Horsemen,” but there never was a fourth, and so that attempt probably doesn’t merit any further mention.

During Hulk Hogan’s first few months in WCW we saw a kind of secret Horsemen society in the person(s), of the numerous “masked men” whom the Nature Boy kept stashed back-stage and beneath the ring and other sundry locations. They didn’t help, though, and Flair was temporarily retired by the “Hulkster.”

And here we arrive at the pivotal moment in time as regards the current Horsemen malaise. When Vader challenged Hulk Hogan at Starrcade ’94, that began what could have been a titanic feud, especially when Flair began informally managing the 452-pound monster. At SuperBrawl V, Vader had Hogan cleanly and clearly pinned, and had it not been for Flair’s outside interference, the WCW world title would have been his.

Imagine if Flair hadn’t charged the ring, and Vader had won the title. What a nucleus “Vader Time” would have been! Now fast forward and add Chris Benoit in the secondary singles slot, and Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman as the designated tag-team, all masterminded by the “dirtiest player in the game.” This would, in my humble opinion, have been the best Horsemen group ever assembled, INCLUDING the originals. The fortunes of Benoit, Anderson, and Pillman would have fluctuated, but Vader, able to count on guaranteed nightly interference in his title defenses which he would rarely, if ever, have needed, would have been invincible.

But no. Flair wanted back into the ring himself, and so robbed Vader of the glory that should have been his (and remained with Hulk Hogan, their mutual arch-enemy), prompting his departure and eventual signing with the WWF. Flair and Anderson function as joint player-coaches, which obviously isn’t working given Brian Pillman’s “loose cannon” act (his “Riddler” walking stick is the latest wrinkle). Pillman’s behavior reflects the lack of direction and purpose on the team from which his career is suffering. And even more adrift is Chris Benoit, who should have won the U.S. title from Kensuke Sasake at World War 3 and has been stuck in preliminary matches with Eddie Guerrero ever since.

The main purpose of the Horsemen has always been as Ric Flair’s palace guard. But they never actually admitted it publicly, and the Nature Boy’s teammates were rewarded with lesser belts to satisfy them and ensure their continued cooperation. That isn’t happening now. Anderson made a big mistake when he declared on Nitro that the only business of the organization was to “protect the world title.” That may be enough for Anderson, who has made a career out of being a loyal stooge, but I doubt that’s what Benoit and Pillman were promised when they signed up. And now the ten pounds ‘o gold is gone as well.

Rumors have been building that one of the Horsemen is heading for the exits. My guess is that it’s Benoit, who has been given even less to do than Pillman (tellingly, Pillman substituted for Benoit against Eddie Guerrero at the Clash). And it could all have been avoided if the Charlotte Fat Man had simply stayed on the sidelines where he belonged.

by Tom Robson
Last time I talked about what I thought was wrong with wrestling today, well this week: what’s right with wrestling today.

1) ECW:  Surprise, surprise. The best thing in wrestling today is Extreme Championship Wrestling. For those of you who don’t know why I think that, it’s quite simple. First, they are the only federation that truly cares about it’s fans and offers legitimate explanations as to why wrestlers no-show. They do everything in their power to make up for any disappointments. Second, on the same card you can see both violent, brutal matches and brilliant scientific masterpieces. Third, two words: Joey Styles. He is by far the best announcer the sport has seen since Gordon Solie, and easily the best of the current crop of announcers.

2) Federations putting more emphasis on skill, rather than size. WCW is pushing wrestlers like Eddy Guerrero, Konnan, Chris Benoit and Johnny B. Badd as legitimate contenders for the US and TV titles. Sure they still have Hogan, Giant and One Man Gang in main events, but they’re improving. The WWF is much better, with Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Jeff Jarrett and Vader in main event matches. Sure Vader’s a big guy, but he’s one of the best in the business.

3) Tag Team Scene is returning. The WWF is improving in this division. IMO, The Smoking Gunns are one of the most underrated tag teams in wrestling. Sure, the gimmick sucks, but they’re not as horrible as everyone says they are. The Bodydonnas are an excellent team. Candido and Pritchard are two of the better workers in wrestling. Over in WCW, believe it or not, the tag team scene is getting, God forbid, exciting. Sting and Luger should be ignored, because they’re not a real tag team. Harlem Heat is an good team. Both guys are big, but they move like they’re the size of a Benoit or a Guerrero. Public Enemy are simply awesome. And now . . . THE ROAD WARRIORS ARE BACK!!! The Warriors are the greatest team of all time. Assuming Animal’s back is OK, they can dominate again.

Definitely three signs that wrestling is about to get truly exciting. See ya’ next time!


Hello there once again wrestling fans – I’m back. I took a small vacation for a couple of weeks. And now that I’m all rested and relaxed, lets jump right into the world of the squared circle, shall we??

First off, The 1996 Royal Rumble. It can be summed up in one word – BAD. In my opinion, that was the worst Rumble of them all. The undercard matches were weak. GoldDust made me want to vomit. The Bret Hart/Undertaker match-up had another one of Vinnie Mac’s screw job endings (Diesel). And the Rumble itself just lacked any excitement. When Vader came in, I got on the edge of my seat and was just waiting for him to come in and clean house, but it never happened. Sure, he eliminated a few people, but that wasn’t the Vader that I became a fan of a few years ago. All in all, the Rumble was a complete letdown for me.

However, that following RAW was fantastic. THAT was the Vader that I became a fan of. He just absolutely cleaned everyone’s clock – including Monsoon (Who, by the, laid in some very nice chops on Vader). That made me happy.

Did anyone catch the reference by Paul Orndorff in his interview on the Clash to Vader (“Respect is beating a 450 pound man down on the ground”, or something like that.), Too cool for me!

The main event for WrestleMania 12 is pretty much set – Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (Like Diesel is actually gonna take the title at the next IYH! Get real!). A match with unlimited potential, just like their match back at the 1992 Survivor Series. That match was a classic. I wonder if they can turn it on again like they both did that night. Only time will tell.

Word has it that this weekend on Superstars Yokozuna will be turning face. I love it. If you have listened carefully the last few months to the crowds, Yokozuna has been getting more cheers that boo’s lately. I would love to see Can-o-Tuna actually smile for once like he was enjoying his wrestling career, instead of waddling around like he’s in constant pain (maybe he is).

Next few weeks worth of predictions and random thoughts:

The BodyDonnas WILL capture the Tag Titles at the next IYH.

Sting is gonna turn heel – notice the change of hair color, being darker than usual. MY guess is that when he finally does see how he and Luger won the Tag Titles (the roll of tokens), he will say something to the equivalent of “Oh well – we got the belts, that’s all that matters!”

Miss Elizabeth still looked quite lovely, but she just doesn’t seem to have that pizzazz that she did in Hogan’s and Savage’s WWF heyday. Don’t get me wrong – I’d still marry her! 😉

Which one of those ladies was Hogan’s wife? Probably the one I was least attracted to.

Don’t be surprised if Bret Hart ends up in WCW by the end of the year – I wouldn’t be.

Well, my mind is empty now, so that’s it for this week. Tune in next time for ……. , well, for something. Remember, anything can happen in the WWF, WCW – where the big boys play, yada, yada, yada.

Until next time – never stop going for the 3-count.


I’d like to talk about Gorilla Monsoon. He’s been a WWF announcer the whole time I’ve been a wrestling fan. I thought it was Dadgum cool for him to be the WWF Prez. For some reason, people snipe at his commentating ability. But he’s always been fun. Plus, he has a place in sports history.

I’ve seen him a few times on old WWF videos. He’s exactly the same as he is now. Once, he wrestled Andre the Giant *during a rainstorm* in some foreign country, like Mexico or Portugal; I don’t remember which. But he bailed out of the ring and fell down on the tarp trying to get away from Andre.

But back to that place in sports history. During a MSG show, the “Greatest” himself, Muhammad Ali, hopped in the ring. Muhammad mouthed off at the “Manchurian Giant”, so Gorilla yanked him up on his shoulders and gave him an airplane spin. He plopped Ali down and Muhammad’s buddies helped him out of the ring. Afterwards, Gorilla did a matter-of-fact interview, telling Ali that he was a great boxer, but he better not try to wrestle. I will never forget that.

As far as his announcing skills, he’s a kick. He always took all the cartoony WWF stuff without batting an eye, and he was the only foil who could ever shut Bobby Heenan up. Whenever the “Weasel” (not Pauly Shore), would mention title belts, Monsoon would say “I’ll give ya a belt!” I always wished that he would. His only response to a hot move was “I’m glad I retired.” And of course, there’s his gift for nonsense, like “They’re LITERALLY hanging off the rafters tonight!” Or “He LITERALLY knocked his head off with that one!” Because “literally” means those things are actually happening. Which they weren’t. Guys are always getting hit in the “external occipital protuberance.” In other words, the back of the head.

I’ve had the most fun with him as Prez than anybody else. Jack Tunney was a Canadian wrestling promoter and a friend of Vince Sr., so I guess that explains why he hung around as long as he did. But he never did anything for me. He was never anything but board stiff, and he wasn’t visible enough to be fun to watch. His “executive decisions” were always ones that any doofus could see coming. But Gorilla is always talking to the commentators, always giving out fines and coming to ringside and setting up big matches. That’s what a federation Prez does, going back to Jim Crockett. It irritated me no end that they kept calling him “Interim” Prez. He deserves to stay on. But I’m sure the WWF will take care of all that.

And what a great name. Dadgum it, the wrestling names don’t get any cooler than “Gorilla Monsoon.”

Here’s the answers to last week’s Royal Rumble trivia. Congrats to, the first guy with all the right answers. And they were:
1) Hacksaw Jim won the very first RR. It was on the USA network in 1988, and there were only 20 men. Bonus: What did he earn for winning the first RR? Other winners earned Wrestlemania shots at the World title, or even the title itself, once. Hacksaw earned NOTHING.
2) I wanted to cross you guys up with this one. Nightstick on a pole was at SummerSlam, not RR.
3) Ricky Steamboat has never been in the RR. He wrestled Rick Rude on the first one on USA. Beat him by DQ when Rude refused to let him out of the hanging back vise, in case you were wondering.
4) Sgt. Slaughter won the World belt from Ultimate Warrior in ’91, Rowdy Roddy beat the Mountie for the I-C in ’92. Last year 123 Kid and Bob Holly won the tag belts.
5) Of all those guys, Shawn Michaels never set a record for longevity. His win last year was only 38 minutes. Blah. He tied a record this year, though: Only one guy has ever won back to back Rumbles before — Mr. Terry Bollea.

FROM THE MIND OF THE MANIAC by “Maniac” Mike Blade
The tragic hero. From “Hamlet” to “Lethal Weapon”, from “The Incredible Hulk” to “The Lazarus Man”, the pain of the hero is supposed to help us understand his motivation.

The recent case of Shawn Michaels put this concept into perspective for wrestling fans. While the blackout on Raw was a work, the beating in Syracuse was not. It made you want to see his triumphant comeback.

But there is another tragic hero in wrestling. In this case, even more tragic than Shawn Michaels. Mainly because there is no definite beginning to his pain, and no end in sight. He is a man called Sting.

Over the course of his career, there have been flashes of promise. He has held the WCW World Championship five times. Most recently in 1994 when he carried it around Great Britain for a week between Vader’s reigns. He has held the U.S. title more times than can be counted. And, is currently enjoying a tag title reign with Lex Luger.

The pain comes from the fact that he is apparently too nice a guy to realize that WCW is playing him for a fool. Week in and week out, his storylines seem to involve him being completely oblivious to someone taking advantage of him. The Luger angle seems to be building toward something along those lines. This follows on the heels of Ric Flair playing him for a fool.

You can go on-line week after week to find another rumor that he’s going to the WWF. The truth is, what difference would that make? The problem would appear to be the man himself. He allows himself to be made the clowned prince of wrestling. By now, he should wield enough power with the organization not to get pushed behind Hogan, Flair and Savage. He should certainly be above Kevin Sullivan and the Son Andre Never Had(TM). But he continues to languish just above mid-card status.

The audience loves him. He gets the kind of pops that Hogan used to get. He’s a good worker, though he sometimes seems less than enthusiastic. Maybe he should jump to the WWF, although his rumored long-term contract would preclude that. Maybe WCW should just realize that they should be pushing their future rather than VinnieMac’s past. Maybe Sting just doesn’t have what it takes to hit the top and stay there.

It has definitely been one of “those” weeks . . .

Delay after delay on the Ring Report and delay after delay on the start of my MADDOG BYTES, COMPUTER company, due to a lot of things, but mainly, the start of classes. My final semester looks to be my toughest semester with three insane classes including Shakespeare with a first year “Yes, I’m trying to scare you” type Prof.

The worst news of the week came on Thursday, though, when news came that my Grandfather was hospitalized after complaining of chest pains at his home in Connecticut. A major heart attack. Things were pretty grim after that and the weekend was *tense* but we finally got word on Saturday afternoon that he was going to pull through. My thoughts are with him right now, it takes a lot to put aside all my differences with him to say this but I do love him (he’s my Grandfather after all), and this kind of thing makes you look back and realize how much people mean to you.

On another note on the “bad” side, Nancy Sullivan — AKA WOMAN left the ECW this weekend. IMODO, her future was fine as the woman every guy in the ECW was dreaming about but now, her future is pretty bleak. Personally I think they’re going to keep her with the other wrestler’s wives in order to bring out Elizabeth. At this point in time it doesn’t seem like they’re going to do more with her but the fact remains that she’s made her choice and they’re going to look bad if they don’t do *something* with her. If Sullivan is still on the board of directors and has any say in it — I’d say let her manage the Dungeon of Dumb with Sullivan and Hart. At least they’d be able to use her in storylines that way.

Unfortunately, I have this feeling that she’s going to be around for a little bit in that high profile position (much like every other star they’ve imported from ECW and every where else), and little by little she’s going to fade into obscurity.

The big two like to sign *everyone* they can get their hands on, hype the heck out of them being in the league, but then when they have to do anything with them they fall on their faces.

— Remember the Malenko/Guerrero classics? Big big hype. Where are they in WCW now? More importantly, with Malenko jobbing to everyone, where’s Malenko now?

— Remember all that talent Madusa was set to face? She trashes the WWF belt on Nitro. Other than brawling with Sherri, where is all this talent?

— Remember Public Enemy coming in? They smash two tables! How can they be the top tag team in the are if they follow it up with the Road Warriors return and push the heck out of the Warriors instead of PE. Honestly, what normal WCW fan is going to care about the PE when they’ve got the all-mighty Road Warriors on TV every week?

— Benoit as a Horseman? “He’s the future of the four horsemen!” Other than jobbing — what has he done?

— Al Snow in the WWF — remember, the rumor mill made him into “doing big things” in the WWF. He’s in a mask, he’s a Karate Fighter (which, was also a big thing that soon faded away), and he’s tag teaming with Aldo the masked guy.

— All the guys they took into the Royale Rumble? “The excellence that IS the WWF!” Hello, where’s Dory Funk and Doug Gilbert and the rest of the guys that they were hyping for the battle royale?

— Dean Douglas, the next big thing, where art thou IC Champion?

— Sabu in the WCW. Hype, hype, hype, where’s that US Title? Where’s Sabu, mind you, too?

— Vader! Vader! We’ve got Vader! . . . and he’s almost immediately out of the federation. But that big feud with Yokozuna (anyone remember Yoko’s work with Earthquake as a four, err three, no, two, well, one, nah, DUD star match?), at WrestleMania is going to be a real barn burner!

It’s the pattern that they’re going to keep on doing for as long as it takes money out of your wallets. Don’t believe the hype, go for the promotion that delivers and what works for you, but don’t fall for the spin that they’re putting out in PR.

With that out of the way, I’m now cheering up and I’ll go over the highlights of the week:

— Brian Pillman shocking the heck out of everyone on the Clash of Champions by playing around with Bobby Heenan took me by surprise and made me laugh. Heenan’s reaction (“what the f*??”), was perfect to break the stress of the week. The WCW does not deserve the psycho-like Pillman, they’ve done everything to take the *LIFE* out of their promotion by over-feeding doses of THAT HH GUY and RANDY “YAWN” SAVAGE, to know anything about capitalizing on Pillman’s energy.

— Johnny B. Badd’s webpage ( Yah, it’s a highlight of the week. Why? Well, I did the basic framework of programming (yes, for the 10000000000th time, it’s him — he’s legit, he’s a great guy too!), but Johnny did the rest. I see a html job in his future if WCW ever gets tired of him!

— The PCW On-Line and WRestling WReality redesigns ( and I haven’t had this much fun redesigning things since I was a kid. I’m learning to get WILD on the Internet and when my redesigned home page goes up (hopefully, this week (which, you all know, means look forward to it NEXT week).

— The news that TOMMY DREAMER is now tag teaming with SHANE DOUGLAS. Believe it or not, Dreamer is one of the most under-rated guys in wrestling. As a tag team these guys have the potential to be one of the dominate teams in the history of the sport. Hope to see them in the ring soon!

— Madusa vs. Sherri scheduled for NITRO this week. I thought that after the WCW had her dump her WWF title on the desk at Nitro, that Madusa was out of wrestling. They sure as heck didn’t seem to want to use her or have anyone to put up against her, but now at least she’s in the ring and all those AWA memories come creeping back for a laugh that I need right now.

— MADDOG BYTES, COMPUTERS. Believe it or not, Boni Blackstone came up with the name “Maddog Bytes” when Joe Pedicino gave me advice about opening a small business. The biggest laugh I had this week came when I applied for checks and got to see the name on the computer screen for the first time. I can see the ads now! :), “MADDOG BYTES COMPUTERS — CHEAP!”

Rounding out the week we have to quick plugs. ALLAN BARRIE is a cool guy who put on his first wrestling show ever this week. The tapes of the show are supposed to be great so if you have a little bit of extra money and want a tape you’re going to remember as one of the best shows of the year — e-mail Allan at for more information.

The second thing is that the third ECW CONVENTION is coming up soon and if you want T-shirts from the con the deadline is at the end of the week. From what I’ve seen the shirts are COOL and if you have the money pick one up — even if you’re not going. This time the theme is “it’s a HARDCORE world” and you’ll be more than pleased with the shirts. For further information e-mail TED HOBGOOD at ECWCONTEES@AOL.COM.

Third, remember the Ring Report account (, is for ALL Ring Report mail. The MADDOGJMF account (, is for mail you’ll probably send and I’ll probably get to answering it a thousand years after I get it (I’m now in another time when it comes to back mail). The ECW FEEDBACK account (, is for ECW stuff, and if you really really really need me, I check the account every couple of days. Since I never get mail there, I’ll probably respond to that first . . .


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“MAD DOG” JAMES M. FINCH, Editor in Chief, Flashback:


















DEAN ‘THE KING’ AYASS, Hammerlock Wrestling Reporter:

K.R. Maury, ROB’S RANT Columnist:

DAVE WHITAKER, Dave’s World Columnist: (David, WWF in SAN JOSE Reporter: (David)


WILL WIEHE, Flair VS. Hogan, How It REALLY Should Be! Columnist:

Ron Gamble, WCW NITRO LIVE Reporter:

BRETT SCHWAN, the all news all the time all the clock h3ll bent on destruction ECW Reporter: