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air_raid
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I appreciate the kind remarks. Long terms fans probably appreciate the next few months of write ups have some FASCINATING shit hit the walls in terms of the main event scene, who comes and goes, the lengths to which the cards need to be shuffled. Most of which you already know - Flair gets hurt, Bret wins the belt, Warrior and Smithers get shitcanned, Flair gives his notice, Perfect comes back, Hogan comes back etc... but reading it unfold week on week is mental.

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Seeing how much audiences dropped off with Savage headlining, I can't help but wonder how much Flair was the exact wrong person to have available to slot into the main event scene. In hindsight, he was the exact opposite to the WWF style, and a lot of areas would have known him pretty well. After years of 'This ain't wrestling like you know it', you had someone in the main event who was very much 'wrestling like you know it'. 

It's weird to think about, because Flair's first run was the exact point I started watching wrestling, and there was still a little of the Hulk Hogan/Ultimate Warrior/Jake the Snake/Legion of Doom stuff going on that I'd seen figures/sticker albums of, etc - but along with the losses, maybe Flair was a detriment at the time.

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, Chris B said:

Seeing how much audiences dropped off with Savage headlining, I can't help but wonder how much Flair was the exact wrong person to have available to slot into the main event scene. In hindsight, he was the exact opposite to the WWF style, and a lot of areas would have known him pretty well. After years of 'This ain't wrestling like you know it', you had someone in the main event who was very much 'wrestling like you know it'. 

It's weird to think about, because Flair's first run was the exact point I started watching wrestling, and there was still a little of the Hulk Hogan/Ultimate Warrior/Jake the Snake/Legion of Doom stuff going on that I'd seen figures/sticker albums of, etc - but along with the losses, maybe Flair was a detriment at the time.

This is very much an argument worth having. Having invested considerable time into a "monster of the month" formula that they relied upon with Hogan, the WWF audience at the time (families, largely) will have looked at Flair after the likes of Earthquake and Undertaker and thought "Pffft, the Hulk will murder this guy." They could buy wrestler vs wrestler for the Intercontinental title but not on top. Probably another reason why Warrior tanked (on top of not being personable) - you had him fighting Perfect, Rick Rude and Savage, none of them posed a physical threat to him. He'd spent 12 months with Andre and Earthquake, he wasn't getting pinned by Mr Perfect. Who'd just got beat by Beefpiece, let's not forget.

Edited by air_raid
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43 minutes ago, AshC said:

Warrior vs Quake would probably have done alright after Mania 6, did they do any house shows at all?

A few. But before Mania, not after. 

On 3/11/2022 at 6:07 AM, air_raid said:

February 1990

Ultimate Warrior vs Dino Bravo is still your Intercontinental title main event all over the country but 18th in Sheboygan MI he’s in with Earthquake at last. 25th there’s a loaded Charlotte/Landover double shot with Warrior & Jake vs Ted DiBiase & Akeem supported by Rhodes/Savage and the tag title match - although The Brain has to step in for Andre at the Capital Center. 26th in Worcester it’s a handicap match! Warrior beats Bravo & Quake by himself before he’s back with Dino 27th at a rescheduled Omaha show.

 

On 3/16/2022 at 6:54 AM, air_raid said:

March 1990

Ultimate Warrior is kept busy - he’s split between the Earthquake & Dino Bravo handicap match and a few of the tags with Jake Roberts against the Million Dollar Man & Akeem including a weak gate at Boston Garden on 17th. They start the month with Big Boss Man as their guest ref but that ends up being switched for Hillbilly Jim when Boss Man has to be deployed elsewhere (see below). 15th in Norfolk Jake doesn’t make it so Warrior beats the heels by himself. 19th at a half full MSG he puts the first clean pin on Mr Perfect televised anywhere. 22nd he’s with old foe Ravishing Rick Rude in Indianapolis and then in not the last Indiana/Michigan double shot you’ll read about this month, a short singles with Earthquake in Flint. 23/24 it’s the Jake tag again before he finishes a double on 25th LA then San Diego with Perfect again.

 

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Ah, I thought as much, thanks for that!

Warrior/Quake would have been hot after the Hogan/Quake angle on Brother Love, but then the heat was in keeping Quake strong for Hogan's return.

You could have probably done it, but it would have needed the most delicate of booking to not hurt either the new champ or the big summer program.

Just had a thought about LOD coming in as heels against Warrior, I heard they were slated to start as heels. It's out there, but would have been fresh...

 

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4 hours ago, air_raid said:

This is very much an argument worth having. Having invested considerable time into a "monster of the month" formula that they relied upon with Hogan, the WWF audience at the time (families, largely) will have looked at Flair after the likes of Earthquake and Undertaker and thought "Pffft, the Hulk will murder this guy."

When I first started watching wrestling it must’ve been 1991/92 with the WCW Worldwide coverage on ITV. Of course Flair was gone at that point and I have a fairly clear memory of the first time I laid eyes on him. I was round a mate’s who had Sky and Flair was on there getting involved with Warrior and Savage. So I’m guessing it was sometime during the buildup to SummerSlam 92. He was in a suit and my first thought was honestly that he was some kind of baddie Jack Tunney figure. Not a wrestler. I thought he was just some old bloke. Which is crazy considering how long he wrestled after this and I later saw the shift he put in just months earlier at the Rumble and realised more what the fuss was all about. But that first impression, it looked like Roy Walker was trying his luck with two of my favourite Hasbros come to life. Ridiculous. I recall him having a back and forth with Warrior and/or Savage and bumping about a bit and that was it. Until my mate and his old man told me, I never would’ve believed he was a wrestler just looking at him, never mind a champion and top guy.

Thing is, I reckon I’d have bought into him if I’d got into WCW a year or so earlier and seen him there. WWF to me though, even back then I must’ve subconsciously had different expectations of what a top guy would look like. Savage being a small main eventer in that period never really occurred to me as a kid. I guess because of the ridiculous over the topness of him, the look, the colours, the voice etc. That he looked like he belonged on top in that era of giants is a testament to how incredible he was. 

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10 hours ago, AshC said:

Just had a thought about LOD coming in as heels against Warrior, I heard they were slated to start as heels. It's out there, but would have been fresh...

It would have been interesting but they’d have pissed away a load of t-shirt and kiddies shoulder pad spikes sales. To bring them in as heels you’d have to keep Demolition babyface and the shelf lives of both teams in mid 1990 were fairly obviously at opposite ends of the scale. They made the right call.

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I'm in the process of packing up to move house at the moment and I found a couple of different photo albums:

UK Rampage tour - think it was 91 or 92

Random photos my dad showed me of wrestlers at the airport around Summerslam time - he owned a photographic shop and he knew I was really into wrestling

I'll try and scan them in if they're of any interest, probably for this thread more than anything!

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22 hours ago, air_raid said:

This is very much an argument worth having. Having invested considerable time into a "monster of the month" formula that they relied upon with Hogan, the WWF audience at the time (families, largely) will have looked at Flair after the likes of Earthquake and Undertaker and thought "Pffft, the Hulk will murder this guy." They could buy wrestler vs wrestler for the Intercontinental title but not on top. Probably another reason why Warrior tanked (on top of not being personable) - you had him fighting Perfect, Rick Rude and Savage, none of them posed a physical threat to him. He'd spent 12 months with Andre and Earthquake, he wasn't getting pinned by Mr Perfect. Who'd just got beat by Beefpiece, let's not forget.

I remember just getting into wrestling in 1991 and wondering why this old guy (Flair) was being taken seriously. He just looked like a skinny (in comparison) old guy and nowhere near the 'comic-book-come-to-life' character like Hulk, Warrior, LOD, Bulldog and others that drew me to WWF in the first place.

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5 hours ago, DavidB6937 said:

I'm in the process of packing up to move house at the moment and I found a couple of different photo albums:

UK Rampage tour - think it was 91 or 92

Random photos my dad showed me of wrestlers at the airport around Summerslam time - he owned a photographic shop and he knew I was really into wrestling

I'll try and scan them in if they're of any interest, probably for this thread more than anything!

They are definitely of interest!

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September 1992

It’s all change ; we have a new Intercontinental champ and by the time house shows start again, a new WWF Champion too. If you can’t remember who that is, you’re not being fair to Flair. Also LOD are finished as Hawk didn't make it back from London.

Ric Flair VS The Undertaker for the belt is a house show feud you’d be forgiven you didn’t know happened, usually supported by the Randy Savage vs Razor Ramon grudge match and Razor interferes in the mains for a DQ. Bret Hart vs Papa Shango also happens on Flairs run plus Natural Disasters vs Beverly Brothers for the tag titles but crowds are poor ; 3000 at the Montreal Forum and only 9000 at MSG. In Richfield on the 12th we have the Nature Boy vs Macho Man in a cage with Taker vs Papa Shango and Bret losing to Razor instead, on Survivor Series on sale day. 13/14 in Johnstown PA and Wheeling Savage vs Ramon is the draw as Taker and Flair are in transit to Tokyo for a WAR show.

Ultimate Warrior vs Kamala is the other main event loop, supported by British Bulldog vs Repo Man for the Intercontinental belt (OK), Big Boss Man vs Nailz, Tatanka vs The Model and they’re already running Nasty Boys vs Money Inc even though Knobbs and Sags haven’t turned on TV yet - Jimmy Hart will run back and forth between the corners depending on who's winning. 5000 in Tacoma is as good as it gets, fewer than that (4600) come to LA Sports. 14th in Sacramento Boss Man and Nailz are in a cage as well and fewer than 3000 turn up.

Mid month there's a shuffle and our title match becomes Ric Flair vs Ultimate Warrior in Miami 18th and a double shot of the Palace (in front of a meagre 2600) and Indiannapolis, and Duluth MN on 20th, with Davey Boy vs The Mountie! and Bret Hart vs Kamala supporting. In Philadelphia (7500 paid), Milwaukee and Chicago (2500 only!!) its Macho Man vs Razor on top supported by Undertaker vs Shango, Boss Man vs Nailz and now the Disasters are working rematches with Money Inc.

Post TVs half the crew are off on a European tour, so in Omaha, Green Bay, Tampa and Fort Myers there's a reprise of Warrior vs Kamala, with Boss Man vs Nailz, Bulldog vs Shawn, Tatanka vs Mountie and its meant to be Undertaker vs Razor but Taker's taken a knock so its Razor vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan instead. In Europe, its Ric Flair vs Randy Savage in Sheffield and Berlin, and Flair vs Hitman in Kiel and at the NEC, the corresponding babyface supporting against Papa Shango. Randomly in Stuttgart its Flair vs El Matador, Bret wrestles The Model, Randy with Ted DiBiase. As always, business abroad is healthier than at home.

One exception to these main events - 18th in Mobile after the re-jig Savage and Razor are in Miami with Flair and Warrior so as a one off Undertaker vs Kamala tops a 6 match card with Boss Man vs Nailz and Smithers vs Repo underneath.

Thats the main event and key feuds covered - what does the rest of the card look like?

Shawn Michaels works Virgil before the shuffle, Tatanka before the European tour then Bulldog during it. Virgil moves neatly onto losing to The Model before the European tour on which he either loses to Martel or beats The Genius. El Matador trades wins with Mountie early, with Repo mid month, then in Europe does whichever match Virgil doesn't, with the same results. Crush is supposed to be with Berzerker before the mid month shuffle but thats barely started when Nord gets hurt so its perennial job guy Bob Bradley for an extended period. Post shuffle Crush starts tagging with Animal to reprise the feud LOD had been having with the Beverly Brothers, although that's fairly cursed (see subs) domestically though they do contest a few in Europe. High Energy have the random pairing of Skinner & Barry Horowitz early month, the Nasty Boys mid month, then when both Nastys hit the bench, they work the domestic shows during the European tour against Double Trouble who have come up far more often than I expected. The Bushwhackers don't work any domestic dates but through Europe they beat Skinner & Kato every night. Month end, Repo Man works various wins with either Killer Stallion, Jim Powers or Jim Brunzell. Powers previously had earned a decent run of wins over Brooklyn Brawler.

Subs - 3rd in Allentown Davey Boy and Tatanka swap opponents for a one off of Bulldog vs The Model and Tatanka with Repo Man. In Omaha Davey Boy works one more match with Mountie before moving to Shawn, and Tatanka misses it so Shawn works a one off with our old friend Jim Brunzell. In Montreal there's Typhoon vs Blake Beverly due to unclarified absence of either Quake or Beau. Beau misses a few other shows leading to some Crush/Animal vs Blake/Brooklyn Brawler tags and even stupider, Animal, Crush & Paul Ellering vs Blake, Brawler and The Genius. In Mobile, between his run of jobs to Shawn and then one with The Model, Virgil gets a one off win over Skinner. Same night Jim Powers gets a win over Kato which he repeats in Indianapolis but he loses to Skinner at the Palace. In Tampa, Sags makes the show without Knobbs so he's rewarded with a win over Repo Man. Those Johnstown/Wheeling anomalies I mentioned also have the Disasters defending against Double Trouble. Stuttgart is totally random compared to the rest of the cards on the tour. As well as what I covered in the main events, IRS is with Virgil, the Bushwhackers go over The Genius & Kato and the Natural Disasters' title defence is over Papa Shango & Skinner (ugh).

TV happenings - Kokina aka Yokozuna works his first dark match in Hershey. Jim Powers beats Bob Bradley for international Superstars! Comet Kid tapes TV squashes and actually beats Skinner dark at the Capital Center. Also for international Superstars, Bulldog does a TV defence against Papa Shango with the same bullshit DQ sparking stick finish he did with everyone, plus the first Tatanka/Shawn match (double count-out), the Flair/Undertaker title match that made Coliseum tapes, and dark, the Bret/Razor match I’ve referred to before where Savage runs in for the DQ. Do I need to make it explicit that Flair beats Macho Man for the WWF title in Hershey?? Those of us privileged to own the 1992 Year In Review tape have seen it. What a belter of a tape that is.

Late month TVs in Manitoba have "Comet Kid" binned in favour of "Max Moon," taping the Undertaker vs Nailz confrontation that will air late October but lead to ultimately nothing, and a couple of dark matches of note in Brandon with Davey Boy defending against Kamala and Bret getting his win back from Razor. Matt Borne beats enhancement guy Bill Jordan in Winnipeg then loses to Crush in Brandon - they'll have plenty of matches in 93, of course. Winnipeg has the first matches back taped for Terry Taylor, beating Jim Brunzell and Jim Powers for episodes of Prime Time - and what an auspicious return it is against Brunzell, needing to get his foot on the ropes to save himself from the fall after a DROPKICK. Final note from Brandon, a guy I can find nothing out about called Brad Holman wrestles Barry Horowitz - HOROWITZ WINS! HOROWITZ WINS! HOROWITZ WINS!

Here's Providence, from the run of Flair vs Taker with Savage vs Razor and Bret vs Shango underneath

 

 

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