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Vandy! (September 1996)


Beer!  (February 2006)

Issue # 011

Date:  Thursday August 20, 1998  4:39 pm

Reader Joe J. Benton was nice enough to forward this statement
regarding Sandman to us. I found it interesting, and I hope you do as well. This statement tells you more about the Sandman story than I ever could.

Submitted by reader: Reader (Joe J Benzon)
- Here is more info on the whole situation with the Sandman and ECW, as posted by ECWGabe in Sports Guy's Wrestling Board Battle Royal! at
AOL Keyword:Sports

Guy: "Since I've been getting a ton of IM’s and emails regarding this
week's Sandman situation I figured I'd just post everything I know
here. This should answer everyone's questions. These are all the facts
I know. Sandman's deal expired at Heat Wave '98. I know that Sandman
approached Paul Heyman on Tuesday regarding a new deal. I also know
that like the other top ECW wrestlers Sandman was offered a chance to
make more money based on the increased number of PPV's next year.
There were four PPV’s this year, next year there will be six unless the
buyrates crash. So basically that's a 50% raise on bonuses and the
ppvs pay-offs are pretty good. Now Sandman tried to play hardball the
same way Taz did nearly a year ago. When Taz did this Paul simply
handed Taz Eric Bischoff's cell phone number and invited him to go see
what he's worth on the open market. From what I can tell the Sandman
situation is very similar. I do know from several people in the
company that there are many little things, and I stress little, that Paul wants Sandman to change about his routine. I'm not talking about performance or character, I'm talking about what time he shows up at the buildings and other minor factors. I also know on my own personal experience and the way I've been dealt with that Paul is trying to take the company to the next level and trying to run things more smoothly. When Sandman played hardball he was met with the same response that Taz was given. In other words, this is the best deal available to you, its all we can afford and if you think there are greener pastures elsewhere then go.  Paul did give Sandman a deadline regarding making up his mind, which I'm sure pissed Sandman off. I should also reveal now that although this is yesterday's news that had Sandman not agreed that Paul was planning on calling Bischoff and using the money set aside for
Sandman's salary to make a major attempt to buy Chris Benoit out of
his WCW contract. I don't know if Bischoff would have taken the deal,
but I do know that Paul was very serious about this move and was ready to make it. I found out today that last night Sandman spoke to Paul at the studio and agreed to terms and is now staying in ECW. He is scheduled for the Arena this Saturday although Paul has not told me
who his opponent will be, but he did say it is ok to mention Sandman in the program.

To answer the most frequently asked question: No I don't know if
Sandman spoke to anybody from another company. I also don't know if Paul is still planning on approaching Bischoff on Benoit. its pretty common knowledge, even in the locker room, that Paul has always felt that Benoit could be the most important addition to the roster that he
could make. Again though, I don't know if Bischoff would be willing to
make a deal, but it is something to think about.
There it is. There is the whole story."(Credit: ECWGabe
Submitted by reader: TradeMarc1 (Mark Struck)
As I sent off my last message, I did figure that I hadn't an argument
left in me. However, in response to my message, I received an email
talking about how the Light Heavyweight division could be great even
though it hasn't taken off at all yet and I agree. I love the LWs
because they're great wrestlers but they have so much going against
them right now and they have one problem which I feel can be
pinpointed as the largest roadblock on the highway to its success.

If you look at the CW division, its pretty good but we see the same
matches over and over again because of the aforementioned problem.
How many times have
Jericho, Malenko, Guerrero, etc. each won the
belt? Numerous times and, when that happens, its time to step up.
its time to move beyond the CW division and on to bigger and brighter
futures, futures that include the TV and US belts. That is the
problem as the CW division loses one of its top performers each time
this happens. Thus, if the WWF actually had as many title changes in
the LW division as in the CW division, we'd already see some of their
small base of wrestlers moving on. This has been McMahon's only real
smart move concerning the LW division, that being few (actually zero)
title changes. It seems like an impossible situation to deal with but
I think I have a semi-solution; I have an idea at least.

Very simply put, make the Euro and TV belts the steps towards the LW
and CW belts. While obviously the WWF does not have the depth in the LW
division to do this, they also do not have to worry about guys leaving
the division because they've only had one title holder so far. As far
as the WCW goes though, it would make a lot of sense to elevate the CW
belt before they lose another
Jericho to bigger and better belts.
Just an idea but I believe it makes sense when one considers the IC
and US titles to the world titles for the heavyweights.

However, the above scenario is not what I really wanted to talk about.
I am not concerned with the CW division because it is still in good
hands. However, I still believe they need to elevate the CW belt
above the TV belt. In any event, the LW division is a lot more tricky
because its difficult to see a LW gaining the Euro belt before the LW
belt at this point even though the Euro belt hasn't seemed that
prestigious since its inception. The reason I can see the TV belt
below the CW belt is simply because CWs have held it; in fact,

holds it right now.

But once again I'm getting off of the topic I wanted to write about so
here goes. I am writing about some of the measures I believe should
be taken in order to make the LW division a very formidable and
interesting one. The first thing I believe that should happen is that
TAKA should really play out this heel role against LW contenders.
Kaientai could be his 4 Horsemen, saving him from defeat and loss of
his title against various challengers, all after four star matches of
course. He must lose the belt soon enough though; I'll get to that a
little bit later.

"Too Much" must be broken up. I don't know if either man could come
away as a face but at least they'd be fighting LWs instead of jobbing
to other meaningless tag teams. I believe that Brian Christopher is a
huge commodity (as stated in my previous email) and, with adequate mic
time, could elevate the LW division much in the same way that Chris
Jericho elevated the CW division with his heel role. However, with
TAKA in the heel role, a switch of the belt wouldn't make much sense.
Enter a man that I know the WWF has bigger plans for but who they
should consider using as a one time plug into the LW division.

TAKA continually holds the belt until another LW with backup evens up
TAKA's advantage and takes the belt. Of course its X-Pac and a 3-4 month title reign could do wonders for the prestige of the belt and also allow the division to develop to the point that they could allow him to move on to bigger things, those "better" belts. And of course you all follow my logic and know I would want X-Pac to drop the belt to
Brian Christopher. So, with a few more months of TAKA as champ, a
quarter year with X-Pac as champ and then BC as champ for a few good
months, the LW division would have the time to develop a foundation of
stars that could carry it.

The question in my mind is, "With the current crop of LW wrestlers,
who should be developed how?" The biggest thing that I believe needs
to be done is to give these guys purposes, gimmicks. LWs should be
brought up through the same process of the Funkin' Dojo and vignettes
that made Val Venis and Edge automatic contenders. The most glaring
example I can think of is actually the rumored entrance of TEddie Hart.
He's been through the Dojo and is rumored to be receiving vignettes
before his entrance into the WWF, but I believe the ultimate plug for
him would be to place him in the Nation upon his arrival. Link him up
with the heat that his uncle (right?) Owen is getting right now and
he's an automatic contender.

Okay, I'm just going to slow down and take it wrestler by wrestler
here. TAKA does not need to be changed in my opinion because his
gimmick is great high-flying wrestling and that can get over (Rey
Mysterio Jr. anyone?). Brian Christopher's whole deal (the strut,
laugh, etc.) work and Scott Taylor's whole BC-like persona and in-ring
dancing works for me. The rest of Kaientai though I can only see as a
group which really limits them and that is why I see them as TAKA's
Horsemen. However, anyone else that the WWF perchance has under
contract-- I'll throw out possible names of Papi Chulo, Fallen Angel,
the Hardy Brothers, etc.--should be thrown into the Dojo and given
gimmicks upon their returns. I've read that Jeff Hardy actually is
attending a Dojo camp soon so I really like that.

As my previous email stated though, I do not believe that signing away
free agents from WCW or ECW should be a priority. That is why I have
only mentioned the LWs that the WWF have under contract at this point.
For, it is my belief that signing free agents for the LW division
would only create the problems I mentioned in my previous email on a
grander scale. Think about it...these guys would almost undoubtedly be
awarded LW reigns in their contracts and then, once they had become LW
champs, they'd want to move on to bigger things (other belts).
However, if the WWF works from within, working with who they have and
signing more wrestlers to developmental contracts (or whatever they're
called) they'll end up with a great division, at least in my opinion.
And then they'd need to elevate the LW belt above the Euro belt in my
opinion but that's looking way far off into the future.

Once again, that is just how one man sees it and comments are always
Marc Struck
Submitted by reader: Naysayer22
I agree with you somewhat, but if you watched the show on A&E about
wrestling throughout the years, wrestling was originally centered on the adult crowd. I think its a smart move by them to center on adults. They are where the money is. They buy the pay-per-views, they take the kids to the shows. On the other hand if the shows are centered on them they might think them too harsh for the children, and not let them watch or take them to the events. An adult buying their ticket plus there 3 kids tickets is better then just them buying their own ticket and spending the rest of there money on a babysitter for the kids.
Submitted by reader: Dastardly7
To bring back Vader Vince should of put Vader in the Brawl-4-All and
let him battle the likes of Severn, Shamrock, Blackman, Farooq, Edge,
Steve Williams, Marc Mero, Hawk and Animal, and DOA, Godwinns, Puke,
Bradshaw and Terry Funk. These are the guys that are hardest to push
due to lack of ring ability, personality, no one willing to job to them, age, or just plain not over. Vader would at least steamroll over most of them and instead of boxing make it more like shootfighting. Tough guys don't need gloves they need their hands for ass kicking.


This would make a rep for all the above, but most importantly Vader who came into the WWF as a tough SOB. The Brawl 4-all Semis should be Shamrock, Severn, Vader, and Dr. Death. With the typical Vince lineup with Shamrock and Severn not meeting until a major PPV like Survivor Series. Finals would be Vader and Dr.Death for the crown and a immediate shot at Austin. As far as the LOD Vince should put them in with Kane and Mankind preferably Hell in the Cell for the belts. If Vince can constantly reinvent the Undertaker countless times why can't Vince reinvent LOD and give them motorcycles and their old theme or old wardrobe. Their old wardrobe should be a surprise to the fans and rejuvenate fan interest.


I believe Vince should of made Jeff Jarrett into a Ric Flair type instead of a singer. He could of came a long way as one of Vince's "men". Edge is a better Raven and if they have another NWA gimmick they should put the following there: Dustin Runnels, Marc Mero, Steve Regal, DOA, Scorpio, Farooq, Mark Henry, Kaintei, Bradshaw and the Godwinns. Bring the following from the NWA to the WWF: Pitbulls, Colorado Kid and SID. And let Al Snow into the picture, he is great but stupid for re-upping, he should of stayed in the ECW.
Submitted by reader: RodzillaMW
News Flash!!!!! Has anybody ever heard anyone in wrestling say "its
all about the fans." Well, if you've ever read Venom/Russo Raw, you have. The WWF gives us, the fans, what we want to see. They, know what we want to see because of the ratings they've been getting lately. So, if you don't like what's on RAW, turn it to
TNT so you can get to sleep three hours earlier than you normally would. Sure, the WWF has crossed the line, occasionally, but that's what we want to see. I'd rather watch Jerry Lawler talking to the President for 20 minutes, than the Warrior ranting and raving about something, that doesn't make any sense. So, everybody, lighten up.
Submitted by reader: SHough1
Why do people blame Goldberg. I'm not defending him, trust me I hate
him with a passion but then I realized something, why blame him? its
ole' Uncle Eric's master booking that thrust this young man into
stardom, who gives a damn if he's lost two matches? Isn't that kind
of impressive to wrestling fans. I liked him initially because he was
heel and he was fighting Steve "Charisma like a houseplant"
McMichaels, the guy sucks I'm sick of watching him defend his title.
its crap I don't care how much hate mail I get I like WWF and ECW. I
only like the wrestlers in WCW who are hardcore.
Submitted by reader: DTroupe902
In Response to what match you think was a work, I think it was the
opposite. I think the Droz vs. Bradshaw match was a work. If my
memory serves me, Puke was in the lead by 10 points going into the 3rd
period. Where did Bradshaw get the 10 points. Maybe I am wrong.
James Troupe
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