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Vandy! (September 1996)

 

Beer!  (February 2006)

Issue # 184

Date:  Sunday March 14th, 1999  4:56 pm

The Wrestling Booking Sheet

Lane itching to get back
By Mike Mooneyham
Sunday, March 14,
1999
Stan Lane
carved his niche in the wrestling business as a member of two of the
most famous tag-teams of the '80s. He's also the answer to a great trivia
question.

Lane spent the first half of the decade teaming with Steve Keirn as The Fabulous
Ones - arguably the most popular duo ever to appear in the then-booming
Memphis-Nashville territory. He later joined Bobby Eaton and manager Jim
Cornette in 1986 to form one of the most celebrated teams in wrestling history,
The Midnight Express, until a breakup in 1990. Lane is unique, however, because
he is the only wrestler ever personally trained by Ric Flair.

The two met in
Myrtle Beach in the summer of 1978. Lane, who grew up in
Greensboro but moved to the beach in the late '70s, was working three jobs at
the time: as a lifeguard, head bouncer at Mother Fletcher's night club and doing
morning room service at the Myrtle Beach Hilton, which is where the two first
crossed paths.

"(I was delivering) Four Bloody Marys, the door opened, and it was Ric in his
underwear. I won't go into detail," jokes Lane. Flair ended up training Lane in
the back yard of his house in
Charlotte. Lane began his pro career shortly
thereafter and started under the name Stan Flair, changing his monicker to
"Nature Boy"
Stanley Lane in Texas and Florida.

Lane, 45, who retired from in-ring competition in 1993, will work only his
second match in five years in the main event of an American Classic Wrestling
show Saturday night at Charleston Southern University Fieldhouse. Lane says he
got bit by the wrestling bug and is itching to get back in the squared circle.

"Now that wrestling has gotten so hot again, I thought I'd give it a shot," says
Lane, who keeps in shape by working out daily at Ricky Steamboat's gym in Lake
Norman, N.C., less than a mile from Lane's home. "Maybe just one more run."
Lane served as a WWF announcer from 1993-96. For the past several years he has
done offshore power boat race broadcasting on an ESPN II show called Speed
World.

"I've basically been retired since leaving the WWF in 1993. I do the power boat
stuff and occasional TV commercials and voice-overs in the Charlotte area, and I
play a lot of golf, so I thought maybe I should just get a little busy for a
change instead of living the life of leisure."

Lane was a natural for the wrestling business. He turned pro on
Dec. 29, 1978,
and was in the sport for less than a year when he teamed with Bryan St. John to
win the prestigious
Florida tag-team straps from Eddie Graham and Ray Stevens.

"It was unheard of at that time to be a champion after only a year," says Lane.
"It was more of a fraternity type thing back then where you usually had to pay
your dues for about five years or longer. It was a great honor with two legends
like that."

Lane's success continued as he spent the following year as Georgia junior
heavyweight champion (ironically teaming with Dennis Condrey, the man he would
replace several years later in The Midnight Express), and later moved to the
Pensacola area where he won the U.S. junior heavyweight title. Lane also spent
five weeks in
Japan where he defended the title against such Japanese stars as
Tatsumi Fujinami. But it was with Steve Keirn in 1981 that Lane made his first
major impact on the wrestling business. A revolutionary team called The Fabulous
Ones took
Tennessee by storm.

"We were the first tag-team to use videos to promote ourselves. We were more
like rock stars. It was a great period for us," says Lane, whose reputation as
an ultimate "party guy" translated well to his new role as a member of a team
built around two wrestlers with blond hair, well-developed bodies and youthful
good looks, but with ring ability as well. It also marked the beginning of a
decade that would spawn similar teams such as The Rock and Roll Express (Ricky
Morton and Robert Gibson), The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers) and
The Midnight Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Janetty). Lane had been a heel in
Tennessee and was managed by Jimmy Hart, but turned babyface in 1982 and was
billed as the protege of area legend Jackie Fargo. With
Fargo's blessing, Lane
and Keirn dubbed themselves The Fabulous Ones, a takeoff on The Fabulous
Fargos
team from a previous generation, and proceeded to set the Jerry Jarrett
promotion on fire, drawing the biggest crowds that area had ever seen. In yet
another touch of irony, Jim Cornette, who at the time was an understudy for
Hart, had been scheduled to manage The Fabs after a heel turn. The turn never
took place, though, and Cornette went on to make his mark in mat history by
managing The Midnight Express, a team that would later include Lane.

• Edisto Pro Wrestling will present a show Saturday night at Desperado's. Main
event will pit Brute Force (managed by Johnny Vendetta) vs. The Death Squad.
Also on the lineup: Uptown Larry D vs. Tony Bonetti (with Vendetta) in a S.C.
cruiserweight title match; The Rockers vs. The G-Men; and Fabulous Phil DeCarlo
vs. Talon. Doors open at
6 p.m. Bell time is 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 adults, $5
children 12 and under.

Mike Mooneyham can be reached by phone at (803) 937-5517 or by e-mail at
mooneyham@xxxxc.... More wrestling news with Mike Mooneyham is
available every Monday on The Wrestling Observer Hotline. The number is
1-900-903-9030. Calls are 99 cents per minute, and children under 18 must get
parental permission before dialing.
===========================================
WCW LIVE
The live internet radio show "WCW Live" has proven to be an invaluable source of
quips; Jeremy Borash, Bob Ryder, Dave Scherer, Mark Madden & Chad Damiani are
producing a show worth checking out. Archives of all past shows can be found at
http://www.wcw.com Below we have highlights:

The 3/11 version saw a couple of tidbits dropped by Mark Madden (while not to be
taken as gospel, Madden is in the thick of things). Madden claims that ECW's
Justin Credible (PJ Walker) has contacted WCW for employment.
Walker is friends
with both Kevin Nash & Scott Hall, so its certainly a possibility. In
addition, Madden claimed that he discussed ECW's financial problems with Nash,
and in the worst case scenario, recommended that WCW hire Paul Heyman to assist
Nash with the booking.
===========================================
The 3/12 Edition featured Ric Flair, and he publicly responded to Shane
Douglas's attacks for the first time. The following transcript is courtesy of
1wrestling.com:
Chris "The Transcript Man" Woodward typed up the following for us. It covers
part of Ric Flair's interview on WCW Live from 3/12.

Bob Ryder: Ric, a lot of questions about Shane Douglas, and the comments he's
made about you over the years, any response to him?

Ric Flair: My thoughts to him?

Jeremy Borash: Yeah, what are your thoughts about Shane?

Ric Flair: My thoughts of Shane are, he is a quarterback that thought he was
going to go in the first round, that went in the seventh round, that knew
because he went in the seventh round he had to play harder, but never made it.
He threw the ball ten yards shorter. He ran the forty a tenth of a second
slower. Everything he's done in life, he's done behind the scenes, and he's
cried about everything and everybody. If its not me its Nash. If its not Nash
its Hall. If its not Hall its McMahon. If its not McMahon, its Bischoff. At
some point in time, you got to look in the mirror. Do you think that the fans
listen to that s***? The problem is, the kid has never grown up. He told Mark
Madden for ten years that he was going to be a doctor. A doctor of what? Mark,
what medical school is he in now, Mark?

Jeremy Borash: What medical school?

Mark Madden: I don't believe he's officially enrolled at this point Ric.

Ric Flair: I don't think he has either. Ten years ago, he told me he was going
to be a medical doctor. Everything in his life is pretty much a dream, or a
thought, or an afterthought. And I'm happy that he's making money where he's at,
because he'd never go anywhere else. He's, you know, been given the opportunity
and some guys cut it, and some guys don't.

Jeremy Borash: All right, before we let you go Ric......

Ric Flair: Hey, I just.....I understand he challenged me to the ultimate fight,
or something like that. Let me tell you this. If you take the needle out of his
ass, he's 140 pounds, at best. And you tell him, 90 days after he takes the
needle out of his ass, anytime, anywhere, and I'm fifty years old. As a matter
of fact, my son Reid, with the needle out of his ass, will beat him in record
time. Quote me.

Mark Madden: I think you just quoted yourself.

Ric Flair: Well I just did.

Mark Madden: [Laughs]

Ric Flair: And Reid's eleven years old and weighs 126. I think Shane Douglas,
off the gas, is about 126 pounds soaking wet.

[Silence]

Jeremy Borash: Mark, you done?

Ric Flair: Hello? I can't hear you guys.

Jeremy Borash: [Laughs] I think we're all sitting here going, 'Wow.'

Ric Flair: Yeah, I just gave you the quote. Since he jumped on me. If I'm Bob
Barker he's, uh, let me see,....who was that cop on Andy Griffith that walked
around with the hat on sideways? He's Barney Fife.

Jeremy Borash: I guess the follow-up question is, are there a lot of guys.....

Ric Flair: Ask me another one about him, will ya?

Jeremy Borash: [chuckles] Along the same lines, are a lot of the guys......

Ric Flair: Excuse me, excuse me, Doctor Douglas, who never went to school.
Doctor Douglas, who never made it in WCW, who blamed me for it. I wasn't the
booker, however. Doctor Douglas, who didn't make it in WWF. Doctor Douglas,
who's alienated himself. Doctor Douglas, who is blown up at 220 pounds. You
can't beat my eleven year old son. How 'bout that? God bless you son. Now, go
ahead.
===========================================
WCW EVALUATED
Submitted by reader: KFITZPATI
Steve- I give you and
SAM JERRY full props on your views from the last couple of
columns. WCW fans, here's the deal- it simply is getting to be hard to watch
the products of Good King Eric. As Steve said a couple of weeks ago, we simply
do not have much of a Horseman angle at all. There was a time a couple of years
back where Benoit was booked pretty well in Turnerland-though Kevin Sullivan was
a nice 55 years old or whatever his age was, him and Benoit had some great arena
brawls on pay-per-views. But as Steve said earlier, a group that at one time
included PAUL ROMA is now little more than the"uncrowned" tag team champions
that don't even communicate that much. This is the way it is, folks- we all
know Good King Eric is playing the "G" rated card. We all know that the booking
has been subpar for months. We all know that Flair is going to be part of the
storylines because at one time he could go 60 minutes in Charlotte and then
drink some beer with Jim Crockett- (yes, that's sarcastic, but Bill Apter and
the Pro Wrestling Illustrated boys at the time enjoyed promoting the goofy Barry
Darsow as a Russian who was going to destroy our country with 65 year old Ivan
Koloff). And we know- whether most of you
like it or not- that where there's a WCW/NWO/Rogaine/Facepaint title match,
there's going to be Hogan. So I simply am going to be a neutral observer, NOT
pay $30 or do a two hour drive to Louisville and find out on Monday if we have
the return of Ric the Great, the heel of all heels, and Hogan the Red and Yellow
Real American. If Good King Eric is able to produce a convincing double turn
and get some ground back in the ratings and such, then I will be the first one
to write to the newsletter and give him credit. But folks, as I have said many
times before, it is going to be a challenge for the Good King Eric to gain back
his ratings perch that he had in 96-97, especially if Flair-Hogan
HAS to be the
prime stroyline. Then again, maybe Barry Darsow will become Krusher Kruschechev
and him and Nikita Koloff will come out with the Russian chains on Sunday night
and Dusty Rhodes will come and clean house and....oh yeah, that was done
already. Good luck, Good King Eric- son, you're going to need it.......

I too grew up and enjoyed following the
JCP matches of the 1980's. Then Flair
was a great showman who- like him or not- always put on a good show. The
Horsemen were a great gimmick, and even folks like Luger and Windham were able
to integrate and be pretty convincing heels. But again, I agree 100%- like you
said in this newsletter, it is a damn shame that all that WCW talent is marketed
and booked as bad as it is. It is also a major-and possibly fatal- risk to have
Hogan return to the "Real American" mantra-
AND take Nash with him. And Hart- I
have been a fan of his for 15 years. He and Lawler helped save McMahon (I
think) by having one hell of a feud across the country in 1993-4 when McMahon
was one step away from the
slammer over that steroid scandal deal- and the WWF and the sport almost went
down with him. For WCW to now feel content to lump him together with Windham
(again, fact is that man is WAAAAYY past his prime) is pretty bad business,
particularly with the hard promoting they gave him in late 1997 and the big
salary he makes. It again is unfortuanate. That's why I will not go to another
WCW TV taping or live event until those boys get their act together.
- KFITZPATI
===========================================
IN DEFENSE OF FLAIR
Submitted by reader: BossBlues1
Seriously.... Ric Flair vs. Bill Goldberg was a good match. The rest of Nitro
(except Hak-Raven and Jericho-Lizmark) really sucked. I'll be the first to admit
that. However, the Flair segment and the Flair match were gold. Ric Flair's
performance in the ring and on the mic proved a lot to me.

1) He can still go. A good match. He wrestled a heck of a lot better than Steve
Austin,
IMO. I dare you to find Austin taking a better shot or performing a
difficult move or selling as well as Flair from Monday. It simply did not
happen. Foley outworked Flair... but not Austin.

2) He has balls. It takes serious balls to turn the company's #2 face heel. You
won't see Austin turning heel anytime soon. Possibly ever. You probably won't
see Foley
go heel for a long time. And think about that statement. Who is LOVED the most
by wrestling fans? Not internet fans. WRESTLING fans as a whole. Who is loved
more than Ric Flair? Not Austin. People go crazy for Austin and what he does in
the ring... but people respect the Flair legacy and the man himself. For a guy
at age 50 to just up and turn heel after a GREAT face tour is almost unheard of.
Flair is doing it for the good of the company and to try something new. The WWF
should look at this and apply it to their tired, 9 month old storylines.

3) He is a Wrestlers Wrestler. A lot of people called Arn Anderson this....
Flair epitomized this term on Monday. Think about it. When was the last time
somebody was a heel.... and they were REALLY a heel. Not getting cheap heat, but
acting like a heel. Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Triple H, Paul Wight, Shawn Michaels
circa 1997, Hogan.... a lot of people try and act "cool" and sometimes even
ignore or shrug off what their rival is saying or doing. This does nothing for
their opponent or their feud.
Flair on the other hand pretty much sold everything perfectly and acted just
insane enough to make a SOUTHERN crowd hate him and cheer Goldberg almost
instantaneously. Do me and those who think like me a favor and be objective.
Austin vs. Mankind was VERY subpar. In fact, I could go so far as to say it blew
much like the majority of Nitro. In comparison.... Ric Flair vs. Bill Goldberg
had motivation, had story behind it, and had an ending that made sense. Maybe
you're right when you say the masses want to see Austin-Mankind more than
Flair-Goldberg. Maybe they do. HOWEVER.... its simply not right to say Flair
looked like a shell of his former self. He looked EXACTLY like his former
self.... along with the right storyline to use it in.
Thanks, JR
===========================================
VIDEO GAME PRANKS
Submitted by reader: Vegetiroth
Just thought you would like to inform your readers that "Wrestler's Heart" by
THQ was a joke run in the APRIL issue of PSM. The whole Top Ten Most Wanted
Games list was a big April Fools joke. I can't believe someone actually
believed it. Just for the record, THQ getting the WWF license is probably the
worst thing that has ever happened to WWF video games. Take WCW Nitro and
WCW/NWO Thunder as examples.
===========================================
BUDOKAN DISGRACE
Submitted by reader: Simon A. Moult (Si316)
A little useless info for you...
Budokan Hall in Tokyo, which recently housed Vader's title win, also housed a
Beatles concert back in the 60's. Back then though, the Fab Four faced a barrage
of critisism from "the elders", who believed that having a pop concert in a hall
for the sacred Japanese arts was disrespectful to the heritage and the all round
tradition of Japanese culture, to which Paul replied "When a dancing troop from
Japan comes to England we don't say oh we can't have that, do we, and anyway, we
are just as traditional."

The article about Vader's latest triumph shows one of thee things, either the
elders who were disgraced at the thought of having music in the Budokan are
dead, wrestling isn't as offensive as pop music? (go figure!!!) or more credible
is that maybe the Japanese elders jumped on the bandwagon who found the Beatles
to be corrupting young minds. The Budokan was a traditional hall saved from
modern pollution, or is that just where the Beatles were concerned!
Simon A. Moult
===========================================
TRANSITION TIME
Submitted by reader: matt
As much as we would like to see the laissez-faire Eric Bischoff leave WCW
wouldn't this be a bad thing? If there is no heir to the throne won't it take
some considerable time for the new President to become acquainted with WCW? Or
is there an heir apparent?

Also, Flair isn't that impressive in the ring anymore. He's becoming a little
flabby. I think the honorable thing for him to do is win the title one last time
with the stipulation that he should become Commisioner Flair. Ditch Piper and go
with Flair. This way Flair won't have to wrestle but can do supportive
interviews like you suggested. Bischoff should give the whole undercard a big
push. Wrath should play a heel in the ranks with Windham and Hennig. Saturn,
Jericho, and Kanyon (when he
returns) should all get pushed. We both could go on forever so I shall leave you
now. Big Matt
===========================================
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===========================================
The staff of The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Editor: Steve Appy
Columnist: Mark George
Columnist: SamJerry
Columnist: Fritz Capp
Columnist: Rick Phelps
Columnist: Cindy Barnes
Columnist: Josh Hewitt
Columnist: Swami
Columnist: Tom Misnik
Columnist: Nate Pelley
Columnist: Robert Troy (Osiris)
Columnist:
Tom Kirkbride
Columnist: Ryan S. Oaks
Columnist:
Darren Kramer

Any submissions sent in by readers or columnists become the property of The Wrestling Booking Sheet, and are subject to editing due to grammar, spelling, or content. Any information taken from The Wrestling Booking Sheet must be credited properly, with our E-Mail address listed. We have no problem if you want to use our stuff; just credit it properly.

Copyright- Steve Appy of The Wrestling Booking Sheet ©1998, 1999, 2000

"When you're young and you pick up a guitar, it feels so powerful. It feels like you pulled the sword from the stone. I used to believe that it could save the world. But I don't really believe that anymore." - Bruce Springsteen

"The greatest challenge of adulthood is holding on to your idealism
after you lose your innocence and believing in the power of the human
spirit after you come crashing into the limits of the real adult
world." - Bruce Springsteen

 

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