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Vandy! (September 1996)


Beer!  (February 2006)

Issue # 226

Date:  Sunday April 25th, 1999

The Wrestling Booking Sheet

THE ROSS REPORT (For the week of April 23)
By Jim Ross
Reported at:
Hi everybody, it’s Good Ol’ JR here again on WWF.COM. This is the Ross Report,
and I want to thank you very much for taking time to check us out. We’ve got a
lot of news to catch you up on, and before we start, I want to thank all of you
for your support, as I have returned to work at ringside on RAW on Monday
nights. I look forward to the opportunity to broadcast my first North American
Pay-Per-View since the Survivor Series last November. So, it’s going to be an
exciting week for yours truly. I’m looking forward to the opportunity, and I
truly believe that this Sunday’s Backlash has a real legitimate, bona fide
chance to be one of the sleeper Pay-Per-Views of the year from the WWF.

Turning to the news, Stone Cold Steve Austin has been in
San Francisco for most
of the week filming another episode of "Nash Bridges." Don Johnson has certainly
taken a liking to Stone Cold, as we also hear, several CBS television officials.
So, Stone Cold will be appearing on the broadcast of "Nash Bridges" sometime
during the May television ratings sweep.

Mark Henry is back in the WWF Training Camp this week after being released by
Dr. Jim Andrews after having both knees surgically repaired several weeks ago.
Mark looks to have held his weight in pretty good stead, but I’ll still ride
that same horse: I believe at 350 pounds, Mark Henry could be one of the very
special athletes on the roster. He’s special at 400, there’s no doubt about
that—he’s still the World’s
Strongest Man. But athletically speaking, and for
his own longevity in the ring, I think the less weight would do him a world of
good and hopefully he’ll take those suggestions to heart.

The Blue Meanie, who last week was going to be released by the WWF, will now
remain with the Federation for the foreseeable future, and will continue to be
aligned with Goldust. They are quite the entertaining pair to say the least!
You’ll see some interesting television from those two in the coming weeks.

Several WWF superstars are attempting to return to the ring after combating
injury. Savio Vega has been out of action for many, many months due to a very
severe neck injury. And based on one neurologist’s opinion, Savio Vega’s career
is in deep jeopardy. There is a chance that Savio Vega may not be able to return
to the ring. However, he will be getting a second opinion from another
neurologist in the next few weeks to further evaluate his situation. And Savio’s
a tough man, he’s a good athlete, a very fundamentally sound competitor and we
wish him nothing but the best.

Mark Canterbury has also had surgery to repair damage in his neck. Mark will be
re-evaluated in the next few weeks by his neurologist. His condition does not
seem to be quite as dicey as Savio Vega’s neck condition. However, Mark
Canterbury will be the first to tell you he’s not out of the woods yet, and
still has a ways to go before he can return to the ring, which right now is very
tentatively scheduled for sometime during the latter part of the summer. But
that’s only a guess at this point.

Several WWF superstars are doing well down in Power Pro promotion based out of
Memphis, Tennessee. Kurt Angle is one of the outstanding young competitors that
the WWF has placed in the Power Pro area. Angle, who is a 1996 Olympic gold
medal winner from
Pittsburgh, has a very bright future here in the WWF—but there
is certainly nothing guaranteed. Angle has all the physical skills to take him
as far as he wants to go, and now the aptitude is what is being cultivated…the
feel for performing in front of a live sports-entertainment crowd is very
unique. The crowd psychology has to be cultivated, and you can’t do it in a
warehouse situation. That can only be replicated by working in front of a crowd,
and therefore the fact that Angle, Steve Bradley, Vic Grimes, Mick Tierney and
Erin O’Grady have been in Memphis speaks so well for their desire to go to the
next level. All of those men that I mentioned certainly have the opportunity, if
they can continue to improve (and they key term is "continue to improve") and do
the things it takes to get to the next level, as far as their conduct and their
professionalism, all those men in Memphis have the chance to graduate to Monday
night television for the WWF at some point in time.

Looking at other WWF competitors, we can tell you that the Giant Silva is
certainly turning heads down south in
Mexico. He is working is working out at a
training camp environment by day, wrestling in cities around the country by
night and staying very busy. His improvement has been very noticeable. He’s not
going to be confused with Stone Cold or The Rock anytime soon, however, Stone
Cold and The Rock are not 7’4" and 440 pounds either. So, we do think the Giant
Silva, athletically speaking, has shown some improvement. He’s a guy that really
had no formal background in the business--he wasn’t a wrestling fan. We really
started from scratch with Silva and he may be a year away, but it looks like he
is travelling in the right direction. And let’s just hope that he can reach that
Promised Land of Monday night RAW once again.

I talked to Marc Mero recently. With his elbow surgery just being completed a
few weeks ago, he just didn’t seem to me that he is ready to return to in-ring
competition. Marc has a lot of outside business interests that he would like to
devote some more time to, so the return to the ring of Marc Mero in any shape or
form is "to be determined" at best at this time.

Kurrgan will be headed to Mexico starting in mid-May for further seasoning and
experience, but most importantly to give him the opportunity to work on a
regular basis and allow the process of his improvement to run its natural
course—if it’s going to happen.

There’s an interesting WWF Training Camp going on this week in
Connecticut. There’s about eight or ten prospects—and others—on hand for this
week’s training camp. There’s certainly an interesting mix of athletes. I’ll
give you a further report on them on the next Ross Report, because I’d like to
let these guys finish this camp and get a more thorough evaluation. But I have
seen some very good athletes in the group. And a kid you’ve seen on our
television from time to time--doesn’t have a great won/loss record—is Jason
Ahrndt, who has looked really good in the camp this week. And if we can help him
develop personality and find his level of charisma, athletically speaking he has
a lot of tools. He has been a bright spot, among others, this week in the WWF
Training Camp.

We hear Steve Blackman may be preparing to shoot some vignettes, which means his
characterization and persona is being addressed. Blackman is another untapped
talent in the views of a lot of folks, I being one of those. He’s an athletic
guy, very intense—sometimes too intense. I think Blackman has a chance to be a
player here in the WWF.

I think an unsung tag team here in the WWF that isn’t being used right now is
Taka Michinoku and Funaki. Sho and Taka would make a great tag team, in my view.
And certainly matches with Taka and Funaki against the Hardy Boyz, Too Much,
Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett, the Brood, even the New Age Outlaws could all be
tremendous offensive-minded matches. Do Federation suits think the Japanese duo
are too small?

Another team that seems to be making some noise in the tag team area is the
Acolytes. Certainly Ron Simmons—known as Faarooq—and Bradshaw have great
backgrounds athletically. Both played college football, both earned paychecks
playing some pro football. So they’ve been in stiff athletic competition their
entire lives. Athletically speaking, you know you don’t have too many concerns
with Faarooq and Bradshaw. It would seem to me that they would be more effective
if they were able to utilize a few more tag team tested wrestling maneuvers.
This could be a very devastating team if they were able to focus on a body part
and isolate the individual with the injured body part in the Acolytes’ half of
the ring. I know it’s old, but it’s sound and makes so much common sense and I
think that these guys want to go to the next level, it would have to be with
some more wrestling. Their same intensity and aggression, but with more physical
wrestling involved, I think then they have a very good chance of going to the
next level. And certainly, they could be viable tag team title contenders,
culminating—which wouldn’t surprise me—with the titles at some point in time.

The recruiting process and talent development process here in the WWF continues
to roll along, and that process is constantly being evaluated and change is
always being effected within the talent development program. The WWF is looking
to evaluate more talent in 1999 and then be able to place those talents in areas
where the prospects can actually perform in front of live audiences, and in
addition, to get instruction during the daytime. It’s an interesting plan that
has a great deal of potential. And that plan is almost in place, and we’ll be
talking more about that in the upcoming weeks as well as we continue to look
more vibrance, charisma, youth and that "it" factor in a variety of sources—both
male and female—to continue our goal to try to find and cultivate and develop
and introduce new, young stars to Monday Night RAW, Sunday Night HEAT, all of
our programs and Pay-Per-Views. It’s a very exciting job in a very exciting
time, because as you can imagine, everyone and their brother wants to get in the
business these days. We are certainly going to continue to be diligent and look
for new potential stars.

I hope that all of you will join us for Backlash this Sunday on Pay-Per-View. As
I said earlier, and yes I’m not totally unbiased because I work for Titan
Sports, but I will tell you in all honesty that I truly believe that this
Sunday’s show has a chance to be a real sleeper event. With Austin and The Rock
you know you get quality on the topside of the card. I think they will do all
that they can physically and mentally to top their effort at WrestleMania. I
think the Undertaker and Ken Shamrock will surprise a lot of folks, because some
are skeptical their styles will not mesh. I don’t think that will be the case.
Shamrock and the Undertaker will raise some eyebrows. Mick Foley and
Pay-Per-View…that pretty much says enough about the Boiler Room Brawl match with
the "Big Show." The Outlaws vs. Jeff and Owen match…those are four consummate
pros. Those two teams can have as good a tag match as any two tag teams in this
business today, that I’m aware of, and I think it will be a great match. And,
then my match for maybe the "dark horse" or that will steal the show or the
"showstopper"—X-Pac and Triple H. Can’t forget Chyna, she’ll play a big part in
that match, no doubt about it. You never know where Kane may or may not be. I
just think that Sean Waltman and Triple H will raise the bar, and I’m looking
forward to that one a lot on Sunday night.

It is with a great deal of sadness that I close this Ross Report. We are
remembering Rick Rude today. According to reports out of Atlanta, Rick Rude
passed away on Tuesday night. The only thing that we’ve heard, and this is not
official, is that Rick passed away of an apparent heart attack. Rude was only 40
years of age. He would have been 41 on December 7 of this year. Our condolences
go out to the family of Rick Rude, his wife and his young children. And
certainly our thoughts are with them at this very heartbreaking time in their
lives. Having gone through something comparable with my mother back in December,
I can certainly identify with some of the feelings that they are going through,
and our hearts and our prayers are with the family of Rick Rude. I knew Rick
Rude when he was in the Mid-South wrestling area working for Cowboy Bill Watts,
so I’ve known Rick since the early to mid-80s and saw his rise to stardom. He
went from the Mid-South, then to Memphis, and certainly made a name for himself
on TBS, but gained international fame when he came to the WWF. He had a
tremendous run in the WWF. Rick was besieged with a variety of
injuries—especially to his neck and back—in the latter part of his career. Rick
Rude was a man’s man. He certainly was a very "tell it like it is" guy. He had
strong convictions in his own beliefs. Again, we remember the lean, muscular,
vibrant athlete that we saw bumping, grinding and bumping some more in rings
around the world. Rick Rude will be missed.
To get all of the latest details on the Brian Pillman Memorial show, be sure to
check out Josh Becker's (josh) Main Event website, found at:
Greg Simpson has put together a terrific web site devoted to his two passions,
music and wrestling. The wrestling side has an amazing database listing just
about every wrestler imaginable, along with statistics and accomplishments.
This is one site to bookmark and to use as a valuable reference tool; find it

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To join a great E-Fed called the UHF (Ultimate Hardcore Fed), e-mail
WWF House Show Results for April 24th, 1999
Live in Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
The Acolytes defeated DOA
Jerry Lawler pinned Droz
WWF Tag Team Champions Kane & X-Pac defeated The Big Boss Man & Test
WWF Hardcore Champion Hardcore Holly pinned Val Venis
New Age Outlaws defeated The Brood & Canadian Country in an elimination bout
Tori & Al Snow defeated Ivory & D-Lo Brown when Tori pinned Ivory
The Undertaker & Midian defeated Ken Shamrock & Mankind when UT pinned Foley
WWF Intercontinental Champion The Godfather pinned Goldust
Steve Austin & The Big Show defeated The Rock & Triple H when Austin pinned Maivia
(Reported by Willda316)
Thursday, April 22, 1999
Of The Post and Courier staff
"Ravishing" Rick Rude, one of pro wrestling's top personalities, was found dead
late Tuesday in his Atlanta home. Preliminary reports indicate that Rude, 40,
died of an apparent heart attack.

Rude, whose real name was Richard Rood, had been employed by the Atlanta-based
World Championship Wrestling but had not appeared on television for the past

WCW dismissed widespread reports a year ago that Rude had been diagnosed with
testicular cancer. Rude did have a cyst removed from his groin and suffered some
side effects from the surgery.

Rude, a 15-year mat veteran whose active career was ended by a serious neck
injury in 1994, last appeared in the ring as a member of The New World Order. He
had most recently served as an announcer on WCW's Backstage Blast programs on
Direct TV.

Former grappler and current Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, in a 1992
interview with The Post and Courier, called Rude one of his favorite wrestlers,
saying, "He reminds me a lot of me."

Rude made his first major impact on the wrestling business as part of Vince
McMahon's WWF expansion in the mid-'80s and held that promotion's
Intercontinental title after defeating The Ultimate Warrior. He was one of the
company's top headliners from 1987-90. Rude left the company on less than
favorable terms in 1990 following a dispute with McMahon.

The 6-4, 240-pound Rude testified in the highly publicized steroid trial in 1994
pitting McMahon against the U.S. government. McMahon, who made a fortune through
mass marketing of the WWF during the 1980s, was accused of conspiring to provide
steroids for wrestling stars such as Rude and Hulk Hogan. Rude testified that he
was off steroids during his latter days with the WWF because he was trying to
start a family with his wife, and steroids tended to lower to the user's
testosterone level. He said that McMahon once told him at a TV taping that he
"didn't look good" and said that McMahon implied that he should get back on
steroids. McMahon was later cleared of all charges.

Rude at the time also admitted using steroids in WCW over a four-year period. He
said he didn't carry a prescription, got his steroids from Europe and took the
muscle-enhancing drug to relieve joint pain and build strength.

The native Minnesotan joined WCW in 1991 but left in 1994 following a dispute
with the front office.

Rude, whose back was broken in a 1994 match with Sting in Japan, sued the
company for $630,000 for alleged breach of contract.

Rude, a former NWA world titleholder and U.S. heavyweight champion at WCW,
pulled out of the promotion's Slamboree pay-per-view in May 1994 just minutes
before the event following a backstage argument with booker Ric Flair over his
role on the show. Rude left 30 seconds before the card started and no-showed his
Slamboree main event with Vader. Then-WCW commissioner Nick Bockwinkel, in an
attempt to explain Rude's absence, told fans that the WCW board had decided to
strip Rude of his WCW international world championship because of an illegality
in his title victory over Sting earlier that month in Japan.

Rude, plagued by nagging back and neck problems, rejoined the WWF for a brief
period as an announcer but eventually returned to WCW. He had not wrestled since
1994 due to ruptured disks in his neck, but had collected on a Lloyd's of London
insurance policy similar to those utilized in the past by such performers as
Road Warrior Animal, Curt Hennig, Nikita Koloff and Ted DiBiase.

Mike Mooneyham can be reached by phone at (843) 937-5517 or by e-mail at
mooneyham. 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.
Submitted by reader: Player4125
It has been a tough weekend for myself and my family. We attended the funeral
(Rick Rude's service) on Saturday; many of the wrestlers showed up, including
Scotty Riggs, Scott Norton, Rick Steiner, Miss Elizabeth, Lex Luger, and his
longtime friend Curt Hennig. It was a very touching service. Each friend got
up and
told a story and everyone had some good laughs to remember Rick. It was a very
sad time and I spent time with his son, little Rick, who also got up and spoke,
and I talked to him about many things and he told me that he would always miss
his dad and that he will always have a place in his heart. I think that can be
said for all of us. Tyler
Submitted by reader: Martin Butler (martincredible)
Bringing back Michaels as the leader of DX would be great for all the HBK fans
out there (myself included), but it'd really screw things up. First of all, HBK
will unfortunately never be a dominant ring presence again. Seeing him as "the
manager" for DX would tarnish his impact on the wrestling world; with fans
remembering him on the sidelines instead of as one of the greatest overall
performers in the history of wrestling (cough cough...Arn Anderson?). And, it
would further confuse the issue of who exactly runs the WWF...with Vince at odds
with the Corporation and the Undertaker at both their heals, would Commish
Michaels at the helm of anarchist sub-group DX further that angle, or mire it?

I'd like to see the Road Dogg step up. Sure, he's not as established as HBK,
but can anyone deny the man's charisma? He's been the highlight of DX since
Triple H took command. And if DX really needs to add a new member, I'd like to
suggest one that I've yet to see mentioned: The Big Show, Mr. Paul Wight. He's
got the attitude and the name-value to re-ignite DX. Wight shines in groups. I
think, if Wight was added to DX and allowed to shine as a personality instead of
a genetic wonder, the name "Kevin Nash" would be forgotten within weeks. Just
jazz up his shorts a little bit and the WWF would be in business.
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)
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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