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Vandy! (September 1996)


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Issue # 261

Date:  Monday June 21st, 1999  7:52 pm

The Wrestling Booking Sheet

After a four week break we return but with a different format. While I enjoyed
producing daily issues, the time involved made it impossible. While my schedule
became crazier my feelings about the wrestling business have evolved as well.
Coming to terms with the fact that I was promoting a sleazy business was tough;
Owen Hart's death drove the point home.

Over the next several weeks, we will be tinkering with the format until the
perfect formula feels right. There probably won't be alot of actual news
reported, and the focus will be a critical examination of our favorite hobby.
I'm hoping the final product will make the wait worthwhile. In the meantime we
will be published once a week, with either single or double issues (probably on
Monday or Tuesday nights). Here we go...
WCW-Hogan partnership takes its toll
By Mike Mooneyham
Sunday, June 20, 1999

WCW boss Eric Bischoff, with assistance from Ric Flair and the financial backing
of Ted Turner's deep pockets, brought in Hulk Hogan five years ago to turn
around the fortunes of his company. The signing was heralded as the biggest
event in the history of the organization.

Hogan was hailed as "the crown jewel" of WCW. Bischoff called him "the most
exciting presence in the sport" and gave him, for all practical purposes, carte
blanche of the company. "Having Hulk in our corner only confirms the fact that
WCW is the premiere wrestling organization of the '90s," Bischoff said at the

Hogan, to his credit, gave WCW name recognition that had been lacking in the
past and initially boosted television ratings and pay-per-view buyrates. Hogan,
however, was rammed down the collective throat of the WCW audience.

Hogan did interviews as he was booed out of buildings while Gene Okerlund talked
about what a phenomenal reception he was getting. The increasingly paranoic
Hogan cut promos on "the promoter in
New York" (Vince McMahon) whose ego was
bigger than the entire wrestling business and how that promoter was now dying
and choking on his own ego. He talked about being immortal and challenging
Gorgeous George to a match in heaven. Bischoff applauded from the sidelines
while the fans began switching the channel.

Hogan's ratings power started to decline noticeably. A heel turn temporarily
revitalized his career, but fans quickly became turned off by both Hulk Hogan
the babyface and Hollywood Hogan the heel. WCW, which had controlled the Monday
night ratings war for a year and a half, began to feel the backlash.

The partnership between Hogan and WCW took a toll. It not only cost WCW lots of
money, but as backstage politics reared its ugly head, it became painfully
apparent that Hogan, who once proclaimed he was "bigger than the business," was
controlling the company and using his position to put himself over at the
expense of others. Deals were secretly made as Hogan's self-serving agenda was
carried out.

There is now little doubt that Hogan has been calling the shots for WCW since
the day he signed. He made WCW his own personal vehicle to put himself over
while holding down younger, more talented workers. Fans switched to the WWF in
droves due to the perception of WCW being an old-man's company. It was Hogan who
has shaped the direction of that company, and most of WCW's acquisitions have
had his stamp of approval on them.

One acquisition that hasn't is Sid Eudy, who, ironically, once had been groomed
as Hogan's successor in the WWF.

Hogan, who has been sidelined for the past two months due to knee surgery,
reportedly was outraged by Bischoff's signing of the controversial Sid Vicious,
who signed a big-money, two-year deal with an option for a third.

Sources say Hogan also is upset that the WWF world strap has remained on booker
Kevin Nash for as long as it has. There are even rumblings that he may threaten
to jump ship and rejoin the WWF, where he left in 1993 after being the top
attraction for 10 years as the ultimate babyface superhero. The unrest has led
to speculation that Hogan and McMahon could be forging a deal to bring Hogan
back into the WWF. While critics have questioned how Hogan could possibly fit in
an organization that puts its focus on younger talent and how he would be
received by talent who perceive him to be very much "over the hill," there could
be interest in an '80s vs. '90s version of the WWF's two biggest performers -
Hulk Hogan and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.

Hogan is not the only WCW performer upset by Sid's signing.

Eudy was fired by WCW after a drunken brawl with Arn Anderson at a hotel in
England in October 1993. Anderson suffered 20 stab wounds from a pair of
scissors - 14 puncture wounds on his back and shoulders, one puncture under an
arm, two punctures in his nostrils, a gash near his eye and slash marks on his
neck. Bischoff said last week that Sid has matured a lot in the past five years,
although his track record with other promotions during that time is less than

And while Bischoff said that
Anderson understands WCW's need for a performer
with Sid's star power, friends say
Anderson is "mortified" by Eudy's signing.
Bischoff plans to give Sid a major push and will headline him at WCW's next
pay-per-view with Sid and Randy Savage against Nash and Sting.

There are other major problems, however, confronting Bischoff and WCW. its
common knowledge that Bischoff called Ric Flair a con artist and a liar last
year in front of a locker room of WCW performers. Bischoff now echoes those
sentiments while doing Nitro commentary. This time around, however, the words
are uttered behind the guise of a storyline that has portrayed the 14-time world
champion as a psychotic, out-of-control company head.

But to those who know him, Bischoff's agenda hasn't changed since that evening
last year when he trashed Flair and threatened to sue him into bankruptcy.
Unfortunately Bischoff's mission to tarnish Flair's reputation has succeeded to
a point. Flair has been placed in roles and storylines designed for failure.
Fans no longer know whether to cheer him or boo him, all out of respect for what
he's accomplished over the past 26 years.

Bischoff, meanwhile, has watched his company's fortunes plummet. He even
admitted several weeks ago on WCW television that he had done a number of things
wrong and made some mistakes while his company watched the WWF take over the top

Through not grooming new stars, an over-reliance on the fading Hogan who
increasingly showed weakness when it came to being a TV and PPV draw, and
storylines that largely made no sense, WCW ratings have continued to fall. While
the WWF was reinventing pro wrestling television and riding the momentum of the
Steve Austin-Vince McMahon angle, WCW was producing stale television, few good
matches and unimaginative booking.

Bischoff has continued, however, to deny his biggest mistake, and that is
hanging on to Hulk Hogan like a security blanket. As recently as last week
Bischoff reiterated Hogan's passion for the industry, while most inside the
company view it as Hogan's passion for what the industry has brought him in
terms of wealth and notoriety.

It also has been Hogan's jealousy of Flair, with Bischoff doing the dirty work,
that has worked against Flair since his return to WCW after last year's legal
battle. Flair's return to WCW last Sept. 14 in Greenville to a deafening roar
that wouldn't stop not only firmly established him as the greatest performer of
the modern era of wrestling, it also was a jolt of reality to Hogan and Bischoff
that Ric Flair was, indeed, the man.

Flair's comeback trail, though, was littered with banana peels and booby traps.
He was put in embarrassing roles and asked to job to nearly everyone in the
company - the latest being Buff Bagwell last week on Nitro - but was given
nothing in return. Flair, despite being the top ratings draw in WCW, makes half
the salary of ratings failures such as Kevin Nash, Randy Savage, Sting and
Diamond Dallas Page. At the age of 50 he consistently takes more bumps than all
of those names combined, and more than any other top-tier performer in the

Bischoff, however, has continued to extol the virtues of Nash as booker and
Hogan as the dominant star in the business, while blaming much of Nitro's
decline on the reformation of the Four Horsemen, an angle that was never pushed
and doomed by design.

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.
Before becoming the Henny Youngman of the WWF Jerry Lawler was the 50% owner of
the USWA, one of the most succesful "Independent'" promotions of this
generation. Lawler was the franchise star, and had his own reservations about
the WWF's expansion. In a 1991 interview with Wade Keller of The Pro Wrestling
Torch, Lawler let us in on his past feelings for the WWF product. Either he
changed his mind or he went with the flow, considering his current spot in the
WWF heirarchy.

Keller: "As you look at the eighties and especially Vince McMahon Junior's
expansion, do you look upon what he did as good or bad for the wrestling

Lawler: "Oh, its murderous. its terrible for the wrestling business. The
reason, is as Vince McMahon himself will tell you, he's not in the wrestling
business. He says that on the Larry King Show, in Sports Illustrated. He
doesn't want to be confused with a wrestling company. He's into "sports
entertainment," another word for merchandising and marketing. But what he does
is prey upon the wrestling fans and wrestling audience to sell his product to
and its just like, he says, don't confuse me with a wrestling company, because
that's not what I am. And by the same token, if you were selling automobiles
and you were selling Fords, you wouldn't put Chevrolets on your commercial while
selling Fords. Well, he's not trying to sell wrestling, so he don't put
wrestlers on his TV show. He puts characters on because that's what he's trying
to sell. He's trying to sell merchandise, he's trying to do
marketing. But the general public doesn't realize that and they just think of
these guys as wrestlers and that's really not the case. He has changed it so
much and changed the wrestling business, you know, its just like when people
are in the wrestling business you should sell wrestling, you should have to sell
wrestling tickets."

Torch Talk, conducted in the summer of 1991
To subscribe to The Pro Wrestling Torch, send $36 for 20 issues to:
The Pro Wrestling Torch
P.O. Box 201844
Minneapolis, MN 55420
Visit my Home Page:

Item: Psycho Sid / Sid Vicious signs with WCW: Ending weeks of speculation, Sid
is now officially a happy little trooper at
Camp Eric. While his size and
demeanor will certainly strike fear in the hearts of his opponents, what he
might do is more likely to strike fear in the heart of Uncle Ted. I can picture
it now, Sid is placed in WCW's growing Hardcore Division and seeing how some of
the others bring their trash cans full of toys to play with, Sid will bring his.
Only thing is, he might just bring his scissors and grinding wheel. What will
happen if he has a flashback and draws blood? We all know that The Official WCW
Handbook states that none of their wrestlers are allowed to have blood, because
if they did they might bleed and that is a violation of The Prime Directive:
Thou Shalt Not Bleed on TV. Then again, it probably wont be a problem. If things
get out of hand, all WCW needs to do is have "Play Ball" announced over the PA
system and Sid will be out of there faster than Fat Tony can down a side of
beef. Of course WCW will have to frisk everyone entering the arenas and
confiscate baseball gloves, softballs and bats. If Sid even suspects there's a
softball game within 50 miles, there goes their Main Event.

Item: Her Sweetness appeared on NITRO: Being a wrestling purist, Her Sweetness
just happened to be in town last Monday when NITRO was there. She also just
happened to be lucky enough to get a front row seat. Either she's the biggest
and luckiest wrestling fan ever born, or her appearance was arranged ahead of
time by Good King Eric. Nah, he would never do something like that and deny it
if he did. After all, WCW is the G-rated wrestling organization and above such
things. Note to Her Sweetness: Your $110 million lawsuit was a joke when you
instituted it. Don't blow everything you've accomplished in the past few years
by becoming a cartoon of yourself. There are plenty of good looking women who
would kill to be where you were (note I said were). If it weren't for your time
in the WWF, do you think any movie or TV roles would be available to you? I am
one of your biggest fans and hate to see you self destruct. Six months from now,
it wont even be "Sable who?"

Item: Who will win The King Of The Ring Tournament: Two weeks ago, the only name
I saw was The Big Show. Last week it seems the favorite swung back and forth
between Mr. @$$, X-Pac and Road Dog. In the past day or two it seems that Chyna
is now the favorite. In the space of one week or so, more than half of the eight
entrants has been mentioned as the projected winner. If you ask me, I would say
that's the way things should be ... wide open. What better way to generate
interest than to go into the Tournament with no clear cut favorite. I have also
seen the predictions of doom if Chyna wins and is named Queen Of The Ring. While
I don't see it happening, it might be just the thing to launch the expected WWF
Women's Division and set the tone for SmackDown. If I was asked who I thought
would win it, I would have to go with The Big Show. After all, a WWF Title
push/reign is in the cards. It might not look good for him not to win it. Then
again, I've been wrong before.

Item: Kuwaiti TV Host sues the WWF: Never let it be said that the Kuwaiti TV
host is one to jump on a bandwagon, but the timing of it looks mighty
suspicious, coming on the heels of the Hart and Her Sweetness lawsuits. He was
"roughed up" by Vader last year when Vader was a guest on his show, His
complaint is his picture was used without his permission. Using that criteria,
every newspaper, TV station and new gathering organization will have to shut
down, or not use any pictures or film without getting prior approval. Methinks
he has swallowed too much sand or had too much sun, and that has affected his
ability to think. He has less chance then Her Sweetness and her chances don't
look real good.
In Febuary, when Lex Luger was injured in a match with Konnan, reports
immediatly surfaced of backstage heat between the two. Konnan first encountered
Luger in 1990, during his initial brief stint in WCW. In a 1994 interview with
Wade Keller of The Pro Wrestling Torch, Konnan shared his first thoughts of the
Total Package:

Keller: "What about Lex Luger?"

Konnan: "He's a pain in the ass. I went in there and was doing some moves with
Tim Horner and Brian Pillman and Brian was saying, "I love Super Astro from
Mexico. How does he do this one move?" I didn't know how to do it, but was
explaining it to him and we started to do some Mexican moves in the ring. Lex
Luger said mockingly to Linda Ruffa, a photographer, in a gay-like voice, "I
guess I'm going to have to learn some new moves." He was always looking at
himself in the mirror and he always thought he was a bigshot. He just had this
air of arrogance
about him. Narcissist fits him perfectly. He wasn't very well liked, but I'll
tell ya', I'm not very well liked. I'm not in here to be liked, anyway.

Luger might be a nice guy if you sit down and have a beer. Sometimes you know
you're around the boys and sometimes you have to be in character all the time.
He may be a nice guy, I don't know."

Torch Talk, conducted on August 21, 1994
To subscribe to The Pro Wrestling Torch, send $36 for 20 issues to:
The Pro Wrestling Torch
P.O. Box 201844
Minneapolis, MN 55420
Sponsors Needed To Help Bring Independent Wrestling Promotion Up To Top Caliber
In order to help raise more money for our independent wrestling group,
Uncensored Massacre Wrestling, we are going to offer all of you an advertising
opportunity. If you have a website, we will list the URL to your website and
name of your website in our program magazine on a special page called "Special
Thanks To All Our Friends On The Web." This will provide you a great
opportunity to advertise to the exact target audience of wrestling fans, and
will also help us get a lot of "name" talent to appear on our cards. This in
turn, will help us be even bigger, and will help your advertisement get more
notice, because a lot more people will come when they know there is top notch
talent on the card, instead of 1 "name" and alot of independent "rookies."

The cost of listing the name of your site and URL in the Program Magazine is
just $5.00. If you would like to take part in this, please e-mail me at
UMWChris I hope you will take advantage of a unique advertising
opportunity to reach wrestling fans, and if nothing else, help us to become a
noticeable group at a rapid pace.
Chris York
Extreme Entertainment Announces the Debut of XPW - Xtreme Pro Wrestling
VAN NUYS, Calif.--June 14, 1999

New extreme pro wrestling promotion to debut on Saturday night, July 31. The
world of professional wrestling is about to meet its newest player: Xtreme Pro
Wrestling. Based in Van Nuys, Calif., XPW will present its debut show on
Saturday night, July 31, from XPW Arena in Reseda, Calif.

"Get ready for the West Coast debut of Xtreme!" XPW's upcoming commercials
declare. The night will feature 10 hardcore wrestling matches as well as the
crowning of Miss Xtreme in a competition between adult film stars from Extreme
Associates and Vivid Video.

The event will take place at XPW Arena (the Reseda Country Club) located at
18419 Sherman Way. Bell time will be 8:00 p.m. with doors opening at 7:00.
Tickets will be available at the box office the night of or in advance through
the XPW web site and various vendors in the San Fernando Valley.

Seating is unreserved and prices are $15 for ringside and $10 for general
admission. Fans will have to get there early to ensure the best seats in their
sections. Miss Xtreme contest competitors will sign autographs after the show.
Rumored to be part of the competition are Jasmine St. Claire, Ashlyn Gere,
Kristy Mist, Lizzy Borden, and more. The contest will be hosted by adult film
superstar Tom Byron.

XPW will begin a comprehensive media campaign will on Monday, July 12 with local
television spots during wrestling programs on the USA,
TNT, and TBS networks and
the launch of their website at

Fans will be able to get updates on the show as well as purchase tickets using a
credit card from the site. After the debut show the site will feature breaking
news, event results, information on upcoming shows, talent bios, a photo
gallery, message board, and XPW merchandise.

Additionally, on July 12th, the XPW hotline will be launched enabling fans to
call for the latest updates on events and ticket information.

Xtreme Pro Wrestling, a subsidiary of Extreme Entertainment, will produce live
professional wrestling shows, videos, and merchandise. An XPW television show
is scheduled to debut in the year 2000. The West Coast is about to get its
first taste of Xtreme Pro Wrestling on a scorching summer night wrestling fans
will not want to miss out on.

CONTACT: Xtreme Pro Wrestling, Van Nuys, Kevin Kleinrock, 818/779-6479,
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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