Issue # 271
Sunday July 25th, 1999 10:11 am
The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Flair not getting respect
Appy of The Wrestling Booking Sheet ©1998, 1999, 2000
By Mike Mooneyham
Sunday, July 25, 1999
Ric Flair is at yet
another crossroads in his career.
His return to WCW has
been littered with booby traps. The odds were
stacked against him
the day he decided to give the once-proud company
another try. It now
seems painfully clear, even to Flair, that he will
never be afforded the
respect befitting a 14-time world champion who is
widely regarded as the
greatest performer of our time.
Nor will he be given
an equal opportunity to compete on the same
playing field as the
politically chosen few. The powers-at-be made sure
of that the night
Flair made his return last September at the
Center in Greenville in what
will surely be remembered as one of the
greatest moments in
the history of televised wrestling.
Ric Flair, however, is
willing to take the fall in this unfortunate
scenario, just as he
has been willing to take the fall in the ring for
as long as WCW has
asked him. He could have said no and packed his bags
and headed home. its
not that easy, though, for a performer who has
meant so much to the
business and one who still commands one of the
in the industry.
Flair's ailing back is
better, as evidenced by the numerous bumps he
has taken on WCW
television the past two weeks, but his reputation
continues to take a
hit at the hands of the dubious WCW braintrust.
its no secret that he
was saddled with a gimmick that was designed to
burn out quickly. Few,
if any, performers other than Flair could have
drawn numbers for as
long as he did with that kind of handicap.
The latest plan was
for Flair to team with Arn Anderson against Chris
Benoit and Dean
Malenko for exclusive rights to the "Four Horsemen"
name. Benoit and
Malenko would eventually be joined by Perry Saturn and
Shane Douglas as the
new Horsemen. Longtime Flair critic Douglas was
brought in exclusively
by Eric Bischoff to place the final nail in
Flair's WCW coffin.
The only thing left to further degrade Flair's
reputation is for him
to relinquish the Horsemen name. That surely is
next on Bischoff's
Bischoff, who likely
will be returned the "presidency" of WCW by Sting
before making an
inevitable heel turn, called Flair "garbage" last year
in front of a dressing
room of WCW performers and again several weeks
ago while doing
commentary on Nitro. Don't think for a moment that
serious in both cases.
Flair won't be at
Nitro or Thunder for the next two weeks. He will be
Japan watching his
11-year-old son, Reid, compete in an
wrestling tournament. Perhaps the much-needed
break will give him
time to think about whether he will allow Bischoff
to tarnish the
remainder of his storied career.
Flair's legion of fans
and followers hope that he doesn't. Whatever the
terms of his contract,
one would think that burial of a legend is not
Some critics say the
50-year-old Flair wouldn't fit in with the
younger, hipper image
projected by the 1999 version of the WWF. Don't
forget, though, that
Ric Flair invented wrestling hip. He was cool when
guys like Dwayne
Johnson (The Rock), Mike Hickenbottom (Shawn Michaels)
and Paul Leveque
(Hunter Hearst Helmsley) were mere youngsters
emulating the Nature
"Ric Flair is the
icon," says The Rock, admitting he patterned his
style after Flair. To
Michaels, "Ric Flair is in a class by himself."
Vince McMahon last
year called Flair "an icon who has meant so much to
the business," adding,
"He is a man for all seasons. He has such a wide
appeal and has that
ability to relate to a younger audience. You can
Sadly, what Ric Flair
has been relegated to in WCW storylines, is an
out-of-touch performer who now is unable to beat anyone
with his signature figure-four leglock (the same
hold that conquered
names like Funk, Race, Rhodes and Rogers), a
buffoon who runs from
Buff Bagwell's mom, a sad caricature of the man
destined to be known
as the Babe Ruth of wrestling.
It seems only right
that Ric Flair should end his illustrious career in
WCW working for Ted
Turner. That now seems impossible.
• Arn Anderson, who
was planning an in-ring comeback, last week failed
to receive medical
clearance. As a result WCW officials are taking
Anderson, one of the
best interviews in the business, off television
• Miles Road Baptist
Church will hold its
Vacation Bible School Grand
several pro wrestling matches
6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday,
July 30, at the
816 Miles Road, Summerville.
Sir Mo (of former WWF
tag-team champs Men on a Mission)
vs. The Bodyguard;
Gorgeous George South vs. Super Brat Scotty
McKeever; and Rookie
Ryan Wild vs. Black Dragon. A special celebrity
match also is planned.
The public is invited, and there is no cost. For
more information, call
• Nitro failed to
close the Monday night ratings gap last week despite
an improved show and
the Nitro announcing debut of Scott Hudson.
Eric Bischoff and Hulk
Hogan wielded more of a booking presence on last
week's show, with main
booker Kevin Nash's influence negligible.
Raw scored a 6.3 (6.0,
6.5 for its two hours), while Nitro registered a
3.3 (3.6, 3.1, 3.3 for
its three hours). Raw doubled Nitro in four of
the eight competitive
quarters and the overrun. More devastating to WCW
was that the show's
two lowest quarters featured Hogan. The final
included the beginning of the Hogan-Sid Vicious bout,
drew a very
disappointing 2.9, while Hogan's run-in during the Rick
match did a 2.7.
Raw's highest quarters
were a 7.0 for its final-quarter matches (Kane
and X-Pac vs. Big Show
and Bob Holly, and the opening of The Undertaker
vs. Hunter Hearst
Helmsley), with a whopping 7.7 for its eight-minute
nine-minute overrun could muster only a 3.5.
quarter was a 3.7 for the Randy Savage-Billy Kidman
match and the opening
of the Vampiro-Konnan bout.
Atlanta native Hudson, who
does voice-overs every Friday for the
Saturday night show,
relieved Tony Schiavone of lead announcing duties
last week on Nitro.
Schiavone, a mainstay on Nitro telecasts, was told
by Eric Bischoff
Monday before the show that he needed a break and time
off from the consuming
duties of handling Nitro broadcasts every week
takes any vacation time).
No decision has been
made on whether
Hudson will be the permanent
for Nitro, but he has
been asked to do Nitro duty again this week.
Last week's Sunday
Night Heat drew a 3.9. The July 14 Thunder did a
• A benefit show
honoring Brian Hildebrand (WCW ref Mark Curtis)
entitled "Curtis Goes
Home: For One Night Only" will be held Friday
night July 30 in
Hildebrand, who has
been battling inoperable stomach cancer, saw his
weight drop to 76
pounds before being fed intravenously and building
back up to 114 pounds.
He last served as ref for a match at the Brian
Pillman Memorial Show
Cincinnati in May.
Main event for the
show will be Shane Douglas, Chris Benoit and Dean
Malenko vs. Tracy
Smothers, Chris Candido and Tim Horner. Also: Di-Lo
Brown vs. Al Snow;
Dirty White Boy (managed by Duke of York) vs. Cody
Michaels (managed by
Jim Cornette); Public Enemy vs. Death and
Parker and Roger Anderson); Sheriff Steel vs. Dick
Flannigan; and Domenic
DeNucci (who trained Hildebrand, Douglas and
Mick Foley) vs. Lord
Zoltan in a legends match. Among the special
guests will be Foley,
Bruno Sammartino, Sandy Scott and Les Thatcher.
• The WWF did a great
job of building up tonight's Fully Loaded PPV
Steve Austin and The Undertaker. Last week's Raw
finale featuring a
bloody Steve Austin and Vince McMahon sprawled out
on the arena floor set
the stage perfectly for tonight's "first blood"
Don't put much stock
into the stipulations, however, as its a sure bet
Austin will be getting more
title shots even if he loses, and
McMahon most certainly
isn't leaving Raw.
• Scott Hall skipped a
scheduled appearance at WCW's Bash at the Beach
Fort Lauderdale to attend an
ECW house show that same evening in
The Pro Wrestling
Torch reported that Hall, who lives in the Orlando
area, was described by
several backstage as looking (or acting)
intoxicated, and when
he was asked if he was concerned about WCW's
reaction to him being
at an ECW show, he reportedly responded that he
didn't care as long as
they continue sending him paychecks. Hall waved
to the crowd but did
not make a ring appearance.
• Konnan suffered a
concussion and injured neck last week on Nitro
when a member of
Insane Clown Posse attempted a poorly executed
Mike Mooneyham can be
reached by phone at (843) 937-5517 or by e-mail
mooneyham. More wrestling news with Mike
Mooneyham is available
every Monday on The Wrestling Observer Hotline.
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"Until you've walked a
mile in my hat...you only know half the story!"
-- Jim Ross
By Jim Ross
(For the week of July
Ken Shamrock will be
decreasing his WWF schedule in 2000 to return to
the martial arts and
fighting world. Shamrock wants to compete in a few
fights next year and
will then possibly return to an active WWF
officials are fully supporting Ken’s efforts and may even
possibility of helping promote the World’s Most Dangerous
Man in these pending
The contracts of Savio
Vega and Mark Canterbury will not be renewed
when they expire in
October, as it stands at this time.
The Road Dogg is in
the process of finalizing a new 5-year contract
with the WWF. Expect
much more musically from this charismatic young
man in the near
future. Road Dogg has a ton of singing ability that
will be cultivated.
Mick Foley did a
tremendous job on his recent public relations tour of
Australia. One autograph
appearance saw over 5,000 fans on hand to see
Mankind! Mick Foley’s
autobiography has almost been completed and is
now scheduled for a
December release. This will no doubt be a must read
for all Foley fans and
fans of the business in general. Yes, he uses
real names and real
situations. Some "big stars" are going to find this
a helluva read!
Goldust and the WWF
have executed a mutually agreed upon early release
second-generation competitor. Dustin Runnels is a solid
performer who will
probably end up returning to WCW. We wish him well
and appreciate his
contributions to the WWF. Dustin and wife Terri are
Expect several changes
in the SuperAstros talent roster with Papi
Chulo, Taka Michinoku,
Sho Funaki and Miguel Perez expected to remain
with the WWF.
TSN in Canada will broadcast,
beginning next week, a series of
interviews on "Off The
Record" featuring Vince, Linda, Shane and
Should really be some interesting viewing and,
deservedly or not,
will no doubt create some controversy with
Triple H, Chyna and
The Big Show were all involved in a TV Guide cover
story recently. We’ll
keep you posted as to the release date.
In many major markets
this September expect to see WWF SmackDown
by UPN. SmackDown debuts on Thursday, Aug. 26
The Rock’s biography
will be released in February. Another great story!
The WWF’s Georgia Dome
RAW event on Monday, Oct. 11 has approximately
24,000 tickets sold
for almost $650,000 in revenue and the event is
three months away! A
$1,000,000 gate certainly seems possible.
Shawn Michaels did
some PR in
Kansas City, Mo., on Friday
in support of
the SmackDown taping
slated for Kemper Arena on Tuesday, Aug. 24 that
will air Aug. 26.
Droz should be
available for competition at these upcoming television
suffering a stinger a week ago. Droz is an excellent,
athlete who could be a real player in the WWF in the
Stone Cold will be a
presenter at the "Teen Choice Awards" taping on
Sunday, Aug. 1. Air
date is Aug. 12 on
You should see the
unedited version of Tori’s recent video shoot! WOW!
I think it would kill
"The King!" He’s a puppy lover, you know. Expect
to see a lot more of
Tori very soon.
I thought Kevin Kelly
did a very solid job Monday night on RAW while
"The King" was
experiencing travel woes.
certainly seems to be very excited about joining the WWF.
I spoke with Chris
this week and you could hear and feel his
enthusiasm. What a
Expect to see Jesse
Ventura on RAW before SummerSlam. I wonder if he
will stop by ringside
and say hello?
Nicole Bass was not
released because she wasn’t being paid what she was
promised, as Internet
reports have stated.
Former WWF employee
Basil Devito soon will be doing a book about the
WrestleMania. Should have interesting behind the scenes,
corporate type stuff
along with wrestling content.
Vince McMahon has not
had any recent conversations with Tammy Sytch.
However, as has been
stated, never say never!
Jack Brisco is out of
intensive care and undergoing physical therapy in
Tampa. Jack should be
released from the hospital in a few days. Jack is
one of my all-time
Jerry Lawler is NOT
being pressured to deliver his girlfriend Stacy to
So Howard Finkel is
behind GTV, huh? I don’t think so.
Why are there so many
run-ins and referee "bumps" on television these
congratulations to longtime friend Scott Hudson on his
really must be living his dream and we’re happy for
Bart Gunn is about to
be granted an early release. Another casualty of
the Brawl For All?
The Rock will be a
presenter at the "Source Awards" for hip-hop music
that airs on Aug. 20.
Taping is Aug. 18 in Los Angeles.
The WWF is about to
make some major announcements regarding
television clearances in the near future. Business is
about to pick up
talent negotiations are currently ongoing in the WWF
front office. Stay
OK—here’s the deal on
JR’s barbecue sauce. Several companies are being
distribute the sauce. We should have a deal signed in a
couple of weeks. This
sauce is the product of several years of
tinkering and sampling
by my various family members. Now we really
believe we have it
down and the results are a great tasting BBQ sauce!
This product will be
in stores and available on the Internet sometime
this year. This is a
project I’m having a lot of fun with and I’ll keep
you BBQ lovers
informed. See you next week!
E-mail me with your
thoughts or comments on the Ross Report at:
Be sure to check out
The Big Three Newsboard, one of the best
Newsboards on the net.
It can be found at:
http://knowyourrole.net for the best news/multimedia
site on the
Also for a chance to
(Courtesy of Rick
TNT Europe are planning to
change their program schedule to bring more
variety. Some months
ago WCW wrestling was removed from the digital
feed and was not shown
anymore. This feed is available for European
viewers on cable. So
WCW is longer available to European fans unless
you have a satellite
receiver. Please e-mail
TNT Europe at
tnt.europe and ask them politely to bring back WCW on
Europe (digital feed).
Thanks alot and your help is greatly
The AWeF is open for
business. The AWeF is the Apocolypse Wrestling
e-Federaditon. We are
looking for original wrestlers who have some
experience in the
world of E-Wrestling. If you are interested please
awf_extreme or go check out the site at
http://awef.cjb.net Hope to see you in the ring soon!
Looking For A Tough
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Are you looking for a
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Check out the UWA
(Ultimate Wrestling Association). It is only for the
Best Roleplayers and
not like other feds you have to go though a Power
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The new and improved
Extreme Championship Wrestling RP Fed! Thats
finally an e fed based
on ECW! Many of ECW's stars still open
ECW Tag Teams!! Sign
up ASAP by e mailing
The staff of The
Wrestling Booking Sheet
Columnist: Rick Phelps
Columnist: Josh Hewitt
Columnist: Tom Misnik
Columnist: Nate Pelley
Columnist: Robert Troy (Osiris)
Columnist: Ryan S. Oaks
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"When you're young and you
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