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Issue # 271

Date:  Sunday July 25th, 1999  10:11 am

The Wrestling Booking Sheet

Flair not getting respect he's due
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
highest quarter-hours 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 agenda.

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
Bischoff wasn't 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
international amateur 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 Boy.

"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
sense that."

Sadly, what Ric Flair has been relegated to in WCW storylines, is an
over-the-hill, out-of-touch performer who now is unable to beat anyone
(including Madusa) 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
Finale featuring several pro wrestling matches
6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday,
July 30, at the church,
816 Miles Road, Summerville.

Bouts include:
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 873-7887.

• 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
quarter, which included the beginning of the Hogan-Sid Vicious bout,
drew a very disappointing 2.9, while Hogan's run-in during the Rick
Steiner-Horace Hogan 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
overrun. Nitro's nine-minute overrun could muster only a 3.5.

Nitro's highest 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
(Schiavone rarely takes any vacation time).

No decision has been made on whether
Hudson will be the permanent host
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
record-low 2.1.

• 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
Rostraver, Pa.

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 in
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
Destruction (Frank 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
headliner between 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
PPV in
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
top-rope legdrop.

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.
Courtesy of
"Until you've walked a mile in my only know half the story!"
-- Jim Ross

By Jim Ross
(For the week of July 23, 1999)

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
schedule. WWF officials are fully supporting Ken’s efforts and may even
explore the possibility of helping promote the World’s Most Dangerous
Man in these pending fights.

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
for the 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
divorcing, unfortunately.

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
Stephanie McMahon. Should really be some interesting viewing and,
deservedly or not, will no doubt create some controversy with
anti-McMahon watchers.

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
billboards supported 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
tapings after suffering a stinger a week ago. Droz is an excellent,
well-conditioned athlete who could be a real player in the WWF in the
near future.

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.

Chris Jericho 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 terrific signing!

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
history of 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 favorites.

Jerry Lawler is NOT being pressured to deliver his girlfriend Stacy to
the WWF.

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

Personal congratulations to longtime friend Scott Hudson on his recent
assignment. Scott 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
international television clearances in the near future. Business is
about to pick up globally!

Some interesting talent negotiations are currently ongoing in the WWF
front office. Stay tuned!

OK—here’s the deal on JR’s barbecue sauce. Several companies are being
considered to 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:

Visit for the best news/multimedia site on the
Also for a chance to win $1000!!!

(Courtesy of Rick Phelps)
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
David Grech

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
me at awf_extreme or go check out the site at Hope to see you in the ring soon!

Looking For A Tough Match To Challenge Your RP Skills. Then Join The
We Have Been Around For More Then 3 Years And Are Still Going Strong.
Our Site At

Are you looking for a good e-fed son?? Then step into the ring against
the best of the WWL!! A good ole' fashioned butt kicking Original
wrestler role playing e-fed!! If you would like to join why don't you
get your roody poo candy a$$ and e-mail us at:
wwlwrestling1 !!! Don't sing it bring it!! Bra!

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
Plant to get a contract from the UWA. Check it out at:

The new and improved Extreme Championship Wrestling RP Fed! Thats
finally an e fed based on ECW! Many of ECW's stars still open
including MANY
ECW Tag Teams!! Sign up ASAP by e mailing ECW420469
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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