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Vandy! (September 1996)


Beer!  (February 2006)

Issue # 448

Date:  Monday December 27th, 1999  12:31 pm

The Wrestling Booking Sheet

Reported by Dave Meltzer at:
Due to Bill Goldberg injuries (from his
ill-advised Thunder window smashing) Randy
Savage has replaced Goldberg on the 1/4/2000
New Japan Tokyo Egg Dome show.

Savage will be taking Goldberg's spot
against Rick Steiner; while Goldberg/Steiner
was hardly a marquee match there was some
curiosity about Goldberg's debut in Japan.
I can't imagine there being much interest
in Savage's "long-awaited" return; wouldn't
Ric Flair have been a more suitable
Straight Shooting
By: Fritz Capp (afcpwbts)
December 26, 1999
PWBTS 2000/Wrestling Fans Against Censorship

The first thing I want to say is that I hope
you all had a great holiday. Isn't it great
that there is another one next weekend? And
a huge one at that huh?

It is the end of the year and on top of that
the end of a decade and even the millennium.
What this means is that every person and
their sister is reflecting on what was the
absolute best in pro wrestling this past year,
these past 10 years and even these past 100
years. Every conceivable name is going to be
tossed into the fray with each and every
scenario dissected and picked apart as no one
wants to be held accountable for saying
something that isn't politically correct.

The WWF fans are going to shout from the
mountain tops that their promotion was the
absolute best for all time. The same goes with
the WCW fans. The ECW contingent is going to
scream that theirs is the best because most of
the fans are relatively new wrestling fans
anymore and really hold no account for history.
The Japanese purists will continue to boast
that they have the better product because they
would rather watch choreographed ballet
wrestling instead of soap opera wrestling and
Lucha fans will always be at the bottom of the
pile. Hey, don't scream at me, I don't make
the rules I just watch them unfold.

Instead of going through each year/decade/
millennium picking what I feel would be the
absolute best choices to put myself over with
the readers I think I'm just going to reflect
on the big matches/ personalities/happenings
in the business that made the impacts "for me".
I mean after all I am writing the column,
aren't I? I want to preface this by telling you
up-front I am "NOT" going to be asking you to
"click" on any banners during this column and
absolutely no advertisers are going to be
pimped during this writing.

I have to say that the absolute match that got
me hooked to wrestling was in the mid-sixties
and featured two guys named Bulldog Brower and
Antonio Pugliese. Without going into a 1000 line
dissertation as why this was the match to end all
matches as far as I am concerned let's just say
I had been going to wrestling matches for a few
years up to that point with my parents who were
huge wrestling fans. But I saw something in this
match that I had never seen before....BLOOD.

Towards the end of the match Brower had ripped
off the wooden steps (yes, they were wooden back
then) leading into the ring and tossed them in
the ring with the intent of doing great bodily
damage to Pugliese. Instead of Brower mounting
an attack though Pugliese took the steps and
wailed Brower in the head leaving him a gushing
mess. The match was stopped much to Pugliese's
dismay and he sat in the ring for what seemed to
be an eternity until his cousin Bruno Sammartino
came out and talked "the powers that be" into
signing a rematch for the next card.

As Brower walked by us in his usual fashion his
crimson mask was unforgettable. Needless to say
I was hooked forever. I could not believe the
carnage these two huge guys (remember I was only
about 8 at the time) did to each other, or the
way that Brower "walked" from the ring. I do want
to point out that for some strange reason I did
not feel the urge to beat anyone with steps or
bust someone open but I did know I wanted to see
more. Must have been good parenting as to why I
didn't go out and try these moves on my smaller

The next match that really got me didn't happen
for about 17 years as I did not really watch
wrestling in the 70's. Between getting high,
playing guitar in every band I could be in and
trying to get into the pants of almost every
chick I could there really wasn't much time
for wrestling. be a teenager again...
I have to say I have done my best to catch up
on the missing "decade" but even if I saw the
greatest match of all time now I couldn't list
it here because this is a retrospect and it
didn't happen in the correct timeframe. Sorry
everyone, but unlike a lot of reporters I'm not
going to "work" you into thinking something
happened that didn't.

Anyway the next big match that got me back into
the squared circle was none other than Hulk
Hogan vs. The Iron Sheik match. Yup, that's it
...I was a confirmed Hulkamaniac. I bought right
into the whole deal ...lock ...stock...and barrel.
Hogan epitomized everything that people (included
myself) wanted to see at the time. He was the
real American hero and brotha could he market
himself. For all of you who weren't born until
after 1984 please save me the speech that Stone
Cold Steve Austin is the best thing to ever
happen to wrestling and it wouldn't be what it
is today if not for him. I like Steve a lot, he's
real and down to earth but if it wasn't for Hulk
Hogan wrestling would still be something that
"blue collar" workers went to watch on Saturday
nights in smoke filled arenas no where near the
size of the First Union Center.

While it is the absolute fact that Hogan is
responsible (with Vinnie Mac Jr. of course) for
wrestling going mainstream they are not the only
reason for wrestling being where it is today.
That my friends in the next event that totally
captured my heart as far as wrestling is concerned.
But it wasn't a match that did it, nor was it a
particular person who turned me into the wrestling
freak that I am was a damned wrestling
"REVOLUTION" that turned me from the mild mannered
"mark" that I had always been into this outspoken
a-hole that you have all grown to love.

In a small run down building in a ratty section of
Philadelphia the ECW experience was born out of
blood sweat and the need for a credible wrestling
promotion at the time. In it were stars from the
past (Terry Funk, Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco) and
names no one ever really heard of before (If you
were just a mainstream mark like I was anyway).
Names like Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, Public
Enemy, The Pitbulls, Sabu, The Tazmaniac, Shane
Douglas and others opened the doors for talent
coming in. The names of Chris Benoit, Dean
Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Rey
Mysterio Jr., Psychosis and Mick Foley all
walked through the sacred halls of ECW. Other
names who were already synonymous with wrestling
also passed through these doors. Ron Simmons,
The Steiner Brothers, Terry Gordy, Bam Bam
Bigelow and Dr. Death Steve Williams were just
some of the wrestling illuminaries that the
fans were treated to.

No small independent in such a short amount of
time can boast such a wrestling who's who like
ECW can. Plus their mixed style of out of this
world mat wrestling combined with Japanese
garbage style extreme matches was the perfect
mix to incite the wrestling world into a frenzy
even though 90% of the wrestling fans had never
seen the show save for a few bootleg tapes. (I
know I sent out about 100 tapes to friends
around the country...hell I even sent a few to
England and Germany). Just a small note to
everyone who loves to talk about it, my ECW
tattoo is doing great and I thank you for your
continued concern over it. :-)

Those are the three main events in wrestling
history that did it for me. Oh sure, there
were many matches and personalities that kept
my interest and built on my love for the sport.
There was the Steel Cage match in U.N.O
Lakefront Arena between Junkyard Dog and Butch
Reed. The epic battles between the FreeBirds
and the Von Erich's. Ric Flair and the Four
Horsemen running rampant over the NWA. Abdullah
The Butcher carving up his opponents. The
announce team of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and
Gorilla Monsoon. Monday Nyquil. Seeing Jim Ross
go from Mid-South Wrestling to the most noted
and respected announcer in the business.

The Rise/Fall/Rise Again of the WWF. The "Hell
in the Cell" match between Shawn Michaels and
The Undertaker the day after Brian Pillman
died. The "Hell in the Cell" match between
The Undertaker and Mick Foley which catapulted
Mick into superstar status. (A well deserved
status I might add) The Dreamer/Raven feud in
ECW. Sabu anywhere he wrestled. Onita vs. Pogo.
Rock and Wrestling. The Ultimate Warrior when
he first burst onto the scene. (Which wasn't a
whole lot different than his "Dingo Warrior in
World Class Championship Wrestling, just
spruced up a bit with more pizazz) The birth of
the NWO. The birth of the Monday Night Wars. The
birth of "puppies". The breaking of kayfabe. Sid
Vicious before his WWF stint. (back when he
truly "ruled the world").

Meeting Terry Gordy and getting the first
interview (and to date the only interview) since
his tragic accident. Meeting Bruno Sammartino
when he was still champion. Hulk Hogan's 95th
retirement reported on (that is
always good for a laugh). Getting my first WCW
Press Pass. (That's not likely to happen again
in the near future huh? The Bret Hart/
Steve Austin bloodbath. Watching Ken Patera do
his feats of strength. Watching my mom "mark
out" for Argentina Apollo. The Hart/Michaels
Iron Man Match. Flair vs. Steamboat. Polish
Power. Seeing Muhammad Ali knock out "The Big
Cat" Ernie Ladd in New Orleans while reffing a
match. Going to the channel 48 WWWF television
tapings in the late 60's with my aunt. (They
were always free) Seeing Haystacks Calhoun live.
(This guy was enormous) Piper's Pit. To be
honest the list goes on and on but I am sure
you get my meaning.

I have to say though some of the best memories
I'll always have are some of the friends I have
made since I jumped into the fray. The
wrestlers that have become my friends showed me
the other side of the sport, the side that the
fans never get to see. The fans want their
wrestling personalities to be larger than life
but in actuality they are no different than
you or I. They are on the road the majority of
the year, which means they are away from their
family. For the most part they are in constant
pain from the various bumps and bruises that
they acquire from their nightly visits to the
ring. They love, hurt, get lonely, laugh and
even cry just like the rest of us. So the next
time you wanna have a bitch fest because one
of the guys had an "off night" try to remember
the last time that you were perfect in your
job. Hey, even the paid "jobbers" have a place
in this sport...if you think it's so easy why
aren't you in the ring?

Yes, there are a lot of great moments that
happened in wrestling history and the great
thing is that each and every one of us has
their own "special" moments that endears us
to the sport. Needless to say that every
moment has a place, be it good or bad,
because with each passing phase a new one
starts for the new wrestling fans on the
scene. I can only imagine what the reports
will be like when the next millennium rolls

And with that I'm outta here. Remember
wrestling is nothing more than it appears
to be.
Written by reader: JBanks1372
On several of your letters you've been
saying how the frequent title turnovers
among the Big 2 have been weakening the
prestige of those belts. This I agree
with, but it got me a little curious as
to how often those belts changed. So I
did a little figuring and got me this
little overview here. In the WWF alone
in 1999:

The WWF World Heavyweight Championship
has changed hands 11 times between 7

The I-C belt: 11 times between 10 wrestlers

The Tag Team titles: 15 times between 10 teams

The European Belt: 7 times between 6 wrestlers

The Hardcore Belt: 10 times between 6 wrestlers

The Womens title: 5 times between 5 wrestlers
(including 2 non-wrestlers and one 70+ year
old retiree)

The Junior Heavyweight Title was the only belt
in the Federation with only one holder, that
being Gillberg.

For those not paying attention, that's a total
of 59 title turnovers this year between 6 of
the WWF's 7 titles (and believe me WCW has
been just as bad), or an average of one title
exchange every six days. To me that's really
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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