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Vandy! (September 1996)


Beer!  (February 2006)

Issue # 458

Date:  Thursday January 6th, 2000  9:40 pm

The Wrestling Booking Sheet

As of tonight, The Wrestling Booking Sheet is on hiatus.
There is one main reason why: I just haven't found wrestling
to be very much fun the past few months.

I don't enjoy "Crash TV"; I do enjoy the actual in-ring action
(is it possible for a skit to equal the drama of a Flair/
Steamboat classic from 1989?). When I found myself with
more to dislike about the business than anything else I
realized that it's the time to take a break.

It's really been brewing since May (the death of Owen Hart).
As the industry collectively debated whether a death should
have stopped the show I was left with an extremely bad taste
in my mouth (for right or wrong).

Fortunately, there are MANY terrific alternatives for your
wrestling news. The first one is Dave Meltzer's Wrestling
Observer, a resource that any serious wrestling fan will
enjoy. The little I do know about the business I learned
from the Observer; to subscribe, send $11 for 4 issues to:
The Wrestling Observer
P.O. Box 1228
Campbell, CA 95009-1228

While there are several quality news-orientated websites out
there (and thousands in all), the one I've really been enjoying

Wade Keller, Jason Powell & Bruce Mitchell are all interesting
writers whose insights are worth checking out (Mitchell is
arguably the most entertaining wrestling writer on the scene).
Tons of content with quality that can't be matched online.
Check it out at:

There are hundreds of online wrestling newsletters (and I subscribe
to dozens of them). The Bagpipe Report, PWI, The Jobber Report
and Pro Wrestling Chronicle are my four personal favorites (and
there are others that can make a case for being terrific). TBR has been
the standard bearer for all of us, and TJR, PWC & PWI are running close
behind. TV Reports, Spoilers, SamJerry, if you subscribe to all
four of them you'll get it all. Send a blank e-mail to:

Time to copy & paste all four e-mail addresses, it's worth it!
To place a footnote on the 90's (where we did see some terrific
action) I asked for the assistance of 11 longtime wrestling
fans in picking `The Performers of the 90's' (BTW, a HUGE thanks
to all of the participants, this ballot was a time consuming
one to fill out).

Using the calendar years of 1990-1999, we were looking for the
top five choices in each of 11 categories. A first place pick
is worth 8 points, a second place pick is worth 6 points, a
third place pick is worth 4 points, a fourth place pick is worth
2 points and a fifth place pick is worth 1 point.

The focus of the survey was on the United States wrestling scene
(although we did receive several picks focusing on the Japanese
scene). While several top Japanese names did well (Misawa & Liger
in particular), the descriptions of the categories placed them at
a huge disadvantage. The picks, in order:

This is the performer who combined workrate, box office revenue,
consistency over the decade and overall excellence (very
subjective criteria).

1) Steve Austin
2) Shawn Michaels
3) Ric Flair
4) Bret Hart
5) Mitsuharu Misawa

Dan Moreland,
Bret Hart, Steve Austin (I originally was going to pick Steve
Austin #1. But after a lot of review, I came to the conclusion
that Austin partially owes his success to Hart), Shawn Michaels,
Ric Flair, Vader (Vader was a huge part of WCW from 1991-1993.
I feel his 3 WCW title reigns helped keep WCW from going
completely under. Plus he is the greatest Superheavyweight worker
in the history of the business).

SamJerry, WBS, Jobber Report, PWI, TWI
Steve Austin, The Rock, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Rob Van Dam

Suptman, The Jobber Report
Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Shawn
Michaels (Although he has been known to drop more titles
outside the ring than in it, Michaels busted his ass more
than most other wrestler. His performance at WM14, grimacing
in pain with each movement, really defined his career, should
that be his final match. Although he wasn't a good draw at
house shows during his run as champ, he always proved an
entertaining match or interview segment.

Blake Norton, The Bagpipe Report
Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair (Flair may be the total package, and
if it weren't for the fact that Michaels worked REALLY hard on
evolving his wrestling style over the decade to keep his work
fresh when he really didn't have to, he'd probably have won.
He's a better interview, and possibly, draw), Bret Hart, Owen
Hart (Owen is number four because (A) he never had a REAL chance
at the box office and (B) he excels in every other category. Move
for move, thought for thought, he was the best wrestler in North
America with the possible exception of Chris Benoit, and his
charisma and interviews set him apart from the crowd),
Shane Douglas

Mark George, The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Bret Hart,
Ricky Steamboat

Christopher Murray (SDNV Online)
Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, The
Undertaker (UT has probably been the most consistent performer
of the entire decade. He's put in some good matches for a man
his size and deserves to be one of the top five wrestlers of
this decade).

Curt Creighton, RWIN (
Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Sting, The Undertaker

Patrick Michael, Pro Wrestling Chronicle
Mitsuharu Misaswa, Vader, Ric Flair, Jushin Liger, Steve Austin

Chris Plano, New Dimension Wrestling
Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair

Bob Magee,
Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Chris Benoit (since he
blows most anyone away in three of the four categories, and has
done well in the other in Japan, I feel justified in putting him
in here), Mick Foley

Rick Phelps, Wrestling Booking Sheet, The Jobber Report
Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Bret Hart, Sting, Steve Austin

Steve Appy, The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Vader

and with some insight into the Japanese scene as well:

Zach Arnold,,
1. Mitsuharu Misawa
The guy was money at the bank. He was also the best
"big match" worker of the decade. Period. He was the
one who dethroned Jumbo Tsuruta's evolution in All
Japan and he became "the man."

2. Keiji Mutoh
It would be easy to say Chris Benoit or Bret Hart or
anyone else, but we are talking about someone who was
a definite money-man. This guy was money at the bank
in terms of Dome Shows. To this day, he's drawing a
lot of cash for New Japan.

3. Vader
Best big man that I've seen this decade. Unbelievable
heat with the exception of his WWF tenure, where the
WWF clearly blew him off. Vader was a draw in New
Japan, All Japan, UWF-international, & WCW. Enough

4. Bret Hart
He may have been a super wrestler and a very good
"hero" for Canada, but his PPV and TV figures were not
very good in comparison to the top faces later in the
decade (Austin, Foley, Rock, etc.) Hart did get Steve
Austin into the next "echelon," but Bret's lack of
ability to carry a promotion is what cost him a top
slot on my list.

5. Kenta Kobashi
If it wasn't for Misawa being "the man," Kobashi would
be "the man" in terms of drawing attention for All
Japan. Toshiaki Kawada may have been a better
performer overall for the decade, but everyone knew
who Kenta Kobashi was. Kobashi also was a much more
"dramatic" worker in terms of facial expressions and
the way he worked with other workers in comparison to
Same as above, but with far less emphasis on the amount of
time together (how many top teams have tagged together for
more than 6 months?).

1. Rick & Scott Steiner
2. The New Age Outlaws
3. Harlem Heat
4. The Hollywood Blondes (Steve Austin & Brian Pillman)
5. The Road Warriors

Dan Moreland,
Rick & Scott Steiner, Steve Austin & Brian Pillman, The New Age
Outlaws (I do not respect the workrate of either the Outlaws or
the Outsiders, but in terms of box office draw and historic
significance, they must be on this list), Scott Hall & Kevin
Nash, Public Enemy

SamJerry, Wrestling Booking Sheet, The Jobber Report, PWI, TWI
New Age Outlaws, Rick & Scott Steiner, RVD & Sabu,
Harlem Heat, The Dudley Boyz

Suptman, The Jobber Report
Harlem Heat, Rick & Scott Steiner, Road Warriors,
The New Age Outlaws, The Dudley Boyz

Blake Norton, The Bagpipe Report
Rick & Scott Steiner, Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty,
Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Shyster, The Heavenly Bodies,
The Road Warriors (Most will find it weird that the New Age
Outlaws aren't in there, but when you look at the facts, they
really aren't contenders. They tagged for 18 months, did the
Rockers singles break, but when they weren't good enough to
make it individually (Billy in particular) came back as a team
– they chose top of the bottom over bottom of the top. Road
Dogg has great charisma but is extremely lazy in his wrestling
repertoire. Billy has no charisma at all and has always failed
miserably in that regard as a singles star, despite the huge
push he got in '99. He takes great bumps but (I hate this word,
but it so applies here) has a horrible work-rate and can't pace
a match well at all. The New Age Outlaws work well as a team
because each wrestler has talents, but not enough to make it
as a singles star, and between them they manage to cover each
other's shortcomings.

Mark George, The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Scott Hall & Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty,
The Hardy Boyz, The New Age Outlaws, Rick & Scott Steiner

Christopher Murray (SDNV Online)
The New Age Outlaws, Scott Hall & Kevin Nash, Rick & Scott
Steiner, Harlem Heat, Steve Austin & Brian Pillman (The
Hollywood Blondes had the chemistry to be one of the best
tag-teams in wrestling history).

Curt Creighton, RWIN (
Rick & Scott Steiner, Harlem Heat, The New Age Outlaws,
The Nasty Boys, The Eliminators

Patrick Michael, Pro Wrestling Chronicle
Steve Austin & Brian Pillman, Road Warriors, Doom, The New
Age Outlaws, Harlem Heat

Chris Plano, New Dimension Wrestling
Road Warriors, Harlem Heat

Bob Magee,
Rick & Scott Steiner, Stan Lane & Bobby Eaton, Steve Austin
& Brian Pillman, Heavenly Bodies (Bobby Eaton/Tom Pritchard/
Jimmy Del Ray/Stan Lane), Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko (For their
work in ECW in 1995)

Rick Phelps, Wrestling Booking Sheet, The Jobber Report
Harlem Heat, The New Age Outlaws, Scott Hall & Kevin Nash,
The Dudley Boyz, The Road Warriors

Steve Appy, The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Rick & Scott Steiner, Jimmy Del Ray & Tom Pritchard,
Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson, Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty,
Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton
Self explanatory…

1. Mankind vs. The Undertaker (Hell in the Cell, 98' King of the Ring

2. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (Ladder Match, Wrestlemania 10)

3. Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart ("I Quit Match", Wrestlemania 13)

4. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (Wrestlemania 10)

5. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker (Hell in the Cell, 1997 Bad Blood)

Dan Moreland,
Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon (Wrestlemania 10 Ladder Match),
Steve Austin/Bret Hart (Wrestlemania 13), Eddie Guerrero/
Dean Malenko (Hardcore Heaven 95, I will never forget this
match. 30-minute draw established ECW as a quality promotion
in 1995), Psychosis/Rey Mysterio Jr. (ECW Arena, first ECW
meeting, 1995, Forget "When World's Collide": this match
introduced current style Cruiserweight wrestling to the
U.S.), Undertaker/Mankind (Hell In the Cell)

SamJerry, Wrestling Booking Sheet, The Jobber Report, PWI, TWI
Undertaker/Mankind (Hell In the Cell), Shawn Michaels/
Bret Hart (Wrestlemania 12), Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon
(Wrestlemania 10 Ladder Match), Hardy Boyz/Edge & Christian
(Ladder Match), Tommy Dreamer/Brian Lee (Stairway To Hell

Suptman, The Jobber Report
Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon (Wrestlemania 10 Ladder Match),
Scorpio vs. Pitbull 2 vs. Douglas vs. Jericho (ECW in Boston,
1996) This was the first time ECW TV was on in Boston, and it
got me hooked. This was an incredible 40 minute match, and I
still pull out the tape to watch Pitbull #2 superbombing
Francine through a table as Joey Styles yells..."This can't
be happening...WHAT THE HELL! ECW!", Steve Austin/Bret Hart
(Wrestlemania 13), Mankind/Rock (12/29/99, Foley's first WWF
World Championship), Bret Hart/Owen Hart (Wrestlemania 10)

Blake Norton, The Bagpipe Report
Bret Hart/The British Bulldog (Summerslam '92) Bret vs. Bulldog
may have been an outside choice for #1, but really, it had
everything. A compelling family feud, a great match, a huge
arena full of rabid fans (83,000 of them in Wembly Stadium) and
a clean, emotional finish. That night the Intercontinental title
was worth more than ever in its history, more than the world
strap. The match was the main event, placed above Savage vs.
Warrior for the world title. It was the match where BOTH Bret
Hart and The Bulldog not only became main event stars, but
proved that they were worthy of being in that position, Bret
Hart/Owen Hart (Wrestlemania X), Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko
(Nitro '99), Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon (Summerslam '95),
Owen Hart/The British Bulldog (European Tournament Finals '97)

Mark George, The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart (Wrestlemania XIII), Mankind vs.
Undertaker (Hell in the Cell), HBK vs. Undertaker (Hell in the
Cell), HBK vs. Razor Ramon (Ladder Match, Wrestlemania X), HBK
vs. Bret Hart (Survivor Series '97) *most emulated finish in

Christopher Murray (SDNV Online)
Undertaker/Mankind (Hell In the Cell), Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon
(Wrestlemania 10 Ladder Match), Steve Austin/Bret Hart
(Wrestlemania 13), Dean Malenko/Eddie Guerrero (2 out of 3 Falls - 8/95
Philadelphia, PA, Dean alenko and Eddie Guerrero are considered
two of the top workers of this decade and their 2 out of 3
falls showdown at the ECW Arena in August 1995 on heir final
night with the company is one of the reasons why. Unfortunately,
not everyone has had the opportunity to see this match because
of ECW's limited exposure at the time. The finish to the bout,
a double pin in the third fall, was well done and gave both
men a great sendoff...), Hardy Boyz/Edge & Christian (Ladder

Curt Creighton, RWIN (
Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon (Wrestlemania 10 Ladder Match),
Bret Hart/Owen Hart (Wrestlemania 10), Steve Austin/Dude Love
(Over The Edge -5/5/1998), Cactus Jack/Vader (Halloween Havoc
1993), Shawn Michaels/Marty Jannetty (5/17/1993 RAW)

Patrick Michael, Pro Wrestling Chronicle
Mitsuharu Misaswa/Kenta Kobashi (October 1998), HBK vs. Bret
Hart (Survivor Series '97), Eddie Guerrero/Dean Malenko (Any of
their 1995 ECW series), Steve Austin/Shawn Michaels (Wrestlemania
14), Steve Austin/Bret Hart (Wrestlemania 13)

Chris Plano, New Dimension Wrestling
Mankind/Undertaker (Hell in a Cell), Sting/Hogan (Starrcade 1997,
when it was Stings return to the ring from the crow angle)

Bob Magee,
Mankind/Undertaker (Hell in a Cell), Shawn Michaels/Undertaker
(Hell In a Cell), Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon (Ladder Match,
SummerSlam 1994), Ric Flair/Vader (Starrcade 1993), Cactus Jack/
Eddie Gilbert (Three Matches/Falls, Falls Count Anywhere Match/
Stretcher match/Steel Cage match), Tristate Wrestling Alliance,
Philadelphia PA, 1991, For the sheer psychotic brutality in
these matches, for the dedication of these two men to their
business; and for being the match that established the hardcore
tradition of Philadelphia wrestling, this gets a pick.

Rick Phelps, Wrestling Booking Sheet, The Jobber Report
Rey Mysterio Jr./Eddie Guerrero(Halloween Havoc 97), Mankind/
Undertaker (King of Ring 98), Bret Hart/HBK (WM 12), Bret Hart/
Chris Benoit (Mayhem 99), ret Hart/Owen Hart (WM 10)

Steve Appy, The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Steve Austin/Bret Hart (Wrestlemania 13), Ric Flair/Vader
(Starrcade 1993), Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon (Wrestlemania
10 Ladder Match), Shawn Michaels/Undertaker (Hell In the Cell),
Ric Flair, Barry Windham, Sid Vicious & Larry Zybyzco/Sting,
Brian Pillman & The Steiners (WrestleWar 1991)
A SERIES of matches that were both entertaining to view, drew
revenue, and enhanced the careers of all involved.

1. Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon
2. The nWo vs. WCW
3. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart
4. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin
5. Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart (TIE)
Mankind vs. The Rock (TIE)

Dan Moreland,
Steve Austin/Vince McMahon, nWo/WCW, Bret Hart/Jerry Lawler,
Ric Flair/Randy Savage, Tommy Dreamer/Raven

SamJerry, Wrestling Booking Sheet, The Jobber Report, PWI, TWI
Steve Austin/Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart,
Sabu/Rob Van Dam, Rob Van Dam/Jerry Lynn, Mankind/The Rock

Suptman, The Jobber Report:
Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart, Mankind/Rock, Bret Hart/Owen Hart,
Raven/Tommy Dreamer, Sting/Hulk Hogan

Blake Norton, The Bagpipe Report
Bret Hart/Owen Hart, Ric Flair/Sting, Mankind/The Undertaker,
WCW/NOW, Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon (Flair vs. Sting gets the
two spot because of the sheer quality of matches, the length
of time they feuded (on and off since 1988 through present),
the consistency. It made Sting's career. It enhanced Flair's.
Flair vs. Sting is the feud that never gets old, because it
draws on basic storytelling (even if Sting does look like a
moron for allowing Flair to double cross him half a dozen
times) and great wrestling. It's a basic formula of two stars
with ability and great charisma, and I've enjoyed every
incarnation of their battles this decade since Sting won his
first world title from Flair in 1990.

Mark George, The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Steve Austin/Vince McMahon, Ric Flair/Randy Savage,
Mankind/The Rock, Ric Flair/Sting, Hulk Hogan/Bill Goldberg
(*brief, but propelled Goldberg to super stardom)

Christopher Murray (SDNV Online)
WCW/nWo, Steve Austin/Vince McMahon, United States (Steve Austin)
vs. Canada (The Hart Foundation) The U.S. vs. Canada feud in
mid-1997 started turning business around for the WWF at a time
when business had completely bottomed out., Bret Hart/Shawn
Michaels, Sabu/Taz

Patrick Michael, Pro Wrestling Chronicle
Misawa/Kobashi, Vince McMahon/Steve Austin, Sandman/Raven,
Bad Breed feud, Taz/Sabu

Curt Creighton, RWIN (
Steve Austin/Bret Hart & The Hart Foundation, nWo/WCW,
Cactus Jack/Vader, Undertaker/Mankind, Cactus Jack/Nasty Boys
(w/Foley teaming with Maxx Payne & Kevin Sullivan)

Chris Plano, New Dimension Wrestling
Steve Austin/Vince McMahon, nWo/WCW

Bob Magee,
Steve Austin/Vince McMahon, Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels,
Raven/Tommy Dreamer (probably the best pure feud, in terms of
length and quality of twists and turns in it), SMW-USWA 1995
(As my late friend Brian Hildebrand said, this interpromotional
feud got even smart marks who came in for the SMW Fanweek to
understand what "white heat", good old-fashioned Southern style
heel heat was all about; especially after the night a group of
SMW fans in vans (at SMW Fanweek '95) were literally chased out
of Louisville, KY by USWA fans, Cactus Jack-Eddie Gilbert
(1990-1991, TWA and WWA) Gotta mention this one...The matches
are credited by Mick Foley as helping him in to the Big Two,
and the feud helped establish hardcore wrestling in the States;
including their legendary barbed wire match and their three
matches in a night listed in the above category.

Rick Phelps, Wrestling Booking Sheet, The Jobber Report
WCW/WWF, Steve Austin/Vince McMahon, HBK/Bret Hart, WCW/nWo,

Steve Appy, The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Steve Austin/Vince McMahon, Steve Austin/Bret Hart, Dean Malenko/
Eddie Guerrero, Rick Rude/Ricky Steamboat, Ric Flair/Randy Savage
The "Performers of the 90's" will be continued in WBS #459…
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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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All Rights Reserved.

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