Wrestling Observer Newsletter Rewind Thread • 2000
Let's not and say we did
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11-20-2000

- Shinya Hashimoto, who has headlined more record-setting Tokyo Dome shows than anyone in history, was shockingly fired by NJPW after a weekend full of drama when news got out that he was negotiating with Pro Wrestling NOAH. Now that he's fired, it clears the way for him to become a full-timer for NOAH if he wishes, as well as running his own shows, which appears to be his plan. Regardless of rumors that this is all an angle, it's not. Hashimoto has not been seeing eye-to-eye with NJPW booker Riko Choshu for awhile. There was also resentment against Hashimoto within the company because he was one of the highest paid stars but he has barely worked this year. If he joins NOAH, he's going to have to take a massive pay-cut and probably work a more full-time schedule. But Hashimoto doing a bunch of dream matches against guys like Misawa, Kobashi, Akiyama, and Vader could be just the spark NOAH needs to really take off. NJPW had a big booking committee meeting where Kensuke Sasaki in particular ripped on Hashimoto for not being a team player and he was the one who pushed the hardest for him to be fired. Tatsumi Fujinami, who is president of the company and part of the NJPW board that made the decision, is close friends with Hashimoto and was said to be furious at being outvoted over the issue and is considering quitting his role as NJPW President in protest. He's also planning to meet with Antonio Inoki, who isn't really involved in NJPW anymore but is still a major stockholder in the company.

- Hashimoto has been secretly talking to Misawa for at least 5 months and had talked about quitting NJPW when his contract was up anyway. Hashimoto has also opened a dojo called Zero-1 and is talking of running his own shows. This whole thing has caused some tension with AJPW as well, because they hate NOAH and they currently have a relationship with NJPW and were concerned that this was all an angle. And AJPW wants no part of any angles involving NOAH. That's just part of the problems with NJPW and AJPW though. Motoko Baba is notoriously difficult to deal with and NJPW officials said they had heard the stories about her, but didn't realize just how bad she was until the AJPW/NJPW deal started. Apparently, she's a real pain in the ass and everybody in NJPW hates her, just like all the people who left to form NOAH did. Word is the NJPW/AJPW angle is already starting to fall apart because every little creative detail has to be negotiated and renegotiated constantly with her. To be fair, if NJPW had their way, they would gobble up AJPW just like they did UWFI so Mrs. Baba is probably looking out for her company's best interests in the long-term, but she's definitely rubbing everyone in NJPW the wrong way in doing so. NJPW has also talked of having NOAH wrestlers involved in their Jan. 4th show, which led to Mrs. Baba threatening to pull AJPW from the show if they did.

- Hashimoto's firing was front page news in the Japanese sports media and more than 50 reporters were at the press conference where NJPW announced it. Hashimoto has talked about also joining Inoki's UFO promotion to continue his feud with Ogawa. Speaking of, Ogawa has said he would be willing to put Hashimoto over even though Inoki would be against it. Basically, Ogawa recognizes how much of his career he owes to Hashimoto doing job after job after job for him, even to the detriment of his own career, and Ogawa wants to return the favor, but Inoki doesn't want Ogawa to put anyone over. Inoki himself got famous during his career for almost never doing jobs and he's wanting to build his protege up the same way. Anyway, Dave talks about how the firing of Hashimoto is probably the 3rd biggest firing of a wrestler in the history of Japanese wrestling. The first would be JWA firing Antonio Inoki in 1971, which ultimately led to the formation of NJPW. And the 2nd would be when NJPW fired Akira Maeda in 1988, who went on to reform the UWF. Hashimoto has main evented 6 Tokyo Dome sellouts, more than anyone ever. And he's headlined 10 other shows that have drawn 50,000+ fans (and 7 of those shows actually drew more than 60,000). Needless to say, Hashimoto has to be considered among the biggest drawing stars ever.

- Six months before it even happens, Wrestlemania 17 has already become the biggest grossing pro wrestling event ever held in the United States. Tickets went on sale last week and by the end of the first day, over 48,000 tickets were sold for more than $2.7 million. It's believed to be the most tickets sold on the first day in wrestling history. There was a K-1 kickboxing show in Japan in 1997 that sold out the Tokyo Dome (54,500) in one day but that's the closest comparison.

- Dave and his crack team of investigators (I dunno) have done a big in-depth study to compare the mortality rates, crippling injury rates, and drug issues in American pro wrestling at 3 different time periods: 1986, 1991, and 1998, to see how things have improved or gotten worse. This shit is looooong but I'm gonna try to simplify it as much as possible, but it's still gonna be a bunch of numbers and shit. For injuries, it has to be something that left the person with permanent disabilities and medical issues. For drug problems, it lists people who had known arrests, overdoses, rehab stays, etc. For the sake of the study, steroids are not included in the drug issues since, well, that would be almost everybody.

- For the year 1986, they looked at all 214 wrestlers who were active in the U.S. during that time in all the major promotions, at an average age of 33. Of that group, 27 have since passed away (12.6%) while another 29 (13.6%) are permanently disabled due to injuries suffered in their careers. Another 41 (19.2%) have had documented drug and/or alcohol problems. The remaining 54.6% are basically okay, aside from the usual wear & tear from a career in wrestling.

- The next year is 1991, with a total of 165 wrestlers at an average age of 31. From that group, 14 have since passed away (8.5%), 30 of them have disabilities (18.2%) and another 30 (18.2%) have documented drug/booze issues.

- The final comparison is 1998, with a group of 233 wrestlers. In the two and a half years since then, 8 wrestlers have died, which is about 1-out-of-every-29. Another 22 guys are now permanently injured or disabled, while 44 of them (18.9%) have documented drug/alcohol issues.

- So, what have we learned? That basically, everything is getting worse. Wrestlers are dying at a faster rate, suffering injuries at a faster rate, and more and more of them are abusing drugs and alcohol. Dave goes into a LOT more detail on this but bottom line: this shit is an epidemic and if you compared these numbers to any other sport like the NFL or NBA, it wouldn't even be close. Whether it's serious injuries, drug addictions, or deaths, the numbers are all gradually getting scarier over the last decade and a half. The wrestling industry has a problem and it BADLY needs to clean it up and take better care of the performers. If this is a topic you're interested in, this issue of the Observer is well worth reading in full because I'm not even scratching the surface here.

- The latest on the Owen Hart lawsuit settlement is that the judge signed off on it to make it official. Of the $18 million WWF agreed to pay, Martha Hart will get $10 million, while her two children will each receive $3 million. The remaining $2 million goes to Owen's parents Stu and Helen. Following the case being settled, Martha Hart did multiple interviews, publicly separating herself from the Hart family entirely, although she did praise Stu, Helen, Bret, and Keith Hart for being the only ones who sided with her during the legal battle. There's a lot of bad blood there, with various members of the family feeling like others sold them out. In a Calgary Sun column, Marta Hart wrote, "This is not a close-knit family and I'm not part of it anymore. We carry the same last name, but that's as far as it goes. They betrayed Owen by working against me and his children and I will never consider myself, or my children, a part of that family anymore. I will respect Owen's parents and I will stay in touch with a select few of them, but people need to know that Owen was a white sheep in a black family." Dave says she kinda has a valid point, as several members of the Hart family sided with the WWF in this case and in particular, Ellie Neidhart passed legal documents that she found at Stu's house over to WWF lawyers. Martha said all of this stuff greatly weakened their case, caused the trial to be delayed indefinitely, and pretty much forced her to settle out of court when she didn't want to. Bruce and Ross Hart, in promoting Stampede Wrestling, tried to work with WWF on running shows while Davey Boy and Jim Neidhart took jobs with the company following Owen's death. But it was really Ellie Neidhart's actions that Martha felt was the biggest betrayal because it almost killed the whole case. Martha has said she will be setting aside $2 million of the settlement money to form the Owen Hart Foundation to help people less fortunate (she still runs this today). As for the WWF, while they have settled the case with the Hart family, they intend to recoup some of their losses by going after 2 other defendants in the case. Lewmar Inc., which manufactured the harness that was accidentally released, and Amspec Inc. which sold the device to the stunt riggers the WWF had hired.

http://owenhartfoundation.org/

- The WWF filed a lawsuit against the Parents Television Council, their parent company, founder L. Brent Bozell, and several other members of the group as well as a Florida lawyer. WWF hopes to prove that Bozell and the PTC knowingly lied in their campaign to get sponsors to pull advertising from WWF programming and argues that they have harmed the WWF name in doing so. The lawsuit claims interference in contracts, disparagement, defamation, and more and says the PTC created a false list of advertisers who had pulled ads in order to mislead the public. WWF is also extremely upset about the PTC's claim that WWF programming was responsible for the deaths of 4 children within the last two years. That's where the Florida lawyer comes in. It's the same lawyer who represented 12-year-old Lionel Tate who killed a little girl and later claimed he was imitating wrestling moves. The lawyer made it about wrestling and tried to get WWF and WCW wrestlers to testify and it was a whole big messy thing. The PTC used that case, and the others, and have been going around for months screaming about how WWF is responsible for their deaths.

- The lawsuit is interesting because the wording of it isn't something you usually see in a legal document. It's extremely mean-spirited, attacking Bozell's right-wing political opinions and calling him out for other, unrelated things like his hatred of homosexuals, his father working for Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, and even questioning the legality of the PTC as an organization due to a bunch of legal and paperwork technicalities. Bozell responded, only saying that the lawsuit is without merit and that they are considering counter-suing for libel. Dave breaks down all the ins and outs of this and says it seems like an attempt to get the PTC to shut up and go away more than anything. Who knows whether it will work, but WWF has the money to tie up the PTC in a long legal battle if they want and that alone might be enough to get them off their back. But proving their case in court might be tricky.

- Since we're never actually going to get to see the conclusion in these Rewinds, here's the spoiler on the WWF/PTC lawsuit and how it all ends up: WWF wins handily. The lawsuit is settled in 2002 and the PTC is forced to issue a public apology, admit they lied about the advertisers, and publicly state that WWF was not responsible for those children's deaths. Oh, and they have to pay the WWF $3.5 million in damages. L. Brent Bozell hasn't uttered a single word about WWF in the 17 years since.

- Various notes: following Scott Hall's latest arrest last week, he and his estranged wife have settled their child custody arrangement. CMLL has scrapped plans to air their year-end event on PPV in the U.S. Chris Candido collapsed backstage at an indie show in Maryland, no reason given, but was back home and okay the next day. Sabu recently won the NWA title, for whatever that's worth these days.

- Speaking of Scott Hall...he debuted in ECW over the weekend. The word going around is that Hall agreed to work the shows for free, but nobody really believes that. Most people think it's just a way for Paul Heyman to save face for bringing in a big name star while still being a month behind on paying everyone else. He's not expected to stick around long and it's thought he might only have done a couple of matches just to show WCW he's on his best behavior now and is trying to get re-hired. There's been discussions of him working the December PPV but it's unknown if he will. Hall was by far the biggest superstar on the show, getting huge reactions and physically, he towered over everyone also since he's so much bigger than everyone else in ECW. He also appeared totally sober and coherent during his appearances on both nights. He teamed with Jerry Lynn in the main event against Rhino and Justin Credible the first night. And the second night, he did a job to Big Sal of the FBI, which shocked everybody (although it should be noted there was outside interference and Hall refused to sell at all for Little Guido because he's so small). Later in the night, he came out and worked another match against Credible.




- Juventud Guerrera worked his first U.S. match since getting fired from WCW, working a show for XPW. Paul Heyman was said to be interested in Guerrera but not so much now, partly because he worked an XPW show (Heyman hates them) and also because, well, Heyman just can't afford to bring anyone new right now. Except Scott Hall, apparently.

- ECW Hardcore TV this week opened with the real-life footage of medics and police treating Sinister Minister backstage after the accident before the show where he really almost blew his fingers off. Dave says ECW is a desperate company and desperate people do desperate things, but he felt like airing this footage was beyond bad taste and, even worse for ECW, it looked like public access TV. He says this was something only a dying company would do. The police and EMTs on the scene were legitimately upset at being filmed, threatening to arrest the cameraman at one point.



- On the same show, Tommy Dreamer cut a promo bragging about how ECW had drawn more fans than WCW did in the same city the night before. All well and good except...not true. Nitro drew 4,600 paid while ECW drew 2,600 paid. And even if it was true, WCW is just as much a dying company as ECW, so out-drawing them isn't really anything worth bragging about anymore. And especially when it's not true.

- Nothing new on the WCW sale rumors. Right now, the whole company is basically in a holding pattern. The interim-bookers (Ferrara, Terry Taylor, Johnny Ace, etc.) have been told not to make any major changes because Russo is expected to be back soon to take control again. There's been rumors of Jerry Jarrett being brought in to help run things but Dave doesn't know how true that is (not true. He did make a low-ball offer to buy WCW at this point, but he was never close to outbidding Bischoff's people).

- At the Thunder taping in Manchester, England, Konnan got legit knocked unconscious for several minutes after taking Kronik's finisher. The show was stopped while he was tended to and eventually he was able to walk out of the ring on his own, but he was knocked loopy.

- The whole Stacy Keibler/pregnancy angle has seemingly been forgotten about, but just in case you wanted to know how it was going to end: the idea was for it to last until March (presumably around the time she would have had the baby) and it would be revealed that Vince Russo was the father. But then it would be revealed that Ric Flair was actually Stacy's father, stemming from a fling he had 21 years ago in Baltimore and that Ric and Russo were working together to break up her marriage to David Flair, because it was an incestuous relationship. And it would, of course, be revealed that at some point, David Flair had sex with his half-sister. Dave says Vince Russo has been itching to get an incest angle going ever since Ken Shamrock refused to do it back in 1997 with his fake on-screen sister.

- Bobby Heenan's WCW contract expires at the end of December and as mentioned last week, WCW has decided not to renew it. There's no word that WWF is interested in bringing him in, but he is said to be interested in going. Larry Zbyszko is pushing to get involved in a storyline so that he won't end up like Heenan (doesn't work. Zbyszko is out the door in the next few weeks also).

- Various WCW notes: An executive at Saks Fith Avenue filed a $10 million libel lawsuit against a guy who held up a sign on WCW Nitro calling him a thief. Well okay then. Goldberg refused to work the show last week in Germany because he's Jewish and lost family members in the Holocaust. Regarding the Battledome/WCW crossover angle, the blond muscle guy from the Battledome crew is actually Midajah's husband.

- TNN cracked the top 10 cable network ratings for the first time in the channel's history, due to Raw. Meanwhile, USA fell from 1st place down to 5th, also due to the whole not-having-Raw-anymore thing.

- At the Smackdown taping the night of the election, WWF security confiscated all the political signs they could find. They also confiscated a pro-RTC sign, which Dave thinks is kinda the ultimate irony.

- A recent story just came out that mentioned the average Major League baseball player earns just under $1.8 million per year. Needless to say, that's more than most wrestlers except for the tippy-top guys make. Most wrestlers in WWF and WCW don't make as much as the lowest paid professional baseball player. Not to mention, wrestlers are required to pay their own travel, hotels, food expenses, etc. while MLB players have all that covered. And yet, there isn't a single team in baseball that generates as much money as the WWF does. But that's what happens when all these guys can't get their shit together and unionize. Promoters like Vince reap all the rewards while the wrestlers continue to be drastically underpaid compared to athletes in other sports.

- Latest on Triple H's injury is that he has a torn membrane surrounding a disc in his back and a problem with his S.I. joint which is....apparently a thing? I dunno man, I'm not Dr. House. In layman's terms, he has an inflamed sciatic nerve that is causing back and hip problems. Normally, he wouldn't be ready in time for the PPV, but he's in the main event and is reportedly going to be working through it one way or another. Dave breaks down everyone's injuries and right now, seems like everybody's dealing with some shit. Road Dogg, X-Pac, Rikishi, Billy Gunn, Christian, Faarooq, William Regal....basically the whole locker room is the walking wounded.

- Chris Chetti showed up at a WWF show last month looking for a job and was told they would give him a try-out when he finishes his ECW commitments. He doesn't have a contract with ECW right now but had promised to work the PPV. So he did but...WWF hasn't gotten back to him about a try-out. Chetti just had his first child and is looking for opportunities outside of the sinking ship that is ECW.

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(01-23-2019, 10:22 AM)Peezy Wrote: 11-20-2000Sabu recently won the NWA title, for whatever that's worth these days.


he beat "Colorado Kid" Mike Rapada to win the NWA title. i've been looking for video for it for the last couple years but can't find any. If anybody does......hook a brother up?
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(01-24-2019, 01:21 AM)twiztor Wrote:
(01-23-2019, 10:22 AM)Peezy Wrote: 11-20-2000Sabu recently won the NWA title, for whatever that's worth these days.

he beat "Colorado Kid" Mike Rapada to win the NWA title. i've been looking for video for it for the last couple years but can't find any. If anybody does......hook a brother up?


Really tried looking but came up with no video. Apparently there was an audio broadcast but the links were dead. Is there a reason this match was important to you?

"Nov. 18: This week's Ringside Live is complete bell-to-bell coverage of the Nov. 14 NWA Florida card at the historic Homer W. Hesterly Armory. It features Sabu's NWA World title win over Colorado Mike Rapada. B. Brian Blair and Steve Keirn battled inside a steel cage for control of the Florida tag team championship. Adam Windsor faced Brent Cameron Dail (with Summer Rain) in a Texas Rules Death Match with Dory Funk Jr. as special referee. It's the complete card including interviews and preliminary matches.

Mark Nulty does the fall-by-fall and ring announcing. Special thanks to Brian Fritz for not only providing color but doing an outstanding job producing the broadcast. For ease in listening the broadcast has been broken up into two parts:"
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Colorado Kid lol. He was the "big star" of a promotion in Jonesboro Arkansas back in the mid 90s run by Bert Prentice. Word on the street was that he gave Prentice certain favors for being pushed as the top star. Years later it was Prentice who lobbied so hard for Kid to win the NWA title.
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11-27-2000

- Survivor Series is in the books and ended with a Wile E. Coyote finish of Austin dropping a car with Triple H in it from a forklift, in a spot that basically looked like Austin murdered him. The angle was done to give Triple H time off to rest his back and hip injuries. The Angle/Undertaker WWF title match also had a wacky finish, with Angle's brother Eric getting involved and doing the whole Twin Magic Bella twins gimmick. Dave is pretty "ehhh..." about screwjob finishes in main event matches on a PPV and he heard a lot of complaints from fans live who paid a lot of money for tickets and were upset that half of Triple H/Austin happened backstage and they had to watch it on the video screens.



- Other notes from the show: Molly Holly made her PPV debut, pinning Trish Stratus in their match. K-Kwik (Ron Killings, aka R-Truth) also made his PPV debut but didn't look very good and didn't get much time. He looked green and blew a spot before getting pinned by Benoit. Lita got legit busted open over her left eye in her match with Ivory and required stitches after and had half a crimson mask for most of the match. Dave mocks Undertaker's unbelievably bad new ring gear, especially the pants (I think it came out later that Undertaker's luggage got lost or something and he was wearing Godfather's pants). And that's about it. Nothing much notable from the show.

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- At the first night of the latest AJPW tour, Motoko Baba announced that Stan Hansen, the most popular foreign wrestler in the history of Japanese wrestling, will be retiring. Hansen is expected to wrestle one final match, at AJPW's Jan. 28th Tokyo Dome show (didn't happen. Unbeknownst to everyone, Hansen has already wrestled his final match by this point). At 51 years old, Hansen is banged up after years of crippling injuries and it's been obvious for awhile that it's time. Dave recaps Hansen's career as a top star in Japan, starting in the late 70s as Inoki's biggest rival before making the surprise jump to AJPW in one of the most famous angles in company history. Hansen is also famous for being the guy who broke Bruno Sammartino's neck when Bruno landed wrong on a Hansen bodyslam. He's also the only foreign wrestler to ever beat Andre The Giant in Japan. Legendary feuds and matches with Baba, Kawada, Misawa, Kobashi, and a famous match with Vader that nearly cost Vader his eye. During the 80s, he was part of one of the greatest tag teams of all time with Bruiser Brody. He's a 4-time Triple Crown champion and also held the AWA title before famously refusing to lose it to Nick Bockwinkel in a story that was huge at the time (Dave doesn't mention that Hansen literally ran over the belt with his truck before sending it back to Verne Gagne, half mangled and destroyed).

- Observer Awards season is coming up and it's been a unique year. WWF has dominated the industry. WCW and ECW are in disarray, AJPW is clinging to survival after the NOAH split, and while still the clear #2 promotion in the world, NJPW still had a pretty bad year. Anyway, Dave breaks down all the categories, what they mean, how to vote, who's eligible, etc.

- WWF released its quarterly financial report and yada yada numbers revenues, something something operating income, rights fees, blah blah licensing projections, so on and so forth. There actually is some interesting stuff here. Profits were down from this same quarter last year. The big reasons were due to the $7 million that WWF had to pay as their share of the Owen Hart settlement (insurance paid the other $11 million), another $6.5 million in costs associated with XFL startup expenses, and finally, they lost a bunch of money on expenses related to the WWF New York restaurant in Times Square. House show revenue increased, not because they sold more tickets, but because they increased ticket prices. PPV revenue was up 35% due to Steve Austin's return doing big numbers on the Sept. and Oct. PPVs. Hell, everything is up. TV rights fees are up 165% due to the switch over to Viacom and that number will be substantially higher next quarter. Merch revenue is up 10%. Publishing up 17% due to increasing WWF Magazine prices. Home videos up 12%. Internet revenue up 56%. But the Owen Hart lawsuit and XFL costs are huge hits and because of that, WWF is expected to fall short of their year-end projections.

- WCW ran a PPV in Germany called Millennium Final. Dave didn't see it, but has a report from someone he knows in Germany who did. A lot of people missed the first hour of the show due to PPV technical problems. It was interesting because they also were broadcasting 2 separate feeds, one showing the main show and another feed showing the backstage area and featuring a lot of interviews. Konnan and Rey Mysterio both cut promos saying a lot of negative things about WCW and Konnan even hinted at wanting to go to WWF. This isn't new, everyone in WCW hates it and wants out, but it was strange to hear someone say it on an official WCW broadcast. Kronik beat Kidman and Mysterio and they were basically treated like jobbers. Dave says call him crazy, but he's starting to think that just maybe the Hogan feud didn't do Kidman any favors after all. They did a Royal Rumble-style battle royal with a new guy entering every 45 seconds, which was won by Mike Awesome. Alex Wright and General Rection won the tag team titles. It was supposed to be Disco Inferno instead, but he got injured and Rection took his spot. The win was mostly just to pop the German crowd since Alex Wright (German) was so hugely over during the show. They immediately lost the titles on Nitro as soon as they got back to the U.S. which pissed off a lot of German fans who saw it for the meaningless cheap pop it was. Dave thinks that'll probably hurt business whenever they return to Germany next time (spoiler: there's no next time). German boxer Axel Schulz refereed the Sting/Kevin Nash main event and at one point when Nash was in the scorpion deathlock, he tried to make a 3 count before realizing that this was a submission hold and that Nash was face down on the mat (this is one of the few WCW PPVs that isn't available on the WWE Network for whatever reason. You can find bits and pieces of it online. Here's the main event).



- Nitro this week did a 2.27 rating which is the lowest rating in the history of the show in its regular time slot. Thunder did a 2.32 which is higher than normal but the rating plummeted throughout the show so the extra viewers clearly didn't care much for what they saw.

- At the latest NOAH show in Japan, Kenta Kobashi teamed up with rookie wrestler Kenta Kobayashi. Dave still thinks the new kid desperately needs a new ring name to avoid the obvious confusion (he eventually shortens it to just KENTA before changing it again to Hideo Itami).

- Tatsumi Fujinami has decided not to step down as NJPW president, which he was considering when he was outvoted on firing Shinya Hashimoto. Instead, Fujinami met with Antonio Inoki, who talked him into staying. Dave also mentions that Inoki is trying to get more NJPW guys to work PRIDE shows.

- The NJPW/AJPW relationship is still shaky. It was announced that a show next month will have NJPW's G1 tag team tournament winners facing an AJPW team. In the meantime, Fujinami is still saying that he wants someone from NOAH to wrestle in the Jan. 4th Tokyo Dome tournament for the IWGP title, which Motoko Baba is not happy about. She has threatened to pull out of the partnership if NOAH is involved, but to be honest, AJPW needs this relationship a lot more than NJPW does so it's kind of an empty threat.

- Japanese women's wrestler Yumi Fukawa has been forced to retire at age 24 due to brain injuries. She suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was told one more bad shot to the head could be fatal, similar to the injury that killed Masakazu Fukuda earlier this year.

- Laila Ali, the daughter of Muhammad Ali, will be attending an LLPW women's wrestling show with the idea she may face Shinobu Kandori in a boxer vs. wrestler match in the future (I think she does attend the show but the match never happens).

- That show from Australia several months ago that featured Dennis Rodman vs. Curt Hennig will be airing as a PPV next month under the name iGeneration Wrestling, and they plan to run several more events in the future. On one hand, this pretty much sounds like it's gonna be a bust. But on the other hand, with WCW and ECW in worse shape than ever, this might not be the worst time to start a new promotion. WCW is cutting people left and right and ECW is behind on paying everybody, so there's a lot of free agents on the market right now, and there may be more soon if things keep getting worse. So hey, who knows? But this PPV is going to live or die on the drawing power of Dennis Rodman, and he's nowhere near the media superstar he was 2 years ago. His last appearance in WCW did fuck all for them so Dave doesn't have high hopes for this.

- Bret Hart was scheduled to appear on Good Morning America last week, but due to "all the hoopla" surrounding the finish of the Presidential election, he was bumped from the show. An in related news, Bret's column in this week's Calgary Sun was also pulled, due to apparently being too controversial. Probably something to do with the Owen Hart lawsuit settlement/Hart family drama. Speeeeeeeaking of...

- Martha Hart did a lengthy interview on the Vicki Gabereau Show in Canada. Martha didn't have much nice to say about the rest of the family, but said that Bret Hart is one of her best friends and that during the entire lawsuit, he supported her and all the decisions she made. She said Owen would have been proud of how Bret handled it. When asked about the rest of the family, she said there would never be any repairing the relationship. She specifically blamed Diana Hart Smith and Ellie Neidhart for looking out for their own self-interests and for trying to sabotage her case against the WWF. She said she's still on good terms with several other members of the family, but they also have contact with Diana and Ellie and it's just an awkward situation so she tries to avoid it. She also said Stu and Helen have always been good to her. She said she didn't want to sling any mud, but there's plenty of it to sling if she wanted to. She thanked wrestling fans who had already raised more than $100,000 for a Calgary children's hospital in Owen's name. She said that every morning when she wakes up with Owen not there, she feels like she's living a nightmare, but she's trying to move on with her life. She said she'd never want her children to get into wrestling and says Owen would have never wanted them to.

- There's a lot of questions over the future of Rob Van Dam in ECW. It was initially reported (by the Observer itself, on their website) that RVD had quit. Turns out that wasn't true and Dave made sure it was corrected immediately and apologizes for the mistake. But even though RVD hasn't officially quit, there are big-time money issues between the two sides which is why RVD hasn't been working shows lately. Every wrestler in the company is owed money, at the very least one month's pay, and some are owed a lot more. Plus no one has received any PPV bonuses in ages. Fortunately for ECW right now, they're in a position where WWF isn't hiring anyone new and WCW can't afford to hire anyone due to cost cutting, so most of the ECW roster isn't leaving because they have nowhere else to go. But RVD's situation was serious enough that they didn't mention his name at all during the PPV and they're not planning any storylines for him right now, so they seem to be under the impression that he's at least not going to be around for a little while. Neither RVD or ECW would go on the record with Dave to discuss the issues, other than to say as of this week, RVD isn't booked for any upcoming ECW shows and they're still negotiating (he ends up making one final appearance at ECW's very last PPV in January, but otherwise, that's it for RVD and ECW).

- ECW only has 2 shows left on the schedule for the rest of the year. The PPV on Dec. 3rd and an ECW Arena show on Dec. 23rd. There are 2 TV tapings scheduled for Texas next month but as of press time, they are almost certain to be cancelled. If so, they'll have to tape extra matches at the PPV in order to fill TV time for the rest of the year.

- On ECW TV this week, they pretty much dropped the angle of the FBI cutting off Jim Mitchell's fingers after the almost universally negative response they got last week for showing the footage of Mitchell being legit treated for the injury.

- Vampiro did an interview on Insane Clown Posse's website claiming that he is leaving WCW, due in part to concussions he suffered at Halloween Havoc and Nitro the next night. There's skepticism within WCW over the legitimacy of his injuries. Vampiro just had a new baby and a lot of people believe he's faking the concussion symptoms so he can stay home with his child, despite the fact that the WCW doctors did diagnose his concussions as legit. It's not just Vampiro though, there's people in WCW who are doubtful of Bret Hart's concussions as well. On the ICP Hotline (yes they have a hotline), Vampiro talked about having permanent speech impairment, a possible broken neck, and brain damage. He was adamant about never going back to WCW and ripped on the company as well as Terry Taylor and Vince Russo. He said the only wrestling he's going to be doing from now on is for ICP's JCW promotion and that he also plans to go on tour with ICP to play bass (indeed, he never stepped foot in WCW again).

- Sting is dealing with an elbow injury and will miss all of December. If he ends up needing surgery, he may be out 3-6 months (Sting doesn't wrestle again until the final Nitro).

- Notes from Nitro: Dave says the show has gotten better in the last few weeks that Russo hasn't been around because a lot of the illogical wacky shit is gone. But they're drastically overexposing the younger stars, especially Mike Sanders. Pushing new stars is great, but taking totally green Power Plant guys and making them the focus of the show is over-correcting. They brought out Alex Wright and Disco Inferno as the new tag team champions, saying they won them in Germany. They showed footage of Wright getting the win and edited it so that you didn't see that Disco wasn't in the match and that actually General Rection was the partner. Then they were booked to defend the titles, but Disco got taken out of the match (still injured) and replaced by Elix Skipper and they lost the tag titles. Dave mentions that Disco Inferno is the first wrestler "since the immortal Judy Bagwell" to hold the tag team titles while not being involved in the match to win it or lose it (https://www.wwe.com/videos/rick-steiner-...ber-9-1998). Kevin Nash cut a promo saying he has 13 months and 10 days left on his contract and that he wants to have fun. Dave admits that this is actually kinda brilliant because Nash has set himself up an angle where he can possibly jump to WWF while hyping it up in WCW, or at the very least, pressure WCW into spending big money to re-sign him. Dave says you can't fault a guy for playing the game smart, but it sucks that WCW is the kind of place where a guy can go on TV and say whatever he wants with no consequence, even to the detriment of the team he's supposed to be playing for. Mike Sanders cut a promo on Nash, joking about Nash not getting first class flights and breach of contract. Apparently on the trip to Europe recently, Nash was complaining loudly about not having first class seats on the flight to Europe because that's apparently part of his contract, and was claiming it was a breach, so Sanders was busting his balls over that. DDP already feels like just another guy after returning to a huge pop just last week. Dave says that's because WCW did nothing to make it feel special. The single best thing the company (well, Nash) has promoted in the last six months is the return of Scott Hall and that's not actually happening. The crowd still chants for Hall every week, while guys like DDP get no build up at all and the crowd doesn't care that he's back.

- All the stuff with the Battledome guys was put together by Eric Bischoff and basically none of the other writers or bookers are allowed to change any of it, only him. Dave mentions that Ed Ferrara is basically the head writer at the moment, although everyone is still under the impression that Russo will be back soon. Russo is still at home, saying he hasn't recovered from the concussions he suffered, and just like Hart and Vampiro, a lot of people backstage doubt how legit this is, especially since he's not a wrestler so it's not like they're asking him to come back and take bumps. Plus the timing made people suspicious, since it was when the WWF sale rumors were happening and Russo decided to take time off right around the time that allowed him to skip both the Australia and Europe tours. But Dave says, to be fair, Russo really did take several hard shots to the head during the couple of matches he did, so who knows.

- Speaking of the European tour, Midajah was upset about having to go on the tour. Her father-in-law is very ill and she wanted to stay home to be near her family for that, but WCW wouldn't let her skip the tour so she had to go or lose her job.

- Hey, we're back to ICP's website again. According to a story posted on ICP's site, several of the Nitro Girls approached ICP about forming a Spice Girls-like musical group for their Psychopathic Records label. I feel like these ladies might not quite be familiar with ICP's audience...

- The episode of the sitcom "Nikki" which features Kevin Nash in a guest starring role will be going head-to-head with WCW's Mayhem PPV. Whoops.

- Tickets for Starrcade went on sale last week and the first-day sales were disastrous. They only sold 926 tickets, for a building that holds around 20,000 for basketball. Dave says that's worse than scary for a building that large.

- Dave gives notes from the latest NWA Wildside indie show in Georgia and the only thing of note is they have a rookie there who's a former NFL player named Bob Sapp. Word is he has a monster look and can move quickly and has potential (he'll be IWGP heavyweight champion in less than 4 years).

- Only thing really notable from Raw was the main event of Austin vs. Benoit. It was by far the best match that Austin has had since returning and he looked to be completely back to his old self. He was wrestling pretty fearlessly, taking german suplexes and back suplexes and everything in between in a pretty great match. Speaking of, Benoit and Rock had a great match on Smackdown the next night. I think this Benoit kid might be a pretty decent 'rassler.

- WWF signed a new deal to have Smackdown and the XFL broadcast on The Score network in Canada. Smackdown didn't previously air in Canada until now. Score is in a similar situation as UPN was when they first got Smackdown. It's a struggling network that is hoping WWF will give it a much-needed boost.

- Speaking of the XFL, they made huge news this week by announcing Governor Jesse Ventura has been hired as an an announcer for the Saturday night NBC games. Once again, it's led to controversy over whether a sitting governor should be getting paid all this money to do these outside gigs and whether he's using the power and celebrity of his office for private gain. For what it's worth, Ventura does have experience broadcasting football games, as he has done radio announcing for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings.

- Vince McMahon himself also made waves with an interview in ESPN Magazine where he spoke about some of his XFL plans. McMahon said the cheerleaders may have some announcing duties and that they would be encouraged to date the players. "When the quarterback fumbles or the wide out drops a pass, and we know who he's dating, I want our reporters right back in her face on the sidelines demanding to know what they were doing the previous night." The quote led to a ton of criticism, forcing McMahon to actually walk it back and say he was just joking. But c'mon, we all know Vince McMahon...

- Christopher Daniels has had talks with WWF about a developmental deal but nothing signed yet. In the meantime, he's planning to return back to Michinoku Pro and bring back his goofy Curry Man gimmick which made him a cult favorite in Japan.

- Triple H did an interview with the Observer website and talked about a lot of things. In regards to his injuries, he said a powerslam fucked up his spine and coccyx bone and screwed up a bunch of hip ligaments and back discs and whatnot, leading to spasms. In regards to being heel or face, he said he loves being a heel more than anything else and added, "The hardest thing in this business is to stay one way or the other. If you're a babyface, if you're not creative enough, people start to dislike you." When asked about rarely doing clean jobs, he argued that none of the top guys do (Dave disputes that with plenty of examples). He said the famous Kliq curtain call back in 1996 was approved by Vince and if he knew he was going to get in trouble, he wouldn't have done it and blamed the backlash on old agents backstage who found it disrespectful but that Vince didn't have a problem with it until those people got into his ear. When asked about Scott Hall potentially coming to WWF, he said it basically depends on Hall proving that he's staying on the right path with his personal problems.

- Kid Rock's sidekick Joe C passed away in his sleep at age 26. Joe C had celiac disease and lived a very difficult life, taking 60 pills a day and being monitored by machines when he slept at night. He had made several WWF appearances over the years and had hoped to do more with wrestling. He really wanted to work with ECW and was friends with RVD and Sabu. He was also an avid wrestling tape collector and Dave reveals he was also a long-time subscriber to the Observer until his death.

- Now that WWF's move to Viacom has passed the 8 week mark, Dave decides to compare ratings from before and after the move. Raw on USA was averaging a 5.94 and is averaging a 5.21 now, which is a pretty significant 12.3% drop, although some of that can be attributed to Monday Night Football starting back at around the same time that they switched to TNN so that was kind of a double-whammy. Smackdown ratings are up and PPV buyrates are also up, so it's not like interest in WWF has declined recently, so the blame is pretty obviously due to the TNN move and the NFL starting back. Livewire and Superstars (which also moved to TNN) suffered similar ratings drops, while Sunday Night Heat, which moved to MTV, suffered a 17% drop.

- Kurt Angle's brother Eric has appeared on PPV and Smackdown in the last week but isn't signed. But there's said to be interest in maybe giving him a developmental deal.

- Ticket sales for Wrestlemania 17 are now at more than 52,000 sold and still climbing. The first day sales (where they moved almost 49,000) shattered virtually every company ticket sales record there is. (Has there ever been a more appropriate side-by-side example of how far ahead WWF was at the end? WCW's biggest PPV of the year sold 926 tickets on the first day while WWF's biggest PPV of the year sold 49,000 on the first day).

- The promo posters for the Royal Rumble say "30 men....1 will become champion" which would seem to indicate that the WWF title will be vacated at some point before then. But Dave says that the marketing side of the company usually doesn't consult with the creative side and often they just come up with phrases and taglines like that which don't have anything to do with what's going to happen. Plus, the way plans change and the way everything is booked on the fly these days, this could mean nothing (yeah, this meant nothing).

- Letters section: someone writes in about the story of Chris Candido collapsing backstage at an indie show a couple weeks ago and says it's true, Candido had a seizure and was taken away in an ambulance. Tammy Sytch was with him and the letter writer asks how many more near-tragedies is it going to take for these 2 to address their obvious drug problems?

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(01-24-2019, 11:10 AM)Chris Wrote:
(01-24-2019, 01:21 AM)twiztor Wrote:
(01-23-2019, 10:22 AM)Peezy Wrote: 11-20-2000Sabu recently won the NWA title, for whatever that's worth these days.

he beat "Colorado Kid" Mike Rapada to win the NWA title. i've been looking for video for it for the last couple years but can't find any. If anybody does......hook a brother up?

Really tried looking but came up with no video. Apparently there was an audio broadcast but the links were dead. Is there a reason this match was important to you?

"Nov. 18: This week's Ringside Live is complete bell-to-bell coverage of the Nov. 14 NWA Florida card at the historic Homer W. Hesterly Armory. It features Sabu's NWA World title win over Colorado Mike Rapada. B. Brian Blair and Steve Keirn battled inside a steel cage for control of the Florida tag team championship. Adam Windsor faced Brent Cameron Dail (with Summer Rain) in a Texas Rules Death Match with Dory Funk Jr. as special referee. It's the complete card including interviews and preliminary matches.

Mark Nulty does the fall-by-fall and ring announcing. Special thanks to Brian Fritz for not only providing color but doing an outstanding job producing the broadcast. For ease in listening the broadcast has been broken up into two parts:"


no specific reason. a few years back, i was finding as many of the NWA title changes as i could (for the time frame between when WCW used it to when TNA used it). Sabu as champ stuck out to me as something that should've been a bigger deal, so it seems odd that video seemingly doesn't exist.
thanks for taking a look tho!
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12-4-2000

- ECW is in such turmoil right now that that Paul Heyman at first didn't want to even announce a card for this weekend's Massacre on 34th Street PPV because he doesn't know what wrestlers will appear. Most of the wrestlers and employees weren't paid again this week, which now puts everybody *at least* 6 weeks behind on pay. Then the Texas TV tapings were officially cancelled and as of right now, ECW only has 3 shows left on the books and the whole crew is basically in a state of panic. Faith in Heyman has completely eroded. He's continuing to tell people that he's still negotiating with USA and FOX for a new television deal but that's looking less and less realistic by the week. The cancelled TV tapings were going to leave ECW with nothing to air on TV later in the month, so they moved one of their planned New York shows up 1 week so they can film TV. That show will be at Hammerstein Ballroom and the Dudleyz are scheduled to make an appearance, so Heyman plans to charge higher than normal ticket prices to try and make some much needed money. There's a PPV on the schedule for Jan. 7th, but no arena has been booked for it yet.

- Heyman has said he will give some of his contracted wrestlers the right to negotiate with WWF and WCW. As of right now, Jerry Lynn is expected to be leaving soon because WWF is said to be interested in him and Heyman has made it clear that he won't stand in Lynn's way if he wants to go.

- Rob Van Dam is the first wrestler to file an official breach of contract complaint. By the terms of the agreement, after filing for breach, Heyman now has 90 days to pay RVD what he owes him and if not, RVD's contract will be voided and he'll be free to leave. As of right now, he hasn't quit but he wants the money he's owed before he will come back and it's believed that Heyman simply doesn't have it. He also can't afford to continue paying RVD his contracted salary. On his website, RVD posted the following:

-----------------

Quote:"I am owed a lot of money. A lot of guys are really concerned because the shows have been canceled the last couple weeks. There's a lot of speculation going on right now. There are also some good things that are noteworthy with ECW. Paul told me that he's talking to FOX as well as USA. Farmclub is supposed to be airing an ECW video every week. That's a little positive.

As of today, I am definitely an employee with ECW and I haven't spoken with anybody else. The outlook from right now is somewhat questionable. Whenever I'm working for somebody, I'm there 110%, so, as of now, I'm still with ECW and I definitely hope to see it take off

I wasn't able to see November to Remember. From what I've heard, they didn't mention Rob Van Dam once time during the pay-per-view. If that's true, then that may say something about ECW's outlook and their predictions for the future. By next week, I will most likely be able to give a little bit more solid information on the status of myself, my employment, the company and everything. Right now, my tongue is being held for protective reasons. Right now there is a lot of business talk going on that, until we see the outcome of that, there are certain things that I could say that can and will be used against me."


-----------------

- As of press time, RVD is definitely not scheduled to be at the PPV this weekend. Heyman is looking at restructuring the salaries. In reality, he needs to have 3-5 "stars" under contract, at less than they're making now, and everyone else would need to be on a per-night basis. Cut back on transportation and go back to running shows just in their territory. If he has his way, the 5 stars Heyman wants to keep under contract are Justin Credible, Steve Corino, Rhino, Tajiri, and Super Crazy. Those are the stars Heyman thinks are top workers or that he sees long-term potential in. Meanwhile, Tommy Dreamer would of course always have a spot because he's one of Heyman's right hand men in running the company right now, but they don't plan to build the company around him. Guys like RVD, Sandman, Jerry Lynn, Mikey Whipwreck, etc. are not the future of ECW and Heyman knows it. Problem is, those 5 guys he wants to build around aren't happy either. Tajiri and Super Crazy are expected to work the PPV but have made it clear they will quit afterward if they aren't given the money they're owed. WWF has expressed interest in Tajiri. Corino has a 5-year-old child and is broke because he's not getting paid so needless to say he's unhappy.

- Similar situation for Justin Credible, who has a wife, a baby, he's broke, his credit cards are maxed out, and because he's under ECW contract, he can't negotiate with any other companies. He's also upset because he was under the belief that his ECW deal gave him full family medical coverage (at the time, Heyman was apparently promising people that and saying ECW would be the first promotion to offer that) but it never came through and after Credible's wife gave birth, he found himself on the hook for thousands of dollars. Credible is still expected to work the PPV since he's kinda legally required to right now and he can't afford not to show up on the off chance some money might trickle down his way. He's said he would like to leave but he legally can't, so he's just riding it out. He's maxed out his credit cards to make ends meet while not getting paid and says he's currently in the hole for tens of thousands of dollars. He's afraid to file for breach of contract because that means Heyman has 90 days to make good and Credible says, "If I filed for a breach, I can see Paul not paying me anything. My parents don't have any money. I've thought of it many times. I've been at the lawyers office ready to do it. But what do I do if he sits me down for 90 days and doesn't pay me?"

- Scott Hall made headlines with his latest arrest and car accident. Hall was supposed to pick up his kids for Thanksgiving weekend custody. His wife says she was at the meeting spot ready to hand over the kids and saw Hall drive past but not stop. Later, she got a call from his lawyer saying he wouldn't be able to pick up the kids because he was in a car accident. Turns out he was driving his car on the wrong side of the road and crashed it and totaled it. He wasn't seriously injured but was said to be abusive to the paramedics who tried to treat him. And here's the kicker: THREE HOURS after the accident, he was breathalyzed and blew a .27, which is more than triple the legal limit in Florida. So imagine how drunk he was at the time. Needless to say, he was then arrested. And it's even scarier considering it was hours after the actual accident and that he was planning to pick up his kids. When Hall worked the ECW shows a couple weeks ago, everyone said he was sober and on his best behavior and was taking pills that would make him vomit if he drank alcohol (Antabuse). Heyman is still willing to use Hall on the PPV because, well, he's desperate right now. But this latest incident has pretty well killed any chances of Hall getting back into WWF or WCW anytime soon.

- WCW Mayhem is in the books and was a pretty sub par show, with a crowd that couldn't have given a shit less about any of it. Around 2,800 fans paid, another thousand papered. Dave thinks WCW needs new talent. They've already ruined guys like Mike Awesome and Lance Storm, and all the rest of the Power Plant newbies aren't main event level stars. Dave suggests an ECW invasion angle could be a decent idea if done correctly, but Heyman has repeatedly shot down that idea because he hates WCW. Besides, it's not like whatever's left of WCW's audience is going to know who any of the ECW stars are anyway. Plus, Dave can't see the Nash's, Goldberg's and Luger's of WCW, with their big million dollar contracts, being willing to put over the Rhino's, Corino's, and Tajiri's of ECW. And at best, an ECW/WCW angle will only generate minor interest, it's not something that is going to save either company. But nobody in WCW seems to have any other ideas, so hey, that's Dave's pitch.

- Other notes from the PPV: Konnan was supposed to work a match but his mother had a stroke the day before so he missed it. Last week on Thunder, Goldberg's new streak was 14 wins. When he came out on PPV, they announced it was 20. On Nitro the next night, they announced it as 25. So he somehow went from 14 to 25 with only 1 match in between. Goldberg got little more than polite applause for his match and Dave thinks it's a scary sign when even Goldberg isn't over. And despite being the heel, Scott Steiner was way more over with the crowd than Booker T in their match, with Steiner beating Booker to win the WCW title.

- Yoshihiro Momota, the oldest son of the legendary Rikidozan, passed away at 54 from liver cancer. Momota used to wrestle for AJPW and was recently working as a business manager for NOAH. He was one of the people who had worked behind the scenes for All Japan for years, but defected to NOAH with everyone else earlier this year. He was never much of a wrestler and was mostly an office guy.

- Antonio Inoki is still putting together his New Year's Eve show and says he wants to headline it with Nobuhiko Takada vs. Keiji Muto, which would be a rematch of their famous 1995 match that drew the 2nd largest live gate ($6.1 million) in the history of pro wrestling. They've had 2 matches before, each selling out the Tokyo Dome and each won once. So that's the tentative plan for the NYE show (it ends up not quite being that).

- Laila Ali appeared at the LLPW women's show in Tokyo to do her angle with Shinobu Kandori. After Kandori won her match, Ali got in the ring and said she would fight Kandori in a boxing match, but not a mixed wrestler-vs-boxer match. Kandori brought up the famous Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki match. Ali invited Kandori to come to the U.S. in March where Ali will be facing Joe Frazier's daughter in a boxing match. Word is LLPW paid Laila Ali $95,000 just to do this angle, which Dave says is totally insane if true, especially since the show only drew around 1,000 people.

- The XPW show this week that was supposed to have Atsushi Onita and Sabu in one of his exploding barbed wire matches has been cancelled. This makes the 4th American promotion (WWF, ECW, CZW, and now XPW) to negotiate with Onita for one of those matches in the U.S., only for it to fall through. Apparently, XPW's new arena where they plan to hold shows in Los Angeles wasn't ready and, besides, there was no buzz about this match at all.

- Jerry Jarrett was brought in to a WCW show for an interview and was offered a full-time job of taking over the company and running it. But Jarrett has a bunch of outside business commitments and didn't want the responsibility of taking over the whole company. He wants to work as a consultant and try to help out but that's it.

- Nothing much new on the WCW sale rumors. Bischoff is still said to be putting together a deal and negotiating with Turner for it but that's it right now. If Bischoff does take over the company, it's believed they would tape weekly TV from Las Vegas as WCW's permanent home, which is something Bischoff wanted to do several years ago but it never happened.

- Booker T is going to be out for awhile to get some knee surgery done. He also has a cracked sternum. He's expected back around February.

- Notes from Nitro: they tried to put over how great the Mayhem PPV was the night before which obviously isn't true because it sucked. There was no mention whatsoever of how the 3 Count/Jung Dragons/Karagis & Noble match totally stole the show on the PPV and Dave points out the differences between WWF and WCW. In WWF, when an undercard match steals the show, they make a big deal about it and put it over huge. That's the reason Edge & Christian, The Dudleyz, and The Hardyz are all stars now, because they had classic matches and WWF treated them as such afterwards instead of forgetting about it 24 hours later. Kevin Nash and DDP did a promo and once again, Nash and DDP pushed for Scott Hall to come back, leading the crowd into chanting for him. There was actually some real heat on them for it this time because that was right after word had come out about Hall's latest arrest and, needless to say, WCW isn't interested in bringing him back. Everyone had been warned not to reference Hall or acknowledge the chants, but Nash and DDP did it anyway, because there's no discipline in this company and they know they won't be punished. Dave can't imagine this sliding in WWF and says Vince McMahon would have fired Nash months ago over this kind of repeated insubordination. And finally, Sid Vicious returned at the end of the show after being gone for the last few months.

- Buff Bagwell threw another temper tantrum backstage at Nitro. There was supposed to be a spot during the Bagwell/Steiner match where Sid Vicious would appear on the big screen and distract Steiner, leading to Bagwell getting a near fall on him. But the production people screwed up and that never happened. So Steiner ended up winning the match as planned, but Bagwell never got his near-fall spot. So he lost his shit backstage afterwards, screaming at everyone, complaining about the production crew, and shouting that he didn't care if he got fired, this whole company sucks, fuck all of y'all, so on and so forth. Though to be fair, the production crew *did* mess up the spot.

- So much for Larry Zbyszko's hope of not ending up like Bobby Heenan. Zbyszko has also been released by WCW in the latest cost-cutting move. Heenan is still technically employed but his contract expires later this month and they're not renewing it.

- Torrie Wilson is also on the chopping block. She was told that when her next 90-day contract cycle is over, she's going to be released. She was making nearly $250,000 per year, which was by far more than any of the other women. Now all the women in WCW are making around $52,000 per year. WCW was willing to keep her if she would agree to that pay cut, but needless to say, she turned it down. She turned down better offers than that before even signing with WCW, and WWF is said to be interested in her because she has obvious star potential. Her boyfriend Billy Kidman has been encouraging her to go to the WWF. On Thunder, they did an angle to write her out of the company (she makes one more WCW appearance at the final Nitro but otherwise, yeah that was it for her).

- Goldberg was on the O'Reilly Factor on Fox News this week and there wasn't much to it aside from O'Reilly asking him if he uses steroids. Goldberg responded no.

- Vampiro appeared on the Observer Live show with Dave and talked about his leaving WCW. He claimed he has suffered 17 concussions in his career, 3 of which happened over the course of the most recent Halloween Havoc weekend. He says doctors told him never to wrestle again but Vampiro made it clear he plans to still come back. He will work for Insane Clown Posse's JCW promotion and said he also hopes to wrestle for WWF. He's currently playing bass for ICP on their tour and said he could make more money in music than he did with WCW and said he has a 5-album record deal with ICP's Psychopathic Records. He was critical of Vince Russo but had mostly nice things to say about Terry Taylor.

- The new "Blood Runs Cold" promos you've been seeing on TV is because they're bringing Glacier back. It's a spoof on the old promos they did when he first debuted a few years ago. Except when he comes back this time, he's going to be a comedic superhero character instead of a Mortal Kombat rip-off. Dave wonders why they're doing stuff like this and bringing Glacier of all people back, when there's incredible talents like Tajiri or Jerry Lynn in ECW who are looking for a job. You know, the sort of stars WCW can start to rebuild around rather than a comedy gimmick that is sure to flop and be forgotten within a month.

- Latest Vince Russo speculation backstage in WCW is that he might not be coming back after all (indeed, he does not).

- The WCW/Battledome crossover appears to already be over. It was pretty much just for the November sweeps anyway and it didn't do fuck all for either show's ratings. Plus, there was apparently a dispute over money. Since the crossover was WCW's idea (specifically, Bischoff's), they wanted WCW to pay for transportation for the Battledome stars to be at the WCW shows. But WCW, in cost-cutting mode, refused and Battledome cancelled last week's planned Nitro appearance over it. Dave says the angle was actually somewhat successful with WCW crowds and the segments got a surprising amount of heat. And on the Battledome TV show, they did a better job of getting the WCW wrestlers over than WCW has done. The angle was apparently going to end with T-Money (Terry Crews) laying out Rick Steiner, but since the last appearance got cancelled and the partnership is over, fans will never see the payoff. Some in WCW are hoping to bring in some of the Battledome stars to be real wrestlers after they finish filming Battledome.

- In an interview with the Pro Wrestling Torch, Vince McMahon commented on the WCW sale rumors and said the main stumbling block was Viacom. "At the last minute, there was a snag with Viacom. Originally Viacom gave us the green light and indicated to us that the price to us, in essence, would not be severe. So we began negotiations in earnest and good faith with the Turner people and had really good negotiations and I have a good appreciation for that. Then, unfortunately, at the last minute, out of the clear blue, Viacom's price became astronomical. From there everything broke down because it didn't make any sense for us to purse that kind of give-back." He said if not for Viacom, the purchase would have happened. It's been talked about for weeks that Viacom was unhappy the idea of WWF providing weekly television for a rival network.

- Notes from Raw: they plugged Rock's upcoming appearance on the sitcom "DAG," leading Dave to point out that Kevin Nash was on last week's episode of "Nikki" but of course, WCW never mentioned it. Little things like that are important to creating stars and furthering your brand, and WWF never drops the ball on it. The Billy Gunn/Chyna pairing is already over, since they seemed to have less than zero chemistry together. And that's it. Uneventful Raw.

- The total money paid to WWF performers this year will be around $60 million which is about 14% of the total gross. Percentage-wise, that's slightly up from the 12% figure a couple of years ago. But on a purely money-in-pockets basis, the pay has almost doubled over the past two years because WWF's revenue has nearly doubled. That being said, 12-14% of revenue going to the performers is still far below the percentages of other major sports. Wrestlers are still significantly underpaid.

- Notes from Smackdown: it was a Thanksgiving episode, full of skits. They had Funaki bring Kung Pao chicken to the Thanksgiving dinner. Dave says if you're going to racially stereotype someone, at least make sure you do it from the right part of the world, since Funaki is Japanese and Kung Pao chicken is a Chinese dish. And of course, it all ended in a predictable food fight. Dave is also perplexed as to why they keep calling Billy Gunn the best athlete in the WWF. Kurt Angle won a gold medal. Faarooq was a Heisman trophy candidate. Benoit is one of the best in-ring performers of all time. Billy Gunn is just an average wrestler who has been gasping for air in every match since he returned from injury and is only pushed because he's tall, blond, and has a good physique. But whatever.

- Remember that story a few weeks ago about Stephanie McMahon being up for the starring role in some movie? Well, Stephanie is denying it and said she's never been contacted or read for any movie role, so yeah that story isn't true.

- Former WWF wrestler Nicole Bass is suffering from pancreatitis and is in ICU at press time in bad shape (she had issues with severe pancreatitis for the rest of her life, due to years of steroid use).

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12-11-2000

- With all the chips down, ECW came out swinging with a pretty strong PPV, Massacre on 34th Street. More importantly, everybody got paid at the show, meaning the roster is now "only" 5 weeks behind in pay. And even more importantly, nobody has quit yet. Despite rumors that the company would be out of business by the end of this month, Heyman informed the roster of 3 new shows that are booked in January. A PPV in New York, plus 2 sold shows to local promoters in Poplar Bluff, MO and Pine Bluff, AR (those will end up becoming the final 3 shows in ECW history). Heyman has said that he plans to hang on in some form, even if the company has to be scaled back. If WCW goes under or cuts back on touring dramatically, that would leave a big hole in the market for someone else to fill. But of course, that's all dependent on ECW getting a TV deal sometime soon because without one, they're almost certainly doomed.

- With the uncertainty surrounding WCW, Heyman feels 2001 could be a year to turn things around for ECW. Because even if Bischoff buys WCW, without Turner paying off all the huge losses, it's still going to be a struggle for the new WCW to survive, and Heyman sees that as an opening. Those close to the WCW situation are confident that a deal will be put together before the end of the year. Bischoff has been working at it for months and it's fallen apart a few times, but when the WWF deal fell apart, Bischoff got back in the running. He has a non-disclosure clause and can't talk about the negotiations but word is Bischoff is extremely confident that a deal will be made this time. Exactly where Bischoff is getting the money is unknown. There's a rumor he's backed by Columbia Tri-Star but they denied it.

- If the deal goes through, Bischoff's plan is to cut all house shows and only run 5 tapings per month (4 TVs and a PPV) and instead of touring, the plan is to move Nitro to a set location, most likely Las Vegas and run 52 weeks a year out of the same place, perhaps at the Orleans Hotel, an off-Strip location that has a 2,000-seat venue that often hosts boxing matches. The idea is to attract tourists but being off the Strip will make that difficult, and getting people to spend one of their vacation nights going to see wrestling, especially if the WCW product is as dead as it is now, is going to be a hard sell. There's a lot of entertainment competition in Vegas on any given night. Bischoff has also talked of "re-inventing" wrestling, and putting together a show somewhat like Battledome, where they take people with a good look and train them to be wrestling stars. Dave says, to be fair, in-ring skill has never mattered less than it does in today's wrestling, which is all about storylines, promos, stunts, and gimmicks. Today's fans tend to get bored with any match that goes past 5 minutes. So hey, maybe there's something to that idea.

- Of all the ECW wrestlers complaining about being behind on pay, Heyman is only mad at Steve Corino, claiming he's the one wrestler who doesn't have a right to complain. Basically Corino had a pretty bare bones next-to-nothing contract when he first signed with the company in 1999. But he got over so good and he was going through a divorce, so Heyman has since given him 2 big raises since then. By the terms of the contract Corino signed last year, he should be making $300 per week and instead he's making $1,500 per week. "He shouldn't have bought a brand new house and a $35,000 car. The fact of the matter is that if anyone has anything to complain about here, Steve Corino is not one of these people. He's perhaps the only wrestler in this crew whose contract, if you read it, he's way ahead of his contract and has nothing to gripe about. He's making $1,500 a week when I could be paying him $300 per night and he'd have nothing to say about it. At the time I gave him the deal, it was a great deal for him. I'm the guy who gave him the opportunity to get over to this extent where he could make that kind of money," Heyman said. "It's a real sore spot with me because here's a guy I've really taken care of. He's broke from not living within his means. He has nothing to be upset about." Heyman says he knows the ECW payroll is inflated but said they had to offer big contracts to everyone last year because they were getting ready to move to TNN at the time and couldn't afford to have the entire locker room raided by WWF and WCW.

- There's a lot of tension between Heyman and the ECW wrestlers, also related to the Texas house shows that were recently cancelled. Sandman, Corino, Whipwreck, and Tajiri had all gotten themselves booked on an indie show in Texas the night before the ECW tapings, with the idea that ECW would fly them out there (since they had to anyway) and they would pick up an extra night's pay working this indie show without having to pay their own way out there. Heyman was upset that a bunch of ECW guys were going to work a show that would basically be competing with their own show the next night. When the ECW shows got cancelled, all the wrestlers had to pull out of that indie show also since ECW was no longer flying them to Texas.

- Heyman also said he gave Jerry Lynn his highest recommendation to Vince McMahon, Bruce Prichard, and Jim Ross in WWF as well as Terry Taylor in WCW and is hoping to help Lynn land in one of the 2 companies. Lynn is also looking for work in Japan, particularly for NOAH. Heyman has said that Lynn is still in ECW for as long as he wants to be. Then there's RVD, who once again wasn't mentioned at all on the PPV. RVD has the highest contract in the company and is owed a lot of money and he's likely the one person that, no matter what happens, ECW probably just can't afford him anymore. Heyman has since offered everyone in the locker room a full release to anyone who wants to leave, no strings attached, but as of now, no one has taken him up on it.

- Oh yeah, back to where we started. In the midst of all this, ECW had a PPV. Sold out crowd of 2,600 at Hammerstein Ballroom. Everyone worked hard, less dumb angles, and most of the matches were good. The crowd lost interest when the matches went too long, which really hurt the main event, but otherwise, it was a strong show. It was expected Scott Hall was going to work the show, but the deal fell through the day before and then he got arrested and all that fun stuff. Someone in the crowd opposite the hard camera had a sign that said, "Hey Paulie, where's my check?" that was confiscated. They taped a couple of dark matches so that they would have something to air on TV for the next couple of weeks since all the other TV tapings were cancelled. Whipwreck/Tajiri vs. Super Crazy/Kid Kash stole the show. In recapping the show, Dave mentions a pre-recorded skit just before the main event where it's implied that Jasmine St. Clair is giving Blue Meanie a blowjob while he's driving. And as luck would have it, that doesn't appear to be in the WWE Network version of the show. So much for "uncut and uncensored." And Steve Corino retained the ECW title in the main event.

- WWF held another UK-only PPV called Rebellion in Sheffield, England. Nothing much to note about the show. William Regal got a huge face reaction but then cut a promo to try to turn himself heel, which only kinda worked and mostly just killed his heat entirely. Tazz did commentary alongside Jim Ross. Nothing much else to note though, basically just a glorified house show.

- Turns out Shinya Hashimoto will debut for NOAH this year after all, on their show late this month. He will face Takao Omori in a match on the card (things are gonna continue to get weirder for Hashimoto for the next month or so).

- Hey, guess who got arrested again? Scott Hall got thrown in the pokey over the weekend after a dispute with a cab driver who wouldn't take Hall's credit card as payment. Hall began kicking in the doors of the cab, police were called, and he was arrested.

- Speaking of, here's more details on Hall's last arrest 2 weeks ago from a local newspaper story. Hall was driving on the wrong side of a 6-lane highway and caused an accident with 2 other vehicles. Hall was a bloody mess at the scene. Police found 2 open beer bottles in his car. Hall said he was despondent over personal issues and had drank all night before the accident, and then failed to show up the next morning to pick up his kids (although he did drive past the meeting spot where they were waiting at one point). Hall's estranged wife Dana had a bit to say in the story, (including several not-so-subtle shots at Kevin Nash), saying, "It's a shame that these so-called friends of Scott would persist in urging the fans to get Scott to return. It is only cruel of them to give the fans false hope, not to mention Scott. Obviously these men do not know all the facts or understand the seriousness of his most recent arrest. Obviously they do not wish to acknowledge that Scott did not start drinking because he lost his job, but lost his job because of his addiction. He did not start drinking after our divorce. We divorced because of his addictions and infidelities. They obviously do not understand or care that their friend and my husband and father of our children is on a very self-destructive path and is in need of help from his friends, not urgings to return, or even believe he can return to what has contributed to further destroy his marriage, our family and his life. Obviously they do not understand or care that he could have been killed, killed others or his children. They do not understand or care that if he continues on this path without intervention, they will be attending his funeral the next time they see their friend. Then they can explain to his children how much they cared or tried to help their father." Anyway, after the arrest, Hall's visitation rights with his children have been suspended until a judge reviews the case. As part of the initial agreement, Hall had signed a document promising not to do any drugs or alcohol within 24 hours of seeing his children and obviously, that didn't work out.

- Bruno Sammartino will be honored in his hometown of Pizzoferrato in Italy. The house he grew up in will be marked as a historical landmark and a statue of him will be erected in front of it. They are also naming a local sports arena after Sammartino.

- The referee who officiated the Dennis Rodman/Curt Hennig match in Australia is threatening to file a lawsuit against Rodman, claiming he suffered "emotional grief, humiliation, and embarrassment" during an impromptu spot in the match where Rodman threw the referee out of the ring. Apparently, he wasn't aware it was going to happen and although he wasn't hurt, he wants to sue over it for emotional distress. Dave can't even with this bullshit.

- Nitro this week was actually a pretty decent episode, with well-written, sensible storylines and a hot angle to end the show. And the ratings reflected that, because the 2nd hour of Nitro did a higher rating than usual and gradually increased going into the main event, which was the highest rated main event segment in months. But of course, it wouldn't be WCW if something didn't go wrong. Even though the whole angle with Sid running in got over great, it should have been better. They had spent all day rehearsing and planning the segment with Sid driving into the arena in a police car, sirens blaring and lights flashing, then he would get out and run to the ring. But the production crew screwed up somehow and the cameras never caught the whole Sid/police car stuff. So by the time the cameras realized Sid was there, he was already headed out to the ring so they never showed any of the police car stuff. Dave is baffled that things in WCW get this screwed up so badly, so often.

- Dave has seen the latest episode of Thunder and remember the story last week about Bagwell throwing a fit backstage because the production people screwed up a crucial part of his match? After seeing the show, Dave says Bagwell definitely had a right to be upset. Maybe not throwing a tantrum backstage upset, but Dave wasn't there so he can't say whether or not Bagwell overreacted, but the production people clearly dropped the ball and totally fucked up the finish of the match.

- WCW's legal department has now issued a ruling that Scott Hall can no longer be referenced or even alluded to on TV anymore. "Or else what?" Dave wonders? It's not like WCW ever punishes anyone for anything. Dave talks about WCW's apparent policy for what happens when you go against the script on live TV: after the 1st offense, you are given the world title. After a 2nd offense, you get the world title and a raise. 3rd offense, you don't have to do any jobs for six months. 4th offense, you get to beat seven people at once without selling. 5th offense, you are named the new head booker. Anyway, Nash has been told countless times to stop pushing a Scott Hall return on TV because it's not happening, but he just keeps doing it anyway, so whatever. This rule is meaningless.

- Bobby Heenan is done with WCW and it doesn't appear that WWF has any interest and really, where else is he realistically gonna go if not either of those? Dave thinks WCW should bring Heenan back for one last show and honor him for real, no angles or silly shit. Although Heenan hasn't exactly been any good for the last year or two, he's been around the business for 35 years, was the greatest manager the business has ever seen, and is one of the greatest TV personalities in wrestling history and he deserves a proper send-off. In hindsight, he wishes Bret Hart had gotten one also, but the way WCW books things, everyone would have been waiting for the angle and wouldn't have believed it. The show must go on, but Dave thinks Heenan deserves to be honored on a big stage for the decades of entertainment he's brought to the business before they unceremoniously push him out the door. Dave suggests doing it at Starrcade. What's the worst that could happen. Just take 5 minutes off one of the mid-card matches that the fans don't care about anyway and give Heenan a proper send-off (obviously didn't happen in WCW, but thankfully, he got inducted into the WWE HOF and got to give one of the best speeches ever).

- Despite all the comments he's made, Vampiro is still employed by WCW and may even be brought back. There's mega heat on him for some of the stuff he's said about the company lately, but WCW also realizes the potential legal issue they might be in since it's well known that he suffered a concussion at Halloween Havoc and then was pressured to wrestle again on Nitro the next night, where he suffered another concussion despite telling them beforehand that he was injured. Vampiro hasn't been shy in talking about it either, as well as about the effects he's still suffering from those concussions. Apparently WCW is afraid of a lawsuit and there's talk of keeping Vampiro on the payroll while he's injured in hopes of avoiding that.

- Ric Flair, who is currently the on-screen CEO of WCW, has been repeatedly forgetting things during his live interviews that he's supposed to say. Like announcing matches and stipulations and whatnot. Every time they put a mic in his face, he turns into typical Ric Flair, stylin' and profilin' and woo-ing and whatnot, and he completely forgets all the important bullet points he's supposed to hit. So they've started a gimmick where they give Tony Schiavone an envelope with all the stuff Flair is supposed to say and then if/when he forgets something, they just have Schiavone claim that the envelope was sent by Flair and contains information Flair wants him to announce. But really, it's just a way to cover for Flair because he's completely unreliable in this authority role.

- WCW has upped its offer to Torrie Wilson to $100,000 per year to get her to stay, which is still less than half of what she was making under her old contract. Word is she has reached out to WWF as well to gauge interest.

- Vince McMahon won the Sports Executive of the Year award at the Horizon Awards (whatever that is). Dave disagrees with this one. Obviously, McMahon had an incredible year, but WWF goes out of its way all the time to emphasize that WWF isn't a sport and the XFL hasn't played a single game yet, so c'mon. In related news, Goldberg was also a presenter at the show, for a different award. No word if the two spoke to each other.

- Survivor Series did a 1.0 buyrate, which is among the lowest of the year and he doesn't see next month's PPV setting the world on fire either. It either means that the Austin/Triple H car angle wasn't as big a draw as they hoped or the popularity of wrestling in general seems to be declining from its peak.

- The New York Post ran a big story featuring a lot of quotes from Bret Hart and others in the Hart family as well as WWF officials. Bret actually praised Vince McMahon for cleaning up the company after the steroid-era of the 80s. Ellie Neidhart lashed out at Bret, saying he still holds a grudge against the WWF over the Montreal Screwjob. WWF lawyer Jerry McDevitt agreed, saying that the rest of the Hart family is happy that the Owen lawsuit is settled, but Bret is still angry because he likes being at war with the WWF. Just stuff like that.

https://nypost.com/2000/11/29/ex-pro-wre...-violence/

- Notes from Smackdown: it was at Madison Square Garden and was WWF's 14th consecutive sellout in that arena. ECW's Chris Chetti got a tryout dark match and got a good response, but the crowd turned on him when he missed a spot. They did an angle with Vince telling Linda he wants a divorce. Dave says the last booker (Kevin Sullivan) that booked an angle to split up his marriage on TV ended up losing her in real life. Sullivan also booked the Steve McMichael/Debra split in WCW and they ended up divorcing also. In fact, there's a long trail of booking real-life couples to split up that ended up getting too real.

- When talking about some other stuff, Dave goes on a small rant talking about how good Rock and Kurt Angle are. In regards to Rock, he's such a charismatic showman that it's easy to look past the fact that he's also an amazing worker in the ring. He's not Ric Flair or Shawn Michaels, but it's easy to forget that Rock is really only about 4 years into his career and has had a lot of great matches. And then there's Kurt Angle, who Dave says is on a whole other level and is probably a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Dave has been watching wrestling his entire life and reporting on it for decades and says he's never seen someone as good as Kurt Angle with only 2 years of experience (man, I feel sorry for newer fans today who only know Angle as the broken down, glassy-eyed dopey general manager and have no idea how flat out incredible he was in his prime, before drugs and injuries wore him down. And this is still 2000. He somehow gets even better during the next few years).

- The Wall Street Journal published a big story about the WWF/PTC lawsuit, and was extremely critical of the WWF's side. The lawsuit argued that WWF is hiding behind the First Amendment while trying to prevent the PTC from having the same right. "In short, the WWF is arguing that the same First Amendment that gives them the right to air this trash somehow ought not to apply to those who find it offensive."

- X-Pac pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from an incident last year. According to reports, X-Pac and his family were getting off a ride at a water slide park or something when a fan approached him and asked for his autograph. X-Pac evidently ignored him, and the "fan" slapped X-Pac on the chest and reportedly said, "You think you're too good for me because you're making the big money?" At which point X-Pac then allegedly punched the fucker in the face. Anyway, he paid a $178 fine and that's basically it. Worth it.

- Steve Austin and Debra both appeared in taped segments on the Power Pro Wrestling show in Memphis, with Jerry Lawler, basically to help plug and build for the Lawler/Kat vs. Slash/Victoria feud they've got going on there. I've got the video of that entire episode of Power Pro and it's interesting because not only do you have Austin and Debra segments, you have Kevin Thorn doing his original Seven gimmick, Spanky (Brian Kendrick, who also cuts a promo), American Dragon (Daniel Bryan under a mask), Victoria wrestling in her developmental days, Lance Cade, Tracy Smothers, Jason Sensation doing his Shawn Michaels imitation, and more. And then the very end of the video features a local Memphis news segment talking about Mick Foley's Christmas book that Lawler did illustrations for.

Power Pro Wrestling - Dec. 2, 2000


- Tickets for Wrestlemania 17 have topped 52,000 and the gate is now over $3 million, making it the first U.S. wrestling show to ever top the $3 million mark. WWF's all-time gate record is $3.45 million for WM6 in Toronto and this one will probably fall just short of that.

- Various WWF notes: Eric Angle will be starting in OVW soon. WWF has released Tracy Smothers, Headbanger Thrasher, and Bobcat, all of whom were working in Memphis. Rock turned down a role on Celebrity Jeopardy. K-Kwik (R-Truth) and OVW wrestler Leviathan (Batista) have signed multi-year deals. Sportcasters Dick Enberg and Bob Costas both turned down offers to call XFL games, and of course, Costas has been very critical of the WWF in the past. Jim Ross claims WWF has no interest in Torrie Wilson (pffft, like hell). There were rumors that Chyna would be the lead star in the new Terminator 3 movie after stories came out that there will be a female Terminator in that movie but they're not true (that ends up being Kristanna Loken).

- An advertising trade magazine wrote about the XFL struggling to get corporate sponsors and revealed that the big problem is Vince McMahon, who keeps giving interviews and saying shit that's running off advertisers. One of the executives who handles ad buys for companies like Pepsi, Visa, GE, and Frito-Lay was quoted saying, "His comments have scared us away. Our concern is content. They've got to put a muzzle on him. He's hurting their efforts to sell." Most sponsors are said to be taking a wait-and-see approach to the XFL. McMahon's comments in ESPN Magazine, where he said cheerleaders would be encouraged to date players so they can zoom in and catch their reaction when their boyfriends fumble the ball or whatever...that's the kinds of things they're talking about. Sponsors are afraid that McMahon is planning to turn this football league into a gimmicky pro wrestling-style charade and they want no part of that. Vince later walked that comment back, claiming it was a joke. But ya know.

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12-18-2000

- WWF's final PPV of the year, Armageddon is in the books, and it was a total one-match show. Dave says the 6-man Hell In A Cell main event may have been the best WWF match of the year. It was also the first WWF PPV in over a year that didn't sell out. They gave out free tickets to anyone who bought season tickets for the Birmingham Bolts XFL team and papered the rest, so the building was still pretty much full even if 3,000 of them were freebies. The opening match (which took place on Heat) was supposed to be a tag team match but Steve Blackman had to pull out and was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer, so it was changed to a singles. They spent a lot of the PPV plugging the Cell main event which Dave doesn't understand since everyone watching already bought the PPV and it really dragged down the show. But Dave says the HIAC gimmick is over enough that he can see it potentially becoming its own yearly drawing PPV some day, similar to the Royal Rumble (sadly, yes). Benoit vs. Billy Gunn was bad, with Gunn just totally blown up by the end of it and Dave says if you can't have a good match with Benoit, what are you even doing there? There was talk all week of doing an angle to get Triple H out of the main event since he's still dealing with a bunch of injuries but he was determined to work the match. Pretty much everyone in the match bladed, which leads Dave to wonder if Kurt Angle, after winning a gold medal in the Olympics, ever dreamed that 4 years later, he'd be a millionaire and slicing his own forehead open with a razor blade on live TV. Rikishi took the crazy bump off the top of the cage, into a heavily padded truck-bed. Dave says if you insist on doing those dangerous bumps, at least this was one relatively safe. All in all, a near-classic main event and Dave gives it 4.5 stars.



- Antonio Inoki held a press conference in Los Angeles to announce that the main event of his New Year's Eve show (entitled Inoki Bom Ba Ya) will be Keiji Muto & Nobuhiko Takada vs. Don Frye & Ken Shamrock, which Dave says has to be the weirdest main event for a major show all year. Dave recaps the history of Muto and Takada together, with 2 classic matches that were among the biggest in wrestling history at the time. To this day, Muto vs. Takada is still the biggest money-drawing live event feud in the history of the business, selling out 2 back-to-back stadium shows. Their first match drew a $6.1 million gate (just for reference, that's double what the Wrestlemania 17 gate will end up being) which was a record at the time until Inoki's retirement show broke it. The Muto/Takada feud was part of the NJPW/UWFI angle, which is what Eric Bischoff later copied and based the NWO/WCW angle on. The pairing of Shamrock and Frye is even crazier, both former UFC stars, and have actually had some real life bad blood between them in the past over things they've said about each other in interviews. Dave wouldn't be surprised to see this turn into an angle to lead to a Shamrock/Frye match down the road, either in wrestling or MMA. Anyway, the whole show is expected to be a mix of wrestling and MMA, with wrestlers from NJPW, fighters from PRIDE, and more all working the card. The show is expected to end with Inoki ushering in the new year by doing his "Ishi, Ni, San, Da!" catchphrase when the clock hits midnight. Although it hasn't been announced yet, Shinya Hashimoto has said that he will also be appearing on the show.

- L. Brent Bozell of the PTC responded to WWF's lawsuit this week, calling the lawsuit, "one of the most malicious and dishonest pleadings ever placed before a court." Bozell's statement attempted to refute everything the WWF lawsuit claimed. Bozell stated that he doesn't hate homosexuals (WWF accused him of it in the lawsuit) and disputed that the PTC is a right-wing organization by pointing out that Democrats Joseph Lieberman and C. Delores Tucker are on the PTC's advisory board. Some of the comments, like comparing Vince McMahon to Larry Flynt, Bozell attributed to the late Steve Allen and denied saying it himself. So on and so forth. In regards to blaming the deaths of 4 children on WWF, Bozell tried to spin it as if he was blaming all of wrestling in general, not specifically WWF, although that's literally the only company they have targeted, so ya know. Bozell also spoke out about a website called ptcsucks.com that has been urging people to cut ties with them using the same tactics the PTC has used against WWF. Bozell called them "internet terrorist tactics that are being used against us" which is pretty obviously hypocritical since it's literally the exact same things the PTC is doing to WWF. He claimed that they didn't exaggerate the number of sponsors who had withheld of withdrawn support from WWF. He calls the WWF "the most ruthless enterprise in Hollywood" and added that he suspects WWF doesn't expect to win the lawsuit and is only trying to tarnish the PTC and shut them up. Dave actually agrees with that and figures this whole lawsuit is really just a way to drain the PTC of money and get them to go away. Bozell ended his statement with a full blown wrestling promo: "But they won't succeed. Too much is at stake. No, everything is at stake here. This is going to be, I tell you now, a bloody, ugly battle. But we're going to fight it with everything we've got. I'm absolutely confident that at the end of the day, the whole world will not only see us clearly vindicated, but will see the WWF unmasked for the wretched entity that it is."

- lol they lose.

- AJPW's annual tag team tournament is in the books (Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo won) and man, this company is in rough shape. To be fair, most people didn't expect AJPW to survive this long after the NOAH split so it's a miracle this tournament even happened. It's usually the biggest tour of the year for AJPW every year and many of the company's most legendary matches and moments happen during this tournament, but this year, the star power was terrible and most of the shows drew poorly. The final show was the smallest crowd AJPW has drawn to Budokan Hall since the 80s. Dave predicts a tough road ahead for them in 2001.

- In the results from one of the website polls, the question is "Where do you see WCW and ECW one year from now?"

ECW in better shape, WCW in worse shape - 11%
WCW in better shape, ECW in worse shape - 31%
Both companies in worse shape or out of business - 37%
Both companies in better shape - 21%

- Dave saw some tapes from recent NOAH shows and he's concerned about Vader's weight. He is probably heavier than he's ever been now which isn't good and at age 44, for his own health, Dave hopes he can get in better shape. Vader is already broken down with injuries and he's not looking very good in the ring lately. He still has name value because he's a legend in Japan so he can get away with it, but Dave is more concerned about Vader the person than Vader the wrestler.

- Riki Choshu announced that he's coming out of retirement again for NJPW's Jan. 4th Tokyo Dome show in a tag match (not quite). Choshu retired in Jan. 1998 and came out of retirement for one match earlier this year against Onita before going back into retirement but he's evidently got the itch again. Dave thinks this shows just how concerned NJPW is about tickets moving slow for this show (yeah, Choshu pretty much started back full time after this and continues to wrestle to this day).

- Women of Wrestling will be holding its first PPV in February. They are claiming to have a big name surprise for the announcing crew (spoiler: it's Heenan).

- Latest on Sinister Minister's hand injury: he still has some numbness in 2 of his fingers following surgery. He'll start physical therapy on it soon. Right now, he can't really open it or grip anything and has very limited strength but doctors are hopeful that he'll fully recover within a year.

- At this point, Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn are the only 2 wrestlers to ask to be released from their ECW contracts. Both are talking to other companies but neither has officially left ECW yet. RVD said he *did* suffer a knee injury while filming a movie in Thailand a few weeks ago but he says it's completely healed now and that's not why he missed the PPV. In a recent radio interview, he gave the impression that he's pretty much done with ECW, though he didn't totally shut the door on them. But he said he didn't think the company could afford him anymore and he's looking to sign a contract with some stability to it. However, RVD sided with Paul Heyman in regards to the TNN drama, saying TNN didn't pay ECW or cover any production costs. He also complained about TNN not properly advertising and promoting them. He said out of all the companies in the world, if he was getting paid, he would prefer to stay in ECW. He said he's still waiting on a lot of money, including paychecks going back to October, but seemed resigned to the fact that he'd probably never see it.

- The Dudleyz are scheduled to make a one-time only return to ECW's show in Queens this week. There's no plans to do an angle or bring them back for the next PPV or anything, it's just a one-time match because WWF is trying to throw ECW a bone right now and having the Dudleyz returning to ECW allows Heyman to jack up ticket prices for that show. Every dollar counts for them these days.

- Brad Siegel held a meeting with all the WCW executives and department heads to discuss the situation with the company. For the first time, Siegel admitted that the company is for sale (which everyone has known for months due to all the rumors swirling around, but Siegel never officially confirmed it to his employees until now and had previously denied it). He mostly just talked about WCW's problems of high costs, not generating any revenue, and how the higher ups aren't happy about it because the AOL merger is happening and they see WCW as a money-loser that they want off the books. He talked about them cutting back on shows, saying it's cost-prohibitive to go on the road with a big production crew and fly talent out and run live shows. Dave says it's only cost-prohibitive because no one is buying tickets. Maybe they should figure out how to fix that. Dave suggest writing better shows. It's believed that even if there isn't a sale, WCW will still probably cut back on touring completely and start running weekly TV shows out of one location, likely Vegas or Orlando.

- There's also been rumors running rampant of someone else taking charge of the company. It's believed that Terry Taylor, Johnny Ace, Craig Leathers, and Tony Schiavone have all made a case for and attempted to pitch themselves to take over. Dave thinks it's a job doomed for failure, because unless that person is given full authority to suspend or fire people who don't follow the rules, they're just going to get walked all over by the wrestlers.

- There was a ton of heat within WCW because Nitro this past week aired on Tuesday instead of Monday, due to the live David Copperfield special TNT was airing. The problem is WCW somehow wasn't aware that they were getting bumped until 4 days before. So it was mentioned on Nitro or Thunder the week prior and fans had no idea that Nitro wasn't going to be on the usual Monday. And WCW had no way to promote the Tuesday airing other than posting about it on their website. Word is Craig Leathers informed Terry Taylor about it over a month ago, but Taylor never mentioned it to anyone and seemingly forgot and somehow it just went under the radar until it was too late. At least that's one person's story. But Leathers knew and he's in charge of production, so basically....c'mon. Vince McMahon's entire head would explode if that happened with Raw and Dave is baffled at how massive fuck-ups like this just keep happening with WCW.

- WCW's TV schedule for the rest of the month really sucks for them. Due to Christmas, Nitro isn't airing at all next week. Thunder will air a highlight show called "Best of Thunder 2000" and Dave is genuinely curious to see if they can scrape together 2 hours worth of actual good material that happened on Thunder in 2000. But WCW still has obligations to air Nitro and Thunder in other countries so even though Nitro won't air in the U.S., they're going to film an episode of Nitro that will only air overseas. No storylines planned, just matches. Then basically the same thing the next week with New Year's. And of course, as mentioned, last week's Nitro was bumped to Tuesday which basically means TNT will have pre-empted Nitro 3 times in a 4 week span, right as they're in the midst of trying to build up for Starrcade. The next PPV, Sin, in January will also only have 1 Nitro and 2 Thunders before it airs so not much time to get that show over either. Dave says WCW is struggling to hold on to fans and a lot of them are probably only a step away from giving up on the company entirely. So suddenly having your premiere show bumped from its usual time slot for most of the next month is bad news. Although it's not like WCW has any momentum to lose anyway. These moves have given a lot of people concern that TNT doesn't really see WCW programming as a priority anymore, which is concerning (yeah, just a bit. The AOL merger hasn't even gone through yet and it already looks like TNT is already kinda over this whole WCW thing).

- Notes from the Thunder taping: during the recap, Dave mentions that announcer Mark Madden is suspended and then just goes on with the recap without clarifying (we'll get more info next issue, but this was the end for Madden in WCW). Bam Bam Bigelow hyperextended his knee by slipping on coffee during a backstage skit where Reno & Vito threw coffee on him and attacked him and he ended up not being able to work later in the show as scheduled. Speaking of, the show ended with Sid chokeslamming Scott Steiner. He was supposed to chokeslam him *through* the ring and the ring was gimmicked for that to happen but when he hit the mat....it didn't happen. No one watching at home would have known the difference, since it just came off like a regular chokeslam, so it worked out okay. But yeah, he was supposed to go through the ring. Whoops.

- Notes from this week's WCW TV: Dave also says they DESPERATELY need to get a new production team in here, because the number of production screw ups, audio issues, lighting issues, etc. is starting to get more than a little embarrassing. He also talks about how Nash and DDP cut a backstage interview on Thunder where they yet again talked at length about Scott Hall, against strict orders not to. And it was pre-taped! They could have just edited it out, but they didn't and still aired it. During the same interview, the lights started to go out due to an electrical issue. And they just left all that in too. Also, Stevie Ray was doing the interview and got tongue tied and there was a big awkward moment full of dead air while they tried to get back on track. Dave wonders why they didn't just say "Cut!" and do this whole shit over again, but there's no quality control in WCW anymore. And needless to say, Nash and DDP didn't get in any trouble for it. It was also apparent that the wrestlers themselves don't even pay attention to the storylines, with Mike Sanders cutting a promo and talking about his feud with Chavo and the MIA group, not even aware that Chavo quit the group, like, 2 weeks ago as part of the angle.

- Vampiro is no longer on tour with ICP. He was playing bass on their shows but had to leave because the noise was causing him bad headaches stemming from his concussions.

- Goldberg was on the Mancow radio show and had plenty to say. He talked about the Hogan/WCW situation and called it a travesty, blaming it on Russo. He also called Russo an idiot for booking himself in a match while suffering from a concussion. And best of all, Goldberg actually speculated about whether or not Russo was a mole sent from WWF to kill WCW. Dave says Goldberg's not the first person in WCW to make that suggestion. He doesn't think anyone *really* believes it, but everybody in WCW sort of half-jokes about it privately and there's enough conspiracy theorists in the business who probably do believe it's true.

- Konnan did an interview in a Tijuana newspaper and...same story. He trashed WCW, talked about wanting to go to WWF, etc. He said WCW is so depressing that he'd rather be at home in Mexico making less money and talked about returning when his contract runs out. But he also mentioned that he's still got beef with Antonio Pena and Paco Alonso (AAA and CMLL promoters) so he doesn't have a whole lot of options in Mexico.

- Speaking of Goldberg, he's been pushing hard to get Rick Steiner brought back for an angle. Goldberg reportedly doesn't go to bat for many people, but Rick Steiner has been one of his best friends since he started in WCW and Goldberg is trying to help him out.

- Kanyon has been sitting at home for weeks doing nothing because WCW doesn't have anything for him. Dave has a suggestion: how about they finish that angle between him and DDP that they built up for months and then dropped for no reason without them ever having a single match?

- Apparently the split between Bobby Heenan and WCW wasn't so friendly and they're threatening to withhold his last paycheck from him for some reason.

- Stacy Keibler and Midajah will be filming a mud wrestling scene together for the movie "Bubble Boy" which is filming later this month (here, enjoy):



- Leia Meow is said to be concerned that she'll be out of a job if/when Eric Bischoff takes over the company. For starters, her biggest supporter in the company is Terry Taylor, who got her the job. Bischoff and Taylor have never gotten along. And secondly, Meow recently filed a harassment claim with Turner HR against Rick Steiner (Dave doesn't have any details and we never get an update. I even googled it and couldn't find any info), and Rick Steiner is close friends with Bischoff.

- DDP and Scott Steiner were booked against each other for a house show recently but it got changed because they refused to work with each other. There's still bad blood between them stemming from the incident a few months back where Scott Steiner called Kimberly a cunt and then refused to apologize, which led to her quitting the company when he wasn't punished. Anyway, DDP vs. Steiner was scheduled to be the main event title match and they ended up calling in Kevin Nash and forced him to work the show. Nash was furious because he was supposed to be off that weekend and was planning to take his kids (which he only had custody of that weekend) to Disney World and had to cancel to go do the show (sucks for the kids, but let's be honest, Nash kinda had that coming).

- Jim Ross did some kind of media conference call thing and had a lot of interesting things to say: he said the WWF has no interest in Scott Hall, Juventud Guerrera, or Torrie Wilson. Admitted they've had discussions with RVD's manager and had more scheduled next week. Said they definitely have a lot of interest in Jerry Lynn. Said if they sign Chris Chetti, he will likely be sent to OVW or Memphis first. In regards to Mick Foley, Ross said he didn't think we'd seen Foley's last match yet but there's nothing planned for the foreseeable future. Same with Shawn Michaels, nothing planned but he would love to see Michaels have the farewell match he deserves (more on that in a bit). Interestingly, he also admitted that there have been talks with Marc Mero and Sable about returning but the timing isn't right and he doesn't see it happening. There's a lot of hard feelings in the locker room towards both of them, especially Sable, and until time heals those wounds, they won't be bringing her back. And finally, he admitted that the whole angle with Steve Austin dropping Triple H's car from a forklift (in an angle that, in real life would have been certain death) was probably a little over the top and having Triple H return so soon after with not even a scratch on him wasn't plausible and they should have kept him off TV at least a few more weeks.

- Speaking of injuries: Triple H is still dealing with a few of them. In particular, he worked the Hell in a Cell match with a herniated disc and is being treated with electrical stimulation. They hope to have him back wrestling again by the Royal Rumble. Al Snow has an injured wrist and will be off TV for awhile. Steve Blackman was hospitalized with bleeding ulcers. Eddie Guerrero is taking time off for a hamstring injury.

- Mick Foley will be taking time off soon because his wife is expecting their 3rd child and he wants to be home with her during the pregnancy. He's also working on a sequel to his bestselling autobiography and has written a screenplay based on the first book. He's also been approached about playing a major recurring role in a sitcom.

- There's still talk of Shawn Michaels working a final, farewell match, particularly at Wrestlemania since it's in his home state. But there's still heat with him over, well, the fact that he's Shawn Michaels and he's done nothing for the last few years except piss off everybody who comes into contact with him. Most of the top stars have no interest in working with him and don't want him brought back to the locker room at all, even for one match.

- There's talk of having Mark Henry and Big Show return to fill a couple of spots in the Royal Rumble (Henry doesn't, but Big Show does indeed end up returning in that match). Speaking of, Henry is down to 330 pounds, which is about where WWF wanted him to get to. Big Show is down to 430. They've told him they want him to get down to 400 before they will consider bringing him back.

- Former NFL bad boy Brian Bosworth got a tryout to do commentary for the XFL (he gets the job). Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are also still in the running to do XFL announcing (they also get the jobs).

- Criminal charges against Davey Boy Smith, stemming from the death threats he allegedly made against his estranged wife and sister-in-law, have been dropped. In exchange, Smith had to agree to have no contact with either of them and to not use any non-prescription drugs. He's still under WWF contract, but there's no plans to bring him back, especially now that the Owen Hart suit has been settled.

- WWF has signed Nathan Jones, an Australian wrestler, to a developmental deal. Jones has been training with UPW in California but he also is notable because he worked the first ever PRIDE event back in 1997.

- "Smackdown 2: Know Your Role" is currently the best selling Playstation game ever in the UK.

- Jimmy Hart is scheduled to return to TV for Memphis-based Power Pro Wrestling. It's weird because they're currently doing an interpromotional feud with the other local promotion, MCW, which is a WWF developmental territory. Dave thinks it's going to be interesting to see a WCW star on a show with so much WWF developmental talent.

- Undertaker has stopped using Kid Rock's "American Bad Ass" as his entrance theme and is instead using some new Limp Bizkit song because WWF didn't want to pay to renew the rights to use the Kid Rock one.

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This is the last Rewind for 2000. Gonna take the rest of February off to finish writing the 2001 posts, which is the final year I'm doing (for now).

12-25-2000

- Legendary Lucha Libre star Blue Demon has passed away at age 78 from a heart attack. He was alone on the subway, coming home from his morning workout, when he suffered the heart attack. Paramedics were called but were unable to save him. Dave notes that Demon was arguably the 2nd most famous wrestler in Mexico's history (second only to El Santo). Much like Santo, Blue Demon starred in a bunch of films during the 60s and 70s and became a cultural icon. Dave recaps Blue Demon's career, from his start in the late 40s and his legendary feud with Santo, which even spawned a song entitled "Los Luchadores" which is still popular in Mexico today. Despite their careers being so entwined, he and Santo never really got along, as they had a professional rivalry in both the ring and on film, where Demon was always treated as second fiddle to Santo, and sometimes to Mil Mascaras. Demon was also one of the most feared legit shooters in the business, known as someone who could wipe the floor with pretty much anybody (Mexico's Meng, basically). He was also known for never missing a booking, often wrestling with serious injuries, including one match he wrestled with a broken collarbone. Demon was buried in his famous blue mask.



- More chaos in WCW, as Kevin Nash, DDP, and Sid Vicious all walked out of the Nitro/Thunder tapings during the show. All 3 men had key roles in the show and their walkout forced the remainder of the live Nitro and the already-booked Thunder to be changed and literally booked on the fly as the shows were taping. Needless to say, because it's WCW, there's questions over how much of this is legit but most seem to believe it's real. It started when Sid Vicious had a problem with his role in the show, something about doing a job after he had already put over Steiner at Starrcade the night before. So before the Nitro tapings started, Sid walked out and they re-wrote the show to factor him out. So that's why he left.

- Then, after the first match on Nitro, Ric Flair was supposed to cut a promo and then Steiner would come out and respond. Well, Scott Steiner asked if they could tweak the segment and let him go out first. So they did. And then Steiner proceeded to go out there and cut a promo on DDP. On TV, it seemed fine, like they were just building up to a match Steiner/DDP match. Problem is....that wasn't the plan. And everyone backstage quickly realized Steiner was going against script. DDP went to the gorilla position to wait for him and when Steiner came backstage afterwards, DDP confronted him and an all-out brawl broke out. From all reports, it didn't go too well for DDP. Both men had their faces cut and puffed up but Steiner reportedly had DDP on the ground for a long time, putting a beating on him and was going for his eyes before he was eventually pulled off. The two men have had problems for awhile now, stemming from an incident a few months ago when Steiner called Kimberly a cunt and "management didn't have the guts to insist Steiner apologize" according to Dave and Kimberly ended up quitting the company over it. Since then, DDP has refused to work with Steiner and the bad blood has been brewing for awhile. Following the fight, DDP reportedly shouted "I'm outta here, fuck this place!" and stormed out of the building while Steiner was shouting insults about Kimberly at him as he left. Nash, either out of loyalty to DDP or just seeing an opportunity to get out of work, left with DDP, forcing further re-writes to the show as it was already happening. Both Nash and DDP told people on the way out that they weren't coming back until the company had new ownership.

- This wasn't the only incident with DDP that night. A week earlier, DDP was pissed off and had vowed to never work with or speak to Mark Madden, after some comments Madden had made about him on commentary recently. But this week, DDP approached Madden before the show to try and peacefully talk out their issues. But Madden wasn't having it, blaming DDP for him being suspended last week (if you recall, he didn't commentate on Nitro last week although there was no word why at the time, but apparently he was suspended for a week due to whatever he said about DDP). Anyway, DDP denied having anything to do with Madden's suspension, but Madden didn't believe him and refused to shake his hand when DDP offered. A lot of people in the locker room have sided with DDP in all this, first for trying to resolve his issues with Madden peacefully and then for standing up to Steiner in a fight that everyone knew he had no chance to win (Steiner is basically the scariest guy in the locker room according to most wrestlers).

- To make things even worse, Rick Steiner was written into the show to be a part of the main event angle and to be revealed as the mystery opponent for the January PPV main event. But because WCW can't get their shit together, nobody ever told Rick Steiner to be at this TV taping and he wasn't flown in for it. So then they had to change that too, and so they put Robbie Rage under a mask and had him do a run-in. The plan at the next TV taping is to put Rick in the same outfit and then have him unmask and reveal it then. But it was supposed to be revealed this week before the travel screw-up. Unfortunately, with Nitro and Thunder all being pre-empted this week, they already don't have a whole lot of time to promote the next PPV (and it doesn't even end up being Rick Steiner. It ends up being Road Warrior Animal, and even *that* gets overshadowed by Sid breaking his leg at the moment Animal is coming out during the match. But we'll get to all that).

- Needless to say, all of this threw the remainder of the live Nitro and the Thunder taping afterward into total upheaval. Dave cannot believe the company is in this much disarray and that shit like this all keeps happening unpunished. Scott Steiner is the WCW champion and they're trying to build the company around him, but this isn't his 1st, 2nd, or even 10th incident. He's shown a pattern of this sort of behavior and he *has* to be punished if WCW management is serious about ever regaining control of its locker room. And of course, Kevin Nash has gone against directions so many times that it's comical, never being punished. DDP probably should be punished as well because he did throw the first punch to start this fight and even if you feel like he was justified, you can't be physically attacking your co-workers. This sort of thing is a near-weekly occurrence in WCW and no one is ever disciplined. Dave hates that WCW has a locker room full of young, hungry talent who are still fresh in the business and are coming up learning that this is how the business operates because this isn't how it should be.

- Aaaanyway, it's the last Observer of the year, so Dave takes a look back at the year 2000. It's been a great year for one company and a disaster for pretty much everyone else. Things have never looked more uncertain than they do heading into 2001. The WWF has passed its peak, but they're still untouchable and for the first time ever, it looks impossible for anyone to compete with them. Their business is stronger now than it was even in the golden era of the 80s. But they only have so many positions. A year ago, people talked about Rob Van Dam as potentially being the next breakthrough star in the business. Now, even his future is uncertain because WWF doesn't seem to be in any hurry to sign him and ECW and WCW can't. That speaks scary volumes for all the men and women who make their living in the wrestling business if those companies go under.

- Things continue to look worse for both the other promotions. ECW desperately needs a TV deal that will pay production costs and help them get financially stable. As for WCW, they've had 2 horrible years and have lost untold millions of dollars. The Time Warner/AOL merger is all but complete as of this week and it's almost certain WCW will be sold soon, likely to a group headed by Eric Bischoff, though it's not expected to happen until after the new year. In 1999, the company was in free fall, but there was a lot of optimism when Vince Russo was brought in last fall, with the hope that he could at least get WCW back into the game and continue competing with WWF. Instead, WCW went from losing $15 million in 1999 to an estimated $60 million in losses this year (it ends up being even higher than that). Dave talks about how the Vince Russo-era (with a short break in the middle when Kevin Sullivan was in charge after Russo briefly quit) was creatively a low point for the company, with the championships being rendered meaningless, heel and face turns happening so often that fans couldn't keep track of who they were even supposed to cheer or boo, storylines that didn't make sense, and so on. Of course, you had Benoit quitting the company while champion, the reboot when Russo and Bischoff came back, David Arquette winning the belt, and in the last few months, you had Russo booking the entire show around himself as the main character, and turns out he's not quite the ratings draw that the other Vince is.

- And of course, even if Bischoff does take over WCW, what does that mean? No one knows who his financial backers are, but they surely won't have as much disposable income as the Turner conglomerate. So Bischoff may be in a situation where he has to find a way to turn WCW around and turn a profit quickly. If so, that's going to be tough because WCW has killed off pretty much all the goodwill it has built with fans and winning them back won't be easy, especially not quickly. WCW is in worse shape than ever, while WWF is stronger than ever. And without Turner footing the bill for him to buy up all of WWF's old stars, a lot of the wrestlers don't have a ton of confidence in Bischoff as a promoter. If he's going to succeed in rebuilding WCW, he's going to have to come up with a new formula, because the one that worked the first time isn't going to work this time. They won't be able to tour at first because it would be a huge money loser, and running shows out of the same building every week isn't very profitable either (Dave talks about how, during the early 90s, they literally couldn't fill Center Stage studio's 780 seats even with free tickets. And WCW is way worse off now than they were in the early 90s). PPV business is dead, with the recent Mayhem PPV doing a record low buyrate and Starrcade's number may be even lower. But Bischoff's strength is that he's a deal-maker and Dave says you should never underestimate him. He convinced Ted Turner to take a huge risk on Nitro. He convinced guys like Hogan, Savage, and Piper to come to WCW, something they never would have considered before. He's clearly convinced enough investors to get on board that he's in line to purchase WCW. He's been close to deals with NBC and FOX in the past. Basically, Bischoff is a hell of a negotiator and you never know what tricks he might have up his sleeve. But it's going to be a tough road. For the good of the entire industry, Dave hopes he's wrong about all this doom and gloom because a WWF monopoly would be bad for everyone except Vince McMahon. He hopes Bischoff proves him wrong. He hopes Heyman proves him wrong. But the signs don't look good for WCW and ECW heading into 2001.

- In a major surprise, NJPW announced that Riki Choshu will be coming out of retirement at the Jan. 4th Tokyo Dome show to face......Shinya Hashimoto. Needless to say, it's led to a lot of speculation that Hashimoto's recent firing was a work. Apparently this is the brainchild of Antonio Inoki. Due to the success of PRIDE's recent shows, which were in part booked by Inoki who has been doing a lot of crossover angles between MMA and wrestling, Inoki is basically the most powerful guy in the Japanese scene right now. Inoki pushed Choshu to come out of retirement, noting his biggest money opponent would be Hashimoto. The original plan was for Choshu to team with Manabu Nakanishi to face Keiji Muto and Nobuhiko Takada but Inoki talked them into changing it to Choshu vs. Hashimoto. This complicates things politically, because there's still a lot of money in the NJPW vs. AJPW feud, particularly with Toshiaki Kawada going through all of NJPW's top stars. But the whole angle may be in jeopardy now, because Motoko Baba was assured that Hashimoto's firing wasn't an angle when he agreed to work with NOAH. Mrs. Baba has made it very clear that if NJPW is working with NOAH in any way, they would no longer have any involvement. Dave's not sure where this goes from here. NJPW vs. AJPW is a big money angle because of the history between the 2 companies, but to be honest, AJPW only has one really marketable star (Kawada). NOAH doesn't have the legacy that AJPW has, but they have Misawa, Kobashi, Vader, etc. so there's a lot more potential there for dream matches if NJPW wanted to work with them. Plus, working with NOAH might be easier than dealing with Mrs. Baba.

- WCW Starrcade is in the books. Just 3 years ago, Starrcade headlined by Hogan vs. Sting drew WCW's biggest live gate in history ($543,000) and its biggest buyrate ever. But a lot can change in 3 years. This year, they drew 3,465 paid for a gate of $157,000 and lord help them when the buyrate comes in. Overall, it was a better show than most WCW PPVs this year. The opening three-way tag team ladder match was great. The crowd started out wanting to hate it and were chanting boring less than a minute in. But the match was so good that they turned the crowd around. Dave hopes these guys are rewarded and put over for their hard work after delivering a show-stealing opener, but chances are WCW won't even mention it tomorrow on Nitro. After winning the tag titles (with DDP), Kevin Nash did a quick "Hey yo" for the crowd, which was already chanting for Hall. And that's pretty much it. Everything else was varying degrees of "not terrible" to "overbooked awfulness." And that's what it takes to be considered the best WCW PPV of the year.

- More bad news for ECW, as once again, paychecks didn't come this week. Furthermore, their big show at Elks Lodge in Queens didn't sell as well as expected. They sold out the 800 seats, but there's usually an overflow standing room area that is always packed for ECW shows and this time, they didn't fill that area. Many of the wrestlers are said to be near panic over the state of the company and their jobs. But everyone is still working the shows because, quite frankly, most of them don't have anywhere else to go and working ECW is the only way to keep their names alive right now. The few wrestlers who might have a chance elsewhere are finding out just how difficult the job market is, since WWF is being selective and WCW isn't hiring. ECW is still trying to negotiate with USA Network but just getting a TV deal isn't good enough if USA isn't willing to help pump money into the promotion and cover production costs. On the other hand, no TV exposure is death and ECW being unable to pack such a small arena in New York City shows just how desperate times have become. Each week ECW isn't on TV, the name value diminishes and people begin to forget about them. Heyman still insists the company won't go under, but the clock is ticking. This house show featured the Dudleyz returning to work the main event and a surprise appearance by Tazz as well. Tazz was pretty much there just to help put over Danny Doring and Roadkill, he didn't work a match, but cut a promo on their behalf. The Dudleyz were super over but caught some flack from some who felt they didn't sell for their opponents (Simon Diamond, CW Anderson, and Johnny Swinger). Also, aside from the initial reaction for the Dudleyz, the crowd was pretty dead for the main event. Also, Kid Kash suffered broken ribs during the show and couldn't do much during the rest of his match. Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins was backstage but didn't participate in the show in any way.



- Voting for the 2000 Observer Awards is now open! Get your votes in before Jan. 4th, 2001 if you want them to be counted.

- NJPW announced the bracket for the Jan. 4th tournament to crown a new IWGP champion. AJPW's Toshiaki Kawada is in the tournament and obviously, he has to go to the finals, so it's just a matter of who he'll end up facing. Dave suggests Kawada vs. Kensuke Sasaki again and says that the big money is in Kawada winning. An AJPW star holding the IWGP title would be a huge deal. Plus, Kawada has a match against Tenryu at the Tokyo Dome a few weeks later, which could be the first ever IWGP vs. Triple Crown title-vs-title match. But that's only if AJPW and NJPW are 100% on the same page going into 2001 for a long-term program. Otherwise, it's risky to put the title on the top star of another promotion. NJPW is in a power position right now because it looks like AJPW can't survive on their own. But they sure talk a big game about not needing NJPW, so it might not be wise to put the title on Kawada considering how flaky AJPW is being.

- CMLL held their major year-end show headlined by Perro Aguayo beating Cien Caras in a hair vs. hair match. Both men are in their 50s and though Dave hasn't seen the show, newspaper reports described it as a terrible match since both men are near-immobile at this point in their careers. Before the match, Aguayo had sworn, win lose or draw, that this was his final match. But he's "retired" almost as many times as Terry Funk and nobody ever believes it. And sure enough, after the match, Pierroth Jr. made a surprise appearance. He has been hospitalized for months with a stomach infection and showed up in a wheelchair but vowed to come back and challenged Aguayo to a hair vs. hair match next year (so Aguayo of course did not retire....but he was close. He only wrestled a handful of matches after this and really did retire for good in early-2001. As for Pierroth Jr., he was still far from healed and ended up not returning to the ring until late-2001. By then, Aguayo was already for-real retired, so the hair vs. hair match never happened. And 69-year-old Cien Caras still occasionally wrestles to this day). Vampiro was in attendance at the show to meet with CMLL head Paco Alonso but they ended up having to meet outside the building because Vampiro couldn't handle the noise levels in the arena due to his concussion symptoms.

- The total number of people watching wrestling on Monday night fell to 7.55 million, which is the lowest figure in years. At the peak of wrestling's popularity a year or two ago, on a strong night, as many as 12 million people were watching Raw or Nitro. This week, Monday Night Football was a strong game so that obviously plays a big part but the bottom line is wrestling just isn't as hot anymore. Nitro is doing horrible ratings, while Raw is down significantly following the move to TNN. This week, Nitro did one of (but not quite) its lowest ratings ever for the regular time slot and they're going to be pre-empted for the next 2 weeks, so that's even worse news. Raw did a 4.76 which is the lowest rating since sometime in......Dave says 1988 but I'm going to assume that's a typo and he means 1998. Dave figures WWF is more disappointed than WCW is. By this point, nobody expects WCW to do good numbers. But last week's Raw rating was strong and featured the return of Vince McMahon to television, so they were hoping for that momentum to go up this week. Dave suggests maybe less 30-minute opening promo segments and points out that this was the 3rd week in a row that an advertised main event match didn't happen and the show ended with a promo or angle instead of a match, which people are starting to grumble about (the Observer online poll this week had over 45% of voters saying there's too much talking and not enough wrestling). Meanwhile, Smackdown did a strong rating and actually has more viewers than Raw. Dave thinks a lot of people are beginning to see Smackdown as the main show, which may be part of the problem with Raw's ratings.

- Speaking of ratings, last week they weren't available but Nitro (on Tuesday last week) did a 1.71, which is by far the lowest rated Nitro in history. Obviously being on a different night with no chance to promote the change ahead of time played a pretty huge part in that and Dave says it can't be overemphasized how badly WCW dropped the ball by not promoting the move to Tuesday. Throw in this week's low ratings and the pre-emptions for the next 2 weeks, and WCW might as well have negative momentum going into January's Sin PPV.

- Pro Wrestling NOAH will be holding a tournament in March and April to crown its first ever champion. The title will be called the GHC championship (Global Honored Crown). They're also expected to crown junior heavyweight and tag team champions in January.

- Keiji Muto said his contract with WCW expired last week, but he still has a non-compete built into it which lasts until June. He said he's had talks with Jim Ross about coming in to WWF, but couldn't take it because of the non-compete but would be interested in going there when he's able. Dave is skeptical of all this and thinks it might just be part of a NJPW angle (no idea, but seeing Muta in a WWE ring would be amazing to me. He was always one of my favorites as a kid. When people talk about big stars who never wrestled in WWE, he's always the one that comes to mind for me).

- Nobuhiko Takada's wife Aki Mukai was diagnosed with cancer last week. Mukai is a fairly famous actress in Japan and because of who she is and who Takada is, the story of her cancer was covered by basically every news outlet in Japan.

- Scott Hall is back in jail. He didn't do anything specific this time. Remember a couple of weeks ago when Hall was arrested for kicking the door of a taxi? Well, the charges were dropped when Hall agreed to pay the driver $400 for the damages. But between Hall's recent DUI, his failure to complete community service, and the taxi arrest (even though the charges were dropped), and all the other stuff, the judge ordered Hall taken into custody anyway for probation violation. He's expected to remain in jail until he gets a hearing later this week. In the meantime, his visitation rights with his children have been cancelled pending another hearing on that.

- Sabu worked a show for NWA Wildside against WCW developmental wrestler Air Paris and the match was said to be a disaster. Sabu missed pretty much every spot he tried. He later blamed a knee injury for his bad performance but also admitted that he had taken pain pills before the match and passed out and awoke right before he had to go to the ring. Sabu was scheduled to face AJ Styles the next night, but the promoter cancelled the match and they did an angle claiming Sabu was injured and Air Paris ended up facing Styles instead, though Sabu did do a run-in and got involved in the match later, basically turning it into a 3-way. But this allowed Styles and Paris to do all the heavy lifting while Sabu came in and just did a few of his spots.



- Power Pro Wrestling owner Randy Hales was on the Observer live show to discuss the stuff going on with PPW and Jerry Lawler's Memphis Championship Wrestling. Hales and Lawler had been friends for years and Lawler was initially part of PPW when it started. But they had a falling out (in part due to Hales' testimony during the legal fallout from USWA, which Lawler felt was damaging to him). Lawler then started his own MCW promotion and took the WWF developmental deal with him which led to a bit of a promotional war in Memphis. At the time, that wiped out a lot of PPW's roster and Hales approached WCW at the time about setting up a deal with them, but they weren't interested. PPW has continued to limp along since, based on the strength of their local TV deal, but they've been struggling. But Lawler and Hales have squashed their beef and now the 2 companies are working together doing an inter-promotional angle and it's going well. Jimmy Hart appeared on the show this week but because of political issues (Jimmy Hart is signed to WCW), he wasn't allowed to interact on-screen with Jerry Lawler or any of the WWF developmental wrestlers.

- Former wrestler and RINGS founder Akira Maeda was arrested in the United States back in September for allegedly punching a woman in Illinois. Apparently it was a woman who worked at a restaurant he was at and the punch broke her ribs. He was held for a few days and released after paying a large fine and then fucked off back to Japan and I guess we're just now hearing about it months later. Maeda's past is pretty checkered with similar incidents, such as the time he sucker punched Keiji Muto in the 80s, or the sucker kick he did to Riki Choshu during a 1987 NJPW match that led to him getting fired. He also attacked a Pancrase fighter once. Maeda's kind of a prick, basically. (Yeah, there's some more of this shit from Maeda coming up in 2001. Japanese New Jack. Oh hey, speaking of...)

- New Jack is telling people he's done with wrestling. Part of it is money (like everyone else in ECW, he's owed quite a bit) and the rest of it is just being fed up with the business. Heyman didn't book New Jack on the recent show in Queens due to some issue that New Jack has with the athletic commissioner over the commissioner's daughter or something, but New Jack showed up to the Queens show anyway. Heyman was also upset with New Jack because he recently worked a show for JAPW that was held in the ECW Arena. New Jack also recently got into an altercation with an elderly couple at a bar, which led to New Jack punching the old man and him leaving in an ambulance (New Jack, of course claims the older guy hit him first). New Jack left before the police arrived.

- Justin Credible and Dawn Marie both had money stolen from them backstage at the last ECW PPV. Given how tight money is for everyone in the company already, needless to say, they were pretty upset.

- ECW and Acclaim are working on producing a new video game (ECW will be out of business long before this ever comes to fruition, but it's interesting to know they were planning it. Acclaim later released a Legends of Wrestling game in 2001 that featured some ex-ECW names like Sabu and RVD, so I assume that was it and they changed course on the game after ECW folded? I dunno).

- On ECW TV a few weeks ago, Tajiri cut a promo in Spanish on Super Crazy and Dave thinks it's a good thing the TV censors evidently don't speak Spanish. Because the gist of Tajiri's promo was: "Fucking Mexican! Fuck your mother! Because you are a man who knows that your wife is fucking someone else and you act like you don't know so you won't lose her." (Tajiri: calling people cucks before unoriginal MAGA-nerds ran it into the ground).

- Notes from Nitro: Terry Funk worked a hardcore match against Meng and Dave points out that it's been 3 years since they filmed that scene in Beyond The Mat where the doctor told Funk he needed a knee replacement and should stop wrestling immediately and here it is years later and he's in his mid-50s still working hardcore matches and taking chairshots to the head and shit. They continued hyping Glacier's return. Dave doesn't understand how guys like RVD, Tajiri, and Jerry Lynn are basically free agents looking for a job and can't get hired anywhere, yet WCW is spending weeks promoting the return of Glacier. Mike Sanders cut a long, meandering promo about nothing. This was supposed to be the segment where Nash and Page were supposed to do something but since they walked out, Sanders was told to just go out there and kill time. And this time, they were smart enough to finally inform fans that they'll be pre-empted the next 2 weeks.

- A lot of wrestlers are talking about trying to get out of next week's Nitro tapings. While the show isn't airing in the U.S., they're still taping an episode of Nitro for all the overseas markets that won't have any storyline development, just matches. A lot of wrestlers are rumored to be faking/exaggerating injuries and illnesses to get out of doing the show so that it doesn't interrupt what would otherwise be a 2-week vacation.

- Ed Ferrara is the only person on the booking committee who was still pushing for Mike Awesome to keep the 70s gimmick, but everyone else convinced him to let it go and they dropped it. Ferrara is the head writer of the show but has gotten a lot of criticism because, for starters, he's not very knowledgeable about wrestling (he comes from a real television writing background and wasn't a wrestling fan before getting into the business) and also because he's seen as Vince Russo's disciple and a lot of Russo's bad habits and bad ideas have basically trickled down to Ferrara. Many of the awful storylines and dumb ideas you see on WCW TV these days that seem like bad Russo segments are actually Ferrara's doing.

- Dustin Runnels was told to be at Starrcade, so he showed up. Then they told him they didn't have anything for him so he went home again. Runnels is making $750,000 a year but isn't being used. Right now, he's been wrestling shows for his father's Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling indie promotion in Georgia, in front of about 100-200 fans. Great way to spend 3/4 of a million dollars.

- Pamela Paulshock missed Starrcade and Nitro because she's filming a movie (not sure what movie it was. According to IMDb, she had several roles around this time: Young Hot Woman. Nurse. Attractive Woman. Female Extra. So on and so forth.

- Various WWF notes: The Rock made People's list of the 25 Most Intriguing People of 2000. The Jim Ross cookbook that was recently released has already sold over 100,000 copies and is in its second printing. Viscera was released from his contract several months ago. The reason they had Lita modeling lingerie at WWF New York this week on Raw instead of on the show like normal is because she's got a back injury, so no wrestling this week. Tori is filming an episode of the show "18 Wheels of Justice" on TNN.

- Notes from Raw: during the opening promo, Kurt Angle talked about the scene in Beyond The Mat with Foley's kids crying and called Foley a terrible parent. Dave thinks it's funny that Vince McMahon hated the movie so much (specifically because of those scenes) that he literally tried to kill the movie and keep it from coming out, but now a year later, they're using it in a storyline. There was a match with Steve Austin vs. William Regal and one spot in particular where Regal hit Austin with a neckbreaker and had him pinned clean in the middle of the ring for about 10 seconds, but the referee was distracted or something and missed it. But still. Dave can't imagine any other midcard wrestler getting what amounts to a clean pin on Austin on free TV, but Austin and Regal are good friends and obviously, Austin wanted to do it. Austin didn't even win the match, he lost by DQ, so Regal was protected there too. For new stars to get over, it's important for the top stars to want to work with them and put them over, and Austin was clearly out to help get Regal over in this match.

- The WWF's has released their projections for the XFL and it all looks pretty positive. They estimate that the league will generate $33 million in first year losses, which is much less than they initially projected, plus the costs would be split 50/50 with NBC. They projected the XFL will be profitable by its 3rd season and are selling TV ad spots based on a projected combined 11.0 weekly rating (needless to say, the outlook isn't going to be nearly as rosy a few months from now). WWF stock has dropped 30% over the last three months and Wall Street analysts are saying that the success or failure of the XFL is going to be the main determining factor in what happens with that.

- Vince McMahon spoke with Bloomberg News and commented on the failed negotiations to buy WCW. Vince said that he was going to keep WCW as a separate brand and eventually build up to inter-promotional matches. He said there are a lot of good reasons to buy WCW but that Viacom was standing in the way of the deal so that's why it's not happening.

- Dave wants to correct a "huge error" in last week's Observer. When he was recapping the Val Venis vs. Chyna match at the Armageddon PPV, he wrote that Chyna's offense looked good. What he meant to say was that one clothesline she did looked good. Everything else was terrible. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter™ regrets the error and would like to apologize to its loyal readers.

- One of the things being considered for Wrestlemania is Mick Foley vs. Vince McMahon, following up on the recent angle where Foley was beaten down and then fired by Vince. But Foley has said he doesn't want to do the match because he's not in ring-shape anymore. But he's got almost 4 months to get into shape and it would be a huge money match, so Dave wouldn't be surprised to see Vince talk him into it. It's not like Vince hasn't talked Foley out of retirement once already.

- The unopposed Raw on Dec. 11 set a record for the most watched show in the history of TNN, with 7.2 million viewers. Of course, those numbers are nothing new for Raw, they were blowing past that every week on USA, but it's all brand new for TNN.

- Notes from Smackdown: they're in the midst of the divorce storyline with Vince and Linda and they had the big promo where Vince just berated Linda with all these harsh insults. Dave says on this show on this night, Vince McMahon was the greatest heel in the history of wrestling, bar none. Raven bladed in a hardcore match with Undertaker and Dave is surprised to see them bring blading back like that. It's been going on in WWF for awhile now, but it's usually saved for big PPV main event matches, not free TV midcard hardcore matches. The Foley stuff was great, Rock cut a great promo, and all around, Dave thinks this was an outstanding show top to bottom.

- WWF is looking into either building or buying a new, bigger office building because they're outgrowing Titan Towers. They also want the TV studio to be on the same grounds as the business office. Right now, they're about a mile apart. They also want to keep the headquarters in the Stamford-area since all the employees live there (they obviously never moved the headquarters, but I'm not sure if maybe they renovated or expanded it or something?)

- Mick Foley answered questions on USA Today's chatroom. When asked about coming back, he said he had mixed feelings about it and wouldn't do it unless he could get back into shape. Said he loves being commissioner and loves writing books. Hopes Terry Funk will slow down and start wrestling more of a comedy style rather than keep taking punishment at his age. Foley pointed out that he himself became a comedy wrestler at age 33.

- Vince did an interview with HITS Magazine. Said he never had any interest in buying the Boston Red Sox, despite what was reported by the Boston Globe. Denied that WWF was a bad influence on kids. Said it drove his dad nuts when he started expanding but Vince said, "fuck those guys" and did it anyway, but admitted he felt bad about the pain that it caused his father. He also said his father wouldn't have approved of Shane and Stephanie becoming on-air talent.

- Latest on Nicole Bass: she's still in the hospital in really bad shape due to cysts in her pancreas. She's lost a ton of weight and they had to place an IV directly into her neck because her arms are too swollen for it.

- Phil Mushnick wrote a column in the NY Post, trashing the XFL. He talked about how the XFL doesn't really offer much in the way of benefits for players who may get injured and talked about McMahon's history of using wrestlers until they're totally broken down, then discarding them without so much as a thank you and moving on to the next star. Mushnick expects XFL players to be treated as disposable in the same way, particularly given some of the XFL rule changes (like the no fair catch rule, which is just begging for more injuries). The XFL also has no drug testing procedures, so don't be surprised if everybody is juiced to the gills.

- CBS is moving the new season of Survivor back an hour, which is going to put it directly head-to-head with Smackdown. They already face tough competition from Friends on NBC so this is going to make things even harder, considering what a monster ratings hit Survivor is.

- A newspaper in Louisville did a huge story on OVW, mostly focusing on Jim Cornette and Danny Davis and how they run things. Cornette in particular is still very old school and talked about how the wrestlers live their gimmicks outside the ring, how they can't be seen socializing together in public, etc. Full kayfabe, so much so that Cornette wouldn't give the newspaper any info on the background of Leviathan (Batista) to protect his aura.

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(02-04-2019, 11:15 AM)Peezy Wrote: - Voting for the 2000 Observer Awards is now open! Get your votes in before Jan. 4th, 2001 if you want them to be counted.


Dang, just missed it
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(02-04-2019, 11:15 AM)Peezy Wrote: This is the last Rewind for 2000. Gonna take the rest of February off to finish writing the 2001 posts, which is the final year I'm doing (for now).


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(04-02-2019, 12:08 PM)twiztor Wrote:
(02-04-2019, 11:15 AM)Peezy Wrote: This is the last Rewind for 2000. Gonna take the rest of February off to finish writing the 2001 posts, which is the final year I'm doing (for now).

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[+] 1 user Likes tehgiftofgab's post
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He said write, not release!

You gotta pay $29.95 to read The Wrestling Observer Observer
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Ha!

I actually posted something on Reddit about this a couple of weeks ago because people were asking. But basically, my real life got crazy. Moved to a new city, had to start a new job, sell my house, get a new house, etc. So the last month or so has been out of control.

But anyway, it's coming! I actually JUST finished October (like literally 30 seconds or so before I saw this post), so I only have 2 months left to write. My plan right now is to start posting them again on Monday, the 15th. Don't want everything to get lost in the post-WM shuffle next week.

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(04-02-2019, 12:15 PM)tehgiftofgab Wrote:
(04-02-2019, 12:08 PM)twiztor Wrote:
(02-04-2019, 11:15 AM)Peezy Wrote: This is the last Rewind for 2000. Gonna take the rest of February off to finish writing the 2001 posts, which is the final year I'm doing (for now).

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