By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka
Part 26: A Year In The WWF
In June of 1991, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair left his "home" (WCW) after 17 years of wrestling there. He left for the unfamiliar confines of the WWF. Upon his arrival, there was a certain buzz of anticipation as the "dream match" that fans always dreamed of was about to become a reality. That match was with then-World Wrestling Federation Champion Hulk Hogan!!!
To that end, he hired Bobby Henan and Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig to help him in his quest. The first match up between these two took place in Dayton, OH. Flair won that encounter by countout but Hogan retained the WWF belt. During that period, Flair renewed his on again/off again feud with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. The feud began when Piper spit on Flair's NWA title belt and spit in the face of Henan!!! A few weeks later, Flair attacked Piper in the broadcast booth and WWF Head Vince McMahon took a chair shot as well!!!
The two met in several one on one matches that saw Flair win many of them by DQ. They also captained teams at the 1991 Survivor Series. Piper joined forces with Davey Boy Smith, Virgil (Vincent) and Bret "The HitMan" Hart to take on Flair, The Warlord, The Mountie, and Ted Dibiase!!! After each team took out one man on a team (DBS on Piper's team/Warlord on Flair's team), the match broke down into a pier six brawl that saw Flair win by via a controversial DQ!!! The controversy came from the fact that the refs disqualified everyone except Flair for excessive brawling!!! Later that evening, Hulk Hogan defended his WWF Title against The Undertaker!!! UT, by the way, wrestled much the same way he does now except he had more of Kane's "unstoppability". Anyway, both men were stalemated until Flair came down to steal Hogan's WWF belt!!! Hogan then went outside to stop this!!! He was successful but he gave UT time to rest as he had UT beat for a possible pin!!! UT took advantage and picked up Hogan for the "Tombstone" piledriver!!! Flair, taking advantage of then UT manager Paul Bearer's distraction of the ref, slid a chair into the ring and UT "Tombstoned" Hogan on it!!! This gave UT the win and the title!!!
Five days later, UT and Hogan met again in a rematch (I know the card took place in Texas but will someone tell me where) and it was much the same as the last match except this time interference from Bearer and Flair backfired as Hogan took the ashes from UT's urn and threw them into his face!!! Hogan took advantage and rolled UT up for the three count!!! This victory, however, was later negated by then WWF President Jack Tunney. He ruled that he could not let the title change stand but also reasoned that it was won unfairly the first time as well. So, he put the title up in the 30 man Royal Rumble on January 19, 1992. Also, he allowed Hogan and UT to have picks 20-30 since they were former champions!!! This was a huge and (as some argued with some validity) unfair advantage!!! What made it even worse was Flair drew number 3 in the draw!!! So, to win the title, he would have to stay in the ring for an hour!!!
NEXT: A Year In The WWF, pt. 2: The Royal Rumble and Randy Savage
If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and also contributes to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis. Many of his previous articles are available in the
by Trond Farestveit Helland
Trond, who is known as "Dimfrost" on the Internet, is a regular reader of Solie's Newsletter and a frequent correspondent to yours truely. Here continues his assessment of Pay-Per-View events over the years.
On December 3, 1991, just 5 days after the Survivor Series that year, they held a PPV called This Tuesday In Texas. This event had only 5 matches.
A PPV called One Night Only took place in Birmingham, England on September 27, 1997 and was also shown on UK PPV.
The WWF has also held supercards which has not appeared on television. In 1972, 1976 and 1980 they had cards called Showdown At Shea, from Shea Stadium. The cards had really big matches. In 1972, WWWF champion Pedro Morales drew Bruno Sammartino in a 76 minutes bout. In 1976, WWWF Champion Bruno Sammartino beat Stan Hansen. In 1980, Bruno Sammartino beat Larry Zbysko in a steel cage match. Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant also met at this event. Andre defeated Hogan and I've been told that Hogan actually did a bodyslam on Andre during that match.
The WWF held The Big Event on August 28, 1986 from the CNE Stadium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada and it had then the biggest crowd in wrestling history, of about 74.000 fans, but this record was broken just a few months later.
On July 31, 1988 they held a card called WrestleFest. It took place at the Milwaukee County Stadium. At this show Hulk Hogan defeated Andre The Giant in a steel cage match.
One of the most popular shows on national TV ever, was called Saturday Night's Main Event on was shown for the first time in May of 1985. The show was held until 5 times a year. The last one was held in November of 1992.
The WCW/NWA had their first supercard on November 24, 1983 and it was called Starrcade. Starrcade is the biggest PPV of the year in WCW. Starrcade '83, '84, and '87 were supercards with regualar matches plus matches with special rules. Starrcade'85 and '86 was also regular cards, but it took place from two diffrent locations. The Starrcade event had always been a Thanksgiving tradition, but in 1988, they moved to December, because the WWF had started their Survivor Series which took over the Thanksgiving tradition. The style of card changed a little bit, when Starrcade'89 was a "Night of the Iron Men". There was four wrestlers and each of the wrestlers had meet each other in single matches and the one with best score became the "Iron Man". It was also the same way with four tag teams. Starrcade'90 was called "Collision Course". Several tag teams represented one country and the teams met in a 8 team tournament. In Starrcade events in 1992 and '93 had tag team matches where they drew which wrestlers whom had to team up with another and all the winners of the matches met in a fianl battle royal. The Starrcades ever since has been regular events, except from 1995 where they had a "World Cup of Wrestling". Wrestlers of the WCW vs. wrestlers of New Japan. WCW won 4-3.
The first ever Great American Bash took place in Charlotte Memorial Stadium, Charlotte, NC on July 6, 1985. It was a ordinary card with 8 matches. Great American Bash'86 took place on two different locations and two different dates. July 5th from Charlotte Memorial Stadium and July 26th from Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC. In fact, the first ever War Games match took place at Great American Bash'87. In 1988 they had a Tower of Doom match instead of War Games, but it seems that people like the War Games match better, so they brought it back at Great American Bash'89. For some reason, the WCW did not have any Great American Bash in 1993 and 1994. In June of 1992 and July of 1993 they had a PPV called Beach Blast and it seemed that Beach Blast took over Great American Bash. In 1994 the WCW decided to clash together Beach Blast and Great American Bash. It was named Bash At The Beach. Hulk Hogan made his WCW debut at this PPV and defeated the World Heavyweight champion Ric Flair. In 1995 the WCW brought back The Great American Bash. This time it was in June, instead of July.
The WrestleWar PPV started in May of 1989. It was a regualar card, but that all changed in 1991 when WrestleWar took over the annual War Games match, but that was only in 1991 and 1992. WCW decided not to have WrestleWar anymore. But the annual War Games match was taken over by the new PPV called Fall Brawl which started in September of 1993. The War Games has been part of Fall Brawl ever since.
Other PPV's that have been held by the WCW during the years: nWo Souled Out (Started in Jnauary of 1997), SuperBrawl (Started in May of 1991, but has moved to February since 1992), Uncensored (Started in March of 1995), Spring Stampede (Was first held in April of 1994, but it didn't return before April of 1997), Slamboree (Started in May of 1993), Road Wild (Started in August of 1996 as Hog Wild, but they had to change the name, because it's trademarked by Harley-Davidson owner's group), Halloween Havoc (Started in October of 1989) and World War 3 (Started in November of 1995 and a (3 ring) 60 man battle royal is part of the card). There has also been held some one time only PPV's: Bunkhouse Stampede ('88), Chi- Town Rumble ('89), Capital Combat ('90), Battle Bowl ('93) and Boston Brawl ('98). Since 1988 until 1997 the WCW has held 35 Clash Of The Champions.
During the history of the AWA, they actually just had one PPV and that was SuperClash 3. It was shown live December 13, 1988. AWA has had SuperClash 1, 2 and 4, but non of them aired on PPV. SuperClash 1 (September 28, 1985), SuperClash 2 (May 2, 1987) and SuperClash 4 (April 8, 1990). The AWA also held a card called WrestleRock (April 20, 1986). As you can see, the AWA had no system for when they were going to have their supercards.
Trond, who is known as "Dimfrost" on the Internet, is a regular reader of Solie's Newsletter and a frequent correspondent to yours truely. He is from Modalen, Norway, where he works on a tugboat and also on his father's farm. He has been watching Wrestling since the late 1991 and, although the only program he can see regularly on TV is WCW Nitro (shown on Friday night), he also views it frequently on video tape and has become familiar with WWF, AAA, AWA and NJPW through that medium.
Thunder comes to us live from Indianapolis, Indiana (my home town!). Tony tells us that Mike Tenay has gone out to a bar about 40 miles from the arena to talk to Scott Hall. Cut to Tenay with Hall. Hall addresses Kevin Nash, telling him that he is at a bar where they used to hang out, challenging him to come out and get it on. Moments later we check out back to see a limo driving down the ramp - Kevin Nash on his way to the bar.
Kanyon vs. Prince Iaukea - Kanyon has his own version of the "survey" - "Whose better then Kanyon?" - the answer from the crowd - "Everybody..." Iukea has shaved his head except for a topknot. He comes on pretty aggressive to start the match and takes Kanyon by surprise. Kanyon falls out to the floor where Iukea continues his assault then rolls him back in. Back in the ring, Kanyon ducks a blow and finally turns the tables in the corner. He goes for a cover and is outraged when Iukea kicks out. He argues with the referee while his opponent recovers then tries to roll him up. Kanyon comes roaring back and keeps his advantage for a while until the Prince catches him by the leg and whips him over. Iaukea dominates the next several exchanges with some fancy flying but then Kanyon sets him up and delivers the Flatliner to get the win. Cut to Chris Jericho pounding on Goldberg's dressing room door - the Champion isn't here tonight, by the way. Cut to commercial.
Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell) come to the ring. Bagwell starts his rant by insulting my home town crowd. Then he states that the Steiner brothers match at Halloween Havoc isn't going to happen because Scott is still not in shape for it. Scott confirms what Buff has said, that no woman here has never been with a man like him...(huh??) - then he takes Buff to task for letting his mom get out of hand on Nitro. Buff doesn't want to go there, but Scott is insistant. Buff sticks his finger in Scott's face and says, "Leave my mother out of it." They continue to argue in this vein until Buff decides to walk. Steiner throws a parting shot implying that Bagwell could get himself ejected from the nWo if he keeps it up. Cut to commercial.
Video from WCW Day on Wallstreet. A PR event to celebrate the new WCW credit card with wrestlers signing autographs and ringing the closing bell in the Stock Exchange.
Meng vs. Jerry Flynn - Flynn doesn't have a prayer in this one. Not that he doesn't get any shots. In fact, he actually manages to knock the big guy down with a flying tackle. Shortly thereafter he is grabbed in the Tongan Death Grip. 'Nuff said... Cut to Chris Jericho with the 2x4 armed, older of his two "security men", watching cars come into the parking structure, obstensively for Goldberg (who isn't expected to be here tonight).
Meng is still in the ring as we return. Chris Adams has shown up for his match and, apparently, Meng wants him too. Adams thinks that Meng has agreed to leave and enters the ring, but Meng slips back in and grabs the Death Grip on him as well. Wrath, who was supposed to wrestle Adams, comes down to the rescue. They struggle and flop around on the mat then roll out to the floor and start whaling on each other. Wrath grabs a chair and smacks Meng on the back. It barely slows him down. They are still tussling as we cut to commercial. This could be a good feud...
Outside the Horsemen arrive only to be served with a restraining order saying that Flair, Mongo, Arn and Benoit have to stay 100 yards from the arena. Dillon is there and Dillenger but they can't do anything about it. The Horsemen leave.
El Dandy vs. Tokyo Magnum - (yawn...) - I mean these two can go well enough but who in the world cares..? The maniacal laughter goes off about a minute into the match. I have heard that this is leading up to a promotional tie-in with the new "Child's Play" movie - "Bride of Chuckie". Scott Norton apparently finds this match as boring as I do. The new IWGP World Champion runs in and creams both guys. Thanks Scott!! Cut to WCW Motorsports.
Eddie Guerrero is in the ring with his LWO recruits as we return. He is dressing down Dandy for what just happened and urging him to join the club. Magnum is dismissed for being Japanese. Dandy decides to sign up. Is this the rebirth of Los Borequas..? Cut to commercial.
Tony mentions the illness of referee Mark Curtis who is going in for surgery this week. Good luck Mark!
Saturn vs. Scott (the Putz) Putsky - Saturn is always interesting to watch and he even manages to make this guy look good. Putsky is on the receiving end at the beginning. He has a short flurry towad the middle of the match and gets a couple of shots in out on the floor. Back in the ring, he gets a snap-suplex, couple of chops and a clothesline before catching Saturn in a sleeper only to get his jaw jacked. The match see-saws as Saturn lets his opponent have a little run until he can maneuver him into the DDD. Cut to commercial.
Disciple vs. Horace - Leslie makes a speech before the match. He rants about Hogan, saying he's sick and tired of Hogan's shenanegans. He reminds us that he (Leslie) had a great career years ago (as Brutus Beefcake) without Hogan's help. He reveals that Horace is Hogan's nephew and implies that Horace's position within WCW is undeserved. Horace naturally takes exception to this and the match gets underway. Disciple dominates the match until Horace turns the tables briefly, then foolishly turns his back to exult to the crowd. Leslie's neck breaker gets him the pin. Afterward, Horace attacks Disciple on the floor just before we cut to an HH promo.
We return to Tony in the ring. He calls Chris Jericho down to talk about his challenge to Goldberg. Tony says that Goldberg isn't here and that Jericho knows it. Jericho rolls right over him, insisting that the Champ is here. He calls him "Greenberg" then insists that Tony introduce him. Nick Patrick has joined them and Jericho insists that he ring the bell then count Goldberg out. Right - that makes sense... Cut to commercial.
Stills from the Sting/Hart brawl from Monday precedes an interview in which Hart challenges Sting and tells him, "You suck!" Cut to commercial.
The Horsemen music plays as we return and Dean Malenko comes to the ring. He demands a match, noting that Bischoff forgot to serve him with a restraining order. He has a chair and says he's going to sit there until he gets a match. Bischoff shows up and says "OK" - he sends in the Barbarian - promising to double the big guy's $500,000 salery if he'll take Malenko out. Barbarian charges in as Bischoff joins the broadcasters he and seems to have things well in hand, but Malenko outflanks him then hits him with a flying move. Jimmy Hart jumps on the apron to distract Malenko and thinks he has succeeded as Malenko grabs him by the collar. But when Barabarian aims a kick from behind, Malenko ducks away and lets Hart take the shot. The confused Barbarian is then drop-kicked on the knee - twice!! Malenko struggles to get his opponent into a Texas Cloverleaf and makes the Barbarian submit. Bischoff is having a fit up at the broadcast position, demanding that the camera not show Malenko and promising to end Malenko's career. Cut to commercial.
Raven comes to the ring and slumps in a corner. He makes one of his typical whining rants concerning Diamond Dallas Page. He contrasts their relative positions in the business. DDP interrupts the speech and charges the ring. Raven catches him coming in and starts choking him out. Then he turns his back. Idiot! DDP attacks in a flash and goes for the Diamond Cutter but Raven thwarts it and retakes the advantage. He is relentless this time, hitting Page with repeated knee lifts to the mid-section then grabbing a reverse chinlock. Page escapes but gets kneed in the midsection again. Raven takes him to the floor and runs him into the railing. He throws a chair into the ring but stops to try and pull Pages crotch into the corner. Page resists and posts him instead but Raven is right up, sets up the chair then drops Page face-first onto it. Lodi tries to get involved but gets creamed. In the ring the match is see-sawing but still favoring Raven. He grabs a sleeper. Page escapes and they struggle for a moment until Page can maneuver his opponent into the Diamond Cutter. It's all over. Cut to commercial.
Michael Buffer announces the Main Event.
Before the wrestlers enter. Tony informs us that one of the "biggest Hollywood stars" will be on Nitro Monday. I imagine that will be Chuckie...
Lex Luger vs. Stevie Ray (w/Vincent) - Stevie shoves Luger off during the first lockup. Luger then grabs a headlock and is whipped to the ropes. A tackle takes Stevie down. He wins the next to exchanges then rushes into Stevie's boot. Luger falls out to the floor where Vincent gets a shot then rolls him back in. Stevie has the advatage now and flaunts it. A couple of knockdowns then the reverse chinlock. Luger escapes but is slammed and Stevie gets a two count. Luger comes back with a suplex and then runs Stevie down. Next he hits the bionic forearm and gets ready for the Rack. But here comes Scott Hall!! He was here all the time. Luger is creamed then held while Stevie hits him upside the head with his blackjack. Konnan runs in and gets creamed as well. Hall takes his survey with Luger and Konnan lying unconscious in the ring. Fade to black.
Not a bad Thunder...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie. Copyright 1998 - Jump City Productions