Inside Wrestling April ’94 focuses on the Computer Challenge Tournament to see just who the best wrestler is. Yokozuna wanting to quit, but isn’t allowed to? Ric Flair talks regaining the WCW World Championship. Sting chats with Ron Simmons to see where his mind is at. Also, what is with Lex Luger not challenging for the WWF World Championship?
Well, a fan is tired of Owen Hart complaining about his brother Bret and his success. How about you work hard and earn your titles Owen, huh? Another fan is really upset that he didn’t get to see the whole Bob Backlund match from a recent RAW due to the cameras and announcer focusing on a brawl between Randy Savage and Crush. One fan is really hopeful that the WWF is serious about the Women’s division returning and hopes wrestlers like Sherri Martel, Rockin Rebel and Fabulous Moolah are involved in someway. None of that would happen. The fan also suggests that Mixx Texas (Jacqueline) get an opportunity to show her skills, which would happen but not for several years.
If you ignore Lord Steven Regal’s behavior and Sir William, he is a good wrestler and that’s why you should like him a lot. Another fan sees a lot of similarities between Scott Putski and the Ultimate Warrior, and suggests that Putski could learn from Warrior. Lastly, a fan thinks that Rick Martel is on the verge of winning a major championship after his absence from the WWF.
NAMES MAKIN’ NEWS: by Bill Apter
Apter recaps Starrcade ’93, which saw Ric Flair regaining the WCW World Championship from Vader and Steve Austin winning the WCW US Championship from Dustin Rhodes. Alundra Blayze, formerly known as Madusa in WCW, won the WWF Women’s Championship. It’s reported that Luna Vachon and Miss Texas will be top challengers for the championship. Jeff Jarrett is now a rule breaker in the WWF after being a fan favorite in USWA and has a new attitude claiming he is going to reach country music superstardom at the expense of the WWF.
Terry Funk won the ECW World Championship by defeating Sabu, but had some help from Shane Douglas to accomplish that. Also, Jerry Lawler won the USWA Heavyweight Championship defeating Jeff Jarrett.
BEHIND THE DRESSING ROOM DOOR: by: David Rosenbaum
Considering the trial that Vince McMahon was encountering or about to encounter and several WWF stars jumping to WCW, the writer declares that WCW will team with the WWF and that there will be a WCW champion vs. WWF champion match by next winter. Swing and a miss there. He also discusses the feud between Jim Cornette and Bob Armstrong in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. David is annoyed with Armstrong not following through with stipulations that he’d have to remove his mask if he lost a match. He also thinks that Armstrong is the bad guy in the feud with Cornette, which would last forever it seemed like.
ON ASSIGNMENT: by: Liz Hunter
The column addresses that Ric Flair isn’t interested in doing any commercials to replace the old Nolan Ryan. So, Liz lists several wrestlers/managers and what they should pitch in commercials. Here’s what the lists includes;
The Undertaker: Funeral homes
Stu Hart: Molson Ale, because Bret and Owen can’t endorse it because they were currently athletes.
Ricky Morton: Fuji tapes
Bobby Heenan: World Wildlife Fund
Doink The Clown: Noxzema Cream
Rick Martel: Kodiak Film
Luna Vachon: Bayer Aspirin
Dusty Rhodes: Mrs. Butterworth Syrup
Rick Steiner: Purina Dog Chow
Lex Luger: Greyhound Bus Lines
Yokozuna: Hyatt Hotels
Missy Hyatt: Prell Shampoo
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Ed Francis: Owns an airport in Nevada
Lanny Poffo: Still competed in Florida independents, but was still known as being Randy Savage’s brother.
Brickhouse Brown: Went to college and got a communications degree. Wanted to become a wrestling TV analyst
Steve Williams: Opened a gym in Louisiana and still competed on a regular basis in Japan.
NEWS FROM THE WRESTLING CAPITALS
Matches that were highlighted include:
Steve Austin vs. Dustin Rhodes, which was from Starrcade
Brian Christopher vs. Buddy Landell,
Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels inside a steel cage
Iceman Parsons vs. Chris Adams, Adams won the GWF Heavyweight Championship
Arn Anderson vs. Paul Roma
Randy Savage vs. Crush, which didn’t happen due to Yokozuna attacking Savage prior to the match
MATT BROCK’S PLAIN SPEAKING
Doesn’t see The Boss being a main event guy in WCW and expects him to be a mid card act by the time the Great American Bash rolled around. Also, Ric Flair will hold the WCW World Championship for three months. He was right on first one. He recently attended a show in Michigan that the WWF held and was bored by a match involving the team of Lex Luger and Tatanka taking Ludvig Borga and Yokozuna. Will the feud between Luger and Yokozuna ever be settled? He’s not all that interested in women’s wrestling, though he doesn’t mind checking out Alundra Blayze when she’s on television.
INSIDE WRESTLING COMPUTER TOURNAMENT ’94
I’ve always found this to be entertaining and interesting to see. Basically, it’s a computer simulation for a 16-man tournament to see just who is the best wrestler. It’s a silly concept, but here I am writing about it. By the way, it’s a best of seven series for each match.
Vader vs. Brian Lee
Sabu vs. Sting
Ric Flair vs. Yokozuna
Dustin Rhodes vs. Bret Hart
Lex Luger vs. Lord Steven Regal
Razor Ramon vs. Rick Rude
Shawn Michaels vs. Jerry Lawler
Tracey Smothers vs. The Undertaker
Brian Lee got destroyed in the simulation against Vader as he didn’t even get a two count on a pin fall until the fourth match. It was an easy victory by Vader, and expected. Vader won 4-0.
Sabu got a victory in the first match, but would lose the next four to Sting. The fourth match was a classic one lasting 43-minutes. Sting prevails 4-1.
Yokozuna got a two match lead over Flair, who also suffered a shoulder injury in match two. Flair was able to take advantage of poor conditioning of the much larger Yokozuna and would win the next four matches to move on in the tournament. Flair wins 4-2.
Match four between Dustin and Bret lasted 47-minutes and had 23-near falls during the bout. Dustin won that classic encounter. The series went to seven and Hart won after playing possum rolling Dustin up out of the corner. Hart wins 4-3.
Regal got out to a 2-0 lead but lost the third match in only 57-seconds. Regal got to a 3-2 lead, but would lose the final two matches giving Luger the victory. Luger prevails 4-3, which is kind of surprising that Regal would last the full series given how both men were presented, really, to me.
It was made very clear that Ramon wasn’t near the level of Rude in this series, and Rude won easily 4-1. I suppose if they did this a year later, it would have been a better battle.
Take the USWA version of Jerry Lawler and this result makes a little more sense, because the WWF Lawler probably wouldn’t get past Shawn Michaels so easily. According to the description, Lawler cheated early and often. Thus, Lawler moved on 4-1.
Easily the most shocking result for the first round, and I’d say the whole tournament, is to see Tracey Smothers overcoming the Undertaker winning four matches. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Smothers in SMW and ECW (later on), but it’s the Undertaker, a super natural guy! Smothers moves on 4-3.
Vader vs. Sting
Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair
Rick Rude vs. Lex Luger
Jerry Lawler vs. Tracey Smothers
We are accustomed to real-life great matches between Sting and Vader in WCW during the early 90s. Naturally, this one went the full seven matches with Vader getting through 4-3.
Similar to the prior contest, Hart and Flair had several matches in WWF so it’s not a what-if kind of match to fantasize about. Flair had a 3-2 advantage, but would lose the final two matches allowing Hart to advance in the tournament 4-3.
Luger won the first match after busting Rude’s eye, but would lose four straight matches allowing Rude to advance to the semi-finals 4-1.
After somehow upsetting Undertaker, Tracey Smothers was virtually dominated by Jerry Lawler in this matchup as he lost the series 4-2. The way it was written made it seem like Smothers accomplished very little.
Bret Hart vs. Vader
Rick Rude vs. Jerry Lawler
The top dog of the WWF taking on the top dog in WCW, essentially makes me think the Hart/Vader showdown should have been the finals. Interestingly, Vader had a 3-0 advantage, but wore down due to long matches and that allowed Hart to win four matches in a row and advance to the finals with a 4-3 victory.
Rude had a relatively easy time with Lawler in their match managing to prevail with a 4-1 victory. Lawler had been pegged as a sleeper candidate to win the tournament, but he had fought significantly lesser talent to get to this point.
Rick Rude vs. Bret Hart
Apparently, these guys are even and according to the writer of this series, the matches lasted on average 40-minutes. Of course, it went the full seven matches. The final match took place in Syracuse, New York, and lasted nearly 65-minutes. Rude won with a sleeper and won the Inside Wrestling Computer Tournament ’94 Championship.
THE LEX HEX: WHY LUGER’S WWF CAREER HAS STALLED
How does Luger go from a near champion to settling for non-title tag team matches teaming with Tatanka to take on Ludvig Borga and Yokozuna? Some people thought he lost motivation while others believe promoters are moving onto other challengers leaving Luger in the dark. They mention his bad luck involving the motorcycle accident that prevented him from competing in the WBF or WWF. If Luger can’t be the WWF World Champion then there isn’t a championship he would want to go after.
HE WANTS TO QUIT… BUT FUJI SAYS NO!
Yokozuna has had enough and is either homesick or wants to start a family instead of being the WWF World Champion. This may stem from WrestleMania IX where Mr. Fuji undermined the hard work that Yoko put in and lost the WWF World Championship to Hulk Hogan after just pinning Bret Hart to win it. It also doesn’t help that Fuji signed Yokzuna to wrestle the Undertaker in casket matches, despite Yokozuna being afraid of coffins, giving Yoko more of a reason to want to retire. However, Fuji controls Yokozuna and will do so for the rest of his life.
RIC FLAIR: “ELEVEN IS HEAVEN! WHOOOOO”
Flair considers his victory over Vader to be one of the biggest victories of his career because he did it in front of his family and friends. Flair assures the interviewer that had he lost he would have retired or left, similar to his match against Curt Hennig in the WWF. His wife thought Flair was crazy for suggesting that he could be coming home for good if he lost the match. Flair knew that Vader had a weakness in stamina if the match went more than 15-minutes. Flair teases a possible match with WCW US Champion Steve Austin who has been touted as a WCW World Champion contender.
HOW CURT HENNIG CAN REGAIN PERFECTION: by: Bobby Heenan
According to Heenan, Hennig has been frustrated with how his career has been going and is simply taking some time off to regroup and comeback better than ever before. Heenan suggests that Hennig get a manager to keep his mind free of overthinking. Heenan mentions Alundra Blayze as an option since she managed Hennig in the AWA. Heenan thinks that Hennig shouldn’t obey by the rules and recalls how Hennig defeated Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA Championship by using a roll of coins. Heenan likes the idea of Hennig entering WCW and dethroning Flair for the WCW World Championship, as well.
TERRY FUNK & SABU: “HEH-HEH… NOW THAT’S COOL”
Well, the article is literally written as if Beavis and Butt-Head were wrestling fans and they talk about a match between Terry Funk and Sabu. This didn’t serve a purpose and was actually poorly done, I’d say.
ONE ON ONE: STING VS RON SIMMONS
Sting wants to know why Simmons didn’t shake his hand at Battlebowl and simply Simmons didn’t feel like doing it. Simmons is not happy with his fall from the top and feels that WCW has been dissing him as a result. Sting was worried that Simmons was going back to the bad ways. Simmons feels he deserves a title shot and tells Sting that he is beloved by everyone but what works for Sting doesn’t work for everyone else. By the end of the article, they are saying they will meet in the ring and Sting won’t have Ron’s back again if he goes evil again.
It’s a good magazine as I always enjoyed the concept of the Computer Challenge. There was a lot of talk about Ric Flair regaining the WCW World Championship, which was a little annoying. The article on Funk and Sabu written as if Beavis and Butt-Head were fans is maybe one of the worst things I’ve ever read. Luckily, it wasn’t long and the strong articles outweighed that poor one.
What are your memories of this magazine or on what was going on in wrestling at the time?