Inside The Magazine Volume #11: The Wrestler December ’97
Top Ten in WWF takes on the top ten in WCW with the writers voting on who’d win. Plus, Eddy Guerrero may broken apart the Guerrero family forever. Brian Christopher sits down for a Q&A. Plus, much more!
Dave from Indiana is annoyed that WWF fans aren’t aware of talent outside of the WWF world. Recently, Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers competed on RAW and were greeted with silence and jeers, which he finds rather frustrating. Elaine from Florida finds Dennis Rodman to be a disgrace to wrestling and as a longtime WCW fan she finds herself watching WWF. Lily from Tennessee feels that the staff shouldn’t have given The Undertaker a “thumbs down” in the September 1997 edition of the magazine because Taker was justified for burning Paul Bearer, who had been torturing Taker for quite sometime. Leonard from New Jersey thinks that with Roddy Piper’s recent victory at the Bash at the Beach pay per view over Ric Flair, Piper should retire and go out on top.
April from Rhode Island thinks that Raven shouldn’t be humbled after his loss to Terry Funk at Barely Legal because the victory only happened after Tommy Dreamer got involved. Teena from Buffalo thinks that Jerry Lawler is jealous of the success ECW has gotten in a short time while the USWA has never reached the same level of popularity or success. Jose from New York thinks that WCW should listen to NWO complaints and they might actually see that what the NWO has been saying isn’t so absurd.
WHAT’S HAPPENING: written by: Bill Apter
Curt Hennig is wanted by both the NWO and the Four Horsemen. Hennig has one goal and that’s to win the WCW World Championship and restore its value since Hulk Hogan never defends it. Jose Lothario attempted to talk to Stu Hart and Helen Hart about the lack of sportsmanship between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. However, both the parents are in favor of what Bret has been saying that the Americans are encouraging the nonsense Michaels has displayed. Brian Christopher called the cops on Billy Joe Travis for vandalizing his van but dropped the charges because he wouldn’t be able to get his hands on Travis if he lost his wrestling license.
Rob Van Dam recently had a picture taken with Vincent at a WCW show in Florida. This just proves that Van Dam can be wherever he wants at anytime and will compete for anyone if the money is right. He’s quoted as saying that, “ECW is too small time for me now.” Tod Gordon says that Rob Van Dam couldn’t make it in ECW and thus he is going to other promotions to look like a bigger deal. Konnan has joined the NWO and it likely that he did so with the expectation that he take out his former friends.
The Patriot has gotten some threatening letters from the Truth Commission warning him to stop flaunting his loyalty to America. Lastly, George Steele has apparently offered writers of the magazine $5 to get in the PWI 500 this year.
NO HOLDS BARRED: written by: Steve Anderson
Stevie Richards gained fame in ECW and was on the cusp of challenging for the ECW World Championship and probably was going to be the next champion, but instead decided to jump ship to WCW. Anderson doesn’t see Richards as a sellout but rather a guy making a jump to further his career. Steve tries to compare this situation to the Mankind/Dude Love situation. I don’t see the similarities of Mankind switching persona to Dude Love as a way of being a sellout, which is what ECW fans were calling Richards.
BLINDSIDED: written by: Andy Rodriguez
The focus of the article is on Mick Foley and his two identities of Mankind and Dude Love. Andy wonders if Foley will allow Dude Love to stick around since he won the WWF Tag Team Championships with Steve Austin. Wrestlers like Owen Hart don’t believe Love will stick around and doesn’t trust what Foley is all about.
THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN
Terry Funk: He’s seriously going to retire in September after a tour of Japan. He’s serious about it this time, guts. They thank Funk for 32-years of excitement and memories.
Rob Van Dam: Because he is the best free agent wrestler and he isn’t tied down to any company out of loyalty. So, whether he competes for the NWO, WCW, ECW or WWF, Van Dam is going to be the best.
George Steele: Steele has come out of retirement and won his first three matches on the Northeast independents. Wouldn’t it be cool if Steele arrived in WCW and got between Randy Savage and Elizabeth like he tried to do in the WWF?
Chris Benoit: He’s standing up to the NWO by challenging Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to a match in July. Somebody has to standup to the NWO and Benoit is that guy.
Bret Hart: Largely because Bret has been hating on the United States and his fellow Canadians are supporting his actions.
Debra McMichael: She turned on her husband Steve McMichael by aligning herself with Jeff Jarrett. She’s apparently lost her marbles.
Phineas Godwinn: He’s supposed to be the fun one but has gone the same way as Henry Godwinn since he was injured by the Legion of Doom. Phineas has developed the same attitude as Henry and that’s just not cool.
Doug Gilbert: He failed to show up for a scheduled IWA Heavyweight Championship defense. Thus, he should be banned from competition for a longtime because he’s an embarrassment.
In Memphis, Tennessee, Jerry Lawler teamed with Brian Christopher to battle the Sandman and Tommy Dreamer in tag team action at a USWA show. The match ended with a disqualification victory for Lawler and Christopher when PJ Walker and PG-13 got involved leading to a brawl.
In Wilmington, Delaware, Glen Osbourne had a lot on the line in a match against Rockin’ Ronny. He could win the vacant ECWA Heavyweight Championship and give control of ECWA back to Jim Kettner who had been duped into signing control of the company to evil manager The Master. Osbourne won the match and then turned on Kettner, which wouldn’t allow Kettner to sign paperwork to regain control of the company.
In Daytona Beach, FL, the match between Diamond Dallas Page teaming with Curt Hennig to take on Randy Savage and Scott Hall is highlighted. Hennig turned on Page leading to Page being pinned by Savage after an elbow drop.
YOU ASKED US
Hunter Hearst Helmsley is asked if he stays in touch with Perry Saturn, who he teamed with on the independents in Massachusetts. Helmsley says he doesn’t make it a priority to call people he knew in the past, but when he saw Saturn recently he wished him well because he’s a talented performer.
Roddy Piper never thought he’d be in the wrestling business for this long after his issues with Hulk Hogan. He’s having fun and realizes that he can’t do a lot of the stuff in the ring anywhere else.
Prince Iaukea was asked if he ever thought his WCW Television Championship win was a fluke since he’s been having a hard time since he lost the title to Ultimo Dragon. Iaukea admits that it would be hard to not think negatively, but he just needs to study more tape and he’ll be fine.
Tommy Dreamer was asked why he’s never challenged Terry Funk for the ECW World Championship. Dreamer says that Funk has been getting targeted from all angles and doesn’t need to worry about him. Dreamer would like to see Funk on top of ECW for another ten years.
Sunny was asked which manager she looked up to. She looks up to Capt. Lou Albano and considers him to be a really smart guy.
INTRODUCING SCOTT TAYLOR
Apparently, Taylor is being compared to Shawn Michaels. Taylor notes that people have said that he reminds them of a young Michaels with his style and looks. He believes wins over Aldo Montoya and Leif Cassidy prove that he belongs in the WWF. Taylor had a heated and lengthy feud with Phil Apollo that helped his career and gain confidence to enter the WWF. His proudest moment was a match with Owen Hart in his hometown of Maine. He’s going to take advantage of the Lightweight Division and he’s ready to take what is his.
Q & A: BRIAN CHRISTOPHER
Christopher refuses to answer whether or not he is the son of Jerry Lawler. Christopher calls Paul E. Dangerously an idiot for suggesting that he was related to Lawler. Christopher talked about the ECW vs. USWA feud calling ECW a minor league company that has senseless violence just for the sake of violence. He isn’t going to back down from ECW. He finds the WWF Lightweight Division to be a bad joke with the competition being a joke, as well. Christopher believes he will be the king of the lightweight division and with him on top all the top talents will want to join the division. Christopher says his rival Billy Joe Travis is a fraud who will never make it in country music. Christopher ends the interview saying he’ll be the lightweight champion.
X-RAY: SHANE DOUGLAS
Capt. Lou Albano: Sees Douglas a cocky wrestler, but he is so good at the psychological warfare that he makes opponents forget what they are trying to do. He sees why the fans hate Douglas so much.
Killer Kowalski: Thinks that Douglas could be a star for some time since Douglas goes into the ring thinking there is no way he is going to lose any given match.
Harley Race: Has noticed that Francine has been getting involved in Shane’s matches more and more often and suggests that Douglas go to the gym and study instead of relying on his valet to bail him out.
Fabulous Moolah: Douglas and Francine may be the most dangerous couple in wrestling. She thinks it’s a smart idea to have brought in Bam-Bam Bigelow and Chris Candido as backup.
Ole Anderson: Douglas talks too much for his tastes, but he puts over Douglas and his ability in the ring and his ability to inflict pain.
Lance Russell: Considers Douglas to be a fine wrestler but his ego is out of control. Russell thinks that Douglas needs to get some aerial offense to be an unbeatable force.
THE TOP 10 FACEOFF! WWF VS. WCW: WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE!
Match #1: WWF World Champion The Undertaker vs. WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan
The staff picks overwhelmingly pick Taker to win the match 4-1. Hogan has been inactive and that would likely cost him in a match with someone like the Undertaker.
Match #2: WWF Intercontinental Champion Owen Hart vs. WCW United States Champion Jeff Jarrett
The staff goes with Owen Hart 3-2, likely because he has the Hart Foundation while Jarrett doesn’t have the same backup since the Four Horsemen isn’t associated with him anymore.
Match #3: Bret Hart vs. Diamond Dallas Page
It’s a match that would actually end up happening a year or so later in WCW. The staff pick Bret Hart to win the match 3-2. However, they agree that Page winning isn’t out of reality since Page does hold a victory over Randy Savage.
Match #4: Steve Austin vs. Randy Savage
A dream match that never happened, aside from early ’95 when Austin was still “Stunning” Steve. It’s another close call amongst the staff with Austin pulling out a 3-2 victory.
Match #5: Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Lex Luger
Total Package almost won this in a total clean sweep, but settles for a 4-1 victory amongst the staff. They see the experiences that Luger has a major advantage along with the fact that Luger has a lot of momentum on his side.
Match #6: Ken Shamrock vs. The Giant
Despite a clear size advantage, Shamrock got a couple of votes from the writers giving Giant a 3-2 victory. Mainly, the argument is made that the Giant would find a way to hit the choke slam to win the match.
Match #7: Mankind vs. Chris Jericho
This has to be seen as an upset as the staff went with Jericho on a 3-2 vote. They think Jericho would be smart enough to avoid the claw and use his speed and agility to prevail.
Match #8: Big Van Vader vs. Dean Malenko
In another shock, Malenko gets a 3-2 vote that he’d overcome Vader in a singles match. They say that Vader is in a slump and Malenko would be able to use his mat wrestling advantage to prevail.
Match #9: Goldust vs. Syxx
The writers feel that Goldust hasn’t been on a good streak lately and would likely underestimate Syxx, leading to Syxx taking advantage and defeat a championship caliber talent like Goldust. Thus, Syxx won with a 3-2 vote.
Match #10: Brian Pillman vs. Chris Benoit
With Benoit having ended his issues with Kevin Sullivan, he has plenty momentum while Pillman may have come back from an ankle injury too soon and his stamina isn’t where it needs to be. Benoit got a 4-1 edge amongst the writers.
GUERRERO’S GRIEF: “WE’VE LOST EDDY FOREVER”: written by: Dave Rosenbaum
Eddy Guerrero recently turned heel to get revenge on Dean Malenko over the WCW United States Championship. Malenko returned to WCW on June 9th to cost Malenko the championship after being out with injury he suffered at Uncensored against Malenko. The family was shocked when on July 14th Eddy just destroyed Chavo Guerrero Jr. causing Hector Guerrero to leave the locker room and make the save. Eddy believes his family shouldn’t take it so personally as this is his hatred for Malenko and he’s keeping the attitude at all times for when he gets his hands on Malenko to get revenge. The Guerrero family doesn’t know if they can possibly move on from this.
TAZ’ MISSION: MAKING A SINGLES STAR OUT OF AN ELIMINATOR: written by: Dave Rosenbaum
With Perry Saturn being sidelined with a knee injury for a year or more, John Kronus was left to fend for himself in singles ranks in ECW. Recently, Kronus stepped in the ring with ECW Television Champion Taz, who decided he was going to give his best to Kronus. Taz would defeat Kronus in the match, but Taz noted that Kronus was a good wrestler and we’d likely see an all around better wrestler in Kronus. Kronus is looking to challenge the top wrestlers in ECW and is looking to be successful with the help of Taz while Saturn is out of action.
SYXX! SYXX! SYXX! HE’S GOT THE DEVIL IN HIM!: written by: Liz Hunter
In order to standout from being the smallest wrestler in the New World Order, Syxx has developed quite the attitude. He’s attacked WCW wrestlers whenever the opportunity arises. Even when Chris Jericho beat him for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship, Syxx came out the next night and berated Jericho claiming he isn’t really the champion. Dr. Sidney M. Basil believes that Syxx is sundering from a severe Napoleonic complex. Since losing the championship, Syxx has been trying to prove his worth to the New World Order to makeup for his lack of size. However, Syxx says that if his friends can’t see what he brings to the table, then too bad. He doesn’t really care. However, according Hunter, it’s clear that Syxx does care.
What are your memories of what was going on in the wrestling world at this time? Do you remember this magazine? Share your thoughts below!
Thanks for reading.