Let’s take a look inside Pro Wrestling Illustrated February 1995, shall we?
A couple of fans commented on the 1994 PWI 500 list stating they pretty much agree with it. However, one fan doesn’t think that Jerry Lawler should have been ranked higher than the Undertaker. Robin from Connecticut thinks that Alundra Blayze should have been in the PWI 500 and not having her because she doesn’t beat men is sexist. Patrick from New Jersey believes the ECW Heavyweight Championship should have the label of a World Championship due to the stronger competition for the championship. Isa from Germany recently attended a WCW show in Germany and was very disappointed. Aside from Sting, the show wasn’t worth the price. She has a comment for Hulk Hogan saying hat he needs to realize that WCW fans want good in-ring action. Ron from Pennsylvania can’t believe that Public Enemy would vandalize the ranch of the Funk Brothers, though they’ll have tough competition with the animal activists.
Sonny from British Columbia misses Ted DiBiase as an in-ring competitor. He thinks that DiBiase is a lackluster manager because all the men me manages doesn’t reach their level of ability. Hopefully, DiBiase can either return to wrestling or go to the broadcast table. Chad from California doesn’t think Jerry Lawler wants to wrestle in the WWF and should stick to feuding with Doink if that’s the case. Rita from Chicago thinks it is great that Jake Roberts is bald now. She got a great laugh of it and thinks we should enjoy it. Rob from Scotland is annoyed with Hogan and his buddies from the 80s coming into WCW. WCW had just started to get on a role with Spring Stampede and Slamboree events. While Hogan as champion will bring a boost in the short-term, this will hurt the company.
RINGSIDE: written by: Bill Apter
WWF World Champion Bret Hart has had a few new challengers including Jim Neidhart and King Kong Bundy, both who haven’t been able to win the title. Bob Backlund promises that if anyone can break his chicken wing submission then he will retire. WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon has been able to beat challengers Owen Hart and Yokozuna. However, Yokozuna has been dealing with the Undertaker, too. Yoko has been losing casket matches on a regular basis to Undertaker over the fall.
There is friction between WWF Tag Team Champions Diesel and Shawn Michaels. Recently, Michaels suffered an arm injury and Diesel has defended the titles in handicap matches. The Headshrinkers have emerged as challengers. However, this version is Fatu and the Barbarian (Sionne).
Over in WCW, the biggest question is when will Vader get a shot at WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan. However, he is currently still dealing with the Guardian Angel. Hogan has developed an odd relationship with Dave Sullivan, which has upset Kevin Sullivan. Apter still finds it strange that Jim Duggan has won the WCW United States Championship but doesn’t feel bad for Steve Austin who hasn’t been able to regain the title in recent rematches. Marcus Alexander Bagwell and the Patriot recently won the WCW Tag Team Championships from Pretty Wonderful. They are focused on taking on the Stud Stable and Col. Robert Parker.
Cactus Jack is off to a good start in Smoky Mountain Wrestling as he is trying to save Boo Bradley from Tammy Fytch, who doesn’t treat him very well. The hottest feud in SMW is over the SMW Heavyweight Championship with Dirty White Boy facing Bruiser Bedlam in whipping matches. When Bedlam loses he and Jim Cornette get five a piece. When White Boy loses he gets ten. Bryant Anderson, the son of Ole Anderson, is feuding with Tracy Smothers who he claims bullied him.
In USWA, champion Sid Vicious can’t rest easy now that he has beaten Jerry Lawler. He nearly lost to the Undertaker when the dead man toured the Memphis area. In ECW, there was a scary moment where Sandman and Tommy Dreamer had an I Quit match where Sandman suffered a fractured eye socket. Sandman also had a cigarette put in his eye. Ron Simmons is back wrestling competing in ECW going after Shane Douglas’s championship.
FROM THE DESK OF…: written by: Stu Saks
The main topic of the article is the history between Bob Backlund and Arnold Skaaland. Their relationship and bond was strong since they did many things together and accomplished a lot. Stu doesn’t approve of what Backlund has become, but if he wants to destroy his image, then so be it. Prior to Backlund’s match with Sheik, he competed in a competition to swing 75lbs clubs and was attacked by Sheik, causing injuries. Thus, Skaaland promised Backlund that if his health was in danger he’d stop the match and Backlund agreed. Backlund will always believe that he could have came back and beaten the Sheik. However, it’s often forgotten that Backlund gave his rematch to Hulk Hogan, who would eventually defeat Sheik to win the WWF World Championship. Stu believes Backlund is unable to take responsibility for his own failures.
IN FOCUS: written by: Craig Peters
The focus on the article is the response and reaction to the 1994 PWI 500 rankings. A fan thinks that Hulk Hogan shouldn’t have been number two, but rather ninth or tenth. Eddie Ellner disagrees thinking that Hogan shouldn’t have been listed since he isn’t active all that much to begin with. Bill Apter tells one fan that next year the entire magazine may be dedicated to the PWI 500 and pictures of independent wrestlers will be included, if that’s the case.
Adam from New Jersey thinks that Alundra Blayze shouldn’t be in the PWI 500 until she beats someone in the PWI 500. However, Bill Apter responds with what if she beats Miss Texas, who was in the PWI 500. Apparently, the editors screwed up including a dead wrestler named Mohammed The Butcher. They aren’t going to expand to a PWI 1,000.
WIN, LOSE, OR DRAW: written by: Andy Rodriguez
2 Cold Scorpio wants a shot at the WCW Tag Team Championships even if he has to go through his former partner Marcus Alexander Bagwell. Scorpio left WCW to get better as a singles wrestler but now wants a piece of tag team gold again. Scorpio says that isn’t anything personal and still considers Bagwell to a friend. Scorpio wants to find someone similar to his offense attack and was in Japan recently, but doesn’t know if any of them will stay for more than a few weeks. One WCW wrestler thinks that Scorpio wants to prove that Marcus wasn’t the key to the teams success. Andy suggests that this could be a situation to keep an eye on.
THE STEEL CAGE: written by: Chris Bernucca
Sabu could be the best wrestler going today and could be on the verge of signing with the WWF. There isn’t anyone in the WWF that can be compared to Sabu. Chris hopes that Sabu gets a fair shot in the WWF, but doesn’t think he’ll get an opportunity because he doesn’t toe the party line. Ric Flair will likely be retired by the time the magazine is released. Flair has looked older in his matches with Hogan, but he believes Flair can still win matches. The Gangstas are taking over SMW, but their act has been toned down recently as TV outlets have been threatening to stop airing the program. Chris thinks they should be fired a long time ago, just like he was for accidentally printing a racist term of Mexicans. However, Chris insists he’s not racist since his newborn baby will be half-Mexican.
OFF THE TOP ROPE: written by: Eddie Ellner
Joseph from Missouri wants to know who’s better Harvey Wippleman or Paul Bearer. Eddie suggests that they just get rid of both of them. Eddie puts over Ivan Koloff for ending Bruno Sammartino’s near eight year WWF World Championship run. Koloff was consistent and that’s a heavy compliment these days. Eddie defends Paul Orndorff from a fan who claimed that Eddie should find new heroes and stop being behind Orndorff. Orndorff had it all and would have had a different career had Hulk Hogan not paid off officials during their feud in the WWF.
Eddie doesn’t think there isn’t anything wrong with the WWF that Thunder In Paradise couldn’t solve. Just hire Sting and shave his head and its Hulkamania again. Eddie really doesn’t like Lex Luger and hope he doesn’t have a future in professional wrestling. He considers Luger to be someone who just growls and flexes. In ten years, Eddie sees Flair as someone who will dominate the Senior Wrestling Tour with Bob Backlund.
ONLY BRIAN PILLMAN CAN SAVE STEVE AUSTIN’S CAREER: written by: Bill Apter
Steve Austin was once regarded to being perhaps the next Ric Flair, but that just got under his skin. Brian Pillman believes that Austin is on a roller coaster and it’s going to crash hard soon. Pillman is still bitter from when Austin turned on him when they were the Hollywood Blondes and dominating the tag team division. Austin went on to win the WCW United States Championship, but failed to regain the title from Steamboat after ending his eight month reign. Since losing to Jim Duggan in a 27-second match at Fall Brawl, that Austin has lost his fire. During a recent tour in England, Pillman and Austin dined together and have talked heart to heart recently. Pillman believes that they are wrestling soul mates. Pillman appears to be interested in reforming the team, but it appears that Austin would need to make the effort to make that a reality.
PRESS CONFERENCE: BRET HART
If Bret Hart didn’t exist in wrestling, Bret would pick Shawn Michaels to be the number one ranked guy in the PWI 500 because Michaels can bring wrestling to the next level. Bret is sure that at some point Shawn Michaels will come for the WWF World Championship, which is the only one Michaels hasn’t attained yet. Bret’s confident that both Diesel and Michaels will accomplish a lot in the WWF. Bret puts over Diesel size and strength as reasons he’ll do good things in the company. Bret believes that his falling out with Jim Neidhart came when Neidhart had his career went stagnet. Bret’s career was going higher and higher but Neidhart never reached out to him.
Bret never thought that Owen would be poisoned by Neidhart, but they had gotten close as a team and Owen felt for Neidhart when he got fired. Bret is tired of defending against Owen and would like to move on from it. Bret is open to burying the hatchet at any time with his family to move past the issues they have been having. Bret feels bad for Bob Backlund having snapped. He thinks the fans booing Backlund really got to him. He will be going into the Dungeon to think of a counter to the chicken wing submission. He also considers King Kong Bundy to be a serious threat to the WWF World Championship.
WCW CIVIL WAR! WILL EX-WWF STARS SPARK A REVOLUTION?: written by: Dave Lenker
WCW is split into two camps in regard to Mr. T being announced as the special referee for the Hogan vs. Flair match at Halloween Havoc. Hogan, Beefcake, Jimmy Hart and Jim Duggan are thrilled. Meanwhile, Flair, Sherri Martel and Pretty Wonderful are not happy at all. A lot of people are claiming that WCW is starting to look similar to the WWF in the late 1980s with the influx of talent as of late. That is in reference to Hogan, Duggan, the Guardian Angel and the Honkytonk Man, who has just arrived and is already in line for WCW TV Championship matches. Take into account that Bobby Heenan and Mean Gene are on TV, and the similarities to 80s WWF continues to grow.
Fans would argue which company was better, the WWF or WCW. But, now its whose better, the WWF ran by Vince McMahon or the WWF ran by Ted Turner. One unnamed source feels bad for fans for what WCW has become. Despite that, WCW has been seeing an increase number of fans attend and watch their shows. It seems like there is a reversal with WWF having matches that WCW would have in the late 1980s while WCW is turning more into what WWF had been. Hogan feels like WCW has been better since he has arrived to the company. Things might get ugly if the next pay per view has former WWF stars against regular WCW talent.
STARS ’N’ STRIPES SHOCKER: BAGWELL “IF PATRIOT DOESN’T UNMASKED WE’RE THROUGH!”: written by: Dave Rosenbaum
Bagwell has been having dreams that they lose the tag titles to Pretty Wonderful and his partner, the Patriot, takes off his mask and reveals his identity. To Bagwell, in the dream, the face is one that isn’t a good face to see. Bagwell knows he can trust Patriot, but the thought of who Patriot exactly is, still haunts him. Bagwell insists that if Patriot doesn’t unmask, then they will break the team up. As soon as he said that, he covered his mouth. He’s sure that if he asked him who he was, that he’d be told and that everything will be fine. Bagwell notes it is tough going out with Patriot having to tell him that there is food on his mask.
Marcus wonders that perhaps his dream is foreshadowing real-life and that Patriot really isn’t on his side. Patriot commented that his actions should prove that he is trustworthy, but he notes that in wrestling he may not team with Bagwell for long anyway. Patriot thinks they’ll have a talk since his identity wouldn’t impact their team in his opinion. This tension could be the demise of Stars ’n’ Stripes.
ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER – ROASTED ALIVE!: written by: Ed Emelett
Wrestling fans attending a WWA show in Clementon, New Jersey surely had no idea what they were going to see when Abduallah the Butcher competed in a match against Abbudah Singh. Both men want to be known as the most sadistic man in wrestling. Singh blew fire onto Butcher’s chest causing severe burns and Butcher’s skin to come falling off his body in a truly gruesome sight. Butcher got the victory but was quickly treated for second and third degree burns. Singh promises to do worse to Butcher next time they meet in the ring.
“BACKLUND NEEDED SKAALAND, NOW HE NEEDS ME!”: written by: Jim Cornette
Cornette believes that Bob Backlund made the right decision to stop listening to fans and his career will benefit from it. However, in order to get the WWF World Championship he’ll need a manager like himself. Cornette takes credit for the success the Midnight Express accomplished with his leadership. He also puts over the Heavenly Bodies for having beaten the Rock N’ Roll Express on pay per view for the SMW Tag Team Championships. Cornette believes he could help Backlund channel his anger towards his opponents. Cornette promises to never throw the towel into the ring like Arnold Skaaland did. He’s a winner, and Backlund can be a winner again, too.
Bob Backlund attacking his former manager Arnold Skaaland is mentioned. Jesse Ventura is no longer broadcasting for WCW programming. Jushin Liger broke his ankle recently and was forced to vacate the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Liger promises to comeback. The Gangstas have been awarded the SMW Tag Team Championships after they beat the Rock N’ Roll Express but Bob Armstrong restarted the match due to cheating by the Gangstas. However, a lawyer got involved and was able to pull some strings to cause the company to be forced to give the titles to New Jack and Mustafa Saed.
Chris Candido had a successful tour in Japan having impressed officials over there. Quebecer Pierre has failed at his quest to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship from Razor Ramon in Canada. Lastly, Earthquake is back in Japan teaming with Vader for UWFI. Perhaps, Earthquake will get with Vader to give a game plan for an eventual challenge to WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan.
That wraps up this installment of Inside The Magazine. What are your thoughts on what was going on in wrestling?
Thanks for reading.