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Inside The Magazine Volume #30: The Wrestler January 1997

Ted DiBiase sits down for a Q&A regarding his association with the New World Order. Hulk Hogan could buy WCW? The Undertaker may have lost Paul Bearer, but could that have been a good thing for his career? New Jack heads to ICW to battle Bruiser Bedlam, but what is more extreme, ECW or ICW? Also, Owen Hart and British Bulldog nearly had their team ruined, but battling in a singles match actually brought them closer. All this and much more inside the magazine!

YOUR LETTERS

David from San Antonio talks about Jerry Lawler torturing Jake Roberts by using liquor on Roberts at SummerSlam 1996. David wonders if Jake Roberts will be on the Thumbs Down list with Lawler for exposing his weaknesses and allowing Lawler to take advantage of him. Robert from England is happy that the WWF has been changing their roster with the likes of Shawn Michaels, Owen Hart, Brian Pillman, Steve Austin and Vader instead of the likes of Repo Man and Doink. He thinks that WWF truly is the revolutionary force in wrestling. Craig from Kansas talked about originally being on Hogan’s side for his heel turn, but he’s changed his mind. He thinks that Hogan is more annoying as a bad guy and is a phony ruining the careers of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. He thinks anyone associated with him should dump Hogan.

Vader is missing one man, Harley Race.

John from Michigan believes that Vader has been struggling since Harley Race retired. Vader shouldn’t be losing to guys like Jake Roberts, Warrior, and Shawn Michaels. Jim Cornette hasn’t done anything for Vader and should call Race and he’ll likely be glad he did. Jennifer from Amsterdam, NY is annoyed with everyone in WCW being hypocrites. She thinks that Larry Zbyszko is a hypocrite for calling the NWO “New World Odor” and wrestlers using chairs while complaining the NWO used bats. She believes if they can’t take it in WCW then they should just leave. William from PA really liked the pictures they used for a Pillman article in a recent magazine. Pictures from 1989 to 1994 showed Pillman as a healthy wrestler and by 1996 he looks like he is possessed by the devil. He thinks that Pillman’s car accident woke him up and helped him realize the error of his ways.

WHAT’S HAPPENING: written by: Bill Apter

Recently, Extreme Championship Wrestling invaded the In Your House X pay per view with Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, Taz and Paul E. Dangerously. WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels saw it happen and he shared his opinion. “It’s not even wrestling – it’s a series of street fights thrown together, mistakenly billed as wrestling. If I had the opportunity to get into the ring with any one of those guys, it would be a joke. Their so-called wrestlers wouldn’t know how to handle themselves with a real wrestler from a real professional federation. Remember, they do have a few people who have wrestled in the WWF before, but they couldn’t cut it here, so they went to the that little promotion that wrestle in a bingo hall in Philadelphia.” Tod Gordon shared a response to Michaels comments. “ Extreme Championship Wrestling is an after-hours program. We are not a Saturday morning cartoon show. Regarding Shawn Michaels vs. anyone in ECW: After he finishes his 25-minute ring entrance, he’d better start looking out for baseball bats and flying chairs. Our guys are here to fight, not to play politics and kiss butt. And Shawn, you want to talk about real wrestlers? Just take a look at Shane Douglas, Sabu, 2 Cold Scorpio. They are wreak wrestlers. They come into the ring to compete not to do a male stripper routine and show off tattoos on their butts!”

Elizabeth has been offered a spot in the New World Order by Hulk Hogan, but she’s unsure to join them or to join the Horsemen or to reunite with Randy Savage. Apter thinks that Elizabeth will return to Savage considering how the NWO treated her in October. JJ Dillon has left WWF and joined WCW as an advisor. Some independent wrestling news as Twiggy Ramirez and Adrian Hall won the NWA US Tag Team Championships with help from Madonna Wayne Gacey to defeat Bad Attitude. Honkytonk Man is being managed by Angel Baby in AWF, who Apter says looks a lot like Luna Vachon without face paint. Damien Kane and Lady Alexandria recently expressed anger with PWI for their constant pictures of Sunny. Apter doesn’t often go out on a limb but he thinks that Rocky Maivia has what it takes to go a long way in the business. He has been competing under the name Flex Kavana in USWA where he won the USWA Tag Team Championships with Bart Sawyer several times. AWF Heavyweight Champion Tito Santana has continued to feud with Bob Orton Jr. PCW Heavyweight Champion Mark West doesn’t want to defend the title against his brother Troy, because he’s a loser and the family doesn’t want anything to do with him. Pat and CW Anderson won the NWA Southern Tag Team Championships from Bobby Fulton and Jackie Fulton.

NO HOLDS BARRED: written by: Steve Anderson

Steve talks about how both WCW and WWF didn’t have impressive tag teams on their rosters, but it appears that both companies have made an effort to change that. WCW has signed Public Enemy, Steiner Brothers, and the Road Warriors. Meanwhile, the WWF has the Bodydonnas and the improving Smoking Gunns. However, recently the bright future for the companies has changed to being at a crossroads. Road Warriors failed to live up to they hype upon their return. They are now competing in the AWF and Japan, but it’s likely that they’ll be back in WWF or WCW. Steiner Brothers held the WCW Tag Team Championships for three days before losing to Harlem Heat and Scott Steiner has been sidelined with a hip injury. The Smoking Gunns lost to the team of Owen Hart and British Bulldog at WWF In Your House and they are on the verge of a breakup. The Bodydonnas won the WWF Tag Team Championships but that was short-lived and Skip suffered a serious neck injury. So, Steve finds himself wondering about the tag team divisions and hopes that 1997 brings a different result.

BLINDSIDED: written by: Andy Rodriguez

Andy talks about ECW invading the recent WWF pay per view and he enjoyed it as it showed someone strike a blow against a major promotion like the WWF. He was doubly surprised that Vince McMahon acknowledged fans of another promotion. Andy doesn’t believe that there’s an actual war between WWF or ECW since the WWF would easily destroy them. He feels like the ECW fans have won the war for themselves since both WWF and WCW have catered to them with their live shows and recent approach to TV. There is a fear now that the WWF will swallow up ECW since they are in a war with WCW. This was ECW’s attempt to make sure WWF wouldn’t run shows in Philadelphia anymore. ECW shook up the sport on September 22nd and the sport always needs that.

THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN

Thumps Up
Randy Savage:
He deserves a lot of credit for wrestling on Nitro on September 23rd when most of his WCW allies were competing in Japan. He honored a commitment when other people may have taken the easy way out.

Jeff Jarrett: Everyone thought Jarrett was going to be part of the NWO when he arrived on Nitro. However, Jarrett showed he had integrity when he sided with Sting and was tired of Hogan taking credit for where wrestling had gotten to.

Giant Baba

Giant Baba: He’s still wrestling and recently competed in a six man tag team match, which he was on the winning side. Perhaps Baba will reach his 40th anniversary as he had reached his 36th anniversary.

Steve Austin: He recently fought WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels and competed a rather clean match as if he had something to prove to WWF officials. They would like to see more Michaels vs. Austin main events, too.

Thumbs Down:
Jim Ross:
He has brought in a fake Razor Ramon and fake Diesel into WWF. We all know that there is only one Ramon and only one Diesel.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley: They don’t really respect Hunter Hearst Helmsley for trying to get a former star out of retirement like he did with Curt Hennig. Helmsley has handcuffed his valets to ring posts to prevent Hennig from taking them. Last time they checked, Helmsley wasn’t in the top ten in the WWF and a loss to Hennig wouldn’t help him.

Capt. Lou Albano: He has apparently considered coming out of retirement to battle a young manager named Judd The Studd. This wouldn’t be a good idea for Albano and he should just use his wit to defeat people.

Vincent

Vincent: He’s the new bodyguard for the New World Order and they wonder if there’s anyone that stoop lower to remain in the wrestling spotlight. They also suggest that they could think of a better name for him.

CORRESPONDENTS REPORTS

Memphis, TN: Frank Miller was at the arena and focuses on a tag match that saw Bill and Jamie take on Jesse James and Wolfie D in a double ladder match. The losing team would have to split up. Jamie Dundee hit Wolfie and Jesse with a ladder and climbed up the ladder to win the match for this team.

Philadelphia, PA: Jerry Howard was at the arena and focuses on a six man tag match that saw Terry Gordy teamed with Steve Williams and Tommy Dreamer to battle the Eliminators and Brian Lee. The Eliminators hit the Total Elimination on Gordy and won the match to spoil the reunion for Williams and Gordy.

Dallas, TX: Carrie Duran attended a WWF house show where WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels defended against Goldust. Goldust really held his own in the match but would fall victim to a super kick.

YOU ASKED US

Shawn Michaels was asked how he manages to prepare for so many different opponents. He says that nobody told him it was going to be easy. He doesn’t have much time to watch tapes and whatnot but he must be doing something correctly. Hulk Hogan was asked why the Booty Man wasn’t given an invite to join the NWO. Hogan says that they ask for someone to join the group and don’t just take anyone. If they are needed, they will let them know. Another fan asks Dan Kroffat and Doug Furnas why they have only wrestled in Japan. Largely, it’s because of the good money and good matches over there. They feel like they are the best team in All-Japan. They came to ECW to get some respect in ECW and they know none of the other teams can measure up to them in other promotions, which they’ll prove.

Sting was asked if he may have gone too far in how he declared himself a free agent. Sting doesn’t believe he did since he has always been constant with his actions while everyone else has been changing all the time, including his good friend Lex Luger. He’s not ready to forgive and forget. Lastly, Wolfie D is asked if he thinks he’ll ever reunite with his former partner Jamie Dundee. Wolfie won’t rule anything out. He knows in the feud that he’s in the right and that Jamie would need to admit he was wrong for his actions in order for their to be a reconciliation.

Corporal Punishment competing in ECW.

INTRODUCING: CORPORAL PUNISHMENT: written by: Dave Lenker

Punishment recalls asking Axl Rotten in a gym in Maryland to train him to become a wrestler but Rotten dismissed him like he was nothing. Five years later, Axl has a top heel stable known as “Axl’s Family of Freaks” and the members include Axl, the Headbangers, Jeffrey Jones and Corporal Robinson. Eventually, Punishment was trained by Neidhart and won the MEWF Heavyweight Championship from Jim Neidhart. He also won a tag title with Road Warrior Hawk. Punishment had a blood feud with Rotten but they grew to respect each other. Recently, Punishment won the MEWF Heavyweight Championship for a third time in a steel cage against Johnny Gunn. He would show his respect for Axl Rotten by allowing him to pin him right after the match.

Q&A: TED DIBIASE

DiBiase makes it clear that he’s not part of WCW but rather a charter member of the NWO. Ted suggests that they may buy WCW as it may be for sale, or they’ll just wipe it off the earth. He believes that he has the missing puzzle to takeover a company and that’s WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan. With his money and Hogan’s power they’ll takeover WCW. They were once enemies, but now that Hogan has admitted that him playing to the fans was a mistake, they are friends now. DiBiase has always stated that everyone can be bought and this proves that. DiBiase puts over the talents of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and the Giant. DiBiase believes that Six (not spelled as Syxx) is their ace for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. DiBiase tries to play it off like they have gotten Sting into their group, but the interviewer isn’t buying it. DiBiase says that it may not be the original Sting, but rather a better Sting. DiBiase says their plan worked with Sting and he now claims to be a free agent and is disgusted with WCW. DiBiase says that they can get whomever they want. Their goal is to have the NWO replace WCW as they could never co-exist. DiBiase tries to bribe the interviewer for an article in the magazine. He ends the interview warning everyone in the business big or small companies to be on alert for the NWO.

X-RAY: THE BLUE MEANIE

Capt. Lou Albano: He finds Meanie to be really weird with his all blue look, but he could be crazy enough to become a star in the business. Meanie is going to have to start taking things a little more seriously.

Killer Kowalski: Kowalski isn’t a fan of people who feel they need to be bizarre in order to be successful. He wouldn’t need to look at him twice to know that Meanie isn’t his kind of wrestler. The only good thing for Kowalski is that Meanie can get under people’s skin and distract them.

Harley Race: Harley isn’t going to put down Meanie like his colleagues have been. Race says that Meanie is similar to Vader in that he can hit a moonsault off the top, but isn’t saying he is similar to Vader. He just thinks that Meanie deservers more credit than he is getting.

Fabulous Moolah: She likes Blue Meanie because he’s a different looking type of guy. She thinks that Meanie needs to take off a few pounds because that limits him in the ring.

Ole Anderson: Ole believes that Meanie needs to look into the mirror and realize that wrestling isn’t about joking around. It’s not about looking like a freak. He thinks that Meanie needs to break away from Raven’s group because right now he’s just a joke. ;

Lance Russell: He believes that there is some potential with the Blue Meanie. Russell believes that Meanie should get his wrestling skills worked on otherwise he’ll just be a comedy wrestler for his career.

HOGAN’S NEXT MOVE… BUY WCW: written by: Steve Anderson

Apparently, when Time Warner merged with Turner Broadcasting, that left Time Warner in debt to the tune of 17-billion dollars and they’d need to sell some assets to trim so much debt. WCW could be an asset that would be sold in such a situation. Hulk Hogan and Ted DiBiase would be two guys surely interested in purchasing WCW at the height of their popularity. Hogan says they have more than enough money to purchase the company to cement the takeover. If it were to happen, DiBiase would replace the booking/championship committee. Hogan believes that the current members in the NWO would make for a great championship committee to find him the top level competition for title defenses. DiBiase says that World Championship Wrestling would have to be replaced by New World Championship Order. The sale of WCW is imminent, but NWO will continue to destroy WCW from the inside.

GOOD GRIEF! UNDERTAKER’S LOSS WILL GIVE HIM NEW LIFE: written by: Craig Peters

Ever since Paul Bearer turned on the Undertaker at SummerSlam 1996, the Undertaker has been left feeling betrayed, hurt and confused. Undertaker had won the WWF World Championship and was close to Bearer, but now it’s like the Undertaker has lost his close family friend. Mankind says that the torment that he has felt is deeper than six feet and the price must be paid higher than Undertaker could possibly imagine. Mankind says that the Undertaker has no future in the World Wrestling Federation and his present looks very bleak. Mankind assures us that Undertaker’s destiny is far more repulsive than his physical appearance. Bam-Bam Bigelow says he has watched Undertaker’s career closely and suggests that Taker has lost two steps in the ring and Mankind is a dangerous man.

Davey Boy Smith believes that Undertaker has fallen deeper into himself and has had to deal with his career in a completely different direction. This is the ultimate test for Undertaker’s career. Can he survive in the mourning of loss of Paul Bearer and how will be come out psychologically afterward? Shawn Michaels believes that the Undertaker will come out of this as a better wrestler and more determined. Paul Bearer doesn’t think so because he knows everything about the Undertaker and he won’t hesitate to use it on Undertaker. Taker may come out of this as a better wrestler, but he could also be destroyed in the process.

TAKING INSANITY TO THE EXTREME: NEW JACK’S NIGHT OF BLOODY BEDLAM: written by: Craig Peters

Craig says you can’t possibly understand the amount of pride that ECW wrestlers have unless you actually sat down and watch the shows and been in the dressing room to see the extreme pride they have. New Jack says you have to respect a lot of tough guys but doesn’t respect people who try ride on ECW’s coattails. Bruiser Bedlam says that just because ECW was first doesn’t mean that they are the best. Bruiser thinks that ICW is getting more hardcore than ECW, but New Jack strongly disagrees and thinks that ICW should stand for “I Can’t Wrestle.” Bedlam held his own against New Jack and they wrestled to a double count-out. Jack also attacked Johnny Bradford, wrestling’s only deaf manager, and left him nearly unconscious. Bradford suffered a broken nose in two places, sustained a fractured cheek, two dislodged teeth and possible detached retina. Bedlam is out for revenge against New Jack for what he did to his manager. The matches will likely be bloodier and more brutal than this documented match.

OWEN HART VS. BRITISH BULLDOG: WHAT COULD HAVE RUINED THE TEAM STRENGTHENED IT!: written by: Steve Anderson

When WWF Intercontinental Champion Ahmed Johnson had to vacate the championship that setup a 20-man tournament and both the British Bulldog and Owen Hart wanted to be part of it. They never thought they’d be wrestling each other in the first round, but Gorilla Monsoon did just that and it took place on a live RAW. Jim Cornette was convinced that it was a conspiracy to ruin their championship chances and breakup a team, which he thinks was what Monsoon was trying to do. Cornette was nervous during the match, but luckily Owen Hart won the match by count-out when Bulldog got tangled up with Sunny at ringside and the team survived. They both put each other after the match stating hey both forgot just how good the other man was. They credit their WWF Tag Team Championship win at In Your House because they wrestled each other prior to the match to find respect for each other. They may have to ironically thank Gorilla Monsoon for their success.

Did you purchase this magazine and what are your memories of it? What did you think about what was going on in professional at this time? Leave your thoughts!

Thanks for reading.

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