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Inside The Magazine Volume #36: The Wrestler February ’93

Lets take a look inside the magazine…

YOUR LETTERS

Tracy from England shared a letter saying that it was awesome how fans were able to meet WWF stars at their hotel. Dave from New York thinks that Rick Martel sees his ugliness in Shawn Michaels. Martel was once one of the best wrestlers but now he’s got to push perfume to stay relevant. He thinks that Martel would be WWF Intercontinental Champion if it weren’t for Michaels and thinks that Martel has realized he’s been held back by his own arrogance. Liza from California can’t believe that the editors would want Ron Simmons to be stripped of the WCW World Championship. Sure, he won the title due to a unique situation, but Simmons is a better champion than Vader simply because he takes time to be with children.

Ray from New Jersey believes that Hulk Hogan is still well respected and liked by wrestling fan and thinks that when Hogan returns any question on the matter will be unimportant. Irene from California really wishes that the Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson would stay together as a tag team because as singles wrestlers they are just mediocre wrestlers. Hank from New Jersey recalls seeing Don Muraco in wrestling action recently and thinks it is time for Muraco to retire. Apparently, Muraco didn’t appear to be in wrestling shape.

Don Muraco

Pamela from Tennessee is liking the pairing of Mr. Hughes and Jeff Gaylord known as, Howard Hughes Connection. She thinks that Gaylord has shown great promise and could be World Champion. Hughes has always been on the rise despite misuse from Harley Race. Pam knows that it is likely they will split because that’s what the USWA does after a few weeks, but she hopes they get a chance to shine in another federation if needed. Bob from Detroit doesn’t think that Paul Dangerously having a friendship with Lawrence Taylor will accomplish much for him in the world of wrestling. Dangerously’s WCW run has changed drastically as he doesn’t have any power in WCW and should probably look to go somewhere else.

WHAT’S HAPPENING: written by: Bill Apter

It took a few weeks, but Money Inc. has regained the WWF Tag Team Championships from the Natural Disasters on October 13th in Regina, Saskatchewan. Money Inc. paid off the Nasty Boys prior to the match to get the title shot, but were attacked by the Nasty Boys before the title match. The Headshrinkers also got involved by distracting Typhoon leading to the title change as Earthquake passed out to the Million Dollar Dream. After the title change, the Nasty Boys tossed Jimmy Hart onto the new champions likely a signal of a new feud.

This is the second time this year that Jimmy Hart has screwed over one of his tag teams. He had done a similar thing to the Natural Disasters in February leading to Money Inc. winning the titles from the Legion of Doom at a house show.

Jimmy Hart cares about one thing… the tag titles.

Ric Flair may have lost the WWF World Championship to Bret Hart, but he’ll be wrestling Ultimate Warrior on house shows leading into Survivor Series.

Over in the USWA, Junkyard Dog, Butch Reed and Todd Champion all won the heavyweight championship in a months span. Jerry Lawler was the last homegrown USWA talent to hold the title from May 4th to June 15th. Brian Christopher added another championship to his waist when he won the lightweight championship from Danny Davis while wearing a chicken suit. Christopher tossed an egg into Davis’ face to win the title.

Marty Jannetty has returned to the WWF and has made it clear he has his eyes on his former tag team partner, Shawn Michaels. Undertaker is recovering from a shoulder injury and is likely out of action until mid-December.

Vegas Connection, Vinnie Vegas and Diamond Dallas Page.

The Vegas Connection, Diamond Dallas Page & Vinnie Vegas, are making waves in WCW and are feuding with top teams. Neil Superior is a rising star and was apparently impressive during a stint in Puerto Rico’s AWF. Flex Lavender of the IWCCW is the main challenger to Joe Savolid’s light heavyweight championship. Max Thrasher and Glen Osborne use to be partners but are now killing each other in ECW.

Robbie Walker has made his way to WCW and is one of the hottest newcomers. However, a WCW veteran has already pissed him off. That veteran is Brian Pillman. He used to lookup to Pillman but now he’s hanging with Steve Austin and he can’t respect that.

NO HOLDS BARRED: written by Dave Rosenbaum

Ivan Koloff continues to wrestle and proves to be the definition of a throwback wrestler who tries to get everything he can out of his career before retiring. Two decades ago, Koloff was the most hated man due to the Cold War going on. He is the man who ended Bruno Sammartino first World title reign and was hated even more.

Now, Koloff is wrestling for ECW at the Taber Youth Association, which is a far cry from buildings he was previously working in. Rosenbaum puts over ECW as being an incredible promotion and notes that on the same card Terry Taylor wrestled his final ECW show before jumping back to the WWF.

Koloff says that he still wrestles because it is his hope and perhaps he won’t even retire when he’s 65, a similar age that a factory worker would retire at. Koloff has surpassed expectations of doctors who believe that wrestlers can’t perform as a high level for more than five years. Ivan these days is settling for something else, and that is comfort. Koloff hasn’t seen his family and friends in Russia for many years, but when he finally does retire he’ll likely return to his home country.

He considers himself to be in better shape now compared to when he beat Bruno for the title. His diet is better and he maintains a strict schedule. Despite life not being fun for Koloff, he remains happy.

BLINDSIDED: written by: Bob Smith

First it was Ron Simmons and not it’s Bret Hart… what is Bob Smith supposed to think now that there are two honorable champions in wrestling?! Mike Samples acquired 20% of the USWA and promptly disappeared.

In ECW, Stevie Wonderful is gone from the company forever. Apparently, Terry Taylor allowed Tony Stetson to win a career vs. career match because Taylor was sick of Wonderful. Tod Gordon still has several heel managers he has to deal with in the form of Don E. Allen, Peaches, and Hunter Q. Robbins III. Speaking of Robbins, his tag team the Super Destroyers are probably the best tag team you’ve never seen.

Can you imagine the damage the team of Cactus Jack and Jake Roberts will cause once they get angry? Bob is happy to see that Bob Backlund is back in the WWF. He’s also pretty sure that Bill Watts has something out against Rick Rude for forgetting about him in the lottery for the WCW World Championship match when Sting got hurt. Can’t punish Rude for his actions when a lot of other guys are doing the same thing.

Why hasn’t any major promotion signed a 6’10’’ wrestler by the name of Mike Fury? Bob had a survey recently and some results include the food options at various buildings. Kennett Fieldhouse has the best popcorn even if you have to pick strands of Jeff Jarrett’s hair out of it. The Dallas Sportatorium has the best Texas red hots. The worst franks belong to the Philadelphia Civic Center, a building that has never seen a bigger hot dog than Terry Taylor!

THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN

Thumbs Up:
Scott Steiner: After his brother Rick suffered an injury, Scott was able to refocus and win the WCW Television Championship from Ricky Steamboat recently. The victory was spectacular and earned Scott admiration and even more respect from wrestling fans.

Junkyard Dog: He may not be at the level to be WWF or WCW World Champion, but JYD found his rightful place as the USWA Heavyweight Champion when he defeated Eddie Gilbert. Sure, JYD didn’t hold the title for a very long time, but he will want to use the victory as a stepping stone to something bigger.

Hacksaw Duggan: Duggan stepped in to replace an injured Undertaker in a couple of matches against Razor Ramon. Duggan ended up losing both matches, but he was quick to volunteer and earned respect from everyone involved in the business for stepping up so quickly.

Jimmy Hart: Hart has some serious guts to send wrestlers to the USWA to wrestle Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett. Sure, his wrestlers loss both times, but Hart proved that he has some level of spirit and sportsmanship.

Thumbs Down:
Barry Windham: Windham complained to the media because his tag team partner Dustin Rhodes accepted a match against Brian Pillman and Steve Austin without consulting him. Windham didn’t have to air their dirty laundry out in the public and could have settled it in privacy.

Terry Taylor: Perhaps Taylor made a mistake by going back to the WWF where fans see him nothing more than a rooster. Which, is too bad considering Taylor is a talented wrestler in the ring. Will we ever see a title match between himself and Davey Boy Smith?

Eddie Marlin: He’s losing control of the USWA and lost 20% of the company to Mike Samples. A similar situation happened in World Class with Eric Embry and Skandor Akbar, but this is all Marlin’s fault.

Bill Watts: He rescinded the rule that top rope moves weren’t allowed and then made sure that WCW wouldn’t be responsible if either Sting or Jake Roberts got hurt at Halloween Havoc. Watts is showing he has lost some level of control.

CORRESPONDENTS REPORTS

Boston, MA: The match focused on from Boston was a six person match that saw the Ultimate Warrior, Big Bossman and the Undertaker battle Razor Ramon, Nailz and Kamala. Undertaker had no problem after a short battle and pinned Kamala following a chokeslam.

Bristol, TN: Originally, WCW United States Champion Rick Rude was supposed to defend against Nikita Koloff, but a replacement was needed and out came Ricky Steamboat! Madusa got involved several times and was met with an atomic drop from Steamboat. However, Steamboat would be met with a brass knuckles shot and Rude was able to retain the gold.

Hannibal, MO: Heartland Championship Wrestling had a match between Jason Reeves and Angus King take place and it gave the fans more for their money than they expecting. They brawled outside and Reeves even put King through a table. King apparently got busted open pretty badly during the match. The wild brawl ended with a double count-out.

Birmingham. England: Then-WWF World Champion Ric Flair battled Bret Hart on the show and they were able to counter each others holds throughout. In the end, Flair was able to retain the title by count-out when he backdropped Hart to the floor.

YOU ASKED US

Scott Steiner was asked about what kind of advice he gave his brother Rick now that Rick Steiner is out injured. Scott gives a cliche answer of not feeling bad for himself and to study film on future opponents. When he comes back they’ll be going for the titles. Bill Apter admits that Razor Ramon has won him over considering recent victories over Randy Savage and Bret Hart. Apter does believe that Ramon could be a future WWF World Champion. A fan asks Terry Taylor about wearing glasses, but not wearing them in the ring. Taylor mentions that his sight isn’t bad to the point that he needs to wear glasses in the ring. He knows someone that needs glasses to see, but he’ll keep the name to himself.

Ricky Steamboat is asked about maintaining his personal life while on the road 300+ days out of the year. He tries to keep his wife and family happy and keeps in touch with them during his travel days. He brings them along to pay per views and if close to home on weekends will stay home. His life is basically very similar to other professional athletes. Fabulous Moolah is asked about Terri Power and she says she’s always been impressed by her strength and thinks she’ll be a champion soon enough if she improves her scientific skills. Jeff Jarrett can’t give a proper assessment on the WWF picture since he’s only had a couple of matches there. He’s wanted Bret Hart since the beginning, and now he’s the WWF World Champion.

INTRODUCING: TOMMY CAIRO

The spotlight this month is on the 29-year old Tommy Cairo. Cairo is an inspiring story as he has continued his career despite a near-career ending injury. He had suffered a detached tendon in his left bicep and doctors advised he not return to either wrestling or bodybuilding. He had suffered the injury in 1990 and it took him two years to get back in action. He couldn’t allow himself to end his career on a sour note. Recently, Cairo earned a win over former WWF World Champion Ivan Koloff in ECW. Cairo is setting his sights on current ECW Heavyweight Champion, Don Muraco.

Q&A: TERRY TAYLOR

Taylor makes sure it’s known that he is going by “Terrific” Terry Taylor and he’s confident because he’s going back to the WWF. Taylor thinks he had a good run in WCW and is returning to the WWF, where he had made a few mistakes in years past. Taylor gets frustrated about the mentioning of his various identities recently and says all that matters is results. It’s mentioned that Taylor beat Larry Winters with a powerbomb, and Taylor believes he’ll win the match with a powerbomb. Taylor is confident that the powerbomb he uses will lead him to many titles in the coming weeks in the WWF. Taylor talks about how he made an agreement with ECW to work a few dates prior to signing with the WWF. He doesn’t care how big the promotion is and prefers the competition to be good.

Taylor knows that the WWF has great competition and he’s confident that he can beat anyone, including guys like Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan. He also doesn’t think that Bobby Heenan is as bad as a guy that he previously thought in 1989. Taylor notes that Heenan has led Ric Flair to great success and says he doesn’t need a guy like Mr. Perfect to run interference. Taylor talks about the Starrcade event where he had to team with Tom Zenk and says he did very well in the ring against Lex Luger, but that didn’t lead to any kind of title opportunity. Taylor feels like he was being discriminated against in WCW. Taylor is confident that he can beat WWF Intercontinental Champion British Bulldog in quick fashion, actually. Taylor runs down his accomplishments and would never consider himself an underdog.

X-RAY: “MANIAC” MIKE DAVIS

Capt. Lou Albano: He compares Davis to one of his former proteges, George Steele. He sees a lot of Steele in Davis and he isn’t so sure that’s a good thing.

Killer Kowalski: Kowalski doesn’t see anything wrong with how Davis has been acting because this is the real Davis and he’s perfectly fine with it. What’s wrong with hitting someone with a “moon rock”? There’s nothing wrong with that!

Dory Funk Jr.: Funk thinks people need to realize that Davis is a talented veteran and he’s just using his intelligence when using underhanded tactics.

Nick Bockwinkel: Bockwinkel gets disturbed every time he sees Davis and finds it interesting that nobody has been able to beat Davis since his attitude change.

Lou Thesz: Lou believes that a guy like Davis gives the sport a bad name and recalls a time when Davis was under a trance thanks to Kevin Sullivan and wrestled as Dusty Rhodes for months. Plus, there was a time when Davis refused to admit he was a masked wrestler named the Viper, even after being unmasked!

Jim Ross: Ross thinks that Davis is an underestimated man and those kind of men can do the most damage He considers Davis to be nothing more than pure evil. It’s frightening to think about what Davis could do.

UNBELIEVABLE! SGT. SLAUGHTER IS THE WWF’S MOST FEARED MAN!: written by: Dave Rosenbaum

Rosenbaum notes that Slaughter is now in charge of the maniacs in the WWF following his career when he was one of the biggest maniacs going. Slaughter was once pro-USA and then was anti-USA the next day, only to repent and return to the USA. One WWF fan favorite said that it wasn’t going to work having an inmate run the asylum. Everyone has to know that it will never work. Sgt. Slaughter is the firecracker and the WWF is a bag of dynamite. You wouldn’t put the firecracker inside the bag. Sgt. Slaughter has become the most feared man having the WWF rulebook in his pocket.

Slaughter had been injured by Nailz and is now living the dream job of any WWF performer. The WWF has given Sgt. Slaughter the final say on anything pertaining in-ring activity. He’s used his power already. Blake Beverly had pinned Bret Hart, thanks to Beau Beverly’s interference, but Sgt. Slaughter didn’t let that decision stand. Slaughter hasn’t overturned a decision for a fan favorite, because they haven’t broken rules like a rulebreaker does. Rosenbaum doesn’t believe this is the job that best suits Slaughter.

STEVE AUSTIN: LEARNING TO BE GOOD FOR THE SAKE OF EVIL: written by: Andy Rodriguez

There were two recent losses that made Austin look for other ways to help him. First when he loss to Ricky Steamboat at Clash of the Champions XX and the second came three weeks later in Japan to Masa Chono. In both losses, Austin didn’t have his manager with him. Paul E. Dangerously was not in Japan and was stuck in a cage for the match against Steamboat. With even his stablemates busy, he had to look elsewhere and he found Brian Pillman. Pillman had grown tired of his position in WCW as well. It didn’t take long for them to become partners as Pillman convinced Austin it was the perfect timing. Many feel that Pillman has made Austin a better wrestler overall and it’s noticeable. Some thought he’d breakaway from the Dangerous Alliance and go on his way, instead he’s just with another rulebreaker.

WWF CHAMPION BRET HART: HIS FIVE MOST DANGEROUS CHALLENGES

With Bret Hart recently winning the WWF World Championship, the editors of the magazine decided to look at the top five most dangerous guys who could possibly dethrone the new champion. The top five challengers they came up with were…

Ric Flair: Flair won seven WCW/NWA World Championships and is proving critics wrong since he continues to get better with age. Flair has been known to quickly regain titles that he loses. So, if Bret doesn’t find new ways to beat Flair, then he’ll never beat Flair agian.

Davey Boy Smith: He’s beaten Hart once and there’s no reason to suggest that he wouldn’t do it again. This is one the one matchup that Hart should avoid the most since they are similar. Smith may be the ultimate challenger to the Hitman’s gold.

The Undertaker: He’s fallen out of the top ten, but it is time for Taker to make his move. Taker’s previous success was because his opponents were afraid of him. If a mean, damaging Taker were to appear he’d be serious trouble for Hart.

Razor Ramon: Ramon has had a big presence, more so than anyone recently in WWF. He has the killer instinct that a champion needs to have. He has the size and strength to overpower Hart. Ramon reminds people of a younger Hulk Hogan. They are confident that Ramon will get a championship match and it will not be fun for Hart.

Terry Taylor: He’s basically a mirror image to Bret Hart and just needs the opportunity to win the title from him. Keep the Red Rooster gimmick away and let Taylor have his deserved chance.

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: THE MATCH THAT MAY HAVE DESTROYED RICK STEINER’S CAREER: written by: Chris Bernucca

Rick Steiner recently tore his pectoral muscle after clotheslining Kensuke Sasaki. Rick knew he was hurt rather quickly during the September 23rd match. Rick has decided the best direction to go is to let the muscle heal on its own instead of opting for surgery. While Rick expects to be back in action by early 1993, it is possible that the same Rick Steiner may never step foot in the ring ever again. The Steiner’s got ran over by Terry Gordy and Steve Williams when they were healthy and it is very unlikely that the Steiner Brothers could beat them with Rick’s injury. Barry Windham certainly doesn’t believe they’d be able to beat the duo.

Rick could be sidelined longer mentally as he’ll know that the clothesline is what injured him. Perhaps he’ll avoid using the move as a result. If Rick doesn’t return to form, that will leave Scott having to think about his future as a singles star. Remember, within a week of Rick’s injury, Scott won the WCW Television Championship from Ricky Steamboat. Scott dismissed that notion saying they would be partners forever. Scott had suffered a similar injury, and it took them six months before regaining the tag titles. Their championship reign was short-lived, though. Rick Steiner faces a long road of recovery both physically and mentally.

A COMEBACK AT 43: WILL BOB BACKLUND BECOME THE GEORGE FOREMAN OF WRESTLING?: written by: Andy Rodriguez

Some fans have been excited about Bob Backlund making his return to the WWF while there have been other fans who just don’t seem to care very much. He stopped wrestling regularly in 1985, but has wrestled on occasion. He’s ready to return to the big leagues now. He had his return match on July 1st against Skinner, which he won. Apparently, nobody realized that Backlund is 43-years old. Or, they simply couldn’t tell. Several people have pointed out that Backlund is doing something familiar to what George Foreman had done in boxing. He waited a decade after retirement before making his comeback.

Backlund hasn’t lost much in the ring despite his delayed return. Don Muraco believes that Bob’s biggest challenge is ring rust, but he credits him for making his comeback. Backlund lost the WWF World Championship to Iron Sheik on December 26th, 1983 when he manager threw in the towel. However, he became friends with Hulk Hogan and when Hogan won the title from Sheik, Backlund never got a shot at the gold or glory. Now, in 1992, he’s back for the glory.

What are your memories on this magazine or on what was happening in the world of wrestling?

Thanks for reading.

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