Lets find out what is inside the February 1996 Pro Wrestling Illustrated!
Gary from England can’t believe that American fans are booing the British Bulldog despite his opinions being justifiable. He thinks that Bulldog has every right for him to be upset with fans chanting “USA!” when he was teaming with Lex Luger. The change of heart by the fans amazes him. He wonders how many people loved Shawn Michaels or Diesel eighteen months ago. Gary will continue to support his favorite wrestlers no matter their fan approval.
Andy from Pennsylvania wants to know what Dustin Rhodes was thinking with the Goldust character. He went to a show in Erie, PA with a few friends and at first thought that Ric Flair had returned to the WWF but instead it’s a guy who is dressed like an Academy Award. Andy wants fans to attend the next WWF card in their area to see “this freak of nature” and ask why Dustin would do this to himself.
Nick from Wisconsin doesn’t think that Lex Luger is one of greatest wrestlers in the world. He finds Luger to be an average wrestler with a superstar image. After wrestling for the WWF for 2 1/2 years he never impressed anyone with his in-ring ability. Nick thinks that Luger hasn’t been the same since he tried bodybuilding. Luger never really earned a WWF World Championship match without using his illegal forearm. Nick isn’t sure if Luger could ever beat an equally limited wrestler in WCW in Hulk Hogan.
Jimmy from North Carolina doesn’t think Bill Watts replacing Jack Tunney as WWF President would be a good idea at all. That was something Bill Apter suggested in the December 1995 magazine. Watts nearly killed WCW a few years ago with several bad calls including the over the top rope rule and ruining the WCW Lightweight Championship. Jimmy also mentions that Erik Watts was a contender when Bill was in WCW. Would that mean Techno Team 2000 would be a contender? Gorilla Monsoon would be a better president full-time.
RINGSIDE: written by: Bill Apter
Kevin Sullivan is getting closer to obtaining control of WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan and having him join the Dungeon of Doom. Sullivan thinks that having Hogan team with Giant would lead to him having complete control over WCW. Hogan has been acting differently telling Jimmy Hart and Gene to shut up in an interview and has used the word “hell” recently. Hogan has also been sporting an all black attire seemingly ditching his trademark red and yellow look. Jimmy Hart was interviewed and said that Hogan feels like he’s getting pulled into the Dungeon of Doom and break free from it. Jimmy is scared for Hogan.
Sullivan may have recruited a new member in the form of “Laughing Man” Hugh Morris from the New England area. While Sullivan was there, he happened to win Century Wrestling Alliance Heavyweight Championship from Vic Steamboat.
Eli and Jacob Blu along with Uncle Zebakiah appear to be on the out of the WWF due to not giving them title shots and they’re constantly at the bottom of the card. Apter doesn’t know where they might end up. Paul Roma won the CWA European Championship from Franz Schumann in Germany.
Raven says that the reason he lost the Mid-Eastern Wrestling Federation Mid-Atlantic Championship to Chad Austin on October 1st in Essex, Maryland was because Austin used brass knuckles on him. More than 67,000 fans attended the Tokyo Dome show where The Great Muta successfully defended the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Nobuhiko Takada.
Jesse James Armstrong is the new USWA Southern Champion after defeating Brian Christopher on October 7th. Axl Rotten had gotten involved by smashing Christopher over the back with a steel chair and put Armstrong on top for the victory. Public Enemy has won ECW Tag Team Championships after they defeated Raven and Stevie Richards. Rocco Rock stacked two tables onto each other and lit the second one on fire before moonsaulting Richards through both tables to win the titles.
Headshrinker Sionne has gone back to his old name The Barbarian and is working for PWF. Apter thinks that a match between Barbarian and Madd Maxine is a ticket seller. Maxine is a female who has defeated every man she’s been in the ring with. The Iron Sheik was seen in the heel locker room at WCW’s Center Stage but refused to say why he was there.
Treach Phillips and “Coach” John Ayers passed away recently. In Mexico, there was a controversy over the WWA Welterweight Championship between Psicosis and Rey Mysterio Jr in a best two out of three falls match. They split the first two falls and then the controversy came up. A fourth fall was ordered and Psicosis won. Apter liked that it happened right then and there and not on pay per view or something like that. Mysterio won the title the next night, anyway.
The Renegade appears to be coming back to Earth after losing to Paul Orndorff on a recent edition of Nitro. WWF Tag Team Champions The Smoking Gunns surprised USWA fans by appearing down there and taking on USWA Tag Team Champions PG-13. Harvey Wippleman was in the corner of the Gunns helping them get familiar with PG-13. Wippleman notes that he doesn’t like the Gunns but he hates PG-13 more. PG-13 is on their way to the WWF, too.
Terry Funk is considering retirement due to various injuries and because he’s appearing in a movie. Funk is quoted as saying that his body needs a break and that he’s still tougher than the majority of men in the business. He tried to retire once but couldn’t stay away. Perhaps this time he’ll be successful. Dory Funk Jr. predicted that the retirement would only last a few days.
FROM THE DESK OF…: written by: Stuart M. Saks
Stu talks about how Alex Wright wasn’t even born when Neil Armstrong stepped foot onto the moon in 1969 and how many people wished they could be an astronaut. Wright is now 20 and he knows he won’t reach the stars even with his unworldly leaping ability. Wright had two goals with one being a space traveler and the other being a professional wrestler. His father, Stephen Wright, made it clear to his son that it is achievable to be a wrestler. Alex never got to see his father wrestle but he’s looked through his scrapbook.
Stephen was away from home quite a bit in order to provide for the family. He would never discourage Alex from reaching his goals in professional wrestling. Wright is glad that pro wrestling was there to fill the void for Alex when being an astronaut was an impossible dream. As it pertains to wrestling, Stephen actually told Wright to stop with the dancing and he thinks that Wright was embarrassed by it. Stephen hopes that his son can figure out how to finish opponents off. He uses a good example of being a speedy receiver in football, but if you can’t catch the ball then what good are you. Alex admits that he has a lot to learn too.
IN FOCUS: written by: Craig Peters
Recently, UWFI wrestlers competed against NJPW wrestlers which is the same as having ECW wrestlers take on WCW wrestlers on pay per view. The main event was the previously mentioned match between Muta and Takada in front of 67,000 fans. WCW and WWF won’t even consider it, but WCW is likely doing something similar with NJPW at Starrcade in December. However, how many fans in the US actually know what NJPW actually is?
Craig does like the new opening video for RAW which includes wrestlers fighting on a roof. Harlem Heat continues to improve every month. What does Dustin Rhodes think about when he looks in the mirror before going out to the ring?
The Dungeon of Doom may be the weakest group ever, but they deserve some credit for shaving off Hogan’s mustache. Jeff Jarrett will likely be back in the WWF by the time this magazine hits newsstands. Craig finds it amazing that the Beatles got back together before the Horsemen did.
Craig wonders why every time WCW or WWF tries to add a division to their ranks they fail miserably at doing so. Are there any other female wrestlers in the US other than Bertha Faye and Alundra Blayze. WCW needs to get some momentum going for the Cruiserweight that they have said would return for years now.
Dan Severn deserves credit for being both the NWA World Champion and a UFC Champion. It should be asked how big this feat would be if Severn was working for WCW or WWF, though. Craig notes that it has been months and more people know what’s going on in the UFC than they do for the NWA.
Meanwhile, Lex Luger looks like he is rather complacent since actually jumping to WCW and doesn’t seem all that interested in winning the World Championship.
WIN, LOSE, OR DRAW: written by: Andy Rodriguez
Fatu use to be a Headshrinker but now he’s going around sharing a message about being anti-drugs. Some people aren’t sure he’s being sincere, but the kids believe in him. Fatu before didn’t care about anything other than wrestling. Capt. Lou Albano says that Fatu realized that some things are bigger than wrestling. Fatu realized that he has a position to help kids continue on the right path. Parents appreciate Fatu’s effort to be a positive influence.
Despite his attitude change, Faut’s attitude in the ring hasn’t changed as he continues to be relentless against opponents. Duke Droese believes that Fatu should be wrestling people better than a Hunter Hearst Helmsley or Hakushi by this point. According to Afa, the kids come first now and being a good influence on them. Fatu is aware of the challenge that awaits him but he embraces it.
THE STEEL CAGE: written by: Chris Bernucca
If someone tells you that Eric Bischoff or Vince McMahon are the best television announcers then they don’t know the sport. The real answer is Joey Styles. Styles use to be an intern for Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Joey was the guy that would go through all the mail and pick the six to eight letters chosen for whichever magazine. Joey considers his time working for PWI one of the best things to ever happened to him. Stu Saks always knew that Styles would be successful in wrestling. Joey does the work of three guys and does it better than anyone. Styles owes a lot to Paul E. Dangerously for the opportunity and success. Paul E. is quoted as saying that Styles has gotten an ego on himself now and that he might become the Brent Musburger of wrestling. Styles is enjoying himself and is doing something that he’s always wanted to do. He wouldn’t trade it for anything else, anywhere else.
OFF THE TOP ROPE: written by: Eddie Ellner
Alana from France thinks that Jean-Pierre Lafitte is the best French-Canadian wrestler of all-time, but Ellner doesn’t agree with that. Ellner also notes that Alana sent a picture in hoping to attract Lafitte, but says she loks like a kimona lizard. Joey from Brooklyn thinks that Hogan jumping to WCW or Diesel winning the WWF World Championship are the biggest things to happen in the past year for pro wrestling. Ellner thinks it’s the not guilty verdict for OJ Simpson since he will make his debut at WrestleMania XII. He also mentions that the examples Joey used had happened in 1994.
Tony from Oklahoma wants to know what happened to Bret Hart and if Owen Hart is getting the last laugh. Ellner mentions that Bret has been replaced by a bigger model who wears a cooler jacket in the form of Diesel and his value will go further down as time goes on. Owen isn’t faring much better as Yokozuna will likely squash him soon enough, too.
Janey from Hawaii has heard that Capt. Lou Albano wants to buy the contract of Bam-Bam Bigelow. Ellner believes it would be a mistake by Bigelow to hire Albano because Albano knows nothing about singles wrestling and has always done better with tag team wrestling.
HULK HOGAN’S X-FILES UNSEALED! YOU’LL BE SHOCKED BY WHAT’S INSIDE: written by: Dave Rosenbaum
Jimmy Hart would have called you crazy if ten years ago you said he’d be managing Hulk Hogan and they’d both be fan favorites. Dave was able to get a disk that had some notes from Hogan, but Hart insisted that it’s nothing major. He watched half the show before loading the disk into his computer and being shocked at what he saw. One of the files was on Ultimate Warrior and it said,“He’s unstable and dumb enough to make a major mistake. Capitalize on that mistake,” There was another file on the Renegade under the label of loser. Hogan said that it was Warrior wannabe and it made him look stupid.
Sting was labeled as being a waste of talent and doesn’t take advantage of what he has. It also notes that Sting is very loyal and a good man. Hogan is also thinking that Sting would turn on him, but doesn’t consider him a real friend, anyway. WCW Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel is considered a Flip-Flop for never having any integrity. Hogan has a diary section as well and it says that nobody gives him credit and all his supposed friends turn on him anyway. He can’t really trust Jimmy Hart, either.
He ran into Jimmy Hart who said it was Hogan just telling the truth and there isn’t a major story. Rosenbaum has more investigating to do because he doesn’t know if Hogan and Hart are being setup by a third party.
PRESS CONFERENCE: STEVE AUSTIN
Austin showed up late to the interview and just wanted to get it over with. Austin is happy to be out of WCW and isn’t going to answer anything related to WCW. Austin admits that one reason he left was because of Hulk Hogan and his buddies getting the red carpet treatment everywhere they go. Austin got frustrated with making a name for himself there and then being pushed aside. Austin says that ECW is not a place for cry babies. ECW has people coming from other companies all over the world to compete there. There aren’t any pretty boys in ECW.
Austin mentions that he was wrestling with two major injuries in WCW towards the end of his run there. WCW officials continued to put him in singles matches, but Austin wanted to team with Brian Pillman. Tag team wrestling is less demanding on the body. Steve was willing to stop his chase for the World Championship to be successful with Brian again.
There’s a chance that Austin could reconnect with Paul E. Dangerously in ECW since he had success in the Dangerous Alliance. He never had a major beef with Dangerously but they did have disagreements in WCW. Austin says he targeted The Sandman because he doesn’t like how he comes to the ring smoking a cigarette and thinks that Woman will start hanging out with him when she sees what a true man Austin is. Austin likes a manager because it is easier to deal with things outside the ring.
Austin believes he is in great demand and that men with they were him and woman want to be with him. Just because he’s not competing in WCW or WWF doesn’t mean he isn’t going for a World Championship and says that Hogan wouldn’t last in a place like ECW. Hogan would get hit with a chair and then run back to Bischoff and Turner.
MORTAL COMBAT: THE GANGSTAS & PUBLIC ENEMY BRING MAXIMUM CARNAGE TO ECW!: written by: Dave Rosenbaum
ECW has redefined professional wrestling with a focus on extreme and downplaying the aspect of wrestling. When various weapons are introduced to matches it is safe to assume that Lou Thesz won’t be making his way to the ECW Arena. Fans are loving the feud between the Gangstas and Public Enemy as the loss of blood is becoming as common as sweat. There is no end in sight for the feud between the two teams. They were going to have a match under the interstate-95 just a few yards away from the ECW Arena, but officials stopped that. Rocco Rock doesn’t care what happens to them because they just want to issue as much pain on the Gangstas as they can. There was one match where there was cheese grater with skin hanging off of it.
New Jack has said that no matter what Public Enemy does to them they aren’t going away. The whole feud is based on hatred. Even with Public Enemy winning the tag titles it still doesn’t make the issues about the titles. The feud won’t end until one team can’t go on anymore. Is that what wrestling has come to?
“GIVE IT UP, OLD MAN!” THE INSULT THAT MADE RANDY SAVAGE AGAIN!: written by: Steve Anderson
Savage has heard numerous times in his career that he’s past his prime and too old to be competing against the “new generation.” Critics still believe that his best days are behind him despite returning to action full-time for WCW. Savage continues to try and prove them all wrong. After a match on the September 11th edition of Nitro, Savage heard an eight year old girl scream out “Give it up, old man!” Savage stopped and stared at her in what was a stunning realization. The kid never thought that Savage would notice, but he did.
Back in the locker room, Savage found himself reflecting wondering if there was a place for him in WCW anymore. That quickly changed as Savage motivated himself to believe there is always a spot for him in wrestling. Savage got annoyed knowing that Lex Luger got a title shot a week after his return to WCW. They had a match on October 2nd, but their issues remained unresolved and as of press time would be wrestling at Halloween Havoc.
Randy is motivated to prevent a young star from taking his spot. Savage is clinging to the days when he was younger and wrestled like a savage. He’s not concerned with the rulebook or public opinion. Savage says he has no intentions of giving up.
NO FRIENDS… NO FAMILY… NO BELT: OWEN JOINS THE LONELY HART CLUB: written by: Bryan Ethier
Where does a black sheep go when the other black sheep want nothing to do with him? They go to Nowhereville, a place where only the most repugnant outcasts are accepted. Owen Hart is scorned by family, friends and enemies. Owen tried to cheap shot Diesel and Shawn Michaels at the September 24th In Your House, but was eventually powerbombed by Diesel instead. Everyone thought the tag titles changed hands, but that wasn’t the case as next week the titles were returned to Yokozuna and Owen Hart.
A day later, Owen and Yokozuna lost the tag titles to the Smoking Gunns when Owen was pinned by Bart Gunn. Owen was only managing to survive being by himself because he had a championship. Nobody will comment on Owen’s status in Jim Cornette’s camp. It would take a lot for Owen to turn around and crawl back to Bret and the family admitting that he was wrong for the last couple of years. Yokozuna and Jim Cornette will stick with Owen because he always gets attention and that leads to title matches.
MICHAELS BRINGS JANNETTY BACK TO THE WWF… TO HUMILIATE HIM!: written by: Andy Rodriguez
Shawn Michaels knows when to take advantage and knows when he’s being taken advantage of. Marty Jannetty is also intelligent and wouldn’t allow someone to make him look foolish. They have both been successful following their split as the Rockers. They met at the SMW Superbowl of Wrestling show in August where Michaels defeated Buddy Landell and Jannetty lost his MTW Championship to Al Snow. Jannetty warned Michaels they he’d see him again real soon. Michaels told Jannetty that he wouldn’t beat him again in this lifetime.
Apparently, Jannetty had pulled Michaels aside and asked for help in getting back into the WWF. Jannetty was back in the WWF and earned a win over Skip on RAW. However, Michaels may have brought Jannetty back into the WWF just so he could embarrass him by making Jannetty start at the bottom of the pack. Michaels wants Jannetty to get a close look at a popular champion. Marty isn’t buying into the talk that he’s being put in a spot to look like a fool. Jim Cornette believes that if Michaels is playing a game that eventually he will suffer the same humiliation that he’s issuing.
Bodydonnas may be on the verge of a split and Sunny has been talking to other WWF superstars. Skip has been struggling against the likes of Barry Horowitz and Hakushi. At a recent PCW event, Sunny accidentally slapped Skip during a match with Ray Odyssey. Neither Bodydonna had a comment for the rumors.
Tommy Dreamer has recruited Terry Funk in his feud against Raven and Cactus Jack. Funk doesn’t know how much he has left this time around, but he has a lot left for Cactus. He knows that it won’t be pretty when they square off in the ring.
Abbudah Singh has returned to the WWA and has made it known he wants the heavyweight title. “Jungle” Jim McPherson won the title in a match against champion Chris “The Edge” Evans and Ed Atlas. After the match, Singh tossed a fireball into McPherson’s face. He’s coming for the championship and inflicting pain.
For months Col. Robert Parker had been focused on Sherri Martel, but now he has his sights on the Diamond Doll. Parker talked to Doll at ringside during a match between DDP and Dick Slater, but Sherri Martel came out and pulled him to the backstage area. Slater and Bunkhouse Buck are sick and tired of Parker getting distracted by Sherri and Diamond Doll.
Chiba, Japan: Hakushi’s former manager Shinja is having success in WAR with Typhoon. He believes that Hakushi turning into a fan favorite was a mistake and something he’ll live to regret.
Vienna, Australia: Dean Douglas has been losing numerous times to Razor Ramon following his controversial win at In Your House.
Yokohama, Japan: Cactus Jack teamed with Tracy Smothers to win the IWA Tag Team Championships from the Headhunters.
What are your memories on what was going on in wrestling? Did you have this magazine?
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.