Wrestling Observer Files: 1/2/1995
Well, Starrcade 1994 is the topic to start the issue and to probably the surprise of nobody, the show got seven votes for being a thumbs up. Nasty Boys vs. Harlem Heat got match of the night honors as seventeen votes were casted for that one. The worst match was won by Mr. T and Kevin Sullivan with thirty-eight votes.
Starrcade ’94 was a sellout with 8,200 fans, which had about 7,000 paid and got a $90,000 gate. It’s easy to get a crowd to a show in Nashville during the holiday season and WCW officials weren’t use to seeing their shows sellout. Dave notes that the show didn’t have anything overly memorable on it aside from the post match showdown between Vader and Hulk Hogan backstage.
Honkytonk Man has quit WCW and apparently quit the company moments before his match with Johnny B. Badd at the pay per view. Honky had been working on a $1,000 per match deal, similar to what Jim Duggan has been doing. Apparently, there isn’t going to be big money deals, but then Randy Savage got a big deal and that was confusing. It’s speculated that Honky may have balked to jobbing to Badd, but walking out seems to be a weird career decision.
Here are the results for Starrcade ’94 along with Meltzer’s ratings for the matches.
1.) Vader defeated WCW United States Champion Jim Duggan to win the title *1/2
2.) Alex Wright defeated Jean Paul Levesque *1/4
3.) WCW Television Champion Johnny B. Badd defeated Arn Anderson to retain the title *
4.) Nasty Boys defeated Harlem Heat by disqualification **1/4
5.) Mr. T defeated Kevin Sullivan DUD
6.) Sting defeated Avalanche by disqualification 1/4*
7.) WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan defeated The Butcher 3/4*
Dave mentions that he remembered more of the 1983 Starrcade than he did about this Starrcade and that was thirty minutes after the show ended.
A major topic in this weeks issue is how the term “drawing money” is meaning less and less. A lot of focus now is on how creative promoters can be to promote their next pay per view event. There are numerous other ways to make money and it’s not solely dependent on pay per view buys or live gates, either. Also, shows like WrestleMania and New Japan’s Tokyo Dome shows will draw big crowds because of the name of the big event.
Tommy Rich regained the USWA Championship from Brian Christopher with help from Doug Gilbert. Rich had promised to leave the area if he wasn’t able to win the title.
The tag titles recently changed twice on the same show on 12/26 when Beauty & The Beast defeated the Moondogs and then lost the titles to PG-13 in the next match.
Officials believe that crowds in Memphis have decreased because fans are being frisked when entering the arena because there has been a lot of fights in the crowd recently. They are coming to this conclusion because the crowds in Evansville and Nashville have been increasing with the cards.
Sid Vicious retained the USWA Southern Championship against Brian Christopher when Spellbinder got involved and attacked Christopher.
The first three Christmas Chaos shows did very well in Knoxville, Johnson City and Lenior, NC. Crowds for the shows were 2,315, 1,275 and 700 respectively. Rock N’ Roll Express are being credited for drawing the crowds and won the SMW Tag Team Championships from the Gangstas on night one and retained them the next two nights. Jim Cornette wasn’t over with the crowd as a face, but after a brutal attack by the Gangstas and a promo that had some racial insults in there, the crowd got behind Cornette.
Brian Lee has quit the promotion and there was a tag match that saw Cactus Jack team with Tracy Smothers to take on Chris Candido and Boo Bradley, which is getting **** ratings. They did an angle where Candido and Tammy murdered Bradley’s cat Boots. Of course, they didn’t actually kill the cat and instead swapped out bags backstage, but the fans didn’t know this.
Title matches between Dirty White Boy and Buddy Landel ended with DQ finishes. White Boy lost when he used a plastic bag on Landel.
I Quit matches between Bryant Anderson and Tracy Smothers had screw job finishes. Smothers had Anderson in a submission and wanted him to quit over the PA system, but Anderson said “No, you quit”, but the referee was loopy and took that as Anderson quit.
The next major SMW show takes place on 1/28 and features Gangstas vs. Heavenly Bodies, White Boy vs Landel in a Lights Out match, Dirty White Boy vs. Jerry Lawler for the SMW Championship, Boo Bradley vs. Chris Candido, Tracy Smothers vs. Buddy Landel in a number one contenders match, a battle royal, and a tag team match that will see the Rock N’ Roll Express take on Eddie Gilbert and a mystery partner.
Tammy Fytch and Chris Candido will be finishing up in the company in a couple of months to work full-time with the WWF.
Bruiser Bedlam was to come in for a feud with Brian Lee in January, but since Lee has quit he won’t come in until February.
Jim Ross is expected to stick around and work as the company’s commentator since it only requires one day a month to work.
In an interesting tidbit on how much they spend on advertising the big shows. They spent $39 for Knoxville, $0 for Johnson City and $75 for Lenior.
Stevie Richards is changing his name to Stevie Flamingo and will do a cross between Scotty Flamingo and Shawn Michaels gimmick. He’ll likely be Scotty Flamingo’s protege when he starts with the company on 1/7.
ECW attempted to sign Dan Severn to have him put Dean Malenko over but they declined the offer.
HERE & THERE:
ICW, which was formerly known as IWCCW, taped a show on 12/27 and their show is focusing on a split between Greg Valentine and Tony Atlas. The idea being that Atlas will turn face. There next taping is scheduled for 3/3 and features ICW Champion Tito Santana, Rick Martel, Jimmy Snuka, Mr. Hughes, Bastion Booger, Ivan Putski and Scott Putski.
Sid Vicious isn’t being seen on independents because he’s demanding $1,500 per match and a first class ticket. He’s not worth the money since most independents aren’t drawing big crowds.
The pre-Christmas tour in Germany was a flop with each crowd ranging between 800 to 1,000. Sting vs. Paul Roma was the main event, but the crowds didn’t respond well and they switched it to a six man tag match that saw Sting team with Stars and Stripes against Paul Roma, Arn Anderson and Bunkhouse Buck.
Sting hasn’t signed his new contract, but has agreed verbally. Don’t expect WWF to swoop him up because they don’t offer guaranteed money and it would be an easy decision by Sting.
Most of the newspaper ads for Starrcade focused on Hogan, Vader and Flair.
Apparently, Ric Flair created a bit of controversy when he revealed his booking plans for 1995, which focused on his return in the spring as a major storyline. However, there has been some compromises to quiet the issues, for now.
Jean Paul Levesque has been offered $1,500 per match and a run with the tag titles along with Lord Steven Regal. However, WWF is interested as well. Should WCW not run many house shows, Levesque should be able to make more money due to less bills. However, with WWF he could make more based on the European payoffs and having a regular spot.
The company is taking away the wrestlers frequent flyer miles away and that is likely going to cause some anger amongst the workers. That was seen as one of the few positives of all the travel.
Jim Ross has been rehired to work on the booking team and produce television. Pat Patterson is stepping back and Ross will be filling that void.
Bret Hart’s agent Carl Demarco has gone on record saying that neither of them have been in contact with any other wrestling promotion. Apparently, Mean Gene started the rumor on his hotline but Bret wants it to be known he’s very happy being in the WWF.
WWF has sent a memo saying that anyone that has contact with WCW will be fired.
Chris Candido will be working for the WWF and won’t tour All-Japan in January. Tammy Fytch will not be playing heel role and will be doing the event center gig.
Vince McMahon changed his mind and decided to give a tag push to 1-2-3 Kid and Bob Holly instead of the Smoking Gunns. They’ll say that one of the Gunns fell off a horse and got hurt.
Mantaur previously worked in Europe under the name Bruiser Mastino.
Kama has been introduced on television and it’s an exact copy of UFC fighter Kimo. Charles Wright, previously known as Papa Shango, is playing the character and has been studying MMA since he was given the character a few months ago.
Jacques Rougeau is under contract with WWF until June and appears to be wanting to work for WCW, should they run in Montreal. But, he just had retirement match in October and now talking about a comeback doesn’t look very good for him. Last that was known, Jacques is staying retired and he’s focused on getting WCW on Montreal television. Jacques comments on Vince McMahon led to his brother Ray Rougeau siding with the WWF and bad mouthing his own brother. That led to Vince McMahon naming Ray as his new local promoter in Montreal.
Shawn Michaels hasn’t been working because he has two pins in his hand. He’ll be in Bob Backlund’s corner for matches against Diesel. Michaels is the favorite to win the Royal rumble and wrestle Diesel at WrestleMania XI.
What are your memories on what was going on in wrestling at this time?
Thanks for reading.