What’s going on in the world of wrestling in the Wrestler May 1993 edition?
Gloria from New Jersey appreciates the feature that the magazine did on 2 Cold Scorpio in the March issue. She never knew that Scorpio knew Vader and assumes they aren’t friends anymore. She also mentions that Scorpio has bene great since his arrival in WCW helping Ron Simmons in a match against Barbarian, Cactus Jack and Tony Atlas. She also wonders why Bill Watts wouldn’t bring back the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship because the action would be unbeatable. Garry from Vermont really liked the Year In Pictures segment at the year end magazine and how every major moment was shown in color for all the major companies.
Andrea from Michigan notes that the magazine has had a few predictions come true as WCW and WWF have working relationships with SMW and USWA. Plus, Rick Rude lost the WCW United States Championship when he was stripped of the title. She hopes that another prediction will occur and Sting wins his third WCW World Championship from Vader. Jack from Illinois thinks that Madusa is getting too much coverage in the magazines because all she has done since arriving in WCW is latch onto the right people as it pertains to power. Plus, if she takes all the power from Paul E. Dangerously there probably is much to take. The simple plan of divide and conquer should make the biggest of groups, including Dangerous Alliance, dry up and disappear.
Howard from Minnesota wonders if Curt Hennig is truly back from his back injury. He’s just being realistic that his wrestling career could cause him serious lifetime impacted injuries. He’s not wishing any kind of injury on Hennig just wants him to be aware of the negatives. Justin from New York thanks Davey Boy Smith for coming to his town and signing autographs and donating money earned to people who have Cerebral Palsy. Richard from Mississippi is happy that the WWF donated all the money earned from their January 29th MSG show to help the Headlock on Hunger cause.
WHAT’S HAPPENING: written by: Bill Apter
More than half of the article is dedicated to Andre The Giant, who passed away on January 27th. Apter runs down some career highlights and his personal background.
Curt Hennig fought Jerry Lawler in the USWA on February 1st. Hennig and Lawler traded piledrivers and Paul Neighbors threatened to take the belt from Lawler if he delivered another one, which Lawler did. So, Hennig won the USWA Southern Championship until Frank Morrell came out and reversed the decision due to Hennig delivering the first piledriver.
Meanwhile in WCW, Jim Cornette is back in the promotion and he confronted Bill Watts over the Rock N’ Roll Express being scheduled to compete on Superbrawl III instead of the Heavenly Bodies, who had defeated the Express for the SMW Tag Team Championships. The Bodies attacked the Express on the show and several other people that attempted to stop them.
Steve Williams and Terry Gordy won the All-Japan Tag Team Championships defeating the team of Mitsuhara Misawa & Toshiaki Kiwada on January 30th.
NO HOLDS BARRED: written by: Dave Rosenbaum
Dave recalls the angle between Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan in 1988 that featured the evil twin referee to award him the title and then hand it over to Ted DiBiase. The only blemish on his career is not winning the WWF World Championship, at least not in a rightful way. Dave says there’s a lot to remember and honor when it comes to Andre the Giant and what he did for the sport.
The Royal Rumble pay per view continues to be a great 150-minute show full of non-stop action. Dave puts over the Michaels/Jannetty and Hart/Ramon matches along with the Royal Rumble match itself. The show proved that Razor Ramon doesn’t have the heart to win a World Championship. Ramon submitted to the Sharpshooter after eight-seconds in the hold and proved that he’s only tough when it’s convenient for him and he doesn’t fight back.
BLINDSIDED: written by: Bob Smith
Bob considers Yokozuna to be a “ melting Dairy Queen Peanut Butter Parfait” but considers him to be the real deal. The real question is if the “huge glob of goo” can keep up with Bret Hart at WrestleMania IX. Bret is on the verge of overtaking Rick Rude as the best wrestler in the world.
In WCW, they might have the best group of in-shape wrestlers while the WWF has “The Fat Pack”, which consists of Yokozuna, Bam-Bam Bigelow, Double Trouble, Big Bossman, and the Nasty Boys. Perhaps they should stop replacing their ICOPRO with Hamburger Helper. Global has the Bad Breed there for big men. Plus, there’s Mr. Clyde and the Moondogs in USWA.
Then, there is Giant Gonzalez who is so thin that they had to paint muscles on his body suit.
THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN
Cactus Jack: There’s no telling what Cactus Jack’s mindset is and the magazine isn’t sure if they should trust Cactus. For now, they will since he got the short end of the stick with Orndorff, Vader and Harley Race.
Bob Backlund: His 63-minute performance at the Royal Rumble broke records and proved that he was back to the top of his career. He wasn’t able to win the match, coming in third, but he overcame multiple two on ones and a steel chair attack by Berzerker to prove that he’s back.
Brutus Beefcake: He’s another comeback story when he returned on RAW and told his sad story, challenged the entire roster and then attacked by Money Inc. it’s an incredible story. Beefcake is proving you can comeback from any obstacle and that you just have to take it one day at a time.
Dynamite Kid: He’s also making a comeback and the writers believe that a reunion with the British bulldog would be positive for both men.
Bobby Eaton: He doesn’t need to rely on cheating to win matches, but he has been doing that since he reunited with Stan Lane in SMW. He also Tom Prichard and they are becoming a hellish trio. They believe that Eaton is short changing himself.
Lex Luger: He has a major ego and if he can focus on business he should be the WWF World Champion at some point. However, he made a major mistake by having Bobby Heenan as his manager. He needs to learn to not align himself with people that don’t have his best interest in mind.
Sapphire: This is all Dusty Rhodes fault for bringing her into the WWF. Now, she’s in USWa teaming with Miss Texas and she hasn’t trained for her return in the business. They don’t think it should be so easy to put tights on.
Kevin Sullivan: He’s nearly ended Brian Lee’s career on two occasions with a metal spike. When will Bob Armstrong take action against this barbaric wrestler?
Utica, NY: The match focused on here is a match between the Undertaker and Papa Shango. Shango replaced Nailz for the match. At one point, Shango shot fire into Taker’s face from his skull, but wasn’t able to win the match. Taker controlled most of the match and pinned Shango.
Charlotte, NC: NWA World Champion Masa Chono defended against Big Van Vader. The match ended in a double count-out after a hard hitting bout.
Beckley, WV: Brian Lee took on Kevin Sullivan in an anything goes match. Sullivan controlled early focusing on Lee’s injuries, but they ended up brawling all over the arena and Lee was able to win the match after sending Sullivan into a steel chair held by the Nightstalker.
Milwaukee, WI: The match focused on here was the main event of the Clash of the Champions event. It took place inside a Thunder Cage. Sting and Dustin Rhodes battled Vader, Paul Orndorff and Barry Windham until Cactus Jack came out and helped the good guys. Jack prevented Orndorff from hitting a piledriver on Dustin and that allowed Dustin to get the pin.
YOU ASKED US
WWF executive Thomas Pillard was asked about adding championships, but said that less is more and that there doesn’t appear to be much of a need to add championships. If there were to be a strong desire amongst their fanbase, they may then revisit the idea.
The Patriot updated a fan on what he’s been up to since leaving Global. He’s been wrestling in Japan for awhile now and has been staying busy on independents. He plans to have a drastic career change and hopes that his fans will see him again soon.
2 Cold Scorpio was asked if he’d like WCW to introduce a Light Heavyweight division, but he doesn’t put much thought into the idea. He likes wrestling against bigger guys and feels like he becomes a better wrestler by doing so. However, if a division was created he’d like it.
Tim Horner was asked if he gets discouraged having been in the business for twelve years and not challenged for a major championship. He says if it’s in relation to the two top titles, there might be a valid point, but he’s also competed for and won other titles in his career.
Bobby Duncum Jr. doesn’t pattern his in-ring style to his fathers and says that it’s easier to work that style considering he teams with John Hawk. He’s pacing himself and hopes to get to the same level as his father, who was once the most feared man in the AWA.
Flex Lavender claims that he isn’t trying to be like Rick Rude and says that it’s simply a coincidence that he and Rude look alike. He doesn’t claim to be better than Rude, but he thinks it is close. He’ll know that he succeeded when Rude is told he looks like Lavender.
Kevin Sullivan isn’t afraid about being banned from wrestling and is going to continue to wrestle the way he does. If he happens to get banished because of it, so be it.
INTRODUCING TONY DENUCCI
He’s on a mission to prove that great wrestlers can come out of South Philadelphia and that the area isn’t just a good area to find boxers. He was voted Rookie of the Year in the AWA in 1990, before it folded. He noted that his run in the AWA was beneficial to be in the locker room with many veterans. He’s since been wrestling USWA and has gotten some big wins, though he’d like to get his hands on Brian Christopher. He recently had a few losses against guys like Christopher and other heels in USWA, but he’s going to work hard to have a championship around his waist.
Q&A: JIM CORNETTE
Early on into the interview, Bobby Eaton entering SMW and helping the Heavenly Bodies regain the SMW Tag Team Championships from the Rock N’ Roll Express is mentioned. Cornette claims that he didn’t know Eaton was going to show up, but he wasn’t going to stop him when he jumped off the top rope to leg drop Ricky Morton. Eaton is an insurance policy and he plans to help Eaton win the WCW United States Championship from Dustin Rhodes. Cornette dismisses the notion that SMW isn’t a major federation and says that his guys will take on and defeat the WCW Tag Team Champions Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas. He considers Steamboat to be past his prime and he proved how dumb Douglas is when he was with the Dynamic Dudes.
Cornette doesn’t find the Rock N’ Roll Express to be a serious threat to their SMW Tag Team Championships. He denies the claim that they were responsible for the Stud Stable running late to their January 18th title match, which led to the Heavenly Bodies being inserted to win the titles instead. Cornette thinks the Stud Stable are too dumb to read an airline ticket and he believes that nobody, whether it be WCW or SMW, can prevent his team from being the unified tag team champions.
Cornette notes that Harley Race is the only one in WCW with a little bit of a brain, but says it’s not hard to manage Vader to the WCW World Championship. The interview ends when Cornette is asked if he’d reached out to Paul E. Dangerously, who had won the 1992 Manger of the Year award. Cornette makes it known that he hasn’t and that nobody will stop the Heavenly Bodies.
X-RAY: PAUL ORNDORFF
Capt. Lou Albano: He never thought Orndorff would be crueler than he was during his feud with Hulk Hogan in 1984 and then he saw him team with Vader to destroy Johnny Gunn and Tom Zenk and he was appalled by it. There’s no place in wrestling for when Orndorff hit a piledriver on the arena floor to hurt Zenk.
Killer Kowalski: He puts over Orndorff for proving he’s still capable of competing at a high level, which he proved in SMW. He thinks that WCW is in for a world of hurt now that Orndorff has returned to the company.
Dory Funk Jr.: Dory can’t complain with what Orndorff does because he did the same things during his career.
Nick Bockwinkel: Bock thinks that Orndorff is a genius and has a great intellect that sets him apart from other wrestlers.
Lou Thesz: Thesz thinks that Orndorff can be compared to Mike Tyson in the sense that every wrestling move that Orndorff performs he’s trying to end his opponents career. He compares that to when Mike Tyson would look to not only knockout opposing boxers but end their careers, too.
Jim Ross: Ross thought that Orndorff would have gained a few pounds and slowed down, but that’s not the case. He’s a determined athlete. Ross considers Orndordd to be a borderline hall of fame candidate and thinks Orndorff could have a big year.
BRIAN CHRISTOPHER OUTFOXES JEFF JARRETT: SCIENTIFIC DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN SMART: written by: Bob Smith
Bob Backlund is the smartest wrestler in the WWF. Ricky Steamboat is the smartest wrestler in WCW. Jeff Jarrett is the smartest wrestler in the USWA, well, he usually is. Recently, Jarrett defeated Christopher for the USWA Southern Championship and Christopher made things personal to get a rematch. Christopher noted that the blonde in Jarrett’s hair matched the yellow on his back and called him Kim Basinger.
Christopher got his rematch and also the chance to shave Jarrett’s hair in a hair vs. hair match. However, Christopher was able to put his henchmen’s hair on the line instead. Naturally, Jarrett won the match and Zeke Rivers got his hair cutoff. The same match happened the next week and Mr. Clyde got his hair cutoff. Christopher was told he was out of title matches since he wouldn’t put his hair up and Jarrett had beaten him three times.
Desperate, Christopher agreed to put his hair on the line but wanted a no disqualification stipulation. Jarrett wasted no time in signing the contract because he wanted to get Christopher’s hair on the line. With the help of five men, Christopher was able to regain the championship on January 11th when Jarrett was tripped on a vertical suplex attempt and Christopher landed on top and used the ropes for leverage.
Jarrett is still considered one of the smartest wrestlers, but he might have gotten a little smarter due to Christopher’s antics.
CHRIS BENOIT VS. 2 COLD SCORPIO: GROUNDED BY FEAR: written by: Chris Bernucca
In 1992, Brian Pillman and Jushin Liger had a series of great matches for two months and Pillman’s popularity grew quite a bit as a result. A similar situation is happening with 2 Cold Scorpio and Chris Benoit debuting recently in WCW. Fans were excited to see them lockup.
However, their match in Detroit was disappointing and both men consider it a feeling out process and they have to get more familiar with the others style and pace of wrestling. They have had matches since that one and the matches have gotten better, but they aren’t doing many aerial moves. There could be a Light Heavyweight tournament and the wrestlers may be focusing on seeding and thus are staying grounded.
SUMO SADISM! WILL YOKOZUNA MAKE HIS BIGGEST SPLASH AT WRESTLEMANIA?: written by: Andy Rodriguez
Yokozuna is hungry for the WWF World Championship and for respect. Mr. Fuji wants to manage a WWF World Champion and Yokozuna is the closest person to help him reach that goal. Yokozuna eliminated seven guys in the Royal Rumble and Carlos Colon notes that Yoko is a strong man and dangerous. Bruce Hart says that his brother will be ready for the challenge of Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX in Las Vegas.
Mr. Fuji has had Yokozuna begin to bulk up and develop new moves to be at the top of his game. Yoko’s sadism is often overlooked because he does enjoy hurting people. Verne Gagne sees a lot of similarities between Yokozuna and Vader. Bruce believes that Bret will be ready and overcome the challenger. However, people who support Yokozuna believe that Mr. Fuji badly wants to manage a champion and will do whatever it takes to make that happen at WrestleMania IX.
“BUY” ANY MEANS NECESSARY! BARRY WINDHAM & DUSTIN RHODES: VENGEANCE HAS ITS PRICE: written by: Andy Rodriguez
Dustin Rhodes saw a lot of similarities in Malcolm X and his matches with Barry Windham. He notices that he needs to do whatever it takes to win matches and it’s a scary thing to think about. The thought made him lose his appetite as he was out to dinner when the interview took place. The match that night saw both men get bloody and Windham prevailed. They both admitted that the match is always a war and it’s never easy. The feud has involved other top WCW stars and there has been fines sent out, but Windham says it is worth it and the last check he signed he was laughing.
They both want the feud to end and they both want to come out on top to settle the issues. The feud has been intense because they were great friends and the split impacted them greatly. They have both made the decision and they will both do whatever it takes to outlast the other.
OUR EXCLUSIVE 10-POINT RATING SYSTEM: CURT HENNIG VS. LEX LUGER – NOBODY’S PERFECT!:
There are ten categories that were used in rating both men. I’ll rundown what they were and the grades for both men.
Luger: 9.5 – Hennig: 8.5
Luger: 9.5 – Hennig: 8.5
Luger:7.5 – Hennig: 9.5
Luger:5.5 – Hennig: 6.0
Luger: 8.0 – Hennig: 8.5
Luger: 7.5 Hennig: 10.0
Luger: 9.0 – Hennig: 9.5
Luger: 9.0 – Hennig: 9.5
Luger: 7.0 – Hennig: 6.0
Luger: 8.0 – Hennig: 7.5
Luger: 81.5 – Hennig: 83.5
HEADLOCK ON HUNGER: WWF RAISES $100,000 FOR SOMALIAN AID!: written by: Bob Smith
Bob talks about how they will bash the WWF when they do stupid things like the creation of the Doink the Clown and Papa Shango characters. Or, the 1992 steroid trial. However, they must be praised for when they do something right and they did that on January 29th at Madison Square Garden. The company donated $100,000 to the Headlock on Hunger cause and the money will be used to feed any people.
Many of the wrestlers on the show were at ringside at one point and they donated either all or some of the payouts. Slick was there and gave a speech about how if he were to save people from a fire he’d be seen as a hero, but tonight the fans are heroes for helping out with the cause. 10,000 fans paid between $9 – $19 for the their tickets and it was all donated to the Red Cross to help Somalia.
There were eleven matches on the show, but the proudest thing to takeaway from the show is that following the show someone who wasn’t able to eat previously would be able to eat afterward. That is something that the entire sport should be proud of.
What are your memories about this magazine or about what was going on in wrestling at this time?
Thanks for reading.