In the magazine, Larry Zbyszko feuds with Tonga Kid. Why was WrestleMania both successful and unsuccessful. Baby Doll has her first interview in any wrestling publication regarding her relationship with Tully Blanchard. Gary Hart is obsessed with ending Chris Adams career.
Michelle from Alabama didn’t appreciate what Lou Thesz said in the June Inside Wrestling magazine. Thesz stated that Flair didn’t respect the NWA World Championship and carried himself like a jackass. Michelle disagrees with all the negative comments and believes that Flair has brought a lot of respect and prestige to the championship. Flair is the most exciting champion and will not be forgotten.
Kevin from Oklahoma doesn’t like how Greg Valentine has been blasted for ending Tito Santana’s reign as WWF Intercontinental Championship. Kevin claims the victory was clean and honest, while Ronnie Garvin uses heinous tactics to win matches over Ted DiBiase. He mostly wishes DiBiase was still the National Champion so DiBiase wouldn’t appear in the Mid-South area anymore.
Scott from Maryland wrote an open letter to Bob Backlund imploring Backlund to retire from wrestling to make pro wrestling bearable again. Scott really doesn’t think Backlund deserves a World Championship opportunity if Backlund can’t beat Harley Race.
Carl from Albany can’t believe the editors of the magazine don’t realize that Hulk Hogan is the greatest wrestler to ever lived. Carl’s reasoning is all the rockstars that hangout with Hogan.
Eddy from Virginia has some issues with the WWF. First, the commentators don’t know the moves. Vince McMahon doesn’t know what a DDT is, which he calls a reverse piledriver. Eddy also says the wrestling matches are boring and aren’t competitive. Hulk Hogan defended the WWF World Championship against the same five guys, while Rick Martel and Ric Flair defended against anyone deserving. WWF programming is the only one where viewers go to the bathroom during the show and hurry back for the commercials.
EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK: written by: Peter King
Wrestling has become big business with other magazines like People, Time and Sports Illustrated beginning to cover professional wrestling. To Peter, it’s laughable because these publications previously saw professional wrestling as a disease. They promise to continue to cover wrestling better than the previous mentioned publications.
BEHIND THE DRESSING ROOM DOOR: written by: Stu Saks
Saks focus this month is on Hulk Hogan and how nobody can deny the impact Hogan’s had on the business. Hogan telling people to do whatever they wanted because it’s not going to hurt him. That’s exactly what happened in a recent match with Don Muraco. Hogan’s bulging eyes can stop anyone in their tracks, and that’s exactly what happened to Muraco. There’s a poll going around the office, led by Peter King, and it’s on the topic of Hogan being a great wrestler. Results are 50/50 and Saks tends to lean towards Hogan not being a great wrestler, but is a great champion. There isn’t a wrestling coach out there that can teach someone to ignore pain, and that’s something Hogan can do.
ON THE ROAD: written by: Craig Peters
The topic this month is fans complaining about there being so much WWF TV and it often times being repeated matches that are just enhancement matches. Luckily, variety is coming with NWA having a few TV spots and Mid-South Wrestling being an option. The MSG Network recently added World Class Championship Wrestling to their programming and Peters considers that program to be the best wrestling program airing currently. ESPN has been in talks about adding wrestling to their programming as well. The only programming missing from cable, for Peters, are Florida, Mid-South and Pacific Northwest. Despite WWF being taken off TBS, they still have eight-hours of television during the week.
NAMES MAKIN’ NAMES: written by: Bill Apter
Rick Rude and Jesse Barr recently won the US Tag Team Championships from Mark and Jay Youngblood on April 16th. Brian Blair, the current Southern Champion, feels like he’s a target next by Rude and Barr since they have two of the three championships. Rick Rude promises that Blair has six or less weeks before the championship is his.
WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan recently lost to Don Muraco by count-out, but a rematch is already happening. Apter speculates if the hype of pressure has gotten to Hogan since WrestleMania.
Butch Reed has arrived in the AWA and is a rulebreaker. Reed is putting his focus on Rick Martel. Jim Brunzell, who has lost to Reed recently, believes that Martel will have some problems with Reed should they eventually meet in a singles match.
Road Warriors had a ten-day trip to Japan and wrestled on seven days. They did not lose a match by pin or submission the entire trip. They will be returning soon. Scott McGhee and Tiger Conway are heading to Florida.
Apter would like to see Dynamite Kid in a match against Bob Orton Jr. Dutch Mantel has been given the nickname of “Dirty”, Edcar Thomas is known as “Boo” and Brickhouse Brown has been named “Outhouse Brown.” Those names were thought of by Steve Williams.
A recent match between Sgt. Slaughter and Kamala inside a steel cage for Pro Wrestling USA has been cancelled. Slaughter knows that Kamala knows that he can’t beat Slaughter and that he’s got to train to get in better shape. The match is scheduled for June 1985.
Terry Funk is on a new ABC series called Wildside. Apter suggests everyone check out the show and gives an address to send letters to Funk onset.
David Schultz is headed to Mid-South. Kendall Windham has a decision to make between scholarships for school or to break into professional wrestling. Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch are headed to Florida.
JJ Dillon is managing Buddy Landell, who claims to have a better figure four leg lock and NWA World Champion Ric Flair is non-committal on signing a match.
BODYSLAMS & PINFALLS: written by: Dan Shocket
Dan has been convinced that Paul Ellering is a great manager. Ellering has been able to lead the Road Warriors past their potential. The Warriors should be regarded as one of the best tag teams of all-time. Ellering has to be considered one of the best today. Ellering wouldn’t be someone Dan would suggest become someone’s manager. Ellering needs a wrestler who already has the possibility of becoming great. The Road Warriors would not be likely to achieve the same level of success in the NWA or WWF. Ellering has made it so the AWA likely needs the Warriors more so than the Warriors need the AWA.
Shocket ends up roasting Rick Martel as being a boring and plain AWA World Champion who only draws teenage girls to AWA shows. The AWA needs the Road Warriors and the AWA needs a champion they can easily control in Martel. Ellering may not be for everyone, but for some he’s the best option around.
THE INSIDER: written by: Eddie Ellner
Ellner believes that Terry Taylor and Magnum TA are cut from the same cloth. They both won titles ten days from each other. With both men winning titles, it brings up a wager made between the two of them. The Bet, as it is referenced as being, is a wager on who will defeat NWA World Champion Ric Flair for the championship. The loser of the wager has to be the others valet for an entire month. The loser will have to dress as a woman. That’s right.
There is a few quotes from Magnum and Taylor regarding the friendly wager. The wager came about because they both really dislike valets. They both would root for the other if they had a chance at wrestling Flair. It’s simply a friendly wager.
NEWS FROM THE WRESTLING CAPITALS
Matches that were highlighted were the following…
Michael Hayes vs. Mike Graham, a bloody steel cage match that saw Graham get revenge for his late father.
NWA World Champion Ric Flair wrestling Ron Garvin to a double count-out
Kamala defeating Sgt. Slaughter in a Ugandan death match (last man standing) and a cage match being signed to take place.
Jimmy Valiant prevailing over Konga the Barbarian in a lumberjack match.
Buzz Tyler earning a victory over Black Bart
Magnum TA earning a pin fall victory over Ivan Koloff.
MATT BROCK’S PLAIN SPEAKING
TAMPA, FL: Kevin Sullivan and Blackjack Mulligan have reignited their feud in Florida, which originally took place two years ago. There’s no telling what these two will do to each other moving forward.
HONOLULU, HI: Rocky Johnson is currently Polynesian Pacific Tag Team Champions with Ricky Johnson. The father/son combination has led to great teamwork, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.
DALLAS, TX: A new giant has emerged in World Class and he’s taller than Andre The Giant and it’s not even close with Big John Studd. His name is Little John and he’s 7’9’’. John also weighs 525 pounds. The Fantastics met John while in South Africa. Keep an eye on Little John.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ: The second Pro Wrestling USA card did not deliver like it did with the first card. The whole concept was to feature NWA and AWA wrestlers and champions. However, the second show featured mostly AWA wrestlers and as a result several thousand less paying customers showed up for the show.
NEW YORK, NY: Brock give his fellow writers credit for publishing a roll call of all the champions that otherwise nobody would know about.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW
Jack Brisco: Brisco stepped away from his wrestling career to focus on his Brisco Brother Body Shop in Tampa, FL.
David Shultz: After a tour of Japan, Shultz is coming back to have a tour through the Mid-South area.
Bob Sweetan: Currently wrestling for Lone Star Promotions in Texas. He’s a face in the area and feuding with Lord Humongous. He’d determined to stop Humongous, who has crippled several young wrestlers.
Abdullah The Butcher: Butcher is currently wrestling in Florida (to collect a bounty on Wahoo McDaniel), Atlanta to battle Jimmy Valiant and in Mid-Atlantic to feud with Valiant some more.
LARRY ZBYSZKO: THE MAN WHO MADE THE TONGA KID FORGET ABOUT RODDY PIPER:
Zbyszko is not a good guy and he’s done some awful things during his career. Nobody thought that Tonga Kid would ever be deterred from battling hated rivals Roddy Piper and Bob Orton Jr. Piper has a callous about him and the coconut incident with Jimmy Snuka is mentioned. Piper was able to continue to have banter with the crowd after smashing Snuka with the coconut. Tonga got some level of revenge on Piper before going to Pro Wrestling USA and beginning a feud with Larry Zbyszko.
Tonga didn’t think he’d find someone nearly as violent as Piper was, and he quickly found out how violent Zbyszko could get. Zbyszko didn’t attempt an actual wrestling hold during the entire match and Tonga was fighting for his life from the beginning. Bob Backlund gave Tonga some advice saying that Tonga would need to be more aggressive with his legal holds to combat the illegal style that Zbyszko has been accustomed to using.
Zbyszko considers Backlund to be a loser and a crybaby and his only complaint about wrestling Tonga is his smelly feet. Zbyszko prefers to cheat because it’s simply easier and he likes to do it. Tonga appears to be on his way for stardom and his first championship.
WRESTLEMANIA: WHY IT SUCCEEDED, WHY IT FAILED
200 outlets were supposed to carry WrestleMania, but as the event drew closer, that number decreased by 30%. Vince McMahon is the only man who knows just how successful WrestleMania was.
Fans were given a good card that were full of interesting matches. The amount of publicity put a lot of eyes on professional wrestling. Major magazine publications and media tours put more eyes on the event. The amount of closed circuit television was an incredible risk, but appears to have paid off.
Many fans didn’t think that any celebrities deserved to be involved in the event. There were many closed circuit issues in Pittsburgh and Washington leading to a lot of refunds. Media backlash was high as two days before Mania, Hogan put a headlock on Richard Belzer causing Belzer to pass out and couldn’t finish the show. Hogan could be sued for the incident. Fans were also turned off by WWF’s self promotion of being the largest wrestling promotion when the NWA is the longest running and biggest wrestling promotion and World Class can be seen in as many television markets as the WWF.
“BABY DOLL” NICKLA ROBERTS: “I LIVE TO PLEASE TULLY BLANCHARD!”
This is Nickla’s first major interview to be published in any publication. She insists she’s not a slave to Tully Blanchard and wanted to do the interview. Nickla only gets involved in matches to protect Tully from sneak attacks and prevent major injury from happening. She wouldn’t answer if she’s paid by Tully. Nickla is happy with her relationship with Tully and her goal is to please Tully. Tully doesn’t hold any power over her. She left Gino Hernandez because she wasn’t going to conform to his ideas of what a woman should be. If Tully were to become what Gino eventually became, Nickla would leave Tully. But, she strongly doubts that will ever happen.
GARY HART’S OBSESSION: “IF CHRIS ADAMS WINS THE NWA WORLD TITLE, I’LL LEAVE WRESTLING FOREVER!”
Gary Hart and Chris Adams came up with a plan for an I Quit match where Adams would give Hart a signal to throw in the towel so that Adams would lose matches to Kevin Von Erich that way instead of actually submitting. It’s bizarre to pre-plan for a loss. Such thinking proved that Adams wasn’t thinking on his own at all. Turns out, Hart messed up twice and Adams believed that Hart was more focused on his new client, One Man Gang. Hart thinks that Adams was embarrassed about losing twice to a Von Erich and that Adams wouldn’t accomplish anything without him in his corner.
Hart is so confident that Adams would never win the NWA World Championship on his own, that if it were to somehow happen, Hart would quit the wrestling business forever. Recently, Hart and Gang cost Adams the NWA World Championship in a match with Flair. Adams insists that he doesn’t need the fans, Von Erich’s or anyone. He’s going to destroy Gary Hart and he’ll be the NWA World Champion by the end of the year. Can Gary Hart always be around when Adams challenges for the championship?
ONE ON ONE:
Wahoo McDaniel recently lost the NWA United States Championship and turned his attention to NWA World Champion Ric Flair. In fact, McDaniel purchased as many contracts he could to battle Flair for the championship. Flair put a $10,000 bounty on McDaniel. They recently held a phone conversation with Inside Wrestling.
McDaniel can’t believe anyone willing to risk their career for only $10,000. Flair considers McDaniel to be a pest, or just a fly that is always bothering. Flair has bigger wrestlers to deal with and the $10,000 is his fly swatter. McDaniel thinks Flair is similar to a cricket… Flair does a lot of chirping.
Flair thinks that McDaniel should focus on the figure four leg lock and the painful three seconds his shoulders will be on the mat. McDaniel notes it has been two years since Flair has won a match with the hold. Flair gets disqualified whenever he’s in trouble and that’s all the time!
Flair thinks that McDaniel has low self confidence to purchase as many wrestling contracts as he could. Flair takes that as McDaniel doubting he can win the title in one shot. As a result, Flair pities McDaniel. McDaniel is determined to get rid of Flair from the business and got that many contracts because he wants to beat Flair up as much as possible. Of course, Flair is confident he’ll win each time.
What are your memories of this magazine or the angles that were happening at the time? Leave your thoughts below!
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.