Wrestling Observer Rewind • 1-8-1991

  • The USWA/Global Wrestling Federation deal fell through over money and the usual bullshit. But Joe Pedicino is still planning to start it on his own (and a quick google tells me that he did and the company lasted for a few years, airing on ESPN. WWE and ESPN currently share the rights to the video library.)

  • Ed Gantner, a Florida wrestler, committed suicide. After years of steroid abuse, his kidneys were failing him and he decided to check out. The interesting thing here is Meltzer’s comments on the matter of steroids in wrestling: “I can’t help but think this business is 10-to-15 years away from a rash of tragic endings.” Boy, was he ever right on the money.

  • Bobby Heenan collapsed on an airplane and his heartbeat was down to 35 beats a minute. After police checked Heenan’s baggage, they found 48 grams of marijuana and narcotic paraphernalia. Once he awoke, he was arrested and charged but was back on the road the next day.

  • WWF and Super World Sports of Japan (SWS) announced a combined show called Wrestle Fest 91 to take place in March. Hulk Hogan & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Legion of Doom is the main event. Ringside tickets will be $370, making them the highest priced ringside tickets in wrestling history (those were the days). Hogan vs. Tenryu should be the main event, but neither side will agree to let their top star do the job. So they agreed on the tag team match, which is also a problem because LOD has never done a clean job in Japan yet and are just as huge there as Hogan is, if not bigger, so they’re not excited about the prospect of putting over Hogan and Tenryu.

  • Meanwhile, WCW and New Japan also have a joint show in Japan 9 days earlier and there’s concern about how two huge competing shows like that might split the market and lead to low turnout for both.

  • Eddie Gilbert no-showed a USWA show in Memphis where he was scheduled to main event against Jerry Lawler and may be gone from the company for good (he wasn’t).

  • WWF’s four PPVs in 1990 were listed as 4 of the top 5 highest buyrates of the year (#1 being the Buster Douglas/Evander Holyfield fight). However, the numbers used are WWF’s exaggerated figures and probably not the real buyrates (they always lie about the numbers) so take it with a grain of salt. Meanwhile, WCW’s numbers are also in and Starrcade may have been below a 1.0 buyrate, which would be a huge disappointment.

  • Norman Smiley is negotiating to work with EMLL in Mexico….

  • Apparently Hulk Hogan has a Gillette commercial out and it’s a big hit. (I googled and couldn’t find this. Anyone? My best guess is he’s confusing Gillette with Right Guard):

WATCH: Hulk Hogan 1991 Right Guard commercial

  • Back in WCW, Dusty has indeed been brought in and was immediately announced as the new booker and is already making changes. He’s changed the Clash of the Champions main event, is turning Ron Simmons babyface and, of course, is planning to bring in his son Dustin.

  • At the recent TV tapings, Brutus Beefcake ran in as a mysterious masked character and attacked the heels. This is his first real return after the parasailing accident. If you’ve never seen it, here you go. It only lasted a few weeks on TV and he never wrestled a match as the character and it was never revealed who he was:

WATCH: Masked Brutus Beefcake attacks Earthquake

And that’s it. I’m mostly glossing past the letters pages and the indie results. I don’t think anyone gives a shit about Puerto Rican house show results and attendance figures.