NWA Clash of the Champions 3: Fall Brawl 09/07/1988

It’s been a while since I posted a written review of a show, so here is a look at Clash of the Champions 3, from Albany, GA on 9/7/1988 for the last Jim Crockett Promotions supershow. With such a big show, you’d think they would pull out all the stops, but they didn’t because they had a habit of screwing obvious things up. Maybe that was part of the sale to Ted Turner. This show didn’t have Flair (except as a host), Lex Luger, the Midnight Express, Road Warriors, and the team of Arn Anderson/Tully Blanchard.

The latter of those would make the big news of the week: Despite being tag champs, they quit on the spot 3 days after this show at a house show in Philly and they had to scramble and put the belts on the Midnight Express in an untelevised match. And yet they STILL did a double pin spot, protecting guys who were leaving. Continue reading NWA Clash of the Champions 3: Fall Brawl 09/07/1988

Highlights from Bob Backlund’s Book Part 3 (WWWF Edition)

Time for part three in a peek at Bob Backlund’s 2015 autobiography “Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling’s World Champion”. At this point we are in 1977 and Backlund is navigating the world of Vince McMahon Sr.’s locker room:

There was a definite clique in that dressing room, comprised of Bruno, DeNucci, Rodz, Garea, Chief, and Scicluna. They were a strong and tight-knit group. Fortunately for me, Vince McMahon Sr. went out of his way to make me feel welcomed and at home.

Those six guys were all mainstays of the New York territory and rarely ventured elsewhere to wrestle. Baron Mikel Scicluna and Domenic DeNucci wrestled each other approximately 35,000 times over the years. Tony Garea was a multiple time tag champion and later became one of the agents and guys who come from the back to breakup brawls. The “Unpredictable” Johnny Rodz mostly worked as a jobber to the stars but later became a trainer extraordinaire. Chief Jay Strongbow was popular in the northeast but wasn’t a great wrestler and was divisive as a backstage presence, considered a stooge by many. And Bruno Sammartino was the undisputed leader. Continue reading Highlights from Bob Backlund’s Book Part 3 (WWWF Edition)

Reflections: Starrcade 1985 (The Gathering)

It’s December so like I did last month for Survivor Series, I will do the same for a few Starrcades. For all my wrestling nerd-dom, I have never seen Starrcade 1985, the first ‘Cade from Jim Crockett Promotions after the purchase of the Saturday Night TBS timeslot from the WWF in March of that year. While on closed circuit only, the show was held in two cities: Greensboro and Atlanta, both with longstanding Thanksgiving wrestling traditions.

The main event is the same as the prior year: Dusty Rhodes challenging Ric Flair for the NWA World title. But there seems to be more heat around this one; Flair is a true heel aligned with the Horsemen, having broken Dusty’s leg in a famous beatdown in Atlanta’s Omni. But would something else steal the show? Spoiler: yes. Continue reading Reflections: Starrcade 1985 (The Gathering)

Highlights from JJ Dillon’s Book: Part 2 (Horsemen Edition)

We are back to JJ Dillon’s book from 2005 “Wrestlers Are Like Seagulls” and at the height of the author’s career: his time managing the Four Horsemen.

The other boys used to make light of the fact that it was a good thing that Flair never wanted to touch cocaine, because with his nose being as big as it is, there wouldn’t have been any left for anyone else.

Believe it or not, I had never noticed that Flair had a big nose until I started hearing these jokes made about him. Flair was a legendary partier, but he would not do cocaine and he would not smoke cigarettes because that would kill his whole “60 minutes every night” thing. He would do chewing tobacco and an unlimited supply of Seabreezes (vodka w/cranberry and grapefruit juice) and something like Miller Lite. Continue reading Highlights from JJ Dillon’s Book: Part 2 (Horsemen Edition)

Highlights from J.J. Dillon’s Book: Part 1

Since I enjoyed putting together passages from Bret Hart’s book, I figured I might do it for other wrestling books. Maybe I’ll try to cut it down from 17 parts. Ergo, a look at J.J. Dillon’s book will run 3 parts. Dillon is best known as the manager of the Four Horsemen from 1985-89, and as the on-screen WCW Commissioner from 1997 to 1999. But he also played a key role behind the scenes in the WWF from 1989 to 1996 doing the grunt work, and was a wrestler himself in various territories. The book is “Wrestlers Are Like Seagulls”, an interesting quote itself that will be covered eventually.

I had a passion for baseball, but when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, my interest waned somewhat. 

A common issue, actually. My wife’s grandparents (born in the mid-1930s) remain pissed to this day about the Dodgers leaving. Hell, even Mets ownership had Citi Field built, but turned it into a monument to the Dodgers and not their own franchise. Continue reading Highlights from J.J. Dillon’s Book: Part 1