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5 Yrs Ago: WCW News - Flair and Arn upset with NWO spoof

Sep 11, 2002 - 12:41:00 PM
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The following is a reprint of the Torch Newsletter WCW Newswire from five years ago this week. The Flair-Anderson-NWO story was the biggest news story, but make sure to look for Hulk Hogan predicting that The Giant (a/k/a Big Show) would be "the next Hulk Hogan."

-Jason Powell, Torch assistant editor

* * *

Torch Newsletter Archive
By Wade Keller, Torch editor
WCW Newswire
Originally published: Pro Wrestling Torch Weekly newsletter #456
Cover dated: September 6, 1997


FLAIR, ANDERSON, NOT AMUSED
The spoofing of Arn Anderson's memorable retirement speech from the Aug. 25 Nitro by Kevin Nash, Syxx, Marcus Bagwell, and Konnan on the Sept. 1 Nitro stole the show, but it didn't amuse the targets of the satire and thus led to a blowup backstage. Anderson and Ric Flair were livid with some of the areas the satire ventured. In Anderson's case, he said afterward that his wife and 12 year old son were upset by the skit. He said his son cried as a result and his wife was upset that his drinking was made an issue of on national television. Flair was upset with Syxx's mocking of his dancing and the line, "I'm screaming at the top of my lungs and I don't even know why."

The feeling within the NWO and by others in WCW toward Flair and Anderson apparently is "tough." While some did think the skit went too far, others believe it only "went too far" because Flair and Anderson are open targets and are only sensitive because the skit spoofed some of Flair and Anderson's legitimate insecurities. In any case, the controversy did temper what had been an all-around strong edition of Nitro with tribute being paid to Arn Anderson throughout the entire show with soundbites by various wrestlers.

Flair and Anderson were scheduled to appear later on Nitro but refused to come out and left Nitro early, believing there was no way they could follow the skit and look good. On the flip side, Chris Benoit felt slighted that he wasn't part of the skit. There was talk of using a mannequin that looked like Benoit, but it was heavy and was on wheels and they wouldn't have been able to get it to the ring over the rampway without making a big production out of it.

WCW SATURDAY NIGHT TAPINGS
Aug. 26 in Augusta, Ga. at the Richmond County Civic Center (4,300), WCW taped the Sept. 6 and 13 editions of WCW Saturday Night. David Taylor beat Billy Kidman in the opener. Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra McMichael) beat Prince Iaukea with the figure-four. Loud chants of "Mongo, Mongo" during the match. Jarrett was over with the crowd as a heel. Harlem Heat (w/Jackie) beat The Texas Hangmen. Dragon was over with the crowd. Dean Malenko won a squash, after which he called Jarrett to the ring. Jarrett teased taking up the challenge, but then retreated to the back. Glacier & Ernest Miller beat The Faces of Fear via DQ. It ended when Wrath & Mortis ran in and jumped Fear, so Glacier & Miller were awarded the match. Prince Iaukea beat Johnny Swinger with a flying bodypress. As Iaukea walked to the ring Stevie Richards ran right by him and up to Raven in the front row. Richards started pleading to Raven about something or other, Raven appeared to get ready to slug Richards again. Richards cringed and covered while Raven just smiled and walked away.

Steve McMichael beat Jeff Jarrett via DQ when Eddie Guerrero and Alex Wright ran in. Tons of heat for the angle. Chris Benoit and Curt Hennig came out and cleared the ring. Yuji Nagata beat Silver King. The crowd wasn't into either wrestler. Onoo ran out in an attempt to distract Yuji, but it didn't work. Benoit beat Bobby Eaton with the Crippler Crossface. Benoit worked a stiff, intense match. Joey Maggs came out to watch the finish and then help the battered Eaton to the back. High Voltage beat Johnny Grunge via DQ in a two-on-one match. The end came when Flyboy Rocco Rock ran in and hiptossed ref Mark Curtis over the top rope. Rick & Scott Steiner (w/Ted DiBiase) beat Buff Bagwell & Scott Norton (w/Vincent) via DQ. The end came when Harlem Heat ran in and attacked both teams, and therefore the Steiners were declared the winners for some reason. The crowd popped when DiBiase decked Vincent. Syxx beat Johnny Swinger with the Buzzkiller. Alex Wright beat Chavo Guerrero Jr. in the best match of the night.

Glacier & Miller beat Wrath & Mortis (w/Vandenberg) when Fear ran in and beat up Vandenberg and Wrath. Then they rolled Wrath into the ring and Glacier, who didn't see the Faces attack, covered Wrath for the pin. Stevie Richards beat Jim Powers (w/Teddy Long). Richards scored the pin after Raven ran in through the crowd and DDT'd Powers as Richards distracted the ref. Diamond Dallas Page beat Renegade with the Diamond Cutter off the ropes. Chris Jericho beat Hector Guerrero with the Lion Crab to retain the Cruiserweight Title. Scott Norton (w/Buff & Vincent) beat Hugh Morrus after a suplex over the top rope into the ring. Lots of interference from the NWO's second tier. Public Enemy beat High Voltage in a no DQ match. PE brought a plastic garbage can full of plastic junk into the ring (nothing particularly lethal was inside), a broom handle, and the obligatory table. They used the broom for low blows. In the end, PE put the garbage can over Kaos's head and then rammed the table into him. Curt Hennig beat Konnan (w/Vincent) via DQ. Hennig reminded the crowd he was now a Horseman. Vincent's interference prompted the DQ.

HOGAN "MEDIA" QUOTES
On the front page of the "Tempo" (Arts & Entertainment) section of the Aug. 18 Chicago Tribune, WCW's Ross Foreman wrote a story for the Tribune, although the Tribune did not identify him as a WCW employee. The article referred to Hogan as "the most recognizable figure in all of pro wrestling, possibly all of sports entertainment" calling him "the icon of the industry." After explaining how Hogan turned heel, Foreman wrote, "You gotta love the physical soap opera that is professional wrestling." Foreman added: "Wrestling is now cool, and so is admitting - in public - that you are a wrestling fan. And if you paint your face, you're past fan and into the fanatic stage."

Among the Hogan quotations in the article:
-"Some people think wrestling is just some form of entertainment, but, hey, it's just as big as the NBA, because wrestling is in every foreign country every weekend."

-Wrestling is not seasonal, and there are millions and millions of fans. We've got the hottest show on cable as far as ratings go. Wrestling has survived depressions and stock market crises."

-"Why would someone who's a major player in the NBA, like (Dennis) Rodman, someone who should be a Hall of Famer, go to wrestling? It's not that he's making a lateral move... He's making a move into another business where he can make (money). If he was to wrestle as many days as he played basketball, he'd make ten times as much money."

-"I look at wrestling and who and what it draws to the sport, as a magnet. Wrestling didn't show up because Rodman was there; Rodman came because wrestling was there. I think wrestling provides a great format for guys to have fun, to show that they are a diversified athlete, and (it's) a way of showing their acting and entertaining skills."

-"Many people have told (Ted Turner) that wrestling doesn't fit his portfolio of programming,' but Turner always stuck to his guns... and now he's having the last laugh because it's paying off. It's kind of like we have all of a sudden become respected, and it's really cool because we work real hard. A lot of people don't realize that this thing is a 24-hour-a-day profession, not just the ten minutes you see us jumping around in the ring in a pair of tights."

-"I have a lot of respect for actors. It's a tough business to be good at. There's a whole different type of tired between acting and wrestling. They are equally draining because you have to give them your life. With the movies, they beat you down so much... it's more mental stress, particularly because that camera is like the window to your soul. That camera can tell if you're not believing what you're saying, if you're not reacting to what you're seeing."

The article said Hogan's is WCW Champion, but his title defenses are limited, "partially due to a knee injury. One would expect retirement might be right around the corner for him. He won't say, but he does say he's having too much fun.'"

Continued the article: "Hogan's NWO entourage has revitalized the sport. The WWF, thanks to Hogan, had its heyday during the mid- to late-1980s. Then the sport slumped. When Hogan jumped to WCW in '94, wrestling's popularity rose again."

Said Hogan: "There was a promoter during the late-1980s (Vince McMahon of the WWF) who was on a negative vibe most of the time. He would say, Terry, wrestling will never be as big as it once (was)... there will never be that media awareness... your career will never be as great as it was during the 1980s.' I responded, Short-sighted, no vision, loser, see you later.'" Hogan said, "I'm proving now that wrestling is bigger and hotter than it's ever been."

Hogan said he thinks "the next Hulk Hogan" will be The Giant. "The kid has something, "Hogan said. "He's not just a 7-foot-tall idiot. The kid is real sharp... He's got a pretty good business head."

ON THE ROAD
Aug. 22 in Knoxville, Tenn. drew 4,384 for $67,084. Aug. 23 in Greenville, S.C. drew 5,660 for $83,365.

Aug. 26 in Florence, S.C. drew 3,378 for $53,066: Dave Taylor beat Bobby Eaton, Psicosis beat Buddy Lee Parker, Dean Malenko beat Eddie Guerrero, Rick & Scott Steiner beat Wrath & Mortis, Lex Luger beat Scott Hall, Ric Flair beat Jeff Jarrett (w/o Debra).

Aug. 30 in Columbus, Ga. drew 4,315 for $69,356; Aug. 31 in Mobile, Ala. drew 3,351 for $61,844; Sept. 1 Nitro in Pensacola, Fla. drew 5,648 for $105,575. (If you attend a WCW house show and are willing to be a correspondent, please call in, fax, or e-mail results to the TORCH. No reports were filed for this past weekend's shows.)

WCW NOTEBOOK
Eric Bischoff met with Konnan and Konnan's rival Mexican promoter, Paco Alonzo of EMLL last week. The meeting did not smoothly as Bischoff had to play mediator between Konnan and Alonzo. Konnan is trying to protect his turf by keeping his Promo Aztecha group WCW's exclusive partner from Mexico. Bischoff is interested in the depth of talent EMLL provides and EMLL's connection with Televsia...

The top three announced matches for Halloween Havoc are Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper in a cage, Kevin Nash vs. The Giant, and Randy Savage vs. Dallas Page. The announcement of those top matches in Las Vegas, helped WCW sell over 3,000 tickets for around $130,000 the first day of ticket sales last weekend. Randy Savage, Elizabeth, Dallas Page, Kimberly, Rey Misterio Jr., and Mike Tenay all made personal appearances to help boost ticket sales...

A source close to the situation says whatever heat once existed between Hall and Hennig is no longer prevalent and while they do give each other a hard time these days, it is done in jest and there is no way their relationship would affect whether Hennig will eventually be put with the NWO...

The Aug. 16 WCW house show was in Huntsville, Ala. The initial report left out the city name...

Due to Labor Day, ratings for the Sept. 1 Nitro won't be available until next week's issue. (They will be available on the TORCH Hotline all week starting Thursday, Sept. 4)...

Aug. 23-24 ratings: Main Event-1.3 (5.2 share); WCW Sat.-2.2 (5.3); WCW Pro-1.5 (3.6)...

Quarter hour ratings for the Aug. 25 Nitro: 3.7, 4.2, 4.6, 4.8; 5.6, 5.8, 5.5, 5.4; 5.1. The peak rating of 5.8 came during the segment with (Mongo vs. Guerrero and Konnan bullying Rey Jr. and Giant making the save. In fact, that segment was watched 4,153,000 homes setting an all time wrestling record for cable viewership, beating the 4,126,000 who watched the Aug. 24, 1994 Hogan vs. Flair match on the Clash...

The Aug. 31 Charlotte Observer made brief mention of the fate of Kevin Greene's wrestling career now that he signed with the San Francisco 49ers: "The 49ers didn't make Kevin Greene totally happy with the contract they gave him last week because it stipulates he can't wrestle. Bummer,' said Green, who was allowed to wrestle by the Panthers. I guess Ric Flair will be on the phone to (the 49ers) about that.' Speaking of Flair, word is that Greene sold him his Carolina PSLs." On Aug. 27, columnist Tom Sorensen wrote about Greene leaving the Panthers and acknowledged that Greene's strut "belonged to Ric Flair"

Hector Garzo is out 4-6 weeks after he fell off a ladder while installing an air conditioner in his home. The air conditioner landed on him. He had surgery on his arm last Wednesday. Juventud Guerrera also suffered an elbow injury in Knoxville and will be out for a few weeks...

The Fall Brawl line-up will be finalized this week. Latest plans are to solidify a WCW team for War Games consisting of Flair, Luger, Page, and Giant which would seemingly eliminate any chance of Curt Hennig turning on Flair during the match. Plans to have Giant chokeslam Flair by accident at the very end of the Sept. 1 Nitro to build up more tension in the ranks of Team WCW were cancelled when Flair refused to go on television because of the NWO spoof...

Loch Ness, 54, who wrestled briefly for WCW last year as a monster heel, is suffering from cancer...

Victor Quinones, who was a WWF talent exchange intermediary, jumped from EMLL to Konnan's Promo-Aztecha. The Head Hunters, Steele, Kevin Quinn, and Super Astro all jumped to Promo Azteca also in order to get work with WCW...

Steve and Debra McMichael are friends with Harvey Schiller, the head honcho who oversees WCW and whom Eric Bischoff answers to. Because of that "privileged relationship," and Mongo's cushy schedule (pretty much only major TV shows and PPVs), he has heat in the locker room, wrestlers are less apt to forgive him when he makes mistakes in the ring, and wrestlers get upset when he pins wrestlers who have much more experience than he does, such as, just in the last two weeks, Jarrett and Eddie Guerrero. There was locker room heat because Debra didn't go on the road with Jarrett at recent house shows where Jarrett main evented. It is customary for a manager to be at ringside at least for top bouts...

Kevin Sullivan is working underneath Terry Taylor, reversing their role from before Sullivan's hiatus. Problem is Taylor is paid quite a bit less than Sullivan at this point, which could lead to problems...

Rey Jr. won't be having surgery, but will be rehabbing his knee for several weeks...

WCW produced three of the top four rated shows in all of cable television last week with each hour of Nitro and the Clash. Pre-season NFL football on ESPN was the other show in the top four...

The plan right now is for the NWO to take over Monday Nitro and the Thursday show to become an all-WCW program. To do that, the NWO will end up recruiting quite a few wrestlers. Doing that will help WCW avoid overworking wrestlers since top WCW names can skip most Mondays and NWO wrestlers can skip most Thursdays...


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