This week we look back at an issue of Inside Wrestling that went to press on September 1, 1988 that sold for $1.95 in the U.S. and $2.50 in Canada. Inside, there’s a shoot interview with Roddy Piper, a description of a match where the Ultimate Warrior appeared to win the Intercontinental Title before Summerslam ’88, and a verbal sparring match between Jim Cornette and J.J. Dillon that I’ve transcribed in full. But first, let’s go straight to the Ratings, where the Top 15 are all American boys.
We begin with Sincerely Yours, the mailbag forum, where Art from Chicago says the Four Horsemen are like cockroaches and should be renamed “The Four Cockroaches.” Meanwhile, Amanda from Southaven, Mississippi says she’s concerned about the CWA because now that Max Pain and Tom Brandi are gone, they only have five first-string fan favorites. Then there’s Joanne Thomas from San Francisco who says she just watched Al Perez wrestle Bobby Fulton, and she’s disgusted that after Perez was disqualified, he continued to beat up on Bobby. She says any wrestler who continues to attack his opponent after the bell should be suspended for 30 days. Regarding World Class, Sue from Los Angeles says it’s time for fans to start trusting Michael Hayes because he’s a good man who needs their support. Regarding Inside Wrestling itself, Denise from Plattsburg, New York says editor Bill Apter deserves praise for preemptively noting that Ronnie Garvin was acting strangely before Garvin took a bribe from the Four Horsemen and turned on Dusty Rhodes. “Apter was the only journalist who accurately drew the connection between Garvin’s mysterious absence from important matches and his eventual turn to evil.” And Wendy from East Haven, Connecticut says Inside Wrestling upset her when it ran an article about Brutus Beefcake caring more about hair than titles. “Let the man do what he wants! This is just you guys in the media trying to stick your noses where they don’t belong. Especially the writer of that garbage article. He’s no better than the announcers who constantly mock Beefcake. No one gives Brutus the recognition and credit he deserves.” Meanwhile, Jim from Providence, Rhode Island agrees with Stu Saks’s column saying we should have more fan favorite vs. fan favorite matches and rulebreaker vs. rulebreaker matches. “I don’t think we can expect the WWF to change,” Jim says. “The NWA is our only hope.” Then there’s Nomi from Great Neck, New York who says, “How could it happen? I’m talking about the fact that Col. DeBeers is being allowed to return to the AWA! After his near crippling of Jimmy Snuka, I thought I’d never see the South African madman again. I was sadly mistaken. If anyone deserved a lifetime ban, it was DeBeers.” Lastly, Kevin Powell of Los Angeles says he hopes DiBiase is able to eventually purchase the WWF. “DiBiase is the finest wrestler in the world next to Ric Flair. He also has a fine business mind and is an honorable businessman who could make wrestling the sporting attraction it could be.” (Yeah, about that honorable businessman part…)
Next, Editor’s Notebook with Stu Saks where Stu says it’s time to set the record straight: The Powers of Pain are not cowards. Their former NWA manager, Paul Jones, is saying they are because when he tried to set them up with matches against the Road Warriors, the Powers bolted to the WWF instead. What he’s leaving out is he wanted them to wrestle the Road Warriors ON A FREAKIN’ SCAFFOLD 18 feet above the ring. So don’t blame then, blame Paul Jones for trying to force them into a dangerous situation.
Next, On the Road with Craig Peters where Craig says he’s really digging the AWA. Jerry Lawler’s bringing new prestige to the title by taking on all challengers, and his most dangerous challenger is Greg Gagne. Craig says, “I find this developing feud interesting, because it seems to me that an AWA World title reign for Gagne is inevitable.” Gagne, for his part, says that his dad held the belt 10 times, and that’s a lot to live up to, so he just hopes he can win it once. “I need it bad.” Craig also has his eyes on Col. DeBeers, who is back wreaking havoc in the AWA and claims to be a victim. “People claim I’m a prejudice man,” he says. “But the fact of the matter is everyone’s trying to silence me. So who are the prejudice ones? For all the self-important blathering about freedom of speech in the United States, I have but one question: Where is it? I don’t have it. I live here, I pay my taxes like everyone else, and I’m not allowed any freedom of speech. It’s an outrage.” (For the record, the First Amendment says Congress shall not make no law restricting free speech and applies only to government entities at the federal, state, and local levels. It does not apply to private citizens, businesses, and organizations.) Anyway, DeBeers had been fined and banned in the AWA after a frighteningly violent feud with Jimmy Snuka, but Diamond Dallas Page, manager of AWA tag team champions Bad Company, paid DeBeers’s fine and negotiated with officials for his return. Craig says, “There’s a lot brewing in the AWA, and when it hits the boiling point, look out!”
Next, we have Names Makin’ News by Bill Apter. Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, the Megapowers, defeated Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase, the Megabucks, in the tag team main event at SummerSlam ’88 August 29 at Madison Square Garden. The deciding factor was Elizabeth, who removed the lower portion of her dress to reveal her shapely legs and distract Megabucks, allowing the Megapowers to lower the boom and pull out the win. Meanwhile, the Ultimate Warrior ended the Honky Tonk Man’s 14th-month-plus Intercontinental title reign in 31 seconds. A rematch has been signed for September 27 at the same venue. In the NWA, Ric Flair is scheduled to make a rare title defense in the Pacific Northwest area against Top Gun on September 20 in Portland. “You know,” says Flair, “There’s a guy out there who claims to be a world champion who’s been running his mouth about taking on other champions. Well, this proves I’m more than willing to take on anyone who is brave enough to get in the ring with me.” In other news, the Continental Wrestling Federation has inherited a host of talent from the now-defunct USA federation, including Johnny Rich, Davey Rich, Doug Furnas, and the Bullet. CWF promoters are also negotiating with Tim Horner. Elsewhere, Dustin Rhodes, son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes, is scheduled to make his professional debut for Florida Championship Wrestling on September 6. Dusty says, “There’s no doubt in my mind that Dustin will prove to be a chip off the ol’ block! If you know your history, you know that I cut my teeth down there, too.” Speaking of Dusty, he’s scheduled to compete in a series of dog collar chain matches against Kevin Sullivan.
Bruno Sammartino is going to be inducted into the Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held January 27 at Ceasars Boardwalk Regency in Atlantic City. Also to be inducted are former football stars, John Cappelletti and Ted Hendricks and Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. In Central States, D.J. Peterson vacated the championship to leave for the WWF. A tournament to determine a new champion is scheduled to be held October 14 in Kansas City and will include Tommy Gilbert, Mike Stone, The Grim Reaper, and Rick McCord. In Stampede, Steve DiSalvo was attacked by Karachi Vice in several matches against North American champion Makhan Singh. DiSalvo has vowed revenge against the rulebreakers. Elsewhere, AWA promoters are negotiating with WWC women’s champion Wendi Richter as a possible future opponent for AWA’s women’s champion Madusa Miceli. (Wendi says she’ll agree to match only if Madusa promises to win the WWF women’s belt and toss it in the trash.) Speaking of the AWA, fans of the organization were surprised to see Diamond Dallas Page, manager of the AWA tag team champions, as a ring announcer for the George Foreman-Ladislio Mijanjos boxing match August 25 in Ft. Myers, Florida. Page was asked to be master of ceremonies by promoter Gerry Cooney, the former heavyweight contender. Down in Texas, Kendall Windham is now in World Class and has emerged as a top contender to Eric Embry’s light heavyweight championship. Also, Buddy Roberts is running for president with running mate Iceman Parsons. And lastly, Mr. and Mrs. Rocky Johnson, in conjunction with the Trans World Wrestling Federation, will present “Weekend of Champions” in November at the Stevensville Country Club in the heart of New York’s Catskill Mountains. It will be a three-day event that will include a wrestling card, activities with the wrestlers, and even a Pro Wrestling Illustrated open forum that will be hosted by Apter himself! Also slated to appear are Bruno Sammartino, the Iron Sheik, Jimmy Snuka, Sgt. Slaughter, Afa, Samu, and Lou Albano. That’s all for now, fans! See you at the matches!
Next week’s recap: The Wrestler!
Next, it’s Eddie Ellner with The Insider where he updates us on the “greatest moment” contest he’s running. He says that while most fans remain somewhere within the complicated rules of the contest (name pro wrestling’s greatest moment), a few seem to have gotten caught up in a web of personal nostalgia. For instance, Ruth from Teaneck, New Jersey wrote in to describe the feelings after the last event at the old Madison Square Garden in 1968. “On that blustery January night 20 years ago, those fans walking down 8th Avenue, leaving the old building for the final time, were lost deep in thought: how would moving the capital of the wrestling world 20 blocks south change the wrestling world?” Eddie says Ruth, bless her heart, was apparently unruffled by the spectre of Vietnam, the domestic violence and social unrest, and the bloody riots that were sweeping the land back in the late 1960s. He also adds that while Ruth won’t win the contest, she has a leg up on the next contest in which readers will be asked to describe the greatest moment they’ve had inside a shopping mall. Meanwhile, Dwayne Stewart of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Darryl’s brother?) says the greatest moment in wrestling history was when Jimmy Snuka fought Don Muraco for the Intercontinental title at Madison Square Garden inside a steel cage. Dwayne then describes the bout in detail before adding, “Snuka didn’t win the title, but he won the hearts of every fan in the arena.” Eddie says Dwayne also won’t win the contest but he does receive a special citation for the letter containing (a) the most underlined passages, and (b) the brilliant deployment of different colored pens. Speaking of Snuka, DiAndre from parts unknown writes in to say the greatest moment was when Snuka battled Bob Backlund for the WWF title and nearly won it. “The turning point was when Snuka attempted his ‘superfly’ leap and missed.” Eddie says he’s confident that next time DiAndre will tell us something we don’t already Di-know. Then there’s Tiffany from Boonsboro, Maryland who says the greatest moment was when Andre the Giant defeated Hulk Hogan for the title and stupidly tried to give it to Ted DiBiase. Eddie says it’s not a winning entry, but illustrating Andre’s idiocy does win Tiffany his respect. Mitch says the best was when the Four Horsemen attacked Dusty Rhodes. Eddie says, “Now, Mitch, is that really your most memorable moment, or did you just giggle a lot?” But by far, most readers have written in to say the greatest wrestling moment was when Randy Savage wrestled Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III. In fact, Alex of Fort Wayne, Indiana took it even further. “It not only settled a feud between the two in a scientific match without a single dull moment, it crowned a new champion and set up an incredible chain of events. It allowed the Honky Tonk Man to in the Intercontinental title, thereby setting up a feud between Honky and Savage, which in turn allowed Savage and Hogan to align into the Megapowers which eventually resulted in Savage capturing the WWF crown and led to Summerslam ’88.” Eddie says the only thing Alex was unable to link the match with was the Kennedy Assassination. Nonetheless, the contest continues.
And speaking of Summerslam, Eddie closes out his column addressing the main event of the show, which might have featured the worst moment in wrestling history. He says that in the past, what distinguished Elizabeth from the rest of the WWF circus had been the class she always showed. But apparently the peer pressure to act like a buffoon became to much for her to bear, and she capitulated, shedding her skirt and parading around one garment away from being in her birthday suit. “Her capitulation to the dark side is one of wrestling’s greatest tragedies.”
Next, we move onto On Assignment by Liz Hunter where Liz recaps the latest development in the Jerry Lawler/Kerry Von Erich AWA champion vs. WCCW champion feud. In Memphis, the two had a match that ended in controversy after the referee (the third in the match after the first two succumbed to injury) failed to notice Von Erich’s foot on the bottom rope while making the three count. While there are sometimes trouble with interpromotional matches because there are subtle variations in the rules in different areas, this is one time the rules for both the AWA and WCCW are clear: a foot on the rope negates a pin. So while Lawler was initially awarded the WCCW belt, after watching the match on videotape with his wife and seeing Von Erich’s foot on the rope, he returned it to Von Erich. Liz says Lawler should be commended for his sportsmanship, but the fact is bad calls happen in sports all the time, and if we begin trying to use replay to overturn anything we don’t agree with, we’ll never get anywhere. She says we just need to accept that in sports, human error, including that of the officials, is part of the game. (Yeah, can you imagine if all sports started trying to use replay?)
Next, Where Are They Now… where we learn Paul Orndorff is NOT dead! (Well, not in 1988 at least.)
And onto Capsule Profile with Kamala…
And News from the Wrestling Capitals…
Next, Matt Brock’s Plain Speaking, where Matt first reports from Las Vegas: Col. DeBeers is back in the AWA, if you haven’t already heard. Matt says DeBeers is a racist pig who used to regularly refer to Jimmy Snuka as “a negro” and was even banned by television stations for his racial slurs. Thankfully, when Matt saw DeBeers in Vegas, the Guerrero Brothers (Hector, Chavo, and Mando) beat DeBeers, Pat Tanaka, and Paul Diamond. (Welcome to the 1980s, where Col. DeBeers is on television each week using racial slurs while Nelson Mandela sits in jail for opposing apartheid.) Onto Memphis, Tennessee: CWA’s Stud Stable, headed by Robert Fuller, reminds Matt of the OPEC oil embargo of the mid-1970s. The departure of Jerry Lawler, Max Pain, and Eddie Gilbert has left a talent vacuum in the CWA, allowing Fuller’s stable to run the federation. “And whether it’s oil, nations, or wrestling talent, no one group should ever have total control.” Moving on, Matt reports from Sumter, South Carolina, where he had been invited to meet up with Jim Cornette. Matt says it was fitting they would meet where the Civil War started because Cornette is sending his tag team, the Midnight Express, into battle against former friends Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson. Futhermore, Cornette says he’s trying to get Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane some world title matches against Ric Flair. Matt says it appears the fans are siding with the Midnights in this war. Lastly, Matt reports from New York, New York where he attended Summerslam ’88. He was excited about the event was disappointed that it was nothing more than a pathetic Elizabeth strip show. “If I wanted to see scantily clad women parading around while pathetic excuses for men lose control of their salivary glands, I could’ve stayed in Vegas!” Matt says we can expect more of the same from the WWF in the future. “Vince McMahon encourages a Vegas atmosphere, and his twisted vision of sports entertainment bares little resemblance to the sport I love.”
Next up, Continental Catfight: Bambi & Lady Mystic’s Dirty White War! We learn that the feud between Tom Prichard and Tony Anthony (Dirty White Boy) has been so intense, it’s spilled into a feud between their valets, Bambi and Lady Mystic, with many fans lusting to see the girls go at it without the men around. “Mystic thinks she’s hot stuff, doesn’t she?” complained Bambi, a Georgia-bred female wrestler. “Well, it take more than standing there in a G-string and holding a whip to make it in pro wrestling. Believe me, I’m gonna be the one to put that cat-o’-nine-tails where the sun don’t shine.” When told of these comments, Lady Mystic, also known as the Dirty White Girl, responded, “That cow-milking trash just wishes she could afford my designer outfits, but even if she could, she’d still look awful. That tomboy’s got no business getting involved in my man’s matches. We’re going to string her up, just like we did to that wimp Prichard.” Meanwhile, on occasions when Bambi is called away from her wrestling commitments, Missy Hyatt is taking her place at ringside. So now it appears a major feud between Mystic and Hyatt is about to begin as well! The magazine closes the article by saying, “It’s often been said that women are the weaker sex, but anyone who has seen Mystic and Bambi viciously attack each other knows that expression is a lie. And with Hyatt involved, it’s likely the Prichard-Anthony feud may have only just begun!”
Next, an article about The Ultimate Warrior winning the Intercontinental title at Summerslam ’88. (This should have been included in Alex’s letter about the chain of events that Savage/Steamboat set in motion! But to be fair, Alex probably wrote his letter before Summerslam.) Anyway, you all know the story: Beefcake was attacked by Ron Bass shortly before Summerslam and was unable to wrestle, Honky said, “Get me someone to wrestle. I don’t care who it is!” And the Warrior ran down to the ring and did what no one could do for “over two years” according to Superstar Billy Graham’s questionable math: defeat Honky for the title. And it was all done in 31 seconds, breaking Bruno Sammartino’s record for shortest title win set in the same arena 25 years prior by 17 seconds, with Warrior’s victory being compared to boxer Mike Tyson’s 91 second victory over Michael Spinks in June. The magazine says Honky should have been prepared. After all, a similar incident happened a few weeks earlier in Rhode Island. Honky had made a public declaration that he’d put up his title against anyone, and the Warrior immediately stormed down to the ring and defeated him in no time flat with forearm smashes and clotheslines before being announced as the new Intercontinental champion. Although the title change was later reversed because the match not sanctioned, the result left few doubts about the seriousness of Warrior’s challenge. (Wow, that almost sounded like a dress rehearsal to test out the fan reaction.) Now that Warrior is champion, and Honky no longer has the title, it’ll be interesting to see where both go from here.
We move on to an article where Ric Flair admits “Lex Luger is wearing me down!” Inside Wrestling recently caught up with Flair after one of his matches with Luger, and in a rare moment of private reflection and humility, Flair said, “Man, I’m really exhausted. Luger is really wearing me down. You’ve got to remember, I’m a lot older than he is. When I was his age, I was stronger and could wrestle for an hour if I had to without breaking sweat. I could take a lot more punishment. Now, who knows?” Flair mumbled the last sentence to himself. A short silence followed. Then, just as quickly, the rare moment of candor had passed. Ric Flair reverted to his usual egomania. “But remember, I’m still champion,” he said eyes opening wider. “And whether you like it or you don’t like it, no one is going to take this belt away from me! Luger can follow me around the country or the universe, but he will never get this belt around his waist! Now let’s get the hell out of here and party. Wooo!”
Next, Inside Wrestling warns us we can’t trust the smiling, babyface Powers of Pain. “The great heroes of the WWF today are outcasts from the NWA. Those heroes, the Powers of Pain, left their federation amidst charges of cowardice. But they are received as demigods by those who want Demolition demolished. Warlord and Barbarian both know what it means to be on the fans’ good side, and they’re using that connection to achieve success.” We then learn about the history of the Barbarian. He began in 1983 as King Konga and started in Georgia. Eventually he chose Paul Jones as his manager. Meanwhile, the Warlord began his career as a big but lumbering giant. (Wow, who would have thought?) After his NWA debut in late 1986, he went to the Central States area where he feuded with… the Barbarian! Eventually, they formed a tag team managed by Jones and after defeating lesser competition, got into it with the Road Warriors, with a surprise victory over the Roadies at the 1988 Crockett Cup. Jones then set up a series of scaffold matches for his team, but they declined and left for the WWF. But what’s important to understand is that the Powers of Pain were not motivated by heroism but by opportunity. “They’re not good guys,” says an anonymous source close to Jones. “The only reason they’re going after Demolition is because Ax and Smash have the belts. If the British Bulldogs had the titles, Warlord and Barbarian would go after them. Trust? That’s not a word in their vocabulary. They don’t trust each other. How can anybody else trust them?”
We move on to a Hotseat interview with Roddy Piper, now sporting a sweet mullet. We begin with Piper touching on the deaths of Bruiser Brody and Adrian Adonis. Piper says, “It was very unfortunate. We lost Brody and we lost Adrian Adonis. It’s always sad to lose an opponent. It’s almost as bad as losing a friend.” He’s then asked about his upcoming film, They Live. He says, “John Carpenter was at ringside for WrestleMania III, and he told me he was a big fan of mine. He told me there weren’t any leading men in Hollywood anymore, and they were looking for somebody who looked like he had ‘been around’ a little bit. One thing led to another, and before you knew it we were writing a script together.” Piper then talks about the film itself. “It’s a science-fiction film, but it’s much more than that really. My character is called John Nada, a member of the working homeless who bounces around on the railroads. You know, there are people actually like that in America, who move from town to town looking for work. This movie is trying to make a point about the homeless in our country who are in a situation which gets worse every day. All the ghouls and monsters in this movie wear Rolex watches and drive BMWs—just like the real-life ones! We’re trying to have a premier at a drive-in, and hopefully we can have some of the homeless there so we can bring some attention to them.” Piper goes on to say he enjoys acting and likes being creative, but on the downside, he can’t improvise all the time in a movie like he could in wrestling. But it’s still fun.
Inside Wrestling asks if he regrets leaving wrestling, and he says, “Well, my retirement wasn’t a Mike Tyson retirement. I didn’t retire for 28 days and come back. I was serious when I retired, and and I guess not too many folks retire at their peak. You know, I love wrestling, and that’s my problem. I can’t watch it on TV because it gets my blood boiling, and it gets me wanting to go back. Wrestling is what I know best. I do regret my decision to leave sometimes because I live and breathe wrestling. I love wrestlers, and anybody who’s got enough guts to wrestle is all right in my book.” (Except Mr. T, I’m assuming.) “But I’m not coming back because I’m pursuing my movie career real hard. If I did come back, it would be to wrestle for a world title.” Inside Wrestling points out that his old interview segment has since been replaced by the Brother Love Show. Piper says, “Well, I don’t catch the shows much anymore, but I’ve heard about this Brother Love fellow, and I wouldn’t want my kids watching that. A lot of kids watch those shows, and I don’t think this southern preacher stuff is good for wrestling.” Inside Wrestling points out people used to say Piper’s Pit was no good either, and Piper once humiliated Jimmy Snuka by attacking him with a coconut. Piper says, “Yeah, but I was the kind of guy who could walk into a ring and back up everything I said. And I never lied to anybody.” He’s then asked what it was like to transition from hated to fan favorite, and he says, “It was nice, mainly because I never really gave people any reason to cheer me. I usually don’t let the cheers affect me, but when I was going to the ring at WrestleMania III in the Silverdome, it was so loud that it overtook so much of what went on that night. They were taking people to the ring in a little cart, and I thought I should be able to make it to the ring on my own, so I just ran to the ring, and the fans came unglued. It was a pleasant surprise, because I never told the fans to take their vitamins and say they’re prayers. They cheered me because they wanted to, not because they were programmed to. It was the highest compliment, and I thought it was pretty cool, man.” (Note: the cart was actually having mechanical problems when Piper was due for his entrance, so he said, “Screw it” and just ran down to the ring.) Inside Wrestling asks if he’ll ever wrestle again, and Roddy says, “I’ve always had a yearning to come back, but it’s not going to happen. I’m concentrating on a new career.” Then, in a rapid-fire section, Piper fields various questions about wrestling in 1988. What does he think about Randy Savage? “Well, he won the tourney, but that’s because I wasn’t there. I beat Savage a couple times right before I left, and if I had been in the tournament, I don’t think there’d be any doubt who the next champ would’ve been.” Hulk Hogan’s new acting career? “As usual, he’s following my path.” How about Ric Flair? “I don’t think that Flair needs the Four Horsemen. He has enough charisma on his own.” What about Jim Cornette, the man who many people feel succeeded Piper as the best talker in the sport? “I don’t like that Cornette doesn’t wrestle. He’s just an imitator. He’s got a tennis racket, but he doesn’t look like Bjorn Borg to me.” He’s then asked about Hell Comes to Frogtown, a film making the rounds in video stores. (DVD Talk gave the film three out of five stars, writing, “Rowdy Roddy Piper has to save the world by diddling beautiful babes and squashing six-foot mutant toads with crummy attitudes. What’s not to like?”) “I hate that show,” he says. “You know, it’s been real hard for me to adapt to Hollywood because we come from two totally different social values.” The magazine thanks Roddy for the interview, and he says, “Anytime, man. It’s always a pleasure.”
Next, an article about Kevin Von Erich vs. The System: A Losing Battle. There are people in wrestling who say you can’t win when you wrestle a Von Erich in Texas. To that, Kevin Von Erich says, “Bull. If anything, the referees and officials down here are sensitive to criticism and go out of their way to be especially harsh on me and Kerry, and that’s not fair either.” The magazine then recaps how Kevin lost a couple of championships in the past year and change. First, in August of 1987, he was injured by Brian Adias’s “oriental tool,” a thumb-spike. Although the ringside doctor said there was no reason he shouldn’t be able to wrestle, the WCCW medical advisory board later ordered Kevin to take seven days off. Kevin missed a title defense against Al Perez and was forced to forfeit the WCCW heavyweight belt. Then in August of 1988, he injured his big right toe. This time, World Class officials allowed Kevin to choose a substitute to defend his Texas title. Kevin choose his brother, Kerry, but Kerry lost when he was hit with a foreign object. (This was before Donald Trump built the wall.) Kevin had hoped to be at ringside for the match to prevent such an incident, but the WCCW board said, “If Von Erich is not healthy enough to wrestle, he’s not healthy enough to be at ringside” and denied him permission. (I’ve seen kids in wheelchairs at ringside. Does that mean they can wrestle?) Kevin points out that there’s supposed to be a 30 day rule that says champions have to defend their titles once every thirty days, and he was meeting that requirement. “The way I see it, I had the option of missing those matches.” World Class’s Mark Lowrance says Kevin is wrong. “The thirty day rule only applies to matches that haven’t been signed yet. Once a match is signed, it must be wrestled, or else the match is forfeited. But World Class gives an injured wrestler the option of finding a substitution.” Kevin, however, points out he wasn’t offered a sub when he was stripped of the heavyweight title. “If that’s the rule, why wasn’t it applied?” he asks. “It always seems the rule is changing when I’m involved. I’m just going to have to drag myself into the ring no matter how injured I am. It’s the only way. These guys just won’t give me a break.”
And finally, it’s One on One with Jim Cornette and J.J. Dillon who talk about the feud between the Midnight Express and the Four Horsemen!
J.J. Dillon: Good Day, Mr. Cornette. You know, I was with your mother the other day and…
Jim Cornette: Woah, there, old man. At least I have a mother! You, no doubt, were born of some skunk rat or out of some test tube. I heard you visited home last week. How is DuPont Labs nowadays? They remember you? Probably not. When a person ages like you have, one is almost unrecognizable from the days when he was a bouncing baby boy. Babies put smiles on people’s faces; you make people throw up. If you were with my mother, it was probably to beg for a loan!
JJD: Very good, Jimmy. It’s good to see that the famous Cornette humor hasn’t disappeared just because his boys are getting their butts kicked clear across the country by the NWA World tag team champions. You know, people ask me why Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson never granted the Midnight Express a shot at the World championship, and my answer was simple: I was protecting my good friend Jim Cornette from the embarrassment of watching his team get beaten. Obviously, Jim, you just didn’t know where your bread is buttered.
JC: And you know why I never pressed you for a title shot before? Because I believed the rumors that J.J. Dillon was honorable enough as a man to offer my Midnight Express—Sweet Stan and Beautiful Bobby, twin sons from different mothers, the human highlight film of professional wrestling—the title shots they deserved. Well, we waited, and waited, and waited, and you never gave us a shot. I guess that proves the people who are spreading rumors of your almighty beneficence are those same people I see Ric Flair leave the arena with. You better watch out for your boy, J.J.! I swear one of the women he left with had one eye in the center of her head, a pair of antennae, and…
JJD: A tennis racket growing out of her ear? That’s another reason I never gave your boys a title shot. I knew very well that there was no way that tennis racket of yours wasn’t going to be a factor. I’ve seen the way you operate, Jimmy boy, I know what your idea of a fair match is.
JC: That’s fine, J.J. I’ll agree to give up my regular game of tennis if you agree to wear your bedroom slippers to ringside. One piece of advice: Do try to be tasteful and not wear fluffy pink ones. To hear Lex Luger talk about it, it sound like you’ve been wearing steel-plated boots!
JJD: So that’s what you’re up to, Cornette? Defending Lex Luger? You know, there are some things I understand. I can understand why you would want your overachievers to get a shot at the most prestigious tag team belts in the world, belts that are worth ten times as much as those cheap pieces of tin Lane and Eaton are wearing around their waists. I can understand why you’d want to be considered in the same breath as J.J. Dillon, the finest wrestling mind in the world. But this is a new tune, Cornette. Defending Luger? What’s come over you?
JC: I’m not defending Luger by any standards except your own double ones. It’s just that the man’s got a welt on his head the size of that huge mountain on Mars, what’s its name? The 78,000-foot one? C’mon, J.J., you were born there. Help me out! What’s it called?
JJD: You’re talking about Mama Cornette.
JC: Good one, J.J. And not entirely inaccurate. I’d say that my mama rises way above you. Maybe even 78,000 feet. She’s so mighty that she doesn’t need to soil herself with our petty bickering. All she has to do is keep supplying me with the financial resources to run you out of wrestling and I’ll make sure it happens. And it’s going to happen. Be sure of that.
JJD: Now wait just a minute, Cornette. When this whole thing first started, you just wanted a shot at Tully and Arn. Well, you got it. And now that you’ve been frustrated countless times by a superior tag team, you’re talking about running me out of wrestling. Well, let me warn you, Cornette: it’s not just me you have to deal with, it’s Flair, Blanchard, Anderson, and Windham, and the whole Four Horsemen concept. You’re fighting something you can’t beat, but I could’ve told you that months ago.
JC: You did, J.J., you did! You also told me the Midnight Express would never meet Blanchard and Anderson for the World belts. Looks like everything you say doesn’t come true, does it?
JJD: Maybe not, Cornette, but this will: You will never lay your stinking paws on those World tag belts as long as I’m alive.
JC: That’s been about twelve decades already. Give it up, old man, your day is long gone and past. The day of The Midnight Express is just dawning.
That’s it for this week! Join me next week where we look at The Wrestler, where we get coverage of the “Summer SuperCards,” including the Great American Bash, WrestleFest, and Summerslam. And if you’re new here, be sure to leave a comment and check out the archive. Also, check out my website to see what books I’ve written!