From the pages of WWF Magazine… this week, we look back at an issue featuring Brother Love that went to press in November of 1988 that sold for $2.50 in the U.S. and $3.25 in Canada. So pack up the babies, and grab the old ladies, and everyone goes!
We begin with Around the Ring by Ed Ricciuti, where Ed tells us the Royal Rumble is coming on January 20. This time there will be 30 contestants and it will be broadcast exclusively on pay-per-view. Ed says the number sequence is not revealed ahead of time, so wrestlers have no idea when they will enter until their name is called. (Well, that changed.)
Onto Fan Forum, a communications channel for readers and the editor, where fans have been writing in to comment on Brother Love. Most say he’s a fraud, a sleaze, and a self-seeker. (Talk about judgmental people!) On the other hand, Matt from Neenah, Wisconsin says “Brother Love has brought love and happiness into my life, and I’m forever grateful.” People have also written in to comment on the Big Boss Man. Rich from New Jersey says, “Personally, I’m disgusted with this so-called policeman.” Bryan from Manning, Iowa says, “I think the Big Boss Man is very wrong. When he was a prison guard, he should have been on the other side of the bars.” On the other hand, Richie Cruser from Hamilton Square, New Jersey says, “I think it’s about time a man like the Big Boss Man came to the WWF to clean it up. Wrestlers have been cutting hair and smashing chairs on people for far too long.”
Next, it’s the debut of Jesse Ventura’s column, Body Language, replacing “On the Mat.” Jesse says he’s the perfect guy for this column because he’s done it all in wrestling. He’s wrestled, he’s commentated, and he’s refereed. He then moves on to politics, saying George Bush reminds him of Paul Roma in that he has no personality, and Jim Duggan, in that he has no brains. Michael Dukakis, on the other hand, reminds Jesse of Bobby Heenan, a solid financial manager. “He’d do anything to balance the budget. Even make a deal with the Million Dollar Man.” He says politics really interest him, and there’s a lot of it going on in the WWF. “There are favorites, like Hulk Hogan, who are always protected by higher-ups. He gets away with things nobody else can. The same thing is true of Hacksaw Jim Duggan. The guy carries a board with him to the ring. Anywhere else, he’d be in big trouble.”
Next, Personality Profile introduces us to the original Dude Perfect, Mr. Perfect. (Actually, “Dude Perfect” would have been a pretty good pro wrestling name back in the day.) When he golfs, it’s always a hole in one. When he bowls, it’s always a 300 game. He’s also an excellent mat technician who knows how to play fast and loose with the rules. His finishing move is a suplex/pinning combination called the perfect-plex.
Next, An interview with Brother Love. WWF Magazine asks why he’s devoted his life to love, and Love says it’s because he loves everybody, and love is the most important thing in the world. When asked why he’s keeps company with people like the Million Dollar Man and Big Boss Man, he says again that he loves everybody and has no favorites. The magazine interjects, saying, “But these people have demonstrated time and time again that they love material things. They love money. They love fame. They love hurting others.” Brother Love says, “Yew sound like someone who has no love. You sound vindictive. These people have told me of their love for mankind. They bring that love into the wrestling ring. They set an example to show others that they too can rise to the top.” The magazine says, “What about the example set by Macho Man Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan?” Love says, “They too could be fine men. But they must learn to control their tempers, and they must learn to accept people as they are and to love them.” The magazine then points out that some readers think he’s a fraud, but others think he’s made their lives better. “Who’s right?” Love says, “The people who know about love. The people who’ve read the book of love.” The magazine then quickly pivots to the topic of money asking, “Tell us about your sources of financial support. Cash. Money. Greenbacks. You’ve got time on WWF television. You seem to live well. Who pays for the suits? Who pays for the flowers? The airtime? How do you make a living? Who pays for your groceries? Or the fancy dinners we’ve heard about?” (Wow, talk about an inappropriate question! Why don’t they ever ask Hacksaw Jim Duggan or Hulk Hogan about their financial portfolios?) Brother Love says, “I live on love. Yew don’t need more. Love is everything. Love is life. Money is nothing next to love. That’s what I’m here for. To spread the word of love. I love yew. Yes, even yew.”
Newsbreakers! Brother Love… On the Take? Just after WWF Magazine’s interview with Brother Love, he was caught taking money from an unknown man. WWF Magazine, of course, took photos of this terrible crime. More will be published in the next issue.
Next, Battle of the Titans recaps the Roberts/Rude blowoff match on Saturday Night’s Main Event which ended with Jake winning and Andre, who came down to ringside, fainting when confronted by Jake’s snake, the barely moving Damian. (I hated that angle, although it was funny when someone yelled to Bobby Heenan, “Give him mouth to mouth!”)
We move on to a photospread that shows us different snakes…
Next, an article about the Slick and the Big Boss Man attacking Hulk Hogan on the Brother Love show. This biased publication says that it all began with Slick taunting the Hulkster. “But Hogan was very much in control. He reached out a brawny arm and knocked the hat of the head of his tormentor, but it was a gesture of contempt, not a tempestuous reaction on the part of the Hulkster.” (Yeah, whatever!) The magazine continues, “It had become obvious to the Boss Man and Slick that they could not prod Hogan into losing his temper. It was also obvious the entire affair was a setup aimed at discrediting the Hulkster. The general idea of the plot was to push Hogan over the brink in hopes he would attack Slick, or perhaps Brother Love or even the Big Boss Man to prove that Hogan had been out of control since losing his title. And that would provide Boss Man with all the excuse he needed to attack the Hulkster and inflict serious damage on him.” The magazine says “Hogan didn’t take the bait, so the Bossman and Slick attacked anyway, the Boss Man with his nightstick, and Slick with maces. Then the Boss Man began pounding Hogan with a club, not stopping until Hogan was black and blue. On other occasions, wrestlers have retired after suffering this kind of viciousness from the former guard. Not Hulk Hogan. Almost as soon as he grained his breath, he called WWF President Jack Tunney, leaving a five-word message with his secretary. “I want the Boss Man.'” (This was a very effective angle. I especially liked that Hogan was handcuffed to the railing and had to carry it with him as he recomposed himself and tried to chase after Slick and the Bossman.)
Next, WWF Trivia! How many stars adorn the trunks worn by Macho Man? Can you name the Rockers?
The answers: Tough Stuff: three, Hulk Hogan, and Ed Koch. Odds and Ends: Madison Square Garden, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and Cobb County. Merchandise: a cape, the USA, and Koko B. Ware. Twosomes: Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty, Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, and Alice Cooper. Other Sports: sumo, football, and Jake Roberts.
We move on to an article about Bad News Brown by Lou Gianfriddo. He wants Macho Man’s belt. (Bad News, not Lou.) We’re told Bad News is a sound grappler who uses many moves of scientific origin that he twists into vicious and punishing forms. (His Ghetto Blaster was one of my favorite finishing maneuvers from this time period.) But he’s also impatient. The magazine speculates that if Bad News were to wait his turn for a title shot, WWF champ Randy Savage might be worn down by other competitors. Brown, however, says he wants the shot now.
Next, the magazine introduces us to the Brain Busters, Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson, managed by Bobby Heenan. When a reporter came to interview them, Tully immediately noticed a button missing from the guy’s shirt and launched into a diatribe about the importance of appearance. “Look at Arn and me! We are always impeccably groomed.” Arn then tore off the remaining buttons and said, “There. Now you don’t have one button missing anymore.” Bobby Heenan said, “There’s your story, humanoid. Tully starts it, Arn finishes it. And I go to the bank.” Bobby says he discovered the Brain Busters, and after watching them once, he was convinced they’d be valuable to the Heenan Family. The magazine describes Blanchard as the cockier of the two and says he’s the setup man who confuses the opponents with speed and dizzying tactics. Arn, on the other hand, is the stopper who can overwhelm opponents with a methodical attack. Both are the masters of double-teaming. Heenan hopes to someday bring them tag team gold.
Next, an article about Hercules by Lou Gianfriddo. DiBiase bought Herc from Bobby Heenan to be a slave. But Hercules says he’s a free man. (When I attended The Main Event in February of 1989, I knew the live TV audience was only going to see two matches: the Megapowers match and one other. I really wanted that second match to be a good one, such as the Busters vs. the Rockers. But I’m guessing the WWF didn’t want to have another tag team match following the Megapowers, so we got DiBiase vs. Hercules instead. I had that pegged as a snoozer and thought it was a waste of live TV time.)
Next, an article where Hacksaw Jim Duggan says “America: Love it Leave it.” Specifically, he says he’s tired of Dino Bravo badmouthing the good ‘ol USA. The magazine says it’s important know that most other Canadians don’t share Bravo’s cold feelings toward the U.S, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan doesn’t hate all Canadians. He only has a problem with people like Dino Bravo who ridicule the home of the free and land of the brave.
Next, Private Eye shows us photos of Koko B. Ware relaxing at home…
We move on to WWF Lowdown, where we learn Mountain Dew has been selected as the Official Soft Drink of the WWF. (Maybe we could have some sort of special Mountain Dew match at WrestleMania.) Meanwhile, Randy Savage has been voted “Most Macho” in a poll of youngsters by Newsday. Savage beat out the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Lee, and Superman, among others. He was also a guest on Regis & Kathie Lee. Meanwhile, Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon stopped by Tony Packo’s Cafe in Toledo, Ohio, where they signed buns, as per the cafe’s tradition when celebrities visit. In other news, Koko B. Ware likes to sing in the church choir. And finally, Mean Gene Okerlund appeared on Friday Night videos with Sugar Ray Leonard.
In Wrestler’s Rebuttal, Ted DiBiase explains why he deserves a slave…
And here’s WWF’s Crossword…
And finally, Caught in the Act!
That’s all for this week! Tune in next week, same time, same channel. 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!