From the pages of WWF Magazine… this week, we look back at an issue featuring Hacksaw Jim Duggan that went to press in December of 1988 that sold for $2.50 in the U.S. and $3.25 in Canada.
We begin with Around the Ring by Ed Ricciuti, a forum which serves as an overture for this issue. Ed breaks the news that Bad News Brown assaulted WWF President Jack Tunney, tells us we’re going to see some stories about Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and promises more coverage of Brother Love.
We move on to an article about Brown: Bad News Brown Unrepentant—Brown Battles Tunney and Besmirches Elizabeth. (Check out the care the magazine puts into these photos! I love the time-consuming rotoscoping work on nearly every page that makes the subjects in the photos pop out.) So in a shocking display of street-bred brutality, Bad New Brown assaulted Jack Tunney and ravaged the reputation of Savage’s lovely manager, Elizabeth. (If he was white and it was 1999, this would make him a babyface.) Bad News confronted Tunney on the Brother Love Show. (The magazine describes Tunney as “graying at the temples, nattily dressed and emitting an aura of authority that befits the chief executive officer of the WWF.” Meanwhile, it describes Brother Love as “jowly”) Brown claimed Tunney wouldn’t return phone calls of answer letters with requests for a title shot. He then questioned if Tunney was getting kickbacks to protect the champion, and if Elizabeth was “doing favors” for him. Tunney was shocked and outraged. (Plus, he was due at the track for a horserace.) He pointed a finger at Bad News and began poking him to emphasize his denial of the accusations. Bad News responded by saying, “No man puts his hands on me,” and grabbed Tunney by the collar and shook him before casting the president aside like a piece or garbage. “For Tunney,” the magazine says, “the humiliation was absolute.” (Tunney’s lucky he never had to deal with Stone Cold Steve Austin, who would probably have used some sign language too.)
Next, in Body Language, Jesse Ventura weighs in on the incident, saying he thought it was funny. “Brown was fed up because his calls to the president’s office weren’t being returned.” Ventura says that it’s possible Tunney’s secretary, Emily Hotbody, is to blame. “The girl’s a bimbo after all. I know because of the garbage she’s said about me in this rag sheet.” Jess says he’d make a better president because he wouldn’t play favorites. “The first thing I’d do is ban Jake Roberts’ pet python, Damian. There should also be more stringent stipulations concerning managers. Elizabeth would be the first to go. She’s an airhead. What she’s doing in this sport is beyond me.”
Newsbreakers: Harley Race is back, Jack, and he wants to reclaim his crown. He’s also bitter that Bobby Heenan and Haku never visited him in the hospital. Heenan says it’s all a big mixup, and he’ll smooth things over.
Next, in Personality Profile, we learn about the Blue Blazer, a masked newcomer. We’re told the mask hides his expressions, making it difficult for his opponents to get a read on him. (The photos seem to contradict this claim.)
Jacques looks like he sees the Bulldogs coming.
Next, an interview with The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, who, thanks to manager Jimmy Hart (also still under contract with the Hart Foundation), are getting a percentage of the Hart Foundation’s earnings. That means even if the Harts beat the Rougeaus, the Rougeaus get a share of the winner’s money! Raymond says, “That’s what I love about America. Someone else works, and you get their money.” Jacques says it’s love for the country that has led them to buy American flags and carry them to the ring, something he the fans appreciate. (Are we sure they didn’t steal them from a cemetery?) “And before every match, we always extend our hands to our opponents for a handshake.” The Rougeaus make sure to emphasize that they wrestle cleanly, unlike Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart, and they expect to be tag team champions in the near future. They also point out that now that they have Jimmy Hart as their manager, they should be considered the real Hart Foundation. “Us and Jimmy Hart, the new Hart Foundation? It sounds better than good. It sounds fabulous!”
Next in Battle of the Titans, we hear about a match in Baltimore between Hercules and Haku (bless you). The magazine describes the match, which aired on Superstars in late November, in depth, but let’s put it another way, a Haiku:
A King versus Herc
A fight for freedom ensues
Drat! Herc is DQ’d
So Hercules was disqualified for hitting Haku with the chain. The magazine reports that afterward, Hercules could be heard in the dressing room pounding a locker with the chain wrapped around his fist in frustration. The writer (Lou Gianfriddo) also calls it all a miscarriage of justice, but my take is that he was legally disqualified and should have been fined for destruction of arena property.
Next, the magazine runs down the title match between Randy Savage and Andre the Giant in Sacramento that aired on Saturday Night’s Main Event. Jake Roberts came down to ringside, spooking Andre with Damian the python, and the match ended in a double-disqualification. The match was awful, but we did learn two things. One: Andre’s health was continuing to deteriorate at a rapid pace, and two: Savage in neon green trunks was an awful look.
Next, the Royal Rumble is coming to pay-per-view for the first time. This year there will be 30 competitors. Hopefully that works out and we can see more Royal Rumbles on pay-per-view in the future.
And now it’s time for Trivia…
The answers: Hacksaw Jim: Glenns Fall, NY, chief of police, and a fireman. Colors: powder blue, red, and green. Odds and Ends: The Book of Love, (c) a half beard and a mustache, and the Ultimate Warrior, The King: Tonga, Japan, and Lord Littlebrook. Merchandise: Randy Savage, three, and Bobby Heenan.
Next, coverage of the Survivor Series…
Nothing to see here, just a friendly hug.
Now to our feature article: Should Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s Two-By-Four Be Banned? Duggan says, “It’s a cruel world out there. A man needs a little help to look out for his own good.” The magazine recaps how Duggan knocked out Andre with the lumber, and notes that by waving it around, it might have kept other foes from attacking him. Duggan’s detractors, however, claim it should be banned. “It’s disgusting that he’s allowed to walk down that aisle holding a foreign object,” says Dino Bravo. Duggan, however, says it’s just an equalizer and it’s also inspirational. “When I lean it across my shoulder, I think of myself as a soldier marching to battle, just like the great men who founded this country.” Duggan also points out that he’s not the only one carrying something to the ring. Frenchy Martin carries a flag. Hercules carries a chain. Outlaw Ron Bass carries a whip. Managers themselves can be a weapons. “So what’s the big deal about my two-by-four?” Duggan asks.
Next, in Fan Forum, fan weigh in on the question of whether Duggan should be allowed to carry the two-by-four or not. Anna from Denver says yes. “I get a kick out of his two-by-four. It’s an extension of his personality.” Joshua from Mission, British Columbia says no. “Banning it would be fair.” Anson from Princeton, North Carolina says yes. “Outlaw Ron Bass can take Miss Betsy, Brutus Beefcake can take his shears. Why not Duggan and his two-by-four?” Dan from Pierce City, Missouri says maybe. “It’s great as long as it doesn’t make contact with Andre the Giant’s head.” Jason from Columbus, Indiana says he fears banning the two-by-four will open up a can of worms. “Tunney would have to take away Brutus Beefcake’s beauty supplies and Honky Tonk Man’s guitar, not to mention Outlaw Ron Bass’ whip.” Brian from Bergenfield, New Jersey says he not only thinks Duggan should be allowed to have the two-by-four, but he’d like to see Duggan use it more. “He should have hit Brother Love at SummerSlam.” Eric from Kaukauna, Wisconsin says the two-by-four is okay so long as Duggan doesn’t use it as an offensive weapon. Michelle from Houston says she doesn’t believe Duggan carries the two-by-four as a weapon per se. “Duggan only uses it in self defense.” The magazine says many more fans wrote in, and they’ll pass along all the letters to Duggan.
Next, more on the Brother Love scandal! Brother Love was caught taking money from an individual following his interview with WWF Magazine in the last issue. The individual has been identified as Melvin P. Ostlander, a man who works for Ted DiBiase. Brother Love will tell his side of the story in Wrestler’s Rebuttal.
We move on to Private Eye, where we get a photospread of Elizabeth revisiting the home where she grew up in Kentucky. (Personally, I think Elizabeth was at her hottest at this time.)
Next, WWF Lowdown, where Barry Horrowitz raves about Curt Hennig’s new finishing maneuver, the Perfect-Plex. “It’s one of the best holds I’ve seen,” he says. We also learn that the Rougeau Brothers have bought a new home in the United States, thanks in part to their share of the Hart Foundation’s money. The magazine says they’ll share more details about the new house in next month’s issue. We also learn that the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart appeared on Nickelodeon’s variety talk show Don’t Just Sit There! Meanwhile, the Ultimate Warrior is still awaiting a serious challenger for his Intercontinental title. (Are they throwing some shade at Honky there?) Elsewhere, Hillbilly Jim visited Hollywood, California to lend support to a Juvenile Diabetes Foundation television program. (Hillbilly in Hollywood?) And hey, we have a new Women’s Champion! Actually, we did before the last issue, they just forgot to mention it. We’re now told Rockin’ Robin defeated Sensational Sherri in Paris on October 7. Robin promises not to be a closet champion like Sherri. In other news, George Steele and his best friend, Mine, were present on a float in the Celebrate the Season Parade in Pittsburgh on November 26. Meanwhile, Jake Roberts appeared on a local television show and a local radio station in Atlanta. Back to ring action: the Blue Blazer recently pulled off an upset, defeating Boris Zhukov. Zhukov says, “Next time, Blue Blazer will be Blue Loser.” And WWF Merchandise continues to fly off the shelves, with T-shirts regularly selling out at the arenas where the WWF stars are performing. (I was attending WWF shows at this time, and for the most part, it’s true. If you didn’t buy the shirt you wanted very early, you had to settle for the shirt bearing the likeness of a guy who was no longer with the WWF.) The magazine reminds us that if we can’t make it to the shows, we can use the WWF Merchandise catalog to order items. (Maybe someday they can set up some sort of computer system where we can order through our modems.) And lastly, there’s a new WWF video game from Acclaim designed to run on your VCR. According to the magazine, it has stunning graphics and is entitled WrestleMania IV. (Ah.. is the writer confused here? I think he’s conflating the NES WrestleMania video game with the VCR WrestleMania board game.)
Next, it’s Wrestler’s Rebuttal, where Brother Love explains himself. (And considering Bruce Prichard was a writer for WWF Magazine, he might have really written this article.)
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!