From the pages of WWF Magazine… this week, we look back at an issue that went to press just before WrestleMania V that sold for $2.50 in the U.S. and $3.25 in Canada. Let’s dive in.
We begin with Around the Ring by Ed Ricciuti who says he’d like to hear from readers who watch WrestleMania V to get their reactions. He then tells us all about the exciting articles in this issue.
Next, Fan Forum, where fans write in to say what they think of Jesse Ventura’s new column, Body Language. Charlotte from Alhambra, California says it’s refreshing. “I appreciate his honesty and ability to see things are they really are.” Scott from Presque Isle, Maine agrees and says, “It is very interesting and informative.” Paul from Grover, Missouri says Jess makes some good points, but you have to sift through a lot of garbage to find them. Shawn from Tinley Park, Illinois says, “I think Body Language is stupid, not to insult WWF Magazine, of course. Body Language should be banned and Gorilla Warfare should be put in its place.” (Well there would be an interesting column. We’d hear who’s “a piece of garbage,” learn someone has two chances of winning, slim and none, and get some complaining about abdominal stretches. Maybe we’d also find out it takes the Hammer ten or fifteen minutes just to get warmed up.) Holly from Woolstock, Iowa says, “Either you love Jesse or you hate him. There is no in-between. And so goes his column.”
Next, it’s Body Language itself, where Jess says he’s impressed by the Brain Busters, and that while Tully and Arn might not have the flamboyance of, say, Ravishing Rick Rude, they’re wrestlers’ wrestlers. He especially likes how Tully and Arn have different styles as opposed to mirroring each other’s moves. It keeps opponents off balance and doesn’t allow foes to develop a strategy. On the other hand, the Body doesn’t think much of the Bushwackers, saying they’re just a couple of morons. “The Brain Busters are a very mental team. They’d confound the New Zealand nitwits before the opening bell and take them apart at will.”
Newsbreakers! Stop the presses! 9-year-old Mikey Carey, an aspiring paleontologist from Mesa, Arizona, got to meet Big John Studd and attend a WWF event with his family. Mikey is a member of the WWF Fan Club, and his whole family loves the WWF. His eight-year-old sister always looks forward to dialing the WWF Merchandise Hotline, included in the Fan Club membership, to find out about all the great new WWF items available for sale, and Molly and Mikey love wearing their WWF gear to school. “Needless to say,” the magazine tells us, “Molly and Mikey are among the more popular students in their grades.” The magazine says that all fans are welcome to join the Fan Club and should do so today!
This month in Personality Profile, we learn about Tito Santana from Tocula, Mexico. (Good luck finding that one on Google Maps.) We’re told Santana is a former Intercontinental and Tag Team champion. (Twice over!) Some veterans reach a plateau and make only minor changes to their style, but Santana is always learning and evolving as he matures as a ring technician. One thing he’ll never do, however, is break the rules. “If you play by the rulebook and win,” he says, “you know you are a solid wrestler who doesn’t have to brawl to rack up victories.”
Next, an Interview with Mr. Perfect, who is no longer referred to as “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, but is simply “Mr. Perfect.” (The announcers, however, would occasionally call him “Hennig” or “Henning.”) What’s his goal? “Winning.” Does he have title aspirations? “Yes.” Would he be interested in tag team wrestling? “Partners get in the way of things. Besides, nobody is perfect like me.” He especially dislikes The Blue Blazer, and says the guy is in for the wrestling lesson of his life when he steps into the ring against Mr. P. What does he think about WWF Magazine? “I read a lot of lies about Mr. Perfect in it. This time I’m giving you the truth. And while we’re on the subject, when am I gonna get my handsome face put on a cover?” (January, 1991 and then again in February, 1993) The interviewer then asks how Mr. Perfect can call himself perfect when Hogan threw him out of the ring at the Royal Rumble. Perfect says Hogan had a handful of tights, and if the interviewer brings up Hogan again, the interview is over. The interviewer then says there are complaints from wrestlers that Perfect slaps them in the face. (Well, tough, it’s a legal maneuver. And what wrestlers are upset about getting slapped? God help them if they have to wrestle in a steel cage or get a roundhouse right from Andre the Giant.) Perfect says he doesn’t care what his opponents think, what the interviewer thinks, or what anybody thinks. But really, the fans secretly admire him, and he’s a role model for every kid and adult. “The adults tell their kids to grow up to be like Mr. P.” The interviewer says he’d like to thank Perfect for a good interview. Perfect says, “No, sir. You would like to thank me for an absolutely perfect interview.”
Next, Battle of the Titans runs down a Saturday Night’s Main Event match between Beefcake and Rude that ended with a double countout and saw Andre do a run-in (well, more of a walk-in) before Jake Roberts ran down to even up the odds, only to be jumped by Rude. As things got more out of control, Big John Studd appeared, and suddenly it was him and Andre having a stare-down in the ring… before Jake scared Andre away with Damian. (This was all a lot more exciting than the Andre/Roberts WrestleMania V match it was setting up.)
Next, its the unveiling of Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Championship belt. DiBiase says he paid for it, so that means he owns it, and that means he’s a champion. Moreover, he says, his belt makes the other WWF belts look like dime-store junk. The article then covers the Million Dollar Man’s history in the WWF, from his quest to buy the WWF heavyweight championship from Hulk Hogan to his scheme to get the belt on The Main Event February 3, 1988. He then tried to win it at WrestleMania IV only to come up short. “Considering all those facts, it may be possible to understand why DiBiase came up with his Million Dollar Belt, even though he must know it will never be sanctioned in the WWF.” (Wow, look at that: longform storytelling by the WWF. Who says wrestling can’t be Shakespeare?)
Next, it’s Trivia Time…
The answers – Elizabeth: Kentucky, horse shows, and Jesse Ventura. Numbers: 30, eight, and $20,000. Survivor Series: he was disqualified, Mr. Perfect, and Danny Davis. Likes and Dislikes: Macho Man Randy Savage, WWF Magazine, and either timber rattler, cooperhead, or hognose. Odds and Ends: false (he was wearing street clothes), a beret, and the Detroit Tigers.
Next, it’s Sensational Sherri’s Spring Fashions…
We move on to an article asking, “Who’s the Real Giant? Andre or Studd?” The magazine recaps Studd’s victory at the 1989 Royal Rumble before we learn that he’s been spending extra time in the WWF’s television production facility watching tapes, especially those of Andre the Giant. “I was there working when he showed up,” said one anonymous technician. “He was serious but extremely polite. A real gentleman. He apologized for disturbing me in the middle of a busy workday but explained he recently ended his workout in the weight room and wanted to watch some tapes of potential opponents.” The magazine says the singular word “opponent” might be more appropriate, as the majority of his time was devoted to studying Andre, looking for weaknesses. “He wanted to see everything Andre had done lately,” the technician said, ” And he wouldn’t watch the matches once, he’d watch them five or six times. Sometimes he’d watch Andre executing a move in slow motion and would mutter ‘interesting.'” Jesse Ventura says Studd is obsessed. “It’s just so obvious to me. Studd spent his hiatus from wrestling perfecting new techniques, and he wants to use them to beat the Giant.” Gorilla Monsoon agrees. “Each is in each other’s way. Each sees each other as the biggest obstacle.” Mat analysts have a clash between the two scored evenly. Studd is considered quicker, but Andre is said to have a more punishing headbutt and bearhug. Whatever the case, when the two meet, nobody expects a scientific encounter. “With the type of animosity that exists between these two, I think the rulebook will be left at home,” Monsoon states. Until the matchup takes place, however, all observers can do is speculate.
Next, an article about Rick Martel. He says that after WrestleMania V, he wants to pursue a singles career. “Holding a tag team belt is fabulous, but when you’re a pair, you’re not getting full credit. When you’re a singles titleholder, everyone knows who the champion is. No one an question your worthiness, your greatness. In fact, a tag team partner can sometimes get in the way of greatness. A talented athlete must make it on his own.”
Next, an article about the singles careers of Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart. Some observers wondered if the two would be successful individually, but they are both doing well in their separate ventures because they learned from each other. Neidhart is a better technical wrestler after teaming with Hart, and Hart is a better brawler after teaming with Neidhart. “The Hart Foundation is no more,” the article declares. “But Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart will remain very much forces to be reckoned with in the rugged world of the WWF ring.”
Next, in Private Eye, we learn Hulk Hogan is starring in a new film, No Holds Barred! In the film, Hogan plays Rip, a larger-than-life wrestling champion whose electrifying exploits in and out of the ring will keep you on the edge of your seat. In the film, Rip is caught up in a web of intrigue and danger masterminded by an unscrupulous, ruthless television executive who will stop at nothing to get his way. Watch for this heart-pounding movie this summer!
Next, it’s WWF Lowdown: George Steele recently visited Royal Video Stores in Long Island, meeting and greeting patrons. In the ring, Outlaw Bass has been on a tear. Outside the ring, Bobby Heenan was recently named honorary manager of John Madden’s All-Madden team. Madden said, “Heenan is very smart and manages the biggest men in sports.” Meanwhile, Gorilla Monsoon was mentioned in Stephen King’s latest book, The Tommyknockers. Back to the mat: Koko B. Ware is promising to take the fight to any wrestler. King Haku promises the same, and has vowed to make every wrestler he faces bow and kneel before him or suffer the consequences. (The magazine wryly notes that Haku can dish out some heavy consequences.) Colonel Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man stopped by WWOR-TV in New York (channel 9) to be guests on People are Talking. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake recently appeared at AutoRama in Detroit, meeting and greeting fans. He also visited local barber shops to check out the work of local stylists. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and his bodyguard, Virgil, recently appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show on the FOX network. And finally, young up-and-coming Paul Roma has been impressing fans lately thanks to many hours spent in the gym. The magazine says that with a dash of additional experience, Roma should propel himself upward in the World Wrestling Federation. And you’re up to date!
Next, Jack Tunney explains why the Million Dollar Belt is meaningless in President’s Rebuttal…
And here’s this month’s Crossword Puzzle…
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!