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1988 NWA Worldwide Shows are Fantastic Too  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Mon Feb 23rd, 2015 03:20 am
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Blazer



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1988 World Wide Wrestling:

Got to start a thread on this, if you guys don't mind.  Thought I would take a break from the '84 WWF shows for a bit, or at least start watching these simultaneously.  
These shows are a great trip back through time.  At the time, I was on wrestling overload.  There was still so much available on tv in Chicago in 1988 that I didn't feel like I had to watch every episode of Worldwide, because usually the highlights would be recapped on the NWA Pro show on Sunday nights.  For awhile, they were running Pro and Worldwide back to back on Sundays, but I didn't always catch both.


Set the stage-
World Champion- Flair
Tag Champs- Tully & Arn
US Tag Champs- Midnight Express
Western States- Windham
US- Dusty
TV- Nikita


Zbyszco and Baby Doll are going after Dusty and asking him to forfeit the US title, but Larry also wants the Western States title on his "stairway to heaven".  


Cornette has Sweet Stan Lane ready to take the TV title, and he's setting up Bobby Eaton for the US title.


The most interesting thing is the way they are setting up Dr. Death for a heel turn against the Windham brothers, but this must have been aborted at some point.  This comes off Doc's Starrcade win over Windham where there was some gamesmanship. 


Another feud that they are setting up that I don't recall ever happening was the Sheepherders vs. the Rock N Roll Express.


Luger is going against the three remaining Horsemen on every show.  Flair says JJ has an open contract for Windham to join.  Lots of hints that they're going to get a new member, and I wonder if they were considering Dr. Death at some point.  


Eddie Gilbert is coming out to the music that Sting would start using very shortly after (I had no recollection that Sting's theme was originally Gilbert's).


Love these shows.  I've watched the 1/2/88 and 1/9/88 episodes so far.  The cool thing is that it left you wanting more.  The Worldwide show would always show highlights from Pro, and the interviews would be sprinkled with references to events that never occurred in the World Wide "Universe", so its kinda like comic books in a way where you feel like there's this giant universe of other things happening outside of this little snapshot of the NWA, and you want to know more.  As an example, Michael Hayes (who is teaming with Jimmy Garvin now, years before they were the new Freebirds) hints that he stole Flair's belt at one point before they made him give it back.  No idea when this happened or on what show...


I like the booking during this period though.  It's a lot more challenging to watch because there are several different mini-feuds and angles interspersed between the big conflicts.  Arn and Tully are going to defend the titles against Windham and Ronnie Garvin on the next show, but Hayes and Garvin say they'll be happy to face either team.


I'm going to be interested in seeing where the Dr. Death thing goes and how quickly they put on the breaks on this.  

Last edited on Mon Feb 23rd, 2015 03:22 am by Blazer



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"Well, maybe I like the nightlife just a little bit more than I like the damn gym, jack! And when you're makin' $500,000 a year, there ain't no reason to change what you're doing." - Dusty Rhodes, 1/4/1986
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 Posted: Mon Feb 23rd, 2015 04:00 am
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tamalie
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Doc's heel turn was aborted when he actually left the promotion for a couple of months. He went to Japan for a while and rumors had him going to World Class where a number of Mid-South/UWF vets had gone. In the end, he went back to JCP as a babyface in time for the Crockett Cup, his near heel turn from late 1987/early 1988 never so much as mentioned again.

At the time in late 1987/early 1988, the UWF had been eliminated, but no one ever came on TV and said so. The even ran UWF Wrestling and Power Pro Wrestling with their credits and overdubbed commentary grafted on to World Wide Wrestling and NWA Pro Wrestling for a while. My take on the Michael Hayes singles push coinciding with the Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin tag team push was Hayes was identifiably a UWF guy, but had worked enough on JCP TV to fit into that mix too. It was a way of quietly perpetuating the UWF for a while.

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 Posted: Mon Feb 23rd, 2015 04:06 am
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freebirdsforever2001
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Was the Doc heel turn during the time he was wrestling Windham?



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 Posted: Mon Feb 23rd, 2015 08:22 am
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Blazer



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Yep, Tamalie, no mention whatsoever of the UWF in the early '88 Worldwide shows, so there was probably a directive from the top that it was to be completed phased out. That may have happened even a bit earlier, just after Starrcade.



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"Well, maybe I like the nightlife just a little bit more than I like the damn gym, jack! And when you're makin' $500,000 a year, there ain't no reason to change what you're doing." - Dusty Rhodes, 1/4/1986
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 Posted: Mon Feb 23rd, 2015 08:28 am
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Blazer



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So they're promoting the 3rd Annual Bunkhouse Stampede (the PPV from Nassau Coliseum), and one of the ways to eliminate guys in this is to either throw them through the door of the cage (ok, no prob), or throw them over the top of the cage. Not sure on the latter. The fall to the concrete would probably kill someone, let alone that physically it's probably impossible to get someone in a position to throw them over. Curious if in the history of any of these if anyone was ever thrown over the cage.



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"Well, maybe I like the nightlife just a little bit more than I like the damn gym, jack! And when you're makin' $500,000 a year, there ain't no reason to change what you're doing." - Dusty Rhodes, 1/4/1986
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 Posted: Mon Feb 23rd, 2015 08:57 am
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Blazer



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So far through the first three episodes (thru Jan 16), Arn and Tully are the MVPs of the season. They had a decent match against Dusty and Nikita on the 1/2 episode, and on the 1/16 episode had a really good match against Windham and Sting. Both matches ended in DQs because of outside interference (Flair first and then JJ), and both times Luger ran down.

Good stuff so far. Love this.



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"Well, maybe I like the nightlife just a little bit more than I like the damn gym, jack! And when you're makin' $500,000 a year, there ain't no reason to change what you're doing." - Dusty Rhodes, 1/4/1986
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 Posted: Mon Feb 23rd, 2015 09:23 am
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Superstar
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Blazer wrote: So they're promoting the 3rd Annual Bunkhouse Stampede (the PPV from Nassau Coliseum), and one of the ways to eliminate guys in this is to either throw them through the door of the cage (ok, no prob), or throw them over the top of the cage. Not sure on the latter. The fall to the concrete would probably kill someone, let alone that physically it's probably impossible to get someone in a position to throw them over. Curious if in the history of any of these if anyone was ever thrown over the cage.Yes.  Dusty actually "threw" somebody over to win it.  Can't remember but maybe it was Barbarian?  It was completely ridiculous...not to mention it was a wicked snowstorm that held away most of the crowd, and who was there booed the shit out of it.  It's funny, but when WCW tried to put a major card in the northeast, the weather always fucked them.  Same thing happened when Flair beat Sting.  That show was the only show in two years that I missed them doing in the Meadowlands.  They used to have 7-11 night, where all floor seats were $11, and the rest were $7.  If we couldn't get the first five rows, we would get amazing lower level seats, we brought food, only bought beers.  Great times.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 23rd, 2015 08:36 pm
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tamalie
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Dusty eliminated Barbarian over the top of the cage to win. I think Ivan Koloff went over earlier. Animal, Luger, Warlord, Tully, and Arn all went through the door.

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 Posted: Mon Feb 23rd, 2015 08:53 pm
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bpickering
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 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2015 04:04 am
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Superstar wrote: Blazer wrote: So they're promoting the 3rd Annual Bunkhouse Stampede (the PPV from Nassau Coliseum), and one of the ways to eliminate guys in this is to either throw them through the door of the cage (ok, no prob), or throw them over the top of the cage. Not sure on the latter. The fall to the concrete would probably kill someone, let alone that physically it's probably impossible to get someone in a position to throw them over. Curious if in the history of any of these if anyone was ever thrown over the cage.Yes.  Dusty actually "threw" somebody over to win it.  Can't remember but maybe it was Barbarian?  It was completely ridiculous...not to mention it was a wicked snowstorm that held away most of the crowd, and who was there booed the shit out of it.  It's funny, but when WCW tried to put a major card in the northeast, the weather always fucked them.  Same thing happened when Flair beat Sting.  That show was the only show in two years that I missed them doing in the Meadowlands.  They used to have 7-11 night, where all floor seats were $11, and the rest were $7.  If we couldn't get the first five rows, we would get amazing lower level seats, we brought food, only bought beers.  Great times.Honestly, how many people would they have got for that Flair/Sting show anyway?  No more than 5,000.  WCW couldn't draw flies at that point. 



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 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2015 09:03 am
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Blazer



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Took until the Jan 23rd episode to get our first "we gotta go, we'll show you the entirety of this match next week!!!!".


Dusty and Nikita vs. the Midnights in a cage. Dick Murdoch at ringside with Cornette. Got about two minutes in before "The Wrestling Network" sign off.



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"Well, maybe I like the nightlife just a little bit more than I like the damn gym, jack! And when you're makin' $500,000 a year, there ain't no reason to change what you're doing." - Dusty Rhodes, 1/4/1986
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 Posted: Wed Feb 25th, 2015 11:00 pm
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tamalie
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The Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff vs. The Midnight Express cage match was taped January 15, 1988 in Richmond. Dick Murdoch was with Cornette and company in January and February. Then he vanished for a bit, presumably on a New Japan tour, and after returning the entire thing was dropped minus any explanatory angle.

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 Posted: Mon Mar 2nd, 2015 08:54 am
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Blazer



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Just watched the 1/30 episode, which saw the debut of the Varsity Club. A clip was shown of Rick Steiner helping Sullivan and Rotundo attack Nikita after a match. Later in the show, Steiner and Rotundo won a squash match. This is early Varsity Club, so Steiner is not wearing the head gear yet and doesn't have the Michigan singlet. Rotundo has the Syracuse singlet but is wearing a different lettermen jacket (with an SU, not the orange S that he would later wear).

Saw Curtis Thompson job to Larry Z. Thompson I believe would go on to be one of the Firebreakers in late '91.

Love this Worldwide show, how they are hyping the January 30th Greensboro card nationally, even though it wouldnt be televised. This is wear the weightlifting angle went down with the LOD and the POP.



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"Well, maybe I like the nightlife just a little bit more than I like the damn gym, jack! And when you're makin' $500,000 a year, there ain't no reason to change what you're doing." - Dusty Rhodes, 1/4/1986
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 Posted: Mon Mar 2nd, 2015 09:03 am
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tamalie
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Just a hunch, but Rotunda's SU letter jacket may have been his actual college letter jacket which he understandably may have wanted to leave at home and replace with a replica.

The January 30th Greensboro card was taped for TV and seen on World Wide Wrestling and NWA Pro Wrestling. I'm not sure about Pro, but WWW included the weightlifting angle and a Dusty Rhodes vs. Bobby Eaton match for the US Title plus squashes with Barry Windham and Lex Luger, The Varsity Club, and, if memory serves correct, Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson, plus other stuff.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 5th, 2015 08:59 am
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Blazer



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So, I know Crockett was losing his fucking ass during this time period, flushing money down the toilet and losing coin hand over foot. I can't believe that was the case though, because this period is possibly one of my favorites eras of NWA wrestling.

I've watched the 2/6 and 2/13/88 episodes.

They had so many hot angles going, and the TV shows were like all-star shows every week. The 2/6/88 episode of World Wide was "Ric Flair Appreciation Night" from Raleigh. They drove limos into the arena and had a table set up with Champage. Sting came out, wrestled a match and challenged Flair. JJ Dillon came down to the ring with a glass, and Sting splashed him and applied the Scorpion before Flair, Tully and Arn were able to get down there and rescue him. This was really the first angle that established Sting as a contender for the World Title. Awesome angle, Sting looked like a million dollars.

Zbyszco, coming off his Western States title victory, is now challenging Dusty for the US title. This is also the episode where Baby Doll came out with the manilla envelope and threatened Dusty with the "photos".

The Varsity Club is now established. Steiner is wearing the Michigan tights. Rotundo is shown winning the TV title from Nikita.

Speaking of Dusty, Cornette and Bobby Eaton finally get their match for the US title. Dusty intercepts some brass knucks and knocks out Eaton for the victory. However Tommy Young catches the knuckes and DQ's Dusty. Cornette is celebrating, but Dusty goes crazy and slaps the shit out of Cornette in the corner and breaks his glasses. Cornette then cuts one of the greatest promos in history on Dusty, literally threatening to KILL him. Literally murder him. Fucking awesome.

The Road Warriors/POP angle is heating up too.

The 2/13 episode has the Dusty/Eaton rematch from Greensboro, which includes some great slapstick by Cornette at the end when he tries to drop an elbow on Dusty. Unfortunately my disc doesn't include the the POP/Road Warriors bench-press challenge


The 2/20 episode has the Flair/Sting match that looks like it might take up the entire episode.

These shows accomplish more in 40 minutes than Raw does in three hours. Amazing stuff to go back and watch again.



____________________
"Well, maybe I like the nightlife just a little bit more than I like the damn gym, jack! And when you're makin' $500,000 a year, there ain't no reason to change what you're doing." - Dusty Rhodes, 1/4/1986
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