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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 11, 1998

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE: 1991199219931994199519961997
1-5-1998 1-12-1998 1-19-1998 1-27-1998
2-2-1998 2-9-1998 2-16-1998 2-23-1998
3-2-1998 3-9-1998 3-16-1998 3-23-1998
3-30-1998 4-6-1998 4-13-1998 4-20-1998
4-27-1998 5-4-1998
  • AJPW's first ever Tokyo Dome drew a reported 53,000+ and was the biggest show in AJPW's history and is being considered a major success. The main event saw Toshiaki Kawada win the triple crown title from Mitsuharu Misawa in what many called a match of the year candidate, which is amazing considering the physical condition Misawa was in going into the match (2 injured knees, bad back, bad neck, broken finger, etc). Furthermore, Misawa suffered a legit concussion during the match and later didn't remember the finish. It was the first time Kawada had ever beaten Misawa. After the match, Giant Baba announced Misawa would be taking a couple of much-needed months off to heal up. Other notes from the show: Stan Hansen was the most popular person there. He teamed with Vader, the only WWF star on the show, against Kobashi and Johnny Ace in a great match. It was the first time Vader and Hansen had ever teamed up and also the first time Vader and Kobashi faced off, which the crowd was really into.
WATCH: AJPW 25th Anniversary Tokyo Dome event (full show)
  • ECW's Wrestlepalooza PPV also took place this week and from a wrestling standpoint was one of the worst PPVs in years. It's been over a year now and ECW has yet to ever produce a PPV as good as their first one. On the plus side, they sold a record amount of merch (averaging almost $19 per person). Shane Douglas, much like Misawa or Shawn Michaels at WM14, had no business being in the ring with all of his injuries but he still gutted out the match. Unfortunately for Shane, it was nowhere in the league of a Misawa or Michaels match. But Shane was in terrible shape, he couldn't fly to the show so he had to be driven to Georgia and was hospitalized again 2 nights before the PPV due to his sinus and pallet injuries. But he retained the world title although word is he may not wrestle again until the November PPV because he's getting elbow surgery. But they plan to keep the belt on him during that time regardless and build the show around RVD's TV title. Speaking of RVD, he's a great athlete but going 30 minutes with Sabu totally exposed him and the match had no heat. It had been built up as the match that would either make or break the show and it just didn't deliver. Also, the venue looked bush-league and Joey Styles desperately needs help on commentary. He cuts Joey some slack because it's hard to sell excitement when the show sucks, but still, carrying a 3 hour show by himself isn't working.
  • Other notes from Wrestlepalooza: Paul Heyman spent $3,000 on styrofoam heads to pass out to the crowd for Al Snow's entrance. Taz's planned match was cancelled due to his leg injury so they had the FBI vs. Blue Meanie/Super Nova added to replace it. Justin Credible had the best match on the show for the 2nd PPV in a row and is the only one who actually wrestled at a top-tier level but he's not over with the crowd at the same level. At one point there was a big "Free Ric Flair!" chant. Junkyard Dog made a surprise appearance looking awful but got a huge pop (I think that ends up being his last wrestling appearance ever, since he dies less than a month later). Francine looked anorexic and Dave says she looked like Karen Carpenter with implants. New Jack got knocked absolutely loopy during the Bam Bam match, causing the match to fall apart and he didn't recover until well after the match backstage. Bam Bam basically had to carry an unconscious New Jack through the match. After the show, Paul Heyman got on the mic and ran down WCW and said that Atlanta is now ECW country.
WATCH: ECW Wrestlepalooza 98 highlights
  • A&E aired their 2-hour pro wrestling documentary and Dave watched it and gives a looooong review. He basically says to imagine an NBA documentary that shows lots of cool highlights, but where Wilt Chamberlin or Magic Johnson are never mentioned, or if it claimed Michael Jordan invented the slam dunk. That was this. Basically, the documentary was inaccurate as hell and Dave spends paragraph after paragraph poking holes in everything they got wrong. It got a lot of positive reviews because of the SHOCKING! revelation that they admitted wrestling was fake and had lots of out-of-kayfabe interviews and thus, the critical reception was that this was an accurate inside look at the business, when it wasn't even close. Bruno Sammartino was never mentioned. Ric Flair's role in history was totally underplayed. The steroid scandals weren't addressed. The Monday night wars weren't mentioned. It basically claimed that modern pro wrestling was invented on the day Hulk Hogan bodyslammed the 9,000 pound Andre The Giant in front of eleventy billion people. Totally ignored the history of the NWA. So on and so forth. Dave goes way in depth filling in the gaps and correcting things the documentary got wrong about the early days of wrestling (pre-1950s). Once it got to the modern era, it featured interviews with all the big names like McMahon, Hogan, etc. And Dave gleefully spends multiple paragraphs picking apart the bullshit and lies they all spewed. All in all, Dave didn't really seem to be a fan of this. To a mainstream audience, it could definitely seem like a real and accurate history of wrestling but Dave's been a student of the game for decades and he pretty much found inaccuracies, omissions, or lies throughout every minute of this (I dunno, I think maybe he's being too hard on it. I enjoyed it. But it's a lot like the WWE documentaries they put out now. It's not kayfabe, but you're still hearing the version of the story they want you to hear and not the actual real truth. Anyway, I could only find it broken down into 7 videos. Here's Part 1 and it should automatically play the next part).
WATCH: A&E's The Unreal Story of Professional Wrestling
  • The Brian Pillman memorial show, featuring representatives from WWF, WCW, and ECW took place this week. The show drew a sellout of 1,002 fans to the middle school gym where it was held (the same school Pillman went to). Pillman's wife, only days away from giving birth to Pillman's child that he never knew about was also there (when he died, she hadn't yet told him that she was pregnant). Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho was the main event and Benoit was accompanied by Woman, making her first appearance since being let go by WCW and she was said to look great. They also had an auction, with a lot of autographed wrestling memorabilia being auctioned off. Steve Austin and Sunny basically hosted the show and cut promos but Dave doesn't really say anything else about it.
WATCH: First annual Brian Pillman Memorial Show - 1998 (full show, fan cam)
  • Paul Roma was charged with 3rd degree assault for allegedly punching a 15-year-old high school freshman who apparently argued with him that wrestling was fake.
  • Dave himself got some negative publicity in a Dallas newspaper article about wrestling being bad for the youth. Among other things, the author accused Dave of justifying the way wrestling has gotten more adult-oriented by misquoting something Dave said in a New York Times interview. Dave, of course, points out that the guy is attributing a quote to him that he never said (Dave Meltzer misquoted?! Perish the thought!). As for whether wrestling sets a good example for kids, Dave says that it doesn't. But it didn't 10 years ago either, so it's not a new thing.
  • Bas Rutten spent 2 days in jail in Sweden last week. He was apparently at a night club and something happened and the bouncers wanted him to leave. He didn't want to. So they tried to make him. It went poorly for the bouncers.
  • Trenton, NJ politician Pat Daddio made an appearance at an ECW show in Trenton, as the manager of the FBI. Daddio is currently running for mayor of Trenton and worked as a total heel. When interviewed after the show, Daddio said, "I thought it was all in jest and fun, but those people were acting like it was serious." (in case you're curious, I googled: he did not win the election and died in 2010 at age 75).
  • Apparently there was some sort of backstage incident at the ECW Wrestlepalooza PPV between New Jack (of course) and Junkyard Dog but Dave doesn't know anything more than that (we find out more next issue).
  • Due to the lack of Ric Flair and because of DDP and Raven also missing a recent house show, literally 200+ fans asked for refunds. To pacify them, WCW decided to book a TV title change between Booker T and Chris Benoit. It got a huge pop so....they decided to do it at every house show on the tour. During the following week, the TV title changed hands 5 times between those two guys at house shows. But it was never acknowledged on TV and apparently isn't being counted (according to the WCW TV title Wikipedia page, those title changes are listed and Booker T is recognized as a 6-time, 6-time, 6-time, 6....ah you get it. Anyway, Booker T holds the record for most WCW TV title reigns because of this but it was apparently never mentioned on TV).
  • An upcoming Nitro in the Nassau Coliseum in New York sold out in 20 minutes, which Dave says is the fastest sellout for a major arena in the history of pro wrestling in New York. Not even WWF has ever sold out MSG that fast in the decades they've been running shows there.
  • Nothing new on the FlaiWCW front. The 2 sides are at an impasse, with both Flair and Bischoff feeling they're in the right and refusing to back down. Dave once again insists that this is not an angle, contrary to what some people still believe. Dave mentions that lawyers can be disbarred for filing fake lawsuits and says that while people in wrestling have gone to extreme lengths to get angles over before, no one has ever filed a legitimate lawsuit to get an angle over, and even if Bischoff wanted to be the first, Turner execs would never allow their corporate lawyers to risk their careers for an angle.
  • Marcus Bagwell was able to go home after his neck surgery but was rushed back to the ER again over the weekend after his blood pressure spiked and he nearly went into cardiac arrest. He was also having breathing issues and internal bleeding. But he's stable again now.
  • After Sting refused to turn heel in order to be Hogan's tag team partner against the Wolfpac, Hogan has been pushing for Scott Hall or even Lex Luger to turn. Dave doubts Hall will go along with it either, since he doesn't want to work against Nash.
  • Rick Steiner has a torn rotator cuff and will be out for several months. They did an angle on Nitro where Scott Steiner attacked him and injured his shoulder to write him off.
  • Davey Boy Smith appears to be done with WCW. On Nitro a couple of weeks ago, he was asked to put over Scott Norton clean and refused. A week later, he simply no-showed Nitro and that's probably it for him. Dave says it's hard to know what's next for Smith. He's 35, is really banged up, and was basically a prelim guy in WCW. He didn't leave WWF on the best of terms (Screwjob aftermath). Dave says ECW is interested but he wouldn't fit in there. AJPW would probably want him just because of his look, but it's doubtful his body could handle the AJPW style (nah, he comes back to WCW in a month. But he'd be gone for good before the end of the year).
  • WCW Contract News: Goldberg has signed a new 4-year deal. Chris Jericho's contract runs out in summer of 1999. Same for Rey Mysterio Jr., who WWF was reportedly interested in because it was thought his contract would expire this year. But WCW apparently has the option to roll it over for another year, so Mysterio isn't going anywhere for awhile.
  • Eric Bischoff spent 3 days this week giving depositions in the ongoing WWF lawsuit against WCW, all of which goes back to WWF claiming that WCW tried to deceive the public into thinking Hall and Nash were still WWF wrestlers when they joined WCW, among other things. A lot of people feel like the point of the lawsuit and deposition is simply for WWF to dig up dirt on Eric Bischoff which they can use to get him fired (similar to how Turner fired Bill Watts a few years ago when racist quotes from an old interview surfaced). The idea being that if Bischoff got fired, whoever succeeded him wouldn't be as aggressive or successful against WWF.
  • Speaking of WWF/WCW lawsuits, the recent firing of Mark Madden in WCW raised some eyebrows. He got canned after incidents where he walked off the set during some commentary thing he was doing and then he went on the WCW hotline and criticized the company for the way they handled the Sean Waltman firing and Ric Flair lawsuit. A lot of people in WCW were surprised that Madden was fired, since he's a key person in the WWF/WCW lawsuit because a lot of WWF's claims stem from things Madden said on the hotline. So you'd think WCW would want to keep Madden employed and on their good side. ECW is interested in bringing Madden in also. Some in WCW are pushing to bring him back and keep him happy, at least until the lawsuit blows over.
  • People Magazine was running an online vote for Most Beautiful People in the World. Some fans/trolls decided to push for Ric Flair and as of press time, he's #12 on the list.
  • Kimberly Page has nude photos in the newest Playboy: Wet & Wild issue (google is your friend here).
  • The vignette they aired on Raw showing a wrestler hanging out in the subway station was Adam Copeland. Apparently he will be called The Edge when he debuts on TV in a few weeks and he's "apparently doing some sort of Raven gimmick." Here's all the Edge pre-debut vignettes in one video:
WATCH: Edge pre-debut vignettes
  • With the new storyline twist that Paul Bearer is Kane's father, there's been talk of bringing in Jerry Springer to reveal the results of a paternity test. But they have also discussed holding off on bringing in Springer until Summerslam. WWF and Springer are pretty much targeting the same audience these days so a business relationship makes sense. Speaking of Summerslam, Dave suspects the main event will be Austin vs. McMahon (nope).
  • Porn star Jenna Jameson (last seen in ECW) was in the latest Val Venis vignette, acting like she was going down on him behind some bushes.
WATCH: Val Venis vignette with Jenna Jameson
  • WCW has been trying to enforce a 120-day no-compete clause on Steven Regal's contract to keep him from going to WWF. In response, WWF filed court documents intending to take legal action to free Regal up. Rather than defending it, WCW decided it wasn't worth the hassle and simply folded and allowed Regal out of his deal, so he's free to sign with WWF at any time now. WWF doesn't plan to debut him until August but they wanted to start airing vignettes on TV as soon as possible.
  • Dan Severn is still the NWA champion but is, of course, now signed to WWF. He has been told not to wear the NWA belt on WWF TV anymore.
  • Vince Russo will be dropping his magazine duties and spend more time writing the TV shows. "If he's in any way responsible for the Raw product of late, then he's doing one hell of a job." Oh man, Dave-haters and Russo-apologists on Twitter are going to LOVE that one.
  • Shawn Michaels' back issues are apparently worse than thought. Word is Michaels is in severe pain when both sitting and standing and is having trouble sleeping. He had an injection in his back this week to hopefully relieve the pain. If that doesn't help improve it, he will need back surgery. The injury apparently occurred during his casket match with Undertaker at Royal Rumble.
  • Earl Hebner was backstage at the latest WWF show. He's lost a lot of weight and is still having severe headaches from his aneurysm the night before Wrestlemania but they're hopeful he'll be back to refereeing in a month or so (so I guess that thing a couple of issues ago where they did a fake Screwjob angle wasn't Earl after all).
  • Klub Kamikaze, the group of Michinoku Pro wrestlers that have been on TV the last few weeks, will have their name changed to Kaientai. Their manager will have his name changed to Yamaguchi-San and will do a Sonny Onoo-type gimmick. Choppy choppy pee pee!
  • Apparently several WWF wrestlers are having their contracts changed and getting substantial raises (in some cases double what they were making) because WWF business is doing so good right now. Dave talks about how Austin is taking WWF by storm and says he is selling more merch right now than anyone in the history of wrestling, including Hogan. Dave doesn't know what Austin is making, but says if he isn't pulling in at least $5-10 million this year, then he's underpaid.
  • The Unforgiven PPV reportedly did around a 1.03 buyrate which is waaaay higher than anyone expected and would make it one of the highest grossing shows in WWF history, which is crazy enough anyway, but considering it was basically a throwaway "B-show" makes that number even more insane.
FRIDAY: Eric Bischoff challenges Vince McMahon to a fight on PPV, Dave breaks down top WWF draws of the decade, Steve Austin on TSN's Off The Record, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle

Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Aug. 25, 1997

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE: 199119921993199419951996
1-6-1997 1-13-1997 1-20-1997 1-27-1997
2-3-1997 2-10-1997 2-17-1997 2-24-1997
3-3-1997 3-10-1997 3-17-1997 3-24-1997
3-31-1997 4-7-1997 4-14-1997 4-21-1997
4-28-1997 5-5-1997 5-12-1997 5-19-1997
5-26-1997 6-2-1997 6-9-1997 6-16-1997
6-23-1997 6-30-1997 7-7-1997 7-14-1997
7-21-1997 7-28-1997 8-4-1997 8-11-1997
Just another reminder that starting with the 1998 issues, I'll be cutting back to a Mon-Wed-Fri schedule of posting them. Just wanna mention it periodically so people aren't caught off guard when it starts in a couple of weeks.
  • Japanese women's wrestler Plum Mariko died in the ring after a match last week. It's the first death stemming from an in-ring injury in the history of pro wrestling in Japan and the the first since Mexican wrestler Oro died in the ring in 1993. Mariko, 29, took a Liger bomb and was completely knocked out. The match was stopped and she never woke up. They rushed her to the ER and did emergency brain surgery but she died the next day from an abscess on the brain and fractured skull. It's believed she likely had those injuries before the match since she had been complaining of symptoms like severe headaches and tiredness lately. She had also suffered several concussions throughout her career and had trouble remembering complicated finishing sequences in her matches, which some said kept her from being a main eventer. This situation has turned into a major story in Japan, with calls for regulating the wrestling industry and requiring doctors to be at all shows (only NJPW has a doctor at its shows now). The police wanted to investigate her death but her parents asked them not to because she loved pro wrestling and it was her decision to continue wrestling despite her numerous head injuries.
  • WCW is expected to soon announce a new 2-hour show on Thursday nights on TBS, with the planned debut set for January. The idea of a second show on TBS has been discussed for months. With the success Nitro has had on TNT, the Turner people want another wrestling show on TBS to help their ratings. WCW (Eric Bischoff in particular) has been fighting against the addition of a new show. There's the obvious concern about over-exposure, burning out the bookers and production staff, and of course, talent morale issues by adding another 52 days per year on the road to their schedule. But with the high ratings of Nitro, it was inevitable that WCW was going to be dragged, kicking and screaming if necessary, into adding another show by Turner. Eric Bischoff broke the news to the roster and told them he was going to resist it unless Ted Turner flat out orders it to happen. But for now, it's happening and the plan is for one of the shows to be more NWO-centric and the other one would be more WCW-focused, in order to try to portray the groups as totally separate promotions. Obviously this begs the question of overexposure, but that doesn't appear to be a problem. A couple of years ago, both Raw and Nitro were only 1 hour each. Then they expanded to 2 hours each. And now Nitro is toying with 3 hour shows. Plus both companies began doing monthly PPVs. And the result is that more people are watching wrestling than ever. It doesn't appear that the business is reaching an overexposure point yet but it's inevitable that it will eventually.
  • ECW's 2nd PPV Hardcore Heaven is in the books and it ended up being what ECW feared most: the show looked minor league. The lighting, sound, and rest of the production came off looking like an old Herb Abrams PPV. The show got mixed reviews from most viewers and even Paul Heyman has admitted that it was decent for a house show but he felt it was terrible for a PPV. It also felt thrown together, with ECW officials frantically trying to find "surprises" during the week before the show, and got so desperate that they were even looking for Jim Duggan's phone number. They ended up getting Jake Roberts and Dory Funk, but neither really did anything important. They also tried to soften the show, with almost no vulgar language and even pulled the camera back for wide shots when there was blood, because Heyman is trying to walk on eggshells with the PPV providers. Early buyrate numbers look to show around a 13-20% drop from the first PPV, which isn't terrible and should still be profitable, but isn't great news either. The sold-out crowd of 1,800 came off as dead for most of the show, and aside from the main event, the other matches were pretty mediocre.
  • Other Hardcore Heaven notes: Sunny also made an appearance on the PPV, with WWF's blessing, and ECW may try to book a Candido/Sunny vs. DreameBeulah match, which would probably be a good draw for the novelty of WWF fans seeing Sunny in a match on PPV. Bringing in Sunny was a last minute decision because Heyman wasn't sure if Jake Roberts was going to no-show on them. He showed up late to the show and since Sunny was already there backstage with Candido, Heyman was frantically calling WWF trying to get permission to use her (which they eventually granted). Heyman said he may continue to use Jake Roberts periodically as a surprise but he won't advertise him in advance for shows due to his track record of no-showing. Before the show went on the air, they filmed an angle with the Insane Clown Posse, who came out talking about how RVD was their favorite wrestler but then RVD and Sabu came out and beat them down until Sandman made the save and then he was taken out also (fun fact: Violent J from ICP and RVD are actually old friends and knew each other back when RVD first started wrestling locally in Michigan. In his book, Violent J writes about how RVD got them on the show. He also says the kick from RVD ruptured his ear drum and it almost screwed up their tour plans). They also rented a helicopter for the angle and implied that Sandman was drunk while driving the ambulance, which really rubs Dave the wrong way that they would glorify drinking and driving. The whole helicopteambulance angle really was filmed live and Sandman really was driving. Porn star Jenna Jameson came to the ring with the Dudleys.
WATCH: ICP get beat down by RVD and Sabu at ECW Hardcore Heaven 97
  • Eric Bischoff has a meeting scheduled next week with Paco Alonso (EMLL) and Konnan (Promo Azteca). It's expected Bischoff is going to pressure them to make peace with each other and stop raiding each other's talent and to work together with WCW. Dave wants to take bets on how long a truce between them will actually last.
  • The USWA/ECW angle seems to be falling apart because USWA is having trouble getting Paul Heyman to commit to sending his guys down to Memphis for the USWA shows. If the angle does continue, they plan to start selling "ECWHO?" shirts if Heyman gives his blessing. In fact, USWA is taking a lot of cues from ECW, by raising ticket prices to be more in line with what ECW charges and they're working on making more merch since ECW makes so much money from that.
  • USWA has also been told they can keep using Glenn Jacobs for another 6 weeks (he's been doing the Doomsday gimmick and is the current USWA champion). But he's eventually being brought up to WWF to play Undertaker's brother "Cain."
  • Brian Christopher got married over the weekend.
  • For those wondering what USWA guys are paid, the undercard guys get around $40 per night while the established names are making a minimum of $100 per show.
  • In the UFC section, Dave mentions this Joe Rogan guy who has done backstage interviews at the last 2 UFC PPVs and says he seems very knowledgeable about the sport.
  • Scott Hall and Kevin Nash's complaints about too many title changes kept everyone from losing their titles on PPV, but a week later, both the cruiserweight and TV titles ended up changing hands as planned. So in the end, only Hall and Nash ended up not having to drop their titles. People in the locker room were "joking" that Disco Inferno got fired for refusing to do a job, so there's an obvious double standard.
  • All of the Mexican wrestlers except La Parka no-showed Nitro this week, apparently due to travel issues. There's been problems sometimes getting these guys across the border. WCW has given them all raises and in turn has asked them to come over to the U.S. a day early in order to make sure they have plenty of time to clear up any border issues, but La Parka is apparently the only one who left early this time and thus, everyone else got held up and missed the show. It led to several planned Nitro matches being changed or scrapped altogether.
  • Dave says the inevitable Hogan vs. Sting match is scheduled for Starrcade at the new MCI Center, which holds 22,000 people. They plan to scale ticket prices up and hope to make $600,000 on that show. Dave says the heat for Hogan vs. Sting is so hot that they should probably move it to a stadium because they could probably fill it up for that match.
  • In a Chicago Tribue article, Hulk Hogan made some statements about Vince McMahon, without mentioning his name: "There was a wrestling promoter during the late-1980s (who he doesn't mention by name) who was on a negative vibe most of the time. He would say, 'Terry, wrestling will never be as big at it once (was). There will never be that media awareness. Your career will never be as great as it was during the 1980s.' I responded, 'Short-sighted, no vision, loser, see you later.' I'm proving now that wrestling is bigger and hotter than it's ever been."
  • Still no real news on Steve Austin's neck injury. He saw a neck specialists this week but no word on what he said. He definitely won't be wrestling before next month's PPV but that might be too soon also. Regardless, Austin will likely have to modify his wrestling style and not take moves that could hurt his neck such as DDTs, piledrivers, etc.
  • Rick Rude debuted on Raw as Shawn Michaels' new bodyguard as mentioned last week. Interestingly enough, when Michaels found out about being paired with Rude, he threw a hissyfit because he wanted HHH in the role. So expect the Rude thing to not last very long before they move him on to a different storyline. Dave says that Rude actually hasn't signed a WWF contract yet so putting him on TV like this is kinda risky (boy, I'll say...)
  • Rocky Maivia cut a promo explaining his decision to join the Nation of Domination, blaming the fans who chanted "Rocky sucks!" and "Die Rocky die!" at him. This was followed by a parking lot brawl with the Los Boricuas group and during the fight, Kama's head accidentally busted the windshield of a car they were fighting on. The car was Jim Cornette's.
WATCH: Rocky Maivia explains why he joined the Nation of Domination
  • Brian Pillman and Goldust made a match for the PPV where if Goldust wins, Pillman leaves the WWF forever, but if Pillman wins, he gets Marlena for 30 days (this ends up being Pillman's final storyline).
  • Raw ended with Undertaker doing a major blade job, which they showed multiple replays of. So much for WWF claiming they'd never allow their wrestlers to do such a "barbaric" practice. Desperate times...
  • Jim Cornette almost certainly won't be going back to ECW after his one-off angle a couple months ago.
  • WWF is apparently planning to bring back drug testing, mostly to nip some problems in the bud before they become real problems. There was an incident on an airplane a few weeks back when a wrestler passed out on the plane and couldn't be awakened (don't worry, we find out who it was soon. I'm sure some are curious. I'll leave you in suspense for now). With the recent Phil Mushnick article about drugs in wrestling, WWF figured they'd just start testing again now before the media catches on that they ever stopped.
  • Mark Henry is resuming his training after being sidelined for the last year with a broken leg. It was thought that he might not return at all due to the injury but he's coming back. A lot of people are skeptical that he will ever make it though because before the injury, he had developed a reputation of thinking he was already a star and not wanting to learn anything.
  • Yokozuna is still under WWF contract. They want him to get down to 400 pounds, but that just ain't happening. He had a heart scare recently but recovered after changing medications.
TOMORROW: Arn Anderson announces his retirement, more on Austin's neck injury, All Japan Women facing bankruptcy, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle