Latest News from around the World

Davey Boy Smith is also likely returning to WWF soon, probably for the European tour in September.

Word is USWA tag team The Eliminators may be getting a shot with WWF soon. There are some rumours that the young duo might be very high on the wishlist of WWF.

There’s been rumors of Rick Rude returning to WWF, to be managed by SSW and ECWA diva Tammy Sytch.

Hogan is already talking about starting up a Thunder In Paradise spin-off series, starring himself, Sting, Ed Leslie, Jimmy Hart, Jim Duggan, Brian Knobbs, Jerry Sags and Mr. T.

Shane Douglas cut a promo in ECW, making some bitter remarks about WCW World Heavyweight champion Ric Flair and challenging him to a shoot fight. “Kiss my @ss, Dick Flair. Come on up, the invitation’s there.”

Hulk Hogan was interviewed by a Florida newspaper and for the first time, he responded publicly to comments Randy Savage and Bret Hart have made about him. About Savage, Hogan had this to say: “I feel there’s two kinds of people in this world, winners and losers. Whatever his personal problems were with his wife, that’s his problem. He shouldn’t drag other people into it. If he screwed up and can’t keep his marriage together, he shouldn’t blame other people for it. He should be able to handle his own problems. I considered him a friend, yes, but he was just using me. Hulk Hogan made him seven figures. If it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage would have never gotten to the level he did or made the money he did. Without Hulk Hogan, that doesn’t happen. I thought we were friends, but it turns out he was just using me.” As for Bret Hart, Hogan claimed he wasn’t aware of anything Hart had said about him, so when the reporter told him that Bret had basically called him an old washed up dinosaur that had to go down to a 2nd rate company, Hogan’s response was: “This dinosaur doubled his ratings on pay-per-view. He also made him seven figures. I guess it’s better to be a dinosaur than a sore loser.”

The Bushwhackers could be headed to WCW. Jimmy Hart and Jim Duggan are pushing to bring in the Bushwhackers. Nothing confirmed and Eric Bischoff isn’t thrilled about the idea, but surely it’s just a matter of time with Hogan being the head booker.

A recent marketing survey showed that 84.8% of Americans recognized Hulk Hogan by face, making him the 12th most recognized athlete in America. Magic Johnson, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jordan were the top 3. Others ahead of Hogan included Mike Tyson, Arnold Palmer, Joe Namath, and others.

SMW saw two title changes last night, as the previously vacant SMW Heavyweight championship was won by Terry Funk defeating Paul Orndorff. This victory marks his first reign with the title. At the same event, Tracy Smothers lost the SMW “Beat the Champ” Television championship to Dick Slater.

Nikita Koloff ended weeks of rumours last night, as a press release on the WAR website revealed that he had signed a contract with them. It is expected that their new signing will be making an appearance of some kind at their next show.

The friendship between Kevin Nash and Shawn Michaels looks to be over. Friends of the two have been reported as saying that while they are far from enemies, the friendship has totally eroded, and they are going their separate ways.

Yesterday evening saw the completion of the signing of Sgt. Slaughter by FMW. The deal is said to be a pay-per-appearance arrangement, meaning that he can work for other promotions too.

Jury selection for the WWF steroid trial begins this week and the trial itself is scheduled to start the next day. It all stems from evidence that the government gathered in 1991 when Dr. Zahorian was tried to steroid distribution. WWF is charged with being part of a conspiracy along with Dr. Zahorian, to get WWF wrestlers to use steroids, and for distributing them.

The trial is expected to last a few weeks and publicly, WWF seems confident. After his herniated disc surgery, Vince McMahon has removed himself from commentary and re-hired Jim Ross to fill in. Ross was only given a 2-month contract as they expect Vince to be back behind the desk soon. The trial of Dr. Zahorian only lasted 4 days but it changed the face of the industry and the repercussions are still being felt. WWF has changed drastically, and features mostly small guys having far more athletic matches, but they’re having those matches in front of about 40% less fans than they used to draw.

The King of the Ring PPV drew a 0.73 buyrate, which is by far the lowest in company history. The heavily hyped return of Roddy Piper was totally overshadowed right before the show by Hulk Hogan signing with WCW.

WCW’s Clash of the Champions, featuring the live arena debut of Hulk Hogan, also drew a low rating, being the 4th lowest rated Clash ever. The show had more advertising hype than any Clash ever, so this is a huge disappointment. Between this and the low-rated Saturday Night episode featuring the Hogan parade and press conference, it’s bad news for WCW. They expected to be riding a huge wave of momentum right now due to Hogan, but it’s clear that they’ve gained no momentum at all.

It’s the PG era! Due to rumors of government regulation of violence on television and in an effort to sanitize their own image, the WWF will no longer show crotch shots, 2-handed choking, eye gouging, or use of foreign objects (chairs, tables, etc.). In promos, you can no longer threaten physical violence, like promising to break someone’s arm or leg or something like that. Also, for whatever reason, Razor Ramon can no longer flick his toothpick at people. On TV a couple weeks back, Jerry Lawler attacked Duke The Dumpster Drose and beat him up with a garbage can. Lawler came up with the angle himself but didn’t clear it with the right people because everyone backstage freaked out due to the new anti-violence policy. The angle took place live on Raw (and they pulled the camera back immediately and showed the crowd while it was happening), otherwise it would have been edited out. After a commercial, Gorilla Monsoon apologized to viewers. The following week on Raw, Lawler was legitimately forced to give an on-screen apology.

Jim Powers came in and worked a match on Raw this week and got a lot of people talking because he’s very obviously on steroids. A WWF spokesman responded saying that Powers was only brought in as an extra to work that match and isn’t signed and WWF does not drug test unsigned jobbers.

WWF and WCW both have European tours happening at the same time in September, and both sides have reportedly reached out to Davey Boy Smith to work the shows. Likely he’ll end up working the WWF tour since there is still bad blood with WCW over how he left last year.

Kevin Nash reportedly contacted Sid Vicious and told him to call WWF because they were interested in him, but Sid never called because he’s supposedly not interested in working there at the moment and would rather work in All Japan, New Japan or WCW.

WCW will be spending more than double the amount of money on advertising for Bash at the Beach than for any other PPV in its history.

At a recent WCW TV taping, Terry Funk pissed off a fan so much that the fan tried to jump the barricade with a gun, but security stopped him.

Pancrase Hybrid Wrestling saw a title change last night, as the previously vacant King Of Pancrase was won by Bas Rutten defeating Masakatsu Funaki at Pancrase 9. This victory marks his first reign with the title. The feedback has been that the show was awesome. Performance of the night belonged to Ken Shamrock that defeated Minoru Suzuki.

The vacant NWA World Welterweight Championship was claimed last night, as Dos Caras became the new champion. This victory marks his first reign with the belt.

Jake Roberts no-showed three SMW shows he was booked for and was expected to main event. Jake kept calling before the shows and promising he’d be late but he’d be there and then didn’t show up each time. The last of the shows was 20 minutes from Jake’s house and he still didn’t show. After the 3rd show, Roberts hasn’t been mentioned again at any tapings since then, so he’s been written out of the promotion for now.

Antonio Inoki is coming to the United States later this month to attend Bash at the Beach and to meet with Ted Turner and George Foreman. It’s been Inoki’s dream, dating back to the 70s, to have a match with Foreman and with his planned retirement later this year, this might be the last chance to put it together.

Jim Crockett is planning to start a new promotion that will be called Jim Crockett Promotions Presents the NWA and plans to run in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Alabama. The first taping is scheduled later this month. No word on who’s involved, but Dave says Paul Heyman and the ECW crew won’t be involved like they were last time because Crockett has a different vision of what wrestling should be than what Heyman wants to do. It’s thought Cornette and some SMW stars may appear.

Mark Madden may be getting a job with WCW to take over the hotline on Sundays from Bobby Heenan. Dave mentions that the only hotline that is successful in WCW is Gene Okerlund’s Saturday hotline, but even that only does about half the business that it used to do when Jim Ross ran it a few years ago. Dave says you can only give teases and trick people into calling so many times before it stops working. People want info for their dollar and Ross used to deliver it, while Okerlund is constantly hyping up that he’s gonna dish some dirt on the hotline, but rarely delivers anything substantial.

AAA is not only trying to get Vampiro to jump, but they’re also trying to get Black Magic (Norman Smiley), El Dandy and Negro Casas. Meanwhile, EMLL is trying to get Lizmark and Lizmark Jr. to jump ship to them.

The Warlord, Sgt. Slaughter, and Tito Santana were all backstage at the latest WCW tapings, looking for work. The Warlord was telling people he’d been off steroids for the last 18 months, but everyone who saw him felt he was insulting their intelligence. The Warlord currently works for AAA, UWA, WAR, MEWF and UWF; while Tito Santana works for IWCCW and IWF.

Latest on the Chris Benoit to WWF rumors: the plan was to bring him in as tag team partners with Konnan, but when Konnan turned down the offer to return to the company, that put Benoit in limbo, so for now, still nada.



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