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*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](http://f4wonline.com) and checking out the full archives.* --- **PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE:** **[1991](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/4so8a9/wrestling_observer_rewind_12231991_final_post_for/) • [1992](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/51m67r/wrestling_observer_rewind_dec_28_1992_final_post/) • [1993](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/5bul27/wrestling_observer_rewind_dec_27_1993_final_post/) • [1994](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/5smjgw/wrestling_observer_rewind_dec_26_1994_final_post/) • [1995](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/67p2li/wrestling_observer_rewind_dec_26_1995_final_post/) • [1996](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/6ph2yf/wrestling_observer_rewind_dec_30_1996_final_post/) • [1997](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/77n1a1/wrestling_observer_rewind_dec_29_1997_final_post/) • [1998](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/83w12y/wrestling_observer_rewind_dec_28_1998_final_post/) • [1999](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/98uu1g/wrestling_observer_rewind_dec_27_1999_final_post/)** | | | | | ---|---|----|---- [**1-3-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9ij69p/wrestling_observer_rewind_jan_3_2000/) | [**1-10-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9j3ta9/wrestling_observer_rewind_jan_10_2000/) | [**1-17-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9jo7x1/wrestling_observer_rewind_jan_17_2000/) | [**1-24-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9khlb5/wrestling_observer_rewind_jan_24_2000/) | [**1-31-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9l2he9/wrestling_observer_rewind_jan_31_2000/) | [**2-7-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9lnkh8/wrestling_observer_rewind_feb_7_2000/) | [**2-14-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9mg630/wrestling_observer_rewind_feb_14_2000/) | [**2-21-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9n0y7x/wrestling_observer_rewind_feb_21_2000/) | [**2-28-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9nlhb9/wrestling_observer_rewind_feb_28_2000/) | [**3-6-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9odycz/wrestling_observer_rewind_mar_6_2000/) | [**3-13-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9ozwh6/wrestling_observer_rewind_mar_13_2000/) | [**3-20-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9pl8h5/wrestling_observer_rewind_mar_20_2000/) | [**3-27-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9qf6ow/wrestling_observer_rewind_mar_27_2000/) | [**4-3-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9r0xpn/wrestling_observer_rewind_apr_3_2000/) | [**4-10-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9rm0it/wrestling_observer_rewind_apr_10_2000/) | [**4-17-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9sed1w/wrestling_observer_rewind_apr_17_2000/) | [**4-24-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9t02vm/wrestling_observer_rewind_apr_24_2000/) | [**5-1-2000**](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9tldtq/wrestling_observer_rewind_may_1_2000/) | [**5-8-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9uf9ab/wrestling_observer_rewind_may_8_2000/) | [**5-15-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9v15eb/wrestling_observer_rewind_may_15_2000/) | [**5-22-2000**](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9vm5et/wrestling_observer_rewind_may_22_2000/) | [**5-29-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9wfqij/wrestling_observer_rewind_may_29_2000/) | [**6-5-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9x1w3r/wrestling_observer_rewind_jun_5_2000/) | [**6-12-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9xnz2d/wrestling_observer_rewind_jun_12_2000/) | [**6-19-2000**](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/9yilb2/wrestling_observer_rewind_jun_19_2000/) | [**6-26-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/a0l4sf/wrestling_observer_rewind_jun_26_2000/) | [**7-3-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/a181cc/wrestling_observer_rewind_jul_3_2000/) | [**7-10-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/a1u6ni/wrestling_observer_rewind_jul_10_2000/) | [**7-17-2000**](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/a2qice/wrestling_observer_rewind_jul_17_2000/) | [**7-24-2000**](https://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/a3dbtq/wrestling_observer_rewind_jul_24_2000/) | [**7-31-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/a41u9v/wrestling_observer_rewind_jul_31_2000/) | [**8-7-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/a4xess/wrestling_observer_rewind_aug_7_2000/) | [**8-14-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/a5jy39/wrestling_observer_rewind_aug_14_2000/) | [**8-21-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/a66lgc/wrestling_observer_rewind_aug_21_2000/) | [**8-28-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/a71kas/wrestling_observer_rewind_aug_28_2000/) | [**9-4-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/a7o7g2/wrestling_observer_rewind_sept_4_2000/) | [**9-11-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/a8c0ch/wrestling_observer_rewind_sept_11_2000/) | [**9-18-2000**](https://old.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/abv62n/wrestling_observer_rewind_sept_18_2000/) | --- - **The Delaware Supreme Court ruled against the USA Network in their appeal to prevent WWF from accepting the Viacom deal**. The decision makes it official that WWF is moving to TNN next week and ends the 17-year WWF/USA relationship. The appeal process has been lingering for over a month and because of it, USA, Viacom, WWF and ECW were all pretty much paralyzed and waiting to see how things turn out. But now that it's all finalized, ECW's final TNN show will air on 9/22 and the first Raw on TNN will air on 9/25. It doesn't give Viacom much of an opportunity to promote the move. They had set aside $7 million to promote Raw's TNN debut but because of the lingering court proceedings, they kept having to delay it and now there's almost no time. On Raw's final show on USA, Jim Ross mentioned repeatedly that this was the last episode on the network and plugged the move to TNN (and hyping that Austin will be there live). But that's pretty much it so far. During the next few days, you can expect Viacom to bombard all media outlets with as much promotion as they can cram into the short amount of time, but it's going to be impossible to promote it as much as they'd hoped to. And considering they're moving from the #1 rated network to the #15 rated network, they need all the promotion they can get. - **Needless to say, this all gives WCW a golden opportunity to put their best foot forward for Nitro on 9/25** and hopefully gain some much-needed ground (in case you're want spoilers for next week, Russo uses this opportunity to make himself the WCW champion). In the short run, Raw's ratings will almost certainly fall, but in the long-run, being with Viacom is going to be hugely beneficial to WWF. As for ECW, this opens the door for them to continue negotiations with USA. They desperately need a TV deal, on a strong network, and most importantly, they need outside financial support if they are going to survive. Having a TV deal is useless if you can't afford the production costs. As mentioned last week, ECW missed payroll and has had to cancel several house shows due to the financial crunch they're under. - **Also this week, TNN announced that it's renaming itself The National Network (instead of The Nashville Network)** and will be moving its base of operations from Nashville to New York. They're planning to debut a new logo and target their programming to a more diverse audience. Dave recaps the history of WWF on the USA Network, dating back to 1982 when they aired monthly WWF MSG shows. Then WWF got a weekly show called All-American Wrestling on the network in 1983, which then became Prime Time Wrestling and Tuesday Night Titans, the creation of Raw in 1993, the Monday night wars, and now to this. - **There was a frightening moment at WCW's Fall Brawl PPV with Paul Orndorff suffering a stinger that left him motionless in the ring**. The good news is that it was only temporary paralysis. He was treated and released from the hospital that same night. It was reminiscent of the injuries suffered by Droz and Buff Bagwell in recent years, but fortunately for Orndorff, it didn't end up being as bad. There was immediate suspicion that the whole thing was a work, which Dave thinks is a pretty sad reflection of WCW these days. When Orndorff went down, everyone else in the match basically panicked and continued working the match on the other side of the ring, taking bumps that kept jarring the ring, all while the EMTs and trainer were trying to tend to Orndorff. Finally, almost 2 minutes after he collapsed, referee Charles Robinson finally took charge and ordered the match stopped. The match was scheduled to go several more minutes and run-ins were scheduled, but it all got scrapped when Robinson ended it. The injury happened when Orndorff tried to piledrive Mark Jindrak but Jindrak didn't go up correctly for the move. Orndorff had to deadweight lift him and when he did so, his hamstring went out. He completed the piledriver but landed awkwardly, causing something with his neck and spine to jam up and that was it. Dave talks about Orndorff's health problems over the year, specifically his arm injury that caused his right arm to atrophy severely and never recover. He retired twice before due to health issues (87 and 94) only to return both times when he probably shouldn't have. (This was his final match for 17 years. But it looks like he came out of retirement last year and worked a 6-man tag match at an indie show in Canada. But otherwise, this Fall Brawl match was the end of the road for Orndorff). --- [**WATCH: Paul Orndorff injury at Fall Brawl 2000**](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90FTB3j4wyE) --- - **This whole thing brings up questions about Nitro this week, which has a match scheduled between Booker T and Vince Russo**. Just a few weeks ago, Russo suffered a concussion during an angle and has been dealing with headaches and such ever since, and it's probably not a good idea for him to be in the ring. They could probably work around it, but Dave thinks it's bad enough to have untrained people in there doing moves anyway, much less ones who are already injured. Dave notes the recent example of Kurt Angle wrestling on Smackdown 2 days after getting severely concussed at Summerslam, which he never should have done and led to him getting another concussion because you're always more susceptible to further concussions during the period after suffering one. Russo has openly claimed to have had 3 concussions in the last year and has only worked about 6 matches. If that's true, he probably shouldn't be in there taking bumps again. But maybe they'll book something safe that doesn't require it. Either way, Dave is just concerned about the overall safety of all these guys. - **Oh yeah, other notes from Fall Brawl**: crowd was 8,600 although only about half of that (4,311) was paid, the rest were freebies. Dave notes all the excitement people in WCW had last week when the Nitro rating was higher than usual, and points out how it obviously didn't mean dick when it comes to ticket sales. TV ratings are nice but it's a vanity metric. The real numbers that matter are the ones that make money. Ticket sales and PPV buys. And, well, those are still horrible. There was a guy in the crowd facing the hard cam who was seen constantly throughout the show wearing a Destroyer mask. Destroyer was a famous wrestler back in 60s and 70s who wore a red and white mask. Anyway....turns out that was the real Destroyer (real name Dick Beyer), just sitting in the crowd at a WCW PPV at 70 years old, still doing his old gimmick. Kevin Nash cut a promo earlier on the pre-show claiming he was hungover from hanging out at the bar last night and essentially telegraphing that he was going to lose his match (he did). Right after the Orndorff match, Shane Douglas cut a pre-match promo saying Kidman would be joining Paul Orndorff at the hospital. Even his partner Torrie Wilson seemed to drop her TV smile and give him a "what an asshole" look for that one. The scaffold for the scaffold match was way wider than any other ones before and the area underneath was padded and safe, but Torrie still seemed legitimately terrified up there. After Madusa took a bump off the scaffold (which the crowd booed because it was clearly gimmicked for safety), the announcers also tried to compare her injuries to Orndorff's injury earlier in the night. Dave is just disgusted. Torrie never took a bump off the scaffold, which was the original plan but she refused, and good for her Dave says. It would have meant nothing for the match anyway. Negative 1 star. They did a segment with David Flair beating up a mailman in his yard and Dave says the whole segment was actually hilarious and more interestingly, it was all David Flair's idea. ICP did commentary on Vampiro's match again, which once again was funny. Mike Awesome came out with former child actor Gary Coleman. There's been a lot of news stories lately about Coleman working as a security guard for $6 an hour these days, so at least WCW probably didn't have to spend a lot to get him. Naturally, he got involved in the match and it was hilarious because he knew he was going to take a guitar shot from Jarrett. So he had a hat on with a towel folded up in it to cushion the blow. But during the chaos, his hat got knocked off. So just before the guitar shot, he picked up his hat, calmly put the towel back in, put it back on, and took the hit. Goldberg vs. Scott Steiner was a shockingly good match and Dave gives it 4.25 stars. And of course, Booker T won the title from Nash in the main event. --- [**WATCH: Fall Brawl 2000 highlights**](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH5cvMiV5JY&app=desktop) --- - **We get the usual long obituary for Professor Toru Tanaka, one of the biggest heels of the 60s and 70s, who died at age 70 in California**. Dave recaps his career and of course, he was a Hawaiian who got booked as a typical salt throwing Japanese heel. Worked for WWWF feuding with Sammartino, won titles in all the territories, etc. He also tells an interesting story from 1977 when Pat Patterson returned to the San Francisco territory after being gone for 8 months and was supposed to face Mr. Fuji in a show that ended up drawing 12,000 people. But Fuji had a falling out with promoter Roy Shire and left the territory 2 weeks before the match. So Shire brought in Tanaka and put him under a mask and tried to pass him off as the real Fuji. The crowd didn't buy it and the media got ahold of the story and started claiming fraud and the athletic commission got involved. Shire nearly lost his promoter's license but he claimed he didn't know and thought it was the real Fuji under the mask. Tanaka and Shire were both fined but the commission seemed to buy the story (others backed it up to protect Shire) and let them off with just the fine. The real Fuji caught all the heat and was legitimately banned by the commission for life from wrestling in California, but that was overturned in 1984. - **The current plan for AJPW's Triple Crown title is to hold a tournament soon, which is expected to be won by Toshiaki Kawada**, who will then defend the title against NJPW champion Sasaki in a title vs. title match at the Jan. 4th Tokyo Dome show. And the plan from there is for Kawada to get the surprising win, since most people don't expect NJPW to book their champion to lose to AJPW's champion. But the way Riki Choshu (NJPW booker) sees it, AJPW is pretty much doomed and he's not too concerned about them as competition anymore, and he's well aware that this inter-promotional feud is the only thing keeping AJPW alive right now. But there's still money in an AJPW/NJPW feud and they want to prolong it, so Kawada will have to win. The idea is to keep Kawada strong because NJPW loves the gimmick of a strongly booked outsider coming in and shaking things up. In the past, that person has been Naoya Ogawa but Choshu is tired of the headache that comes with dealing with Antonio Inoki and Ogawa because Inoki is intent on making Ogawa an unbeatable superman and NJPW can never get him to put anyone over. Choshu is pretty much trying to do anything he can to get Inoki's influence as far away from the company as possible. So the idea is to keep Kawada strong and milk this angle for all it's worth. - **New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman officially signed into law the bill to regulate so-called "extreme wrestling."** The bill bans children under 18 from attending extreme wrestling shows. It also adds an athletic commission tax to promotions running extreme shows, mandates an ambulance and 2 doctors must be on hand at every event, and even though it's a state law, the city officials where the show is to be held must specifically give permission for the event. This bill doesn't affect ECW, which was categorized as one of the 3 major companies which are exempt from the law. The bill is a not-so-subtle effort to drive Jersey All Pro Wrestling and Combat Zone Wrestling specifically out of the state, JAPW in particular. They're planning to still run shows but will be forced to get rid of bladejobs, no more light tubes or thumb tacks or barbed wire, etc. JAPW owner Frank Iadeavia has said they are considering legal action. But at this point, if they want to continue to run shows as they have, they're going to be forced to leave the state of New Jersey to do so. - **Raw did well in the ratings again, facing stiff competition from the Olympics and Monday Night Football**. But they had one segment that was a major bomb. Mick Foley came out, cutting a promo once again trying to get George W. Bush and Al Gore to appear on Smackdown for a debate. The segment was right before the main event and caused a full 700,000 homes to change the channel, which is an unheard of drop for a Raw episode. That led to the Rock/Undertaker main event that followed to be the lowest rated Raw main event of the year. - **The Wrestling Observer Hotline has been officially killed off**. 1-900 hotline numbers have been dying anyway and the numbers were down and Dave says more importantly, he needed to stop because he's so busy with the newsletter and the Eyada online radio show and wants to concentrate fully on those and the daily hotline stuff took up too much time. - **Motoko Baba threatened a lawsuit against Nippon TV over their decision to drop AJPW and start airing NOAH instead**, and due to the lawsuit, NOAH currently isn't airing on NTV, which is a major blow for the fledgling new company. In the meantime, Misawa has started negotiations with TV Tokyo, which is another one of the major networks in Japan. - **Former WWF and ECW wrestler Nicole Bass made headlines** after being arrested in New York after getting into an argument with someone on a street corner. It turned into a fight and when the police tried to break it up, she allegedly bit one of the cops. Bass was one of several people arrested. - **Notes from OVW**: Jim Ross did announcing on some of the shows there this week, because he was down there scouting talent. Shelton Benjamin is showing a lot of promise and Jim Cornette says Benjamin is progressing even faster than Kurt Angle and believes he's guaranteed to be a big star. Brock Lesnar still hasn't debuted on TV there yet but Bob Orton's son Randy Orton recently did. They're also strongly pushing Leviathan (real name Dave Bautista) and Jim Cornette predicts he will headline Wrestlemania within the next 5 years. (yup, exactly 5 years later in fact) - **Ed Farhat, better known as The Sheik, is said to be in very grave condition**. He's down to 150 pounds and can only communicate through blinking his eyes or lightly squeezing if you hold his hand (he ended up living another 2+ years after this. His Wikipedia page says he was working with a biographer and did extensive interviews before he died, with plans to have a book on his life released. But it says the interviews "provided a highly explosive look" into the business and as a result, the interviews and draft of the book were sealed at the time of his death and to this day it's never been released. Interesting. When I originally wrote this up a few months ago, I tweeted Dave about this and he responded saying he didn't know anything about it either. I'd love to find out more.) - **The latest revival of Stampede Wrestling is in bad shape**. They have no more shows scheduled and have only done 10 shows in the last few months. Their TV show has been airing old tapes rather than new episodes lately. - **Ken Shamrock broke his silence on his recent PRIDE loss to Kazuyuki Fujita**. Shamrock pretty much blamed himself and admitted he wasn't in proper shape to fight and said things happened which contributed to him not having time to train properly (he doesn't go into detail but I think Dave mentioned something in an earlier Observer but I can't find it right now. But I think Shamrock was going through some personal shit around this time. Something like a divorce or a custody battle or something. That doesn't get mentioned here, it's just something I vaguely remember reading awhile back, I might be wrong). - **Nobuhiko Takada has announced he's going to face Igor Vovchanchyn at next month's PRIDE show and that if he doesn't win, he'll retire**. Takada had a reputation as a shoot fighter from his years as the founder and star of UWFi, which was a worked shoot promotion. But then he started doing real shoots and it's been bad news ever since, including 2 high profile losses to Rickson Gracie. He's had a couple of wins, but they were worked matches. His real MMA fights have all been losses and Dave says the real fighters in PRIDE have pretty much no respect for Takada as an actual fighter. He doesn't like Takada's chances next month (indeed, Takada gets punched into submission in the 2nd round. But he still didn't retire). - **Notes from Nitro**: the building was mostly full, with not that many freebies. But only because it was a small arena that only holds about 5,000 people. It was also in Canada and the crowd was pretty much only there to see Lance Storm (who ended up jobbing to Jim Duggan in an undercard match) and Bret Hart (who wasn't there at all). They hated Goldberg with a passion, probably due to the Hart stuff, and booed him mercilessly. - **On his personal website, Mark Madden apologized to Lou Thesz** for his comment on Nitro last week where he joked that Lou Thesz beats up women. Madden said he was only joking and that he has a ton of respect for Thesz. - **Pamela Paulshock apparently injured her ankle doing an angle on Thunder last week**. Dave thinks it's bad enough when they have untrained wrestlers in there getting hurt, but now untrained ring announcers are getting hurt too. - **WCW is pitching an angle for Vampiro to team with singer Billy Idol** in a feud against Mike Awesome and David Cassidy, of Partridge Family fame (Never happened but.....yeah. That was a thing evidently). - **Dave only has a couple of thoughts on this week's Thunder**: he begs someone in WCW to PLEASE send Major Gunns to get acting lessons. He also wants someone to save Mike Awesome from a gimmick worse than the Red Rooster. And finally, I guess there's been a lot of commercials for the new Meet The Parents movie and Dave thinks it looks funny. - **Various WCW notes**: DDP is likely being brought back soon, though Kimberly won't be. Nitro Girl Spice was released. She was being groomed to co-host WCW's Saturday morning show, but then the show got canned and they didn't have anything else for her. And after being world champion for a couple of months, WCW has finally decided to start making some Booker T merch. Seems like a good idea to finally get around to. The Harris Twins taped segments for both the Maury Povich and Jenny Jones shows, no word on what they are or when they'll air. Goldberg will be on an episode of The Daily Show this week. Gene Okerlund is expected to be given a grumpy old man gimmick where he swears a lot. - **Next month might be a surprisingly good month for WCW ticket wise**. They have shows in Australia that are expected to do big numbers because Australia is so starved for wrestling that even WCW can do big business there. And they have a PPV in Las Vegas which will do good because the casinos are buying up a lot of tickets to give away. - **Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner are reportedly being total team players right now**, because there's concern that a regime change could come at any time (a lot of people are pushing for Johnny Ace to replace Vince Russo) and they're basically being on their best behavior until they see who their next new boss might be. The only person right now who's really stirring up shit is Goldberg, who is said to be openly pissed about pretty much everything and isn't shy about expressing it (yeah, even Goldberg has since admitted that he was frustrated and probably wasn't very pleasant to be around back then). - **Scott Hall is expected to return to Nitro next week**. Brad Siegel reportedly gave up on fighting with Nash about it and is willing to bring Hall back. Siegel and Hall spoke last week and Hall was basically told this is his last chance and if he fucks up one time, he's gone for good. Of course, Scott Steiner has been told that a dozen times in the past, so you know how that goes (Hall doesn't end up coming back. Not sure if it fell through or Dave got bad info or what, but it never happens). - **They held a Miss WCW Pageant in Las Vegas last week** with Carrot Top as one of the judges and of course there was a bikini contest. Nitro Girl Chae ended up winning over Torrie Wilson, Major Gunns, Baby, Chiquita, Midajah and Stacy Keibler. Pamela Paulshock was supposed to be in it but no-showed due to her ankle injury (there's some good catty drama coming out of this in the next week or two). - **So the deal with Konnan is....pretty messed up, actually**. He had tricep surgery a few months ago and has no business back in the ring yet. But WCW cut his paycheck in half so....he came back and he's wrestling. But here's the problem. The doctors still haven't given him a medical release yet because, well, they're doctors and he's still fucked up. They're like, "Dude...no." Anyway, because he doesn't have his medical release, WCW is still only giving him half his pay. But they're still allowing him to wrestle. He's hoping to get a medical release this week so he can start getting full checks again. Dave just thinks this whole policy is so screwed up on so many ways. - **Disqo Inferno has been bringing out some plastic duck to the ring called the Disqo Duck**. (I should stop for a second and explain something for the younger readers. R&B singer Sisqo had a HUGE hit called "Thong Song" around this time and WCW, in their infinite wisdom, capitalized by changing the spelling of Disco to Disqo.) Anyway, the duck is fucking stupid and apparently at Nitro this week, Konnan literally handcuffed himself to the duck backstage to try and keep Disqo Inferno from taking it out to the ring. Someone had to try to save him from himself. - **Jeremy Borash will be doing announcing at this week's Thunder tapings**. Dave says there's a lot of heat here because Borash is close to Vince Russo, so he's getting a lot of chances to do things like commentary even though he hasn't really earned it yet and hasn't shown any real aptitude for it. Dave says if Borash ends up replacing one of the main announcers on Nitro, there'll probably be a meltdown. - **Steve Austin and Debra got married last week in Las Vegas** (fun fact: same wedding chapel Triple H and a drugged out Stephanie McMahon got married in. Funner fact: also the same wedding chapel I got married in). - **The plan for Sunday Night Heat, now that it's moving to MTV, is for it to be more of a humor and skit type show**, with a lot of Tom Green-style humor (oh man, 2000 was such a weird time). They want to bring in musical guests and celebrities for it and will do a lot of the stuff from the WWF New York restaurant as well as at MTV's Times Square headquarters. - **Notes from Raw**: a lot of the show was built around trying to seemingly bury Kurt Angle, by turning him into a goofy heel character and implying that he's gay. They showed a lot of footage of him crying at the Olympics and had Triple H make fun of him and all that stuff. Dave thinks it's a pretty weird thing to do one week before the biggest match of Angle's career (he's got a No DQ match with Triple H at next week's PPV) and sure didn't do him any favors for people taking him seriously. Hugh Hefner was on to plug Chyna's upcoming Playboy appearance and Dave thinks it's nice that Playboy and WWF could come together again in the interest of making money after all the nasty legal issues they had with the Sable fallout. And finally, Steve Regal debuted. - **Since we were talking about WCW's injury policy, Dave decides to let us know what WWF's policy is**. A WWF wrestler that is out with an injury receives their downside guarantee. WWF contracts give you a guarantee (say, $300,000 per year for example) but you can make a lot more money on the road because everyone gets a cut of house show gates and PPV revenue and whatnot. So if you're injured and not on the road, you won't get all that extra money, but you still make the $300,000 guarantee. Of course, that leads to the same incentive for guys to sometimes come back before they're ready, because they're losing money by being at home, but from everyone who talks to Dave, there's not nearly as much pressure from the WWF to hurry up and come back as there is in WCW. - **Various WWF notes**: Big Boss Man will be out for a few weeks after having his knee scoped. Grand Master Sexay needed 14 stitches in his ear after getting legit cut from the belt shot on Raw. Tori should be back in Oct. or early November after shoulder surgery. Billy Gunn should be back in a few weeks. Road Dogg's wife had surgery for a collapsed lung so he's out tending to her. Davey Boy Smith was in a motorcycle accident last week and Dave says if you know how many times Smith has been in and out of the hospital this year, it would scare you to death. - **Four different wrestling promotions have videos in the Billboard Top 20 charts....and none of them are WCW**. Of course, WWF is all over the charts with their various releases taking up 12 of the 20 spots. ECW has videos at #5 and #7. XPW, which currently isn't running new shows and doesn't even have a building to run shows in right now, has videos at #12 and #19. And Insane Clown Posse's JCW promotion has a video at #13. All that, but no WCW. - **Kurt Angle and Taka Michinoku worked a UPW show in California along with a few other WWF developmental signees** who started out at the UPW school (I decided to look it up and see who else of note worked that show: Franie Kazarian, Simon Dean, Rocky Romero, Mike Knox, Vic Grimes, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, and John Cena were all on the card. 2000/2001-era UPW had a ton of future stars come through the doors). - **One of the XFL teams is already moving before it even starts**. The San Jose Demons have now been renamed the San Francisco Demons and will be playing in San Fran after negotiations with Spartan Stadium in San Jose fell apart. Dave thinks it might be a bad move. San Jose is a wealthier community with a large population and their hockey and soccer franchises do huge business. San Francisco already has a major team in every sport and he doesn't know if a B-level football team is going to draw as well there as it would have in San Jose. He also notes that in the spring, the weather is a lot warmer in San Jose at night than it is in San Francisco, and California isn't exactly the type of place where people want to sit out in the cold weather at night and watch football games. This isn't Green Bay or Chicago where freezing to death for football is almost a tradition (the cities are, like, an hour apart so I can't imagine the weather is that much different? Although I guess San Francisco is right there on the bay so maybe wind? I dunno. Anyone from the area care to chime in?) - **A New York newspaper reported that Vince McMahon tried to stop VH1 from airing an episode of "The List"** because the show featured appearances by Kevin Nash, Booker T, Scott Steiner, Sting, and other WCW stars. VH1 is owned by Viacom, which now owns 3% of WWF's stock and McMahon decided to try to throw his weight around and get the episode canned. Didn't work and it actually was one of the highest rated episodes of the show ever. But he did succeed in getting VH1 to agree to not air reruns of that episode. A WWF spokesman responded to the story, saying, "It is highly unlikely that took place. It's not something we would do." But of course, you'll note that they didn't outright deny it and the idea that Vince McMahon wouldn't do something like that is laughable since he has a long history of doing exactly that sort of thing. - **The Slam! Wrestling website wrote an article criticizing the WWF policy of not allowing wrestlers to do interviews with other websites** without company approval because they see all other websites as competition to their own WWF.com site. The article noted they had an interview with Gerald Brisco awhile back and Brisco told them he could talk freely about his pre-WWF years but if it has to do with WWF, he'd have to clear it with the office. Jim Ross responded on his WWF website column, saying not a single interview request has come across their desk from any other wrestling websites. Dave talks about when the policy was put in place and says WWF told him he could still get anyone he wanted to interview on the Observer website, but he would need to go through the office first. Since that time, Dave says he's talked to wrestlers who agreed to appear, but when he tried to get it cleared by the office, it stalled and has been pending approval ever since with no answer sooooooo...... - **WWF is wanting Big Show to drop down to 400 pounds**. At his heaviest in WCW he was 505 and currently weighs a legit 480. - **Someone writes in with a conspiracy theory**. He thinks Shane McMahon's death-defying fall from the TitanTron at Summerslam was done to prove a point given the upcoming Owen Hart wrongful death lawsuit, with the idea being that the WWF side can point to it as an example that, "See! Even Vince McMahon's son is sometimes asked to perform stunts like this and they're usually done safely." Dave responds, saying that normally he'd think that's reading too much into things. But the day after Summerslam, several people in WWF as well as a couple of legal experts he talked to all had basically the same theory and said they wouldn't be surprised if it gets brought up in the trial. But time will tell, Dave says. - **Dave Lagana writes in, talking his experience working on "Friends" and talking about how most TV shows are written by writing teams and how stories are crafted in TV writing rooms and so on and so forth**. Basically, it leads to the one big question every writer, booker, and performer should ask themselves: how will the audience react to the long-term story? Not how loud the momentary pop is or how much you were able to swerve the audience with a surprise that doesn't make any sense, etc. The point he's trying to make is that Vince Russo is doing literally everything wrong and he has no idea how to write television. He's also pretty fed up with Russo's constant everything-is-a-shoot booking, where they openly acknowledge scripts and bookers and shit in every segment. He's not the only one. - **Lots of letters talking about what a total trainwreck WCW is. Russo isn't the only problem**. From management to marketing, the ball is being dropped everywhere. None of the stories are coherent. Characters change gimmicks or go from face to heel from week-to-week with no explanation, fans have no idea what's happening. Wrestlers themselves are out of control backstage. Merchandising is dead. Basically, the ship is sinking and the worst part is that nobody seems to care. Everyone is just drilling more holes in the ship. Even when they luck into something that works, they always manage to fuck it up immediately. So there's all that. But also, a lot of piling on Russo from a lot of people who think he's killing the company. --- ***MONDAY:*** *Raw debuts on TNN, Steve Austin returns, ECW not yet cancelled on TNN after all, WWF Unforgiven fallout, and more...*