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  1. #1
    14 Time Rita's Champion SUPERECWFAN1's Avatar
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    Default Pro Wrestling in the 1990's !

    As a pro wrestling fan I really became a huge fan in the 1990's. It was an era I grew from a small kid who actually believed that Hulk Hogan could vanquish evil Communists and Sgt. Slaughter to the era of an adult who loved the middle fingers that Steve Austin gave. In that time its one I miss and reflect on so much . The storylines , the PPV's , the parties on Monday Night. It was something I loved and my friends did at one time. Now its gone...and now its a different world.

    I wanted a thread to reflect on that bygone era . If Brian Cronin wants to move this to the Wrestling sub forums and Brandon is ok ...I don't mind. I really wanted something I could do 90's stuff with and bring up some of the biggest things to discuss. So here goes.... the 90's !




    1.) The Big Companies and the Smaller Territories/companies : Its hard to believe that 22 years ago that the landscape was so vastly different. Yes there was the WWE or as it was known then.... the WWF. It was still doing ok business and it seemed like it would never stop. In the south there was the renamed Crockett Promotions (which tried to go national as the WWF in the 1980's and failed) , WCW (World Championship Wrestling). To the Great Lakes area and area of Chicago , Wisconsin and Minnesota was the AWA (American Wrestling Alliance) . Those were the big 3. But I will discuss them later.

    The smaller companies basically ran territories they were strong in. Like for instance say you run shows in a state and its your bread and butter , but can't draw elsewhere ...well ya see them stay there. Those companies were :

    USWA (United States Wrestling Association ) - The USWA had a weird convoluted history when it formed in 1989. The company was the small Memphis territory the CWA (Continental Wrestling Association) and Texas company WCCW (World Class Championship Wrestling). Well about a year in Fritz Von Erich pulled his company out due to issues with Jerry Jarrett's company over revenue. The USWA kept the name going and WCCW ran 2 more months and ceased to exist after it.

    World Class was a great promotion in the 1980's. The combination of storylines and more made the company one of the best to watch and repeats aired on ESPN back when the network carried them. But by the late 1980's with numerous Von Erich tragedies and the company decision to go national against the WWF and Crockett hurt the company big time. It never recovered from losing so much and the USWA basically would run Tennessee and Texas for the rest of its run.

    USWA would run well until the changing times started to play a part. By the mid 1990's , the company had watched as Jerry Lawler (its signature star) was working for the WWF. His role was comedic buffoon on national TV and color commentator . Well he also was USWA champion a record amount of times . 28 as this shows...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USWA_Un...t_Championship

    Anyhow the booking (storyline) for Lawler and the USWA World title was simple. An outsider would come into Tennessee or Texas and beat him. Be it Sid Vicious , be it Colorado Kid or even Ahmed Johnson ...they would come in and beat Lawler. So within months Lawler would man up and defeat them. It became the simple move to do and Lawler soon became part owner of the company as well. Owners always made sure to protect their territories in a sense and it was a sound business move. Of course that was for awhile.

    By the mid 90's though the writing was on the wall for the USWA and they decided they needed a hot angle to run to revive interest. So in 1995 they decided that they needed to work an invasion program with another territory that needed help at this point.

    SMW (Smokey Mountain Wrestling) was ran by Jim Cornette and started in 1991. The company itself did have a working relationship with the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) and ran for years in Tennessee , Kentucky , Virginia and West Virginia. The shows featured old school ex-Crockett stars like the Rock n Roll Express , Brad Armstrong and Cactus Jack. Of course the company was never profitable and as 1995 rolled in , both the USWA and SMW tried an invasion angle. But sadly it was too little too late. SMW would fold once Lawler became Champion and the USWA would finally tick to its death by 1997. (the end of USWA if you read had lawsuits and more involved once Lawler and his other partner sold it).

    Of course this wasn't the only small territories that started and stopped in the 1990's. In Texas , some ex-stars of WCCW were put into a new company called the GWF (Global Wrestling Federation) . That company ran from 1991 to 1994 , and was also aired on ESPN. Of course the GWF had a lot of weird angles/booking done like one wrestler claimed he launched himself to the moon and came back with a moon rock and one wrestler claimed after being struck on the head he was now Elvis Presley.

    But that company had a lot of backstage issues and after a pay dispute with Eddie Gilbert , the company lasted 2 more years before folding. The sad end was the GWF was the end of wrestling at the Dallas Sportatorium. The site was demolished in 2003 ending an era of 3+ decades of wrestling from it.

    In the west in California , the UWF (Universal Wrestling Federation) would start running. Its owner was a unique man that if you read Mick Foley's book nicknamed himself "Mr. Electricity" . Herb Abrams ran it and well ..he seemed to enjoy every moment of running a wrestling company. It would get a syndicated deal and run from 1990-1994. Of course after a bad PPV attempt , the company seemed destined to slowly fade out as it did by 1994. Abrams sadly lived to his name with his death 2 years later .

    To the north east was the ICW (International Championship Wrestling) and it ran from Boston , Massachusetts . The company formed in the 1980's and would in 1990 under go a unique transformation. Once WCCW pulled out of the deal with the USWA , Kerry Von Erich allowed the ICW to use the World Class name. It even would use the same Texas stars and Von Erich seemed ready to battle Tony Atlas for the big IWCCW World title. They just kept the International and used the World Class name essentially. Sadly this never came to happen for reasons we know. The IWCCW would use the name til its demise in 1995.

    In the near same region the TWA (Tri-State Wrestling Alliance) would form. The company was unique for its hardcore war that featured Eddie Gilbert and Cactus Jack then. Within a few years the TWA itself would undergo a change and one that is pretty unique . The owner Joel Goodhart would sell his share of the company to a man named Todd Gordon . That story is ahead though....

    That about covers the small and independent companies that ran. I am sure others can name more. But these were ones you wouldn't think about unless ya read one of the old Wrestling Superstars magazine or PWI and see them cover them at times. Its also sad that whenever you saw a company you would see an ex-star like Tony Atlas as champion and feel like he was still doing good as a kid.

    end of part 1....
    "Heads up-- If Havok's position in UA #5 really upset you, it's time to drown yourself hobo piss. Seriously, do it. It's the only solution." - Rick Remender

    Sucks 200 character limit.

  2. #2
    14 Time Rita's Champion SUPERECWFAN1's Avatar
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    2.) The Majors -

    The big 3 going in 1990 as listed was the AWA , WCW and WWF. But well the AWA by 1990 wasn't doing so well. Years of talent defections to the WWF and WCW had the AWA in a pretty bad spot. Verne Gagne the owner was a man out of his own time and never realized that contracts and more money would lure his workers. But by 1990 the AWA was in a spot where his son Greg Gagne came up with the Team Challenge series. This was done for the fact that talent was leaving at a rate , that this could work better with wrestlers in teams.

    Verne had always put the World title on himself or his best bet to keep it around . By the 1980's though costly gambles had de-valued the title as Stan Hanson wouldn't leave the lucrative Japanese company he worked for to defend the belt . Then there was the Superclash III PPV fiasco where Verne cheated his potential partners in a big super merger of companies to combat the WWF then. The World title was put on Jerry Lawler (who still has the physical belt in his possession) and Verne promptly handed him a booking sheet to do dates and decided not to pay him.



    By this point he needed someone who would carry the belt . Since he couldn't do it due to age , he picked his then son-in-law , Larry Zbyszko to be champion. Of course by this point fans were seeing the AWA as a weak promotion and Zbyszko's biggest claim to fame was in 1980 where he wrestled his mentor Bruno Sammertino. A decent mic worker , Zbyszko couldn't stop the freefall the AWA was in and by the end of 1990 the company was out of business. Verne its claimed owned land on a lake which the state wanted to make a park and he used it to leverage money at times for the AWA. Once they took it , he couldn't anymore and the company was done. Zbyszko would bounce to WCW and work there for the rest of the decade.

    WCW was of course a money loser for years to Ted Turner. But the old man kept it going. If I spent the time to bring up all the wacky people who ran the company til Eric Bischoff arrived , this would reach the 10,000 post limit. But we all know WCW's story as the WWE DVD release did a solid job and books written can do it better justice than me. So search them out.

    The WWF meanwhile was facing its own issues by the early 1990's. The steroid trial of Vince McMahon had left the company in a position it could lose its head owner. Also the fact was by 1990/1991 the power of Hulkamania was running low. For years Hogan was the #1 , defacto star of the company and made it the global company it became. But by then the kids of one generation had spent years watching him and grew up and wanted something different.

    Things stumbled for awhile and the company tried finding that next big star. USA Network told McMahon he needed another Hogan and like a fool Vince threw out countless big men to try it. Diesel (Kevin Nash) was given the title and even as fans wanted the smaller Shawn Michaels in 1995 , Vince was stubborn to see the changing times. Of course ...thankfully he started to wake up by 1996 and the company recovered by 1998 with Steve Austin.

    Remember the company Tri-State I brought up earlier...well its new owner had a parting of the ways with booker Eddie Gilbert and he hired a former WCW manager/commentator named Paul Heyman to book for him. Heyman had tried to land the WCW VP job but it went to Eric Bischoff and he finally quit angry with the company. Once in the renamed Eastern Championship Wrestling , Heyman was allowed to do what he wanted and the company changed from a southern style ran company to what fans would soon expect. It also underwent a name change to ...Extreme Championship Wrestling within a year and pull out from the NWA .


    In all the 1990's were a unique time. The companies are gone , so are a lot of the stars. But I can't help but look back and remember them.
    "Heads up-- If Havok's position in UA #5 really upset you, it's time to drown yourself hobo piss. Seriously, do it. It's the only solution." - Rick Remender

    Sucks 200 character limit.

  3. #3
    Jabbroni albone's Avatar
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    I got into wrestling in 1986, and one of my favorite matches ever was in 1988 when Sting beat Ric Flair at the Great American Bash. Wrestling in the 90's was a special time for pro wrestling where me and my friends would watch every monday night together.
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  4. #4
    indie snob Brandon Hanvey's Avatar
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    If you want ECW, I can move this to the TV/Film Wrestling sub-forum. It would be a better fit.

  5. #5
    14 Time Rita's Champion SUPERECWFAN1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Hanvey View Post
    If you want ECW, I can move this to the TV/Film Wrestling sub-forum. It would be a better fit.
    Thats cool with me Brandon.
    "Heads up-- If Havok's position in UA #5 really upset you, it's time to drown yourself hobo piss. Seriously, do it. It's the only solution." - Rick Remender

    Sucks 200 character limit.

  6. #6
    14 Time Rita's Champion SUPERECWFAN1's Avatar
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    In the 1990's....the early 1990's WCW would have a variety of insane things happen. Like the decision once to shoot mini-movie type movies for their matches. Or the decision to launch a new wrestler during one of the most signature TV spots the company was running. That decision would make the people do a head smack...in laughter.



    As Dusty explained the Shockmaster was Fred Ottman (ya know....this guy in his more famous gimmick)




    Anyhow you have to pity Ottman who was getting a big push and it all went to shit with the debut. I did laugh at Dusty Rhodes bringing this up.

    "So , Cody looks at his friends and goes...I think that was my uncle Fred !"
    "Heads up-- If Havok's position in UA #5 really upset you, it's time to drown yourself hobo piss. Seriously, do it. It's the only solution." - Rick Remender

    Sucks 200 character limit.

  7. #7
    Rargh! Alex's Avatar
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    For anyone who doesn't listen to the Konnan podcast, first of all, do it because it's amazing.
    However, Zbyszko lives with the cohost, and he has become a complete nutjob who just smokes weed all day and beleives in every conspiracy ever.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member KiFF86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    For anyone who doesn't listen to the Konnan podcast, first of all, do it because it's amazing.
    However, Zbyszko lives with the cohost, and he has become a complete nutjob who just smokes weed all day and beleives in every conspiracy ever.
    He is truly a "Living Legend" now.

    Super if you ever want to get into some Memphis wrestling; there is a movie call Memphis Heat that came out like last year or so. It's pretty good.
    I AM FOREVER- Master Shake

    I mean I liked Face-Off, but I didn't go to college either.

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    Rargh! Alex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiFF86 View Post
    He is truly a "Living Legend" now.

    Super if you ever want to get into some Memphis wrestling; there is a movie call Memphis Heat that came out like last year or so. It's pretty good.
    Seconded, memphis heat was great.

  10. #10
    14 Time Rita's Champion SUPERECWFAN1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiFF86 View Post
    He is truly a "Living Legend" now.

    Super if you ever want to get into some Memphis wrestling; there is a movie call Memphis Heat that came out like last year or so. It's pretty good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    Seconded, memphis heat was great.
    I'll check it out one day... I watched the preview of it on youtube. I liked the Jackie Fargo piece at the end where he cut a promo about his strut.
    "Heads up-- If Havok's position in UA #5 really upset you, it's time to drown yourself hobo piss. Seriously, do it. It's the only solution." - Rick Remender

    Sucks 200 character limit.

  11. #11
    14 Time Rita's Champion SUPERECWFAN1's Avatar
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    One of my favorite ECW angles of the 1990's featured the Sandman and Raven battling over Sandman's kid. The angle was that Sandman's ex-wife had aligned with Raven and now to play mind games with him , had his son being raised by the unbalanced Raven. The angle was one of the best and as I watched in a documentary that Sandman discussed , Paul Heyman wanted to do an angle and proposed they get a child actor like a Mulculky Culkin . Sandman is at his house and there is his son and he's like "Well why don't we use my real son..." "Perfect."
    "Heads up-- If Havok's position in UA #5 really upset you, it's time to drown yourself hobo piss. Seriously, do it. It's the only solution." - Rick Remender

    Sucks 200 character limit.

  12. #12
    Jabbroni albone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiFF86 View Post
    He is truly a "Living Legend" now.

    Super if you ever want to get into some Memphis wrestling; there is a movie call Memphis Heat that came out like last year or so. It's pretty good.
    Everyone move to Larry Land. :P
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  13. #13
    Hijo Del Mr Backlund lboinyamouf4sho's Avatar
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    good timing, i finished my reliving of WCW nitro & PPV sept 97-sept 98 and due to AWESOME circumstances i got a dvd set of nitro for the entire year of 1999 for free. this seems like a good place to chronicle my journey.

    just got done with 1/4/99, ric flair just got power and became "president", & nash had recently stole the title away from goldberg but was still playing face, those were the big stories going in. this was the episode that had the infamous fingerpoke of doom, and also the night the spoiling of mick foleys title win backfired.

    damn not off to a great start here huh, but i'm not discouraged as i remember what WCW was like back then and still enjoyed it. the good stuff was the LWO featuring the true debut of eddy guerrero "latino heat" character. anyways rey & kidman have a damn good match against psicosis & juvi. saturn and jericho have a good match and something seems to be building there with jericho getting the ref on his side. bam bam and wrath have a pretty good brawl, booker t sits atop a solid midcard and DDP is a top contender.

    aside from the BS(fingerpoke, goldberg arrested for stalking liz, flair talking) an enjoyable show.
    Mr. Backlund continued wrestling under the new gimmick of an out of touch, yet highly dangerous, maniac out to teach the new generation a lesson.[3] He often appeared in business suits, had a hyperactive personality, and used (or, often, misused) large words to sound important. He also demanded that he be addressed as "Mr. Backlund". He would only sign autographs for wrestling fans if they could recite the names of all of the US Presidents in chronological order

  14. #14
    14 Time Rita's Champion SUPERECWFAN1's Avatar
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    Since the WWE.COM has a "Where Are They Now" on Spike Dudley and him leaving the business a few years ago , now its time to discuss the Dudley's I suppose. In fact the Dudley's of ECW was a family of guys who were modeled after a movie if memory remembers. The father was someone who slept with a lot of women and each child would show up. The head of the brothers was "Big Dick Dudley".

    [IMG][/IMG]
    (seen here holding the belts)

    Dudley was played by Alex Rizzo and was one of the toughest guys according to Bubba Ray . That he saw Rizzo beat up 5 guys in a night club . He also as legend claims had nerve damage in his one hand and could feel no pain in it. Sadly after some disagreements with Heyman over his role (he was basically replaced as leader by D-Von more or less) he left the company in 1999.


    D-Von : When introduced on ECW TV , D-Von was an angry ex-postman . The whole deal was , he was religious and there to make Bubba Ray stop stuttering . In time D-Von became the leader after fueding awhile with Bubba and the Dudleys shifted from comedy act to ass kickers. In fact the whole ex- Post Office employee past is never mentioned much and faded from history .

    Bubba Ray - Its hard to believe the same ass kicking Bully Ray , once was a stuttering , dancing fool in ECW. But that was his act when he came in. All it took was D-Von to change things.

    Spike - As we know he was the runt and always picked on. His character basically never changed at all.

    Now these others have faded and likely would be forgotten. But there was more Dudley family.


    Chubby Dudley

    Chubby Dudley would carry cakes and chips to the ring and eat while his brothers wrestled. A natural cowardly snob , once things got serious he'd run off. Chubby was basically taken out by D-Von as he moved them to be more serious. Bay Ragni had disagreements with Heyman over things.



    Dances with Dudley - Dances origin was the more comical aspects of the Dudley father. Seemingly at a Cheyenne Reservation , Papa Dudley got with his mom. He too now was a Dudley ...DANCES...WITH DUDLEY. Played by Adolfo Bermudez , he left soon after the fued with D-Von due to disagreements with Heyman like Ragni.


    Sign Guy Dudley - In one of the unique changes in wrestling Sign Guy would become very successful actually . Portrayed by Lou D'Angeli , the character started out as a plant in the crowd by Heyman , then moved to manager of the Dudley's. He never spoke much at all except for his signs. Once all the Dudleys were gone from ECW , Sign Guy became a spin-off of Paul Heyman. He became... Lou E. Dangerously. Today he plays the Lou E. Dangerously character at indie shows and at Billy Corgan's show.


    Dudley Dudley - Before Big Dick really took over as leader , Dudley Dudley was leader. He claimed to be the only pure 100% Dudley of them all. Played by Jeff Bradley , he would team mostly with Snot Dudley. When Snot was hurt in a jet ski accident , Bradley left ECW in 1996.


    Snot Dudley - Played by Anthony Michaels he himself sadly lost 2 years of his career due to a bad jet ski accident in 1996. Once he returned he used the name some what and moved on.

    Schmuck Dudley - Schmuck never competed in ECW. What is unique is he took the name and formed a some time tag team with Snot Dudley on the indies. Jeff Roth played him.
    "Heads up-- If Havok's position in UA #5 really upset you, it's time to drown yourself hobo piss. Seriously, do it. It's the only solution." - Rick Remender

    Sucks 200 character limit.

  15. #15
    I'm a male DebkoX's Avatar
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    Those seemed like the good days, remember Mick and that mask?
    “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it.”

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