JvK books WWF in 1983
Posted 18 February 2015 - 08:40 PM
Ran a video recap of DiBiase, Tully and Savage attacking Andre. Main purpose of this show was to test out Snuka as a good headliner of B-shows. He did very well:
That match might also have saved Ray Stevens his job. I thought he was done, but against the right opponent, seems he can still go. I'll try Patterson against Snuka next time.
Big show on which the storyline featuring "The Elite" (DiBiase, Blanchard, Savage) is launched in earnest. The key idea here is to use the incredible popularity of Andre and Bruno as a "rub" to get these guys over as the company's main heels. Working so far.
Re-building Ivan after his loss to Backlund.
Finkel: Ladies and gentlemen, it is now time for a very special interview with ... The Living Legend BRUNO SAMMARTINO!
Vince: Well, Bruno, how have you been?
Bruno: Thank you Vince. And thank you to all of my fans out there, it means so much to me to hear these fans show their appreciation after all these years.
Vince: What have you been doing to keep yourself busy these days?
Bruno: Well, ya know Vince, I keep myself very active. I still hit that gym two-three hours every day. Some days me and Dominic go down to the lakes and do some fishing ya know.
Vince: Do you miss your days in the squared circle?
Bruno: Well sometimes Vince, ya know ... a man sustains a lot of injuries in this great sport, and you feel the aches and the strains and, ya know, you think "man, I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore". But then ... then I hear these fans, and I hear how much it means to these people, and YES, I want to do it all over again, Vince.
Vince: Do you think there is any possibility of you doing just that?
Bruno: Never say never, Vince. But there's also a time when you have to look at the new generation, ya know?
Vince: Do you have anything else you want to say to your fans?
Bruno: Well only that, ya know Vince, just thank you for everything. I love New York. I love this professional wrestling. I each and every one of these fans lives in my heart forever.
Just as Bruno is wrapping up, someone sneaks up behind him and chop blocks his leg! It's ... Ted DiBiase! Tully Blanchard and Randy Savage also hit the ring. Vince quickly bails.
Tully lays in some cheap stomps. Savage goes up to the top rope as DiBiase and Blanchard hold him prone. Diving elbow drop!!
An enraged Dominic Denucci comes out from the back. He tries to chase off DiBiase and Blanchard, but Savage catches him with a double axe-handle from the top. Shot to the gut by DiBiase. Denucci goes down. Bruno is out cold.
Now Andre comes out, and he's pissed. The heels bail.
Soul Patrol continue to under perform. I'm wondering if the problem wasn't so much Patterson and Stevens, but these two.
Lawler just brought in for a one-shot TV title shot here. He's not that well known in the North East, but I thought he might get a good match out of Backlund. Not bad, but not great either.
Forward planning to Wrestlemania
Arn Anderson has just signed. Atlas and Johnson have been poor so far, so currently, the plan is to build up Arn and Tully week-by-week on TV and on house shows with win after win. While building up Soul Patrol through title defenses against the Wild Samoans, Patterson and Stevens and whoever else.
Arn and Tully come out of WM with the titles.
Pedro vs. Muraco seems like a very stale holding pattern. The ultimate idea is to get the IC title on Savage. However, I have other plans for Savage at Mania.
Will keep it on Pedro for the time being. With him vs. Muraco at WM, Pedro wins. Savage to take the title at Summerslam.
The main plan here is for Blassie to bring in guys I'd acquire through talent trades for 1-shots or 2-shots to keep Backlund's momentum up.
He's gone through Ivan Koloff and Iron Sheik already, but they can both have a couple more shots. Will see if I can bring in guys like Abdullah. Whatever heels are out there.
Plan for Wrestlemania? Again, the ultimate plan is to get the belt off Backlund and onto DiBiase -- who will eventually then drop it to a turned Savage.
But that's a long way off (Ted to win at Summerslam?). I might try to bring in someone like Terry Funk for Backlund at Wrestlemania. Or how about an hour broadway with Dory to send everyone to sleep?
The other thing I'm thinking about is maybe turning Backlund heel and have Snuka beat him for it. With Snuka vs. DiBiase at Summerslam. We'll see.
Special featured feud:
I won't reveal the details of it all yet, but ultimately it should culminate with DiBiase and Savage vs. Bruno and Andre at Wrestlemania in a cage.
I haven't decided yet which way to go with that match. Either:
1. It's the blow off with the faces finally coming out on top after weeks of being tortured by the dickish heels.
2. The faces put over the heels HUGE and make them "made men" in the promotion.
For the long-term I like option 2, but in terms of the angle 1. feels more "right".
Posted 19 February 2015 - 10:58 AM
For Backlund at WrestleMania, would squeezing one last match out of Billy Graham work? Too bad you can't do a champion vs. champion thing with either Bockwinkel or Race.
Posted 19 February 2015 - 08:39 PM
MSG House Show:
Basically just a placeholder show with not a lot going on. The should be the last house show before the new guys (Ted, Savage etc.) get into the ring.
Patterson looks like he's truly done. This match was 12 minutes and he was still knackered. Ironically, this was better than their big blow-off match.
I'm honestly itching to get this IC belt off Pedro. I might just have Savage beat him at a random house show rather than wait for a big event. Savage can still be part of the Bruno angle as IC champ.
These Backlund matches aren't doing that great either. I mean this will do for a nothing show, but attendance has been going down. Less than 7,000 at MSG is poor.
I'm starting to see the use of a B-show. You can use it to try out different guys without a lot of penalties. Here, I'm testing out Billy Graham in the ring to see if El Borica's idea might fly.
Visibly tired after 12 minutes isn't a good sign. The match with Backlund would probably be better than this, but probably not good enough. Graham seems best used as the host of the talk show. He's still over, and has good mic skills, but he looks done in the ring.
Ironically, this TV taping drew more people than the last MSG show. This show was mainly about pushing the big storyline with Bruno and the new heel stable "The Elite".
Graham: Ted DiBiase, the world wants to know, brother, can you explain the heinous actions of you and your associates over the past couple of weeks? First you attack the big man, Andre, at the Royal Rumble, brother. And then, the main man himself, Bruno Sammartino.
DiBiase: I want you to listen very carefully to what I'm going to say to you. You see, we here myself, The Macho Man Randy Savage, Tully Blanchard, and our newest arrival, Arn Anderson we, all four of us ...
Graham: I'm listenin', brother.
DiBiase: We understand what this place is all about. 1979 I came up here. I was a young punk, I was just paying my dues back then. And when I came up here. It was all "Bruno Sammartino this, Andre the Giant that". And everywhere you turn there's a stooge: An Arnold Skaaland here, a Dominic Denucci there. Chief Jay Strongbow Guys who have been here so long they are part of the furniture. I swear I saw Tony Garea's got cobwebs in that big crop of hair he's got!
Savage: Oh yeah!!
DiBiase: And let me tell you something. Well, Superstar Graham, you know as good as anyone. You drive down that road, you go out there to Texas, to Minnesota, to Florida and down there, they know what REAL wrestling is all about! REAL wrestling. The fans up here, in Madison Square Garden, in Philadelphia, in Boston all across these towns. Wherever you go it's "Bruno Sammartino". And you got this two-bit champion Bob Backlund. Well, they've got this place locked up very well. But I'm going to let you in on a CONSPIRACY, Billy Graham. You go back down through all the record books. Who did Bruno ever beat? Some Greek guy no ones ever heard of? He stayed up here and never faced any of the REAL wrestlers from all over this country because Bruno was scared he was going to be FOUND out.
Savage: Oh yeah, you're gonna be found out Sammartino.
DiBiase: I want to tell you people here something. See, me, my father was a wrestler. And this man here, Randy Savage, HIS father was a wrestling man. He grew up in wrestling his whole life. And this man here, my good friend, Tully Blanchard, HIS father was a wrestling man. And HE been around wrestling his whole life. And Arn Anderson, he's from one of the proudest wrestling families this country has ever seen! And YOU people here, you New York people, who think you know everything. You know NOTHING. WE are wrestling. Us. Bruno is nothing. You go down to St. Louis, they've never heard of him. You go to Houston, "who's that?" Go to Atlanta. Go to Florida. But go to those places and say "DiBiase". Say "Blanchard". Say "Poffo". Say "ANDERSON". And look at the respect in those people's eyes. You've got a cartoon champion for a CARTOON CITY. And were here to say enough is enough! It's time for you to GROW UP and learn about what wrestling is all about!
Savage: Oh yeah! There's something hit the WWF brothers, and it ain't no flash in the pan oh no! Smell that. Smell the air. That's the wind CHANGE, Oh yeah!
Anderson: You know, Ted DiBiase, you just about made a grown man cry. And these people here. These people who are booing now and clamouring for their Bruno, one day. ONE DAY, they'll understand exactly what you were talking about. And I've got a message for all you so-called wrestlers who have been hiding up here for so long: reputation don't mean a damn thing when you're getting your bones broken by someone who has a PhD in Pain Studies. You understand? I don't care, how long you've been here. I don't care if all these people cry like the little girls they are, were going to be coming for you. And there ain't nowhere to hide no more!
Blanchard: Amen to all of that. But what my esteemed associates forgot to mention is were also here to make this joint a little more classy if you know what I mean. Were going to teach you people something about style and something about the finer things in life. Didn't anyone tell you that its 1983? How about you get with the programme? No one goes to the disco anymore, Tony. And Sinatra ain't cool anymore, Bruno. Its unbelievable the state these people are in. You wouldnt know class if it hit you in the face! So were going to have to do more than hit you in the face.
Savage: Oh yeaahhhhhh!
Graham: Well, brothers, you cats have said it all, and now everyone, the world, wants to know what Bruno Sammartino is going to say in reply
Because ratings keep sliding, I'm putting title matches on TV for free with Bob against random opponents. Masked Superstar wasn't doing much so he'd do -- and this is probably Bob's best match since I've been booking.
In fact, this was the best show overall since I've been booking and the first not to "lose me popularity" in the Tri-State region.
The booking of the Andre and Bruno vs. The Elite feud has been going to plan. DiBiase, Savage, Blanchard and Anderson all have great momentum and not one of them has even had a match yet.
However, this is going to be a tricky balancing act because while they have momentum, none of them are particularly over in the region and that is going to take time to build up. DiBiase is the most over because of his run from 79, but Savage, Anderson and Blanchard are all more or less unknowns in New York. These guys are going to have to steamroller some of the old guard in the run-up to Wrestlemania.
Some other strategic thinking
The TV networks and PPV carriers have opened up for proposals, but none of them want to talk to me. This is because the WWF is still considered a "regional" company and needs to grow to being "cult" status -- I can do this fairly easily by increasing popularity in New England a bit more. This is just a matter of time since Superstars goes out nationwide. But I'm also running the Boston Gardens once a month which should help too.
I am a little worried that Vince is going to fire me though. My approval rating with him has dropped to "Very Low". In my first month, the company LOST $90k. In addition, I somehow failed his goal to stop David Sammartino from gaining popularity. I'm not sure how exactly since I've barely used him. But that's pissed Vince off and I'm treading on ice ...
I might find myself booking for Dick the Bruiser's WWA or Central States before long if things don't turn around soon.
Posted 19 February 2015 - 09:34 PM
With Superstar Billy Graham being over. I'm surprised you didn't shoot an angle off his talk show to make him a babyface alligned with Bruno to play off their past history. Especially against young heels in Savage and Teddy.
Posted 20 February 2015 - 09:41 AM
Philly Spectrum House Show:
Another really shitty crowd at the Spectrum. These house show numbers aren't good. Going to need to depart from the Vince Sr loop I think. The company just isn't doing well enough to run these big venues every week. Less than 50% full at the Spectrum.
Note that Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard made their in-ring debuts for me here. More on that in a moment.
Pedro continues to underperform as IC champ. Just not good enough. I am not sure he can make it all the way to Wrestlemania. Here he is with an opponent against whom he has good chemistry and he still can't get a good match out of it. These semi-main matches are important. This is dragging the whole show rating down.
Backlund doing a little better, but I'm sick of seeing that no-selling note in his matches. AND in order to grow these matches have to be better on top.
So I'm using this show to push the new heels and get them over with the crowds. The main problem at the moment is that the crowd ONLY care about these guys as far as they care about Andre and Bruno. They don't care about them in their own right. Take a look at the notes on these matches:
"Completely devoid of heat" means they don't care about Arn at all in his own right. They only care in terms of what's happening to Bruno.
Same deal. "Non-existent crowd heat".
And again. Incidentally, Mil Mascaras is very close to being fired:
He complained about doing this job. I will have members of The Elite go over him clean again and again and then I'll fire him.
DiBiase is the most over of the four because the New York fans know him a bit more. He also had the luxury of working with Strongbow here, who is a bit more over than the other faces on this card.
But it's promising to see him getting a rating like this against an opponent he doesn't click with in his first match.
Once again, this show is carrying the main load for the main feud.
Soul Patrol just aren't cutting it. Atlas keeps underperforming. This tag scene is dire at the moment.
Graham: Welcome again ladies and gentlemen to the Superstars Supershow on Superstars! It's my pleasure to introduce to you today, brothers, a man who has achieved legendary status in this great sport we call professional wrestling. The man, the myth: The Nature Boy, Buddy Rogers!
Rogers: Thank you Superstar. I'm here today because I have something that I wanted to say. I watched this show last week and saw something that disgusted me to the pit of my stomach. These young punks coming out here. Ted DiBiase running his mouth about things he THINKS he understands, but he doesnt. It was 1963. I was the best wrestler this country had ever seen! I'd taken them all on, all the greats. Lou Thesz, Pat OConnor, Killer Kowalski. I'd seen em all, and I'd beaten them all. And then let me tell you about being a wrestling man, Ted DiBiase, let me tell you about pain Arn Anderson ... I saw this kid come up here. He was younger than you guys are now. An Italian kid. Bruno Sammartino! And of all the guys I ever faced, this one was the greatest of them all. Make no mistake. You're running your mouth about how no one knows the name "Bruno Sammartino". You're wrong. You go to LA, you go to Chicago, you go all the way to Seattle if you want. When Bruno Sammartino beat me for that World title, the WORLD knew about it. Everyone knew that was the man that beat the great Buddy Rogers. And now, I didn't like it at the time. I was eating up inside. But it takes GREATNESS to beat GREATNESS. You said you guys are from wrestling families. Well, Ted, I remember when your old man was up here. He faced that man Bruno many times. And he pushed him close. He died in that ring! And he was a true wrestler. And he'd be ASHAMED to see what you're doing now!
DiBiase runs with a pair of brass knucks and storms the set. He goes to attack Rogers.
Graham: You ... mani ... no!!!! That's an old man!! NOO!
Graham goes to block DiBiase's punch, but Arn Anderson comes flying in with a football tackle. And Tully Blanchard comes from behind the set to hold Graham down. DiBiase lays a punch on Rogers as Savage emerges from behind and scoops Rogers out of his chair. DiBiase performs a fist drop with the brass knucks onto the now bloodied Rogers.
Bruno has seen enough and runs in. All four heels clear the set and run away. Bruno arrives but its too late. Buddy Rogers is in a pool of blood on the floor. Billy Graham is still staggering from the ambush.
Bruno roars out a cry of pain.
He is almost in tears at this scene. He lifts up Rogers's head to check to see if hes okay. Medics arrive with a stretcher. Bruno is beside himself.
Ventura has been sitting in the commentary booth all this time and I thought I'd try him out as a potential WM opponent for Backlund. No chemistry. Pretty disappointed in Bob that he wasn't able to get a better match than this out of Ventura.
And then I was hit with a bombshell ....
Backlund only has one month remaining on his contract. And ...
That's right. Bob Backlund. Bob Fucking Backlund is sticking his middle finger up at me. So he's going to jump before he's pushed.
This calls for an emergency plan. I had not at all thought about Backlund leaving before we even get to Wrestlemania.
I'm not sure what to do. DiBiase isn't ready for the title yet, needs more build.
This is a crisis now. Need to *think*. I'm wondering if it might not be unreasonable to put the title back onto Bruno? Someone like Sheik or Koloff as a 1-week transitional champ and back to Bruno?
I dunno, Sheik and Koloff have both lost to Backlund twice or more. This is ridiculous. I might have to go back to the market and see about bringing someone in. Dusty? Emergency!!
There's another problem too. The company is losing money.
I think the main problem here is running MSG, Philly, and Boston on a monthly loop. The promotion isn't over enough to draw big gates at all three so the crowds are thinning out. Two solutions:
1. Run them less frequently
2. Downsize the venue so that it's a 6,000-seater not a 20,000 one.
I'm thinking about doing the latter and only running MSG, Spectrum etc. when the expected ticket sales are more than 14,000. Sorry Vince Sr!
Posted 20 February 2015 - 10:32 AM
Posted 20 February 2015 - 10:43 AM
It was worth a try with Graham. At least shoe's idea helps you get something out of him and help the Elite get over.
That's a bad break with Backlund. Snuka may be your best bet there unless you have Blassie bring in a huge surprise opponent and have him take it from Backlund right off the bat. Maybe Bulldog Bob Brown is available?
I'm sure you'll come up with something.
Posted 20 February 2015 - 12:46 PM
I dunno about this direction to be honest. It seems an awful lot like trying to turn the WWF into late 80's JCP with a quartet of evil heel elite workers who always seem to win and then keep the titles forever.
I think WWF succeeded better at feel good moments where good ultimately triumphed far more often than not and changing that would sink the company in the end.
So while I like a team of Ted, Randy and the Brainbusters at the end of the day they need to lose cleanly and decisively to the hot new babyface act whatever that might be.
Posted 20 February 2015 - 01:19 PM
Parv, I like this angle a LOT....but its 1983, you are gonna need some known NE guys to show up and get into the main events ASAP...then use them to work with the Elite and go from there..
Personally, I LOVE where you are going...but if those guys (ELITE) showed up in WWF in 1983, I dont know how they would have panned out as "THE" group...outside Ted...
Posted 20 February 2015 - 06:19 PM
OK...this is absolutely brilliant. I had no idea this game existed either....I have now not seen daylight for 2 days in hope of being able to book Mid Atlantic.....thanks Parv...
Posted 21 February 2015 - 11:29 AM
Find it absolutely hilarious/fantastic that Binghamton of all places(where I live) is drawing the biggest numbers.
Posted 22 February 2015 - 11:26 PM
A major change to the business model this week. I've essentially cancelled 75% of all house shows because I don't think the company can afford to run so many venues in the same region. Needs a bit of cooling off to build those crowds back up. So running with this for now:
If I'm still in the job come September, I'll see about adding dates for October-December. This is both an attempt to cut costs AND to make money. We'll see if it works.
More quiet building of Arn and Tully here. Heat ever so slightly better for them, but Garea and David Sammartino are a slightly higher calibre of JTTS too.
The big news for this show is the debut of Sgt. Slaughter, who I've brought in to have the option of running with him as World Champ or IC Champ. Or if I go with Snuka as Champ, we might do Slaughter vs. Snuka at Wrestlemania.
Gorilla: What's been happening in the world of Lou Albano?
Albano: The Captain has been quiet these past few weeks. You want to know why Gorilla? I'll tell ya why. I've been recruiting. I've got a surprise for everyone. I've been up and down the country scouting for talent. And look what I've gone and found ...
*We hear a whistle*
Slaughter: Listen up! MAGGOTS. You scummmm. Sgt. Slaughter is back in the WWF. And I've got one thing on my mind, Bob Backlund! That's right. I want to become the new WWF Champion. And with Captain Louis Albano behind me, THIS TIME. This time maggot you better look out!
Two big things on this show: more pushing of the Bruno vs. Elite angle and ... Backlund's last match for me. Bruno needed to come out of a segment "on top" as it were.
Finkel: Ladies and gentlemen, it is now time, for another very special interview. This has been requested by The Living Legend, Bruno Sammatino!
Vince (grave voice): Bruno, a couple of weeks ago we talked about what you've been doing. That was before you were attacked by a group that has been calling themselves "The Elite". Since that time, they also brutally assaulted the former WWF champion and personal hero of yours "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers. What do you have to say about all this unpleasantness?
Bruno: Well, Vince, ya know, it's sad day when I see this sport disrespected in such a ... disgraceful manner. Is there no respect left in these young men? Let me tell ya, TED DIBIASE. Your father was a lot of things. And we had some tremendous battles he and I. And he gave his blood. He died for professional wrestling. So what do you think you are doing?! Do you tihnk he'd be proud to see his son attack a man -- the GREAT Buddy Rogers -- a man who is 60 years old? Buddy spent the night in hospital. Are you proud of yourself Ted? Are you and those other guys you're surrounding yourself with happy about what you've done? Can you look in the mirror and say "I did a good job today?"
Well LET ME TELL YA, DIBIASE! You've made ONE old guy VERY angry. And that's ME. I was happy fishing with Dominic. I was happy spending time with my wife and watching my boy David progress in his career. I've spent 23 years in that squared circle, BOY, and I got more scars. More aches. More pains. More bruises. Than you even dreamt of in your whole stinking life. But when you attacked me. And then you COWARDS dared laid a finger on Buddy Rogers. You awakened an ANIMAL. And now I'VE WOKEN UP. And you want to be careful what you wish for. Come at me DiBiase. Where are you Savage? Blanchard! Anderson! Come out here and face me you little cowards! You'll wish you'd never been born, wrestling business or no wrestling business. You're going to be fighting for your lives!
*Bruno is so angry he's almost frothing at the mouth. Just then someone walks down the aisle. It's Dominic Denucci ...*
Denucci: You a, youssa not-a alone, Bruno. I'mma, I'mma comin-a outta retirement too!
*Denucci joins Bruno in the ring, they embrace. But there's someone else ... It's Killer Kowolski!*
Kowoski: You're not alone Bruno. I never thought I'd say this, but Killer Kowolski is coming out of retirement and he's got Bruno Sammartino's back!
* The parade continues ... who's this?? LORD ALFRED HAYES*
Lord Alfred: I cannot stand by and watch a good man take a shil-acking like that again. You're not alone Bruno.
* And now ... Superstar Billy Graham. He's got Buddy Rogers in a wheelchair and he's pushing him down to the ring.*
Graham: I've seen a lot of dark and terrible things over the years in this sport. But what I saw on the Supershow last week is the lowest of the low. And I can't live with myself unless I say ... Bruno, brother, you are not alone!
*And finally, Andre lumbers his way down the aisle and to the ring*
Andre: Ted DiBiase!!! Randy Savage!!! You make Andre angry. Bruno, you not alone!
Bruno poses in the ring with all of his friends as the crowd go wild. The Elite are nowhere to be seen.
I brought in Kamala on an 8-match loan deal with Watts sending Pedro Morales the other way. Just coming in to work this angle since Bob's been through Sheik and Koloff already.
That's basically it for Bob. You can see where this is going ...
Finally, this just happened.
Jerry Jarrett has declared war on the WWF. While this does affect my ability to bring in Lawler when I need to, the Memphis territory poses no real threat to me.
They are only over in the South East region and have a popularity rating of "F" in the WWF stomping grounds. Conversely WWF only has a rating of E- in and around Memphis, so it's not anything to be too concerned about.
If I'm going to invade anywhere, it'll likely be Mid-South given that I have several workers (Ted, Savage, Tully, Andre, Graham) who are pretty over there. But there's no point thinking about expansion when I'm not even drawing that well in NYC.
Posted 23 February 2015 - 09:50 AM
Heading into the TV tapings, Backlund got into an argument with a fan.
I wanted to fire him on the spot, but members of the locker room rushed to his aid ...
I don't think pissing Vince Sr off is a very good idea, so I just read Backlund the riot act instead. He didn't take it very well.
I'm not sure why relations between me and Backlund have fallen down so much, but good riddance to bad rubbish! Just counting down the days till his contract ends.
Definition of a nothing show.
So this is where I needed finally to deal with the World Title situation after Backlund's kayfabe injury last week. Also keeping the Elite vs. Bruno and friends feud ticking along.
Trying a new opening to the show with Vince and Jesse hyping a match. Got over pretty good. This match needed a bit of explanation too.
Vince: Welcome to Superstars everybody, and this week we have a special announcement from the WWF President Vincent James
Ventura: Nice to see a McMahon with some real class around here, JUNIOR.
Vince: But before that, we have a special grudge match ladies and gentlemen, between two veteran contenders -- and good friends of Bruno Sammartino -- Dominic Denucci and the legendary Killer Kowolski; and two members of The Elite, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, who are calling themselves "The Brainbusters". What's your prediction Jess?
Ventura: It's going to be the experience and knowhow of Kowowlski and Denucci against the technical skills and speed of The
Brainbusters. But I must say I give the edge to Anderson and Blanchard here, McMahon. Killer Kowolski and Dominic Denucci are coming out of retirement for this one, so ring rust is going to be a factor.
From a booking point of view, I knew this match would suck, but it's about transferring whatever name value Denucci and Kowolski have left into getting Arn and Tully over. And doing it on national TV.
And this is why I'm trying to build up Arn and Tully so much, the tag titles are in a hopeless and sorry state. I can't believe how much Atlas and Johnson have sucked. Johnson is destined for JTTS-ville. Atlas can stick around in the IC ranks. At the moment, no option but to keep on picking up these wins as they limp onwards toward Wrestlemania. They can work the Samoans at the next couple of house shows.
Speaking of sorry, Pedro is faltering badly as IC champ. This could be a potential use of Slaughter. Or of Snuka. Ideally you'd want both guys in the World title picture, but no harm in having a healthy secondary title. I'm increasingly thinking a plan might be to have Slaughter win the IC belt at Wrestlemania and feud with Snuka over it till Summerslam.
Finkel: Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the World Wrestling Federation, Mr. Vincent James McMahon has a very special announcement.
Vince Sr: The WWF champion, Mr Bob Backlund, has sustained a serious injury. After several hours spent with the board of directors and in discussion with the New York State Athletic Commission, and afer consulation with seniors and medical professionals ... it is clear that he will not be able to defend the belt within the requisite 30-day period. Therefore, it is with regret and great sadness, that I have to announce that -- in the powers vested in me as WWF President and by the Board of Directors -- I hereby decalre that Bob Backlund will be stripped of the title. The World title is now considered vacant.
*Bob Backlund comes out looking very forlorn and limping badly on crutches. He hands over the title to Vince Sr with tears in his eyes*
Backlund: I just want to say to all of my fans, thank you. I am sorry it ended like this.
Vince Sr: I am personally issuing an invitation to all of the great wrestlers from around the world to take part in a sixteen-man TOURNAMENT to decide the new champion.
This tournament will be held over several weeks here on WWF Superstars. With the grand final to crown the new champion taking place at WRESTLEMANIA!
As Backlund is hobbling back to the locker room, The Elite pounce him. DiBiase holds down his leg. Savage has a chair and smashes Backlund across the knee with it.
Bruno and Andre run out to chase them off. Backlund, yet again, has to leave on a stretcher. Will he ever wrestle again?
Planning to Wrestlemania
Before this show I went a made some talent trades to make this tournament mean something. All these guys on 8-match loan deals (sending various guys the other way):
From Eddie Graham in Florida, I brought in Dusty Rhodes
From Jim Crockett Jr in the Carolinas, I brought in Jack Brisco
From Bob Giegel in Central States, I brought in Hiro Saito
It's a good job I made that deal with Crockett for Brisco when I did because just after the this taping, this happened:
They haven't declared outright war, so the Brisco deal is binding, but I can no longer do any new talent trades with them. Tension seems to be rising in the wrestling landscape. Vince Jr is also forbidding me from making any new alliances.
So anyway, here's what I'm thinking for the tournament. Taking place on TV shows and house shows with the final match to headline Wrestlemania:
At this point, I think Bruno has to walk out of Mania with the title. The only reason there is a question mark is because I don't know if he can still go. He's 47 and this is really pushing it. Going to have to book smart around him.
Since I have Brisco (at this point 41) for 8 appearances, I am going to try out DiBiase vs. Brisco as a headline for 2-3 house shows. See how it does. Might see if I can get them to go 40+ minutes, haven't booked any "workrate" matches at all yet.
Backstage, the agents seem to think that Ted is the company's number 1 heel.
I can also try Ted or Savage vs. Dusty while I've still got him.
So right now the plan is:
- Build Ted strong.
- Bruno over Ted at Mania for the title.
- During the Bruno reign, Bruno doesn't work a full schedule, shows can be headlined either by Ted vs. Dusty / Brisco or Snuka vs. Slaughter.
- Ted over Bruno at Summerslam
- Bruno goes back to retirement
The other parts of the WM card in prospect ...
- Arn and Tully over Soul Patrol for tag titles, desperately trying to get the Brainbusters a bit more over for this win to mean anything.
- Slaughter over Pedro for IC title.
- Savage vs. Andre - since Bruno is likely going to win the title, logic says that Savage goes over here, but jobbing out Andre is not something one can do lightly. Will likely do something very cheap here. Count out. Non-finish. Draw even. Andre has an incredible aura so having him lose risks damaging that.
So there's four matches for the card. To be honest parts of this roster are starting to look really fucking tired. Maybe ...
Pat Patterson vs. Ray Stevens - squeeze the last possible drop out of these two. Patterson is really on his last legs and will have to revert to being a road agent after this. Might not run it, we'll see.
Superstar Graham vs. Jesse Ventura (arm wrestling match) - Graham has the talk show, Ventura is colour commentator on Superstars. Ventura goes on the talk show and says he could do a better job presenting it. Graham says he'd be a much better commentator. Ventura challenges him to an arm contest -- winner gets the other guy's job. Jesse wins and the talk show becomes "The Body Shop". But Graham keeps running in, and they have a rematch at Summerslam in which he wins the slot back.
Snuka vs. Don Muraco - basically Snuka needs a win and Muraco isn't doing anything else. "Just another match".
Oh, and finally, I least I've turned round the financial performance:
Turned -$90k into +$100k. Hopefully I'll have a bit less heat from Vince now.
Posted 23 February 2015 - 01:55 PM
It might be better to have what's left of Patterson and Stevens put over Arn and Tully. This could be a good WrestleMania match and they would fit into the old vs. new motif of the feud. it does delay the tag title win but I think it's better to get them somewhat over on their own before getting the tag belts even if Soul Patrol flounders a bit more in the role. As it is, if you do go ahead with the tag title switch it would be the third change in as many months and all of them being brand new champs.
I love Savage, but 1983 Andre losing to or failing to defeat 1983 Savage seems like a ridiculously hard sell.
If your plan is to have Bruno and Ted be the finalists, I think you are booking yourself into a corner. Bruno can't lose but neither should Ted if you're still building him up. If it were were me I'd have some sort of TLD or DDQ that takes Ted out of the tournament (maybe vs. Dusty or Brisco?) which would set up a WrestleMania match against that opponent with Ted going over. That does leave the question of who faces Bruno in the finals in that scenario. Of course, in the end this is all up to you and how you want to handle it.
Love your plan for Graham and Ventura.
Posted 23 February 2015 - 06:37 PM
Why not throw the strap on Andre if you're hurting for a main guy to carry the standard until you can get Ted over? As it is, he's not even in your tournament and he's the face of the company.
Posted 25 February 2015 - 01:08 PM
I cant lie, I look more forward to this each day for an update than I do weekly RAW information!!
Keep it up Parv...I am strongly considering starting a WCW 2000 game on my own..
Mad props for posting it on here as well with you comings and goings....fantastic stuff....
As for this:
If you put the title on Andre and then have Ted win it with help from the Elite, screwing Andre..man, that could be big business...steal the haircutting angle (hadnt happened yet in 83) so Vince can tell "The Elite is raping Andre of his dignity". Hell, you coudl do that with Bruno or Andre losing the title, but with Andre its got a whole nother level of "WOW, that was shocking"
Savage winning the big title in 83 with such a small build I think is gonna turn fans away as he was a nobody in 83, especially in the NE..
IC Title - I like Sarge taking that title a LOT...
Graham and Ventura is awesome
Tag Titles - Maybe have Tully and Arn get a non title win over the Patrol on TV and see how its recieved...then decide what to do at Mania....
On a side note, I love that you are teaching Backlund to not just walk away when in such a high position or get made to look completely destroyed...good thing for others to see on the roster!
Posted 25 February 2015 - 09:44 PM
These house show numbers are still tanking. I am thinking of running a few dates elsewhere: New England is a key market I need to improve popularity in. But I'm also thinking of making some incursions into other territories. I have no TV in Canada, but by virtue of geographical "spill over", the promotion has a modicum of popularity up there. I am also thinking about running a couple of one-off shows down in Florida while I've got Dusty and Brisco -- nothing stopping me doing the TV taping down there one week (other than Eddie Graham getting monumentally pissed off). The TV contracts for Superstars and Challenge are coming up for renewal in May. One of my key targets for that month is to take them off Syndicated TV and onto this Network:
This, I think, will be an ideal home for the rest of 1983 and a good platform for going national. GCW is KILLING everyone in TV ratings at the moment. Can't compete with TBS. But moving to Tempo should build enough popularity to at least pitch a new show to one of the bigger networks when the time comes.
I mainly used this house show to test Arn, Tully and Savage on the mic. Because of Vince's style of booking, wrestlers are rated more on their overness than on how well they actually do. I actually tried to tweak that a bit -- tone down the comedy a bit, and up the realism -- but Vince blocked me:
Arn, Tully and Savage have still only been in the company a month, so they aren't that over still. But I thought the ratings for their promos were quite promising.
World Title Tournament First Round:
These guys were okay considering Brisco is an outside talent. I was mainly seeing if Brisco could go here, because I want him to work a couple of 30+ minute matches with DiBiase down the line.
Just chucked this in to pop the crowd a bit at the end of the night. And yes, there was a screen at the live show.
As ever, not a lot to say about Challenge.
World Title Tournament First Round:
Slaughter vs. Putski was a first-round match. They seemed to have good chemistry, but it's Putski so there's a limit to how good the match can be.
Mil Mascaras continues to be appalling. I think his match vs. Iron Sheik might be his last for me. Guy has been hopeless.
So attentions naturally turn more to the tournament this week.
Vince: Welcome to another edition of WWF Superstars. And along with me, of course, Jesse "The Body" Venutra.
Jesse: Things are a-happening here in the World Wrestling Federation, McMahon. The brackets for the tournament for the vacant world title has been announced!
Vince: Yes, and why don't we have a look at that graphic right now. Sixteen great competitors from all over the world are taking part. As you can see, two stars have advanced already! Just two nights ago at a live show here in Carnessa Arena, Jack Brisco defeated The Masked Superstar.
Jesse: Well you and I were ringside for that one McMahon and it was a tough and gruelling match. Jack Brisco is a great competitor and he's just one of SEVERAL world-famous wrestling stars to have come here to win that coveted belt.
Vince: And on WWF Challenge, earlier on, Sgt. Slaughter advanced to the quarter-finals at the expense of Ivan Putski.
Jesse: And Slaughter will face Brisco in the next round. I don't know about you, but I can't wait McMahon!! Think of the clash of styles in that encounter. The consummate scientific wrestler Jack Brisco taking on the master of the alley fight, Sgt Slaughter!
Vince: And there's so much more to come. BRUNO SAMMARTINO has officially come out of retirement, as he announced here on Superstars two weeks ago. And as a former champion he has been granted automatic entry into the tournament! He'll be taking on the wily Mr. Saito, a competitor from the Orient!
Jesse: And that's another thing about this tournament McMahon, competitors from every corner of the globe. The winner of Sammartino and Saito, an Italian and a Japanese, faces the winner of Mil Mascaras, one of Mexico's biggest stars, and that man from Iran, The Iron Sheik! Either way, I don't like Sammartino's odds McMahon. He's been out of the game too long at this stage.
Vince: Well that's your opinion Jesse. We have reports that the Living Legend has been training harder than ever and is determined to go all the way in this tournament.
Jesse: But, McMahon, to do that sooner or later he'll have to get through THE ELITE. And they have sent as their representative, of course, Ted DiBiase! Sammartino is coming out of retirement, DiBiase is in the peak of his physical condition. He's in his prime, McMahon. And aside from Jack Brisco might just be the most pure scientific wrestler in this tournament. AND he has something that Brisco doesn't: back up.
Vince: It is true that DiBiase looks to be a force to be reckoned with. But look at who he is facing: another former champion, and the host of Superstar's Supershow, Billy Graham! One of the strongest stars here in the WWF. And don't forget that Superstar is still very angry about what he did to the very first WWF Champion, Buddy Rogers!
Jesse: I've heard on the grapevine that Rogers is going to be in Graham's corner for the match. But I don't like his odds against The Elite. Graham isn't facing one man, but four.
Vince: The American Dream, DUSTY RHODES is on his way from Florida to take on the Ugandan Giant, Kamala. Rhodes no stranger to success, of course, but he will have his hands full with Kamala that's for sure.
Jesse: I don't like Stardust's odds, McMahon.
Vince: Well, Jesse, right now TONIGHT we have TWO more matches from this exciting tournament. First up, it's Superfly Jimmy Snuka taking on The Crippler, Ray Stevens.
Jesse: I'm not his biggest fan, but I have to give Snuka the edge on that one, McMahon.
Vince: And later on, ANOTHER former champion, Ivan Koloff is taking on Bruno's friend till the end, Dominic Denucci.
Jesse: Hey McMahon, how come the Italians get TWO entrants into the tournament when the Russians, the Japanese, the Ugandans, and the Fijians all only get one? I tell ya it's a CONSPIRACY McMahon. It's like DiBiase says, Sammartino always gets preferential treatment. Having his stooges in the tournament.
Vince: Now knock it off Jesse! Koloff as a former champion has an automatic entry. The only former champion who doesn't is Pedro Morales, because he's the current holder of the Intercontinental title. The other entrants are all the top-ranked contenders from around the world. It is all decided on merit not on race!
World Title Tournament First Round:
The story here is that, as per Ventura's claim, The Elite think that Denucci was a plant in the tournament to try to watch out for Bruno's interests on "that side of the draw". Just a little angle to keep the secondary players in that storyline ticking along. Backstage, Denucci has been moaning that he doesn't want to wrestle anymore and wants to go back to being a road agent. Soon Dominic, soon ...
Naturally, Bruno out to make the save to pop the crowd.
World Title Tournament First Round:
Stevens can still go if it's less than 8 minutes. Snuka advances to the next round.
Miss Elizabeth distracts Andre at ringside which allows Randy Savage time to get on the top rope and nail him with a double ax-handle, which also instantly disqualifies Big John Studd who had already been beaten badly by Andre.
But Andre recovers and chases after Savage, who slides out of the ring. Andre lunges forwards and Savage throws Miss Elizabeth at the giant as a human shield before running back down the aisle. In his anger, Andre unwittingly knocks Miss Elizabeth flying. He can't believe what has happened and looks distraught.
Andre's match with Big John Studd got a tremendous reaction. Andre's overness is ridiculous. Main reason I'm keeping him out of the title picture is that he basically doesn't need the title. He can headline without it. And, if and when Ted does get the strap, he's an automatic opponent for him. There's another reason too though: he keeps getting loaned out by the office to different places. This seems to be Vince Sr's doing and it is largely out of my control, but it does mean -- just as he was in real life -- Andre away a lot and therefore can't work a full schedule like the champ would. Then again, Bruno can't either. They are both "special attractions".
I worry that the tournament may have taken some of the fizz out of the Bruno vs. Ted / Elite feud. But since Bruno and Ted have matches coming up there is good scope for some confrontation. But Bruno's first match back will be a big deal in itself. And Ted is facing Billy Graham who will have Buddy Rogers at ringside as a second / manager. He can get a payback spot in by nailing Ted, but ultimately Ted goes over (cheap, a count out or something -- can't have Graham pinned!)
The Andre vs. Savage sub-angle will also hopefully get Liz over. Savage can dine out on Andre accidentally knocking her over, while it's clear to everyone else that Savage pushed her. Everyone is right that there's no way Savage can go over Andre or win the world title yet. But he'll also gain popularity faster than most because, well, because he's Randy Savage. I reckon he could be a legit star by the end of the year.
Posted 28 February 2015 - 08:36 PM
Gave Savage a long match with Eddie Gilbert and have started tagging Arn and Tully some more.
Iron Sheik vs. Mil Mascaras was a first-round tournament match.
This whole show was built around starting the Billy Graham vs. Jesse Ventura feud while paying off the brutal attack on Buddy Rogers from a few weeks ago.
Graham: Well tonight bruthas! I've got a match myself. I'm going into the tournament for the greatest of them all, the World Wrestling Federation title! A title that once belonged around my wasit. My guest tonight is the co-host WWF Superstars, Jesse "The Body" Ventura! How are you doing Jesse, you've just come down from the booth.
Jesse: Good evening Billy Graham. I just want to say one thing before I start: there are few men who have been more influential to my career than this man right here. I probably wouldn't be a wrestler today if it wasn't for you, sir, and I mean that sincerely.
Graham: God bless you, brother, god bless. How have you found being a commentator with Vince McMahon these past few weeks?
Jesse: I can't say the same thing about McMahon as I can for you Superstar. He's a real piece of work y'know. I do my best to keep him on the straight and narrow, but a more biased announcer I have not heard.
Graham: Do you miss having matches?
Jesse: Well now, I am not wrestling as much as I used to, but I am a long way from being retired. I just have no need to step into the ring. I don't need the money. I can get paid to use my brains and my mouth. I was always probably the best talker in this business.
Graham: The BEST, Jesse?
Jesse: Well if you don't mind me saying Superstar, you were like a pioneer, and I took from you, but I developed it and made it ... better y'know. I'm an evolution. I mean since I came in, you copied all my clothes. Each generation is better than the last. You might be the raw materials, but I'm the innovator! To tell you the truth, I could probably present this show better than you could.
Graham: Now wait just a minute Ventura! You're coming here on MY show and saying you could do a better job?
*Both men stand up, Jesse points a finger in Graham's chest as he's talking.*
Jesse: You know Superstar! Sometimes they say you should never meet your heroes because seeing them in the flesh is a disappointment. And seeing you here, you're ... pathetic! Do you think you stand a chance against Ted DiBiase tonight? You stand no chance because you're a HAS BEEN. You're yesterday's news and that's where I should have kept you: yesterday, in my memory. In my good memories of the man I saw I growing up. Not, not THIS.
*Graham is reeling from the string of insults*.
Graham: Well now I've heard it all! Don't think for a SECOND you can speak to me in that way. You're NOTHING Ventura. You're a fake. You're a two-bit knock-off. All your career you've been copying me. All your career you wished you could be Billy Graham, and guess what. You're NOT. There's only ONE Superstar Billy Graham BROTHER, and he's standing right here! "Best in the business" you say? You're going to make me laugh now. When you was working in some high school gym I was selling out Madison Square Garden! When you was in the mirror putting that bandana on your head and wearin' that tie-die and pretendin' to be ME, I was winning the WORLD TITLE! You understand me you punk?!
*Graham goes to hit Jesse. Buddy Rogers comes in to break them up.*
Rogers: Come on now Billy boy, you got a match tonight. You need to concentrate.
Jesse: That's right! "Billy boy"! You need to win that match so you don't end up like HIM!
*Rogers himself gets angered at this and both he and Graham attack Jesse to a loud pop from the crowd*
Disappointing match really. Would have hoped for a higher rating than this. Tried to keep it short to protect Graham, and obviously not having him pinned. This booking might seem like it makes Ted look weak but the Rogers sub-story needed a pay back spot and this was it.
Jesse Ventura has left the booth and gone down to ringside while the match is still going on. DiBiase tries to grab Buddy Rogers who is standing at ringside. Rogers gets up on the apron. DiBiase tries to punch him as Graham clobbers DiBiase in the back. Ventura goes over to remonstrate with Rogers. Graham is distracted and DiBiase tries to roll him up. TWO only. DiBiase goes into his tights for a pair of brass knucks but Rogers spots him doing it and gets into the ring. Startled DiBiase drops the knucks. Meanwhile Graham and the ref are distracted by Ventura. Rogers puts on the knucks and lays out DiBiase who is left in the bloody mess in the middle of the ring. Unfortunately, the ref turns around just as he does it for an instant DQ.
In backstage news, Billy Graham was absolutely furious at the booking of the DiBiase match. He didn't want to take the loss, even by DQ.
Backlund is history.
Posted 28 February 2015 - 09:38 PM
Pretty nothing week here, just getting through more of the first round tournament matches. Although Bruno made his long-awaited return.
Not a lot to say here. Dusty and Kamala did well considering they are outside talents who haven't been in New York for a while. I've jobbed out Kamala pretty hard here.
The problem is that these shows are gaining my popularity in all the other regions of the US, but losing fans in the core North East market. There's not a lot to be done about that at the moment because I am short on stars who are really over in the area and I can't exactly book Bruno vs. Bruno.
Mr. (Hiro) Saito was probably the wrong opponent for Bruno's big return. Tell you the truth I thought I was getting in Masa Saito and only realised it was the wrong one after it was too late. Anyway, at least that's the first round over.
Wrestlemania is two weeks away. And there are SIX tournament matches to get on four TV shows.
New England Live Show:
I've decided to run some extra dates in Boston because that's one secondary market in which I need to increase in popularity. Very close to achieving "cult" status for the company, and it's New England going up more that will do that. Once I have "cult" status, the TV networks will start talking to me, as well as the PPV carriers. I might even see if I can push Wrestlemania back a couple of weeks to see if I can secure some PPV or close circuit income for it.
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