We continue my Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration with the knowledge that it’s not exactly a great time to be celebrating anything. In one of my most awkward segues of all time, which is saying something, 1992 wasn’t a big year for celebration in the wrestling business.
The WWF was in the news for all the wrong reasons. Sex scandals. Drug scandals. The popularity of the company took a big hit, one that took several years to recover from. One amazing thing about it is that as a young fan, I was completely oblivious to all of it. Pro wrestling was all over the news & tabloid shows, and somehow I managed to avoid it. I was deeply embedded in what was going on inside of the ring, not outside of it.
To me, 1992 was a pretty fun year! Looking back, I still get a good deal of enjoyment out of it. Ric Flair’s Royal Rumble win doesn’t make the list because I didn’t see it. It wasn’t until years later that I saw it, and realized it was my favorite match of all time. I also had the chance to expand my fandom into promotions I’d never heard of before, and discovered something at the grocery store that would become an addiction for several years.
No, not Brownie Bites. I think those came along later.
Anywho, here are my top 5 Wrestling Memories from 1992.
5. Ultimate Warrior is Cursed by Papa Shango
We’ve all heard the question “When did you figure out that wrestling was fake?”. I hate to use the word “fake” because we all know the very real consequences of what wrestlers do in the ring. But that’s the question people ask, and I’ve never had the patience to correct them on it. The sooner one of these conversations ends, the better, so I just tell them “When I saw Papa Shango place a curse on the Ultimate Warrior, and it worked”.
I could believe Warrior being locked in a casket by Undertaker. I could believe a lot of things that the WWF presented during this time period, which in hindsight look completely ridiculous. Papa Shango’s curse? Warrior oozing black liquid out of his head? Warrior randomly going into convulsions after a match and vomiting on a medical attendant on the May 16th episode of Superstars? Not to mention all this other stuff with Shango setting peoples’ boots on fire after matches, or Mean Gene Okerlund having his own black liquid incident, or anything else Papa Shango did during his run.
Don’t get me wrong. The character had an awesome look. Charles Wright seems like one of the coolest people to ever set foot in a wrestling ring. But I was eight years old and even I wasn’t buying into all of these voodoo shenanigans. They are pretty funny to watch now, though.
4. Nailz Assaults Big Boss Man
On the opposite end of the spectrum was the vicious attack Nailz committed on the Big Boss Man. This thing looked legit as all get-out. A mysterious voice had appeared on previous editions of Superstars talking about how Boss Man had mistreated him in the Cobb County prison, but he was out now and looking for revenge. Boy did he get it! Nailz beat the living crap out of Boss Man on the May 30th episode of Superstars in one of the biggest beat downs I’d seen at the time.
It still holds up pretty well. Though, to be honest, when I was re-watching it on WWE Network awhile back, I couldn’t help but think that maybe the Boss Man had it coming. Dude was a babyface, but he’d still slap around people after beating them, put handcuffs on them if he was in a mood, all for the sin of being booked to wrestle against the Big Boss Man. Who’s to say he didn’t abuse Nailz unfairly in prison? I think Mr. Perfect was onto something in his description of the incident.
3. Renting SummerSlam 1992
Any of you in my general age group will surely have stories about how you would rent wrestling tapes at a video store. Mine was a Blockbuster next to the grocery store. Once my parents got their Blockbuster card, the world was my oyster. Video games & wrestling shows were mine to be had for three days, and I made as much usage out of those three days as possible.
My store had a WWF-heavy selection, which makes sense because I don’t think most other companies figured out video distribution until the DVD age. This was how I got to see most of the early WrestleManias, Summer Slams, Royal Rumble & Survior Series. Sure, it would have been nice to see them live, but renting them was good enough for me. SummerSlam 1992 was the first show I remember watching pretty close to when it happened.
2. Clash of the Champions XX
I mentioned in the previous two columns that I had yet to be introduced to other wrestling promotions & watched the WWF exclusively. That changed in 1992. First, my local TV station started airing WCW Worldwide at 12 PM after Superstars & Wrestling Challenge. That was usually a busy time of the day for me, as I was still either playing baseball or being drug out of the house to go somewhere. My interest was piqued a bit more by what we’ll talk about at #1, and once I found out that Jake “The Snake” Roberts & “Ravishing” Rick Rude had gone to WCW, I was ready to jump on the bandwagon.
I just missed the peak of the Dangerous Alliance, as the first show I really remember watching was Clash of the Champions XX. They did a really good job of presenting themselves as the tradition of pro wrestling, with all sorts of guest appearances, some old clips and some pretty solid matches too. Once I figured out WCW had multiple shows on TBS, that changed my TV viewing schedule. WCW wouldn’t reach its peak until a few years later, but I grew to love their more wrestling-centric presentation.
1. Discovering wrestling magazines
As much as I loved renting wrestling tapes, I’ve always been a reader at heart. I’m not talking the kind of stuff I do either. I’m talking hardcover. Pages with ink on them. Maybe a paperback if I’m in the mood. Give me some good books and I can survive this whole coronavirus thing pretty easily.
Give me some magazines. Come to think of it, I’ve got boxes & boxes of old wrestling magazines somewhere. It was in the fall of 1992 when I was at my grocery store and happened upon the magazine section. The first types of magazines I noticed? Wrestling, of course. Including that WCW Magazine with Big Van Vader on the cover. I’d never seen Vader before, and he looked so cool towering over those smaller guys. So naturally I made my mom buy it for me, and that was how I learned about WCW.
WWF Magazine was a big one too, of course. I subscribed to that one for years. I’d eventually discover all the Apter mags. Pro Wrestling Illustrated was the biggie, then you had The Wrestler, Inside Wrestling and some other ones that were hit or miss depending on the subjects. I remember Wrestling’s Main Event having tons of information about stuff I’d never heard of, but I only caught the tail end of their run. Wrestling magazines were among the height of my childhood, and it makes me sad that they’re almost extinct now. Pretty sure PWI is still hanging in there but I haven’t seen a wrestling magazine in a store for ages.
It’s a dying medium. But I wish I had my own monthly column in a magazine starting on page 18 and with the ending on page 65.
Thanks for reading and looking back with me to the good ol’ days! Join us next week as we look back at 1993…
AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.
With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.
1. Johnny Gargano
Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?
WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.
2. James Storm
This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.
Watch your Money and your Alcohol.
Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”
3. Big Cass
Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.
Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.
4. Bronson Reed
The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.
Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?
5. Bray Wyatt
And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.
To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.
– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!
King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy
As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI. Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.
Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.
I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”
Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match
Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!
Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect
On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.
Swanton Bomb From The Heavens
When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.
Hardy Wins The WWE Championship
In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.
Straight Edge Problems For Hardy
The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.
The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE
Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.
Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut
From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.
This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.
As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.
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