A look at the hobby in the 90s

Discuss general topics dealing with the hobby.
User avatar
AJLe
Marked Out Master
Posts: 1389
Joined: March 22nd, 2014, 4:52 pm

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by AJLe » April 25th, 2019, 10:39 am

Regarding Little Richard: In the Bruce Prichard podcast, he said that Little Richard was always scheduled to be in and out after his performance, and there was no heat for not signing autographs, since everybody knew he was scheduled to leave right after performing. Prichard speculates that Meltzer is confusing that story with Jenny Garth, who Prichard says DID flat-out refuse to meet with any of the guys or sign any autographs for the talent. Prichard says that Bret Hart especially was disappointed, since he had stuff for her to sign for his kids, and was denied.

And if I could have paid $500 to get front row seats to a show with guaranteed combos with Hogan and Muhammed Ali included, I would have paid that in a second!


ICW
Marked Out Master
Posts: 1624
Joined: August 5th, 2015, 9:38 pm
Contact:

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by ICW » April 25th, 2019, 11:02 am

AJLe wrote:
April 25th, 2019, 10:39 am
Regarding Little Richard: In the Bruce Prichard podcast, he said that Little Richard was always scheduled to be in and out after his performance, and there was no heat for not signing autographs, since everybody knew he was scheduled to leave right after performing. Prichard speculates that Meltzer is confusing that story with Jenny Garth, who Prichard says DID flat-out refuse to meet with any of the guys or sign any autographs for the talent. Prichard says that Bret Hart especially was disappointed, since he had stuff for her to sign for his kids, and was denied.

And if I could have paid $500 to get front row seats to a show with guaranteed combos with Hogan and Muhammed Ali included, I would have paid that in a second!
That's fascinating. She sounds like a big jerk.

And $500 in 1994 would be $857.63 in 2019 (according to an inflation calculator). That's a hefty price but, man, what an opportunity. I wonder if this actually happened or if WCW pulled a fast one (as they seemed to do often).
Feel free to visit my blog concerning wrestling conventions, signings, and meet & greets!
https://squaredcirclecons.com/

Anthony18
Full Fledged Mark
Posts: 143
Joined: July 17th, 2017, 10:36 am

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by Anthony18 » April 25th, 2019, 11:11 am

Can't wait until you get to the late 90s. I understand those were the good old days of signings. Heck even my story about the store in Cliffside Park illustrates that point.

User avatar
WOODMO
Site Admin
Posts: 7315
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 12:46 pm
Location: Long Island, New York

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by WOODMO » April 25th, 2019, 11:16 am

I’m loving this thread

ICW
Marked Out Master
Posts: 1624
Joined: August 5th, 2015, 9:38 pm
Contact:

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by ICW » April 25th, 2019, 12:51 pm

Anthony18 wrote:
April 25th, 2019, 11:11 am
Can't wait until you get to the late 90s. I understand those were the good old days of signings. Heck even my story about the store in Cliffside Park illustrates that point.
I have a couple of late 90s stuff written up already and I came across one NJ convention that featured Austin (among many other names) for $20 a combo
WOODMO wrote:
April 25th, 2019, 11:16 am
I’m loving this thread
Thanks, man! I'm actually thinking of doing a deeper dive into the history of wrestling cons but who knows if that will ever happen haha
Feel free to visit my blog concerning wrestling conventions, signings, and meet & greets!
https://squaredcirclecons.com/


User avatar
Greg2600
Moderator
Posts: 5117
Joined: November 13th, 2012, 9:00 pm
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by Greg2600 » April 25th, 2019, 1:35 pm

Honestly, if one were to scour old mags you'd probably find a lot of these including pics. I don't have the time for it though!
The Paunch Stevenson Show pop culture podcast : http://www.paunchstevenson.com

User avatar
Jason1980s
Marked Out Pro
Posts: 383
Joined: May 6th, 2012, 6:31 pm

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by Jason1980s » April 25th, 2019, 3:03 pm

Jim Ross was fan friendly for years. When he wrote the Ross Report for WCW magazine he even included the WCW mailing address for fans to send the WCW brand trading cards for him to sign. I would love seeing a questionnaire written in response to questions a fan asked.
Book WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Valiant for your event!!
PM me!

http://www.jimmyvaliant.weebly.com/

Meet WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Valiant ANY Sunday 12 noon to 4 PM at Boogie's Wrestling Camp located at
2916 Alleghany Springs Road in Shawsville Virginia. Free of charge!

"I'll never forget what the WWE took away from me. I also want to say I'll never forget all the great things they gave to me"-Bret Hart

ICW
Marked Out Master
Posts: 1624
Joined: August 5th, 2015, 9:38 pm
Contact:

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by ICW » April 25th, 2019, 4:16 pm

There were plans for an original Horsemen reunion in May 99 but don't know if it happened. How often has that happened?
Feel free to visit my blog concerning wrestling conventions, signings, and meet & greets!
https://squaredcirclecons.com/

User avatar
Whole F'N Gigantor
Full Fledged Mark
Posts: 137
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 3:01 pm

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by Whole F'N Gigantor » April 25th, 2019, 6:57 pm

I remember in November of 1996, there was a local signing in DCthat advertised Ax, Virgil, most likely Tito Santanna and others. At age 13, I was absolutely blown away by that. I even remember it advertising Ax would bring his original, ring used title for photos. I wish I still had the advertisement. It was pretty random.

User avatar
class316
Marked Out Historian
Posts: 6416
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 1:49 pm

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by class316 » April 25th, 2019, 8:24 pm

ICW wrote:
April 25th, 2019, 10:29 am

Kevin Sullivan and promoter Joe Lake, who took a hefty loss at his last show, agreed upon a $2,000 talent fee for himself and valet Woman to work two weekend shows and received $500 up front. As it turned out, the only other cash Sullivan and his second saw was from Woman's autographed photo sales prior to the Taylor card.
Woman raking in the dough. She appeared fairly often at these early conventions and I can't help but wonder if she would've done the rounds at Big Event or LOTR if she wasn't murdered.
Former board member Lucas has a Benoit/Woman dual shot.

Wrestlemania X opened with a Little Richard (the 50s icon, not the former Roller Derby skater) lip-synch rendition of "America the Beautiful" complete with entourage by the Stamford, CT Baptist Church, which came off well on PPV but didn't go over at all in the building. Reportedly after the show there was heat in that Richard got out of the building after doing his thing and wouldn't sign autographs for the guys backstage

WWF's Fan Fest was largely a financial success, as all seven sessions drew a sellout 2,200 fans at $22 a pop. Reports we received were that the only negative were there were far too many fans crammed in for the two-and-a-half hour sessions and the lines for autographs for the superstars was more than 30 minutes a pop in some cases and other lines were lengthy as well for climbing into the ring, calling matches and getting photos taken at the Face-to-face set. The wrestlers and Vince McMahon were said to be very gracious to the fans once they got to meet them. Secondary characters were available for autographs with little or no wait. The WWF was seemingly aware of the problems, so upon leaving, the WWF gave each fan a free pass good for a future WWF event. As mentioned on television, the WWF is planning on including Fan Festivals annually as part of Wrestlemania weekends and perhaps other PPV shows as well. With the upcoming trial, the company is going out of its way to present a positive image to offset what will almost certainly be negative publicity in about six weeks.

Little Richard denying talent of autographs is unbelievable. I'm actually surprised that he's still alive. Anyone have any stories about meeting him?

It sounds like fans were complaining decades ago about how WWE ran its autograph lines. It's pretty amazing that Vince participated in Axxess and that they handed out free passes to a future WWF event as a makeup for how long the lines were. Dave mentions that WWE plans on running these fan fests annually
Interesting. I guess back then the customer was right? Today the WWE would not care if fans didn't get combos.
Did Mad Dog do signings often?
I actually got Mad Dog in NJ at K&S Summer Sizzler in 2009

WCW is charging a crazy $500 for front row seats at a Detroit house show but photo ops with Hulk Hogan and Muhammad Ali are guaranteed. They're also guaranteeing that they'll sign the photo afterward with proceeds going to Ali's charity. Dave reports that, as of the previous week, only three tickets were sold.
That's amazing. Today if Ali were alive no way any front row seat plus combos with both would go for under 1K. Though as you said I wonder if WCW flaked on it.

Dave notes that Tommy Fierro is promoting an autograph show in Cherry Hill, NJ in conjunction with Dennis Coraluzzo's NWA tournament on 11/19. The names scheduled to appear? Jerry Lawler, Jim Cornette, Rock & Roll Express, Ludvig Borga, Johnny Polo, Dirty White Boy, Tracy Smothers, The Gangstas, Chris Candido, Tammy Fytch, Johnny Gunn and Al Snow.
Wow a rare Borga signing. Shame he did nothing before he died. I guess his flight from Finland was a deterrent for promoters. It wasn't cheap but not that expensive either. Around 1K. I think he would have made some money. Somewhat shocked he never even got a Jakks CS figure.

Update: on the topic of Borga, how he looked like a year before he died

Image
Follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/celebmeets

ICW
Marked Out Master
Posts: 1624
Joined: August 5th, 2015, 9:38 pm
Contact:

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by ICW » April 26th, 2019, 11:08 am

1995!

---
2/6/95
It's time for the NATPE convention! The National Association of Television Program Executives Market and conference to be very specific. We're about to enter the beginning of the Monday Night War as the competition between WCW and WWF heats up. The WWF flew in Vince, Diesel, Undertaker, and Jim Ross to the convention but they didn't make much of a good impression. Diesel was in full gimmick and turning heads for all the wrong reasons as no one knew who he was. WCW outdrew the WWF at their booth as they brought in Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage; specifically, the line to meet the WWF talent was nonexistent. JR, the Bushwhackers, Mr. Fuji, and some other WWF guys drew no crows the Thursday of the convention.

Another pro wrestling company was present at the NATPE convention - but it wasn't ECW! No, it was Chicago's AWF (American Wrestling Federation) who brought in the likes of Sgt. Slaughter, Chris Adams, Greg Valentine, Johnny Gunn, and Bob Orton.

New Jack was arrested. A police officer took his mugshot...except it wasn't his mugshot. The officer took New Jack's photo and asked him to sign!
Imagine Vince McMahon, Kevin Nash, and the Undertaker being available for combos and nobody bites? If only that happened today.

---

3/6/95
Tommy Fierro is hosting another wrestling convention in Cedar Grove, NJ. The names scheduled to appear were Jimmy Snuka, Wendi Richer, Dory Funk, Iron Sheik, Johnny Valiant, Ox Baker, Jake Roberts, Johnny Polo, and Luna Vachaon.

The WWF was once again embarrassed by WCW as Savage and Hogan drew a significantly bigger crowd than Diesel and Bret Hart at that year's Toyfair
Pretty insane how accessible Savage and Hogan were, eh?

---
6/12/95
WCW held its Slamboree event and a reader sent a report. He and his friends paid $100 for second row seats and WCW's infamous "after party" with Hogan, Savage, Sting, Vader, and Flair advertised for the event. 10:00 PM rolls around and it's time to party. Terry Funk showed up followed by Dusty Rhodes, Harlem Heat, Craig Pittman, Bobby Heenan, Dick Murdoch, Sherri, the Giant, Ric Flair, Terry Taylor, Great Muta, Mr. Saito, Road Warrior Hawk; of course, Hogan/Sting/Savage where no-shows as were the Nasty Boys and Renegade. The fan reports that most people left happy, though, and specifically names Sherri, Harlem Heat, Funk, and Hawk were all great to meet.
Man, imagine getting to pay $100 for second row seats to a PPV then getting to meet that roster after the show? I know it would suck missing out on Hogan, Savage, and Sting but man...what a lineup

---

6/19/95
All Japan Women asked Akira Hokuto to sign autographs at the box office, which sounded very successful.
---

7/3/95
Tommy Fierro is doing yet another convention (so one in April and now one in August) with Typhoon, Jimmy Snuka, Oscar and Brutus Beefcake appearing.
---

7/10/95
Hilarious story out of Tennessee. So this local Indie named All-Pro Wrestling advertised WCW's Big Bubba Rogers for their upcoming show and, sure enough, Big Bubba Rogers shows up and signs autographs before the show. The show begins and Big Bubba is looking awful in the ring. The wrestlers decide to confront him and asked him to provide proof that he was Ray Traylor. The guy ends up fleeing the building but the police manage to track him down and force him to go back to the venue. The ring announcer tells the two wrestlers to wrap up their match so the fake Big Bubba could apologize to the audience.


---

7/31/95
Alexis Smirnoff was given some positive press for refusing to charge for autographs at a local show in CA. The publication mentioned that Pete Rose, Darryl Strawberry, Willie McCovey, and Duke Snyder all charged for combos.
----

9/18/95
Dave advertised the Cauliflower Alley convention for later in the month at the Holiday Inn Jetport in Newark. This line featured Feddy Blassie, Lou Albano, Ricky Steamboat, Lou Thez, Johny Rodz, Red Bastien, Chuck Wepner, and Pat Patterson
---

10/16/95
Dave reports that WWF has decided to cut Axxess for the year as a cost-cutting measure. They are doing autograph sessions at Disneyland, though.
Man, I'd love to read about how that went
Feel free to visit my blog concerning wrestling conventions, signings, and meet & greets!
https://squaredcirclecons.com/

User avatar
class316
Marked Out Historian
Posts: 6416
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 1:49 pm

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by class316 » April 26th, 2019, 11:23 am

It's time for the NATPE convention! The National Association of Television Program Executives Market and conference to be very specific. We're about to enter the beginning of the Monday Night War as the competition between WCW and WWF heats up. The WWF flew in Vince, Diesel, Undertaker, and Jim Ross to the convention but they didn't make much of a good impression. Diesel was in full gimmick and turning heads for all the wrong reasons as no one knew who he was. WCW outdrew the WWF at their booth as they brought in Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage; specifically, the line to meet the WWF talent was nonexistent. JR, the Bushwhackers, Mr. Fuji, and some other WWF guys drew no crows the Thursday of the convention.

Another pro wrestling company was present at the NATPE convention - but it wasn't ECW! No, it was Chicago's AWF (American Wrestling Federation) who brought in the likes of Sgt. Slaughter, Chris Adams, Greg Valentine, Johnny Gunn, and Bob Orton.

New Jack was arrested. A police officer took his mugshot...except it wasn't his mugshot. The officer took New Jack's photo and asked him to sign!

Imagine Vince McMahon, Kevin Nash, and the Undertaker being available for combos and nobody bites? If only that happened today.

---
How ironic that Nash would end up going to WCW after this. Although this sounds like it was some private corporate thing not a public thing available to fans. And wow Chris Adams. How we would all kill for a fully suited Diesel and no one at that place cared!
Tommy Fierro is hosting another wrestling convention in Cedar Grove, NJ. The names scheduled to appear were Jimmy Snuka, Wendi Richer, Dory Funk, Iron Sheik, Johnny Valiant, Ox Baker, Jake Roberts, Johnny Polo, and Luna Vachaon.

The WWF was once again embarrassed by WCW as Savage and Hogan drew a significantly bigger crowd than Diesel and Bret Hart at that year's Toyfair
Pretty insane how accessible Savage and Hogan were, eh?
Again though Toyfair not open to the public.
WCW held its Slamboree event and a reader sent a report. He and his friends paid $100 for second row seats and WCW's infamous "after party" with Hogan, Savage, Sting, Vader, and Flair advertised for the event. 10:00 PM rolls around and it's time to party. Terry Funk showed up followed by Dusty Rhodes, Harlem Heat, Craig Pittman, Bobby Heenan, Dick Murdoch, Sherri, the Giant, Ric Flair, Terry Taylor, Great Muta, Mr. Saito, Road Warrior Hawk; of course, Hogan/Sting/Savage where no-shows as were the Nasty Boys and Renegade. The fan reports that most people left happy, though, and specifically names Sherri, Harlem Heat, Funk, and Hawk were all great to meet.
Man, imagine getting to pay $100 for second row seats to a PPV then getting to meet that roster after the show? I know it would suck missing out on Hogan, Savage, and Sting but man...what a lineup
:jawdrop:

We truly missed the golden age. You're lucky to just meet Big Show for $100 in this day and age.

Dave advertised the Cauliflower Alley convention for later in the month at the Holiday Inn Jetport in Newark. This line featured Feddy Blassie, Lou Albano, Ricky Steamboat, Lou Thez, Johny Rodz, Red Bastien, Chuck Wepner, and Pat Patterson

Wow Fred Blassie, Lou Thez.
Last edited by class316 on April 26th, 2019, 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/celebmeets

User avatar
AJLe
Marked Out Master
Posts: 1389
Joined: March 22nd, 2014, 4:52 pm

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by AJLe » April 26th, 2019, 11:30 am

LMAO at the fake Big Bubba Rogers - I've seen plenty of fakes at indy shows, but usually it's people faking a name wrestler who wore a mask or facepaint (Patriot, Doink, Masked Superstar, etc.) How did this guy think he'd get away with faking an unmasked wrestler who'd been on national TV for 10 years straight at that point?

Another question is, how did the actual wrestlers on the show let him get all the way to the ring for a match before figuring out he was a fake? I'm guessing that the promotion and wrestlers knew the whole time that he was an obvious fake, but looked the other way to sell tickets. But then the guy was probably so bad in the ring that nobody in the crowd was buying it, and they were forced to publicly "figure out" that it wasn't the real Big Bubba. Gotta love carny indy promoters, lol.

Anthony18
Full Fledged Mark
Posts: 143
Joined: July 17th, 2017, 10:36 am

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by Anthony18 » April 26th, 2019, 1:16 pm

I wonder if it was the same guy that won a contest in wcw for looking exactly like Big Bubba Rogers?

User avatar
Jason1980s
Marked Out Pro
Posts: 383
Joined: May 6th, 2012, 6:31 pm

Re: A look at the hobby in the 90s

Post by Jason1980s » April 26th, 2019, 6:18 pm

AJLe wrote:
April 26th, 2019, 11:30 am
Another question is, how did the actual wrestlers on the show let him get all the way to the ring for a match before figuring out he was a fake? I'm guessing that the promotion and wrestlers knew the whole time that he was an obvious fake, but looked the other way to sell tickets. But then the guy was probably so bad in the ring that nobody in the crowd was buying it, and they were forced to publicly "figure out" that it wasn't the real Big Bubba. Gotta love carny indy promoters, lol.
That is likely the way it happened. Indy shows can definitely be purposely deceptive but make it out like they were the ones being scammed by the independent contractor wrestler.

Remember the horrid "One Warrior Nation" guy who was an obvious fake Ultimate Warrior using his OWN saying as his ring name. I think he even had the Ultimate Warrior full body tattoo on his upper arm like the real Warrior had. He looks like if ECW Zombie channeled the Warrior.
Book WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Valiant for your event!!
PM me!

http://www.jimmyvaliant.weebly.com/

Meet WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Valiant ANY Sunday 12 noon to 4 PM at Boogie's Wrestling Camp located at
2916 Alleghany Springs Road in Shawsville Virginia. Free of charge!

"I'll never forget what the WWE took away from me. I also want to say I'll never forget all the great things they gave to me"-Bret Hart


Post Reply