Wrestling Observer Rewind - 1-28-1991

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This is an annotated version of the Original post on /r/squaredcircle from daprice82. We also offer a handy printable version.

  • The issue starts out with a long (nearly full page) extended joke about a "research study" showing Vince McMahon likes balding wrestlers. It's basically a Kayfabe News article from 25 years ago. Meltz was apparently feeling pretty cheeky this week I guess. At the end of it, Dave explains that this issue is going to be a little bit of a lighthearted affair because war has indeed broken out in the Middle East and he knows some readers may have friends or family over there and he just wants to maybe give people a laugh or two since everything else happening in the world is anything but funny. Well that's nice.
  • Dave calls the Royal Rumble the best WWF PPV event ever, cand alling the Rockers vs. Orient Express match the best match since Steamboat/Savage at WM3 and specifically saying that Shawn Michaels (all the way back in 1991) is one of the best wrestlers in the business right now. The Rumble match itself, however, he says is the worst so far of the 4 that have happened.
WATCH: The Rockers vs. The Orient Express (WWE Network)
WATCH: The Rockers vs. The Orient Express (Dailymotion)
  • As of this issue, the Gulf War has just broken out and America is at war. Lots of debate on whether the Sgt. Slaughter character crosses the line, with Meltzer reporting that some high-ranking front office people are even considering quitting because Vince refuses to change plans with Slaughter. When it became apparent that Middle East tensions were actually going to turn into a real war, almost everyone expected Vince to back off his plan to have Slaughter and Hogan headline Wrestlemania. But instead, Slaughter captured the world title from Warrior at the Rumble and Vince has dug his heels in, despite backlash from nearly everyone in the wrestling business.
  • In even more distasteful news, the WWF was negotiating to send Hulk Hogan to Saudi Arabia with the USO to visit the troops but was turned down. Instead, Hogan will spend the next few weeks visiting military families and vowing to bring the title back from Saddam's chosen one, Sgt. Slaughter. Dave says that this is exploiting the deaths of possibly thousands of people, simply for a wrestling angle, and he is aghast at Vince's tastelessness and with Hogan and Slaughter for going along with it. This will turn into a much bigger story very soon...
  • Speaking of Iraq, Antonio Inoki (who is now involved in politics) recently negotiated the release of Japanese hostages in Iraq. In the past six weeks, 4 different books about Inoki have been published in Japan. I had to google this and sure enough, Inoki traveled to Iraq and got Saddam Hussein to release 41 Japanese hostages. Holy shit!
  • Art Barr was in Atlanta this week trying to get WCW to hire him back. He was hired last year and portrayed "The Juicer" but was released soon after when details of his sexual assault conviction reached WCW and they dropped him like a hot potato.
  • Kevin Nash worked solo as The Master Blaster at the recent tapings.
  • Due to the success of Dances With Wolves, WWF wants an Indian character ASAP. Native American wrestlers Chris Chavis and Charlie Norris are being brought in for tryout matches and dancing ability is more important than wrestling ability. (Chavis ended up getting the job and is now better known as Tatanka).
  • Quote: "Chris Benoit (Pegasus Kid) is so dedicated to improving that instead of going home between these two Japan tours, he's staying in Japan for three weeks to train with Jushin Liger."

Wrestling Observer Rewind (1991)
January 1-8-1991 1-14-1991 1-21-1991 1-28-1991 2-4-1991 2-11-1991 2-18-1991 2-25-1991 3-4-1991 3-11-1991 3-18-1991 4-1-1991