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  Aug 12, 1999



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

SLAM! Wrestling Editorial: 'Retirement' matches are a scam
HOGAN - NASH
By JOHN F. MOLINARO -- SLAM! Wrestling

 So, Hollywood Hogan and Kevin Nash are set to tangle at Road Wild on PPV this Saturday with the special stipulation that the loser must retire?

All those who actually believe that either Nash or Hogan will honor such a stipulation should they lose, raise your hand.

I didn't think so.

WCW obviously doesn't think much of their audience. Why else would they blatantly try to insult our intelligence with such a ridiculous stipulation?

The arrogance of WCW simply dumfounds me. To think they honestly believe that we're gullible enough to buy into their latest line of drivel, the nerve!

Sadly, this is just another in a long line of promises that will be broken by greedy promoters who'll use anything, including bait and switch tactics from their bag of tricks, to draw a buck.

Wrestling promoters have a long, storied history of promoting retirement matches, only to renege on the match stipulation weeks or months later. They've traveled down this road before. A road paved with broken promises.

In 1991, Ultimate Warrior beat Randy Savage at WrestleMania VII in a retirement match. A few months later, Savage was back in the ring. In 1994 Hogan beat Ric Flair in a retirement match on PPV, only to return full time shortly after.

As owner of Smokey Mountain Wrestling from 1991-1995, Jim Cornette promoted countless retirement matches, failing to follow through on any of them. Konnan lost a retirement match in 1993 in Mexico City and when the Mexican wrestling commission actually tried to uphold the stipulation, he bought his way back into action.

The examples are endless.

Wrestling fans are the most loyal audience in all of sports. When pro wrestling is entrenched in one of its down periods, its base of hardcore fans watching every week help keep the fledging promotions afloat. We are the lifeline of wrestling.

Without us, there'd be no show.

And how do promoters repay us? By screwing us over and over and over again. Unappreciative of our loyalty, they try to pull one over us all the time in the name of their pocketbooks.

The problem is two-fold. Wrestling fans invite this abuse. We never take a stand and say enough is enough. Our apathy serves as compliance and provides promoters the justification to undertake their sleazy courses of action.

The second problem is wrestling itself.

Wrestling, by nature, is a con. Wrestling is conducive to lying. The problem is that all to often, promoters begin to believe the lie. As time passes and the line between the truth and lies gets blurred, promoters can no longer differentiate, and the lies become the truth.

Which brings us back to Nash and Hogan. Fans are growing leery of WCW as it is. Nobody wants to see these guys go at in the main event. The retirement stipulation is clearly a ploy to try and spike a buyrate (a tactic that won't work) and will only exasperate fans' frustrations with WCW when they don't deliver on it.

Which is too bad. We should be so lucky to have Nash or Hogan forced into wrestling exile.

End Notes

I was inundated with e-mails in response to my editorial last week extolling the virtues of Japanese wrestling over American wrestling. Many of you wanted to know if New Japan or All Japan Pro Wrestling air their TV shows in North America or if there was some other way to see their shows.

Fans in Canada and the U.S. have two options. Any exhaustive search on the Internet will turn up several tape dealers who sell Japanese pro wrestling tapes. My advice is to find someone who deals exclusively in Japanese tapes. Most major metropolitan cities have a Japanese shopping mall or section of town with Japanese sales merchants. Any reputable Japanese video store should have copies of recent TV shows in stock.

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