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1997 Observer Yearbook

 
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DalyCityTrain



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:44 pm    Post subject: 1997 Observer Yearbook Reply with quote

I've been skimming the new 1997 Wrestling Observer Yearbook, which is free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

It appears to be entirely repurposed Observer content, cleaned up/edited and organized by topic. I actually really enjoy this format, and I hope Meltzer and co. release similar books for other years.

But if you have the Observers for '97, I don't believe there's anything new, unless he amended some of the blurbs (and it doesn't look that way to me). There's none of the special features, outside contributions, etc. which were often highlights of the 80s yearbooks.

Still a lot of fun to go in-depth on stories like the bidding war for Ken Shamrock, the WWF/ECW collaboration and how it fell apart, etc. as they happened. I half-remember this stuff, unlike 80s stories such as UWF in Japan which, if I hadn't read those old yearbooks, I might never have known about in any detail.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3125
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

During the Shamrock bidding war, Williams, both Tenays, maybe James & me were eating dinner with Dave at a sea food place in San Diego, and Dave keep leaving to talk to Ken on the phone. Dave was giving him advice on want to do. Shamrock ended up doing the opposite of what Dave told him. I think that was the night I ate frog legs & hated them.

So John did that happen or is that just a old man's dream?

Yohe
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3125
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So they crammed a whole year of Observers into one book? How many pages is that? Who did the editing? -- Yohe
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jdw
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 17247

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Yohe wrote:
During the Shamrock bidding war, Williams, both Tenays, maybe James & me were eating dinner with Dave at a sea food place in San Diego, and Dave keep leaving to talk to Ken on the phone. Dave was giving him advice on want to do. Shamrock ended up doing the opposite of what Dave told him. I think that was the night I ate frog legs & hated them.

So John did that happen or is that just a old man's dream?


I think the Seafood place was just Dave, James, you and me. It was the one where heading out and in the parking lot you asked:

YOHE: "Who dies next?"

EVERYONE: *no one saying anything for a long moment*

JDW: "Pillman."

Not to put specific words or reactions for any of the other three, but can say that after another minute of talking about it, there was a firm understanding that things were really bad for Pillman and that he could be next.

The reason this has always stuck is not because of what was said that night, but a couple of months later while we were watching a PPV:

YOHE (to the point as always): "You called it."

JDW (kind of in a daze over the news): "Huh?"

YOHE: "That Pillman would the next to die."

That's why seafood place + Brian has always stuck in my head.

* * * * *

The diner where Dave was talking to Shamrock, and it being while we were going to a show with the Tenays... that's possible.

I remember a number of conversations n the phone with Dave about Shamrock moving on to another promotion. My recollection was that Dave thought his best spot at that moment would be New Japan with their Dome shows. They had a pretty clear plan for him, which the initial part was taken by Ogawa. Recollection that part of the reason was that Dave thought it would establish Shamrock as more of a player to many event a run of Dome cards, which in turn would give him more standing to both WCW and WWF to toss more money / a bigger contract at him when the run was done.

The tricky thing is that Tenay may have come to the Santito vs Rey match we talked about the other night. That was 2/21/97. Shamrock debuted on Raw on 2/24/97. Maybe Shamrock was getting the pressure to make a decision that point to show up and close a deal.

On the other hand, his last UFC was the 12/7/96 Ultimate Ultimate in Denver that we went to with Dave. So that balance of Dec 1996 through Feb 1997 was the period where Shammy would have made the decision, a very short period. By that point the New Japan schedule expanding to 5 shows at various domes (Jan + Apr + May + Aug + Nov) rather than the traditional 2 (Jan & May) was on the books. So... sure, that's possible. The WWF also was a bit of a mess in this stretch as Nitro/WCW were on the up in the Monday Night Wars... and they did do some things quickly to spike ratings and what not. So... entirely possible that on 2/21 Shammy was working on making his final decision before showing up at Raw the following Monday.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3125
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved those days .... when I was old & everyone else was young ..... now everyone is old. It was a great period for me .... I went my whole life with no one to talk to about pro wrestling .... and then ending up hanging around the top wrestling minds in the sport.....it was wonderful. --- Yohe
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