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Southern Culture On The Skids: The Great NWA Drug Scandal of 1989

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Wrestling Observer Hotline: Tuesday, Week 1, September 1989


Sources within the NWA have recently uncovered evidence of a vast and widespread illegal drug and steroid ring that may just unravel the promotion less then a year after Ted Turner's purchase of Jim Crockett Promotions.


It appears that the two workers at the center of it all are Lex Luger and Scott Steiner, which is no shock due to their freakishly muscular look. They appear to be middlemen in a much bigger ring that are thought to be funneling illegal narcotics and steroids through the United States Mail.


When word leaked of Steiner being caught backstage with steroids, a comprehensive drug and steroid test was ordered to be performed immediately that very same day by Turner himself to try to show investors quick and just punishment for this potentially huge public faux that could cost him millions in the future.


We have learned that there have already been several key workers let go because of this scandal. NWA has even gone to the length of paying out certain workers on written deals in a lump sum to distance themselves from those that tested positive.


There will be much more on this huge story tomorrow on the Wrestling Observer Hotline.


OOC: Originally this diary was just set to be a run of the mill retelling of one of the best booked years in wrestling by any promotion. The NWA in 1989 was red hot and firing on all cylinders, something that they could never really claim again. When Steiner got popped for Steroid Use two days in, this angle was just too good to pass up, and will really give me a chance to be creative and work within the rigid borders that I have set for my self in this diary.

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Wrestling Observer Hotline: Wedndsday, Week 1, September 1989



The Wrestling Observer has just blown the lid of what could possibly be the biggest story of the 1980's in Professional Wrestling.


Sources claim this Scandal can be traced back to one man, and surprisingly this man is Sting. Sting is known in the back to be as clean as they come, and when legitimate best friend Lex Luger was exhibiting signs that were clearly pointing to drug and steroid abuse, Sting clued the office in.


Witnesses say that Sting was by no means trying to rat on Luger, just merely smarten up the office, and help his buddy get clean. Soon after, Luger was brought in to a meeting with Turner executives, and proceeded to verbally abuse them, and show signs of deeper issues than once thought. In this meeting, certain evidence came to light that made them come to the conclusion to test both Luger, and newcomer Scott Steiner for steroids.


Once both men tested positive for steroids, as well as hard drugs (sources say both have issues with cocaine), word came down from Ted Turner himself to test all employees of the NWA. Once these test came back, the following were found positive for steroids, hard drugs, or both.


Dan Spivey

Brian Pillman

Iron Sheik


Ted Turner made the call to axe all that were found positive of either substance in a strong effort to show that dependencies such as these will not be tolerated under his regime. The loss of 5 key players, referred to within the NWA as the "Steroid 5", came hot on the heels of the promotion dumping off contracts of underneath workers last week.

Kendo Nagasaki

Rip Morgan

Butch Masters

Jason Knight

Buzz Sawyer


Needless to say, the NWA has taken a big hit to their brand marketability, which might be tarnished forever. Sponsors have been threatening to pull out because of the scandal, and have only been saved by Turner offering cut rate deals on 30 second spots during the highly popular WCW Saturday Night show.


Another key component to this story is both Rick Steiner and Sting's heat with the office. Both were claiming to be on the verge of walking out after the boys found out that those that tested positive would be released. Obviously Steiner would be a loss to the promotion, but Sting is the real worry in the eyes of the NWA. He is seen as the Golden Boy of the promotion, and the next "Man" that will carry the ball when Flair finally steps down. Sources within the promotion fear what will happen if Sting decides to "take his ball and go home".


It is going to be very telling if any of this will even be brought up on TV, but this week's episode of WCW Saturday Night will be a telling sign of where the NWA will head in the upcoming decade.


Stay tuned for even more on this huge story eminently on the Wrestling Observer Hotline.

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Nice start! I often wonder how to deal with drug use in a dynasty capacity myself...so good for you. Only 1 small gripe, which mostly would be the mod makers faults but...Sting used steroids in the past. Look at Sting from when he tagged with Warrior, he was frickin HUUUUGE! Anyway keep up the good work, I'll be reading.
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<p></p><div style="text-align:center;"><span>http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/50312_19865389613_683777_n.jpg</span><p>

<span>http://images.tvrage.com/shows/7/6549.jpg</span></p><p> </p><p>

<span style="font-family:Impact;"> </span><span style="font-family:Impact;"><strong>NWA/WCW Saturday Night Taping: Week 1, September 1989</strong></span></p><p>

</p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p>

<span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">Dark Match: Jimmy Garvin over Tommy Rich in a match that those in attendance said deserved to be on the show itself. </span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><strong>(77)</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

</span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><em>Your Announcers tonight will be Jim Ross and Jim Cornette.</em></span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

* Jim Ross starts off the show mid-ring, introducing the World Champ, Ric Flair, who appears from the entrance way. He is attacked halfway down the ramp by Terry Funk, who proceeds to rip off Flair's expensive suit. Funk lays a few stiff hands to the face of Flair, who appears to be busted open the hard way. To really drive the segment home, Funk hits, not one but two brutal chairshots directly to Flairs skull. The other Horsemen (Sting and Ole) rush out to Flair's aid, but it's too little, too late. Funk sneaks thru the crowd. Really great buildup and amazing intensity shown by all involved in this segment, and it appears that Funk is actually getting better with age.</span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><strong> (92)</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

* Up next, were thrown to a promo with Jim Cornette and The Midnight Express. Cornette puts over the fact that the Midnights have already been put into a match for the vacant NWA United States Tag Team Titles that will take place at Fall Brawl. He says that no matter what team the NWA throws in front of 'em, they will get knocked down by the most dangerous move in tag team wrestling today, The Rocket Launcher. Cornette is clearly getting much more comfortable in his role of being a babyface after years of a brilliant heel run. Promos like this will cement his place as one of the top tier talkers in all of Pro Wrestling. </span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><strong>(81)</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

* In what amounts to little more then a squash, The Midnight Express go over the Samoan Swat team. Ross and Cornette really put over The Rocket Launcher as the greatest thing since sliced Flair, and the fact that it will put away any man that falls victim to it. </span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><strong>(72)</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

* We are thrown to a video package higlighting one half of the former Skyscrapers, Sid Vicious. It is being voiced over by Paul E. Dangerously, who has now bought the contract of the big man. He puts all of the NWA on warning and further hypes the Master of the Powerbomb. </span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><strong>(65)</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

* Sid Vicious squashes Tom Zenk, with what else but the Powerbomb. Dangerously and Vicious are a terrific pairing, and this could be just exactly what Vicious needs to crack the proverbial glass ceiling and hit the top of the card.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

* The Varsity Club go over in an even match against The Dynamic Dudes. The announcers are clearly hyping the team of Rotundo and Sullivan as a threat to any Tag Title, so it is safe to say that they will be put in to the US Tag Title Match at Fall Brawl. </span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><strong>(71)</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

* We are thrown to another montage, this time of the returning "Cowboy" Bob Orton. Clips of his infamous cast, as well as the dreaded Superplex are shown. It is announced by Ross that he will make his live debut here next week. </span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><strong>(70)</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

* Bam Bam Bigelow over "Hotstuff" Eddie Gilbert in a decent midcard match, when Bigelow debuted his new finisher, an impressive inverted piledriver that Ross named the "Greetings from Asubry Park", named after his hometown. Sad to see Gilbert put in an underneath role like this, but hopefully the office will have something for him soon. </span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><strong>(74)</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

* The Horsemen (Sting and Ole) go over J-Tex representatives The Great Muta and Dick Slater in a match that was dominated by a flury of arm bars and leg locks by Ole that definitely drug the crowd down. Crowd really came to life though when Sting and Muta crossed paths. Finish saw Slater tap to the Scorpion Deathlock almost immediately. </span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><strong>(73)</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

* Then they ran an angle with Hart ordering Muta to attack Slater, kicking him out of J-Tex, and turning him babyface. Crowd wasn't really buying into Slater as a heel, so this angle didn't get over as well as the office probably hoped. Smart move on NWA's part because they are definitely lacking in babyfaces at the moment. </span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><strong>(65)</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

* Up next is tonight's Main, when Michael Hayes takes on Road Warrior Hawk. Both men will be involved in the Tag Team Title match at Fall Brawl, which is being heavily hyped by Cornette and Ross. As you would expect, they pulled out all the tricks and Animal, Garvin, and Ellering got involved with the ending. Garvin connected with a loaded sequined glove to the jaw of Hawk while the ref's back was turned to get Hayes the 1-2-3. </span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><strong>(76)</strong></span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';">

* We are then thrown back to the dressing room area where Flair has a mic, Great visual of Flair, who is covered in bandages and dried blood from the earlier Funk attack. Flair goes on to put over the fans and their support of The Horsemen these last few months, and this is why he is challenging Funk to a match at Fall Brawl. He says that he let them down for too long and took the low road many times in the past. He's gonna show them all that he is truly a changed man by never turning his back to an outside threat like J-Tex again! Crowd is at a fevered pitch, and then from behind, Funk attacks yet again! Funk jabs the Branding Iron into the cut in Flair's head, and then makes off with his World Title as Flair sells like a mother. Another brilliant angle from these two masters of psychology to end this show. </span><span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><strong>(87)</strong></span></p>

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<p></p><div style="text-align:center;"><span>http://images.wikia.com/f4w/images/4/4b/Meltzer.jpg</span><p> </p><p>

<strong><em><span style="font-family:Impact;">Wrestling Observer Hotline: Week 2, September, 1989</span></em></strong></p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p>

</p><p><span style="font-family:'Courier New';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Courier New';">

NWA has shown their hand and the direction that they will be taken after the release of the "Steroid 5" with their latest TV Taping on Saturday night. Many audibles had to be called to get the key players in place for what is to come, but they put in an above average effort that the office was more then pleased with.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Courier New';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Courier New';">

- The office are very high on the Paul E. Dangerously/Sid pairing, and are said to have big plans for them both. Word is though this is a test run of sorts, due to some abnormalities in the results for Sid's steroid/hard drug test that may keep him off of TV for a few weeks while they are sorted out. If everything is copacetic with them, look for Vicious to get a gargantuan push to the top of the card.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Courier New';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Courier New';">

- The turning of Dick Slater was also thought to be a last minute decision, that was out of necessity due to the lack of babyfaces in the midcard. It is unclear as to where this exactly will lead, but sources within the company are saying that this is a real make or break time for Slater. He has the reputation for being very flaky, and if he can keep his head on straight, he may get a nice opportunity to do business.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Courier New';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Courier New';">

- Michael Hayes is definitely one worker to watch in these coming months. His match against Hawk was a "thing of beauty" according to some sources. His brilliant psychology and off the charts charisma helped what could of been a train wreck become a very sold match that got over one of the money matches for the upcoming Fall Brawl PPV, which will take place on Sunday, Week 4 of September.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Courier New';"> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Courier New';">

Stay tuned for the next issue of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which will have our review of the Week 2, September WCW Saturday Night taping.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Courier New';">


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<p>Interesting. I was toying with the idea of doing a No Holds Barred diary myself, inspired by 2 things: James Casey's rather excellent SWF diary and Kerry Von Erich's overdose just under three months into my game with the WWF</p><p> </p><p>

I've started a draft which begins the night of Kerry's overdose (he survived)</p><p> </p><p>

I'll be keeping an eye on this to be sure</p>

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