New Wave Wrestling
In 1992, a new wrestling magazine hit the shelves, determine to become a viable competitor to Pro Wrestling Illustrated and the dozens of Apter Mags out there. While the cover of the first issue promised "it all", including Hulk Hogan, coupons, contests, mystery gifts and a chance to win your VERY OWN championship belt, the magazine didn't seem to last very long. Let's see why!
In case you were wondering, New Wave Wrestling isn't about David Bowie or Duran Duran... it's about "old-time wrestling". Which is totally fine, but should it really be called NEW WAVE WRESTLING if that's the case?
Second, the publisher is citing Dick "The Bulldog" Brower, both here and later in the magazine. While I certainly appreciate the reference to anyone nicknamed Bulldog, I think I speak for most wrestling fans today when I say "who"? He was a heel in the old WWWF, but not really anyone of note and definitely not a household name. Not even back in 1992.
The publisher also brags about NWW being "the least expensive mat mag in today's market" at $1.95 U.S. (those jerks in Canada had to pay $2.50). Is that something you really want to hang your hat on? As someone who purchased appoximately 375 billion wrestling magazines back in the day, I was completely happy to drop $3.50 or whatever on Inside Wrestling and The Wrestler each month. I wasn't really going for "cheap" when I perused the shelves of Mac's Milk or the convenience store inside Finch Subway Station.
Also? You'll note that NWW boasts both "The Wrestling Kahuna" as an editor and "Rufus The Wrestle-Cat" as its official mascot, both of which are just awesome.
Ahhhh! What the hell is that supposed to be? Yeah, I get it's a drawing of Hulk Hogan, but.... just...... no.
Instead of using George Napatalino or whomever else used to take pictures at ringside for house shows, NWW opted to supplement their crappy photography with cut-rate caricatures. Folks, this is probably why New Wave could get away with charging $1.95 for its "mat mag". Also the fact that the entire publication, with the exception of the cover is black and white newsprint. Seriously? Even during its leanest years, The Wrestler or Wrestling Superstars would spring for color in its centrefold and/or use glossy paper and colored ink for some of the pages.
Anyways, a better caption for the picture to the right might be "Can illustrator Vivian McAlexander draw Hulk Hogan properly, or is she just tracing from a picture she saw in that month's Cracked Magazine?"
Next up.... hey kids, who wants to hear more words of wisdom from Dick "The Bulldog" Brower? I know I do!
I don't know.... for some reason, that last (hilarious) paragraph reminds me of a Minute Maid orange juice commercial where some kid recognizes Robert Loggia. I mean, I'm 40 years old and I have NO CLUE who the hell Robert Loggia is!
Anyways, part one of the effing Bulldog Brower interview (yes, it was to be continued next month) has the guy talking about "putting a f!@&#$% prophylactic in my mouth" for some reason.
Lovely. Can't wait to read part two.
From there, we have an "Out and About" section that includes candid photos of your favorite wrestlers, such as Ric Flair and Jake "The Snake" Roberts signing autographs, Arn Anderson playing the piano in a hotel lobby and one of Nancy "Woman" Benoit with the caption "Woman - NEED WE SAY MORE?". Yeah, I'd say you need to say more than that if you're including that in your magazine.
But the funniest caption, by far, is the one to my right - "Barry Windham was caught off guard as he waited for his hotel keys".
NO SHIT he was caught off guard!!! Why the hell is anyone taking a picture of Barry effing Windham at the hotel check-out desk at (presumably) 2:00 in the morning??? It's not like it's, say, Macho Man or someone earth-shatteringly important where you couldn't wait two minutes to ask him to pose for a proper picture! And worse yet, they actually published the picture! I'm sure Barry loved that shot.
Also? I hate to be "that guy", but isn't there a story in Mick Foley's book Have A Nice Day where Windham loses his keys in a diarhhea and Jack Daniels infused toilet (which Hustler Rip Rogers ends up fishing out for him)???
Now, indulge me here for a moment. Let's say (because the timeframe is similar enough) that this was the night in question where The Widowmaker lost his keys. Let's say he's going to get a new set (for obvious reasons). He's disgusted, drunk and more than a little surly.... and some jerk from New Wave Wrestling chooses that EXACT moment to snap a picture of him?
Remember how the cover mentioned contests and what not? There are few spread throughout the magazine, mostly "grab bags" that you could receive. Dollars to donuts the grab bags contained treats for Rufus The Wrestle-Cat and Barry Windham's soiled hotel keys.
There was also a contest where YOU, the stupid mark fanboy, could write them and explain why you were deserving of becoming the New Wave Wrestling "Champion of Fans". One lucky winner would receive an item that.... I dunno, it doesn't even look like a championship belt.
Maybe, because they're old school and everything, it's a replica of the belt Jim Londos won from Stanislaus Zbyszko in 1922?
Upon closer inspection, the "belt" appears to be some sort of fabric with two eagle pins affixed to it and a piece of paper "nameplate" that someone designed on either Microsoft Paint or Print Shop.
Speaking of items that they didn't get the dimensions quite right on....
Seriously - how is that drawing, even by 1992 standards, an acceptable rendering of a t-shirt? Look at it - it's a letter T with a few extra lines.
A few questions come to mind when seeing this high-quality item:
Is the shirt, like, really starched or something? Or do the sleeves move?
Does the logo really stretch from armpit to armpit?
Is the shirt in black and white as well? Because that would kind of blow.
Who would pay $10 for that shirt? And I include the publisher and Rufus The Wrestle-Cat in that question?
Do they seriously think this would be "the fashion statement of the 21st century"? Or did they mean to say "a statement that says 'I want to get beat up should I ever wear this in public'." ?
Did they think calling potential customers "Bunky" was an effective sales tool?
Hey, look - more generic advertisements (being in the magazine business once upon a time, I can tell all three of these smack of "unsold ad space):
Wrestling Collectibles Blow Out....if you consider $6 for a Suburban Commando postcard, $25 for an action figure or $5 for an audio cassette of wrestling matches (?) to be deals.
An ad to buy back issues of the crappy magazine you're reading right now.
A free gift that you're sure to "flip" (get it?) over - I'm thinking a keychain that says, like, David or Sheila on it.
And finally, we close with a comic strip series called "The New Wave Wrestlers" that introduces us to such characters as The Oversold Obnoxious Toads (a four frog stable including "Adolph" whom, you guessed, has a Hitler moustache), bald female grappler, Hedda O'Concrete, martial arts expert Too-Fuu, mutated hero SKEETS and "The Gobb", who are billed as The World's Greatest Crime Fighters" and....
.... you know what? No. Just.... no.
I refuse to take time to describe this. I didn't even scan the page straight, it was so terrible. My five year old stepdaughter could draw a better comic about wrestling crimefighters, and with more plausible storylines to boot.
No one cared about the characters in "The New Wave Wrestlers", not here and not in subsequent issues (assuming there were, in fact, subsequent issues - I never saw NWW Magazine after this).
And of course, I have NO EARTHLY CLUE what any of this has to do with old-school wrestling. Bulldog Brower would be rolling in his grave if he saw this atrocity!