PWInsider - WWE News, Wrestling News, WWE

 
 

WHY WWE'S RESTAURANT DIDN'T WORK, WHAT IF WRESTLEMANIA 3 BOMBED, PETEY WILLIAMS AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2020-08-14 10:00:00

Have a question?  Submit to the PWInsider Q&A by clicking here!

I was watching some old WWE PPVs and there's lots of scenes at the WWE restaurant.  It was always packed, so I wonder, why do you think the WWE restaurant in NY failed? I would have thought it would have been a natural fit and would have had enough fan support/interest to make it last, especially for the time period, where WWE was super hot at the time.

Living in New York City and working in Manhattan at the time, I passed the restaurant daily over its lifespan.  There were a number of reasons why it didn't work out.  One, WWE never really intended to go into the restaurant business.  They were licensing it to another party that decided not to go forward after it was announced.  Since the company was going to be going public, they didn't want the black eye of a project failing, so they took it over.  While it was branded to WWE, it really had no identity outside of being a wrestling-themed restaurant and even at the height of the Attitude era, that left you a very small scope of patrons who would go there just for that reason and even on one of the busiest corners in the world, they were not bringing in the number of patrons needed to make such an expensive piece of real estate profitable for the company.  Another problem was that for a wrestling restaurant, it was pretty lacking that it held relatively few pieces of memorabilia.  You wouldn't go to the Hard Rock Cafe (which is what replaced the WWE there) and then find it bereft of musical history.  WWE's restaurant was just that, pretty empty of WWE material.  Third, you have to remember the economics. You mentioned the place was packed on TV.  It was, but unless WWE was hosting a special event (i.e. Tough Enough finale) or a PPV viewing there, the place never had a lot of foot traffic. There were dozens of times I'd walk past in that era and see relatively no one in the store. As time wore on, the place cut back on staff and the logistical management at the end was a mess for a number of events that took place there.  It was just a matter of time until WWE decided to move on.  

Let's say for a minute that Andre the Giant couldn't wrestle at Wrestlemania 3 because of his back. What would the WWF had done? I don't remember there being another match at that time that could've drawn 93000 people. Therefore, if WM 3 had bombed how would the landscape in the industry have changed over the next several years? Would the WWF not have gone on to dominate PPV the way it did? Would momentum swing back to Crockett or the AWA? Your thoughts please.

Had Andre not been able to make it, my guess is Paul Orndorff would have headlined against Hogan.  I think WWF would have been so powerful by 1987 that even if the show had "bombed", it wouldn't have because the first PPV would have been a huge success anyway just based on being the first one for that technology.  I think anyone who thinks Crockett, etc. would have caught up would be ignoring the fact that the other companies were all heading to financial ruin and it wouldn't have been impossible to stave it off, it would have been a massive undertaking...and if WWF bombed, I don't believe that would have led to fans seeking out other companies at the time.

I am digging through some old DVDs and I am currently watching the Macho Man Anthology and there was a tag between Flair & Michaels vs. Hart & Savage.  Jim Ross and Bobby Heenan did commentary, which raised my eyebrows.   Since this match obviously took place in mid 1992 (before Summerslam when Hart lost the IC title) why would Ross (who didn't debut until Wrestlemania IX in 93) and Heenan call the match as if it were current when it was, at best, a year old?  )Where/when was the match actually presented on WWF video/TV as by the time of commentary, Flair was back in WCW and both Hart and Savage had lost their titles making the match even more outdated?

The commentary Jim Ross and Bobby Heenan recorded was originally recorded for the Coliseum VHS release "Grudges, Gripes & Grunts"  It was commonplace in the early 1990s for WWF to tape matches specifically for home video during Superstars and Wrestling Challenge TV tapings and then file them away for future use at a later date.  This tag match was one of those bouts.  It was actually taped in Worcester, MA on 7/20/92.

What was the Million Dollar Man's last match?  Did the injury that forced him to retire occur in WWF or outside of the ring?  Did he ever wrestle again?  What would have happened if he didn't get hurt?

Ted DiBiase's last match was on 11/13/93 wrestling for All Japan Pro Wrestling.  He had left WWF for All Japan earlier that year.  DiBiase was teaming with Stan Hansen to defeat Richard Slinger & Tracy Smothers in the promotion's Real World Tag League.  I believe the neck injury was something he had been working with and with a good threat of something terrible happening, DiBiase was unable to continue wrestling.  Since the two were the AJPW Unified Tag Team champions at the time, the belts were vacated.  Giant Baba teamed with Hansen for the remainder of the tournament.  Baba also paid DiBiase his full pay for the tour.  DiBiase went on to work in the business for WWF and WCW and start a ministry, but he never returned to the ring as a wrestler.  Had he not gotten injured, my guess is he'd have taken a big payday to go wrestle for WCW around the time the Nitro era began and would have been in the mix with Savage, Piper, etc. before moving to produce or train other wrestlers.

Where is Petey Williams?  Has he been released by Impact Wrestling?

Working as a producer/agent for Impact Wrestling.  He still occasionally wrestles there as well.  He has not been released.

Have a question?  Submit to the PWInsider Q&A by clicking here!

If you enjoy PWInsider.com you can check out the AD-FREE PWInsider Elite section, which features exclusive audio updates, news, our critically acclaimed podcasts, interviews and more by clicking here!

Use our reports with online gambling where you can play casino games or bet on different kind of sports!