For those of you that have never laid eyes on a WWF Program before, it was a thin, glossy publication that was distributed only at house shows (you may have been able to buy some of them on back order, but why?). I would have likely picked this up at a house show in Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens in the months following WrestleMania VI, just judging by the storylines and timing. It would have probably been the summer.
One knock on the programs is that they weren't nearly as up-to-date as, say, the monthly WWF Magazine (and WWF Magazine wasn't particularly current itself!). That meant a lot of the stories were generic and talked about feuds that took place over a matter of months. If you happened to see said feud at the house show you attended - well, bonus - but that certainly wasn't always the case.
Take a look back with me as we look at the type of propaganda Vince McMahon was trying to force on us stupid marks some 25 years ago for $3 a pop.
The first thing anyone ever saw when opening a WWF Program (and - to be perfectly honest - the primary reason I selected this as Magazine Of The Month) was a page called "WWF Superstars" that listed the top dogs of the company at any given time.
WWF changed their selections somewhat frequently - perhaps once a twice a year - and although they'd ocassionally throw in a "Koko B. Ware" or "Outlaw Ron Bass" to eff with us... for the most part it was a good indication of the WWF elite.
I can only imagine if this were still alive today, how people on Twitter would be outraged by Brutus Beefcake's or Ax's placement.
After we waded through the preliminaries, there were a series of one-page "articles", spotlighting talent and previewing upcoming feuds. Again.... these were written ridiculously far in advance, so there's no way anyone in today's "We don't who will be main-eventing WrestleMania yet" WWE would be able to take the same approach.
Case in point: Hulk Hogan is talking about his match against Earthquake at SummerSlam 1990, yet this could have been written during the TV tapings that took place after WrestleMania VI. At the time, Hogan was off of television to film, I believe, Suburban Commando, so the only physicality the two had was on the Brother Love Show in early April.
You'll notice that the cover above talks Hogan being "The Man And The Legend", which really has nothing to do with his feud against Earthquake. We here at Magazine Of The Month wonder whether Hogan was just overdue for another cover photo and the folks who put together WWF Program just happened to draw the short straw.
Other "articles" in this program were focused on Demolition's Crush, The Legion Of Doom and Ravishing Rick Rude.
I know that some of these "Just Say No To Drugs" ads have become wrestling memes, what with Jake The Snake Roberts and Brutus Beefcake being among the main advocates.... but this one here sends an entirely different message.
Jimmy Hart (a noted teetotaler, by the way) is just begging us not to do drugs. But is he just setting us all up for a swerve? Will Earthquake beat us up while we're listening to Jimmy's pleas?
After reading this headline, I'm a bit confused. Why would the publishers of WWF Program not put this headline on the cover?!?
I'm completely serious, by the way. Put "Let Me Tell You Something About Rats" on the cover of anything - be it the New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek or Road & Track Magazine and I guarantee the issue would sell at least 50 percent more copies than normal. Telling us something about rats has been a proven formula to sell newspapers and/or programs.
And the fact that it's Bad News Motherf*cking Brown telling me something about rats? I don't even care what specific advice he's about to impart on me about rats. I'm already sold! Shut up and take my money right now - no questions asked!
Anyways, The Rat Whisperer is telling us here about how rats tend to like garbage, and how Jake "The Snake" Roberts tends to be nothing more than a big piece of garbage.
As a result, "I'm Afraid I've Got Some" Bad News Brown happens to have a bunch of sewer rats with him and if Roberts isn't careful, he'll unleash them all on The Snake and devour him whole.
And finally, each edition of WWF Program closed with a feature called "Keep An Eye On" that was essentially meant to spotlight people who were going to be on the show you were at, but the publication didn't have space for them anywhere else.
Some of the earlier programs I'd purchased instructed me to watch out for the likes of Outback Jack, Paul Roma and Tiger Chung Lee. At least this particular issue is slightly more nuanced, encouraging me to focus my attention on mid-carders and jobbers to the stars.
But still... are you kidding me, guys? Why the HELL would I need to "keep an eye" on Boris Zhukov? Short of Big Boris forcing himself on me sexually, I have absolutely no reason to concern myself in daily life with the activities of that commie bastard.
Keep an eye on The Bushwhackers? For what possible reason?!? Even if they get their revenge on Rhythm and Blues (which I find highly unlikely), how does that affect me personally? If something major happens in that feud, I fully expect WWF Program to keep me briefed. That's what I'm paying you guys for.
Same deal with Tugboat and The Genius; I don't need to pay attention to their various shenagians. Possibly I'll keep an eye on that no good Ted DiBiase, because he has millions in the bank.