WWF WRESTLING SPOTLIGHT
For those unfamiliar with the concept of WWF Wrestling Spotlight, it was more or less another opportunity for the greedy people at Titan Sports to get their hands on some sweet, sweet merchandising money.
Beginning in the late-1980s and published every four months or so, Spotlight was a mini-magazine dedicated to a specific wrestler or wrestlers. For the bargain-basement price of $2.25 ($3 for us in Canada), you could learn everything you'd ever want to know about, say, Randy Savage, Brutus Beefcake or The Big Boss Man.
With May being Tag Team Appreciation Month (#TagTeam on social media), we decided to focus in on Volume 9 of WWF Wrestling Spotlight - and only the second tag team to have their own issue - The Rockers. And just to end any fistfights right here, Demolition was the first team to receive their own Spotlight magazine.
This would have been published around the summer of 1990 or so.
Each issue of Spotlight began with an extended biography of the Superstar(s) in question, including how long they've been in the WWF, major accomplishments and notable rivalries. Given The Rockers hadn't accomplished all that much as a tag team yet (relatively speaking), it's hard to imagine they could fill a full magazine.
Shawn Michaels, who was really just a Rocker at that point and hardly a star, famously told Spotlight "Hey, it's not our fault we look at this way. But we know a lot of teams out there would like nothing better than to take our faces and mangle them." You tell 'em, HBK!
All issues of Spotlight Magazine were chock full of photography, including a large-ish two-sided poster that you could hang up if so inclined. Around this point in history, my brother and I used every poster we could find and tacked them up on the fake veneer walls of our rec room. And given that the poster from this issue is no longer stapled to the center of my magazine, I'm betting good money that it ended up thumbtacked somewhere in the famed Bulldog Dungeon of Thornhill, Ontario.
By the way, I noticed in this photo (which was not the centerfold) that The Rockers are delivering their finisher in.... a completely empty arena? Even TNA can draw a better house than that....
How well do you know your Rockers trivia? Hopefully, not as well as the experts who wrote this quiz because, honestly, that would be a little scary and possibly bordering on stalker-ish.
Some of the questions (the members' hometowns) were easy enough to get correct. Fine, but other questions (what number a certain member entered a certain Royal Rumble; factoids that were printed in equally-obscure editions of WWF Magazine; their opponents at various PPV's and events, etc.) were harder.
Then there were the "Tough Stuff" questions, which no one, including the editors of Wrestling Spotlight themselves, could have realistically been expected to answer, such as what is Marty Jannetty's blood type and name everything that Shawn Michaels had for breakfast last Tuesday, in alphabetical order. I may be exaggerating just slightly here.
The first five people to correctly answer "Tough Stuff" and mail it to Wrestling Spotlight Magazine got a free membership into the WWF Fan Club, which probably consisted of a Hulk Hogan sweatband and a low-capacity audio cassette with theme songs like "Bushwhackers Boogie" or "The Siva Afi Shuffle".
Did you ever wonder what each Rocker thought about when they were interviewed individually? Me neither, but somehow Spotlight Magazine thought this was a great idea, so both guys got their own little section.
Michaels, for example, wanted the world to know about the "guts and never say die attitude" and how this served The Rockers well in their quest to become a bigger tag team. Jannetty, on the other hand, explained how he strategically changed his game plan for different opponents, while ranking the merits of opponents such The Hart Foundation and Demolition.
Do you know what would have more interesting than this? Well.... for starters, anything would have been more interesting than this.
But I was thinking, if they'd only waited until The Rockers split up six months or so later, they could have had Michaels and Jannetty at each others' throats for an entire article. And when the inevitable turn happened, fans could have seen exactly why Marty was thrown through the Barber Shop Window.
Just my two cents...
And finally.... we close the issue with a bunch of heel tag teams looking forward to their eventual matches with The Rockers. One in particular (shown above) was from the self-proclaimed "Doctor of Style" Slick, who allegedly said (and I quote): "Rocker boys, the Powah and the Gloree gonna rock you good. They gonna rock you from post to post. They gonna rock you onto the concrete. They gonna rock you to sleep. It's gonna be like gettin' hit by a rock right upside the head."
Like, does Slick not know to spell his own men's names, or was the reporter in question just kind of sounding out what The Slickster was saying? Ahhh, early 90's racism....
Overall, this certainly wasn't the best issue of Wrestling Spotlight, but it served its purpose, to give a bit of desperately-needed shine to those underdogs Marty Jannetty and little Shawn whathisface.