Rivers Philadelphia Casino Closes on City Order, as Cases ...

Spent the last 24 hours in Philadelphia and Atlantic City—brief (and somewhat incomplete) report on some area casinos

First I went to the Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia, a short walk from the Market-Frankford subway line. $15 and $25 minimum tables, five or six of them running at once on Friday night, all of them packed with players. This is the incomplete part, because i didn’t see what odds they had, and I couldn’t even place a bet there if I wanted to. No bubble craps either.
Next I spent today on AC at the Bally’s/Caesars complex. Doesn’t seem like there’s much of a recently updated compiled list of AC tables. Bally’s and Caesars have $10 tables with 10x odds, and Wild Wild West has one $5 table also with 10x odds, pretty busy on a Saturday afternoon (to be expected I guess). WWW also has fire bets on the table. Also, both WWW and Caesars each have a bubble table, $1 minimum, only 2x odds. Good way to kill an hour with just $20 though.
Bought in at WWW with $100, dealers were super cool with a great sense of humor, left with about $80, then bought back in later with $60 and left with $105, so it wasn’t super cold or super hot really. Would definitely go back.
EDIT: a couple tables at Caesars were also $25.
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Gaming revenue grows for 3 Phila.-area casinos in 2018 as Pa. hits record - Philadelphia Business Journal

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[OC] The Best MLS Player from Each Country That's Fielded One: Part 1 (UEFA)

Throughout its first 25 years, Major League Soccer has seen players from all different corners of the globe, each with their own career story. Whether it be a guy like Tim Melia or Chris Wondolowski who were scrappy guys that came out of nowhere to be stars in this league, or world famous names such as Zlatan, Beckham, and Henry, the league's history of big names is as diverse as they come.
Let's take a look at the best player from each country around the globe. This will be based on national team allegiance. Today, we'll be leading with Europe!
Please note that this is my opinion, and in some cases the decisions were tough; I'll be sure to add in honorable mentions where I can, or add notes.
Albania: Shkëlzen Gashi ( COL 2016-18)
Short list to pick from here, as Gashi's only competition is Jahmir Hyka and Hamdi Salihi. Gashi gets the nod, if nothing else, for his huge 2016 season, where he scored 10 regular season goals (one of which was that year's Goal of the Year) as the Rapids damn near won the Shield. The madlad then went and one-upped that with his absurd equalizer in the playoffs against the Galaxy.
His last two years weren't as fruitful, but man, when he was on he could pull something out of nowhere.
Armenia: Yura Movsisyan ( KC 2006-07, RSL 2007-09 & 2016-18, CHI 2018)
Four choices here, although in the end it's Movsisyan winning out over Harut Karapetyan, who played a couple seasons in the 90s for the Galaxy, San Jose, and Tampa Bay. The fourth pick in a strong 2006 MLS SuperDraft out of Pasadena City College, Movsisyan is mostly associated with RSL, who acquired him in a 2007 trade. With the Claret and Cobalt, he would tally 15 goals in 53 regular season appearances, and in 2009 he'd hoist the club's first MLS Cup. That'd be his last game with RSL until 2016 after some time in Europe with Randers, Krasnodar, and Spartak Moscow (even sharing the Russian PL Golden Boot in 2012/13 with Wanderson). He'd put up a similar clip of 16 in 57 before being waived and finishing his MLS career with four scoreless games with Chicago.
Austria: Daniel Royer ( NYRB 2016-pres.)
The choice here was largely Royer vs. Andreas Ivanschitz, who was a regular starter for Seattle's first MLS Cup, but I can't say no to a man with over 100 MLS matches played and three straight 10-goal seasons. In all comps, the former Austria Vienna man is just two goals behind Thierry Henry for third on the Red Bulls' all time goal scoring list.
Belarus: Sasha Gotsmanov ( COL 2005)
Gotsmanov qualifies by default as the only Belarusian player in MLS history. The Minsk native (and son of former Soviet and Belarusian international Sergei Gotsmanov) played one (1) single game for Colorado in October 2005, against RSL.
Belgium: Laurent Ciman ( MTL 2015-17, LAFC 2018, TFC 2019-pres.)
Shouts to Roland Lamah, who had his moments in Dallas, and Jelle van Damme, who played a season and a half for the Galaxy, but Ciman is the obvious choice. While he's fallen off a cliff as he's gotten older, he's a three-time All-Star and won Defender of the Year in his first MLS season; in his second, he played for Belgium at Euro 2016. At 35, he's lost a step and probably should only be used in emergencies, but at his best he was an elite MLS center back that could also be deployed at right back.
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Haris Medunjanin ( PHI 2017-19, CIN 2020-pres.)
The first one where I'm not totally confident in my pick, as Baggio Hušidić made this tricky (and as a Union fan I'm afraid of bias). But at his best, Haris is an assist machine (30 in four MLS seasons so far), and a threat on set pieces; the madlad even scored an Olimpico this year. His left foot is probably the best the Union have ever had. While his commitment to defense was nonexistent, give him the ball and he could spray a pass anywhere.
Bulgaria: Hristo Stoichkov ( CHI 2000-02, DC 2003)
One of three former Ballon d'Or winners to play in MLS (the others being Lothar Matthaus and Kaka, although "playing" is generous for the former), Stoichkov spent the last four seasons of his career in MLS, scoring 22 goals in 72 regular season matches for Chicago and DC. In his first season, a 9 goal in 18 match outing for the Fire, he also won the US Open Cup, scoring the opening goal of the final, a 2-1 win over Miami. (The winning goal, by the way, was scored by our old friend Owen Goal.)
Croatia: Damir Kreilach ( RSL 2018-pres.)
Mr. Miyagi's favorite MLS player for his crane kick equalizer in the playoffs, the former Rijeka and Union Berlin man has proven to be an excellent utility piece and core part of RSL throughout his time there, scoring 26 goals and chipping in 14 assists in 86 regular season matches and playing all over the damn place (naturally a central midfielder, he's probably still RSL's best forward). At 31, he still has a lot to give.
MLS has seen a huge influx of Croats lately, though; before Kreilach's 2018 signing there had only been four Croatian players in MLS history, two of whom barely played. Currently, there are five on active rosters.
Czechia: Luboš Kubík ( CHI 1998-2001, DAL 2001)
Czech players have had a good hit rate in MLS. In his lone MLS season, Bořek Dočkal led the league in assists, and Zdeněk Ondrášek was a very solid piece for Dallas, albeit one whose MLS time was brief.
But no. We have to go with Kubik. The sweeper was Best XI twice, in 1998 and 1999, and won Defender of the Year in 1998 helping Chicago to a MLS Cup-Open Cup double. He'd win another Open Cup two years later, before being traded to Dallas in 2001 and retiring due to injury.
So many lethal counterattacks started on the foot of this man, and he is rightfully seen as one of the greatest defenders the league has ever seen.
Denmark: Jimmy Nielsen ( KC 2010-13)
I debated going WAYYYYYYY off the board here and throwing out Miklos Molnar. His time in MLS was brief, just the 2000 season before he retired, but the man was the best attacking piece on a Cup winner. He could have balled out if he didn't retire early.
But nah. We're going with Casino Jimmy, one of the keys towards Kansas City's early 2010s turnaround. A two time All-Star, Nielsen was Goalkeeper of the Year in 2012, a year that also saw him win the Open Cup with the Wiz (on penalties, because KC and penalties, name a more iconic duo at this point). In 2013, he capped off his career by winning MLS Cup, again on penalties, while playing with broken ribs.
England: Bradley Wright-Phillips ( 2013-2019, LAFC 2020)
This league, man.
The list of English players to have represented in MLS is a long one, full of iconic names. Ashley Cole. David Beckham. Frank Lampard. Steven Gerrard. Jermain Defoe. Wayne Rooney. Hell, even Bradley's brother Shaun.
But nope. Many of those guys are the butt of many MLS jokes. BWP, on the other hand, is one of the greatest goal scorers the league has ever seen, with two Golden Boots to his name and well over a century of league goals. He was a part of 3 Shield winning teams, and made CONCACAF's Best XI in 2018.
And it all started with a quiet trial in 2013 after Charlton dumped him. This. League.
And This. Man. Even as a fan of Philly who doesn't care much for the Red Bulls, I respect this dude and everything he's done. I hope he gets another year after winning Comeback Player of the Year this year.
Estonia: Joel Lindpere ( NYRB 2010-12, CHI 2013)
The only other option here was Erik Sorga, who could dethrone Lindpere as he came to MLS at a very young age. But it's unlikely, as Lindpere was quietly very solid for the Red Bulls during his time. The Tallinn native was a two-time All-Star, and in 2010 he was named the Red Bulls' team MVP.
Finland: Alex Ring ( NYC 2017-2020, AUS pres.)
T O P I C A L
There's a few fairly talented Finns in MLS right now that could make this interesting (I really like Robin Lod's game, and Lassi Lappelainen would be excellent for Montreal if he'd stop getting hurt). Ring however has proven his worth across 4 seasons, including time as NYC's captain. Over 10,000 MLS minutes, mostly for good teams, as a defensive anchor, he will be a fantastic tone-setter for the new Austin team.
France: Thierry Henry ( NYRB 2010-14)
Oh man, as an Ireland fan I wanted to give this to literally anyone else. I am still bitter, dammit.
His best competition is probably Aurelien Collin, who has a closetful of trophies (including a Best XI and MLS Cup MVP). But no...it's Henry.
When a big name comes to MLS, what people want to see is someone who treats the league with respect. Henry did that. Not only was he dominant on the pitch, a three-time Best XI nomination, he also respected the history of the club he played for and gave 100%, even though he was getting up there in the years. He's a Red Bulls and MLS legend...as much as I curse that godforsaken hand
Georgia: Valeri "Vako" Qazaishvili ( SJ 2017-20)
It looks like the San Jose chapter of Vako's career is done and dusted. While the former Vitesse man struggled for consistency, he did put up 26 goals and 13 assists across four MLS seasons for the Quakes, including 10 while being coached by Mikael Stahre, which should probably get him and Wondo some sort of award.
We'll see what's next for him, if he leaves MLS or goes back to Europe. His only competition was Quakes teammate Guram Kashia.
Germany: Bastian Schweinsteiger ( CHI 2017-19)
I'm...actually not sure about this one. I actually changed this while writing, as I very nearly chose Julian Gressel; the former Rookie of the Year has two 10-assist seasons under his belt, and Kai Wagner has also been one of the league's better fullbacks for Philadelphia; Schweinsteiger was solid enough for Chicago in his advanced age for some very frustrating teams (and even moved positions to center back!)...but man, I don't know.
Germany is weird. For a country with such a great footballing tradition, the pickings are fairly slim. Arne Friedrich had one good year for Chicago before injuries claimed his career. Lottar Matthaus was as committed to this league as Schalke are to winning football matches. Stefan Aigner was stifled by Anthony Hudson going galaxy brain. Torsten Frings...existed.
I dunno.
Greece: Alexandros Tabakis ( ATL 2017)
The only Greek in MLS history...and our second one game wonder. Atlanta's FOURTH string keeper in 2017, he managed to sneak into a game against Minnesota with Brad Guzan on international duty, Alec Kann injured, and Kyle Reynish sent off during the match.
Atlanta lost 3-2. He's now in USL.
Hungary: Nemanja Nikolić ( CHI 2017-19)
Dániel Sallói and Krisztián Németh had their moments, but the winner is Nikolić, who came to MLS from the Ekstraklasa and immediately won the Golden Boot. His totals diminished in the three seasons he spent with Chicago, but 51 goals in 96 appearances isn't too shabby at all - it's second in Fire history behind Ante Razov.
Iceland - Guðmundur Þórarinsson ( NYC 2020-pres.)
Not much choice, 3 guys, all of whom were mostly bench guys. I almost went with Kristinn Steindorsson here on the merits of "he didn't have a penalty saved by Rodrigo Schlegel."
Israel: Gadi Kinda ( SKC 2020-pres.)
It was either him or Dedi Ben Dayan, really. And I nearly went with the former Colorado left back, but nah, Kinda is very much the superior player. The midfielder born in Ethiopia, Kinda shone brightly in his first season in KC, with 6 goals and 4 assists in his debut season. He'll be a DP next season.
Italy: Sebastian Giovinco ( TOR 2015-18)
A signing that changed an entire club.
Before Giovinco, the Reds were a laughingstock. He came in, won a Golden Boot and MVP right away, led the league in assists, made Best XI three years in a row, led them to their first playoff game, their first MLS Cup final, their first MLS Cup win, and a historic treble. And they damn near won CCL too.
The Atomic Ant was must-see from Day 1. It's not just because of him that Toronto is now one of MLS's elite...but he was a huge part of changing that culture. 83 goals in 142 games in all comps. And he dished out his fair share of assists too, with a telepathic partnership with Jozy.
Latvia: Raivis Hščanovičs ( TOR 2010)
Not much to write about here. 14 games for a bad Reds team. Gets in by default with no other Latvian MLS players.
Liechtenstein: Nicholas Hasler ( TOR 2017-18, CHI 2018-19, SKC 2019)
Another one by default. 66 games as a utilityman. Won MLS Cup and the Shield, though.
Lithuania: Vytautas Andriuškevičius ( POR 2016-18, DC 2018)
Only other choice was Edgaras Jankauskas, a forward who played 14 games for the Revs. Vytas played 37 for Portland and zero for DC.
Luxembourg: Maxime Chanot ( NYC 2016-pres.)
Another one by default but this one's an actually really solid player that finished fourth in Defender of the Year voting in 2019. We take those.
Malta: Etienne Barbera ( VAN 2012)
2 games in 2012. Only Maltese player in MLS.
Montenegro: Branko Bošković ( DC 2010-12)
Pretty much every other Montenegrin player played less than 20 games in MLS. Bošković played 43 before returning to Europe for family reasons. 7 assists in his final season though, which is technically something.
Netherlands: Johan Kappelhof ( CHI 2016-pres.)
Much like Germany, bright footballing tradition, very shaky MLS history. Which is weird because the Eredivisie exports a lot of guys to MLS.
Also, I'm excluding Kelvin Leerdam, as he is probably changing his international allegiance to Suriname.
So I'm going with 2017 All-Star Kappelhof, who I think is still fairly solid.
But really the choices aren't great. Dave van den Burgh? Roland Alberg scored a hat trick once I guess? Danny Koevermans was decent but injured all the time?
Maybe it's a hot take. It probably is.
North Macedonia: Oka Nikolov ( PHI 2013)
Never actually played, only in a friendly. Watch this space though as North Macedonia is apparently courting LAFC's Danny Musovski.
Northern Ireland: Johnny Steele ( RSL 2012, NYRB 2013-14)
Another case of shaky opposition, it was either Steele or Steve Morrow, who played 41 games for Dallas in the aughts.
Steele played regularly for a Shield winner, the 2013 Red Bulls. Easy peasy.
Norway: Vadim Demidov Ola Kamara ( CLB 2016-17, LAG 2018, DC 2019-pres.)
Adama Diomande is the main competition here. Kamara's first stint in MLS was a smashing success, scoring 48 goals in 90 regular season matches for Columbus and the Galaxy (he was traded for Gyasi Zardes before 2018). A brief foray to China followed, and while he's back in MLS with DC he hasn't quite been the same.
Still a good player on his day, maybe just the Bennyball effect.
Poland: Piotr Nowak ( CHI 1998-2002)
When I think of early Chicago, Nowak and the earlier-mentioned Kubik are the first two names that come to mind. Kubik held down the back while Nowak was the chief creator in the midfield. Three-time best XI, three-time All-Star, and MLS Cup MVP.
...can I drink my water now?
Portugal: José Gonçalves ( NE 2013-16)
Gonçalves fell off a cliff in his latter years, but in his first MLS season he won Defender of the Year and in his second he was a key part of a team that made the MLS Cup final and damn near won the thing.
Runner up here is Nani who is probably closing in.
EDIT: I also forgot to mention Pedro Santos, thanks to the Crew fans who pointed that one out. I still think Gonçalves pips him for his 2013 if nothing else, but Santos is probably closer than Nani.
Republic of Ireland: Robbie Keane ( LAG 2011-16)
A LOT closer than you think; Time Person of the Century Juventus legend Ronnie O'Brien was two-time best XI himself.
But nonono. This is Robbie freaking Keane. When we see these big name Euro guys interested in MLS, this is the man we want them to be.
Hypercompetitive and holding guys accountable on and off the pitch, and scoring for fun. 83 goals in 125 MLS regular season appearances. Best XI four times. 2014 MVP. MLS Cup MVP in 2014. A closetful of team awards including 3 MLS Cups.
This man was a baller, and frankly his departure was the beginning of the Galaxy decline into irrelevance, but that's a story for another time.
Romania: Alexandru Mitriță ( NYC 2019-pres.?)
Question mark because he's on loan and I have no idea if it'll be permanent, but he was punted out by the Pigeons just as he was really starting to break out. He scored 12 goals in his debut season last year but filled in nicely this year while Maxi Moralez was injured. EDIT: NYC fans have informed me he wasn't punted out, but was loaned out to be closer to his pregnant wife. My apologies.
Honorable mention: Alex Zotincă, who played for the Wizards and Chivas USA in the aughts. Brave man.
Russia: Igor Simutenkov ( KC 2002-04)
Not a lot to pick from here either. 49 games, 12 goals for this forward from Moscow, who now serves as an assistant coach at Zenit.
Scotland: John Spencer ( COL, 2001-04)
Give Johnny Russell another few years and he'll pass Spencer, but for now I'm leaning the latter. Spencer as a coach was frustrating as hell, but as a player he was Best XI twice and an MVP finalist once. Dude could score goals despite battling injuries in his time in MLS.
Just don't let him sign Kris Boyd. Then you lose to Cal FC. No one wants that.
Serbia: Aleksandar Katai ( 2018-19, 2020)
FROM A SPORTING PERSPECTIVE.
And mostly due to a weak pool. Runner up was probably someone like Miloš Kocić.
18 goals in 62 games for Chicago before getting yeeted back to Serbia for Bad People Reasons
Slovakia: Albert Rusnák ( RSL 2017-pres.)
He has tenure on Ján Greguš, who's the closest competitor, but Rusnák is also good. He followed up a 14-assist debut season (4th in the league) with back to back 10 goal seasons before struggling this year with injury.
Slovenia: Robert Berić ( CHI 2020-pres.)
Once he got acclimated to MLS, the goals came, and Chicago has its successor to Nikolić up top. He finished with 12 goals in his debut season, tied for second in the league with Ruidiaz and Zardes.
Also, from what I saw early on, seems like he's a dark-arts type of guy that gets in your head. That's fun.
Spain: David Villa ( NYC 2015-18)
I really didn't want to put him here due to recent allegations, and the fact that Pozuelo has already matched his MVP and two Best XI performances....
77 goals in 117 games though, that's tough to pass on.
Sweden: Zlatan Ibrahimović ( LAG 2018-19)
It's Zlatan.
He pretty much dragged a sorry LA organization to something resembling competitiveness.
What the hell did you expect?
(Anton Tinnerholm made this hard, though)
EDIT: Forgot Gustav Svensson as well in my honorable mentions.
Switzerland: Stefan Frei ( TOR 2009-13, SEA 2014-pres.)
Pretty self-explanatory, one of the most accomplished keepers in MLS history and with a closetful of hardware. And all it took Seattle to get him was a late first round pick that pinged around so much that it was eventually traded for a coach.
Turkey: Sercan Güvenışık ( SJ 2012)
5 games that year. No one else has flown the Turkish flag in MLS.
Ukraine: Dema Kovalenko ( CHI 1999-2002, DC 2002-05, NYRB 2006-08, RSL 2008, LAG 2008-10)
I'm afraid he'd break my legs if I didn't. One of the most physical and downright dirty players the league has ever seen. Made nearly 300 appearances though, and has one each of the 3 major US trophies (MLS Cup, USOC, Shield), all with a different team.
Wales: Andy Dorman ( NE 2004-07, 2013-15)
Dorman was a key part of that real good Revs team from the mid-aughts, and just beats out Carl Robinson. He made 112 appearances in his first stint, and played in 3 MLS Cup finals, though they famously lost all three. The Revs brought him back in 2013 after some time in Scotland and England, and was playing semipro in the area as recently as 2018.
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Moving Options

For the last 5 years of my Practice, I've been located in the Atlantic City area for my work, working with a local luck mage to siphon off and purify the remaining luck in the area from casinos, gamblers, and washed up drunks. after which we'd then make absurd amounts of money from underground poker games. However, unfortunately, recent events have necessitated that I get out of the area rapidly. There's been something of a kerfuffle with the local Lordship, more than a few murders, and it is getting incredibly difficult to remain neutral and professional within such an environment. My former partner is MIA, either dead or a traitor of some kind.
Does anyone know where I could go that wouldn't result in me putting my foot in a bear trap immediately? The cards are pointing me in various directions, but I have reasons to suspect that my augury is being manipulated by outside factors. I've been pointed to Philadelphia, San Francisco, and New Orleans thus far, but every time I try to See what lies in those cities I find bloodshed and death. (condolences to those who happen to live there, assuming it's a citywide phenomenon and not an individual one.)
As you might imagine, I am not overly fond of bloodshed and death. Where could a weary augur go without immediately upsetting everyone in town or dying horribly upon arrival?
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Mafia IV story idea

Note: The particularly important details and music artist names are in bold text. Licensed music track names are in italics.
The year is 1973, five years after the events of the Mafia III, and 22 years since Vito Scaletta’s seen or heard from his old friend Joe Barbaro. The canon ending of Mafia III with this Mafia IV story is Vito taking over the city after Lincoln skipped town, however Cassandra and Burke are left alive and loyal to both Vito and Lincoln still. Burke was able to survive his liver cancer by getting a black market liver transplant in Mexico, like he did in his ending, except with Vito running the city. On Vito and Lincoln’s behalf, Burke and Cassandra agree to stay behind in New Bordeaux and keep the city locked down, incase Leo Galante and the Commission try anything.
The beginning cutscene is Vito answering his telephone after getting up in the morning in his new penthouse, on the top floor of the New Bordeaux casino he finished that was once Sal Marcano's, and grabbing a cup of coffee. It's Alma with some urgent news. Lincoln Clay came down to the cigar warehouse to visit her after 5 years of silence, and he has big news.
Joe is alive in Empire Bay and has been this entire time. However, as punishment for his actions, he's become Leo Galante's personal driver against his will and is forbidden from contacting Vito ever again, or else him and Vito will be killed. Alma then tells Vito to meet Lincoln at the airport to learn more, as he's already there awaiting Vito's arrival. When they're away from anyone who could listen in on their conversation, Lincoln tells Vito he has a friend named John Donovan he's going to introduce him to, hiding in the outskirts of Empire Bay, ready to help Vito and Lincoln with their new mission
Vito gets dressed in one of his signature trench coats with a suit and tie, ready to rain down hell on the Vinci crime family and their allies, and finally be reunited with his lifelong friend he previously thought was dead, Joe Barbaro.
Here is my idea for the kill list, all related to the Commission in Empire Bay and their allies.
I'm thinking Vito and Joe work with Lincoln Clay and John Donovan to split up Empire Bay and distribute territory to three other factions not unlike what Lincoln did with New Bordeaux. This time though, this is a much larger city in a much, much different part of the United States. The empire building mechanics would be a lot smoother, more robust, and streamlined compared to Mafia III. They would work similarly a more modernized version of how the game Scarface: The World Is Yours handled it's empire building and management mechanics, minus the whole switching to other characters lower on the ladder to do your bidding. This would be ideal for a story rich organized crime game in my opinion. Here are my ideas for those factions, all close allies of the up and coming Scaletta crime family.
The Cuban mob led by Alma Diaz. Vito goes way back with Alma, and she does not hesitate to answer him and Lincoln's calls to save Joe's life and royally fuck both Leo Galante and the Vinci family.
Conti crime family, led by Enzo Conti. This Conti crime family formed sometime in late 1968, months after Lincoln helped Enzo flee New Bordeaux and drop off of Sal Marcano's radar. It turns out he fled north to Empire Bay and finally formed his own family, having more than enough years of experience in the underworld to handle the job. Lincoln's tight with him and manages to recruit him to Vito and Joe's cause.
The Yakuza, based out of Empire Bay's Japantown. Longtime sworn enemies of the Empire Bay Triads, with bad blood going back decades. They would greatly enjoy seeing Mr. Chu and his son's heads mounted on pikes, along with whacking everyone who's ever supported their organization. You don't know them well, and they're known to be very unpredictable and ruthless. Use these traits to your advantage when taking on the Commission of Empire Bay and their friends.
I should mention as expected, this entire 1973 section where you play as Vito is much shorter than Mafia III. Vito's takeover is shown much more quickly over time than Lincoln's, and there's time skips during it, to keep it short and sweet, and to show onscreen only what's important. There is also no option for your underbosses to betray you, as to reduce confusion and keep the story consistently the same each playthrough, like the first two Mafia games.
However, unlike Mafia III, after all of these tasks are completed and every single assassination target on Vito’s kill list is dealt with, the game does not end. In fact, it's not even anywhere near close to being over yet. Vito's 1973 section was merely the beginning act. It was really a lead up to an entirely new Mafia story, centering around a newcomer to the American mob. Fast forward two years following Vito’s rampage that led to him taking over Empire Bay and the Commission, in the year 1975 him and Joe now rule Empire Bay, with Vito as the Don of the Scaletta Crime Family, and Joe working as his loyal underboss. You play the rest of the game as a young up and coming soldato named Louis in his 20’s, who’s a rising star in Vito’s organization. Do right by Mr. Scaletta and Mr. Barbaro, understand kid?
My basic idea for the character and his backstory is that he's a young Italian-Canadian mobster from Toronto, Ontario, or whatever Mafia's equivalent of it could be called. Let's call him Louis DeAngelo. (No relation to Tommy Angelo) His family hails from Tuscany in Italy and moved to Toronto, Ontario in 1939, shortly after World War II broke out in Europe. Louis DeAngelo was born in July 1952 in Toronto, and was raised in Toronto's Little Italy. Louis fled south to Empire Bay when the feds started cracking down on his old family and put his boss in prison, and he ended up finding a new home with the Scaletta crime family. The first few missions playing as Louis DeAngelo involve shooting your away out of an arrest by a Toronto Police Service SWAT team in Toronto in December 1974, seeing the rest of the members of your old crime family either get arrested or shot in front of you as you make your escape. You spend the next two missions fleeing Ontario through Quebec and upstate New York, before finally arriving in Empire Bay in early 1975, late January to be exact. Winter is in full force with snow everywhere, Louis' arrival to Empire Bay for the first time in his life mirroring Vito's return to Empire Bay in 1945 30 years earlier, except under far different much more dire circumstances. Louis' older brother and his father, both capos in his old crime family in Toronto, are shown to be arrested by the TPS SWAT team in his first mission, the same one that attempted to gun him down when he resisted arrested. Louis knows someone had to have ratted out his old crime family, and he wants to find out who someday. The thing is though, he doesn't just want to kill them. He wants to get out of them why they did it before he kills them. More than anything else, he just wants to find out why his crime family was betrayed and served up to the feds on a silver platter, having most of his biological family sent to prison in the process. He’s out to uncover the mystery of why his family fell apart, and he’s more than willing to help people like Don Vito Scaletta and his underboss Joe Barbaro to eventually get the answers he seeks. I came up with the idea for this character because I figured that playing as a fugitive from the law made sense for the mob life, and I'm surprised we haven't had a fugitive protagonist in the Mafia series yet.
In the 1975 chapters while playing as Louis, the Watergate scandal, President Richard Nixon’s resignation, and the official end to the Vietnam War are both discussed on the in-game radio during news segments. In the last 1979 chapter, the beginning of the Soviet-Afghan War is also the subject of a news segment on the radio.
The story eventually transitions into the 1980's as years pass, with the scenery, cars, and music changing accordingly, and historical events of the time discussed in the game. By the time the game ends, it's 1992, and significant historical events from the past few years at the time that are covered on the radio in-game include anything from the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the 1992 L.A. riots. The rise of the internet and home computers are briefly touched upon during news segments on the in-game radio during the early 1990's section of the story, but not greatly delved into given their relative infancy in that time period. During this entire 1975-1992 stretch of the story, Vito is no longer playable, and Don Scaletta takes a backseat in the story as a main supporting character, similar to Don Salieri throughout Mafia: Definitive Edition. You now play as the Italian-Canadian Scaletta family soldato Louis DeAngelo, who is later promoted to being a capo in 1985. However, unlike Don Salieri, Don Scaletta has much more integrity, and has more genuine loyalty for his men and his associates. If you've beaten Mafia 1 or Mafia: Definitive Edition, you'll know this is something Salieri lacked in the end.
The game will include a number of hit music from the 70’s that played on the radio back then, such as Bobby Womack’s Across 110th Street and Tony Christie’s (Is This the Way to) Amarillo, The Grateful Dead's Casey Jones and at least a few songs by the then new American rock band Cheap Trick, as well as popular songs from the 1960’s people still listened to at the time, such as Sam the Sham and the PharaohsWooly Bully, King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man, Zager and Evans' In the Year 2525, The Zombies' Time of the Season, and Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made for Walkin'. When you progress through the game, especially after you switch to playing as Louis DeAngelo for the rest of the story, years change, and the music changes. Different songs start playing on the radio, such as Sylvester's You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real), Randy Crawford's Street Life, and The Village People's Y.M.C.A., Cheryl Lynn's Got to Be Real, Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, and the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive start playing in the 1979 portion of the game. After you've completed the 1975 section of the game, Foghat's Slow Ride starts playing on the radio. Starting in the 1977 section of the game, Cheap Trick's I Want You to Want Me and Heart's Barracuda start playing on the radio. In the 1980's portion of the game, Thomas Dolby's songs Hyperactive! and She Blinded Me with Science, in addition to Night Ranger's Sister Christian also start playing on the radio. If Hangar 13 can afford the licenses, I also think a few Michael Jackson and Madonna songs should definitely be on the radio during the 1980's portion of the story, given the immense popularity and regular radio airtime those two had in that decade. If this ended up being possible, I imagine that Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Bad, and Billie Jean being on the radio in the 80's sections would be a must, Smooth Criminal especially because of how well it suits the series. Madonna's Lucky Star, Burning Up, Like a Virgin, and Borderline would also be perfect for the 80's portion of the game to me. Also mentioned by NPCs and civilians in the game are topical events of the time period, such as the release of the groundbreaking 1973 horror film The Exorcist at the end of Vito's playable portion of the game.
Other music of the 1980's segment when playing as Louis DeAngelo for the remainder of the game includes hits of the era such as Joe Jackson's Steppin' Out, The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star, Corey Hart's Sunglasses at Night, Laura Branigan's Self Control and Gloria, The Weather Girls' It's Raining Men, A-ha’s Take On Me, Men at Work's Down Under, Kim Wilde's Kids in America, The Gap Band's You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon, Twisted Sister's I Wanna Rock and We're Not Gonna Take It, Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive and Bad Medicine, Loverboy's Working for the Weekend, Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) and That's the Way (I Like It), Tiffany’s I Think We’re Alone Now, Daryl Hall & John Oates' Maneater, Aneka's Japanese Boy, Mötley Crüe's Dr. Feelgood, Girls, Girls, Girls and Kickstart My Heart, Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire, Huey Lewis And The News' Hip To Be Square, Bill Medley's (I've Had) The Time of My Life, The Police's Every Breath You Take, Whodini's Magic's Wand, Tears For Fears' Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Rockwell's Somebody's Watching Me, Regina's Baby Love, Nena's 99 Red Balloons, Earth, Wind, and Fire's Let's Groove and September, Billy Idol's Eyes Without a Face and White Wedding, Rick JamesGive It To Me Baby, Wham!'s Everything She Wants, George Michael's Careless Whisper, Toto's Hold the Line and Africa, Blondie's Heart of Glass and Atomic, and Mai Tai's History.
Note that not every single year and moment of the 17 year 1975-1992 section playing as Louis DeAngelo is playable or chronicled. My idea is it would be handled similarly to how the time skips in Mafia 1/Mafia: Definitive Edition were handled. Time skips of two or more years, or in this case, even longer such as 4 years sometimes, the game skipping from 1979 to 1983. This is to keep the game and story length ideal, and not risk it getting boring or repetitive, or going on for too long. Repetition was a big problem in Mafia III even if I still thought it was a superb game, so I think it'd be best to learn from that for the next big entry. The games story will skip ahead and show onscreen only what's significant, similar to the first Mafia game and it's remake, as well as certain aspects of Mafia II. Louis starts his section as a 22 year old fugitive soldato who got picked up by another crew south of the Canadian border, and in the epilogue of the game in 1992, is promoted to the consigliere of the Scaletta crime family at the age of 40, being set to take over the family once Vito and Joe become too old to run the day to day on a regular basis.
The years chronicled in the main gameplay segments are as follows:
1973
1975
1977
1979
1983
1985
1986
1987
1989
1990
1991
1992
Much more of the rural areas and countryside outside of Empire Bay are included than what was available in Mafia II. The way rural environments are handled for this hypothetical Mafia IV is akin to how Mafia: Definitive Edition and Mafia III handled their rural environments outside the main cities, except much larger in scale, given the increased power of the current new consoles such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X. This region is based off of upstate New York and the surrounding areas across multiple states in the Northeastern US, and includes forests, fields, mountains, rivers, lakes, beaches, and small towns. Also included are other cities and towns, based off of other large cities in New York like Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester, where other story missions, business activities, and side missions take place, along with smaller notable places like Ithaca, Binghamton, and Utica. The entire states of New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Maryland, and Ohio are also included, including places based off of all of their major cities and most of their notable towns in between. Large portions of Pennsylvania are included as well, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton. Large portions of the eastern half of the Canadian province of Ontario are included as well, including cities based off of Toronto, Ottawa, and Niagara Falls. There's even a small portion of Quebec included, including Montreal and the surrounding countryside of the province outside that city, including a few small towns in southern Quebec. The player must pass a quick border patrol check when crossing the US-Canada border in a car or other ground vehicle.
Wildlife is present in the game, mostly to add to the background, scenery, and immersion in rural environments on the map. These are all animals native to the Northeastern US, ranging from white tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, Canada lynxes, rabbits, hares, groundhogs, gophers, beavers, raccoons, opossums, bats, chipmunks, red and gray squirrels, mice, and rats to more formidable and potentially dangerous animals that may sometimes attack the player, such as grey wolves, black bears, mountain lions, and moose. These last four animals are known to spawn in the mountainous regions, especially in New York, Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Ontario, including the rural regions based off of the Catskills and the Adirondack mountains. Dogs are present in the cities, towns, and settlements where humans live and keep them as pets, being walked and sometimes found in people's yards. Some are used as guard dogs by enemies and are aggressive towards the player on sight. Domestic cats are also present in the background of residential areas, and both Louis and Vito own them as pets throughout the game in their safe houses, as well as other onscreen characters we see the homes of throughout the game.
Aircraft make their first usable appearance in the Mafia series too, from airplanes to helicopters. Vito cannot use planes or helicopters in his playable 1973 portion of the game, as he does not know how to pilot, being a paratrooper in World War II who never actually flew any of the planes himself. Aircraft are unlocked to use when Louis DeAngelo gets his pilot’s certificate offscreen in 1977, and at the end of a chapter set that year, Louis has to fly Vito in a helicopter to a penthouse in Downtown Empire Bay acting as a family safe house, equipped with a helipad. Louis frequently serves as a personal driver and pilot for both Vito and Joe afterwards, having done a lot in his time serving the family to earn their trust and respect.
Melee weapons also make a return from Mafia: Definitive Edition, with even more variety this time. In their respective sections of the game, Vito and Louis may use anything from baseball bats, pipes, shovels, brass knuckles, golf clubs, police batons, switchblades, kitchen knives, bowie knives, ice picks, 2x4s, claw hammers, crowbars, tire irons, chain links, machetes, meat cleavers, pickaxes, hatchets, sledgehammers, to fire axes. This amount of melee weapons is so no matter what environment the player finds themselves in during a mission or any other game activity, there is usually a weapon of some sort nearby. If the player has obtained piano wire, you may also strangle an enemy to death with it from behind as a stealth kill, this being a classic assassination method infamous for being used by the Italian Mafia. Rope can also be found and used for similar strangulation stealth kills, appearing in the gameplay environments where piano wire can’t be found. There is a wide variety of new guns and explosives to use in this concept for Mafia IV, going with the new weapons of the time the game takes place that criminals quickly got their hands on. This includes the SPAS-12 combat shotgun, the Beretta 92 pistol, the AK-74 assault rifle, the mini uzi, the MAC-10 submachine gun, both suppressed and unsuppressed variants, the Beretta 92 pistol, the Taurus raging bull revolver, Glock handguns, the TEC-9 machine pistol, illegally modified to be full auto, the Ruger Mini-14 full auto variant, and even Vietnam war era flamethrowers, which I think is only natural given that as of Mafia III, we already have RPGs and grenade launchers. Late in the game from the 1989 section and onwards, the Benelli M3 combat shotgun becomes available. The Milkor MGL grenade launcher becomes available beginning in the 1983 portion of the game. Attached grenade launchers are also available for the AK-47, AK-74, and M16 assault rifles.
Free ride makes a return in Mafia IV, with the player having the options to change the weather, time period, and an option to play as Louis, Vito, Joe, or Lincoln. Naturally, a multitude of new free ride missions are available as well.
I previously posted a much earlier and less detailed draft of this on the old Mafia3 subreddit 3 years ago back in 2017 as an idea for a hypothetical Mafia 3 expansion where you play as Vito, but have since updated and revamped it to a possible Mafia IV plot, and fixed any plot holes I noticed and made it much more fleshed out and in depth, and focus on more than just Vito in the end. You may view my original here if you so desire, to compare. https://www.reddit.com/Mafia3/comments/6sldhp/spoiler_mafia_iii_vito_dlc_basic_plot_idea/
Feel free to give me constructive criticism on this, as I encourage this discourse and believe it is integral to growing and improving, to build upon or improve these ideas I've come up with, or say whether or not you think something like this should happen in the future. Thank you for reading!
submitted by RichterTheRatman to MafiaTheGame [link] [comments]

[WTS] Auction Leftovers #5

Hello again, and good morning!
This listing is for items that did not sell during the December 13 Auction, so you can buy anything you want right here and right now - no buyer's premiums, no additional fees.
*FREE shipping for any order over $100.
*All items priced at $1 are now .75 each
NOTE: Since we are fast approaching Christmas, if you want me to ship your order via Priority Mail - to hopefully get it there by Christmas - please let me know during your first PM and I will get your order shipped ASAP. My wife and I just got back from the post office to mail a few items and were told that at this point, even Priority Mail cannot be guaranteed to arrive by Christmas, but it you want to give it a shot I am happy to oblige.
Each lot was individually imaged (front and back) for the auction - so the easiest way for you to see exactly what you're buying is to visit the auction link (the auction is over, so I'm not advertising anything different or advertising an upcoming auction) - so here that is:
https://www.invaluable.com/catalog/8o2qykf0og
Here is the required "prove you still have the stuff" photo with the username card and today's date:
PHOTO
Payment: PayPal only. I do not have Venmo/Zello/Bitcoin or any other form of digital payment at this time. No notes if using PPFF, please. (Thank you.) If you choose to use PPFF, please make sure to send me your shipping address here as it won't automatically load with your payment.
Shipping: I will charge you what it costs me for the USPS label rounded up to the nearest dollar. For First Class that is usually $4, for USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Small Box it will be $9. I will get you a tracking number right after payment is received and will get your package scanned into the USPS system within 24 hours of receipt of payment. I will offer "Risky Shipping" (via stamped greeting card) at my discretion for $1 - for single, small coins ONLY. NOTE: These prices are for Continental US shipping only - if you live outside the continental US, shipping will be more expensive. I am still happy to do it under the same rules as above, but just keep in mind it's going to cost more.
What do YOU need to do to buy coins from this group: send me a list of which lots you want (for example, I want to buy lots # 51, 52, 53, 54, 55) and I will send you a total. There are too many coins here (plus there are duplicates) so I cannot look up the coins you want by description - just give me lot numbers and it will be much simpler.
I'd like to make a simple and polite request - if I have sent you my PayPal information (meaning we've agreed to a deal) please finish it up as soon as you can so I can check you off the list and move on to the next person. This helps make sure you get all the coins we discussed and no one else is in limbo.
I will do my absolute best to update the ad as soon as lots sell.
LEFTOVERS:
51 Toner US Type Set 1$40.00
52 1963 Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
53 Toner US Type Set 3 $25.00
54 1959 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
55 1959 Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
56 World Silver - Panama 1904 5 Centesimos $3.00
57 1960 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
58 World Silver - Panama 1931 1/10 Balboa $3.00
59 World Silver - Germany 1937 D 2 Reichsmark $11.00
60 1976 D Eisenhower Dollar UNC MINT CELLO $4.00
61 World Silver - Panama 1931 1/10 Balboa $3.00
62 1960 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
63 World Silver - France 1903 50 Centimes KEY DATE $4.00
64 1977 D Eisenhower Dollar UNC MINT CELLO $4.00
65 1960 Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
66 1962 Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
67 1959 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
68 Toner US Type Set 6 $50.00
70 1936 Mercury Dime Doubled Die Obverse HIGH GRADE $30.00
71 1963 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
72 1956 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
73 1961 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
74 1957 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
75 1957 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
80 1956 Roosevelt Dime UNC TONED $6.00
81 1959 Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
83 1954 Washington Quarter $5.00
84 1960 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
86 1961 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
87 1964 Washington Quarter TONED $6.00
89 1976 S Silver Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
90 1974 D Eisenhower Dollar UNC MINT CELLO $4.00
94 1964 Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
95 Illinois Governer Otto Kerner Inauguration Medal $2.00
96 1963 Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
97 1964 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
98 1963 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
99 1961 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
100 1963 Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
151 1961 Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
153 World Silver - Great Britain 1893 Sixpence $4.00
154 1964 D Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
156 World Silver - Bahamas 1974 Proof 50 Cents LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
157 1964 D Washington Quarter TONED $6.00
158 World Silver - Bahamas 1976 Proof 50 Cents LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
159 World Silver - Bahamas 1970 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
161 World Silver - Bahamas 1971 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
162 1959 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC $10.00
163 1959 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC TONED $12.00
164 World Silver - Bahamas 1971 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
165 World Silver - Bahamas 1974 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
166 1960 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC $10.00
167 1960 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC $10.00
168 World Silver - Bahamas 1976 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
170 1964 Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
171 World Silver - Bahamas 1974 Proof 2 Dollars LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
172 1963 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC TONED $12.00
173 1964 Kennedy Half Mint Clip Error $12.00
174 World Silver - Bahamas 1976 Proof 2 Dollars LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
175 1964 D Washington Quarter UNC TONED $8.00
176 World Silver - British Virgin Islands 1973 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
177 World Silver - British Virgin Islands 1973 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
178 World Silver - British Virgin Islands 1973 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
179 Stag Beer Wooden Nickel "Fair on the Square" $1.00
180 The TV Shop Slidell, LA One Wooden Buck $1.00
181 World Silver - British Virgin Islands 1974 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
182 World Silver - British Virgin Islands 1974 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
183 World Silver - British Virgin Islands 1975 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
185 1962 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter NICE $8.00
186 World Silver - Australia 1923 Sixpence $4.00
188 1957 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
190 1996 D Kennedy Half UNC MINT CELLO $1.00
191 State of Missouri Sesquicentennial Medal $1.00
192 World Silver - Canada 1948 10 Cents $2.00
193 State of Missouri Sesquicentennial Medal $2.00
194 State of Missouri Sesquicentennial Medal $2.00
195 World Silver - Canada 1948 10 Cents $2.00
196 World Silver - Canada 1948 10 Cents $2.00
197 1957 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
198 World Silver - Canada 1935 10 Cents $2.00
199 1974 D Kennedy Half Dollar DDO UNC $20.00
251 World Silver - Bahamas 1970 Proof 50 Cents LOW MINTAGE $5.00
252 World Silver - Canada 1935 10 Cents $2.00
253 1978 D Kennedy Half Dollar UNC from Mint Set GEM BU TONED $20.00
254 World Silver - Canada 1935 10 Cents $2.00
255 1957 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter NICE $6.00
256 1979 Kennedy Half Dollar UNC from Mint Set GEM BU TONED $8.00
257 1986 D Kennedy Half Dollar UNC from Mint Set GEM BU TONED $6.00
258 1986 D Kennedy Half Dollar UNC from Mint Set GEM BU TONED $6.00
259 1954 S Washington Quarter UNC $10.00
260 1957 Washington Quarter UNC TONED $10.00
261 1963 Type B Reverse Washington Quarter UNC TONED $20.00
262 1999 D Kennedy Half Dollar UNC from Mint Set GEM BU PROOFLIKE $3.00
263 World Silver - Bahamas 1973 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
264 World Silver - Bahamas 1974 Proof 1 Dollar LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
265 Panama - 1975 Proof 5 Centesimos in OGP cello $1.00
266 1971 D Eisenhower Dollar "Talon Head" Obverse Die Clash / "Moon Line" Reverse Die Clash UNC TONED $10.00
267 World Silver - Bahamas 1971 Proof 2 Dollars LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
269 Maybrook NY Golden Jubilee Good For 10 Cent Wooden Nickel $1.00
270 Maybrook NY 1975 Golden Jubilee 25 Cent Wooden Nickel $1.00
271 1962 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter NICE $6.00
272 1974 Eisenhower Dollar UNC RAINBOW TONED $12.00
273 World Silver - Barbados 1973 Proof 5 Dollars LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
274 1962 Type B Reverse Washington Silver Quarter NICE $6.00
275 World Silver - Barbados 1973 Proof 5 Dollars LOW MINTAGE 1.1xMELT
276 World Silver - Australia 1920 Shilling $6.00
280 World Silver - Australia 1943 Shilling $6.00
281 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse Book Low UNC $2.00
282 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse Book Low UNC $2.00
283 World Silver - Canada 1973 5 Dollars UNC 1.1xMELT
284 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 012 UNC $2.00
285 World Silver - Canada 1973 5 Dollars UNC 1.1xMELT
287 1983 Lincoln Cent DDO FS-101 $25.00
288 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 012 UNC $2.00
289 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 012 UNC $2.00
290 1983 Lincoln Cent DDO UNC GEM BU $50.00
291 1964 D Washington Silver Quarter UNC TONED $8.00
292 2000 "Wide AM" Lincoln Cent UNC $12.00
293 1960's Terre Haute, IN Sesquicentennial Wooden Nickel $2.00
294 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 002 UNC $2.00
295 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 002 UNC $2.00
296 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 002 UNC $2.00
297 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 002 UNC $2.00
298 1982 Buffalo NY Sesquicentennial Wooden Nickel $1.00
299 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 002 UNC $2.00
300 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 002 UNC $2.00
351 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 013 UNC $2.00
352 Denmark - 1950 5 Ore KEY DATE $8.00
353 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 013 UNC $2.00
354 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 013 UNC $2.00
355 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 013 UNC $2.00
356 2009 P Lincoln Cent "Formative Years" Doubled Die Reverse 013 UNC $2.00
357 1990 Rappahannock Area Coin Club Wooden Nickel $1.00
360 Old Time Wooden Nickel Co Support Our Troops Wooden Nickel $1.00
361 1941 S "Large S" Lincoln Wheat Cent $1.00
362 1941 S "Large S" Lincoln Wheat Cent $1.00
363 1941 S "Large S" Lincoln Wheat Cent $1.00
364 1980 D Jefferson Nickel Mint Error - Minor Curved Clip (@3:30) $3.00
365 1979 S "Type 2 - Clear S" Proof Jefferson Nickel $2.00
366 1979 S "Type 2 - Clear S" Proof Jefferson Nickel $2.00
374 Sudan - 1972 50 Ghirsh UNC $2.00
375 50 Cents in Trade Token $1.00
376 World Silver - Canada 1904 10 Cents $2.00
377 Clear Lake, IA Perkins Wooden Nickel $1.00
378 50 Cents in Trade Token $1.00
379 Medallic Art Co Grand Canyon National Park 50th Anniversary Medal Bronze $3.00
380 Great Britain - 1981 25 New Pence UNC $3.00
381 "The Great War for Civilization" Art Deco Medal $5.00
382 Pomona National Bridge / Jackson County 200 Year Anniversary Medal $3.00
383 Guyana - 1970 1 Dollar UNC $2.00
385 Illawarrra Numismatic Association Membership Discount Wooden Nickel Token $1.00
386 San Juan Quality Royale Casino Token $1 Face Value $1.00
387 Canada - 1963 Prooflike 1 Cent Emerald Rainbow Toning $3.00
388 Artisan Silverworks Temecula, CA Wooden Nickel $1.00
389 Canada - 1966 1 Cent Emerald Toning $2.00
392 5 Cent Token $1.00
393 Netherlands East Indies - 1945 S 1 Cent UNC $2.00
395 Denmark - 1904/804 1 Ore NICE $8.00
396 Netherlands Antilles - 1965 2.5 Cents UNC TONED $6.00
398 Netherlands - 1921 1/2 Cent BETTER DATE $2.00
399 Netherlands - 1922 1/2 Cent BETTER DATE $4.00
451 Sweden - 1901 1 Ore $1.00
452 Norway - 1948 50 Ore Overdate 4/4 $5.00
453 Netherlands Antilles - 1959 1 Cent UNC $2.00
454 Korea (Republic) - 1959 100 Hwan NICE $8.00
457 World Silver - Canada 1945 10 Cents $2.00
458 Canada - 1948 5 Cents $1.00
459 Korea (Republic) - 1968 1 Won NICE $1.00
460 Denmark - 1951 10 Ore NICE $5.00
461 Barbados - 1973 Proof 5 Cents in OGP $1.00
463 Barbados - 1973 Proof 25 Cents in OGP $1.00
465 Hungary - 1965 2 Filler Key Date $5.00
466 World Silver - Canada 1886 Ten Cents $7.00
468 Switzerland - 1968 5 Rappen UNC TONED $1.00
471 Trinidad & Tobago - 1973 Proof 1 Cent in OGP $1.00
472 British Virgin Islands - 1974 Proof 10 Cents in OGP cello $1.00
476 British Virgin Islands - 1973 Proof 1 Cent in OGP $1.00
479 World Silver - Australia 1920 Shilling $8.00
480 Barbados - 1980 Proof 25 Cents in OGP cello $1.00
481 World Silver - Switzerland 1975 1 Franc $6.00
483 10 Great Britain Large Pennies - all different dates as early as 1900 $6.00
485 10 Great Britain Large Pennies - all different dates as early as 1900 $6.00
486 10 Great Britain Large Pennies - all different dates as early as 1900 $6.00
488 Netherlands East Indies - 1921 1/2 Cent NICE KEY DATE $8.00
493 10 Great Britain Large Pennies - all different dates as early as 1900 $6.00
495 France - 1946 C 5 Francs $1.00
499 World Silver - Australia 1922 Sixpence $5.00
500 France - 1946 5 Francs $1.00
552 10 Great Britain Large Pennies $6.00
553 Switzerland - 1902 2 Rappen KEY DATE FIRST YEAR $8.00
554 Panama - 1975 Proof 1 Centesimo in OGP $5.00
555 Panama - 1975 Proof 10 Centesimos in OGP $1.00
556 Panama - 1976 Proof 10 Centesimos in OGP $1.00
557 World Silver - Australia 1928 Shilling $5.00
558 10 Great Britain Large Pennies $6.00
559 Panama - 1975 Proof 25 Centesimos in OGP $1.00
561 Panama - 1975 Proof 5 Centesimos in OGP $1.00
562 Panama - 1976 Proof 5 Centesimos in OGP $2.00
563 10 Great Britain Large Pennies $6.00
564 10 Great Britain Large Pennies $6.00
565 World Silver - Australia 1917 M 1 Florin $8.00
566 World Silver - Australia 1912 1 Shilling KEY DATE $8.00
567 World Silver - Australia 1913 1 Shilling KEY DATE $8.00
568 Panama - 1974 Proof 5 Centesimos in OGP cello $1.00
569 World Silver - Australia 1917 M Sixpence KEY DATE $6.00
571 World Silver - Australia 1922 Sixpence KEY DATE $8.00
572 Panama - 1973 Proof 1/10 Balboa in OGP $1.00
573 World Silver - Australia 1912 Shilling $8.00
574 Barbados - 1973 Proof 1 Cent $1.00
575 Panama - 1973 Proof 1/4 Balboa in OGP $1.00
577 10 Great Britain Large Pennies $6.00
578 10 Great Britain Large Pennies $6.00
579 10 Great Britain Large Pennies $6.00
580 World Silver - Denmark 1874 25 Ore $4.00
582 10 Great Britain Large Pennies $6.00
584 Liberia - 1974 Proof 10 Cents in OGP $1.00
585 10 Great Britain Large Pennies $6.00
587 World Silver - Portugal 1933 2 1/2 Escudos KEY DATE $6.00
588 World Silver - New Zealand 1943 6 Pence $3.00
589 10 Great Britain Large Pennies $6.00
590 12 Great Britain Large Pennies $6.00
591 1979 Swedish Shooting Medal $2.00
592 1984 Swedish Shooting Medal $2.00
594 Bahamas - 1970 Proof 1 Cent in OGP $1.00
596 Token "10" Unknown origin $1.00
597 World Silver - Ecuador 1833 1 Real $15.00
651 Sarawak - 1930 1 Cent NICE $5.00
652 Indiana Sesquicentennial Medal 1966 $3.00
653 1960 Roxborough/Manayunk/Wissahickon (Philadelphia) 250th Anniversary Medal $3.00
654 Alleppey Dist Treasury 286 Token $3.00
655 Creotina Remedies Belleville, IL Token $3.00
656 World Silver - Canada 1881 H 25 Cents $8.00
657 Mexico - 2001 1 Peso UNC in original cello $1.00
659 World Silver - Germany (Wurttemburg) 1805 6 Kreuzer $8.00
661 Greece - 1959 10 Drachmai UNC $6.00
664 World Silver - Canada 1921 25 Cents $5.00
665 Franklin D Roosevelt $2 Trade Token Union Maystern $3.00
667 Russia - 1994 50 Roubles Blind Mole Rat LOW MINTAGE UNC $3.00
668 World Silver - Germany (Hamburg) 1700's 1 Schilling (12 Pfennig) $4.00
670 Barbados - 1973 Proof 1 Cent and 5 Cents in OGP (two coins) $4.00
671 Barbados - 1973 Proof 10 Cents and 25 Cents in OGP (two coins) $1.00
672 Mint of Romania Aluminum Token UNC $3.00
673 Bahamas - 1973 and 1974 Proof 1 Cents in OGP (two coins) $1.00
674 Bahamas - 1973 and 1974 Proof 5 Cents in OGP (two coins) $1.00
676 Penny Press Mint 1 Dollar Token (Morgan Dollar Inspired Design) $2.00
677 Penny Press Mint 1 Dollar Token (Morgan Dollar Inspired Design) $2.00
678 France (Paris) Montmartre Auditing Firm "Good for one audition" Token $2.00
679 Thailand - Bangkok Institute of Accounting Token $1.00
680 Swedish Shooting Medal Double Pistols Design $3.00
681 1941 Mercury Dime Pin $4.00
683 Korea (Republic) - 1959 100 Hwan $3.00
684 Russia - 1994 50 Roubles Bison NICE LOW MINTAGE $2.00
685 Coca-Cola 1974 "It's the real thing" Silver Dollar City Token $5.00
686 State Mint of Romania Octagonal Token UNC $2.00
687 France - 1943 B 50 Centimes BETTER DATE $3.00
688 World Silver - Australia 1918 M Sixpence KEY DATE $15.00
689 World Silver - Canada 1891 Ten Cents $6.00
691 World Silver - Australia 1920 M Sixpence SEMI KEY DATE $6.00
692 Mount Vernon, VA High School Token $1.00
693 Mexico - 1954 5 Centavos UNC $1.00
694 World Silver - Canada 1948 Ten Cents $2.00
696 Russia - 1992 100 Roubles UNC $2.00
698 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Driver's Association "good for one full fare" token $2.00
699 Mexico - 1973 20 Centavos UNC $3.00
700 World Silver - Canada 1948 10 Cents $2.00
751 Canada - 1957 House of Commons Medal $3.00
752 Mexico - 1955 5 Centavos $1.00
753 Mexico - 1955 5 Centavos $1.00
754 National Pony Express Centennial Medal So Called Dollar UNC TONED $5.00
756 Four Canada 1991 UNC Cents (4 coins) in OGP CELLO $1.00
757 Four Canada 1991 UNC 5 Cents (4 coins) in OGP CELLO $1.00
758 Pair of Two Thomas Jefferson 1 Cent Postal Stamps $1.00
759 Four Canada 1991 UNC 10 Cents (4 coins) in OGP CELLO $1.00
760 Philippines - 1975 Proof 10 Cents in OGP $1.00
761 Mexico - 2000 10 Pesos UNC in original cello $6.00
762 Philippines - 1975 Proof 5 Cents in OGP $1.00
763 India - 1926 1/12 Anna NICE $2.00
764 World Silver - Canada 1948 25 Cents $5.00
765 Mexico - 2000 20 Pesos UNC in original cello $10.00
766 Four Canada 1991 UNC 50 Cents (4 coins) in OGP CELLO $3.00
767 Four Canada 1991 UNC 1 Dollar (4 coins) in OGP CELLO $5.00
768 Morocco - AH1320 10 Mazunas $8.00
769 Korea (Republic) - 1972 5 Won UNC $1.00
770 Korea (Republic) - 1974 50 Won NICE $1.00
771 Jamaica - 1976 Proof 1 Cent in OGP $1.00
772 Korea (Republic) - 1979 100 Won NICE $1.00
774 Mexico - 1935 20 Centavos NICE $6.00
776 1974 P Kennedy Half Dollar UNC MINT CELLO $2.00
777 Poland - 2014 2 Zlotych UNC $2.00
778 Mexico - 1913 1 Centavo $1.00
779 Mexico - 1921 1 Centavo BETTER DATE $8.00
780 Mexico - 1924 1 Centavo BETTER DATE $8.00
782 Two Mixed Tokens $1.00
783 1976 P Kennedy Half Dollar UNC MINT CELLO $2.00
786 Canada - 1970 1 Cent TONED $1.00
787 Canada - 1932 1 Cent NICE $2.00
788 State Penal Institution 5 Cent Good For Token $3.00
789 1953 Silver Proof Washington Quarter NICE $15.00
791 District Treasury Alleppey 1860 Token Government of Kerala $2.00
792 Russia (Empire) - 1881 1 Kopek $1.00
794 2011 S Silver Proof Glacier Quarter $6.00
795 North Fork, West Virginia 1 Penny 1903 Masonic Token NICE $3.00
796 2013 S Silver Proof Great Basin Quarter $6.00
797 Canada - 1939 Coronation Medal $2.00
799 Germany (Empire) - 1890 A 20 Pfennig $10.00
851 France - 1935 1 Franc KEY DATE $5.00
852 Great Britain - Queen Victoria 60 Years of Rule Medal $3.00
853 Peru - 1878 1 Centavo $3.00
854 Belgium - 1944 2 Franc NICE $1.00
855 World Silver - Canada 1948 25 Cents $5.00
859 Monarch Automatic Co Northhampton Good For One Coupon in Trading Token $2.00
860 Netherlands - 1881 1 Cent $1.00
862 Mexico - 2000 20 Pesos UNC in original cello $10.00
864 World Silver - Australia 1913 Shilling $8.00
866 $1 Good For Token Large $3.00
867 Canada - 1939 Coronation Medal $3.00
868 2011 S Silver Proof Chickasaw Quarter $6.00
869 2013 S Silver Proof White Mountain Quarter $6.00
870 Belgium - 1836 2 Centimes $1.00
874 Germany (Prussia) - 1834 D 1 Pfennig $1.00
876 World Silver - Panama 1931 1/10 Balboa $4.00
878 1953 Queen Elizabeth Coronation Medal $3.00
880 World Silver - Australia 1920 M Sixpence $6.00
886 Canada - 1962 "Hanging 2" 1 Cent UNC $4.00
888 Australia - 2014 1 Dollar 100 Years of ANZAC $1.00
893 Duenweg, Missouri State Bank One Quart Token NICE $3.00
894 Rotary International Token $1.00
896 Canada - 1930 House of Commons Medal $3.00
900 France - 1944 C 2 Francs $1.00
951 France - 1944 C 2 Francs $1.00
952 Poland - 2006 2 Zlotych $3.00
953 Poland - 2003 2 Zlotych $3.00
956 Poland - 2004 2 Zlotych $3.00
972 2010 S Silver Proof Mount Hood Quarter $6.00
974 2011 S Silver Proof Olympic Quarter $6.00
975 World Silver - Australia 1916 1 Florin $9.00
976 2010 S Silver Proof Yosemite Quarter $6.00
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The next Detroit: The catastrophic collapse of Atlantic City

With the closure of almost half of Atlantic City's casinos, Newark set to vote on gambling and casinos or racinos in almost every state, it seems as if the reasons for the very existence of Atlantic City are in serious jeopardy.
Israel Joffe
Atlantic City, once a major vacation spot during the roaring 20s and 1930s, as seen on HBOs Boardwalk Empire, collapsed when cheap air fare became the norm and people had no reason to head to the many beach town resorts on the East Coast. Within a few decades, the city, known for being an ‘oasis of sin’ during the prohibition era, fell into serious decline and dilapidation.
New Jersey officials felt the only way to bring Atlantic City back from the brink of disaster would be to legalize gambling. Atlantic City’s first casino, Resorts, first opened its doors in 1978. People stood shoulder to shoulder, packed into the hotel as gambling officially made its way to the East Coast. Folks in the East Coast didn't have to make a special trip all the way to Vegas in order to enjoy some craps, slots, roulette and more.
As time wore on, Atlantic City became the premier gambling spots in the country.
While detractors felt that the area still remained poor and dilapidated, officials were quick to point out that the casinos didn't bring the mass gentrification to Atlantic City as much as they hoped but the billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs for the surrounding communities was well worth it.
Atlantic City developed a reputation as more of a short-stay ‘day-cation’ type of place, yet managed to stand firm against the 'adult playground' and 'entertainment capital of the world' Las Vegas.
Through-out the 1980s, Atlantic City would become an integral part of American pop culture as a place for east coast residents to gamble, watch boxing, wrestling, concerts and other sporting events.
However in the late 1980s, a landmark ruling considered Native-American reservations to be sovereign entities not bound by state law. It was the first potential threat to the iron grip Atlantic City and Vegas had on the gambling and entertainment industry.
Huge 'mega casinos' were built on reservations that rivaled Atlantic City and Vegas. In turn, Vegas built even more impressive casinos.
Atlantic City, in an attempt to make the city more appealing to the ‘big whale’ millionaire and billionaire gamblers, and in effort to move away from its ‘seedy’ reputation, built the luxurious Borgata casino in 2003. Harrah’s created a billion dollar extension and other casinos in the area went through serious renovations and re-branded themselves.
It seemed as if the bite that the Native American casinos took out of AC and Vegas’ profits was negligible and that the dominance of those two cities in the world of gambling would remain unchallenged.
Then Macau, formally a colony of Portugal, was handed back to the Chinese in 1999. The gambling industry there had been operated under a government-issued monopoly license by Stanley Ho's Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau. The monopoly was ended in 2002 and several casino owners from Las Vegas attempted to enter the market.
Under the one country, two systems policy, the territory remained virtually unchanged aside from mega casinos popping up everywhere. All the rich ‘whales’ from the far east had no reason anymore to go to the United States to spend their money.
Then came the biggest threat.
As revenue from dog and horse racing tracks around the United States dried up, government officials needed a way to bring back jobs and revitalize the surrounding communities. Slot machines in race tracks started in Iowa in 1994 but took off in 2004 when Pennsylvania introduced ‘Racinos’ in an effort to reduce property taxes for the state and to help depressed areas bounce back.
As of 2013, racinos were legal in ten states: Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia with more expected in 2015.
Tracks like Delaware Park and West Virginia's Mountaineer Park, once considered places where local degenerates bet on broken-down nags in claiming races, are now among the wealthiest tracks around, with the best races.
The famous Aqueduct race track in Queens, NY, once facing an uncertain future, now possesses the most profitable casino in the United States.
From June 2012 to June 2013, Aqueduct matched a quarter of Atlantic City's total gaming revenue from its dozen casinos: $729.2 million compared with A.C.'s $2.9 billion. It has taken an estimated 15 percent hit on New Jersey casino revenue and climbing.
And it isn't just Aqueduct that's taking business away from them. Atlantic City's closest major city, Philadelphia, only 35-40 minutes away, and one of the largest cities in America, now has a casino that has contributed heavily to the decline in gamers visiting the area.
New Jersey is the third state in the U.S. to have authorized internet gambling. However, these online casinos are owned and controlled by Atlantic City casinos in an effort to boost profits in the face of fierce competition.
California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Texas are hoping to join Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and the U.S. Virgin Islands in offering online gambling to their residents.
With this in mind, it seems the very niche that Atlantic City once offered as a gambling and entertainment hub for east coast residents is heading toward the dustbin of history.
Time will tell if this city will end up like Detroit. However, the fact that they are losing their biggest industry to major competition, much like Detroit did, with depressed housing, casinos bankrupting/closing and businesses fleeing , it all makes Atlantic City’s fate seem eerily similar.
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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Feb. 8, 1988

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
• PREVIOUS •
1987
FUTURE YEARS ARCHIVE:
The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
1-4-1988 1-11-1988 1-18-1988 1-25-1988
2-1-1988
  • The wrestling war is, for all intents and purposes, over. The war between the territories, the ongoing collapse of the territory system, and Vince McMahon’s rise is certainly the biggest story in decades, and at this point the war is over and Vince McMahon has won. Sure, the fighting is still ongoing, but even if JCP can recover from their troubles, the gap between them and WWF is there and it’s just going to keep widening.
  • The biggest story of the week is that WWF has announced its ppv schedule for the next year. March 27 (Wrestlemania IV), August 29, November 24 (Survivor Series), and January 15 (Royal Rumble). Four ppvs doesn’t look like a big deal, just capitalization on the market trend. But it’s going to have a major effect on Crockett. Crockett had been planning ppv shows in early April (Crockett Cup), July (Great American Bash), and November 24 (Starrcade). With WWF’s new calendar and the exclusivity clause in their ppv deals requiring no competing wrestling ppv events 60 days before and 21 days after their shows and the success of Survivor Series and Wrestlemania IV (presumed for that one - Dave expects Wrestlemania IV to be the biggest grossing ppv ever to this point), WWF is putting the squeeze to Crockett. And in doing so, they’re killing any chance Crockett can compete and break into the ppv market. Long-term, ppv is going to mean live gates will be completely insignificant (like it already is in boxing - and hey, in 2020 we have seen the prophecy fulfilled). Because of ppv, Dave expects Wrestlemania IV to gross as much as every other American promotion will gross for the entirety of 1988, combined. Hence why the gap is wide and will only get wider, and JCP will never catch up. JCP’s going to try to counter, and the apparent move will be to shift those events to prime-time WTBS live (or very recently filmed, like a Saturday Night’s Main Event) specials all built as major cards. Starrcade probably will not be among those, Dave figures this will help.
  • WWF’s Royal Rumble came out the clear winner against the Bunkhouse Stampede Finals. The Rumble drew an 8.2 rating and was seen in 3.2 million homes, which is twice as many people as when Georgia Championship Wrestling’s show on WTBS was big several years ago when this wrestling war was getting started. It’s the highest rated show in the history of the USA network, and the encore broadcast on Monday drew a 4.8 rating (a regular episode of Prime Time Wrestling in that time slot usually draws a 2.9). All this means that the repeat showing of the Rumble was probably the second highest rated show on cable during the last week.
  • PPV numbers take longer to get, but it’s possible to make some sense of preliminary reports for the Bunkhouse Finals. The show was likely profitable, purely in terms of money, but the reaction was strongly negative. Early reports estimate the buyrate at 4%, which tells us that if given a fair shot at ppv, Crocket could be profitable with a ppv line up. That’s also encouraging for Crockett, since the card wasn’t strong and the show didn’t have the best heat, but those things may be moot now that WWF has a full year’s schedule set up. Big props to the JCP broadcast team for how well they sold the ppv in advance, because ppv and closed-circuit purchases are majority (90%) last minute, as opposed to house show tickets which are typically bought well in advance.
  • Wrestlemania IV is expected to sell out by the time this issue hits you. Yeah, Dave. By 32 years now. Anyway, about 14,000 seats went on sale to the general public on Saturday and all but a few thousand were sold by the end of the day. The highest price was $150. It’s funny to Dave that despite the crowd discrepancy, WWF may make as much off 14,000 tickets for Mania IV as they did selling 90,000 for Mania III (The April 3, 2000 issue is the earliest I can find for when Dave revised his view of the numbers for Wrestlemania 3). Anyway, the Convention Center is home to Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, and Donald Trump is using Wrestlemania as the centerpiece of a weekend-long event designed to attract vacation families to his casinos, including a Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine concert in the adjacent Convention Center ballroom. So I guess we can put Donald Trump down as the innovator of Wrestlemania weekend. WWF claims Wrestlemania will be available in up to 9 million homes on ppv, and if the show gets a similar buyrate to last year’s then we’re talking around $15 million on ppv, $1 million live, and probably $4-5 million at closed-circuit.
Watch: Dave Meltzer talks about Bresloff telling him 78,000
  • The employment status of the Rock & Roll Express, Michael Hayes, and Steve Williams with JCP has significantly cleared up. The Rock & Roll Express were fired at the Bunkhouse Finals. On January 23, they were asked to do a clean job to Warlord and Ivan Koloff in 12 minutes. Koloff’s been a low card guy recently, and they have been main guys for years, so instead they did the job in 12 seconds (Ricky Morton laid down and let Warlord pin him). Then they flew to New York for the finals, and Dusty learned what happened (he was not at the show on the 23rd) and fired them on the spot. They could be heading anywhere, though WWF is doubtful due to their size. Michael Hayes was fired last week following an incident. He was teaming with Jimmy Garvin and feuding with Ric Flair on the most recent tour; those spots have been taken by Ron Garvin and Sting, the latter of whom is having an accelerated push as a result. Hayes is expected back at World Class, though he did send a resume to WWF. As for Steve Williams, he stayed an extra week in Japan and missed the Stampede. He’s in a contract dispute with Crockett over whether the money he makes in Japan counts against his guaranteed minimum pay from Crockett (Crockett says yes, Williams says no, you’re not paying it so it doesn’t count toward the minimum you are paying him - corporations are not your friends). Williams has disconnected his phone and is out of communication.
  • Cable ratings for wrestling in the fourth quarter of 1987 dropped from the the third quarter. The World Championship Wrestling show dropped from second to eighth overall, and WWF’s All-American Wrestling surpassed it at seventh. Prime Time Wrestling, formerly ranked third, fell to tenth, while the Sunday WTBS show dropped from tenth to twentieth. AWA on ESPN dropped out of the top 20 (it was number 19 in the third quarter). Some of the drop probably comes from the change in how ratings are gathered (enter the Nielsen box, or “people-meter” as it’s known at this point). There’s controversy about this whole way of gathering ratings, as detractors believe that the boxes ensure shows that appeal to women will receive higher ratings than they would get otherwise. Regardless, wrestling shows across the board dropped about 10% in the ratings in the fourth quarter.
  • New Japan’s “Martial Arts Olympic” event in the Tokyo Dome has some hoping it will surpass Wrestlemania 3 for biggest live gate ever. They’ve sold tickets at as much as $220 for ringside and sold out those events, so there’s a chance they could if they price right and sell out. Dave’s been told that Inoki vs. Koji Kitao has the potential to double the gate of Inoki’s matches with Leon Spinks and Masa Saito (each over $700,000). If they can get Taue, that’s probably the best opponent they can get for Inoki to ensure a big draw. I think last week he may have written All Japan, but he's very clear this is an Inoki idea this week.
  • Speaking of Inoki, New Japan recently did a tour in Italy. The big show was January 24 in Rome and drew 8,000 fans. New Japan actually airs on tv in Italy, and Inoki was the big draw, and he pinned Badnews Allen in the main event. Shane Douglas won a battle royal on the show too. These are the first “western-style” pro wrestling matches in Italy since WWF did a show in Milan back in October.
  • Jake Roberts was on Ellery Queen mystery magazine’s cover this month, and Muscular Development did a cover story on Jesse Ventura. The Ventura article is excellent, but mostly about his life and training regimen, and not to do with wrestling.
Jake Roberts on the cover of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
  • Genichiro Tenryu won all the major awards in Japan. Tokyo Sports named in MVP of wrestling, and Gong Magazine and Weekly Pro Wrestling gave him the equivalent. He beat Riki Choshu in Gong’s annual popularity poll as the most popular Japanese wrestler (Maeda came in second, so pressure there for New Japan to bring him back). Chigusa Nagayo placed 9th, the first time a woman has cracked the top ten of Gong’s poll.
  • Dave went to the WWF show at the Cow Palace on January 30. It’s his first live show since Japan, and the show drew pretty well, but not as well as you’d expect from a show with a battle royal in the area. The big news of the show were four no-shows: the British Bulldogs (Dave’s heard one of them collapsed at the airport and the other went to the hospital with him), Billy Jack Haynes (his health’s really bad and he’s missed a lot of bookings lately and folks are speculating his career is done), and Bam Bam Bigelow (scheduled to face Ted DiBiase, but he had knee surgery so no clue when he’ll be back). Due to the no-shows, the athletic commission ordered WWF to offer refunds to anyone who wanted them before the end of the second match. He runs down the card: Ron Bass pinned JYD, Ultimate Warrior pinned Harley Race. Warrior’s over big, but still sucks. Ted DiBiase beat George Steele by DQ and Dave alludes to last week’s decision to no longer call matches “abortions” and says “The only word to describe this match is one that has been banned from my vocabulary.” Don Muraco pinned Butch Reed in an okay match. The Jumping Bomb Angels beat the Glamour Girls to retain their tag titles in the only good match on the card (Dave gives it three stars). Noriyo Tateno pinned one of the Girls, Dave doesn’t identify her, saying “you know how it is with those people, they all look alike to me,” which is a pretty solid skewering of people who say that about the Angels and other Asian wrestlers, imo. Ted DiBiase won the bunkhouse battle royal to moderate heat. Hercules pinned Hillbilly Jim. Jim Duggan and Ken Patera beat Demolition and Mr. Fuji by pinning Fuji. Jake Roberts and One Man Gang went to a double countout.
  • By the way, the California state assembly voted 60-7 to reclassify pro wrestling as entertainment and not a sport. So that means once the bill passes the state senate, athletic commissions will have no power over pro wrestling in California, and wrestlers will not need wrestling licenses to work in the state (which was already a joke of a requirement - Dave got a print-out once of all 60 wrestlers licensed in California and major guys like Hogan and Steamboat weren’t on the list).
  • The lineup for AWA’s February 4 show, the last at the Minneapolis Auditorium before it’s demolished, has been announced. Curt Hennig defends the AWA Title against Greg Gagne in a cage match. The Midnight Rockers defend the tag titles against a mystery team (the latest announcement was Nick Kiniski and Kevin Kelly, but Kiniski was let go this week and they’re building to a face turn for Kelly). The rest of the card has Dick the Bruiser vs. Adnan al-Kaissey, Billy Robinson vs. Tom Zenk (particularly interesting since Robinson is in for a one-off but has a reputation as a shooter, as well as competing against Verne as a promoter sometimes, so there’s a chance he may go into business for himself), Wahoo McDaniel and Baron Von Raschke vs. The Nasty Boys, and Billy Jack Strong vs. Soldat Ustinov.
  • Adrian Adonis broke his ankle at the AWA tv tapings in Minot, North Dakota.He was getting whipped into the turnbuckle and stepped into a hole in the ring. He won’t be back for at least two months. Adonis has about 4 months left before he dies.
  • AWA released a song called “Superstars of the AWA.” Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett were in it due to the increased swapping of talent between Memphis and AWA. I could not find the song.
  • Something Dave forgot to mention about the WWF battle royal in San Francisco. Technically there were 19 guys, but only 18 actually worked the match. George Steele came out about a minute late, walked around the ring for a few minutes without getting inside, and then just walked to the back with JYD when JYD was eliminated (JYD was the second out of the match). Dave guesses at George’s age he didn’t want to take the bump or something. Dave recalls a story he heard about an unnamed WWF “neanderthal character” who stalled outside the ring for a complete match, and when one fan yelled to “Get in the ring, you lazy bum” he retorted (despite his character not being able to speak English): “What do you think this is, the NWA?”
  • WWF Superstars tapings were held on January 26 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Barry Horowitz and Steve Lombardi beat Lanny Poffo and Scott Casey, which set up the main event for the second hour of the taping where the Killer Bees beat Horowitz and Lombardi. Rick Rude and Ricky Steamboat had a match that ended in a big brawl that got Hercules, Harley Race, Jim Duggan, and Ultimate Warrior involved. The main event of the live show was not taped for tv, but had Hogan and Bigelow going over Andre and DiBiase (Hogan pinned DiBiase). Andre’s contribution to the match was one minute (of nine total for the match) in the ring, and a body slam to Hogan before almost collapsing. Commentary for this taping was not done live, but rather will be done in post-production due to the fact that they’re waiting for The Main Event first, since these will all air after that sets up the angles.
  • Dave hears that the decision on what to do with Hogan/Andre at The Main Event will be decided this week once his filming schedule is determined. If he’s available for weekends, he’ll stay champion through the summer. If not, then a title change will happen and DiBiase is the likely beneficiary.
  • [Stampede] Badnews Allen and Jason the Terrible were fined $200 and $300, respectively, by Calgary City Hall. This is in relation to their brawl in the audience on December 18 that led to a woman in the audience suffering a concussion.
  • Oregon will be holding a special show on February 16 as a Frank Bonema Memorial show. Bonema was the tv announcer from Portland who passed away in 1982 or 1983. They haven’t announced any matches yet, but Curt Hennig is supposed to defend the AWA Title against their Northwest Title holder at the time, and there are plans for a tag title match, a strap match, and a cage match.
  • The February 12 card will be the last card by Continental in Knoxville before Ron Fuller’s new promotion takes over the area from them. The situation with Alabama’s territory continues to confuse me.
  • Nobuhiko Takada beat Owen Hart on January 13 in one of the highlights of New Japan’s jr. heavyweight tournament. As of January 26, here’s the status of the tournament: Koshinaka leads with 34 points (7-1 record), Takada has 31 points (6-1-1 record), Hart at 29 points (6-2 record), Hase also has 29 points. Yamazaki has 24 points (5-2 record), and Yamada is 4-2-1 with 21 points. Kobayashi has 24 (5-1), Saito at 19 (4-4), and everyone else is negligible at the moment. The finals will be on February 7.
  • All Japan is pushing a big show for March 9 featuring Hansen vs. Tenryu. That will be a double title match, as Tenryu puts up the United National Title against Hansen’s PWF Title (Dave expects a double countout. Other matches will include Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Tiger Mask II, Baba and Wajima vs. Kimura and Tsurumi, and others.
  • Giant Baba’s been negotiating with the Funks and David Manning about getting All Japan on tv in the U.S. All part of his angling to help the promotions outside the NWA and WWF against the juggernauts.
  • AJW is building a big match for February 25, Dump Matsumoto’s retirement show. Dump and Yukari Omori (also retiring that night) will face the Crush Gals in a tag match. Also on the card will be a battle royal and Yumiko Hotta/Mitsuko Nishiwaki vs. Bull Nakano/Condor Saito for the vacant tag team titles.
  • AJW’s annual rookie auditions took place on January 17 in Tokyo. 1500 girls showed up, and seven were picked based on their performance in various athletic and endurance drills. Dave says this is one of the main reasons it’s ridiculous to attempt to compare joshi wrestling to any American promotion. Only the top half a percent in terms of athletic ability are chosen for training in the first place, and then “they train them like spartans from the age of 15-17 and by the time they are around 22, if they’ve even survived, they are better workers than virtually all the men.” And with the retirement age of 26, nobody stays on so long they feel stale. Then again, that level of training sounds kind of easy to become mega abusive from a 2020 standpoint.
  • Lots of rumor that NWA’s recent firings aren’t due to discipline issues but due to the company having financial issues. That’s the story those being fired have given. Michael Hayes in particular claims that he and Crockett agreed to a two year deal for $150k per year, but Crockett never signed it and when he pressured Crockett to sign (he wasn’t making money with the contract unsigned), and so he got fired for missing the January 23 show in Cincinnati. Even as Crockett’s financial issues become more and more apparent, they do seem to be recovering at the gate a little.
  • Unlike WWF, NWA’s weightlifting competition used legit weights. All four guys did 460 pound bench presses easy, then Paul Ellering called to move the bar to 600. Animal failed first, and they threw chalk in his eyes and he bled and was “taken to the hospital” and the whole thing came across well.
  • The road to Barry Windham joining the Horsemen (not that Dave suspects anything yet) continues as he and Luger are being pushed as a tag team. Meanwhile, Flair and Sting are set to feud.
  • Dave once again clarifies about Hawk’s line (because apparently he’s still saying it). It’s Neo Maxi Zoom Dweebies, not Neo Nazi Zoom Dweebies.
  • Crockett referee Jeff Goldberg writes in to correct the record on something. In the January 18 issue, a reader wrote in about the December 26 show in Philadelphia and said it looked like the referee screwed up the finish. Goldberg says he acted as instructed, and Flair would not have congratulated him later on if he had screwed up. He also says readers often blame referees for screwing up finishes, but that’s usually the wrestlers who screw up (or the finish is in fact supposed to look screwed up). Referees can be green just like wrestlers, but he’s proud not to be one of them.
  • Another reader tells us that his cable company had Bunkhouse Stampede, but Crockett did a LOLNWA. Crockett announced that Sammons cable would have the show on January 23 (day before the ppv). Except they didn’t air the announcement until 2 pm that day, had given no announcement ahead of that time, and Sammons closed their company office for the weekend at noon on the 23rd.
  • The longest letter this week is all about how Bret Hart deserves a bigger push. Brief version: Vince is making a big mistake by not pushing Bret as a singles star. Even the casual fans buy into him. He’s got promo ability, the ability to make a bad wrestler look good (very important in WWF), and he’d make a great opponent for Randy Savage after an Intercontinental Title change. Give it a few years, Jeff. You’ll get your wish and then some.
  • Crockett’s apparently going to keep two offices open. The Dallas office will be for tv production, and the Charlotte office will remain as the base for talent.
  • Mike Rotunda won the NWA TV Title from Nikita Koloff on January 26, then gave the Florida Title to Rick Steiner. Interestingly, Dusty did a promo referencing the Hogan/Andre/DiBiase title situation and said that in the NWA you can’t buy a title. Well, Dave points out, DiBiase offered $1 million to Hogan for the title, so that seems to be the going rate for the WWF championship for a year. Meanwhile, Rick Steiner got the Florida Title for free, which pretty accurately reflects the worth of that title.
  • World Class drew a crowd of 80 in Houston on January 26. No, you didn’t read that number wrong.
THURSDAY: Hogan drops the WWF Title (really the only big story next week)
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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Mar. 4, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
NOTE: I mentioned it in the first post of 2002 but a lot of y'all are aware that a few months ago, SaintRidley picked up the Observer Rewind reins after I stopped and started doing his own recaps from the 1980s. Well, he's been doing great work with it and he just finished posting the year of 1987. I went ahead and added it the Previously" section up there. ↑↑↑ Just wanted to make sure to bring it to everyone's attention.
  • It's been awhile since we've had major PPVs going head-to-head with each other, but it happened this week when WWA aired it's 2nd ever PPV live from Las Vegas, going head-to-head with PRIDE. Dave recaps the history of head-to-head PPV battles, specifically the WWF vs. Crockett war in the late-80s. How Vince McMahon created Survivor Series specifically to run it in direct competition with Crockett's first ever PPV, Starrcade 87. The resulting loss of needed revenue was a huge reason why Crockett eventually had to sell the company to Ted Turner and, in retrospect, set into motion everything that led to WCW's eventual death last year. He goes on to recap how Royal Rumble was created and aired on free TV to go head-to-head with Crockett's next PPV attempt, Bunkhouse Stampede. Then Crockett responded by creating the first Clash of the Champions and airing it against Wrestlemania IV. Not sure PRIDE vs. WWA is up there in the same league as that PPV battle. Which, to be fair, Dave admits it's not the same thing.
  • Anyway, the PRIDE show was among the greatest events of all time, one of the very few times in the history of the Observer that a show got a unanimous 100% thumbs up vote on the reader poll. It aired in Japan live and in the U.S. on a bit of a delay, with the matches edited in a different order. In Japan, the card was headlined by Vanderlei Silva vs. former UWFI wrestler Kiyoshi Tamura, which was an excellent fight that Silva won. In the U.S., the show was built around Ken Shamrock vs. Don Frye in the main event (in Japan, it aired 3rd from last) and the 2 men had an absolute war that should shut up critics who say both are too old. Shamrock lost a split-decision in a fight that Dave thinks should have legitimately been a draw. (This fight is considered to this day one of the all-time wars in MMA history. An utter slobberknocker. Neither fighter was the same again afterward and Frye has said that the damage Shamrock did to his legs in this fight led to him later getting addicted to painkillers). After the fight, Shamrock went over to ringside and hugged his girlfriend Alicia Webb, who you may remember as Ryan Shamrock. The girl that played his sister in WWF.
WATCH: Don Frye vs. Ken Shamrock - PRIDE 19: Bad Blood (2002)
  • And then there was WWA. A low-budget, amateur-ish event, marred by bad production and no-shows. Not that the crowd would even know, because most of the lineup was never even announced ahead of time anyway. The scheduled main event of Jeff Jarrett vs. Randy Savage didn't happen because Savage held promoter Andrew McManus up for more money at the last minute. Savage originally had agreed to work the show in exchange for a 30% ownership stake in the company, which was agreed upon. But three days before the show, Savage upped the ante, saying he wanted the 30%, plus an extra $50,000 in cash. At that point, they started haggling back and forth to try to strike some kind of deal. Ownership got pulled off the table and then Savage asked for a flat $250,000 fee to work the show. WWA turned that down and came back with a flat $150,000 offer instead. Savage turned that down and at that point, everything broke down. For what it's worth, a lot of the lower card wrestlers on the show worked for $300. Last second attempts to bring in Sting to save the show didn't work either. Road Dogg was also supposed to appear on the show but couldn't because of legal issues. Word is he got arrested 2 days before the show in Florida on a probation violation. As a result, the PPV was headlined by Jeff Jarrett defending the WWA championship against Brian Christopher.
  • The whole show was simply an embarrassment. The production was completely minor league and the crowd was totally dead for all these long matches with guys nobody cares about. The in-ring work was fine, but the booking often made no sense, with overbooked three-ways and 6-way undercard matches that ended up being more clusterfuck than match. It was also one of those Russo-type things where the commentary team made endless inside-references that only the hardcore internet fans would get. But then again, this show only drew hardcore internet fans anyway, so why not? They also constantly made reference to WWF, which came across as desperate and sad. In particular, Larry Zbyszko was given the chance to cut a meandering promo, challenging Vince McMahon to a fight over some unspecified grievance from 20 years ago and criticized them for having Chris Jericho as their world champion. Dave thinks Zbyszko was actually angling for a job from WWF by trying to start his own angle and says this promo was basically his job application. And he thinks it was pretty pathetic. Backstage, the disorganization was apparent and most even within the company saw what a mess it was and have already given up on the promotion as a lost cause. Dave said this PPV made it clear that nobody will be challenging WWF anytime soon.
  • Other notes from the WWA Revolution PPV: yes, in case you're wondering, that Japanese man sitting behind the commentary table all night who very briefly (literally blink and miss it) got involved in the Scott SteineDisco Inferno tussle was indeed NJPW star Hiroyoshi Tenzan and yes, they flew him all the way from Japan (and had him bring his ring gear just in case), only to have him do almost nothing and never be acknowledged on camera. Eric Bischoff was backstage, as a guest of Ernest Miller. Bischoff laughed off any questions about going to WWF but said the ol' "never say never" shtick. The crowd was about 2,800, most of them freebies and they were desperately giving away tickets in the casino before the show. During the first match, the building looked practically empty so they quietly began moving everyone closer to ringside to pack the area around the ring to make it look presentable for TV. Opening 6-way match featuring all the hottest indie stars was a sloppy mess, with too people flying everywhere trying to get their shit in and the cameras missing most of it. Bret Hart came out and cut a long, rambling promo before announcing Brian Christopher was replacing Randy Savage in the main event, to zero crowd response. By the 5th match, people in the crowd could be seen leaving, never to return. Jerry Lynn showed up, interrupting an Eddie Guerrero interview, at which point Dave mentions, oh yeah by the way, the WWF released Jerry Lynn 2 days before the PPV. Considering WWF has been talking about reviving the cruiserweight division after Wrestlemania, Dave doesn't know why they'd get rid of a guy who could be one of the best in the division. Anyway, yeah, this show sucked. Here ya go, enjoy.
WATCH: WWA: The Revolution PPV - 2002
  • WWF's latest investor conference call took place and wasn't particularly newsworthy, but there's some stuff to note. The new agreement with DirecTV is until August of 2003 and is under the exact same terms they were operating under last year, which means WWF gained nothing while losing an estimated $4.4 million in revenue over the last few PPVs. Following the brand split, WWF plans to run 16 PPVs per year, and increasing the price by an extra $5. Linda McMahon said Wrestlemania 18 has sold 58,000 tickets as of the time of the call, for a record gate of $3.96 million, breaking the record set by last year's WM. Dave goes through all the numbers and for the most part, in comparison to previous quarters, almost everything is down. Which is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention because WWF is clearly on the downswing. Linda also said they're currently interviewing new writers and are hoping to double their writing staff, which Dave thinks is a terrible idea (and time has damn sure proven him correct). Finally, Linda was also asked how the purchase of the WCW library has benefited the company, which Dave thinks is an interesting question since revenues have declined since then and the Invasion angle flopped so hard that it killed any brand value the name "WCW" may have had. Linda talked about the value of the tape library but Dave points out that it's been a year and WWF has done practically nothing with that library (of course, in the end, they found ways to monetize that WCW library and it more than paid for itself).
  • In his first match as an official member of the AJPW roster, Keiji Muto lost the Triple Crown championship to Toshiaki Kawada in a match nearly a year in the making, before a sold out crowd at Budokan Hall. He hasn't seen it yet, but the match was reported to Dave as a near-classic (he ends up giving it 4.5 stars). The other 2 NJPW stars who jumped ship, Kendo Kashin and Satoshi Kojima, also worked their first official AJPW matches. Kaz Hayashi, formerly a member of Jung Dragons in WCW and who worked in WWF's developmental until asking for his release a few weeks ago, also debuted on the show and will be part of Muto's faction.
WATCH: Keiji Muto vs. Toshiaki Kawada - AJPW 2-24-2002
  • Obituary time for Swede Hanson, who worked primarily in the Carolinas and had a brief run in the WWF as a cult favorite babyface in the early 80s. Sadly, he passed away in a mental hospital because he had advanced Alzheimer's disease which made it impossible for his family to handle him and they had him put away. Jeez, that's rough. He also had a litany of other health problems. Dave gives an in-depth history of his career in the 60s and 70s as a heel in the Carolinas before talking about the WWF run. Vince Sr. brought him in as a monster heel to challenge Bob Backlund, and Dave thinks someone else must have backed out at the last moment or something. By this time (in 1979), Hanson was well past his prime and hadn't been a major star anywhere in years but he was a big dude and so they brought him in to face Backlund and they actually sold out Madison Square Garden with Backlund vs. Hanson in the main event (though Dave says Bruno Sammartino working the undercard sure didn't hurt). The match sucked and almost immediately after, he became a jobber in the WWF, but Vince Jr, on commentary, just loved to call him "Rawboned Swede Hanson" and the "Rawboned" nickname caught on. Vince said it with such gusto that Hanson briefly became a cult favorite jobber from it and the crowd turned him babyface at damn near 50 years old. It led to a brief career resurgence and him having a small role in the Backlund/Billy Graham feud for the title before he finally faded into oblivion.
  • Mark Henry won the "world's strongest man" competition at the Arnold Classic bodybuilding and fitness event. Henry has been out of WWF for the past 2 months training for this competition and the training paid off, with Henry capturing first place and making a legitimate viable claim to his "strongest man in the world" moniker. During the event, Henry became the first man in 50 years to cleanly press the 366 pound Apollon wheel weight above his head. In another event, he carried an 800 pound block of bolted together railroad ties up a 40-foot ramp faster than the other competitors. For his victory, Henry won a $75,000 Humvee and some other cash prizes. Over the same weekend, he also won another $1,000 in a contest where he was able to lift an inch dumbbell (which weighs 172 pounds) to his shoulder with one arm. There's a bunch of other weightlifting stuff here, but you might be surprised to find out....I dunno shit about any of this. I got winded lifting pizza to my mouth earlier. Mark Henry strong.
WATCH: Mark Henry at the Arnold Classic 2002
  • Another obit for former wrestler, promoter, and father of 80s valet Baby Doll, Nick Roberts who died of pancreatic cancer. Once again, a bunch of details and stories about someone I've never heard of in wrestling history that Dave somehow knows everything about. I know I've said it before, but these obituary pieces are some of the greatest reasons for subscribing to the Observer.
  • Masahiro Chono says he wants to take NJPW in a more serious, realistic direction. No sports entertainment gaga nonsense, they want it to be like a real sports product. So much so that, in his own match with Manabu Nakanishi at the last big NJPW show, Chono wouldn't even bounce off the ropes, saying that it's not credible and no one would do that in a real fight. Ah yes, Inoki's gonna love this.
  • FMW wrestler Kodo Fuyuki has said he plans to try to keep the promotion running after it was announced it was folding last week. FMW still has 8 shows scheduled for this month and Fuyuki said he plans to try to run them himself and keep the company going (no such luck buddy).
  • Japan Today, an American newspaper that covers Japanese news daily, had a story on Antonio Inoki battling diabetes. It says he was first diagnosed in 1982, which Dave says is right around the time Inoki's in-ring work dropped off considerably when he lost his stamina. The story said for the last 20 years, Inoki has eaten a ridiculously healthy diet and is in better health now at 59 than he was then at 39.
  • Dave said he got tons of positive feedback on the debut of RF Video's Ring of Honor promotion in Philadelphia. The show was sold out in advance, was well organized, and had several really good matches. They limited a lot of the mistakes that most indie companies fall victim to, such as too many matches, too many run-ins, too much mic work, too many guys trying to do too much stuff, etc. Steve Corino and CZW announcer Eric Gargiulo did commentary. Eddie Guerrero faced Super Crazy in an excellent match and the main event was a three-way featuring Low-Ki, Christopher Daniels, and American Dragon that Dave has heard rave reviews for. And thus, ROH was born.
WATCH: Highlights from ROH's debut show in 2002
  • Vic Grimes took the most insane bump of all time at an XPW event before 1,500 fans in Los Angeles. Grimes was facing New Jack in a scaffold match said to be at least twice as high up as the fall Mick Foley took off the Hell in a Cell. The ring below had tables stacked 4-high to break his fall, but Grimes ended up missing most of the tables when New Jack overshot him. Perhaps on purpose. Grimes missed all but the corner tables at the edge of the ring before coming down on the corner turnbuckles. After the bump, they tried to rush fans out of the arena since it was almost 1am and gave many the impression Grimes life was in danger. But he was surprisingly okay and was walking around backstage after, although he was definitely banged up. Grimes was really nervous about the bump earlier in the day, as you might expect and Dave says he's pretty damn lucky he didn't miss the ring because he almost certainly would have died if he took that bump straight to the floor. Elsewhere on the show, there was a match where porn star Lizzy Borden (wife of XPW promoter Rob Black) faced another porn star, Veronica Caine, in a match that was supposed to end only when someone was stripped totally naked. But right before it happened, the lights went out and the women were rushed out of the ring and when fans realized they'd been ripped off, they were so pissed the arena feared a riot. (Anyway, here's the bump and yeah....Grimes very easily could have died from this. No mention from Dave on the fact that New Jack also tazed him before this)
WATCH: Air Grimes goes long
  • Shane Douglas is expected to take over as XPW booker when his WCW contract with Time Warner expires next month.
  • Former WCW journeyman wrestler Chip Minton's primary career was bobsledding. He only wrestled in WCW occasionally while doing that, primarily as a jobber on the C-shows. Minton was part of the US bobsledding team in both the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics and was planning to compete this year, but failed to make the team. Soon after that, he failed a steroid test and has been suspended from the sport for 2 years.
  • Remember a couple weeks ago, it was mentioned that Roddy Piper was in a car accident but he was playing down how serious it was? Turns out....very serious. Piper suffered 4 broken ribs, one of which punctured his liver and nearly killed him. He also suffered severe back injuries and shattered his ankle. Piper was taken to the hospital and was near death but obviously, he managed to pull through and has still been making all his appearances for XWF in recent days. (Yeah I think in Piper's autobiography, he dedicates the book to the guy who saved his life by rushing him to the hospital and even says he was clinically dead for a few moments. Then again, Piper was like a lot of those old time guys and was prone to exaggeration, so who knows).
  • Eric Bischoff is teaming up with Mark Burnett, the producer of the hit show Survivor, to produce a MMA reality show called Skien. From Dave's understanding, it will basically be a reality show with K-1 kickboxers leading up to a PPV event. (Here's an article about it from Variety at the time, but this ends up going nowhere).
WATCH: Variety article on Eric Bischoff's new reality show
  • Notes from Raw: only one thing really notable, they filmed a segment at referee Tim White's bar The Friendly Tap. The bar really is owned by White and WWF pretty much always films angles there when they're in town (Providence, RI). This time, the skit featured the APA going into the bar to drink and the bar was filled by a bunch of gay men and drag queens (played by a bunch of wrestlers from indie promotion Chaotic Wrestling) while the APA guys acted all grossed out by it all. Then Billy and Chuck attacked them. Dave thinks this played on all the typical homophobic stereotypes and he seems pretty irritated by it. Anyway, among the wrestlers from Chaotic were Todd Sinclair (better known now as ROH's senior official), Rich Palladino (ring announcer for Beyond now) and John Walters (indie wrestler and former ROH Pure champion).
  • Next week's Smackdown hasn't aired yet but it was taped and Dave has details. Notably, this is the episode where Austin chases down the NWO and tries to shoot them with a net gun. Dave says this was a mess, with the gun going off but no net being fired from it and they'll have to fix the whole thing in post-production. It went horribly when they filmed it and it aired for the live crowd and it killed the crowd and basically forced them to improvise on the spot (on one of the Something To Wrestle podcasts, Bruce Prichard tells this story and how frustrated they were with this net gun being a piece of shit). This episode also featured Stephanie yelling at Chris Jericho for getting her the wrong hand lotion and Booker T and Edge feuding over a Japanese shampoo commercial. (Rock/Hogan was great, but man, the build for everything else at Wrestlemania 18 suuuuuucked.)
  • Prototype won the OVW title from Leviathan at the latest OVW tapings. After the match, they did an angle to set up David Flair as the #1 contender for the title. Prototype's only singles loss in OVW came last week, when Flair beat him, so there ya go (this video covers ALL of that. The FlaiCena match, the Leviathan match, the post-match angle, etc).
WATCH: Prototype vs. Leviathan for OVW title - 2002
  • Wall Street Journal did an article talking about the decline in Smackdown's ratings, saying they were down 28% from last year and down 42% from the year before that. The article blamed it on Smackdown changing networks. Here's the thing though....it hasn't. Raw changed networks in 2000. Smackdown has been on UPN since its debut. Also, UPN has grown overall in ratings while Smackdown has declined. So....no. It's just because the show sucks now.
  • Charlie Haas, fresh off returning to the ring and winning the HWA title after the death of his brother, tore his ACL this week. He just had surgery and will be out 4-6 months. Rough few months for that dude.
  • A Washington newspaper did a story on James Dudley, who you may know as....WWF Hall of Famer James Dudley and little else. On-screen, he's never really done much. But Dave says Dudley started working for Vince Sr. back in the 1940s, when Sr. was a boxing promoter, and was essentially his Vince Sr.'s driver and assistant. Dudley did a lot of odd jobs for the company during those early years, working ticket booths and stuff like that, but to most people, he was just kinda known as Vince Sr.'s limo driver. So when he was indicted into the WWF Hall of Fame a few years ago, it was a pretty controversial decision among a lot of people, given that someone like Bruno Sammartino isn't in, by the company's limo driver is. Anyway, before his death, Vince Sr. made Vince Jr. promise to take care of Dudley and keep him on the payroll. So for the last 18 years or so, even though he doesn't work for the company, Vince McMahon has continued to pay him a salary. He also bought him a new car as a gift some years back.
  • Billy and Chuck's recent tag team title win makes Billy Gunn the most decorated tag team wrestler in WWF history, as he's now held the tag titles 9 times (3 as part of the Smoking Gunns, 5 as part of New Age Outlaws, and now once with he and Chuck). The previous record was Mick Foley, with 8. (to the best of my research, if we're only talking WWF/WWE tag title reigns, that record is now held by Edge).
  • USA Network CEO Barry Diller took part in a lecture at Syracuse University and talked about losing the WWF to TNN. When asked why it happened, he responded, "Because I'm a dope." He said he didn't fight hard enough to keep the WWF and admitted the loss hurt, but also said it may have been the best thing for them in the long-run because pro wrestling doesn't really fit the direction they're planning to take the network. He said wrestling fans came for wrestling and left immediately after it was over and there was never any cross-over fans who stuck around to watch the next show or anything like that. He said they could never figure out what to connect wrestling to within the rest of their properties.
  • WWF held a try out camp in Cincinnati and reportedly, nobody was particularly impressive, including AJ Styles. The knock on Styles was that he's average looking and too small. Wrestler Sonny Siaki was said to be the most impressive, but he also rubbed people the wrong way with his attitude so probably not gonna make the cut this time. Matt Morgan, who was on the Tough Enough casting special last season got a tryout and since he has no formal training, he was pretty awful but he's big so Dave seems to think he'll get a chance anyway. The other one they were impressed by was a woman named Erin Bray, who was one of the final 25 picked for the original Tough Enough. But then some other contestants spotted her out on a date with one of the show's judges and they threw a fit, which resulted in Bray not making the final 13. Another wrestler, Travis Tomko, is a guy who has worked some indies and is a former bodyguard for Limp Bizkit ("Tomko, gimme a beat." "No.")
  • Rock was a presenter at the NAACP Awards and Dave thinks he looked pretty great for a guy who was almost murdered in an ambulance by the NWO a few days earlier. Cheeky Dave is just the best.
  • Speaking of, Dave throws in a random paragraph to backhandedly shit on Kevin Nash. For years, people in the business joked that Lex Luger made the most money with the least ability or drawing power of anyone ever in wrestling. Dave says it's gotta be Nash. For example, Nash is not wrestling and is only going to be in Hall's corner for the match at Wrestlemania (his knees really are giving him problems), but he has been promised that he's going to get the same type of payoff as if he was the guy in the match working with Austin in the semi-main event. Not to mention all the huge contracts he signed in WCW, or how he got a huge-by-WWF-standards deal here, plus got Vince to cave to almost all his other demands regarding schedule and bringing back Scott Hall, among other things. (I mean, while Dave is being kind of a dick here, I don't think he's really wrong either. When it comes to top draws in the history of the business, Nash isn't anywhere near even the top 10 or 20. And he's never exactly been a great wrestler. But since the 90s, Nash always managed to make sure he gets PAID like he's in that upper echelon. Nash is one of those very few wrestlers who isn't entranced by the fame or the fake accolades. He treats wrestling for what it is: a business. It's the way they pay their mortgages and buy groceries, just like you and me at our jobs. I love it. I laugh my ass off every time I hear "Brock Lesnar signed a huge new contract to only work 6 matches a year." Good for him. I hope he gets even more money for less dates next year. You should always know your worth and never let your employer take you for anything less. Nash has always been one of the guys to do that and he's probably going to die comfortably in a nice house while these other guys from his era are still clinging to fame at 60 years old doing $300 indie shows on crippled knees. Anyway, that's my soapbox). Dave seems to feel the same way and admits, love him or hate him, you gotta give Nash credit for being one of the smartest guys in the biz.
  • Fear Factor featuring the Hardyz, Lita, Test, Molly Holly, and Jacquelyn aired this week. First they had to climb up a rope ladder hanging from a helicopter over the river and they all made it up except Jeff Hardy who slipped near the top and fell (knowing Jeff, he probably purposely let go so he could take the big fall for fun). Lita also got eliminated for being the slowest one up the ladder. Next they had to chug a gross drink that included bile, rooster testicals, spleen, and some animal brains all blended together. Molly Holly almost vomited after one sip and was out. Jackie and Matt succeeded. Test refused to even try. So then it came down to Matt vs. Jackie and they had to walk across the tops of high poles and move flags around. Matt Hardy ended up winning the whole thing and won $50,000 for charity.
WATCH: WWF stars on Fear Factor, Pt. 1
WATCH: WWF stars on Fear Factor, Pt. 2
WATCH: WWF stars on Fear Factor, Pt. 3
  • Sunday Night Heat is being converted into one of the B-shows like Metal and Jakked. Awhile back, they started airing Heat from the WWF New York restaurant but the production costs of that were high. So in a cost-cutting move, they're just gonna tape dark matches and throw them on Heat the same way they do those other shows, featuring all the nobodies that can't ever get TV time on the main shows.
  • As mentioned last week, Scott Hall has been taking a drug called Antabuse, which makes him violently sick when he drinks or even smells alcohol. It caused him to get sick after Raw last week when Austin poured beer all over him in a bit after the cameras were off. Hall has said he is clean and has been clean for awhile, except for the incident a couple weeks ago where he fell off the wagon. Others are skeptical and question if Hall only takes his medication on TV days and needless to say, there's some doubt here.
  • Everywhere he goes, Brian Christopher has been telling people he's coming back to WWF after Wrestlemania, but contrary to what he's saying, Dave says there are zero plans for that (indeed, it does not happen).
FRIDAY: More on WWA's PPV disaster, the landscape for any new promotion attempting to start up, WWF huge show in Japan, WWF loses appeal over "WWF" initials, Bret Hart given offer for Wrestlemania 18, and tons more...
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John Gilbride Jr.-murdered on September 7, 2002 in Maple Shade, New Jersey- “He's been raised by MOVE his whole life. I hope when he gets older, he'll ask questions. I want him to know that his father fought for him.”

The execution-style murder of former MOVE member, 34 year old John Gilbride Jr., in Maple Shade, New Jersey on September 27, 2002 remains unsolved. MOVE is a black liberation group founded in 1972 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by John Africa (born Vincent Leaphart) and Donald Glassey, a social worker student from the University of Pennsylvania. In a 2018 Guardian article about the group, MOVE's political views were described as "a strange fusion of black power and flower power which melded the revolutionary ideology of the Black Panthers with the nature- and animal-loving communalism of 1960s hippies.” John’s father, Jack, believes the organization has “blood on its hands” and had his son followed after he fled the movement. Alberta Africa (now Wonderlin), John’s ex-wife and the ex-wife of MOVE founder John Africa, claims that John is alive and “forgoing any contact with the son he was fighting for in court for a life of seclusion, courtesy of the U.S. government” surmising “maybe he went off the deep end or something and is hiding somewhere….he seemed like he was deeply involved in the government.” Jack stated that it is hurtful Alberta still makes those kinds of statements since he identified his son's body, attended his funeral, and buried his cremated remains saying he “could only wish…she knows more than anyone else that it isn't true." According to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s office, the case is still an open investigation.
John, a baggage supervisor for U.S. Airways, was found dead inside his Ford Crown Victoria at 12:08 a.m. outside the Ryan's Run apartment complex in Maple Shade, New Jersey. The killer fired multiple bullets into John’s head and chest at close range from an automatic weapon after which the individual then disappeared into the highways adjacent to the apartment complex leaving behind John’s personal belongings. Police believe the killer knew his schedule because “they were there at the perfect time” noting they shot him just as he was coming home from work late at night and “the purpose was to take his life, nothing else.” John was scheduled to have his first unsupervised visit with his 6- year old son Zackary later the next day-a visit that Jack claims Alberta and other MOVE members had threatened to stop. After a Philadelphia judge decided that John should have unsupervised time with Zackary, MOVE vowed to fight the order and boarded up windows at its Philadelphia headquarters. They also held a rally at the Cherry Hill municipal building protesting the custody order saying the judge’s order was “an attempt to persecute the group and that Cherry Hill police were helping.” John had mentioned to his father that he felt his life was at risk and he knew “he was taking a big gamble.” Before Alberta married John, she was the widow of John Africa, founder and leader of the controversial radical group MOVE. John Africa and 5 other adults and 5 children died in May 1985 when Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on MOVE’s Osage Avenue rowhouse headquarters after a day-long standoff. Given the group's turbulent history, Alberta said police would have arrested MOVE members by now for John’s death if they had evidence saying “we are not murderers.”
John first learned about MOVE as a student at Temple University in the late 1980s and later joined the organization. During one of John's visits from college, Jack suspected John was under a "new influence" as during a drive around the neighborhood, John mused "this is nothing...these big houses, this money, it doesn't mean anything; this surprised Jack as John's "goal in life had always been to become a millionaire and drive a Cadillac." In 1991, John announced he was going to live in MOVE's headquarters and seeing that they could nothing to dissuade him, Jack decided to "keep communication open and maintain whatever relationship John would allow them" using an 800 number to keep in contact. In the fall of 1992, John married Alberta, who was twice his age, against his family's wishes; the family, nonetheless, felt the wedding should be celebrated so they all went to dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Philadelphia. Jack noted that "at no time did we sympathize with MOVE but in order to have a relationship with John, we did what we had to do."
The name of the group (MOVE) is not an acronym and was chosen by John Africa “to say what they intended to do” as in "everything that's alive moves…if it didn't, it would be stagnant, dead"; as an example, when members greet each other they say "on the MOVE.". The group combined revolutionary ideology with animal rights and “advocated a return to a hunter-gatherer society” based on vegetarianism while remaining “opposed to science, medicine, and technology.” John’s followers changed their surnames to Africa to “show reverence to what they regarded as their mother continent.” John Africa and MOVE members lived in a communal house in the Powelton Village section of West Philadelphia. As activists, they staged bullhorn-amplified, profanity-laced demonstrations outside their homes against institutions that they opposed, such as zoos, circuses, “Three Mile Island”, “puppy mills” and police brutality. MOVE made compost piles of garbage and human waste in their yards which attracted rats and cockroaches that they refused to kill as they "considered it morally wrong to kill the vermin with pest control.” MOVE activities were scrutinized by law enforcement particularly under the administration of Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, a former police commissioner known for hard stance against activist groups. Mayor Rizzo threatened in 1978 to dispatch his Police Department to MOVE's Powelton Village headquarters "to drag 'em out by the back of their necks."
In 1978, complaints from neighbors about "profanity-laced tirades, arms stockpiling, garbage piled in the yard, and naked children" led to a standoff with members of the group who had not vacated their rowhouse headquarters; a resulting shootout took the life of a police officer and put nine MOVE members in prison for life. In 1981, MOVE relocated to a row house at 6221 Osage Avenue in the Cobbs Creek area of West Philadelphia. Neighbors again complained to the city about trash around their building, confrontations, and the obscene political messages by bullhorn. In 1985, the police obtained arrest warrants in 1985 charging four MOVE occupants with crimes including parole violations, contempt of court, illegal possession of firearms, and making terrorist threats; by now, Mayor Wilson Goode and police commissioner Gregore J. Sambor had classified the group as a terrorist organization. Residents of the area were evacuated from the neighborhood and told to return after 24 hours.
On Monday, May 13, 1985, nearly five hundred police officers attempted to clear the building and execute the arrest warrants. Water and electricity were shut off in order to force MOVE members out of the house and Commissioner Sambor exhorted them to come out stating "Attention MOVE: This is America. You have to abide by the laws of the United States." When the MOVE members did not respond, the police decided to forcibly remove the members from the house. There was an armed standoff with police who lobbed tear gas canisters at the building. The MOVE members fired at them, and a gunfight with semi-automatic and automatic firearms ensued. Police went through over ten thousand rounds of ammunition when Commissioner Sambor decided the rowhouse could be bombed. From a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter, Philadelphia Police Department Lt. Frank Powell dropped two one-pound bombs made of FBI-supplied Tovex, a dynamite substitute, which targeted a fortified, bunker-like cubicle on the roof of the house. The resulting explosions ignited a fire from fuel for a gasoline-powered generator stored in the rooftop bunker. The fire spread and eventually destroyed 61 nearby houses. Officials said they feared that MOVE would shoot at the firefighters so they were held back. John Africa and 5 other adults and 5 children died. There were only two survivors; a child, Birdie Africa and an adult woman, Ramona Africa.
John Gilbride eventually left the movement and filed for divorce from Alberta in 1999 which led to years of heated court battles over custody of Zackary; John also filed for bankruptcy. John had gone deep into debt paying for in-vitro fertility treatments as they were desperately trying to have a child. John had also grown frustrated with "MOVE's meddling in his marriage" which "staged hours-long interventions" whenever the couple argued. According to Jack, the timing of the murder and the custody dispute is “more than a coincidence.” Philadelphia Police Captain William Fisher, the head of the department’s civil rights division who knows the MOVE leaders well, stated that John’s murder “seemed like a textbook mob hit” and John had a gambling problem and other enemies as well; Jack dismisses Captain Fisher’s claims saying he did a "disservice to the investigation" and “was simply trying to ease the department’s relationship with MOVE”. Captain Fisher continues to doubt that MOVE was involved saying Jack wants to think that “MOVE did it because it solves his problem…I’m a parent too, and it’s an emotional thing.” He believes a professional gunman could have known of John’s problems with MOVE and could have timed the murder accordingly saying if MOVE was involved, they would not have “outsourced the job to someone outside their organization.” He acknowledges “there was a lot of rhetoric and everything else, but keep it in perspective, it's a child custody thing” saying MOVE's members "defend themselves when needed but do not go out and kill people." Captain Fisher suggested a trip to Las Vegas a few days before his death needed to be looked into further; Jack avers John went to Las Vegas for an Earth, Wind, and Fire concert. John also had a "secret..and brief" second marriage to Rosario Bienvenida Arias-a 24-year-old casino dealer from the Dominican Republic. They married in Maryland on April 25, 2002, but, according to the annulment initiated by John May 19,2002, "she used him and then fled the country." The marriage had not been "nullified by the time John died, so as his widow, Rosario-not Zack-collected death benefits."
Others disagree such as former MOVE supporter Tony Allen who runs an anti-MOVE blog; he believes MOVE would never have put someone in their closest family circles at risk by killing John and would have given that task to a supporter saying “my hope is that there's people in and about MOVE whose consciences will eat away at them." Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi mentioned that MOVE members had been questioned in the investigation but did not comment further. In 2012 the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that John had told friends and family that he had recorded incriminating evidence in a notebook as "security against a hit" by MOVE. John said he had placed the notebook inside a locker for safekeeping. Jack confirmed one of John’s coworkers had contacted him and he tried to get police to search the locker but to no avail. At the time, Prosecutor Bernardi had no comment when pressed on the topic. It is unclear if the locker was ever searched.
In a 2009 news article, Jack mentioned that he continues to speak with investigators every three weeks but acknowledged "they get tired of telling me there's nothing new." Zackary, at the time 13 years old, was “a happy home-schooled teen, active in swimming and fencing.” In the interview, Alberta admitted that her son continues to miss his father recalling how they “found a picture of his dad, and he just fell into me..he's a big boy, but he was in tears. She also says "the tears she cried for John were real in 2002" and she continues to feels his absence noting that she remarried after John’s death, “not out of love, but to give her son a stable home.”
Jack said “his life has been anything but stable” since his son's death. His wife, Fran, died of cancer two years after his son was killed, and he speaks to Zack only once every three to six months. He knows that “wishing his son were still alive is pointless” so he focuses on resolving the case so Zack can come back into his life saying “he's been raised by MOVE his whole life. I hope when he gets older, he'll ask questions. I want him to know that his father fought for him."
Anyone with information about John’s murder can contact the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office at 609-265- 7113.
Questions:
Do we know more about John's gambling debts and other enemies he supposedly had? There is much discussion on the MOVE angle but I really couldn't find much information on any other theories besides the statement made by Captain Fisher.
Was John's locker ever searched?
Links:
https://www.inquirer.com/philly/news/20090926_Slaying_of_ex-MOVEr_still_roils_feelings_7_years_later.html
https://www.theintelligencer.com/news/article/Man-in-Custody-Battle-Shot-to-Death-10572580.php
https://www.inquirer.com/philly/blogs/inq-blinq/A-clue-hidden-in-a-lost-locker.html
https://www.inquirer.com/philly/hp/news_update/20140928_A_slain_man__a_lost_son_and_a_grandfather_s_quest.html
https://culteducation.com/group/1060-move/14601-breaking-silence-over-a-sons-slaying.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOVE#2002_murder_of_John_Gilbride
http://antimove.blogspot.com/2012/09/?m=1
https://www.religionnewsblog.com/4623/unsolved-death-angers-move-grieves-parents
https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/8/8/20747198/philadelphia-bombing-1985-move
https://www.inquirer.com/philly/entertainment/20131020_A_haunting_look_at_when_Phila__burned.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/02/movies/let-the-fire-burn-relives-1985-siege-of-the-move-group.html
https://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/02/27/birdie-africa-lost-boy/
http://kalamu.com/neogriot/2015/05/13/history-lest-we-forget-today-is-the-30th-anniversary-of-the-bombing-of-move/
MOVE has been “an anomaly in Philadelphia ever since it was founded, in the mid-1970s, by a white graduate student who became enthralled with the musings of a local black handyman who took the name John Africa and held beliefs ranging from vegetarianism to odd bathing rituals to preparation for worldwide racial conflict.” Several city officials were reprimanded in an investigation which called “dropping a bomb on an occupied row house…unconscionable” but none were criminally charged for the bombing. The 61 destroyed homes were rebuilt with government funds ($35 milion) but the houses were eventually condemned since a potential carbon monoxide leak was found in the heating systems. In 2000, the city paid again to buy out the residents and move them.
Ramona Africa, the only adult who came out of the house fire alive (along with 13-year old Birdie Africa), served seven years in prison for her role in the confrontation. As she stood outside MOVE's current house in 2013, she dismissed the notion that the home had code violations stating “they say it is a fire hazard but the only fire MOVE has ever been involved with is the one the city of Philadelphia set on May 13, 1985."
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