It's been twenty-five years since The Stinger won his first World Championship. That was at the 1990 Great American Bash where he bested Ric Flair for the "big gold belt" while clad in the colors of his country. It was a great moment that isn't as well-remembered as other title victories, but has every right to be. Will he make history again a quarter of a century later? That remains to be seen.
When I first met Sting years ago, I knew what the number one item that I wanted signed would be. It's an issue of WCW Wrestling Wrap-Up, Vol 2, No 8 of 1990 to be exact. The cover features Sting just after his big title win at the Bash. The champion is proudly holding the title belt that is a favorite of many, including myself, with his red, white, and blue face paint mostly lost to the rigors of the match. It's the biggest moment for the Sting that many of us grew up on. This was the Sting that was, for the most part, WCW's answer to Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior.
Looking inside, we see that Wrestling Wrap-Up is very much like the WCW Magazine that would take its place in 1991. Wrap-Up was not available on newsstands, however, just at events or on a subscription basis. The pages were all-color, all-slick, and featured some very nice photography. The first big feature goes over the results of Bash 1990, including the WCW debut of a man who would be very instrumental in the next few years of the company, Big Van Vader. I don't think that there was ever a more impressive "big man" wrestler as far as in-ring talent, and he is one example of WCW using a wrestler much better than the WWF.
In the center of the magazine, an El Gigante poster and WCW Merchandise Catalog are featured. A lot of now-very rare apparel is featured, and even a "Norman" teddy bear was offered. The shirt page is directly copied from the WWF Merchandise Catalogs of the time, although there isn't much different that you could actually do. If you want to sell the shirt, have the talent himself wearing it. In the case of The Great Muta, he'll just be holding the shirt.
We wrap up the Wrestling Wrap-Up with a monthly calendar of events, NWA Top Ten, current champions, and Quotes of the Month. We also get photos of Jim Cornette on four pages in a row, two with the Midnight Express and two in ads for the magazine, respectively. I've acquired some of these Wrestling Wrap-Up issues from "The Louisville Lip" himself, and I do believe that he had a hand in production as he did with other behind-the-scenes aspects of WCW at the time until his departure later in the year.
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