Volume 2, Issue 111
January 18, 1997
In this issue of Solie's Wrestling Newsletter we have Part 1 of the Weekend Review plus a Chat Transcript just released by Prodigy of a chat with Eric Bischoff. I'll be back tomorrow with the rest of the weekend stuff including my in depth coverage of the ROYAL RUMBLE PPV.
By the way - Solie's has logged more than 67,000 visitors since our debut in May '95. I reset my counter at the Link Exchange on New Years day to get an idea of our daily/weekly visits. The numbers are averaging about 450 - 500 hits a day! Far short of my friend Charles Maclauren over at Bagpipe - but respectable none-the-less. Thank you all for making this site a success!
WCW Main Event
They are talking (naturally) about the Hogan/Giant/Robin Hood match from Monday night. Of course, as I predicted, we're not seeing anything that we haven't already seen. I understand from MiCasa that the actual match was under ten minutes and what we saw during the commercial breaks was on tape. What a crock!
Eric Bischoff was on Prodigy recently and issued a statement concerning this fiasco, the chat transcript appears later in this issue.
Clash of the Champions, coming up on Tuesday, sounds like a pretty good card (Malenko vs. Ultimo Dragon, Benoit vs. Sullivan (falls count anywhere), Steiners vs. Canadians, Guerrero vs. Scott Norton, Lugar vs. Scott Hall). Speaking of the Clash, I will be attending a company function that evening and so will have to wait until later to view the tape and get my report on the web. Rest assured that I will have a report, hopefully the same night - it just won't be up with the promptness you've come to expect from Solie's. (BTW-the new job is going great, thank you all for your best wishes and messages of support).
We get a promo for Roddy Piper's "Marked Man" movie which is now available on video.
The matches were all rehashes except the feature match, which pitted Scotty Riggs against Jeff Jarrett and ended in a run-in screwjob perpetrated by Marcus Bagwell.
We get Doc Hendrix and Kevin Kelly as the hosts this morning. There is no in-studio guest on this "Special Royal Rumble Edition".
Hendrix seems to have become ubiquitous on the broadcasts - a change for the better in my opinion (now if they could just settle on Jim Ross as the other permanent host...) They spend the entire hour talking about the PPV tomorrow and taking no calls from viewers. I think they missed a bet by not giving viewers a chance to discuss the event.
I'm looking forward to seeing Terry Funk at the Rumble tomorrow.
They showed a clip of the end of last year's Rumble which was very cleverly edited to keep us from getting a good look at Diesel's face. The one close-up (after he was super-kicked over the top rope by Shawn Michaels) showed him lying on the floor, first with his hair obscuring his features then holding his hand to his forehead. Do they really expect the fans to not remember that this was not the same Diesel?
(Speaking of the Outsiders/Imposters - I read in TBR recently that Scott Hall contacted Titan Towers with an offer to sell "a closet full" of Razor Ramon ring attire to the current version of the character. Vince McMahon reportedly blew a gasket because he would prefer that Hall be upset over the impersonation...)
The Brittish Bulldog now joins his brother-in-law Bret by entering the Royal Rumble with an Austin-produced leg injury. Austin will be a marked man in the Rumble - what fun!
I expect Goldust to win back the IC Title tomorrow night. The "nose-in-the-air" Helmsley character is not over with the fans no matter what the WWF would like us to think. Look for Helmsley to fade away...soon I hope (or this could be wishfull thinking on my part).
We got a review of the Undertaker/NOD/Ahmed run in from RAW last Monday. I noticed that Faarooq very carefully aimed his blows with the 2X4 to be absorbed my the mat rather than spending them on Johnson's back...
WCW Saturday Night
A great re-match between Psychosis and Steven Regal for the TV Championship saw Regal win it with an STF submission hold. Pretty definitive win for the Lordly one.
Disco Inferno promises us his "new leg-hold" again today on the program again and...fails to deliver once more - even though he brought a "cheat-sheet" to the ring with him (he got it upside down the first time...and that was the only chance he got...
Eric Bischoff gives us a bravura performance during a five minute interview, partially taped by Liz with a camcorder. Sitting astride one of Hogan's Harley Davidsons - he delivered a self-aggrandizing diatribe capped off by the declaration "God, I love being me..."
I guess part of the WCW Executive committees ruling was that Hogan does have to face the Giant for the Title at the Souled Out PPV. They reviewed the situation again from Monday night. Of course we didn't see anymore of the match...because there wasn't any more to show.
Eddie Guerrero brings a ladder to the ring with him for a match against Syxx (I guess - actually it wasn't made clear who his opponent was - but they sure had a fight). At the beginning Eddie clobbered Syxx, tore the belt off his waist and threw it into the ring. Then they battled on the outside and moved away from the ring area. Meanwhile Nick Patrick showed up in an NWO T-shirt to retrieve the Title for the NWO.
Mean Gene is saying on the Hotline that Paul Wight (the Giant) is on the verge on hanging up the tights because of his disenchantment with the NWO debacle. Consider the source, of course...
Arn Anderson faced the Barbarian, with Meng at ringside without his usual Horsemen back-up yet again...Jeff Jarrett ran-in at the end to help Arn (sort of) then Chris Benoit showed up and led the dazed Anderson away while Jarrett got plastered by the Faces of Fear back in the ring. It was hard to tell what Jarrett's motivation was since his second act, after attacking the Faces, was to dump Arn out of the ring. Was he attacking Arn or just getting him out of harm's way..?
Scott Norton, wearing NWO knee pads, gave Lex Lugar a real run for his money to day on the program. It was a real powerhouse brawl. Which saw Lugar get his clock cleaned until he sidestepped the former arm-wrestling champion on a whip off the ropes. Lugar racked him...
Eric Bischoff on Prodigy
Here is the Bischoff Interview
I cannot imagine many Nitro viewers were thrilled having to sit through nearly forty minutes of "Robin Hood" to view a couple minutes of Hogan/Giant. Did you attempt to anticipate Nitro fan reaction beforehand and if so, was your anticipation included in your business decision to work with TNT the way you did?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) First of all, it's clear that a lot of fans were frustrated and/or disappointed in the manner in which we promoted and delivered the Hogan/Giant match on Monday night. Clearly it wasn't our intention to disappoint anyone. I want to apologize to anyone who was disappointed or frustrated by our efforts. That being said, the fact that Time Warner and TNT approached WCW and asked for help in launching their new series was a great opportunity for us. Under the circumstances, we felt it was in our best interest to help with the networks efforts.
HI ERIC is it true you bought tickets for hall and nash to sit at royal rumble as it was reported at wcw hotline?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) That's absolutely not true.
Eric - Will we see a HOGAN vs. STING Match on PPV at either SUPERBRAWL or UNCENSORED?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I doubt you will see that match at either of those events, but it's inevitable we will have that match at some point, more than likely this year.
Were you aware that Nitro would only be shown every other commercial?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I wasn't clear on which commercial breaks the match was going to be shown in, and that decision was out of my hands.
Eric - What is the situation with Randy Savage and WCW?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) As far as I know, Randy is enjoying his retirement and his free time. I believe Randy is pursuing other interests.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF VINCE MCMAHON CREATING DIESAL AND RAZOR RAMON?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) Vince McMahon has a right to exploit those characters anyway he sees fit....just like he has a right to do any of a number of other things that he has done recently with his product.
Is it true that Kevin Nash has an out Clause in his contract. And if so will you meet the clause described in his contract or will you let him walk in order to keep Hogan happy, and do u plan to do any thing about the Hall-Saggs house show incident and if so what action would you take??
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I can't and won't discuss details of contracts, I can tell you there is nothing unique in Kevin Nash's agreement that would give him any more opportunity to walk out than anyone else has. More importantly, I think anyone who does an interview with Kevin and asks that question would find out he is happy right now. In fact, he and Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan have become close friends. Hogan uses a Lear Jet to get to and from Nitro and frequently gives Hall and Nash a ride with him. The rumors of animosity are completely false.
Eric, Even with the success of the NWO angle, I tune into WCW to watch the Cruisers. Men like Malenko, Mysterio, Dragon, etc., continually put on great matches for you. Is there any chance of having a Cruiserweight only PPV or even a Clash?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I've never given that any consideration, but it's not a bad idea. I think what we need to do is develop more cruiseweights so that the division has more people to work with. It would take more athletes than we currently have to have a cruiserweight only event. We are doing that as we speak.
Please comment on the incident between Scott Hall and the Nasty Boys. is it safe to say that they are done with WCW
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I really can't comment on it because I wasn't there and didn't see it first hand. I've heard several versions and all are very similar. I think it was one of those things that unfortunately happens from time to time with highly competitive individuals. As far as I'm concerned it's over and done and I look forward to a long relationship with all of the principals.
Do you think Ring Warriors live Internet show will be a success? Any plans of doing something similiar with a WCW show?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I wish them the best of luck. I have no idea if it will be a success or not. I'm not familiar enough with the computer industry to be able to tell if a product like that would be marketable. It seems like that world continues to change on a daily basis.
Have you seen SSN? Either ways, from seeing it or hearing about it, what are you thoughts on the show?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I've seen clips of the show, and I think it's an embarassment to an organization that professes to be the leader in family entertainment. I think it's going to further erode the image of our industry among advertisers and television executives, as well as the public who stumbles upon it. To date, it is the most obvious sign of desparation the WWF has exhibited in the past 2 years. It amazes me that Vince McMahon continues to use blasphemy and sex to try to cram his product down the throats of the viewing public in the name of family entertainment.
What is your opinion on how long the NWO can exist before it becomes stale in the fans' eyes?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I remember answering that question in this forum approximately 2 months ago. I didn't have the answer then, and don't have it now. All I can tell you is that merchandise continues to increase in sales, ratings continue to increase. Two of our last 3 PPV's were all time revenue record generating PPVs. Arenas are at all time highs. So, it's working and it's working well. The audience doesn't seem tired of it, and I can't predict when it will die. It's NWO4LIFE after all.
In the new issue of WWF magazine there is an interview with Marc Mero-Johnny B Badd who states that through his first three years in WCW he was never once tested for drug use. What are your thoughts and answers to this statement?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I'll be anxious to check my records when I get back to my office tomorrow morning to see if that's just another one of the inconsistencies of Marc Mero's world.
Eric, you look like you're having a blast being in the nWo. What do the men in black do for fun outside of the ring?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I think that varies....for each individual. I feel like I work 80 hours a week. I don't have much fun. Hulk Hogan has several things he is quite busy with outside of the ring, as does Hall and Nash. We look forward to getting together after the shows on Monday to party a little bit, but once Monday is over with, we all go our separate ways.
When will David "Fit" Finlay return to WCW?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) We haven't had any conversations with him since he left.
Eric, have you had a chance to see the "new" National Wrestling Alliance? Young, up and coming wrestlers like Reckless Youth, Ace Darling, Dave Keller, and Chachi Arcola...future superstars that are really very talented and are the real "New Generation"...
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I apologize....I haven't had an opportunity to see them. I look forward to seeing tapes of them if they are as good as Chat members say they are.
Is Chris Chavis aka Tatanka coming to WCW?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I had a conversation with Chris several months back. At the time he was unsure of his release status with Titan Sports. I told him when he had a release to contact us, and I haven't heard from him since.
What do you think of Saturday Night Shotgun, and the Fondle-Me-Elmo skit?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I'll repeat what I said before. It's the debths of bad taste, particularly when a Mattel commercial follows a skit like that. It's the typical Vince McMahon "genius".
Eric, how come live WCW action hasen't been coming to New York? Will live WCW action ever come to New York in the near future?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) Vince McMahon has been able to keep us out of arenas like Madison Square Garden by virtue of a unique contract he has with them. We do intend to challenge that, and to move some of our events into the New York area and into the Northeast in general.
Hey Eric, what are you going to do when the NWO falls apart, and the Nitro ratings start to diminish??That's the only reason most watch Nitro!
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I don't know that that's true. The NWO is a big reason why people watch, but if you look at the quarter hours, some of the best numbers come during the Lex Luger segments and the cruiserweight segments. I think it's unfair not to give other people some credit.
Will we be seeing more of JJ Dillon in the weeks to come?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I don't know that you've seen any of him to begin with. I'm not really sure. JJ's pretty busy with his office duties.
Just curious on your thoughts on both "Mean" Gene Okerlund and Mark Madden.. thanx and continued success...
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I think Mark Madden is a loose cannon, who's mouth can sometimes get him in trouble. Gene Okerland is a professional to work with and I enjoy working with him.
What's the status on the WCW video game?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I know we have one in development and were approached yesterday by one of the largest companies in the world to do another one.
Do you have any plans for Bobby Eaton? He hasn't been involved in any cool angles lately, like he used to be in the olden days of WCW.. :)
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) Bobby is a part of the team and certainly has the talent to be involved in a future storyline at anytime.
Eric; Good evening, It' great that the Giant took time for satellite interviews with stations across the country, Does WCW/NWO plan on any more satellite interviews for local stations?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) We do satellite media tours everytime we do a PPV, and virtually every station in the country is notified of media tours. They all have the opportunity to interview any of our stars and we'll continue that practice.
Eric, When is the NWO going to turn on Hulk Hogan? You know they will, its only a matter of timer... You make a great heel.. Are people booing or cheering you.. Be honest :}
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I don't think the NWO is going to turn on Hulk Hogan anytime soon. There seems to be a close relationship with everyone. Don't assume it will happen anytime soon. Generally, I would say the fans reaction to me depends on which market we are in. I'd prefer not to go back to Charlotte and make an entrance to that crowd again. It depends on the market.
Eric what do you think of stars Like Shawn Micheals, Sabu, Taz, Brett Hart and other Pure real wrestlers. Would you like to bring them to WCW/nWo and If so what in what way? DDP Rules!
I find it ironic that someone would throw Taz and Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels in the same category and refer to the group as real wrestlers. Everyone knows that I would love to have Bret Hart on our roster. He's not only a phenomenal talent, but one of the class acts in our industry both in and out of the ring. I'm not sure Shawn Michaels would ever fit on our roster, and don't know enough about Taz to have an opinion. I've only seen brief clips of him.
Eric, how about some more nWo merchandise available to us fans?! I'd also like to see the nWo website expanded. Keep up the good work!
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) We are coming up with merchandise as we speak, and thank you for the kind words.
Do you believe that you have been aesthetically beneficial to the NWO angle?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I'm not sure what you mean by asthetically beneficial, but as the angle evolved it became clear to me that eventually the NWO was going to need an announcer...so I decided to hire myself. Call me an opportunist if you will, but I'm having more fun now than I've ever had.
What do you think of the independent scene? There's a great indie, up here in Boston, called Boston Action 'N Destruction..and they definetly have a couple of talents that are ready for a try-out in the big-leagues. Guys like the Mark Windsor, Damien Wink, Paul Pierce, and Reckless Youth could ALL do well in the nWo/WCW..
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I hope it flourishes so that young talent has an opportunity to work in front of a crowd and hone there skills so there is a future for the entire industry. I would encourage people to support the independent scene whenever they have an opportunity. Most of these guys are working for gas money and a hamburger, and a hope for an opportunity at the big show one day. They deserve support.
In the past, you've claimed you don't watch ECW. But if men such as Malenko, Guerrero, Mysterio, etc, never wrestled in ECW, do you think they'd be in WCW today?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) Absolutely. I had a chance to watch all of them wrestle in New Japan in person, and had a chance to meet all of them before it ever registered that they were a regular part of ECW. They are in WCW primarily because of my exposure to them in New Japan which I see much more of than ECW. People should remember that Dean Malenko was associated with New Japan for nearly 13 years. It's unfair to suggest that it's only because of ECW that Dean got an opportunity.
With the NWO angle seemingly getting worse as the months go by and the WWF's new "hardcore" look on Shotgun Saturday Night what can we expect from the WCW when the NWO has come to its finish?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) You are certainly welcome to your opinion, but all the indications from merchandise to PPV buy rates to Arena attendance shows that the angle is doing anything but getting stale...despite your personal opinion. If a transvestite giving birth and Sunny falling in bed with a muppet is your idea of hardcore, you are welcome to that as well as your opinion. By the way....their Flying Nuns were the 'hardest core' thing I have ever seen. LOL
what do you think about the wwf's new show "shotgun saturday night"?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) From what I've seen it's probably the worst thing that has been produced in our genre in the last 10 years. I wouldn't be surprised if Jim Ross, Vince McMahon and Bruce Pritchard aren't all standing in the ring biting heads off chickens to try to get a rating.
Whatever happened to the NWO Nitro hour?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) It is still in development and we hope to see it within several weeks.
What do you love most about wrestling?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) Excellent question...but there is really no one thing I could say is the thing I enjoy most. I think the ability to create and witness a national audiences reaction to a concept is incredibly fulfilling. Generally speaking with all but several exceptions, the people in our industry are some of the most dedicated people I've worked with in any industry. That is certainly an aspect I enjoy. Quite frankly, I make more not than I did selling meat door to door, so I enjoy that aspect too.
what do you think your future will be with WCW, if and when the nwo ceases to exist? will you stay with the WCW, and do you think they will take you back?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) That's up to Ted Turner.
When will the WCW come to Los Angeles?It's been a long time!
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) Yes, as a matter of fact, I saw Los Angeles on the schedule for a NITRO for, I believe, the first quarter of this year. I don't have the date right off hand.
Hi Eric......thanks for coming aboard......Question #1-----A few months ago you promised that the NWO would get what's coming to them. Have you done exactly what you've planned to do or have problems arisen to change those plans.
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) They got what was coming to them....they got me. I love those guys...I really do.
Will WCW's other television shows besides Nitro, like Saturday Night, Worldwide & Pro ever be taped from other arenas instead of being taped at Disney? I think it would be better that way.. :)
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) Saturday Night is already taped at arenas around the country. Saturday morning and Sunday are both taped at Disney and may be taped at other venues based on the availability of Disney.
what are going to do about the wreslers who dont convert to nwo
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I've given all of them an opportunity to make a wise decision. Those that have have a secure future. Those that haven't will suffer the consequences and we'll let the chips fall where they may.
Eric, What do you think about the rumors about the warrior joining the War against the NWO?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) An icecubes chance in hell.
Will there ever be WCW action figures? That would be cool.. you could have the horsemen.. nWo.. and harlem heat in a 2 pack.. :)
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) Perhaps. It's really up to our licensees.
What's up with Randy Savage? I've just begun to see him in the beginning highlights again. Is he coming back to join Sting/Giant and Luger in their battle with the NWO?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I doubt it. I really think Randy Savage has probably saved the first penny he ever made in the business. Financially he doesn't need to wrestle and I think he really does enjoy his free time more than he enjoyes wrestling at this point. Quite frankly I really don't think there is a fit on our roster for him.
Will you or Ted Dibiase be at the ring for the Hogan/Giant match?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) We haven't decided yet.
Lex is coming on tomorrow night here on Prodigy Chat. Do you ever tell anyone what not to say online? Would Lex be allowed to tell what Sting said to him in the battle with the Giant a couple weeks ago?
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) I don't control the wrestlers outside of their performances on our shows. It's a free country...at least in our organization. Lex Luger is free to comment on whatever Lex Luger wants to comment on.
One of the greatest thing i've ever seen was you jackknifed through a table. How did that feel?????
Eric Bischoff (Speaker) It felt just like getting jack knifed through a table, or getting hit by a car from behind. Take your pick.
End of transcript.
A Request from a Reader
I received this e-mail from a reader. If anyone out there can help him I would consider it a personal favor. Thanks.
I really enjoy your page.
I was wondering if you have any pictures of British wrestlers(not Davy Boy smith please :) )?? If not, do you know of anywhere I can find them? I've tried several wrestling newsgroups but nobody seems to have any pics of British wrestlers.
I would like to start my own page of British wrestlers so I was wondering if, on your page, you could put out an SOS for me to anybody who has any pics.
I know it is a real cheek for me to ask so if you don't want to do it I quite understand :)
Any help you can give would be gratefully received.
A Final Word...
Many of you are aware that I have recently revamped the Readers' Forums.
Because of the constant problems with the Lpage Guestbooks, I decided to devise my own forums, taking advantage of the CGI capabilities built into the AOL web server.
So far it has worked pretty well but it's a little bit of a hassle because there is no Online Delete utility. I have to download the guestbook, edit it and then put it back up. The other problem inherent in this set-up is that, since the forums now reside on my server space, I have to moniter them carefully to make sure they don't get overly large and crash my web site. I have alleviated this situation somewhat by moving the forums onto a 2MB space of their own (AOL gives you 2MB for each of up to 5 screen names). In order to do this, it was necessary to sacrifice my Hulk Hogan dedication site (I'm sure many of you will not miss that one - it had become sort of passe in any case).
What this is all leading up to is that I would like to request that Readers' Forum correspondents limit themselves to discussing wrestling. In order to control the size of the Forum (which gets from 30 to 50 posts a day), I have to delete around 25 - 30 messages daily. I have three criteria for deleting messages in this order:
1) Messages containing profanity or personal insults directed at other posters - the profanity rule is because of the many children who visit the site. I don't allow insulting messages because I have observed that once someone has been insulted they feel the need to respond in kind - soon the board starts filling up with insults being hurled back and forth...not a pretty site (a pun...sorry). There are no MARKS on Solie's Readers Forum - only wrestling fans (of course, I am referring to the description MARK in the pegoritive sense, we all "mark out" from time to time). I want to assure that the forum does not become another version of the RSP-W newsgroup...
2) Messages that discuss things other than wrestling, or what I refer to as "Personality messages" - messages put up by people who just want to show how clever they are. There is a certain group of newcomers that has been trying to dominate the discussion lately - I have had many complaints about this group both on the board and via e-mail from long time correspondents. I have also received messages in their defense. If you limit your posts to wrestling issues, I have no problem with you. If you are not advancing the discussion of wrestling topics you are wasting web space and my readers' time and you can expect your posts to be deleted or else edited to fit the accepted form on this board.
3)The oldest messages - you can be sure that no message, regardless of content will remain on the board more than 2 or 3 days.
Let me make it clear that when I say "these are the rules" I am not opening up a topic for discussion, I AM LAYING DOWN THE LAW. If you wish to dispute my enforcement of the rules, please send me an e-mail. I will be happy to discuss it with you. Any messages pertaining to this subject that appears on the Readers' Forum will be deleted on sight.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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