Volume 2, Issue 125
February 9, 1997
Editor's Note: For those of you who may have been trying to post messages on the Readers' Forums, I was forced to shut them down Saturday morning because I was out of town on a business trip and some idiot took that opportunity to try and wreck the board by posting multiples (about 40 or so) of the same message and then saving the entire guestbook as a text file then uploading it as a post. I was able to get on Friday evening and clean up the mess but then when I checked back on Saturday the jerk was back and threatening to hold the forum hostage to his outrageous actions. Since I was out of town and having to pay long distance charges in order to sign on (the closest dial-up to Lake Tahoe was Las Vegas!) I decided to shut the Forums down until I returned home tonight. I want to apologise for the inconvenience this caused and hope that you all understand the position I was in.
A further note: I have decided to suspend my WWF LiveWire reports for the time being. Since they stopped including the Call-in portion it has become just another re-hash of the RAW program - which I cover in depth in my Monday Night Wars edition.
Bret Hart's Column from the Calgary Sun
Today's column is titled Another Title Up for Grabs
Bret starts out by quoting the "anything can happen in the WWF..." saying and he's beginning to believe that. "I think I was involved in arguably the two most controversial Royal Rumble finishes in WWF history."
He mentions that Stone Cold Steve Austin's tainted win is still fresh in everyone's mind, and asks how many people remember the Luger-Hitman finish in Rumble '94? He then returns to discussing this years Rumble, and says "Just when I thought nothing in the WWF could surprise me, I got a call from Gorilla Monson." He says Gorilla thanked him for participating in the upcoming Final Four match at the next IYH PPV. Gorilla also said that he is sick & tired of bad officiating in the WWF.
"With all due respect, Gorilla isn't the one busting his butt in the ring, so I don't think his frustration can possibly be on the same level as mine but I believe he is genuinely making an effort to cut down on travestied finishes."
Bret says he asked Moonson about Wippleman's report and Monsoon refused to comment. Apparantly Monsoon said that "...we really don't need a report when we all plainly see the injustices that have transpired-all of us except ther referees that is!"
The Bret says "The surprise came when Monsoon told me that regardless of whether I win the Final Four match or not, I will still get a Heavyweight Title shot and I won't have to wait till Wrestlemania XIII!"
Bret asks "What's the catch?" But Bret goes to say that Monsoon isn't talking about the WWF title, but about the new European Heavyweight title. Bret says "I didn't like the idea at first because it seemed like having two heavyweight titles would dilute the rank and significance of the WWF World Title." Bret says that now he is warming to the idea of the new title, although it will only be fought for in Europe. The World Heavyweight Title will be the 'highest' rank, and be fought anywhere in the world. "I was wondering how this new title compares to the Intercontinental title." The IC title can also be fought anywhere in the world, and "The Bulldog's stunning victory over me in London is the most obvious example of that. (By the way, I still rate that match as possibly the best of my career-even though I lost.)"
The IC title competition will still be world wide, "but they are attempting to restructure the guidelines for the IC title to make it more like a middleweight division championship." Bret says that would allow competitors like Furnas & LaFon to be title contenders with opponents limited to their weight class.
"Is it arrogance, self confidence or bad judgement that gives me the nerve to compete in the Final Four and the European Title tournament with Wrestlemania just around the corner?! Maybe I'm trying to prove-to myself and as well as to all of you-that I'm still the fightingest champion of all time. I hope my stamina is as strong as my will."
And that's it Earl, for another week.
Rudy in Calgary.
Thanks Rudy - keep up the good work.
WCW Main Event
The top story of the morning (of course) is the appearance off Roddy Piper on Nitro last week. Hogan definitely offered a Piper a title match on Nitro - in fact he said it twice. Then he re-iterated it during his face-to-face with Piper. Vince's "bait and switch" comments may have been on the mark...but I still don't think he had any right to make them when you consider his own actions that night and on many other occasions...but that's another article.
They reviewed the Woman/Benoit/Jaquelyn confrontation on Nitro - did anyone else notice that the underside of the ring was lighted..? What was that about?
Masahiro Chono took on Buddy Lee Parker in the Main Event exclusive squash...yawn.
WCW Saturday Night
The Cheetah Kid got squashed in his match against the Ultimo Dragon today. By the way, I have to disagree with some on the Internet who have been claiming that Cheetah Kid is Pat Tanaka - no way does Tanaka have the definition of this guy's upper-body musclelature - besides, Tanaka appeared on the program just prior to this match. It hardly seems likely that he would have been required to wrestle twice in the same portion of the show.
Today we got a re-match between Jeff Jarrett and Hugh Morrus. The McMichaels came out to spoiled it but then didn't follow through. The result was a clean pin for Jarrett after a roll-up.
Newcomer Ron Powers had his chance to shine in an upset win against Jimmy Golden (Bunkhouse Buck) on today's program. I guess this was his payback for jobbing to Lex Lugar last week...
Jimmy Hart says in an interview that he's against having Jaquelyn getting involved with the Dungeon of Doom - but agrees to "go talk" with her after she interrupts the interview.
Giant Jobber Roadblock also was allowed a win today when he was over-matched against the diminuitive Buddy Lee Parker.
Young Devon Storm gave Alex Wright a pretty good run for his money today. Wright won the match but he had to earn it. Storm reminds me pretty strongly of the former WWF'er Barry "O". I wonder if he might also be one of the younger Orton brothers..? BTW - Dusty made reference to the possiblilty of Eric Bischoff having a run-in with the Executive Committee and coming up with the short end of the stick during this match. As I've mentioned before, Rhodes is a big player in the booking at WCW - possibly this pre-sages the fruition of a rumor I've been hearing that the next storyline twist may involve the firing of Bischoff from the organization. The current rumor has Ted Turner doing the deed on TV but the alternative could be to have the EC take care of it...
Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero put on a great exhibition today as Malenko challanged Guerrero for his US Title. Malenko is, of course, the current Cruiserweight title holder (although he doesn't have possession of it thanks to Syxx). Unfortunately my videotape recorder ran out of tape in the middle of this match so I don't know how it ended.
Shotgun Saturday Night
Shotgun Saturday Night 2/8/97
Emanating from Penn Station in New York City.
Intro with The Undertaker operating an Amtrak train.
Vince McMahon and Sunny are commentating.
1st match: "The Nation of Domination" Faarooq Assad and Crush vs. The Godwinns
We have four fairly big men in the ring. This should be a brawl. Phineus and Crush start the match and Phineus cleans house. Faarooq tags in and Phineus controls the match again. Savio Vega comes to ringside to watch the match and we cut to a break. When we come back Faarooq takes a case and jams it on Henry's back on the outside. Faarooq rolls Henry in and Crush controls it until Henry clotheslines Crush and tags Phineus and cleans house again. As Phineus goes to the ropes, Vega pulls his leg and Phineus pulls Vega onto the apron. Crush charges Phineus, but Phineus gets out of the way and when Phineus attempts a slop drop on Crush, Faarooq clotheslines Phineus and Crush gets the 1-2-3.
Evaluation: A farce of a match. Not much action here and the ending was too predictable.
** of 5
Time of match: 11:28
Hunter Hearst Helmsley enters the building from a limousine to defend the Intercontinental title. He is without Mr. Hughes (I heard he is in a hospital for serious reasons.)
2nd Match: Intercontinental Champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. The Undertaker for the title.
Undertaker makes his grand entrance as he walks down the stairs and through the crowd. Undertaker is in a rush as he rushes into the ring and HHH attacks him as he enters. We immediately cut to a break. We come back to see the Undertaker go to town on HHH. And he is still in control. The official takes a bump from HHH and when the Undertaker goes to revive him, HHH takes the belt and nails him with it. Already we cut to another break (a long one). When we come back, HHH is in control of the match. The Undertaker gains control momentary until HHH hits his stomach to knee move (looks to be another of his trademark move). The Undertaker keeps coming back only for HHH to counter. The Undertaker finally has one of his spats of invulnerability and HHH takes the belt and attempts to brain him with it, only to have the Undertaker take it away. The Undertaker brains Helmsley and gets DQed for it. After the match, the crowd calls for the Tombstone. The Undertaker chokeslams HHH (holds him up high and long) and he lands hard. HHH escapes momentarily by leaving the ring, but the Undertaker catches up to him and Tombstones him on the escalator!
Evaluation: Helmsley works hard and The Undertaker is a huge draw, but something about the match didn't click for me.
** 1/2 of 5
Time of match: 10:45
3rd match: "Portuguese Man o' War" Aldo Montoya vs. Savio Vega (which turns into a six man match)
Where did Aldo go? How do you spell squash? Aldo gets his customary initial face control with a hip toss and dropkick. Vega goes flies to the outside, but Aldo hits a couple of crossbody blocks. One from the ring to the outside and one from the top rope to the ring. Vega quickly gets control after a near-fall and shows his vicious ground attack. Vega is killing Aldo with his aggressiveness and hits a very nice charging spinning kick that takes him from the corner to the outside. Aldo gains control and hits a kick to the back of the head, but his control is fleeting we see Vega stomping on Aldo in the ring after the NOD members Faarooq and Crush come down the ring. We cut to a break. When we come back, Vega is still in control. Also gains a momentary moment of control until Vega rakes his face and grounds him with a nerve hold again. Now we see the Godwinns coming down to the ring. A brawl ensues outside and they take it to the ring, but no punches are thrown inside the ring, so the referee lets it go. The Godwinns call for a six-man tag and eggs the crowd. We cut to another break. Now the match is a six-man tag, but poor Also is still in the ring to endure a Crush overhead slam. Also counters a Crush suplex by going around and DDTing him. But Aldo can't make the tag and Crush tags out to Faarooq. And NOD controls Aldo. A boring chant comes from the crowd (and rightfully so). Faarooq eventually goes for the Dominator, but Aldo reversed it into a backslide. Faarooq escapes and the NOD controls it once again. Aldo eventually bodyslams Vega and hits a dropkick from the top rope, but still the NOD interferes from Aldo making a fair tag. All six men come into the ring, but the Godwinns take it outside, and Vega gets hit with a spinning kick as Aldo comes off the ropes. 1-2-3 finally.
Evaluation: I almost fell asleep. It's only my dedication to finishing the SSN report that keeps me up for this one.
** of 5
Time of Match: 20:50
When we come back from a break, we see Phineus Godwinn slop Pat Patterson. (by accident?)
Well I gotta say this really bad. I hope the two hour RAW will make up for this lack-luster show. Very poorly done. NO surprises. NO good interviews. NO good matches. I heard that this is the last of the live SSN. And the last of SSN coming from nightclubs. I hope they can give something better to the loyal fans that stay up for them.
This is Garland riding Shotgun�
Our Seattle Correspondent Garland Chan is currently a student at the University of Washington.
Jimmy Cornette repeated the line about last weeks RAW show being the "...the largest Monday night crowd" at the Toronto Skydome at the top of the program. Later in the program they put the same claim in print on the screen during one of their "Buzz" blurbs - these guys are shameless...
By the way - the reason their having RAW on Thursday this week is that the USA Network is honoring its yearly committment to air the Westminister Dog Show on Monday night.
Goldust faces the Sultan (Fatu) in the opening contest. This is a re-match of the Shotgun Saturday Night confrontation during which Marlena showed her "wares". She was on hand to provide distraction again this morning. Just before the first commercial she was already at it.
Within moments of coming back she is up on the apron getting ready to let fly (if you will). Hunter Hearst Helmsley puts a stop to that - and the match by grabbing her off the apron and carrying her away. Goldust caught up with them in the aisle and rescued her only to get ganged up on by Hunter and his "butler" Mr. Hughes.
We get some clips from SSN (see Garland Chan's report above).
Octogon and Hector Garza took on Heavy Metal and Fuerza Guererro - Pepe Casas (Heavy Metal's father) was the referee. Guererro is 44 years old - another Mexican dinosaur. I guess WCW has most of the younger guys already. Heavy Metal showed us something in this match. At one point he did a back-handspring out of a whip off the rope that was unique to my memory. Later he crotched himself on the corner turnbuckle (ouch!!!) and effectively took himself out of the contest. It showed a little later when he hesitated too long to throw a somersault plancha and got rammed into the railing. In the end Octogon pinned Guererro.
Coming back from commercial we see the Honky Tonk Man seemingly making a move on Sable outside the arena.
HBK shows up for an interview in his street clothes. He allows that he is "returning the favor" to Sid by granting him a re-match for the title on Thursday.
Bret Hart joins the broadcast team for a knock-down-drag-out fight between Steve Austin and Vader. Sunny performs the introductions for this one.
The action is definitely see-saw. Hart is referring to Austin as "the Hyenia" - good description. There is no clear leader as we go to the first commercial but Austin is taking a beating.
As we return it is clear that this match is going nowhere fast. Austin is still taking it but Vader can't put him away. His Vader bomb is countered by Austins knees to the gut (it may be the first time I remember ever seeing that). Then the Undertaker shows up to take exception to some of Bret Hart's comments about him. They start to brawl - meanwhile Vader and Austin spill out to the outside as well. A melee ensues - fade to black.
I missed the WCW Pro show because my recorder ran out of tape - I haven't been reviewing it lately in any case because it's mostly a re-hash show. I'll be back tomorrow night with my Nitro report (no RAW) and Jeremy Hartley's EYE on WRESTLING column. Until then...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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