Volume 2, Issue 127
February 13, 1997
Thursday RAW Thursday
It was announced today on the WWF America On Line site that Shawn Michaels will forfeit the WWF Title this evening on the program. I learned from other sources that it is because of a leg injury...whether it is a work is still under speculation...
The above announcement is made right at the top of the program - before the credits. The winner of the Final Four Match on Sunday will become the WWF Champ. Everybody is predicting Bret Hart to win but I'm picking Steve Austin, thus setting up more frustration for Bret and a likely heel turn...
First up - Rocky Maivia vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley for the Intercontinental Championship - (I have heard on the Internet today that Maivia is slated to win the title tonight) - Vince mentions that Mr. Hughes is "conspicuously absent" but that he might show up...(I heard he's in the hospital with a serious illness). Hunter dominates the early going, mainly through guile...he's concentrating on the left arm of the youngster. He has his opponent in the corner and is chopping away as we go to commercial.
Hunter is still in charge as we return. The Honky Tonk Man makes his appearance at ringside. He joins the broadcast team - his mic seems to be on the PA - it has a weird echoing quality at first - then they get the sound under control. In the ring Hunter has a sleeper on Maivia but Rocky is fighting it. He gets loose and reverses it, but then gets pulled into the corner buckle face-first. Moments later he comes back with a flurry. He goes for a flying body press but Hunter rolls through it and almost gets the pin. Hunter gets a neck-breaker then a pile-driver but can't put his opponent away. He takes him up for a superplex - but still no cigar. He tries to put on a Pedigree but Maivia is to limp to hold in place. Hunter decides to pose then goes for the pin but gets cradled - Maivia is the new Intercontinental Champion!
Doc Hendrix interviews a flabbergasted Rocky Maivia who promises to make his family and all of his fans proud (I think you've already done that my friend...)
Sunny shows up for no particular reason...oh, I see, she's the ring announcer - we cut to commercial as she's reaching into her bra for something...
Headbangers are in the ring as we return. We cut to review of what happened on the Nashville Network the other night on Prime Time Country - Godwins vs. Double J and "Host Boy" Gary Chapman - HB wins the match - damn...and I thought this stuff was real....
Headbangers vs. Aldo Montoya/Bob Holly - Holly gives a pretty good account of himself then tags in old Jockstrap-head. Aldo gets in and out fast so that Holly can get back in and be creamed. Vince is talking about Shawn Michaels knee injury. Their talking about reconstructive surgery. A career ending injury...(haven't we been here before..? The King actually sounds like he feels sorry for the guy...) In the ring the Headbangers have taken over with their excellent teamwork (something the other teams never heard of...) It's over in a matter of moments. The Bangers win it with a pin over Montoya. Cut to commercial.
Were back, Vince and Gorilla Monsoon are waiting in the ring - Shawn is introduced - he moves slowly to the ring with a humble look on his face...(is this deja vu..?) He looks ready to cry... he says "It seems like we've done this before..." the doctors have told him that he may never wrestle again. The crowd is yelling "We want Sid!" His voice is breaking up as he explains that all he ever wanted was for the fans to "have a good time" (now the crowd is cat-calling and booing some...) He says that he doesn't know whats going to happen but he says that if he can't come back at full performance level that he won't come back at all. People in the crowd are openly weeping now...tears are running down Shawn's cheek as he thanks the fans for giving him the "greatest year of his life..." Vince hugs him. He turns and Gorrilla enfolds him in an embrace before he leaves - the fans are grabbing him and hugging him - Lawler is paying tribute to him, saying that if anyone can come back its Shawn Michaels - JR embraces him and so does the "Fink" - a very touching moment - lets go sell some chewing gum.
The announcers are still talking about Michaels as the NOD chant starts. Savio Vega comes to the ring with the goon squad. Then the lights go out. The Undertaker makes his usual chilling entrance. Cut to commercial.
Vega has the advantage as we return but loses it immediately. The Undertaker is all over him in his usual aggressive style of late. Savio gets in a couple of licks but for the most part its all UT. He gets away with his rope walking schtick...then in the corner Vega crotches him (we're seeing more and more of that lately...) UT comes right back and then Savio puts him down with a series of three spinning heel kicks. Now Savio is in charge for a while. He rains martial arts blows on the big guy. Of course the thugs are getting involved wherever they can. UT is tough and can't be put down. Now Vega is using a rest hold on the trapezeous muscles. - but that doesn't last long. Undertaker starts to come back. He gets a good clothesline then a chokeslam wins him the match. The goons attack but they can't handle UT. Reinforcements arrive the the persons of Faarooq and Crush who pummel the Undertaker down. Ahmed Johnson hits the ring and takes on the whole squad as UT crouches in the corner. As Ahmed starts to lose ground the Undertaker recovers and chokeslams both members of PG-13 simultaneously. He then wades into the goons surrounding Johnson and the two of them clean house. Cut to commercial.
Stone Cold Steve Austin makes his entrance as we return. Doc Hendrix is with Monsoon. The Gorilla has decided to make the Final Four Match a Championship contest. Sycho Sid will face the new Champion on Monday night. By the way - here he comes...
Austin attacks as Sid is acknowledges the crowd. Sid comes right back but Austin crotches him (what is this? a theme?) They go outside brawl some and go back in. Austin is trying to get an abdominal stretch - it doesn't seem very effective. Sid gets loose and goes for a chokeslam but Austin turns it around and gets a Stunner. The fight is just really getting good when Bret Hart shows up and spoils it. Austin leaves the ring so Sid and Bret slug it out. Five officials are trying to pull them apart as they rag on each other. Backstage Vader is chomping at the bit for his match against Bret Hart which is coming up later. I wonder what will happen in that one..? This show had a lot of promise but things are starting to disintegrate now...
We come back to see a replay of some of Shawn Michaels comments from earlier this evening. He wants to go home and "find his smile..."
Oh Crap...NOD is back - am I the only one who finds these guys really repulsive? Crush and Faarooq get a shot at the Tag Team Titles (I had heard earlier this week that Furnas and LaFon were getting this match) - Owen starts out and is dominated by Crush who presses him overhead and drops him face first then picks him up again and gorilla slams him. Faarooq tags in as we go to commercial.
The Bulldog takes a Piledriver as we come back. Owen and Davey seem to be losing their continuity. No one is acknowledging the fact that Clarance Mason manages both of these teams. Bret is interviewed backstage - he feels sad about Shawn and feels that Michaels will come back at some point - meanwhile he expresses the belief that it's not "Vader Time" its "Hitman Time".
In the ring the Champs are being crushed (faarooqed?) Whatever - they are losing tha match. Owen finally gets in and cleans house but then gets thrown out and injures his knee. He is counted out as the Bulldog tries to fight both opponents. In the ring the Bulldog gets slammed face-first and the challangers stand over him as they get the duke. Owen is trying to shake it off in the aisle as Davey Boy recovers, They exchange words but then the Bulldog relents and helps his partner limp back to the locker room. Cut to commercial.
Bret Hart enters as we return - Vader is waiting in the ring. Before the match can start the lights go out and the Undertaker's music plays. UT has a mic - he talks about respect and tells Vader, Bret and Austin that none of them can beat him - the time is at hand for them to "rest in peace". Vader attacks Bret while he is distracted and starts hammering on him as we cut to another commercial.
Vader is still is charge as we rejoin the battle. It is shown that Austin came down and attacked Bret during the break. Hart comes back with a flurry of punches. He scoop slams the big man then continues to soften him up. He goes for a sharpshooter but gets thrown off. He goes back to work and gets the hold on again - this time they're too close to the ropes. Austin appears in the balcony and distracts the Hitman. Vader blindsides him and sets him up for the Vader bomb. He makes the mistake of going for a moonsault instead and misses. Bret gets the pin. Austin is livid in the balcony - the suits are holding back from jumping down and probably breaking his leg --- fade to black...
Well - that was one of the better RAW programs I can remember. I just wish they'd let one of these title contenders have a normal match. All these screw-jobs and run-ins are getting tiresome...
The History of the Midnight Express: Part 3
Last week, I said that Midnight Express II ("Loverboy" Dennis Condrey / "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton) was never the same after their scaffold match with the Road Warriors at Starrcade '86 in Atlanta, GA.
In January of 1987, signs of the Midnights demise began to be apparent when they challenged then-NWA US Tag Team Champions Ron Garvin and Barry Windham. With all due respect to Garvin and Windham, the Midnight should NOT have had the trouble with them that they did because the US Champions had not been together that long. Still, their inability to defeat Garvin and Windham was the main reason cited by Jim Cornette and his mother that a change was in order. As a result, Dennis Condrey was fired and replaced by "Sweet" Stan Lane (who was wrestling in Florida as a solo wrestler after finishing his long-time partnership with Steve Keirn in the Fabulous Ones). Thus, the third incarnation of the Midnight Express was born!!!!
Their first real test as a team was at the second annual Jim Crockett Senior Memorial Cup in Baltimore, MD. They defeated the Garvins (Ron and Jim Garvin) in their opening match and defeated the Road Warriors in the quarterfinals before losing to Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff in the semi-finals. Still, that was a sign of things to come.
In April 1987, the Midnights won a tournament for the vacant US Tag Team Titles (The previous owners, Ivan Koloff and Dick Murdoch, were stripped of the titles when the NWA suspended Murdoch for giving Nikita Koloff the brain-buster suplex on the concrete floor). This tournament featured the first confrontation between this Midnight Express and The Rock n Roll Express. The Midnights won this first battle by disqualification. They would go on to win the tournament by defeating Ron Garvin and Barry Windham in the finals. During the Great American Bash of that year, the Midnights met the R n R's again. By this time, Ricky and Robert had won their fourth NWA World Tag Team Championship by defeating "Ravishing" Rick Rude and Manny "Ragin' Bull" Fernandez. They met on July 4, 1987 in Atlanta, GA for both the World and US belts on the same card that the first ever WarGames: The Match Beyond took place. The match ended with the R n R's winning by disqualification, which left both teams with their respective belts.
In the Fall of 1987, Jim Cornette started making noise that the R n R's were avoiding the Midnight Express. Rick Morton responded to that charge with a right hand to the face!!! That would prove to be a mistake for the R n R's because later that evening, while they were coming to the ring to defend the belts against Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson of the Horsemen, the Midnights attacked Ricky and Robert.
Bobby Eaton injured the left shoulder of Ricky Morton with an arm-bar takedown (which he called "Divorce Court"). Needless to say, the Midnights practically handed the Horsemen the World Tag Team Championship (the full story can be found on Earl's Illustrated History Of The Four Horsemen page) as Ricky was unable to continue during the defense. The two express' met at Starrcade '87 in Chicago, IL in a scaffold match. The R n R's gained some measure of revenge but the Midnights are one's that had the last laugh because the R n R's never again became World Tag Team Champions after the September incident.
Next week, COLLISION COURSE. That's all I will say!!!
If you have a question, comments, critisism, or just want to talk to me about wrestling in general, please e-mail me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ervin Griffin Jr. is a regular contributor to Solie's Wrestling Newsletter as well as the Ringside Insider and other publications. He has also helped to enliven Solie's Readers' Forum since its inception.
I received this e-mail message today. If anyone could help this lady I would consider it a personal service
I read the letter from Dennis Peerenboom telling about the wrestlers that he remembered in Kansas. He mentioned Danny Little Bear. I am Danny Little Bear's widow. He passed away on May 12, 1991 at the age of 65 from cancer of the liver.
I am also trying to find video on just Little Bear. I would like interviews and matches if anyone happens to have any. I will gladly pay for these. I do not have anything on him wrestling and would like it to show to my nephew, my sister and brother-in-law and my step daughter. If anyone could help me I would appreciate it.
I remember Mr. Solie when he was the commentator in Atlanta, GA. He is one fine gentleman. If you happen to talk to him, please tell him hello for me. He may not remember me, as it has been a long time ago and I was not married to Bear at that time.
I enjoyed reading your newsletter. It brought back memories of the wrestlers that I use to watch and of the ones that I knew personally. Keep up the good work.
I can be reached by e-mail at:
Again thanks for any help you can give me.
Mary Ann Little Bear
I read some speculation in another On-Line publication that peaked my interest. The author of the article mentioned that Hollywood Hogan had spoken of bringing in the "Ultimate Weapon in June" in a recent interview. This writer then went on to say that since the Jim Hellwig's contract with the WWF is up in June it would seem to indicate that the Warrior would finally make his long predicted appearance in WCW. He further stated that he hoped it wasn't true and went on to describe the Warrior's wrestling skills and work ethic in the most unflattering terms.
I can understand his dismay. The Warrior has an uncanny knack for stirring up the fans despite his inability to wrestle his way out a paper bag. For died-in-the-wool WWF fan, which this author undoubtedly was, the idea of the Ultimate Warrior showing up in WCW is the worst nightmare realized...
Try as I might I have a hard time imagining the Warrior as a member of the NWO. I can't remember a time when young Mr. Hellwig ever used a heel personna. In his incarnation as half of the Blade Runners, as the Dingo Warrior in WCCW and later as the Ultimate one he was always a baby face - in fact his characterizations have always had a certain innocent quality that would seem to preclude his ever becoming a bad guy. The closest he ever came to it was when he challanged Hulk Hogan for the WWF Title and even then, in the end, the Hulkster had to concede defeat graciously because his conquerer was simply not a bad fellow...
Now, of course we all know that in real life James Hellwig has proven himself to be a spoiled crybaby who insists on a non-defeat clause in his contracts and has a tendancy to cut and run when the going got rough. So how crazy is it really to expect him to show up as a villian at long last..? Nah...it'll never fly...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
(Editor's Note: If you have found anything I have said here to be particularly offensive please read this disclaimer).
Come join in the liveliest discussion of Wrestling Topics on the Web!!
(Please watch your language - we have children surfing in here!)
Copyright 1997 - Jump City Productions