Volume 2, Issue 133
February 23, 1997
Although he sent me his article, I have chosen not to run Garland Chan's Shotgun Saturday Night report today because the program he describes is exactly the same as the WWF SuperStars show which follows...
Rumors of Jim Cornette's departure seem to have been greatly exagerated - he has become a fixture on these Sunday broadcasts, along with Jim Ross.
Goldust vs T.L. Hopper (Tony Anthony) to open the program - this is a competitive match. Anthony is showing us a little of his former fire as the Dirty White Boy. Eventually he succombs to a "Curtain Call".
We get a hint of what happened with Bret Hart after he lost the Title last Monday. A clip shows him stalking down a hallway shoving studio equipment out of his way as he goes. Presumably this took place immediately following his loss.
Headbangers vs. The Godwins - this should be a great match. All four men are big bruisers and excellent teamworkers. The Godwins show up with Ernest T. Judd - a Nashville comedian of some note. Hillbilly Jim is along as well. Phineous throws in a mule-kick during his first exchange with Mosh. Henry tags in and makes "moshed potatoes" out of his skirted opponent. Suddenly the New Blackjacks (Barry Windham, son of Blackjack Mulligan and Justin Bradshaw, son of Blackjack Lanza) hit the ring and take off after the Godwins. Both have died their hair black and look remarkably like their old men. The original Blackacks were a devastating tag team. We cut to commercial as the officials are trying to sort things out.
Headbangers vs. The New Blackjacks - as we return the Blackjacks have taken over for the deposed Godwins. A slam by Bradshaw reveals that the Headbangers wear boxer shorts under their skirts. The Godwins hit the ring and disrupt the proceedings - I see some great country-style matches coming up. Maybe some bullrope brawls or bunkhouse fights - goody!
Jim Ross keeps saying that WWF Title has changed hands three times in the last five days. Lets see now...Shawn had it and gave it up. Then Bret Won it - that's one change. Bret held it one day and then Sid won it - that's two changes...unless you consider Gorilla Monsoon to be one of the Title holders...hmmm, maybe they use a different numbering system in Oklahoma...
We get the full clip of Bret Hart rampaging his way back to the locker room after his Title defeat. He keeps yelling "...where is he??" - obviously referring to Steve Austin. The long-suffering Vince McMahon trails in his wake. In his dressing room, Bret tells the camera crew to "...get out!!!" Cut to a SuperBrawl commercial...
Sycho Sid interview - he's not afraid of the dark...
British Bulldog vs. Crush - Bulldog and Clarance Mason have a dust-up just before the match begins - Bulldog is questioning Mason's loyalty (good call Davey!). Mason confers with both competitors in the ring. Cornette notices that Mason came out with Crush. Bulldog dominates the first exchange. Crush definitly doesn't do as well when his opponent can match his power. NOD - who were not supposed to come to ringside (according to Mason before the match) show up as we cut to commercial. I smell a rat...and see a face turn coming...
Owen Hart has joined the troups at ringside as we return.Crush has taken over in the ring. Cornette is questioning where Qwen's priorities lie. In the end Savio Vega held Bulldog's foot while Crush pinned him as Mason stood by and watched.
Bulldog calls Mason back to the ring and fires him! There is a question about where Owen stands in all this. He seems not diposed to argue with his brother-in-law as we fade to black.
There were a lot of NWO t-shirts in the crowd and they were, for the most part, a pretty rowdy bunch. The first person to recognize my "Solie's Vintage Wrestling" t-shirt was a young (maybe 13) lady named Georgie who happened to come up in the line next to mine about 15 minutes before the doors were opened. She said she visited my page usually once or twice a week and asked me for my autograph! First time that ever happened...
Once inside I stationed myself against a piller in the concourse and made sure my Solie's logo was showing. I had promised to hang out there in case any of my website visitors wanted to meet me. I had stood there for about a half hour when a teenaged boy walked by, pointed at my shirt and said "That's a great website, where did you get the shirt?" I explained that I had made it and then mentioned that I run the Solie's site. He stopped to shake my hand and continued on his way.
Ten minutes later a guy named Roy walked up and asked if I was Earl Oliver. We had a nice talk during which I made some predictions at his request about what was likely to happen tonight. While we were talking a group of three youngsters joined us and soon we had a little discussion group going. A little later one of the guys I met at Planet Hollywood came by and we talked for a while. All in all I met a dozen or so regular visitors to the website who came by to say "hello".
At 3:25 I headed for my seat. I arrived in time to see the end of the WCW mascot's antics in the ring. He performed to blaring rock music.
There were two dark matches before the show went on the air.
Joe Gomez vs. Hugh Morrus - Gomez was dead meat from the get go. He received a round of boos when he came out - San Francisco wrestling fans are discerning if nothing else. His opponent got a pretty good pop. Hugh Morrus was clearly the crowd favorite. Gomez actually thought he was controlling the first few minutes but he was deluding himself. As soon as Morrus got loose from Gomez' arm bar it was all down hill. For a while he used a reverse chinlock to wear the jobber down. Finally he put him away with a moonsault.
Pat Tanaka vs. Ultimo Dragon - this one was a squash as well. Sonny Oono got involved with some kicks on the outside for good measure. Dragon won it with his spinning Frankensteiner off the top rope.
After about 10 minutes of pep rally action from ring announcer David Penser they introduce Tony, Dusty and Bobby and we are off and running.
There was a bank of video screens on the wall leading from the ramp to the end of the aisle. These we used to see the backstage interviews and the "Piper escaping from Alcatraz" skit at the beginning of the PPV.
I look around as the show begins and realize that the Cow Palace is truly sold out. I see only scattered seats here and there that aren't occupied and people are still streaming into the arena.
First up - Dean Malenko vs. Syxx for the Cruiserweight Title - the crowd really hates Syxx. Even though there is a large contingent of people in NWO garb he is roundly booed as he enters wearing the stolen Title Belt. They are chanting "1-2-3 sucks!!" He waits in the ring as Malenko makes his entrance. Syxx attacks on the bell but Malenko ducks and gets the drop on him. Dean starts to wail on his opponent and ends his first flurry by drop-kicking Syxx in the knee as he is suspended on the corner buckle. Syxx continues to feel the pain in his knee throughout the match. Even after he takes control around the middle of the match he continues to hold that knee between assaults. Syxx seems determined to put Malenko away with a sleeper and goes back to it over and over. Finally he puts Malenko down and goes to grab the belt. Eddie Guerrero runs in and tries to wrest it away from him. During the struggle Malenko recovers and tries to lend a hand. Syxx jerks the belt away and accidently brains Malenko with it. He gets the pin and now legitimately holds the Title - thanks to Eddie G.
Mean Gene interviews Diamond Dallas Page - they announce that DDP's opponent tonight will be "Buff" Bagwell (Bubba is still out of action because of the attack on him Monday night).
Six Man Tag match - Konan/LaParka/Villiano IV vs. Juventud Guerrera/Super Calo/Ciclope - this one is a jumble of action which I won't even try to call. So far it seems to me that WCW has managed to put these matches on so that they more closely resemble the Luche Libra action I used to watch on Channel 34 when I lived in LA years ago. Konan wins this one by pinning Juventud after a powerbomb.
Prince Iaukea vs. Rey Misterio Jr. for the TV title - this is a surprisingly competitive match - I must confess I expected Misterio to win this one easily. Rey got a huge pop when he came in - the Prince seemed to be somewhat less welcome. After about 10 minutes of fast paced action Lord Regal made an appearance and came down to the ring in a business suit. At a crucial moment he reached up and pulled Misterio off the apron causing him to tumble to the floor. Then he tossed him back inside so Iaukea could pin him. Afterward Iaukea was upset by the way he won and tried to give Rey the belt. Misterio was having none of it of course.
Mean Gene interviews the Giant - he says he's going to be the "conductor" tonight and Hall and Nash will be "playing the instruments..." (huh?) He's keeping his composure and expects to win tonight.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. "Buff" Bagwell - this is one of the better matches on the program right up to the very end. Both competitors gave it their all and it was a see-saw battle from stem to stern. The whole thing was spoiled at the end after DDP got his Diamond Cutter on as the NWO decided to hit the ring - too late to do other then cause the DQ for their man.
Chris Jerico vs. Eddie Guerrero for the US Title - Another see-saw affair with nobody really holding an edge throughout the match. One difference between this one and the one before it was that the two wrestlers kept it clean. Every time Guerrero would get the advantage for a little while he would lose it moments later as Jericho made a come back effort. The the tide would turn again. Eddie finally won it with a modified sunset flip (he kind of crawled down the back of his opponent). They embraced and raised each other arms after the match.
Triangle Match - Harlem Heat/Public Enemy/Faces of Fear - at first everyone ganged up on Johnny Grunge. Later the victim for everyone was Booker T. The Faces dominated both of the opposing teams throughout most of the match. Things got pretty confused toward the end as the Faces and Harlem Heat were getting into it heavy both outside and in. Public Enemy snuck in a double team move on the Barbarian to get the pin. Quite an upset in my book.
Steve McMichael vs Jeff Jarrett - for a place in the Four Horsemen. It isn't clear exactly what the outcome will be - whether the loser won't be a Horseman or (if its Mongo) will still be a "fifth" Horseman. Debra comes out on her husband's side early on when she raps Jarrett's hand with the case as he is using the ropes for leverage during an abdominal stretch. Mongo wrestles a fairly good match for a change. No major mistakes at least... Later on the outside Debra starts to wipe Jarrett off with a towel - Mongo commandeers it and strangles Jarrett instead. In the end Mongo calls for the case but Debra is hesitant to give it to him. She climbs up on the apron and tosses the case over her head right into Jarrett's hands. He uses it of course...and gets the pin. The question is - did she do it on purpose..?
Chris Benoit vs Kevin Sullivan - San Francisco Death Match - Woman and Jaquelyn strapped together - this is one of the wildest melees I have ever seen in 40+ years of watching wrestling. It even tops the Undertaker/Mankind matches in my book. Everything started in the ring - the men going tooth and nail and the ladies(?) at least as violent as the men. The men fight up into the concourse and back down to the ring as the women continue their battle in the ring area. After everyone worried about poor Nancy having to be strapped to this Amazon - she gives as good as she gets!! In fact toward the end it is clear that "the Dark Star" still has it in spades. Jaquelyn definitely takes the worst of this beating. In the end Nancy is the only one standing after Benoit brings a table into the ring and lays Sullivan out on it. Jaquelyn jumps up and positions herself on top of her man to protect him - Benoit crashes into both of them and the table collapses but doesn't break. Kevin and Jaquelyn are motionless in the ring as officials start arriving, Paul Orndorff and Terry Taylor among them. Nancy even seems to be upset about what has happened to Jaquelyn and Kevin. The three of them are carted away and straight out to waiting ambulances.
The Outsider vs. The Giant - handicap match for the World Tag Team Titles - the Giant has to take on both Hall and Nash, plus Syxx is on hand to make trouble as well. He holds his own for the first few minutes (first against Hall and then against Nash) but eventually is overcome. This guy is really massive when you see him in person. He's just barely taller than Kevin Nash but outweighs him by about 130 lbs. Somehow Nash manages to Powerbomb the big guy towards the end - just before Lugar shows up. On his way to the ring he pauses just long enough to dispose of Eric Bischoff who runs out to try and stop him. He runs to the ring and cleans house then he racks Kevin Nash!! And Nash submits!! Then the Giant chokeslams Hall for good measurs, Lugar and the Giant are the Tag Champs (for now...)
Holywood Hogan vs Rowdy Roddy Piper for the WCW World Title - this match is a replay of the previous Hogan/Piper contest right down to the sleeper being applied to put Hogan out. Toward the middle of the match, when the NWO is threatening to interfere, Sting and Savage show up in the aisle and start towards the ring but then Stings hesitates and they reverse course but Savage turns back and ends up at ringside. Stings leaves. As I mentioned Hogan went down under a sleeper but this time it was determined that his foot was under the rope (because Savage put it there!) so the match was restarted. Next as Hogan is laying there Savage slips a set of brass knucks on his hand. Piper pulls him up and gets socked in the head with the weapon!!! Hogan gets the pin and a new partner in crime.
Afterward Hogan and Savage take turns dropping legs and elbows on the unconscience Roddy Piper. In a closeup after the carnage we can see that the blacking has been rubbed off of Hogan's beard - it's really blonde like what's left of his hair...
I was supposed to meet Hitman and JByrd (two Readers' Forum regulars who have a radio program on the Extreme Sports Network) to go have a drink with Diamond Dallas Page after the show but they never showed up. I figure they left before the card ended - DDP was finished after the third match of the evening and probably didn't want to hang around. Guess I'll find out at some point.
I did have a great time yesterday over at Planet Hollywood. I got to speak to Jimmy Hart for a few minutes. We discussed the changes that have come about for Konan since he took on his new gimmick and more aggressive character. The guy (Hart) was quite soft spoken and gentlmanly when out of character. It was a kick to watch him ramp up for his interview with Hitman. His knee started shaking and and his eyes twitching and then suddenly this squeaky voice comes bursting out a mile a minute. It was an amazing transformation. Harlem Heat came on very menacing towards Hitman during their interview and yet they were looking around and grinning ear to ear the whole time - very different from what we see in their TV interviews. Sherri also seemed like a different person - she talked very calmly and rationally about how her guys deserved to be wrestling for the title instead of contending in a Triangle match. I remember seeing her at a charity event a few years ago and remarked to myself about her gentle interaction with the children at an autograph session - a far cry from the shrieking banshee of her "Scary Sherri" portrayal.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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