Volume 2, Issue 139
March 9, 1997
Bulletin: MiCasa is reporting that Dennis Rodman has signed to wrestle for WCW on a limited basis culminating is a Tag Team match at an unspecified PPV as the partner of Hulk Hogan. Also: Disco Inferno has been fired from WCW for refusing to job to Jaquelyn at Uncensored. He reportedly will appear soon in the WWF under the tutelage of the Honky Tonk Man.
Bret Hart's Column from the Calgary Sun
Today's column is entitled I'm hungry for respect
Bret starts out by tipping his hat to Gorilla Monsoon for, once again, doing the right thing. There's going to be a grudge match between The Hitman and Stone Cold Steve Austin and, says Bret "...it's going to be at the biggest pay-per-view of the year,Wrestlemania 13! "
Bret says that for the first time in nearly five years he's not focused on the WWF title. "I've come to the disturbing realization that the WWF World Heavyweight title has become meaningless. � Time and time again the belt ends up on the best cheater instead of the best wrestler. It used to be that as champion you could expect to be challenged by the best wrestlers in the word".
His contention is that wearing the belt is just an open invitation to get jumped and cheap-shotted by guys who have no integrity. He says they don't strive to be the best, they only want to be the richest. "I resent the way they've taken the dignity out of pro wrestling and, from what you've said in your letters, I know a lot of you feel the same way".
"I can get in the ring and fight but many of you have said you feel helpless to do anything about it. You're not! Some of my friends and fans have put together The Hitman Club at P.O. Box 1543, New Rochelle, N.Y., 10802, U.S.A. Contact them to find out how you can make a difference!"
Bret says that he's not hungry for money, he's hungry for respect. "Yeah, Steve Austin cost me the title but, even more than that, I'm sick and tired of his constant interference in my business. � Stone Cold talks so tough but if he's really so tough why does he keep jumping me from behind? From the expression on his face when I came out at the Rumble, it is obvious that Stone Cold is really Luke Warm. I'll thaw him at out Wrestlemania 13".
Bret says that on the other hand, Shawn Michaels is a guy who he used to have a lot of respect for and he's disappointed at how unprofessional Michaels has become.
"His doctor says that Shawn doesn't need any kind of knee surgery; that they will 'rehabilitate' him for the next few weeks, and that he should be able to come back to work! � His knee has been hurt for about five years and I really think he could have waited until after Wrestlemania to have it looked at. � What this comes down to is that Shawn Michaels did not want to face me at Wrestlemania 13, so he found an excuse to get out of it. As far as I'm concerned, I've beaten Shawn Michaels by forfeit because he is too scared to even step in the ring with me and do his job. � It's a moral victory but sometimes that's the best kind. For those of you who savor victory more when the belt is the reward, I'll be happy to oblige".
Bret then asks, "What kind of a match would you like me to have with Shawn Michaels? A cage match? A ladder match? It doesn't matter to me because whatever kind of match it is, Shawn Michaels will see a side of me he has never, ever seen before -- if he has enough guts to show up".
WCW Main Event
The program today was mostly rehashes of the events on Nitro mast Monday. Piper's team selection, Bischoff's suspension, Malenko hoses Eddie G., DDP's travails etc. They mention that Glacier will be meeting newcomer "Mortis" at some point soon. We will see this guy on WCWSN tonight.
I have seen reports from several quarters that Piper's team - as selected on the program Monday - is the team he will take into the Uncensored PPV. I still have my doubts. These rumors say that Piper used his leverage with Turner Broadcasting to get some of his movie friends on the PPV - these reports sound a lot to me like the reports last winter that Hall and Nash were unhappy with the direction of the NWO storyline, that the Giant resented Hulk Hogan, that Keven Nash's wife said he was headed back to the WWF, etc. I'm not sure that any of these rumors were ever proved one way or the other. I would note that WCW seems to be pretty vague about what is actually going to happen in that "sort of" Triangle Match. We will likely get a better idea of things on Nitro this week.
The Main Event "exclusive" has LaParka jobbing to Ice Train once again (yawn)...
WCW Saturday Night
They start out by talking about the suspension of Eric Bischoff. They also mention that they will tell us what the rules are for the big tag match at Uncensored next week - and state that the NWO has everything to lose in that match.
I see Jim Duggen has traded in his WCW colors for the old Red, White and Blue again. He faces Squire Dave Taylor in the opening contest. Taylor is a far superior wrestler but Duggen, inexplicibly, is getting the push. The refs never seem to notice that his hand is taped up after the match, even though it wasn't before. I sometimes wonder what dirt Duggen must have on Ted Turner...
In his interview Duggen correctly points out that the NWO seems to be staying out of his way.
They continue to push the idea that Piper's team is set for the PPV. I don't know...there's still a Nitro and another round of weekend shows before the event so I will reserve judgement. One scenerio floating around has Piper's team being eliminating early leaving Piper to go it alone.
Mortis (Mortus? Mortice?) made his first appearance today with his manager James Vandeberg. This newcomer certainly seems to have a sense of humor about himself - pulling silly stunts with his little jester's skull icon while his manager was interviewed. He will challange Glacier at the PPV.
Super Calo gave Prince Iaukea a great run for his TV belt. Both of these guys are high-flyers - the prince used his superior power to turn the tide then won it with a flying body block from the top. What I can't figure out is why Lord Regal hasn't been given a return shot at that title. He held that belt for several months and defended it with honor on an almost weekly basis - it seems logical that he should get some consideration.
Glacier made short work of J.L. as Mortis and his manager looked on.
An Uncensored promo informs us that the NWO team for Uncensored will consist of Hogans, Savage, Hall and Nash. No mention of Sting although they do show a picture of him looking pretty glum. The Giant, Lex Lugar and the Steiners represent WCW. Piper's team consists of Piper, John Tenta, Craig Mally - a boxer and one of Piper's Hollywood bodyguards - and a kick boxer named Layton Morrison.
Two of the bigger AAA stars (LaParka and Galaxy) took on Public Enemy who brought their table right into the ring for the finale. Galaxy took the bump.
They finally spelled out the rules for the Three-Way team match at Uncensored today on the program. They break down to be a maxi-War Games affair, fought in three rounds, adding a member from each team for each round as the match goes on. If a member of Piper's team ends up as the last man we get Piper vs. Hogan in a cage at a future PPV. If a WCW guy wins, the NWO have to relinquish all of their titles and are barred from competing in WCW events for 3 years. If an NWO member wins, the NWO has the right to challange for any WCW title at any event in the world. So the NWO angle could be ending after this match - or it could go on and maybe capture more titles. What do you want to bet we get Piper as the last man standing...
Shotgun Saturday Night
3/08/97 - From Germany.
Jim Ross and Jim Cornette are commentating.
1st match: Leif Cassidy vs. Ahmed Johnson
Cassidy is the better technical wrestler, but Ahmed's too powerful. We see that Ahmed is sporting his injured arm. Leif immediately makes a mistake by slapping Ahmed in the beginning of the match and Ahmed shows his power with a chokehold and a suplex that would make Davey Boy Smith proud. Ahmed makes a mistake and Leif capitalizes by working on his arm. Leif makes a mistake and Ahmed hits an impressive piledriver, spinebuster, and finally the Pearl River Plunge to get the 1-2-3.
Evaluation: Short match which is basically a semi-squash. I really hope they give Leif a better gimmick and a big push soon.
**1/2 of 5
Review of the return of the Road Warriors/LOD at RAW and their interview in the crowd at last week's Shotgun Saturday Night.
2nd Match: Alex "The Pug" Porteau vs. Salvatore Sincerely
Two squash wrestlers? At least I can't tell whose going to win from the outset. Even these two sub-level wrestlers seem to be received extraordinarily well in Germany. Porteau begins the match by working on Salvatore's arm. After Salvatore slaps the Pug, the match gets serious. Porteau shows his amateur ability throughout the match with a belly to belly, belly to back, and other moves, but Salvatore gets the win with the move he calls Sincerely Yours (Full nelson into a slam).
Evaluation: OK match. At least the folks in Germany seemed to really be into it.
** of 5
3rd match: "British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith vs. "The Slammy Award Winning" Owen Hart to crown the first European Heavyweight Champion.
This is the same match we saw last Monday at RAW. See earlier reports for details.
****1/2 of 5
They review the Rocky Maivia vs. Vader match for the Intercontinental Champion shown last Monday on RAW. They're pushing for a Mankind/Vader breakup.
4th match: Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon vs. Bob "Spark Plug" Holly and "The Portuguese Man O' War" Aldo Montoya.
I guess they're trying to sell this as a friendly match, but I think that LaFon and Furnas are� garnering more of the cheers. Furnas is showing his power and LaFon his savvy technical ability. Bob Holly makes a good account of himself as he's working a good majority of this match. They tease several chances for an upset, but the ending is never in doubt. LaFon hits his "Million Dollar Dream" into a slam for a 1-2-3.
Evaluation: OK match, but I wished that they would've given Furnas and LaFon better opponents.
**1/2 of 5
OK show. Nothing to write home about thought. They need something to spice up the show. Also they need to show it live and have some big surprises pop up from time to time.
Until next week this is Garland riding Shotgun...
Solie's Seatle Correspondent, Garland Chan is a student at the University of Washington
As seems to be the new practice - this program was a repeat of what happened on Shotgun Saturday Night with the matches in different order (see Garland Chan's report above). I have to say that I am disapointed, I really enjoyed those live Sunday morning cards...the weekend WWF shows have almost completely reverted to being a vast wasteland of rehash programs...tsk, tsk.
Super Calo vs. Konan to open the program. Konan's trick of putting his opponent into a seated position and then drop-kicking him to the chest has less than its usual devastating effect. Calo held his own for most of this short match. Unfortunately Konan used Jimmy Hart's megaphone to achieve the screw-job victory.
Jobber Rex King had the foresight to turn tail and bail when Hacksaw Duggen had him set-up for that three-point clip of his. After missing the tackle, Duggen let himself get suckered into reaching over the rope for his opponent. King sprung Duggen's neck off the top strand and then dominated the remainder of the match until Hacksaw pulled the tape out of his trunks. Has anybody else noticed that every match he's in ends in a screw-job?
Jeff Jarrett took on Jim (the jobber) Powers in the mis-named main event. The only thing interesting about this match was the machinations of the McMichaels' at ringside.
On a personal note, regarding another of my passions: get out and see the Hale-Bopp comet. This is shaping up to be the brightest comet of the Century! It was prominent in the Northeast sky at 5 this morning and is magnificent to look at. Starting around the 15th it will be easily visible in the evening sky right after sunset. Look to the Northwest a little above the horizon - with naked eye or with binoculars you won't be disappointed.
That's it for this weekend. I'll be back tomorrow night with the Monday Night Wars Edition. On Tuesday I will publish a special edition with Readers' Forum denizen Hitman's diary of his trip to San Francisco for SuperBrawl. Until tomorrow...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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