In this issue Solie's is happy to introduce a new contributor. Scott Braddock writes advertising and marketing material for an insurance company in Tampa, Florida. He is 29 years old, and has been a fan of pro-wrestling since 1979. He has also been a regular correspondent on our Readers' Forum (under the name The Voice of Reason) for several months now.
Bret Hart: Exactly What We Want Him to Be
by Scott Braddock
Is this most recent turn of events vis a vis Bret The Hitman Hart really what it seems? Have we of the smart community read too much into his recent rantings and actions, or is it more simple than that?
Think about this--in 1992, when Bret Hart first won the WWF Heavyweight Title, we saw the first pure wrestler to hold that belt since Bob Backlund in the early 1980 s. Wrestling fans were ready for a change; a Heavyweight champ that would win with skill, not charisma and Hulking Up
This was a man who didn't preach--who just went out and did his job. He was unafraid of any man, no matter his size. His was a Cinderella story, rising from the tag-team ranks to be a champion in his own right.
His heritage as a second-generation grappler further heightened his mystique. Here was Bret Hart, son of the legendary Stu Hart, making a name for himself and stepping out of his father s shadow.
He lacked charisma, but exuded a quiet charm and confidence. Giving his trademarked glasses away to an awed fan each day made him a fan of kids across the country.
Then along came the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels.
Suddenly, the champ wasn t getting the loudest pops anymore. This former idol of the teeny-bopper set was stealing the show every time he showed his childlike face--gyrating his hips and performing a faux striptease as a ring entrance. While Bret Hart was reserved and businesslike, Shaun Michaels was brash and cocky.
This impish character also had excellent athletic skills in his own right. While he was not a pure wrestler like Bret, his high flying skills provided an exciting contrast to Bret s down-on-the-mat style. Impressive showings against Psycho Sid and Jeff Jarrett, followed by two amazing Ladder Matches with fellow Kliq member Razor Ramon, solidified his fan base, while further eroding Bret Hart s.
Before Bret knew it, he was preparing to face this same Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XII. After winning the Royal Rumble in spectacular fashion, and defending his Title Shot against Bret s brother Owen at In Your House, Shawn Michaels was on the roll of his life. Seeking the assistance and support of his mentor, Jose Lothario, it looked as if the deck was stacked against the Champ.
Thanks to the Iron Man stipulation ordered by interim WWF President Roddy Piper, this 60 minute war promised to be one of the more entertaining and exhausting main events in WWF history. Whoever had the most pinfalls or submissions within the hour period would be declared the WWF Champion. But no one counted on what would come next.
Most of you know what happened--Bret had Shawn in the Sharpshooter for several minutes before the time limit expired, but Shawn refused to give up. When the bell rang, Bret released his finishing hold, calmly picked up the belt, and started to return to the locker-room area. This was the turning point in Bret Hart s WWF career--the first time he was screwed .
Because no pinfalls nor submissions were made within the hour, a sudden death resumption of the match was declared-- there must be a winner!! Well, five minutes or so into the sudden death period, Bret Hart did the job --and submitted to 2 superkicks and a clean pinfall.
Next Week: The Shawn Michaels Era and beyond...
WCW Main Event
The top story this morning is a rehash of the incipient breakup and putative rejoining of the NWO. This thing isn't over - trust me...
Next up - the DDP situation. I'm hearing that after the cameras went off Monday night, Sting and DDP embraced and Sting made the Diamond Cutter gesture for the crowd. Looks like Page finally has an ally...
In a continuing rehash of the Spring Stampede PPV they talked about that bizarre match pitting Benoit against Malenko wherein an odd assortment of other players decided to get involved (Sullivan, Jaquelyn, Eddie Guerrero, Arn Anderson et all). Then they showed us the Flair/Piper interview with Kevin Greene's appearance at the end. I still have to ask "What happened to Greene's beef with Mongo and the Horsemen..?" The last time we heard from him he was vowing revenge on th Horsemen as soon as the football season was done. Of course, this Flair/Piper thing doesn't seem to involve any of the other Horsemen - maybe that's how they figure to justify Greene's turnabout.
Lord Regal's attack on Prince Iaukea and the latter's subsequent loss of the TV Title sets up an interesting situation. Will Regal now go after the Ultimo Dragon? That would be an interesting match.
The feature match this morning was a Ladies Cruiserweight Title Tournament match - Malia Hosaka vs . Sonoko Kato - these two ladies were a bit more business like then the last cruiserweight duo we saw last weekend. Kato is the veteran here and shows it by making very few mistakes. Her style is pretty vicious as well. Hosaka is a game competitor though and basically outlasts her more experienced opponent. She gets the pin and advances to the finals next week.
The Road Warriors got slopped and distracted from their purpose as shown on todays rehash of the RAW program.
I here that the Truth Commission storyline has been imported from the USWA (Lawler's independent promotion) - I now recall that MiCasa had a blurb about this coming up a couple of months ago.
They managed to rehash an interminable section of Shawn Michael's boring monologue from Monday night then showed the confrontation with the junior members of the Hart Foundation.
A Vader/Shamrock feud...hmmmm... I wouldn't mind seeing a shoot-fight between those two. Could be just the thing to help put Vader's career back on track...Not! Shamrock is the "pushee" here - Vader's headed for another dive...what a waste...
I received this email yesterday from the same reader who gave me the Shawn Michaels sighting report which appeared in the Mid-Week Edition. Thanks to Barbara Long for this article.
Here is the article on DDP that ran in the local newpaper. No pictures unfortunately. One other observation on the Nitro show. The crowd gave Kevin Green a pretty good pop. I might be mistaken, but I think that Kevin Green played college football at Auburn University here in Alabama. If I'm right, that might explain why he was so over with the crowd.
by Dean Smallwood
Times Entertainment Writer
Tuesday, April 8, 1997
Professional wrestler "Diamond" Dallas Page may not have a household name like Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair, but if ambition equals success, he's destined for stardom.
For example, when Page discusses his work ethic, he compares himself to an icon of another ring sport: boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
"I put myself up there with Ali," said the confident Page, one of the featured World Championship Wrestling stars at Monday night's "WCW Nitro" here.
The TNT cable show, the highest-rated weekly program on a cable network, was telecast live from the sold-out Von Braun Center Arena in front of almost 7,000 rabid fans.
"People used to hate Ali because he was so cocky, but he was a proven winner," Page said before the show began. "He worked his butt off, and soon people began to appreciate him for the talented athlete he was. They started loving him for his cockiness."
Page said his own lofty goals, outspoken demeanor and work ethics are what's made him one of the WCW's most popular personalities.
"People know who's busting their butt to get to the top," he said. "I know what some people say about wrestling, but anyone who's watching knows when I'm in the ring, I've only got two gears - first and fifth. I give 200 percent every night, and you don't have to be a wrestling fan to realize that."
A film crew from Cable News Network followed Page and his wife, Kimberly, around the VBC Monday night as the couple talked to fans and signed autographs. The footage will be used for a segment on "Topics," a TBS newsmagazine, which airs on May 11.
"I'm cocky and conceited, no doubt about it," Page said. "But the people love it. They like someone who can back up what they say."
Page started with WCW 5 1/2 years ago as a manager and a color commentator, but soon decided he wanted to experience the world of professional wrestling from inside the ring.
"I went to the Power Plant," said Page, referring to the WCW's training school for potential wrestlers. "Everyone said I was crazy. And my first years were really tough. No one believed I could make it. But look at me now."
Page declined to reveal his age, saying "My philosophy on that is `if I didn't know how old I was, how old would I be?' Me, I feel like I'm 29 all over again." And Page is quick to defend professional wrestling's athletes from criticism. "People don't know what we put our bodies through," he said. "I'm always getting chiropractic work, acupuncture, massage, you name it."
It doesn't hurt that Kimberly serves as his personal trainer and nutritionist. "Well, we'll have a cocktail every now and then, but then we get busy taking care of ourselves again," he said.
Kimberly Page is no stranger to staying in shape. Playboy thought enough of her physique to include her in a recent special edition called "Playboy Nude Celebrities," which also featured Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy. Kimberly Page's poster is one of the hottest items at WCW souvenir stands.
"I was a junior account executive for an advertising agency back in 1993," said Kimberly Page, who has posed with Playboy for four years. "I gave up the corporate world and fell into the wrestling business by accident. I learned I was a natural performer and I could work the stage."
"Diamond" Dallas Page also appeared in another magazine in the buff....well, almost. "I had a towel on, and I did some stuff with wrestling gear on," said the suddenly shy Page.
That's it for this edition. I'll be back with the rest of the Weekend news and my coverage of the ECW Barely Legal PPV tomorrow night. Until then...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
Bret Hart's Weekly Column The Calgary Sun has started publishing Bret Hart's column on line so rather than continue to summarize it here from now on I will be putting this link to it so you can go peruse it for yourselves.
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