In this issue Solie's is pleased to welcome and brand new contributor who is also an old friend.
Follow the Leader
by Len B
Well, it's been over a year since that eventful Monday Night when the man formerly known as Razor Ramon appeared on Nitro in his WWF character. As a WWf fan, I was a bit taken aback by this and I decided my "clicker" would be getting more use on Monday nights. Needless to say, the old Big Daddy Cool showed up and the Bischoff train was rolling.
Wrestling is no different than any other business. There are established leaders in the industry and there are challengers. What is fascinating about the wrestling industry is that the challenger is now the leader. It's kind of like Burger King suddenly being able to sell more hamburgers than McDonald's. It's one thing to get to the top. It's another thing to be able to know how to be the leader in an industry. Burger King does very little research. They let McDonald's do it for them. McDonald's spends a lot of time deciding appropriate places to do business. Burger King just decides to put its stores near McDonald's figuring that the locations must be good because the leader thinks so. Eric Bischoff has the same mentality. The concept of Monday night wrestling was certainly not his own.
What I do give Bischoff credit for is making his plan work. Anyone can copy someone else's formula. Bischoff made it work because he just did it better. He is a superior judge of talent and knows how to relate to a 1990's audience who want instant gratification and faster paced storylines. The market place of wrestling fans changed and Bischoff was smart enough to see it.
Well, the role of industry leader is much different than the role of a challenger. The competition has finally reacted and as a fan of the wrestling industry, I look forward to see how Bischoff will react. His one big angle paid off big. However, Bischoff is captive to this very angle and now must find a way to move on. His one angle had the unintended effect of canibalizing his other angles. The only heels that the fans now buy are NWO. This has killed off the 4 Horsemen, the Dungeon of Doom and my favorites - Harlem Heat. This is no accident. To this fan of the industry, it will be interest to see how Bischoff fares in this important transition period.
Len B is known as "Blasse (fan) on the Solie's Readers' Forum and has been a friend of the site since last summer. He was a fan of the old WWWF, cheering for Pedro Morales, Andre the Giant, and Chief Jay Strongbow. He is a tax lawyer, married and lives in the Boston area.
IronMan: The Legend of the Road Warriors
by Ervin Griffin Jr.
Part 9: The WWF Days
After terminating their contract with the NWA, the Road Warriors decided to head up north to the WWF under their other nickname "The Legion Of Doom."
Paul Ellering was invited to come but declined, deciding that the LOD didn't need him anymore. Ellering was proved to be right for the most part as the Warriors, while not as violent as before, were just a awesome and effective. In fact, it was about two years before they even lost by pinfall in the WWF!!! That ought to be a record in itself!!! During that time, they faced archrivals Demolition (Ax, Smash, and Crush), The Oriental Express (Pat Tanaka, Kato), and The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart, Jim Neihart).
Yes, they did face the Harts. I saw the match on one of the WWF's various video tapes. It was one of those "exclusive dark matches." The match saw the Harts actually holding their own against the LOD!!! It shouldn't be a surprise though, as the "HitMan" and "The Anvil" was a formidable team at that time. The match ended when Bret tried a flying bodypress but got caught with a powerslam from Animal for the LOD victory. I think this match took place right after WrestleMania VII to decide the top conteders to then-WWF Tag Team Champions The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags/Brian Knobbs). Speaking of which, the Nasty's were going around saying how they were the Nastiest team in the world. While they were no doubt a vicious team (I think their battles with the Steiner Bros. in 1990 for the now defunct-WCW United States Tag Team Titles proved that), they were no where near as vicious as LOD. Still, given the tenacity they showed against the Steiners, you knew that this was not going to be an easy win for Hawk and Animal.
LOD finally caught up with the Nasty Boys in August of 1991 in New York City, NY at Madison Square Garden. It was the site of that year's SummerSlam event. The LOD took the titles from the Nasty's in a no-DQ, no-countout event. This win made LOD the only team to win titles in the AWA, NWA/WCW, and the WWF (the only other team to get two out of the three was the Steiners). It was also the first title they had won without Paul Ellering, their long-time manager. You know he had to be somewhere smiling!!!
Over the next seven months, LOD took rematches with the Nasties as well as faced the formidable duo of The Natural Disasters (Earthquake/Typhoon). A duo whose combined weight was double the LOD's. In fact, Earthquake weighed as much as both Hawk and Animal!!! Still, LOD was not intimidated as they faced their much bigger challengers. The faced off at the 1992 Royal Rumble. The Disasters gave LOD all they could handle and had won the match by countout. However, LOD retained the belts because it was a countout victory. To their credit, the LOD were not certainly dominated by the Disasters. Still, when faced with two talented 400lbs. plus men, you are not going to have an easy day.
In February of 1992, the LOD lost the WWF titles to the previously unranked team of Money Inc., Ted "Million Dollar Man" DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster (Mike Rotunda). Over the next seven months, they would chased Money Inc. as well as feud with The Beverley Bros. (Wayne Bloom/Mike Enos). They finally caught up with Money Inc. at SummerSlam '92 in London, England at Wembly Stadium (in case your wondering, this was the card when Davey Boy Smith defeated Bret Hart for the I-C belt). Unfortunley, it was not for the titles as Money Inc. dropped them to the Natural Disasters a few weeks before. Still, LOD got some redemption as Animal planted DiBiase with a powerslam for the pin. The next day, however, LOD dissapeared.
Next: The Breakup and The Reunion
If you have a question, comment, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ervin Griffin Jr. is a regular contributor to Solie's Newsletter as well as the Ringside Insider and other publications.
It appears from this week's RAW program that the fears that Dustin Rhodes planned to abandon the Goldust character were unfounded. I think this is a good thing because I had my doubts that he would be able to continue on his highly successful path without the benefit of that very controversial characterization.
There is a question, in my view, about how successful he will continue to be now that he has "let the cat out of the bag" so to speak. One of the things that defined the controversial nature of the Goldust character was the androginous aspect he presented. Now we all know (those of us who didn't already) that he is a hetrosexual husband and father. I must confess that I fail to see how the character can remain viable without that question continually hanging over him - I mean, what then is the point of him being Goldust?
Perhaps this question will be answered, or perhaps it won't - maybe it doesn't matter...but I have a feeling that it will.
That's it for this edition. I will be back on Monday night with the regular Monday Night Wars issue. Until then...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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