In this issue Solie's is pleased to welcome back a regular contributor, Jeremy Hartley.
THE EYE ON WRESTLING
by Jeremy Hartley
When I wrote my first wrestling column back in the winter of 1995 for the Ringside Insider publication, I had made a promise to myself. I told myself that every article I would write from that day on would be different than the run of the mill reports, or copies of rehashed articles. I would write on topics that weren't always the obvious topics of the day, or even the generation. My goal has always been and will continue to be this. Provide the fans with something different. Give them something to chew on and digest. So far, I am proud to say I have been able to uphold this promise to myself, and I have no regrets.
As with all things there is a downside to this approach. The internet is swarming with columnists and reporters quite a few of them more than qualified, itching to write and comment on current events and make their views known. This is a wonderful approach, and it sure keeps fans interested and informed. But where does this imaginary line get drawn? In taking the above approach, there is just not always different and some would say hidden topics for someone like myself to write about. I have found that while using my approach, you have hot times and cold times. Sometimes, topics pour from you like a refreshing water from a nearby stream, while other times, the stream is washed up like some of the current crop of wrestlers. This week, I feel compelled to write, and discuss a certain trend that is taking place in the WWF, in my opinion for the better. This may surprise some readers, since quite a few of my articles concentrate on knocking the WWF. I am one who calls it the way I see it, and I will give credit where credit is due, no matter what federation we are talking about.
A few short weeks ago while watching Monday Night Raw, a camera shot was shown of Golddust and his wife. A quiet voice of Jim Ross could be heard saying, "that is dustin and Terry!" At that time, I figured it to be nothing more than a slip of the old brain, considering that Ross and the Rhodes family, along with the great history of the NWA go way back. To my utter amazement, and pleasant surprise, this was to be a sign of a new standard, one that I hope will continue to be established.
A few weeks later, Raw revealed a very well done portrait of "Dustin and Terry," explaining the careers of not only Golddust, but of Dustin Rhodes and of course, Dustin Runnels. I don't need to state the obvious here, and say that the above mentioned characters are the same person! Ahh what the heck! I just said it anyway. This whole sequence left me dumbfounded. Not because this information was new to me: I have followed wrestling for the better part of a decade. What took me back a bit was the openness allowed by McMahon and company. I am sure Jim Ross pulled some strings to implement this new standard set, first with Runnels, and later with Mikey Foley, whom fans know as Mankind.
For those who pay close attention to the commentary of the Raw Broadcasts, you will undoubtedly see this trend brought more and more into play. A few examples: Furruk being called Ron Simmons by Ross. Vader having his baby-bull moniker brought out of the mothballs, also by Ross. Jerry Lawler's historic career was mentioned during the Lawler/Golddust match this passed Monday night, also by, you guessed it, Jim Ross. The Brian Pillman Steve Austin history from previous days in WCW has also been documented recently.
So. Why even bring all this up? I call this to everyone's attention only because of the previous actions of the World Wrestling Federation, trying to mask wrestler's identities over the years. Some of these wrestlers had memorable careers in the WWF. Some examples include: the return of Barry Windham in 1989 as the Widowmaker. Tony atlas returning in 1991 as Saba Simba. This was particularly interesting because Roddy Piper was doing color commentary during that match, and when he called Simba "Tony Atlas," McMahon shut his mic off for two minutes!
I am personally surprised that the WWF has finally came to the realization that wrestling fans are not drones. We are not living under rocks, in this age of television where wrestling is shown all over the dial. I hope McMahon and company keep respecting the wrestling fans. That is one way to win them back in my opinion. To some, it may not mean much at this time. However, I believe with this new openness, a new trust may slowly be taking shape.
In closing, it is my belief that the Internet wrestling fans such as myself and all of the readers of Solie's, should be largely thanked for placing this standard on the table. McMahon is no dummy. He along with many other promoters see what is being posted upon the Net, in the form of newsletters such as this one, and in the forums. Thank you all for showing these promoters what true wrestling fans are.
And with that, The eye is closed until next time.
Note, any comments, questions, etc. can be mailed to: email@example.com.
IronMan: The Legend of the Road Warriors
by Ervin Griffin Jr.
Part 10: The Breakup and The Reunion
After defeating Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase/Irwin R. Schyster) at SummerSlam '92, the LOD split up and left the WWF!!! Animal decided to take a break from active competition to heal some nagging back problems while Hawk bounced around the world. His stops included a tag team with Kensuki Sasaki in Japan. This team was known as the Hell Raiders. They had a run as IWGP Tag Team Champions. Their most notable encounter was a January 1993 match with the Steiners. That match ended in a double-DQ. Also in 1993, Hawk had a brief solo stint in WCW. He teamed with Dustin Rhodes to face "Ravishing" Rick Rude and The Equilizer at an August Clash Of The Champions event. Animal was at ringside for the match and was also the captain of the Dustin Rhodes, Sting, Davey Boy Smith and Shockmaster team at the 1993 WarGames event held at Fall Brawl 1993 in Houston, TX.
Hawk also challenged Rude for the now defunct WCW International Heavyweight Title at a November Clash Of The Champions, participated in BattleBowl '93 and teamed with Sting to challenge the Nasty Boys at Starrcade '93 for the WCW World Tag Team Titles. Hawk also was the CWA (European) Heavyweight Champion for a brief time as well. He was also a participant in World War III in the 60 man battle royal.
In 1995, the Warriors appeared together in Japan but did not team. Hawk was wrestling Scott "Flash" Norton in a singles match when Animal interfered and helped Hawk win the match. In January of 1996, the Warriors made their full-scale return to the national scene when they challenged then-WCW Tag Team Champions Sting and Lex Luger. Sting wanted to accept the challenge but Luger was reluctant (perhaps he remembers the hell the Warriors put him through during 1987-1988).
Nevertheless, the Warriors got their shot at the winner of the Sting/Lex Luger VS. Harlem Heat match. Sting and Lex won thanks to interference from the Warriors and wrestled them that night!!! That match ended either a double-DQ or double-countout. The Warriors also rekindled their feud with The Steiner Bros. Remember that classic encounter on WCW Monday Nitro?!!! It put their first match at Starrcade '89 to shame!!! The Warriors won when Animal took one of their steel spikes and nailed Rick Steiner in the head with it. They also had matches with Public Enemy, The Nasty Boys and Harlem Heat.
In May of 1996, the Warriors left WCW after a dispute with Eric Bischoff (and WCW in general) about the "sweet" contracts of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. The traveled to the AWF and wrestled there for a brief time. Now, as everyone knows by now, the Warriors returned to the WWF. In their short four months, they have helped Ahmed Johnson all but destroy the Nation Of Domination at WrestleMania 13 and nearly won the WWF Tag Titles (Sorry NOD but the LOD could show you a thing or two about domination).This was a breath of fresh air because you know your tag team ranks suck when your best wrestlers are two of your top single wrestlers. I am speaking, of course, of Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith. I would have given this match to the Warriors by a landslide but given the reformation of the Hart Foundation, I think it's going to be awhile before anyone defeats them for the tag straps. Still, I hope to see some gold around the Warriors' waist just one more time!!!
Next: Book Of Lists
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.
That's it for this edition. I will be back on Sunday with my in-depth coverage of the WWF King of the Ring. Until then...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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