Has Shawn Michaels Really Left the WWF?
On Saturday morning the WWF decided to air the situation concerning Shawn Michaels despite predictions by the Bagpipe Report and others to the contrary. The story is that Bret Hart and Michaels had a dustup backstage at RAW last week which resulted in no injuries but was said to precipitate Michaels' leaving the WWF at least temporarily. Eyewitnesses report that Shawn and Bret came to blows but that the fight was quickly broken up by Henry Godwin and others. Bagpipe had previously reported on this incident and mentioned the belief by many that it was a work calculated to generate more heat in the Hart/Michaels feud.
The untold part of the story (by the WWF, that is) is that apparently the argument was over Bret Hart's supposed relationship with Tamara Fitch (Sunny) who is said to be a close friend and confidant of the former WWF champ. Friday night Bagpiper was reporting that Shawn Michaels had disconnected his home phone and that nobody at Titan knew how to reach him. In contradiction of their previous story, Bagpiper was now reporting that the fight was real and that Michaels had reportedly told Titan officials that he "...could no longer compete" in the atmosphere of the WWF. They further speculated that, for the time being, Shawn Michaels' situation would receive no official comment from the WWF but that we could expect to not see him on this week's RAW program.
The fact that the WWF chose to talk about the situation, in my opinion, points to two possibilities. 1) That the fight was real and they are having to deal with a very serious situation, or 2) That the fight was indeed a work and this supposed action by Shawn Michaels is just part of the storyline. I tend to gravitate toward the latter explaination...
It should be pointed out that Todd Pettingill, in reporting the incident (quoting from Jim Ross' Hotline report - not the most believable source), went to pains to caution viewers not to believe rumors that contradicted his reading of the story. The implication was that he was refering to Internet rumors such as the Bagpipe Report. This is another indication that the story is a work, in my opinion. The Internet Rumor Mill makes it hard sometimes for the bookers to keep their angles on track...
It should also be pointed out that this story is conveniently surfacing just before the WCW Great American Bash event - but after the King of the Ring...
By the way, Shawn Michaels has four years left on his WWF contract - a fact that was also mentioned in the Pettingill report.
WCW Great American Bash
Live from Moline, Illinois
Tony Schiovani, Dusty Rhodes and Bobby Heenan are the hosts for this event.
Ultimo Dragon vs. Psychosis (w/Sonny Onoo) - billed as a "Respect Match" - Mike Tenay joins the broadcast team for this one. Psychosis usually lives up to his name so this could be a good one. Tenay reveals in an aside to Heenan that he has never been to Japan (I, for one, am surprised to hear this). Dragon dominates the early going. Each of these guys holds a pinfall over the other in tag matches recently. Psychosis finally turns the tables by interrupting a leap frog but then showboats too much and gives up his advantage moments later. The Dragon seems to have his opponent's number throughout this one. Psychosis gets very little chance to show his usual suicide style. Eventually the Dragon goes outside and gets blindsided by Onoo. Now Psychosis has the upperhand and takes good advantage of it. He delivers several devastating blows including a suicide leg-drop on the apron. On the outside once again, Dragon blocks a second attack by Onoo but is distracted enough to get the worst of the encounter when his opponent drops on him from the apron. Back inside its now more of a see-saw battle with the two competitors trading pin attempts. Now Psychosis is in rare form, risking life and limb to get on top of things. It looks like Pschosis is about to lose when the Dragon sets up for his Tiger Suplex - but Onoo distracts him again and thwarts that move. Finally, in the midst of an exchange, Onoo accidently kicks his own man. The Dragon slaps on an Asihi sleeper to win the match.
Harlem Heat (w/Sherri) vs. The Steiner Brothers - Number One Contenders match - the Heat where their gold outfits tonight. Rick and Scott come out in black. Scotty is sporting the beginnings of a beard. The two bigger guys go at it first. It is largely stalemate but Scott eventually dominates. Rick comes in and continues the trend. Booker T comes in but fares no better immediately. Rick comes back in and things begin to drift the other way. Booker T gets in a few good licks but then relinquishes the advantage. Things are see-saw now. Booker T and Scott both are dumped to the outside where Booker gets smashed into the railing. Back in the ring the combatants are arguing with the referee while Stevie Ray mauls Rick on the outside. He is thrown back in and now it is all Heat. Scott gets knocked off the apron and Rick is being double-teamed. Stevie leaves the ring and Booker gives up the advantage to one of Scott's suplexes. Scott sets Booker up for a Frankensteiner off the top and hits it! Suddenly Vincent (of the nWo) runs in and drops a leg on Booker thus getting the Steiners disqualified. After the match the Steiners take Vincent apart in the ring but it's too late. The Heat will get the next Tag Team Title match.
Konan vs. Hugh Morrus - this one should be an out-and-out brawl but doesn't turn out that way. Morrus uses his superior size and surprising agility to good advantage but Konan is the better wrestler and also has more guile. Konan opens up with a number of submission holds then Morrus escapes and returns the favor. He has a reverse arm-bar on his opponent for quite a while. Konan escapes and tries a stump-puller but decides to switch tactics and grabs a head scissors. He then switches to a modified version of the "Code Red" submission hold of Sgt. Pittman. The crowd is chanting "boring..." as this match continues mostly in the prone position. Morrus finally gets up and turns the heat on. He gets a powerslam then goes up for moonsault. He hesitates at the top and Konan gets up and upsets the big guy who strikes his jaw on the top turnbuckle. Konan slaps on his "Tequila Sunrise" but Morrus is out cold. Konan wins the match.
Mean Gene with the Public Enemy - they bring a table up for the interview. They seat Gene on it and sit on either side of him. They talk some trash about who the number one contenders should be. They say they feel that they are being overlooked then they jump the railing and go into the crowd to party.
Wrath (w/James Vandenburg) vs. Glacier - Mortis will be handcuffed to keep him from interfering. He tries to go back to the locker room but the Security guys are insistent. He is fastened to the middle turnbuckle in a Wrath's corner. Seems to me that he is in position to cause some mischief... Clearly Glacier is the better martial artist - he easily outmaneuvers his opponent. Wrath is more of a brawler and outside the ring he finally takes the advantage for a while. Still Glacier is dominating most of the action. A whip into his opponent's corner gives Mortis a chance to distract Glacier. Now Wrath has the advantage. He puts on a reverse chin lock and takes Glacier to the mat. Glacier fights to his feet and then tosses himself out of the ring during the next exchange. Wrath throws a somersault suicide dive to dish out some more punishment. Back in the ring he starts to slow down his assault which works to Glacier's advantage. Wrath is showboating too much and pays for it. Glacier turns the tables with a series of martial arts kicks. Wrath comes back and puts Glacier down but fails to follow up. Glacier comes back again. Mortis pops up on the apron and again distracts Glacier, who gets in a shot but then is blindsided. Now Vandenburg is on the apron and tosses a length of chain into the ring - right to Glacier! Wrath turns around and Glacier nails him with the chain. Vandenburg is struggling with Nick Patrick - trying to get the handcuff key. Glacier hits his Cryonic Kick to win the match but Mortis is loose and blindsides Glacier then handcuffs him to the top rope. They then beat on him until the referees and Security guys drive them off and free him.
Medusa vs. Akira Hokuto - Ladies Title vs. Medusa's Career match -Lee Marshall joins the broadcasters. Hokuto comes on very aggressive and takes the early advantage. She attacks viciously as soon as the bell sounds. Medusa takes it for several minutes before she slips under a clothesline and turns the tables. Her advantage lasts only moments before Hokuto takes over again. The Champ is very vocal in the ring - though we can't understand a word she says. Several more exchanges and Medusa appears to have blown out her knee. Hokuto spots the problem right away and goes to work on it. Incredibly Medusa is still fighting. She even pulls off a powerbomb though she can barely stand on that injured leg. Hokuto grabs a leg bar and hyper-extends the leg. Medusa is screaming but won't give up. She finally gets to the ropes and escapes. Hokuto goes for a move off the top but misses. Medusa hits a German suplex and would get the pin but Onoo grabs her injured leg and twists it. Hokuto is in control again but then misses another top rope move. Medusa can't follow up correctly because of her injury. Hokuto gets a brain-buster and its all over. Medusa is out of wrestling apparently. She breaks down and cries in the ring.
Gene Okerlund asks the trainer about Medusa's knee - he won't talk to him and neither will Medusa.
Chris Benoit vs.Meng - Death Match rules - Benoit suicide dives onto Meng before the bell rings. The fight continues on the outside then Meng is thrown onto the steps. Chris drops a headbutt from the top then slaps on the Crippler Cross-Face. Meng powers out of it. Another exchange ensues then Benoit grabs the Cross-Face again. This time Meng makes it to the ropes. Benoit continues to come on strong. He tries an inside to out suplex but doesn't get all of it. Both men are out of it for a moment. Back in the ring the two men trade blows - Meng finally comes out on top. He gets in some more blows and then grabs a Dragon Sleeper. He then turns it loose and goes back to beating on Benoit. He hits a top-rope splash then goes for a pin. Nick Patrick has to remind him that this is a Death Match - falls don't count. A man can only lose if he fails to rise for a ten count. Benoit throws a German suplex and gets seven. He then does it again and gets seven more. Meng comes back with his deathgrip on the larnyx. Benoit levers himself over the top rope to escape. Outside they trade chops. Back in the ring Meng grabs a reverse chinlock to slow thing down. He releases it to stomp on his opponent's head then gets a belly-to-back suplex. Then he misses a dive off the top rope. Benoit grabs another cross-face. Meng gets to the rope. They are on their feet and trading chops again then Benoit swings him around and grabs that cross-face yet again. He keeps going back to that move over and over. This time he holds onto it for several moments. Meng continues to fight it but eventually loses conscienceness. Patrick gives the match to Benoit. Meng is motionless in the ring for quite a while afterward. Both men are stretchered away. Meng falls off the gurney on his way to the back.
Mean Gene may be hinting that Shawn Michaels will be at Nitro tomorrow night - but I doubt it.
Steve McMichael vs Kevin Greene - Greene rushes the ring and forces Mongo right out of the ring but Mongo takes control until they fight in front of Greene's mother who hits Mongo with her purse. Mongo goes back into the ring and suckers Greene into an ambush. He goes to work on the left leg. Greene has a lot of aggression but no wrestling smarts at all. Everytime he comes back Mongo drops him with a wrestling move. Greene finally gets the advantage with a kick out of the corner. Now he retains it for a while and manages to clothesline Mongo over the top rope. He lets Debra distract him with a faked ankle injury. Back in the ring and Debra is keeping the referee busy while Jeff Jarrett shows up with the briefcase. Mongo and Greene struggle in the corner as Jarrett mounts apron, Just as he strikes - Greene drops down and pulls Mongo into the way of the case. Mongo takes it and gets pinned.
The Outsiders vs. Roddy Piper/Ric Flair - World Tag Team Title match - the champs enter first in an unusual move. Flair and Piper enter separately - each to his own theme music. It is widely believed (on the Internet) that Piper will turn on Flair tonight. Flair stops short of going to the ring and waits for his partner to join him. The Geezers seem to be united. Scott Hall and Flair exchange chops and punches with Hall coming out on the receiving end. They lock up again abd go to the corner - Flair is whipped and does his Flair-Flip but meets a boot from Kevin Nash on the apron. The next exchange sees Syxx get in a lick - Flair is not looking good. Nash comes in and gets a sidewalk slam. Then he picks his opponent up and drops him face first onto the turnbuckle. Flair comes back with a low-blow and manages a tag to Piper. Piper fingers both guys' eyes then puts Hall into a sleeper. Nash is arguing with the ref as Hall suplexes Piper to escape. Now Flair is in and distracts the referee so that Syxx can go in and reverse kick Piper. Both Piper and Hall are out of it on the mat. Flair is brawling with Syxx all the way to the backstage area! Piper gets up but Flair isn't there to tag. Hall and Nash start trading off on him. Still no sign of Flair. Piper is getting beaten but he keeps fighting back. Flair has probably been ambushed backstage. Hall puts a Razors Edge on Piper and gets the pin. Flair never came back.
Diamond Dallas Page (w/Kimberly) vs. Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) - lights out/No DQ/Pinfalls count anywhere - as Kimberly is being introduced DDP sneaks into the ring from behind and goes right to work (as Michael Buffer flees the ring). He goes for a Diamond Cutter but misses it. They fall out of the ring and Savage is up first. To know avail - DDP gains the advantage back in the ring. They end up on the outside and this time they fight right into the stands. Savage gets smashed into a block wall then hit with a crutch! He gets slammed into the side of the risers. Its all DDP so far. They head back toward the ring and Savage turns the tables as they cross over the railing. DDP crashes into the steps. Liz gives Savage some powder to throw in DDP's eyes. He then removes the tape from Page's ribs. Interestingly, the referee failed to follow them up into the crowd - how was he supposed to count a pinfall?
Back in the ring Savage piledrives the referee!! Mark Curtis comes out to take over the match but Savage tosses him out on his shoulder. He then tosses DDP out on top of the ref. He grabs Kimberly by the hair - Nick Patrick comes out and gets between them. Savage backs off. He and DDP are back out in the crowd again - they rumble in the VIP area. DDP uses a potted plant to smash Savage and then slams him on a picnic table. he uses a Webber bar-b-q cooker as a weapon then drags Savage back to the ring. He whips Savage to the corner then rushes in but ducks the lifted boot and slides out to the floor. He crotches the Macho Man on the ring post. Outside Savage regains the advantage and removes the padding from the floor. Nick Patrick breaks up a piledriver attempt. Savage rags on Patrick then attacks a photgrapher. Thus distracted, he falls victim to a chair shot. Back in the ring they struggle and DDP gets his Diamond Cutter. The ref is counting when Scott Hall stomps the back of his head. He then goes after Page who gets the drop on him and lays him out. Savage uses Hall's belt attack DDP. Scott Hall then puts the Razor's Edge on him. Savage kicks the ref again before mounting the rope and throwing his famous elbow. Patrick is dragged over by Hall and makes the count. We fade out almost imediately.
This show was pretty good - lots of action and drama. I won't be back tomorrow because I will be traveling to Houston as the programs are happening so there will be no Monday Night Wars Edition. I will be monitering the Forums and plan to file a Mid-Week edition on Thursday. Until then...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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