WCW/NWO VS. WWF: A Dream Card
by Ervin Griffin Jr.
Here is an article by Solie's resident historian. Readers should note that this piece was written before WCW Road Wild and WWF Summerslam.
I am taking a break from the "Run, Blade Runner, Run: The Story Of Sting" series to bring you this article. Now, this will only involve wrestlers who are currently in the rosters of the respective federations. The matches will range from title matches, tag team, specialty matches, and matches with stipulations. I will also give you my opinion of who would come out on top in these match ups and take certain intangibles into account. Here we go:
Bret "The HitMan" Hart VS. Sting
A matchup of two submission wrestlers. I say this because both use a submission hold to win their matches most of the time. The hold they use, of course, is a leglock/boston crab. Bret calls his the "sharpshooter" and Sting calls his the "scorpion deathlock." Hart would have the edge if it came down to submission though because he's used the crossface chickenwing and the figure four (the legal version) to win matches. His R.P.F.F (Ring Post Figure Four) is very devastating. Sting, on the other hand, is more explosive than Hart and could end the match in a blink of an eye with his "scorpion deathdrop" (reverse DDT). Sting is also more powerful than Hart but the "HitMan" has held his own with power wrestlers in the past. I still would give the edge to Hart though because he's been more active than Sting.
Winner: Bret by pinfall
Ahmed Johnson VS. Lex Luger (Texas Death Match)
This battle would be between the two most powerful and explosive wrestlers on the planet (IMO). The rules would be no DQ (of course) and no time limit. The match would begin in the ring but can end anywhere in the building!!! The only way to win this match is by a 10-count which eliminates the pinfall and submissions as ways to win. Both men have a lot of power. Lex uses the "tourture rack" backbreaker while Ahmed uses "The Pearl River Plunge" power-bomb as his closer. The "rack" would only be useful as a wear down hold as would the "Plunge" (although the "Plunge", if used correctly, can knock a man out for a 10-count). Luger has been on a roll while Ahmed has a history of momentum halts. It would be a brutal match with Ahmed dominating but with Luger winning.
Winner: Lex Luger
Diamond Dallas Page VS. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (Two Out Of Three Fall Use Your Hold Match)
This would be a battle of the two hottest wrestlers in wrestling right now. The rule of this match is simply the only way you can get a fall is with your hold. In other words, DDP can only get a pinfall by using the "Diamond Cutter" while SCSA can only win by using the "Stone Cold Stunner." That would match the match even harder. SCSA would be forced to use many of the holds that he used as "Stunning" Steve Austin back in WCW. DDP would be forced to use new strategies. I have to go with DDP here because he has had better luck in "big money" matches than Austin has.
Winner: DDP in three falls
Brian Pillman VS. Chris Benoit (Barb Wire Match)
This would not only be a battle between former Horsemen but also a battle between two of Stu Hart's students. Brian has been anything but impressive in the last two years while Benoit has finally got back on track and away from that lengthy Kevin Sullivan feud. Benoit would probably be looking to pay back Pillman for walking out on the Horsemen in Februrary '96. This match would probably favor both men because both like brutal matches. Wrestling skills would mean very little here and I could see this match ending in a no-contest.
Ric Flair VS. Shawn Michaels (30-minute IronMan Match)
These two have met before in 1992 when Michaels was just getting started as a singles wrestler. The also met in the Royal Rumble match where Flair won the WWF title. Michaels has improved since that time (wrestling wise anyway) while Flair is pretty much on his last leg. I would add an overtime just in case the match is tied or if no one has a fall. Michaels , I think, peaked at WrestleMania 12 when he beat Bret Hart. Still, I just can't see him losing to Flair at this time. Which is no disrespect meant to Flair because he can still hold his own in the ring (his match with Jeff Jarrett proved that). Flair's only hope would be to work on Shawn's legs early on in the match. Otherwise, he would have no chance.
Winner: Shawn Michaels
Harlem Heat VS. Nation Of Domination
No contest here. While NOD has looked better since adding Kama and Ahmed, they have only recently concentrating on tag teaming. Harlem Heat have been together their entire career and would have an edge tag team wise. Because Ahmed is already involved in that Texas Death Match, the NOD would have a hard time against the more experienced Heat.
Winner: Harlem Heat
Hulk Hogan VS. Undertaker (Title VS. Title in a cage with roof, plus $1 million to winner)
This type of purse has only been offered one other time and that was at Starrcade '84 when Dusty Rhodes took on Ric Flair for the NWA World Title. But it has never happen with a title vs. title match between two federations. I would also void escape as a way to win because I think it really doesn't solve who's the better man. I would also request the steel mesh fence cage rather than that bar cage the WWF uses. The Undertaker should squash Hogan in this but, sadly, I would have to go with Hogan in this one because he always has an "out" and he always seems to get his way.
Winner: Hulk Hogan
Davey Boy Smith/Owen Hart VS. Vicious and Delicious (Marc Bagwell/Scott Norton)
This would be a good match because these teams are similiar. The power would have to go to Bagwell and Norton because both have power although Bagwell has speed to go with it. Science, though, would have to go to Smith and Hart although Smith is certainly a match for Bagwell and Norton in power. In this match, I would have to go with the Smith/Hart team although this would be a great challenge for them.
Winner: Smith and Hart
Well, there are my "dream matches" and my opinion on how it would go. I would love to hear what you think about my assestment of these matches and, if you like, send in your own "dream matches". E-mail me me at email@example.com.
I'll be back next week with the continuation of the Sting series.
Irvin Griffin Jr. is a regular contributor to Solie's as well as the Ringside Insider and other publications.
My Country Tis of Thee?
by Gary McClellan
Alex Wright: "I will talk to the people who are important to me..then I will talk to the people I don't care about...."
Over the last few months, we have seen the return of the Patriotism angle in a big way. I must say that I find this development troubling, bothersome and yes, revolting. Of course, the WWF is the main home of this, with the Hart Foundation, but if you have been watching WCW closely the last few weeks, you can see that they are following that lead with the "Wunderkind" Alex Wright.
Now of course, the patriotism angle is hardly anything new. Going back to the time I first started watching wrestling in the mid 70's..it's been a regular feature. Over the years I can remember that foreigners (especially those not from English speaking nations) being almost always shown as heels: Masa Saito, Ivan Koloff, Takachiho, Nikolai Volkoff, Shiek Adnan-el-Kassie, the Iron Shiek. The list goes on and on. So these foreigner heels come out and would meet an American who would start a nice USA USA chant and the war was on. It would even get to the point where I can remember times that one of these foreign heels would be facing of against another foreigner (often a Canadian or Englishman) and the USA chant would begin.
I will say, that as long as this has been going on, I've found it troublesome, and distasteful. I had hoped that as the angle became a parody of itself in the form of Hacksaw Jim Duggan, it would die away. But I should have known better. For it has risen is ugly head again. The source of this of course is the heel turn of Bret Hart. Now of course, the Heel turn by Hart is fine. Wrestling needs heels, and Hart's turn was well done to my mind. But instead of just having him turn his back on his fans..they decided to have the Canada vs USA war restart. For some reason, Vince has always pushing Canada vs USA (Dino Bravo, the original Quebecers and the like). But now he brings it out again, and in a form that is the second most offensive storyline in WWF history (the Sgt Slaughter heel turn at the time of the Gulf War wins hands down).
By fanning the flames that divide nations, we have seen sneak attacks during BOTH national anthems, fan signs (lovingly lingered on by WWF cameramen) that are simply revolting, and interviews that are among the most irratating I've ever heard. In a lot of ways, VM's use of the patriotism angle is exactly the same as the NOD/DOA/LOS feud. Vince has found something that divides people, and has taken advantage of the suspicion of those not like us to make an angle out of it. He seems to have forgotten all the lives that people have given on behalf of both the US and Canada...instead deciding it's a good way to make a buck. He seems to have forgotten that our cities are hotbeds of racial discontent, just looking for a spark at the wrong time...all for a buck. Eric B isn't that much better. He has Alex Wright doing his thing. There was the Konnan joining the "gang" routine last year. There's the recently departed Steve Regal and (still) David Taylor being heels simply because they are English.
Why do they do this...because it works. There is not doubt that the Hart Foundation is the hottest angle to hit the WWF in a long time. There is no doubt that it creates heat. There is no doubt that it sells tickets and PPV's. And to Vince McMahon, that is all that really matters. It is putting money into his pocket.
So, why do I care? It's not like this is the first angle to get on my nerves. I guess that its because I have spent much of my life trying to bring people together. To see that the differences between them are far less than the similarities. While I won't saw that VM has ruined that..I do find it extremely troublesome that he is going against all that I stand for, all for chasing the almighty Dollar.
Is the patriotism angle good for wrestling? I suppose so, it creates interest, sells seats, makes money. Is it good for America, Canada or wherever. No, I don't think it is.
Gary McClellen is a long time friend of Solie's and a regular contributor to the Solie's Reader's Forum where he is known as as The Sensei.
WCW Monday Night Nitro
Editor's Note: WWF RAW has been moved to Friday this week because of the US Open Tennis Tournament.
Live from Columbus, South Carolina
We get a video review of Sting giving the bird to the nWo.
Mean Gene introduces Eric Bischoff, calling him the figurehead of the nWo - Bischoff comes out as cocky as ever. He invites JJ to "bite" him. He says he expects Sting to "fly the coop". Gene gets Dillon on the phone. Bischoff's expression changes from cocky to wary as Dillon explains that he will try and sign a match between Sting and Hogan. Bischoff says "that match will never happen" because Hogan is too busy. Then he brags on Hogan being able to take Sting in any case. So Sting comes out. He enters the ring while Bischoff is ranting and gets his attention, then he pulls out a Hollywood Hogan t-shirt. He puts it on Bischoff's head (Bischoff is on his knees by this time) then shoves him down with his boot. He stuffs the shirt into Eric's mouth then turns to the fans and smiles for the first time in almost a year. Cut to commercial.
We come back to a Raven rant - is this guy as boring as I think he is..? He doesn't even get his Poe right - the word is quothe Scotty!!
Nitro girls on parade...
Psychosis/LaParka (w/Sonny Oone) vs. Glacier/Ernest Miller - we haven't seen the latter two in a little while. Their arch nemesis' Wrath and Mortis have been embroiled in a feud with the Faces of Fear lately. LaParka runs right into an upraised boot right off the bat. Glacier dominates his opponent then tags in Miller who does the same. Psychosis gets in and a doubleteam turns the tables. Miller suffers until he manages to tag Glaicer back in. Glacier cleans house then sends Miller up to deliver his flying reverse kick toPsychosis. Glacier goes for the pin but LaParka smashes a chair on him - as the referee watches - he pulls his partner back over on top of Glacier. The ref count to three despite the illegal inteference. Ultimo Dragon comes to the ring to protest, gets distracted by Oono and then blindsided by LaParka and Psycosis. Silver King hits the ring to attack the Dragon. Glacier and Miller come to the rescue but end up out of it on the floor with their opponents while Silver King continues to work on the Dragon. Cut to commercial.
Silver King vs. The Ultimo Dragon - is in progress as we return. The Dragon has already been pummeled before the match began so Silver King dominates the early going. About 1/2 way through the match the Dragon starts coming back and things are more evenly fought. Eventually the Dragon pulls ahead and gets his spinning Frankensteiner followed by the Dragon Sleeper to win.
nWo music plays - Hall, Liz and Savage appear on the ramp. Hall has a mic and says that everybody knows you can't have a party unless you invite the nWo. We're the reason everybody's watching, etc., yatta, yatta... He then says he wants introduce the newest member of the nWo - Diamond Dallas Page! DDP doesn't appear of course. Savage takes the mic and calls Lex Luger out for later in the program. Cut to commercial. I find it interesting that the Fall Brawl War Games commercials feature Steven Regal and a bunch of jobbers who would never be involved in the twin-ring cage match...
Mean Gene introduces Diamond Dallas Page - DDP emphatically denies that he put Luger intentionally or that he would join the nWo. He invites Luger to come out - but Lex fails to show. The speculation is that he hasn't arrived at the arena yet.
Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra) vs. Chris Benoit - I'm surprised that Debra is still around after she tried to desert Jarrett the other night. Jarrett is his usual cocky self which is probably a mistake against the "Wolverine". Jarrett gets clobbered and leaves the ring early on. Tony is telling us that Luger was in the building when DDP asked him to come out earlier. In the ring Jeff Jarrett is going down until Chris misses his flying headbutt. Jarrett takes too long showboating on his way to the top turnbuckle and gets caught and superplexed but rolls through the move and pins Benoit. Cut to commercial.
The Nitro Girls are cluttering up the ring...
Mean Gene hawks some WCW merchandise.
Mortis/Wrath (w/James Vandenberg) vs Faces of Fear - the match is largely evenly fought. Vandenberg tries to interfere but really has little effect. The Faces seem to be holding the upper hand through most of the action. Mortis gets in a pretty good flurry on Meng but is eventually just shrugged off. Meng ends it all by grabbing Mortis in his Tongan Death Grip. He gets the pin fairly easily then he and Wrath mix it up after the match as we go to commercial.
Mean Gene introduces the Horsemen - he mentions Arn Anderson who does not appear. Flair calls Curt Hennig out and demands an answer to "the question". Hennig says he's not ready to give the answer tonight. Flair then invites Arn Anderson to come to the ring. Anderson tells about how his left hand has been weakened by his neck surgery and he has decided to hang up the tights. Flair looks infinitely saddened - almost ready to cry. Anderson makes his last challange to Curt Hennig - he offers him his (Anderson's) spot in the Horsemen. Hennig accepts saying "it would be a privelage". It is a very emotional moment.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Steve McMichael - US Title match - Guerrero's experience advantage serves him well in this match. He dominates the early going. Mongo comes back through sheer will and superior power. Eddie manages to leapfrog Mongos three-point tackle but then throws a moonsault and gets caught in the perfect position for McMicaels favorite finishing move - the Tombstone Piledriver. McMichael retains his title. Cut to commercial.
Mean Gene w/ Rey Misterio Jr. - Rey looks dejected and is limping. He will be seeing Dr. Andrews in Birmingham tomorrow. Konan comes out to make trouble. He threaten to demask Rey. The Giant comes out and chases the thug away.
nWo music plays and Eric Bischoff appears at the broadcast booth. He sends Bobby and Tenay away but wants Tony to stay. Tony makes a joke about Sting being behind Eric (made you look!). Eric says he has the right to be there.
Yuji Nagata vs. Chris Jericho - Cruiserweight Title match - Bischoff rants throughout the match as Tony continues to rib him. Nagata is a tough customer and very aggressive. Eric is threatening Tony for making smart remarks. Jericho has assumed control of the action as we go to commercial.
Jericho is still in the drivers seat as we return. Bischoff is still ranting about getting the nWo a show of their own. In the ring Jericho has his opponent wrapped up in a Boston Crab and gets the win.
Mean Gene w/Harlem Heat and Jaquelyn - they are ranting about being the number one contenders when the Steiners and Dibiasi show up and interrupt them. Bagwell and Norton (Vicious and Delicious) show up to right behind them and get punked. Cut to commercial.
The Nitro Girls are back...(yawn)
Alex Wright vs. Dean Malenko - TV Title match - Malenko is one of the few competitors who can out-wrestle the German star...and he does. Wright's newly found aggression puts him in control for a little while but Malenko holds all the cards in this one. Malenko is about to execute the Texas Cloverleaf when Wright's "aces" (in the persons of Eddie Guerrero and Jeff Jarrett) are revealed. They run in and cause the DQ. Dean gets punked as we go to commercial.
The Nitro Girls are dancing at ringside (and Kimberly is struggling to keep her top in place) as Eric rants - the nWo music plays and Savage (w/Liz) comes to the ring to face Lex Luger. Lets go sell something before the match.
Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger - it is already 7pm (Left Coast time) by the time this match begins. Savage is in control from the get-go and has Liz to help him with distractions when needed. One such distraction allows Savage to toss Luger over the top rope. From there he keeps Luger on the outside through most of the contest. After several minutes Savage finally tosses his opponent back into the ring. Inside he slaps on a sleeper but Luger won't go down. He reverses it to a belly-to-back suplex but can't follow up. Moments later he finally comes back strong and puts Savage away. He is ready to rack him when Scott Hall hits the ring. Luger crashes Savage into Hall. Savage rebounds and runs into Luger head to head. Now DDP shows up and goes to Luger who is seemingly blinded and puts DDP into the rack as we fade to black.
For a change Nitro decided not to rest on their laurels even though they had no competition.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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