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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report: EXTRA!

WCW Fall Brawl

Run, Blade Runner, Run:
The Story Of Sting:
Part 9

by Ervin Griffin Jr.

Volume 3, Issue 221 - September 14, 1997

News from the Ryder Report

TERRY FUNK FAREWELL TO TEXAS In his last match in Amarillo, Terry Funk lost to Bret Hart on Thursday night.

The finish came when Funk hit a belly to back suplex. Both men had their shoulders down, and Hart lifted his shoulder in time to beat the count.

ECW presented Funk with a "Lifetime ECW World Championship Belt" before the match. ECW workers and staff all chipped in to buy the belt.

ECW's camera crew was on hand to tape the show. It's not known if a video will be made available for sale.

BULLETIN: USWA UPDATE

The news out of Memphis is not good for the USWA or for their long term survival.

As reported earlier on 1Wrestling.com and on this news list, Jerry Lawler and Larry Burton were served with a lawsuit yesterday.

The suit was filed in Cleveland on Thursday by the Cleveland investors that bought the company earlier this year.

The suit alleges mail fraud, theft by fraud, fraudulent business practices, and deceit related to the sale of the company.

Among the allegations are that the books were doctored to inflate the value of the company, that syndication profits were inflated, expenses were understated, and that the defendents withheld information about the promotions relationships with various television stations including WMC.

A source close to the promotion says criminal charges are expected and may come as soon as this week.

Mark Selkar, the head of the Cleveland investor group, will seek an injunction on Monday preventing Lawler and Burton from any involvement with the company.

It's expected Selkar will seek criminal charges in the matter within the next few days.

Lawler appeared at the Big One Expo show on Sunday night, a day after being served with the lawsuit, in what may have been his last appearance at a USWA event. Lawler reportedly showed up to honor contracutal agreements despite being upset about the lawsuit.

The show drew a crowd of 207 paid, the smallest crowd since moving to the Big One Expo. The show was the first Memphis show since the move to a midnight timeslot for the weekly television show.

When asked for comment on the story earlier today, Bill Behrens, the USWA TV Syndicator, said "The only comment is that TV was produced again this weekend and that "live" shows are booked throughout the week, including tonight at the Big One Expo at 730pm."

Another source close to the promotion reports that all shows have been cancelled with the exception of tv tapings, and that no checks are being written for any reason except to compensate wrestlers until Selkar determines exactly what state of affairs the company is in.


Run, Blade Runner, Run: The Story Of Sting

by Ervin Griffin Jr.

Part 9: A Red, Crazy, Rude Awakening

After his controversial loss to the Great Muta in Tokyo, Japan. Sting returned to the United States to team with then US Champion Lex Luger to face The Steiner Bros. for the WCW World Tag Team Championship at the first SuperBrawl in St. Petersburg, FL at the Bayfront Center. This match (along with the Ric Flair VS. Tatsumi Fujinami World title match) was the two main attractions at this event.

Some worried that the match wouldn't live up to expectations because all four men were good friends. Even I thought that this match would turn out to be all hype and no substance. Boy, were we proven wrong!! The match, while slow at first, really kicked into high gear after a Luger clothesline that sent Rick Steiner for a loop!!! I thought he had killed Steiner (that's how dramatic it was)!! From that point, the match was a war!! You might as well have had a sign up that said "Warning: Hell On Earth In Progress!!"

Anyway, the turning point in the match was when Sting reversed Scott Steiner's attempt at a "tombstone" piledriver. At that point, the Steiners were beaten and finished!!! Remember, this was at the point in time when the Steiners were truly the most awesome tag team in the world and Sting/Lex had them beaten!!! But, at the script would have it, Nikita Koloff would come in and try to give Lex a "chained" version of the Russian Sickle. Sting, seeing Luger was about to be clobbered, pushed him out of the way but was nailed himself. This enabled Scott, who had no idea what had happened, to cover Sting to retain the titles. Sting, in a fit of rage, went back to the dressing room area and a brawl ensued with Koloff. This led to a long but terrible feud during the summer of 1991. I know this is just my opinion but I didn't think much of this "war." The fight at SuperBrawl was the highlight of this feud.

The summer of 1991 was bittersweet for the Stinger. He had captured his first WCW United States title in tournament in Atlanta, GA in August. He defeated Arn Anderson, Diamond Stud (Scott Hall) and "Stunning" (Stone Cold) Steve Austin to win the title. The way the tournament came about, however, had left a bitter taste in his mouth. Lex Luger had, in July, captured the vacant WCW World Title in a cage match against Barry Windham after Ric Flair abruptly left WCW for the WWF.

Luger, however, had allied himself with Harley Race (a career rulebreaker) to do it. But before Sting could challenge Luger, he started to receive some "gifts." After a squash match on WCW Saturday Night, Sting opened this gift box to reveal the lethal present of Abdullah The Butcher (Ugh!! I demand an exchange)!!! Sting was lucky to escape with his life that night. Then, in September of 1991, Sting received another gift box after a title defense against Johnny B. Badd (Marc Merro). This time the gift Cactus Jack (Take this present back to layaway)!!! This time, however, Sting was a little more prepared for this attack as he returned the favor by surprising Jack with a gift box.


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This led to the "Chamber Of Horrors" cage match at Halloween Havoc '91. Cactus teamed up with Abdulla, Diamond Studd and Vader (with whom both Sting and Jack would have memorable feuds with later) while Sting was joined by The Steiners and El Gigante. This terribly done cage match ended when Rick Steiner put Abdulla into the electric chair and the switch was pulled, thus ending the match. A more significant event, however, took place later that night when "Ravishing" Rick Rude made his appearance in WCW with Paul E. Dangerously and Madusa.

That night was the beginning of the "original" Dangerous Alliance and they made Sting their first target. Sting accepted a match with Rude for a November Clash Of The Champions event. Before the match, Sting received his final gift box. This time, it was an Arabian style carriage containing a barely clothed Madusa (Nice gift!!). Sting was understandingly distracted by Madusa when, out of the gift box, came Lex Luger!!! Luger clipped Sting in his left knee (the same knee that kept him out during most of 1990). Sting was rushed to the hospital for observation. While there, he was told that unless he came back to defend the title, he would have to surrender it to Rick Rude. Ever the gallant champ, Sting returned to the arena and put up a valiant struggle against Rude but the injury proved to be too much as Rude rolled him up for the pin and the belt.

As devastating as this loss was, it was actually a blessing in disguise because this now left Sting free to face Luger for the World Title.

Next: Pleasure and Pain

Coming Soon: Diary Of A "HitMan"

If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at griffiev@hotmail.com.

Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and also contributes to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis.


WCW Fall Brawl

For a change I am actually around to watch this PPV. I believe I have recorded and replayed the last two. Today is the second day of my two week vacation. We have decided to stay around town this year so the site (and the newsletter) will continue to be updated as usual. I may close the Forums down for a few days while we take a camping trip...but we'll see what happens.

Tony welcomes us to Winston-Salem for the annual event. Heenan and Tenay are in tow. They tell us for the eleventh time in the last six minutes or so who the War Games combatants will be.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho - Cruiserweight Title match - Eddie flees the ring under the pressure of taunts from the crowd...then he comes back. He's slowing things down right away. They are wrestling in the right side ring (unless the camera angle is from the other side of the arena...). Guerrero is trying to control the action but Jericho seems to have his number until he lets himself be dragged into a corner. Both men are wrestling cautiously - most of the action is on the mat. Jericho gets a short arm scissors and works that for a while then switches to a reverse arm bar. They finally get some air time on an exchange that features a "lionsault" then Chris goes back to the arm bar. The next time Guerrero uses a shortcut and takes over - working on Jericho's back. He puts on a series of back-assaulting submission holds ending with a Surfboard back breaker. He keeps the hold on for several minutes until Jericho powers then twists out of it. Guerrero overwhelms him again keeps up the pressure with an upside -down reverse back breaker!! Made famous by his father.

He can't hold Jericho in that position and the Champ escapes. They take to the air again only to have a spectacular collision on the apron that rocks both their worlds. Now they are both staggerred but still coming on. The moves become a blur as both competitors go all out for the pin. Finally Eddie comes back with a brilliant assault, somehow turning a brainbuster superplex put on by Jericho into power bodyslam that puts Chrin Jericho down. Eddie Guerrero is the new Cruiserweight Champion.

Harlem Heat (w/Jaquelyn) vs. The Steiner Brothers (w/Ted Dibiasi) - this match is acknowledged to be a contest for the number one contenders' spot to the WCW World Tag Team Titles. Jaquelyn has not been physically active in any Heat matches that I have seen so it will be interesting to see what she does here. Stevie Ray attacks Scotty right on the bell ands takes over but Scott stands his ground and comes back with a belly-to-belly suplex. The Heat regroup on the outside while the Steiners clown, Booker T tags in and is more cautious - he goes for a full-nelson. A mistake of course. Scotty powers out and then takes advantage of the close proximity with another throw. Rick comes in for the first time. He steps up the pace and the Steiners work like the well-oiled machine they are, using frequent tags to keep the Heat off balance. The Heat finally use pure strength to break the pattern - the action see-saws. Now the match is disintegrating into a brawl. This favors the Heat, who seperate their enemy one in the ring one out. Rick (the legal man) is thrown out and tortured then returned to the ring. Scott is assaulted again for a while then he slips in another suplex and tags in Rick. Now the match really revs up as Rick charges in and the reaction of the opponent team. After a long flurry Scott puts Stevie Ray down so Rick can pin him.


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Ultimo Dragon vs. Alex Wright - TV Title match - the Dragon enters first as the challenger. Wright does his dance thing as usual. Then he does a little striptease standing on the second turnbuckle. This their rematch from the night Alex won the belt. The Dragon has the experience edge but Wright has exhibited the requesite amount of guile to be successful that way. Throughout the beginning of this match the Dragon controls things pretty well, Wright has to resort to shortcuts to make any headway. He does, of course, and soon has the match in hand. He starts wearing his opponent down with a reverse chinlock puncuated by flurries of combination wrestling then returning to the chinlock. The Dragon comes back briefly but Wright trips him up and re-assumes control with the reverse chin-lock once again. They cut loose again and we get some spirited action - again we are see-sawing. The fight goes to the floor and the Dragon executes an Asahi Moonsault. They both get tripped re-entering the ring and lie side-by-side for a moment. Alex comes back first and again holds the advantage. What follows is a series of suplexes - mostly by the Dragon. It ends with Alex perched on the corner buckle trying to fight off a spinning Frankensteiner assault. Dragon allows himself to be thrown off and lands on his feet. He grabs Wright from behind and does a running powerbomb with him! The Dragon comes right back and they trade several pin attempts. The Dragon finally does get his corner move then goes for a Dragon Sleeper but Alex has done his homework and slips away. They struggle for control - Wright comes out on top - he seems to be anticipating the Dragon's moves. He wins with a German Suplex.

Curt Hennig gets punked in the dressing room backstage by the nWo War Games team.

Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra) vs. Dean Malenko - US Title contenders match - before the match Jarrett goes out and orders Debra to the back - strange... Ths match is fought in a fairly straight up scientific way. A lot of arm-bars and the like. Malenko finally steps up the pace for a few moments but it drops back into rest holds pretty quickly. Jarrett is using a side headlock rather effectively. This time Jarrett steps up the pace but it rebounds against him. Malenko is outwrestling his opponent. He muscles his way into a Texas Cloverleaf but Jarrett slips an arm over the rope, Debra is back and getting in the way. The fight goes out to the floor and Malenko is really cookin' until Jarrett suckers him into a corner and moves out of the way. Now it's all Jarrett but he makes a mistake and gets kicked off. Now they are trading pin attempts until Jarrett manages to clip Dean's left leg. It is downhill to the point that Jarrett locks in a figure four and takes the win - he gets the Title shot.

The nWo team clown for the camera and tell us the Horsemen are finished. They agree to retire the Horsemen from wrestling tonight (Dream on thug boys...)

Wrath/Mortis (w/Vandenberg) vs. The Faces of Fear - Mortis starts strong against the Barbarian but is soon overwhelmed by his opponent's power. Meng tags in and continues the assault then Wrath gets in his shots. Slowly the Faces assume control for most of the match. Mortis gets dragged over and assaulted in the Faces corner. Mortis escapes and lays in some heavy blows which Meng simply absorbs. The Barbarian gets caught climbing the corner but overcomes the difficulty and retains control of his balance. He launches himself into one of Mortis' boots to the face. Now the Barbarian is being pounded his opponent's corner. He gets dumped out to the floor and gets the ringsteps dropped on his head!! Back inside Wrath places Barbarian on the top turnbuckle then he and Mortis execute a double superplex!!! But Mortis takes the worst of that move. Meng gets in and cleans house then splashes Mortis from the top rope. Vandenberg hops up on the apron and gets caught in Meng's goozle. Mortis rushes in and gets caught likewise. Wrath just strolls over and grabs Meng and suplexes him then covers him for the pin.

Mean Gene is with the Three Horsemen - Hennig is nowhere in sight. Benoit is sanguin about their chances - nobody is commenting on Hennig's condition until Flair finally acknowledges that they are down one member but says the nWo still don't have a chance.

Scott Norton vs. The Giant - this should be a squash. Norton is powerful but he has amply demonstrated that he doesn't have much else going for him. The announcers are subtly suggesting that maybe Sting will take Hennig's place later without actually mntioing his name. In the ring the expected squash is materializing. The fight goes out to the floor and Norton turns the tables for a few moments but then he tries to suplex the Giant (yeah right...). Back in the ring Norton uses a low-blow to gain another temporary advantage. He holds this one for a little longer using power moves to pummel his opponent. He even manages a belly to back suplex on the big guy. The Giant's come back is highlighted by a dropkick by the 450 pounder! A chokeslam puts Norton down and out.

Diamond Dallas Page/Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall/Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) - Page and Luger come in one at a time - not a good sign. There is talk of Luger possibly absconding over to the enemy tonight...just rumors of course. Hall and Savage also enter seperately. Hall wants to start against Luger. His opponents oblige. Luger takes the early honors by outmuscling Hall. Savage comes in and gets dumped directly to the floor. Looks like he really hit hard. Now Page faces Hall. Hall demonstrates his superior experience by taking control but DDP comes right back. He clears the ring (when savage tries to interfere) then gets tripped and blindsided. Hall and Savage rule the ring with DDP as there target victim. Savage is cheapshotting to maintain control. Luger tries to interfere and gets into a brawl with Hall. He is mashed down into the space between the two rings. Savage takes the reeling DDP over to the other ring while Hall distracts the referee then decks him. Mark Curtis comes down and he is also attacked by Hall!! Larry Zybszco leaves the broadcast position and stalks down to the ring. He jumps up on the apron and starts arguing with Hall. Meanwhile Luger struggles back into the ring from behind Hall. Larry enters the ring and is feinting at Hall then shoves him into a schoolboy trip - Luger rolls him up and pins him - Zbyszco counts him out!!

Mean Gene hawks the hotline then they promo the Halloween Havok card.

Michael Buffer announces the main event in his inimitable style and then they take their time lowering the cage. We still don't know what Hennig's status is. Buffer announces the rules - a five minute opening period followed by two minute alternating periods until all the combatents are in the ring - then mayhem.

Bagwell/Konan/Syxx/Nash vs the Four (?) Horsemen - War Games match - there are only three Horsemen showing although Hennig is introduced with the others. The way this is structured - they could come up with a fourth member later on and still be effective. Bagwell vs. Benoit to start. Bagwell stalls for several seconds - good idea. As soon as the match is underway the Wolverine has his way. Halfway through the five minute period Benoit comes off the top and misses a flying headbutt. Bagwell takes over mostly by choking his opponent out. We here that the nWo won the coin toss so they will be the next ones in. Konan is the man. Benoit picks up the challange and fights both guys until they double team him and wrest control. They take Benoit over to the other ring and pound on him until Mongo comes him and changes the odds. The Horsemen are back in control. Bagwell and Benoit make their way over to the nWo side of the double rings just before Syxx comes in and gets creamed. He gets his clock cleaned until they manage to doubleteam Benoit and again assume control. Hennig xhows up with his arm in a sling. He seems determined to make a go of it. Flair in is next. Toe-to-toe, three-on-three the Horsemen rule the contest until Nash comes in two minutes later. The Horsemen are getting wasted now. And all they have left is the injured Hennig. He enters and the War Games begin. Hennig whips off his sling and shows us a set of handcuffs - then he attacks Mongo, Benoit and Flair!!! Hennig has betrayed the Horsemen!! The rest is a slaughter as Benoit and Mongo are both cuffed to the cage while Flair is pummelled. The nWo guys start demanding surrender and get three refusals. They make the rounds with a mic but can't get the Horsemen to submit. Benoit tells them to "Bite me!!!" Hennig pulls the Nature Boy's head out to the cage and threatens to smash the cage door on it. Mongo says "Stop it" and they are considered to have surrendered. Hennig slams the door on Flair anyway. That's enough for me...

This was a fairly good PPV but very disheartening for WCW fans.

Anyway, that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver,
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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