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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

Out of Time 1997

A Dreamcard

Run, Blade Runner, Run: The Story Of Sting: Part 17

by Ervin Griffin Jr.

The "Real" Wrestling Fan

Mid-Week Ramblings by Earl Oliver

Volume 3, Issue 244 - November 20, 1997

Out of Time 1997

Dreamcard by Ervin Griffin Jr

Hello readers. Well, I have come up with another dream card that I have had in the works for some time. Like the UFC VS. Pro Wrestling and Rage In The Cage article, I will let the readers (and writers if they choose) of this page to vote via e-mail for the winners in these matches. A wrestler (or tag team) without a year beside his name is from today's era while the others with a year beside them will be from either the NWA, WWF or an NWA affiliate of that time. Well, let's get to it with a fictional introduction by Michael Buffer:

"Welcome wrestling fans to the axis of time for the GREATEST WRESTLING CARD OF ALLLLLL TIME!!! It will feature the superstars of WCW, NWO and the WWF from today against the stars from the WWF and NWA of the decade of the 1980's!!!! These superstars have traveled across time to face the best of pro wrestling from this era!!! So, without further adieu. Ladies and gentlemen, LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!"

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin VS. Ron "Hands Of Stone" Garvin (1986)(Steel Cage Match)

"I'm coming and hell is coming with me!!" The famous quote by Wyatt Earp would fit this match perfectly. The WWF calls Austin the "toughest SOB" in wrestling but Ron Garvin was pretty tough himself!! Both men know how to wrestle but would just as soon "stomp a mudhole in ya and walk it dry!!" Ron Garvin would have his knockout punch, the Garvin Stomp and his chops while Austin would have his various leg holds and "The Stone Cold Stunner." Having it in a cage would suit these two !!!

Bret "HitMan" Hart VS. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair (1985)(NWA World Heavyweight Title VS. WWF World Heavyweight Title "I Quit" Match)

These two met in 1992 when Bret defeated Flair for the WWF World Title but wouldn't you'd have rather seen an earlier version of Flair battle Hart? The "HitMan" of today is still a formidable competitor while Flair is on his last leg. That's why I chose a version of Flair from the 80's (1985 to be exact) to battle the Hart of today. This would be a much tougher win for Hart because Flair was so much craftier than he is today. Since I chose to put their respective titles on the line, it would be a pride match up so I chose them to do battle in an "I Quit" encounter. Again, it is up to you readers.

Dean Malenko VS. Harley Race (1981)

It's "The Man of A 1,000 Holds" VS. the "Handsome" one. Race was a tough competitor during the 70's and early 80's. He was similar to Ric Flair in that when you think you had him beat, he would find a way to beat you!!! Malenko, despite his slump lately, is a capable performer and his variety of holds would serve him well against Race. Race would have to rely on his "ring generalship" to survive this one.

Goldust (w/Marlena) VS. "Exotic" Adrian Street (w/Miss Linda)(1980's)

This would probably be the most bizarre match on the card. Those who think Goldust is outrageous probably never saw "The Exotic One." Despite their flamboyancy, both men knew how to get down and dirty. Marlena can certainly be a distraction but Miss Linda (much like Chyna) can be a physical threat at ringside. I don't know who would win but this wouldn't be a dull match.

Harlem Heat VS. The Road Warriors (1983) (Chicago Street Fight)

Harlem Heat is one of the best tag teams of this decade. The Road Warriors, however, were one of the first tag teams to really combine power and speed together (much like the Heat does). I made this a no rules contest because both teams would just as soon fight you as wrestle you. The '83 Warriors were an awesome force. Harlem Heat has achieved fame and status in their own right but would have a tough bout ahead of them.

Kevin Nash VS. Big John Studd (1985)

Kevin Nash is one of the best big men in the game today. Any man that can perform like he can deserves some status. Big John Studd was, during his life in the ring, one of the best big men in his time. His battles with Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan are the stuff of legends. Kevin Nash achieved his fame by battling Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Sid, Scott Hall, Lex Luger and others. This would be a great battle.

The Giant VS. Andre The Giant (1981)

Ohhh. I just couldn't resist this match up. Remember when The Giant first came out? He claimed to be the "Son Of Andre." As we know now, Andre never had any kids but if anyone could lay claim to his legacy it would be The Giant. Both men stand over seven feet tall. I pick Andre from 1981 because he was at the same weight as The Giant is now (450lbs.). Another big battle (literally).

Faces Of Fear VS. Ole & Arn Anderson (1985)

The Faces Of Fear are one of the most underrated and skilled teams out there today. In 1985, Ole and Arn Anderson were NWA National Tag Team Champs but were underrated much like the Faces. But, like the Faces, they were one of the more skilled teams of that time. In this match up, it would be the power and natural ability of the Faces against the skills and shrewedness of the Andersons.

The Headbangers VS. The Rock N Roll Express (1985)

Two teams with fashion styles from their era!!! Seriously, these were two teams that actually used double team maneuvers and were a permanent team unlike most tag teams of today. The high energy style that Rick Morton and Robert Gibson displayed in 1985 would match up quite well against the unorthodox style of the Headbangers. It is the double dropkick of the R n R's against the array of maneuvers of the Headbangers.

Chris Benoit VS. Manny "Ragin' Bull" Fernandez (1985) (Mexican Death Match)

Two intense competitors here. Benoit is the better scientific wrestler but not too many men could match Manny Fernandez in terms of intensity during his prime. I would make this one a Mexican Death Match because of the temperment of these two. Fernandez was more than willing to use whatever necessary to win and Benoit is of that same mode. The rule here is that the match would go until a man could not continue. It is the "Cripple Crossface" VS. "The Flying Burrito."

Steve "Mongo" McMichael VS. "Chief" Wahoo McDaniel (1984)

I have to give McMichael his due, the man has improved leaps and bounds since his debut in 1996. He has two things in common with Wahoo in that they were both football players and that they have both held the U.S. Title. "Mongo", however, prefers to brawl and power his way to a win while McDaniel used his "tomahawk chops" and scientific ability to beat his opponent. This match (if it were possible) would be the toughest of Steve's career.

Owen Hart VS. Paul "Mr. Wonderful" Orndorff (1986)

I picked this particular Orndorff because this is when he had that intense feud with Hulk Hogan for the WWF Title. Although he never defeated Hogan for the title, he had never looked better!!! Owen Hart has taken a rep for being a crippler of sorts with his tombstone piledriver on Steve Austin that has put Austin on the shelf indefinitely. So, it would be ironic that Hart would face a man who was revered for his version of the piledriver!! Both are good technical wrestlers and can brawl (although a brawl, I think, would favor "Mr. Wonderful"). This would've been a good match up.

The Undertaker VS. Abdullah The Butcher (1985) (Parking Lot Brawl Match)

Jim Ross often calls The Undertaker "the phenom of the WWF" but "the phenom" would have a tough way to go against the legendary Butcher!!! Abdullah, in his prime, was one of the most vicious men in this sport and would've been a great challenge for UT because he has rarley faced a man that was both big and sadistic like Abdulla. I would conduct this match similar to the Steven Regal/Belfast Bruiser parking lot match on WCW Nitro over a year ago. No rules, there will be cars around them (thus becoming their "ring") and it will end by pinfall. Brutal match up.

The Steiner Bros. VS. Rick Steamboat/Jay Youngblood (1983)

This would be a classic tag bout. I know all about the Steiner's exploits (as does most everyone). I have only seen Steamboat and his late partner once in action (on the "Best Of The Starrcade's home video where they beat the Brisco Bros. for the NWA World Tag Team Title) but they were an impressive team. The Steiners are known for their variety of double team maneuvers but Steamboat and Youngblood weren't lacking in that department either. I see this bout going back and forth with neither team really keeping the advantage. This bout would be "The Steinerline" and "The Frakensteiner" VS. the martial arts/flying bodypress of Steamboat and the chops of Youngblood.

Vader VS. Barry Windham (1988)

Vader is still a capable competitor despite his recent jobbing. He would, however, have a great challenge against Windham. I picked this version of Windham because this is when he was a Horsemen and where he did his best wrestling. Still, this would be no easy win for Windham. Vader has great quickness for a big man and has moves you wouldn't expect from someone this large. Windham has held his own against big men (the most notable was Bamm Bamm Bigelow). Toss up here.

Davey Boy Smith VS. Nikita Koloff (1985)

Davey Boy Smith is considered one of the strongest men in wrestling. I 1985, Nikita Koloff was considered the most awesome man in wrestling because of his power, intensity and his "Russian Sickle" clothesline. Davey Boy would have the advantage in a wrestling match but if it turns into a brawl, look for Koloff to dominate.


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Hunter Hearst Hemsley VS. Tully Blanchard (1985)

During 1985, Tully Blanchard enjoyed his greatest success as a singles wrestler as he won the NWA TV belt and later won the NWA US Title. Triple HHH is similar to Blanchard as he is one of the most underrated and toughest men in wrestling. He is more of a "chess" wrestler like Blanchard was. Just for old times sake, I would have Baby Doll accompany Blanchard for this match to offset Chyna (Triple HHH's valet). The Slingshot suplex was an effective maneuver for Tully but the "Pedigree" is far more devastating!!! The man that makes the biggest mistake will lose this one.

"HeartBreak Kid" Shawn Michaels VS. "The Boss" Magnum TA (1985)

It is the "Sweet Chin Music" superkick of Michaels VS. the belly to belly suplex of Magnum. Both were a hit with the ladies and both could wrestle (although Magnum was more of a brawler). Both TA and Michaels have had their share of tough match ups. Who could forget Magnum's feud with Nikita?!!! Shawn has had wars with Bret Hart, Mankind, Kevin Nash and others. One thing is for sure, the female fans of wrestling would be the real winners in this match.

The Patriot VS. Dusty Rhodes (1986)

"The American Dream" takes on the man who wears red, white and blue. The Patriot is actually a good wrestler that can hold his own (I heard his match with Bret Hart was one of his better matches). Still, he would have to face the savvy and will of Dusty Rhodes. His "flip-flop-and-fly" and "bionic elbow" could put any man down for the count. Still, Dusty would have to look out for "The Patriot" missile shouldertackle and "Uncle Sam" slam to win.

Diamond Dallas Page VS. Terry Funk (1989) (No DQ)

DDP is one of the most improved performers today but would have to face a wildman in Terry Funk!!! I picked the Funk from 1989 because that's when he had that brutal feud with Ric Flair and that is when he had his best matches (even past his prime). While the "Diamond Cutter" can put down any man, I'm not so sure that one could do it. As tough as Funk was, DDP might would've had to give him THREE DC's to win. Funk was also an underrated scientific wrestler so he would have the edge in a wrestling match. I think a No DQ match would favor both men so this one is a toss up.

Lex Luger VS. Tito Santana (1986)

It is the man many consider to be the greatest US Champion of all time against the man many considered to be one of the toughest WWF Intercontinental Champions of all time. Power would definitely go to Luger but he has a history of struggling against wrestlers who rely on science rather than strength. Tito was such a wrestler. He had the flying forearm and an underrated figure four leglock that put him in win column on many occasions. The torture rack, however, can put Santana away. This would be a classic battle.

Cactus Jack VS. Buzz "Mad Dog" Sawyer (1982)(Falls Count Anywhere Match)

Cactus Jack is one of the wildest men in wrestling today but would have a rough match with Sawyer. Sawyer, during his life, was one of the toughest men in the ring. He was only 5'11" and weighed 230lbs. but was one of the most feared and respected wrestlers alive. Both Jack and Sawyer could also wrestle when the mood strikes them but would prefer to fight. A crazy match indeed.

The Godwins VS. The Sheephearders (1987) (Barb Wire Match)

The Godwins (despite their image) are double tough customers and is an effective tag team. The Sheephearders (Luke Williams/Butch Miller) were once one of the most vicious tag teams in the world. Their feud with the Fantastics in 1986 was a classic. In this Barb Wire Match, the ring ropes would be taken down and replaced with barb wire!!! The match can end by pinfall but this one would probably end with someone not being able to continue.

Ahmed Johnson VS. Tony Atlas (1984) Two of the strongest wrestlers in the history of the WWF would collide here. Tony Atlas is one of the few men that has pinned Hulk Hogan cleanly but he never has the intensity that Ahmed Johnson has. Atlas would have to rely on more science here because power VS. power against Ahmed is not a good idea.

Wraith/Mortis VS. The Freebirds (1983)

For this match, I call on the version of Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy here. Wraith and Mortis, when you look past their appearance, are actually good wrestlers. Hayes, however, was a great pychologist while Gordy could take on anybody in the world. Wraith and Mortis would have to rely on their martial arts skills and some luck to win this.

Hugh Morris VS. Steve "Dr. Death" Williams (1987)

In the days of the UWF, I have a feeling that Hugh Morris is one guy that would've fit in Steve Williams' world perfectly. "Dr. Death" was a tough customer with international experience but so is "The Laughing Man." Morris is also more agile that Williams ever was. Still, this would be an interesting encounter.

Syxx VS. Mondo Gurrerro (1989)

The only time that I have ever seen Mondo was in the AWA in 1989 but he impressed me with his barrage of moves and manuvers. Syxx is small but quick and skilled cruiserweight that can take it to you. Both have had some success with bigger opponents as well. Mondo was a crafty competitor and Syxx would have to get up pretty early in the morning to catch him off guard.

Brian Christopher VS. Terry Taylor (1985)

Most of today's wrestling fans remember Taylor as the "Red Rooster" but I remember Terry as very skilled competitor that could match up with anyone on earth!!! Brian Christopher (Lawler) is an impressive young wrestler with a lot of skill and moves. Terry Taylor was a scientific wizard that was one of the early inventors of the superplex!! Brian would find Taylor from '85 to be his toughest test.

Rocky Maivia VS. Sting (1988)

Heh, Heh!!! I know that I am leaving it up to the readers to decide winners but it should be pretty obvious who would win here (just look at the date).

Marcus "Buff" Bagwell VS. "Gorgeous" Jimmy Garvin (1987)

Cockiness would reign supreme in this match!!! Bagwell has gotten better since joining the NWO but Garvin has a chapter on flamboyancy!! Bagwell is quicker than Garvin ever was but Garvin was more devious. Bagwell has the "blockbuster" neckbreaker while Garvin (at this time) prefered the "brainbuster" suplex. Precious, Garvin's valet and wife, would be a factor here as well as the NWO.

Jim "The Anvil" Neihart VS. Dick Murdoch (1984)

This would be a total brawl. Both know some wrestling but would rather fight. Neihart was trained by father in law Stu Hart while Murdoch recieved his early training from his father Frankie Murdoch and from Killer Karl Kox. Murdoch was another user of the "brainbuster" while the "Anvil" prefered the powerslam to finish his opponents. Tough matchup.

Crush VS. Kerry Von Eric (1984)

It would be the power and speed of Von Eric against the brute force of Crush. Crush uses the "heart punch" while Von Eric favored the "iron claw" and the "discus punch" (a move sometimes used by Scott Hall). I think the man that dictates the pace will win this one.

Well fans, you've seen the lineup. Now, send your votes to griffiev@hotmail.com and I will print the results in a future column. I might even print some of your responses. Until next time.


Run, Blade Runner, Run: The Story Of Sting

Part 17: Turbulent Marriage

by Ervin Griffin Jr

After his spectacular match with Hulk Hogan, Sting took care of some unfinished business with Ric Flair. They settled up at the first World War III PPV. Another good encounter, while no where near the standards of late 80's matches, was still entertaining nonetheless. It ended with Sting getting the submission victory over Flair. The two later returned to compete in the three ring 60 man battle royal for the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

Now, I mention this match because Sting was part of the controversial ending of it. Luger and Sting teamed up to take care of the Giant but was eliminated from behind by Hulk Hogan. The Giant, not wanting to see Hogan win, pulled him under the ring. The ref, not seeing what happened, assumed that Hogan had been eliminated too!!! He awarded the bout and the title to Randy Savage because Savage was the only man left in the ring. Meanwhile, Sting accepted Hogan's explanation that his elimination was an accident but looking at the film, it is plain to see that Hogan knew exactly what he was doing!!

On to Starrcade '95 and the Triangle Match between Ric Flair, Lex Luger and Sting. The match ended when both Luger and Sting were counted out of the ring. The controversial part of the match was when Sting was trying to get back into the ring, Luger held on to him!!! Needless to say, it caused some friction and led insiders to believe that they were headed for another feud. That never materialized as Sting and Lex went on to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship in January of the next year (1996) from the Harlem Heat. This six month reign was marked with controversy and confusion as Sting began to question Luger's true motives. In the end, Luger proved that he was on the level with Sting despite his shallowness. Then came July 1996 at Bash At The Beach when Sting and Luger, along with Randy Savage, joined forces to fight The Outsiders (Kevin Nash/Scott Hall)!! Luger was knocked out in the first minute by Sting when he executed a "Stinger Splash" that had Luger in the pileup!!! The worst was yet to come though as Hulk Hogan betrayed WCW and formed the NWO with Hall and Nash!!!

Sting thought he had seen some rough times but the strangest chapter of his career was yet to come!!!

Next: The Crow Rises

Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and also contributes to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis. Many of his previous articles are available in the Articles section of the Solie's web site.


Forum Quips

Today's contribution is short and sweet...

Rolf

Nov 18, 1997 23:25

This is the only thing I want to say concerning the Vince/Bret thing. Everyone keeps saying that Bret was supposed to drop the title so Bischoff wouldn't go on TV the next night and make Vince look stupid. How does Vince look now? (How indeed..?)


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Mid-Week Ramblings

It has been a very strange couple of weeks for yours truely since the Survivor Series debacle.

I have become accustomed to being flamed on a regular basis because of my jaundiced view of WWF promoter Vince McMahon. I have persisted in blasting him because I really think he is a sleaze and, to tell the truth, I rather enjoy the contoversey.

You would think that McMahon's monumental screwjob on one of wrestling's brightest stars would provide me with fodder for dozens of editorials, and I must admit that I have gotten a fair amount of column inches out of the subject.

What has been strange is the lack of response from my most vociforous critics.

In fact, everywhere I look these days, I see mostly criticism echoing my own. There are outraged editorials, letters to editors and a plethora of McMahon bashing posts on my message boards and others'. I am even seeing where some formerly WWF boosting web sites have gone over to the competition. This, I think, is a disturbing trend.

That isn't to say there aren't still McMahon defenders out there. I even published such an article by my good friend Len B right here a few days ago. But the vast majority of the pieces I have seen lately are uniformly critical of the WWF and McMahon in particular.

All of this points to a change in the make-up of the Wrestling audience, in my opinion.

When I started watching wrestling, way back in 1956 or so, there were no such things as "WWF Fans" and "WCW Fans". In fact, neither of the two current major promotions were in existance. There was the WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation), run by Vince McMahon Sr., but it was a local New York promotion never seen on the West coast. The NWA was there, but the local Los Angeles promotion was a branch of the WWA (World Wrestling Association). Promotional biases were not yet really a part of the average wrestling fan's makeup.

Later, in the early eighties, when wrestling made it's re-apperance on Los Angeles TV (thanks to the advent of cable television), I had the chance to watch the WWF, NWA, AWA, Mid-South, Georgia Championship and other promotions for the first time. My preferences leaned toward the NWA promotions but in truth, I loved it all. And I think that is the way most wrestling fans felt in those days.

I have seen a number of commentaries on the web stating that the NWA was a nothing promotion in the eighties and that the WWF was the only wrestling they (the authors) watched. I would imagine that for those writers, this statement is true. But since the majority of Internet wrestling commentators were children in those days, I can hardly credit their opinions of what "real" wrestling fans were following back then.

My definition of a "real" wrestling fan would be someone who actually went to live events, bought and read the wrestling magazines etc. Grade school children don't really fit that profile.

In fact, until Vince Jr. started his transformation of wrestling into the circus it has now become, the NWA was truely the top dog among promotions. This is evidenced by the content of those same magazines I mentioned before. In them you would find that the NWA World Championship was the acknowledged "most coveted" Title in the sport. In some publications, the WWF was relegated to an "also ran", in others its existance was barely acknowledged.

Even after McMahon began his transformation, and in fact, probably because of it, the WWF was largely considered a joke among die-hard wrestling fans around the country (except in the Northeast) and around the world. It was during this period that Vince launched his "search and destroy" mission in a largely successful attempt to put his competition out of business. When he was finished the landscape was devastated and the WWF had become the top promotion, mostly because there were few Independents left to challange it. Even then, the majority of long-time wrestling fans continued to decry the WWF's use of cartoon-like characters and unrealistic storylines.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I still see the idea of "WWF Fans", "WCW Fans" and "real" wrestling fans to be mutually exclusive terms. In my mind, a "real" wrestling fan would not want to see the demise of one promotion or the other because he/she recognises that the competiton between the two is what makes possible the high caliber of matches we enjoy from both promotions every Monday night.

I just hope that the folks who are now all over the Internet claiming that the WWF is doomed because of this latest scandal are incorrect. I believe they are.

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

Earl Oliver,
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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