by Ervin Griffin Jr
In pt. 1 of the Bret Hart series. I said that I wasn't sure which North American title that he won in 1980 from the Junkyard Dog. Thanks to a reader (whom I can't remember his name, for that I apologize for), I can now say that Bret's N.A. title was the Stampede version and not the title that later became the UWF title. Also, in pt. 4, I mentioned not really knowing whether the original Royal Rumble took place in Canada or not. After doing some digging, I can say that, in fact, it took place in Canada in Hamilton, Ontario. Can someone please tell me whether it was at the Medicine Hat arena or not. Again, thanks goes out again to the fan who e-mailed me the information about Bret's N.A. title. If you'll e-mail me again, I'll make sure you get named. Thank you.
Part 5: Bad News Brown
After the Royal Rumble, The Hart Foundation made several attempts to regain the WWF Tag Team Title from Strike Force without any success. To remain in the spotlight, Bret Hart and Jim "The Anvil" Neihart entered the 20 man over the top rope battle royal at WrestleMania IV. Bret Hart ended up being one of the last three competitors along with the Junkyard Dog and Bad News Brown.
Hart and Brown combined to eliminate the Dog but as Bret was celebrating the elimination, Bad News nailed him with the "ghetto blaster" (his version of the ensiguri)!!! Hart, disoriented, was easy pickings for Brown as he eliminated the "HitMan." But, as if to balance the scales, Brown also made the mistake of turning his back on his opponent as Bret returned to the ring, dropkicked Bad News from behind and smashed hi winners' trophy!!! This began one of Bret's first forays into singles competition as he feuded with Bad News (It is also significant to note that Demolition (Ax/Smash) won the WWF Tag Team Titles on this same card).
Even more surprising than that, Bret was being cheered for the first time in years and he even fired his manager Jimmy Hart!!! There was rumblings about a possible feud with Jim Neihart but nothing ever came of it as they still remained a team (but it was a sign of things to come). After his feud with Bad News, The Harts refocused their attention on the WWF Tag Team Belts. By the time their chance came at SummerSlam, JImmy Hart had sided with Demolition to gain some measure of revenge against his former charges. For the most part, Jimmy got his wish as he help Demolition retain the WWF Tag straps. This began an "all-Canadian" feud of sorts because the Harts began feuding with Jimmy Hart's new charges, The Fabulous Rougeuoes Bros. This feud ended indecisive.
Then came Survivor Series in 1988 when The Hart Foundation was part of an "all-tag team" elimination match. This time, they teamed with The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith/Dynamite Kid), Young Stallions (Paul Roma/Jim Powers), The Powers Of Pain (Warlord/Barbarian) and The Rockers (this last team I mentioned featured Marty Jannetty and Bret's future rival Shawn Michaels). Their opponents were Demolition, The Bolsheviks (Nikoli Volkoff/Boris Zuckoff), The Conquistidors, The BrainBusters (Arn Anderson/Tully Blanchard), and The Rouegeous.
The Harts, in my opinion, had one of their finest matches in this bout. They were eliminated by a controversial decision when the ref ruled that Blanchard had gotten his shoulder up on a double pin situation (actually, neither man had gotten the shoulder up and both men should have been gone). Nevertheless, it was a good outing for the Harts.
NEXT TARGET: 1989-A Weird Year
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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
Here is an idea that was suggested to me by our friend "Wild Bill" Rawlings. He also wrote the blurb that appears below.
Even wrestlers look forward to Christmas and need a Santa Claus in their lives nowadays.
We've all made fun of Faaroqq's microphone skills or Hollywood's continually thinning scalp...well, now is the time to make a>wish list of Christmas presents to send to the jolly fat man (no, not Bastion Booger).
Do you think Mean Gene needs a Shatner Turbo 2000 rug or perhaps Tony Schiavone a lifetime free eye check at LensCrafters...well, write your suggestions down and e-mail it to me at email@example.com
A list of the best presents for each wrestler/announcer/etc., will be produced in time for Santa to see and to stuff under their tree on Christmas Day. There's only three shopping weeks left, so send your list early! Thanks in advance!
Live from Buffalo, NY - Tony, Bobby and Mike are our hosts this evening.
Konnan vs. Ray Traylor - Traylor starts strong and has Konnan reeling in a matter of seconds. After taking it for a minute or so, Konnan makes a brief comeback but can't sustain it. The fight goes to the outside and Konnan finally gains the advantage by reversing a whip and sending his opponent crashing into the ringpost. Back in the ring Traylor takes a reverse DDT and still manages to come to his feet first. He is shaky though, Konnan retakes the advantage and whips Traylor to the corner...then the lights go out. Something is happening in the ring but we can't tell what it is. Cameras are flashing but they don't reveal anything. The lights finally come up after several seconds and we see Konnan lying in the middle of the ring flat on his back. Traylor looks confused but goes ahead and takes the pin. It looks like the revenge of Sting has begun. Cut to commercial.
We get a video review of the incident at the end of last weeks program. Diamond Dallas Page was Diamond Cut onto the world title belt.
The Barbarian (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Steve McMichael - Mongo is still flashing the Four Horseman sign these days. These two match up well size and strength-wise but the Barbarian has slowed considerably in the last couple of years. His experience edge is, of course, overwhelming and it shows as he pretty well neutralizes his opponent. In fact Mongo takes it right up the last moment when he reverses a whip and executes his Tombstone piledriver to get the pin. Hart is signalling Meng to come to the ring when McMichael grabs him and punches him off the apron and right into Meng's arms. Meng sets him down then enters the ring. They start whaling on each other then Meng grabs onto the Tongan Death Grip. Mongo goes down. The Barbarian and Hart eventually pull Meng off.
Mean Gene w/the Disco Inferno - Gene wants to know how Disco feels about losing to Jaquelyn a few weeks back. Disco is unhappy with the question and essentially tells Gene to stuff it...cut to commercial.
Mean Gene is on the ramp again as we return. Buff Bagwell comes down and claims that Lex Luger didn't show him anything in their match last week. He wants a rematch tonight.
Dean Malenko vs. Prince Iukea - Eddie Guerrero shows up at the broadcast booth to help call the action for this one. The match starts out more or less even but the announcers are not paying attention as they converse with Guerrero. The match continues for quite some time with neither man holding a clear advantage but eventually Malenko pulls ahead. He slaps on the Texas Cloverleaf to take the win.
The Nitro Grrrls join the announcers to dance surrounding the broadcast position while Tony hawks the Nitro Party contest. Cut to commercial.
We see Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith of the Bills at ringside as we return. They show a video statement from Kevin Nash - basically he challanges the Giant for a match at Starrcade.
Mean Gene is in the ring and calls the Giant down to answer Nash's statements. The Giant has a full forearm cast on his right arm. He agrees with Nash that he is "one dimensional" but says its okay to be one dimensional when its "all you need..." He says he will bring the chokeslam to Starrcade despite his injury. Cut to commercial.
Nitro Grrrls dance in the ring as we return. We get a video review of the Sting dummy incident from two weeks ago.
Chris Benoit vs Raven (yeah...right...) - the new blonde guy gets the nod this time. He is identified as Lodi (pronounced low-dee). The fight starts on the floor and Lodi gets creamed right away. I had thought this guy might be Chris Chavez but now, seeing him next to Benoit - he isn't as big as Chavez. Benoit basically destroys his opponent. He ends it with the Crippler Crossface after not a lick of offense from his the Flock member. Raven is not in evidence and his Flock doesn't seem to know how to act without his guidance. Benoit grabs a mic and says "Quote the Crippler...never more." He throws out a challange to Raven which goes unanswered.
Tony tells us that Luger has accepted the challange from Bagwell as the second hour begins.
Mean Gene introduces Ric Flair - Flair shows up in a sportscoat and open collar shirt. A fan at ringside holds up a sign that reads "Flair IV-13". Ric is his usual flamboyant self. Gene asks about Curt Hennig but Flair wants to talk about the entire nWo. He says he is counting on Sting to defeat Hogan. He then throws out a challange to Hennig for a cage match at Starrcade. Gene asks what Flair thinks concerning the possibility that Bret Hart might join the nWo. He mentions Hart's Calgary Sun column and seems to accept that the Hitman will be a member of the nWo. He disputes Hart's contention that he is "the best there is..." Cut to commercial.
They show one of the nWo's paid announcements which taunts Sting.
Hugh Morrus vs. Randy Savage - this should be (pardon the expression) toooo sweet. Both these guys are a bit nuts but very talented. Miss Liz is not around tonight. Savage stops to jaw with Jim Kelly and gets blindsided by Morrus. Kelly and Smith get is a couple of shots each during the scuffle. The match goes into the ring with Morrus in charge but it doesn't remain that way long. Savage comes back with a vengance but then takes the fight back to the floor where Morrus retakes the advantage. Back in the ring Savage asserts himself and delivers the big elbow. Rather then cover he pulls his opponent up. He delivers a second elbow then pulls him up again. He decks the referee and goes up for a third time only to have the lights go out. We hear an electrical crackle as bodies can be seen flying around the ring in the glare of the flashbulbs. The lights come back up and Savage, the ref and Morrus are all lying face-up in the ring. Savage has a Sting mask covering his face. Cut to commercial.
Here come Rick Rude and Eric Bischoff to the broadcast booth. Rude grabs a mic and compares the announcers to the "three monkeys - See no evil, Speak to evil and Hear no evil." He threatens the three of them with bodily harm if another "lights out" incident happens tonight. He makes them assume the famous monkeys' positions then splits.
Disco Inferno vs. Saturn - World TV Title match - we go to commercial after the combatants enter the ring. The announcers are quaking in their boots - Heenan is threatening to split.
Saturn is direspecting his opponent as we return. Disco slaps his face and then goes to work. He drives Saturn from the ring then goes out and rams him into the ringsteps. Back in the ring Saturn reverses the field with a kick then applies a surfboard. Disco reverses the move then gets caught in a suplex. Saturn goes to the top and misses a leg drop. He sends Saturn to the floor again and follows him out again. Kidman and Lodi try to interfere and both get creamed as Saturn is picked up and thrown onto his Flock mates. Lodi gets Chart Busted onto the railing (ouch!!) Back in the ring Saturn turns the tide with a reverse neck breaker. The scuffle some more and then Disco manages to apply the Chart Buster on Saturn! He gets the pin and the title. Disco is the two-time TV Champ! Cut to...
A Nitro party tape. Cut to commercial.
More Nitro Grrrrls....on the platform this time.
Buff Bagwell (w/Vincent) vs. Lex Luger - rematch from last week (Bagwell lost the last one by DQ when Vincent interfered). Tony announces the death this week of producer Craig Leathers' mother (Solie's extends our condolences to the Leathers family). Bagwell is claiming that he is the real "Total Package". As usual he is laughing a lot and taunting his opponent. Luger seems unfazed by it all and proceeds to take Bagwell apart. After a few minutes Bagwell reverses things. He pounds on Luger then settles into a Camel Clutch. Luger stands up and drops him on the back of his head. Scott Norton saunters to the ring as the action continues. Bagwell is taking it royally. He bails out to avoid being racked. Luger follows him out and gets distracted by Bagwells friends. He is subsequently counted out and Bagwell acts like he just beat Luger legitemately. Cut to an nWo paid announcement denigrating Roddy Piper (I hope this doesn't mean he's coming back...but of course he will until his contract runs out). Cut to commercial.
We come back to Stings answer to the nWo video shown earlier. The the nWo music plays.
Scott Hall vs. Diamond Dallas Page - Hall is wearing his bogus Tag belt as he saunters to the ring. He does his survey call and response bit and gets the audience to chant "nWo". He refers to the nWo as the "good guys" (I wonder if they sell stero equipment?). We cut to commercial before Page makes his entrance.
DDP makes his entrance as we return. It is seven o'clock (PST) straight up as the match begins. Hall invites DDP to leave but Page isn't biting. The history between these two is rich. Page was Hall's manager back in his Diamond Studd days. They also knew each other in the AWA although they were not associated then. The match is surprisingly even considering the relative size and wrestling experience of these two. As the match goes on Hall takes the advantage but Page is still in it. Hall can't put him away. Hall slaps on an abdominal stretch. He's using the ropes but manages to conceal it from the ref (Randy Anderson) for a while. Eventually he is discovered and forced to reliquish the hold. Page tries to put on a stretch of his own but Hall escapes quickly. Hall retakes the advantage and set-up an Outsiders' Edge - Page back drops him. Now its all Page. He pancakes his opponent. Then Hennig hits the ring followed by the rest of the thugs swarm in to punk Page. Hall gets his Outsiders' Edge with assistance. A Sting dummy plunges from the ceiling and through the mat again. Bischoff has a mic and gives it to Hogan who rants away at Sting. He tells Hennig to pull the dummy (which has sunk completely out of sight) up out of the hole in the mat. The dummy seems pretty heavy as they struggle to stand it up and drape it over the top ring rope. Hogan goes to the floor and rants some more then approaches the dummy which suddenly comes to life - it is Sting!!! He can't seem to get unhooked from the tether so he proceeds to decimate the nWo ranks with the cable still attached.
Hogan is speechless and confused on the outside as we fade to black...
Live from Portland, Maine
We open with stills of the Maivia/Austin match from last night. Vince McMahon comes down the ramp to make an announcement. Kevin Kelly refers to him as the "Chairman of the Board". He says that Stone Cold has been getting away with murder and cites his attacks on WWF officials and announcers. He complains about Austin driving his pick-up truck to the ring last night, saying it was dangerous and then says that Austin assaulted the referee. He demands that Steve Austin have a rematch with Maivia tonight on RAW. Stone Cold shows up at this point. Vince discreetly tries to slips out of the ring but then changes his mind. Austin is insensed about being "ordered to do" anything and asks McMahon who he thinks he is. Vince stands up to him! He warns about the consequences if Austin refuses the match. Austin refuses to answer the question but says he's going to go back to the dressing room and "pop the top on a beer" and think about it. He'll give his answer later. They advertise a segment coming later which will examine the destruction of the Hart Foundation by D-Generation X.
Here we go again...you know I've been trying real hard to stop ragging on McMahon. For a moment there I thought that he and Austin were going to get it on and he was about to surprise us all by whipping Stone Cold's a$$--that would have been so cool!!! But noooo...and he is still going on about Hart, clearly his aim is to completely discredit the former WWF Champion. It is such a childish thing...
Stills of the Tag Team match from last night.
The Road Warriors vs. The Godwin (w/Billy and the Dog) - I notice nobody ever tries to give Vinnie Mac the credit for "creating" the LOD... Animal and Henry start it out. These teams are just the opposite of each other. Henry is the bigger and the better Godwin. Hawk is the smaller and the better Road Warrior. The two teams exchange after a pretty even start and Phinious starts to take it. Animal takes a shoulder shot against the ring steps outside of the ring just before the lights go out...
Kane comes down as the light come back up. He encounters Hawk, who is the only one left in the ring and Tombstones him twice... (the first time Hawk got right up, then he was chokeslammed and Pile Driven again) Kane leaves and the Tag Champs (who have been hiding near the Spanish announcers' table) come in and apply the boots to Hawks injured neck and shoulders. Animal drives them off with a chair. Cut to commercial.
The Champs are in the ring as we return (first we see a replay of Kanes's assault on Hawk). Road Dog declares that there is no competiton in the Tag Team ranks in the WWF. He and Billy sing a few bars of something (I'm sure someone will write and tell me what it was) then Billy says he wants a singles match. Dude Love answers the challange and gets pummeled right off. Somehow this glorified jobber is managing to dominate the Dudester (don't ask me how...) He eventually spears himself on one of the corner buckles - that's all Foley needs. He takes over in his usual inimitable style. He sets up for the "sweet chin music" but Billy sweeps his feet out from under him. Now it's all Billy for about 15 seconds...then Dude puts a double armed DDT on him and gets the pin. Armstrong immediately attacks with a chair. Then they lay one of the Tag belts on Dude's face and Billy drops a leg on him...cut to commercial.
NOD face the cameras as we return. Maivia has become the spokesman for the group lately. He taunts Austin about being "indecisive" (no wonder he's become the spokesman) They have audio problems as he speaks (they had some earlier as well).
We see stills of the Light Heavyweight Title match from last night. Interestingly, Taka Michinoku is not really the first WWF LH Champ but is, in fact, the 33rd title holder (check out Solie's Title Histories to see what I mean). Jim Cornette tries to interview Taka in the ring but Taka doesn't speak English. Jerry Lawler comes down to issue a xenophobic rant and in the midst of his tirade tonight's opponent for Taka is introduced. "El Unico" comes to the ring and is berated by the King as well. Taka and the stranger square off against Lawler but then the "Mexican" wrestler turns on Taka. It's Brian Christopher of course. They punk the Champ until the ring fills up with officials . Cut to commercial.
Flash Funk is in the ring but lets go see how DX destroyed the Hart Foundation first. During this series of clips we see the Survivor Series finale again. It is obvious that Hebner and Hart never make eye contact before Hebner signals for the bell...you'd think they'd wise up and stop showing that damning footage.
Kurrgan the Interrogator vs Flash Funk - they announce the Interrogator's new name and Ross spells it for us (thanks Jim!) Flash doesn't have a chance against this gigantic athlete. The giant eventually applies a claw to Funk's forehead and uses that grip to slam him to the mat. He gets the pin easily. The big guy won't release the hold and even shoves away his fellow Truth Commission members when they try to intervene. The referee reverses the decision. The Jackel walks over and slaps the Interrogator hard. He releases the hold and confronts his manager - who starts to laugh - they laugh together - cut to...
Stills from last night's WWF Title match.
Ken Shamrock rants about his loss last night. He is talking about the Royal Rumble and expressing sorrow for the other 29 guys in that coming match... (dream on Ultimate boy...) Cut to commercial.
DX makes their entrance as we return. What is with HHH these days? Whenever we see him now he has some kind of beverage in his hand. He takes the mic as they enter the ring. He rants at Sgt. Slaughter concerning the match last night (actually one of the better ones on the card). He makes rude suggestions again invoking Slaughter's wife. HBK takes the mic and says that Shamrock wasn't "dangerous enough" to take his WWF Title at the PPV. He heaps praise upon himself. He then turns his attention toward Owen Hart. He echoes Jim Ross' assessment that DX have "destroyed the Hart Foundation". He compares them to excremite. The usual disgusting performance from the king of suave... He refers to Owen as the "little nugget" of excremite that refuses to go down the drain after you flush the "commode". He challanges Owen to come out right now. Meanwhile Chynna and HHH set up a card table. HBK is talking about sitting down and playing "strip poker" until Owen shows up. There are whiskey bottles on the table. He reminds us that he promised to "walk out naked" a few weeks ago. DOA appears on the ramp on their motorcycles just as we cut to commercial.
DUD's vs. Los Boringboys (w/Savio Vega) - The poker game has moved out to the floor as we return. Its going to be another bikers vs. busboys match (yawn) Skull/Eightball vs Jose/Miguel. Nobody cares about this contest at all. It really doesn't matter because the cameras keep lingering on the poker game. The match is just another brawl and not terribly interesting. As usual the Puerto Rican team is ahead on points but both teams are taking a pounding. Vega fishes a 2X4 out from under the ring and hands it to Jose. Jose uses on the legs of one of the Bruise Bros. (darned if I can tell them apart - I notice JR can't either) and takes the pin. Cut to commercial.
The poker game is back in the ring as we return. HHH and HBK have lost their shirts. Shawn stands up and takes off his pants - he is down to his underwear. The Headbangers come down for their match which is next on the card. They enter the ring and start to question DX. When gentle admonishment fails, the Bangers overturn the card able. Michaels suddenly explodes and the Bangers are punked with chairs and a table shot for Mosh. The ring is in a shambles as they continue their attack. Things have slowed down considerably when Owen Hart suddenly bursts into the ring and gets several gratuitus shots on Michaels' head. He escapes the ring before anybody can lay a hand on him. Cut to commercial.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Vader - Jarrett comes to the ring to the sound of his own voice calling himself the "World's Greatest Wrestler" - this would be a great gimick if anybody cared... Vader just gets to the ring when Goldust and Luna shows up at ringside and Goldust flashes him!! Dustin is wearing a wig and makeup that makes him look like Chynna. He and Luna flee the ring area with Vader in pursuit. Vader is counted out. Jarrett has been handed his second big victory in two days (he beat UT last night).
Salvitore Sincere vs Marc Mero - we see stills of the Mero/Butterbean boxing match from last night before the match gets started. Butterbean is interviewed and shows us the cuts and bruises on his back. He vows revenge. Mero grabs the mic as he enters the ring. He sings his own praises - Sable is nowhere in sight. He then turns on Sincere and calls him a jobber. He reveals Sal's real name (Tom Brandy). Then he calls Sable out. She is wearing a 250 lb potato sack!! He turns his back on her and tells her to disrobe him. She takes off the potato sack behind his back and is wearing an extremely skimpy macrame bikini. Mero is pre-occupied with covering her up is drop-kicked from behind as he tries to rush her out of the ring. He takes her away from the ring area and gets counted out. Cut to commercial.
NOD music plays and Rocky Maivia comes to the ring. The match is announced for TV time remaining (less then 5 minutes). Austin shows up in street clothes. Vince enters the ring and questions Austin's attire. Stone Cold refuses to wrestle and dares Vince to do something about it. Vince threatens to strip him of the IC belt. Austin decides to forfeit the belt and go after the WWF Title instead. He hands the belt to Rocky and coaxes him to shake his hand. Rocky looks overjoyed for a moment and then Austin punks him. Steve takes the belt and says he has something to do with it "that has nothing to do with wrestling" and leaves the ring. Vince is standing on the ring apron when Austin comes back to celebrate with the crowd. He bounces off the ropes next to Vince and knocks him to the floor. Vince tumbles to the floor then gets up cursing. Austin seems about to go after him when we cut to a replay of what just happened. The program ends with a different camera angle on Vince falling to the floor and Jim Ross saying "it's getting chaotic here..." Fade to black...
Both programs had their moments tonight...I just wish Vince would get over it...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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