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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

Diary of a "Hitman": Part 6

by Ervin Griffin Jr.

Dump the Hulkster!

by The Guru, Bill Reed

Mid-Week Ramblings...


Volume 3, Issue 253 - December 11, 1997
Here is a newsflash from Bob Ryder...

BISCHOFF IN JAPAN

Eric Bischoff has just returned from another trip to Japan, where he met with representatives from a Japanese TV network who are interested in a Joint Venture with WCW.

The meetings went well, and WCW is moving forward with their to increase their presence in Japan.

When asked if New Japan would be involved in the Joint Venture, Bischoff said "It's up to them. They can join us in the project, or we will do it without them."

Early this year, Bischoff announced, in a Prodigy chat, his plans to either purchase all or part of New Japan Pro Wrestling, or to launch a separate group to promote in Japan.


Diary of a "Hitman"

by Ervin Griffin Jr.

Dear Fans,

I have two things to announce. First, I would like to thank Andrew Gordon for the Bret Hart information about his North American Title. I would also like to thank him and Adam Donahue for confirming my suspicion about the "original" Royal Rumble being in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. One of them even added the fact that it was on free tv only in the United States while you had to have PPV capabilities to get it in Canada.

Another thing. The voting deadline for the "Out Of Time '97" dream card will be extended to this Monday, December 15 up until midnight. After that, I will tally up the votes and have a result article that week as well. Be on the lookout for my next dream card. It will be called "Horror Of War '98." Thank you.

Part 6: 1989-A Weird Year

1989. It was a bit of a limbo year for The Hart Foundation. At the second Royal Rumble in Houston, TX, they teamed with "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan to defeat The Rougeaous Bros. and the late Dino Bravo in a two out of three falls six man tag match. Later, in April of that year, they defeated the makeshift team of the Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine at WrestleMania V.

After this bout, Bret and Jim decided to go their own way for awhile. Jim had a feud with both members of The Powers Of Pain (Warlord/Barbarian) while Bret wrestled several time limit draws with Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig. The Harts reunited in the summer to battle The Powers Of Pain. Most of those bouts saw the Harts gain wins and earn a non-title shot at then-WWF Tag Team Champions The BrainBusters (Tully Blanchard/Arn Anderson) at SummerSlam '89. This bout, which was the opening bout on the PPV, was probably the best match of the night as both teams showed brilliant wrestling expertise. The match ended in a screwjob when Bret Hart, after having Tully pinned for about 5 seconds was hit with a double-axhandle from Arn. Tully rolled Bret over for the pin.

Seeing that they wern't going to get a title shot anytime soon, the Harts went their own way again. This time, at Survivor Series, Bret join Jim Duggan's 4 x 4 team along with Hercules and Ron Garvin. Their opponents were "The King's Court" team of Randy Savage, Dino Bravo, Greg Valentine and Earthquake. Bret had one of his better showings here as he dominated Savage only to be eliminated after he rammed his shoulder into the ring post. That set up "The Macho Man's" flying elbow for his elimination as Savage's team went on to victory. "The Anvil" joined up with "The Ultimate Warriors" team with UW and The Rockers (Shawn Michaels/Marty Janetty). Their opponents were "The Hennan Family" team of Bobby Henan, Arn Anderson, Andre The Giant and Haku (Meng). Neihart was one of the first men eliminated from the match but his team did go on to win (after all, when you have "The Brain" wrestling and no Andre for later on you are surly going to lose).

Meanwhile, the rumblings about the Harts going for tag gold began again in January of 1990. These rumors, however, turned out to be true, as we will see next time.

NEXT TIME: Demolition

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

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.


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Dump the Hulkster!

Here is an interesting email I received recently from a reader. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Solie's Newsletter.

Here's the real deal. Okay, Let's get real for a moment. I'm sick and tired of the Hulk (Hollywood) Hogan story line. Pardon me, but isn't this the same sad story line that has followed Hogan throughout his storied career? Now let's see; he gets the World Belt and you never see him except for PPV matches. Or maybe the occasional walk to the ring for the pose down routine. (I do miss the hand to the ear part though).

He always seems to have some willing lackeys around him that guarantee that he never loses the Belt. And he always sucks up all of the heat of the federation (no matter which one of the big two that you looking at the moment).

If the nWo founders (Hall and Nash) had any brains whatsoever, they would jump Hogan and give him the Royal Beat Down. I'm serious about this. It should happen on prime-time Monday night TV. Just as he is soaking up the spotlight. Doing his patented pose down. Or playing the air guitar (I believe the Hendrix family would appreciate that).

When he was a face, he f**ked up the careers of those around him. And nobody seemed to catch on that their careers were in jeopardy. Where is Brutus Beefcake? And why does Randy Savage allow himself to be placed in the role of second banana to Hogan again? And where did Jimmy Hart find himself after the turn happen? Almost three years ago, Vader jumped ship to the WWF in the middle of a promotion for an upcoming PPV to get out of Hogan's shadow. Do you guys remember that? I do. It was a War Games or some such title.

Today, as the best written story line to come down the pike in years (the original nWo - the coup of the WCW) is in full stride, Hogan and the Macho Man slow it down by wagging the bald heads and big buttocks at the front of the parade. Talk about being co-opted!! Wake up, Hall! Shake yourself, Nash!

As long as Hogan is hanging around, you're both going to look no better than good mid-card wrestlers. That's it, no major pops. No recognition of the genius that is the nWo. No real appreciation of the tongue in cheek humor. No real understanding of breaking the fourth wall of theater. Do yourselves a favor, beat him down, Scott. Come on, Kevin, do it for all of us real wrestling fans who long for the characters of olden times. The Dirty Dick Slaters, the Dick the Bruisers; hell, even the Cowboy Bob Ellises and the Wilbur Snyders. Heels that were heels and faces that were faces. Please give the Carnival Ride named Hogan (Savage, too) the old heave ho. Does anyone out there see what I'm speaking about?

On another front, the WWF to be exact, I have noticed that Owen's recent rattlesnake attacks on Shawn Michaels have found fan favor and have transformed Owen into a 'face'. But, what it really shows me is that Owen has decided to honor his employment contract with the WWF and further that the Bret/Vince problem was a cleverly disguised 'work'. Otherwise, why would Owen do his attacks in front of us adoring fans (or should I say "smarks" - i.e., smart marks). If he was actually disgusted with the way Bret was treated and was pissed at how shabbily his family has been treated at the hands of HBK and HHH with the assistance of the front office of the WWF; why wouldn't he either walk out on his contract or do some really heinous and dastardly crimes out of the glare of the television cameras.

It looks like a feud cooking up on the stove to me, fellow traveller. It's one that's a natural, too. And one that could usher a new era into the wrestling world. It could be the re-introduction of the brass knuckles or a roll of quarters in a sock tucked in the grappler's trunks. Cheating. Good old fashioned cheating the way it should be. Sneaky. Underhanded. But sometimes, necessary to right the wrongs done previously. Fighting fire with fire. That's what will save the WWF (and ultimately, all of wrestling)!!

But, of course, I'm just an old coot who loves to be entertained by great athletes and even greater actors. Now, if I want to see nude women (and believe me, I do enjoy that type of entertainment, too) I will take my butt down to the strip bar or rent an XXX-rated video or... Well, you get the idea.

The Guru, Bill Reed
bill.reed@mailcity.com or breed@mdep.iupui.edu


Mid-Week Ramblings...

Since I wrote about the subject a week ago, the situation may have changed regarding the Larry Zybzsco/Eric Bischoff match at Starrcade.

The current rumor (at that time) was that Larry Z would take a dive during the match and then would be rewarded by being named as the Chief Announcer for the new nWo Nitro. This fit in nicely with the known fact that WCW is about to launch a new program (tentatively called "Thursday Thunder") on Thursday nights after the first of the year. The speculation was that the nWo would take over Nitro while WCW moved over to the new program.

This may very well still be the case, but an interesting new wrinkle has been introduced. There is now a stipulation on that match that if Legandary Larry wins, he will get the match he has been demanding against Scott Hall.

The question now becomes "Is this a legitemate stipulation or has it just been added to build heat for the Starrcade match (and coincidently, throw off the Internet speculation) - which Larry Z still intends to lose?"

Good question. I still tend toward the original scenerio just because it fits so well with the debut of the new program, but the latter idea is intriguing as well. And actually, I would love to see that Zybzsco/Hall match - I think the Legandary One might surprise a few people with his ability to perform (though I would certainly expect him to lose the match - it wouldn't make any sense to have Hall job against a has-been announcer/former wrestler).

Meanwhile, everyone is breathlessly awaiting the debut of Bret Hart (said to be scheduled for the opening program of the new show).

Speculation there centers on whether or not Hart will show up as a member of the nWo. Of course the nWo themselves are telling us that he will - but that means nothing. They told us that Sting was one of them after all. Hart is being coy about it - in all of his interviews he says he "doesn't know" or he "hasn't made up his mind".

Personally I don't see how he could be nWo. His abrupt departure from the WWF, and the subsequent bad publicity accorded to his former boss are tailor-made to re-enforce his babyface image with the fans. Vince McMahon has turned that controversey into an angle - I have little doubt that Bret and WCW will do the same.

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

Earl Oliver,
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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