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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report: EXTRA!

Volume 1, Issue 26
August 3, 1996

The NWO Kicks Butt Amid Swirling Paranoia

I find it interesting that the Outsiders' attack on Arn Andersen, Marcus Bagwell, Rey Mysterio Jr. and Scotty Riggs has generated so much heat.

After all, it was really no worse than a lot of parking lot (or dressing room) attacks that have happened over the years in various wrestling organizations. Remember the attack on Magnum TA by Ole and Arn Andersen (pre-Hosemen, back in 1985) as he was doing an interview back in the dressing room area (see The History of the Four Horsemen: Part 3 for a description of this incident), or the shocking attack by the Powers of Pain (w/Paul Jones) against the Road Warriors around '86 during which Animal was severely injured, or the time just a few years ago when Teddy Long's minions dragged Rick Flair from his limo and beat him within an inch of his life. These were brutal attacks, in some ways more severe than what happened Monday night, but they didn't generate anywhere near the heat we have been experiencing since the Nitro broadcast.

My Readers' Forum has been overflowing with anguished messages since Monday - so many that I have to go in every day and purge some of the longer ones so that the Guestbook will load easier (I answer any and all messages before I eliminate them).

An interesting side-line - a friend of mine (actually one of my musical partners) has just started watching Pro-Wrestling again recently. She used to watch it with her kids but since they grew up and moved away she had gotten out of the habit. I mentioned to her that I was having some success with a Wrestling related web site and that peaked her interest so she started watching again with this Monday night's programs. She and her boyfriend watched the Nitro program in question and they ended up switching over to RAW during the prolonged attack aftermath because they found it too unsettling. She questioned me about why the incident was dwelt on (in her mind) to excess. I had to explain to her about the NWO's invasion angle.

Perhaps this phenomenum has to do with the whole WCW/NWO dynamic. This attempted "hostile takeover" has created a sense of paranoia which the WCW announcers have carefully nurtured to foster tension on the Nitro set. In the back of everyone's head has been the nagging question "What will the Outsiders do next?" ever since Eric Bishoff took the table shot at the hands of Kevin Nash.

In fact, that Bishoff incident is likely the key to all this. The idea that the Outsiders saw fit to attack an announcer (who just happens to run the promotion) gave out the signal that "no one is safe..." Bobby Heenan's (usual) cowardly response to these events has also served to heighten the suspense. His walking off of the show was a brilliant piece of theater.

In conclusion, I believe that WCW can only sustain this angle for a certain limited time before the paranoia and tension begin to wear on everyone - fans, wrestlers, announcers etc. The fans are getting somewhat shortchanged in all of this because, with the cameras following the Outsiders as they lurk about on the fringes of the action, in many cases potentially good matches are being wasted because the announcers are so preoccupied with the invasion angle. This points up another reason why I expect to see Hogan return to his face personna before the year is out, shortly thereafter the NWO will cease to exist and things will return to "normal" in WCW land.

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

Earl Oliver,
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

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This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.

Copyright 1996 - Jump City Productions