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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report: EXTRA!

Monday Night Wars Edition

Outsiders the New Tag Champs!

Mark Henry Joins the NOD

Rock & Roll Express Appear On RAW

Mad Dog and Al


Volume 3, Issue 263 - January 9, 1998
From the Omaha World Herald - January 4, 1998

Mad Dog and Al

Misfortune brought two Omahans together;
optimism and respect have kept them friends.

By Christopher Burbach
World Herald Staff Writer

Maurice Vachon and Al Schieffer are like old buddies getting up in years.Your know the kind. You've seen them a hundred times drinking coffee in a small-town cafe, playing cards in a neighborhood bar, telling war stories at the American Legion.

They know the same corny jokes. They know most of each other's stories. When oine of them starts telling a yarn or a joke to a stranger, the other one starts chuckling, no matter how many times he has heard it. "If Santa gets stuck in a chimney, how do you get him out?" Schieffer asks while he and Vachon are at a neighborhood bar recently. Vachon smiled while his friend delivered the punch line: "Use Santa Flush."

Then again, Vachon, 68, and Schieffer, 65, are different from any twosome you have met or ever will. One is a retired professional wrestler and television star who goes by his ring name, Mad Dog. He still sports the menacing beard and bald head that he wore while prowling the canvas as a villian. But he's missing the lower half of his left leg, which was amputated after he was hit by a car.

The other is a former tree-trimmer from South Okaha whose life has been ordinary in most respects, except that he lost both arms in a run-in with a power line. And his best buddy is now the aforementioned Mad Dog.

Losing parts of their bodies is what brought Mad Dog and Al together. Still having the most important parts - the heart, the mind, the ability to be friends - keeps them pals. They focus on what they still have, not what they lost."We are very optimistic," Vachon said, "We don't say, 'I'm sorry I lost my arms.' We like to laugh and joke and have a good time. We don't have that many years left. We don't spend them feeling sorry for ourselves."

The agony of the past should be left there, Vachon said. That, of course, is easier said then done.

As dawn broke on October 7, 1987, Vachon was strolling along a country road outside of Al;toona, Iowa. He was visiting relatives about a year after retiring from a career that included wrestling in the 1948 Olympics for Canada and world championships on the professional wrestling circuit.Vachon's wrestling fame helped him create a second career as a television performer in his native country. He had several gigs, including one as Inspector Gourmet, in which he visited Quebec City restaurants and tested their food and wine for the cameras. His career had wrecked his knees, which is why Vachon was walking for exercise that morning, not jogging.

He remembers seeing headlights behind him. The next thing he remembers is being in an ambulance with his left foot dangling from his shattered leg. But that is not the leg he would lose. Vachon, who later sued his doctors and lost, said his right leg didn't look badly injured, but it was. By the time the doctors started treating it, it was too late. Gangrene set in. The leg had to be removed just below the knee to save his life.

"I didn't get out of my hospital room for two months," Mad Dog said. "When I finally did get out into the hallway in a wheelchair, it was like being released from a penitentiary." When the former world-class athlete began limping along with an artificial limb, he was happy just to be walking.

By that time, Schieffer already had been an amputee for over a year.

Not long after Labor Day in 1986, Schieffer was operating a cherry picker while trimming a tree with his brother Frank in Omaha. That was Schieffer's life: manual labor from sun-up to sunset. He doesn;t remember exactly where he was working or what time of day it was. Places and dates blurred together in his workaday life. "I went a little higher than I though I was going to go," Schieffer said, "I got into contact with 8,000 volts of electricity. All I felt was like a bee sting. That's all I remember." He later pieced together the rest of the story. he said the jolt knocked him forward onto the down lever of the cherry picker, lowering him to the ground.

"I was dead," Schieffer said.

Frank, who learned CPR in the Navy, yanked Al form the bucket. He and Al's youngest son Scott revived Al. But they couldn't do anything about his arms, which had been fried by the electricity. "They were mush," Al said. "Useless."

Doctors performed several operations to try and save as much of Schieffer's arms as they could. But infection progressed, and they kept having to take a little more off. By the end, Schieffer had lost all of his right arm and a little of that shoulder, and he only had a few inches of his left arm left. Schieffer spent more than six months in rehabilitation. He tried to learn to use artificial arms that were strapped on and powered by batteries and his muscles. He tried to learn to put on blue jeans by wriggling into them on the floor and attaching them to Velcro on his shirt. It was frustrating. In the end, it didn't work.

Schieffer, who began teaching himself to balance without arms by taking the stairs in the hospital, said he just didn't have enough of his arms left to make the protheses work. "I finally told them there was no way in the world I could do it." Schieffer said. Fortunately, he had a sweetheart - now his wife, Donna - who was willing to do for him what he couldn't do for himself.

Schieffer told the story Monday morning in the kitchen of their South Omaha home while having rolls and coffee with Vachon. Donna, who usually feeds Al, had left the room. A tear began trickling from Schieffer's right eye as he related the frustration of his rehab. Vachon pushed himself out of his chair, picked up the last piece of apple fritter from Schieffer's plate and put it in his buddy's mouth.

Al nodded and kept talking as Mad Dog kept walking across the room. "That was Mad Dog's way of putting his arm around Al," said Maxine Greene, president of the United Support for Amputees group and a friend of the two. "Al doesn't want any pity. Most amputees don't. But just like everyone else we need a hug sometimes."

Al and Mad Dog, who had married an Omaha woman and moved here, met at a meeting of the amputees support group. They both went there seeking seeking community with people who had undergone similar experiences. "Donna wanted to get more involved in the community," Schieffer said. "Sitting home, day in day out, 24 hours a day, life gets really boring. We just decided there's got to be more to life then sitting at home."

At the meetings, where people swam and lifted weights as talked, Mad Dog and Al hit it off right away. "He's a fighter like I am," Vachon said. "We both believe that in order to get along in life, you have to look forward, not back."

They and other people from the group started going out for a beer after the meetings. Vachon began bringing sandwiches to eat with the brew. "He made this tuna with garlic that was really good," Donna said. "And he would bring those jalapeno peppers," Al said. "Don't forget the peppers."

They soon began their Monday morning tradition of coffee and rolls at Al's house near 23rd and U Streets. The menu is always the same: bismarks with white frosting and jelly filling, chocolate long johns with angel cream and apple fritters, from Hy Vee bakery at Stockyards plaza.Other members of the group and some of Al's neighbors often join them.

On Monday, Donna was brewing coffee on her new coffee maker when Vachon showed up. In that same gravelly voice with the slight French accent that he once used to threaten other wrestlers, he announced he had broken his coffee pot.

"Take our old one," Al said.

Vachon and Schieffer look out for each other, Greene said. "When one needs help, he always calls the other one up," she said. "And if you invite one of them to do something he always says he'll check with the other to find out if he wants to go to."

Two summers ago, Vachon noticed that tomato plants were growing in Schieffer's lawn. That must be good ground for tomatoed, he thought. They would probably grow even better if a garden bed was made for them. So last spring, Mad Dog, Donna and Al made such a garden. "He got a spade out of the shed, and with his prothesis, dug up the ground," Schieffer said. "We mixed some compost with the soil, planted the tomatoes 6 inches apart and they grew 6 feet tall." Neighbors got a kick out of pointing out the plants to visitors and saying, "Mad Dog planted those." In the fall, Mad Dog and Al split the fruit of their labors, which were abundant.

They swap recipes. Inspector Gourmet shows up at Schieffer's door from time to time with lasagna or potato soup made from a new recipe. On Friday nights, Mad Dog and Al can be found at a table in the Old Settlers Headquarters, a neighborhood watering hole at 5250 S. 21st Street. They've been playing pitch there from 9 till closing time for six years of Fridays. "Mad Dog told me, "Al, I've heard so much about this pitch game I want to learn how to play," Schieffer said. "I told him the only way he was going to learn was to come down to the bar on Friday nights and play. He did. And he loved it." Bar regulars join the game with Mad Dog, Al and a young man who suffered brain injuries in a motorcycle crash.

They are a sight to behold - Al with a straw in his beer, Donna holding his cards and looking like a country singer with her pretty silver hair and black blouse. Mad Dog's still an imposing hulk of a man. But they're not a spectacle. People sometimes recognize Mad Dog and approach him, but they don't crowd around or fawn over the wrestler or his pitch party. More often they leave the group alone.

"Maurice and Al are just in synch," said Greene of Logan, Iowa. "They're really a together couple of guys. They're as close as brothers. You kind of think of "Grumpy Old Men" when you see them, only in reverse. They're like the characters in the movie, only they're not grumpy. She said their shared jocularity is a blessing to the support group, which has 240 members from Nebraska and Western Iowa, about 12 to 30 of whom attend the monthly meetings.

"Their not whiners," Greene said. "We want to be active. We want to have fun." Mad Dog and Al's chemistry also helps when they visit recent amputees in hospital. "They see us living life, playing cards, having fun. They see that it's not the end of the world," Vachon said. We hope some of that rubs off."

In September, the two went to visit an 81-year-old Iowa man who had part of a leg removed. A grandson of the man lives near Vachon's neighborhood around 56th and Q Streets. The young man, knowing that his grandfather was a wrestling fan, knocked on Vachon's door and asked him to write the old man a letter. "I said 'I'll do better then that. I'll go visit him." Vachon picked up Schieffer, and they visited the man at Bergan Mercy Hospital."He was ready to give up on life," Vachon said. "We cheered him up."

"I just got a letter from his wife who said he is now using his prothesis and driving to have coffee with his friends. That's important to us too. It's good for us because it bounces back on us."

Copyright 1998 - Omaha World Herald


Nitro Report

We open with the scene from Thunder when Sting surrendered the World Title.

Live from Jacksonville, FL. Tony, Tenay and Legendary Larry are our hosts. They babble on about the scene we just saw for a while. Then they show us the dustup toward the end of the last Nitro broadcast - trouble in the nWo ranks. They switch to the parking lot where Mean Gene is on hand to meet Hogan and his cronies as they disembark from their limo. Hogan says they intend to "take care of..." the fact that the World Title has been held up. Kevin Nash says he was just defending himself when he decked Savage - then says "Savage don't want none of this..." (or the equivelent) as a parting shot.

Jerry Flynn vs. Goldberg - at first Flynn seems to have some success in neutralizing Goldberg's attack but soon the G-Man turns it around and makes short work of his opponent. Usual finish. Cut to commercial.

Nitro Grrrls dance among the crowd... Tony announces a Steiners vs. Outsiders Tag Team Title match for later tonight. Maybe we'll see Scotty's heel turn - I've heard he might go nWo...

Black Cat vs. Marty Jannetty - two newcomers to the WCW scene but both great veteran wrestlers. Black Cat is well known as a trainer of Japanese pro-wrestlers and he dominates the early going but Jannetty comes back with a back-kick to the chin of his opponent. The Cat turns things around moments later and Jannetty is back on the defensive. The Cat delivers a devastating DDT but then uses a non-chalant cover and blows it. Jannetty comes back with a power-bomb then forces his opponent's face onto the mat with the back of his leg. He calls it the "Showstopper"...and it does. Jannetty takes the pin. Cut to commercial.

Mean Gene is back in the parking lot to meet another limosine - Savage, Liz, Scott Hall and Tenzon. Gene is there to stir up trouble as usual... Savage wants to know what Nash said but Gene threatens a lawsuit if Savage touches him.

Chris Benoit vs. Dean Malenko - Malenko takes the early advantage but loses it immediately - the match is largely evenly fought. Raven and his flock are at ringside. Benoit finally puts Malenko down with a tackle then goes to town on him. But Malenko slips in a snap suplex and retakes the initiative. The match see-saws several times - neither man really holds all the cards. Malenko finally makes some headway with a short-arm scissors. Benoit turns Malenko over then picks him up and dumps him on the back of his head. Benoit snaps Malenko over and goes for the pin but Malenko has his foot on the rope. They get to their feet and several standing switches ensue - Malenko tries to go for the Texas Cloverleaf but Benoit slips away. Benoit goes for the Crippler Crossface but Malenko is in the ropes. They exchange several more moves then Benoit gets the Crossface and the submission. Raven is in the ring, grabs Benoit as he rises and applies the DDT. Malenko takes exception to that but Saturn jumps him from behind and applies the Rings of Saturn. I see a new tag team brewing...

Mean Gene with JJ Dillon - they review some of the shenanagins from last week. He fines Savage $5000 for hitting Eric Bischoff then Savage comes down and gets in his face - Savage does his usual raging bull impression, demanding that Dillon rescind the fine. Bischoff intervenes saying he'll pay the fine and warns Savage off from taking any action. Cut to commercial.

Nitro Grrrls 2....

Mean Gene is in the ring to introduce Diamond Dallas Page. Page says he's "Jacked in Jacksonville..." - then he announces that there is supposed to be a match featuring him and Lex Luger vs. Nash and Savage. Gene reminds us that Nash and Savage aren't getting along all that well at the moment. DDP loves that, of course - he predicts victory for the WCW team.

Saturn vs. Booker T - TV Title match - Raven and his flock have been banned from ringside for this one. Of these two Booker is the better wrestler - Saturn may be the better brawler but that isn't certain. Both are top-notch talents. Booker gets the first pin attempt - which fails - then he knocks his opponent out of the ring. Back inside Saturn takes the advantage with a devastating over-the-shoulder suplex but Booker comes right back. He rushes into the corner and gets a boot in the mouth. Saturn rolls him up and gets the three count although Booker's foot was in the ropes. The ref awards the belt to Saturn but then Rick Martel and a second referee run in and explains his mistake. The match is restarted and now Booker is a house-afire. A series of moves put Saturn down - Booker T mounts the corner and throws a sommersault leg drop and gets the pin. On the outside Booker tells Martel "I owe you one..." Martel says "How about a Title shot?" Booker agrees. Cut to commercial.

Mean Gene is in the ring again - he introduces Turner Corp lawyer Nick Lambros accompanied by the Giant. He says that the nWo has given no satisfactory explaination as to why Nash failed to show for the Nash/Giant match at the last PPV. He wants a $1.5 million performance bond to guarrantee Nash's appearance at the Souled Out PPV. Lambros says that Nash will then be suspended if he fails to show. He also states that Eric Bischoff is cut off from using WCW funds from now on. Hogan and Bischoff show up with Hollywood attorney Henry Holmes who says they will put up the performance bond - Hogan will put up the money - but Holmes demands that WCW and the Giant put up a matching bond to guarrantee that he won't touch Nash between now and the PPV. The Giant accepts and so does Lambros. Nash comes into the ring and gets into the Giant's face but the big guy just smiles. Bischoff declares that Holmes is the Heavyweight Champion of the attorneys. Cut to commercial.

Hugh Morrus vs. Lex Luger - this could be good. Morrus is by far the more talented performer but Luger is getting the push. The match is pretty even during the early moments. As the match goes on Luger seems to be pulling ahead but then Morrus throws a off-the-top-rope tackle to turn it around, It's all for naught as Luger manages to turn the tables back and applies the Rack. Elizabeth comes out and starts begging Luger to help her. Thus distracted, Luger gets blindesided by her ex. Savage pummels Luger then holds him so Liz can slap his face. They split and DDP shows up - too late to do more then comfort his friend. How much will the fine be for this..? Cut to commercial.

More Nitro Grrrls...

Tony, Mike and Bobby explore the strange goings-on between the Steiners. They show the clips...

Chris Jericho (minus the suit jacket) vs. Steve McMichael - Jericho seems upset by the blase reaction of the fans to his entrance. Jericho rushes in and Mongo mows him down - that just about describes this match in it's entirety. After putting his opponent down decisively, Mongo mounts the corner for fan approval giving Jericho his first opening. He applies a super-Frankensteiner to turn the tables. He backs it up with a drop-kick to the knee but Mongo comes right back, gets the Tombstone and the win. Jericho is too unconscience to throw a tantrum this time. Cut to commercial.

Apparently I spoke too soon - Jericho is having his fit as we return - the crowd isn't buying his apology so he's freaking out. Rey Misterio's music starts playing before he leaves the ring. He stands his ground as Rey comes down. He accuses Rey of interrupting him - Rey says he didn't mean to disrespect Jericho and Jericho backpedals - apologizes again, shakes Rey's hand then attacks him as he turns away. He slaps the Boston Crab on the hapless Misterio. Juventud comes down and demands that the match commence. He attacks Rey on the mat and the match is on. It's all Guerrera but Rey fights gamely - nevertheless - Guerrera hits his 450 splash to get the pin.

They show us the footage of Dillon stripping Sting of the Title once again.

"Voodoo Chile" plays and Hogan makes an entrance with Bischoff. There is an undercurrent of anger beneath the cocky faces they present to the crowd. Hogan says that Henry Holmes is here for a different reason then the performance bond situation. He is here to "right the wrong" - referring to the Title picture. Holmes will be seeing a judge tomorrow about some kind of injunction against WCW - it isn't made clear what he hopes to accomplish. Cut to commercial.

Mean Gene introduces Jim Neidhart. The Anvil takes exception to Ric Flair's statements about his brother-in-law. Flair shows up to welcome the Anvil with a handshake and then says he is a little put out to hear Neidhart, who he considers a friend, say such things. He demands that Neidhart repeat his words to his (Flair's) face. The Anvil does and challanges Flair to a match tonight. Flair agrees and leaves to get suited up. Neidhart goes to the ring. Then Flair turns around and strides to the ring where he starts to remove his jacket then coldcocks the Anvil with a set of brass knucks!! He decks the referree as well then pulls Neidhart over to the corner and applies Bret Hart's peculiar figure four around the ringpost! Hart runs down and breaks it up then goes back to comfort his brother-in-law as Flair retreats - "whoooing" his way up the aisle. Cut to commercial.

Nitro Grrrls yet again... and another Nitor party tape.

Michael Buffer announces the Main Event as a "Unification Match between the nWo and WCW for the Tag Team Championship of the World" - strange - I thought Hall and Nash's belts were bogus...

Steiner Brothers (w/Ted Dibiasi) vs. the Outsiders (w/Hollywood Hogan) - Tag Team Title match - Buffer intros the Outsiders as the "nWo World Tag Team Champions" - what kind of crap is this..? It is remarked upon that the two come out separately. Hall tries his survey and the crowd erupts in cheers when he mentions WCW then boos roundly as some fans chant "nWo" - he seemingly ignores the reaction and says "one more for the good guys..." and he is correct...but not the way he thinks... We cut to commercial before the Steiners entrance.

The Steiners make their entrance. It hasn't occurred to me until just now that Dibiasi's redemption could have just been a sham to set up the Steiners - or maybe just Rick Steiner. I guess we will see soon enough. We are already 6 minutes into overtime. Scotty and Scott tie up to start. Steiner wins the first exchange, and the second, and the third - Hall isn't doing to well. Nash runs in and gets double suplexed. The Steiners are looking like a team indeed. Savage arrives as the Outsiders are re-grouping on the floor. Nash doesn't look too happy about this development. Rick and Hall are in and Hall is taking it again. He crawls over and tags in Nash who turns the tables immediately. Now Rick is taking it. Nash is definitely showing some gut these days. Steiner reverses the field, gets in some shots then powerslams Nash. Rick is tagged in and succombs to Nash's attack. Hall takes over and continues the assault. He chokeslams Steiner but then stops to pose and gets suplexed. Rick comes in and applies a leg-bar submission hold. Hall turns it over but Rick maintains the half-crab. Nash breaks it up then is tagged in - he fares no better. Rick goes to the top for the flying bulldog but Hogan shoves him off. Scotty jumps out and attacks Hogan drawing the referee out to the floor. Meanwhile Rick is being doubleteamed in the ring. Scott gets back on the apron as the match continues - Rick is being doubleteamed again. Scott grabs the referee - it really looks like he is setting his brother up here - as the Outsiders try to doubleteam Rick again - but Nash gets Hall instead and sends him careening into the ref and Scott Steiner. Steiner falls to the floor, the ref to the mat and both are out of it. Rick gets a Steinerline on Nash then a powerslam on Hall and goes for the pin - but the referee is still out. Hogan is nailing Dibiasi on the floor. In the ring Nash gut-shots Rick then goes for a pin. Savage mounts the corner and throws his elbow - his intended target seems to be Nash! But Kevin rolls aside and Steiner takes it. Savage rolls out to the floor and starts throwing a tantrum - Hogan is arguing with him. In the ring, both Outsiders pile onto Rick and the ref makes the count anyway - what the Hell...? Hall and Nash are declared the new Champs. Nash comes out and Savage spits at him - Hogan has to stand between them to prevent a fight as we fade to black...

I don't believe that decision will stand. If Dillon allows such a farce to occur it makes a mockery out of all his prattling about "law and order". We shall see what we shall see...


RAW Report

We open with HBK and HHH in a limosine - they threaten Owen Hart and mention that Michaels will have a message for the Undertaker tonight. Then Shawn drops his drawers (yawn...)

Live from Penn State University. Kevin Kelly introduces the program and is joined by Jim Ross and Michael Cole.

Truth Commission vs. New Age Outlaws vs. Headbangers vs. Godwins - Four Corners Tag Team match - the Tag Champs get punked at the outset after strutting to the ring last. Then Henry Godwin faces Mosh - this is too fast to call really. Lets see - Phineous is in with Thrasher now - no it's Recon and Mosh...forget it. Mosh tags PIG back in - Recon is taking it from everybody. Thrasher comes in and Recon finally recovers. Phineous back in - Mosh and Phineous seem to be doing most of the fighting here. Ah - there's Billy in - he gets creamed - Road Dog tries to interfere and gets knocked to the outside. Billy has a weapon which he uses on Phineous to get the pin. Cut to a video on the Road Warriors - including their humiliation at the hands of the Tag Champs and DX. They are said to be coming back this weekend at the Rumble. The camera keeps going out to the parking lot to watch for DX's limo (what does this remind us of..?) We get Stone Cold and his pick-up instead just before the first commercial.

During the break Steve Austin has attacked the Godwins in their dressing room. Now he is approaching the ring. Where is Vince McMahon and his "laying down the law.." when we need him? Michael Cole is in the ring to interview SCSA. Austin confirms that he is still on his mission to strike first against the guys who are out to get him. Cole warns him that there is trouble brewing for him at the Royal Rumble drawing which will take place later tonight. Austin borrows a Sharpie pen from Cole and draws a target on his own chest then dares anyone to aim for it. We then review a promo for the MTV Celebrity Death Match (whatever the heck that is...) during halftime on SuperBowl Sunday. The limo arrives and we cut to commercial.

DX have arrived but there is a big truck blocking their entrance to the building - they disembark and look for the driver.

Kurrgan the Interrogator vs two jobbers - a silly squash handicapp match goes on while the Jackel rants at the broadcast table. Jackel threatens to turn the big guy loose on Mike Tyson if he shows up at the Rumble. Kurrgan tears a football helmet in half after the match as a demonstration of his power. Outside Owen Hart has found HHH in the limo and attacked him. Shawn and Chynna bail in and the limo drives away as we hear the struggle continue. Cut to commercial.

The outside camera shows us the empty parking lot after we review what happened before the break.

Marc Mero comes to the ring and makes a speech. Or tries to but his mic isn't working. Jim Ross indicates that Mero has had a change of heart. Sable is introduced but it is Goldust in drag (as if we could tell the difference...)

Vader vs. Marc Mero (w/Sabledust?) - Vader bulls his opponent into the corner but Mero turns it around and boxes Vader's ears. Vader takes the advantage back but Goldust trips him. Here comes the real Sable - she and Goldust get into a shoving match until Sable delivers a kick. Goldust backs off and Mero comes out to confront her. Vader uses the distraction to turn the tables. Back in the ring Mero would seem to be going down. Then Goldust blindsides him - doing his best Roddy Piper impression by braining Vader with a coconut (which he fished out of his bra...) Mero is DQ'd as usual (without using his crotch shot). Cut to promos.

We see the limo returning out back. DX appears - both male members are limping - no sign of Owen. Cut to commercial.

We review the dustup between Lawrence Taylor and Bam Bam Bigalow at the Royal Rumble a few years ago. Then switch to Vader's dressing room - Stone Cold has struck again.

D'Lo Brown/Rocky Maivia (w/Kama) vs. Ken Shamrock/Mark Henry - Henry comes out in a "Rocky Sucks" t-shirt. Maivia rants before the match - something about a couple of football players. Maivia and Shamrock start the match - Shamrock takes the advantage immediately but Rocky fight back and turns the tables. D'Lo comes in and gets creamed. As usual, Maivia is directing traffic in the ring - he comes in when Shamrock is finally down. Shamrock takes it for a while then regains the advantage. He is setting up for the ankle lock when Mark Henry clotheslines him out of his boots! The thugs beat Shamrock to a pulp then Henry participates in the NOD salute. They leave the ring and meet Faarooq at the top of the ramp. Faarooq is surprised by Henry's defection and obviously doesn't like to be surprised. Cut to commercial.

We come back to a review of the ending of the last match. Michael Cole is with NOD in the dressing room. Maivia is dominating the interview - Faarooq is looking disgusted. Cut to opening montage for the second half of the program.

Degeneration-X's annoying video plays as we return. Here comes DX (between fast video cuts). Michaels is said to have an announcement concerning the Undertaker's family. HHH says that Owen has gotten "the big flush". Then he makes some crude remarks about Penn State coeds (his usual stupid sexual references). Michaels takes over and runs down Mike Tyson. Michaels then says he has an announcement concerning Kane - but Owen interrupts to rant from the TitanTron then appears on the ramp. He has one of HHH's crutches. DX leaves the ring and a host or referees get between them before they can come to blows.

Skull/Eightball vs. The Rock & Roll Express - Jim Cornette introduces the latter as the greatest NWA Tag Team Champions of all time. At least he didn't show up with more NWA belts. R&R have become bad guys apparently because they cheat at every opportunity. They look even worse then they did when they appeared last year in WCW. Cornette says they are the current NWA World Tag Champs (that must be a very recent development because I hadn't heard about it) - then runs into the ring and uses his tennis racket to get them disqualified. Jim Ross hawks his Hotline by speculating about Hulk Hogan showing up at the Royal Rumble. Don't count on it. Can you say "Diesel and Razor? JR is getting to be worse then Mean Gene... cut to commercial.

Cactus Jack reveals that Chainsaw Charlie is Terry Funk during a video segment taped at Penn State.

Mankind vs. Dudedust - Goldust comes out disguised as the Dudester - he goes into the ring and immediately falls prey to the Mandible Claw. Then Steve Austin shows up and Stuns them both. Austin menaces JR before splitting.

By the way I went out on the web and looked it up during the break - according to the Great Hisa's Title Histories, the current NWA Tag Champs are not R&R - they held those titles last back in 1995. The titles have been vacant since August of 1997. Cut to commercial.

Vince McMahon says that they hope to have Tyson at the Rumble and that he will definitely show up on RAW next week.

Sunny flounces to the ring in a cheerleaders outfit to announce the next match.

Savio/Jesus (w/Los Borecuas) vs. Scott Taylor/Taka Michinoku - the 33rd WWF Light Heavyweight Title holder and his jobber partner face The Boring Guys (isn't that what that means in Spanish..?) This match is not getting much coverage because all JR wants to talk about is Mike Tyson. In the ring the Champ and his partner are badly outweighed and not doing well. As the announcers jabber the Borecuas take the pinfall. Owen Hart hits the ring (and the Borecuas) with his crutch and clears the ring. They replay the LT/Bam Bam incident yet again, hinting that we may see some of the same kind of action if Tyson shows up on Sunday.

DX are in the ring as we return. Cole asks about the big announcement concerning Kane. Michaels introduces him as the newest member of DX. The lights go out and the Undrtaker's music starts. Here comes UT. No sign of Kane so far. UT comes to the ring and then brings up the lights with a bang. He asks Michaels to leave his family out of it. Chynna is sneaking around behind him. He grabs Michaels by the throat - Chynna rushes but UT spins around and grabs her. He lifts her off her feet then HHH hits him with his crutch. Michaels gets in a super-kick. They swarm over him and then the lights go out again. Here comes Kane. He comes to the ring and grabs Michaels. HHH approaches from the back but Kane cuts him off. DX flees the ring with Kane in pursuit. The Undertaker regains his feet in the ring. Kane turns and acknowledges his brother - UT returns the gesture. What a tag team these guys would make... Cut to commercial.

Replay of what just happened.

NOD music plays - then Ken Shamrock comes to the ring and attacks Mark Henry. The Honky Tonk Man shows up as chaos reigns. The ring is full of Royal Rumble participants for the big drawing. Finally Steve Austin shows up but he sneaks into the ring from behind and stuns a number of people before splitting. A melee erupts in the ring. Austin gets caught and punked by NOD on the ramp. So are they going to have a drawing or what? Apparently not. Austin's music plays again and we see him continuing to get beat up on the platform. Fade to black...

It seems like the WWF will do or say anything to attract attention...

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

Earl Oliver,
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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