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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

Monday Night Wars Edition

RAW is Pre-Empted by the Dog Show

Rick Martel Wins the TV Title

with an assist from Saturn

Diary of a "Hitman": Part 17

by Ervin Griffin Jr.


Volume 3, Issue 278 - February 16, 1998

Louie Spicolli: R.I.P.

Louie Spicolli: 1971 - 1998

Photo courtesy of MiCasa

Editor's Note: On a very sad note, we at Solie's wish to send our condolences out to the family and friends of Louis Spicolli who was found dead in his apartment yesterday at the age of 27.


Diary of a "Hitman"

Part 17: Exile

At the 1995 Survivor Series, Bret "The HitMan" Hart took another crack at the WWF World Heavyweight Title held by Kevin "Diesel" Nash. WWF President Gorrilla Monsoon deemed that this match would be no time limit, no DQ, and no countout. The match would only end in pinfall or submission.

With the guidelines set, Diesel and Bret fought this brutal match up. Most of the match was actually dominated by Nash as he pummeled Hart. "The HitMan" only gained the advantage when he worked on the big man's legs. Surprisingly, "the sharpshooter" never really came into play as Diesel blocked Bret's attempts at it. At one point in the match, Nash knocked Bret off of the ring apron and through the commentator's table!! Bret, using a version of the old "play dead" trick, sneaked in a small package for the win and the title!! True, Diesel did lay "The HitMan" to waste afterwards (he powerbombed him twice) but it really didn't matter. Bret Hart had regained the WWF World Title for the third time.

After that bout, Bret had another close encounter with his brother-in-law The British Bulldog at a December In Your House card. Bret won this brutal encounter, avenging his loss over three years earlier at SummerSlam '92 at Wembley Stadium. Bret went into January of the next year to face The Undertaker at the 1996 edition of The Royal Rumble. This match was dominated by Bret mostly but he got caught in the "tombstone" piledriver and would've lost if Diesel would'nt have gotten UT disqualified. While I can't take anything away from Bret's performance, he was a beaten man and I think the fans on both sides of the border (US and Canada) got cheated from seeing a clear winner.

Later, Bret granted UT a rematch on an edition of Monday Night RAW. Again, the fans were denied a clear winner when Diesel once again interfered in the match!! Bret, feeling cheated from proving that he (in his mind) was the better man than UT again, gave Diesel another shot at the title at a February IYH in a steel cage match. UT payed Diesel back for his two previous screwjobs by coming up from the ring and dragging Nash down under!!! Thus, helping Bret take the victory and retain the title!!

On a side note, I feel that UT is still the one opponent that Bret has yet to defeat on his own. Sure, he got that win over him at SummerSlam '97 this past August but only because of Shawn Michaels' blundering. Deep down, Bret would rather beat UT on his own and the old Bret that lives within him would relish one more chance to face UT. I'll talk more about this pt. 19.

Anyway, with Diesel gone, Bret now concentrated on WrestleMania XII and his defense of the WWF World Title in a 60 IronMan match against his long time nemisis Shawn "HeartBreak Kid" Michaels. In the weeks before hand, Bret made several comments regarding Shawn's toughness and the opinion that a mexican trained wrestler wasn't as tough as a canadian style wrestler. While I can't argue that the Canadian style wrestler isn't tough (Bret, Owen, the late Brian Pillman, Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho are proof of that), I couldn't agree with Bret that the Mexican style wrestler wasn't tough either (anyone that has seen latin stars like Tito Santana, Pedro Morales, Manny "Ragin' Bull" Fernandez, Rey Mysterio, Jr., Konnan, Juventud Gurrerra, Eddie Gurrerro knows what I am talking about). In any event, this added some heat for this match up.

As for the match itself, I must say that it is one of the best matches in WrestleMania history. I know that I have been only watching wrestling since 1985 but I would rank this match against any match in the world in that time period (including the Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat match at WM III and the Ric Flair/Ricky Steamboat match at one of the Clash Of The Champions specials in 1989). I love a good brutal match but their is nothing like a good scientific classic for me. Anyway, before I get nostogic, Bret and Shawn put on a clinic of high-risk and ground moves. Shawn was surprisingly effective on the mat while Bret went to the air more than usual. I would have to say, based on what I saw, Shawn dominated the first 20 minutes or so while Hart asserted himself for about 30 minutes or so. The last 10 minutes saw the advantage switch back and forth with neither man gaining a decision of any kind!!! In the last minute of the match, Shawn went for a high risk move but got caught by the legs and was placed into the "sharpshooter." How Shawn withstood the pain for the last 30 seconds is beyond me!!! Anyway, the "HitMan" rightfully thought the match was over. WWF President Gorilla Monsoon order the match to go on until someone won. Bret, at first, protested the decision but went through with since Michaels was still laying out on the mat from the "sharpshooter" as about only a minute passed by between the ending of regulation and the beginning of the overtime. Bret proceeded to open up a can of "whup-a**" on Shawn. Shawn managed to survive the onslaught to give Bret two "Sweet Chin Music" superkicks to pin Bret for the title!!!

Now, I must say that while I was glad for Shawn (at that time), I did feel terrible for Bret Hart. I think that the WWF did screw Bret because the overtime, while a great idea, should've already been in the contract stipulations anyway. I, personally, think that all IronMan type matches should be conducted with an overtime in case there is no winner or there is a tie. In any event, Bret dissappeared for six months, only appearing in sporadic interviews for the WWF. Rumors ran abound that he was retired. Another strong rumor had that he was offered a $2 million dollar contract to wrestle for WCW (a rumor that was confirmed later by Bret himself). In any event, no one would know his next move until October 1996.

NEXT: The Stone Cold Days

Coming Soon: Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair

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 website.


Special Feature Coming in March!

By permission of the author (Jeremy Hartley), Solie's will be running a series of exclusive interviews with some of Wrestling's greats. The first one will feature the incomperable Lou Thesz! In weeks to follow we will feature such personalities as Les Thatcher, Bob Ryder, Scott Teal (of "What Ever Happened Too..?"), Bob Blackburn (wrestler and business manager for Arn Anderson), Al Isaacs and others. Stay Tuned!


Nitro Report

They toll 3 bells at the beginning of the program for Louie.

Clip of the end of last Thursdays Thunder featuring Sting, Hogan, Savage and Luger.

Live from Tampa Florida Tony is shouting even louder than usual (if that is possible...) They cut to more video footage from the Thunder broadcast - Hogan is trying to wrench an apology from Savage. Savage punches Hollywood and Bischoff then splits before Hogan can hit him with a chair.

VooDoo Child plays and here come Bischoff and Hogan...the entire nWo follows after (minus Savage) including Rhodes, Rude and Hennig. We haven't seen the latter two in weeks. Hogan rants and is careful to include a brief mention of Bret Hart. He wants Nick Patrick for the referee at his upcoming PPV Title defense (duh...). He then turns his guns on the Macho Man as the chant of "Hogan Sucks!" rises in the background. Savage interrupts from the floor. Liz stands by with a feintly frightened look on her pretty face as Savage tells them he plans to beat Sting and Luger by himself, then do a number on Hogan. Hogan has to have the last word so he rants some more. Savage leaves in a huff. Cut to commercial.

Hugh Morrus vs. Goldberg - Jimmy Hart runs out and says something to Morrus as he approaches the ring. I believe we saw a version of this match on one of the weekend programs not long ago. The two monsters go nose-to-nose and Morrus is forced to give it everything he's got just to stay on top of his opponent. He can't sustain it and Goldberg bounces back with a spear then a Jack Hammer in short order. Cut to video tribute to the Steiners. Rick is being set up for a fall soon... Larry Z was asked to comment on Louie Spicolli but declined. He chose not to break character.

More nWo music plays as Larry Z is in mid-rant...Hall and Nash come to the broadcast booth and get in Larry's face. They demand a Tag Title match for tonight. Tony argues that they (the announcers) can't make a match but Nash is insistant. "We have a right to get the match tonight..." he says. Actually, I think he's right - didn't the nWo win the right to demand a match for any WCW belt at any time during last year's at WarGames? Cut to commercial.

More nWo clippage from the Thursday Thunder show - they declare war on WCW. They specifically feature the Hogan challange to Bret Hart.

Sick Boy (w/the Flock) vs. Mark Starr - Starr is clearly intimidated by the Flock at ringside so he doesn't have a prayer. He gets a short flurry that ends with a vertical suplex but then he loses the ball for quite a while. Sick Boy is very fluid in his wrestling - the kid knows something. Raven's protege comes off the corner buckle and runs into a boot to give Starr his second rally. This time he fares a little better until Lodi gets involved and upsets his composure. Sickboy's version of the Chickenwing DDT is effective. Cut to commercial.

More nWo music follows the Nitro Grrrrls...

Hall, Nash and Dusty Rhodes come to take their survey.

The Outsiders (w/Rhodes) vs. Public Enemy - PE bring their table down. Hall and Grunge face off first. Hall acts too confident and gets run over by his opponent until Nash runs in and breaks it up. The Outsiders try to overwhelm them but can't quite pull it off. PE get the best of them and soon have Hall laid out on the table. Then Rhodes interferes and tips the balance. They lay Grunge out on the table then Nash takes Rock into the ring. He hesitates then power bombs Rock onto his partner - the table collapses. Nash is arrested at ringside and handcuffs. He is yelling "Attica!" as he is lead away. Cut to commercial.

Nitro part video.

Mean Gene brings out Nick Patrick who compares his situation to that of the President. He accuses JJ Dillon of participation of a "right-wing plot" to keep him out of the ring.

Mike Enos vs. Barry Horowitz - oh gosh - couldn't they have held this one over for the weekend? Enos goes full throttle and devastates his opponent from the beginning. Horowitz gets a very brief respite with a cradle but its over in a minute. (yawn...) In the back Steve McMichael accosts the British Bulldog and they get into a fight. Cut to commercial.

La Parka vs. Yuji Nagata (w/Sonny Onoo) - the announcers mention that Bret Hart has just arrived at the arena. Nagata is angry about a recent incident with a chair so he goes after La Parka savagely. Now it's Flair they are mentioning. The canny Mexican dumps his opponent on the floor then suicide dives him. Back in the ring La Parka is still in charge until he throws a spectacular top rope splash...and eats canvas. Nagata takes control briefly but La Parka comes back and goes out for his chair. Back in the ring, Sonny Onoo gets on the apron and grabs the chair before La Parka can strike. The Disco Inferno runs into the ring and puts the Chartbuster on La Parka (he was paying back for yet another of La Parka's indiscimenate attacks...) Cut to commercial.

Nitro Grrrrls....Tony hawks the Nitro Party contest.

Kidman vs. Ultimo Dragon - Kidman attacks before the bell. These two are of a size and their speed is similar but the Dragon holds a massive experience advantage. Kidman uses shortcuts to gain the intiative then starts laying in his best shots. The Dragon starts to come out of his stuper so Kidman settles in with a reverse chinlock. Dragon reverses it to a head scissors - moments later the Dragon comes fully awake and delivers his kicking machine maneuver. He puts a giant swing on his opponent and both guys are woozy. Dragon recovers first but the match is very competitive at this point. Its a see-saw series of near falls. Dragon tries twice for his peculiar sleeper but Kidman fights his way out. Third time is the charm... The Flock didn't even move from their ringside seats.

Mean Gene is in the ring and introduces Diamond Dallas Paige - he praises his favorite challenger then says that he and Benoit have arranged a match with Raven and Saturn. He then challanges Raven directly to face him right now. Raven goes right to the ring and is followed by Saturn. The Chris Benoit shows up and evens the odds. Cut to commercial.

Meng vs. The Barbarian (w/Jimmy Hart) - we see a little of the set-to between these two Troglodites last week. Meng seems a bit out of control these days - he and his usual partner have a huge match wherein neither of them seems to acknowledge any of the others' blows. When Meng takes the lead - Hart jumps up on the apron and brains him with a chair twice. It has no discernable effect but the Barbarian uses the distraction to get in a kick to the face, then another, then another. Meng goes down and is pinned. Hart and the Barbarian leave him lying in the ring. Cut to commercial.

More Nitro Grrrrls...

Saturn vs. Disco Inferno - this is almost a classic match at this point - these two have pretty much become traditional enemies. La Parka attacks Disco on his way to the ring and gets him good with the chair. In the ring Saturn is asking to have his hand raised. Rick Martel runs down and says "I'll take the match..." and we're on. Martel also has a TV Title challange later tonight. Despite Saturn's considerable wrestling talent Martel is the real veteran here. He dominates the early going. Saturn turns things around after a while with his superior wrestling then starts laying in his heavy artillary. Martel takes it for a bit then makes his move. Unfortunately Riggs and Kidman choose to get involved at that moment and Saturn gets his Rings in place. Cut to cmmercial.

Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude) vs. Bobby Eaton - it is revealed that Hennig has been wrestling in Japan (actually he's been out with a knee injury). Hennig plays it cagey at first, declining to get into it with Beautiful Bobby. When he finally does it is with Rude's assistance that he takes control of the match. Then Hennig gets too cocky and turns his back on his opponent. Bobby clips him behind the knee and has a little fun for a few seconds. Hennig comes back aggressively and soon is in position for his Fisherman Suplex and the pin. Cut to commercial.

Wade Boggs is shown ringside as we return.

Buff Bagwell/Scott Norton vs. The Steiner Brothers - Tag Team Title match - here is the match the Outsiders wanted tonight. The announcers are making way to big a deal out of the "reunion" of the Steiners - you can bet that angle isn't over yet. Buff is the stuff but Rick Steiner is the wrestler here - Buff gets his clock cleaned and tags in his partner. The Steiners are tagging in and out for a change and seem to be working well but then Rick knocks Scott off the apron. Still they continue to dominate the match until the nWo swarms into the ring and punks Rick. Scott runs them off with a chair. Cut to commercial.

We revisit the confrontation between Rick Martel and members of the Flock a few weeks ago.

Rick Martel vs. Booker T - return TV Title match - Booker T has succeeded in bringing back prestige to this belt. Booker T offers his challanger a few moments to get himself together - Martel attacks as soon as the Champ turns his back. Booker reverses things after a few exchanges and drives his challanger from the ring. He initiates a "Martel Sucks!" chant as his opponent circles on the outside. Back in the ring things are see-sawing but Booker continues to control the match. Martel is reduced to waiting for his opponent to make a mistake. The problem is that Booker doesn't make many mistakes. He captures an arm and hangs onto it until Martel drops his throat onto the top rope. Now it is all Martel. The fight goes to the floor and Martel retains his advantage. Back in the ring Booker is coming back but not fast enough. Martel gets his crab but Booker grabs a rope. Booker comes back now and takes command. He knocks the referee to the mat as he scoops his opponent. Saturn interferes and turns things back in Martel's favor. He gets the Quebec Crab in the center of the ring and wins the TV Title.

Mean Gene is in the ring but he waits while the Nitro Grrrls frolick on the platform. He then introduces Bret Hart. They discuss Hogan's threats. He calls Hogan a cry-baby and a liar. In the middle of his rant Brian Adams (Crush) steps into the ring and offers his services to Hart. He takes Brets hand and then hangs on to it while the nWo swarms. He takes off his duster to reveal an nWo shirt. The thugs hold Hart while Hogan whales on him. Ric Flair shows up and storms the ring - together the run the nWo off. Hart and Flair shake hands for the crowd as we cut to commercial. I've heard some rumblings about a Hart/Flair team lately...guess that was right.

Mean Gene is with JJ Dillon as we return. Dillon asks Booker T, Saturn and Martel to come out. He assigns the Title match at SuperBrawl to Martel vs. Booker T - the winner of that match will face Saturn the same night.

Eddie Guerrero/Chris Jericho vs. Chris Jericho/Dean Malenko -these two unlikely teams have a rematch. Benoit vs. Guerrero up first. They go at it like the two buzz-saws they are. Then Jericho tries to enter the match wearing his Title belt again. Malenko makes short work of him then its Guerrero/Malenko - with Malenko out maneuvering his opponent. Jericho gets knocked off the apron then Guerrero follows him into the railing. Back in the ring its Guerrero and Benoit again for a moment then Malenko tags in. Malenko dominates Guerrero as Benoit goes out to fight Jericho. Malenko puts on a Boston Crab right in Jericho's face to taunt him. Things get a little confused for a little bit with bodies flying all over the place then Malenko puts the Texas Cloverleaf on Jericho and gets him to submit. Cut to commercial.

Hollywood Hogan/Randy Savage vs. Sting/Lex Luger - Biscoff comes down to give nWo fans a pep talk then we cut to commercial.

Michael Buffer does the introductions as we return. Sting and Luger are brought down first. Savage attacks Luger in the aisle then Hogan shows up to attack Sting and the match begins out on the floor. Hogan/Sting end up in the ring while Savage and Luger battle on the outside. Sting knocks Hogan out of the ring then follows him out. Now Luger and Savage are in the ring. Sting tosses Hogan back inside then takes his place on the apron. Savage and Luger fight it out then Savage tries to get a tag...Hogan isn't paying attention. The third time he tries he finally gets a tag. Hogan comes in and holds the advantage against Luger briefly then the place explodes when he tags in Sting. Sting has Hogan in the corner and then puts the Scorpion on him. Savage wanders through the ring followed by Luger. Sting releases the Scorpion to meet Hennig coming in - Luger gives up on the Rack to join the battle - Hart and Flair run in and the WCW is standing tall as we fade to black...

It seemed like WCW chose not to rest on their laurels despite the lack of competition tonight from Stamford.

At least that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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