by Ervin Griffin Jr.
by "Wild Bill" Rawlings
Below begins the first part of a quest to discover the identity of an elusive correspondent to the Solie's Readers' Forum. Read and learn...
by "Wild Bill" Rawlings
Part I - In The Beginning...
"Good evening...I'm Leonard Nimoy and on tonight's episode we begin a quest to discover the truth about one of the last great unknowns in the world today. As you recall, on previous shows we have successfully solved such mysteries as the creature known as Bigfoot...only to discover that it was just Vlade Divac with a bad hair day. And on last week's episode, we finally discovered the missing Jimmy Hoffa at a ski lodge in Idaho. He had become an Elvis impersonator years ago, doing shows nightly with a matinee on Sunday.
Having solved all those mysteries, we now turn our attention to one that eminates from the technological wonder known as the Internet. Among this sea of websites, crowded with such diverse activities such as gambling, pornography, and political satire, there exists an anonymous poster, known only as...Burma Shave.
A...fascinating...name, derived from a series of shaving lotion signs prominent on the backroads and highways of yesteryear, his style of writing equally as humorous as the classic road signs. Posting frequently at a popular professional wrestling site known as Solie's Reader's Forum, his name has become legend, as imitators have begun to spring up through out the Internet. Seeking to retain his anonymity has only caused his loyal readers to question the true identity of this clever writer even more.
Our mission, to boldly go where no man has gone bef.....wait, that's not right...I digress. Our mission....to discover the man known as Burma Shave!
We begin our search in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the site this week of a wrestling show known as "Thunder". Since this is the "sport" that the mystery writer tends to cover in his thoughful prose, we determined it would be...logical...to begin our search here. It is hours before the scheduled air time as we tour the relatively empty arena...ah, here's someone who may can help us on our journey!
"Excuse me sir." I say to the man munching on a slim jim snack. His bandana obviously trying to cover the growing lack of hair follicles, he ceases his meal and stares at my...ears. Seeking to break his concentration, I decide to press on.
"We're searching for a man who posts on the Internet as Burma Shave. Would you happen to know his true identity and where we can find him?"
"Burma Shave...hmmmm. OH YEAHH! Tell you what to do...go ask that bald guy practicing in the ring...he can tell you EVERYTHING you want to know about Burma Shave. His name is Goldberg, but just call him by the same name we do...Wimp!"
"Thank you!" I reply as the bearded man in black and white disappears through the curtains towards the back of the arena. I hear sounds of faint laughter from that same area, but it is probably just an innocent joke.
Perhaps we will gather some much needed information from Wimp. Funny, it's highly unusual for someone who seems to be built like a redwood with arms to be named "Wimp"...but that may be just his wrestling nom de plume, a nickname. He obviously has just finished practicing as there are three stretchers with unconscious wrestlers being ushered to the back dressing room. I climb into the ring to get a better look at him.
"Excuse me Wimp!" I call out to him. The muscles in his back stiffen and the hair on his neck rises as he turns around to face me. I may be mistaken but I think there is steam rising from the top of his shaved head. I haven't seen anger like this since Shatner called that Gorn a "jerkwad". Is...is that foam around his mouth??"
Suddenly I see Grandma, my boyhood pet turtle Woogles, and my career...three things that no longer exist. I slowly regain consciousness, having no idea of how much time has passed, only a fleeting image of an extremely big man charging me like the Schlitz Malt Liquor bull!
"Mr. Nimoy? YO SPOCK!"
Turning my head, a rather slow and painful process, I notice the voice is coming from a youthful EMT. As I can now hear the siren and feel the bumps on the Louisiana roads, I come to the realization that I am currently in an ambulance as the effects of a painkilling IV start to kick in.
"Y..yes", I weakly mutter through the oxygen mask.
"I think we found most of your internal organs dude. It sure wasn't easy. We finally found your spleen in row 12, seat 6! With any luck, we'll be able to stick everything back in time for the next Star Trek movie, "The Wrath of Father Time"!
I weakly nod in acknowledgement, as my mind dizzily drifts back to those final fatal moments before the darkness came. It appears this mystery will require someone more stupid...I mean more trained for this kind of undercover work. Besides, I'm getting too old for this crap!! This is Leonard Nimoy saying, join us next week as we...I mean someone else... continues our search for...Burma Shave!!"
"Wild Bill" Rawlings is a longtime friend of Solie's and an occasional contributor to the newsletter. He also regularly enlivens the Solie's Readers' Forum with his wit and insight.
Here is a letter from Ervin Griffin:
First, I want to say thank you to those who voted on BattleBowl '98: The World Warrior!! The response has nearly equaled the response I got for "Out Of Time '97"!!! But, that being said, I have run into a problem!!! Three of the matches are in ties!!! Normally, I would count a draw but I want to have a winner here!!! Here are the matches that are deadlocked at 8-8 a piece:
Lex Luger (1990)/Antonio Inoki (1984) VS. Owen Hart/Barry Windham (1988)
Chris Benoit/Road Warrior Animal (1983) VS. Bruno Samartino (70's)/Ken Shamrock
If you have already voted, please disregard this letter. If you haven't and wish to vote, here is your chance. I must have them by midnight on March 15 so send them in!!
On a lighter note, the response has been so good to BattleBowl that I am considering doing another BattleBowl dream card in the near future. Also, look for another vote by e-mail card in Solie's called "The Battle Of Champions." I will also use the results of this to make a "what-if" story as well (like I will do for BattleBowl)!!!
Well, that's all!! I hope to have the BattleBowl story up in my new website real soon!! See ya.
By Ervin Griffin, Jr.
Part 22: Book of Lists
Hello. In this final enstallment, I have asked for help from "Solie's" Title Historian Matt Benaka. Take it away Matt:
2) The British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Title won from Norman Frederich Charles III during November of 1978. Lost the title to The Dynamite Kid during December of 1978.
3) The Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Title with Keith Hart from Raul Castillo & Fidel Castillo during December of 1978. Lost the title to Mr. Hito & Mr. Sakurada during 1979.
4) The British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Title won from The Dynamite Kid during April of 1979. Lost the title back to The Dynamite Kid during July of 1979.
5) The Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Title with Keith Hart from Mr. Hito & Mr. Sakurada during 1979. Lost the title to The Dynamite Kid & Loch Ness Monster (Not the WCW version. This monster was played by Luke McMasters) during 1980.
6) The Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Title won from Leo Burke during 1980. Lost the title back to Leo Burke during 1980.
7) The Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Title with Keith Hart from The Dynamite Kid & The Loch Ness Monster during 1980. Lost the title to The Dynamite Kid & Kasavudu on June 03, 1980 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
8) The Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Title won from Leo Burke around May of 1980. Lost the title to Duke Myers during 1980.
9) The Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Title with Keith Hart won from The Dynamite Kid & Kasavudu during 1980. Lost the title to Kasavudu & Mr. Sakurada during 1981.
10) The Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Title won from Duke Myers during 1980. Lost the title to David Shultz during 1981.
11) The Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Title won from Leo Burke on June 26, 1982. Lost the title to Bad New Allen (known during his WWF years as Bad News Brown) on September 03, 1982 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
12) The Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Title won from Bad News Allen on October 17, 1982. Lost the title to Leo Burke on January 14, 1983.
13) The Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Title with Leo Burke won from The Dynamite Kid & Duke Myers on November 19, 1982 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Lost the title to Duke Myers & Kerry Brown on December 08, 1982 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
14) The Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Title won from Leo Burke on May 03, 1983 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Lost the title to Bad News Allen during June of 1983.
15) The World Wrestling Federation (WWF) World Tag Team Title with Jim Neidhart as The Hart Foundation won from The Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith-The British Bulldogs- on January 26, 1987 in Tampa, Florida, United States. The Hart Foundation were managed by Jimmy Hart during their reign. Lost the title to Rick Martel & Tito Santana-Strike Force-on October 27, 1987 in Syracuse, New York, United States.
16) The WWF World Tag Team Title with Jim Neidhart as The Hart Foundation won from Smash & Crush-Demolition- on August 27, 1990 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Lost the title to Jerry Saggs & Brian Knobbs-The Nasty Boys- on March 24, 1991 in Los Angeles, California, United States.
17) The WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Title won from Mr. Perfect on August 26, 1991 in New York, New York, United States. Lost the title to The Mountie on January 17, 1992 in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States.
18) The WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Title won from "Rowdy" Roddy Piper on April 05, 1992 in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. Lost the title to "The British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith on August 29, 1992, in London, England.
19) The WWF World Heavyweight Title won from Ric Flair on October 12, 1992 in Saskatoon, Sascatchawan, Canada. Lost the title to Yokozuna on April 04, 1993 in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.
20) The WWF World Heavyweight Title won from Yokozuna on March 20, 1994 in New York, New York, United States. Lost the title to Bob Backlund on November 23, 1994 in San Antonio, Texas, United States.
21) The WWF World Heavyweight Title won from Diesel on November 19, 1995 in Landover, Maryland, United States in a no disqualification, no count-out match. Lost the title to Shawn Michaels on March 31, 1996 in Anaheim, California, United States.
22) The WWF World Heavyweight Title won from The Undertaker, Steve Austin, and Vader. This was a four man elimination match in which a man could be eliminated by submission, pinfall, or being thrown over the top rope. Bret tossed The Undertaker over the top rope to win the title on February 16, 1997 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States.
Lost to Sycho Sid on February 17, 1997 in Nashville, Tennessee, United States.
23) The WWF World Heavyweight Title won from The Undertaker on August 03, 1997 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States with Shawn Michaels as the guest referee. Lost the title to Shawn Michaels on November 09, 1997 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
2) The WWF King of The Ring Tournament Champion. Bret defeated Bam Bam Bigelow on June 11, 1993 in Dayton, Ohio, United States to win the tournament.
3) 1993 WWF Superstar of The Year
4) The WWF Royal Rumble Co-Champion. Bret and Lex Luger were the last men left and eliminated each other at the same time on January 22, 1994 to co-win The Royal Rumble.
5) 1994 WWF Superstar of The Year
6) 1996 Slammy Award for Best finisher (The Sharpshooter).
7) 1996 Slammy Award for Best Music Video.
8) 1996 Slammy Award for The Most likely former WWF Champion in attendance to be inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame.
9) 1996 Slammy Award for Match of The Year for his Wrestlemania XII match with Shawn Michaels.
Then, when Bret was I-C Champ, Shawn was programmed to put Bret over.
Later, when Shawn had finally made his way to the I-C Title, he jobbed to Bret to put him over as World Champion. One couldn't count the number of times that Shawn laid down for Bret during his reigns as World Champ. Of course, there was the WM XII match and the strange Survivor Series. Both of which Shawn was the victor in. In short, when the WWF needed a talented athlete to draw attention to Bret's ability, they asked for Shawn. These are both competitors that make their opponents look better, and neither looked as good as when he was facing the other.
2) Mr. Perfect--Bret and Mr. Perfect faced off on several occasions.
Most notably, when Hart won the WWF I-C Title at Summerslam 1991. Later, when Bret advanced to the finals of the 1993 King of The Ring by beating Perfect. These two were both second generation wrestlers, and even were brothers in law at one point. When they stepped into the ring together, it was like poetry. Maybe Bischoff will allow the fans to see these two lock up one more time.
3) The British Bulldogs--As a team, The Hart Foundation found one of their greatest opponents in the form of The Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith. Again, there is a family connection. Bret, Neidhart, and Davey are all brothers in law. This familiarity outside of the ring may have aided them in the pure chemistry that were their matches. Later, Bret would find a great singles rival in the form of Davey Boy Smith. One of Bret's all time greatest matches was when he lost the I-C Title to Smith in Wembely Stadium at Summerslam 1992. Whether as a team or in singles, The British Bulldogs were two of Bret's greatest opponents.
4) Owen Hart--Yet another family connection. These two have been wrestling with each other since they were little kids. When Owen turned heel and split away from Bret and the Hart family, the fans were treated to a series of Bret/Owen matches for the World Title. At WM X, Bret jobbed to Owen before going into the main event to win the World Title. Over the next several months, the two would face off in cage matches at house shows across the country. Most of witch were in the three to four star range. That built up to their battle at Summerslam 1993 in a cage. All said, these two brothers provided many memories for WWF fans.
5) Ric Flair--While the one match between Flair and Hart that gets the most press is the World Title win of Hart, they had several rematches as well. As a matter of fact, shortly after Ric lost to Perfect in a loser must leave the WWF match on RAW, Flair wrestled Hart in Ironman matches at house shows. Bret won these one hour encounters, and the fans were allowed to see the sixty-minute man do his job as he put Hart over during these last matches.
6) Steve Austin--While Shawn helped make Bret a star, Bret did the same for Steve. Through interviews in which Bret praised Austin as the best wrestler in the WWF, Bret set up their initial meeting at Survivor Series 1996. Austin hunted Bret on RAW and went on to eliminate Bret to win the 1997 Royal Rumble in a dubious manner. Their feud culminated at WM XIII in an I Quit match with Ken Shamrock as guest referee. Austin was a bloody mess when Bret locked in the Sharpshooter. Shamrock had to stop the match after Austin lost consciousness because he wouldn't quit. These two had more run ins with each other, but Austin soon moved on to face Owen Hart in a heated feud. It was the matches with Bret that validated Austin as a star to the wrestling fans.
7) Bad News Brown--That may sound funny, but it was Bret's feud with Brown that made him a face. The two were familiar with one another from their days in Stampede and meshed well together in the ring.
8) Demolition--The team of Ax, Smash, and later Crush, would be one of the hardest challenges for The Hart Foundation. They met first at Summerslam 1988 and Demolition won with help from Jimmy Hart. Their paths wouldn't cross often until the Summer of 1990. At Summerslam 1990, The Hart Foundation defeated Smash and Crush in two out of three falls to win the tag title for a second time. Demolition always proved to be two of the toughest opponents of the Hart Foundation.
9) Diesel--These two didn't cross paths more than half a dozen times due to egos. However, their title match at King of the Ring, title match at Survivor Series, and Steel Cage Title Match at In Your House were some of Diesel's greatest matches. To have Diesel dominate the WWF for most of a year and then lose the belt to Bret, further ingrained the name of The Hitman on the brains of fans everywhere.
10) Yokozuna--While he was out of shape, Yokozuna gave Bret headaches during the big man's time as champion. It was Yokozuna that would do the job to Bret after Bret did the job for Owen at WM X. They had many encounters overseas and at house shows as well. The David and Goliath angle hasn't been played as well since.
Greatest Moments (In no particular order):
01/26/87--Won his first WWF Title when The Hart Foundation beat The British Bulldogs
08/26/91--Won his first WWF singles title when he beat Mr. Perfect for the I-C Title
10/12/92--Won his first WWF World Title from Ric Flair. Became only the second man to ever win the Triple Crown.
03/20/94--Won his second WWF World Title from Yokozuna. Became the first man to ever hold the Triple Crown on two occasions.
And now for Ervin Griffin:
2. WrestleMania XII - In one of the greatest matches ever in wrestling, PERIOD, Bret lost the WWF Title to Shawn Michaels in an overtime of a 60 minute IronMan match. Now, I can't take anything away from Michaels performance in the match. As much as I dislike him, he wrestled superbly as did "The HitMan." My problem is that if there was to be an overtime session in the event that there was no clear winner, then why wasn't this explaned to the wrestlers prior to the match? Why did they wait until the match had officially ended to say this? This left a real psycological doubt in everyone's mind about Shawn and his ability to be champion and it followed him through his first title reign. As for Bret, this would begin his frequent tirades about being "screwed."
3. Royal Rumble 1997 - Bret Hart should've been the winner here but a ref's blind eye combined with the sinister mind of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin conspired to keep Bret from winning. Austin was eliminated from the Rumble by Bret Hart but the ref's didn't see the elimination. Austin, realizing this, snuck back in and illegally eliminated Hart as well as The Undertaker and Vader. Call Bret a "crybaby" if you want to but, in this instance anyway, he had a legit gripe.
4. January 17, 1992 - On this night, Bret Hart lost the I-C strap to The Mountie. Bret, against doctor's orders, wrestled with a 103 temperature and was no match for his opponent. Bret would be out of action for about three weeks.
5. June 11, 1993 - At the WWF King Of The Ring, Bret Hart won that tournament defeating Bam Bam Bigelow in the finals. However, Jerry "The King" Lawler would spoil the "HitMan's" triumph with a vicious sneak attack. This was the beginning of the WWF's portion of the Hart/Lawler feud (this feud actually began in the USWA in the spring of that year when Owen Hart won the USWA title and attacked Lawler).
Men Most Deserving Of The "HartBreaker" (my nickname for Bret's "ringpost figure-four")
Men That I Would Like To See Bret Wrestle Before The End Of His Career (some of my selections may surprise you)
Well, that's it from here. I would like to thank Matt for once again joining me for this "book of lists." See you next time when I (along with Matt Benaka) come back with "Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair. If you have any questions, e-mail me or Matt. Matt's address is firstname.lastname@example.org My own address is email@example.com I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Live from CentroPlex in Baton Rouge, LA.
As the announcers are introducing the card - the Giant arrives un-announced and goes to the ring. He says he hasn't seen Kevin Nash around lately - then he says he wants to take on the entire nWo tonight!! Randy Savage then comes down with Ms. Liz. He questions the evidence of his own ears then says that he likes it, if Giant takes out the nWo that leaves Hogan for him at Uncensored. He states that once that is past he will be able to tend to business and regain his World Title. Now Sting comes down. He has his own mic and reminds Savage that the WCW Title is his (Stings) . He and Savage agree to a World Title match for tonight! The announcers are telling us this is "the biggest Thunder yet" - that line seems to be getting a little old...
Brad Armstrong vs. Raven (w/the Flock at ringside) - Raven takes the mic and invite Brad to bow out - he goes on to recite some of Brads accomplishments and mentions how his career has gone in more recent years. He says that for years the promoters have been jealous of his father (Bullet Bob Armstrong) and have taken it out on him. It sounds like a recruiting pitch. Then he grabs hold of a DDT and the match ends in one move. Cut to commercial.
Tony invites Chris Jericho to the foot of the ramp for an interview. Jericho is wearing Juventud Guerrera's mask. He starts to rant, then interrupts himself to challange Dean Malenko to a Cruiserweight Title match tonight. He calls himself "The Man of 1004 Holds" and says that if he can beat Malenko with his own hold (Texas Cloverleaf) he will demand that Malenko rename the hold after him (Jericho).
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Kendall Windham - Windham gets knocked to the outside early on and then gets creamed out on the floor. Back in the ring he makes a brief comeback but it can't last. His physique seems to have gotten softer in the months since he came back to WCW - he looks a little better than his brother. Duggan's three-point tackle/clothesline puts him down for the count. Cut to commercial.
Scott Steiner vs. Johnny Grunge - Scotty wants to shake hands before the match - Grunge the Dim Bulb falls for it and gets kicked in the gut. Johhny comes back on the third exchange but his advantage is fleeting. Steiner hits a belly-to-belly and turns the tables again. He grabs a bearhug. Grunge bites his opponent's head to escape but then gets downed by a clothesline. Steiner is in control until he rushes into the corner and meets a back-elbow. They struggle for position with Grunge on the apron and the PE member flies off and breaks his own table. Steiner drags his opponent back into the ring and wins with the Steiner Recliner. Cut to commercial.
Tony brings Eddie Guerrero down for an interview. He rants about his nephew "dropping the ball" last week during his TV Title match. Chavo comes down to get a better earfull. Eddie challanges him to a match with the stipulation that he will run Chavo's career if he wins. Chavo says "fine..." but if he wins then Eddie has to clean up his act. Chavo wants the match right now and goes to the ring. Eddie reluctantly joins him there. Right away Chavo puts himself in the driver's seat and he almost pins him moments later. The next exchange sees Eddie get a brainbuster. The Frog Splash ends the match. So will we see another heel in the Guerrero family? Stay tuned...cut to commercial.
"Voodoo Child" plays as Hollywood Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Scott Hall come down to the ring. Bischoff grabs a sign from the front row that reads "McMahon Worships Bischoff". They are here to answer the Giant's challange. Hall goes to some lengths to assure Hollywood that he has no problems with the nWo leader - makes me wonder if he hasn't been reading some of rumors about the supposed ill-will between him and Hogan. They don't actually say who will come down later and face the Giant. Cut to commercial.
WCW Motorsports report
Konnan (w/Vincent) vs. Lizmark, Jr. - looks like Vincent is going to play his poor-relation valet role right up to the end (reliable information has it that he is not being renewed). Beals and snap-mares don't seem to work on the masked Lizmark - he always seems to land on his feet. He also uses other high-flying tricks to good advantage but a spiked DDT ends his rally. The Tequilla Sunrise ends the contest. Konnan starts to take off the mask of his opponent but Juventud runs in (or flies in) to put a stop to that. As Konnan throws Lizmark out of the ring, Juvey tries to fly again but gets knocked off the corner buckle then spiked as well. Konnan stomps away and then beals the youngster by his hair before we cut to commercial.
Tony doesn't relish his next assignment - interviewing Rick Rude and Curt Hennig. Both rant at Bret Hart.
Saturn vs. Disco Inferno - what again? Oh well, these two have had some good contests in the past. Saturn flies at his opponent and takes the early advantage with a vengence. Disco is knocked to the outside where he creams Lodi then gets blindsided. Back in the ring, Disco has a flurry then succombs to Saturn's attack. Saturn comes off the top aruns into a boot to the jaw. Now it's all Disco for the next several exchanges then the match begins to see-saw. Eventually the Rings of Saturn prove decisive. Cut to commercial.
The Entire nWo (minus Nash) vs. The Giant - Scott Hall gets gorrilla slammed immediately - each member of the thug brigade gets downed - then Hall comes in again and is ejected - Konnan comes for a second round and gets Jack Knifed - that ends the match. The Gaint is chained up and lead up the aisle. Of course at this point Kevin Nash shows up and throwsa cup of coffee in the Giant's face. He breaks his chains with one move and chases Nash up the ramp.
Chris Jericho vs. Dean Malenko - Cruiserweight Title match - Jericho has the mask on again. He is aggressive to start and gains the early advantage, but Malenko turns the tables quickly and wins the match with his Cloverleaf. Malenko pulls off the mask and reveals his opponent has been Lenny Lane! Jericho runs in and uses the title belt upside the head of both Malenko and Lane. He puts the Liontamer on Malenko as we cut to commercial.
Lex Luger vs. Scott Norton - Norton goes to work on the bell and grabs the initiative. The fight goes out to the floor right away where Norton continues his assault. Back in the ring, he's still in control for a while then Luger comes back with a flurry. He's about to Rack his opponent when Scott Steiner runs in and causes the DQ. The two thugs attempt to punk Luger but Rick Steiner breaks that up. Luger and Rick clear the ring. Cut too commercial.
Sting vs. Randy Savage (w/Ms Liz) - WCW World Title match - Savage attacks before Sting can get his duster off. Sting comes back and continues to fight with his ring attire on. They trade punches for the most part then Sting downs his opponent and applies the Scorpion Deathlock. Scott Hall comes in and causes the DQ. Sting and Savage find themselves fighting off the thug patrol. Ed Leslie comes out to join his companions and Tony says that Hogan referred to him as "Apocolypse" last week...so maybe I was wrong to think Hogan wouldn't say anything that stupid... Sting takes an inordinate amount of time hooking Savage and himself up so they can be hoisted up to the rafters...but it's OK because the bad guys give them all the time they need.
Weak ending...as usual...
At least that's the way I see it...
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