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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

Monday Night Wars Edition

Stylin' And Profilin':
The Legend Of Ric Flair: Part 4

by Ervin Griffin and Matt Benaka

Tampa Thunder Program 4/2

Reported by the Voice of Reason


Volume 3, Issue 299 - April 6, 1998

Tampa Thunder Program 4/2

By The Voice of Reason

The show started at 7:30---strange to see these matches without the pyrotechnics and set design which is evident on the TV shows. The first match featured the Texas Hangmen (?) vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan and "Bubba The Love Sponge" a local shock jock. Bubba weighs in at about 525 pounds--truly a massive mound of blubber, and was managed by Jimmy Hart (who got me the tickets)

This was a pretty boring match, which ended when Bubba performed a 747 splash a la The One Man Gang and pinned a Hangman. Bubba entered the ring to NWO music.

The second match was Psychosis and El Duddy (not a typo) against Juvy Guerrera and Taz Hayashi. There was a lot of high flying but also a lot of slip-ups in this match. Went on for quite a while with many frankensteiners and tilt-a-whirl backbreakers. It finally ended when Taz pulled an Air Juvy on Psychosis while Juvy did his "Driver" on El Dandy and got the pin.

Next was Chavo Guerrero vs. Ultimo Dragon. This was a long-dragged out match with rest holds galore--chants of "boring" were increasingly evident. Before the match, Eddie praised Chavo for the win against Hayashi on Nitro, but that he needed to prove himself against UD. This was a see saw match, and eventually Chavo got the tornado DDT off the top rope. As the ref was counting, Eddie told Chavo to break the cover and go up to the top rope for a frog splash. Need I say more?? Winner: UD with Dragon Sleeper.

Down comes Jerry Lynn to some goofy heavy metal junk. Then the roof comes off of the Ice Palace as Bill Goldberg's music plays. Surprisingly, he comes down wearing actual ring attire, in the form of a leather vest. He climbs the turnbuckles and actually plays to the crowd. Usual 5 minute match, with the great JL putting up a valiant effort but falling woefully short in the end. Goldberg in a squash.

Next match--Benoit and DDP vs Raven and Saturn. Raven demands the mike and whines "I know how much both of you want a piece of me, but I've dislocated my pinkie and Saturn has a bad back, so I guess you'll have to fight each other". The whiners turn around and make their way back to the locker rooms, and are cuaght about halfway back by the faces. They are dragged back to the ring and pounded on. Pretty much, this was a lopsided match in favor of Benoit and DDP from the start. Benoit wins the match as he gets the Crippler Crossface as DDP runs in for the save and does the Diamond Cutter on Raven.

After a 20 minute intermission, the NWO music came on, and Curt Hennig came out. He played well to the crowd--even the NWO guys hated him. The theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey played, and the crowd went wild. Ric Flair came out to a chorus of "Whoos" and a sign was displayed that said "Ric Flair 4 Life". Ric took the mike and talked some trash, and the match began. After some vicious chops on both ends, Curt got Flair in the figure 4. Hennig used to ropes for leverage several times until the ref caught him and made him release the hold. Later on, Hennig used the ropes to pin Flair, and as the three count was made, the ref saw the infraction and reversed his count. As Hennig was arguing the call, Flair pulled Hennig down from behind and got the 1-2-3.

At the beginning of the night, it was announced that The Macho Man was injured on Monday and not allowed to wrestle on Doctor's orders. So we saw Bret Hart vs. Bryan "Crush" Adams. This was extraordinarily boring match, with Hart winning in about 15 minutes with a Sharpshooter.

The final match pitted Hulk Hogan against Sting in a Cage Match. The cage essentially sat on top of the ring, with hardly any room outside of the ropes. As a matter of fact, the wrestlers had a very difficult time getting into the ring. At the beginning Hollywood tried to prevent Sting from getting in, so Sting tried to climb the cage--the Disciple came down and Pearl Harbored Sting and Hogan joined him on the outside and mangled The Crow. The fight went back inside the cage, where we saw a stereotypical cage match, with spearing into the cage, and some decent fast paced action. Eventually, the Disciple came down, crunched the outside referee, and broke into the cage. He came in while Hogan was down and beat on Sting. He positioned Sting for the Apocalypse, but Sting turned it around into a Death Drop. He also eventually put Hollywood into the Drop, and pinned both men at the same time.

We thought this was the end, but it turned out that the best was to come. As Sting was celebrating in a foolhardy fashion inside the cage, he was again attacked by the NWO duo. Hulk Hogan motioned for someone to come down, and here comes the newest member of the NWO, "Bubba The Love Sponge"!!! He got to the entrance of the cage and almost couldn't get in--and when he finally did, he tripped on the ropes on the way in. He joined the heels as they proceeded to destroy the Stinger---until The Giant came down.

He came in the ring with all of the grace that Bubba lacked, chased Hogan and The Disciple out of the ring, and proceeded to chokeslam the 525 pound whale--twice. The NWO deserted Bubba while Sting and The Giant teamed up on the behemoth.

Overall, this was an OK show--worth the money I paid ($0) for the tickets, but nowhere near as good as the Nitro shows I've been to. No surprises, no title changes, and no flash.

June 29, 1998---next Nitro at the Ice Palace in Tampa---expect a report.

Scott Braddock, a long time friend of Solie's, was formerly one of the regular contributors to the Readers' Forum as The Voice of Reason. He is still a frequent correspondent to yours truly.


Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair

By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka

Part 4: Harley Race

June 10, 1983 is a date that "Nature Boy" Ric Flair would rather forget as he lost the "10 pounds of gold" (the legendary nickname for the NWA World Heavyweight Title) to Harley Race in a two out of three fall match. Race won the first fall with a standing vertical suplex. Flair took the second fall with his figure four leglock. In the third fall, Race and Flair were in a double pin situation but Race had gotten his shoulder up at the last second before the three count!!! Race had become the first man to hold the NWA Title seven times. A record that would stand for over 8 years.

Flair, on the road to a rematch with Race, entered a tournament for the vacant NWA Missouri Heavyweight Title based in St. Louis. The title was vacant due to Race winning the NWA World Title and thus forfeiting the strap. Anyway, Flair won the title on July 15, 1983 in the finals of a twenty man tournament. The man he defeated for the title was the late David Von Eric. Flair would lose this title on September 16, 1983 to David Von Eric. Then, on November 24, 1983 at the first ever Starrcade (nicknamed "A Flair For The Gold"), Flair defeated Race in Greensboro, NC for the NWA World Title. It marked the first time that the NWA belt had changed hands in a cage match. Special referee for this match was Gene Kiniski.

An interesting side note for you Von Eric/Freebird fans. In December of that year, Flair defended the NWA title in a steel cage against Kerry Von Eric with Michael Hayes as the referee. At one point in the match, Hayes knocked Flair down with a foriegn object. Kerry, however, refused to take the pin. Hayes, frustrated, left the cage but as he did so, he slammed the cage door on Von Eric's head. This allowed Flair to get the pin on Kerry and would begin the savage Von Eric/Freebird war!!!

Now, here is where history gets interesting. There was one Flair reign that is not recognized in the United States. During an international tour, Harley Race regained the NWA Title on March 21, 1984 in Wellington, New Zealand. Race is actually an eight time NWA Champion. Why this win was never recognized is beyond me. Anyway, Flair would regain the title two days later in Kallang, Singapore. This win made Flair a three time NWA World Champion BEFORE his loss and win over Kerry Von Eric!!!

Speaking of which, this part of the Flair saga is a sad but emotional part. Originally, because of a stipulation in a match between Mike Von Eric and Ric Flair (which stated that if Mike either defeated Flair or drew with him, David would receive another shot at Flair's NWA Title), David was suppose to wrestle Flair in May at The Parade Of Champions at Texas Stadium. Tradegy struck, however, when David died while touring Japan of an intestinal infection. When time for the match to happen, Kerry Von Eric volunteered step out of the "BadStreet Match" for the World Class Six Man Tag Team Titles to take David's place for the NWA World Title (the late Fritz Von Eric stepped in to take Kerry's place for the "BadStreet" bout). May 6, 1984 would prove to be a great day for the Von Eric's as Kerry won the NWA Title from Flair and Kevin, Mike and Fritz would win the World Class Six Man titles from the Freebirds (Two side notes here: 1. Kerry took Fritz's share of the titles as Fritz only agreeded to wrestle this one match and 2. The Von Eric's were later stripped of the titles due to the fact that Kevin pinned an illegal man.).

Flair, being a dogged individual, followed Kerry to Japan and defeated Kerry on May 24, 1984 in Yokosuka, Japan for the NWA strap. This was to begin Flair's fourth title reign.

In 1985, Flair would become part of a standard bearer group that would be the example for all of the "supergroups" in the years to come (including, arguably, the nWo). It was The Four Horsemen.

NEXT: The Four Horsemen

If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at griffiev@hotmail.com or griffiev@yahoo.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. Check out Ervin's Pro-Wrestling Fan Fiction web site.


Nitro Report

An ambulance is seen coming into the parking lot as the program opens. Randy Savage is down. They immobilize his neck before trying to load him onto a stretcher. Liz is holding his hand and looks distraught.

Nitro is live from the Miami Arena.

La Parka/El Dandy/Psychosis vs. Tokyo Magnum/Something Nagano/Judo Something - (the Japanese team is introduced verbally but we get no banners so I wasn't able to confirm their full names) the Mexican team seems to have the upper hand through the beginning of this match then the Japanese team get their selves togther and from then on the Mexicans can't seem to do anything right. As the usual pile-up is going on on the outside, Psychosis goes up for a splash and gets side-stepped. He is back up in a moment and hits his Guillotine leg-drop to win. La Parka thanks him for an earlier missed blow with a chair-shot to the back of the head. Cut to commercial.

Disco Inferno vs. Booker T - TV Title match - Disco admonishes Booker about something then turns his back and gets blindsided before the bell sounds. From that sorry start, Disco seems to be unable to fully recover. He is knocked to the outside and manages to grab the advantage as he returns by snapping his opponent's neck on the top rope. He gets a brief flurry then the match starts to see-saw. Once Booker T gets loose he is unstoppable. At one point Booker sets up for the Scissor Kick, Disco realizes he is out of position and bends over to get where he needs to be to receive the blow. In the end Booker gets his usual finisher. Cut to Nitro Grrrls in latin costumes then to commercial.

Tribute video tells the Hogan/Savage feud saga.

Lenny Lane vs. Kidman - Kidman gets a fast start and seems to have his opponent's number from the beginning of this one. Lane gets in one shot before being upset by a jawbreaker. The match goes back to Kidman's advantage with occasional flurries from his opponent. Lane gets a series of pin attempts but can't keep his man down. Kidman comes back with his "7 Year Itch" (Shooting Star Press) to take the pin. Cut to commercial.

Mean Gene introduces JJ Dillon (who gets booed by the crowd) - Gene wants to know about Randy Savage. JJ says they have more tape of the attack but can't air it yet because of the ongoing investigation. He doesn't know the full extent of Savage's injuries but intends to get to the bottom of it including finding out who the perps were...yatta, yatta...

Konnan (w/Vincent) vs Norman Smiley - I thought I heard that Vincent was history in WCW... Smiley has a mat-wrestling strategy for all of his matches so Konnan starts out wrestling him. Regal has many of Steve Regal's moves but lacks the cruel streak needed to back it up. Konnan drop kicks Smiley in the sternum while the latter is seated on the mat to demonstrate his. Still, Smiley presses his considerable wrestling advantage for a little while. Then Konnan comes down on him (with an assist from the thug at ringside). 'Nuff said. We see tape of Savage being taken from the arena on a stretcher as we cut to commercial.

Nitro Grrrls in the ring - still with the Latin outfits...Tony rants about house shows and an autograph signing in Kansas City.

Video of DDP chasing Raven out of the ring during his match last week. Leads us to...

Buff Bagwell vs. Diamond Dallas Page - US Title match - DDP is the new "Jake the Snake" . Bagwell has shown himself to be a tenacious and formidable opponent in recent matches and so he tests our Champion severly. In the end it is Raven's intervention that gives Buffy a count-out victory when DDP abandons the match to jaw at the Flock master. Bagwell demands the Title but he is out of order. Page sneaks up and grabs the Diamond Cutter. He celibrates with the crowd as we cut to commercial.

The crowd chants "Larry! Larry!" as Tony sets up the video of the attack at the top of the program. We see a red Dodge Viper speed away from the scene where Savage is already down. The bystanders gather and Liz is accosted by the Disciple. Cut to live footage of the nWo entering the arena. Hogan has the mic first for a change - Bischoff is not obvious if there at all. Hogan spends about two minutes establishing the fact that he and the nWo are there...(huh?) He says Scott Hall is missing then rants about the upcoming "Bat Match" with his partner Kevin Nash (who also isn't present - he has a World Title match against Sting tonight) against the Giant and Roddy Piper. Hogan's rant is getting more and more strident...less then convincing I think. Cut to commercial.

Goldberg tribute video...

Hammer vs. Goldberg - WoW! Hammer is as big as Goldberg...like that really means anything against this monster. Hammer gets one jaw breaker and a sidewalk slam. Period. He is speared and you know the rest. The Flock doesn't even challange him. Cut to replay then back to Saturn doing a number on Hammer with his Rings submission hold. Cut to commercial.

More Nitro Grrrls - more conventional attire this time.

Mean Gene says they are about to turn up the heat, then introduces Roddy Piper. Piper does his best John Wayne impression before opening his mouth and spoiling it. His rant is completely unfocused as he takes off on the Giant then alludes to his last big "Alleyfight" match in the WWF against Goldust. He harps on the possibilities inherent in the up coming "Bat Match" in a vain attempt to get someone interested in it. He claims to have his "eye on Hogan"...whatever that means. It is a pathetic performance. Cut to commercial.

Eddie Guerrero (w/Chavo) vs. Ultimo Dragon - Eddie has to dish out his usual heap of abuse onto his nephew's head before the match starts. He blames their family problems on the fact that Chavo is "a loser". Then he tells Chavo to wrestle the match for him! Chavo protests that he is in street clothes to no avail. It takes Chavo a few exchanges to recover his composure - then he takes control of the match in a very convincing fashion. Eddie continues to bellow at ringside. Hard to tell who he's yelling at sometimes. The Dragon finally takes over after a side-salto then the match begins to see-saw. Chavo flips himself right into position for the Dragon Sleeper. After the match he is dressed down again by his uncle. Cut to commercial.

Nitro Grrrrrls again...Nitro Party contest announcement. Cut to "Mean" Gene living up to his nickname by calling Dean Malenko a "loser" a while back.

Barry Darsow vs. Lex Luger - the former Demolition Smash has sunk to fodder for the Lex Luther machine. I want Goldberg vs. Luger! Still Darsow gives Flexy a pretty hard time as well as a running commentary throughout the match. He goes to work on Luger's left arm for his submission armhold. Luger seems totally helpless for several minutes until Darsow pulls his opponent to his feet and loses the advantage. Luger quickly puts Darsow into the rack. Cut to commercial.

Video clips of the Hennig/Rude vs. Bret's Brothers-in-law feud. Leads us into...

Anvil Neidhart/British Bulldog vs. Curt Hennig/Brian Adams...again - Rude joins the broadcast team...again. In the ring the match is a Pier Six to start then resolves into a Hennig/Neidhart match-up. The Bulldog tags in and Hennig bails. He tags in Adams who tries to overpower the Bulldog to no avail. Rude makes snide comments and Bobby agrees with him. Neidhart comes back in and loses the advantage. Rude is smug. Then Neidhart reverses things on Adams and Rude takes himself off to the ring as we cut to commercial.

Adams has the advantage over Bulldog as we return. He presses him over his head three times then slams him before tagging in Hennig. Hennig attacks the right leg then hands it back to Adams. This goes on for a little while then Neidhart breaks free and cleans house for about 8 seconds. Rude distracts him and the nWo prevails until Bret Harts runs-in to even the odds. Hart rants about being the "new sheriff in town" and vows to end the gang attacks by nWo goons. Cut to commercial.

Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera - Cruiserweight Title match - I do like this guy's music... He spends the intro time taunting the absent Dean Malenko, answering Prince Iaukeu's challenge (by mispronouncing his name) and sticking it to Juvey. Guerrera comes on aggressive but only has sporadic success. Jericho dominates the action throughout the match. Toward the end Juvey gets an extended flurry and seems to have it well in hand but then he goes up to the top for his 450 splash and gets knocked off his feet (ouch!). They struggle for position and Juvey propells himself right into the Liontamer. Iaukea appears ringside and throws in the towel when it appears that his friend refuses to surrender. Cut too commercial.

Replay of the aftermath of the attack on Savage earlier.

Scott Steiner (w/Vincent) vs. Sick Boy (w/the Flock at ringside) - Steiner takes immediate control of the match. Sickboy's vaunted aeriel attack has been rendered useless as Steiner does push-ups. Sick Boy gets ejected from the ring and manages to grab the initiative as he returns. But it is momentary - Steiner lays in a Steiner Recliner to take the submission victory. Again no action from the Flock. Cut to commercial.

Michael Buffer introduces the main event.

Sting vs. Kevin Nash (w/Konnan) - WCW Heavyweight Title match - Nash makes a speeh before the match - he rants against Hogan saying his view of the nWo is different. He suggests that Hollywood is responsible for the attack on Savage - he is wearing a Randy Savage shirt. He denies that he plans to turn the World belt over to Hogan and further states that he might just have to beat up on all three of his partners and opponents once he gets his hands on the bat at the next PPV. Hogan looks to be on his way out of the nWo at last... We cut to commercial before Sting is introduced.

Sting makes his entrance as we return. Nash grabs the Title belt ands displays it over his head. The two face off and trade intimidations. Nash exploits his size advantage to the fullest right in the beginning of the match. But Sting comes back with an aeriel attack and forces the big guy from the ring. Sting gets levered out of the ring and is viciously attacked by Konnan as Nash ties up the referee. Back in the ring, Nash continues the assault with regular help from his cohoort. Nash executes a back-breaker over his knee, then switches to a chinlock. Sting fights to his feet but runs into a knee. Nash runs through him in the corner then shoves a boot under his chin. Moments later the big guy rushes into the corner and rams his knee into the turnbuckle. Now it's all Sting - he applies the Scorpion but Konnan helps Nash reach the ropes then attacks Stings eyes. Sting staggers into Nashes arms and is dropped to the mat. Nash is limping as he pounds Sting into the corner then reapplies the chinlock. Sting almost succombs then rallys for a last attack. He has Nash in his sights - Konnan tries to intervene but gets squashed in the corner. Nash recovers and retakes the advantage briefly, Hogan runs in to attack - then Sting is coming back when the thugs hit the ring. They all fall on Sting until Piper and the Giant hit the ring - Piper personally knocks Hennig out of the ring. In the aisle, Hogan and Nash are at a standfoff again. The good guys are standing tall as we fade to black.


RAW Report

The program starts with Vince McMahon laying the big snowjob on Steve Austin and Stone Cold's response and subsequest arrest. RAW comes to us on tape from Syracuse, NY.

Vince McMahon comes to the ring to the crowd's annoyance. He talks abut making tough decisions and says that he was responsible for getting Austin released from custody later that same night. He then states that Austin has come around and will appear as the "New and Improved" Steve Austin tonight. Don't count on it Titan Boy...

Dan Severn (w/Jim Cornette) vs Flash Funk - Severn enters carrying the old NWA Heavyweight title on his shoulder, he wears the current NWA Title - Cornette carries two more of his titles. We see clips of Severn in the Octogon and other places. Severn's style is ultra-submission. He effectively grounds his high-flying opponent. The first time Funk mounts any offense the Beast goes wild. He pounds on his opponent mercilessly than applies his arm-bar submission hold to get the duke. DX are shown on their way to the ring as we cut to commercial.

HHH brings his version of DX to the ring. The flash-by video is heavier than usual with sexually suggestive images. HHH rants briefly then hands the mic over to their best voice talent. The Road Dog introduces his partner and pledges their help to DX. X-Pac continues with his anti-Hogan theme without naming him this time (somebody probably mentioned to him that he was only giving Hogan publicity - especially since nobody in WCW answered his insults). HHH promises a "revolution" but all I see is a bunch of loud-mouthed dorks enchanted by the sound of their own voices. Yeah...Dork-X...I like it... Cut to commercial.

Backstage, Dork-X is intimidating a stagehand. They have spray paint - hmmmm...where have we seen that..?

Steve Blackman vs. Brian Christopher - Christopher pauses in his preparations to taunt his opponent and gets a boot to the solar plexus in return. Tennessee Lee joins the broadcast team as the match see-saws in the ring. The rookie outweighs his opponent and dominates for the most part until he is distracted by Lee at the broadcast table. The match see-sawa some more puncuated by occasional crisp blows from Blackman. The rookie eventually wins with a Rings of Saturn type chickenwing submission hold. Tennessee Lee appears on the ramp to introduce his man. Blackman stands his ground in the ring as Dubba J sneaks up behind him and brains him with a guitar. Three officials attend to Blackman as Jarrett struts in the ring. Meanwhile In the back...

...Dork-X has come upon DOA's motorcycles. X-Pac and the NAO's line up and piss on the bikes. Great! It's the return of the Boring Guys vs. DOA...be still my heart...

Cactus Jack comes to the ring with a neck-brace and a chair. He sits down on the chair in the middle of the ring and makes a speech about taking chances in the ring. He vows to not allow DX to put him away. He extolls the virtues of his of his absent partner and reveals that Funk was ready to retire with the WWF Tag belt before the match Monday night. He's upset because after his match at RAW last week, the crowd chanted Austin's name (it had been announced that Austin was free from jail and on his way back to the arena). He wants the crowd to apologize to him. They won't of course...so he says he's leaving and bids the fans farewell as Cactus Jack - I have a feeling we will be seeing another manifestation of Mick Foley soon...maybe before the show is over. Cut to commercial.

Clips of the fall of Faarooq last week. Cut to a video of Faarooq getting beaten by the Nation of Domination in a parking area.

Rocky Maivia (w/NOD) vs. Owen Hart - Intercontinental Title match - Rocky makes his entrance and has just started on his rant when we mercifully cut to commercial.

Owen makes his entrance as we return. Rocky doesn't like it when the crowds starts chanting "Rocky Sucks!" The match is pretty even but Maivia is way too cocky. Owen out-wrestles him easily. Kama jumps up on the apron and gets himself and his cohoorts banned from ringside. Rocky goes into a panic and runs right intoo a sleeper - but he squirms out of it and retakes the advantage. Now it is all Maivia until he rushes into a back elbow. Owen is gaining ground as he attempts a pin. No cigar. They struggle some more and then Owen hits a round-house kick then slaps on a Sharpshooter. Suddenly Chyna (the only "cool" member of DX left) runs in and hits Owen with a ball bat. Cut to mid-show montage...

Vince heads for the ring with two security guards in tow. Vince takes the mic and introduces, "The New and Improved" Steve Austin...in a charcoal grey suit and baseball cap. Vince is bursting with smugness... He compliments Austin on his attire and says that maybe this is the first step on the road to becoming the "greatest WWF Champ ever." He then starts criticising Austins accessories - particularly his hat and shoes (he has eschewed the Gucci shoes for wrestling boots). Austin starts his rant and right away you know Vince is in deep sh*t... even though Stone Cold is saying that McMahon has "won" and he wants to get a picture of the occasion. One of the guards obliges using Austin's camera. The rattlesnake smiles for the pictures as McMahon fusses with the Title belt then Austin tells McMahon that he better get the film developed because this is thelast time he'll be seen in a suit. He tears the clothing off as Vince looks on in dismay, rants some more then palms Vince in the gut! He grabs the camera and takes a picture of the doubled over promoter before splitting. This McMahon/Austin feud has the most potential of any of the current WWF storylines, it seems to me. Cut to commercial.

Clips of what just happened. DOA come to the ring to yell about their desecrated transportation. They don't wait for an answer but march out again to their music.

Luna (w/TAFKA-Goldust) vs. Mike Knowles - Dustin loosens the youngster up for his lady who then comes in to finish off Mr. Knowles with a short flurry ending in a flying headbutt. She takes the pin. Very impressive... Cut to Val Venis extolling his own talents as an actor in porno flics. Cut to commercial.

Marc Mero (w/Sable) vs. Ken Shamrock - Mero sends Sable away before the match with an insult. This is a joke, right? What's Shamrock going to do after Mero hits his low-blow..? In fact, Shamrock has a very fine match this time out. His martial arts blows are crisp and he uses combinations for a change. Mero gets very little offense in the first half of the match. He comes alive for just a moment and threatens with his finishing move but fails to executes it. Shamrock recovers and retakes the advantage as the rest of NOD hits the ring. Mark Henry executes a credible belly-to-belly suplex to end the contest in an NOD punk job.

We see Shamrock being helped from the ring. Cut to commercial.

The Undertaker comes to the ring for an interview with Kevin Kelly. There is a lot of talk about fire being involved in the upcoming PPV match. Jerry Lawler sounds exactly like Bevis when he yells, "Fire! Fire!" Paul Bearer appears by satelite with Kane in the graveyard. Kane breaks up their parent's headstone then sets it on fire!! Cut to commercial.

Dork-X music starts up again as we return. Chyna leads them down to the ring carrying the European belt. Somehow I get the feeling she's not too happy with recent developements. We pause to look at the "restroom" incident on video before DOA hits the ring. Waltman joins the broadcast team. His commentary consists of cheering his team to victory and making snide comments from time to time. In the ring DOA seems to have taken the initiative early on. Jim Ross refers to potty-mouthed HHH as "cerebral" - yeah right... The advantage swings to DX as we cut to commercial.

Helmsley is in the ring on the receiving end as we return. Shortly thereafter Brian Lee gets pulled into the frey and the action erupts all over the area. HHH and Chainz remain in the ring when Hunter slips in his flapjack maneuver. X-Pac runs in with a chair and bashes all of the opponents. They string Chainz up in time for the Road Warriors to run in and add their weight against DX. Now DOA is back in it and DX are taking their lumps as we fade to black.

We'll have to keep an eye on this thing between Austin and Vinnie Mac...

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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