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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report: EXTRA!

WWF Unforgiven

Stylin' And Profilin':
The Legend Of Ric Flair: Part 7

by Ervin Griffin and Matt Benaka


Volume 3, Issue 306 - April 26, 1998
News from Bob Ryder

FREE RIC FLAIR

The lawsuit filed by WCW against Ric Flair has prompted a grass roots effort by fans on the Internet to send WCW and it's sponsors a message that they don't approve of the treatment he has received at the hands of WCW management.

A "Free Ric Flair" webpage has been launched, and can be accessed at:

The Internet revolt has spread rapidly, and appears to be organized by a fan using the nickname Fan98, who can be reached at Fan98@iname.com

Fans attending Thunder on Wednesday night broke out into "We want Flair" chants at several points during the show.

There has been no comment from WCW officials regarding the situation.

BAGWELL SHOULD BE OK

Initial reports are that Buff Bagwell is ok, and should not have any permanent damage as a result of the injury that he suffered on Thunder last night.

The show was stopped for about 20 minutes as medical staff attended to Bagwell and helped him from the ring.


Here's a letter I got from A&E. This show is on during the PPV tonight but will be replayed at Midnight Eastern/9 PM Pacific time.

Hi Solie:

Because your Vintage Wrestling site is such a great pro wrestling resource, I thought you might be interested in posting info about A&E Television's THE UNREAL STORY OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING, a 2-hour special presentation that will be aired in the U.S. this Sunday, April 26th at 8pm/12am EST. (The video of the program will be available at our online store at http://store.aetv.com in case you miss it on-air.)

Trace the history and sociology of one of America's favorite passions in this hard-hitting, mat-slapping documentary that reveals wrestling's evolution from respectable sport to performance art. From the Greeks to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to the unabashed show biz glitz of modern day wrestlers like Gorgeous George, Strangler Lewis, Iron Claw, Brain Buster, Hulk Hogan and Killer Kowalski, THE UNREAL STORY features past and present wrestlers and asks the opinion of everyone from promoters and fans to psychologists and commentators.

If you're able to watch THE UNREAL STORY OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING, I'd love to know what you and other fans of the sport think about it. Thanks for your time!

Best,
So Young Park
A&E Television Networks Enterprises
E-mail: spark@AandE.com
URLS:

Here's a letter from Ervin Griffin

Hello,

I have two new stories to announce on my page!!! The first is the big match up between The Giant and "The Mercenary of Mayhem" Bruiser Brody!!! The second is the third big meeting between Magnum TA and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin!!! I also have a new section called "Women Of Pro Wrestling" and a "Links" page on the site!!! So, check it out!!!


Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair

By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka

Part 7: Hands Of Stone, Warriors, And R n R's

After narrowly escaping Dusty Rhodes' challenge at Starrcade '85, Ric Flair encountered a new challenger in the form of Montreal, Quebec's own Ron "Hands Of Stone" Garvin. Their first encounter took place in late-December in the studio's of TBS on World Championship Wrestling (now known as WCW Saturday Night) and it was a classic with both men beating the hell out of each other!!! The match ended in a DQ (On who I don't remember. If anyone knows please e-mail me.) and saw Dusty Rhodes come into attack Flair. Ole & Arn Anderson was also involved as they jumped Rhodes and unsuccessfully tried to break his leg again!!!

In January of 1986, The Road Warriors and Dusty Rhodes joined up again to battle Ole & Arn Anderson along with Flair in a six man tag in Atlanta, GA at the old Omni. I don't know the result of the match but I do know that Rhodes & The Warriors serverly injured the leg of Ole Anderson!!! This prompted Flair to make several challenges to The Warriors over the next five months (a subject to be covered in the next chapter or two). Meanwhile, Flair was being challenged heavily by Rhodes and Garvin. Neither man, while looking good in the matches, could knock Flair off as Flair held fast to the NWA World Title. One of Flair's most famous matches against Garvin was on the pre-taped TBS special "SuperStars On The SuperStation" (a predecesor to the Clash Of The Champions specials). Flair won that match by using Garvin's tights in a cradle move to prevent Garvin from escaping the pin. I should also note the card featured these matches:

The Rock N Roll Express VS. The Midnight Express ("Loverboy" Dennis Condrey/"Beautiful" Bobby Eaton) - NWA World Tag Team Title Match

The Road Warriors w/"Precious" Paul Ellering VS. Ivan & Nikita Koloff w/Baron Von Rashcke

"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes w/Nicola "Baby Doll" Roberts VS. Tully Blanchard w/James J. Dillon - NWA National Heavyweight Title Match

After this card, another significant event happened that would change Flair's wrestling course forever. The formation of The Four Horsemen.

Next: First Blood

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.


WWF Unforgiven

The Free-For-All got started a few minutes late. Dok Hendrix is pumping up the crowd. The program is live from Greensville, North Carolina. Michael Cole is in front of Vince McMahon's dressing room when Stone Cold interrupts him and then barges into the dressing room looking for Vince. He doesn't find him...

Next they go into a promo for the "Gown Match" between Luna and Sable.

After the promo, Marc Mero comes out to tell Sable that she will be on her own tonight (thank God for small favors). This is followed by a song from Sawyer Brown. At first the lead singer's mic doesn't work, so the band vamps until he gets turned on. They're a pretty good band. They will be backing Dubba J later tonight on the program.

Back to Mike Cole outside McMahon's dressing room. Steve Austin shows up again and shoves the posted security man out of the way so he can again barge into the room. Still no sign of Vince. Cut to Austin promo, then to a promo for the Kane/UT Inferno match. We come back to Kevin Kelly at ringside showing us the natural gas system which will create flames around the ring for the match - then we go to recap of the feud that led up to tonight's event.

We come back to Kevin Kelly in the ring talking about the Inferno match when the lights go out. Here comes Kane and Uncle Paul. Kelly stands his ground...like an idiot. He asks what Bearer and Kane have in store for the Undertaker tonight. Paul Bearer rants then asks the crowd if they want to see a demonstration. They roar their approval and he says, "Fire it up!" The flames are about two feet high until Paul says, "you want to see them go higher?" The flames shoot up to about 4 feet.

Back to Dok Hendrix who hypes the card then takes us to a video recap of the Austin/McMahon situation.

Mike Coles is in the dressing room with Vince and starts to ask him a question when Austin barges in again. He and Mcmahon talk trash at each other then Austin is told to leave. Cut to the arena where Dok Hendrix introduces Dude Love. The Dude rants about his impending victory (dream on 60's boy...) We are about to start the PPV...

NOD (D'Lo Brown/Rocky Maivia/Mark Henry-w/Kama) vs Faarooq/Steve Blackman/Ken Shamrock - Blackman starts the match against D'Lo. This contest is pretty much even. Neither man really holds an advantage in the early going. Shamrock is the first to tag in, he asserts himself then gets Faarooq into the frey. D'Lo wants to shake hands and make nice - then delivers a slap. Faarooq downs him then takes off his belt and whips the youngster. Blackman comes back in and soon gets a thumb to the eye. Mark Henry comes in and we have the two weak links facing each other. Blackman clearly doesn't have a clue about how to handle a guy of Henry's size. D'Lo is tagged back in and immediately gives up the initiative to Blackman but comes right back. Faarooq is tagged in and gets dropped on his chin by D'Lo. With Faarooq out of it, the Rock comes in for the first time in the match.

Henry comes in on the other side and is no match for his former mentor. Blackman is back in and aloows Henry to tag D'Lo in. Brown takes the advantage right away. But then Blackman spins him around in the corner and gets a few shots. It is a brief flurry as D'Lo re-asserts himself then tags in Maivia. Maivia stomps a mudhole in his opponent in the corner. Blackman reverses things for about two seconds then falls to a short clothesline. Mark Henry comes in to continue the assault then tags the Rock back in. Maivia is getting cocky now as he showboats his way into an elbow drop. He then settles into a reverse chinlock.

Blackman has been isolated for several minutes now. D'Lo is in and goes for a moonsault but misses. Faarooq and Mark henry come in at the same time and Faarooq easily outwrestles his opponent. The next moment Maivia is in wuith Faarooq as the rest of the combatants battle outside on the floor. Faarooq gets the Dominator rather suddenly to take the pin.

We cut to a shrt interview with the Jackyl then Steve Austin comes down to the ring. The announcers are saying this is not planned. Austin grabs the timekeeper and intimidates him into entering the ring. He brow beats the guy, trying to get him to say that Vince ordered him to ring the bell last week. He tells the hapless official that he better not ring the bell prematurely tonight at the risk of bodily injury. He threatens McMahon with the same fate.

Clips of the European Title match at Wrestlemania.

The cage to hold Chyna has been lowered into view as the annoying DX video plays. Actually, you know the DX band's theme has grown on me but that video makes me go crosseyed.

HHH (Mr. Personality) vs. Owen Hart - European Title match - as mentioned, Chyna will be held away from the ring in a cage suspended overhead. She doesn't want to go but Hunter convinces her it will be alright. The cage is double locked and chained shut. Owen attacks Hunter as he is supervising the cage up. Owen gets in some good shots and the bell hasn't rung yet. The cage is still on the ground so Chyna watches her boss get suplexed on the cement. The match finally gets going in the ring as they start to raise the cage skyward.

The fight goes back out the floor where the King is threatening to get involved. Back inside the ring Hunter finally gets a breather and takes the advantage. We can see Chyna trying to bend the cage bars in the background. They are about an inch thick so I doubt that will happen. Hunter continues the assult in the ring and has a version of the Dragon Sleeper on Owen (really a reverse chancelry). Chyna is seen retreiving a file or saw from her tights, but she drops it before she can use it. Hunter still has the advantage and has gone back to the chancelry. Chyna is back to trying to bend the bars. Owen escapes and rushes the corner where he collides shoulder first with the post. Hunter goes for a cover the next moment but fails to get the pin. Hunter goes back to the reverse chancelry. Owen flips over his shoulder to escape then gets a belly-to-back. Up in the sir, Chyna has one of the bars bent! Now Owen has takn the advantage and gets a piledriver on his opponent. He hits an elbow off the top then notices that Chyna has escaped from the cage! She is hanging from the bottom of it about 15 feet above the concrete. Owen is waiting for her but then returns to the ring. He gets the Sharpshooter but now the cage is lowering! We hear that Road Dog has commandeered the windless. Chyna is on the floor and being restrained. In the ring Owen has it in hand when X-Pac runs in and brains him with a fire extinquisher! Hunter gets the pin and retains the Title.

Michael Cole interviews Owen on the floor outside the ring where he calls the outcome "Bullsh*t" and says "...things have to change around here". Backstage, X-Pac is already on the chat line.

Back to the arena where Jim Cornette comes to the ring and insults the crowd (which he is very familiar with from past NWA matches). He introduces his New Midnight Express.

The New Midnight Express vs. Rock & Roll Express - NWA Tag Title match - the R&R come out to the old "Rockers" music. Except for the nostalgia factor, this match is a joke. Neither of these teams lives up to the legacy of the original NWA. ME don't seem to be be getting along too well but they do a pretty good job of bending the rules. Jim Cornette gets ordered off the apron and comes in to challange the ref to a fight! Tim White drives him from the ring without laying a hand on him. Cornette is so upset he puts his coat on inside out. The next moment Ricky Morton is taken out to the floor where Cornette slips in a punch. Back in the ring Ricky is being isolated by the opposition. Gibson finally gets in and cleans house. They separate their opponents into opposite corners, run them together and then execute the double drop-kick. Gibson goes for the pin but Cornette waddles in and drops an elbow...on Bart! The distraction does it's work however and Morton gets pinned in the confusion.

Dok Hendrix interviews Luna with Goldust in the back.

Luna (w/TAFKA Goldust) vs. Sable - Evening Gown match - Luna appears to be wearing Doc Martins with exceptionally thick soles. Both ladies wear black for this contest. Luna starts tearing at Sables dress right away. She pulls both sleeves off almost immediately. Soon she gets the skirt off then starts to choke in the corner. Actually this gives Sable a slight advantage by freeing up her legs for those martial arts kicks. Mark Mero appears suddenly and gets up on the apron to brow beat his wife. As he provides distraction, Luna slips up behind and tears off the rest of Sable's gown - thus winning the match. Sable attacks and executes a powerbomb then strips off Luna's dress. They fall to the floor and Luna disappears under the ring with Sable right behind her. Sable re-emerges with Luna's underwear in hand! She parades around the ring in her bra and panties displaying Luna's unmentionables. Goldust wraps Luna up in his robe and throws her over his shoulder to haul her away.

Vince McMahon comes to the ring flanked by Pat Patterson and Jerry Brisco - he rants about the "conspiracy theories" going around. He reveals that he was born right here in North Carolina then asks the question "...am I going to screw Steve Austin out of the WWF title?" he says he won't dignify the question with a response but refuses to accept any responsibility for what might happen - including "something catastrophic" and if "Stone Cold screws Stone Cold".

New Age Outlaws vs. LOD 2000 (w/Sunny) - Tag Team Title match - Road Dog comes out first to rant - Billy Gunn brings out an inflatable sex partner which he introduces as "Dean Smith". Billy has two words to say, "Suck It!" Ross comments on the extensive vocabulary of these "brain surgeons". Animal starts out with Gunn. Billy takes the early advantage with a quick punch but then gets creamed with a clothesline. The Dog tags in and gets flung into Billy. Hawk is in and gets a powerslam then a combination flurry to retain the advantage. As Hawk backdrops Billy, we hearthe latter clearly exclaiming "Oh sh*t!" Now Billy is in and being double-teamed. Animal applies a neck vice. A powerslam on Billy brings the Dog in to the rescue. All four are in for a moment then Billy is ejected. The Roadies are about to execute the Doomsday Device (I prefer the old term for this move) on Road Dog but Billy hits Animal behind the knee to breakl that up. The Dog distracts the ref and Hawk while Billy works over Animal's knee in the corner.

Now they are taking turns on him in their half of the ring. Hawk runs in and makes it worse for his partner. Animal finally applies a leg whip on Billy to escape. The Hawk comes in and cleans house. The Champs think they have it won after Animal gets brained with the belt. But he kicks out. They try it again and the Dog Gets brained. Hawk goes for the pin out of a bridge and appeared to me to get it. But the NAO gets the duke! After the match, the challengers put the Doomsday Device on the referee. They show us another angle on the pin and the Dog's shoulders were definitely flat on the mat. What the hell is going on here?

The event is halted while the referee is hauled away.

Tennesse Lee introduces the Sawyer Brown country band. Then he brings Dubba J out. The crowd is less than enthused about this crap. Jarrett and the lead singer trade lines throughout the song. Jarrett's voice is pretty average, as ins the song - but at least he can carry a tune. He does his strut during the lead guitar solo.

Steve Blackman invades the stage and puts Jarrett into a submission hold but Lee brains him with a guitar. Jarrett applies a figure four until the officials come to Blackman's rescue.

The Undertaker vs. Kane (w/Paul bearer) - Inferno match (no DQ - the first one to set his opponent on fire wins the match) - the King has his marshmallows ready to roast as we go to a promo for the match. Gosh guys, we've already paid to see the show so why are you still advertising it?

The lights are slightly dimmed to emphasize the flames. The two behemoths struggle for position in the corner. UT grabs wristlock and does his rope walking schtick as the flames leap up momentarily then subside back to the two-foot level. The announcers are describing the heat at ringside as intense. In the ring, Kane has taken the advantage. Somebody is controlling the flames to make them leap up when someone gets thrown to the mat. The match is see-sawing and moving rather slowly. Paul Bearer throws in a chir which Kane uses to brain his adversary. Now the flames are leaping up whenever someone gets in a shot.

The Undertaker has been on the receiving end for several minutes now. He finally comes back with a Russian Leg Sweep followed by an elbow drop. UT goes for a chokehold but Kane reaches through it and gets the chokeslam of his own. UT almost immedietely pops up and returns the favor. They whip off the ropes and simultaneously boot each other in the face. Kane is up first but he's wobbly. They criss-cross and both miss their shots. UT almost rolls into the flames. Kane climbs the corner but UT shakes the ropes and upsets his balance. UT super-plexes his brother back onto the mat but Kane is right back up again. UT tosses Kane out over the top to the floor. Kane starts to walk away but UT can't escape the ring to go after him Vader suddenly runs in and fights Kane back toward the ring. UT makes a spectacular suicide dive to down his opponent on the floor. Now the fight is on the outside. Paul Bearer swings a chair on his former charge but has no affect. UT brains Kane with the chair. With Kane out of it, UT goes after Bearer, stalking him up onto the bandstand. He clobbers Bearer with the bass drum then spears him with a mic stand!! Bearer is bleeding from the forehead as UT fgoes back after Kane. Kane has the chair but UT forces it back on him and he stumbles into the fire and his arm ignites. He flees the ring area as the Undertaker is declared the winner.

Again they give us an advertisement for the match we have already paid for. Do they really think we would have paid $30 to see this card if we didn't already know what was the story behind the matches..?

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Dude Love - WWF Title match - the Dudester is doing his best imitation of Hulk Hogan's appeals to the crowd as we await the Champion's entrance. Austin comes down to a pretty good pop. Foley attacks before the bell but it doesn't really give him the advantage. The Dudester is getting creamed from the get-go. We see that the timekeeper is poised to ring the bell. So far there has been no sign of McMahon who had promised to be at ringside for this match. Foley is coming off as less then enthusiastic as he abandons the ring. Austin clotheslines him in the aisle then drags him up onto the bandstand. I hope Sawyer Brown has insurance n their instruments. Foley is bealed off the platform to the floor. Back at ringside, Dude slams Austin up against the apron but the Champ comes right back with another clothesline on the rebound. The match goes back into the ring.

Dude Love finally starts to make a comeback. He gets a bulldog and follows it up with a flying elbow drop. He stands Austin up in the corner and pummels him. Dude turns to celebrate with the crowd and gets clotheslined out of his boots. He comes roaring right back and retakes the advantage. Dude slaps on a reverse chinlock and now we see McMahon heading to the ring. Pat Patterson sets up a chair for McMahon to sit ringside. Vince makes eye contact with the timekeeper. Austin notices McMahin and is distracted so that he is rolled up and almost pinned. He recovers and drags Foley to the ringpost to work on his legs. He and McMahon lock eyes and Steve is grinning. We see a clip in an inset which shows the timekeeper who seems to be waiting for a signal from McMahon. On the floor now, Austin goes for a piledriver but gets back-dropped instead. Now Austin is on the receiving end. Vince is n his feet and advances on the Champ. He strats taunting Austin as he lays on the mat. Austin recovers and pursues McMahon up the aisle - giving Dude Love the chance to attack him from behind. Back in the ring Austin blocks a suplex from the outside in but then gets his neck snapped. Mcmahon is in his face again and instructs the referee not to count him out. Dude gets the abdominal stretch and McMahon is signalling for the bell but it doesn't happen because the timekeeper is watching the match. Outside again, Austin suplexes Dude onto the ringsteps. It looks like a devastating blow. The brawl over the railing then backj to ringside. Back inside, the Dudester gets a neck breaker and both are down. Foley recovers first. he is setting up "sweet shin music" but Austin blocks it then ducks aclothesline which takes down the referee. The next exchange sees Dude Love get the mandible claw but Austin punches his opponent in the face. The claw finally takes it's toll and Austin is down but the referee is out cold. The match goes to the outside where Mcmahon and Austin struggle for control of the chair. Austin wrests it away but Dude Love forces it back on Austin. Dude attacks with the chair but he gets it shoved into his face twice. McMahon goes over to Dude Love, who is down and then Austin runs over and hits McMahon with the chair!!! Back in the ring Austin gets the Stunner but th referee is still out of it. Austin counts to three and his music plays. He leaves the ring area with the belt. Vince is down and out. Brisco confers with the ring announcer and Austin was disqualified for hitting an official.

After Austin leaves they immobilize McMahon's neck and then haul him away. It is being suggested that Austin could be stripped of the Title as we fade to black.

This was a pretty good Pay-Per-View although not the best one the WWF has put on lately. However, that last match was really wild and almost worth the $30 on its own.

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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