Click the banner above for great wrestling DVDs
Solie's Tuesday Morning Report: EXTRA!
Friday Morning Edition
The Battle of Champions
Dream Card by Ervin Griffin, Jr.
by Earl Oliver
Volume 3, Issue 311 - May 8, 1998
INTERNET FANS VOTE FOR FLAIR
Thousands of Internet fans have cast votes for Ric Flair in the online version of People's 3rd Annual Beautiful People Poll.
Flair is currently ranked 2nd on the list, and is pulling away from of Leonardo DiCaprio, who is ranked 3rd.
Flair was not listed on the ballot, and is being entered as a write in candidate.
Fans wishing to vote for Flair can do so at:
Caution: Only one vote is allowed. Multiple votes will result in votes being thrown out. Voting is case sensitive. Enter vote as: Ric Flair
Here's a letter from Ervin Griffin:
What you see in today's edition is a new vote-by e-mail dream card called "Battle Of Champions". What I would like with your votes is which bout on this card would you like to see made into a "what-if" story!!! You can add that choice with your votes and/or comments. I am also running a similar card on my web site called "BattleBowl II". If you wish to vote on that one as well, the URL is: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Labyrinth/5647/
Also, check out my new fan writings section on my page as well as the complete "what-if" storyline thus far!!! I have also dressed up the page with some lovely and (at times) brutal photos. See ya with your votes as I gotta get back to work on studying, the Flair series and a new story which is part of the "what-if" family but will appear in Solie's. I'll keep it a secret for now!!!
The Battle Of Champions
By Ervin Griffin, Jr.
Once again, I am taking a trip to a dream world where time, injury, and reality means nothing!!! I call this one "The Battle Of Champions." It'll feature champs from various organizations (mostly NWA, WCW and WWF) and (just to make it a bit easier) I'll limit it to champions of the 80's and of this decade. Most of these will be straight matches with only a few being a specialty match. Like other previous dream cards, it'll be done by e-mail vote. Here is the line up:
Rick & Scott Steiner (1990) VS. "Ravishing" Rick Rude/Manny "Ragin' Bull" Fernandez (1987) (Steel Cage Match)
- A battle of NWA World Tag Team Champions here. Rick and Scott Steiner were arguably at their most unbeatable during this period. Rude and Fernandez, while at first underrated, was one of the most respected tag teams of 1987 during their NWA Tag Title reign. Rick and Scott was known (and still are known) for their amateur wrestling style and suplexing abilities. Rude was known (at this time) for his physique, shrewedness, and his DDT while his partner (Fernandez) was known for his explosive nature and toughness. The Steiners used various double team maneuvers while Rude and Fernandez was best known for their double DDT maneuver where both men would grab their opponent in a front facelock and drive his head into the mat (ouch!!)!! This would probably start slow but will get volatile later on. Your call.
Bret "HitMan" Hart (1992) VS. The Ultimate Warrior (1990)
- A battle of WWF World Champions here during their best periods (IMO). Bret Hart became WWF World Champion for the first time on October 12, 1992 in Schetuwan, Canada (excuse my spelling) defeating Ric Flair. UW began his 10 month title run when he defeated Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI at The Skydome in Toronto, Canada on April 1, 1990. Warrior is the most powerful and explosive of the two champs but Hart has held his own against big men. Hart, of course, is the better wrestler but UW had a history of reducing men with great technical skills to rubble!!! Neither man, IMO, is a mere wrestler and it would come down to who would make the biggest mistake. Hart's "sharpshooter" is an effective weapon but would UW submit? UW's gorilla press slam was a awesome sight but would that be enough to put down "The Excellence Of Execution?" Tough call folks.
Curt "Mr. Perfect" Hennig (1990) VS. Nikita Koloff (1986)
- It's the WWF Intercontiental Title VS. the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. Hennig started the first of his two runs as WWF Intercontiental Champion in 1990 and did some of his best wrestling at that time. In 1986, Nikita Koloff won the NWA United States Championship and went on to defend the title for almost a year. He established himself to be the most dominant US Champion of that time (THE most dominant wrestler to hold that belt was Lex Luger, IMO). As with the previous match, wrestling skills would go to Hennig while power would go to Koloff. Koloff, however, was a little more technically sound than UW ever was and might give Hennig a little more difficulty in that department than expected. The "perfect-plex" is a great finisher but usually only works against men weighing 250lbs. or under. Very few men, however, had ever kicked out of Nikita's "Russian Sickle" clothesline!!! The difference in the finishing moves here was that Hennig "PP" was used best when the opponent was either stunned, injured, or was tired out. Nikita's "Sickle" didn't need all of that because it didn't matter when he did it!!! If he hit you with it, the match was over, PERIOD!!! Your call.
Dusty Rhodes (1986) VS. The Great Muta (1993)
- Former NWA World Heavyweight Champions are set to battle here. I picked the Rhodes that won his third NWA title from Ric Flair in July of 1986 during that legendary Great American Bash Tour in Greensboro, NC (I still have the film from that match and watch it occasionally). Muta won his version of the NWA title in Tokyo, Japan in January 1993 against Masa Chono. Talk about two contrasting styles?!!! Rhodes knew some wrestling skills but mainly relied on brawling and his "bionic elbow" to win matches. Muta was a good scientific aerial wrestler who used his deadly (but illegal) green mist, karate kicks and moonsault bodypress to win!!! Rhodes does have some experience against the Japanese style as he battled Kendo Nagasaki, Mr. Saito, and The Great Kabuki (Muta's father) in some wars!!! Muta is best known for his feud with Sting in 1989 and his association with the NWO. He has also had various tag bouts with the Steiners. In 1992, he teamed with Sting to defeat the Steiners in Tokyo. Your call.
Antonio Inoki (1984) VS. Shingi Hashimoto (1997)
- A battle of IWGP Champions. Antonio Inoki is best known for his boxer VS. wrestler match with Muhammad Ali by American fans. You might remember Shingi from the NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament in 1992 where he teamed with Hiro Hase to reach the semi-finals. Inoki was known for his technical ability and explosive nature. He is one of the few men to ever make Hulk Hogan give up in a match. He did it in 1984 to regain the IWGP strap. Hashimoto defeated The Great Muta for a 13 month reign (and counting as far as I know, if anyone knows if he has lost the belt, please tell me). Hashimoto is known for his karate kicks that literally take the breath away from you!!! I have heard of men having difficulty breathing after a match with Hashimoto because of those kicks!!! Experience would belong to Inoki but he better wear a rib guard!!!
Tully Blanchard (1987) VS. Ultimo Dragon (1997)
- It is the NWA World Television Champion of that era VS. the former WCW World Television Champion. Tully was one of the longest reigning TV champs in the history of the NWA/WCW. Ultimo, along with Lord Steven Regal, could claim to be the most skilled TV champ ever. Ultimo is more high flying but Tully is probably the better mat technician and the better rulebreaker. Still, call me biased, but I'll take the "Dragon Sleeper" over Tully's "Slingshot Suplex" any day as a great finisher. I don't think it'll come down to the finishing moves though, it'll probably come down to the man that makes the biggest mistake and a lot of luck.
Arn "Enforcer" Anderson (1991) VS. Owen Hart (1997)
- It is this era's WWF Intercontiental Champion VS. one of the only two men to hold the NWA/WCW World Television Title four times (the other was Lord Steven Regal). Owen is a crafty competitor with aerial skills while Arn was scientific brawler. Owen has perfected the "sharpshooter" along with bother Bret Hart while Arn was known for the "spinebuster" slam and "The DDT." Arn also has family roots in wrestling as his father-in-law was Ole Anderson and brother-in-law was the late Gene Anderson. Arn was known for taking a body part and rendering it useless while Owen takes whatever advantage came to him. Usually, though, he would work on the legs for the "sharpshooter." If the match would've turned into a fight, Arn would have a big advantage. If it stays a wrestling match, then Owen would have had a much better chance of winning. Your call.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin (1997) VS. Ric Flair (1987) ("I Quit" Match)
- We have the man that don't give a damn against the dirtiest player in the game. Both men are great at scientific wrestling. I think Austin is a better brawler but Flair is the better cheater. Flair, however, has only one true submission hold and that is the figure four while Austin has several leg holds plus a knockout blow in the "Stone Cold Stunner." Flair, in 1987, was NWA World Champion and was very difficult to beat so the "Stunner" on him wouldn't necessarily mean victory for Austin. Austin, as he has proven in the past, would probably pass out before he would give up to the figure four so that move wouldn't mean victory for Flair either. I see this fictional bout being a long one (at least 30 minutes).
Barry Windham/Dustin Rhodes (1992) VS. Strike Force (Rick Martel/Tito Santana) (1987)
- Another tag team time match up. This time, it is between the NWA/WCW Unified World Tag Team Champions of 1992 (Windham/Rhodes) VS. The upstart WWF World Tag Team champions of that year in Strike Force. Windham and Rhodes used science and brawling to win matches. Both were about 6'6" tall and weighed about 260lbs. a piece. Both had good mobility and had great individual finishers (Barry had the superplex and the Texas DDT/Rhodes had the bulldog headlock and the "Bionic Elbowsmash"). Both were also proficient at the flying lariat clothesline. Strike Force relied on almost all science and double-teaming to win matches. Although both had great finishers (Santana had the flying forearm and the figure four/Martel had the Boston Crab), they mainly used Martel's Boston Crab to win matches. Both teams were durable and could withstand tremendous punishment (although for my money, Windham and Rhodes were the tougher team). Your call.
The British Bulldogs (1986) VS. The Midnight Express (1988) (Steel Cage Match)
- It's the WWF Tag Team Champions of 1986 VS. the NWA World and United States Tag Team Champions of 1988. The Bulldogs, along with The Hart Foundation, were probably the most talented tag team of that time period in the WWF. Likewise, The Midnights were arguably the most talent team in the NWA of that era (along with The Road Warriors and The BrainBusters). The Midnights were great athletes with great teamwork maneuvers, aerial ability and sneaky tactics. The Bulldogs were a fast team that had great teamwork and great aerial ability. The Bulldogs also had the power game that no version of the Midnights ever had. The Midnights had good individual contributions ("Sweet" Stan Lane had his karate kicks/"Beautiful" Bobby Eaton had brawling ability and high risk moves) as well as the Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith had the standing suplex, running powerslam, and was the powerman of the team/Dynamite Kid, while powerful himself, had more speed and used the flying headbutt and snap suplex as finishers). The managers of each team (Capt. Lou Albano for Bulldogs/Jim Cornette for Midnights) would most likely get involved someway here. Call it.
Lex Luger (1990) VS. Scott Hall (1994)
- Power VS. Power here. Lex Luger, IMO, was THE most awesome and dominant NWA United States Champion ever. Scott Hall, while not as awesome, was one of the most dominant WWF Intercontiental Champions ever under the name Razor Ramon. I picked 1990 because this is when Luger completed his year long reign as US Champ. He won the belt for a third time the previous year on May 19, 1989 in Bluefield, WV (my hometown). He held the belt until October 27, 1990 of the next year when Stan "The Lariat" Hansen defeated him. Luger, however, came back to defeat Hansen at Starrcade '90 in December of that year to regain the title. I picked Hall from 1994 because this is when he had that Ladder Match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania X. He also lost and regained the I-C strap in 1994 from Diesel (ironically his partner Kevin Nash). Hall would go on to two more reigns with this belt becoming the only four time I-C Champion to date. Luger had raw power and intensity on his side while Hall, a powerful man himself, relied on more smarts to win matches. "The Human Torture Rack" backbreaker and "The Razors Edge" powerbomb (I prefer that name to the "Outsider's Edge") could put you away at any time in the match!!! Luger also had "The Loaded Forearm" while Hall had the "discus punch" and a lethal belly-to-back suplex. Call it.
Shawn Michaels (1995) VS. Sting (1989)
- Shawn Michaels was both a heel and, later, a face in 1995. He also had that close match up with Diesel at WrestleMania XI and won the WWF Intercontiental Title from Jeff Jarrett in July at In Your House II in Nashville, TN. HBK was, arguably, in his best and most popular form that year. In 1989, Sting was at his most explosive and was still the rebelious young man that was later dropped for a persona that was akin to Hulk Hogan's. Sting also won his first major title (NWA World Television Title) that year too and never had a problem in terms of popularity. In wrestling terms, Shawn Michaels is the quicker of the two but Sting is not a slow wrestler by any strech. Sting is the stronger wrestler but Shawn is not a 90-pound weakling either. Sting uses power, explosivness, and science to win matches. Shawn relies on smarts, quickness, and a little deviousness to win. Sting's "scorpion deathlock" would not necessarily mean victory as Shawn has experience against a similar hold in Bret Hart's "sharpshooter." Michaels' "sweet chin music" wouldn't seal victory for Shawn as Sting's experience with The Great Muta and "Gentleman" Chris Adams would prove invaluable against that move. I think both men would have to go to something else for this one.
Kevin Nash (1995) VS. Vader (1993)(Steel Cage Match)
- Nash (then known as Diesel) was not a lengthy champion like Hulk Hogan but he was just as dominant. In 1995, he reigned for most of that year as the WWF World Heavyweight Champion. It took a no DQ, no Countout match up with Bret Hart at Survivor Series '95 to finally take the belt. In 1993, Vader was the WCW World Heavyweight Champion for most of that year. He finally lost it for the final time in December 1993 at the hands of Ric Flair. Both men, in their respective federations, were dominant world champions. Both men used the same finisher in the powerbomb. Vader was the more agile of the two and the more heavier of the two (Vader is 6'5", 450lbs. while Nash was 6'10", 320lbs.). Nash would've been the more explosive of the two and a good brawler so a street fight wouldn't have necessarily favored Vader. A wrestling match, believe it or not, would have Vader in the advantage as I think he knows more wrestling holds than Nash. Still, both men would prefer to fight so it'll be the first man that folds his tent here.
Well, that's the card. Now, send in your votes. If possible, add your opinion to why you think a match would end this way. When I print the results, I might add print your quote in the article. You don't have to add opinions to every match but I would prefer it. My e-mail is email@example.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.
No Interactive Report for the May 31st PPV
Before I get into the editorial portion I just wanted to make an announcement. I have been presenting Interactive PPV reports lately and they have been very successfull. I have pledged to do all of my Special Event reports in this fashion from now on. I have to tell you that I will not be able to do so for the May 31st PPV program. I am working as a musician from noon until 6 PM that day so that PPV will be reported in normal way, that is to say, after the event is over.
The Jerry Brisco Controversey
I know, I know...I seem to be obsessing on this subject...
Just to set the record straight I have gathered the following statistics on the Brisco Brothers:
- Jack and Jerry Brisco were the NWA World Tag Team Champions on three occasions between June of 1983 and April of 1984. Jack was the NWA World Champion for almost a year and a half from July of '73 until December of '74. He was defeated by Giant Baba on December 2, 1974 then won the Title back exactly one week later and held it for a year and a day until he was defeated by Terry Funk on December 10, 1975. He also held the NWA Eastern States Heavyweight Title in 1971. Jerry held that Title in 1973. Jack and Jerry both held the NWA Southern Heavyweight Title on multiple occasions. Jerry held the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title for approximately a month in 1981. He also held the Atlantic Coast Tag Team Title with Sandy Scott in 1972 and with Thunderbolt Patterson in 1973. This Title was renamed the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title in 1974.
My reason for stating the above is to make a point about wrestling promoters and their assessments of the intellegence of the wrestling fans.
In his introductory speech concerning Jerry Brisco on RAW the night that McMahon was scheduled to wrestle Steve Austin, McMahon referred to Brisco as a "...former WWF Tag Team Champion". At some point after that he was evidently informed that he had mispoken because, in fact, neither of the Brisco's ever held any Titles in the WWF. So, on this weeks RAW, a tribute video to Jerry Brisco was aired in which Vince intoned in voice-over that Brisco had, "...earned WWF Tag Team Champion status..." A very subtle difference to be sure but clearly, rather than admit a mistake, he chose to muddy the original assertion enough to cover his tail. Saying that Brisco "earned WWF Tag Team Champion status" is not quite the same thing as saying that he is, "...a former WWF Tag Team Champion" - but it comes awfully close.
Of course McMahon isn't the only promoter guilty of this kind of distortion. As a correspondent to my Readers' Forum pointed out, WCW makes the same kind of dubious claim when they refer to Ric Flair as, "the 13 time World Heavyweight Champion" without mentioning that two of those reigns happened during his tour of the WWF.
A while back I complained that the WWF was in the habit of implying that their RAW broadcasts were live when they were actually on tape. As I recall they even went as far to claim a card taped at the Toronto Skydome on a Friday evening represented "...the largest crowd ever to attend a Monday night event at the Skydome..." As a result of that outrage I made it a policy to always state up front in my reports whether the Monday night shows are live or pre-recorded. I am happy to say that the WWF has since stopped being so blatent in their attempts to convince us that the shows are live.
Of course, WCW recently pulled the same stunt by talking about the recent Tuesday Nitro broadcast as taking place on "Tuesday night" and having Bret Hart say that he would "come back tomorrow" for his confrontation with Hulk Hogan during his rant on the Monday broadcast. Clearly, since both of these shows came to us from the Norfolk Scope, they actually both took place on the same night.
Now I'm sure that there are people reading this who are saying to themselves, "What's his problem? Doesn't he know that wrestling is just theater?" - and of course I do. I just have a problem with the promoters assuming that they can pull the wool over our eyes. The "suspension of disbelief" which is essential for any kind of theater to be effective, requires that the deception be grounded in reality in some fashion. Such obvious attempts to deceive us imply that the promoters don't think we are smart enough to see through the deception.
Some such deceptions are even malicious. Take the use of the Norfolk Scope's electronic sign during the DX skit on last week's RAW broadcast. Clips of the sign in action seemed to imply that WCW was giving away tickets on a massive scale in order to fill the arena for their Nitro card. In fact, the video of the sign was altered to show the WCW announcement followed by the offer of free tickets. The free ticket offer was referring to another event altogether. The WWF then compounded the deception over the weekend by showing the doctored footage several times on LiveWire and Supoerstars and each time actually stating that WCW was giving away tickets. Of course technically the statement was true, since both promotions make it a regular practice to give away a limited number of free passes to their TV programs. The deception was in the implication of how many free seats were being offered.
The WWF seems particularly prone to cast aspersions on the competition at every opportunity. Take the interview with McMahon during the A&E Wrestling documentary that aired last week. During part of that talk he was heard to make a statement about Ted Turner calling him to say, "Guess what? I'm in the rasslin' business..." to which Vince responded "Good for you, I'm in the entertainment business." McMahon just had to get in his little dig, even in the context of a supposedly non-partisan documentary.
I guess what I am saying is that I just wish both sides would back off and just do their own things for a while. I remember fondly when it was possible to have an inter-promotional match such as when Bob Backlund faced Ric Flair to supposedly unify the NWA and WWF World Titles (yes, it did happen at least 4 times that I know of). Of course the match ended in a time limit draw, effectively nullifying the unification. That was a deception, the outcome was pre-determined, but it showed two promotions cooperating to give the fans something they wanted to see. Both promotions...and the fans, won on that occasion.
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
Listen to my interview on the TWC-Online Radio Show
Up Close and Personal
Hosted by Jeremy Hartley
You may need this...
Read my latest editorial courtesy of
Bret Hart's Weekly Column in the Calgary Sun
(Editor's Note: If you have found anything thats been said here to be particularly offensive please read this disclaimer).
Join the livliest discussion of wrestling topics on the web. Please watch your language, we have children surfing in here. Visit Solie's Readers' Forum. This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.
Click the banner above for great wrestling DVDs
Copyright 1998 - Jump City Productions