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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report: EXTRA!

Friday Morning Edition
An Interview with Scott Teal: Part 2

Conducted by Jeremy Hartley for TWC Online
Transcribed by Earl Oliver

Volume 3, Issue 317 - May 22, 1998
News from Bob Ryder:


Letters were exchanged last week between lawyers for WCW and Ric Flair relating to a possible settlement of WCW's lawsuit against Flair.


ECW has announced clearance on stations in two major markets beginning in early June.

ECW will start in Chicago on WJTS on June 5, and will air every Friday night at 11pm. � ECW starts in Atlanta on June 6 on WTLK at 9pm and will air every Saturday night. �

Both stations will be carried on all area cable systems.

Readers' Forum member E.S. sent me this strange story off the AP wire. Thanks Eric!

Woman flushes toilet, then catches fire.

Nashville, Tenn- A fire erupted in a restroom at the Nashville Arena when a woman flushed the toilet, and she was critically injured. The woman was at the arena during a World Wrestling Federation show. "She said she used the toilet, herd a swishing noise, then caught on fire", Fire Marshall John Petty said of the Monday incident.

Petty said it was not clear where the fire originated or where it started. He said it could have been caused by a flammable liquid or a fireworks grade explosive. WWF uses pyrotechnics in its shows.

The 34-year old woman, whose name was not released, was in critical but stable condition.

An Interview with Scott Teal

Conducted by Jeremy Hartley for TWC Online
Transcribed by Earl Oliver

Here is the second part a four part interview with the publisher of the "What Ever Happened Too..." newsletter. He is also a former wrestling photographer and publicist. Scott has devoted his publication, and his web site to the history of Pro-Wrestling with a special emphasis on the oral tradition. His web site is a must-see for anyone on the Internet who is interested in the "Old Days" of wrestling.

Jeremy Hartley: Yeah. Let's backtrack a little. We had discussed via email several months ago about your involvement in the business, but give us a little capsule of Scott Teal in the wrestling business here.

Scott Teal: Alright, actually I guess it started in Florida, I was doing my newsletter and I started shooting pictures at the matches, it wasn't for the newsletter - I just enjoyed the photos and I started sending them to "The Wrestler", and "Inside Pro-Wrestling" for Bill Apter. And for Tommy Kay, who used to put out, I think it was "Wrestling Monthly" out of Scottsdale, Arizona. So I started shooting pictures for the magazines and several of the boys down there (Editor's Note: "boys" is how people in the business generally refer to the wrestlers), that were working in Florida asked me about pictures, they saw me around the ringside, so I started to selling pictures to them. I made a few trips to Georgia for the Gunkel's, shooting pictures there. In '74, when I moved to Nashville, I don't think I even went to the matches for the first year, I was too busy with school. And I went to the matches finally and started shooting, I started traveling around with some of my old friends from Florida that came in to work for Nick Gulas, and Nick came up to me in Huntsville one day, he said he's seen my work and he asked me if I'd come work for him doing publicity. So I just did his photography and within the next year I was doing the arena program and putting out the weekly "Slam-O-Gram" programs which we sold at arenas throughout Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, and all the house shows there. I didn't have Memphis, didn't have Birmingham, but I had most of the others. That evolved into carrying all kinds of gimmicks, souveniers, you name it - ashtrays, combs, notebooks - anything...Boyd Pierce was the one who used to have them made up...

Jeremy Hartley: Oh, he was the one who did play-by-play for the Bill Watt's promotion..?

Scott Teal: Yes, he worked in Houston for Paul Bosch for many years...he put out a whole line of stuff. If it was portable, and you could carry it he would stamp either "NWA" or some kind of wrestling pisture on it and sell it as a souvenier at the arenas. You wouldn't believe the stuff we had! I used to get kidded because the hottest thing we had was this great big plastic afro comb, the thing was huge and we sold these things for a buck a piece with "National Wrestling Alliance" on it. People loved them, especially the black people in Tennessee, man they went crazy over that thing! We were ordering those by the case. Well, every week these guys would come back and they'd buy another one and they'd say, "Man, you need to make these things out of rubber, they break! We put them in our pockets and they break." I said, "Well, we'll talk about that..." then I'd look at my wife after they'd leave and say, "We're never going to make these things out of rubber because every time they break we can sell another one." We sold cases of them.

Jeremy Hartley: (laughs)

Scott Teal: We had a lot of fun in those years - I really miss the traveling and everything else. I stayed in the business until 1981-82. Nick sold his promotion to Jerry Jarrett and Buddy Fuller and I worked for Buddy for, I guess half a year or so and then Jarrett bought the whole promotion. Jerry had his programs that he was already selling, his own photography and everything so I just got out of the business and started working full time at United Parcel Service.

Jeremy Hartley: And you're still doing that now..?

Scott Teal: Yeah, I've been with them for almost 20 years now. I drive a tractor trailer back and forth from here to Memphis, or here top Louisville. Just 8 hour to 10 hour days, back home every night.

Jeremy Hartley: When I think of wrestling in Tennessee I immediately think of Jerry Lawler and Eddie Gilbert, both important wrestlers out of Tennessee. Do you have any memories or stories about either of those guys?

Scott Teal: Well, I don't really have a lot of stories about Eddie because when I was working for Nick, I guess Eddie was still a teenager, stil pretty young and wasn't in the business yet. He was a great person, he loved the business. I met him a couple of times when I'd go to Memphis - just a really neat kid. He loved to talk about wrestling and I guess he didn't really get into the business until I was either out or I was just about out. So I didn't really get a chance to be around Eddie when he was in the business - it was before he was a wrestler.

Jeremy Hartley: Uh huh...

Scott Teal: Jerry Lawler? I knew Jerry pretty well back then. Jerry's a great guy. I worked for Jerry for quite a while, at the time, like I said, I was doing the programs for Nick. Jerry Jarrett and Jerry Lawler sort of went off on their own. They sort of did a deal where they had been running Louisville, Memphis and that end of the territory and they sort of took it over from Nick. It was sort of a power play so they could have their own deal. I think they probably paid Nick something along the line for it but I have never been able to find anybody to verify that. But Lawler called me one day and wanted me to come do the stories for his program in Memphis. Well, it doesn't matter whether you're a wrestler or publicity or what, when you work for a promotion, most of the time they're going to say, "If you go work for the outlaw guys, you'll never work for me again." And that's sort of the way it was. Nick came to me and said, "You know, you're making a fairly decent living with me, I'd rather you not be taking pictures and doing stuff for the other group." So what I did was, I didn't go to the shows but I sent Lawler 5 or 6 stories a week and he'd send me a check. So I had a chance to work for Lawler. Lawler was real good. He seemed to love the work I did and I saw him, I guess, last summer. The only show I've been to in about 15 years was in Franklin, Tennessee this past summer.

Jeremy Hartley: Was that the Weindross...

Scott Teal: That's right, George Weindross promoted it and wanted to know if I would come out. I thought I'd like to, and the more I thought about it I realized it had been a long time because, like I said, it had been 15 years since I had been to a show. But I saw Lawler while I was there and we had a nice time. We spent probably close to an hour standing in the back laughing and talking about old stories and old times.

Jeremy Hartley: So do you follow wrestling of today..?

Scott Teal: No, I read two newsletters, I read the Observer and I read the Lariet. I love the write-ups in the Lariet, I think they do a super job with their house show reports, I mean they just do a great job...

Jeremy Hartley: Very detailed...

Scott Teal: Yes, it is. And that's about all I really do. I don't watch the television anymore, I really haven't watched it in years and years. Every once in a while I'm flipping the channels I just watch a couple minutes of it but that's about it. I really just think that the product they have today just doesn't interest me. I'm not intersted in all the women and the flash that they show. Like that's half of what they do anymore. It's gotten completely away from wrestling, and I don't mean to be knocking it because if that's what people want to see, that's great. If that's what was on television when I flipped the channels at my girlfriend's house that day then I wouldn't be a fan today. I never would have kept up watching it. I don't know it just doesn't interest me.

Jeremy Hartley is a longtime friend of Solie's and a regular contributer to the newsletter. His "EYE on Wrestling" columns can be found in the "Articles" section of the web site. His previous interviews with Bob Blackburn, Lou Thesz, Bob Ryder and Buddy Landel are currently to be found in the "Interviews" section.

Thunder Report

We open with the scene when the Giant told Sting that he would have a decision to make if they won the Tag Belts. Then we see the end of Nitro. Sting spits in the Giants face and gets punked for his trouble.

Thunder is live from Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. Tony is shouting at us from within the ring. He brings the Giant out to the ring. The Giabnt is wearing both Tag Team Belts as he strides down the aisle. He takes them off and drapes them over Tony's shoulder before starting his rant. He claims to have apologized to Sting who (he claims) has joined the nWo. Lex Luger comes down shaking his head - the Giant looks a bit nervous. Tony calls for security but Luger waves them off. Luger says they have been talking to different Stings apparently and says the Giant is lying. He challenges The Giant to a match tonight. The Giant's answer is to offer Luger a place in the nWo. Luger spits in his face. Several wrestlers run in and get squashed as Luger walks away. The Giant then accepts the match. Cut to commercial.

Yuji Nagata (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Ernest Miller - fresh out of the PowerPlant, this is Miller's first match in a while. Nagata wins the first exchange but "the Cat" comes right back with authority. Sonny Oono stops his momentum with a choke from the outside. Miller ends up ringside and Oono pummels him with martial arts kicks. Miller's left leg is injured and once he reenters the ring, Nagata goes right to work on it. Certainly, Nagata is the better rounded wrestler here. Miller is having trouble standing but gets in a side kick. Nagata gets in a couple of more shots and Miller ends up slumped in the corner. Still, with...well..."catlike" agility he levers himself onto the top turnbuckle and throws his spinning reverse kick and takes the pin. Afterward he's still having trouble standing as we go to the break.

Replay of Dean Malenko's interview following Slamboree. Then we see Jericho throwing his tantrum the same night.

Chris Jericho vs. Super Calo - Jericho comes out with a sign over his head that reads "Conspiracy Victim" and has an arrow pointing down. He starts by apologizing for his tantrum then complains of the conspiracy against him, comparing it to the Roswell Incident and the assasination of JFK. He calls JJ Dillon to the ring. Dillon fails to appear so he shows us a list of the competitors who were supposed to be in the Battle Royal and claims that, since Malenko wasn't listed, he (Jericho) should get the belt back. Tony informs us that Dillon isn't here tonight...and Jericho knows it. Oh yeah...this is a match. Calo is attacked as he enters the ring but comes right back. Jericho turns the tables with a German suplex. Calo recovers and throws a moonsault which doesn't turn out to well. Jericho quickly puts him into the Lion Tamer and takes the victory. Cut to commerial.

We harken back to an encounter between Mortis and Raven a few months back. Raven lays out what it takes to join the flock. Later he has a match with DDP and loses then we see the series of attacks on Raven that prompted the granting of Raven's request for guards. The attacker was Mortis, it turns out.

Raven comes down to the ring with his riot squad in tow. He rants against Saturn for rejecting Raven's idea of a round-robin match for the US belt last Sunday. Saturn comes to the ring and says that Raven is drunk with power and confused. He denies being a follower of Raven, asserting that they are friends. Raven surprises us by apologizing to Saturn, saying he (Saturn) is right - then he calls out Mortis to face him in the ring one-on-one. Of course his riot squad stands at the ready. As soon as Mortis gets close enough the riots squad attacks. Then a second "fan" runs in, puts one of Mortis' moves on Raven then splits. Which one was the "real" Mortis is now unclear, but what is clear is that Raven has been fooled again. Cut to commercial.

Jim Neidhart vs. Fit Finley - TV Title match - Neidhart would seem to be a truly lost soul. With Bret Hart's status in seeming limbo, one has to wonder where that leaves the Anvil. Neidhart throws Finley off twice with ease, then downs him and goes for a Boston Crab. Finley gets to the ropes to escape. The Champ finally turns the tables when his opponent rushes into the corner and tastes Irish leather. It doesn't last long though, Neidhart's power is overwhelming. Finley comes roaring back and within moments has the Tombstone on Neidhart to take the pin.

Tony is at the foot of the ramp and announces that Booker T has been named as the number one contender to the TV belt. Chris Benoit comes out to Booker's music. He wants to talk to whoever made the decision. Booker T comes out in a shirt and tie. He says he respects Benoit but he accepts the decision (sure, why not?) Benoit seems to agree and walks away, but then turns back and attacks Booker. Benoit leaves and Stevie Ray comes out. He berates Booker for not taking Benoit on again, for letting Benoit blindside him. He tells his brother to go backstage and get Benoit then they leave together. Cut to commercial.

Brian Adams (w/Vincent) vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan - this could be good - neither of these guys can wrestle his way out of a paper bag, both are powerful brawlers. Duggan clearly has the power (and incidently, the experience) advantage. In fact Vincent has to lend a hand to give Adams an opening. Duggan ends up on the floor where Adams attacks him. Back in the ring, Adams goes for a cover but can't hold his opponent down. He holds Duggan's neck on the rope and is pulled off by his hair by the referee. He is DQ'd fr attacking the ref but Duggan isn't finished. He attacks Adams but the referee is back and in the way. Duggan is distracted then Adams gets hold of the board but he is distracted by and swings at the referee. Duggan gets his board back and Adams beats a hasty retreat. Cut to commercial.

Saturn vs. Hammer - Hammer takes the early advantage by dint of his superior size but that's all he has going for him. Saturn turns the tables almost immediately ans tosses him around like a rag doll despite his bulk. Hammer comes back with a powerslam then hits a flying shoulder block. He gets a suplex and a reverse atomic drop. Reese jumps on the apron and distracts Hammer (and the ref) allowing Raven to enter the ring and DDT Hammer. Saturn doesn't appreciate the help, but in the end he takes advantage of Hammer's discomfort to put on the Death Valley Driver and take the pin. Cut to commercial.

I'll be damned, there's Ric Rude coming to the ring. He parodies his old entrance speech as he introduces "the next US Heavyweight Champion Curt Hennig." Hennig enters wearing his Wolf Pack colors. Rude confirms that he is sticking with Hennig in the nWo split. Hennig rants about Goldberg calling him' "the biggest mark I've ever seen." Rude then gives Goldberg ten seconds to come out but Hennig interrupts the count to challenge the US Champ to a match at the Great American Bash. Tony informs us that Goldberg isn't present this evening...and they know it.

Juventud Guerrera vs. Horace (w/the Flock at ringside) - Horace has a huge size advantage here and uses it pretty well. Hulk Hogan's nephew is fairly agile for a big guy. The fight goes to the outside where Juvey turns the tables. Back in the ring he gets a two count on his opponent. Horace comes back with a belly-to-back suplex. He runs through the little guy with a shoulder block. After a few more shots he goes for a powerbomb but Juvey shifts his weight and frankensteiners him out of the ring. The referee is paying attention to Horace and doesn't see that Reese is in the ring. He uses a modified chokeslam to wipe Guerrera out. Horace re-enters the ring and pulls Juvey up by his hair then levels him with a clothesline. The pin comes easy. Cut to commrcial.

We get replay of the Piper/Savage conversation from Nitro including Bret Hart's interruption then Hogan's suggestion of a tag team match.

Randy Savage comes to the ring with Miss Liz. He promises the "Tag Team Match from Hell" for the PPV. He mentions that he hates Piper but he figures he can count on him in a fight. He still wants to fight Piper at some point after the Bash because he feels that the Commissioner owes him an apology for his ruling at Slamboree. Cut to commercial.

We come back to a video of Chavo and his great aunt, who starts to talk but is interrupted by her son (Eddie) who misinterprets what she said to his own advantage.

Eddie and Chavo come to the ring - Chavo seems to have had a change of heart - he wants to take this match for Eddie - it happpens to be a match for the Cruiserweight Title. Surprised, Eddie leaves the ring.

Dean Malenko vs. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. - Cruiserweight Title match - Chavo has some good fortune in the early going and keeps turning to Eddie to tell him how much he likes him. Eddie is thoroughly confused. In the ring, Chavo continues to shine. At ringside, Eddie seems to have changed his allegence. Chavo goes for his Tornado DDT but Malenko shifts the balance and turns it into a Texas Cloverleaf. Afterward, Eddie comes in to berate his nephew who responds hotly. Eddie offers his chin to be punched as he did the last time we saw them. Chavo kisses him instead...then hauls off and flattens him! It's the first act of rebellion we've seen from him and the crowd loves it. Cut to commercial.

Lex Luger vs. The Giant - The Giant misses the first blow and gts pouded bck into the corner. But he comes out in a rush and puts Luger down then stands on his chest! He throws Luger piller-to-post then puts a Russian leg sweep on him. As the Giant attacks again security has to remove a fan who rushes into the ring. Luger comes back with a series of clothesline that rock the Giant. Suddenly "Sting" hits the ring...only it isn't Sting. He is ejected but comes back in and helps the Giant beat on Luger. They split as we fade to black...

A pretty average Thunder program but it went by pretty fast. Plenty of action.

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

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