By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka
Part 11: Nikita Koloff
After winning his fifth NWA Championship (I know the history books would say four but check out Matt Benaka's title histories), Ric Flair would go into the fall of 1986 without a serious challenger.
Then came October 1986 when Terry Allen (Magnum TA) had his automobile accident in Charolette, NC. This incident is related because Magnum and Dusty Rhodes were scheduled to face Ole Anderson & JJ Dillion (subbing for an injured Tully Blanchard) in Charolette in a cage match.
Two weeks after the accident, Rhodes was attacked in a parking lot by the Horsemen!!! The following night, Rhodes came to the cage with Nikita Koloff, one of Magnum's fiercest rivals!!! Nikita helped Rhodes savage Ole and JJ that night and raised the ire of Flair!!! Flair went to the NWA promoters and demanded that he would face Koloff at Starrcade '86 in Atlanta, GA!!! This would be the first meeting between the two since November of the previous year when Nikita (along with Ivan Koloff and Krusher Krushev) almost ended Flair's career at this same venue!!
The match itself wasn't the greatest bout in NWA history but it might have been one of the more brutal NWA title matches as both men wanted to tear into each other!!! The match ended in a double-disqualification that saw Flair retain the NWA title. The two would engage in more bouts in both singles and tag action over the next ten months!!!
Next: What About Garvin?
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Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and also contributes to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis. Many of his previous articles are available in the
Live from Evansville, Indiana, the Nitro Grrrrls give us a routine in the ring as Tony introduces the card. The main event tonight will be the Giant/nWo Sting vs. Lex Luger/Sting. We get a clip from last week featuring the confrontation between Sting and the Giant. Then we see appearance of nWo Sting on Thunder at the conclusion of the Giant/Luger match before going to the first commercial.
Raven approaches the ring with his riot squad and the Flock in tow as we return. He rants against Mortis then turns his attention to Saturn. He seems to be taking back his apology from last week but says that Saturn is important to him. He offers to fire the Flock if Saturn will come back. Lodi questions him and gets DDT'd. Saturn doesn't show up and the crowd is chanting "Raven Sucks" as we cut to a video of Glacier whining about people "imitating" his Cryonic Kick, Saturn in particular. He challenges Saturn to a match - his side kick against Saturn's. Cut to commercial.
More Nitro Grrrls as we return. Segue into a discussion of the Benoit/Booker T feud then cut to a clip of the Benoit/Booker T confrontation last week followed by Stevie Ray's reappearance lambasting his brother for knuckling under to Benoit. I have heard a rumor this week that Stevie Ray is headed for the nWo. Meanwhile Tenay is telling us that Benoit and Booker will have a best-of-seven series to determine the top contender for the TV belt - match number one is tonight.
Mike Enos vs. Fit Finley - TV Title match - Enos is a big tough, strong guy but he is outclassed as a wrestler by Finley, who is very tough in his own right. Enos has a fairly good flurry towards the middle of the match but he can't keep Finley down. He makes a cardinal error by spinning over too fast on a powerslam and hurts his own leg by getting it between Finley and the mat. It takes only a moment for Finley to come back with the Tombstone and take the duke. I imagine Finley's run as Champ is a reward for training Goldberg over the last few months. Cut to commercial.
Mean Gene is at the foot of the ramp as we return. He hawks the WCW Hotline then throws it back to the announcers.
Glacier vs. Saturn - here is the match that Glacier asked for earlier this evening during his rant. Glacier's martial arts attack earns him the first success in this match but it only makes Saturn more focused and determined. The match is is pretty even in the early going with Glacier holding the edge but he keeps throwing away the advantage by being too cocky. In the midst of this see-saw battle, Raven appears and heads for the ring were both combatants go for flying tackles and collide mid-ring. Meanwhile Hammer runs down and attacks Raven in the aisle then goes to the apron where Glacier knocks him to the floor. Thus distracted, Glacier is easily hoisted into the Death Valley Driver and taken out. On the outside, Raven is DDTing Hammer. As the victor exits the ring, Raven demands of Saturn, "What about me?" - but Saturn just walks away. Cut to commercial.
The announcers are talking about the main event when the nWo theme starts playing. Here comes the Giant trailed by Vincent and Brian Adams. The Giant has certainly come a long ways in the last year as a speech maker. He challenges Kevin Nash to come to the ring right now to get his butt kicked. Nash appears on the platform solo and has his own mic ready as he strolls toward the ring. He enters the ring and goes through the two smaller guys to get to the Giant. In a moment he is overwhelmed but then Nash's troups break that up...but what's this? Luger is there as well, with a chair in his hands with which he knocks the Giant from the ring. The crowd is stunned as Konnan doffs his Wolf Pack shirt and tosses it to Luger, who seems to consider it for a moment then puts on the shirt! Luger is a member of the Wolf Pack?? And what about his match as Sting's partner tonight?? Cut to commercial.
Chris Jericho vs. El Dandy - this time we get the match without Jericho's rant (for a change). He attacks Dandy upon his ring entrance but Dandy turns the tables and almost gets a pin right away. Jericho responds aggressively and gets the Lion Tamer in no time. He has his list of Cruiserweight Battle Royal contestants and again demands that JJ Dillon come to the ring and listen to his complaint (I guess I spoke too soon...) Dillon decides to respond this time. The insulting Jericho changes his tune as soon as JJ enters the ring. JJ hears him out but says he has no case. Jericho throws a tantrum and follows Dillon to the back complaining all the way. We see a replay of Lex Luger's defection to the nWo as we cut to commercial.
nWo music plays again as we return.
Konnan vs. (yawn) La Parka - does Konnan always wrestle with that big crucifix around his neck? I've never noticed it before. They take turns ducking each other's rush into the corner. Konna ends up on top but La Parka comes back with some good kicks to turn the tables. Konnan falls out to the floor and La Parks dives on him but fails to get it right. They then roll back in. La Parka comes off the top and tastes Mexican leather. From there its all down hill for the masked man. The Tequilla Sunrise puts him away.
Nitro Grrrls surround the broadcast team as they cavort...
Mortis (Chris Kanyon) rants in a home video against Raven. He recounts their clashes over the last few months and threatens to "get to you anywhere, anytime..." Cut to commercial.
Mean Gene brings Roddy Piper to the ring. So what do you suppose he'll do to insert himself into things tonight? He rants about Savage's rants over the last two weeks which brings Savage to the ring. Piper calls Savage "mentally diabled" to his face but the Macho man doesn't seem to notice. In the midst of their argument, Bret Hart shows up in the aisle who tries to spin out a tale about Piper's whole line to Savage being a scam. Piper can't believe his ears but Savage seems to be falling for it. After Hart finishes his lies and leaves, Piper tries to talk some sense to Savage - he says, "...lets get the job done then, if you want to take me on, then give it a shot." Savage agrees and we go to commercial.
Kidman (w/Lodi) vs. Juventud Guerrera - Juvey has done a great job, over the last few months, of differentiating himself from the rest of the luchedores. He and Kidman trade slaps at the beginning of this match. Kidman asserts his slightly larger stature and takes the early advantage but Juvey comes right back. He knocks his opponent to the outside and then hits him with a suicide dive. As they re-enter the ring Lodi grabs Juvey's leg and distracts him so that Kidman can retake the initiative. He throws just about the best standing drop-kick I've ever seen at one point to hold onto his advantage. Now it is all Kidman until he dives into the corner and hits the turnbuckle. The match see-saws and both guys are slowing down. Juvey retakes the advantage but is having trouble following up. They exchange the advantage and a couple of pin attempts. Kidman comes off the top but gets drop-kicked on his way down. Guerrera gets the Juvey driver then the 450 splash to finally take the pin. He is so spent that he can't even stand to accept the accolades of the crowd. This was a great match. Cut to commercial.
More Nitro Grrrls on the platform...then we cut to a Nitro Party video.
We revisit the Steiner Brothers fiasco from three weeks ago and are told that Rick has undergone surgery and will be out of action for months. Cut to commercial.
Eddie Guerrero (w/Chavo) vs Ultimo Dragon - Eddie has new music (I liked the old music better) and still seems disconcerted by Chavo's recent attitude change. Chavo wants to take the match again but Eddie is against the idea. Chavo seems to have gotten his goat and Eddie lets his nephew take the match. So it's Chavo vs Ultimo Dragon, apparently. The Dragon seems nonplussed as well, but eventually gets into the match. He dominates the early going but then dives right into the path of a flying drop-kick. He comes back with a Dragon-Screw legwhip then ties Chavo up for a moment like a pretzel before releasing that hold and grabbing another. He does his kicking-machine impression to send Chavo flying from the ring. Chavo comes back inside where Dragon maintains his advantage. Eddie grabs Chavo's leg and gives the Dragon a chance to apply his namesake sleeper - but Chavo escapes with a knee lift. Moments later Chavo executes his Tornado DDT and pins the Dragon. Another excellent match. Eddie is unenthusiastic at best, especially when Chavo says he wants to fight him! Chavo is inviting Eddie to hit him (as Eddie did a few weeks ago) and is challenging ringsiders. Mean Gene catches them leaving the ring then JJ Dillon comes out to announce a match added to the next PPV between Eddie and Chavo. Eddie is beside himself as we cut to commercial. This angle is getting more and more interesting as the weeks go by.
Lenny Lane vs. Dean Malenko - this is not announced as a Title match - Lenny has little chance in this contest, plus Malenko has a grudge against Lane for the switcheroo he pulled involving Jericho a while back. Lane gets a decent flurry toward the middle of the match but is outclassed by his opponent. The Champ counters a sunset flip attempt and reverses it into a Texas Cloverleaf to get the win. Cut to commercial.
Johnny Attitude vs. Goldberg - Attitude has shaved his head and is doing an impression of Goldberg as he makes his entrance. There is no mistaking the "real deal" as he makes his entrance. Johhny tries to throw a Goldberg spear as the bell rings but runs into a brick wall called Goldberg. The monster press slams him then throws the real spear. A Jackhammer with massive hangtime and a flying slam at the end ends the farce. Goldberg is 90 - 0. Cut to commercial.
Chris Benoit vs. Booker T - best of seven series, 1st match - Booker makes his entrance then we cut to commercial again.
Benoit enters as we return. The two struggle for position and Booker takes the early advantage. Booker is one of the few who can match Benoit for intensity and high-impact action. He knocks Benoit out of the ring. Coming back in, Benoit reverses the advantage momantarily but then Booker roars back and knocks him from the ring a second time. Back in the ring, Booker maintains his initiative. He seems to have Benoit well scouted. Benoit finally comes back after dropping Booker onto the top rope stomach first. Now it is all Benoit as he delivers a series of high-impact moves then settles into a reverse chinlock. Booker fights his way to his feet but Benoit chops him right down again and goes back to the reverse chinlock. I don't see this as very good strategy because Booker has such great upper body strength. Still Benoit maintains his advantage. Then he takes too long climbing the corner and misses the flying head butt. As Booker starts his comeback, Fit Finley makes an appearance on the ramp. The combatants have a great flurry of moves and counter moves which end with Booker T getting an axe kick. He goes for the Harlem Hangover but Benoit is playing possum and rolls out of the way. Both are down for about 6 counts then Beniot is up. The struggle for position again and Benoit drops his opponent to the mat and applies the Crippler Crossface to get the submission victory. A very good match - this should be a great series. Cut to commercial.
The Giant/Sting(?) vs. Lex Luger/Sting(?) - the announcers have been hinting about the possibility that the Giant may come out with the real Sting. Or, what if Sting has decided to join Wolf Pack nWo? We shall see... First we get a video replay of Luger's defection (again). The fake Sting (Stink?) enters with the Giant - so much for that theory. The Giant carries the phoney Tag belts that the Outsiders used to wear when they were out of power. Luger enters on his own to nWo music then the Sting theme plays and he joins Luger in the aisle. There is no eye contact between the two. Sting and Luger cooperate to first toss Stink out then hammer on the Giant who is sent reeling and eventually falls out of the ring. He and Stink confer on the outside before Stink re-enters the ring to face Sting. Stink has bulked up considerably during his tour of Japan - but he hasn't gotten any better as a wrestler. Luger is tagged in and devastates his opponent with a series of clotheslines. The Giant interferes from the outside to end his momentum. Now Stink has the advantage and tags in the Giant. Giant runs over Luger then squashes him in the corner. He stands on his neck. Then on his chest. Luger is in trouble. Giant drops a big elbow then tags in Stink. He rushes into the corner and misses, giving Sting a chance to get in. Sting ends the match in a flash.
Uh oh. Here comes the Wolf Pack. Luger greets them affably - they've brought a t-shirt for Sting but he leaves the ring. He hears them out from the apron then turns to the crowd. He re-enters the ring. Luger gives him the shirt but he hesitates so that we have no decision as we fade to black...
Well, that last bit was a little hokey but all in all one of the better Nitros in a while.
RAW is pre-recorded this evening.
Mr. McMahon and his cronies come to the ring with a phalanx of uniformed security as the program opens. He describes last Monday as "glorious night" claiming that Patterson and Brisco gave Steve Austin all he could handle and further states that they "tamed the rattlesnake". He then lauds his own part in the festivities - he says, "I assaulted Steve Austin and got away with it..." (don't count on it promoter boy...) He is asserting that Austin will lose the World Title on Sunday. As he finishes his self-serving rant the glass breaks and Steve Austin invades the ring. He calls McMahon the "world's dumbest SOB" to his face. Austin then echoes Vince's words that he "assaulted" the Champ and orders the police to arrest him. And they do it! Patterson and Brisco try to intervene and get themselves cuffed as well. Austin then cracks a beer in the ring, kicks McMahon in the gut then douses him with the brewsky. This is great stuff. The only problem I have with it is that the cops allowed their prisoner to be assaulted and just stood by. McMahon and company are hauled away. Cut to commercial.
We get a review of what just happened.
LOD 2000/Puke vs. DOA - Darren Drozdov (Puke) tries to "hurl" on the DOA bikes but he is attacked by Chainz and rolled into the ring. Animal and 8-ball start the match. Puke tags in and shows himself to be very athletic. He is out in a flash and Hawk comes in with 8-ball. They collide mid-ring and both go down. 8-Ball recovers first and tags in Chainz who continues the assault on Hawk. 8-Ball comes back in and surrenders the advantage by rushing into an empty corner. Puke is back in and overwhelming Chainz. The other four are brawling on the floor. In the ring Puke powerbombs Chainz and gets the pin. I wonder why Skull never got into this match...
In the back, McMahon is having a fit as they haul him off. Austin is right there in his face, goading him to lividity. Cut to commercial.
McMahon, Patterson and Brisco are forced into the patrol car as Austin continues to taunt his erstwhile boss.
Owen Hart vs. Dan Severn - Owen has some new music wherein his own voice whines about him being deserted. Severn has some size on his opponent - both are excellent mat wrestlers. Severn is pursuing his usual submission strategy and dominates the first few exchanges. Once Owen gets free he turns the tables and takes the fight to the floor. Severn is clearly out of his element here and Owen maintains his advantage. Back in the ring, Savern fights his way back until Owen gets in a low-blow. He has the advantage for a few moments and then the Beast reverses a leverage move and gets his arm-bar submission hold. He would have the victory but NOD runs in and breaks it up. They punk Severn and set him up with a chair to injure his leg. Officials rush in and prevent that from happening. Cut to clips from Celebrity Death Match on MTV.
More scenes of McMahon about to be driven away. He is arguing violently but we can't hear him because the windows are up. Cut to commercial.
We get a video on a new WWF wrestler called Edge. Is it a coincidence that the next PPV is called "Over the Edge"?
The Jackyl comes down to the ring with Howard Stern associates Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf and Crackhead Bob. Jackyl introduces his two companions then hands the mic over to Hank, who is bleeped continually as he rants about his recent victory in the People Online "Most Beautiful Person" poll. Bob repeats the words that Jackyl puts into his mouth (quoting the hero of "Network") - Jackyl then brings down his parade of human oddities - "Princess" Luna, Golga (a slimmed down John Tenta in a mask and street clothes) and a giant called "The Largest Human Being Walking the Planet" (a South American former basketball star - his name is Paulo Silva if I remember correctly).
Golga vs. Thrasher - Golga makes mincemeat out of his opponent in short order as the Jackyl comments at ringside. Mosh comes in afterward and gets some of the same treatment. Al Snow and his head are seen up in the stands as we go to commercial.
Dubba J (w/Tennessee Lee) vs. Vader - Jarrett is introduced by his manager as usual. I expect Vader to win this one because he is being built up for his match with Kane this weekend. We are informed by JR that "something is going on in the locker room area" as we cut to commercial.
JR is reporting that there is a possibility that McMahon and company could be released before the program ends. Vader is squashing Jarrett pretty effectively - in fact only Lee's interference seems to be keeping him in the match. Vader turns his attention to the manager and gets clipped from behind. Jarrett drags him to the apron and brutalizes his leg. minute or so later he is again on the receiving end. Vader splashes him from the second rope and then before he can end it, Kane hits the ring and attacks him. Kane manhandles the mastadon out to the floor where he smashes him into the steps. The officials try to get between them and Paul leads his "son" away. Gee - so now they have "proved" that Kane is Paul Bearer's son - but when did they ever prove that Kane is UT's brother?
In the back McMahon is forced to apologize to Austin and is subsequently released. We get a short opening montage for the second hour then McMahon and his synchopants are shown heading for the ring. Vince is subdued as he starts his rant at Austin. He warms to the subject as he asks "How dare you have me arrested like a common criminal..." He reveals that he has accepted a condition for the match this weekend that someone of Austin's choosing stand by to see that McMahon calls the match fairly. He says he's not worried about that because he claims that nobody in the WWF (short of Godzilla) can intimidate him. I can't wait to see who they get. He then orders Austin to compete against the Undertaker in a match tonight! Cut to commercial.
Dork-X is back with a new "Operation DX" skit. They are at an un-named airport. HHH says that there is only one person to complete the present mission and chooses himself. He starts to get into the wrong plane but is directed to the right one as we cut back to the arena.
Al Snow comes over and starts berating Lawler for not getting him an interview with McMahon. Security hauls him away.
Taka Michinoku vs. Togo (w/Yamaguchi) - Togo is knocked out of the ring and suicide dived before the first minute of the match is past. Back in the ring, Togo gets missle drop-kicked. Taka goes up for a flying move but is drop-kicked out of the air and rolls out to the floor. Togo throws a cannonball dive of the apron to down his opponent again. Back inside Togo fails to get the pin but maintains his advantage. He hits a moonsault but fails again. In the middle of another assault, Taka throws a Rey Misterio style Frankensteiner and takes the pin. Yamaguchi comes in and is about to get brained but the rest of Kaientai hit the ring and punk Taka instead. The Undertaker is shown preparing in the back as we go to commercial.
Marc Mero (w/Sable) vs. Faarooq - Mero comes down with a clearly reluctant Sable. He orders her to disrobe him so she jerks his ring robe off. Mero uses Sable as a shield to start the match with the advantage. Faarooq comes roaring back with fisticuffs and a powerslam. Mero falls to the outside where Faarooq introduces him to the ringsteps. Mero gets Sable between them again and uses the distraction to turn the tables. Back in the ring he presses his advantage. Sable starts berating her husband from the apron which distracts him so that he turns around and gets clotheslined out of his boots and pinned. After the match Mero produces the contract again and makes Sable an offer. If she can find somebody who can beat him without her help - and he will let her out of her contract. The other side of the coin is that if he wins the match, Sable has to leave the WWF.
We get a tribute to Hall of Famer Pat Patterson before we cut to commercial.
We find that HHH's "mission" is to skywrite derrogatory sayings directed at WCW in the sky above the Evansville Nitro venue. They then show a bomb being dropped (or something). The "skywriting" is a special effect, as is the bomb. Just another stupid sketch, folks. I think maybe these guys are writing their own material...
Rocky Maivia rants in the ring with Mark Henry at his side. Cut to commercial.
Rocky Maivia (w/Mark Henry) vs. HHH (w/Chyna) - Special Challenge match - people keep writing to tell me that HHH is getting big pops but it certainly isn't happening at this venue. The Rock gets a reasonably weak "Rocky Sucks" chant but otherwise the crowd sits on it's hands throughout this match. Chyna intervenes in the match and ends up nose-to-nose with Henry. In the ring Maivia is holding most of the cards. He pounds HHH into the corner. Chyna distracts the referee and Mark Henry uses the distraction to choke out her man. Maivia would have the pin but Chyna pulls his legs to break that up as we cut to commercial.
The Rock drops his People's Elbow as we return. HHH is slipping fast. He gets a break in the corner and is in control for the first time in the match. Now it is Henry's turn to distract the ref so that Chyna can brain the Rock with the European Title belt. HHH goes for a pin but fails. He stands Maivia up in the corner and starts whaling on him. he then ducks his head and falls victim to a swinging neckbreaker. Moments later HHH goes for a Pedegree but he's too close to the ropes and gets levered out to the floor. Henry starts to beat on him but Chyna comes around and hits him with a chair. He is hardly affected but turns to confront her and gets blindsided by Maivia. Meanwhile the ref is counting both guys out. Maivia retreats up the ramp and gets attacked by Faarooq. The Rock gets piledriven on the platform which gets the best crowd reaction of the match.
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker - Mr. McMahon is introduced as the guest referee for this match. The Undertaker makes his entrance with the usual pomp and circumstance. There are less then 5 minutes left in the program and they use about a minute and a half to get him into the ring. UT goes nose-to-nose with McMahon then grabs him and chokeslams him! He has him ready for a Tombstone when Kane shows up. McMahon is dropped like a rag doll as the two monsters go to town. They fight out of the ring and right into the stands. In the ring, Patterson and Brisco are attending to their boss as Stone Cold makes his entrance. He stuns the two stooges then ties McMahon up in the ropes. He leaves the ring and returns with a chair but before he can use it on the boss, Dude Love arrives. Austin turns around and hits him with the chair - actually forcing Dude's own chair onto his own head. Austin retreats up the aisle as we fade to black...
The Austin/McMahon feud continues to be the dominent angle in the WWF...
At least that's the way I see it...
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