SHANE DOUGLAS SURGERY
Shane Douglas is scheduled for surgery early next week to repair his injured elbow. Douglas will be at the Louisiana for the weekend shows, but will be out of action for several months after the surgery.
Unlike the WWF show last December, which featured no Austin and Shawn Michaels walking out after being hit with a bottle, WCW really stacked the card with a triple main event to make up for a lackluster undercard. They'd been hyping this card for weeks, so I was really looking forward to the show.
I arrived at the Mid-South Coliseum (hereafter referred to as The Round House) around 6:45, and immediately got in line to buy a Wolfpack shirt- which would prove to be a shrewd buy as I would later find out. 20 minutes later, I made my way to my seat on the 8th row, 3 seats from the aisle where the wrestlers walked out to the ring. David Penzer incites the crowd with WCW's 3 rules for conduct: no throwing things into the ring (like they're really going to be able to enforce that one!), no jumping the guardrail, and no laser pointers (yes, there was one.)
Match #1: Yuji Nagata WITH Sonny Onoo v. The Cat
WINNER: The Cat with a non-top rope Feliner.
Match #2: The Barbarian WITHOUT Jimmy Hart v. Kaos
WINNER: The Barbarian with the Kick Of Fear.
Match #3: Hugh Morrus v. Konnan
WINNER: Konnan with the Tequila Sunrise.
Match #4: Rage v. The British Bulldog
WINNER: British Bulldog with a simple suplex.
Intermission time! as David Penzer tells us to go buy souvenirs and drinks, all the while reminding us to watch Thunder tomorrow night for the 354th time. Good thing he didn't mention that Thunder is in Nashville, or else he might've been drowned right out of the Round House. (Hint: Memphis HATES Nashville. At least we got the last laugh- Nashville is stuck with the Oilers now! HA!)
Match #5: Saturn v. Goldberg
WINNER: Goldberg with the JackHammer. I should point out here that Goldberg got only the 3rd biggest pop of the night. Here comes #2!
Match #6: (Advertised) Kevin Nash v. The Giant
WINNER: Lex Luger with the loaded forearm? That was a big surprise.
David Penzer comes out to announce the main event. A huge main event, and an honor for Memphis to host this monumental event. The very FIRST match between these 2 superstars of the sport- and this time it's true about their first match, unlike the previous debacle I'd rather not mention.
MATCH #7: Bret "The Hitman" Hart v. Sting
WINNER: Sting with the Scorpion Death-Drop.
Sting celebrates, but Giant runs in, and he and Bret double-team Sting. WHile they are beating on him, Luger, Nash, and Konnan run in and chase off Bret and Giant. While Luger tends to Sting, we see it- Konnan has a Wolfpack shirt! Nash styles the shirt, smoothing it out, displaying it to the crowd, and then hands it to Sting. Sting looks to the crowd, and this is where we get the biggest pop I've ever heard in the Round House! Sting finally puts on the shirt, and celebrates with his new teammates, as the roof is about to explode off the Round House! Sting gets a mic, and does the "When you're nWo Wolfpack..." as the crowd finishes with a huge "4 LIFE!!!" And with that, the show ends, Sting, Nash, Luger, and Konnan celebrating in the ring, and the crowd still going nuts!
All in all, a mediocre night of actual wrestling, but with the great mic work, the huge pops for Goldberg, Nash and Sting, and just the fact that WCW sent out most of their top draws for a house show, I'd say this had to be one of the most fun wrestling shows I've ever been to.
[Authors Note: I fully expect many of you to disagree with what I have to say. That is fine. My goal is to bring up thought and discussion. So if you think about these issues, I will have succeeded].
About a month ago, I was at a Pastor's conference where the speaker was droning on and on about the evils of modern television. Well, to make a very long story (and VERY LONG presentation) short., at one point he said "and if you want to see what things are coming to, turn on USA network and watch the show Monday Night RAW to see how in the gutter TV is." [Note: this is not the exact quote, but it is the gist of it, I can't recall it word for word].
Well, as a rule, I don't buy into the "TV is ruining society" bit, but he did make me think about RAW, and pro wrestling in general and ask, "Has Pro Wrestling gone too far?"
Looking back at Pro Wrestling the last few years, I think there is quite a bit of room to say that things are out of control. Just think about some of the angles we've seen over the last few years: a man is waiting in his house with a loaded gun to stop another pro wrestler; a man leaves his wife and daughter and comes out parading himself in an assortment of increasingly bizarre costumes; a group of misfits do anything to shock people, including urinating on motorcycles on television. I could go on and on with this list. There is no doubt that Pro Wrestling is relying more and more on shock. It seems that the more vulgar, the more degrading something is, the faster promoters are to pick up on it.
While it may seem that I'm picking on WWF, I don't mean to. For example, most of the Dx stuff was actually preceded by some of the nWo stuff ("bite me!"). Now, this sort of thing is hardly new in pro wrestling. Golddust (before his recent change yet again), was the obvious descendant of wrestlers such as Adrian Adonis and Adorable Adrian Street. It just seems that these sorts of things are becoming more common, and more extreme every day.
So, we return to the question: is this too far? For me, I would have to say yes. I find much of this offensive in many ways. To go back to Goldust, a man who was just portrayed as a loving family man, suddenly abandons his family and daughter, and suddenly comes out flaunting a bizarre relationship in front of national TV. Is this what we really want? Pro Wrestling (as with anything else in the media) is both a mirror and a trendsetter. It reflects what our society has become, and in it's push to be "cutting edge" can pull society in a way along with it. So the question becomes: "Is this what we want society to be?" Do we want a world of Dx and Goldust?
Of course, Pro Wrestling is in itself an "unreal world". Pro Wrestling is a world where violence is the recourse of first and last resort to any problem. Someone bothers you, hit them. Furthermore, often we see the "lesson" in wrestling that if a nice guy is having trouble with a bad guy, the only way to beat them is to "out bad" them, and give them a taste of their own medicine.
Furthermore, I think this trend is bad for wrestling in any case. I have two reasons for this. First of all, as promotions rely on shock effect more than solid angle building, they will find a law of diminishing returns. You can only shock someone so long before they become jaded. For example, take Goldust. After his breakup with his wife, he came out and every week tried to "outdo" his shock of the week before. Well, pretty soon they found out that you can only take that so far, and this "shocker" became a tired and dead angle.
Secondly, this reliance on "shock effect" is going to split wrestling off from society further than it already is. Here at Solie's, most of the regulars are intelligent, mature adults. However, when we share our love for this sport, others look at it and increasingly see something more fit for a carnival freak show than anything else. In other words, the increasing shock factor is going to marginalize Pro Wrestling further than anything else to date.
So, has Pro Wrestling gone too far? I would say so, but as I said, your answer to that question depends on what you think is right and appropriate in society. However, in another area, I feel that wrestling has gone ENTIRELY TOO FAR. Indeed, it has gone far beyond the bounds. This is in it's treatment of women.
When I speak of this, I'm not referring to using women as sex objects (although that is a legitimate conversation for another time). I've noticed over the last few years an increasing abuse of women in pro wrestling. One of the biggest pops that Steve Austin has gotten in recent times was when he stunned Chyna. In ECW, on those few times I've seen it, I've seen women get Whippersnappered, Totally Eliminated, and others I forget. In a society where violence toward women is endemic, I feel that this is just going entirely too far. I fear for a world where a man gets cheered for assaulting a woman. While at least in Chyna's case she 'asked for it' by her actions toward Austin, and constantly being involved in matches, one has to wonder at the plotting that led to that.
Even the tried and true ploy of having a wrestler lay a big kiss on the woman instead of hitting her is troublesome. Think about it. If I walked into a room, and laid a big kiss on a woman who couldn't stand me, I could very well be charged with Sexual Harassment, and it would be totally deserved. For these wrestler's to force themselves on women...that raises any number of unpleasant overtones.
So, for me, I think that yes indeed, wrestling has gone too far. In it's rush to shock, in its use of women, I think that a boundary line has long since been crossed.
Many of you will tell me to lighten up, and I appreciate that, but I do hope that this causes some of you to think.
Gary McClellan is a 31 year old Lutheran Pastor in Northwest Oklahoma who started watching Wrestling around 1977 or so, with the classic Georgia broadcasts. Gary has been posting on the Solie's Readers' Forum for over a year now as "The Sensei". His views are entirely his own, but I think he asks some very good questions.
We start with a video history of the Sting character - from the crewcut bleach-blonde bull we all loved to the dirty-blonde moody crow-like figure of the present. Nitro is live from the MCI Center in Washington D.C. The announcers are telling us that tonight is "decision time" for Sting vis-a-vis the nWo.
A white limo pulls up out back and JJ Dillon disembarks with Diamond Dallas Page, Booker T and Goldberg in tow. Cut to tape of Lex Luger making his plea to Sting to join nWo Wolfpack then to commercial.
The announcers spiel as we return then we get to watch the Nitro Grrrrrls cavort on the ramp.
Jerry Flynn vs. Ernest "the Cat" Miller - Flynn grabs a sign from a Goldberg supporter and tears it up as he comes to the ring. Two martial artists to square off in this one. Flynn starts early but it does him no good. Miller is...well...catlike (I know, I know...). Flynn turns the tables again and the match see-saws. Flynn is certainly the more experienced wrestler, and he dominates the action throughout the match...but Miller is getting the push so there is little doubt who will win this one. The announcers are saying that they have been surprised by the positive reaction the Wolfpack have been getting from the fans. Meanwhile, Miller has delivered a spinning round kick from the mat, for a change and gets the pin.
Now there is a black limo pulling up - it disgorges members of the Wolfpack contingent. Cut to commercial.
We return to watch Kevin Nash and company approach the ring. Curt Hennig is on crutches and accompanied by RicK Rude. Savage and Liz are there, and Konnan and Luger. Nash has the mic and announces a new version of the nWo survey. He first asks, "How many have come to see Hogan and the White and black" and gets a loud chorus of booes. Of course his query about the Wolfpack meets with the crowd's approval. Luger takes the mic and enjoins Sting to "take the step..." He throws out a challenge to Hogan and the Giant to face himself and Nash later tonight. Nash finishes it off by leading the crowd in the "too sweeeet" chant. Cut to tape of Bret Hart telling Sting that he holds "the key" to Sting's future then to commercial.
Saturn/Raven (w/ the riot squad) vs. Public Enemy - a couple of years ago (maybe a little more) this could have been an ECW match. Saturn and Grunge start the match - Saturn takes the advantage then tags Raven in immediately. Raven turns right around and tags Saturn back in - Saturn looks a bit taken-aback. Grunge takes advantage of his opponent's confusion and turns the tables. He and his partner double-team Saturn pretty effectively. Raven seems to be just an observer in this match so far. Rocco misses a moonsault off the second rope giving the initiative back to Saturn. Raven tags himself back in and rushes the corner where Saturn delivers a low-blow which takes Rocco out of the line of fire. Saturn gets clotheslined from behind by his partner. They go nose-to-nose but then break it up to defend themselves. They are regrouping on the outside when Rocco downs them both with a somersault suicide dive. Back in the ring PE delivers a Drive By then they set Raven up on the table outside. Rocco dives on him but fails to break the table. So he sets Raven up again and hits the move a second time. In the ring Saturn gets the Death Valley Driver on Grunge. Raven rolls back in and takes the pin. Raven rants afterward about WCW firing Kanyon (Mortis) but then JJ Dillon ordering his rehiring. Next he says that he has rehired the Flock in order to protect Saturn...huh? And Saturn has been signed to wrestle Kanyon at the next PPV. Cut to commercial.
Nitro Grrrrls in the aisle as we return, followed by a Nitro Party video.
Alex Wright vs. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. (w/o Eddie) - it's about time they got this guy (Wright) back into the ring. Wright wins the first exchange and stops to dance a little. He wins the second exchange and does it again. Chavo seems to thwart him on the third exchange but then he gets suplexed and Wright is back in control. Chavo finally gets tired of Wright's arrogant antics and explodes all over him. The fight goes out to the floor where Wright turns the tables but then as he tries top re-enter the ring, Chavo trips him up on the apron. Back in the ring, Wright grabs a form of STF and Chavo taps out immediately (too fast, really). After he is released, Chavo attacks Wright from behind. Eddie comes down and breaks it up. He tells Chavo that the family is proud of him and therefore they don't have to go through with their match at the Bash. Chavo says, "...but I want to wrestle you Eddie! You're my idol, and I think I can beat you." Eddie is more confused then ever as we cut to commercial.
Tony is in the ring as we return. He calls Randy Savage to the ring, but they play Roddy Piper's music. It ends abruptly and the Wolfpack rap song starts up. Savage and Liz come down to the ring. Tony asks Savage who he believes, Piper or Hart? Savage says he has something to say to Piper and orders him to the ring. Piper wants to know what Savage's problem is. Savage says he still doesn't like what happened at the last PPV. He wants "satisfaction" from Piper after the tag match at the Bash. Piper think's he's crazy but agrees then goes on to try and convince Savage that Bret Hart is the root of all their problems. He points out that Hart has ever worn an nWo shirt and says that it is because he (Hart) is "not on the team". Savage doesn't care about any of that - he has what he wants. Cut to commercial.
Now the announcers are saying that "hopefully tonight" Sting will make his decision. Great! So maybe it won't happen. Tony is with JJ Dillon at the foot of the ramp. Dillon makes a plea for Sting to stay with WCW and not swing either way with the nWo. He voices his preference for the WCW World Title to come back to Sting. A third limo (another black one) arrives in the back as we go to commercial.
Hogan, the Giant, Dusty Rhodes and Bischoff come out of the limo as we return. They walk into the arena and straight to the ring to the strains of Voodoo Child - accompanied by Hart, Adams, the Disciple and Vincent. The Giant wears both Tag Title belts. A sign in the audience reads, "The "Real" Triple H - Hollywood Hulk Hogan". Bischoff introduces the Champ then hands it over to Hogan. Hogan says he saw the challenge from Nash and Luger. The crowd chants "Hogan Sucks!" as he goes on to accept the match. Harts says a few words about the situation. He wears a long-sleeve sports shirt which he opens to reveal a Hogan t-shirt underneath. Still, it isn't an nWo shirt I notice... He looks disinterested as Hogan continues his rant. Cut to commercial.
More Nitro Grrrls...
Konnan vs. Lenny Lane - Lane oils up with his "Absolution ab polish" as he heads for the ring. In the ring he is outclassed from the get-go. Konnan is certainly diplaying his mat wrestling skills tonight. Lane comes back using a poke to the eye. Konnan keeps outwrestling his opponent - who keeps going to the eyes. In the end, Lane is overwhelmed and forced to submit to a leg vice. Cut to commercial.
Tony is at the foot of the ramo again and invites Hennig and Rude to come down for an interview. Rude is...well...rude - he takes the mic and dismisses Shiavone. Rude rants about Goldberg (calling him a pompous windbag) and then is prevented by Hennig from using the "P" word.. Hennig says he's out with a bum wheel for the next ten days and asks Konnan to come out to the mic. He wants Konnan to take his house show matches against Goldberg over the next ten days. He will be back for the Bash - or so he says... Cut to commercial.
Harvey Schiller's daughter is shown at ringside as we return.
Eddie Guerrero (w/o Chavo) vs. Fit Finley - TV Title match - Well, this is more like it. Certainly the argument can be made for Guerrero as a TV title contender. Eddie is looking pretty paranoid as he comes to the ring. This should be a good one. Finley has the definite size advatage in this one and uses it effectively at first. But Guerrero is the more talented wrestler and turns things around in a flash. The match see-saws. Finley seems to have a counter for everything Eddie tries. As the match goes on it appears to be swinging to Guerrero's advantage. During this match the most readable sign in the crowd reads "I would Kill for a Cigarette". Guerrero is comeing to the fore when Chavo suddenly runs into the ring and gets him disqualified. The disgusted Eddie flees the ring as we cut to commercial.
More Nitro Grrrls - in the ring this time.
We get a skit featuring Chris Jericho invading the Nation's capitol to try and "go over JJ Dillon's head" He can't seem to get an audience with any polititions so he protests on stret corners and talks to people in Lafayette park about his problems. He tries to see the president but is turned away. He goes to the Library of Congress but can't seem to find a precedent. It's sillier then the DX skits (if that's possible...)
Jericho is in the ring and calls Dillon to the ring saying he "has the evidence" and wants to present it. Dillon ignores him.
Chris Jericho vs Juventud Guerrera - the match is fast paced from the get-go - as is to be expected from these two. Jericho has the size but Guerrera outruns him until he throws a flying Frankensteiner and hits wrong on his head. Still he recovers first and goes back on the attack. Jericho comes roaring back and the match see-saws again. Juvey outflies him again and takes control once more. He gets the Juvey driver then has to drag him to the corner so he can mount for the 450 splash. He is too slow and gets upset. Jericho goes for the Lion tamer but Juvey scrambles to the rope and escapes. Jericho tumbles to the floor where he is hit with another Frankensteiner. Juvey goes back into the ring, but while the referee is distracted by Jericho on the floor, Reese runs in and plants Juventud so Jericho can come back in and get the pin. Cut to commercial.
Tony is saying that the mystery about Sting tonight is "...did he put on the shirt" - seemingly suggesting that we might go back and watch tape of Sting after the Nitro program went off the air last week. This is followed by a video recap of the Benoit/Booker T series thus far. Benoit is 2 and 1 at this point.
Chris Benoit vs Booker T - match four of the best of seven series - this match is crucial for Booker T. If he loses it, the momentum will be pretty convincingly in Benoit's favor. This has been a great series so far. Finley stands on the ramp and throws out comments directed at the crowd as this match proceeds. Booker is doing his best to ground his opponent. The match goes to the outside then back in where Benoit turns the tables as they re-enter. He lays in some monster chops then executes a snap supplex. Finley is still kibbitzing from the wings as Booker turns the tide with a side kick. He uses his superior size to maintain control but Benoit keeps coming back. Booker T slows things down with a rear chinlock. Benoit seems to be on his way to unconscience but then fight back to his feet. He gets a German suplex but hits hard himself and can't follow up. Both guys are down. Benoit gains his feet first and puts the boots to Booker's head. Booker absorbs the blows then comes back with a series of kicks of his own, ending with a scissor kick. He gets a belly to back suplex but before he can follow up Benoit drops him to the mat and gets the Crippler Crossface. Booker struggles to reach the ropes but can't make it. He taps out and Benoit is 3 and 1. If he wins the next one it is all over.
The announcers spiel about the Sting situation followed by the Sting tribute video we saw at the top of the program. Cut to commercial.
Scotty Riggs (w/Sickboy) vs. Diamond Dallas Page - we haven't seen much of Page lately. Looks like he has been recuperating as his ribs are not taped for a change. Riggs apes DDP's "Bang!" gesture before the match starts. he gets pounded into a corner for his trouble. Sickboy tries to intefere but gets outsmarted. Page runs Riggs into his own partner on the apron. He then pulls a Diamond Cutter out of a firemen's carry. Sickboy comes in after the pin to put on a full nelson and is likewise Diamond Cut. The announcers are trying to convince us that one of Sting's possible choices is to join nWo Hollywood but that is ludicrous to say the least. DDP celebrates in the stands with his fans as we cut to commercial.
Goldberg vs. (yawn) La Parka - gosh, I wonder who could possibly win this one... The crowd chants "Goldberg! Goldberg!" before he appears. A sign in the audience says "Goldberg vs. Godzilla" - you know...that spear might actually work against the big lizard :) His pyrotechnics are larger then ever as Tony jokes about, "...we can't set him on fire - we proved that!" The chant goes on and on and gets louder and louder. The monster invites the clown to hit him with his chair...then just stands there as the blow is struck!! - the rest is predictable... 94 and 0... it's amazing how entertaining these short little matches can be. I think the people who claim that WCW can't create a star have to eat their words at this point...or retreat into massive denial... Cut to commercial.
Michael Buffer (who we haven't seen much of lately) is here to announce the main event. HHH can't touch this guy with a ten foot pole. Hogan and the Giant come down accompanied by the Disciple. I notice that the Giant seems bemused by Hogans machinations (check out my Bad Boys Rant this week for my personal take on the current nWo situation). Nash and Luger come out unaccompanied. Little eye contact there as well. Luger wears a smirk throughout the introductions.
Lex Luger/Kevin Nash vs. Hollywood Hogan/Giant - Luger rips off his shirt and throws it at Luger - who wipes his armpits with it. They lock up and Luger throws him off easily. They go for a test of strength, which Hogan loses - but he gets a finger to they eye and takes over briefly. Luger comes right back and tags in Nash. Hogan starts to tag the Giant in but then accepts the challenge to take Nash on. He suffers Nash's attack then comes back with one of his own. The Giant is tagged in to face Nash. The Giant throws Nash into the corner then plants a boot in his face as he rebounds. The Giant is showing great flexibility here. Nash comes right back and then tags Luger in. The Giant lets Luger pummel him then comes back as Luger throws himself off balance. Nash is back in and assaulting the Giant when Hogan grabs the World Title belt and brains Nash. The DQ is called for. Here comes Sting from the rafters. He ignores Luger on the floor and goes into the ring and pulls off his duster to reveal the nWo black and white!! The Giant and Hogan embrace then Hogan tries to hug Sting. But Sting flattens him!!! He tears off the shirt to reveal his true colors - Red and Black!!! He celebrates with Luger and other Wolfpack members and he is smiling. Hogan and his thugs are livid at ringside. The programs ends as Sting embraces his new comrades and we fade to black...
Vince McMahon calls Steve Austin's victory last night "shallow" and Dude Love incompetent in his opening remarks then goes on to describe how he (McMahon) valiantly called the match down the middle despite apparent overwhelming odds...brother....
RAW is live from the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, Illinois.
Mick Foley is sitting in the ring and makes a speech about his performance last night. He says Austin kicked his a$$ and then calls "Mr. McMahon" to the ring to accept his (Foley's) apology. McMahon looks venomous as he enters the ring. The Dude says that he let Vince down but hopes that he will come back as the #1 contender after taking some time off to heel from his injuries. McMahon calls Foley a"miserable failure" as a wrestling superstar and a human being. He demands that Foley get on his knees. Foley refuses saying that his kids are watching. Vince counters by calling Foley an embarrassment to himself, the WWF and his own family then demands again that Foley get on his knees. Foley says the McMahon underestimated Austin's toughness, Vince says "No" he just overestimated Foley. Foley says it felt good to hit Vince with the chair - so Vince invites him to do it again...but reminds him on what side his bread is buttered. Foley sits back down in the chair. McMahon continues to taunt him. Then goes off on a rant. He says the only reason he hasn't fired Austin is because "he makes me richer" then says "all you do is make me sick." Then he fires Foley. The Dude Love music starts up and McMahon starts to dance, then leaves Foley sitting in the ring. Cut to the back alley (loading ramp) of the arena where LOD, Puke and Sunny are preparing for a Chicago Steet Fight (presumably with DOA)
Kevin Kelly interviews Puke who manages to hurl a little onto the announcer's shoes. The LOD and Sunny join them and they rant some, then Chainz drives into the alley on a bike - and the other two DOA'ers attack from somewhere out of camera range. The combatants go right to it - bodies are flying everywhere as Sunny tries to stay out of harms way. They are hitting each other with garbage cans and whatever else is handy. Eventually it comes down to Puke and Chainz...then the Undertaker shows up and starts in on both of the remaining competitors. He finishes them off and heads on into the arena. Cut to commercial.
Undertaker is looking for McMahon in the backstage area as we return.
Val Venis vs. Pompie Chulo - Mr. Cheese makes a silly speech then turns around and attacks his opponent before the bell. This wrestler is no 2 Cold and is quickly overwhelmed. Chulo gets one offensive move, a splash that fails when Venis catches him in mid-air. Moments later he gets loose and flies around a little but it is too little too late. The Cheesy one throws what is apparently his standard finisher - the Money Shot (a swan dive splash ala Jimmy Snuka) and gets the pin. The Undertaker is headed to the ring as we cut to commercial.
The Undertaker says, "Boy, I'm so pissed off at Vince McMahon..." as we return. He tells his tale from the beginning, how he came to the WWF ten years ago and McMahon gave him a chance to be "himself" - the Undertaker. He says that he became the "slayer of the dragons" who did McMahon's dirtywork to spare Vince's hand picked Champions. He reminds us that he is a two-time WWF Champ, but that his Title reigns were short because that was the way Vince wanted it. He says he stayed loyal to Mcmahon as people around him went off "to greener pastures to make more money". He accuses McMahon of humiliating him regarding his family for ratings. He exempts Austin from these lamentations. He said he's had enough, and demands a Title shot at Austin. He wants Vince to come out and "face the reaper". McMahon comes down for the second time tonight with a scowl on his face and grabs the mic away. He says, "I'm going to give you the answer you're waiting for but first..." and goes off on a rant which includes the question, "...what have you done for me lately..?" He asks him if Paul Bearer is correct to call UT's mother a whore? Then quickly holds off the storm by promising UT a Title shot if he can defeat Kane tonight. Such a villian, oy... Cut to commercial.
Steve Blackman vs. Marc Mero - King of the Ring Tournament Qualifying Match - we get stills from last night showing us how Marc Mero seemingly banished Sable from the WWF for ever. Mero introduces his new valet. It's Jaquelyn (from WCW and the former "Miss Texas") ...so she finally got another job. We can only hop[e that eventually we'll get to see a Jaquelyn/Chyna match sometime in the future. In the ring, Blackman is all over his opponent. It's almost embarrassing watching a seasoned pro like Mero seemingly being jobbed to a rookie like Blackman. As he goes for a pin, Jaquelyn jumps up on the apron to distract the referee so Mero can use his low blow on Blackman. Mero throws his version of the Shooting Star press to get the pin. Cut to Austin on a radio talk show - he takes a call from McMahon on the air and uses the occasion to humilate him. Cut to commercial.
Dork-X makes their entrance as we return.
HHH/New Age Outlaws (w/Chyna/Six-Pac) vs. Rocky Maivia/Owen Hart/D'Lo Brown (w/Mark Henry /Kama) - Six-Man Elimination match - HHH does his tiresome Michael Buffer impression as a fan holds up a sign saying "Shut Up and Wrestle". My sentiments exactly... Sgt. Slaughter sends the extra members from each side away from the ring area. HHH starts with D'Lo and overwhelms him. But the D'Lo roars out of the corner until he meets a high knee. Road Dog takes over and loses the advantage - but then tags Billy to retake it. Billy piledrives D'Lo and eliminates him. Maivia runs in and the fight goes on. He is momentarily at a disadvantage but comes right back and hits the Dog with a "Rock Bottom" and eliminates him. Billy comes in to regain the advantage then tags in HHH who gets in a couple of shots and tags back out. Owen comes in and soon takes Billy out, so now it's HHH on his own. Chyna is headed back to the ring as we cut to commercial.
Maivia and HHH are in as we return. Chyna is at ringside. HHH gets a sunset flip but the Rock is distracting the referee. Maivia then pummels HHH in the corner. Hunter fights out of the corner but gets dropped by an elbow. The "People's Elbow" almost gets Maivia the pin. Moments later HHH gets the Pedegree on Maivia. The officials force Maivia to leave the ring area but Chyna gets to stay. Suddenly Ken Shamrock appears in the ring and attacks Owen - causing the DQ on DX - as a melee ensues, Dan Severn appears in the ring and together he and Shamrock clear it. They then face off and finally, Severn leaves. HHH comes back in and gets beaten up by Shamrock until Tony Garea pulls them apart. We see the Undertaker looking contemplative in the back as we go to the commercial break.
In the back, McMahon is making some kind of deal with Kane and Paul Bearer.
Tennessee Lee introduces his protege - Dubba Jay, then introduces the Godwins in suits as "Southern Justice" - I guess they aren't going to join DX after all... :)
Jeff Jarrett vs. Faarooq - KOR Qualifier #2 - Jarrett has a problem with Faarooq's size as first but soon recovers. The match is pretty evenly fought with Faarooq seemingly in the driver's seat for the most part. Jarrett is just biding his time though and soon catches his opponent in a mistake. Faarooq comes back quickly so "Southern Justice" distract the referee while Lee hands Jarrett a belt. Jarrett brains his opponent and takes the pin.
Tribute video to the charitable activities of the WWF then cut to commercial.
Taka Michinoku vs. Sho Funaki - Light Heavyweight Title match - these two are so fast and furious that it is really impossible to call. Taka throws a spectacular suicide splash right at the beginning of the match. Bradshaw shows up during the match. The action continues in this vain until Taka catches Sho in a Michinoku driver and gets the pin.
Jim Ross interviews Paul Bearer backstage. Uncle...er...Daddy Paul expects his progeny to win, of course. Cut to commercial.
Al Snow berates the head, who (which?) wears a Chinese cooley hat.
Vince McMahon joins the broadcast team for the next match...
Mark Henry vs. Terry Funk - KOR Qualifier #3 - Vince is making self-satisfied comments about his firing of Foley earlier. Mark is all muscles - including his head. He doesn't stand a chance in this match, except that McMahon is paying him a lot of money... The fight goes out to the floor where Funk gets hold of a chair to bash Henry's head. He then climbs the apron and throws a Asahi Moonsault which hurts him more then Henry when he catches his leg on the guard rail. back in the ring, Henry gets a series of failed pin attempts then finally pulls it off. The lights go out after they show us the brackets - but it's not a Kane entrance - just technical difficulties. In the back, the "Rattlesnake" looks to be headed for the ring area...but lets go sell something first.
The glass breaks as we return - Vince wants to know what Austin is doing here? Gosh - maybe he's the WWF Champ, or something...Austin acknowledges the crowd then goes to the broadcast table - which Vince abandons. The lights go out for real this time - here comes Kane. Vince retakes his chair - on the opposite side of the table from Austin. He tries to tell Austin that this match doesn't concern him!
Kane (w/Paul Bearer) vs. The Undertaker - WWF Title Contender's Match - the fight starts the moment UT hits the ring. UT beats on Kane then flips himself to the outside and gets in a shot on Paul Bearer. Kane jumps to the floor but UT meets him coming in. They go back to the ring where Kane gets a chokeslam. But Undertaker is still fighting. They continue to trade blows. Austin and McMahon continue with their verbal sparring at ringside. In the ring neither man seems to have a decisive advantage (although Vince keeps insisting that Kane is ahead). UT gets flung into the corner and squashes the referee. He then gets the Tombstone on Kane but there is no referee to count. UT gets up and turns around to find Mick Foley on the apron. Foley sticks his fingers down UT's throat but the phenom knocks him off to the floor. Now it is Kane who gets the Tombstone and this time the referee is available to make the count. Kane jumps to the floor and gestures toward his waist. Then turns and leaves with Paul Bearer. Back at the ring, Foley and the Undertaker have gotten into a brawl and Vince is reconsidering his dismissal of Foley as we fade to black...
Another good evening all around...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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