FYI - after the unbelieveably "downer" ending to the "First Blood" match, we re-wound the tape and DEFINITELY SAW Austin BLADE HIMSELF after he went down from the Undertaker's mis-intended chair shot. I'm not saying this to sound "mark"ish, but our thoughts here were both, "Well, I'll be damned - you actually CAN see it."
Just thought you might be interested to see this.
I did look at the tape and sure enough it is as plain as day. As Austin lies facedown on the mat after the chair shot he can be seen drawing his hand across his forehead several times. Another report has it that Paul Bearer handed him the blade. By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka Part 15: The Man Again In 1987, Ron Garvin achieved a lifelong dream of winning the NWA World Heavyweight Championship!!! He accomplished that goal on September 17, 1987 in Detroit, MI at the Joe Louis Arena. About a month later, the NWA granted Garvin's request for a 40 day hiatus to prepare for Flair at Starrcade '87 in November!!! Flair was livid at the NWA's decision!!! But, as I said in the last chapter, that may have been a blessing in disguise!!! Granted, Garvin would be well-rested while Flair would've wrestled a full-schedule!!! On the night of Starrcade, however, you couldn't tell as Flair was, by far, the sharper wrestler of the two that night!!! Garvin, to his credit, was in great shape and was ready but you could tell that the lay-off did affect him as he took chances that he normally wouldn't take!!! This cage match ended when Garvin tried a "Lou Thez Press" but Flair caught him and drove him into the cage head-first!!! Flair quickly covered Garvin for the three count and the title!! Flair was now (officially) a five time world champion (actually, he was six time world champion with this win)!!! Another surprising fact is that the Horsemen had no factor in this one!!! Speaking of the Horsemen, then member Lex Luger lost the NWA United States Title to Dusty Rhodes that same night!!! A week later, Lex left (or was kicked out, depending on who you ask) the Horsemen and began feuding with him. Everyone thought that Luger would be the next challenger to Flair but a man came out of nowhere to challenge "The Nature Boy." That man was Sting. Next: The Challenge Of Sting If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair
"I am so high on being Ric Flair each day of my life, that I might just stick around for another 20 years!!!"
- Ric Flair 1986
By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka
Part 15: The Man Again
In 1987, Ron Garvin achieved a lifelong dream of winning the NWA World Heavyweight Championship!!! He accomplished that goal on September 17, 1987 in Detroit, MI at the Joe Louis Arena. About a month later, the NWA granted Garvin's request for a 40 day hiatus to prepare for Flair at Starrcade '87 in November!!! Flair was livid at the NWA's decision!!! But, as I said in the last chapter, that may have been a blessing in disguise!!! Granted, Garvin would be well-rested while Flair would've wrestled a full-schedule!!! On the night of Starrcade, however, you couldn't tell as Flair was, by far, the sharper wrestler of the two that night!!! Garvin, to his credit, was in great shape and was ready but you could tell that the lay-off did affect him as he took chances that he normally wouldn't take!!! This cage match ended when Garvin tried a "Lou Thez Press" but Flair caught him and drove him into the cage head-first!!! Flair quickly covered Garvin for the three count and the title!! Flair was now (officially) a five time world champion (actually, he was six time world champion with this win)!!! Another surprising fact is that the Horsemen had no factor in this one!!! Speaking of the Horsemen, then member Lex Luger lost the NWA United States Title to Dusty Rhodes that same night!!! A week later, Lex left (or was kicked out, depending on who you ask) the Horsemen and began feuding with him. Everyone thought that Luger would be the next challenger to Flair but a man came out of nowhere to challenge "The Nature Boy." That man was Sting.
Next: The Challenge Of Sting
If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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
The program starts with a shot of the 18 wheel tractor-trailer truck with Karl Malone and Diamond Dallas Page inside.
Live from the Ice Palace in Tampa, Florida, the Nitro Grrrls do an opening number then we cut to the announcers who tell us that there are all kinds of celebrities in the audience tonight.
Mean Gene is on the ramp and calls Kevin Greene down for an interview. The crowd swells with the Goldberg chant as Greene rants about the attack on himself by the Giant and Curt Hennig (he doesn't mention Rick Rude).
Horace (w/Lodi) vs. Kanyon - the latter runs to the ring and goes right at his opponent. He pulls off a sort of Fisherman's neck-breaker to start. From there he is all over Horace until Lodi distracts him and he gets dumped to the floor. Horace throws a surprising suicide dive on his downed opponent. Back in the ring, Horace continues his assault. He perches Kanyon on the top corner then goes up and superplexes him. During the next exchange, Kanyon hits another neckbreaker then pancakes his opponent out of a fireman's carry. Now Lodi distracts him again and he turns around to take a boot in the gut. But he recovers quickly and gets the Flatliner and the pin. The Flock swarms and he is soon overwhelmed. Raven joins his followers and rants in Kanyon's face before delivering the Even Flow. Cut to another shot of the big semi and then to commercial.
They finally get around to the opening montage as we return from the first commercial. Tony reviews the phone call from last week that heralded tonights big truck ride to the Ice Palace. DDP says he will be bringing a big surprise for Hollywood Hogan and the nWo. We get another look at the truck's progress.
We cut to the back where the nWo thugs are getting their weapons together for their welcome of Malone and DDP, chains and tire irons for the most part. Cut to some young fans voicing their opinions about what will happen at the Bash then to commercial.
Okerlund calls Stevie Ray out for an interview as we return. Stevie has demanded this time for a rant against Chris Benoit and Steve McMichael. He refuses to answer the question "where is your brother..?" but says that Booker T is with him in wanting a tag match against Benoit and McMichael later tonight.
Little Dragon vs. Eddie Guerrero - the former is a newcomer - looks like yet another Japanese jobber to be ground up in the mill that is WCW. Guerrero still has that paranoid look about him but seems more annoyed then haunted these days. He devestates his opponent with the first exchange. Tony says we've seen this guy on the syndicated shows but I don't remember that. In any case, he gets nowhere against Guerrero who totally dominates this match despite spending a lot of time looking over his shoulder. Chavo finally shows up riding a hobby horse yelling "Keep your head up little trouper" and making horse jokes and imploring his uncle to pet the horse. Thus distracted, Eddie allows Little Dragon to roll him up and getting the pin. Chavo continuues to taunt Eddie until the latter pulls the head off his horse then chases him away from the ring area.
We see Chris Jericho in the locker room with Ultimo Dragon promising him a shot at the Cruiserweight belt on Thursday if he can beat Dean Malenko tonight. Cut to commercial.
We return to a helicopter shot of downtown Tampa then cut to the Nitro Grrrrls making their way toward the ring through the crowd followed by this week's Nitro party video.
Sumo Fuji/Judo Suwa vs. The Giant (w/Rick Rude/Curt Hennig) - handicapp match (he says with a chuckle...) - Wade Boggs endorces Hennig as he approaches the ring area. In the ring the Giant swats the gnats as they attack one at a time then together. A double chokeslam finishes the proceedings almost before it begins. Rude and Hennig get involved in the post-match punking the Hennig delivers a long-winded rant against Greene and Goldberg. Greene shows up on the ramp but hesitates to approach the ring. He picks up the pace as Goldberg appears to back him up. Greene hits Hennig and the nWo guys split as Goldberg hits the ring. They retreat backwards down the aisle talking trash as the Goldberg chant drowns them out. Cut to more young fans then to commercial.
A commercial for WCWwrestling.com contains several pictures of Ric Flair.
Voodoo Child interrupts Tony's spiel - here comes Eric Bischoff with Hollywood Hogan. Hogan wears a chain draped over his shoulders. A sign just behind him as he stands in the ring reads "Hogan Wears Depends". He rants about fighting with truck drivers in his youth (back in the stone age apparently...) then relates it to what he plans to do to DDP and Malone. Bischoff takes over with a rant about their enemies not being able to afford to fly to Tampa. They seem determined to attack DDP and Malone tonight en masse. Another shot of the truck on it's way to the arena is followed by massive pyro effects. Davey Boy Smith and the Anvil make their entrance before we cut to commercial.
British Bulldog/Jim Neidhart vs. Sting/Lex Luger - non-Title match (by Wolf Pack rules this could be a Championship match, according to Tony) - Sting seems glad to be back to near his old self. Neidhart looks like he just got up and he's not in a good mood. These are two veteran teams and they could put on a good show. Luger meets Neidhart to start and the former overwhelms his opponent who falls out of the ring then comes back in and makes the tag. Sting tags in for his side. Actually, I recall that these two have been a team in the distant past as well. During Smith's last tour of WCW it was as Sting's partner. They clash and Sting maintains their advantage then tags in Luger - Bulldog decides to send his brother-in-law in. Neidhart does a little flex of his own then he and Sting go nose to nose before Neidhart shoves his opponent away. Sting comes back with a big clothesline. Neidhart and Bulldog finally use double-team tactics to turn the tables on Luger and start to isolate him. A collision puts both guys down then both get up slowly and exchange. Sting gets three drop-kicks in a row on Smith then Stinger splashes him in the corner. In a flash he executes the Scorpion Death Drop and takes the pin. Cut to more fan comments then to commercial.
Saturn vs. Reece (w/Lodi) - Reece applies his superior size and dominates...for about three seconds. Saturn is a game competitor and keeps coming back everytime the big guy throws him off. Eventually he runs into a brick wall and Reece takes the initiative until Saturn attacks his knee with a side kick. A missle drop-kick puts him down again, Lodi jumps onto the apron and gets creamed. Saturn puts on the DVD and wins the match. Then the Flock swarms. He fights them off for a while but is soon overwhelmed. Raven then comes in and repeats his performance from earlier against Kanyon.
The announcers take us through the incident last week which resulted in the Goldberg/Greene team up against tthe Giant/Hennig complete with video clips. Cut yet another shot of the truck then to commercial.
More Nitro Grrrrls...
El Vampiro vs. Brad Armstrong - El Vampiro is unique - a Canadian Luchadore - Armstrong has a slight superiority in size and takes the early advantage. He showboats and throws his initiative away momentarily but then comes back in a hurry. El Vampiro is a very cool customer and extremely quick - he throws some rather unique kicks and ends the contest with what he refers to as "The Nail in the Coffin" - a version of the Brainbuster suplex. His float over is the fastest I've ever seen. Cut to commercial.
We come back to a rock band palying in the arena.
Tokyo Magnum/Shima Nabunaga vs. The Dancing Fools - Tokyo Magnum decides to join the dancers as they cavort in the ring and gets doubleteamed to start the match. Nabunga vs. Wright begins the match for real and Wright takes the early advantage. Disco tags in and they doubleteam their opponent. Disco then takes over but has the tables turned on him when Magnum tags in. Moments later Magnum finds himself at the receiving end of another doubleteam. The match starts to see-saw with the Japanese gaining ground. Magnum takes Disco to the top and slips off. He recovers his poise and climbs back up there and delivers the Frankensteiner. Then Wright is in again and retaking the advantage. He eventually puts Nabunaga dwon with a Stunner type move to get the win. The Dancers then argue over whoes music should play for their celebration. For a while we are treated to snippits of both which resolves to Wright's theme as we cut to commercial.
More fan reactions to the coming PPV.
Ultimo Dragon vs. Dean Malenko - we get a video of Malenko attacking Jericho at the end of his match with the Dragon last Thursday before Malenko makes his entrance. The feeling out process is a series of quick moves that ends in a stalemate. What follows is a mat wrestling demonstration by these two masters. Then the Dragon goes to work on the left leg of his opponent. For once the Dragon's little headstand gambit fails as Malenko waits him out then gets a German suplex. The Dragon goes for his trademark sleeper but Malenko knees him in the head to escape. They struggle for position on the top corner and Malenko gets a massive gut buster. Malenko goes for the Texas Cloverleaf as Jericho shows up yelling taunts at him concerning his father (as usual). Malenko abandons the ring and chases Jericho to the back. He is counted out. It looks like the Dragon gets his Title shot on Thursday. Cut to commercial.
Review of the tape from last week showing Benoit talking to Arn Anderson who pretends to not be interested in reviving the Horsemen. We then get the entrance of Harlem Heat before the commercial.
Harlem Heat vs. Chris Benoit/Steve McMichael - Mongo and Benoit avoid displaying the Four Horsemen gesture as they approach the ring despite it's use by the fans. Benoit pounds Stevie Ray into the corner to start the match then turns away and gets clotheslined out of his boots. They exchange flurries with Stevie coming out ahead then Booker is tagged in. Benoit takes it some more then he tags in Mongo, who turns the tables. Moments later he rushes into the corner and gets a mouthful of leather. Stevie is back in and the big guys get it on. Mongo goes down and Booker is back in. Now all four are in the ring then Benoit is levered out to the floor. Bret Hart runs in with a chair and bashes Booker - giving Mongo the win. In the back the Dragon is trying to get Jericho to honor his committment with no success when Malenko discovers them and attacks Jericho. He smashes him into the corner of the locker room and then attacks UD, Jericho slips away and Malenko gives chase as we cut to commercial.
The band starts up again as we return and it's time for "The Eric Bischoff Show" - Bischoff comes out with Liz. There is a talk-show set next to the band and Bischoff takes the hosts chair behind the desk. He and the bandleader engage in some witty repartee (not!) as the crowd gives them a round of booos. His guest is Scott Steiner for this first edition of "nWo Later". He and the host rant (in a polite manner) about DDP and Malone - except that they are shouting throughout the conversation. Steiner says he has a surprise "guest star" to introduce next week on the next installment. Cut to commercial.
Okerlund is at the foor of the ramp to interview Booker T. Booker who has bone to pick with Bret Hart (obviuosly) and says he wants a match. Stevie Ray comes out to protest this line of reasoning. His philosophy is go trash the guy, forget about having a match. Hart comes out and says, "You want a match, fine." He offers a match at the Bash. Stevie would rather attack him right now but Booker says he wants to "do it right". Stevie walks away in disgust.
In the back, Hogan is upset because DDP and Malone haven't shown up yet. Bischoff calms him down and we cut to commercial.
Michael Buffer is on hand to announce the main event.
Goldberg vs. Glacier - since there is still 20 minutes left in the program (not counting overtime) I assume this means that DDP and Malone will arrive and something will happen on that front because this match has squash written all over it. Glacier ducks out of the way as Tony informs us that the truck has arrived. Goldberg displays a little mat wrestling as Tony tells us he mispoke - the truck is still a few blocks away. Glacier manages to hold off the inevitable for a few moments with some well placed kicks then he gets upset, speared and Jackhammered. 'Nuff said... Cut to commercial.
There doesn't seem to be anything left to do as we wait for the truck to arrive, so the nWo decides to come out and fill some time. Hogan and Bischoff are headed to the ring and Hogan looks pissed. They rant about Karl Malone failing to show up (dream on Venice Boy - there are still a few minutes left...) we see the caravan arriving as they continue to rant. In the back we see the nWo thugs waiting with their weapons. The truck blows right past them and DDP/Malone disembark with chairs in hand. They hit the ring as Hogan is winding up his rant and knock their chairs together to get Hogan's attention. He throws Bischoff to the wolves then finds himself cornered by Malone. He hesitates then they lock up. Malone slams Hogan with authority then delivers a clothesline and then a second one. Hogan retreats into the arms of his comrades, leaving DDP and Malone to taunt the nWo. Strangely, the crowd continues to throw trash at the ring. They issue a challenge to Rodman to show up next week on Nitro. Malone promises to deliver "the Bang!" on Rodman at the Bash.
We get a replay (in stills) of Austin's loss of his Title to Kane last night.
RAW comes to us live from the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio tonight. Vince McMahon comes down to the ring with a huge grin on his face. He is here to present the Title belt to Kane. He is ecstatic to announce that there is a new WWF Champion. He introduces Kane as a fine upstanding citizen (in so many words...) Meanwhile the "Bullsh*t!" chant nearly drowns him out. Jim Ross points out that it was the Undertaker who actually drew first blood with his chair shot lat night (and if you want to get really technical, it was Austin himself who cut his own forehead with a razor blade...) Paul Bearer gets the first word, extolling the virtues of his son, who apparently idolized his big brother. The crowd starts up that chant again briefly. McMahon presents Kane formally with the Championship but before he can strap it on, Austin shows up. He grabs a mic from Commissioner Slaughter. He rants about how Kane wasn't responsible for his bloodflow and demands a rematch tonight. McMahon hems and haws while Austin berates him. McMahon finally suggests (weakly) that Austin doesn't deserve a rematch but the crowd disagrees. McMahon then says that its alright with him if Paul Bearer agrees. Uncle Paul is on the spot so he tosses it to Kane. Austin puts the question to him directly and taunts the big man until Kane agrees. Personally I think McMahon is missing a bet unless Kane manages to retain tonight. Cut to commercial.
Darren Drozdov vs. Steven Regal - Sable comes down to announce the match showing several yards of skin... Regal is looking in better shape then the last time we saw him. Sable joins the broadcast team for this one. While the Brit takes his opponent apart, JR tries to get Sable to fess up about how she comes to be back in the WWF. She refuses to comment. This match is all Regal, "Puke" has no mat skills to speak of while Regal is arguably the best in the world. Droz finally uses pure power to make a fleeting comeback. Then he blows it by climbing to the top. Regal catches him there and executes a butterfly suplex. The STF tells the tale. Marc Mero skips rope in the back as we cut to commercial.
1998 King of the Ring, Ken Shamrock comes down for an interview with Michael Cole. He sites the KOR Tournament as one of the hardest things he's ever done. He compliments Rocky Maivia on the quality of his effort last night. He still wants revenge for past wrongs but has to give credit where it is due. Owen Hart interrupts to challenge Shamrock to a match tonight. Shamrock accepts the match then HHH shows up stick his considerable nose into things. He proposes a "Three Way Dance" instead. Shamrock hurls the challenge right back at the two of them and the match is on. Cut to commercial.
I notice that the DX Video features a picture of Shawn Michaels on the cover with HHH and Chyna but his mug doesn't appear in the promotional spots. How strange...
Marc Mero vs. Steve Blackman - Brawl for All - combination wrestling/boxing tournament first round match - rules include 3 - 60 second rounds, 5 points for the most punches landed per round, 10 points for a knock-down, 5 points for a takedown, back to vertical base after a takedown, knockout ends the match - this is pretty stupid... Blackman takes Mero down time and time again and sclearly has the match in hand by the end of the second round. This is so phony, Blackman leaves himself wide open throughout most of the match but Mero (a legit Golden Gloves Champion boxer) fails to land a punch. Blackman wins on the strength of about 10 takedowns...stupid, stupid, stupid. Hopefully this crap will disappear just like the Toughman Division. Cut to commercial.
We come back to Kane stating (electronically) that he granted the rematch because he is a greater Champion then his brother.
Val Venis vs. Togo (w/Yamaguchi) - Mr. Cheese toots his own horn (figuratively of course) then the match is on. Dustin Runnels joins the broadcast team as the match goes on. He wants to spread the word of God... In the ring, Venis is having a little problem with his opponent, who (like everyone else this guy wrestles) his carrying him. Venis is almost pinned while JR tries to divert Dustin. Moments later he catches Togo in mid-air and powerslams him. It is just a matter of climbing the corner and getting the Moneyshot. After the match the Limberger Kid decides to go over and strut his stuff for Yamaguchi's wife. She is not impressed and neither is her old man. Yamaguchi objects to Val's machinations and backs it up with a slap then sics Kaientai on him. Val defends himself handily with a chair. Cut to commercial.
Steve Austin is interviewed but doesn't appreciate the questions.
HHH vs. Owen Hart vs. Ken Shamrock - "King of Kings" 3 Way Dance match - Shamrock comes up behind Hart during his entrance and starts the match early. HHH lounges in the ring while the brawl goes on outside the ring. Owen is creamed and rolled in, HHH attacks Shamrock on the apron, but then Owen attacks him. Now Owen sits out for a while so HHH and Shamrock can fight. Then it switches and HHH sits out for a while. Shamrock ends up out on the floor so Owen and HHH get it on. This match gets hard to call as the fight switches back and forth. Owen gets a pilerdriver but Shamrock breaks up the pin - so it goes... We go to commercial as the match continues.
Now that the match is back I find myself missing the commercials... All three just brawl interminably with no discernable startegy for winning. One rests while the other two fight, then the fresh one prevents the pin. With any luck it will all be over soon... Shamrock almost gets a submission out of Owen but HHH breaks that up. Owen almost comes to blows with Chyna and during the distraction HHH gets brained by a sneaky Rocky Maivia. Moments later Shamrock pins him to win. Up on the platform, the Rock is attacked by NAO and X-Pac. The Nation rescues him. Meanwhile Owen has Shamrock tied around the ringpost with his brothers peculiar figure four hold. Officials break that up.
The Undertaker appears to his music as we cut to commercial.
UT is in the ring with Mike Cole as we return. He says he doesn't owe any explainations to anyone. He confesses that he interfered last night because he didn't want his little brother to set himself on fire. McMahon comes out to put in his 2 cents and reinterprets the Undertaker's motives. His contention is that UT feels he can beat his brother but he knows he can't Austin, so he wants Kane as the Champ so he can challenge him. McMahon levels a warning at UT not to interfere in the Title match tonight. Cut to commercial.
Mark Canterbury (aka Henry Godwin) vs. Bradshaw - more of this Brawl for All crap - at least neither of these guys is a boxer by any stretch. They pretty much swing wildly with little or no affect. The second round is a little wilder then the first. Canterbury gets a takedown in the third round. Bradshaw wins on the basis of punches landed - pathetic...
Kevin Kelly wants to interview the Undertaker...fat chance - cut to commercial.
LOD 2000 vs. - Animal makes a startling announcement - Precious Paul Ellering has rejoined the Road Warrior's fold!!! Ellering starts to speak but is interrupted by the arrival of DOA. Ellering then announces that he is here to represent DOA!!!! Together the three of them stomp the Road Warriors into the mat!!! Cut to commercial.
Kelly gets his word with UT - the big man says, "Nobody tells me what to do."
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Kane - WWF Title rematch - Austin comes on strong and gets the early advantage. His attempt at a Stunner is foiled and Kane leaves the ring. Austin dives onto him and then rams him into the steps then into the railing. Kane is rolled back into the ring where he turns the tables. Austin comes back with a Thesz press then drags Kane to the corner and smashes his ankle against the ringpost. His strategy is clear - to take Kane's wheels out. Kane comes back and the match goes out to the floor again. This time it is Austin who gets creamed. Back in the ring, Kane retains the initiative. he starts trying to open Austins forehead back up. Paul Bearer gets into the act with a show shot. The distraced Austin is easy pickins' out on the floor again. Back in the ring, Kane grabs a reverse chinlock. Here comes the Undertaker. Austin is down as Kane climbs the corner and launches himself in a rather clumsy flying tackle. he two trade punches then Austin runs into a chokeslam. Kane goes for the Tombstone but Austin escapes and goes for a Stunner but misses it. He tries again and succeeds. Austin gets the pin and becomes the two time Champ! Afterward he puts the Stunner on UT as well.
Undertaker stands in the ring with his brother as Austin looks back at them and wonders...
At least that's the way I see it...
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