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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report: Special Edition

Special Wednesday Edition

Thunder Report

Stylin' And Profilin':
The Legend Of Ric Flair: Part 22

By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka


Volume 3, Issue 352 - August 26, 1998
Several people pointed out to me that in my last report I mistakenly identified Al Snow as the wrestler who tried to commandeer the broadcast position. In fact it was Hawk in drunk mode.

Below is an email I received from reader Ben Rich, filling me in on what I missed when my VCR cut out. Thanks Ben!

Earl,

First off, let me commend you on your great site. I have been an avid reader since its inception. Now, to last night's RAW broadcast.

You need to shoot your VCR. You missed one of the best Nation segments ever. Chyna called out the Rock, he came out with his goons. They cut to a shot of a fork-lift blocking the door to DX's locker room. The Rock berated Chyna and then told her that he was going to give her what she always wanted. The Nation held her, and Rock was going to kiss her. When he pulled in close, he backed away and said that he would never give that pleasure to a piece of trash like her. He then told Mark Henry to know his role and pucker up for Chyna. Just as the World's Strongest Man leaned in to give Chyna a bug wet one, out of no where HBK hit the ring. The Nation bolted, but not before Michael's could introduced Henry to a wicked chair shot to the head. HBK's music kicked in, the fans in Philly were bouncing off the walls, and they went to commercial.

Really good stuff, though I know you don't care for DX, the Rock gave a great monologue that really put the ladder match over.

Before that segment, UT said that his battle with Austin was now personnal and that he would get to the champ before the night was over. For the first time in a long time, UT had plenty of heel heat. Last night's RAW is going to sell a lot of PPV's come Sunday.

Ben


Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair

By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka

Part 22: Return Of The Horsemen

Ice-T, lines from his rap tune "Colors"

While the Four Horsemen wern't from South Central Los Angeles, they were certainly a group that wouldn't go away!!! After Flair was attacked by The Great Muta and Buzz "Mad Dog" Sawyer, it looked as though Flair would be in over his head this time!!!

But, fate stepped in for Ric Flair, as Arn Anderson (who left the NWA a year earlier) had a contract dispute with the WWF along with partner Tully Blanchard!!! They left the area at about the same time that Flair was attacked!!! A fact that slipped by the notice of the usually shrewd Gary Hart!!! A week later, Hart brought his men out again to get Flair but Flair was ready this time as Ole & Arn Anderson came out to attack them and defend their Horsemen ally!!!

On a side note, Tully Blanchard was supposed to return as well but two things kept this from happening!!! One, Blanchard was a bit reluctant to go back to the Horsemen role and two, the NWA had heard rumors about Blanchard's substance abuse problems (I don't know if this was a factor in him not being re-hired). In any case, Blanchard went to the AWA, which was falling apart by then and finished out that point of his career on the independent circuit (the last time that I saw him wrestle was at Slamboree '94 against Flair rival Terry Funk).

Anyway, this action was taking place right at Starrcade '90 in Atlanta, GA. Flair was participating in an "IronMan" round-robin tourney with Sting, then-NWA US Champion Lex Luger and then-NWA TV Champion The Great Muta. Flair won the first match with Muta under 2-3 minutes with a small package. He set up the move by making Muta think he was stunned for his moonsault!!! When Muta came off for the move, Flair simply pulled up his knees and Muta crashed stomach first onto them!!! Flair then went on to face Luger in a time-limit draw!!! Now, this is the first match that I really began to appreciate Flair as a wrestler!!! He pretty much kicked Luger's a**!! To his credit, Luger did hold on for the draw at the end when he got caught in Flair's figure four leglock with 10-15 seconds left in the match!!!

Flair went into his final matchup of the evening with Sting!!! This bout was much like their previous matches with the advantage going back and forth!!! With only 10 seconds left in the match, Flair went for the figure four only to have Sting reverse it into a small package for the three count!!! Afterwards, The Andersons looked like they were going to attack Sting but Flair waived them off!!! He shook Sting's hand. The Andersons (reluctantly) followed suit!!! It looked all nice and everthing but one could see something smelled!!!

Next: Dagger

If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at griffiev@hotmail.com or griffiev@yahoo.com

Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and also contributes to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis. Many of his previous articles are available in the Articles section of the website. Check out Ervin's Pro-Wrestling Fan Fiction web site.


Thunder Report

Thunder is live from the Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois.

The announcers start out hyping the Fall Brawl card and talking about the WCW team for War Games.

Wrath vs. Scott (the Putz) Putski - here is one example where WCW didn't lure a star away from the WWF with a higher paycheck (and I'm not talking about Wrath). Putski appeared in conjunction with his father in the WWF a while back and then mercifully vanished only to then darken our door in WCW a few weeks later. For my money he could find another line of work. Maybe he and Jim (the jobber) Powers could open a gym somewhere... Wrath dispatches him with...well...dispatch... Cut to commercial.

Stevie Ray explains his reasons for accepting the nWo's offer to join. He says something about Hollywood Hogan "stepping up to the plate" when Stevie and his brother needed help. I have no idea what he is talking about. He challenges DDP to a match, at Hogan's request (he's offered a bounty), or so he says...

Mike Enos vs. Bull Payne - I'm not sure if this is the same "Bull Payne" that I remember from a few years back - he doesn't look big enough to be the same guy. Enos pounds Payne right into the corner to start. Then Payne pops right up and flattens him. He walks the ropes ala the Undertaker (without the assistance of his opponent) and misses an elbow drop. Enos is back in control and shows his contempt by paintbrushing the back of Payne's head. Payne knocks him out of the ring then hits him with a clothesline off the apron. Back in the ring, Enos re-asserts his dominance. He ends it with an over-the-head fall-away slam off the second rope and gets the pin. Good match. Cut to commercial.

Ernest Miller vs. Disco Inferno - Disco dances to the ring and grabs the mic to ask the audience if they want to see him dance. Miller snatches the mic away and says he's not there to see him dance, he's there show everybody why he's the three time World Karate Champion. He then proceeds to pulverize Disco in about three moves. Disco never even gets his shirt off. After the match, Miller rants about being the karate king and there's nothing any of the wrestlers can do about it because he's he "real deal." Ooookay.... Cut to commercial.

Silver King vs. Konnan - did you ever notice that Konnan is always the first member of the Wolf Pack to wrestle on a given program..? These are two of the larger luchadores although both men are quite mobile. Konnan chooses to mat-wrestle his opponent while Silver King goes for a flying attack. The result is that Silver King dominates the early going but tends to run out of gas. He is also a bit of a showboat - never a good strategy against a solid wrestler like Konnan. He gives up the advantage after a couple of minutes and never fully recovers. The Tequilla Sunrise is a foregone conclusion. As Konnan celebrates with the crowd, Rick Rude with members of the Hollywood nWo faction come to the ring and offer to let him pick which one of them "should administer the butt kicking". He chooses to challenge them all - but as soon as they enter the ring together he slips out and escapes. Cut to commercial.

Tony is in the ring as we return and invites Diamond Dallas Page to come down for an interview. Tony asks him about the challenge from Stevie Ray. DDP decides to address Eric Bischoff first, asking him why it bothers him so much that DDP would bring the Warrior into WCW. Could it have something to do with Hollywood Hogan? (Gosh...maybe...) He tells Stevie Ray to come "get some". Cut to commercial.

Evan Kourageous vs. Kaz Hayashi - The K-Man is a good looking youngster but Hayashi has been moderately impressive in his previous outings. Basically they are both jobbers, however. The crowd isn't impressd obviously, as they start up the "Boring" chant almost immediately. Sonny Oono appears on the ramp to scout Hayashi (I assume). Onno confirms that by addressing Hayashi and coaching him from afar. He succeeds in distracting the youngster to his detriment. Kaz has to start ignoring the manager to re-assert himself and win the match. He trails Oono up the ramp after the match. Cut to commercial.

Saturn vs. Lodi - Lodi beacons Saturn from the ring and accuses him of breaking his fingers (actually it was Raven, as Saturn points out). Lodi wants to challenge him to a "Raven's Rules contest but Saturn turns down the match since he doesn't consider Lodi as a worthy opponent. Lodi calls him a coward and offers the stipulation that he (Lodi) will leave the Flock - the obverse being that Saturn has to be Lodi's personal servent until the PPV if he loses. I smell a set-up... Saturn takes the match and has it won in moments until the Flock starts showing up. He manages to drop them all - including Raven himself until Kanyon runs in and blindsides him. The unconscious Lodi is rolled onto Saturn and gets the pin. So Saturn will be Lodi's slave for the next three weeks. Cut to commercial.

Scott "Flash" Norton (w/Vincent) vs. Jim "the Anvil" Neidhart - another rung in the "jobberfication" of Neidhart, no doubt. Norton starts with a headbutt and just keeps pounding on his opponent. Neidhart is knocked to the floor where he is attacked by Vincent. Thus distracted, Neidhart is easy prey for Norton who follows him out of the ring. Norton pounds on him some more the rolls him back into the ring. He stays outside to position Neidhart on the apron for an elbow drop. Back in the ring, Neidhart goes on the offensive but can't seem to make a dent in his opponent. Norton finishes the job with a jack knife powerbomb. Cut to commercial.

Chris Jericho vs. Alex Wright - TV Title match - these are two talented wrestlers but Jericho is definitely getting a major push. And, lately, he's had the Giant to back him up for some unexplained reason. Never-the-less, the match is pretty evenly fought from the get-go. They get into a hair-pulling contest early on and then Wright pretends to abandon the ring for a moment. He comes back in and asserts himself after a moment. He knocks Jericho to the floor and goes out after him. Jericho retakes the momentum but as soon as they re-enter the ring Wright is back in charge. Jericho finally turns the tables with a back kick but his ascendency is brief as Wright comes roaring back. Out to the floor again and Wright holds onto his advantage, but as they go back into the ring, Jericho catches him with a boot to the mid-section. The match see-saws with each of them attempting pinfalls. Jericho comes back with a takedown and a Lionsault but Wright thumbs his eye to retake the initiative. A backbreaker gets him a two-count. He follows with a spin-wheel kick and another two-count. He grabs a sleeper/reverse chinlock variation. Jericho fights to his feet and escapes with a belly-to-back suplex. Both guys are down and the referee is counting. They both rise at eight and Wright suckers Jericho into moving first. Wright has the advantage through a series of moves but then climbs to the top and misses a splash. Jericho catches him in a Liontamer and gets the submission victory. This was a great match - the best of the program so far. Cut to commercial.

So far there have been eight matches with at least two yet to go - as opposed to only nine matches for the entire three hours of Nitro this week. Hmmm...

Curt Hennig (Ric Rude) vs. Van Hammer - Hammer has a power advantage...and...uh...well, he has a power advantage. Hennig has Rude to distract his opponent and it only takes a moment for him to take charge of the contest. Hammer tries to attack Hennig's bandaged knee but he isn't nearly quick enough to do any damage. Rude gets physically involved and now Hammer is going down in a hurry. Hammer is showing us some good basic wrestling moves but he is no match for the master. Hennig wraps him up with the Hennig-plex (aka Fisherman's Suplex) and gets the pin. Cut to commercial. I finally figured out why that move alludes to a fisherman. If you look at the sillouette as Hennig takes his man over there is a definite resemblence to an angler hauling on a bent-over fishing pole.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Stevie Ray (w/Vincent) - you know it's Thunder when this is the main event... DDP has defeated this guy in the past, but of course, now Stevie has the nWo thugs to back him up. Stevie has a massive size and weight advantage, and, while not as talented as his brother, is still a formidable opponent. Page goes for a Diamond Cutter early but Stevies ducks away from it. The fight goes to the floor where Vincent distracts him and hands Stevie the advantage. Back in the ring he continues his assault. He distracts the referee so that Vincent can apply a choke from the outside. Now Stevie grabs a bearhug but DDP escapes using a bellringer then puts on one of Stevie's own moves (a slapjack) he gets a short clothesline then Vincent comes in. He is Diamond Cut and gets Stevie DQ'd. The Giant comes in and they attempt to take DDP out but Konnan runs in and rescues him. The program fades to black...

The program was actually better tonight - more matches, most were sub-par but a couple of them made it well worthwhile.

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie. Copyright 1998 - Jump City Productions


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