Too often many of us forget than the wrestling superstars that we see every week are real people. Like actors in a movie or characters in a novel we pay close attention to their on camera and ring appearances but sometimes what we dont see is more important.
Just as much as the next person I watch wrestling and cheer for my favorite as well as condemn the ones I dont really care for. I never stop to wonder what they will do when they leave the arena and go their separate ways. I don't think any of us visualize the change of a person from their wrestling character to the person they really are. Is this wrong of us? I don't necessarily thing so. If we knew the real person we may not believe their character anymore. The bigger issue here is this: What if the real person and the character are the same? What if the person takes on too much of the character that it spills over into their private lives? In some instances this is no big deal but in other situations it is. I refer to Scott Hall.
Some fans may not realize it but Scott has a real problem. His character as of late has become an alcoholic who is totally out of control. He can't even walk to the ring without a drink in his hand. I have heard reports that this is just part of a new twist but ask his ex- wife Dana if its just a twist. On many occasions she has approached WCW and asked them to help Scott with his problem. No response. At least not the kind of response she had hoped for. Instead of removing Hall from the public view for a while and getting him into rehab they took his genuine problem and turned it into a storyline. They have exploited an illness that is very difficult to overcome for financial gain. This really makes me wonder what kind of people are in control at WCW. Scott Hall is not just a middle-aged man going through some mid-life crisis. He is destroying himself. It was also implied by Dana that alcohol was not his only addiction. Not many people know Scott has a family. He is not just a wrestler, he is also a father. His children deserve better. This has gone on far too long. Its time for a change.
The life of a pro-wrestler is not an easy one. The travel time alone is enough to put serious strain on family life. As it is in any career where extensive travel is a major part of the job, families must learn to use the time they have together in a quality and productive way. That is close to impossible when that time is spent in a drunken stupor.
I'm not saying WCW is the sole responsible party in this problem. Scott Hall himself has to take most of the blame. No one makes him drink. No one forces him to destroy other peoples property and get thrown in jail. That is all his fault. Just consider this though, If WCW takes this problem he has and incorporates it into an everyday character for him, it sure doesn't make it any easier to change. It's not WCW that pays the price for the continuance of this but they should. They have a certain responsibility to their employees and their families.
Scott Hall is by no means the only personality to have an alcohol or other problem in the sport of wrestling. He is, however, the only one that is paid for it. That in itself is the issue that needs to be addressed. They need to get Hall into a treatment program of some kind or fire him.
That is acceptable.
To glorify this situation isn't.
Joseph Holt is a freelance writer in the Ft. Worth Texas area and a regular contributor to Solie's. Mr. Holt's views are his own and don't necessarily represent those of Solie's Newsletter - but in this case they do...
Eric Bischoff is shown busy setting up his security cordon to keep Ric Flair out of the building. Cut to video of Sting fighting to keep from being put on a stretcher after his backstage fight with Bret Hart last week then to the Nitro Grrrrls in the ring as the announcers hype the card.
Nitro is coming to us live from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. We cut immediately to a Halloween Havoc promo - this is not starting out well...
More hype then cut to video of the battle between Sting and Hart then to a replay of Hart's challenge on Thursday night for a match at HH. Tony says we will hear Sting's response then we go to another HH promo...that's two in less then ten minutes... Cut to commercial.
Video from WCW day on Wall Street.
The opening montage plays as we return from the Wall Street schtick.
Replay of some of Meng's shennanigans on Thunder last week. He beats up Chris Adams then takes on Wrath.
Lodi heads for the ring with his inane signs. Oh...I see - this is a match...
Lodi vs. Wrath - Gosh, who do you suppose will win this one? Lodi shows Wrath a sign and gets clothelined out of his boots. From there it is all down hill for the idiot boy. No need to mention how Wrath won. After the pin, Meng appears on the ramp and heads on down. Wrath meets him halfway to the ring but we don't get to see the brawl because we're off to view some tape of last Monday's confrontation between Bischoff and Reid Flair and the subsequent machinations of the Horsemen. Cut to commercial.
We come back to yet another HH promo.
Kendal Windham vs. Dale Torberg - the latter is a member of the pit crew for the WCW race car and a rookie wrestler. Putting him against a veteran like Windham is a stiff test. Windham dominates the early going - not surprisingly. Torberg is tough and not easily put away, but shows no offense for quite a while. Windham starts to show some arrogance which could be his undoing. Torberg finally gets a clothesline and a flying drop-kick. Windham comes back momentarily then Torberg puts a boot to his face. Windham goes down and allows Torberg to pin him (though the rookie was really too out of it and didn't cover him very well). Cut to Nitro Grrrrls then to the Nitro Party video for this week, then to commercial.
Tony tells us that the 2nd main event tonight will be Goldberg vs. The Giant - no DQ for the Title! The other is an nwo vs. nWo 6 man tag team match. Cut to video of Goldberg saving DDP's bacon from Raven and his thugs.
Sting comes to the ring to give his response to Bret Hart. He calls Hart out for tonight. Then he calls Hogan out as well. The Warrior appears on the platform and goes through some of his usual gyrations. He alludes to his and Sting's mutual beginnings (as the Blade Runners tag team) and says that he has "unconditional respect" for the Stinger. He wants to make a request. He wants to be Sting's partner for a tag match against Hart and Hogan. It isn't clear whether Sting accepted the proposition, but Tony seems to think so. Time for the fourth HH promo of the night...they are averaging once for every ten minutes so far...
Tenay fills us in on the history between Sting and the Warrior without mentioning the name of their former tag team.
Voodoo Child plays and Hogan comes out with Bischoff and the Giant. The Giant is looking pretty buff these days - definitely showing some definition in the pectorals and less of a pot. Hogan does his usual self serving rant then talks about the Giant's match with Goldberg. He's assigned the Giant to do his dirty work. He turns his attention to Sting and the Warrior - he and Hart have decided to accept the challenge (he says some other things but...who cares..?)
As he is leaving the ring area, a security guy informs Bischoff that the Horsemen are outside. Bischoff runs to the back door where the cordon is confronting a white limo. Flair steps out then produces the owner of the United Center who tells Bischoff to stand aside because he's taking his friends the Horsemen up to his Sky Box! Mongo tells Bischoff to "talk to the hand" as the WCW VP raves about his lease. Bischoff follows them inside continuing to sputter and rant to no avail. Cut to commercial.
We get another HH promo as we return then a replay of the Warrior's interview from last Monday night and his mysterious appearance in Hogan's mirror.
Fit Finley vs. Alex Wright - Wright mentions duing his pre-match rant that Finley ended his father's career and he then says he will end Finley's tonight. Wright starts strong but Finley is way too tough to just take out in a hurry. They wrestle pretty evenly for several minutes then Wright uses the ropes for leverage to win the match. The Bulldog runs in to protest and gets decked by Finley.
Super Calo/Chavo Guerrero, Jr./Psychosis vs. la Parka/Villano V/Ciclope - looks like a set-up for an appearance by the LWO. In the Sky Box, the Horsemen are partying down. This is typical Lucha Libre stuff with lots of midsdirection and flying moves to the floor. Lots of fun to watch - impossible to describe. Guerrera eventually pins Ciclope then Eddie Guerrero shows up to do some recruiting. Eddie keeps talking about "our people" but of course, he's from Texas (of Mexican extraction admittedly). Psychosis joins the club tonight. Cut to commercial.
Nitro Grrrrrls on the platform as we return...
Scott Steiner comes out for his weekly rant....borrrring...!! He takes off on mama Bagwell (and her son, of course). He claims they have patched up their differences but then Buff shows up with his mom and he doesn't look happy. They face off and talk some trash. Then Buff hurls out a challenge. Scott responds by insulting the lady. Buff decks him and gets a crotch shot for his trouble then dropped neck first onto the top rope. Scott is ranting and Buff is being helped up as we cut to commecial.
More Sky Box party action as we return.
Juventud Guerrera vs. Prince Iaukea - before the match can get underway Disco Inferno comes down and insists on dancing. It lasts only a moment then the match gets started. Kidman comes out and chases Disco away with a chair as the match continues. In the ring, Iaukea is asserting his superior size to take the advantage. This goes on for several exchanges then Juvey goes to the air and turns the tables. Not for long, though, as Iuakea kicks him right out of the air. Disco shows up again but is a little more stealthy about it this time. As Juvey goes for the 450 splash, Disco pushes him off the top. Iaukea decks Disco and this gives Juvey the chance to come back with the Juvey driver. Kidman shows up again and drives Disco off a second time. Cut to commercial.
Kevin Nash comes to the ring and reminds us all that before he started wrestling, he was a bouncer. He says one of the things he does real well is "beat up drunks..." He then issues a challenge that Hall can't refuse..."Last Call!" Hall appears with a drink in his hand, as usual these days (see the editorial above). He taunts Nash then abandons his drink as Kevin gives chase. The camera follows them to the back. Nash disappears out the back door. Nash is chasing Hall and they are both in limos, driving away.
Raven vs. Chris Jericho - TV Title match - no mention of Raven's Rules in this one. I don't think these guys have met since they both left ECW. Jericho actually brings in a chair but Raven gets to use it first. raven gets knocked to the floor and followed out by Jericho. He runs Raven into the post then runs himself into it. Back in the ring, Raven has the chair and I guess it is Raven's Rules. Jericho reverses a DDT attempt into a Lion Tamer and gets the submission victory. Cut to commercial.
Mean Gene interviews Rick Steiner. The maniacal laughter starts up as Rick starts his rant. It's Chuckie. He appears on the video wall and tells Okerlund to shut up then starts taunting Rick. He then plugs his movie. Big deal...cut to another commercial...
Eric Bischoff stalks to the ring as we return. He summons Doug Dillenger and JJ Dillon to the ring then orders Dillenger to take him up to the Sky Box to confront Flair and company. They head on up and return to the announcers to kill time while they get there. Cut to Bischoff and Dillenger trying to crash the Sky Box. The owner, Bruce MacArthur faces him down and then Bischoff shovses him. MacArthur's security guys wrestle Bischoff to the ground. Flair comes out and orders them to eject Bischoff - and they oblige! Bischoff is hogtied and hauled away!! The announcers are really enjoying this - as are the fans as Flair, the Horsemen and their host appear outside the Box near the stands. Cut to Bischoff being led down a hall in cuffs. Moments later he is packed into a security vehicle and driven away. Cut to commercial.
Goldberg vs. The Giant - No DQ World Title match - the Giant throws a standing drop-kick to take the advantage. he is relentless and no doubt needs to be. Goldberg takes it for a moment then comes back with a back kick and a scoop slam. Stevie Ray comes in and hits the champ with a chair. No affect. DDP runs in to even the odds. Stevie is Diamond Cut, then the Giant grabs DDP for a chokeslam - but Goldberg spears the big guy who then abandons the ring and is counted out. Goldberg is 150 - 0. Cut to commercial.
Back to the Sky Box where the party continues, then to the ring for some Nitro Grrrrls action.
Michael Buffer announces the next event. he mistakenly says that Sting and the Warrior are tagging up for the first time in wrestling history. This is the Warrior's first Nitro match.
Sting/Warrior vs. Hollywood Hogan/ Bret Hart - Warrior runs in and does his rope-shaking schtick. Hart and Hogan take their time re-entering the ring. One has to wonder if Warrior actually intends to wrestle as he stands on the apron in his duster. Sting starts with Hogan then shortly faces Hart. Both fall prey to his overpowering attack from the get-go, but then a cheapshot puts them in charge. The Warrior is lured in to distract the ref while Sting is dealt a low blow. Again and again Sting suffers as the Warrior is suckered into the ring. Sting finally gets loose and the Warrior comes in, duster and all to mow Hart down repeatedly. Hogan sneaks up behind him but has little affect until the ring fills up with nWo thugs. Then comes the smoke. Warrior is tossed out of the ring and is seen dazed on the floor as the smoke clears - but Sting is up and has two bats!! He runs off the thugs with Warrior's help as we fade to black.
The New Age Outlaws come to the ring to open the program. Billy looks a little reluctant and takes the mic after the Dog finishes his intro. He falls in line by completing the litany. I guess he's back...
New Age Outlaws vs. LOD 2000 (w/Hawk) - Droz has taken Hawks place for this match. He comes out in full LOD regalia. Hawk says that he is an "alternate" for the time being as he joins the broadcast team. The match barely gets underway when Paul Ellering and the DOA run in and attack Hawk. Droz and Animal leave the ring to help him and meanwhile the Headbangers run in and cream the Road Dog with a boom box.
We see McMahon back in his office with his toadies, we see Kane arriving at the arena on split screen then cut to commercial.
RAW is live from New York City.
Steve Blackman vs. Ken Shamrock - Intercontinental Title Tournament first round - Shamrock lives up to his recent heel status by attacking before the bell. Blackman recovers quickly and gets the firat pin attempt. Shamrock then attacks Blackman's already injured knee. It is all Shamrock for several minutes as he continues to concentrate on Blackman's knee. Blackman breaks loose and gets a couple of moves in but then Shamrock grabs the ankle lock submission. As the match ends the Blue Blazer (used to be Owen Hart..?) runs in and attacks both guys! Shamrock goes back to his ankle lock after the masked man leaves. We see the Undertaker arriving at the arena then widen out to split screen again to show McMahon in his office. Cut to commercial.
Terri Runnels is sworking over Val Venis's ear as we return. Cut to a Goldust tribute video. We see a montage of Goldust beating up on former WWF stars that are now with WCW. They fail to mention that Roddy Piper really beat the crap out of him during their match.
Val Venis (w/Terri Runnels) vs. Marc Mero (w/Jacqueline) - Intercontinental Title Tournament first round - Terri better stay out of Jacquie's way - Mr. Cheese is licking his lips as he gazes at Mero's valet. The two guys are pretty evenly matched and the contest see-saws from the get-go. Ross says that "somebody" has arrived out back and is causing a stir. In the ring, Terri is distracting Marc Mero and does her job well. Venis rolls him up and wins the match. Jacquie then attacks Terri but Val breaks it up. The replay shows that Terri actually gave a pretty good account of herself during the brawl. Cut to a tape of a few moments ago - Paul Bearer was the mystery arrivee (Gosh, that's exciting..?) Cut to commercial.
Michael Cole interviews Sable, compliments her on her performance on Pacific Blue. I have to say I saw it and she certainly is a better actor then HHH. She walks away and then finds Jacqueline and attacks her. They brawl in entryway area until the officials (and Mero) break it up. Cut to Judgement Day promo then to commercial.
Mankind vs. Mark Henry - Intercontinental Title Tournament first round - we see an interview with Mankind concerning his upcoming match with Ken Shamrock befor the match begins. Then we get Henry reciting a poem to Chyna - I thought he was si=uing her for sexual harrasement... Chyna shows up just as the match is getting underway. Henry use his power to dominate the early going. Of course we all know that he doesn't have it in him to really hurt Foley. Henry misses a knee drop and gives Foleyt a chance to recover. He puts down the World's Strongest man then sits down and removes his shoe and sock. It's Mr. Socko! He dons the sock (on his hand, what else?) then takes Henry with the Mandible Claw. Chyna enters the ring after the match and asks Henry why he is suing her. Henry says "it's out of my hands." Out back, Steve Austin drives up in a cement truck! Cut to commercial.
Mike Cole interviews Steve Austin sitting in his cement truck.
Jeff Jarrett vs. X-Pac - Intercontinental Title Tournament first round - this is the final first round match - the winner will meet Mankind in the semi's. This is the fastest-paced match of the night without a doubt. Each guy has his share of missed moves as they anticipate each other's maneuvers. Jarrett goes for a figure four early on but is reversed into a cradle. No pin however. There continues to be no obvious advantage as the match continues. Jarret puts his opponent down then goes under the ring to recover his guitar case only yo find Al Snow's head inside. In his confusion he is rolled up and pinned. Cut tothe back where Steve Austin is filling McMahon's $50,000 Corvette with cement!! Hilarious stuff!! He leaves the cement pouring into and out of the car as he heads into the arena. Cut to a commercial for Auto Mall USA.
Austin makes his entrance as we return. He thanks Vince for the invitation to be here tonight then goes on to chide McMahon for screwing him and thus, sealing his own fate. He says he's glad to be the referee for the match on Sunday but will only raise his own hand after the Scarey Brothers beat each other up. McMahon appears on the platform being wheeled by a mysterious figure in a black mask (the Bossman, I imagine). He also has two attack dogs on hand to keep Austin at bay while he rants. He tells Austin that he will facing UT and Kane tonight with Rocky Maivia as his partner. He also threatens Austin with further retaliation tonight and tells him to watch his back. The crowd chants "A$$hole!" - which Steve points out in so many words. Vinnie continues to rant about his injuries etc. Yatta, Yatta, Yatta... Ross refers to him parenthetically as "Bed Pan McMahon." McMahon refers to being "violated" by Austin then tells him that if he doesn't raise a new WWF Champion's hand he will fire him on the spot. Cut to commercial.
Val Venis vs. Ken Shamrock - Intercontinental Title Tournament semi-final round - Shamrock attacks in the aisle and gets the drop on Venis. He rams him into the ring steps before rolling him in. In the ring, he flings Venis into the corner then scoop slams him, plants a boot in the back then grabs a camel clutch. Venis comes back with a series of forearms but then runs into a powerslam. Sjamrock fails to get the pin then executes a snap suplex and goes for it again. Still no cigar. He grabs a Boston Crab and he has him in the center. Mr. Cheese struggles towards the ropes and finally makes it. Shamrock continues to work on his back. Venis comes back with a Russian Leg Sweep but then stops to bump and grind. He continues his attack but Shamrock turns it around by throwing a chopblock to the ankle then grabbing his ankle lock submission to win. As Terri comforts Val in the ring, Goldust makes his first appearance since coming back to the WWF. He is in full golden regalia and comes to the ring to stalk his nemesis. he sets him up in the corner and then kicks him "where it hurts", so to speak. In the back, McMahon is examining his ruined car. His briefcase is somewhere under all that cement. Kick Foley manages to retrieve the keys and is going for the briefcase as we cut to commercial.
Rocky Maivia comments on his tag match later tonight. Mark Henry and D-Lo interrupt his rant so thsy go outside to talk about it.
Mankind vs. X-Pac - Intercontinental Title Tournament semi-final round - Waltman is limping from his previous match as he approaches the ring. The winner will face Shamrock for the Title. Mankind dominates the first two exchanges but then X-Pac gets in a kick or two. It's not enough though and Foley comes roaring back. sHe brings in a chair but the referee talks him out of using it. X-Pac makes his comeback now with a couple of mor kicks and a bronco ride. That's all he gets as Mankind asserts his superior size and is in control as Shamrock walks down to the ring. Mankind gives Waltman a neckbreaker on the floor as Shamrock grabs a chair. He whacks Mankind on the ankle allowing X-Pac to get the pin. Shamrock then attacks X-Pac - working on his neck which was damaged during the match that just happened. he ends up with a figure four head scissors as the referees tries to pry them apart. Meanwhile, McMahon's stooges are telling Mankind to go back and see the boss. Cut to commercial.
Shamrock is still attacking Waltman as we return. Waltman says "ring the bell" so the match gets underway. HHH joins the broadcast team. In the ring, Shamrock is all over X-Pac but he isn't giving up. He keeps fighting back - but it lookes inevitable. At ringside, HHH is insisting that he is still the real IC Champ. He says that McMahon didn't even call him about the title change, he learned about it during a TV program. In the ring Waltman makes a comeback but Shamrock grabs his ankle lock. X-Pac escapes once but Shamrock goes back to it and eventually, takes the fall and the Title.
The Scarey Brothers vs. The Rock/The Rattlesnake - UT and Kane go nose to nose in the ring before their opponents even arrive. Of course Austin and Maivia aren't best buddies either... Austin and Mavia rush the ring and a four way brawl erupts from the get-go. Right away it seems that Austin and Maivia are cooperating better. Paul Bearer shows up as the match gets underway. In the ring it's UT against Austin. Austin uses Bearer's distraction of UT to turn the tables then tags in Maivia. . The Roack goes for the People's Elbow but UT sits up - so he boots him ih the chest and drops snap elbow instead. UT comes right back and takes the advantage then tags in Kane who continues the assault. Both teams are working together now. UT comes back in and works Maivia over in the corner. Kane is in again and they are isolating the Rock. Kane goes for a cover but Austin saves his partner. Maivia comes back with a DDT but Kane gets right back up. Maivia is hung on the top rope then Kane climbs to the top and drops on him. UT draws Austin into the ring to distract the referee while they doubleteam the Rock. Maivia is taking it royally but still manages to come back and get Kane in a Samoan drop. Both guys are down for a moment then they recover and tag in their partners. Austin fights UT in the ring while, on the floor D-Lo and Mark Henry are attacking Maivia. The match goes on and Austin doesn't seem to realize he's on his own. Suddenly McMahon's body guard runs in and hits Austin with a night stick. He pulls off the mask and it is indeed the Big Bossman (Ray Traylor) returned to the WWF. He stands by while the Scarey Brothers continue to work Austin over. hon watches with a smirk from the entryway.
Good set-up for the PPV on Sunday...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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