As an avid wrestling fan in Australia I was delighted to hear that the WCW organisation has decided to come to Australia in the year 2000.
Australia has an untapped amount of wrestling supporters. Ever since the very popular World Championship Wrestling (Australian version) closed down in the 1970's, this country has had very little wrestling coverage on television.
Earlier this year, commercial television station Channel 10 picked up the coverage of WWF Superstars, which to a first time wrestling viewer is quite good, but lasts for an hour and is in the timeslot of 12:30 am on Saturday's, the commercials during the show are mainly phone sex adverts so I'd doubt that many children are allowed to watch Superstars (if their parents know what's going on!).
1995 saw the introduction of Optus cable television into Australia. It carried TNT (with Monday Nitro) and Sports Australia (with Superstars which has since been dropped). Last year, FOXTEL made their debut into the market. They offered wrestling fans Nitro AND Raw. Both carriers provided subscriptions to WCW pay-per-views.
Many people are yet to get connected to cable. Therefore many people have not yet seen the wrestling. Thankfully many people have access to the internet. 3 million as of today and projected 6 million by 2000. Through this we are able to access many pages which give us information regards Monday Night results, Pay-per-view results, news, etc.
Wrestling is becoming one of those 'sports' that are now being directed towards their television audience rather that their live, in-house audience.
And that is our main fear in Australia. If you come out for a pay-per-view or a show for the American audience you would have to stick to the arena rather that go outside. Picture this: The Wolfpac going after Scott Hall (ala the 10/5 Nitro broadcast) in Sydney, Australia. Nash and his cronies are chasing him and we cut to shots of the chase going over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, just to prove that we are indeed in Australia. Alternatively, we could have Nash and co. chasing Hall through downtown Melbourne and ending up in the outback fifteen minutes later. This is quite impossible as the first sign of the outback from downtown Melbourne is over two hours away!! And no, kangaroos do not bounce along down your neighbourhood main street. Though it may well on the wrestling!!!!!!!!!!!
Australian fans will not stand for this gentlemen. We pay through the ears for cable television (and pay-per-views such as last years Starcade) to watch what goes on and we'll be damned if we are going to pay to get into an arena that holds 65000 wreslting fans only to watch half the action on video screens. WE CAN DO THAT AT HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!
That said, we welcome any wrestling in Australia. But be cautious gentlemen.
Especially you Mr Bischoff. Australian fans who can remember back to the early/mid-80's can remember Hogan, Savage, Hart, Meng, Bulldog, Neidhart etc. Notice anything about those 6 guys I've just mentioned?? They are all from WWF. That may sound alright to you but to us fans we'd need a quick check of our senses, not to mention our nursing homes for available beds!
All of the afore mentioned wrestlers are over 40 years of age (Savage is almost 50!) and are still going around with the same moves they had in 1985! Don't get me wrong, we'd love to see these guys .........but only if you had come out in 1990 when they were a little bit quicker, agile, better, more believeable!
WWF/WCW will sign new wrestlers to their organisations whether they be rookies or proven talent from another organisation. Therefore what we see now will more than likely not be the line-up in 2000. Mr Bischoff, you have at least 14 months to come up with something that will knock our socks off and keep us coming back for more. We know what we want and your truly would be happy to help you provide a great Australian program. But will you ask?? Of course you can but my bet is that you will stick with the people who think that they know what the fans want rather that going with the fans who can give you a great idea of what they want.
Mr McMahon, I haven't forgotten you though you may have thought that I had.
As WCW is coming out in 2000 you have 14 months in which time you can put together a show which would sway swinging fans to your organisation. You burnt us around 1995 when you advertised the Australian Xpress (that was the proper spelling too!) tour only to cancel two months before the show was to go on. You currently have the best angles. Steve Austin/Undertaker/Kane and yourself, and you do this without one of your top three drawcards (Shawn Michaels). So you have a chance to get our sole and undivided attention. But only if you get your act together.
Gentlemen, the ball is in your court. We are wrestling fans who want to see your organisation's wrestle in Australia. We'd dearly like the relationship between your organisation and us, Australian wrestling fans, to be a long, frequent and prosperous one. But you have to offer us something that we want to keep coming back to. Remember the old addage First come First served??? In wrestling terms in this country that stand for the first one to come out here for a show AND to come out on a regular basis will get you the support of our fans. That I can guarantee. I look forward to seeing you in Australia gentlemen, and bring your best wrestlers with you. Yours Sincerely
Stuart Capel is a regular reader of Solie's newsletter who lives in Black Rock, Victoria, Australia. A university student who works part time at Collingwood Football Club, Stuart an avid fan of wrestling but can only get Superstars editions with the phone sex advertisements. He desparately hopes the Cleveland Indians can win the world series.
Well, everyone's hero Stone Cold Steve Austin is no longer WWF champion.
Any one person, regardless of how mean they are, has no chance against the Dead Man and his burnt-up bro. This was total crap from the beginning. Sorry folks, if your looking for a nice article...this aint it. Not today anyway.
I'm sick to death of this Stone Cold Steve Austin.
See, I remember Steve when he was a candyass. Yeah, I said candyass. Stunning Steve. PLEASE! So the man shaves his head and uses vulgar language, last time I looked that doesn't make someone a wrestler. As I think back, I can't really remember the last time I saw Austin wrestle. I mean really wrestle. Contrary to what some may believe that is not what he does. I'm beginning to doubt he remembers how to wrestle. All he does is simply smash people. Sure its effective but lacks talent. I know he has become an icon but I can't see why. He is the everything of all we try to teach our children not to be, and for this he gets a street named after him. GEEZ!!!
With a total lack of authority..and I dont mean Vince's authority, he has created a growing cult following. The last time I attended wrestling in person there was a sea of bald headed, black t-shirt wearing, no manner having punk kids. At one point while getting a picture of Ken Shamrock as he came out of the dressing room, I was pinned against the railing by a mob of these little creeps. I think the worst part about it was most of them were under the age of fourteen. Someone needs to explain to these children that just because you look like a "rattlesnake" doesn't mean you bite like one. The attitude that goes along with the look is going to get a lot of little asses kicked. I for one, and not the only one, had more than I cared to stand. If jail wasn't so unappealing there would have been a few less clones after that night.
Ponder this, how many times has Austin been "arrested" over the past six months? How many times has Austin gone to court to take care of these jailings? I think the first number is much more than the second. The point is, that's not real. That's not even close to being real. Do children know this? Do some adults know this? When you go to jail for assault, you don't turn around the next week and commit the same crime again. That is one angle that WWF as a whole needs to do without.
If people are going to idolize you for who you are, you then have a responsibility to uphold some kind of civil decency. Even if its not becoming to your image. Part of Austin's character is great. The underdog type with nothing but meanness to make sure he doesn't get squashed along the way. We can all relate to that. And which one of us would not like to give our bosses a stunner or two? The rebel image is fine...just tone it down a bit. Less beer drinking and more butt kickin'. They say art imitates society. If this is true and supposing you view wrestling as an art, we are in deep trouble. I'm just waiting for one of my kids to shave their head and give me a stunner when I tell them its time to go to bed.
Here is what really bothers me though. Austin lost the title. Though it was a joke of a match and we all knew he would lose. Still its gone. He cant have it. Why create a title just for him? "Austins title" Ridiculous. Make him earn the real one back. Next thing you know the United Nations will be giving out a "Jerkoff World Leader of the Year Award"...
I'm sure Steve Austin as a human being isn't this atrocious. In fact, out of his character, I'm sure he is a great guy. It takes someone with a big heart to overcome a physical handicap like he has....you know the one I'm talking about...that one that causes his middle finger to shoot up all the time. That must have been rough as a child trying to explain that one.
Joseph Holt is a freelance writer in the Ft. Worth Texas area and a regular contributor to Solie's.
Thunder is from Indianapolis again, on tape this time.
After a few moments of hype we get right to the action.
Sick Boy vs. Van Hammer - Van Hammer does surprisingly well against this innovative young man but there is no question here who is the real talent in the ring. With his slight size advantage Hammer holds his own and yet the outcome seems inevitable from the get-go. Again surprisingly it doesn't turn out the way I expected. After a rather slow moving match, Hammer gets a clumsy powerbomb and takes the pin. Pity... Cut to a Four Horsemen tribute video then to commercial.
Video replay of Eric Bischoff's humiliation at the hands of the Horsemen and the owner of the United Center Monday night. Cut to commercial.
Konnan vs. La Parka - Konnan is one of the few Luchadores who can measure up size-wise with La Parka. He pretty much steamrolls over his opponent during the early going. LP makes his come back and it actually begins to look like he might pull it off for a moment. But no cigar for the "Chairman" - Konnan re-asserts himself and the match see-saws for a minute or so. A surprise bulldog maneuver puts Konnan firmly in charge - the Tequilla Sunrise is not far behind. Afterward you can tell that Konnan has been in a fight as he gasps out his tag lines. Cut to commercial.
Fit Finley vs. Riggs - Riggs puts up a good fight. He dominates the early going until Finley gets a finger in his eye to turn the tables. Riggs comes right back and the balance of the match is a see-saw affair with plenty of high-flying action from the former Tag Champ. It all ends abruptly when Finley suckers him into position for his Tombstone piledriver. Cut to commercial.
Kidman vs. Kaz Hayashi - Cruiserweight Title match - can't figure how this Japanese jobber got a title shot...oh...I forgot...this is pro-wrestling... Kidman has been steadily bulking up lately and clearly has a size advantage over this opponent. He has been sharpening his mean streak as well and it is standing him in good stead until an attempt to suplex his opponent over the top to the floor fails and nets him a tumble followed by a plancha on his noggin. Back in the ring, Hayashi is holding the advantage for the first time in the match. He is deliberate and manages to hold things together for a couple minutes leading to a commercial break.
Kidman seems to be making a comeback as we return but Hayashi upsets him almost immediately. The Champion can't seem to do anything right in this match until Hayashi goes for a moonsault and misses. Now it is suddenly all Kidman until he goes up to the top a little too slowly. Hayashi follows him up and, after a miscue, puts a super-jaw breaker on Kidman. He gets a two count. The match starts to see-saw as Sonny Oono shows up ringside. The next time Kidman goes up he hits the Shooting Star press and takes the pin. That was a great match. Oono enters the ring afterward and puts the boots to his former charge until Kidman comes back to run him off. Cut to commercial.
Video review of the Steiner/Bagwell confrontation followed by the Chuckie silliness from Nitro. I notice that Mom Bagwell was grinning through the whole confrontation - even when her son was getting his butt kicked...
Ernest Miller vs. WCW fandom - Miller makes his challenge to anyone in the locker room, which brings a "fan" to the ring to get creamed until security hauls him away. Cut to commercial.
Prince Iaukea vs. Chavo Guerrera, Jr. - this is a re-match from the Prince's return to the ring a couple of weeks ago. Chavo outwrestles his opponent in the early going. Iauka reverses things by taking to the air. Chavo starts to gallop away on Pepe but thinks better of it. Back in the ring, he turns the tables quickly then picks his nose and treatens to clean his finger on the Prince (yuch!!) Iaukea than actually allows himself to be distracted by the stick horse! He turns his back to pick Pepe up and pays for that mistake dearly. Chavo blindsides him then grabs a side headlock on the mat. Iaukea escapes and the match see-saws but the Prince is showing some frustration. Moments later Chavo is in control and climbs the corner only to be upset when Iaukea stumbles into the ropes. He quickly recovers however, blocks a superplex attempt then hits the Tornado DDT to get the win. Cut to commercial.
Tony calls Diamond Dallas Page to the ring for his semi-weekly interview. He wants to know where Page's "head is at". DDP says he's on "cruise control" which he interprets as being "jacked". He admits that he's probably the only one who thinks he can take the Champ but he asserts that Goldberg makes mistakes, and he means to capitalize on them. Cut to commercial.
Michael Buffer introduces the main event.
Stevie Ray (w/Vincent) vs. Dean Malenko - Malenko is outweighed in this one by about 80 pounds (not counting Vincent's 230 or so). In fact Vincent gives Stevie Ray the entre he needs right from the get go by distracting the Horseman. We cut to commercial before the match really gets underway.
Stevie is still in control as we return. He is manhandling Malenko like a rag doll and not really trying to win the match. He distracts the referee so that Vincent can get a couple of shots in then goes back to work. He is repeatedly going to a surfboard maneuver. Malenko finally gets a belly-to-back suplex to try and turn it around, but Stevie Ray comes back with a bearhug then flings him into the corner. He scoops Malenko up - but the smaller man struggles and upsets his balance. Moments later he hits a missle drop-kick then grabs the Texas Cloverleaf. Vincent runs in and causes the DQ. Scott Norton joins the frey and Malenko is taking it three-on-one until the rest of the Horsemen run them off. Arn rants about Indianapolis being a Horsemen town, tire iron in hand. Flair adds his two cents - taunting Eric Bischoff about his "abuse of power". Malenko says, "two down - anybody else that you want to send..."
The Cruiserweights stole the show tonight...
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