I'm going to try really hard to keep your interest through the duration of this column no matter how difficult it may be. If I accomplish this act then I am doing better than the WCW as a whole.
The topic of this article...The Warrior.
As I sigh and shake my head I wonder how I'm going to do this. If a major production such as WCW can't then how can I. After all I am but a mere journalist typing my thoughts onto a computer screen. To make something interesting enough to convince you to continue to read this column, when in fact, there is very little interesting about the whole Warrior angle is tough. Let us enter into my magic time machine for a moment. Buckle up now. Everyone ready? The year is...well I dont remember the year, but I was a teenage boy watching wrestling every chance I got. Yeah, thats me with the braces on my teeth.
So, now that we have gone back in time to a more enjoyable time in the world of professional wrestling lets get front row seats in the WCCW for the Friday night matches. The lights dim and an unfamiliar music plays over the less-than-state-of- the-art sound system. A blur runs down the isle to the ring. There stands a long haired, painted face man with colorful streamers tied to his arms and legs. He jumps onto the edge of the ring and shakes the ring ropes as he yells out. The crowd goes wild. Leaping over the top rope the newcomer dashes around the ring arms flailing madly about. His opponent, already in the ring attempts a pre-bell attack only to be pounded into the mat. Your winner..and..and new hero...The Dingo Warrior.
After the match the crowd is electrified. This Dingo Warrior has brought new excitement into the WCCW. People came from miles around into the Dallas area to see this new combatant destroy his opponents in the ring. Very few could last the allotted fifteen minute time limit and none could beat him. (Remind you of anyone??) He was a force to be respected and feared. A short time later the decline and subsequent fall of the WCCW along with the rise of the WWF lured the Dingo Warrior into their organization. Enter the Ultimate Warrior. Same character, same person, same energy.
At this time the WWF had a big name in Hulk Hogan so adding the Ultimate Warrior seemed redundant. But wait....a crowd favorite as the Dingo..oops I mean Ultimate Warrior demanded spotlight attention. How could the WWF turn him into a heel to oppose Hogan? Or would they make Hogan the heel? How about neither. The two major players in the WWF at the time would face each other in a face vs. face match. There was no typical bad guy in this battle. Its was the power of the Hulkamaniacs against the Ultimate Warriorites or whatever they were deemed to be. The crowd was torn. Who were they to cheer for? It leaned a bit towards the Ultimate Warrior for the simple reason that people wanted to see Hogan get beat.
No matter how much you love a character they have to maintain some sense of humanity to allow the fans to relate to them. To be able to beat everyone you face in the ring quickly becomes unbelievable as well as boring.
So the battle of the decade began. In the end the Ultimate Warrior had won. A new era had begun....or had it? This good against good angle didn't last long. People want a definite good guy and someone they can hate. Its as typical as life itself. We dont want to be forced to pick one favorite over the other. So...goodbye Ultimate Warrior.
Then what? Who knows really. Our Warrior disappeared. I have heard many stories on what he did during his absence from wrestling ranging from postal worker to desert nomad. In any case he was gone from the wrestling world. Then for some reason...perhaps money..perhaps fame..he decided the wanted to return to the world of wrestling. His "rival" Hogan had now become a major heel giving him the opportunity to return as a face the people would love So..
So what happened? Nursing an "injury" he entered the WCW with the sole purpose of giving Hogan a beating. The hype, as in many other cases, was greater than the actual events. Too much talking (and I say that with sarcasm intended), and no wrestling. If you really took the time to listen to what the Warrior was saying you probably ended up as confused as I was. It made very little sense. Then the Disciple twist. The OWN twist. The smoke and disappearances. All of this to lead up to a Hogan and Warrior rematch which no one cares about. Then they involve Sting. Here is a clue WCW needs to pay close attention to. No matter how much sugar you put on dog doo its still gonna stink.
To involve Sting (the sugar) into the Warrior angle (well you know what that is) does not make the storyline any more interesting than it was before. It simply gives us something else to smirk at. Granted, through the years the Warrior has given us some great memories. Lets keep it that way.
I'm not sure if its the WCW or the Warrior himself that causes this situation to be so uninteresting but either way it should end in October when Warrior's contract runs out. We all want to go out on top but the current Warrior situation is not going to allow the Warrior to be on top for a second much less a lifetime. Say goodbye Warrior and let us have the memories of the good old days when you actually took off your duster to wrestle. Plead with the courts to legally change your name back from Warrior to whatever it was before and go back to the desert to cherish your memories of the day you beat Hulkamania and become the man in the WWF.
Maybe I'm wrong here. I'm sure there are a few people who really do care about the Warrior/Hogan thing. Well maybe not a few but Im sure there is at least one person who cares and for that one person I say this...did you forget to put on your wrestling trunks when you wrestled with your duster on? Or where the buttons just too difficult to undo?
Joseph Holt is a freelance writer in the Ft. Worth Texas area and a regular contributor to Solie's.
Thunder comes to us live from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
We get a replay of the Goldberg/DDP confrontation at the end of Page's match on Monday night.
Super Calo vs. Rey Misterio, Jr. - Tony tells us that the main event tonight will be Sting vs. The Giant as this match gets underway. Calo dominates the early going with a combination of superior size and his own excellent agility. Rey slips through his legs to turn the tables but gets drop-kicked off the apron then suicide dived. Back in the ring, Calo tries to maintin his advantage but now Rey has taken to the air where he is king. He drops a devestating guillotine leg-drop then props Calo onto the corner buckle only to jump up and hit his Frankensteiner. Calo is undone and easily pinned.
As we return from the replay, the ring has filled with LWO members. Eddie Guerrero wants to recruit Misterio. In the background, Chavo continues to try and get someone to notice him. Guerrero's recruitment speech is faintly menacing. Rey turns them down saying he "runs on his own" and it is Eddie who holds back some of the others who start to rush Misterio. Cut to commercial.
Tony is in the ring as we return. He invites Diamond Dallas Page to the ring for his bi-weekly interview. Does anybody else find it odd that we only get to hear Page's side of this story? I mean, I know that Goldberg doesn't talk much, but it only seems fair that he should get a chance to express himself about this upcoming match at least once or twice, since DDP gets to shoot off his mouth twice a week. Page's rant is the same as it has been for the last several weeks. Goldberg can be beat with the Diamond Cutter, yatta, yatta... (Don't hold your breath, Diamond boy...) Cut to commercial.
Johnny Swinger vs. Alex Wright - the outcome here is a foregone conclusion. Wright has proved his talent over the last several years, Swinger is a relative newcomer and a jobber. Wright's only problem is his arrogance which causes him stop and pose when he should be concentrating on the match. This tendency affords Swinger an extended flurry towards the middle of the match until Wright regains his composure. From there on out it is all downhill for Swinger. Wright allows himself to be distracted by the "USA" chant of the crowd so Swinger gets a brief comeback before being drop-kicked out of the air and pinned. Cut to a review of the Steiner Brothers confrontation on Monday night then to commercial.
Review of the Hart/Sting match at the end of Nitro. Sting slaps on the Scorpion and refuses to relinquish the hold.
Kanyon (w/Raven) vs. Chris Jericho - TV Title match - Jericho holds two fingers up behind Kanyon as he does his usual call and response schtick (and gets the usual, unwanted, response). Jericho tries his own version but can't seem to get the names straight. Kanyon then blindsides him and the match is underway. Jericho has Kanyon under control out on the floor when we cut to coomercial.
The combatants are back in the ring and the match is see-sawing as we return. Raven apparently hasn't seen fit to interfere so far. Jericho rushes the corner and jams his eye into the corner buckle. Kanyon takes him up for a superplex that seems to hurt him as much as his opponent. He goes for another suplex but Jericho blocks it and gets one of his own. Kanyon comes back with yet another suplex and gets a two count. Jericho then gets a backbreaker and has Kanyon in position for a Liontamer, but he gets thumbed in the eye. Now Kanyon is in charge again but not for long. As he tries to position Jericho on the corner buckle he gets headbutted to the mat. Jericho hits a missle drop-kick that gets his opponent and the referee. Now Raven comes in and attempts to put the Evenflo DDT on - but Jericho reverses it to a Liontamer and makes Raven tap out. Somehow, this wins him the match... Cut to commercial.
Review of Hogan taking out his nephew Horace on Nitro then punking the Warrior.
Saturn vs. Norman Smiley - Smiley is a talented grappler but Saturn reminds me of a young Rick Steiner - a wrestling machine. Smiley show off a little at the beginning and pays for it as the match continues. In fact he seems inclined to showboat throughout this match whenever he does something right. About half way through he loses all reason to celebrate as Saturn asserts his authority for the duration. The DDD tells the tail in the end. Cut to commercial.
Riggs vs. Lex Luger - Luger overpowers his opponent from the get-go. Riggs then resorts to guile by calling for a test of strength but sending a boot to the gut instead. It doesn't help him a bit and he has to use a second cheapshot to finally gain the advantage. Luger then falls prey to Rigg's excellent drop-kick. Riggs follows up with a headlock on the mat but Luger powers to his feet. Riggs hits a high knee to the back of his opponent then gets rammed into the corner and suplexed as he comes out. Both guys are slow to rise. Luger blocks a punch then runs Riggs over twice before hitting his bionic forearm. He goes for the Rack but Riggs gets a jawbreaker to thwart it. Luger hangs in there with more clotheslines then gets the Rack and the submission. Cut to video of the Horsemen/Bischoff clash from the United Center two Mondays ago then to commercial.
Prince Iaukea vs. Juventud Guerera - Iaukea has been showing a lot of aggression since his return and has a size advantage in this one. Guerrera is clearly the crowd favorite and continues to get a good push lately. He is also the one with the superior talent. Iaukea dominates the early going by throwing his weight around and showing no hesitation to cut corners. Guerrera comes back with two bulldogs in a row then climbs to the top to deliver a moonsault. Disco Inferno runs in and tries to interfere but fails to prevent Juvey's win. Kidman appears and attacks Disco then Juvey attacks Kidman! Kidman disentangles himself and hits Disco again on the outside. Cut to a review of this weeks Bischoff/Horsemen set-to involving the Mayor of Minneapolis. Eric is last seen running through the streets chasing his impounded car. Cut to commercial.
Scott Armstrong vs. Konnan - the runt of the Armstrong clan vs. the runt of the Wolf Pack - hardly seems like a fair contest. Tenay further shows his ignorance of American popular music (remember his reference to "Voodoo Chili"?) by identifying Wilson Picket as the artist who sang "Land of a Thousand Dances". In the ring, Armstrong is pulling out all the stops in a vain attempt to hold onto a tenuous advantage. Konnan allows him to think he's winning then surprises him with a suplex. After that it is a matter of moments before the Tequilla Sunrise is applied. Cut to a video review of the Hart/Sting feud then to commercial.
Kendall Windham vs. Dean Malenko - Windham grabs a mic before the match begins and disputes Malenko's right to be a Horsemen. Malenko doesn't take to kindly to that diatribe and starts aggressively and continues to strike like a whirlwind throughout the match. He makes short work of the former Horseman's little brother. Malenko makes his own speech after the match. First he tells Kendall - "that's why I'm a Horseman" then goes on to introduce the rest of the gang. AA grabs the mic to rant at Bischoff. He warns Bischoff not to ever say anything disparaging about his family again. Flair then assumes his customary roll as spokesman for the group - he praises Malenko's performance then vows that one day Bischoff will find himself working for Flair. Cut to commercial.
Sting vs. The Giant - the Giant wastes no time in attackingbefore Sting can even get into the ring. Sting comes right back and goes for the Stinger Splash but is caught in mid-air and squashed. The Giant manhandles him and pounds on him for a minute or so. Then applies a Russian leg sweep then goes for and misses an elbow drop. Sting hits three Stinger Splashes then scoop slams the big guy! He gets the Scorpion only to have Scott Steiner hit him in the hamstring with a chair. More nWo troups swarm into the ring and start working him over until Rick Steiner runs in and throws him a bat. Sting cleans house until the rest of the Wolf Pack shows up. Fade to black.
That last match was fun...
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