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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

Friday Morning Edition

Thunder Report

The Way I See It...

Opinion by Earl Oliver

Volume 4, Issue 427 - February 19, 1999

Thunder Report

I missed the first 5 minutes of the show and came in as the blonde babe (now identified here on the Net as fitness guru, Tori Wilson) is again tempting her unidentified companion. We switch to the first installement of the Raven skit we have been watching for the last week or so then go to the first commercial.

Disco Inferno comes out to the Wolfpac music with his own mic. He wears an nWo Wolfpac t-shirt under his puke-green silk shirt. He is here to introduce a "legend in the wrestling business...the one and only Rowdy Scott" - of course it is Scott Hall still wearing a kilt (not Piper's by the way - his is red with white criss-cross - this one is calico plaid). I am hearing that what I missed at the top of the program was a replay of the nWo's attack on Roddy Piper. Hall wants to talk about his US Title match with Piper but first he calls Disco "my little buddy and the newest member of the Wolfpac" - I guess that makes it official... He gives the mic back to Disco so he can run down his own SuperBrawl opponent, Booker T. Hall then delivers a message to Piper. Basically he says, "Shine up the belt because I'm coming after it..." then he tears off the kilt and throws it to the crowd. We see a cage suspended over the ring as we cut to the second installment of the Raven skit then to commercial.

Lash LaRoux vs. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. - LaRoux has a little size on Chavo. The match barely gets underway when we go back to watch a limo pull up. Lex Luger rolls down the window and speaks to Rey Misterio, Jr. who is walking in the parking lot - asking if he is hitch hiking. Rey seems to ignore him but as Lex starts to come out of the car, Rey runs up and slams his arm in the door! Back in the ring, Chavo is dominating but isn't having an easy time of it. As the match progresses it is pretty much all Chavo however. LaRoux finally turns the tables with a belly-to-back but hurts his own head and fails to follow up. In the next few exchanges though he makes a come back. But then he goes to the top and gets caught there by Chavo. He is draped head down over the apron while Chavo steps on his throat. The referee admonishes him but Chavo ignores him so the ref disqualifies him. Chavo attacks the referee then goes back to work on the helpless LaRoux. Kidman runs in and attacks him then rolls him into the ring, where Chavo turns the tables and manages to punk both Kidman and LaRoux some more. Cut to more Raven nonsense then to commercial.

Replay of the terrorist style attack on Ric Flair Monday night. This segment went on waaaaay too long...and what was with this concept that the TV cameras were there to show us the action live but nobody in the arena seemed to be aware of it?? We switch out to the parking lot where Scott Steiner hangs his head out the window of a limo to ask if Diamond Dallas Page is here tonight. He is told "no". Cut to the last installment of the Raven skit then to commercial.

Horace and Brian Adams taunt the Horsemen (meaning Benoit and Malenko) about their chances of beating them for the Tag Team Titles.

Chris Jericho comes to the ring - I heard today that WCW has upped the offer to Jericho to keep him in the fold. Good move Eric - this guy is a star, no doubt about it. He apologizes to the fans for forcing Saturn to wear a dress by beating him "fairly and squarely". He then brings Ralphus out in a pink evening gown! He actually looks better in the dress then he does in his usual get-up - at least his gut isn't exposed...

Chris Jericho vs. Juventud Guerrera - Jericho asserts his superior size to win the first exchange but then telegraphs a move and is about to get stomped on as we cut to commercial.

Juventud is laying in the chops as we return. Jericho comes back with a clothesline and then chokes Juvey over the bottom rope. He urges Ralphus to "give him a kiss..." Ralphus puckers up and gets his face slapped. Juvey leaves the ring to stomp on him some then returns to the ring to renew his assault on Jericho. He is using his aerial attack well and Jericho is reeling for a while but eventually comes back and executes the Lion Tamer. Juvey strains for the ropes but Jericho drags him back to the center of the ring and gains the submission victory. Cut to commercial.

Buff Bagwell announces that he has finally gotten his medical release to wrestle then he introduces Big Papa Scott Steiner comes to the ring and denounces the fans who like Page, calling them white trash. He refers to DDP as "Diamond Dallas Trash" and says that Page wants to fight him at SuperBrawl because Kimberly finds him (Steiner) the more attractive of the two. He actually expects Page to accept a stipulation that Steiner will get Kimberly for 30 days if he wins the match. Fat chance...maybe. He then calls for someone to come out so he can beat him up. Bobby Blaze obliges. No need to describe the squash...Blaze is stretchered from the arena - after Steiner knocks the guerney out from under him and reapplies the Steiner recliner. Cut to commercial.

Konnan/Rey Misterio, Jr. vs. Hector Garza/Silver King - Garza and Silver King doubleteam Misterio at the beginning to take the immediate advantage. Konnan doesn't help his partner any by allowing himself to be baited but Misterio gets the tag out and then Konnan cleans house. Rey and Konnan are showing some good teamwork as the match progresses. Rey pins Silver King rather abruptly out of a Frankensteiner to end the match. Cut to Malenko and Benoit talking about their chances in the Tag Team tournament. Tonight's match against Horace and Adams is do or die for them. Cut to commercial.

Booker T vs. Jerry Flynn - Flynn has the size and martial arts ability to give Booker a good contest. It also helps his cause to have the Disco Inferno on the outside providing distraction. Flynn doesn't seem to appreciate it however as he knocks Disco off the apron with a side kick. Flynn holds his own and manages to knock Booker out of the ring and right into the clutches of the Dancin' Fool who applies a Chartbuster before rolling Booker back into the ring. Neither Flynn nor the referee realize what has happened but Flynn takes advantage of Booker's momentary discomfort to get in another side kick and take the pin. Cut to commercial.

Ric Flair comes to the ring at the invitation of Mean Gene looking surprisingly fit. His face has steri-strips in several places - evidence of stitches having been taken. Flair is calm as he starts his rant telling Hogan that he is not "cool". His voice rises as he runs down the Champ as undeserving of the accolades he has garnered over the years. Flair promises to take the Title at SuperBrawl for his fans, his friends and his family. Cut to commercial.

Tori is pouring over the room service menu as we return. She comments to her companion that he looks pale and says she didn't mean to hurt him. He hands her some plane tickets to Oakland - "...your takimg me to SuperBrawl? You're so awsome!" She says they need to go shopping and scoots off too the bathroom wrapped in a sheet.

Brian Adams/Horace vs. Dean Malenko/Chris Benoit - Tag Team Tournament losers bracket final in a cage - the cage is to keep the nWo from interfering - Malenko faces Horace to start. Malenko out maneuvers his larger opponent and gets a two-count early on. Horace then asserts his superior size but can't keep Malenko from tagging in Benoit. Adams tags in and faces the Wolverine. He uses his power to subdue the smaller man but Benoit turns the tables with an arm drag and holds on for dear life. He releases the hold and pounds Adams into the corner. Adams comes back with a powerslam and then tags in Horace. They doubleteam Benoit in their corner as Malenko distracts the referee. Horace and Benoit grapple with mixed results then Adams tags in again. Little by little they are isolating Benoit. Benoit for his part holds his own, he gets a backslide and a two count on Adams but can't follow up. Horace comes back in and is clearly the weak link of his team. Benoit can't quite overcome him but holds his own. Adams is in again and grabs Benoit in a bow-and-arrow until the referee notices that Adams shoulders are on the mat and starts counting. Horace re-enters and slaps on a sleeper. Benoit turns into it and flings Horace into the cage wall then gets a German suplex on the rebound. Both guys tag out and Malenko gets the drop on Adams but can't quite apply the Texas Cloverleaf. Horace breaks it up and then is knocked down. Adams tags out and the disheveled Horace is caught in a Crippler Crossface - Adams drops a leg to prevent the tap out. Vince has appeared cage side with a chair. Inside the referee is knocked down and the Horsemen are down as well. Vince gets the door open and Benoit is pushed out. Vince whales on him while Malenko is being assaulted in the ring. Benoit drop toe-holds Vince into th guard rail then scales the outside of the cage. Horace tries to stop him but is kicked off. The referee gets the chair away from Adams who rushes the corner and gets a motuhful of Malenko's boot. Benoit throws an amazing headbutt off the top of the cage then Malenko takes the pin on Adams. Fad to black...

The Way I See It...

This week, during my RAW commentary, I made a remark about the devaluation of WWF Titles that has been going on for a while with Champions such as Duane Gill as the Light Heavyweight, Bob Holly as the Hardcore and, most especially, Shane McMahon as the new European Champ.

I was surprised at the response that one (rather offhand) comment generated. A small sampling:

A number of correspondence pointed out that the situation in WCW is really no better:

There is something to be said for the proposition that some of these "Champions" are merely transition figures. Shane, certainly, is likely to last just long enough to face the first worthy contender.

I don't know about Val Venis - as much as I deplore his misogynist gimmick, the sucker just seems to keep growing on me as a wrestler and as an in-ring personality. He has earned his wings, though some could rightly argue that Billy Gunn has earned that IC Title to an even greater degree and therefore Venis may well just be holding Gunn's place for him.

Bob Holly? Despite the fact that he has obviously bulked up for his latest incarnation, and the fact that the Hardcore Title is more or less a joke Championship to begin with, I really can't see him as much more then someone to hold the belt until Al Snow eventually takes him out.

On the WCW side, I see Piper also as a transition figure, possibly his winning the US Title satisfied some clause in his WCW contract under which he came to Turnerland in the first place. It also frees up Bret Hart to make a concerted run at the World Championship.

The biggest problem over there can be summed up in two words: Hollywood Hogan. I thought that problem had been solved when Hogan "retired" a few months back but clearly, that was a scam. The result has been obvious to see over the last year or so as WCW storylines have gotten bogged down in never ending episodes of "You know what, brother..?" When will the horror end??? (...and this from someone who used to be a confirmed Hulamaniac!) I would love to see Ric Flair hold that Title one more time (though I have been calling on him to retire for the last several years) but I fear it will never happen as long as Hogan controls his own booking.

There is one other aspect to all of this that harkens back to my disagreement with the whole concept of pro-wrestling's shift into circus (and soap opera)-like Sports Entertainment.

The latest instance of what I see as this disturbing trend was the magnificent bump taken by Mr. McMahon at the St. Valentine's Day Massacre PPV. Don't get me wrong, I have to give it to McMahon, that stunt took a king sized set of cajones to pull off and I applaud his efforts throughout that match. The problem is that on the other hand you have a hardworking guy like Mick Foley who has justifiably been raised up to near deity status during the last year for taking just such risks. What does it say about Foley's sacrifices for the sport when a 52 year-old multi-millionaire with minimal athletic background is willing to throw himself backward off the top of a cage and crash through a table?

In my opinion, it serves to cheapen the achievements of Foley and other daring athletes.

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

Earl Oliver
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