The program opens with an appearance by Kane at the side of Mr. McMahon. Vince looks pretty grim as he carries the Undertaker's envelope to the ring. He mentions that WrestleMania is five weeks away then causes a big pop when he invokes the name of Stone Cold Steve Austin. (I am getting a strong sense of Deja Vu here...) As he continues his rant he is greeted by as "A$$hole!" chant. He turns his guns on the Undertaker, who, he says, has taken advantage of his recent preoccupation with Austin to try and take over the WWF. He says he has read the contents of the envelope and tells UT, "You don't want to go there..." Wait a minute...he's scheduling an inferno match for RAW...is this a replay of last week's program? It is! There's Kevin Kelly introducing Terry Taylor - this is weird.
As we return from commercial a message scrolls across the bottom of the screen telling us that "Due to technical difficulties we are rebroadcasting last weeks edition of Sunday Night Heat." So much for the Heat Overview - just read Issue #329...
For hours I have sat here contemplating writing a letter to Eric Bischoff. Unfortunately, my thesaurus doesn't have too many synonyms for the phrase "idiot loser."
It is very difficult to find anything else to describe him and still maintain a PG. rating so I have given up. The truth is, even if I did send a letter I doubt he would be able to read it with his obvious lack of intelligence.
I'm really confused about the whole WCW thing lately. Why not hire a qualified match maker/booker with a history in the wrestling biz instead of allowing the wrestlers themselves to do it. They throw their bodies around and punish themselves for a reason boys and girls and its not because they majored in pain dispersment at Harvard.
I'm not saying all wrestlers are stupid so hold your hate mail. What I'm saying is most people are self serving to a fault. No one wants to agree to be a loser. Once at the top, its human nature to want to stay there. So why allow Hogan to have any influence in the decision making process. Why Nash? Why DDP? Why any single one of them?
I shall tell you why. Its quite simple actually when you think about it. Its all due to Eric Bischoff. Somewhere along the way the dropped his "jewels" and forgot to pick them up. He can't make a decision on his own. I can almost imagine him telling Hogan that he has to job to Goldberg. "It's not me Terry, its Mr. Turner. He says he wants to boost ratings and he thinks this will do it." When in reality Ted probably doesn't even know Goldberg's real name.
It seems like one ridiculous stunt after another. It was beginning to become clear that Eric was losing it when he had Leno in the ring. There is no way on this earth anyone could feel threatened by the man with the giant chin. Now we have the Goldberg challenge. Who's stupid idea was this? Eric's. It may sound like a good idea at the time but what the challenge sounded like was something you would hear in grade school. It was ludicrous. So are we supposed to believe that Goldberg wants to have a real fight with Austin for a hundred grand? Just to prove a point I would love to see Austin and the WWF accept this one. Goldberg may be a big name but he cant hold a candle to Austin's popularity. Plus, Goldberg is having a hard time dealing with Bam Bam which you may remember got his butt kicked by Lawrence Taylor a few years ago at a WWF PPV.
Under the reign of Eric the WCW has gone from pretty bad to downright awful.
Brett Hart against some overweight Chris Farley wanna-be with the only excitement was seeing multiple gratuitous breast shots from a guest valet. Disco Inferno-need I say more. The Thunder jobber festival and the multiple replays of Raven at his house that no one could give less of a crap about. These things are just the tip of the iceberg.
To top off this delicious mound of garbage is this David Flair angle. I am so tired of seeing the NWO grow bigger. When is it going to be enough. As it stands right now, at least eighty percent of the WCW big name talent belongs to this gang. To add David to the mix just adds a different face to the same old tired story.
I despise the WWF for what they have done to wrestling over the years. The constant sex, profanity and demonic portrayals (UT) conflict with my religious beliefs and morals. Yet the WCW is just flat out boring and stupid.
All I want to do is sit home and watch wrestling on TV. Not some gang attack in the middle of a field somewhere with cameras conveniently in place and not some possession or adult film star in the ring. Where oh where has my wrestling gone?
I knew it had all gone too far when my wife started watching wrestling with me instead of Ally McBeal because the storyline was better. Im not sure what that says about Ally but I know it sure doesn't compliment a so-called sport.
So what to do now. Stop watching wrestling? Absolutely not. Hope Eric wakes up? Please God let it be. With ten times more talent than the WWF he could make the best wrestling show of all time. Perhaps we should start a fund to purchase a new pair for Eric...maybe then he can take control of the situation and put the wrestlers back where they belong...in the ring, not the boardroom.
Joseph Holt is a freelance writer in the Ft. Worth Texas area and a regular contributor to Solie's. His own web site, called Double Xposure, is located at: http://members.aol.com/Holt70/page/index.htm and features his articles on subjects besides pro-wrestling.
Scenes from last weeks program open the show - UT sets fire to the teddy bear and causes McMahon anguish - for what reason? Maybe we'll find out tonight.
RAW is live from the Gund arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Corporation makes their entrance and strolls to the ring. Paul Wight trails the thugs down the aisle. Before Vince can open his mouth the "A$$hole!" chants starts up. Vince starts his rant a bit subdued and talks about the fact that for a moment last week he showed weakness. The chant gets louder and causes him to lose his cool a bit as he shouts at the crowd. He admits to have been a "basket case" for a while because of what that teddy bear meant to him. He talks about his capacity to love, to feel to cherish...and says he wouldn't expect them to know because "ameobas don't feel" (cute). He tells the Undertaker that he has a surprise for him this week. He turns to Kane and accuses him of letting him down because he lost the inferno match. He fires Kane and calls in the "whitecoats" to take him back to the asylum. Chyna surprises everyone by helping Kane fight off the guards. She turns to McMahon and offers to be responsible for Kane - then suggests a Kane/Austin match tonight so Kane can prove himself. McMahon counters with his own stip. If Kane loses, he will fire both of them. Mankind appears at this point and suggests the he should be the referee for the just proposed match. Vince again has a counter offer. He'll let Mankind be the ref if he can defeat the Undertaker in a match first. The lights go out and UT's music plays. In the ring, McMahon is scrambling to watch his back. UT appears on the TitanTron and says, "McMahon, I've told you what I'm going to do and what I'm going to take..." and laughs menacingly.
Backstage Ryan Shamrock comes through a door and minces down the hall in a short velvet dress. Cut to commercial.
During the break, Austin arrived and was informed that he is wrestling Kane tonight. He seems unconcerned.
Ken Shamrock vs. Goldust (w/Blue Meanie) vs. Val Venis - Triple Threat Intercontinental Title match - Billy Gunn was supposed to be involved in this match tonight but we see a tape of the doctor telling him he can't wrestle tonight because of a respitory infection. We are told that the Blue Meanie and Goldust formed their partnership on Heat last night - except that none of us saw it (see above). Venis and Goldust attack Shamrock to start. Uh oh, here comes Ryan. As usual in these matches, it is almost impossible to get a pin because the third man is always there to break it up. Now Goldust and Shamrock are coodinating their attacks on the Champ. They then abruptly break off the assault to brawl with each other. Goldust bails and Val takes on Shamrock. Outside the ring, Goldust is laying a big wet one on Ryan!! Shamrock goes balistic and abandons the ring to flatten the Blue Meanie then attack Goldust. They are both counted out and Venis retains the Title. He encounters Billy Gunn on the ramp and gets punked. In the back, Jim Ross (apparently) is facing away from the camera and in conversation with Mankind and Al Snow. Cut to commercial.
Mankind's Chef B'oyardi Ravioli commercial is a winner.
JR makes his rentrance as we return. He's here to do an in-ring interview with Bart Gunn (who will face Butterbean at WrestleMania). Ross keeps his face in profile in the beginning of the interview then turns to face us revealing that one side is still paralyzed, his speech is slurred. He complains about not being back on camera at the last PPV then tears into Bart for beating Dr. Death Steve Williams in the Brawl-for-All - implying that Bart is resposible for his condition. He slaps Bart then back pedals as Bart reacts. Suddenly Williams attacks Bart from behind as JR urges him on. Even Dr. Death seems a bit taken aback by JR's fury. They leave Bart lying in the ring when they depart. Backstage, Debra is primping as we cut to commercial.
The slam of the week comes to us from one of the matches we missed last night.
The Pissed Brothers (w/Debra) vs. HHH/X-Pac - the fight erupts as DX hits the ring. Debra has offered her robe as the prize for tonight's match (implying that there is nothing under it). Mike Cole tells us that there will be footage from Heat on Live Wire this Saturday morning. In the ring, HHH takes the early advantage over Owen but soon is out-wrestled and isolated. Jarrett is temporarily incapacitated by a missed move and Hart moves in to replace him. A mid-ring collision puts both guys down and DX makes a comeback. But Debra has the referee (Jesse White) distracted. She is knocked to the floor, X-Pac leaves the ring to check on her and gets blindsided by Shane McMahon. X-Pac chases Shan away while his partner gets double-teamed. Now here comes Ivory and X-Pac is back. A pier-sixer erupts in the ring and ends the match. The Champs and Debra head back up the ramp where D-Lo attacks the guys while Ivory disrobes Debra. She's wearing her best Victoria's Secret ensemble. Cut to commercial.
Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews the Champs and Debra. Debra wants a match with Ivory tonight. Kelly apparently doesn't know the difference between the words "exasperated" and "exacerbated" He says Debra must be "exacerbated" by Ivory's actions...
Luna comes to the ring with Sable's "stalker fan", Torrie and challenges Sable to a match. Sable appears doing her heel schtick. As Sable mounts the steps, Torrie attacks Luna! Then she helps Sable put the challenger away! Sable then turns her back and Torrie wants to know if she did all right...she trails Sable from the ring like a puppy. In the back, the Rock is getting psyched up for his match against the Road Dog tonight for the WWF Title. Cut to commercial.
Road Dogg vs. The Rock - WWF Title match - Jesse James alters his entrance speech to suit the occasion, leaving his loyal mimics in confusion over how to follow him. The Rock flattens him to start the match then pounds on him in the corner. The Dogg comes back with a drop-kick then but falls right into a DDT. The Rock signals and Paul Wight comes down to the ring. Mavia takes James out to the broadcast table where he slams his face then gives us a bit of commentary. Back in the ring, a Russian leg sweep takes the challenger down. Maivia then distracts the ref so Wuight can get in a shot. The Dogg comes back but is cut short again. Maivia rushes the corner and misses, giving the Dogg his opening. He builds some momentum then walks right into the Rock Bottom. Maivia follows with the Corporate Elbow and gets the pin.
Al Snow appears on the ramp and introduces himself. He tries to attack the Doggg with a chair but has the tables (or chairs...) turned on him instead. "Hardcore" Holly runs in and gets the same treatment. Road Dogg issues a challenge to the both of them to meet him in the parking lot. In the back, Chyna is pleading with Kane to deliver tonight and looking like she might be having second thoughts. Cut to commercial.
Road Dogg ia waiting impatiently for his opponents to appear.
Public Enemy appear dressed as the Brood and parody their entrance. It's about time somebody made fun of those clowns. The lights go out as they finish their rant and the Brood music plays again. The lights come back up and Rocco has vanished. In the parking lot, Road Dogg is brawling with Holly and we catch sight of Rocco Rock looking none the worse for wear in the background (oops!) as we cut to commercial.
Holly has the advantage in the brawl as we return. He runs his opponent into a rack of steel rainings but the Dogg comes right back. Meanwhile, Droz and Blackman are having a Kendo stick match in the ring. This is a mistake on Droz's part - Blackman is an expert. Then Blackman accidently hits the referee (Teddy White) and allows Droz to hit him from behind as he stoops to check on the ref. Back in a stairwell somewhere, Holly and James are still brawling. They go out a door and are both ambushed by Snow! They brawl out toward the street and right into it! Referees try to break it up at this point. Cut to a tribute video to...Shane McMahon?? Two of Shane's Greenwich friends talk about how tough their pal is...(right). Cut to commercial.
Johnny Grunge has found his partner, who has been been given a blood bath and hung up to dry (which apparently happened after we saw him unharmed backstage...)
Mr. McMahon comes down to join the broadcast team for the UT/Mankind match. He is promising a surprise for the Undertaker tonight. He refuses to respond to Cole's questions about the bear. He says that if Mankind wins this match he will get his wish to be the second referee at the WrestleMania main event (that's a new wrinkle - I wonder if he meant to say that...)
The Undertaker vs. Mankind - UT and McMahon attempt to stare each other down as Mankind makes his entrance. McMahon is now suggesting that Mankind might join the Corporation. The two combatants trade punches in the corner then UT takes the advantage with a scoop-slam. Foley recovers right away and turns the tables but only for a moment as the phenom walks the ropes then comes down and walks right into the mandible claw. He knocks Mankind to the floor to escape. Outsode the ring, Mankind runs UT into the stairs then smashes his head with a knee lift. Mankind runs at UT with a chair but has it kicked into his face. UT deals another blow with the chair then rolls Mankind back in only to be counted out! He turns and attacks McMahon, sets him up for a chokeslam on the broadcast table but Vince is saved bu the Bossman's nightstick attack on UT's leg and face. The Corporate guys split as the Viscera comes to the ring. Mankind is celebrating his victory and doesn't realize until it is too late that UT is back in the ring. He gets chokeslammed and we cut to commercial. We still don't know what McMahon's "surprise" was...
Debra (w/Jarrett and Hart) vs Ivory (w/D-Lo Brown) - special challenge match - the referee sends the Tag Champs away from the ring area for this one. We get a scene from last night which shows Ivory destroying Jacqueline last night. PMS run in and break up the match before it really gets started. Jacqueline takes Ivory by surprise and flattens her then leaves with Debra and Terry as D-Lo hits the ring to save his lady. Cut to commercial.
Steve Austin vs. Kane (w/Chyna) - by the way I saw Austin on Nash Bridges the other night...he better stick to wrestling. My wife, who is a big fan of the show, was not impressed at all. Kane takes the early advantage but then gets dragged to the corner and posted on his knee. He is limping as Austin re-enters the ring and starts working on the injured limb. He beats Austin about the neck to escape the hold. Austin again slips outside and again attacks the leg, this time smashing it against the apron. Kane manags to snap Austin's neck off the top rope then re-enters the ring and gets a vertical suplex. Kane slips out and pounds Austin on the apron. But Austin leaves the ring and slams his opponent into the steps. Chyna attacks Austin thus drawing his fire but Austin sees Kane sneaking up on him and backdrops him into the crowd. They brawl in the stands where Austin goes for a piledriver but gets back-dropped instead. Kane tosses him back to the ringside area then rams his back into the ring post twice. He drops him face-first onto the railing then goes back to the ring while Chyna continues the assault. Kane comes back out and attacks Austin again before tossing him back into the ring. He gets a backbreaker in the ring. Austin then reverses a whip and gets a sleeper but only for a moment as Kane runs him back into the corner. Austuin tries a scoop slam but his back gives out. Kane follows with a bearhug. Austin punches his way free, hits the mid-section kick but is shoved away when he goes for the Stunner. The ref is knocked down and Chyna is on the apron. Kane runs into her then backs right into the Stunner - but the referee is out of it. He comes too so Chyna pulls Austin off of Kane. Here comes Paul Wight to observe. Kane is regaining the advantage but can;t quite put his opponent away. Austin comes back with a low-blow then gets a Thesz press moments later. Wight shoves a chair into the ring but Austin gets it a uses it twice. Chyna comes into the ring and Austin takes a wild swing at her but misses. He turns back to Kane and Chyna returns and delivers thelow-blow to Austin. Kane recovers and grabs Austin as Wight enters the ring...and delivers a kick to the face of Kane! Austin flips the double-bird at Wight as we fade to black.
I'll be back with the Nitro Report tomorrow. Until then...
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