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Monday Night Wars Edition: Part 2

RAW Report

"Internet Long Distance Bill" Nonexistent

Reply by Congressman George Miller

The Way I See It...

Opinion by Earl Oliver

Volume 4, Issue 436 - March 9, 1999

"Internet Long Distance Bill" Nonexistent

Editor's Note: Here is a reply from Congressman George Miller of California regarding an inquiry made by my friend Mercedes Hardey about the supposed "Bill" to allow the charging of long distance rates for Internet dial-up calls:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the issue of Internet access charges being billed at regular long distance/per minute rates.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently released its decision that calls to gain access to the Internet are interstate communications subject to Federal jurisdiction. Until now, such connections have been treated as local calls. However, the FCC insists that this decision merely resolves a dispute among telephone companies over how to compensate each other for Internet connections and to clarify the role of state and federal regulators. The decision will not affect how consumers connect to the Internet or how much they will pay. Your Internet access charges will continue to be billed at the local phone call rate.

Each individual Internet user has a private contract with their Internet Service Provider (ISP), where they are usually charged a monthly fee along with their local phone charges. The issue before the FCC concerned disputes between local telephone carriers and an issue of reimbursement by ISPs. No matter the outcome of the case, your Internet access will not be charged at the regular long distance rate, it should always be charged as a local call. If your Internet Service Provider decides to raise your monthly fee, you may want to look into other service providers in your area.

The issue is quite complex, and that complexity is probably to blame for the false rumors that had been circulating prior to the decision. I appreciate knowing your concern on this issue, and I will continue to make sure that the Internet is accessible to consumers at reasonable rates.


Member of Congress, 7th District

In other words, this story is just a scare, an urban legend plain and simple - it has no substance.

RAW Report

The Rock makes his way to the ring at the top of the program (taped March 3rd at the Igloo in Pittsburg) and rants about the Stunner he suffered at the hands of Steve Austin on Heat the other night. He blames Paul Wight, of course. Mr. McMahon makes his entrance and chides Maivia about "airing Corporate laundry in public" then switches the blame to the fans for all the pressure they have been putting on the WWF Champ. The crowd obliges with boos and catcalls. He assures the Rock of Wight's loyalty to the Corporation. Maivia allows as how he trusts McMahon (really? How come..?) but he doesn't trust Wight. The big guy himself shows up at this point to remind Maivia that it was him (Maivia) who sent Wight back up the ramp to confront Austin. He offers to give McMahon his money back and settle their differences but the Mankind appears to break up that notion. He's still talking about being the second referee for the WrestleMania main event (and wants to referee a match betwen Maivia and Wight tonight), but now McMahon is saying that he has to prove himself yet again by facing Steve Austin tonight before that will be locked in stone. (Hmmm...I could swear that was decided last week, but then what do I know..?) Oh, and by the way, Paul Wight will be the referee for this Austin/Mankind match, so there...and the Rock will do guest commentary. Now Austin decides to show up he rants at the bunch of them saying he doesn't give a damn who the ref is tonight or at WrestleMania - he just cares about becoming the Champ again.

Meanwhile, in the back, the Ministry of Darkness is on the prowl, looking for the Bossman. They tell some wrestlers in a locker room to give the Bossman "this message" and then punk them as we cut to commercial.

Mankind talks to Steve Austin and suggests that he should lay down tonight to insure that Mankind gets the referee spot. Austin isn't buying it but Mankind asks him too give him "a little signal" if he changes his mind.

D-Lo Brown vs. Owen Hart (w/Debra) - Steel City Street Fight - D-Lo comes to the ring carrying the "cookie sheet of doom" or something. Owen brings a broom and another stick of some sort. D-Lo gets in the first shots with his kitchen ware then Owen turns it around by kicking the tray back in his face the piledriving him onto it. The fight goes to the outside where D-Lo is smashed into the steps then dragged to the ramp and smashed against that. D-Lo is taken up to the platform where he delivers a low-blow to turn the tables momentarily but then Owen pays back in kind following it with a DDT. The fight back toward the ring where Owens tastes the steel steps then is rolled back in. D-Lo gets the cookie sheet again and uses it. He is about to employ Owen's broom but Owen short changes that they each have a stick and take each other out. Here comes Jeff Jarrett with his guitar. He tosses it into the ring but D-Lo intercepts it and lays Owen out with it. He gets the pin - Owen is busted open.

In the back, the Undertaker is sending his minions in all directions to find the Bossman and "bring him to me..." Cut to commercial.

New Age Outlaws vs. Hard Core Holly/ Al Snow (w/Head) - the latter team can't seem to make up their minds whether they are friends or enemies. Holly attacks the Dogg before the bell and the match is underway. His team is on the road to vistory until Snow hauls off and hits his partner. Moments later Holly is flung into Snow who is where he shouldn't be on the apron. Snow attacks Holly again and hands Billy the victory...and then the lights go out. When they come back on the Miniatry is all over the participants in the just ended match. The Undertaker enters the ring and issues a warning to the Bossman that before the night is over he will meet his maker.

Paul Wight and the Rock are shown in split screen in their separate locker rooms. Cut to commercial.

We see Jim Ross and Steve Williams in the back. Ross is ranting about the way he has been treated and promising Dr. Death that "...their not going to make you like they made me..." (What? With Bells Palsey?) Williams seems a little taken aback at Ross' wrath and tells him to take it easy.

JR comes to the ring carrying a paper shopping bag. We see old pictures of him and his mom, a clip of Bart Gunn taking out Dr. Death at the Brawl-for-All and an even older shot of Ross with Williams in the old days. Michael Cole seems a little nervous about the interview but accepts JR's invitation to enter the ring. He asks Ross about the contents of the bag. Ross pulls out the outfit that Williams wore in his initial comeback appearance (the night he attacked Bart Gunn on the ramp) and starts to rant about the "creative and marketing genius'" who thought that was a good get-up for Williams to wear and about how he was promised his spot back at the announcing table but didn't get it (Cole looks even more nervous). He blames Cole for this situation claiming that he has been bad-mouthing JR to the brass (Cole tries to deny it) then kicks him in the groin! He goes down and takes Cole's place at the announce table.

In the back, McMahon calls Terry Taylor over and tells him to give Cole the night off and then go replace Ross at the table. He sends Brisco and Patterson to keep an eye on the Ministry of Darkness. Oh yeah, their going to be effective...not!

Taylor confronts Ross with the boss's orders and gets a facefull of rant. JR practically foams at the mouth but allows Dr. Death to lead him away, muttering about being replaced by a "mid-card wrestler with a horrendous win-loss record..."

Backstage, Goldust asks Ruan Shamrock (Who is curled on his lap) if she can "...taste gold..." while Blue Meanie looks on forlornly. Cut to commercial. I see APW(All Pro Wrestling) is going to be back here in Hayward this Saturday night. You can bet I will be at the card and will report on it here on Monday.

Ken Shamrock vs. Goldust (w/Ryan/Blue Meanie) - Shamrock meets the trio on the ramp and the match starts outside the ring. Shamrock takes the advantage and rolls Goldust inside as Ryan and the Meanie are bickering on the outside. In the ring, Goldust has turned the tables and has the Shattered Dreams set up, but then he notices that the Meanie is trying to smooch his sweetie. He is distracted and pinned by Shamrock. Afterward, Shamrock assaults the Meanie before leaving the ring.

Backstage, Chyna, Test and Shane are going somewhere (I thought Chyna was fired...) Chyna has her hair tied back for a little didderent look tonight. Actually she is a little more attractive that way in a Lynda Carterish amazon fashion.

More from Shane's buddys back in Greenwich - what is that all about...? Cut to commercial.

Brisco and Patterson deciding whether or not to break down a locker room door (maybe they could just open it..?)

X-Pac (w/HHH) vs. Test (w/Chyna/Shane) - Waltman is all over his opponent who relies primarily on his size and power. The guy has a mean boot-to-the-face move but that's about it. He uses a sidewalk slam to turn the tables but can't put the smaller man away. He climbs the corner and launches himself right onto an upraised boot. Jerry Lawler has to stop himself from cheering for X-Pac at one point. Shane starts to get involved but HHH cuts him off, then Chyna gets between them. While Helmsley is chasing her, Shane sneaks in a waffles Waltman with his Title belt, handing Test the win. HHH enters the ring and tells Chyna he's going to go find her and drag her back to the ring for her comeuppance.

Brisco and Patterson take out the door only to find Godfather and his garden tools. Godfather takes them out with one punch each. Cut to commercial.

HHH is looking for Chyna backstage.

Godfather (w/GT's) vs. Steve Blackman - Godfather offers Blackman his choice of the "ladies." He looks them over and says he wants them both. The Godfather agrees but as Blackman leaves the ring he is attacked by Droz. Blackman and Droz return to the ring where the Godfather attacks first one then the other...then the lights go out. For the second time tonight the Ministry attacks everyone in sight and UT again importunes the Bossman to come out and face him. He says there will be a "sacrifice" tonight. In the back Chyna strides purposely towards...what? Cut to commercial.

Chyna comes out to the ring as we return. She has a mic and calls HHH out. HHH answers the call...then the lights go out yet again. This time it's Kane's turn to appear, I guess he's here to protect his girlfriend. HHH attacks him as he enters the ring but Chyna grabs HHH's arms and pins them. Kane points at HHH, who ducks, and fireball shoots into Chyna's face (that's why she has her hair back...) HHH tries to help her but is thrown out by Kane who continues to eject anyone who comes down to her aid. He carries her away as we cut to commercial.

Kane tries to comfort Chyna back in the locker room as we return.

Tori (w/Sable) vs. Luna - Sable carries a copy of her Playboy issue to the ring then joins the broadcast team. She gives the magazine to Lawler who experiences "personal growth..." Luna stares at Sable before attacking Tori with a vengence. She chokes the rookie until she is disqualified. She leaves and Sable goes to the ring to continue the beating on Tori! She tears off her top (Tori's, I mean) then goes into heer dance for the crowd. In the back the Bossman arrives and leaves hs car to find himself surrounded by UT's troups. They fall on him as we cut to commercial.

The Ministry drag the Bossman out onto the platform as we return. He is tied to the UT symbol (read, "cross") and crucified ala Steve Austin a few months back. He manages to get loose and drops to the ground where he is set upon again but the Corporation rides to the rescue and and a melee ensues. Policemen get between the two groups and stop the fight. The cross bursts into flame and UT is arrested, cuffed and led away. Paul Bearer is on his cell phone, I suppose he is calling his lawyer..? Cut to commercial.

McMahon almost gets himself arrested in his zeal to see the Undertaker off to jail.

Mankind vs. Steve Austin - Mankind to referee at WrestleMania if he can win this match - the Rock comes out first to take his seat at the boadcast table. Wight wears a McMahon style sleeveless referee's shirt. Austin goes right throught the ring and confronts the Rock with a double bird before re-entering the ring. He breaks off a conversation with Wight to attack Mankind and the match is underway. They go out to the floor where Foley turns the tables. He smashes his opponent into th steps then chokes him with a TV cable. He then drags him over and bashes his head on the broadcast table. They fight near the table and Mankind is backdropped onto same then run int the steps. Finally they re-enter the ring where Austin goes for a pin but only gets a one count. Mankind snaps Austin's neck off the top rope to regain the advantage. But then Austin drops down and drags Mankind to the corner where he punishes the deranged one's leg against the post. Back in the ring, Mankind pounds Austin into the corner then they both tumble back out to the floor. Austin is run into the stairs again then turns the tables and does some smashing himself. Back in the ring they trade sleepers and the match goes into see-saw mode. Both go down after a collision and Wight counts to six before they rise. Austin dominates for a bit with his usual punches and kicks then gets DDT'd. Mankind dons Mr. Socko but Austin ducks the claw and goes for the Stunner, which Mankind avoids. They are struggling on the apron (with Austin outside the ropes) when Wight counts Austin out and awards the match to Mankind. Austin and Wight are arguing in the ring as McMahon comes down and gets between them. Wight leaves the ring - as Mcmahon attempts to follow him he is waylaid by Austin who is then attacked by Maivia. Austin fights back and clotheslines the Rock to the floor. The Corporate guys depart at McMahon's insistence and the program fades to black.

The Way I See It...

What the hell happened on Nitro last night..? That was the weirdest wrestling program to date in an increasingly weird wrestling world in general. After complaining so bitterly about the WWF, which doesn't seem to be able to run a complete match during the first hour of RAW, I could hardly stand by and let this strangeness go by without comment.

I am struggling to understand exactly what they were trying to accomplish. I mean, it's true that they managed to create some pretty serious story development, bringing the Flair/Hogan saga up to date for this weekend's PPV, but it seems to me that they could have done it just as well without entirely cutting out the wrestling during the first hour!!! They could have dropped the 900th airing of the Konnan video for one thing :-)

And what's going on with Ric Flair? Is this really the set-up for the infamous "double-turn" scenerio that has been floating around the Internet for weeks?

The story says that we will see Hogan and Flair switch places (heel vs. face) during or soon after the Uncensored PPV. How this is to come about is the subject of extended speculation. I have heard everything, from Sting dropping down into the cage (no doors, remember...) to help Flair only to then be double-crossed for the nth time, to David Flair eventually revealing that his involvement with the nWo was all part of an elaborate hoax cooked up with his dad to turn both of them heel.

Then again I have to wonder if that story has about as much weight as the infamous "hot tub" scene that was supposed to be aired on Nitro last night (what happened to that..?) I suppose we could still see that scene on Thunder.

I definitely have a problem with the logic of introducing yet another bimbo ("Mrs. Robinson?") into the nWo/Flair mix - if Torrie Wilson isn't having the desired affect how does switching to another "psycho babe" accomplish anything?

On the other hand, expecting logical storylines from wrestling might be considered a bit of an oxymoron...or else evidence of a badly mis-spent youth :-)

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

Earl Oliver
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