by Bob Murdock
The show started off great with Polaroid pictures in the annex building next door. Wrestlers available were Melenko, Beniot and Woman, Al Snow w/ Head, Road Dogg, Mic Foley, Rickey Steamboat, Konan, Rey Mysterio and Ric Flair. They were pretty strict about people taking their own pictures. I was in line with a couple of friends of mine that were going to get pictures with Flair. I was getting my camera out to snap "back up" picture of my friends when I saw Flair give me a dirty look. I wondered what did I do to him? How did he know I was a Shane Douglas fan? Next thing I know this guy tells me not to take anymore pictures or they would take my film. I can understand were they are coming from. Our only reason for doing this was in case the Polaroid came out bad we would have an extra picture.
The most popular wrestlers were Flair, Foley and Al Snow. Snow was great he really hammed it up. When we were waiting in line he popped his head out (the one connected to his body) to get the crowd pumped up. He was really cool with the pictures too. Terry Taylor was there too not for pictures he was just hanging out. When he first got there he went over to visit with Benoit and Melenko, probably since he hadn't seen them in while.
They had plenty of good stuff to auction off. A robe of Flair's went for around $2200. Flair was actually matching the bids to help drive up the price. D-Lo did the same for his chest protector. Missy Hyatt actioned off a bra the she was wearing. The lucky winner actually got to take it off of her. She had a T-shirt on and they pulled it out of her sleeve over it so unfortunatly no puppies. Speaking of which she said she doesn't have puppies she has big dogs. Missy was great which left us all wondering why she's not with a major fed.
Shark boy a local fan favorite won the 1st Brian Pillman Memorial Cruiserweight Tournament by beating another local favorite Chip Fairway. Shark boy is great he's more than just a great gimmick. He has some good moves too. Winning the Tournament was quite an accomplishment considering he had to wrestle three times in one night. After the match the WWF group of wrestlers ran into the ring to celebrate with the Shark. Great show of support I'm sure the Shark was thrilled to get that kind of recognition from the big boys.
Tim Horner and Rob Conaway defeated sometime WCW wrestler Bull Pain along with another local Flash Flanagan. Pain and Flanagan are managed by G.Q Masters III, who is kind of a combination of Rick Rude and Jimmy Hart. He's actually pretty good on the mic.
In the Legends Match Terry Taylor defeated Dr. Tom Prichard who as accompanied to the ring by Missy Hyatt. This was a great technical match. What I saw of it at least - Missy really stole the show. She did everything a manager/valet is supposed to do. She worked the crowd really well, looked really good and even got involved in the action. She actually got a reverse piledriver from Terry "The Luckiest Man Alive" Taylor. As I mentioned earlier how is it that she's not working for the WWF, WCW or ECW is beyond me. To be honest I really wasn't expecting much from her. I knew she'd been around for a while I can remember watching her back in the 80's. So I assumed she look pretty worn out. Man was I wrong.
Al Snow defeated Road Dogg after a power bomb through the table went wrong. I was really surprised they worked the match this way. They did everything from Snow bringing in the fire extinguisher to taking it into the crowd. They were about three feet away from us. I think I got some good pictures. The fire extinguisher stuff was great Snow couldn't get it to work at first - he forgot to pull the pin. Then he played it up a bit and ended up having it go off in his own face. Snow got a table from under the ring and brought it in. I was really surprised they used it. I thought they would just tease us, which they did at first. Road Dogg just bounced off the table when Snow went for the powerbomb. Snow realized he was hurt and covered for the win. While RD was being attended to I guess just for curiosity's sake Snow decided to put himself through the table. Road Dogg was able to walk out with help.
Mankind defeated D-Lo after a piledrive on a chair. Well they didn't quite take it as extreme as Snow and RD did but there were a couple of chairs involved. I believe both men took DDT's on the chairs. Foley did go in the back and bring out a garbage can (plastic).
The last match of the night was Chris Beniot, and Dean Melenko vs. Rey Mysterio and Konan. Konan and Mysterio got the win. This was a great match lots of fast high flying maneuvers. What a way to end the show. Towards the end somehow Melenko got opened up it looked to be above his left ear. He was bleeding pretty good but it didn't seem to affect him much. After the match was over Benoit and Konan both got on the mic and gave tribute to Brian Pillman. Speaking of which Flair said he was sorry for not attending last year and that whatever he had going on probably wasn't as important. Flair said that he'd be there next year and every year for as long as this event is held.
Other points of interest: For some reason during one of the auction segments Konan was letting some kids chase him around the arena. One idea that went over very well with the male fans, area Hooters girls were used to take tickets during the picture sessions. They also worked the T-shirt/silent auction booth, handed out programs and acted as ring girls. This show was run very well, much more organized than last year's show. The show was so much fun it's hard to believe we were there for eight hours (3:30 - 11:30). The only downer was that the concession stands closed around 9:00 which seem a little early considering we still had two more hours to go.
By Ervin Griffin, Jr.
Hello everyone!! Before I begin, let me congratulate Earl Oliver for three years of classic images and opinionated articles!! As I told him, I hope my own web site lasts nearly as long.
Now, let's study to phenomenon called "Hardcore Wrestling." Talk to the typical fan today and they would probably think that this style started when ECW came around. In their minds, they are right and have some valid reasons to think so. ECW has brought the "hard edge" back to the forefront in the 1990's, long before the WWF or WCW started adopting the style.
Truth is that "hardcore" wrestling has been around long before ECW, WCW, WWF or even the NWA or the old AWA (Sidenote: For those of you that are into old footage of wrestling and own a 18" dish, check out the two hour PPV's that are playing this month on USSB on Verne Gange's AWA, I may invest in one myself.). It was around during the days of Dick The Bruiser (arguably the king of the cage match), The Crusher, Killer Kowalski, Cyclone Negro (who once battled the legendary Dory Funk, Sr. for nearly two hours in a Texas Death Match), Bruno Sammartino (one of the more popular wrestlers of his or any era) and others. Chairs were the most popular of weapons back then and still is today. Fire was used back then too (remember The Original Shiek?) as well as powder (one of most notorious for that was Freddie Blassie).
In the 1980's, "hardcore" wrestling was often the norm on NWA cards. It didn't matter whether is was the WCW/Georgia area, the Florida area, the St. Louis area or the old World Class Championship Wrestling area (Earl was right about those Von Erich/Freebird matches, they were "hardcore" before the HC style was cool). The WWF, by that time, had gone to its "sports entertainment" style which was more family oriented back then than it is now. The AWA, during its last years, had its share of "hardcore" moments such as The Road Warriors busting open a helpless Curt Hennig as Hennig was being strangled between the top and middle ropes on national TV!! Another was when Jerry Sags of The Nasty Boys went for a "Stinger Splash" on Robert Gibson of the Rock n Roll Express and accidentally smashed his mouth on the ringpost!! It was a gruesome sight and the most incredible part about it was that Sags continued and finished the match!
The NWA areas had too many moments to name here but the best example that I can think of is Starrcade '85: The Gathering. Nearly half the matches on the card was a specialty bout and even the more traditional bouts had an intensity about them. Who would ever forget what is, arguably, the "king" of "I Quit" matches between Tully Blanchard and Magnum T.A. for the NWA United States Title on that card?! I know that style of match has been done several times since but the only one's that come even close to that bout are Bret Hart VS. Steve Austin and the recent Royal Rumble bout with The Rock VS. Mankind. They must've took notes from the Blanchard/Magnum match :) .
What are your favorite Hardcore memories? I'd like to hear from you about them. Send responses to email@example.com See ya!!
Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and also contributes to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis. Many of his previous articles are available in the
Over the Edge is on the air from the Kemper Arena in Kansas City. We are shown that Vince was injured earlier on Heat by the Undertaker.
X-Pac/Kane vs. D-Lo Brown/Mark Henry (w/Ivory) - World Tag Team Title match - the crowd erupts into a "D-Lo Sucks!" chant before the match gets underway. D-Lo gets the advantage via his superior size in the early going. Waltman recovers quickly however and the match is pretty evenly fought after that. X-Pac attempts a bronco buster but saves himself by stopping short when D-Lo moves out of the way. Henry is tagged in then dares Kane to face him. Bad idea - Kane easily dominates the rookie former weight lifter. Henry recovers and gets a press slam coming out of the corner. But Kane pops right up and regains the iniative with a drop-kick of all things! Henry tags out in a hurry leaving D-Lo to face the "big red machine". D-Lo outmaneuvers his larger opponent at first but then runs out of room and is isolated in the corner. X-Pac comes in continues the assault. But then he turns his attention to Henry on the apron and loses sight of his real opponent. Now Waltman is on the receiving end for several moments. Henry comes in and X-Pac is really in trouble.
Henry misses a splash and the Champs start to regain some ground. But Waltman is dumped to the floor and punished some more before he can fully recover. Back in the ring, D-Lo grabs a reverse chinlock. Then he turns it loose but only long enough to switch his grip and get a running powerbomb. Next he goes for a moonsault but misses. Both are down then tag out. Henry is too slow to get the drop on Kane and suffers for it. He is dumped out but uses his time on the outside to grab X-Pac and ram him into the post. D-Lo is in to face Kane. Kane is dominent but easily distracted by Henry from the outside. They all end up on the floor when Kane dives onto the other three on the floor!! Back inside and order is definitely breaking down as all four are in it. Henry drops Kane and then attcks Waltman but he has his back to Kane, who pops up and gets the big guy in a chokeslam for the pin.
We are hearing that Vince has a "damaged ankle" and will likely not be able to referee in the main event tonight.
Bob Holly vows to take the Hardcore Title back tonight in an interview with Kevin Kelly.
Al Snow vs. Bob Holly - Hardcore Title match - Snow brings Pierre in a box. The deerhead has his neck in a brace. Holly is dumped to the floor almost immediately and the brawl ensues at ringside where Snow seems to have the immediate advantage. Holly is run into the steps then Snow returns to the ring. Holly gets a cookie sheet and whaps the Champs head a couple of times as he re-enters the ring. Now Holly gets a fire extinguisher but can't get it to work. He bends over to figure it out and then straightens up in time to take a cookie shhet shot himself. Snow has no preoblem with the extinguisher as he lets Holly have it full in the face. The fight goes to the floor again and they battle right out to the lobby among the concession stands. They start to wander into the Womens' Restroom but turn back to fight some more in the concourse. Holly uses a pan full of funnel cakes as a weapon. Again they head into the restroom and we hear screams from inside - but they come right back out and head back into the arena. Snow uses a carrier of cotton candy then launches a legdrop off the security railiong before tossing Holly back into the ring. He returns to the floor to get a chair and toss it in then pulls a table out from under the ring. He positions it in a corner and then turns around into a drop-kick to the face. Holly gets a verticle suplex with an extra long hang time then argues with the referee over the speed of the two-count. Snow surpeises him with a Snowplow and gets a two-count of his own. He foillows up with a chair shot to the abdomen then goes for a whip. He's trying for the table but is reversed back into the opposite corner an downed. He consults with Head then tries to use her as a weapon but misses and is DDT'd onto the chair. Another two-count for Holly. Holly sets the table on it's feet then pulls Snow to his feet. He goes for a scoop but fails and is powerbombed onto the table then pinned.
The Blue Blazer (Owen Hart) vs. The Godfather - JR tells us that Hart has suffered some kind of accident as he was making what was supposed to be some kind of flying entrance and is being tended to by EMT's in the ring. Ross says this is for real and I suspect he is being truthful because we are not allowed to see the ring area. We get a promo for the mixed tag match and then back to Ross who is still stalling for time. Apparently this is a serious situation. Lawler rejoins Ross and is clearly subdued by the accident.
We go to an interview with Jeff Jarrett and Debra, both of whom are pretty upset about the situation.
Jeff Jarrett/Debra vs. Val Venis/Nicole Bass - Mixed Tag Team match - JR points out that Debra is not a trained wrestler (which I would point out, neither is Nicole) - but she, at least, is an athlete. Leave it to Val to pull things back into the entertainment mode as he talks up the ladies in the crowd. Debra wears high-heel boots - she must be nuts! Jarrett puts her out of the ring to start and Isuspect she will spend most of the match there. Venis and Jarrett start the match and Val takes the early advantage. But Jarrett is a whiley veteran and soon turns things around. Nicole is taller then either one of these guys and probably outweighs Jarrett. She is tagged in which forces Debra into the ring. Debra keeps her distance from the amazon then slips in a slap. Nicole turns her back and Debra jumps onto it! She rides her opponent like a horse as Nicole tries to buck her off. Then Debra jumps off and tags Jarrett back in. The two men are at it again and Val is almost immediately in control unti he goes for a flying elbow and misses. Jarrett goes for a pin but Nicole pulls him off. Debra sneaks in and hits Nicole with the guitar and hits Nicole but fails to make a dent. Nicole tears Debra's shirt off. Now Jarrett has the guitar but Val gets the drop on him and suplexes to a pinfall. Nicole grabs Val and kisses him hard. He falls down then grins. He loved it!!
Flashback to Vince McMahon being hauled out in an ambulance earlier this evening.
Now we get some promo for the Outlaw vs. Outlaw match coming up next.
Billy Gunn vs. Road Dogg - on paper this match is no contest at all - Jesse James doesn't hold a candle to his opponent in the ability department. But this is pro-wrestling... Billy dominates the early going rather handily until he turns his back to argue with the referee. The Dogg knocks him to the floor then follows him out and puts the boots to him. Ross is prostituting himself by declaring the Outlaws to be the best tag team that he "personally" ever saw in the WWF. Maybe that is accurate since he wasn't there for the Steiners and the LOD in their prime - but it seems like a big stretch to me...especially if you count guys like Demolition, the Briscos and any number of great teams over the years. The fight goes on on the outside as the referee lets it continue. The Dogg is on the receiving end for most of it. Billy tosses him back into the ring and the continues the assault. The Dogg is clearly out of his depth throughout this match. A reverse chinlock gives him a chance to escape but a neck breaker puts him back down. Billy grabs a sleeper and forces his opponent to one knee.
Jesse James finally escapes and reverses the sleeper then pancakes his opponent. He adds a couple of jabs and a knee drop to cement his advantage. They fall out to the floor where Billy uses the timekeeper's hammer to nail his opponent. Back in the ring, he gets a two-count. The Dogg recovers and whips Billy to the opposite corner but Billy comes back out of the corner and gets a clothesline with the help of some tape from his leg then hits a "Famouser" to get the pin.
Shane McMahon is promising to be a fair referee in the main event tonight (yeah, right...)
Acolytes/Viscera/Big Bossman vs. The UNION - 8 Man Elimination Tag Team match - Test faces Viscera to start the match. Test is outweighed and out-classed. He makes rookie mistakes like jumping into his opponent's arms to be powerbombed. Bradshaw is tagged in and keeps up the pressure on the weak-link of this match. Test has better luck but still is on the receiving end for the most part. He finally gets ahead on the game and almost gets a pin but Faarooq saves the day and then gets the pin on Test who is eliminated. Shamrock comes in against Faarooq and goes for an ankle lock early on. Bradshaw is tagged in and falls almost immediately into the same trap. He is eliminated by submission. Shamrock faces Viscera now and feels the big guy's superior weight when he drops an elbow on him. Faarooq comes back in and Shamrock is back on the offensive. He goes for the ankle lock but has to stop and fight off the other two Ministry members. He goes back to the ankle lock but Faarooq makes it to the ropes. Rather then release the hold he suplexes the re then goes back to the ankle lock. He is DQ'd and eliminated - Wight comes in and chokeslams Faarooq and pins him. Now Wight and Mankind face Bossman and Viscera. Bossman tries to leave the ring area but he is caught and hauled back by the Big Show. Bossman is dominated by the big guy but then gets a finger to the eye out of the corner. He can't get Wight off his feet so he brings Viscera in for the double team back elbow. He grabs a reverse chinlock and Wight sinks to the floor again. Wight escapes and goes for the chokeslam but Viscera breaks that up and then gets slammed by Wight. Now Wight and Viscera battle on the floor while Mankind and Bossman continue the fight in the ring. The former two disappear from the ring area as Mankind and Bossman tumble out to the floor. Little is accomplished out there and both roll back inside. Bossman grabs a reverse chinlock but Mankind struggles to his feet and escapes. Bossman knocks him back down and gets a two-count. It is officially down to two men as the two 500 pounders have been counted out. Mankind produces Socko and gets the Claw to win the match.
We are now informed by JR that Owen Hart has died from his injuries!! Solie's offers their profound sympathies to the Hart family over this tragic accident.
HHH (w/Chyna) vs. the Rock - HHH makes an insulting speech aimed at the Rock from the ring. Maivia then makes his entrance wearing his cast and goes right on the attack. Lawler is reminding us that he is not supposed to be wearing the cast for this match - I guess Maivia doesn't care. The fight goes out to the floor almost immediately. They fight over the railing with the Rock on the outside punching back in. As was the case last Monday, HHH is in over his head in this one. Maivia dons one of the Spanish announcer's heatdsets to deliver a little ersatz Spanish commentary as he whales away on HHH. Moments later the cast is broken and comes off. Bacxk in the ring, HHH is right on the "broken arm" as well he should be. This is his only chance to win this match. Now Chyna is getting involved, also attacking the damaged arm. Back in the ring, Maivia comes alive again with multiple punches then gets a DDT before collapsing to the mat. Both are down. They rise to their feet and HHH uses an armbar takedown on the injured arm to step up the pressure. He grabs a wrist lock and posts the arm with his right knee. Maivia rises to his feet again and tries to punch his way free. HHH grabs the trunks to take him down once more. They roll to the apron where HHH gains his feet on the floor then applies more pressure. He returns to the ring and tosses Maivia to the floor then follows him out. The Rock is hugging the injured limb to his chest as HHH pounds away on him. Back in the ring, Maivia regains control but can't execute the Rock Bottom. HHH gets a DDTY then takes a chair handed in by Chyna. The referee takes it from him and they get into an arguement. HHH knocks the ref down and is DQ'd. Meanwhile, Maivia gets the chair and whacks HHH. Thet ref tries to raise the wrong arm and gets creamed again. Maivia follows HHH out to the floor and puts the boots to his vanquished opponent. He uses an electric fan as a weapon then rolls HHH back into the ring. Chyna enters behind them with another chair but the Rock beats her to the punch. HHH tries to attack again but gets the Rock Bottom put on. Maivia starts to use the chair but here comes Chyna. She is ejected but no HHH has the chair and hammers the injured arm with it. Mankind runs in and rescues the "People's Champion".
The Main Event - Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) - WWF Title match - Shane McMahon will be the special referee (the sole one unless Vince manages to show up) - Shane makes his entrance first, of course. There is no sign of Vince. Oops! Here comes Pat Patterson wearing a referee's shirt. Shane tries to send him away but Patterson threatens the owner with physical harm so he relents. UT wears a heavy duty cape with big shoulder appliances and anet around the top. Patterson and Shane gets into an arguement over who will be inside and who will be out. UT settles that discussion with a chokeslam. Patterson rolls to the floor. Austin enters and rolls right in on the offensive. He is ejected from the ring an then held outside as Patterson is being hauled away. Austin catches UT by the neck and snaps it on the top rope which gives him the chance to get into the ring at last. He dominates his opponent but is distracted by Shane and then blindsided. Shane is sure to do everything he can to get Austin to attack himself, since he has declared that the Champ will be DQ'd and stripped of the title if he lays a hand on him. UT starts working on Austin heavily braced left leg. Austin comes back in typical fashion with fists of fire then starts working on UT's leg. UT gets his leg hung up in the corner ropes and Shane has to free him. Austin keeps up with his strategy for another moment then drags UT to the floor. UT regains the advantage on the outside and rolls the Champ back in. Austin rolls right back in and runs UT into the steps, knees first.
Ross incorrectly states that Austin can not retain his title by fighting on the outside - but of course that is wrong. A count out or a DQ for other then assaulting the referee would allow him to retain the Championship. Back in the ring, Austin keeps up his assault on UT's left leg. Paul Bearer tries to interfere but gets decked. The distraction allows UT to kick Austin away. He rolls to the floor, rams Austin's back into the ringpost then restarts his own attack on Austin's knee. They trade punches out in the crowd. Shane maintains his distance - obviously he has no desire to DQ anyone. Back at ringside, UT uses a TV cord to strangle the Champ. Shane's count is in slow motion... UT uses the steps as a weapon then positions Austin's leg and drops the steps on it again! Shane says "That's not fair..." right, Shane. Back in the ring, Austin is unable to stand. The Undertaker continues to attack the injured leg. Austin comes back with punches to the jaw then is decked with a straight fingered chop to the throat. They whip and collide sending UT to the floor. Austin follows him out and runs him onto the announce table. He does it a second time as Shane screams at him to take it back into the ring. Back inside, Austin goies for a Thesz press but is blocked by UT. First time I have ever seen that happen. Paul Bearer uses his shoe to whack Austin in the head a couple of times. They are back out on the floor again and fighting on the railing. Austin makes a comeback and downs his opponent with a number of knee lifts. He runs UT through the stained glass props that line the entryway. They head back the opposite way and UT is run into the back of the stands. Shane threatens a count-out but Austin ignores him. This is all Austin now as the Undertaker is limping. He comes back with his signature uppercut and re-takes control of things. They roll back into the ring where UT stangles the Champ with his boot in the corner. Shane goes into his slow-motion count again. Austin gets a low-blow to regain the advantage then drops an elbow. He goes for the pin and Shane counts two then stops. Austin releases his opponent to intimidate Shane. Meanwhile UT has a chair but Austin sees it coming and avoids the contact. Shane is creamed and out of it. Austin rolls over for the pin and Gerry Brisco dives in to count but only gets to two. UT gets the chair and uses it on Austin and Brisco - both referees are out of it now. Here comes Vince!! he limps to the ring and assumes his duties. Austin and UT mix it up and Austin gets a Stunner. Vince tries to count but Shane recovers and drags him back. Vince confronts Shane and is knocked into Austin. They all go down and UT rolls on top of Austin. Shane administers a fast count and UT is the new WWF Champ.
I will be back tomorrow night with the Monday Night War's Edition. It will be interesting to see how tonight's tragic events will affect the match his brother is scheduled to wrestle tomorrow night on NBC. I can't imagine that that contest will take place at this point.
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 1999 - Jump City Productions