On another note, Solie's is happy to announce that I will be bringing back my audio broadcasts that used to be a regular feature on the Bagpipe Report Hotline. For a few months in 1998 (until the service folded) I was providing news. rumors and commentaries for the hotline. The difference here will be that the brodcasts will take place right here on this web site in RealAudio format...and they will be free! I hope to put this feature on line next weekend. Stay tuned!
It was late-night on May 23, and Steve Borden made his way to the Los Angeles airport to catch a flight destined for Greenville, S.C., when his cell phone started chirping. "My wife called me and told me `Somebody died, and I think it was Owen Hart,' " Borden said. " `And you're not going to believe this, but he died coming out of the ceiling on a cable.' I said, `You've got to be kidding.' "
Hart's death after a 78-foot fall on the World Wrestling Federation's Over the Edge pay-per-view shook not only the professional wrestling community, but mainstream America, as well.
And it affected Borden more than most.
When he puts on his work boots and face paint, Borden becomes World Championship Wrestling star Sting. Cast as a hero for 12 years, fans go crazy whether he walks down the rampway or, yes, drops from the ceiling. "I ended up landing [in Greenville for that night's Monday Nitro television program], and it was confirmed: definitely, Owen had died," Borden, 40, said in his first interview since the incident. "I saw the guys that do my set-up, and I said `Guys, you won't be setting up anything for me tonight."'
Out of respect for the Hart family and because Borden has been uncomfortable with the idea of performing the stunt again, Sting hasn't come out of the rafters since Hart's death. He has kept wrestling, and Sunday (July 11) he will team with Kevin Nash against Randy Savage and Sid in the main event of the WCW Bash at the Beach pay-per-view at the National Car Rental Center in Sunrise, FL.
An eight-time WCW champion, Sting has made his share of socially conscious decisions lately.
After the shootings at Columbine High School on April 20, fingers were pointed everywhere from Marilyn Manson to pro wrestling.
It did not go unnoticed that Sting wore the same type of trenchcoat to the ring as the two students who went on the killing spree. "I didn't want to [wear the coat] any more because of it," Borden said. "I asked [WCW president] Eric Bischoff, and he agreed."
After some time passed, the trenchcoat returned without public criticism. Borden says that eventually Sting may be lowered to the ring again, too. Before that, Borden believes he will be called to testify in the lawsuit the Harts have filed against the WWF and 12 other parties.
His testimony may be damning.
When Sting descends from the ceiling, he always has been locked in with three safety hooks. But Hart had only one safety, according to published reports. When that either faltered or was accidentally knocked undone by Hart, he fell. This brings into question the precautions the WWF took.
Two days after his brother died, WCW's Bret Hart said, "It's unfair to place one of us in that situation. We aren't stuntmen. Wrestlers need to form a union."
Borden said that if Bret follows through with plans to unionize, he would join, but for other reasons. "It's hard for us to go out and get insurance -- life insurance, medical insurance," said Borden, who added he expects to retire when his contract expires in two-and-a-half years. He also said that buying a home is difficult because of the "independent contractor" label placed on wrestlers. However, he said going into the rafters was always his option, and that isn't a factor in him wanting to unionize. "I can't say that it wasn't scary," Borden said. "It's scary every single time I do it, and it's a risk every time I do it. But, every time you step into the ring, it's a risk."
The Bash is on the air from the National Car Rental Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Tony and the Brain are in attendance as our hosts and they throw it to DJ Ran for some of his nonsense. Mean Gene hypes the Hotline and then we cut to Mike Tenay in a wrecking yard where the Junk Yard Match will take place later tonight. We then get some video build up for the first match of the card.
Disco Inferno vs. Ernest "the Cat" Miller (w/Sonny Oono) - Miller runs his mouth as the crowd takes up a "You Suck!" chant. He says he'd whup everyone in the building...if he had the time. He challenges Disco to another dance contest before the match. Disco smirks behind his hand while Miller goes through his gyrations - then he dances for a moment but he is ready when Miller tries to attack him unawares. Miller is summarily ejected from the ring to seek solace in the arms of his manager. He grabs a mic and runs his mouth some more then re-enters. Disco "dances" out of his reach until he sees his opening then attacks with two atomic drops and a lariat. He gets a two-count. Miller attacks the eyes to turn the tables then starts choking his opponent by various means. He rolls back into the ring and distracts the referee so that Oono can get in some shots. Miller comes back out and goes for a whip to the railing but is reversed. Disco puts the boots to him then rolls him back in. Miller hits a low-blow right in front of the referee who admonishes him soundly. He has achieved his aim however and is firmly in charge now. Miller has a chance for a pin but stops to pose. He drags Disco up by his hair and goes to work but then misses a knee drop. Disco grabs his arm and bites it! Now Disco has the advantage and dances on the second turnbuckle before delivering an elbow drop. He follows with a Russian leg sweep but then "kicks the Cat with his mouth right in the foot" as Heenan puts it. Miller is in charge for a moment but Disco is recovering. Oono throws Miller the loaded shoe but while he is trying to put it on, Disco stomps his other foot and almost gets a pin. Miller comes back and plants that loaded shoe in his opponent's gut then takes the pin.
Mills Lane is with Mark Maddon in the Internet position. Maddon wants to know how much leeway Lane will allow the wrestlers. He says he will "cut them a little slack" but not much. Cut to video of Van Hammer getting a win over Disco Inferno then to the incident where Ric Flair banned Hardcore matches - what these have in common I can't fathom. Oh - I see - Hammer was the opponent in that match, and he won it because of the distraction provided by Flair. We then see Hammer requesting a title shot from Flair & Company....
Van Hammer vs. Rick Steiner - TV Title match - ...and this match is the result. Steiner enters first - what ever happened to having the Champ come out second? Are they trying to tell us that Hammer is the bigger star here? In the background there is a sign - "Sid Bl*ws Goats!" - lovely. Steiner is all over his opponent to start. Hammer comes back with a couple of big elbows and Steiner leaves the ring for a moment. Hammer ambushes him coming back in but Steiner is not to be trifled with and turns the tables almost immediately. Tony is talking about the Steiner brothers and can't seem to remember which is which - or who has what belt. The match spills out to the floor where Steiner pulls up the mat and hits a DDT on the concrete (ouch!) He smashes Hammer's head into the stairs but then Hammer comes back with a low-blow and rolls the Champ back in. Steiner again turns the tables with a "Greco-Romen smash to the mouth" (another Heenanism). Hammer is ejected again but grabs a chair and waffles Steiner. Back inside he gets a powerslam and a two-count. Steiner comes back by kicking a field goal right in Hammer's groin! He then hits his top-rope bulldog and gets the pin.
Tenay is out a the junk yard again with him is with referee Scott Dickenson who holds a trophy (made out of junk) for the winner. The rules are that the winner has to have fought his way free of the others and scale the junkyard fence to be crowned the Hardcore champ (or whatever...).
David Flair (w/Tori/Ric Flair/Aysha) vs. Dean Malenko - US Title match - this match is a joke and should have been the opening contest if on the PPV at all. Tori accompanies David to the ring wearing black and very little of it. Malenko just shoves the "Champ" off his feet to start the match and then shakes his head at Flair, Sr. Malenko wins the second lock-up with a slap to the face. David goes for a waist lock but is thrown off easily. Malenko turns to argue with Ric again - David shoves him as he turns around and Malenko goes to work on him. In a flash he's going for the Texas Cloverleaf. Arn and Flair run in - Arn takes out the ref then is downed by Malenko. Malenko then faces Aysha - at first he refuses to hit her then he kicks her in the gut, slams her and puts her into the Cloverleaf. Meanwhile Ric has donned the referee's shirt. He waffles Malenko with the title belt then drags David on top for the pin. As they leave the ring area Malenko gets stomped in the aisle.
Video of Curt Hennigs various run-in's with Master P and the NLS is followed by his music video.
Hennig, Windham, Windham and Duncum (Attorneys at Law?) vs. Konnan/Konnan Jr./BA/Swoll (w/4x4/Chase) - 8 man elimination tag team match - Konnan and his protege do their schtick before the match (c'mon guys...just get it on...). BW faces Rey, Jr. to start. Interestingly, 6 men in this match are second generation wrestlers. Rey out maneuvers Windham, then Hennig then tags BA in. I'm glad to see Brad Armstrong getting a chance to shine - although it's a shame it has to come with this silly gimmick. Duncum comes in and faces Swoll, who is no wrestler. He is at sea for a moment before he regains his composure. He's a big athletic guy but his moves are clumsy. Both guys tag out and Kendall faces Rey. He overcomes the smaller man with a boot to the face. But then tastes leather as he rushes the corner. Rey ejects him with a clothesline then celebrates with the crowd. Now Hennig and Konnan are in against each other. Duncum and Rey get involved for a moment then Swoll is back in with Duncum. This time he fares better and almost gets a pin. He goes for it again and eliminates Duncum. Hennig takes his partner's place. On the outside, Duncum is running into a brick wall called 4x4. Now Barry and Konnan are in and Windham is taking over. He and Hennig doubleteam Konan then Hennig faces him alone - but just for a moment - Konnan tags in Armstrong who has a few good moments then gets a forearm shiver and is pinned with a Hennig Plex. Konnan faces Hennig again but tags Kendall in. Windham retains control with a series of lariats but then misses a knee drop. Konnan hits his own rolling lariat then a back kick to the gut and a pancake slam. He would have the pin but Barry saves his brother. But Kendall is still out of it and is eliminated a moment later. The remaining Windham hits a DDT on Konnan. Outside Kendall is getting squashed by 4x4. In the ring Barry has a sleeper but Konnan escapes with a jaw-breaker. They tumble to the floor where, for some reason Chase grabs Windham and starts to carry him away. Konnan follows and both of them are counted out. Now Swoll faces Hennig and punches him out. BW returns to the ring and is just bowled over and out again. Hennig goes out but 4x4 is there to "help" him back in. Swoll knocks Hennig for a loop then allows Rey to hit a splash off of his shoulders and take the pin.
Time for the Junk Yard match. The referee sounds an air horn and the match starts. Cars are stacked on top of each other and on top of tires and one gets overturned almost immediately. There Public Enemy! It's hard to tell who all is involved here. Knobbs, Hak, PE, La Parka, Silver King, Regal, Horace, Finley, Taylor, Jerry Flynn are the ones I see right away. The lighting is bad and includes a helicopter searchlight. They are using car bumpers, trashcans, car doors and windows. There's Hugh Morrus. Jimmy Hart is kind of directing traffic in a yellow shirt and hard hat. La Parka smashes the hell out Knobbs with a tailpipe. Hugh Morrus hits a big elbow from one car onto another on Rocco Rock. Hak gets hit with a car door and appears to have been injured in the shoulder (no kidding..?) Knobbs is back up and he and La Parka are throwing things at each other. Finley grabs Knobbs and smashes him in the face with a trash can lid. Mikey Whipwreak is there as well. Dave Taylor hits Johhny Grunge repeatedly with two hubcaps then Morrus throws himself into a windshield, just missing Whipwreak. Someone hits Regal from behind with a low-blow but he doesn't even notice it. There's Damien - first time I've seen him. Horace and Rocco are struggling to get over the fence and neutralizing each other. Nobody else seems to notice it. Knobbs is using a differential to good affect. Taylor is all "tired" up as a couple of guys both work on him. Now Finley is inside a truck as Hak picks it up with a forklift and shoves it into a car crusher. Finley escapes but the car is compressed. It is finally Fit Finley who gets over the fence after a car explodes and holds the other guys back.
The Triad vs. Chris Benoit/Saturn - World Tag Team Title match - we see video of the challengers being attacked by the Champs then a later match involving Flair, Malenko and Bagwell before the match. Again the Champions take the ring before the challengers arrive. Page and Saturn start with a slug fest which ends with a Saturn boot to the face. Kanyon and Bigalow aren't even bothering to take turns on the apron. Bigalow tags in to face Benoit who drop-kicks him out of the ring. Kanyons comes in to find Saturn facing him. After a struggle, Kanyon turns to argue with the referee and has to go on the defensive. Benoit comes in and gets a half crab then catapults him into Saturn's fist. Kanyon is being isolated Benoit and Saturn doubleteam then empty their nostrils on him (eeeeww!) Saturn keeps up the assault with a hair slam. Benoit tags in and goes for a cover - no cigar. Kanyon is really getting his clock cleaned. They're starting to work on his left knee. Saturn gets a big leg drop from the top then Page runs in. All of them go to the floor where Saturn beats Bigalow to the punch but then is blindsided by Page from the apron. Back in the ring Bigalow gets a big suplex then drags Saturn to the ropes where Page gets in some shots. Kanyon comes in and continues the assault. Then Bigalow is in and grabs a reverse chinlock. Saturn escapes but runs into a knee as the croad starts an "A$$hole" chant. Saturn is being isolated now. Kanyon tries to position him on the top turnbuckle but Saturn upsets his balance then gets his chance to tag in Benoit. Benoit cleans house for a bit then is overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of his opponents and isolated again. Kanyon gets a powerbomb and Saturn has to save his partner. Bigalow comes in and really lays into Benoit but can't put him away. Kanyon tries as well but Benoit starts to recover. He tags in Page and they double team the Wolverine. Saturn has to save him a second time. Page grabs a front face lock and bears down. Benoit struggles to escape and pushes him back to his corner - but the other members of the Triad have the referee distracted and he disallows the tag. The crowd is really getting into this as Kanyon starts showing his frustration at his inability to put Benoit away. Bigalow comes in and receives a belly-to-back but comes back with a splash then goes for a moonsault...and misses. Benoit gets the tag and Saturn faces Page. He fights off other members of the opposition then suplexes Page. Page is dumped out and Bigalow takes his place but Page is still legal. Bigalow gets the tag and is almost pinned but Page saves him Kanyon gets some kind of powder but hits Page by mistake. Page is blinded and gets a Diamond Cutter - on Kanyon. Now the referee is down and Page is using a steel trashcan or something (hard to tll what it was) on the challengers. He covers an unconscious Saturn and gets the pin.
Roddy Piper (w/Ric Flair) vs. Buff Bagwell - Boxing match with Judge Mills Lane as the referee - quite appropriately, Michael Buffer does the introductions. He introduces Lane first. Lane comes in wearing a judges robe which he removes after his intro. Piper enters next. He actually was a Golden Gloves boxing champion at one point if I remember correctly. Bagwell was never a boxer (his face is too pretty...) Both fighter's gloves look oversized. Bagwell takes the mic to rant at Flair and Piper and introduce his mother Judy (former World Tag Team Champ!) as his "corner mom." Flair gives Buff the chance to walk away - you can imagine Bagwell's response. Lane issues the instructions and the fight is underway. Ten two minute rounds. Piper shows his expertise immediately and it is clear that Bagwell is at a disadvantage. But Buff has youth and stamina on his side so he holds his own. Piper is surprisingly quick for a guy over 45. Towards the end of the first round, Bagwell begins to take control. During the break, Flair sprays something on Piper's gloves. Whatever is on Pipers gloves gets into Bagwell's eyes then Flair wipes the gloves off before the referee can examine them. All Bagwell can do at this point is try to cover up until his vision clears then he succeeds in knocking Piper down. The second round ends as Piper regains his feet. In the corner, Bagwell is still complaining about his eyes. Piper runs across and attacks before the bell and gets Judy Bagwell on his case. She bites his ear then dumps a bucket on his head! Bagwell punches him through the bucket then mounts the corner and gets the blockbuster. Lane counts to three (not exactly the usual ending to a boxing match) and awards the match to Bagwell. Pretty silly stuff but entertaining none-the-less.
After a rash of hype we get to the main event.
Sting/Kevin Nash vs. Randy Savage/Sid (w/the girls) - Tag Team match for the World Heavyweight title - sounds screwy to me but apparently any one of the three other wrestlers in this can pin Nash and become the Champion. Buffer does the honors for this one as well. Nash appears uneasy with his temporary alliance - but whose fault is that? Savage is still giving GG a hard time. Savage offers Sting the hand of friendship but the latter disdains it. Meanwhile, GG has walked over to stand by Nash's corner. Savage goes over there to confront Nash - and Sting blindsides him. Back in the ring it is all Sting. He runs Savage into his own corner where he tags Sid. Sting is on the defensive almost immediately but comes back with a cross body block then ejects Sid from the ring. Sid goes back in and turns thetables with a punch to the head. He rushes the corner and runs his knee into it but recovers and tags in Savage who drapes Sting over the bottom rope then distracts the referee while the girls work him over. Sid is back in and applies a weird looking surfboard variation. He switches to a rear chinlock. Savage tags in and Sting is being isolated in the enemy corner. Savage takes him to a neutral corner but Sting fights his way out and gets the tag. Nash whales on Savage in the corner then puts a boot to his throat. Now Savage is in the enemies' corner. Sting is tagged in and continues the assault. Sting downs Savage and kicks him out of the ring then follows him out. He goes for a Stinger splash against the railing and misses. Sid and the girls get in some shots then Savage drags him back inside. He ties up the ref again so Miss Madness can choke Sting. Sid comes in and applies the rear chinlock again. Sting sinks to the mat but then fights back to his feet. He escapes and tackles Sid then accidently drops a headbutt on his abdoman. Both tag out and Nash cleans house. All four guys are in and then Medusa and Miss Madness. Sting knocks the girls heads together then Stinger splashes everyone in sight - including Nash by accident. Sid chokeslams Sting and ejects him. Nash knocks Sid out of the ring and goes after Savage. He sets up the Jack Knife but GG runs in and delivers a low-blow on Nash. Sid slams Nash then Savage hits the big elbow and gets the pin. Randy Savage is the New World Champ!
As usual of late the big tag matches were the matches of the night. That main event wasn't bad actually and the boxing match was fun and better then I expected. The Junk Yard match was pretty silly but all right if you like that stuff.
I'll be back tomorrow with the Monday Night Wars Edition. 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 1999 - Jump City Productions