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The Ladies Debut on Thunder

The View from Down Under

By Stuart Capel

Stylin' And Profilin':
The Legend Of Ric Flair: Part 40

By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka

Volume 4, Issue 486 - July 23, 1999

The View from Down Under

By Stuart Capel

Down here in Australia, our long time rivals have been from New Zealand. In the 80's a hit song came out with the title 'As long as we beat New Zealand'. One line in the song mentioned great Australian athletes of the past, noting how they were no longer competing but we didn't mind as long as we were able to finish in front of the Kiwi's. The line goes: "No Cuthbert's, Fraser's, Holland's, Gould's, no Conrads, Clarke's or Sieben's oh don't despair but we don't care as long as we beat New Zealand."

While not gold medal athletes, WCW has faced a huge problem in recent times with so many start out through injury (or other matters). Try this list for starters: Hogan, Hall, Big Poppa Pump, Jericho (WCW's fault), Malenko (for a time as he couldn't wrestle although he was about) Robinson (punk - but was getting a story line going), Luger (who cares), Raven and Hart. That's a long list of guys who were big players at some stage in recent history. Let's see WWF without Austin, UT, Rock and several others and see how they go. I don't think they could compete on a level playing field either.

That said, there is no excuse to continue with angles with Flair and Piper in them. Nor is there any excuse for the No Limit for disaster Soldiers/Crap is Rap (or is it Rap is Crap??) angle. Ernest Miller?? Jimmy Hart?? There is now no place for these guys in WCW. What next?? Slickster back in WWF??

WCW has a lot of work to do. Priority number one is to get the belts going again. Who is the Cruiserweight Champion?? If you said Rey Rey you WERE paying attention (or listening to Earl's gripes). Have the TV belt defended weekly - thus having a good turn over of champions. Bring in a Cruiserweight Tag division. This could lead to some very good matches. The luchadores get very little credit for their matches, most likely because they never talk, thus robbing them of any personality. I must admit although I detest hardcore matches, one of the best matches I saw was a hardcore tag-team match between four luchadores. It had action aplenty and could lead to a good angle in the future.

WCW must be careful as when the stars come back from their various ailments, they will demand exposure, leaving the young guys in a position where their status as main players will be questioned again. I'll have more on how to fix up WCW in two weeks time.

One thing that I would like to touch on is Mick Foley's visit to Australia. He is over here to promote the WWF action figures, but as I don't go into toy shops I haven't seen those. What stood out above everything is the fact that Mrs. Foley's little boy can actually hold himself well in a serious interview. He constantly out performed season TV and Radio personalities and in fact carried one interview that was going nowhere fast. In reply to the question "What do you say to those who believe wrestling is fake?" Mick quickly answered "They're right!" after a bit of stunned silence he went on to say "But if it's all fake then come and step into the ring. The job would be a little too perfect to have girls all over you, get paid well, be on television each week and to travel the world. That's a little too perfect. We do get hurt!" A very clever response by someone who was obviously underestimated by some people.

Mick did recite one story which surprised me greatly. I doubt it is common knowledge so I will share it with you.

You undoubtedly remember the "Hell in a Cell" match where UT managed to chokeslam Mankind through the top of the cage to the canvas. What may surprise you is that that was not supposed to happen. Mankind was only supposed to be slammed onto the top of the cage which had a chair conveniently placed on it. Not only did Mankind fall through to the canvas, but he was then hit in the jaw by the falling chair, knocking his jaw out of it's socket, and knocking his jaw out of place. He was also knocked out!! WWF however quickly set up a diversion by sending Terry Funk and a couple of others to brawl with UT while Mankind was able to regain his senses - even though he had injuries that would sideline even the toughest football player around, Mankind managed to keep going while dazed and badly injured.

We talk about toughest S.O.B's and strongest ones, my vote for all categories is Mick as no human being I know would get up and continue. He is a performer who gives it up for us each week and should be commended for that.

To borrow a line from Jerry Springer I'd like to share a final thought though it's more of an observation. When Austin comes to the ring for an interview, check if his knee guards are on. If they are he's going to be attacked or he's going to attack someone else. If he comes out without his knee guards, there will be no fisticuffs. Just watch for that when he does his interviews.

Stuart Capel lives in Black Rock, Victoria, Australia and is a regular contributer to Solie's Wrestling Newsletter.

Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair

By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka

Part 40: The Rise And Fall Of The Four Horsemen, Pt. 2.

A Thorny Rose

After Starrcade '95, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair rode high as WCW World Champion for a second time. Then, in January 1996 in Las Vegas, NV, he would lose that title back to "Macho Man" Randy Savage on WCW Monday Nitro. It would also see, at that same time period, a rift develop between the Horsemen and Brian Pillman as Brian's behavior (character-wise) was becoming more and more radical, ticking off both WCW and The Horsemen.

Also, around that time, "Macho Man" would be escorted by a "sea" of women before his matches. One of them was Nancy Sullivan!! A "woman" who was known for her treachery and has had a past relationship with the Horsemen and Flair (it was in the early part of the 90's). Also, the night after Savage regained the title, Ms. Elizabeth (the ex-wife of Randy) made her return to the sport to manage Savage.....or so it seemed.

In the meantime, Randy and Flair signed to go at it again. This time, it would be in a steel cage in St. Petersburg, FL for the WCW World Title. In the following weeks, we saw Nancy Sullivan turn on Savage and, once again, take up her role as Woman. This was no surprise to anyone because of her past with Flair but this fueled speculation that Elizabeth was also secretly in the Flair camp as well. Those rumors were confirmed when, at SuperBrawl, she turned on Savage and helped Flair regain the title for a third time. On the same night, Brian Pillman walked out on both WCW and The Horsemen when he refused to take on Kevin Sullivan in a "respect" strap match by saying "I respect you, booker man!"

For the next few weeks, Flair would use the ladies to taunt Savage, prompting WCW to put Savage on the shelf (some would say unfairly since he was provoked by Flair) for a few months. In the meantime, Flair's ego would once again disrupt things as he made an enemy of then-newcomer Paul Wight (who was known as The Giant). This resulted in a crushing defeat on WCW Monday Nitro which saw Flair drop the title to Wight. At the same time, he was trying to "whoo" Debra McMichael into his camp, which was raising the ire of then-husband Steve McMichael, who was a broadcaster on WCW Nitro.

Then, at Slamboree '96, Flair and Anderson issued a challenge to McMichael to take them on in a tag team match at The Great American Bash '96. McMichael chose Kevin Greene to be his partner for this bout and chose Savage to train them!! As for the match itself, it was actually better than anticipated and saw McMichael turn on Greene to become a member of The Four Horsemen along with Flair, Arn and Benoit!! This same event also saw the beginning of a movement that would have a significant impact on The Horsemen and WCW. It was when Scott Hall and Kevin Nash powerbombed Eric Bischoff off of the stage and through a table at the GAB '96. Little did anyone know that this one act would have a significant impact on several of the WCW stars, including The Horsemen.

NEXT: Lesser Of Two Evils

If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at or

Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian. Many of his previous articles are available in the Articles section of the website. Check out Ervin's Pro-Wrestling Fan Fiction web site.

Check Out Solie's Westling Radio!!

Featuring Earl Oliver's weekly The Way I See It... news, rumors and commentaries

Thunder Report

Thunder is live tonight from Moline. Illinois. Mike Tenay and Legendary Larry welcome us. They are smiles concerning the ascension of Sting to the Presidency of WCW. Former President Ric Flair will face Dean Malenko on the program this evening in the main event.

Van Hammer vs. Kaz Hayashi - this is Hammer's first Nitro match since losing to Rick Steiner at the last PPV and will tell us whether or not Hammer's push is over. Hayashi gets an early pin attempt then is thrown clear out of the ring as his opponent kicks out. Hayashi returns to the ring and starts working on the big guy's knee at his earliest opportunity. This is sound strategy but Hammer is just too large to take down with any alacrity. He foolishly tries for a powerbomb and gets back dropped painfully byt his 6'7" opponent. A missle drop-kick from 3/4 of the way across the ring is more effective but then he misses a Senton back splash. Hammer gets his cobra-clutch slam and the pin. Lenny and Lodi are backstage lamenting some recent turn of events which is not revealed as we cut to commercial.

We get a video recap of the cat fight between Medusa and Miss Madness two weeks ago on Nitro then another concerning the return of Dennis Rodman to WCW this past Monday.

Brandi Alexander vs. Miss Madness '99 - this is the first WCW ladies' match in quite some time. MM wears what looks like a blue teddy and goes bare foot in the ring. Both of these girls appear to be experienced grapplers as they perform holds and counter holds in the early going. Brandi is knocked to the floor early on then grabs the initiative as she returns to the ring. Her style is vintage harridan ala the Fabulous Moolah. She also exhibits some considerable martial arts ability as she maintains her advantage. Miss Madness pulls off a very clever roll-through escape from a Boston Crab but can't hold her opponent down. Her obvious forte is taking flight. In fact, she finally gains ground by doing so then ducks a flying move from her opponent and finishes her with a bridging suplex. Cut to commercial.

Megadeath/Goldberg video. We find out that Lenny and Lodi's problem is an apparent handucap match against Sid Vicious later tonight. Jimmy Hart advises them to have a doctor at ringside...

Curt Hennig comes to the ring with the Windhams and Bobby Duncum, Jr. to decry the "waste of time" used to just show that last video. He rants off on Goldberg and then calls him out. Goldberg fails to appear (because he isn't in the building) so Hennig makes the challenge for Monday night.

Chase Tatum (w/NLS) vs. Curt Hennig (w/Windham, Windham & Duncum) - Chase has a size advantage in this one but that is all. Hennig makes him look good for a few moments then the Country Boys distract the big guy and give Hennig the chance to take over. Hennig deftly maneuvers his opponent into his own corner where his cronies can provide help and distraction from the outside. Chase eventually comes back with a powerslam and gets a two count - but Hennig just levers him to the outside where the Rednecks start whaling on him. Chase is rolled back in as BA and Duncum start a brawl on the apron to distract the referee. While that's going on Swoll and Chase try for a little payback, but Swoll's heart punch hits Chase by accident when Hennig ducks the blow. Hennig gets the Hennig Plex and the pin as his thugs hold back the soldiers. Cut to commercial.

We get a glipse pf Diamond Dallas Page's first feature length movie - a TNT original production called "First Daughter" in which he plays a terrorist opposed by Mariel Hemingway as a Secret Service agent. Cut to recaps of the Triad's latest shenangans.

Juventud Guerrera/Psychosis vs. Eddie Guerrero/Rey Misterio, Jr. - Juventud comes in to face Rey at the beginning but then turns around and tags in Psychosis instead. Juvey has on his "heel face" tonight. Psychosis then tags out almost immediately and we get the original pairing. Guerrero seems very much inclined to protect his partner and it is evident that they have worked out some doubleteam strategies as they drive their opponents from the ring just before we cut to commercial.

The opposition has taken control as we return and Rey is being isolated - but it doesn't last for long as Guerrero and Misterio again go into their doubleteam act. Their teamwork is brilliant as the larger member serves as a launching pad for Rey's spectacular flying moves. Their opponents are dispatched in a matter of moments. Cut to a Ringside Release feature on "The Haunting" (which looks like a real fun movie) then to commercial.

We come back to scenes from this weekend's "Arliss" program on HBO featuring Randy Savage, Gorgeous George and Lex Luger. Sunday night at 9:30, by the way.

Speaking of Savage - he comes down in street clothes with GG and MM. Medusa is nowhere in evidence. GG wears an all-over polka dotted outfit. Savage starts by re-asserting his claim to be running for President in 2000 then goes off on a rant directed at Dennis Rodman. He then mentions that Medusa has been fired and she isn't taking it too well. He turns to Miss Madness, takes her sash away and says there will be a new contest for the MM title. He demands that she get down on her knees to beg for her job back. She complies - then he tells her she's fired as well, for "causing confusion" during his recent matches. She leaves with her head up - and so do we...

ick Steiner vs. Sick Boy - this turns out to be another Steiner squash. It seems that Sick Boy is going to have to re-earn his spurs after his extended absense.

More video recap: Hogan is confronted by Kevin Nash after the latter helps Rick Steiner take out Hogan's nephew. Later he attacks Hogan who is saved by Sting. Sid and Steiner get involved then Goldberg hits the ring and cleans house. Back to the announcers who have Kevin Nash on the phone. His voice is drowned out in echoes at first but that problem is rectified and he makes a challenge to Sting and Hogan to face him in and a mystery partner in a tag match on Nitro next Monday. His hint is that the mystery man is Scott Hall, but I have a feeling that's a swerve. Look for it to be Diamond Dallas Page or some other past associate. Cut to commercial.

Recap of the Sting/Flair match then more scenes from the recap we just saw before the commercial.

Lenny/Lodi vs. Sid Vicious - handicap match - so what is the deal now? Was the gay thing just a misunderstanding or is JJ Dillon just a fool? Whatever... Sid just destroys both of them in moments. Lenny especially gets a horrible looking cobra-clutch powerslam that dumps him right on the back of his neck (Ouch!!!) That had to hurt... Cut to commercial...please...

Video of a previous match betwen the Nature Boy and the Iceman lead up to the next match.

Ric Flair (w/Aysha) vs. Dean Malenko - this is the afore mentioned rematch - the difference now is that Flair is no longer the big cheese at WCW. Flair is really looking is comparitively great shape these days (compared to last year and the few years prior to that, that it). Aysha steps into the ring early on thus signalling her willingness to continue to support her man. Malenko slaps on a figure four much to Flair's (and the crowd's) surprise - he gets to the ropes to escape. Moments later Flair gets a roll-up and uses the ropes for leverage, then gets in the referee's face when Malnko kicks out. The referee is no longer intimidated by ex-President Flair and shoves him right back. We step out to sell Star Burst Fruit Chews and Surge.

Malenko has Flair in the corner as we return - he flings his opponent to the opposite corner where the Flair flip fails. Aysha is distracting the referee a moment later when Malenko gets a roll-up and what would have been a three-count. They trade punches in the middle of the ring then Flair gets a suplex anf tries to follow up with a figure four. Malenko blocks it by holding Flair's leg away. Flair tries to leavr the ring area but is cut off and sent back by Chris Benoit and Saturn. Now the Triad gets involved and there is a brawl in the aisle. Back in the ring, Aysha is distracting the referee again as DDP runs in and prevents Malenko from sinking in the Texas Cloverleaf. He is thrown off and knocks Aysha off the apron but meanwhile Flair blindsides Malenko and takes the pin.

That's it. I'll be back with the Interactive Fully Loaded Report on Sunday. Until then...

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

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