Volume 1, Issue 50
September 23, 1996
As you can see, this is the 50th Edition of Solie's Wrestling Newsletter. I just want to take this opportunity to say again how grateful I am to the many folks who come by and read my rants on a regular basis. I couldn't do it without you. Now to the news.
LiveWire Dies on the Vine
First a few words about the new WWF LiveWire program shown Saturday morning...pure crap (I guess thats only two...). Why in the world would Vince think that anybody would be interested in watching James E. Cornette and Sunny argue for for an hour? No matches??? Give me a break!!! At least Mania had some wrestling on it...what is MacMahon thinking of??? The interactive part was ludicrous, I tried to e-mail them (telling them to put a match on!!) and of course the mailbox was full. Look for this program to disappear within a month.
WWF Superstars was another story. We never got the program here in the SF Bay area when it was in syndication. I'm sorry to see the Action Zone go, I kind of enjoyed the chemistry between Tod and Doc, but Superstars in a worthy replacement - and the matches are better because there seems to be less rehashing of the RAW bouts. I just hope they get rid of DeadWire soon and put on a show that has something to do with wrestling...
In Your House: Mind Games
I was out last night attending a family function and had to miss the IYH broadcast. Fortunately several people visited my Readers' Forum and left reports on the festivities. The HBK/Mankind match was by all accounts a barn-burner. And I hear that Owen and Davy-Boy won the Tag straps - congratulations to Camp Cornette. Also, James E. got his clock cleaned by Super-Sock - serves him right for being part of that awful program on Saturday morning...
The Bogus Razor and Diesel made their appearance, confirming the worst fears of the fans in my opinion. I would appreciate it if somebody who saw the program would let me know if it was obvious that it wasn't Hall and Nash or if the tried to confuse the issue by not letting us get a good look at them. I suspect the latter. We'll have to see how they handle it tonight. I think its pretty funny, some of the postings on the RSP-W newsgroup lately by WWF apologists suggesting that bringing in imposters for Razor and Diesel is somehow akin to having two different actors portray the Darrin character on Bewitched. Yeah right...
On a related subject I had the chance to read over the WWF brief in the pending Trademark infringement suit that Titan filed against Turner Broadcasting. I found it interesting that the WWF claims the use of the nickname "the Bad Guy", the slicked back hair and the hispanic accent of Razor Ramon as their intellectual property. I distinctly remember that the Diamond Studd wore greasy hair, called himself "the Bad Guy" and spoke with a hispanic accent. I remember him holding himself up as a role model saying "I'm the Bad Guy...you kids should try to be just like me..." The only thing that Vinnie Mac changed was the name of the character. I even pulled out some of my video collection and found an old tape of the Diamond Studd to confirm my recollection. I wonder if WCW would like my tape as evidence...
One correspondent to my Readers' Forum suggested that the appearance of ECW wrestlers and Paul Heyman at ringside signaled the start of an NWO style takeover angle and voiced the opinion that it would be more legitimate because the ECW is a "real" outside group. Hmmm...I would be surprised if the WWF tried to co-opt that storyline, aren't they the ones who are supposedly coming up with all the "original" ideas in the wrestling business? And why would it be "more" legitimate since it would still be a work? Fuzzy logic, in my opinion.
For an excellent, in-depth report on the PPV program written by Solie's contributor Erwin Michael Green, check out The Bagpipe Report #119 (the link is on my main page).
Tony Schiovani and Larry Legend on hand...where's Heenan?
Tape of Savage slamming the Giant shown. Tony mentions that all the top stars except Savage are away in Japan. He shows an NWO newspaper ad that says "While WCW's away, the NWO will play!" We see WCW fans tearing up NWO leaflets earlier in the day.
Kevin Sullivan/Konan vs. Brad Armstrong/Juventud Guerrera (Jimmy Hart and Bubba at ringside) - Konan vs. Guerrera to start. Juventud takes the early advantage but the Konan overpowers the smaller man. He goes to tag Sullivan but gets waved off, twice. Armstrong gets in and as felled by a drop-kick to the knee. Now Sullivan tags in and takes the pin. Immediately he jumps Konan and Bubba joins him to beat the Mexican star down! Turns out it was a Dugeon of Doom gang style initiation...uh huh...cut to commercial.
Review of a conversation in the limo last week concerning the WCW's lack of fire-power this week. Savage is named as a target.
Mike Tenay interviews the Macho man who says he decided to stay home this week and confront the NWO head-on. Yes...he is nuts!!!
Mike Enos vs. Chris Jericho - Enos wants to shake hands, Jericho accepts it and gets slapped silly. Enos comes on strong in the early going but Jericho turns it around. Enos powers out and takes over again (Hall and Nash are announced as the opponents for Harlem Heat at the next PPV - that's interesting because they were responsible for the Heat getting the straps in the first place). The match goes outside - into Enos' territory. Jericho gets suplexed onto the steel ring steps! Ouch!!
Back in the ring he's still taking it. He keeps trying to come back but Enos is overwhelming him. Jericho slips out of a back-breaker then kicks his opponent in the chops twice. Now chris is in charge for a while. Then he goes for a Frankensteiner off the top and gets caught in a powerbomb. Enos takes him back up and goes for a powerslam but somehow Jericho shifts the momentum and ends up on top. He gets the pin. Cut to commercial.
Glacier vs. Pat Tanaka - two martial arts masters going at it. Good to have martial arts expert Larry Legend to call the action...except that the match lasts all of 3 minutes. Two karate exchanges and then Tanaka powerbombs his opponent. Then the idiot turns his back to celebrate. As he turns back around he gets Glacier's spinning super-kick in the jaw. That's all she wrote. Again they wrestled under those blue lights.
Olympic wrestler Matt Gafari is shown at ringside.
Public Enemy vs. Harlem Heat for the Tag Team Titles - PE brings a table to ringside (as usual). The Champs jump the bell to take the advantage but Grunge turns it around with a double clothesline. The Heat has superior teamwork but they make mistakes and the momentum shifts again just before the commercial.
We're back and PE are still in charge - but Johnny spends too much time celebrating a move and gets canned. Now the Heat are in charge. Outside Grunge gets planted on the table - then Rocco gets thrown out.
Back in the ring Grunge is held in a reverse chinlock by Stevie Ray while we watch the NWO arrive in the back on a split screen. Grunge slips a neckbreaker in a tags in Rock. He cleans house for a moment...now its getting confusing...bodies are flying all over the place. Suddenly Grunge rolls Booker T up and gets the pin (apparently, actually that was confusing as well, but Nick Patrick awarded the belts to PE). That means Public Enemy will face the Outsiders at Halloween Havoc! Cut to commercial.
Hour two begins - there's Bobby with Bischoff and Tenay.
Greg Valentine vs. Randy Savage - (didn't we just see this match two weeks ago?) Savage is at his best (or worse) but Valentine is formidible for a change. Greg throws Randy out one side and then out the other side. He goes out and smashes the Macho Man into the guard rail. He goes back into the ring but Savage lures him out and goes into his chair schtick. A few more chair shots in the ring...and then the Outsiders show up. They gang up on Savage. Liz shows up briefly then runs away.
The Giant grabs a mic and gives Hogan an elaborate introduction. Hollywood Hogan makes his entrance with the defaced WCW Championship belt.
The Outsiders hold Savage so Hogan can hit him - then he drops the big leg on Savage twice. A medical team shows up at ringside with a gurney. The Giant whips him with a Slim Jim ("Snap into it") Hogan says "I'm going to do something about the light shining off the Macho Man's bald head.", and proceeds to spray paint his bald spot with black paint.
Hall and Nash take over the broadcast position - Heenan and Tenay split but they won't let Eric leave. They invite "Vince" to come on out, calling him their "Chief of Security". Its DiBiase's old bodyguard Virgil! Eric asks if they can take a break. The Giant says,"Sure, what do you want broke...?" Cut to NWO commercial.
As we return they bring out an NWO Nascar racer and announce that Kyle Petty will be their driver. The Giant is now the ring announcer.
Jim Powers vs. VK Wallstreet - the Outsiders are doing the announcing now. "Vince" keeps slapping the back of Eric's head. The Outsiders and Six go down to the ring leaving DiBiase and "Vince" with Eric.
Once there they start beating up on Powers outside the ring - Wallstreet leaves. Eric wants to know where Hogan is - Randy Anderson decides to split so Nick Patrick takes over. Meanwhile the Giant is wrestling (squashing) Powers. Hogan is shown on split screen "tagging" the hallways. He knocks on a door and out come the Nasty Boys. Hogan wants to talk business with them - he gives them his Hotel room key and asks them to hold the Belt for him. He'll meet them later to talk business. Cut to commercial.
We're back and Hogan is back at the booth with the Macho Man's hat on. He puts it on Eric as the Giant is introducing Jim Duggan. Ron Studd makes his entrance but Hogan and Nash cut him off on the ramp and put him down. Six is introduced as the opponent for Duggan. Hacksaw goes after him with the 2X4. Patrick distracts Duggan so that Six can back-jump him but he fails to make dent. Six starts getting his clock cleaned.
Duggan goes for the pin but the Giant drags him out the the floor and chokeslams him. He's rolled back in and pinned.
Eric wants to know what the NWO wants. DiBiase is referred to as "Trillionaire Ted". Now he starts ranting, then Hogan takes over again. Cut to commercial.
The Bogus Sting enters to Sting's music. He's going up against a jobber supplied by the NWO (Bo LaDeau). The match is a squash. The crowd chants "We want Sting". Hogan muses about whether Liz is back tending to Stings wounds.
Next up: Hall and Nash in the first "NWO Tag Team Tournament match" - but lets go sell something.
High Voltage introduced by the Giant. "Oh Canada" plays and the French Canadians enter - they get a mic and start their song routine. Here comes the Outsiders. The Canadians step out of the ring as the Outsiders enter.
Hall in against Rage - no contest here. Rage is a glorified jobber. Nash tags in...Rage is being destroyed. Cut to commercial.
Back in the ring Chaos is taking his licks. Hogan is maintaining a running rant about how he made wrestling what it is today. Chaos is still in getting taken apart. They let him tag in Rage so they can pin him.
Cut back to the booth where the entire NWO is doing the wrap-up...Eric is holding his head in his hands.
As usual lately, Nitro has come up with a very strange program. I can't decide if I enjoyed it or not. It was kind of disorienting. It was entertaining...but was it a wrestling progam? I hope things are more "normal" next week.
Farrooq vs. "Wildman" Marc Mero - Intercontinental Title Tournament Final - Mero starts out fast but gets grounded right away. Farrooq is relentless with punishing moves inside and outside the ring. He carries the Wildman to the top rope and puts a Samoan Drop on him. Moments later Mero in laying on the apron and Sunny is choking him. Sable runs over and shouts at her to stop. The referree (Pat Patterson) orders Sunny away from ringside just before the commercial.
Right after we come back, Mero gets Farrooq in a backslide but fails to get the pin. Farrooq is back on him in a flash, overwhelming him with power moves. Eventually Mero escapes and makes a comeback but he can't keep the big man down. He manages to to put Farrooq into his Frankensteiner from the top turnbuckle but Farrooq kicks out. Sable runs over and gets into a cat fight with Sunny. In the confusion Farrooq gets a hold of Sunny's purse (which we see later had a brick in it) and tries to hit Mero but misses, the Wildman grabs the purse and brains Farrooq with it. He pulls out his Shooting Star press and gets the pin. Marc Mero is the new Intercontinental Champion.
Jim Ross and Mr. Perfect present the Title Belt to Marc Mero. Mero thanks the Lord, his wife and Mr. Perfect (who has been giving him advice...I mean Perfect, not the Lord).
In the teaser for the next segment they talk about Double J and the Roadie. We catch a look at a dressing room door with "Razor" and "Diesel" written on it.
There is a review of Double J losing the IC Title to HBK, then his appearance at In Your House performing "With My Baby Tonight. "But did he sing the song?" we are asked. Guess we'll find out after the commercial.
A celebration is going on in the "face locker room" for Marc Mero.
Double J Exposed! ( a special report by Vince MacMahon) - they say th roadie sang the song and that he'll be introduced next week as the "real" Double J. (I think Vince is taking this Imposter Festival a little overboard)
Owen Hart/Bulldog (New Tag Champs) vs. The Bodydonnas (Hey! I thought they split up...maybe they're imposters...No, it's Skip and Zip) -Clarance Mason is the Champs new manager, having hoodwinked Jim Cornette into signing them away while he was in a daze after his match last night.
The match begins with Owen in against Zip. Owen dominates and then tags in the Bulldog. Outside the ring an ECW demonstration erupts just as we cut to commercial (Vince! This has been done...is being done. I don't want to hear any more about how the WWF comes up with all the new ideas in wrestling angles these days).
We're back and Zip is in and he's got the Bulldog down. The Bulldog escapes and Owen is in, but he's having problems as well (Vader/Cornette vs. Michaels/Lothario plus Savio Vega vs. Razor Ramon are announced for next week). Cornette appears in a split screen accusing Mason of cheating him out of the Tag Team Champs contract.
Back in the ring, Owen slaps on a Sharpshooter to get the win.
Review of stills from the PPV including the Undertaker/Goldust and Mankind/HBK matches. A promotional video for "Buried Alive" is shown featuring the Undertaker.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. The Stalker - Steve Austin joins the broadcast team. I'd forgotten how big Barry Windham is - he dwarfs Helmsley. The Stalker goes right to work on his opponent's left arm and stays on it throughout the match. Meanwhile Austin is ranting at ringside about Brett Hart and Mr. Perfect has left the party and is approaching the ring as we cut to commercial.
We're back and HHH has finally gained the advantage. Jim Ross is getting impatient because he's worried that they'll run out of time before he gets to interview Razor and Diesel.
Back to the match - Windham has taken back the initiative. Perfect comes down to the ring area. This distracts Helmsley who makes the mistake of turning his back on Windham. He gets creamed just before the next commercial.
We come back and Windham is still in charge. The action is a little more see-saw but its about to end and does as Perfect is escorting the young lady away. Windham catches Helmsley on the top and delivers the Super-Plex.
Ross jumps into the ring and starts to talk about Razor and Diesel but gets cut off by the Mankind version of the Buried Alive promotional video.
Now Ross has "something personal" he wants to say...but we have to take a break first.
We're back and Ross is ready to do the interview but first...he starts to rant about how he has been taken advantage of by the "egotistical owner of the WWF, Vince MacMahon..." Man he's pissed! He says he has no loyalty to the WWF. He says he's the best color commentator in the business. He mentions that he left a great job with the Atlanta Falcons (no mention of WCW) in 1993 to join the WWF. He complains about having to wear a Toga at Wrestlemania IX. He tells about how he was fired after contracting Bells Palsey (he actually said "He fired my ass!") he was brought back to do RAW when MacMahon was indicted then layed off again and hired back at fifty cents on the dollar. Then he introduces Razor Ramon. Only it's not Scott Hall - this guy doesn't even resemble Razor! He comes into the ring and starts to do a bad impression of Razor Ramon when Savio Vega hits the ring and attacks...fade to black.
Sorry Vince, this whole bit is a farce. It seems like a bad parody of the NWO storyline with Jim Ross as either Ted DiBiase or Hulk Hogan (I haven't figured out which yet). Its completely unconvincing. Apparently Eric Bischoff was wrong last week about what Vince does on Monday nights (see Issue #49) because he clearly isn't getting it. This is a pathetic attempt to rip off someone else's original angle coming from the guy who sues people for using his "intellectual property".
The NWO storyline doesn't always hang together, but it does manage to generate drama with each episode. The tension on Nitro is thick enough to cut with a knife. On RAW it seems like its the booker who's "thick".
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
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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 1996 - Jump City Productions