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Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

Saturday Morning Edition

WCW Thunder

WWF SmackDown

The Dudley Boyz Show Up in the WWF

ECW Wrestling on TNN

Dudleys Win The ECW Tag Titles
then lose them to Raven/Dreamer

The View from Down Under

by Stuart Capel

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver


Volume 5, Issue 501 - September 4, 1999
Editor's Note: I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of the readers who took the time to congratulate me on publishing the 500th issue of the Newsletter last Friday. I never cease to be proud of the success that Solie's has enjoyed but also never forget that it is all of you who make it possible.

We open this 501st issue with a compendium of reader complaints about WCW put together by Solie's Australian correspondent, Stuart Capel.


The View from Down Under

by Stuart Capel

WCW's Problems

Part 1

For the past couple of months I have gathered your e-mails regarding what is wrong with the current situation in WCW. All e-mails have registered complaints about certain aspects of the shows, the people, the wrestlers, and WCW in general. I have tried to compact the list as much as possible (it hasn't been an easy task, in fact, it's an impossible one) but it includes the major, and frequently mentioned problems that you have with WCW.

THE PEOPLE

Eric Bischoff - Seemingly the driver of a humvee (well, he did get out of one from the driver's side), Bischoff was handed a great opportunity back in 1993 when given a truck load of money and the bonus of having several WWF icon's coming out of contract (he even went for Hacksaw Jim Duggan guys!). Bischoff has not made many great singles icon's of his own accord (Sting and Goldberg are the only two that you've mentioned him making) but there are over a dozen that you have mentioned that could be big stars if given the right push. He's only come up with one good angle (nWo) and although that was a beauty, there has been nothing since. Lately he's had a run of injuries to his big stars but could not fill the void well enough. His time as Executive Producer and or President should be over very soon.

Tony Schiavone - Your verdict: He sucks. It seems that several of you would rather Scott Hudson be let to develop. Some of you suggested that you yourself would be better announcers. One of you even suggested Earl Oliver be the WCW main announcer!! Be that as it may, YOU, the fans, want Schiavone out.


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for Earl Oliver's "The Way I See It..." RealAudio commentaries

Michael Buffer - Tony Johnstone made the point that when Buffer does the introductions for a Nitro main event for the World Title that all but once in his (Tony's) memory has the match ended in DQ or no contest. Several of you are getting tired of him. I'm not, but then I'm not you, but weight of numbers would suggest that Buffer is getting boring.

Nitro Grrrls - It seems that all of you love a Nitro grrrl. It also seems that some of you want the Nitro girls to change their act a touch. Now while there is not much more they can do at a wrestling promotion, some of you wanted them used differently.

Some of you wanted them used in an angle (and I hear that that is coming shortly), or you want them to be used at different times, and I agree. Dancing girls are supposed to be used during breaks in the game. In basketball for example, they are used for time outs. The nitro grrrls are now used to start every Nitro. It seems that you people would like to see a match to start off the program every now and then. What a novel thought!

STORYLINES AND OTHER STUFF

TITLES - You want to see them used - not abused! 100% of you mentioned the three words David, Flair and hate. You don't like the way that the US and TV titles are being fought for (some of you don't like the way the Cruiserweight, World and tag-team titles have been used either).

Interestingly enough, you go against the Scoops poll of a month ago of wanting longer title reigns and would like to see some titles change hands. The TV title especially.

To be continued...

Stuart Cape lives in Black Rock, Victoria, Australia and is a regular contributer to Solie's Wrestling Newsletter. The conclusion of this article will run on Tuesday morning.


WCW Thunder

Thunder is live tonight from the Civic Center in Saginaw, Michigan. We relive the infamous Hummer attack on Kevin Nash then go to video of Monday night, Luger's accusations, the "evidence" and Sting finding Savage and Gorgeous George in Hogan's dressing room.

Diamond Dallas Page comes down for a rant. He says he will take care of Goldberg at the next PPV, then says he thought about challenging Goldberg tonight - but the place is a dump - so he will face Al Greene instead.

DDP vs. Al Greene - Greene comes to the ring and Page promptly insults his opponent's mother, drawing an immediate attack. Page takes a shot then retaliates with a vengence. The referee has to pull him off as he traps Greene in the corner and pummels him. Greene uses the referee's interference to mount some offense but Page just slips around him then lays in the Diamond Cutter for the win.

Dave Taylor (w/Steven Regal) vs. Shane Douglas - I'm waiting to see how long it will be before Douglas turns on his Revolution comrades...he was made to be a heel. His face personna is completely uninteresting. In this match, Taylor seems to be going out of his way to make his opponent look good. Regal tries to get involved but his attempts are clumsy and gets him nowhere. After Taylor is pinned, Chris Adams suddenly hits the ring and Douglas with the Union Jack. He is followed in by the First Family and the rest of the Revolution forces who clear the ring. Douglas again refers to himself as "The Franchise" which earns him a smattering of boos from the crowd on hand. It seems that the Revolution has appointed Douglas as their spokesman, with Malenko as his echo. Cut to commercial.

Kaz Hayashi (w/his mustache) vs. El Dandy - Dandy might be a better wrestler then I give him credit for...but I doubt it. With that name you expect him to wear some kind of fancy ring attire. Hayashi is all over him until Dandy catches him in mid flight and slams him out of a firemens' carry. It is a short interlude before Hayashi is up and flying again. They struggle for position on the top corner then Dandy is pancaked and on the receiving end of a Senton Splash. Hayashi gets the pin just in time for Sid Vicious to come down and decimate him. We hear that Sid will have a match against Saturn later tonight as he takes the mic and the crowd chants "Goldberg". What I can't figure out is why Goldberg sits back and lets this cretin bad mouth him week after week. Tonight he mentions Chris Benoit, which makes me think the rumor I heard about Sid going after the US Title has been confirmed. Yup, Tenay says that Sids will challenge Benoit for the title at Fall Brawl. We get the second Berlyn promo of the evening before the next commercial.

Lenny (w/Lodi) vs. Kidman - Cruiserweight Title match - I smell a title change unless Lodi is a lot more effective in his interference then usual. Then again, Kidman may be on the outs with the promotion after his rather impolitic request to be released a weeks or so ago. We shall see what we shall see. Lenny has taken to prancing around the ring in this one and it gets him into trouble on several occasions. Kidman is all over the Champ but it is Lodi (indeed) who trips him to turn the tables for his partner. Lenny is tenuously holding onto his advantage as we cut to commercial.

Kidman is back on track as we return but seems a bit bedraggled at this point. Lenny is still holding his own. As the match progresses, however, Kidman inevitably gains ground. Unfortunately the referee gets between them at the wrong moment and is knocked down, giving Lodi another chance to interfere. He dumps Kidman and rolls Lane on top, but the challenger kicks out and turns the tables again. He is ready to hit the Shooting Star when Lodi knocks him off the top right in front of the referee, forcing the DQ. The limpwristed duo attack Kidman after the decision which brings Rey Misterio, Jr. down to save his friend. Cut to commercial.

Chris Benoit (w/the Revolution) comes to the ring and rants at Sid Vicious. Saturn then takes the mic and runs Sid down as well before they separate to pose each on his own corner. More commercializing...

Coach Buzz Stearn chooses Luther Biggs as the man he intends to push to the top. Biggs character appears to present a real challenge...

Disorderly Conduct vs. Harlem Heat - DC are sacrifical lambs as usual in this one. There's really nothing to describe here...oh, by the way, the Heat won. The most interesting thing about this match is what happens afterward when the Windham Brothers decided to run in and attack. The Rednecks are driven away and we go to commercial.

Scotty "Don't call me Narcissis" Riggs vs. Prince Iaukea - this is a more competitve (if not very intersting) match. Maybe Sid will break it up... Riggs seems to have his opponent's number through much of it. He completely misses a drop-kick but the Prince obligingly goes down regardless. Iaukea seems to turn the tables from the apron but then throws a splash and tastes canvas. A leg drop on the back of his head takes him out. One of the commercials that follows is for an excercise video by Ernest Miller called "Cat Bo". Its hard to tell if it is a put-on or not...

Ernest Miller (w/Sonny Oono) vs. Goldberg - Miller comes out and calls out Hulk Hogan! Of course Hogan isn't in the building, so he settles for Goldberg - who he claims to have defeated once before (must have been a house show in Outer Mongolia...) Miller opens the match with a surprise standing side kick. It staggers the monster for about a half second, then he repays the debt with a spear and a Jack Hammer. Cut to commercial.

Sid Vicious vs. Saturn - Tenay has the gumption to say that "Sid says he's in the middle of a winning streak..." Finally someone acknowledges that running in and powerbombing an unsuspecting combatant doesn't constitute a "W" in the win/loss column. Sid bulls his opponnt into the corner then misses with a right hand on the break. Saturn suckers him into throwing himself over the top to the floor but then Sid fingers Saturn's eye on his way back into the ring. They struggle some more and Sid is once again knocked to the floor. This time Saturn throws a suicide dive and is caught and dropped onto the railing. Back in the ring, Saturn once again turns the tables but then goes for a sunset flip and fails. Sid reaches down and lifts his opponent straight into a chokeslam. He traps Saturn against the ropes and alternately claws at his face and pummels him then grabs a camel clutch. Saturn escapes and leaps into Sid's arms for the second time in this match. Saturn is powerslammed and kicks out then is making a come back when Rick Steiner runs in and attacks him. Dean Malenko arrives to even the odds followed by the rest of the revolution. Sid loses by disqualification but I don't suppose that will count against his "streak".


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WWF SmackDown

Smackdown comes to us on tape from Worchester, MA and Chyna strides to the ring to defend her IC Title contendership against Billy Gunn.

Chyna vs. Mr. Posterior - Jeff Jarrett decides to show up before the match can get under way. He brings the girls much to Lawler's delight and joins the broadcast team. In the ring, Chyna is mooning Billy and gets a boot to her butt for her trouble. Chyna recovers but is put into position for a vertical suplex - then slips away. She gets a DDT but Billy no-sells and is right back up and taking it too her. She is knocked over the top to the floor where she pretends to hurt her elbow then attacks Billy when he comes down to check her out. Back in the ring, the referee is knocked to the floor. Here comes HHH to do a number on Billy so that Chyna can take the pin. Cut to scenes from RAW - the Rock and mankind win the Tag Team Titles.

The Big Show comes down and vaults over the ropes into the ring. He rants against the Undertaker for deserting him in the ring Monday night then calls him out. Paul Bearer appears and rants right back. He says that TBS cost them the Titles then claims that UT created him and can destroy him. Paul Wight smacks Bearer down (so to speak...) which brings UT to the ring. He steps around Uncle Paul's carcass then confronts the big guy...and whispers in his ear. Wight looks confused. UT says, "You did a pretty good number on Paul there..." then he grabs Wight by the throat and says, "...but if you ever disrespect me again I'll rip your throat out and choke you with your own tongue." (eeeyew...) Cut to commercial.

Mankind comes down carrying his Tag Team Title belt. He tells a story about playing electronic football in his bedroom as a boy and having his mother walk in on him naked. He says that was his most embarrassing moment until he got beaten by Shane last week. He switches gears and talks about his Tag Team partner, the Rock, and his "testicular fortitude" then introduces "the Great One". Maivia stands on the ramp and acknowledges the crowd before striding to the ring. The Rock is in great form tonight, telling Mick Foley that they aren't friends but allows that he is the craziest SOB he's ever met. He forbids Foley to talk about "the Rocks testicles ever again..." Shane Mcmahon appears on the platform with HHH and Chyna and starts his rant. He makes a match between the two partners to decide who will face the WWF Champion at Unforgiven. He goes on to state that HHH will take on that "bald-headed SOB" for the World Title later on the program. HHH is upset but Shane says that's the bottom line... They leave and Mankind turns to Maivia and suggests that maybe he should take it easy his partner. The Rock won't go along with it, of course, and tells him where he plans to put "your little WWF Tag Team Title belt..." Foley doesn't think it will fit - but the Rock says he'll shove both of them where the sun don't shine. In the back there is a black limo parked. The announcers suggest that it might be Austin's.

Here comes Howard Finkel to challenge the ring announcer to a tuxedo match. Tony Chimmel refuses and turns away so the Fink attacks him from behind and the match is on. He pulls the sleeve off Chimmel's coat but that's as far as he gets before his opponent overwhelms him and starts tearing off his clothes. Finkel is stripped to his red underwear then Chimmel drops an elbow on his abdoman. In the back, X-Pac tells Kane to stay of his match tonight and Ken Shamrock arrives at the arena. Next, Lillian Garcia interviews Mankind who says he respects the Rock but plans to win their match. Meanwhile HHH is with Chyna and seems pretty wary about the propect of defending against an opponent he assumes to be Steve Austin. Chyna tells him he can trust Shane. Cut to commercial.

I am noticing that this first hour of SmackDown seems to contain a lot fewer commercials then the USA programs. This is only the second one and it is 37 minutes after the hour.

During the break, Chris Jericho proposed to Kinlkel that perhaps he could make Jockey underwear ads.

X-Pac vs. Chris Jericho - before the match can get started Ken Shamrock shows up and makes a beeline for the ring. X-Pac gets in his face and tries to convince the "World's Most Dangerous Man" to lighten up and let him have his match. Shamrock relents and leaves. Jericho tries to sneak up on Waltman but fails to surprise him. He is knocked to the floor as the Undertaker and the Big Show appear on the platform to watch. Meanwhile, X-Pac leaves the ring and walks right into Jericho's clothesline. The announcers are telling us that the Road Dogg suffered a ruptured spleen and is out for a few weeks (listen to Solie's Wrestling Radio for the real story...) In the ring, X-Pac is looking good and about to get the win when the Big Show comes down and attacks him. Shamrock sees that as his cue (and it probably was) to run down and chase Jericho away. Kane runs in and attacks the giant, knocking him from the ring. He is about to re-enter the ring but the Undertaker calls him away and then derides his brother for being weak and vulnerable. In the back HHH is looking for Shane. The commercials are getting a little closer together now.

Ken Shamrock is having a cow in the back as we return.

HHH (w/Chyna) vs. That Bald Headed SOB - WWF Title match - HHH and Chyna are already in the ring as Shane makes his way down the ramp. He brings out HHH's opponent...Gillberg... Still holding the WWF Light Heavyweight Title (I hear he has been defending it in indy shows around the country). HHH turns and high fives Shane then gets speared by Gillberg (actually, his spear is quite superior to that wimpy one that Edge throws). He recovers quickly and starts squashing the light heavyweight. Gillberg gets a couple of more spears but it is futile, oc course. HHH leaves he ring and brings a chair back in to hit Gillberg with after the match ends. Cut to a shot of the mysterious black limo in the back again.

We get video of Al Snow and the Bossman in a hotel room where Bossman tells Snow that his dog is on his way and meanwhile serves him a meal which he then reveals to be "100% Pepper." Snow is distraught and starts to puke as the Bossman tortures him physically and mentally. In the back Shamrock is still looking for Jericho.

Mankind vs. The Rock - #1 Contender's match - the match starts as a slug fest and Foley is knocked to the floor. Maivia follows him out and they fight up the ramp where the Rock gets a suplex then drops on Mankind's abdoman. Back to the ringside area and the Rock is firmly in control until Foley reverses a whip and runs him into the stairs. Foley stops to don the headset and gets blindsided. Back in the ring, Mankind gets a double arm DDT then puts on the sock. He gets the Mandible Claw as Maivia inadvertantly clips the referee. Shane McMahon runs in to take over as the official as Maivia comes back with a rock bottom on Foley. Now HHH runs in and all hell breaks loose. Shane signals for the bell the retreats up the ramp before declaring the match a double DQ. Nobody is the #1 contender apparently. Cut to commercial.

Shamrock is still stalking around the backstage area. Shane tells Lillian Garcia that he feels bad about what just happened and intends to make it up to Mankind and the Rock.

Val Venis vs. Ken Shamrock - since Shamrock can't find the object of his ire he decides to take it out on Val. For his part, Venis tries to take advantage of Kenny's distraction but it doesn't play for him as Shamrock starts working on his ankle. Val taps out. Steve Blackman runs in with numchucks but Shamrock takes him out as well. Then Y2J appears on the platform and starts to rant at Shamrock about having a match out in the parking lot. Shamrock chases after him while Blackman attacks Val Venis back in the ring. The camera follows Shamrock out to the parking lot where he is attacked by Jericho with a shovel. Finkel (in a blonde wig) takes some poloroids and then allows Jericho to close him into the trunk of his car! Jericho drives away and we cut to commercial.

HHH Chyna and Shane appear on the platform as we return. They head down to the ring once again. Out back, the door to the limo opens to reveal a shapely female leg. Back inside, Shane is inviting Mankind and the Rock to come down and finish their match, which he will referee himself. He gives the Rock 5 seconds to show up and counts down the time...but is interrupted by a diembodied voice that turns out to be Test who introduces his prospective bride and mother-in-law. Linda reminds her son that she and Stephanie hold controlling interest in the WWF. She changes the booking on the match - setting up a World Tag Team Title contest with the Champs facing HHH and Shane! Cut to commercial.

The Hollys (the wrestlers not the rock group) vs. Viscera/Mideon - start a tag team elimination bout to determine Tag Team Title contenders. Little doubt who will win this first installment...the Hollys can't even get along, let alone beat anyone in a tag team match. No I'm wrong - Viscera squashes Mideon in the corner and he is eliminated. Prince Albert/Droz are the next team. Again it looks like the Hollys are going down...but no...they win. The New Brood are next and they beat the Hollys in moments then have to face the Acolytes. The bigger team is all over the Hardys from the get-go but this part is much more competitive until Bradshaw gets the clothesline from hell and the win. Stevie Richards runs in while his partner the Blue Meanie hangs back. Richards is squashed. Edge and Christian are the final contestants. They also give the Acolytes a run for their money but then the Dudley Boyz run in and attack with 2X4's!! So much for the #1 contenders. Cut to commercial.

Lillian talks to the Dudleys who refer to themselves as the "Best Tag Team in the world."

HHH/Shane McMahon (w/Chyna) vs. Mankind/The Rock - WWF Tag Team Title match - the challengers attack Mankind as he enters the ring. The Rock hasn't made his entrance yet. But he does soon enough. He runs in on HHH while Mankind takes Shane to the floor. But HHH is there with a chair and Mankind goes down then is tossed back inside. HHH goes to work on Foley. Shane tags in and delivers a flying elbow then pummels Foley - but Mankind reveses the field and hits him back. HHH tags in and gets a suplex on Folet then drops a knee on his head and goes for a pin. No cigar. Shane comes in and bashes Foley in the chest. Foley is caught in the enemy corner. HHH tags in and hits a high knee. He sets Foley up in the corner so Shane can deliver a bronco buster. He backs up and gets tripped by the Rock. Mankind is still being isolated but he gets the claw on HHH. They back up to the ropes where Chyna administers a low-blow to break the hold. Maivia finally gets in and almost gets a pin on HHH but Shane saves him. Shane is tossed to the floor where Mankind drop-kicks him onto the broadcast table. In the ring, Billy Gunn suddenly runs in and delivers a Fama$$er on HHH. Maivia gets the Rock Bottom and his People's Elbow then takes the pin.

Does anyone else notice that HHH hasn't had more then three lines of dialogue, and not a single interview since he "broke" JR's arm? This is the WWF Champion, folks!


ECW on TNN

Taz stalks to the ring at the top of the program taped in Queens, NY, last Friday night. Tajiri (w/Jack Victory and Steve Corino) is his opponent. Tajiri escapes the first tie up with a somersault but then is turned inside out by a clothesline. But he springs right back into action and takes the advantage in this World Title match. He goes for a Tarantula but is halted mid-move by the Champ and suplexed. Tajiri comes back with a kick to the face but then propelles himself right into a Taz-Plex. In fact, every time he seems to make a move. somehow Taz turns it into a suplex. They don't call him the "human suplex machine" for nothing. Now it is all Taz until Tajiri hits a low blow from behind then a series of kicks to the head. He goes for a pin but fails. The match is in see-saw mode for just an incident as both guys miss each other with kicks and clotheslines - then Taz grabs the Tazmission and Tajiri taps out. Cut to the opening montage.

Joey Styles is in the ring as we return and the crowd is chanting "ECDub!" He welcomes the crowd and the chant turns to "TNN!" He mentions that they are in Queens, and the chant changes to "NYC!" Styles is interrupted by some clown in a suitcoat and shorts - Joel Gertner. He insults Styles' mic skills then turns the program back over to him. Styles calls Jerry Lynn to the ring. Lynn starts his promo by saying he didn't come here to cut a boring promo "like they do on Monday nights." He says he wants to bring us the best match he can and challenges TV Champ Robb Van Dam (wait...didn't we see this match last week..?) Bill Alfonso appears instead and starts a rant but is assaulted by Lynn. This brings Van Dam to the ring and we go to commercial during the resulting brawl.

The Dudley Boyz make their final appearance in ECW during this program. Of course we know already that they appeared on WWF Smackdown last night. We cut to a short promo for coming live events then backl to the arena for the entrance of the ECW Tag Team champs before cutting to another commercial.

The Dudley Boyz vs. Spike Dudley/Balls Mahoney - ECW World Tag Team Title match - the match has gotten underway as we return. There is a short pier sixer then Spike is in with Bubba Ray and doing very well until he is dropped on his spine. We cut to one of those annoying replays which means that when we come back the whole scene has changed. Spike is being dumped on his head outside while Devon and Mahoney go at it in the ring. Spike is rolled back in and Mahoney (who is writhing on the mat) is kept busy while Bubba beats on Spike. But Spike turns it around by catching his big brother on the top and we cut to commercial.

Mahoney knocks both Dudleys down as we return then pulls a table out from under thei ring and puts it inside. He sets it up then pours thumbtacks onto it. He is ready to set up a powerbomb on Bubba Ray but Devon hits him with a chair then puts him through the table instead. Spike makes the save but then he is pancaked in a double team move and pinned. The Dudleys are the new Tag Champs.

Video review of what just happened. The announcers are freaking out that the Dudleys have won the Tag Team Titles on their way out of the promotion. More live events promos.

Lance Storm struts his stuff in a promo video as we return. During one portian Dawn Marie is shown beating up on Tammy Sytch. This fades into an Impact Players promo.

Styles and Gertner are back and about to go into something when Styles suddenly says, "Wait, go back to the ring!" The Dudleys have shown up in the crowd as we cut to commercial.

Bubba Ray has the mic in the ring as we return. He is ranting about boys and men and becoming legends in the WWF. The crowd starts chanting the song that Steve Austin and Jim Ross sang to Vince McMahon as he left WWF TV. Bubba says they intend to ruin ECW before they leave. Something they "should have finished a long time ago..." The crowd chants "Sabu!" He calls Tommy Dreamer out. Dreamer appears but is being restrained by Paul Heyman. Francine tries to dissued him as well - so they call her a prostitute. Then they take off on Beulah. That does it, Dreamer attacks and seems to be having a pretty easy time controlling the two of them. Francine passes a ladder into the ring and Dreamer puts it to good use. We are told that this is a Tag Team Title handicap match. On the outside, Francine brains Sigh Guy Dudley while Dreamer continues to demolish the Tag Champs until he is run into a ladder in the corner. We get four replays of that move then return to see Deamer down and Bubba throwing the ladder at Francine (he misses her thank goodness...) They continue to beat on Dreamer then suddenly Raven runs in! He puts a DDT on Bubba Ray and pins him! The crowd chants "Welcome Back!" as Raven and Dreamer are declared the new ECW Tag Team Champs!!

Well, that was more like it! A much better show this week.


The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

I've been getting a lot of flack lately from readers who take me to task for being so hard on HHH. They disagree with my assessment that he is not a main event wrestler, and think I spend too much time dwelling on this opinion.

Perhaps it is because I have never been able to figure out what it is that people see in him. When Solie's first came on the web back in 1996, I was puzzled by how many Internet denizens seemed to think that the sun rose and set on Paul Levesque. Pundit after pundit sung his praises, but I noticed even then that they generally would not point to any specific talent or personality trait, but they just seemed to like him. I finally concluded that maybe it had something to do with his known closeness to Shawn Michaels, another Internet darling with whom I was much more enamored myself.

After the infamous incident at Madison Square Garden in which Michaels and his "click" celebrated in the ring together and got Levesque into trouble for consorting with "faces", a lot of people lamented the fate of "poor Hunter Hearst Helmsley" who was being "held down" because he had ticked off the powers that be. All I could think is, "Here's a virtual rookie with the personality of a dishrag - this guy isn't ready for stardom yet by a long shot, so how do they figure that he's being 'held down'"?

Later he and Michaels formed DX and Hunter seemed to be exactly in the right place, as the strong right arm to "the showstopper". But then Michaels was forced to retire due to his back injury, HHH took over the group and to me it seemed like he was floundering. Against the luminescence of the Road Dogg with his superior mic skills and Chyna, who didn't need to say anything in order to project her menacing presence, HHH seemed a pale comparison with his badly delivered Michael Buffer impression. Evidently, Vince McMahon perceived the same thing because, after giving him an ample chance to prove himself, he abruptly yanked HHH out and dropped him into a rather obscure position within the Corporate Ministry, being sure to bring Chyna along to prop him up in his reduced speaking role.

When it became obvious that HHH was being pushed into World Title contention, I was confused again until I heard the rumor that Levesque's WWF contract promised him a Title reign within a certain amount of time and that that time was close upon us. This rumor was given at least circumstantial substance when Mankind was thrown into the mix at the last moment. Clearly management was concerned about giving Levesque the resposibility of being a drawing card for a major PPV. There was also the rumor that Steve Austin was unwilling to job to him, giving the impression that even he felt that HHH wasn't up to the task of being a main eventer.

It strikes me now that when HHH was put in charge of DX it was the prelude to a World Title push that never materialized.

This subject had a pretty thorough airing in the Solie's Mailroom over the last week or so and during that debate I proposed what I believe are the four criteria which must be met in order to consider an athlete as a main event wrestler:

One of my Mailroom regulars also cited a 5th criteria - Being over with the promoter, and suggested that it alone might be enough. I disagreed, noting that the best example of this was supplied in his own message when he talked about Eric Watts being pushed into main event status during his father's tenure as chief booker at WCW. My argument is that Watts failed in his attempt to "shove the kid down our throats" because he couldn't get him over with the fans.

To bring this all back to HHH - I would contend that he fulfills criteria #1 but, in fact, has no discernable personality, no gimmick, and really isn't over with the fans even after supposedly breaking our beloved Jim Ross's arm. He certainly does seem to be over with the brass at Titan, but that is liable to change unless he starts being perceived as "putting asses in the seats" as Eric Bischoff so colorfully put it once upon a time.

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter



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