In the previous installment, Steamboat had been talking about how important his family is to him and how much they were involved in his career.
Ricky Steamboat:Also Jeremy, some of the best moments of my career, I was able to arrange to have my family there to witness it and to share some of the highlights.
Jeremy Hartley:That's right...and even be impact players in some of those moments. I remember your wife on a few things and uh...
Ricky Steamboat:That's right...
Jeremy Hartley:...and that's something that, as I said before, in the next twenty years, I don't think you'll see that. Most of the guys don't have families anyway.
Ricky Steamboat: Sure, you heard recently with Flair making his comeback the last few weeks...
Jeremy Hartley: Right.
Ricky Steamboat: I didn't see it but I heard that he had his son on TV taking down Eric Bischoff. Well, his son got into wrestling because my son was wrestling. Richie's been wrestling, I think, 2 years longer then Reid - Reid Flair. But I started bringing the family values into the wrestling business, first in the WWF but then it carried on into 1989 - I had the same thing going on with Flair, and it just...when I heard that the other day I just sort of sat back and grinned...
Jeremy Hartley: (Laughs)
Ricky Steamboat: ...I thought, "That son of a gun..." Maybe he's pulling the last rabbit out of his hat. 'Cause Flair, who for twenty-some years has always been a womanizer, always been the man about town, with the babydolls and all that...now in the twilight of his career he falling back on family values.
Jeremy Hartley: Right.
Ricky Steamboat: But getting back to what you asked me about just a minute ago - it's the last thing you've got.
Jeremy Hartley: Right. And this is something, you have your web site, your ricksteamboat.com here - have you spent a lot of time reading comments from the fans? Did you ever expect it to explode the way it has right now?
Ricky Steamboat: Well, Spunky Stinson is head of that for me, everything that she gets she sends to me - most of it is faxed over. I run my health club here and I'm here probably twelve to fourteen hours a day - but everything that she has faxed, letters that have been sent in through the fan forum, I take the time out to read and respond then its sent back to Spunky. Every year I order probably thirty 8x10 black and white pictures and they are specifically for fans. I carry them in my car, have them here at the club, I've got people who are passing through from out of State that saw my name on the health club and they've stopped in - I give them autographed pictures. And a lot of them say, "God! Your so neat about this..." and even my employees when they ask me, "...can you do this?" I say, "You know something guys, look around you..." and they glance around - I've got a huge health club. "Without my fans I wouldn't have any of this - without my fans I wouldn't have the house that I have on the lake. So, if in the slightest little bit of me giving them an 8x10 picture that costs me, because I buy a bunch of them, a dime. And for me to take a few minutes out of my day, it is nothing compared to what these people have given me.
Jeremy Hartley: That's a refreshing view on a business that has sort of made a turn where the fans are more alienated, although I think the new breed of fan is doing it to themselves to a certain extent, I mean with everyone trying to say that they know the ins and outs of the business - they're alienating themselves from the guys such as yourself who have "protected" them for so many years. So, I mean, what can they expect, right?
Ricky Steamboat: That's right...everytime I send my reorder in they say to me, "Oh, its that time of year isn't it Ricky..." And I say, "Yep, another three hundred of them or so, send 'em up..." And the people who write in to the health club they say, for example: "We were driving through to Florida and we stopped off at your club. Unfortunately you were not in. Was wondering if we could get an 8x10 and get an autograph." You know, and I send them pictures, I get a thank you note back. Bonnie's got correspondence all the way from Europe of people that she's kept in touch with.
Jeremy Hartley: Now you mentioned your wife Bonnie, and a lot of people have seen little glimpses of her and so forth but she was a very instrumental part of your later career and has really been an inspiration to you, if I'm not mistaken here. You guys have sort of become a great "tag team" as it were.
Ricky Steamboat: Well, you know, I've always been a little bit more of a softy when it comes to agreeing to do this or agreeing to do that, Bonnie would be more of the investigative type, and make sure and check things out. But I guess we work well together. Sometimes she can get a little hard nosed about it and say, "Rick, we are not going to be doing this because they are clearly just taking advantage of you." And maybe my light bulb didn't come on when I was approached to do whatever it wasa I was asked to do. But then she brings it to my attention and then my lightbulb does come on...it may be kind of dim...
Jeremy Hartley: (Laughs) Well, I can completely relate to what you are saying because besides doing this as a hobby I own an Internet service company, I've been in this position for a number of years, and with some people, if you are nice to them they will do whatever they can to try and take advantage of you, and you have to have those people to say, "You need to be a gentleman here but come on, you've only got so much time in your life and..."
Ricky Steamboat: Yeah. Bonnie actually...and a lot of time we are the opposite but there are a lot of things where her idea or her opinion is, she is completely looking at it from another angle. And it could be something that would never, ever in a thousand years, have crossed my mind. And many times I've said, "Boy, I'm glad you brought that to my attention..." there's no telling what I might have gotten us into.
Jeremy Hartley: (Laughs) Well, like I said, we all need that no matter what walk of life we are in. Now here'a a question, and it may not count by the time your son Richie is in his twenties, but supposing that he wanted to get into professional wrestling, what would you say to him? You always hear, or maybe not always, but you do hear guys who are wrestlers and fathers say, "You can do anything you want except get into this business..." (laughs) and I can remember hearing stories from Ted Dibiasi, whose father, before he passed away in the ring, said, "Hey, do anything you want, but please stay out of this business because it's not worth it ..." Of course, the rest is history as far as Ted Dibiasi was concerned - but what would you tell your son if he really though about and said, "Hey, I want to get into this business..." I suppose it's sort of a soul searching question but...
Ricky Steamboat: (there is a long pause at this point) You know, first of all I'm going to put a time span on it, and I mean by "time span" that he gets his education, gets his college degree and whatever that may entail. And I know that Bonnie would probably answer before really thinking about it, "Oh no way, no way...my son's not going to be doing that..." but, as long as he would fulfill his committment to finishing his education and whatever, getting his degree or whatever, and then if he wanted to try it...but I think the two of us, him and me, would have to sit down and say, "Okay, we're going to give this a shot..." and if he wanted to do it we'd have to put a time span on it, like three to five years or something. Not to go so far along that the next thing you know you're approaching your forties, you know you're 38 years old and you've spent 18 years trying to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you know? And that's never coming about for you no matter how hard maybe dad tries to help with the influence of the Steamboat name and whatever connections I still have, and by that time it's to the point where people are saying "who is that? Because you know something else Jeremy, one thing the business has taught me, in some ways you need to be streetwise and it's helped me even with business dealing here in my health club. As I said earlier, there were some things that I overlooked that Bonnie picked up on. You know Bonnie is also a partner here at the club and there are a lot of shrewed characters and people in the wrestling business. And ones that would take advantage of you in a heartbeat, smile and pat you on the back at the same time. So maybe my radar, or maybe my guard is up when people come into the health club and want to approach me about some scheme or scam that might be health related or something that would make you a million dollars in thirty days - that type of deal, you know? I think maybe the business has taught me that, and if anything with Richie, he would learn some of those things that really you just can't learn through everyday life.
Jeremy Hartley: Right. It is a whole different world out there and all you need to do is just read some of the things and talk to some of the guys and there just seems to be that you have the world at large and then the world of wrestling and the world of business, and it always seems to be just a little different then the other two. You know, lastly, before we kind of wrap this up...I know that you have other things...
Ricky Steamboat: Yeah, we've been at this over an hour...
Jeremy Hartley: (laughs)
Ricky Steamboat: Time goes by when you're having fun...
Jeremy Hartley: You know, every time I do one of these things I never quite know how it's going to go, I'm still...I'm sort of a self taught interviewer, a self taught broadcaster, and it's not only being 23, there's still a lot that I still have to learn. I kind of have to approach it from kind of a humble perspective and let the interview run it's course. If it runs for five minutes it runs for five minutes and if it runs for an hour it runs for an hour. I never try to put any time frame on it. It's something for which I have always been kind of a stickler because with each person it's an individual and some of them want to talk more then others - you have to adjust to that as you go. To adapt. But there was something that you had on your web site that you had mentioned and I was wondering if you wouldn't mind commenting on a couple of folks that are no longer with us. One being, of course, Junk Yard Dog and the other one being "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert.
Ricky Steamboat: I didn't know "Hot Stuff" that well except for the time in 1989 when he was...well it was still NWA before it changed to WCW, you know. He was working in the office a little bit - he was just an okay guy - I never knew him on a personal level, or if he had any problems in the past with the family or with substance, you know? I did not know. Uh...JYD, oh...what can I say about JYD? I knew JYD for a long long time, many many years. I really cried when I heard about his death. Really, a guy who if you were on the good side of JYD the man would give you his heart. He would give you his heart. It's too bad, and I'm sure a lot of people knew that he had a substance abuse problem. But he was pretty smart to the business too, and at times he would...well, I don't want to use the word "retaliate" but in some situations a promotion tried to take advantage of him in situations because he was black, you know. But Bonnie loved him, she got along great with JYD - with us, with Bonnie and me he was always a straight shooter, didn't feed us a bunch of bull, didn't try to tell us something to make us happy, and have us know that it was a lie.
Jeremy Hartley: So do you ever keep in contact anymore with any guys in the business either today or from when you were wrestling?
Ricky Steamboat: I'll tell you every Christmas we get cards from the Hart family. I speak probably once or twice a year with Austin, you know "Stone Cold", used to speak with Flyin' Brian and get Christmas cards every year from him and his family. I only knew Brian, and I guess you really know a lot of the guys, just from the time we spent on the road together. He was a pretty carefree guy, he was a real nice guy, Flyin' Brian, but to answer your question, the answer would be "No" because they are on the road all the time. Even when they come into Charlotte, I'm about thirty miles North of Charlotte. Most of the guys they fly into the airport and they go over to Flair's Gold's Gym here in Charlotte. They'll work out down at his place. maybe sometimes it's out of respect...
Jeremy Hartley: Right...
Ricky Steamboat: ...so the only thing I really miss, Jeremy, is the time I spent in the ring. All the other aspects of the business I do not miss. The politicing, the back stabbing, the...on and on and on... The ring time is what I miss, that was the fun time. And you know I still wonder to this day, because I'd hear, even when I was in my prime and I'd hear guys complain because the promoter would say, "We need twenty minutes..." and they'd say, "twenty minutes?? How am I going to last twenty minutes?" I would always sit in thre locker room and...now, I see it now, when I remind myself of those comments I say, "Buddy, you really don't know what you're going to miss out on in life." You just don't realize that until you actually get out of the business. You know, because you hear old timers talk and they...a couple of sixty year old guys talking about the matches they had, you know twenty years ago, so what it boils down to is what do they miss? It's the ring time. And it might be the same guys who complained about being in twenty minutes, you know? I loved it, oh man.
Jeremy Hartley is a longtime friend of Solie's and a regular contributer to the newsletter. His "EYE on Wrestling" columns can be found in the "Articles" section of the web site. His previous interviews with Bob Blackburn, Lou Thesz, Bob Ryder and Buddy Landel are currently to be found in the "Interviews" section. You can also hear any of these interviews in RealAudio by visiting Jeremy's web site, Up Close Wrestling
We open the program with a recap of Bret Hart's appearance on last week's show. He wants a match with Hogan. This is followed by some of the Hogan/Sting/Luger byplay. They show us Luger and Sting supposedly disagreeing but don't mention anything about what happened last night. Later, I suppose.
Nitro is live from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the "Dean Dome" (Dean Smith Center). Tony announces Sting's heel turn right at the top of the segment and mentions Sid's defeat of Chris Benoit and Harlem Heat's triumph. We cut to c video review of the aborted #1 contenders match between Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit last week. Sid spoiled it of course. Malenko and Benoit will have a rematch tonight. In fact, right now...
Dean Malenko vs. Chris Benoit - the winner will face Sting later this evening - Saturn and Douglas come along to watch their backs. The match proceeds in an orderly fashion with nary a punch thrown until they tumble over the ropes to the floor. Then they start getting into fisticuffs. Back inside, Malenko grabs a short-arm scissors which Benoit escapes by lifting Malenko straight into the air and dropping him on his neck. Moments later Benoit misses a drop kick and Malenko rolls him into a leg submission hold. Now he is relentless working on that leg and Benoit is writhing in agony but not giving up. Benoit finally escapes and they whip each other to the corner then Malenko tries to climb up but is caught and toppled. Now they are trading roll-ups and countering each other's moves. Benoit gets some space after a belly-to-back suplex and goes up for his headbutt - but Malenko catches him there and superplexes him to the mat. But Benoit rolls through it and gets the pin. Cut to commercial.
Mean Gene is in the ring as we return. He calls Ric Flair down for an interview.Flair is resplendent in an italian suit. Flair says that for the first time in five years he has a "real job" again. No doubt he is alluding to getting out from under Bischoff's thumb but isn't allowd to talk about it. He seems surprised to find out that Sting is the new World Champ, and even more surprised by how it happened. Sting and Lex Luger appear, Luger carrying a bat, and they come to the ring. Flair allows as how he isn't ready to be interrupted. Sting is cocky and arrogant and catches a little heat from the crowd. He reminds Flair how many times he (Sting) was betrayed by Flair then goes on to admit that he (Flair) was largely responsible for Sting being where he is today. He invites Flair to leave "peacefully and gracefully". He is trying real hard to be stern but you can see how much he is enjoying Flair's performance. Sting is really no actor. Flair starts to refuse then abruptly says he'll leave - he starts to go and then turns back. Sting rants some more then hands the mic to Luger, who reiterates Sting's points. He suggests to Flair that he retire. As Flair is uestioning Sting. Luger attacks him from the blindside. Sting and Luger stand Flair up in the corner and stomp him down. Luger then puts on the rack then Sting applies the Scorpion Deathlock. Here comes Hogan to horn in on somebody else's angle. Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart run down to rescue Flair. Sting and Luger retreat. They pass a phalanx of officials on their way to the ring to check on Flair. Hogan and Hart want a tag match with Sting/Luger. Wait! Benoit has a World Title shot tonight...and Luger isn't released to wrestle yet. I guess we'll cross those bridges when we come to them. Cut to commercial.
We get stills from last night's main event as we return.
In the back, Berlyn arrives in his limo - he is set to face Buff Bagwell tonight to finally have the match they were supposed to have last night.
Oh jeez! The DJ is still with us - I was sure they'd lose him along with Bischoff. Ricky Rachmann appears on the platform and goes into his Nitro Girl search schtick. We meet the Miami finalist (Zooley) then are introduced to the North Carolina contestants. There are two of them. Allison and Ashley. In the back, JJ Dillon is affirming that Luger is cleared to wrestle - in fact, he's been cleared for three weeks. Take that Lex! Cut to commercial.
UNC football players are shown in the audience along with some pro players as well as we return. Cut to stills of the US Title match from last night.
Eric Watts vs. Disco Inferno - without his dad to smooth his way, Watts has only his superior size and a few wrestling moves going for him. It isn't enough. Tony and Heenan are hyping the supposed Hogan/Hart vs. Sting/Luger match - nobody is remembering that Benoit was promised a World Title shot. In the ring, Disco is all over this big goof. Watts gets a smattering of offense toward th middle off the match but Disco comes right back and takes him out while Sid watches in the back on a monitor. Disco goes into his rant only to be interrupted by Sid who chokeslams him then does the same to Watts. Charles Robinson wears the US belt as he holds up the signs. Sid gets his 81st and 82nd "wins" then goes into his own pathetic rant. Borrring.... Cut to commercial.
Silver King vs. Norman Smiley - Smiley had a great match over the weekend against the Disco Inferno. Silver King gets the first big offense with a tackle and a leg drop but Smiley bounces back and then teases the big wiggle, giving Silver King a chance to surprise him and turn the tables. Damn! Here comes Sid again - 83 and 84. Cut to commercial.
More review of Berlyn making his entrance last night and parts of the match with Jim Duggan.
Steve Regal/Dave Taylor vs. The Windhams (w/Curt Hennig/Vincent) - Kendall and Regal face off to start. After a few exchanges, Regal is run into the enemy corner and Barry comes in. But they go to the opposite side and Taylor gets the tag. He is almost immediately isolated but escapes and tags Regal who gets a hold of Barry and turns the tables nicely. There is no doubt that the Brits are superior mat wrestlers and that is how they control Barry. Vincent jumps on the apron to distract the referee so that Hennig can brain Regal with the cowbell to give the Windhams the duke.
Jerry Flynn (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Prince Iaukea - in the back Goldberg arrives and heads for the ring walking past Flynn's opponent and right down the ramp. He is surrounded by security personnel. He apologizes to Flynn and asks for time to make his statement. He finally has decided to answer Sid's challenges. He vow to "put a stop" to Sid's bogus winning streak tonight and challenges Sid to come out and back up his words. Sid is shown in the back with his monitor saying that it's his show, he packs up his bag and splits. Goldberg finishes his speech and Flynn attacks him at Hart's urging. Flynn gets spearsed and Jackhammered. I have read today that one of the changes coming in with the new regime is to build the promotion around Goldberg at the expense of everyone else...including Hogan, Sting and the rest. Cut to commercial.
More stills from last night - the Tag Title match is reviewed.
Hugh Morrus/Brian Knobbs (w/Jimmy hart) vs. Harlem Heat - World Tag Team Title match - the two bigger guys face off to start. Morrus feigns a test of strength but thinks better of it. They lock up and Stevie gets the upper hand so Morrus thumbs his eye. His advantage lasts about two seconds then Stevie mows him down with a clotheline. Booker is tagged in and we cut to commercial.
Stevie is out on the floor and being beateb on as we return. Hugh Morru rolls him back inside then the two FF guys double clothesline him. Morrus then drops a big elbow from the op and gets a two count with a cavelier cover. Stevie is stood in the cornr and splashed by both guys. They try another double team but Stevie comes back and clotheslines them both. Booker gets the tag and cleans house. Booker is about to get a missle drop kick on Morrus when the Texas Rednecks run in and spoil the match. Cut to commercial.
Insane Clown Posse (w/Vampiro) vs. Lenny & Lodi - Vampiro is on the shelf with an injured eye so he's just along for the ride tonight. Lodi wears the football jersey of a rival college to the ring. Nobody notices. The kid who tried to attack Lenny last week shows up and runs into the ring and is chased away by security before the match gets started. Lenny faces Violent J and is trounced, then Lodi faces Shaggy 2 Dope...and is trounced. Lodi finally bucks the trend and turns the tables on Shaggy, then they double team the clown as the crowds starts an "ICP!" chant. Lodi is doing pretty well until Lenny gets in the way and they knock heads. From there it is down hill for these latter day Mulkey Brothers as the clowns beat on them individually and collectively. They come back with a double DDT and Shaggy is almost pinned. Then Lodi tries another double team and ends up downing his own partner. Shaggy gets the pin on Lodi. Cut to commercial.
Chris Benoit vs. Sting - World Title match - so it is going to happen after all. Benoit comes out and makes a statement about last night's match. He claims that he watched a tape of the match from last night and saw that Sid tapped out! But he's not here to whine about a bad call. He's here to take on Sting. Instead, Rick Steiner shows up. He says that Sting's got better things to do but he voluteers to put up his own belt instead. So that's it - it isn't happening. But this is better than nothing so the fight is underway - I say fight because there is no wrestling in this match between two fine wrestlers. The fight falls out to the floor for a moment and Benoit is pummeled then rolled bck into the ring for a cover. No cigar. Steiner intimidates the referee then rakes at Benoit's face before hitting a German suplex. Again the pin fails and Steiner throws the ref out of the ring. But he is distracted and gets rolled up by Benoit. The ref rolls back in and makes the count. Benoit is the new TV Champ. Malenko runs down and saves Benoit from a beating so Steiner attacks the referee instead. Cut to commercial.
Revolution tribute video.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Saturn (w/the Revolution) - now here's the match of the night in my opinion. Keep Sid away from this *!!@@%% match!!! Before they can lock up we here the Konnan video and Kidman. Konnan and Rey Rey arrive to even the ringside odds. The match is fast and furious. Early on Eddie jumps on Saturns back with a spectacular flying sleeper move (if such there is, we saw it here tonight). Saturn sinks to the mat and we go to commercial.
Saturn is making a comeback as we return. The Revolution are all slapping the mat in unison to encourage their man. Guerrero slaps on another sleeper (the third we are told) then loses it and Saturn gets one of his own. Eddie gets loose but Saturn hits his T-Bone suplex and both collapse. They recover and trade moves, Saturn ges another suplex and then a springboard moonsault. He is going for the DVD but Eddie thwarts him then downs him and goes for the frog splash. Saturn is up too fast though so he modifies it to a somersault at the last moment. Saturn goes for another suplex but Eddie climbs down his body and tries a cradle. Saturn squats on him and ties up his legs to get the pin. Afterward the 8 wrestlers face up but nothing happens and we cut to commercial.
Berlyn (w/the entire German nation) vs. Buff Bagwell - we have seen Berlyn once this evening but no sign of Bagwell so far. Ah...here he comes. The blonde interpreter joins the broadcast team for this one. One thing I'm noticing for the first time is that Alex Wright has lost his tan. He is lilly white these days. He is also a much better wrestler then Bagwell although the latter has plenty of explosive power and speed. Berlyn has a mammoth body guard at ringside as well. Twice the big lug starts to move in on Bagwell but the referee catches him and warns him away. Bagwell comes back with a big drop-kick and a swinging neck breaker. He pounds Berlyn in the corner then stops to strut. That is his downfall. Berlyn distracts the referee for just an instant while the body guard does his worst and Berlyn takes the pin. Cut to commercial.
A historical look at the career of Sting follows the commercial. It suggests that maybe Sting started revealing his true colors when he switched to black and white.
Michael Buffer introduces the main event.
Sting/Lex Luger vs. Hulk Hogan/Bret Hart - Luger enters in street clothes, apparently maintaining the fiction that he doesn't have any wrestling gear with him. The fight starts in the ringside area. Hogan an Sting go into the ring while Luger and Hart brawl on th outside. Hogan dominates Sting right off the bat then tags in Hart who continues the assault. Sting rakes the eyes to turn the tables - something we rarely see. He takes control until they both go for clotheslines and both go down. Sting gets the tag and goes after Hart but Bret is playing possum and pops up for the tag to Hogan. Hogan dominates Luger then hits Sting as he tries to run in. The distraction gives Sting time to blindside Hogan. Now Sting and Luger take turns working Hogan over - particularly his pre-injured knee. Hart tries to run in and distracts the referee so Luger can choke Hogan in the corner. Sting is back in and Hogan starts to fight out of the corner but Sting goes for the eyes again. Luger is tagged in and now Hogan makes his comeback, but Luger kicks his knee as he leaves the ring. Sting keeps up the pressure and again he and Luger take turns pounding on the injured limb. They go for a double team but Hogan double clotheslines them and gets the tag to Hart who cleans house. He gets a two-count on Sting. He tries again and then Hogan is in the ring. Here comes Diamond Dallas Page with a bat in his hand. He tries to attack but Hogan knocks him down. The bat stays in the ring as Hogan fights with Pag on the floor. Hart has Sting in a Sharpshooter when Luger hits him in the face with the bat. Sting gets the pin and that's the program folks.
We get video review of HHH's perfidy over the last few weeks the WWF desparately tries to make him into a monster heel. Cut to the opening montage.
RAW is live from the Anaheim Pond in Anaheim. California. In the back, the Big Show and UT are discussing strategy whle everyone else is looking for HHH. Linda Mcmahon shrugs off the Stooges advice to stay away from the ring area tonight. HHH arrives with a phalanx of security. Linda and her entourage arrive at the ring. She announces a quintuple no holds barred match to decide who will face the WWF Champ at Unforgiven among Mankind, UT, Kane, Big Show and the Rock. And she assigns HHH to a match against Stone Cold for the WWF Title tonight, should Austin choose to ask for one. HHH stalks to the ring to try and intimidate his way out of it. He attacks and ejects the Stooges then goes nose-to-nose with Mrs. McMahon who stands her ground in the ring. He threatens her but she is not cowed and tells him to stuff it off mic then leaves the ring. TBS and UT show up, then Rock and Mankind, then Kane appears. HHH is surrounded. Maiva and Foley end up battling UT and the Wight while HHH slips away and Kane disappears. Now we notice that there is a cage hanging over the ring.
Michael Cole is with the Andy Kaufman of the WWF (Dubba J) and his female minions. Jarrett issues an open challenge to anyone who wants to take him on. Cut to commercial.
Shane McMahon arrives as we return then Mike Cole interviews the Rock and Mankind. Maivia is in great form as he plays the crowd from backstage.
Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra/Miss Kitty) vs. Luna - where is Nicole Bass when we need her? Luna runs in and gets stomped right off the bat. But she absorbs it and makes a comeback. Luna fights gamely but she is greatly outweighed and overmatched. Suddenly Ivory runs in, grabs the guitar from Miss Kitty and whacks Luna with it. Jarrett loses by DQ and decides to take it out on tyro ring announcer Lillian Garcia. He puts her into a figure four leglock. This is really just too amazingly tasteless...
Steve Austin arrives as we cut to commercial.
Terru Taylor interviews Chyna who delivers threats against Jeff Jarrett and Austin both.
Devon Dudley (w/Bubba Ray) vs. Faarooq (w/Bradshaw) - Dudleyville Strap match - why don't they just have a tag team match and get it over with. Bubba does his stuttering schtick then Devon challenges Faarooq to the strap match. They tie it on and right away Faarooq grabs the advantage. He slips over the top rope and hangs his opponent inside the ring then comes back in and whips him with the strap. Devon comes back with a DDT then chokes his opponent before returning the whip blow for blow. Faarooq comes back with a spine buster but then Bubba Ray hits Faarooq with a chair handing Devon the pin. Meanwhile Bubba has hit Bradshaw as well then joins his "brother" in the ring to beat on Faarooq. Bradshaw recovers and drives them off with the chair. Cut to commercial.
UT and TBS issue more threats directed at their opponents in the 5 way plus HHH.
Jim Ross is in the ring with his fake cast and invites the British Bulldog to the ring for an interview. Davey Boy says that he wants to go after the WWF Title before he retires. He promises to accomplish that goal. The Bossman shows up and harangues Davey Boy promising to send him home in a doggy bag. Al Snow shows up and follows up on his "letter" from last week. He challenges Bossman to a cage match within a Hell in the Cell. Bossman wants to know if the Hardcore belt will be on the line. Assured that it is, he agrees. Then decides to attack Snow now. But Snow adds a couple of more stips to the match - dogs in the outer cage! He brings out two rotweilers to back him up. Bosmman maintains a safe distance from the dogs and then is attacked by the Bulldog from behind. Snow runs down with the dogs and runs Bossman out of the arena. Cut to commercial. Mike Cole interviews the Posse. Abbs says that he is going to go out and kick Test's butt regardless of Shane's orders. HHH is fuming and we cut to commercial.
EMT rush to the back to help Shane McMahon who has been beaten up.
Joey Abbs (w/the Posse) vs Test - the three of them gang up on Test before he can gets into the ring. Inside, Abbs gets a fisherman's suplex but can't hold his opponent down. Test comes back with a Russian leg sweep and turns the tables. He follows with a full nelson-power bomb but Abbs levers him to the floor where the Posse waits. They rough him up then roll him back in. Test has to fend off the Posses and almost falls prey to Abbs but turns it around and gets the powerbomb and the pin. The Posse attacks and here comes Shane. He runs in and attacks Abbs then has to fight off all three of them. Shane and Test chase them up the ramp. They run to the back, jump into Shane's SUV and take off apparently in pursuit. Hmmmm... Cut to commercial.
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. HHH (w/Chyna and about 20 security guys) - WWF Title match - HHH stops on the ramp and refuses to take the match. He accuses Austin of aggravated assault because of the semi attack - he has signed an arrest warrent. I guess these are police officers. They cuff Austin then HHH enters the ring and attacks him. The police pull him off and Austin is hauled away. Isn't there a law against attacking someone when they are in police custody? I guess not in WWF land. Cut to commercial.
Austin is stuck in a cop car as Linda McMahon looks on. She tries to call someone on her cell phone but HHH grabs it and throws it away.
The Godfather (w/5 garden tools) vs. Chaz - GF decides to just have a wrestling match tonight and doesn;t make his usual offer. The early part of the match is pretty even, with each man getting in some shots before Marianna appears at ringside. She asks him "why?" - because you were making it with another guy you floozy!!! Chaz is distracted and run down by the Hoe train then suffers the Pimp drop. In the back, the Stooges are again advising Linda to leave the arena. Again she refuses - I assume she is lining up another opponent for HHH - or trying to get Austin sprung.
The saga of Kane and X-Pac is explored as we return.
Chris Jericho vs. Gotch Gracie? - cage match - Jericho comes down and enters the cage before we know who is opponent is to be. He rants off on Ken Shamrock (with references to the Rock and others as well). He refers to the cage as the "Y2Jail" and says that he has handpicked a submission style shoot fighter. The opponent is a big bruiser in ablack match and black outfit. Jericho grabs a leg immediately and applies a bow and arrow then releases it. He rants some more then puts the boots to the guy. He applies another submission hold then releases it as well. He boots him some more then goes for a cover with one foot...but pulls him up. He gets a Lion Tamer and "Gracie" taps out. He rants some more at Shamrock then applies an ankle lock submission. Kenny runs in and enters the cage. Jericho distracts him so that the masked man can attack him from behind. Together they assault the "World's Most Dangerous Man". Shamrock is subdued then Jericho unmasks Mr. Hughes!
In the back D-Lo Brown is paying off the Godfather for some reason. Jericho and Curtis Hughes are with Mike Cole. He calls the big guy "Mr. Huge".
The Undertaker vs. The Big Show vs. Mankind vs. The Rock vs. Kane - 5-Way battle for the #1 contender slot - UT attacks Mankind as he enters the ring, the Rock and Kane haven't arrived yet. UT would have a quick pin but Wight pulls him off. Maivia enters and the fight is on again - then Kane arrives and now it's really on. Mideon and Viscera show up at ringside as the battle gets underway. Mankind is fr=orced out and attacked by the two outside. NO DQ of course. Maivia and Kane continue to brawl while everyone else gangs up on Mankind. Then they swith and Mankind is going at it with Kane. He almost gets a pin but UT grabs the referee and knocks him out. Mankind gets the claw on Wight while Maivia takes UT down and almost gets the pin...but Kane assaults the new referee. Sgt. Slaughter. Tony Garea and the Dave Hebner enter the ring and also are assaulted. Earl Hebner shows up and decides not to get involved. The Godfather runs in and is ejected, then Crash Holly, then Prince Albert - what kind of weird match is this? Others arrive and are ejected - then the whole locker room empties into the ring. They are still in mid-melee as we cut to commercial.
The referees are licking their wounds and complaining in the back as we return.
Val Venis/D-Lo Brown vs. Steve Blackman/Mark Henry - Henry fails to appear so Blackman enters the ring alone...like an idiot. It becomes obvious why D-Lo was paying off the Godfather earlier. Blackman makes a pretty good accounting of himself but, of course, he is facing two top competitors and doesn't stand a chance. A double team fisherman's suplex/frog splash combo ends the fight. As Blackman leaves the ring, GTV comes on the TitanTron to show Mark Henry being entertained by the Godfather's girls. His weakness has always been women. Cut to commercial.
HHH makes an entrance with Chyna as a limo pulls up out back. HHH addresses Linda and calls her out to the ring again. She comes out alone. HHH contends that Austin has forfeited his title shot and goes to the bottom of the list of contenders. She disagrees. He starts to get physical with her but Vince McMahon shows up!! He comes right to th ring and gets in HHH's face saying this isn't business - it's personal! He seems ready to take HHH on right now. But then Austin's music plays and the Rattlesnake reappears!! he is in the ring in a flash and the match is on. He takes HHH to the floor immediately and starts running the Champ int things. He chokes him with a TV cord then suplexes him on the concrete. They return to the ring and Austin continues the assault then leaves the ring and grabs a chair. He hits HHH in the face then attacks his legs. The referee grabs the chair away so Austin attacks him then goes after HHH who is headed up the ramp. he continues to attack HHH as the referee calls for the bell and the cage starts coming down. Austin runs HHH into the cage wall from the outside hen stuffs him under the still descending cage. Inside he gets a stunner then climbs the corner as the program ends.
Well, it appears that Eric Bischoff really has been relieved from his duties overseeing day-to-day operations at WCW, although whether or not he will continue to be involved with the promotion is still not clear.
I have noticed over the last few days a tendency among a large segment of Internet fans to take this development as an opportunity to gloat. I think this is short-sighted and possibly premature, since we really don't know, as I stated above, what, if any, Bischoff's role will continue to be.
I also think it is a sign of ignorance, or possibly of the willingness to forget just exactly what it is that Eric Bischoff has done for all of us as wrestling fans. We only have to remember back to what RAW and other WWF programming was like a little over four years ago before Bischoff decided to throw Nitro up against the WWF juggernaut.
With no real competition at the time, due to Vince McMahon's talent raids and other efforts to dominate the National scene (which gutted the once thriving independent wrestling promotions), WWF programming had become pretty moribund. Oh the talent was there, but television fare consisted largely of squash matches featuring the big stars in lackluster contests with the usual compliment of jobbers and journeymen. Can anybody remember seeing really competitive matches regularly on WWF TV before late 1995? I can't.
The debut of Nitro and then the subsequent creation of the nWo angle shocked the WWF out of its complacency and forced them to start paying more attention to what they presented to the television audience, resulting in the veritable "Golden Age" of wrestling on TV that we have experienced since 1996.
If for nothing else, we all owe Eric Bischoff a debt of gratitude for that. I, for one, do want to thank him and wish him success in his future endeavors.
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