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Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

Saturday Morning Edition

WCW Thunder

WWF SmackDown

Vince McMahon Wins the World Title!!

Steve Austin provides the assist

ECW Wrestling on TNN

Readers Responses...

Two views on the quality of ECW programming


Volume 5, Issue 506 - September 18, 1999

WCW Thunder

We begin the program with a montage on the late lamented babyface known as Sting. They're trying to convince us that the heel Sting has always been there hiding under the surface. So this guy is the real Sting...right...

After the montage we get Mike Tenay and Legendary Larry on a studio set. We are informed that because of the hurricane Floyd, the live Thunder that was to have taken place tonight has been cancelled. They're going to present World Title matches from the last several matches magazine style, including some from recent PPV's.

First up - Randy Savage vs. Kevin Nash from the Great American Bash back in June. Leading up to this one was the rather comical limosine-turned-cesspool fiasco, the dumping of sh*t on Savage and then the infamous Hummer crash. This is followed by clips from the match, which Nash contested after being injured during the latter incident, and which I have described fully in an earlier issue of the newsletter. Interestingly, they didn't mention that the match ended in a DQ when Sid Vicious made his surprise return to WCW and interefered.

At Bash at the Beach - Sid, Sting, Savage and Nash all vied for the Title in a fourway dance. Savage won the Title with the help of his entourage, as describes in Issue #482

The next night on RAW, Hogan answered a challenge by the new World Champ and cut short his reign in a no DQ match then accepted a challenge from Kevin Nash, who had interferred to hand him the victory (see Issue #483).

Next we get Sting/Hogan vs. Sid/Steiner (yawn).

At Sturgis, as documented in Issue #494, Hogan retained the World Title and forced Kevin Nash into retirement - which is likely to be as permanent as Vince McMahon's (see the SmackDown Report below).

More Sid silliness follows. He challenges Hogan for the World strap but can't pull it off (don't bother to look for the description of this stuff).

Between matches and commercials we learn that Sting will face Hogan in a rematch at the Halloween Havoc PPV.

Now Sting gets into the picture, coming to the rescue of Hogan and then accepting Hogan's offers of Title shots, Lex Luger's controversial involvement, culminating at Fall Brawl last weekend when Sting turned heel and won the Championship for the 9th time (that's last Sunday's edition folks).


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WWF SmackDown

We are shown the scene outside the arena earlier today. WWF referees have gone on strike to protest unsafe working conditions. The show was recorded Tuesday at the Thomas Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Steve Austin makes an entrance at the top of the program. He goes into a rant against HHH, demanding a rematch tonight for the WWF Title. HHH lets him finish his speech then appears with Chyna and a phalanx of security officers on the platform. He says he's been ordered to defend his title tonight and he intends to do just that - but the challenger will not be Austin. Austin replies by telling HHH he had better keep his eyes open because the Rattlesnake is out to get him. By the way, the next PPV will feature a "6 Pack" challenge featuring every main event challenger in the WWF (Kane, UT, the Big Show, Mankind, the Rock and HHH) except Austin.

Cindy Margolis is shown in the audience as Shane McMahon now takes the stage to send out a challenge to Joey Abbs. He's upset that Abbs and the Posse took it on themselves to defy him concerning his sister and Test. The Posse appears trailed by Terri Runnels. As they reach the ring, Shane suicide dives Abbs then rolls him into the ring and starts in on him. Of course, there are three of them and only one of him. Stephanie and Test are watching from the back. Here comes Gerry Brisco to act as referee for this rather impromptu match-up. Abbs and Shane are in the ring alone now, the rest of the Posse has moved to ringside, but not for long. Moments later, Pete Gas grabs Brisco and drags him to the floor where they engage in fisticuffs, meanwhile Rodney is in the ring and the doubleteam is on until Pat Patterson shows up - also in a striped shirt. He is pulled out as well, but this leaves Shane free to face Abbs on his own. He gets a big splash and there is Sean Stasiak to make the count. They show Margolis on camera a second time then pull back to reveal Ivory watching this on a monitor backstage as we cut to commercial.

Ivory makes her entrance as we return, no doubt to call out Cindy Margolis. She starts out by claiming to be a big fan and urges her to come to the ring. Ivory mentions Margolis' coming appearance on Suddenly Susan and her new show on (guess where...) UPN. Ivory aks Cindy to demonstrate one of her "poses" - Cindy begs off but then agrees under duress. Margolis lays on her side then suddenly Jeff Jarrett runs in and puts the figure four on her!! He high fives Ivory...then spears her and gives her the same treatment! Backstage, Jarrett's last victim (Lillian Garcia) is questioning HHH about who his opponent will be later. No comment.

Mark Henry vs. Steve Blackman - Eurotrash Title match - this is a result of their aborted tag team match on RAW of course. Tony Garea is the referee. Blackman runs in and attacks before the bell. The match is barely underway when Val Venis runs out in street clothes and whacks Blackman with a kendo stick. Then D-Lo shows up and attacks Henry. In the back, Cindy Margolis is being put into an ambulance with Jarrett right in her face. Test shows up and calls Jarrett "PeeWee" before going to town on him. Cut to commercial.

Terry Taylor questions Jarrett, who issues a challenge to Test for the IC Title tonight.

Chris Jericho (w/Mr. Huge) comes to the ring to rant - Hughes looks like he swallowed a lemon whole...all the time. Jericho says that Shamrock just admitted to him backstage that it is Jericho who is the "World's Most Dangerous Man". He also says that he has assigned Mr. Huge to take his match tonight. He has even gone and found s referee for the match - the Great El Dopo? A masked referee from Mexico.

Curtis Hughes vs. Ken Shamrock - Jericho joins the broadcast team as Kenny runs in and spears Mr. Huge then beats him about the head. Hughes turns the tables however and the fight goes to the floor where things go into see-saw mode until Shamrock runs his opponent into the stairs. At this point Jericho gets up and suckers Shamrock into chasing him around the ring and right into a clothesline from Hughes. Back in the ring, Kenny turns the tables again and applies the ankle lock submission. The referee DQ him for "refusing to break the hold." Kenny is outraged and unmasks the ref to reveal...Howard Finkel. In the back Lillian is with Mankind who reveals that he and the Rock will working as a team in the 5 man Royal Rumble rules match scheduled for later tonight. Maivia better watch out - Foley's Rock impression is beginning to be funnier then the real thing. He ends up referring to himself as "The People's Rear End..." Cut to commercial.

The Rock (speak of the devil) makes his appearance as we return.

The Rock vs. Mankind vs. The Big Share vs. The Undertaker vs. Kane - Royal Rumble rules match - the winner will be the first to enter against HHH during the "6 Pack" match at Unforgiven - Maivia gets a chance to rant before the rest of the thugs arrive. The Big Show is the first opponent in this match. He makes his entrance as we cut to commercial.

They start in fists afire as we return. Maivia takes th early advantage but it lasts only a moment. He is being choked on the bottom rope as the clock ticks down. Mankind is next and attacks the big guy immediately. He and the Rock go into double team mode. They have TBS on the ropes as Kane makes his entrance. Kane faces Maivia while Foley and Wight battle it out. The two big guys are in control on both sides of the ring as the Undertaker arrives in street clothes for some reason. He walks around the ring and sits down at the table. In the ring, Kane is going after Mankind now while the Big Shows slumps in a corner - the Miavia elliminates Kane and Mankind in rapid succession. TBS recovers and tries to dump the Rock out but Miavia avoids touching the floor and swings back in under the ropes. As they struggle, UT enters the ring and levers both of them to the floor. Viscera and Mideon show up to back thir master then the Rock runs in with a chair. But he is overwhelmed and squashed by Viscera. The hollys are headed for the ring and we are headed for a commercial break.

The Hollys (why couldn't they be the rock group..?) vs. Chyna - this is supposed to be a tag team match but Chyna decides she doesn't need a partner to take on these clowns. Looks like she's right too. I really think we can expect to see Chyna to win the IC Title next weekend. The Hollys are starting to gain ground when Billy Gunn shows up and takes the place in Chyna's corner. Chyna ignores him but eventually ends up in her corner and he tags himself in, cleans house and p[ins Crash Holly. Then Jeff Jarrett runs in and brains her with a frying pan! His girls come out with a department store gift bag containing an apron which Jarrett puts on the inconscious Chyna then places the frying pan and a ladle in her hands. The Big Bossman vs. Al Snow - Pepper on a Pole match - Bossman claims to have the final remains of Pepper in a "Doggie Bag" which will be placed at the top of a pole in the corner. Snow enters and is attacked before the ring announcer can get his introduction out. Snow turns the tables and beats Bossman in the corner then goes for the bag. But his opponent catches him. They struggle some more then Snow headbutts Bossman down and goes for it again. This time Bossman uses his nightstick on Snow then heads for the bag, But here comes the British Bulldog and his rotweiler friends. The Bossman throws the bag away and Snow retrieves it to win the match. The Bossman is chased away by the dogs (and their handlers). In the back, Stone Cold lurks in the shadows watching for his chance to strike. Cut to commercial.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Test - Intercontinental Title match - Jarrett demanded this match earlier tonight after being attacked backstage. Test runs in and is attacked immediately (have I been saying that all evening or what..?) This match is barely underway when the 2/3 of the Posse show up with Terri. They provide the distraction to give Jarrett a decisive advantage. They interfere which brings Stephanie down, then Shane, then the Stooges. The match dissolves into mayhem. Jarrett tries to break Test's arm which brings Stephanie into the ring. Jarrett would put the leglock on her except that Shane spears him and puts a stop to it.

HHH and his entourage appear on the platform then he and Chyna leave the security force behind and head for the ring (as if the only way in is through the entryway...) HHH calls Shane McMahon down to be the special referee for this match. In the back, Vince McMahon is asking his son if he is up for this. He insists that he is and heads on down. HHH then makes a rather long winded speech and then reveals his handpicked opponent...

HHH vs. Vince McMahon - WWF Title match - yup - that's what I said - HHH goes through the list of worthy contenders and elliminates all of them then starts calling Vince out. Vince and Linda are shown in the back watching on a monitor and when HHH decides to insult Linda, that sends Vince to the ring with a microphone. He asks HHH to come to the back so they can talk it over. HHH continues to bait him but Vince refuses the match. HHH goes back to insulting Linda and Vince snaps. Of course after the first exchange, McMahon is beaten from piller to post. Shane starts barking encouragement toward his father while he officiates the match. Meanwhile Chyna is getting physically involved from ringside. McMahon hits a low blow to even the odds a little but it only gives him a momentary surcease. The fight goes to the floor and HHH strangles Vince with a camera cord then whips him into the stairs. They fight onto the announce table then HHH climbs the railing and drops and elbow - destroying the table in the process. He rolls Vince back inside then reaches out for a chair passed to him by Chyna. HHH shoves the protesting Shane aside and hits Vince with the chair. Shane attacks but is subdued then "chaired" as well. Vince is bleeding from the head as Linda ad the Stooges come down. Patterson and Brisco enter the ring and are ejected then Linda comes in. Chyna traps her and forces her to watch as HHH continues to beat on her husband. Suddenly Steve Austin's music plays and he appears ringside. He disposes of Chyna then puts the Stunner on HHH, rolls Vince onto him and drags Shane over for the count. Vince McMahon is the new WWF Champion!!!!



ECW on TNN

We catch the tail end of an ECW Tag Team title match in which Raven apparently showed up again right at the end to help Tommy Dreamer to retain the titles. Cut to Cyrus telling us that the ban on Sabu has been lifted - this is followed by a plethora of clips featuring the Human Highlight Reel. Sabu and Bill Alfonso there as well to add some rants of their own - actually Sabu doesn;t say anything - just stands there and displays his scars. Cut to the opening montage then to Styles and Gertner, the latter is wearing aneck brace with his bow tie attached. The show is from the ECW Arena in South Philly.

PN News vs. Spike Dudley - the original rapping wrestler appears to have dropped some weight since last we saw him in WCW years ago. He's still at least twice Dudley's size but that doesn't keep the "Giant Killer" from pinning him in about 30 seconds. We see an ambulance pulled up in back but we don't know who its there for. Cut to commercial.

Super Crazy vs. Yoshi Tajiri or something like that - they keep saying his name so fast I can't quite catch it. Tajiri dominates this contest which goes into the crowd at one point and has Tajiri throwing an Asahi moonsault over the railing. In the end Super Crazy rolls him up and pins him out of nowhere. More commercials.

Raven talks to the camera at a playground as we return. He speaks of his hot and cold relationship with Tommy Dreamer, how the latter stole his girl, Beulah, etc. Clips from past matches between them and episodes from Dreamer's career pepper the rant.

Dawn Marie leads Lance Storm to the ring as we return. Styles says they aren't supposed to be here at this time. Apparently it was Jerry Lynn who was beaten up backstage...

Lance Storm (w/Dawn Marie) vs. Rob Van Dam (w/Bill Alfonso) - ECW Television Title match - Storm takes control early on and sets RVD on the corner buckle then whacks him with a chair. Van Dam gets one side-kick chair shot in then here comes Justin Credible to lend his partner a hand - then Jerry Lynn runs in but the rest of the impact Players, including rookie member Johnny Smith beat Van Dam and Lynn down. Cut to commercial.

JL is being helped away from the ring but Van Dam asked him to hold up so they can go ahead and have their match. Never mind that Lynn is in no shape to compete. He allows as how he can hardly stand but they get it on anyway. The first moments are typical, very fast paced with each countering the other and neither gaining any advantage, but then Lynn starts to show his pain, clutching his injured ribs. However he stays in it and has Van Dam so well scouted that the latter only manages to get in one Vandaminator during the first six minutes or so of the match. Back in the ring, Van Dam is firmly in control but isn't able to pin the challenger. Now he has his chair in the ring but again, JL keeps coming back and frequently turning RVD's set-ups to his own advantage. As the match progresses, Lynn seems to get stronger for a while but then he is clotheslined over the top and collapses the time keeper's table. Officials hover over him and there is talk of his stitches opening up. Finally he is helped up and led away...but then he returns to the ring! Van Dam suplexes him back inside and goes for a quick pin but no cigar. Alfonso throws him a chair but JL kicks it into his face. JL goes for his piledriver but is backdropped, then comes back from a Northern Lights suplex attempt with a big DDT. He gets a two count. They go to the corner and strugg;e to the top where Lynn gets a superplex. Still no luck. Alfonso whacks JL with a chair and VD goes for a Frog Splash but misses completely - somehow he comes back with only his second Vandaminator of the match and takes the pin. The two shake hands and high five before Lynn leaves the ring - the crowd chants "Jerry! Jerry!" as he leaves the ring area. Well, that was more like it.


Readers Responses...

Two views on the quality of ECW programming

Editor's Note: I had been surprised that I hadn't received more response to my recent comments regarding the quality of ECW programming. Then I received the following email message from Solie's resident historian Ervin Griffin and thought I would share it with you:


Earl,

I have a mixed view on the ECW product. I have watched it over a year and, I got to say, that I've been both pleased and dissapointed. While they could cut down on the tables and such, the action is pretty much great. I will say that the only real matchup left in ECW is RVD VS. TAZ for the ECW strap. With the news that TAZ may be heading to the WWF at the end of this year, that may be where we are headed.

By the way, you do have a point about the RVD VS. Lynn matches. While I think they are great, they are getting very repetitive. Then again, how many times have we've seen Sting VS. Hogan or Flair VS. Hogan or Austin VS. UT over the past four years or so? I think all of the feds are guilty of some repetitivness. I, personally, don't mind them as long as they are great contests. Flair VS. Steamboat was a great example of two wrestlers putting on a great series of matches that people never got tired of. Hell, I still look at them hear and there ten years later after their 1989 feud.

(Editor's Note: My complaint isn't with seeing the same match-up again and again - I generally agree with Ervin on that score. When I refer to the RVD vs. JL matches as repetitive, I am talking about within the match itself - the same moves repeated endlessly. The first match I saw between these two was the first episode of ECW on TNN during which we saw a RVD vs. JL match that consumed the entire last half of the program. I would swear that RVD performed the "Vandaminator" at least 40 times during that match!!)

As for the wrestlers in ECW, they are mostly brawlers but most of the wrestlers out there today are brawlers really. Very few of them could compete in a real match. The few that could would be Rick Steiner, Perry Saturn, Chris Benoit, Bret Hart, TAZ, Steve Blackmon and Ken Shamrock. There are probably others but those are the men that first come to my mind. As for those who believe that SCSA is the "toughest S.O.B." in wrestling, let him fight, say, Shamrock in a real competative match!! Shamrock would eat him for breakfast (as he would most of the WWF wrestlers with the possible exceptions of Steve Blackmon and Paul Wight, due to his size).

Well, enough rambling, here are the questions:

The next 13 questions are hypothetical match-ups. Pick you winners folks!! My winners will be right beside the matches. Ervin Griffin, Jr.
Shortly thereafter I was sent this letter, which was also addressed to Mike at MiCasa, Rick at Online Onslaught and the webmaster at WrestleLine.com: And my response...

I think that's a valid question, Scott.

For a while now we on the Internet have been advised, by the minority who have been able to see ECW programming on a regular basis, that we were missing something wonderfull. I had seen some ECW. I saw tapes here and there and I had bought the first two ECW PPV's, but so far I have failed to be impressed. Some of the action is not bad (I really enjoyed the clip from the Tanaka/Awesome match on last week's show) but in the main it seemed not to be all that compelling. Of course I made allowances for the fact that, not having regular access to it, I was unable to pick up the threads of the storylines all that easily, and so I looked forward with genuine anticipation to being able to take in a regular weekly dose of Extreme Championship Wrestling.

Now its only been four weeks, so I think that I am required to leave those allowances in place for a while yet, but even so, I am still not being impressed by the wrestling itself. The pairing discussed above of Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn is a good example of what I am talking about (although I have to admit that their match on tonight's program was much better). I keep coming back to the question, "Why is such a supurb athlete as Van Dam forced to rely on "how many creative ways I can find to use a chair as a weapon" for his gimmick?" The entire concept of ECW strikes me, in some ways, as being demeaning to the athleticsm of the competitors.

I have mentioned here on several occasions that I regularly attend wrestling cards put on by our local Northen California indy promotion, All Pro Wrestling. I have probably also mentioned that they count among their former athletes who have gone on to bigger things; ECW's Spike Dudly, WCW's Blitzkrieg and Vic Grimes (the mysterious "man in white" from the WWF). APW puts on cards in small venues, much like ECW did for years, with a minimum of flash and glitter (mainly due to budgetary restraints) and with only occasional use of weaponry and yet they never fail to put on a scintillating, compelling program.

That's not to say that the villians don't cheat and the heroes don't brawl with the best of them. All of the same elements are there.

At this moment I would take the exciting action of an APW show over what I have seen so far of ECW any day of the week.

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter



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