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ECW Anarchy Rules

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The View from Down Under

by Stuart Capel


Volume 5, Issue 508 - September 25, 1999
Editor's Note: I will be out of town at a musical engagement in Napa on Sunday afternoon and so there will be no Interactive PPV report this time. I will tape the program and review it when I return so it will not be available until later in the evening.

Stuart Capel wrote an article last month about what readers believed were the problems with WCW. This month he continues that series with some ideas concerning what to do about it.

For those of you living on the moon - Taz was in Stamford, Connecticutt on Wednesday to sign his WWF contract. 


The View from Down Under

by Stuart Capel WCW's Problems

Part 3: How I Would Turn WCW Around

With the recent departure of Eric Bischoff from the senior role at WCW, the time is right for someone to take the opportunity to turn WCW into a respectable wrestling company that is competitive on a large scale with Vince McMahon's WWF.

In 1989, Ross Perot was asked by Fortune Magazine to provide an article titled "How I would turn around GM", as Perot was looking to invest in the motoring giant. For the purposes of this article, I will assume that Ted Turner has asked me to do the same for WCW. So here is my version of "How I would turn around WCW."

Above all else, it is important to ascertain exactly what the objectives of WCW currently are. Is it to run the company at a profit? Is it to beat WWF at the ratings? Are the current ratings acceptable to WCW? Are the current happenings in WCW acceptable? There are many more questions that have to be asked in order to make a truly accurate assessment of where WCW is and where WCW need to go. For this article we'll take the line that WCW's prime objective is to gain a higher share of the ratings in the Monday night wrestling wars.

If this is the case then there is no doubt that for the recent months WCW has been failing to achieve it's prime objective. It is now my job to get the company back on track. The best way to do that is in the ring. Happenings around the ring will be reviewed at the present time. That said, the first thing I would do is...

FIRE RICKY RACHMANN.

Now I'm sure Ricky is a cool guy, but as a presenter who is taking several minutes of air time away from something we want to see (wrestling, because it is World Championship WRESTLING) he is awful. Perhaps hire someone with a bit of character. Which reminds me, second thing I would do is...

FIRE DJ RAN.

For reasons obvious. Would anyone else like to see the West Texas Rednecks storm his stage again and demolish it?? What the heck is Surge anyway?? When this guy asks for somebody to scream, I know several people who yell out "You suck". Though I would get rid the DJ, I would...

KEEP THE NITRO GRRRRLS

But I would be wanting a change in their format. Currently they should really be called Kimberley and the Nitro Girls. The girls are poor dancers when it comes to a comparison with the girls from other professional sports. Here is where I would break with tradition and get some professional dancers who can keep in step with others and can actually dance. I would expand the search for these dancers to world-wide status. I recognise that currently the search for the new Nitro Girl is a "world-wide" search, but going to North Carolina and New York does not constitute a world wide search. Come to Australia if you have to. Go to Japan, Europe if you have to. But go out and find the absolute best.

I would also re-define the role for the girls. It is my belief that dancing girls at pro sports are used to fill in the time when there is no one playing. Use the Nitro Girls for the same purpose. Do you see the Lakers girls on TV during a timeout?? Of course not, because the players are the main attraction and the girls are used to entertain the live audience. If we are going to persist with the girls on the TV, make them the best we can find and use them in a proper role.

NO LONGER WILL IT BE SUFFICIENT FOR WCW TO ACCEPT SECOND BEST.

Both in and out of the ring. Nitro Girls, Rachmann and Ran are examples out of the ring. In ring, there are several wrestlers who seem to think it sufficient enough for them to just turn up and that is enough for them to draw their payslip. A benchmark must be set for all WCW people to follow. From the lowest roadie to the highest executive, WCW employees must now realise they are working as part of a large unified team, not for themselves.

RELEASE KEVIN NASH FROM HIS BOOKING ROLE.

This role hurt both WCW and Big Sexy as Nash is a poor booker and his role in the ring lost that edge that only Nash has. Everyone, including Nash, seems to be hanging on the return of Scott Hall, a man who has never been a World Champion in either organisation. Nash must get back into his big man role and soon. Whether as a face or a heel, he is valuable to the company as he has the ability to feud with absolutely anyone. If Scott Hall does manage to come back to WCW, all well and good, but cross that bridge when we come to it. Plan ahead as if he is not returning to WCW, but work on getting him back to the company at the same time.

Stuart Cape lives in Black Rock, Victoria, Australia and is a regular contributer to Solie's Wrestling Newsletter. The next installment of this article will run tomorrow with the Unforgiven PPV Report.


ECW Anarchy Rules

PPV Report by Ervin Griffin, Jr.

The event originated from Chicago, Ill (actually, it was in the Expo Center just outside of Chi-Town in Villa Park, Ill). The hosts for this show was Joey Styles and Cyrus The Virus (formerly known as The Jackyle in the WWF).

Lance Storm (w/Dawn Marie) VS. Jerry Lynn - We've seen this bout before as the two men had an impressive series of matches late last year including a bout at ECW November To Remember '98 (which was won by Storm) and ECW Hardcore Heaven '99 (which was won by Lynn). Storm came in with the advantage of not only having Dawn Marie at ringside but Lynn came in with injured ribs (allegedly thanks to Storm and Justin Credible). Despite this, the two put on a great bout of moves and countermoves, including a variation of the lowblow by Lynn. He threw Storm in the air for a reverse atomic drop but quickly spinned around and gave a heel kick to the groin as Storm was coming down!!

Eventually, the rib injury was too much to overcome as Storm used a simple 3/4 nelson move to roll up Storm and pin him.

After this bout, we get a free for all featuring Simon Diamond (don't know this guy), Jazz (formerly part of Justin Credible's group), Chris Chetti, Nova, New Jack and some others. It was actually supposed to be Diamond and a mystery partner VS. Chetti and Nova.

It started when Diamond wanted anyone to come out to be his partner. This guy is kind of a rip off of The Rock as he does have the sideburns and the eyebrow and loves to humiliate people. Jazz came out to volunteer but Diamond dissed her because she was a woman. Then, some joker from the House Of Hardcore (ECW's training camp) jumps Jazz and powerslammed her!! He then made a mistake and tried to do a bad impersination of the late Rick Rude. Jazz countered that by grabbing a handful of crotch!! Nova and Chetti then hit the ring and defended Jazz but, during a moonsault, Chetti suffered a legit injury to his left leg. This left Nova to fight Diamond and his partner while Jazz tended to Nova. Suddenly, Roadkill and Danny Dorring hit the ring and attacked all three men and even Jazz, nailing her with the old "Hart Attack" move. Roadkill was then going for a top rope splash on Jazz but several wrestlers hit the ring to break that up but then they started fighting!! Finally, New Jack came down and cleaned house with Nova using anything that wasn't nailed to the ground.

Super Crazy VS. Yoshiro Tejiri VS. Little Guido (w/Big Sal)(Triple Threat Match/Elimination Rules) - In this ECW tradition, all three men were evenly matched size wise but you couldn't get much different in the style department. Tejiri would rather tear your head off with his kicks, Crazy likes to fly while Guido is a ground wrestler. All three men tried to use their respective strengths to their highest advantage. Crazy neutralized Big Sal during mid-bout by dropkicking him through a table!! From there, it was all over for Guido as Tejiri and Crazy teamed up to get rid of him!! First, it was a dropkick from Tejiri while Guido was tied to the "Tree Of Woe" and Crazy finished him with a top rope moonsault. From there, these two had another great bout that ended when Yoshi hit his brainbuster suplex for the pinfall.

TAZ VS. Masato Tanaka VS. Mike Awesome (ECW World Heavyweight Title Match/Triple Threat Match) - Originally, this was scheduled to be a one on one bout between TAZ and Tanaka but Awesome put an end to that. TAZ aired out his venom on Paul E. Dangerously (whom he is in a contract dispute with). TAZ was booed unmercifully due to the rumor that he is going to the WWF (which seems more likely now/read to the end of this entry to see why). TAZ also invited Awesome to get involved in the match so Paul made it a "Three Way Dance". This move saw the most shocking result as TAZ was the first to be eliminated five minutes into it!! Even the crowd, who was mostly anti-TAZ, was stunned. Not even Mike Awesome nor Tanaka could believe it! As TAZ left the ring, he turned to the two wrestlers and gave a sign with his fingers, encouraging them to fight on.

The two had another brutal encounter, much similar to the one that they had at HeatWave '98. This time, Awesome gave Tanaka his "receipt" by performing the same "powerbomb through the table" move that Masato gave him over a year ago! Despite this, Tanaka continued to battle and had Awesome in trouble until he set up a table inside the ring. Tanaka tried to suplex the big man through the table from the top rope but Awesome countered it into a powerbomb through the table from the top rope for the victory!!

After the win, TAZ returned to the ring with the ECW title. His eyes almost in tears, he kissed the belt that he held proudly for the last eight months and handed it to Awesome and raised his hand to a standing ovation. Paul E. and other wrestlers standing on the ramp clapped for all three men as they embraced TAZ. The fans cheered and chanted for both TAZ and Awesome as well as Tanaka in a pretty touching moment.

Sabu VS. Justin Credible - This bout took place before the match above. Credible tried to get out of the bout by claiming that he had a restraining order against Sabu. John Finnigan, the ref, did acknowledge the order but said that tonight "it didn't matter!!". Sabu and Justin had a slow but brutal match that ended with Justin scoring a shocking victory over Sabu as he used his "That's Incredible" Tombstone on Sabu onto a steel chair for the pin.

Tommy Dreamer/Raven VS. Steve Corino/Rhino (ECW World Tag Team Title Match) - This bout started similarly to the way Dudley Boyz bout did when these two originally won the titles. Dreamer was alone against the duo but held his own nicely until Rhino began working on the back of Dreamer. Francine tried to help but she got spiked by Rhino as he executed a version of "Greetings >From Ashbury Park" on her. This brought Raven out finally and the two men used their respective DDT's to finish off their challengers.

Rob Van Damn VS. Balls Mahooney (ECW World TV Title Match) - Originally, it was supposed to be international star Johnny Smith (not sure of the relation but he is kin to Davey Boy Smith) but Smith had a confrontation with Balls Mahooney before the bout during a skirmish involving himself, Mahooney, Justin Credible, Lance Storm, Spike Dudley and Axel Rotton. Mahooney leveled Smith with one of his brutal chair shots and put Smith out of the match. Balls then volunteered to take on RVD himself for the ECW TV strap.

Surprisingly, Mahooney controlled most of the matchup and showed actual wrestling skills beyond the hardcore stuff. He even executed RVD's own "Five Star Frog Splash" on the "Whole F'n Show" (bear in mind that Balls weighs about 330lbs.)!! In the end, however, RVD (with assistance from Bill Alfonso) executed a top rope version of his "VanDamninator" on Mahooney along with his "Frog Splash" for the victory. Much like the TAZ/Tanaka/Awesome bout, both men showed great sportsmanship after the bout.

Well, all in all, this was a pretty good PPV. I actually saw this on Monday night because it was a replay but, compared to what I saw this week in the WWF and WCW, this was much better!! Now, if only the ECW on TNN show could be half as good on a regular basis. Ah, well, you can't have everything. See ya!!

If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at griffiev@hotmail.com or griffiev@yahoo.com

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


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Thunder Report

Fireworks start the program live from the Scope in Norfolk, Virginia. Mike Tenay and Legendary Larry are our hosts. They refer to Sting as "the former Franchise" during their hype-a-thon for the coming PPV. We cut to a video review of Psychosis challenging Kidman to a mask vs. hair match for this coming Monday's Nitro program. Tenay is suggesting that Chavo made up that challenge and that it wasn't what Psychosis wanted.

Lodi (w/Lenny) vs. Kidman - I would probably have yawned about this match a few weeks ago but I have to admit that the West Hollywood Blondes are starting to grow on me. Lodi is knocked to the floor early on. He moves away from the ring into the arms of his "brother" but Kidman throws a spectacular suicide dive and downs them both. Back in the ring, Lenny manages to distract Kidman and sucker him into draping himself across the bottom rope so that Lodi can drop a leg on the back of his neck on the apron. Once he has the advantage, Lodi keeps the pressure up, periodically distracting the referee so that Lenny can get a shot or two in. Lenny interferes once top often from the outside, Kidman leaves the ring to attack him only to have Lodi repay the favor with a suicide dive of his own. Back in the ring, Lodi is in charge again but then misses a legdrop from the top. The match goes into see-saw mode with Kidman finally coming out on top and going for the Shooting Star but Lenny is there again and upsets his balance. Kidman is suplexed to the mat and the fight continues with Eddie Guerrero showing up ringside, then Chavo as well. In the ring, Kidman finally gets the pin after running the two Blondes together then applying a short powerbomb. In the back, Harlem Heat are walking toward the arena in street clothes. Stevie pauses at an intersection as Booker walks on. As Stevie disappears around the corner and Booker walks out of camera range, we hear a popping sound then Sid and Rick Steiner appear from where Stevie went. Steiner is carrying a 2X4 and they are chuckling together. Sid turns back and spits in the direction of their apparent victim and we cut to commercial.

After some video byplay, Tenay in shown on the ramp inviting the Heat out for an interview. Booker comes out alone and tells us that his brother is on his way to the hospital after the attack we witnessed earlier. He challenges Sid to a match tonight, calling him "a fraud and a phony." Cut to commercial.

Brandi Alexander vs. Mona - Brandi asks for a test of strength but then uses a back trip to put Mona on the mat. Mona bridges out then reverses the hold. Tenay is crediting Mona with reviving the Womens' Division in WCW. I suppose that's true. She is one very attractive lady, a great wrestler and seems to have plenty of heat from the crowd. As the match progresses Alexander shows herself to be pretty savvy herself and considerably stronger then her opponent. She dominates the middle portion of the contest. When Mona finally turns it around she seems to be headed for a win but then gets caught in a roll-up and pinned, thanks to Brandi's added leverage from two feet on the rope. Cut to commercial.

Saturn vs. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. - these two are excellent mat wrestlers, though Saturn has a definite size advantage. Chavo plays the heel role in this match - ducking out of the ring at the earliest opportunity after being bested in the first few exchanges. Back inside he continues to be one step behind Saturn's game plan. He bails involuntarily the next time. He is back on the apron in a moment but Saturn cuts him off then steps onto the bottom rope to suplex him back inside. Chavo comes back with drop-kicks - first to the knee then to the shoulder. Saturn falls out to the floor and is followed by Chavo who keeps the pressure on. Back inside he goes for a pin but fails. Saturn fights out of a headlock then whips Chavo piller to post three times before suplexing him again. They struggle on the corner and Uncle Eddie suddenly appears and tries to interfere but hits his nephew instead by accident.Saturn refuses to take the pin and while he consults with the referee, Eddie sneaks in behind him and drop-kicks him in the back. Saturn runs Chavo into the corner then falls back. Chavo falls as well and "accidently" plants a headbutt to the midsection. Chavo takes the pin. Cut to commercial.

Sid Vicious comes to the ring, now claiming a record of 99-0 - apparently he beat some old ladies up in the parking lot or something... He goes into his rant alternately choosing Booker and Goldberg for his foil. The announcers keep telling us what an intellectual Sid is but he can't seem to distiguish between a question and a statement in his rant.

Coach Buzz Stern gets his protege Luther Biggs ready to debut on Thunder. Cut to a video review of the Sting vs. Benoit World Title match last week with the big aftermatch involving Luger, DDP, Hogan et al. All this leads up to the Six World Champions' tag match coming up on Nitro next week. Cut to commercial.

Prince Iaukea vs. Van Hammer - Gosh, I wonder who will win this one... Hammer continues to be the beneficiary of the world's lightest heavyweight push. He stops to pose on the apron and gets drop-kicked to the floor before the bell. Back inside, he Prince gets a roll-up which Hammer kicks out of then complains to the referee of a tight pull. Iaukea is showing a lot of aggression as he has done regularly of late. For Hammer's part, he seems pretty slow and little thick skulled as well. But he is so much bigger than his opponent and manages to dominate in any case. At one point he sits Iaukea on the top turnbuckle then grabs his head and beales him across the ring. He then grabs a camel clutch for a moment before driving his buttocks into the Princes lower back. Iaukea then turns over and plants a foot to Hammer's groin then mule-kicks the big guy to catapult off the ropes. He finishes the flurry, and his offense then Hammer grabs the iniative back and keeps it until he applies his cobra slam and gets the pin. Hammer grabs a mic and starts an unscheduled rant. He wants the winner of the main event (either Booker or Sid) on Nitro next Monday.

Rick Steiner vs. Eddie Guerrero - Steiner directs his opening rant at Booker T rather than his actual opponent. Eddie makes his entrance and the first thing I notice is that he is dwarfed by his opponent. Steiner hits a big suplex right out of the chute and then pounds Guerrero into the corner. As Larry Z points out, Eddies "rush and stick" techniques can be very effective against a bigger opponent unless that opponent is a wrestling machine like Steiner. The fight goes to the floor early where Eddie manages to reverse a whip to the railing but then launches himself and misses only to hang himself up on the barrier. He takes another rail shot before being rolled back into the ring. Steiner absorbs a couple of shots then gets another suplex. Eddie retaliates with a Hurracanranna and heads for the top. But Sid shows up and chokeslams him to the mat. Kidman runs in to lend a hand but he gets powerbombed for his trouble. Cut to commercial.

Evan Karagias vs. Lenny (w/Lodi) - Cruiserweight Title match - Karagias gets frustrated early on with Lenny's tactics and starts pounding on his back as we cut immediately to commercial.

Lenny has a headlock as we return but Karagias breaks free and dumps the Champion on his head then moves to the apron and catches Lenny's neck on the top rope. But Lenny comes right back and uses a hair takedown to turn the tables. He then rakes the eyes and gorilla presses the challenger before dropping him on his face. Moments later they both go for clotheslines and both are down. Karagias recovers first and gets a big back drop then sets Lenny on the top and gets a powerbomb from there. He passes up a pin attempt and gets a neck breaker. He climbs to the top but Lodi is there to upset him and send him crashing to the mat. He kicks out of the pin attempt then the West Hollywood Blondes have one of the famous head-to-head collisions. Karagias seems to have it in hand but then Lodi has done his job and distracted the challenger, who walks right into a slingshot suplex and gets pinned. Cut to commercial.

Sid Vacuous (w/DFG) vs. Booker T - US Title match - I smell a run-in on this one because there is so little time for this match...and it does involve Sid. Nick Patrick comes out and replaces Sid's pet referee, Charles Robinson before the match begins. He also warns Steiner to stay out of the ring. Robinson hangs out ringside as Booker goes right on the attack - but gets clotheslined to the floor. Sid follows him out and gets thrown into the crowd. The two brawl out among the fans then Sid is tossed back to the ringside area. Booker tries to spring off the railing but is caught in mid-air and slammed on the floor. Sid returns to the ring and Steiner attacks the challenger. Sid rolls in and out to stop the count then starts chopping Booker against the railing. Booker breaks away for a moment but then gets slammed into the apron. Sid rolls in and Steiner tosses Booker back. Sid goes for a pin but fails. Then Booker gets his fabulous feet into play. Three moves later he has the pinfall but Steiner drags the referee out and decks him. Inside the ring, Robinson assumes the officiating duties but allows Steiner to interfere at will - even counting Booker out as both guys pin him. Sid rants at Goldberg while Steiner paces, Booker lies on the mat and we fade to black...



SmackDown Report

Chyna makes a little guest appearance in a Shasta McNasty commercial befor the program gets underway. SmackDown was taped in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday.

Vince McMahon comes down to the ring for his inaugeral SmackDown rant - then invites HHH to come down for an interview. HHH shows up with Chyna looking truculent as usual (both of them actually...) HHH hocks a big lugie on the mat before saying anything - then McMahon gets in the first word, telling him that now that he (Vince) is back in charge, he's decided to make HHH's life a living hell tonight. He busts his chops big time for threatening his (Vince's) family last week. He assigns HHH to face all of his Six-Pack Challenge opponents individually tonight! The Rock gets a Brahma Bull Rope match, the Undertaker gets a casket match, Mankind gets a Boiler Room Brawl, Kane gets an Inferno match and the Big Show gets a Chokeslam Challenge - and HHH has to win 3 out of 5 to stay in then Main Event on Sunday. With that we get...

HHH vs. The Big Show - Chokeslam Challenge match - the giant is way too powerful for Helmsley to do anything with, let alone chokeslam him. He actually goes for it but can't budge the big guy. Then TBE gets the chokeslam and wins the match. He adds a second one for good measure...then goes for a third - but Chyna distracts him and HHH skedaddles. In a tape from earlier in the day, the Dudley boys attack Teddy Long outside the arena.

It's nice to see Michael Hayes at the color mic tonight. That has been his best role for several years now but he almost never gets to do it. Cut to commercial.

Backstage, Lillin Garcia is quizzing Chris Jericho about his challenge to Ken Shamrock for a First Blood match tonight. He says we will never, ever, see his blood tonight.

X-Pac vs. Mark Henry - European Title match - I imagine D-Lo will show up to stop this match before too long. Sure enough, Brown shows up before the bell rings and struts to the ringside area to join the broadcasters. In the ring, Henry is manhandling his diminuitive opponent. He slaps on a berahug which Waltman breaks away from with some well-placed punches but it doesn't do him much good. Henry hits his squash move on the apron and X-Pac appears to be done for but then the big man throws an elbow drop and misses. X-Pac gets some offense, including a bronco buster but then gets clotheslined out of his boots. Henry pauses to talk some trash at Brown and gets drop-kicked from behind and drops to the floor where he is counted out. He and D-Lo get into a tussle afterward and then Henry splits. Lillian interviews Luna in the back. She wants her Womens' Title challenge on Sunday to be a Hardcore match.

Jeff Jarrett comes down for an unscheduled appearance sans Debra but with Miss Kitty in tow. He rants about this being a "man's world"...yatta, yatta. A female stage manager tries to get him to cut short his rant so he goes out and grabs her schedule, throws it in the ring. She goes in after the paper work and he follows her in. He starts to put the figure four on her but Chyna runs in and hits him with a frying pan! While he is out cold, she pants him and dons his tights then puts the apron from their last encounter on him and splits. Cut to commercial.

HHH vs. Kane - Inferno match - the flames rise as soon as HHH is in the ring. In this one he has a little better chance, since all he has to do is catch Kane on fire! Soon after the bell rings, Kane has his opponent almost hanging in the fire but HHH fights away. HHH comes back with a high knee then tries to force Kane into the flames. He hits a low blow but gets chokeslammed in a flash. Then Kane starts to go for a tombstone - but X-Pac appears on the platform in a heap. The Undertaker has beat him up - Viscera and Mideon are headed to the ring. Kane suicide dives them then turns back and catches his gloves in the flames. He loses the match but doesn't care. His glove continues to burn as he runs up to see to his friend. Cut to commercial.

The Undertaker refuses to participate in McMahon's vendetta and when Vince tries to force him into it he tells the boss to stick it and suggests he might just quit altogether. Apparently his real life injury has not healed enough yet for him to participate on Sunday.

The Rock arrives early and goes into his schtick with members of the Stanley Cup Champion Dallas Stars hockey team who are sitting ringside. Mankind then makes an appearance with his partner. His parodies of the Rock's cliches are starting to be as funny as the man himself. He brings an athletic cup to protect the "People's Jewels". He starts to do his impression of the Rock's signature rant but backs off a bit as Maivia raises an eyebrow at him. Suddenly the Road Dogg makes his reappearance in the WWF (back off his drug suspension). He says he wants to challenge for the Tag Team Titles then introduces his new/old partner - Billy Gunn!!! The New Age Outlaws are together again!! The Champs agree to the match and we get...

NAO vs. The Rock/Mankind - Tag Team Title match - Foley and Gunn face off to start and Mankind dominates until Billy fingers his eye. The Dog comes in and, as usual, blows the advantage immediately. Maivia is tagged in and has his way with the Dogg. Jesse James is isolated as the Tag Champs are tagging in and out pretty effectively. They are working on the injured small of the Dogg's back. He falls to the outside where Mankind whips him to the railing then rolls him back in. Maivia goes for a cover but the Dogg gets his foot on the rope and escapes. Every time he gets something going he is stymied. Billy finally gets into it again and takes the advantage back for a bit but he showboats and blows it. Now all four are in the ring and the Rock is about to get the Rock Bottom but Billy gets loose and makes the save. Mankind and the Rock fall out to the floor and moments later Maivia is back on the apron, but Foley gets whippd into him and knocks him to the floor. Billy quickly gets the pin on Mankind. The New Age Outlaws are the Champions again!!! In the back, McMahon is assigning Mideon and Viscera to take the Undertaker's place in a Handicap Casket match. Cut to commercial.

So far, this show is better than RAW was by a long shot...

Mideon/Viscera vs. HHH - Handicap Casket match - this is a real short one which ends (or seems to) twice. HHH outwits the two hulking morons (no great feat) and gets Mideon into the casket. Only then Shane Mcmahon shows up and says that he has to get both of his opponents into the casket - a clear impossibility. Moments later they stuff him in collectively and HHH is down two.

Hardcore Holly vs. Al Snow - non-title match - Holly comes to the ring for a rant. Snow is not expecting a match but Holly calls him out and says he (Snow) owes him (Holly) for his beating up of the Bossman last week. Snow comes down and the match is on - but not for the title. Holly attacks as soon as Snow hits the ring but Snow recovers quickly and has Holly on the defensive in no time. The match goes into see-saw mode then the Bossman appears on the big screen. He is harrassing the rotweilers who have been left alone in a car. Crash comes in with a cookie sheet but Snow grabs it and whacks Crash. Snow turns around and walks into a gut kick and a DVD. Holly gets the pin and then the Bossman hits the ring (and Snow) with a dog chain wrapped around his fist. He stuffs dog food into Snows mouth then drops the chain on him. The Bossman's eye looks really bad as the camera closes in on it. We go immediately to...

HHH vs. Mankind - Boiler Room Brawl - this is a real knock-down-drag-out affair with plenty of "plunder" involved including some nails and bolts that get spilled onto the floor so Mankind can be suplexed onto them. Foley finally gets the claw (w/Socko). Just when we think Foley is going to win it by flinging himself off the top of a small control room - someone unidentified pushes him off with a metal pole. He crashes onto some detrus on a table and HHH gets out the door. Now HHH just has to get past the Rock in a strap match. Cut to commercial.

The British Bulldog is in the back looking for Vince, but not finding him.

Ken Shamrock vs. Chris Jericho - First Blood match - Jericho shows up with a Buffalo Sabers hockey team outfit, including a hocky stick and goalie's mask! Kenny doesn't care. He uses the mask to get leverage for tossing Y2J around the ring then out to the floor. Jericho re-enters the ring and is right back into trouble. Shamrock gets the mask off and then Mr. Huge hits the ring. He distracts Shamrock long enough for Jericho to get a shot in with the hockey stick. Y2J beats on Kenny some more then splashes him with all that hockey gear on. Shamrock starts bleeding from the mouth. 'Nuff said.

In the back, the Bulldog is lobbying Mcmahon to replace the Undertaker in the 6-Pack Challenge on Sunday. Vince reluctantly agrees then Davey Boy offers to be the special referee for the Rock/HHH strap match tonight. Vince says, "Knock yourself out..." Cut to commercial.

HHH vs. The Rock - Brahma Bull Rope match - the British Bulldog is the special referee - we're all getting thoroughly sick of HHH's theme music (is this on..?) Maivia seems to have the upper hand from the get-go in this one. It's falls-count-anywhere so of course it goes immediately to the floor. They tumble over the railing and out into the stands then brawl their way back to ringside. The Bulldog stays right with them but doesn't attempt to control the competitors. Back in the ring, HHH seems to have the advantage for a moment then they get into a slugfest. Then Bulldog and HHH get into a shoving match. This distraction allows Maivia to regain his composure. They fall back out to the floor and the Rock gets a DDT on the foncrete. No cigar. He drags HHH up the ramp and runs him into some of the scenery. Meanwhile, Jarrett sneaks up behind Chyna at the bottom of the ramp and whacks her with the frying pan! He slips the figure four on her but the competitors are back in the ring so we take ourselves back to watch them. The Rock gets the Rock Bottom then the BUlldog decks him! Davey Boy applies the running powerslam then HHH gets the Pedegree and takes the pin. They continue to pound on him after the bell. Then the three miscreants leave together.

Interesting show. HHH was clearly the star and yet didn't get more then two lines of dialogue, most of which consisted of shouting the word, "What?" as McMahon piled on the stipulations.


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ECW on TNN

Is it just me or is Joey Styles the most annoying announcer in wrestling? Joel Gertner tries really hard to be more annoying but there is just something about Styles that rubs me the wrong way. This week's ECW on TNN was taped in Buffalo, New York.

Tommy Dreamer and Francine come down to the ring for an interview. The crowd starts to chant and just about drowns out the questions Styles tries to ask - Gertner grabs the mic and starts running Dreamer and especially Francine down, suggesting that she's a prostitute among other things. He then introduces "Miss Congeniality" who comes to the ring with Danny Doring and Road Kill. Francine tackles MC once she's in the ring and Dreamer attacks Doring then stands aside as Road Kill tries to rush him and hits Doring in the corner instead. But they two turn it around and have Dreamer in trouble when Raven shows up and changes the balance of power. Dreamer takes care of Road KIll while Raven hits the Evenflo DDT on Doring. Oh...I see - this was a Tag Title match.

Dreamer and Francine are stll in the ring as we return from the opening montage. Doring and his sloppy friend are still writhing on the mat. Dreamer calls Raven back to the ring so they can have it out - Raven shows himself for a moment then splits. Cut to commercial.

We come back to the news that Taz has lost the ECW World Title at the Anarchy Rulz PPV (see Ervin Griffin's ECW PPV report above). We get a review of interview footage from the PPV. Masato Tanaka and Judge Jeff Jones mix it up in the parking lot. Cut to commercial.

Paul E is holding Styles back from attacking Gertner as we return. We gets some clips from Lance Storm vs. Jerry Lynn at the PPV then a little bit of Sabu vs. Justin Credible.

Masato Tanaka vs. Taz vs. Mike Awesome - the crowd gives Taz a real hard time concerning his recent jump to the WWF. They seem genuinely angry. This starts out to be a regular singles match between Taz and Tanaka but Taz spots Awesome in the crowd and wants him in the ring as well. Paul E tries to restrain Awesome but Taz is insistant that Awesome be involved in the match. So Paul E declares it a Three Way Dance...and we cut to commercial.

The match is underway as we return. Both challengers are beating on the Champion. For his part, Taz is awesome in his own right. Suplexing both guys repeatedly. But Tanaka gets his Roaring Elbow then Awesome hits a big splash from the top rope. They cooperate to pin him and we go to commercial again (way too many of these, folks...)

You'd think with the time they are investing in this promotion that TNN would cut loose with some cash to upgrade the production values a bit and and not run so damn many commercials. I have watched their RollerJam program since it's inception and the production is top notch and they certainly don't run this many commercials on that program.

We come back to find that we get no more of that match. They say they'll tell us who won later...

Little Guido (w/Sal E. Graziano) vs. Super Crazy - SC is by far the crowd favorite in this one but Guido is the real wrestler here. He ties his opponent up in a knot early on but then Crazy gets loose and they fly around the ring - mostly past each other - until Guido starts to suffer...so he bails. Crazy is right behind him with a baseball slide then tosses him over the railing. He then returns to the apron and dives on the Italian. Crazy returns to the inside to await his opponent, then catches him coming in and hits an SC Superplex. He follows with a surfboard and works it in a rolling maneuver. He turns his opponent loose and goes to the top but misses a splash. Guido grabs a chicken wing submission but then releases it and lays on some stomps. Crazy is knocked to the floor where Big Sal splashes him against the railing. Back inside, Guido snatches Crazy right out of the air and slaps on an arm bar submission hold. Then releases it again. He distracts the referee while Sal sneaks in a powerbomb (I wonder what the referee thought that crashing sound was...) Guido goes for a series of pin attempts but no cigar. Crazy finally comes back with a kick to the gut and a flying bulldog. Gets a two count. Guido distracts the referee again while Sal goes for another powerbomb but Crazy foils it and downs the big guy. He then hits a brainbuster Little Guido and takes the pin. Afterward Guido is out of it but Sal attacks the victor. Spike Dudley runs in and puts Sal down in moments with a run-up bulldog to claim a victory of his own. Cut to ECW commercial.

Lance Storm and Dawn Marie make their entrance and we cut to commercial yet again. That's what it is - it's the promotions own commercials that are cluttering up the landscape.

We come back to a clip from last week's program. The Impact Players are attacking Jerry Lynn when Rob Van Dam comes to his rescue. No wait - it's not a rerun after all... Sabu shows up and decides to join with the Impact Cretins. More wrestlers show up and we have a donnybrook in the ring. New Jack, Doring and Road Kill are there now.

Back to the announcers. I've finally figured out that Styles has laryngitas - he reminds Gertner that we we're promised the word on the new ECW World Champ. Cut to a scene from the PPV. Taz comes back to the ring and hands Awesome the Title belt then shakes the victor's hand. Taz leaves the ring and makes his peace with Paul E.

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter



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