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until the Paul Wight Storyline is played out...


Solie's Classic Reprints presents

An Interview with Greg Valentine

Volume 5, Issue 523 - November 13, 1999
Editor's Note: We open this weekend edition with another in our Classic Reprint series, an interview with one of the true greats of the 1980's, Greg "the Hammer" Valentine.

An Interview with Greg Valentine

Greg "The Hammer" Valentine is one of the last no-nonsense wrestlers in the business. "I don't believe in taking bumps. I believe in wrestling," he said in this interview conducted August 8, 1997 by David Skolnick. Valentine, who has held numerous titles including the tage belts in the NWA and WWF as well as the Intercontinental and United States straps, has a unique perspective on the wrestling business during the past 25 years. As a per night wrestler with WCW, Valentine offers an insider's look into the company, its top wrestlers and its battle for national dominance.

This interview is quite lengthy, so I have broken it up into four installments

Part 1

David Skolnick: Did your father discourage you in your plans to become a wrestler?

Greg Valentine: A little bit because I was in college.

David Skolnick: But it was something you had your heart set on?

Greg Valentine: Not really. I was going to stay in college, but when I went on the road with my father spending the summer with him in Texas, I really didn't want to go back to college. He sent me up to Calgary (Laughs) in the middle of winter to train with Stu Hart. It was no pleasure cruise. It was real hard. I wrestled in a training camp. He worked with me in his basement. It was cold in Canada. I stayed up there for probably a year. I worked out in the Dungeon, the basement with Stu mainly. I never really learned much from wrestling in school as I did when I got out and they actually put me on the shows. I didn't know what I was doing. I went for it and that's how I learned it from scratch. My first pro match was against Angelo Mosca,
King Kong Mosca, in Calgary in 1970 around July. It lasted about five minutes. I got beat and I went from there. I went to Detroit from there. I stayed with the world's most famous Sheik, Ed Farhat. I stayed with him. He had a ring in the back of his house back by the pool. Even he worked out with me. I went through his training there and started wrestling in Detroit, that territory.

David Skolnick: He is not known as being a good worker, more a cut-and-slash wrestler. Could he actually work?

Greg Valentine: Yeah, he could. He sure could cause I've seen him do it. He'd do it sometimes to prove he could do it. Lots of times he didn't want to do it. Then I hooked up with Don Fargo and I went from Greg Valentine to Johnny Fargo. I went with him from '71 to '73. '74. We went as a tag team, the Fargo Brothers. We had the blonde hair and the strut and the Buddy Rogers-type of work. I went through that era with him. We had some championships in the NWF territory up there in Buffalo and Cleveland. Went down to Texas and worked for the Funks. We were their champions. It was great. It was a good experience. From that point, we split up and we went our own ways for a little bit. Then we went back together because Pedro (Martinez) put us back together. Ultimately, we split up again. He went back to Texas and I went to Florida. Jack Brisco saw me on the road. He was world champion at the time. He said, "Come to Florida. I've got a good spot for you." He referred me to Eddie Graham. He was good to work for. I learned a lot down here in Florida in 1974.

David Skolnick: Who was booking for him, Watts or Rhodes?

Greg Valentine: Watts was. Watts and Rhodes always had something to say. I got along fine with Watts the first time anyway. I was a punk kid. I learned a lot about working. I learned a lot about the business, wrestling, everything in general.

David Skolnick: Your father was a booker in Florida at one time. Was it an advantage or disadvantage to be Johnny Valentine 's son?

Greg Valentine: Both, but in the end, it was an advantage in certain ways. But people expected too much at the beginning. He was an incredible worker. After Florida, I went out to L.A. and started going to Japan. I really didn't make much news until 1976 when I went into the Carolinas

David Skolnick: Who did you work for in Japan?

Greg Valentine: I used to work for Inoki all the time in '75, '76. It was great there. I went into the Carolinas and they tagged me with Flair.

WP: How did that come about?

Greg Valentine: It was timing, I guess. They brought me in from Florida. I went back into Florida from California in '76 and Carolina was calling me. They brought me in. They groomed me after my father. My father had just been in that serious plane crash. They took their time with it. Flair had already been trained. My father had been training Flair. They were like pals. They brought us together and it all made sense. The Carolinas were great balls of fire as far as wrestling was concerned. We sold out everywhere.

David Skolnick: When you first saw Flair work what were your impressions?

Greg Valentine: We kind of been training the same. Actually, besides from taking all those backdrops he does, we work a lot of the same way. He was trained by Johnny Valentine and so was I.

David Skolnick: You do have similar techniques, the begging-off the faceplant into rhe mat...

Greg Valentine: The chop, the figure-four except he takes more bumps (Laughs). I don' believe in taking bumps. I believe in wrestling.

David Skolnick: Impressed by Flair's technique at first or was he just another guy to tag with?

Greg Valentine: I always thought Ric and I made a good mix because I was slow and methodical and he was fast and took a lot of bumps. It was a good mix. I think he's a great worker, but not as good as me. But he's richer than I am. He's got a better contract (Laughs). I think I'm better. He hangs there up on the top.

David Skolnick: What did you think of the Crocketts, who brought you into the Carolinas?

Greg Valentine: I enjoyed working for the Crocketts. I worked again for Jimmy a year ago in Texas. His backer backed out on him. I always had a lot of respect for the Crocketis. I have nothing but good things to say about them. George Scott was the booker back then. He made sure I was taken care of. From that point, I went to New York.

David Skolnick: You had a long series with Wahoo McDaniel in the Carolinas.

Greg Valentine: I did the angles where I broke Wahoo's leg and put Johnny Weaver out of wrestling. He was a legend there for years. I dropped an elbow off the top rope to put him out and put Wahoo out with the figure-four. I had a lot of matches with Flair as a partner against the Andersons. We were tag-team champions. At one time, Flair and I together had four belts. Ultimately, I split for New York in 1984 and never came back. In between that time, I was flirting with New York. I was flying in there and working with Backlund and Morales. I did the angle breaking Strongbow's leg. I was going back and forth between the NWA and WWF. I had two different runs with Vince McMahon Sr. in '79 and then I had a run in '81. I went back full-time in '84 and didn't leave until '92.

To be continured...

Thunder Report

Thunder comes to us live tonight, I didn't catch the location.

Evan Karragous vs. Lash Leroux - Disco Inferno comes down and joins the broadcast team then Medusa strolls out to ringside as the match gets underway. The match in the ring isn't nearly as interesting as the byplay ringside as Disco gets up and goes over to "work his magic" on the lady. Disco keeps coming back to the table to give the announcers reports on his progress, explaining that he is about to "close the deal" each time. In the ring the match is firmly in see-saw mode. and both combatants are starting to lose patience with each other. Finally, Karragous leaves the ring to defend "his woman" - Disco gets a slap from Medusa and Karragous re-enters the ring and runs right into the Ragin' Cajun's finishing move (The Whiplash). After the match, Disco goes into the ring with a mic and offers Karragous $15,000 to face him at the next PPV. Karragous agrees with the stipulation that Disco put his Cruiserweight Title on the line. He leaves with Medusa then Leroux comes back and bashes Disco.

Berlyn stops Mean Gene from revealing his true identity then disses his opponent for later tonight. Meanwhile Sid is looking for Rick Steiner.

Berlyn (w/Big German Doofus) vs. Curly Bill - the announcers finish the job of exposing Berlyn as Alex Wright as the match gets underway. Then the leader of the Misfits (Jerry Only) taunts der Bodyguard and lures him away so that Vampiro can appear in the ring and attack Berlyn. The Bodyguard runs back in but is too late to do more then help his boss up. Curly BIll wins the match.

Mean Gene interviews Silver King and La Parka who's English is dubbed in for the sound track. Backstage a huckster is selling Villanos V a laundry product "in case your nose gets busted and you bleed all over your wrestling outfit.

Sid catches up with Steiner and a brawl ensues.

La Parka/Silver King vs. Villano V/Lizmark, Jr. - La Parka makes another speech via dubbed English, which gives his opponents a chance to strike first and grab the advantage. Lizmark dominates the would be "X-Man" for several exchanges but eventually La Parka and his wily partner get in a doubleteam and turn the tables. Villano is tagged in and re-takes the advantage right away. But La Parka rushes the corner and throws it away. He is knocked to the floor the splashed by Lizmark. All four of them end upp out there as they pull the typical, "everybody pile on out on the floor" maneuver. Back inside, La Parka hits a twisting moonsault and takes Lizmark out then goes on a spree, hitting his opponents with his ever present chair.

Back in a dressing room, der Bodyguard is putting the boots to Curly Bill. Elsewhere, Curt Hennig is complaining about the "powers that be" and his own precarious position within the company. He will face Dean Malenko later tonight.

I just caught that the salesman is Chavo Guerrero selling AMWAY! He is trying to sell china to Kaz Hayashi now.

Disco is on the phone with his "friend" Tony Marinara who tells him how he can lessen his debts.

Booker T vs. Rick Steiner - TV Title match - Steiner starts very aggressive but Booker isn't easy to hold down. As soon as he gets loose he turns the tables for several exchanges - but Steiner gets underneath him and suplexes his way back to the advantage in the match. They gets into some fisticuffs until Steiner lifts a knee and knocks Booker to the outside where he roughs him up some then rolls him back inside. Back in the ring, Booker regains the initiative thanks to his talented feet. He goes for a missle drop-kick but Steiner pulls the referee into harm's way. He is ready to put Booker away when Sid stalks in and snatches him off the top, then powerbombs him. He rolls Booker over onto Steiner and starts to leave. The referee recovers and counts Steiner out but then a second referee comes out and reverses the decision. Sid powerbombs the second referee. Curt Hennig is headed for the ring.

Dean Malenko vs. Curt Hennig - Shane Douglas joins the broadcast team while Saturn and Aysha lurk about ringside as the match gets underway. In the ring, Hennig is dominating the action. Malenko keeps bailing out to consult with his friends. The second consultation gives Malenko the chance to turn the tables as he returns to the ring. He grabs a head vice, but Hennig breaks that up with a jaw breaker and is all over Malenko once again. Aysha distracts Hennig (and incidently the referee) so that Malenko can deliver a low blow to turn the tables. They struggle for position and Hennig goes for a suplex but Malenko slips away. Then Dean rushes the corner and misses everything but the post. Shane gets up and nails Hennig with his cast then rolls Malenko onto him but Disco Inferno runs in and pulls him off - then attempts to get the pin himself! Douglas is beside himself and enters the ring to dispatch Disco. Meanwhile, Chris Benoit appears and hits a diving headbutt on Malenko. Hennig gets the pin because Saturn is to busy flirting with a girl ringside to pay attention to what is going on. In the back, Sid and Steiner are at it again.

Brian Knobbs vs. The Maestro - hardcore match - "Screamin'" Norman Smiley joins the broadcast team for this one. The Maestro takes a few moments to get his bearings but then proves that he can hardcore brawl with the best of them. When Knobbs recovers from his surprise he fights back tooth and nail (and trash can and chair) to re-assume control. Jimmy Hart talks some trash at Smiley then goes and starts handing plunder to his wrestler. Smiley gets up, grabs the Maestro's violin case, then removes a lead pipe from the case and clocks Knobbs with it. The Maestro takes the pin. In the back, the Filthy Animals head for the ring.

Barbarian/Jerry Flynn vs. Kidman/Konnan (w/Torrie/Eddie G) - Tag Team Title match - Jimmy Hart is absent after getting creamed earlier. There is an altercation on the floor when Flynn approaches Torrie - the result - Torrie and Eddie are banned from ringside. In the ring the First Family has a huge size advantage and uses it to good affect on Kidman who is isolated. Finally the Barbarian goes for a diving headbutt and misses but then Kidman makes the mistake of not tagging up. He gets caught trying to climb the corner then superplexed to the mat. Konnan has to save his partner. Barbarian grabs Konnan and takes him to the top. He gets another superplex but meanwhile Kidman has positioned himself to splash the big guy immediately and take the pin. In the back Mean Gene questions the integrity of the Total Package who takes umbrage but isn't very convincing.

Trouble is brewing among the Nitro Grrrrls - Spice will face AC Jazz at the next PPV. Mean Gene interviews the Revolution who toot their own horns, what else..? Saturn has been writing himself some silly promos.

The Total Putz (w/his girlfriend) vs. Kaz Hayashi - Luger is still pretending to be injured and comes out in his street clothes. He takes the stick and tries to beg off from the match, citing his "injury". The crowd starts a "You Suck!" chant as he continually mispronounces his opponent's name. He claims he can't wrestle but says he will be ready for his tournament match against Sting coming up. Hayashi takes the mic and calls him a "chicky-sh*t!" Luger turns back, undergoes a miraculous recovery and starts putting the boots to Hayashi. He then applies the torture rack. His leg no longer seems to be bothering him at all...until he finishes Kaz off - then he limps away with Liz's assistance. Sid heads for the ring while his opponent, Saturn, gets a pep talk from his Revolution compatriots.

Sid Vacuous vs. Saturn (w/the Revolution) - there are less than 5 minutes left for this match and the introductions take up another minute or so. Douglas sits down with the announcers again. In the ring, Sid mows his opponent down then catches him in mid-air and pancakes him. Malenko starts to jump on the apron but Sid sees him coming and sidesteps a rush by Saturn who takes out his own man on the floor! Sid leaves the ring and is distracted by Malenko long enough to give the advantage back to Saturn. Sid is on the receiving end for about...uh...three seconds - then he recovers. Saturn is downed but comes back with a flying forearm smash. Sid puts a boot in his face then grabs the chokeslam set-up, but Saturn hits a low blow then goes to the top, flies right into Suid's clutches and gets chokeslammed twice. He goes for the pin but Aysha drags the referee out. Malenka runs in and gets chokeslammed then Aysha challenges the big guy. He boots her in the gut and is going for the powerbomb when Steiner runs in and attacks him. Steiner is ejected then heads back in but security is on the scene to break it up.

That's the show...

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SmackDown Report

Arnold Schwartznegger is scheduled to appear on tonight's pre-recorded program from Baltimore, Maryland. That's the first thing the announcers mention at the top of the show - then they throw it to DX. Poor X-Pac - he's the only one that doesn't hold any gold... As they makes their entrance we get more Arnold hype. HHH takes the mic and makes veiled references to the supposed rape of Stephanie McMahon. He rolls tape of what happened after RAW went off the air Monday night. Actually, we don;t actually see Stephanie - just a pair of kicking legs through the crack in the door. HHH then claims that it wasn't Stephanie at all but some drama student from Penn State. He slips in another gratuitus mention of Arnold, of course, then goes on to talk about the World Title match at Survivor Series. He plans to win - duh!! His new catch phrase is, "I am that damn good!" (Yawn) He ends his tirade by threatening Stephanie's virtue for real then Vince's theme plays and he shows up on the platform. Vince implies that he might fire DX, or go get an "equalizer" and waste them - but he has his own ideas and they involve his participation as the guest referee at the PPV. He then books an 8-Man SS style elimination match pitting DX against Shane, Test, Kane and the Rock. He also says that Steve Austin will be the special enforcer. HHH makes a parting shot which is insulting to Stephanie - this brings Test to the ring to get himself punked. He leaves with a bloody face.

They go to commercial talking about the footage they intend to show from Paul Wight, Sr.'s funeral. I can't beieve they are going on with this...

Vince talks to the Stooges who are all excited about the pending arrival of Arnold. He warns them not to embarrass him.

Edge (w/Christian) vs. Bob Holly (w/Crash) - Crash accidently brains his "cousin" with his scale before they even get to the ring. Holly dominates the early going but he's showboating too much. Edge comes back with a legsweep but immediately walks into a vertical suplex. Holly climbs to the top and launches himself onto an upraised boot. Both are down for a moment then get up together. Edge gets the...well...edge, coming out of that move but is distracted by Crash giving the intiative back to Hardcore. Holly climbs again but Edge is playing possum and catches him there. They tumble to the mat where Holly gets a roll-up. Both of them have there shoulders to the mat but apparently Holly got his up before the count (although I didnt see it...)

In the back, Schwartznegger arrives and is welcomed by Vince and the Stooges.

We get a scene of Paul Wight escorting his mother to the graveside and hints from the announcers that we are going to see something horrific. If this thing is as bad as I have been led to believe I will have to make a decision about whether to report on it, or on the WWF for that matter, any further.

The Godfather (w/4 Garden Tools)/D-Lo Brown vs. The Dudley Boyz - does anyone remember that the former team used to tag together as members of NOD? The Dudleys run into the ring and are immediately on the defensive until Bubba Ray pulls out a piledriver off of a whip to the ropes on D'Lo. The Dudleys, who are the superior team here, quickly isolate D'Lo - but he comes back with a spin kick and takes control over Bubba. Devon tags back in and gets sidewalk slammed. The Godfather finally gets into the match again and cleans house. D'Lo tags in abd they double team Devon but Bubba Ray ineterferes and he and GF tumble out to the floor. In the ring the Garden Tools provide some unfortunate distraction for the referee while the Dudleys double team D'Lo and win the match. In the back, DX are plotting theuir strategy against Vince and Company.

Cut to a clip of the furneral then to commercial.

Val Venis vs. The British Bulldog (w/The Mean Streets Posse) - Venis has the temarity to accuse Al Snow of treating women like objects...then clarifies that to say that he is upset because Snow is trying to usurp his gimmick! Bulldog tosses Venis to the floor early on which brings the Posse down from the platform to swarm on him. The next thing you know Mark Henry, Gangrel abnd Steve Blackman run in. I gather this is one of the Survivor Series match-ups.

We get an extended recap of events leading up to the Funeral of Paul Wight, Sr ...what follows is so disgusting that I simply refuse to describe it. In fact, I am so outraged that I have decided to stop reporting on the WWF until this Paul Wight storyline is played out.

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Featuring Earl Oliver's weekly The Way I See It... news, rumors and commentaries


The Impact Players are being warned that the Sandman is out to get them - but Rhino isn't afraid...hmmmm...maybe he should be... ECW on TNN comes to us from the Harrah Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

Joel and Joey hype tonights program including scenes from last weekend's PPV. Then we cut to Raven whining in his wait...that's Tommy Dreamer in a restroom somewhere taunting Raven for being such a crybaby. He beats his own head against the toilet stall door until it bleeds!

What follows is a short scene from the PPV then...

Steve Corino (w/Jack Victory in a wheelchair) vs. Jerry Lynn - as Corino stands in the ring waiting for his opponent the crowd chants "You Suck Eggs!" He goes into a rant about wrestling injured - claiming his been wrestling with a broken appendix for 9 months (in his library, maybe...). Lynn runs in and starts whaling on the smartypants. The fight goes to the floor where he keeps the pressure up. If Corino thought to get Lynn upset and careless...he made a big mistake. Victory miraculaously recovers from his "injuries" to interefere and hand the advantage to his companion. Corino goes to work on Lynn's legitimately injured ribs. The match is quite short as Lynn regains his composure and defeats Corino with a cradle piledriver. This brings Victory and his thug counterpart Yoshihiro Tajiri in to punk Lynn until Super Crazy runs in to save his cookies. Unfortunately Lynn has been blinded by Tajiri's green mist and strikes out at Super Crazy, who responds by sweeping Lynn to the mat and pounding on him.

In the "Creative Department", Cyrus warns Joel Gertner that he is screwing up and not long for this promotion. We come back to find Joel with a shocked look on his face. He is in a panic over what we just heard and throws it to more clips from the PPV. Then we get a promo.

Gertner is sucking up to the cameraman as we return. He has to recalled to his duties.

Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Super Crazy - after the intros but before this match can get started we cut to more promos and then to commercial.

The first moments pf this match are a strange amalgam of flying and close quarters wrestling, both of these guys are fast and super agile. Tajiri knocks his opponent to the floor and then somersaults onto him. He stalks SC and knocks him into the crowd where the latter makes a comeback with an Asahi moonsault off the railing. He drags Tajiri back to ringside where Tajiri reverses a whip and sends Crazy into the railing. Back in the ring he ties his opponent up on the ropes with the dreaded Tarantula. He releases the hold only to have SC catch him in a surfboard. He can't get a submission so he whips Tajiri who comes back with a handspring back elbow. Tajiri is about to wrap things up when Jerry Lynn runs in and attacks him. He is ejected from the ring while Crazy attacks Lynn. Lynn fights back and downs SC who is then pinned by the returning Tajiri.

The Sandman vs. Rhino (w/Steve Corino) - Sandman is back, beer (Bud), cigarettes and all. In the back Balls Mahoney and Axel Rotten are ranting on the Baldies. Why is everybody cutting promos in the restroom tonight? The Baldies appear from out of the stalls and punk our heroes. Back to the ring area where Sandman is finishing his cigarette before entering the ring. He wanders about ringside and finally enters. He pops one more beer just as Rhino spears him. He follows with a running powerbomb then punches his opponent's lights out. Sandman retreats to the floor followed by his tormentor who rams him into the railing upside down. Sandman then recovers and fights back with some rail shots of his own. Rhino is tossed back into the ring where Sandman pauses to acknowledge the fans who are welcoming him back with a spirited chant. Jack Victoy tries to interfere but is knocked off the apron by Rhino by mistake. Rhino recovers and gets another powerbomb then goes for a diving headbutt but eats chair instead. Corino runs in and is tossed out. Sandman has his kendo stick now and whacks Rhino as the Impact Players hit the ring followed by Tommy Dreamer trying to even up the odds - but now they are both being mugged. Raven runs in and scatters the IP troups. He offers a hand to Dreamer who accepts the help but Sandman whales on Raven with his stick until Dreamer corrals him and drags him away. The announcers are amazed that Raven "did the right thing".

In the back Raven...yes it is Raven this whining as usual, saying, "I did the right thing...why'd you let that drunk beat me up?" He compares the situation to what happened to him as a boy when his mother allowed her drunken husband to beat upon him - this boy is sick...

That's it for this weekend. I had planned to report on the WWF PPV Sunday but those plans have been put on hold until they clean up their act, so I'll be back on Monday night. Until then...

I'll be back on Sunday with the Survivor Series Report. Until then...

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

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