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The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

Volume 5, Issue 525 - November 20, 1999
Editor's Note: Since the Big Show "My daddy's dying" storyline seems to have been put to rest, I have resumed my coverage of the WWF. Some of my correspondents seem to actually believe that my boycott had something to do with the promotion dropping that angle, since it disappeared right after I skipped reporting on the PPV...but I don't think that's correct. I think that Steve Austin's back and neck problems reasserted themselves rather abruptly and the WWF had to cast around for a new Champ. Once the Big Show had the title, there was no longer any reason to continue with what was clearly an unpopular storyline. I could be proved wrong, as the Big Show/Boss Man feud is scheduled to continue, but I have hopes that since the Boss Man has been declared the #1 contender (who'd of thunk it?), that fact will be sufficient to create heat for the feud. If not, you can be sure that I will once again suspend my coverage - then we'll find out if my correspondents were right :-)

Thunder Report

We go right into the first match at the top of the program.

Jerry Flynn (w/First Family) vs. Bam Bam Bigalow - Hardcore match - the FF bring their cart full of plunder and the ring is a mess in no time. Meanwhile "Screamin'" Norman Smiley comes down to scout the competition for his "title". He is waylaid by the thugs at ringside as the match goes on in the ring. There seems to be no particular advantage in the fight as each guy is getting in his shots. Bam Bam goes for a diving headbutt and misses, giving Flynn the initiative if not the advantage. Jimmy Hart keeps throwing weapons to their guy until Bam Bam starts to gain the advantage anyway. The Barbarian enters the ring to interfere. At the same time, Smiley is waffling Knobbs with a chair on the floor. Hart tries to get involved but he gets brained by Bigalow, who has been forced out of the ring by the Barbarian, who is out there as well. Bigalow slides back in and gets the pin on Flynn who still hasn't recovered from Bigalow's earlier assault. In the back, Disco is trying to place a bet on a wrestling match...his own against Prince Iaukea...and he's betting on the Prince! He can't believe that nobody will take his bet, "Whatayuhmean it's fixed??" he says...

Buff Bagwell welcomes Terry Taylor back then asks him for directions to Chris Benoit's dressing room.

Disco Inferno vs. Prince Iaukea - Non-Title match - it is clear from the get-go that Disco is trying to throw this match. He puts up a front of trying to win but does obvious things to give his opponent the edge. When he gets the advantage he stops to pose instead of going for the pin, etc. Still, he can't seem to curb his natural tendency to dominate an inferior opponent. A messenger appears ringside with a package wrapped in black. Disco stops to open it - it's a fish! Thus distracted he is rolled up and pinned.

Evan Karragous is interviewed by Mean Gene in the back and says there is something "fishy" about Disco but he is looking forward to his TV Title shot this weekend at the PPV. Somewhere else in the back, Van Hammer approaches Curt Hennig and offers to let him lose by countout - calling him an old man in the process. Hennig attacks him and security runs in to break it up.

Security is still trying to keep Van Hammer and Hennig apart as we return from the break...and then cut straight to another commercial.

The Maestro vs. Evan Karragous (w/Medusa) - Evan is too distracted by the lady and is blindsided by his opponent as soon as the bell rings. Karragous regains his composure and the advantage and forces the Maestro from the ring, then splashes him on the floor. The Maestro retakes control as he returns to the ring and then the match goes into see-saw mode with the Maestro mostly in the driver's seat. He starts attacking the ribs. Evan fights back but his opponent isn't above thumbing the eyes to maintain control. As the Maestro regains the advantage, Medusa steps onto the apron to distract him. She lets him kiss her which enrages her boyfriend. Evan drops his guard to argue with her and the Maestro rolls him up for the pin.

Okerlund talks to the Revolution about their matches on Sunday. Saturn is getting weirder and weirder with his nonsequester asides. Meanwhile Disco is begging his creditors for a little more time.

Terry Taylor is fixing himself a beverage when Benoit walks up. Taylor tells him that Bagwell is looking for him. Benoit says, with great originality (not!), "He can't be looking too hard 'cause I'm not hard to find." He walks off and Bagwell appears, inquires after Benoit again and then goes the same direction. Cut to clips from Nitro.

Kaz Hayashi and La Parka are interviewed. La Parka is using dubbed English again - and so is Kaz!! This is like a bad foreign movie...

You know, I've been reading all over the net where people are complaining about WCW copying WWF angles since Russo and Ferrara jumped ship - but I don't see it. I don't remember the WWF ever doing anything like these dubbed English vingettes, or the whole "powers that be" storyline - I don't recall the WWF ever even mentioning the writers at all. I don't remember WWF Hardcore wrestlers wearing armor to the ring. I don't remember WWF wrestlers being sent to clean toilets or sell AMWAY, or being told they were finished if they got pinned in a match. I expect that Russo and Ferrara are likely to continue some of the same kinds of angles in their new job - after all they are the same writers - but so far I think they've shown great creativity in taking WCW in a different direction.

Bagwell is trying to get Benoit to go easy on him, Benoit tells him to shove it, so Bagwell attacks him. The fight settles nothing as each gives as good as he gets and security rushes in to break it up before it gets serious.

Kaz Hayashi/La Parka vs. Silver King/El Dandy - La Parka makes another dubbed-in speech before the match. Dandy and Silver King are dressed alike...almost. La Parka takes the first tour and dominates his opponents. Kaz tags in and is double teamed immediately. La Parka comes back in and turns it around again. Now he and his partner are working smoothly and it is only a matter of time before they take their opponents out. Backstage - now Hennig and Bagwell are getting it on for some reason...oh right, they have the "loser leave town" match at the PPV...

Curt Hennig vs. Van Hammer - I expect Hennig to get a clean pin in this one because he is so much superior to his opponent as a wrestler - plus he needs a boost going into his "loser leave town" match at the PPV. Hammer seems reluctant to enter the ring and start the match. He drags Hennig to the floor but it backfires as Hennig gets the best of him. Hammer is strong kid and comes back with a rail shot then rolls in and out to break the referee's count. Coming out he is caught by Hennig who rolls him back inside. As Hennig takes control in the ring, Buff Bagwell comes down to distract him, giving Hammer a chance to come back. Hennig regains the advantage then goes out after Bagwell. Hammer leaves the ring and tries to sneak up on Hennig but the latter has eyes in the back of his head and thwarts his attack. Bagwell continues to distract Hennig and Van Hammer grabs the iniative again as they re-enter the ring. He goes for a somersault splash and misses but manages to lever Hennig to the floor where Bagwell attacks him. Benoit runs in and fights Bagwell off, Hennig returns to the ring and pins Hammer (what did I tell you..?)

Chavo is trying to sell something to Liz. He scores with jewelry...

Lash LeRoux vs. Kenny Kaos - LeRoux's fake Cajun accent gets a little thicker each time we see him. KK has been absent for a while. Competing in Japan again I suspect. He has a great advantage in both size and experience over this opponent. In fact, he does his best to make the Ragin' Cajun look good - for his part LeRoux seems a bit clumsy in this one. Kaos dominates the action through most of the match, but towards the end LeRoux starts gaining ground. He seems to have the upper hand until he throws a splash from the inside out and is caught in mid-air. Kenny runs his back into the rail then throws him back into the ring. Back inside himself, Kaos continues his assault. He goes for a powerslam but LeRoux slips away, gets the fireman's carry and spikes Kaos for the win.

Mean Gene talks to the Filthy Animals - Torrie is revealed to be a martial arts expert (green belt, black belt and Kidman's leather belt...) She expects to kick butt at the PPV.

Chavo Guerrero vs. The Barbaian - this match is really short. Chavo comes down carrying his briefcase and tries to sell his opponent something before the match. Moments later he clobbers the big guy with the case and gets the pin.

Meng vs. Vampiro (w/Jerry Only) - so far the Misfits haven't been much help to their wrestling friend (in fact they frequently get in the way - ICP they are not) so it makes sense for him to only bring one of them out tonight against this monster. Vamp hits him with some of his best shots but Meng just keeps roaring back. Jerry O tries in vain to interfere from the outside. Soon Meng is getting all the offense while his opponent struggles to stay alive. The fight goes to the floor where the rocker tries to interfere again with results no different then before. He can't even distract the big guy properly. Back in the ring, Vamp gets a spin kick from the top but immediately loses the initiative again. JO jumps onto the apron and gets caught, dragged in and goozled. The referee stops the match and then Liz shows up. She starts apologizing to Meng who reaches for her as Luger runs in from the blindside and waffles him with a chair. He continues braining him then switches to attacking the big guy's legs as we cut to commercial.

Buff Bagwell vs. Chris Benoit - Benoit takes the immediate initiative as Bagwell enters the ring. The Wolverine is all over his opponent. It doesn't look good for Bagwell. He finally blocks a suplex attempt and reverses the move to hang Benoit up on the top rope. Benoit falls to the floor followed out by Bagwell. Now it is all Bagwell as he rams Benoit into the railing then tosses him back inside. Bagwell gets a swinging neckbreaker and a two-count. He continues on the attack and dominates the next several exchanges until Benoit sidesteps a corner rush. Back to the floor they go and Benoit is on top this time. Back inside, Benoit hits a snap suplex and gets two. He stalks his opponent and hits a backbreaker then grabs a surfboard. Bagwell struggles to his feet and reverses the move, so Benoit back kicks him below the belt! Back to the floor again where Benoit rams Bagwell into the railing twice then tosses him back inside. Bagwell catches his opponent coming back into the ring and the match goes into see-saw mode but Bagwell is coming back. Benoit tries for the German suplex but can't quite manage it. He downs Bagwell then misses the diving headbutt. He is ready to go for the Blockbuster but Curt Hennig runs in and distracts him. Benoit grabs the Crippler Crossface and takes the submission victory. There is some byplay between Benoit and Hennig after the match that looks slightly suspicious. Benoit leaves and then Hennig and Bagwell get into a brawl as we fade to black...

That was a good show - Thunder is steadily improving.

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SmackDown Report

As the program opens the Stooges are getting creamed by the DX thugs. HHH leans over Pat Patterson and tells him to deliver the message to Vince that he is letting things get too personal.

SmackDown comes to us on tape from Cinncinatti, Ohio. Vince and company arrive out back and are given the news of the attack by Sgt. Slaughter. They rush upstairs to find his minions broken and bleeding. Vince is furious as Gerry Brisco delivers the message and he orders Slaughter to go find HHH and bring him back for a meeting.

Edge/Christian vs. Too Cool - Edge and Christian stand by and smirk as these two clowns deliver their "cool rant". Taylor faces Christian to start and showboats too much to be effective. Edge comes in and gives up the advantage then Lawler, Jr. tags in. Edge is all over him until Taylor distracts him so Brian can get in a cheap shot. The fight goes to the floor where Edge is doubleteamed. Back inside, Christian gets the tag and cleans house. He almost pins Taylor. Moments later he puts Taylor down and would have the pin except that the referee is out dealing with Edge on the floor. Brian hits a guillotine off the top and knocks Christian out. Taylor gets the pin.

HHH is refusing to come to Vince. So Vince says he will go to him...

Vince arrives at DX's door and grabs their sign off of it before barging in. He gets in HHH's face but the latter stands his ground.

Kurt Angle vs. Gangrel (w/Luna) - Angle is now having himself introduced as "the only real athelete in the WWF" That's sure to make him popular with the rest of the locker room (not!) Mr. and Mrs. Gangrel come to the ring and the Mr. does his blood spew (yech!!!) The "protester" character with his sign is at ringside again tonight. Angle puts Gangrel down then goes out to harrangue the crowd for booing him. He manages to insult his opponent (and his wife) while he's at it. Returning to the ring he is set upon by his opponent. Angle recovers with a belly to belly suplex and a powerslam. They engage in a little fisticuffs, then Angle gets another suplex and the pin.

Test is playing a wrestling video game while Steph unwraps wedding presents (a little early for that isn't it Stephanie?) Meanwhile DX is plotting...again.

More video and gifts. A stuffed frog this time, and a note telling Steph to go out to "the limo" for her real gift. Test goes instead, saying it's freezing out. He is immediately attacked by DX as he leaves the building. They run him into the back of an ambulance then stuff him in a car trunk. Billy drives off with him.

The Godfather (w/3 Garden Tools) vs. The British Bulldog (w/The Greenwich Posse) - European Title match - GF dominates the opening moments but the Bulldog weathers the storm and comes right back. The Posse arrives late and is waylaid by the girls. GF takes offense at their antics and leaves the ring but he is distracted by the Earl@Solie's character giving the Bulldog the upper hand and the pin after a running powerslam. Backstage, Stephanie attacks HHH and has to be pulled off. Vince threatens to call the cops (again..)

Viscera is hitting on Tori when Kane runs in and hits on him.

Hardcore Holly (w/Cousin Crash) vs. The Big Show - WWF Title match - right - this guy's a contender... At least he isn't too far outweighed :-) The match is a quick squash - as they all will be until they decide to give the big guy some competition. Crash tries to interfere and is squashed with his cousin in the corner. Wight pins hardcore while Crash pummels his back without effect. The Boss Man runs in and attacks with his stick after the match.

Test is being helped from the trunk of the car out back. His nose has been re-broken.

The McMahons are commiserating with Test as we return from the break.

Viscera vs. Kane (who else..?) - Tori accompanies her man to the platform but not to the ring. Kane drop-kicks his opponent from the ring then follows him out. He has the momentary advantage but then Viscera gets a fall-away slam on the concrete. Tori runs down only to be menaced by Viscera again. Kane recovers and attacks - running Viscera into the post then rolling him back into the ring. Catlike, he ascends the corner and hits a flying lariet then he manages to chokeslam the 500 lbs. Viscera before pinning him.

HHH shows up at the McMahon's door with a phony apology and a phony wedding present for Test - a catcher's mask...

Jim Ross is on the phone ratting out the King to the cops. Lawler has a cow at the broadcast table. Cut to footage of the auto incident.

Vince sets up a cordon of security officers outside his dresing room.

Luna vs. Ivory vs. Jacqueline - WWF Womens' Title Triple Threat Hardcore match - this one is in progress on the floor as we join it. They fight into the backstage area and into the ladies locker room and back out into the hallway. Most of the action is between Luna and Jacquie for a while then Ivory gets involved again. They fight to a concession stand and use various food and drink items as weapons. They end up in the Men's room!! Two poor guys hastily zip up as the fight moves back out to the concession area and into the galley where Ivory brains Jacquie with a cookie sheet and takes the pin.

Mick Foley and Al Snow are in Las Vegas seeing the sights. A fan does his Rock impression and gets run down and tortured into admitting that Foley is his favorite wrestler.

More Snow and Foley in Vegas. They visit a strip club in this installment and get their tips (quarters!) thrown back at them.

Chyna taunts Chris Jericho in a flashback from RAW. Chyna is really pretty when she smiles - but what Jericho did to her was not pretty at all...

Mark Henry vs. Chris Jericho - Henry comes to the ring and calls Jericho out for what he did to Chyna. The MIllenium Bug makes his entrance, ranting at his opponent, calling him "Mike" Henry. Henry attacks as Y2J enters the ring but misses his first swing. Jericho gets in a few shots then is leveled. He gets right back up and manages to defeat Henry in moments with a springboard moonsault. Devon Dudley is on the phone in the back - someone is suggesting that one of them was driving the car that hit Steve Austin.

Lillian Garcia interviews the Rock - or more accurately, she asks him a question and he goes into a rant.

The Hardey Boys (w/Terri) vs. The New Age Outlaws - WWF Tag Team Title match - Road Dogg uses his usual schtick to insult their opponents and a melee erupts in the ring. The Hardeys then take the early advantage by ejecting the Champs to the floor. Back in the ring the NAO turn the tables and things go into see-saw mode. The Hardeys go into a double team flurry which abruptly ends when the referee gets clocked in the corner. But they keep up the pressure and look like they're ready to take the titles - except the referee is still out of it. X-Pac runs in and attacks the challengers. As the referee starts to recover, Matt and the Dogg are both out of it in the ring. Matt manages a cover with one arm and the referee slowly counts - but Billy drags him out. X-Pac sneaks in again and hits the X-Factor on Matt. The Dogg takes the pin.

Arnold Schwartznegger is interviewed in a replay from the feature originally broadcast on RAW. They add an interview with Gabrial Byrnn - the other star of Arnold's new movie.

Test, Shane and Stephanie share a laugh backstage - until they start to smell smoke...

Shane comes falling out the door as smoke billows from their room. Vince and Test follow him - but where is Stephanie?

The Big Boss Man (w/Prince Albert) vs. The Rock - this is a rematch from RAW where Boss Man won the right to be considered the #1 contender to the World Title. Maivia is all over his opponent from the get-go. The fight goes to the floor when Boss Man slides out to avoid the onslaught. This guy is probably the quickest and the most agile big man in the game. Back inside, the Boss Man turns the tables but only for a moment. The match is firmly in see-saw mode as Maivia is knocked to the floor and attacked by Prince Albert. Back inside, the Boss Man climbs to the second rope and launches himself right into an upraised boot. Moments later Boss Man gets his stick at the same time as PA jumps on the apron. Maivia wollops PA then turns, ducks the stick and Rock Bottoms the Boss Man for the pin. PA runs in...but here comes the Big Show to chase them away before they can do any damage to the Rock. The Holly's run in appropose of nothing and each get the Rock Bottom treatment as we fade to black.

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ECW on TNN comes to us from the Broome County Arena in Binghamton, NY. this week. Styles and Gertner are in the ring and pumping up the already rabid crowd. Styles starts to introduce someone but is interrupted by Rhino's music then the man himself. Gertner starts to bail but Styles stands his ground and restrains his partner. Styles tells the crowd that Rhino is the newest member of the Impact Players but he denies it saying that Lance Storm and Justin Credible are sissy boys (only he uses bleepable language). Rhino is scheduled to tag with Credible tonight but he says he will face the Tag Team Champs on his own. He leaves the ring an encounters Tammy Sytch in the entry tunnel. She makes a pass at him and he takes her up on it.

Super Crazy vs. Jerry Lynn - this one should get pretty wild. Both of these guys could be called crazy in my book. Before the match we cut to two of the Baldies in a jail cell ranting off on New Jack.

Crazy falls to the floor and is splashed by Lynn as we come back. Lynn appears to injure his arm. Back in the ring the action is too fast and furious to call with any coherency. Crazy comes out on top and puts the boots to his opponent. He picks Lynn up for a piledriver but Lynn turns it into a Frankensteiner and they are off flying all over the ring again. Lynn goes for the first cover out of a tornado DDT. Moments later he climbs to the top where Crazy tips him over and he tumbles to the floor. Lynn struggles up and crawls back inside. Crazy hits two moonsaults off the second rope but fails o get the pin again. Steve Corino and Tajiri invade the ring - Corino distracts the referee while Tajiri does his dirty work on both competitors. Lynn barely gets a one arm cover and wins the match.

The Baldies are out looking for New Jack on the New York subway. Angel wants to challenge Jack to a match tonight. I think he means on the subway...

Balls Mahoney/Axl Rotten vs. PN News/Skull - the former are making their entrance as we cut to the back where Jack Victory is trying to get a heavily bandaged Corino (whose calling for his mommy) on his feet. James Vandenberg appears as a priest and does a lame blessing which seems to do the trick. The fight has already started as we return to the ring and Skull and News seem to be in control. But that only lasts until Rotten and Mahoney get a hold of a couple of chairs. The rest of the "match" is just silly...

Chris Candido and Tammy are with Rhino when Jack Victory and his bandaged friend find them. They discuss a mutual non-aggression treaty.

More Baldies talking trash on the subway. New Jack is asleep on the bench behind them but they don't notice him.

Chris Candido/Rhino (w/Tammy Sytch/Steve Corino) vs. Raven/Tommy Dreamer (w/Francine) - ECW Tag Team Title match - Danny Doring and Road Kill are backstage complaining about not getting Title shots. Doring concludes that you need "boobs" to get the shots. Back in the ring, Corino is complaining about getting punched by an official. Dreamer and Candido take the first tour - they wrestle to a draw then we cut to commercial.

The Tag Champs are working pretty well together for two guys who hate each other as we return. They put a double suplex on Candido. The fight goes out to the floor and all four guys are going at it out there. Raven downs Rhino and places him on a table then dives through it. Dreamer and Candido are brawling on the other side of the ring. Dreamer grabs a chair and mounts the apron but stops to geture to the crowd and pays for it when Candido punches him in the crotch. In the ring, Rhino gets a spine buster on Dreamer - right where he needs to be hit, of course. Raven saves his cookies and the belts. Candido takes over on the still helpless Dreamer. GHe sets him up in the corner then climbs up with him. He goes for a top corner sunset flip but Dreamer hangs on and sends Candido crashing to the mat. Raven tags in and creams Candido then steps aside as Rhino charges in smashing up his partner in the corner. Tammy gets involved which brings Francine in and a cat fight ensues. Except that Francine can wrestle but Tammy can't. Tammy is DDT'd - Candido runs in to her aid only to be blindsided by Dreamer and pinned. We cut away for a replay but then quickly come back to catch Rhino, Corino, Victory and Candido punking the Tag Champs. The Sandman appears in the balcony and pops a cold one. He heads for the ring, kendo stick in hand, smoking like a chimney. He chases the attackers out of the ring - then Raven attacks him as Dreamer tries to restrain his tag partner. Now the Impact Players run in and lay into everyone. Rhino joins them in the ring. Apparently this was all a bluff to get Dreamer, Raven and Sandman in one place...

The Way I See It...

Wouldn't you know it, no sooner has the controversey over the Boss Man/Big Show storyline died down then yet another ugly aspect of modern professional wrestling rears it's head.

I speak, of course, of the furor currently raging over WCW Nitro skit in which an actor did a not-very-good impression of Jim Ross. WWF fans are up in arms - saying that the skit mocked JR's Bells Palsey affliction. Al Isaacs at Scoops took extra-special umbrage and blasted WCW in a rare (for him) editorial piece.

Personally, I fail to see what all the hubbub over this particular incident is about. The actor in question was doing an impression of JR. This is distinguished from an impersonation, in which case you would use makeup and facial appliances to create a duplicate of the person's face. When you do an impression, part of the performance is to try and rearrange your features to resemble those of the person you are imitating. You "screw up" your face, in other words, to try and capture that person's look.

What I am trying to say is - hellloooo - JR looks like that.

Not once was Bells Palsy mentioned, nor did the actor slur his words, as JR is wont to do. The only thing he mocked was JR's delivery - which, I would certainly contend, is fair game.

I would also point out that JR himself trivialized his affliction when he allowed it to be written into a WWF angle a while back. I even recall that there was a skit in which an actor posed as a ringside fan, doing an impression of JR, facial tics and all, only to have Ross himself walk up with Steve Williams and order the wrestler to beat the guy up!

Having said all that, I must admit that I do have some area of agreement with those who are upset about this tendency of the promotions to mock each other. I almost long for the days when they hardly deigned to admit each other's existence.

This trend would seem to have started in the WWF with the "Billionaire Ted" and "Huckster & Nacho Man" skits, although I can remember a different version of this idea going back to when the AWA would run clips of Jerry Lawler, say, beating up on Hulk Hogan, for instance. I seem to recall that Mid-South Wrestling did the same thing, and ECW also ran some features along these lines just recently, showing current ECW stars beating up on Bam Bam Bigalow and others.

Isaacs, in his editorial, mentioned the fact that when "Virgil" moved over to WCW, they immediately dubbed him "Vincent" in honor of you-know-who. Of course he "forgot" to mention that when "Virgil" was originally given his name in the WWF, it was in mockery of Virgil (Dusty Rhodes) Runnels. I also recall the dwarf that ran out in a Bret Hart outfit shortly after Hart left the WWF. And who could forget "Gillberg"? In this particular instance, I think what we are seeing here (and typically, I might add) is the WWF boosters turning a blind eye to things that their favorite promotions routinely does while excoriating the competition for engaging in the same practices.

The point is that these skits are all childish, personal attacks and really have no place in professional sports regardless of who is perpetrating them. These guys on both sides really need to grow up...

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

Earl Oliver
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