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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

Saturday Morning Edition

Hiro Matsuda Dead at 62

SmackDown Report

Thunder Report

ECW on TNN

Stylin' And Profilin':
The Legend Of Ric Flair Part 44

By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka

INJURED WWF STAR COULD BE OUT COLD

By Don Kaplan


Volume 5, Issue 530 - December 4, 1999
Editor's Note: Just to clear up any confusion, I wanted to mention that Vince Russo and the announcers got it wrong on Nitro Monday night - it was the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title that Juventud Guerrera won from Jushin Liger - not the Light Heavyweight title, which, I correctly pointed out, does not exist (apparently the onscreen graphic was correct, but I missed that because I was too busy typing). Having said that, I must comment that it is a sad situation that Guerrera (certainly a worthy contender) won this prestigious title, previously held by the likes of Jushin Liger, Chris Benoit, Owen Hart, Ultimo Dragon, the Great Sasaki, Sabu, Shinjiro Ohtani and others by distracting his opponent then hitting him with a tequila bottle...

This morning's edition features the next-to-last installment of Ervin Griffin and Matt Benaka's Ric Flair biography. Erv and Matt are busily working on the final installment which will include Flair's title history and other salient facts.

But first, some sad news...


Hiro Matsuda Dead at 62

By Janet Leiser for the Tampa Tribune, November 28, 1999

TAMPA -- Yasuhiro Kojima, best known by wrestling fans as Hiro Matsuda, died Saturday of colon cancer. He was 62.

"He was just a great man,'' said daughter Heather, of Venice, Calif. "He taught us a lot about life.''

Over the past couple of decades, Kojima trained dozens of wrestlers, including Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorff, Scott Hall, Hercules Hernandez, Ron Simmons, Steve Keirn, Mike Graham, Lex Luger and B. Brian Blair. "Not one person has contributed more to our profession than he has,'' said Blair, of Tampa. And for all his work, Kojima never received a nickel as a trainer, Blair said.

Kojima learned in April he had cancer, said Judith, his wife of 34 years. But he didn't want others to know. "He didn't want to drag anyone down or have them feel sorry for him,'' Blair said.

Kojima was a native of Yokohama, Japan, who traveled the world as a professional wrestler. In 1962, he settled in the Tampa Bay area.

While working for the National Wrestling Alliance in the 1960s and '70s, Matsuda won several titles, including the world junior heavyweight crown. He gave up wrestling in the 1970s and became a trainer, Blair said. Although he retired in the early 1980s, he remained involved in wrestling in some way.

In addition to his wife, Judith, and daughter Heather, he leaves daughter Stephanie of San Francisco and a sister, Hatsue Yokotsuka of Yokohama, Japan. Arrangements are being handled by Glass Funeral Home, Tampa. Memorial service arrangements were not finalized on Saturday.


INJURED WWF STAR COULD BE OUT COLD

(New York Post, November 25, 1999)

By Don Kaplan

Wrestling star "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's career in the ring might be over -- and that could be a full-body slam for the megamuscled mayhem of the WWF.

The grip-and-groan World Wrestling Federation -- purveyor of action-packed scripted ring drama -- has built its reputation on creating elaborate storylines to captivate millions of TV viewers.

But the managers of Vince McMahon's empire -- denying that Austin's injury is part of a script -- say his problem is all too real.

They say Austin -- who as one of the WWF's most popular wrestlers is the company's main meal ticket and a top TV star -- is suffering from a career-threatening injury and faces spinal surgery. "Even if after the surgery the doctor thinks it would be better for him not to wrestle, there's no doubt in our minds that he would still assume a huge role on our television broadcast," said Jim Ross, a WWF senior vice president and ring announcer.

The injury -- a bone spur on the C4 vertebra -- is putting pressure on Austin's spine. The pressure is causing Austin severe back pain and has caused numbness in his limbs. "They think that the surgery will relieve the pressure on his spinal cord and Steve will at least have a fighting chance to resume what he's been doing," Ross said.

The injury was caused by years of playing amateur football and participating in pro wrestling, Ross said.

It was aggravated during a 1997 grudge match with Owen Hart -- the WWF grappler who was killed earlier this year in a bizarre ring accident. "Steve said he's got a relapse of the same injury," a source close to Austin told The Post yesterday.

During a scripted match, Hart was supposed to lift the 250-pound Austin into the air and drop him on his head in a move called a pile-driver. When Hart dropped Austin, he landed wrong -- and parts of his hands and legs went numb.

Now, two years later, it appears that the wear and tear of wrestling has inflamed Austin's spine again.

Last Friday, Austin underwent a medical test called a Myelogram, in which doctors injected iodine-based dye into Austin's spine. The dye highlights the extent of any damage on an X-ray.

Regardless of Austin's medical condition, he will continue to be part of the show, WWF spokesman Jim Byrne said. "Steve is under a long-term contract with us, so in one form or another he's going to continue entertaining all of our fans," Byrne said.

Two years ago, moments after Austin was hurt, Hart said he knew something went seriously wrong. "I knew right there that there was something wrong," Hart said in an archived interview that aired for the first time last week on A&E's "Biography" series. "Steve said, 'I can't feel my fingers,' and it went from utopia to hell in a split second," Hart said.

Austin -- the most popular character in the show -- has been hurting for several weeks. He did not wrestle on a Nov. 14 pay-per-view event called "Survivor Series," although he had originally intended to.

Wrestling observers speculate that if Austin had to leave the ring he would still take part in the show as a sideline character such as an announcer, a faux WWF official or a manager. His work playing a cop on the CBS prime-time series "Nash Bridges" is a good example of Austin's ability to work as an entertainer out of the ring, Byrne said. "Although he is a tremendous technician in the ring, some of his most memorable moments at the [WWF] were not wrestling per se, but a performance," Byrne said.


Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair

By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka

Part 44: Become What You Despise

After WCW Uncensored, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair switched roles much in the way Bret Hart and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin did a few years ago. Flair's reign as WCW Champion wasn't a long one nor a distinguished one as he constantly would insist on having Charles Robinson on being the referee and alienated many long time friends including "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Sting, DDP, and even Arn Anderson (though Arn remained loyal to Flair).

Even Goldberg began to become irritated with Flair as he clashed with him several times during this period. In one bout, Flair actually controlled most of the match until Goldberg nailed him with his spear tackle!! That match ended when Hogan and Nash interfered. I believe it erupted between them because of comments made by David Flair towards Goldberg. Goldberg began to attack David but Ric came to his defense even though he had just turned on him weeks earlier.

Then, came WCW Spring Stampede (one of WCW's better PPV's this year other than the recent Halloween Havoc) when Flair defended the WCW title in a four way bout against Hogan, Sting and DDP (who was adopting the heel persona that he had earlier in his career). Flair was pinned by DDP and lost the title. After the loss, Flair began to become mentally unbalanced. Roddy Piper tried to take advantage by having Flair put into a mental hospital and take over WCW. This was blocked by JJ Dillon when he announced that Charles Robinson, due to contract stips, was to be acting president of WCW. In another power play, Piper got Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko to side with him against Flair, thus putting an end to The Four Horsemen. That alliance didn't last long as Piper quickly sided with Flair to keep their positions and keep the younger set down. This caused a brief alliance between Benoit, Malenko, "Buff" Bagwell and Perry Saturn. Strangely enough, DDP (along with Kanyon and Bam Bam Bigelow) sided with Flair. The two factions even had an eight man tag on Nitro (one of the better matches on that show) that saw Bagwell get the pin on Flair!!

After that bout, in a totally bias move, Flair stripped then-WCW United States Champion Scott Steiner of his title and gave it to David!! David last about a month as US Champion (he shouldn't have last two weeks) but that was in matches where things were in his favor such as the ref (again, Robinson), Torri Wilson, and other factors. That reign was mercifully ended by Chris Benoit just before WCW Road Wild!! Also around that time, Sting defeated Flair in a match where the WCW Presidency was on the line. So, not much was seen of Flair after then until recently on the night after WCW Fall Brawl in Chapel Hill, NC. The previous evening, Sting had turned heel and won the WCW Title from Hulk Hogan. Sting confronted Flair along with Lex Luger and warned him to stay retired. Flair defied Sting and Luger and got punked out!! Some might get mad it this but I look at that as a reciept. Why? Because look at all the times over the years that Flair & The Horsemen have jumped Sting and/or Luger? That was almost payback. Flair then found himself teaming up with Hogan, his long time advesary against Sting and Luger. Both sides also picked up new allies as well. Bret Hart returned and sided with Flair and Hogan while DDP sided with Luger and Sting. This led to another feud with DDP and Flair which saw DDP jump Flair several times and even saw Flair trying to make out with DDP's wife Kimberly (wouldn't mind that job myself)!! During this feud, David found himself in a feud with "The Flithly Animals" over his girl Torrie Wilson as Kidman took her. David confronted Kidman about it and got punked out by Kidman along with Rey Myterio, Jr., Konnan, and Eddie Gurrerro. The elder Flair called out the "FA" and got beat down as well!!

This led to WCW Halloween Havoc where Flair, with a crowbar, extracted some revenge on Gurrerro and Kidman and added insult by kissing Torrie. Later that night, Flair accepted DDP's challenge for a "strap match" which saw Flair get taken out on a stretcher and saw the "FA" attack Flair in the ambulance. Later, it was revealed that Flair was taken out to the middle of nowhere stranded and left there by the "FA".

Incidently, with the new management in WCW, they are trying phase out some of the older wrestlers who aren't really drawing heat. Some say this a sign that Flair is on the way out. I hope this isn't the case.

Next: 2000 - 2001 and Beyond

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.


Thunder Report

Thunder is coming to us from Topeka, Kansas. Mike Tenay is back from his injury at the hands of Jeff Jarrett last week.

The Wall vs. "Screamin'" Norman Smiley - Hardcore Title match - Berlyn comes out to join the announcers for this one. Smiley is decked out boxers' sparring armor and is immediately decked by his opponent. All the champ can do is duck and run as this "bohemuth" (as the Gorilla used to put it) attacks him unmercifully. Smiley bides his time and eventually gets in a trashcan shot to turn the tables temporarily. He even gets in a big wiggle before der bodyguard starts in on him again. Suddenly, Berlyn jumps up and goes to the apron to brain his former employee with the Hardcore belt. Smiley pretends to apply an armbar submission hold but the Wall is out cold.

Lex Luger is headed to the production truck to make them replay what Tenay just said. To his horror - he has been booked in the main event to face Sid!

Silver King challenges Dr. Death to a fight for the check Williams stole from him last week. He ticks Oklahoma off who then issues a counter-challange for a handicap match - DD vs several lucha stars. Mean Gene interviews Kaz Hayashi whose dubbed English sounds distinctly Texan tonight.

Kaz Hayashi vs. The Maestro - the former Gorgeous George II shows a lot of mat savvy in all of his matches. In this one it is his underhanded streak that keeps him ahead of his opponent. Hayashi is clearly in over his head until David Flair shows up with his rubber crowbar and looking maniacal. Thus distracted, the Maestro is easy picking for Hayashi...until Flair accidently hits him (Hayashi) with his weapon. The Maestro bails and runs away, getting himself counted out.

Disco Inferno and Lash LeRoux pull up out back and rush into the building. Marinero's Boys drive up shortly thereafter and check out the abandoned car before giving chase. In the backstage area, Chavo Guerrero is doing some kind of deal on the phone.

Terry Taylor surprises Luger backstage and relieves him of a dufflebag - which turns out to be Jimmy Hart's. Jimmy Hart then hands Luger his own bag and he is ready to make his getaway...except that the tires on his car are flat.

Buzzkill vs. Chavo Guerrero - hmmmm....Chavo is still wrestling. He still tries to sell something to his opponent - who isn't interested in material things...until he sees that Chavo is selling tie-died shirts, inscense and a trip lamp! Buzzkill, who is doing a takeoff on his younger brother's act is captivated and almost pinned. Chavo then tries to sell a shirt to the referee. Buzzkill brains him with his own briefcase and takes the pin. Afterward he borrows some cash from the referee and stuffs it in Chavo's tights before absconding with the lamp.

Mean Gene talks to Chris Benoit about his match with Jushin Liger tonight. Meanwhile Meng is seen entering his dressing room. Disco and Lash arrive backstage and switch the sign on Meng's dressing room door for their own.

Apparently Madusa has not yet come across with "whatever it was" she promised to Evan Karagias in return for her Title shot at Starrcade.

Luger has convinced himself that has nothing to worry about in his match with Sid. He watches Mean Gene interview Sid on a backstage monitor...then calls a cab.

The Boys intimidate a security guy then lock him in a refrigerator.

Dr. Death (w/Oklahoma) vs. Silver King and the Villanos - Handicap match - Oklahoma is claiming that having his bar-b-q sauce spread all over him has cured him. In the ring, while Dr. Death takes care of the Villanos, Vampiro attacks Oklahoma on the floor and Silver King steals his check back and splits.

Lex encounters the Boys on his way out of the building. Thus distracted, he misses his cab as Silver King runs out and grabs it to make his escape.

The Boys finally find the switched sign on Meng's door. They decide to wait for their quarry to appear.

Jushin Liger vs. Chris Benoit - Juventud Guerrera (with his arm in a sling) shows up with La Parka and Psychosis as the match gets under way. He decides to do color commentary and launches into a bad Rock impresseion, in tribute no doubt to the latters mention of the former on WWF TV a few weeks ago. In the ring the match is fast and furious - these two no each other very well having had many storied battles in Japan over the years. The first time I ever saw Benoit was in a match against Liger on video from Japan many years ago - he was called the Pegasus Kid in those days. Liger, of course, has lost a step in recent years, but still this is the match of the night for both shows. Unfortunaetly nothing is settled between them as the lucha guys decide to intefere just as the match is really getting in gear. Benoit and Liger together fight off the attackers.

Mean Gene suggests that Buff Bagwell will be just the next "speedbump" in Meng's path tonight. Meanwhile, outside Meng's door, the Boys decide to stop waiting and burst in on the monster. He makes sliced italian bread out of them...

Backstage, Luger is trying to convince someone that he is needed at his dying father's bedside. Terry Taylor is on the other end of the line and appears with a cell phone in his hand. Another ploy shut down...

Speedbump...er...Buff Bagwell vs. Meng - Bagwell is too light weight to really make a dent in this opponent. He goes on the attack, knocking him down with a drop-kick but Meng just takes it then runs him over with one chop. He stands on Buff's throat in the corner after battering him silly. Buff tries to kick at his midsection but Meng just drops to his knees then strangles him. Buff gets a little offense and then the Boys show up and run in to attack Meng. Bagwell uses the distraction to get into position for the blockbuster but catches Vito instead. Meng turns and grabs him by the throat for the win.

Mona (she's back!!) is talking to Mean Gene with Jeff Jarrett standing by. He commandeers the interview. They are scheduled to be in a mixed tag match against Madusa and Evan Karagias.

Evan Karagias/Madusa vs. Jeff Jarrett/Mona - Jarrett basically throws his partner to the wolves in this one. He literally sits on the steps and turns his back while Mona fight both of their opponents. She succeeds in outwrestling Evan but Madusa is a different kettle of fish. The numbers too are against her and eventually she succombs. Tenay is threatening Jarrett with a meeting he has scheduled with TPTB wherein he hopes to trim Jarrett's sails. I'll believe that when I see it... After the match, Jarrett enters the ring and and unloads on Mona then turns his back. She downs him with a drop-kick, but he comes back with a vicious guitar shot. That shot looked way too stiff to me and Mona's forehead shows a lump as we cut to commercial.

Bret Hart tribute video.

The Revolution are with Mean Gene talking about starting their own country again. Saturn's nonsensical non-sequiters get stranger and stranger. Luger is on the phone with TPTB asking what is in this match with Sid for him. He is informed that if he wins he earns a World Title shot on Nitro.

Mean Gene talks to Disco and Lash. They pledge to back each other up. But Disco wants Lash to stop using one of his moves...

Disco Inferno/Lash LeRoux vs. Dean Malenko/Perry Saturn (w/Shane Douglas/Asya) - as usual, Douglas joins the broadcast team but doesn't stay there for long. Malenko takes the mic and rants off on America sounding remarkably like Bret Hart back in the Hart Foundation days a couple of years ago. He insults LeRoux then hands the mic to Douglas who insults Disco with references to his family. Here comes Marinero's Boys - they run in and attack the Revolution, but Asya takes care of them with some well placed low blows. Now the real match is on as the security forces hustle the Boys away. Disco and LeRoux actually dominate the early going in this one while Douglas rants at ringside. As things continue to look bad for his boys, Douglas decides to get involved. He attacks LeRoux from behind with his cast then rolls him in so Malenko can apply the Cloverleaf for the win.

Lex Luger appears to have reconciled himself to facing Sid - he's headed for the ring - but so is Sid.

Sid Vacuous vs. Lex Luger - #1 Contender's match - Bret Hart comes down and joins the announcers for this one. He is the first guest all evening that neither of them has a problem with. Luger tries to intimidate his opponent, then tries to sneak a weapon into the ring but the referee catches it and disarms him. Thus distracted he is easy prey for Sid. Luger has to slip in a low blow to turn the tables - but even then it is only for a moment. Liz shows up ringside with her mace can and tries to spray Luger, but he grabs the can and then uses it on Sid. The blinded giant turns and proceeds to powerbomb the referee! Luger then rolls his opponent up and pins him. Luger will face Hart on Monday night. Afterward, Sid powerbombs Luger and the program ends.


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Kinder, Gentler, SmackDown Report

Tonight is the first episode of SmackDown under the WWF's self-imposed PG mentality. We'll see what happens. SmackDown is on tape from the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim.

We get a recap of the wedding fiasco and then see Vince McMahon with a baseball bat out for HHH's blood. Shane tries to reason with him but he is having none of it.

Stephanie comes down to the ring to a chorus of boos. She takes the mic and asks her brother and father to come to the ring so she can tell them something. Out back, Shane and Vince are still hashing things out. Earl Hebner appears and tells them to get inside because Stephanie needs them. Back in the ring, Steph is taking responsibility for what happened on Monday and the night before. She says she doesn't remember anything about what happened after she took that last drink. She asks forgiveness of the fans, her friends, her family and her fiance. She calls HHH a jerk and warns him that "what comes around, goes around..." Shane and Vince arrive and enter the ring. Steph tells them he wants to handle things her own way and they should butt out. She wants them to promise not to interfere. Shane is willing but Vince is not, but he reluctantly gives his promise.

Backstage, Kane attacks Viscera for an early start on their match before we cut to commercial.

They are still fighting - now on the ramp as we return. They brawl right into the ring and the match is officially underway. In the ring, Viscera gets a big belly-to-belly but Kane pops right back up and chops to the throat. Viscera knocks Kane from the ring but the big red machine catches him and snaps his head off the top rope. He is climbing back into the ring when X-pac shows up to taunt him from the platform. Kane leaves the ring and is counted out. Kane returns to the ring and chokeslams Viscera.

Al Snow is watching himself get beat by the Rock on Monday's program. Mankind shows up and Snow tells him he intends to give it to the Rock good later tonight.

Christian/Edge vs. The Dudley Boyz - Edge faces Devon to start and bests him then tags in his brother. They double team the Dudley before Edge leaves the ring. Devon turns the tables for a bit then seems to lose the advantage, but pulls it out at the last moment and gets a blind tag to his brother. Christian is caught by surprise by Bubba then Devon tags right back in. Christian gets a roll-up but the referee is distracted by Edge while Bubba runs in and breaks it up. Bubba tags in and Christian is being isolated from his partner. Edge finally gets in shortly after Bubba tags back in and manages to get the enemy running in circles. In the process, however, Edge injures his knee and is easily pinned. Afterward the Dudleys eject Christian then starts to work on Edge's knee the Acolytes run in and chase them away. Outside in the garage, Stephanie is awaiting the arrival of her fiance.

BB the EMT is attending Edge's injured knee backstage.

The British Bulldog (w/The Posse) vs. D'Lo Brown - European Title match - D'Lo is a walking advertisement for LUGZ (those really ugly shoes they advertise on WWF programming) - he even works them into his rant. The referee orders the Posse to leave the ring area which definitely doesn't set well with Davy Boy. The match gets underway and the two are pretty well matched. The Bulldog is knocked from the ring when suddenly Val Venis runs in and attacks him on the floor. Brown is outraged that his Title shot has been ruined and before you know it he and Venis are going at it. In the end D'Lo runs him off.

In the back a limo pulls up and Stephanie opens the back door. Out steps HHH saying, "Honey I'm home..."

DX makes their entrance sans HHH. Road Dogg and X-Pac are pushing shopping carts filled with wrapped presents. Wedding gifts (an iron, toasters, etc.) X-Pac rants off on Kane, threatening to unmask him at the PPV. Billy Gunn has his say about the NAO's match with the Rock n' Sock Connection. Finally the real front man lauches into his rant, concerning the match tonight pitting DX (minus HHH) vs. TBS and the Hardeys. Then he introduces HHH as the "latest member of the McMahon family..." HHH comes out wearing a Vince McMahon mask to a mixture of the "No Chance in Hell" theme and his own. They do some comedy schtick on "married life". They present him with a "family portrait" featuring HHH's head stuck on a picture of the McMahons. he examins the unwrapped gifts and opens a box containing a red teddy. And X-Pac's present - a box of nothing ("She'll look great in it...") Billy gives him a front row ticket to the PPV for Stephanie. He declares (as if he has that power...) that his match with Vince will be no holds barred, falls count anywhere.

Mankind catches up with the Rock in his dressing room and asks him to consider patching things up with Al Snow. Before Maivia can open his mouth he is attacked from behind by Snow himself, who tells Foley to stay out of it.

Stephanie is still waiting for Test to show up.

Mankind comes to the ring and announces that his book is now #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. He puts the critics down for refusing to read it but thanks the wrestling fans for making his tome #1. He appeals to the Rock and Al Snow to settle their differeneces...then the MIllenium Bug rears his golden head. Chris Jericho rants away at Mankind and talks himself right into a match. Foley says, "OK, lets do it now..." in so many words. Jericho enters the ring and the fight is on. Jericho is too much of a lightweight to really make a dent in the 300 lbs. Foley. Mankind pounds him into the corner and forces him to bail to the floor. Back inside, Jericho is bulldogged. Mankind tries to suplex him to the floor but Jericho evades the move and drops Foley to the floor. The fight goes ringside and now Jericho is out of his element until he manages to drop-kick a chair back into Foley's face. Back inside, Jericho goes for the Liontamer but Mankind sinks in his claw. Jericho boots him in the groin to break that up. Uh oh...here comes Chyna and Miss Kitty. While Kitty distracts the referee, Chyna brains Jericho with her Title belt. But then Foley accidently knocks Kitty off the apron and when he turns to check on her he is rolled up and pinned.

Stone Cold Update - they are attributing Austin's back and neck injuries to the car crash and saying he will undergo surgery - which he will - but it has nothing to do with that stuntman being run down by a car...

Test arrives looking for Stephanie.

Kurt Angle/Steve Blackman vs. The Headbangers - Blackman doesn't seem too thrilled about tagging up with Angle. Certainly we know who the best team is here. Mosh pretty much has his way with Angle then tags in Thrasher. Blackman comes in and decides he doesn't need any help from the "only real athlete in the WWF." Mosh outwrestles his opponent and Blackman decides he might actually need some help after all. Angle comes back in and defeats Mosh with little trouble after Blackman sneaks in a martial arts kick.

Test stands silent while Stephainie expresses her sorrow and love, then says he doen't know what to feel and leaves...the cad...so he's going to be a jerk as well.

Vince consoles his daughter, telling her to give Andrew some time to come around.

Crash Hollys (w/the Bigjerk...er...Shot) vs. Rakishi (w/Too Cool) - Crash goes on the attack immediately and runs into a brick wall called Rakishi Fatu. The sit-out piledriver ends this silly match in a bout a minute. The Cool Ones then do their dance. Backstage the Rock is headed for the ring to face Al Snow.

The Rock vs. Al Snow - after some of the usual byplay from Maivia the fight starts in the aisle and wends it's way back to the ring. Snow actually does pretty well against his opponent and the match is firmly in see-saw mode through most of it. Mankind watches on a monitor from the back. The fight goes out to the floor where Snow gets a hold of a chair and uses it to great effect. Back in the ring, he gets a two-count. He hits a moonsault and gets another near fall. Maivia finally gets some distance and turns the tables with a Samoan drop. He gets a two-count then Snow recovers momentarily only to fall victim to a sidewalk slam. The Rock administers his elbow drop and takes the pin. Snow clocks his opponent with Head after the pin and is going to town on him when the New Age Outlaws run in and attack. Mankind runs in with a chair then forces Snow to back off as well.

NAO/X-Pac vs. The Big Show/The Hardeys (w/Terri) - Matt faces Billy to start and runs him in circles until he bails. The Road Dogg tags in to try his luck. He does no better and brings a double team down on his head. Jeff tags in and takes over. Road Dogg tries to get him on the apron but ends up onthe floor and then is splashed. Back in the ring, the Dogg resorts to the only thing he does well - a fist fight. He turns the tables then tags in X-Pac to continue the assault. Jeff comes back with a head scissors but then runs into a spinning heel kick. Jeff comes back with a desparation DDT then both are crawling toward their corners. X-Pac comes in and faces...the Big Show! He tags out quickly to Billy who faces a triple team from all of his opponents and eventually is pinned. The Big Boss Man runs in swinging his night stick then runs away as DX takes over the punk job. Here comes the Rock! He clears the ring then Mankind and Kane run in to lend a hand. Officials are trying to restore order as the program ends.


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ECW on TNN

ECW on TNN comes to us from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, PA. The main event tonight is a battle between the Sandman and Raven with Tommy Dreamer as the referee. Gertner and Styles are in the ring as the program opens to the chant of "E-C-Dub! E-C-Dub" They go through their usual schtick then invite the Impact Players to the ring for an interview. Justin claims that he and Lance Storm are the Tag Team Champs - but he is "jumping the gun" as Styles points out. Now they are joined by Rhino, Tammy and Chris. Tammy seems to have cleaned up her act a little from the last couple of weeks. She looks downright glamourous in her side-split red gown. All the parties talk some trash and then a melee breaks out puncuated by a cat fight...before we cut away to sell something.

Jack Victory is trying to get Steve Corino to snap out of it - but he is obsessing over a Limp Bizkit concert going on down the street.

Super Crazy vs. Ikuto Hataka - this is Hataka's debut match in the States. But let's cut away to give Sandman a chance to rant at Raven before the match gets undeway. Crazy has a size advantage but his opponent is a very unconventional wrestler and very fast. They go through one of those extended move-and-counter-move flurrys that ECW fans seem to love so much. Crazy bails to the floor after a particularly acrobatic attack then is hit with a baseball slide that sends him careening into the stands. Hataka tops this with a half-twisting moonsault off the second rope that takes Crazy down once more before we cut to commercial.

They are back in the ring and Crazy is in charge for a moment then Hataka hits a swinging DDT and retakes the advantage. But only for a moment. He launches himself right into a powerbomb by his opponent. He comes right back with another acrobatic flurry and Crazy is again on the defensive until Hataka goes for a tornado DDT but misses it. Crazy gets a Rakishi style sit-out piledriver and takes the pin.

Corino has brought a camera with him to the concert and rants about what he is going to do. After a commercial, we are back at the concert and watch Corino harrass fans in front of the stage.

Raven whines about his horrible childhood and how he is reminded of his abusive drunk father by the Sandman.

Corino invades the stage and is told by a female fan to get lost. He responds and then she moons him! Corino and the lead singer get into an argument with Corino doing most of the yelling. They trade barbs and a lot of it is bleeped out.

Tommy Dreamer is headed to the ring to referee the main event. In the back, Cyrus is on the phone then hangs up to talk to Jerry Lynn, to ask him what's up with him and Tajiri. JL refuses to answer any questions.

Raven vs. The Sandman - Tommy Dreamer is the special referee - Dreamer seems to be enjoying himself as Sandman makes his entrance, despite the fact that he's caught in the middle between his partner and his best friend. Sandman takes his time, smoking and drinking beer (and sharing it with fans) on his way to the ring through the crowd. The announcers point out that the Sandman is a three time ECW World Champ and lost his title twice to Raven in this very building. We go to commercial before he gets to the ring.

The match is undderway on the floor as we return. Dreamer appears disinclined to interefere in the action. Sandman sets up a table, leaning against the railing - but Raven reverses him and suplexes Sandman onto it. Raven tosses his opponent into the ring and tosses in a table behind him. There is a second table already there. Raven enters the ring and drop-toes Sandman onto a chair. Sandman returns the favor immediately as the crowd cheers him on. He sets Raaven up on the table the somersaults onto the table when Raven sits up and gets out of the way. Raven is bleeding from the forehead but grabs a sleeper. Sandman back him into one of the tables to break the hold. He sets up the other table in the corner then goes back to pound on Raven before leaving the ring to get yet another table. He pauses to pound on Raven again then sets a second table up against the opposite corner. Raven headbutts him in the mid-section. Sandman props Raven against one table and somersaults onto him. At this moment, Rhino and Candido invade the ring and knock Dreamer out, then attack Sandman. Raven recovers and goes for a pin but Sandman kicks out. Now Sandman's ex-wife appears in the ring and pretends to kiss up to Raven - then hits a low blow. Francine runs in and puts a DDT on Laurie. Now Sandman and Raven are up and Raven gets the Evenflo. Tommy goes for the count but the Impact Players are back and drag him from the ring. They scuffle at ringside then brain Raven so Sandman can get the pin.

Back to the concert incident. Cporino is still running his mouth - putting down rock music and rock music fans. New Jack and Axel Rotten are on the stage but Corino doesn't see them. Balls Mahoney is there as well. They take Corino out to the delight of the crowds who break into an "E-C-Dub!" chant.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that show seemed a little longer on action and a little shorter on commercials...

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter



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