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Jushin Liger Regains the IWGP Strap

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An Interview with Greg Valentine: Part 4

FLAIR: 'TONE IT DOWN A BIT'

from the Brunswick News


Volume 5, Issue 531 - December 6, 1999
Editor's Note: Just to clear something up: Several correspondents have taken me to task lately because I have not updated the Illustrated History of the Four Horsemen since March. I have to report that I have a particular problem in that regard. Back in May I bought a new computer because the hard drive on my old one crashed and could not be revived. Since then I have been trying in vain to find a video capture board that will work with my HP Pavillion computer. I have bought three so far and ended up taking each of them back because they were not compatible with my "chipset" - whatever the hell that is... At any rate, until I am able to start capturing still images from my VCR again, I will not be able to update the History. I will continue to try and remedy the situation, of course.

On to this edition of the newsletter. It only seemed appropriate to publish this last installment of the Greg Valentine interview in view of the unsubstantiated (and false) rumor on the Internet last week that he had died.

This is followed by a story from the Brunswick (Georgia) News concerning Ric Flair's reaction to the WWF deciding to tone down it's programming, and then the usual Nitro and RAW reports. Enjoy.


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 Aug. 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. This is the final installment.

Part 4

David Skolnick: What is the secret to what many consider the best face-plant into the mat?

Greg Valentine: I'm the best at that too. I used to see my dad do it. I was real impressed with that so l started to fall on my face. A lot of times I'd have headaches from doing it before I learned how to do it perfectly. Now, I can fall on my face at a bar. I won't even hurt myself.

David Skolnick: Well, that's your big bump.

Greg Valentine: Yeah, that's my famous bump. They even used a clip of it on Good Morning America one time.

David Skolnick: Where do you see the future of wrestling? More competition between the big two?

Greg Valentine: Yeah, and maybe another one. I see wrestling coming back to a higher attendance level. It's already coming back, but that's not why I'm saying it. It takes a cycle and it's been down for a while. I believe it's going to come back because of a lot of the young guys. I like what the WWF has done. It went back to having some good wrestling matches. So has WCW and that's the whole bottom line there. You've got to remember what the marquee says. It says, "Pro wrestling." You've got to keep going back to the wrestling to keep the people interested. They might watch to see the pretty girls or the girls might watch to see Lex Luger or whatever. But ultimately, they're watching pro wrestling. You've got to keep going back to that. When they see good, hard matches and a good show put together, they'll come back. They're doing that right now. They seem to be having more wrestling on TV. It seems to help with the ratings.

WP. Who do you like to watch?

Greg Valentine: Actually, I don't watch either one of them that much. I watch baseball and I flip through it. If I watch a match, I'll watch a little bit of it. I'll flip back to baseball or basketball. I watch all sports. I really don't sit down and watch all of it. I did watch all of Wrestlemania with Roddy Piper in it. That was one reason I watched it. I was very impressed. I watched another WWF pay- per-view, an In Your House. I enjoyed it. I did. Of course, I watch WCW Nitro. It has a replay and lend up watching more of it than Raw.

David Skolnick: No one catches your eye?

Greg Valentine: The only thing that stands out in my mind is what WCW is doing because I really don't know what the WWF is doing right now. But I think Shawn is doing great. That's about all I've got to say about that (Laughs).

David Skolnick: You worked with Michaels when he first came into the WWF.

Greg Valentine: I like what he's doing. I like their tendency to go back to wrestling. Shawn is a great wrestler. Instead of just going with the big guys, they're going with the smaller guys. Some people don't like it. They're going back to the wrestling "art of it, Sometimes you don't always have to be the big guy to be a champion or to win matches.

David Skolnick: Did you see something in Michaels when you were wrestling tags with him that you thought, "This guy can be champion years down the road?"

Greg Valentine: Well, I really didn't pay attention to him, but we used to travel together and he told me that's what he wanted to do. I was kind of, "Ha"' I kind of thought to myself. But then I saw him doing it and I go, "God, he did what he wanted to do." My hat's off to him for that.

David Skolnick: Your future plans are to continue with WCW and develop with the AWF and do independent shots?

Greg Valentine: Yeah, I'm feeling things out I kind of like ride the hedges.

David Skolnick: How much longer do you see yourself doing this?

Greg Valentine: Oh, who knows (Laughs). I can still do it. I still feel young. Put it this way, at least a couple more. Probably three or four years. I always want to be involved in wrestling. Promotion and training. I've already done a little bit of training. I enjoyed that.

David Skolnick: You 're doing some training work with Pete Lucic (Preston Steele) in Youngstown.

Greg Valentine: I go up there, they fly me in about once a month and I stay there for a week with them and I come back. We've got some new students. I work with the guys. Plus I work with Brett Sawyer at his gym down here (in Tampa). I'm doing that. I'll get into the behind the scenes more.

David Skolnick: Not to get too personal, but the last I'd heard of your personal life, you were living with Madusa and now you're married to someone else.

Greg Valentine: Yeah. I since then met a beautiful lady and married her. We got married on Valentine's Day this year, February 14. Her name's Julie and she's the love of my life. I'm very' happy.

David Skolnick: Was it close to marriage with Madusa?

Greg Valentine: We were engaged at one time, yeah.

David Skolnick: Do you see guys like you, your style not necessarily becoming outdated, but perhaps on its way Out? Is there a place in wrestling today for your style?

Greg Valentine: All you'd have to do is take a person, an individual like myself, and put him in the WWF or WCW right now. A person who works that style, not necessarily me, and let him get his thing over. It would be so different that everybody would like him. I'm not just saying that. I have that secret that my father gave me. A few other people have that secret too. If they gave us the time and exposure to put it on television, it would be so different that person in that role would be the hottest thing they have. They need to slow it down in certain aspects. They went back to wrestling, but they need to slow it down. They did the right thing by going back to wrestling, but they need to slow it down and wrestle even more.

David Skolnick: Dangerous spots years ago were, for instance, you suplexing Pedro Morales outside the ring and they stretchered him out. Now the Nasty Boys and Public Enemy don't sell chair and table shots.

Greg Valentine: That would never happen especially if I ran a federation, those kind of matches. That's not wrestling. That's brawling and I don't think it should be seen on television. They should keep all the excitement in the ring. If you can't make it exciting in the ring without doing that stuff, you're in the wrong business. That's the way I feel. I never had to do all that stuff to sell out Madison Square Garden or sell out Greensboro Coliseum. I don't believe I'd have to do that now given the right exposure to re-educate the people to what wrestling really should be. That's carrying it too far. As far as ECW, I've never seen it on TV much. It got kicked off the Sunshine Network down here. I was in a bar in Chicago and I saw a feed from ECW. I was horrified. I really had trouble sleeping that night.

David Skolnick: Why?

Greg Valentine: Because I saw Paul E. Dangerously's face too much. Just because of what they did. Like having those matches with Public Enemy and the tables and all the violence. Everything but wrestling. Wrestling is real art and those guys have lost the art.

David Skolnick: They're practicing a totally different art.

Greg Valentine: Yeah, but believe me that ain't right. That ain't right. I hope I have my chance, I'm sure I will. I'm confident I'll have a chance to try to change it before it's too late for me to change it. But I'd like to be able to give that knowledge to young guys coming up and try to reverse it back to its roots, the real wrestling-type of match. It's got to go back to that.

David Skolnick: Do guys come up to you in the locker room seeking advice?

Greg Valentine: I have a lot of respect from the guys. A lot more respect from the guys than the promoters. They have a lot of respect for me.

David Skolnick: Anything else you'd like to add?

Greg Valentine: Just (Laughs) remember this: Don't trust any midgets and may wrestling live on forever. Never trust a midget. That's just an old saying.

David Skolnick: Thank you very much, Greg.

Greg Valentine: I'm glad we were able to talk.


FLAIR: 'TONE IT DOWN A BIT'

(Brunswick, Ga., News, December 4, 1999) By Rob Asbell

Former world champion wrestler Ric Flair believes television wrestling shows may be forced to "tone it down a bit" in the wake of a major corporation's decision to pull its advertising from one of the country's most popular programs.

Flair, who made a promotional appearance at the new World Gym on Altama Avenue Tuesday evening, said he no longer lets his young son watch wrestling because of the profanity and sexual content that has become prominent in wrestling. "I'm guilty of it myself," the professional wrestler said of the use of profanity. "When you're in front of a camera and there's 20,000 screaming fans, you want to do whatever you can to make the fans scream louder. I won't let my 11-year-old son watch it anymore." Earlier this week, the Coca-Cola Co. decided to pull advertising from broadcasts of the World Wrestling Federation.

The WWF, whose main program, "Raw," appears on the USA network Monday nights, features characters portraying pimps, prostitutes and gang members.

The most recent show had two women in an altercation in which one tore the shirt off of her opponent, leaving her clad in only a bra in the wrestling ring.

Flair, who wrestles for the WWF's main competitor, Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling, said advertisers could be the key to the future of wrestling. "I think sponsors will make wrestling clean up. The success of the two wrestling organizations (WWF and WCW) has made sponsors take a hard look," he said.

The WCW, which appears on Turner's Superstation TBS also on Monday nights, is considered by many to be less offensive than its competitor, but has begun to include more adult-oriented themes.

For now, Vince McMahon, owner of the WWF, may survive, but the loss of such a large advertiser could hurt in the long run. "It will hurt Vince McMahon a little, but he's a resourceful guy. But they will have to tone it down a little bit," Flair said.

Although flamboyant and brash in the wrestling ring, in person, Flair, also known as "the Nature Boy," presented himself as a well-spoken, easy-going man with the patience of a saint while entertaining an endless succession of questions from those who came to see him. "He's a limousine-riding, jet-flying, kiss-stealing son of a gun," said Bart Altman, mimicking a line from the 14-time world wrestling champion.

A crowd of approximately 350 turned out to see Flair. Those in attendance represented a cross-section of the community and included lawyers, teachers and a large number of children. "Who is the toughest man you've ever wrestled?" a child asked. "I fought Bill Goldberg once and I never want to fight him again," Flair said, referring to a popular WCW wrestler. "Could you beat The Rock?" another child asked, referring to a wrestler with the WWF. "I'll pound The Rock. I'll put the smack down on him," he replied.

The wrestler urged kids interested in a career in wrestling to "study hard, make the honor roll and go to the University of Florida."

When one member of the audience asked if wrestling was fake, Flair responded quickly. "I'd say 90 percent of it is real and 10 percent of it is choreographed. I don't know what fake is."

Flair also said he plans to be the next governor of his home state, North Carolina, but that he is not through with wrestling. Now a 50-year-old father of four, Flair, who is still in excellent physical condition, has been wrestling for 27 years.

He credited his longevity in the sport to his constant training regimen and said he now owns nine fitness centers in North Carolina. "I've gotten involved in the world of fitness," Flair told the audience. "The transition from wrestling to fitness has been very good to me."

His connection to the fitness business brought him to Brunswick. "He just happens to be a friend of mine," said World Gym owner Lynn Freeman, who also owns Cory Everson's Fitness for Women in Brunswick.


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Nitro Report

The program opens with the opening montage then goes right to the ring. Nitro is live from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Arena. Mean Gene is in the ring calling for Jeff Jarrett to join him for an interview. Jarrett comes to the ring brandishing one of his balsa wood guitars. The crowd boos him roundly as he grabs the mic out of Okerlund's hand and declares himself, again, the chosen one. He insists that he should be the WCW World Champ and blames Dustin Rhodes for his situation. The crowd launches into the "A$$hole!" chant. He wants to face Dustin in a Bunkhouse Brawl at Starrcade. He then throws out challenges directed at Bret Hart, Goldberg and Mike Tenay. He threatens Okerlund with the guitar. Here comes Tenay saying that he is going to take matters into his own hands. Jarrett starts back pedaling as Tenay enters the ring, but then throws out another insult. He turns to chide the crowd but as soon as Tenay takes his attention off him, Jarrett attacks him and applies a figure four leglock. Goldberg runs in and saves him.

Tony says that Roddy Piper will be refereeing his own match against Creative Control. In the back, Tony Marinero is telling his Boys they better get it right tonight. Meanwhile Curt Hennig has brought Vincent in for an audience with Vince Russo. Vincent, when asks to explain his idea for a new gimmick, leans in and says, "One word: Shane..." Russo thinks it stinks but buys it anyway. Rhonda Singh approaches his emminence and wants an opportunity.

Brian Knobbs is shown out in the woods somewhere looking for Fit Finley. He finds him. Finley hands him what appears to be combat gear and tells him he plans to make a soldier out of him. "Get rid of the clownsuit" he tells him.

"Screamin'" Norman Smiley comes to the ring in a Greenbay football uniform wearing a cheesehead hat. He makes an open challenge for someone to face him for the Hardcore Title. Rhonda (don't call me Bertha) Singh answers the challenge. She throws some plunder into the ring then goes right to work on Smiley. She is wielding trashcans, cookie sheets and a kendo stick and has it all in hand until she turns her back and gets whacked with a trashcan. Smiley as a little more offense then she is on him again. There is about 3 seconds of see-saw then she shoots a fire extinguisher at him. He comes back once more, runs her down and takes the pin.

The Maestro is tuning his piano when David Flair walks up, grabs his girl and drops the piano lid on his head. In the "throne room", Psychosis and La Parka are encouraged to fight each other right then and there to decide who will defend the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title tonight in place of Juventud Guerrera who has a broken arm. Psychosis is a little faster on the uptake and attacks first. La Parka barely gets a word out in dubbed English before he is downed and defeated.

Lex Luger knocks on Liz's dressing room door. He says he needs her tonight for his World Title match against Bret Hart. He has champagne - she lets him in. Elsewhere, Diisco and LeRoux show up at Marinero's door and catch him alone.

Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs. Psychosis - IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title match - expect Liger to win because he has a match in Japan in a few weeks to defend that title. I notice now that Liger is here, his immitator Blitzkreig has vanished. As the match gets underway, Buzzkill is wandering through the crowd with a protest sign and some flowers. In the ring, Psychosis is being handed his head, He is dropped to the outside then splashed but Liger is hurt as well. Psychosis succeeds in turning the tables as they return to the ring. He throws Liger to the floor then follows him out and slams him into the railing. Back inside, Liger works his way back into the advantage then slaps on a surfboard but Psychosis escapes easily only to miss a rush and carrom off the ropes and into a roll-up. Liger regains his title. La Parka runs in afterward and whacks Psychosis with his everpresent chair.

Nitro Grrrrls are playing poker in the back (here we go again...parody alert!...parody alert!) The Boys show up. Vito suggests a game of strip poker, Johnny isn't sure its a good idea because he's worried about what the boss will think. Elsewhere, Luger is begging Liz to come back to him saying they are meant to be together, like peanut butter and jelly, etc. She seems impatient for him to finish his spiel...

The Maestro is stumbling around backstage looking for Symphony. Mona tells Okerlund that she intends to take out Madusa and "her boy toy" in their three-way dance tonight.

Mona vs. Madusa vs. Evan Karagias - Three-Way Dance - Mona and Madusa are vying for the Cruiserweight Title shot at Starrcade. If he wins - neither of them gets the match. Before the match gets started, Evan leaves the ring and joins the broadcast team. He has decided to sit the match out. Madusa has a size, and probably an experience advantage but she is in trouble in no time. Evan runs in and pulls Mona off, only to be rolled up and pinned by Madusa! Jeff Jarrett then runs in and whacks Madusa with his guitar. He pauses to throw out a challenge to Goldberg for a match tonight.

In the back, Marinero is tied up and gagged while Liz is agreeing to help Luger - or so he thinks. She offers to pour the champagne and does...on his head.

The Maestro seems more in possession of his faculties but still hasn't found his girl. Mean Gene interviews Vampiro and Jerry Only.

"Dr. Death" Steve Williams/Oklahoma vs. Vampiro/Jerry Only - OK wears a headset to the ring to call the match while he participates. He also wears a wrestling singlet. He keeps up a running commentary as Vamp and his partner enter the ring. He faces Vampiro and keeps up the commentary, referring to himself in the third person, but immediately tags out. Doc takes over and OK continues to commentate as he is tagged back in to take over a spinning toe hold ("Oklahoma is turning the wrong way...). I don't care what anyone thinks - this is funny...just like it was when Jerry Lawler did the same thing a few years ago. Williams comes back in against Only and bests him easily but then slams him in reach of Vampiro who tags in and hits a drop-kick off the top. Only falls outside and gets a chairshot from Oklahoma. In the ring, Dr. Death is pretty much in control but Vampiro makes a comeback so OK runs over and whacks him with his boot. Williams incapacitates Vamp then lets OK hit an elbow drop off the bottom rope for the pin.

Backstage the poker game is well underway. Vito shows his hand - a pair of deuces - the lady to his left has a Royal Flush. Disco and LeRoux prepare to tar and feather Tony Marinero.

Okerlund interviews the Outsiders. Kevin Nash will face Chris Benoit tonight.

The Total Package (sans Elizabeth) vs. Bret Hart - WCW World Title match - Luger's entrance is way overblown as usual. He has trouble removing his trousers so Hart takes advantage of it and jumps him. The match goes right to the floor where Hart is much more in his element then Luger. He blocks an attempt by Luger to run him into the corner post then runs Luger into the apron before tossing him back inside. He starts working on the left leg. Classic Hart attack... He picks luger up for a backbreaker but Luger puts a finger in his eye. Here comes Liz, but Sting runs down and offers to let her represent him. She leaves with him as Luger is distracted and blindsided. Hart gets the Sharpshooter and wins.

For some reason they repeat the Vincent bit with Russo then cut to a shot of Midnight walking down the hall. Continuity gentlemen...

La Parka is assigned as the official throne room "chairman" - he is to stand in the corner and hit whoever is in front of Russo whenever he cracks his knuckles. The first victims are Booker T and Stevie Ray - but they do get a Tag Team Title match at Starrcade. Roddy Piper arrives out back via limo as David Flair menaces Symphony in the boiler room. Jerry Flynn complains that Berlyn spoiled his "block match" - he issues another open challenge.

Asya (w/Revolution) vs. Midnight - Revolution are decked out in black military fatigues tonight. They rant. Shane Douglas says they can do anything they want to the American flag. I was never in the military but I still find this angle distasteful. They roll up Old Glory and unfurl their own black flag. Then the lights go out. They come up and Midnight is in the ring. The girls go right at it and the match is firmly in see-saw mode. Midnight has the definite size advantage but doesn't seem to be able to maintain control. As she is starting to assume control, the referee is dragged out of the ring and the Revolution swarm in. Jim Duggan runs in with a real 2x4 this time but is overwhemed. Douglas clocks him with the cast then they drape their flag on his fallen carcass.

Legendary Larry is accosting Mike Graham, telling him he's been summoned in to see TPTB. Graham knows nothing but doesn't seem surprised.

Roddy Piper vs. Creative Control - Handicap "I Quit" match - the special referee is...Roddy Piper - Piper's t-shirt reads "Yes Sir! Reality Check". He orders his opponents into the ring so he can pat them down in a most intimate way. He threatens to DQ them unless they submit. He is having fun with this at their expense. The match gets under way and Piper is biting and scratchin from the get go but he is outnumbered and greatly outweighed. Their problem is they have to get Piper to say "I Quit". They are about to powerbomb him on a chair when Goldberg runs in and manhandles both of them. Then Piper chokes one of them with his belt until he submits. Goldberg starts to leave bit Piper calls him back and then raises his hand. Goldberg looks highly amused by the whole thing.

In the back, Tony Marinero is begging his captors not to mess up his hair. They ignore his protests and coat him with "chicken goop" then dump chicken feathers on him. In another location, both the Boys are down to their underwear. Vito makes one last (probably stupid) bet...

The Maestro finds one of Symphony's shoes...

Dustin Rhodes vs. Meng - Rhodes makes his wrestling debut back in WCW against the monster from Tonga. Dustin uses his coat to get the early advantage but Meng just shrugs him off. Dustin comes back with a bulldog but Meng just pops right up and fells him with a sidekick. He is pummeling the big Texan in the corner when Jarrett runs in with his guitar - but Dustin surprises him and is setting him up for the old family jewels shot in the corner...when the Outsiders run in and and attack him. Meng comes back in and gets clocked with the guitar.

Legendary Larry tells Russo that Thunder stinks because TPTB aren't giving them the talent. Russo says Larry has a point but then suggests that the announcers are the problem. Larry says he doesn't need the job - he only does it for the accolades he gets from the fans. Russo sets up a match between Larry and Hennig for tonight. If Zbyszco loses, he is out of the promotion. Then he agrees to Larry's counter stipulation, if Hennig loses, Russo is out, but he says that will never happen.

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince...Iaukea cuts a promo.

Curt Hennig comes down to the ring in his street clothes. So does Zbyzsco, but he has taken off his shirt.

Legendary Larry vs. Curt Hennig (w/Shane) - Larry Z is looking pretty sharp tonight. He dominates the action but then makes the mistake of accidently nailing the referee. Hennig takes over and has no conpunction about breaking the rules. In fact, however, he doesn't need to break many rules because he is relentless when he has the advantage. Larry gets a DDT but the referee is still out of it. Shane comes in and intereferes. Here comes Arn Anderson! He runs in and whacks Hennig and his thug with a baseball bat. Larry takes the win but then Creative Control comes in and rolls the footage of what just happened. The referee reverses the decision. Larry Z is out of a job.

Tony Marinero gets an apple stuffed in his mouth while Vito is down to his hat...

Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Nash (w/Scott Hall) - Hall brings a ladder to the ringside area and grabs a headset to provide commentary. He faces Benoit in a ladder match at Starrcade. In the ring, Nash is all over his opponent to start. Hall perches on top of the ladder - I'm sure that will prove to be a mistake. Back in the ring, now Benoit has turned the tables and has Nash in trouble until he is levered out to the floor. Nask deals out some more punshment on the outside then rolls Benoit back inside and gets a two-count out of a side slam. Benoit comes back with a drop-kick to the knee followed by one to the face. He starts working on Nash's left leg. Nash fights back but Benoit keeps kicking at that leg. Nash finally turns the tables then releases his shoulder straps. Hall dismounts from the ladder - but in the ring, Benoit has grabbed the crossface. Hall clocks the referee with the ladder then enters the ring with it. Hall is ejected but Nash gets the ladder...kicked into his face! Benoit sets up the ladder then comes off the top onto Hall as he re-enters the ring. Nash comes back and blindsides him then Hallis setting up for the Outsiders' Edge - but Sid runs in and rescues Benoit.

In the back Diamond Dallas Page is back and getting ready to face Sid tonight. Meanwhile the Boys are dressed and stalking the backstage area again - a little late guys...

Sting tells Mean Gene he is ready for Hall (and Nash). The Boys come to the ring and challenge Disco Inferno and Lash LeRoux to a match. The twins (girls) from last week show up instead. The Boys are distracted and blindsided by their opponents. But then Tony Marinero, feathers and all, runs in with a metal pipe and turns the tables. The Boys haul their victims away.

Maestro is still searching with no results.

Disco and LeRoux are stuffed in a white limo - but then the Boys and Marinero decide to celebrate before getting in themselves. Their victims drive off with the car!

In the back, the Maestro wanders into th "block" and gets his clock cleaned. As Flynn is leaving he runs into David Flair who whacks him with his crowbar.

Nick Patrick says that everyone (especially Nash) will be barred from ringside during the Sting/Hall match - unless they have a "legal reason" to be there. Sting is seen heading for the ring with Liz, examining their contract as they walk.

Sting (w/Elizabeth) vs. Scott Hall (w/Kevin Nash) - this is a non-title match I assume - Liz shows Patrick the contract, thus showing that she is legally allowed to be ringside for the match. Nash has joined the broadcast team. Sting takes the immediate advantage after Hall tosss his toothpick. Hall falls out of the ring and is followed out by Sting who runs his opponent into the broadcast table. Nash immediately attacks with a cable and is sent packing. Meanwhile Sting is in trouble back in the ring. Hall slaps on an abdominal stretch. Sting hip-tosses him off but misses an elbow drop. Hall grabs a sleeper. Sting uses a belly-to-back suplex to escape and both are down. Sting recovers first and punches Hall out in the corner. Hall shoves him off but he comes right back. Then it happens a third time and Hall is in trouble. Hall staggers to the center and is decked with a roundhouse right. He comes back to his feet and gouges the eyes then hits a fall-away slam. Liz jumps onto the apron to distract Hall. It works - he turns toward her and is maced. Sting is back and gets the Stinger Splash. He executes the Scorpion and makes Hall submit. Sting nevers saw what happened...

David Flair is dragging Symphony toward the ring. Here comes DDP as well.

We come back from the break to Ric Flair's music - but it is David coming to the ring with Symphony. She is still shoeless on one foot as she is forced into the ring. Flair calls the Maestro out to "claim your bride" - he gets DDP instead! Of course we know Page has a big grudge against Flair who tries to attack with his crowbar but Page is one step ahead of him and clocks him. Flair vanishes. Page then addesses TPTB and squelches the rumor that he is jumping to the competition. He says that he is loyal to WCW but doesn't trust "people who were close to him" - Kimberley is conspicuous in her absence.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Sid Vacuous - the match gets underway as soon as Sid shows up. Page does pretty well but doesn't seem to be able to finish the job. He goes for the Diamond Cutter but fails and eliminates the referee at the same time. Sid powerbombs him then the Outsiders run in. Time for Goldberg or somebody...Chris Benoit runs in and evens the odds. What a strange pairing this is. Jeff Jarrtt runs in and unevens the odds again - then Bret Hart appears and it's three-on-three. Security personnel and referees swarm in to break it up. Some of these security guys are really wimpy looking. Nick Patrick grabs a mic and suggests that they make the main event (Jarrett/Goldberg) a lumberjack match - then he summons the officials and security personnel and they all split!

Goldberg runs in to the ring as we return from the break and the mess is still going on. He, Hart, Sid and Benoit clear the ring. Jarrett is retreating but here comes Piper to take over the officiating. He asigns the referees around the ring to be lumberjacks then orders Jarrett back to the ring. Jarrett continues to retreat but is met by members of the Greenbay Packers and is forced back. Goldberg spears him as he re-enters the ring. Jarrett is putty in his hands. Goldberg gets a two count and Jarrett bails but is attacked on the outside and forced back inside. Goldberg grabs a cross-arm breaker. Now Goldberg bails to attack Scott Hall. He is attacked on the outside and a melee breaks out ringside. Goldberg is back in and Jarrett hits him with a chair. Piper is half out of the ring and by the time he gets into position, Goldberg has shaken it off. Jarrett keeps up the pressure but it is obvious he can't pin his opponent. He grabs a sleeper and sinks it in. Goldberg sinks to the mat but then fights his way back to his feet. He gets a modified chokeslam and both are down for a count. They rise at nine and criss-cross then collide head-to-head. Goldberg starts to rise but Nash whacks him. Piper sees the interference and refuses to count. Jarrett gets in Piper's face and is rolled up and almost pinned. Goleberg gets ready for the spear but his leg is grabbed and he is dragged to the floor and beaten. Piper is trying to break it up while Hart is in the ring and clocks Jarrett with the World Title belt. Goldberg re-enters the ring and gets the spear then a Jack Hammer with a lot of hangtime for the pin as the program ends.


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RAW Report

RAW is live from the Centrum in Worcester, Mass. tonight. The New Age Outlaws make an entrance to start the program. The Road Dog does his schtick - with noticibly less then usual response from the crowd.

NAO vs. Too Cool (w/Rakishi) - WWF World Tag Team Title match - the Dogg wants Rakishi sent away before the match but the latter doesn't like that idea and attacks Billy. He is ordered out of the ring but I'm not sure he actually leaves. Nope - there he is in his partners' corner. In the ring, the Champs have turned the tables on Scotty Too-Hotty until Too Cool gets a blind tag. Lawler is splitting his loyalty here. Too Cool have shown themselves to be a very fluid team and they more then hold there own in this match. In fact they have the match won when the Hollys run in and spoil everything. Rakishsi tries to interefere but is dropped headfirst onto a chair by the Hollys. The match is thrown out.

In the back a black limo pulls up and Stephanie gets out.

Mankind comes to the ring to make a statement. He thanks the fans for making his book the #1 tome on the bestseller list and taunts the "literary world". He shows some footage of Al Snow beating up on the Rock as the NAO comes in to lend a hand. He invites Snow out to clear the air. Snow shows up to a chant of "Rocky! Rocky!" Snow disputes that the fans really care about Foley and illustrates it by pointing out that what the fans really will remember about him is his fall off the top of the Hell in the Cell. He points out further that he was always there for Foley, driving him to the hospital, etc. Foley says Snow is his best friend but he prefers Maivia as his tag team partner. He even says that Snow/Foley sucks! Snow wants to find a partner to face Rock n' Sock tonight. He then reveals that it was he that threw Mick's book into the trash! Then he attacks Foley. A brawl breaks out and they have to be separated.

Stephanie is confronting her father, reminding him that he promised to butt out. She charms him with a kiss and is carrying what looks like legal papers of some sort. Probably annullment papers.

The Hardey Boyz (w/Terri) vs. Kurt Angle/Steve Blackman - Angle fires up the crowd with his usual heel speech before Blackman enters. Behind Blackman - an oddly familiar looking symbol appears on the TitanTron. Angle calls Blackman "an apprentice" which doesn't sit well. Angle starts against Jeff the tags off to Blackman, who bests Jeff then faces Matt. The Hardeys superior team work then kicks in and they are gaining ground until Blackman slips in a kendo stick shot to give Angle the easy pin.

In the back, Stephanie stands resolutely at DX's door.

As we return from the break, Steph is confronting HHH with annullment papers. Hunter and X-Pac are making a joke out of it. She tries to reason with him but he refuses to take her seriously. She turns to leave and he calls her back to examine the papers. He insults her a third time and she leaves him holding the papers.

Val Venis vs. D'Lo Brown - Venis controls the early going. This is a match for the right to face The British Bulldog for the European Title at the next PPV. The fight is just heating up when the Bulldog and the Posse run in and attack both of them.

Moolah and Mae Young are arguing over Youngs drinking again. Meanwhile Mankind and the Rock are having a meeting.

DX is discussing the papers in the back.

The Godfather (w/5 fine garden tools) vs. Prince Albert - GF has an ax to grind because of PA's attack on him last week during his match with the Boss Man. PA dominates the opening moments then misses a splash and puts himself on the defensive. The GF misses a clothesline and loses the initiative. PA does his own version of GF's corner rush then grabs a reverse chinlock. GF escapes but still is on the receiving end for a bit then turns the tables with a supplex. A boot to the face and leg drop sets up the "Garden Tool Train". PA is cradled and pinned.

HHH makes his entrance. He carries a bouquet of red roses and baby's breath. He makes a statement telling the fans he feels about them the same as they feel about him. He points out that Stephanie was booed on SmackDown. (although his description of their reaction was a little more graphic then what really happened). He is bleeped repeatedly during his speech. And so is the audience. He claims complete surprise at her presenting him with annullment papers. He blames the fans for this development and pretends to cry about it. He asks Steph to come out and says he's going to sign the papers...right. She comes out looking dubious. He gives her the flowers and she tosses them away. He says he was going to sign the papers, but now that she's out here... He taunts her some more as she stands there stone faced, then refuses to sign. She tells him she's tired of his games and hopes her father cripples him at Armegeddon. He then promises to sign the papers if Vince can beat him at the PPV...but...if HHH beats Vince, he wants a World Title shot. He calls Vince out to confirm that deal. Vince comes out but can only approach as far as the ramp because of the TOP still in effect. He accepts the stip. He promises to kick HHH's butt and demands that HHH sign a paper concerning the stips. HHH then grabs Stephanie and kisses her to seal the deal.

Mankind offers Vince some pointers on how to deal with HHH in his no-holds-barred match.

Bob Holly (w/Crash) vs. Rakishi (w/Too Cool) - the match lasts about 4 seconds, then Bob and Crash gets into an argument ringside while Rakishi and Co. dance in the ring. In the back, Barbera Bush (BB) is getting ready to come to the ring in a spectacular white gown.

BB comes down to talk to Mike Cole. Ivory interrupts, of course, to make cracks about BB's breasts, which are also spectacular. Jacqueline also comes down and that symbol appears on the screen again. These are three of the participants in a four corners evening gown match. Chyna and Miss Kitty show up and Kitty is informed that she will be the fourth competitor. She objects because...she doesn't wear underwear... Chyna says, "Well, you'll just have to win won't you..." In the back, the Big Show and Viscera are brawling and Viscera is getting the best of the champ.

Test/Kane (w/Tori) vs. HHH/X-Pac - the order in this one breaks down immediately but sorts out to HHH vs. Kane. The latter takes the advantage then hands it over to Test who almost gets a three count. X-Pac has to interfere from the outside to turn the tables then the DX guys double-team him. X-Pac is in and maintains the advantage for a moment then is cought coming off the top rope. Both guys tag out and Kane is taking care of HHH handily. Soon he is fighting both if them off. Test tags in and spins HHH around and around - knocking X-Pac to the floor in the process. Meanwhile X-Pac is chasing Tori at ringside. He chases her into the ring and tries to set up a bucking bronco but Kane catches him coming in. Kane chases him up the ramp while HHH hits a low blow then gets the Pedegree to win the match.

Al Snow leaves his dressing room then turns back to address his partner who stays out of camera range.

The Big Show vs. Viscera - WWF World Title match - the Champ meets his nemesis in the aisle and the fight is on. Back in the ring, Viscera gets a Samoan Drop and a two count. TBS counters with a belly-to-back suplex on his opponent whom JR keeps referring to as "Vis". The Champ is knocked to the floor. Back inside he manages to scoop slam the fat guy, then hits a missle drop kick and takes the pin. It's a sad commentary when Ray Traylor and Norman Frazier are your top contenders.

On the TitanTron, the Boss Man is intimidating the Big Show's mother into admitting that Paul is an illegitimate child. He then reveals to her that she is on camera.

We come back and Paul is on the phone with his mom, being an ungrateful son...

Rock N' Sock Connection vs. Al Snow/? - Snow comes to the ring alone (well, actually he has Head with him), then turns and reveals his partner is the Millenium Bug. Jericho, of course, has to make a speech before he comes to the ring. So far tonight, the Rock has not had a speaking role at all. Chyna attacks Jericho in the middle of his rant on the ramp. Snow and Foley fight on the floor while Jericho goes after Maivia in the ring. Mankind and Snow return to their corners and Rock N' Sock start functioning pretty smoothly until Snow and Jericho get Foley on the outside and cooperate to cream him. Back in the ring, Foley is isolated as Snow and Jericho start to function as a team. Jericho goes for his springboard moonsault and misses. Maivia is tagged in and cleans house. He almost pins Jericho but Snow breaks it up. Jericho and Maivia fight to the floor and up the ramp as Foley pulls Socko and gets the claw on Snow. Here comes the Outlaws who attack the Rock then go after Mankind. Maivia comes back and breaks that up but is followed by Snow who whacks Foley with Head.

Snow is on the ramp and shouting, "I'm your real friend - not him - me!" as the program ends.

That's it for tonight. I'll be back on Saturday Morning with the Weekend Report. Until then...

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter



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