(Dallas Observer, November 6-12, 1997)
By Thomas Korosec
Bart and family live in western Parker County, near the little burg advertised on his ever-present gimme cap. It reads Cody's Country Market and Cafe, Tin Top, Tex. A genuinely rural sort, his wrestling shoes are red and black cowboy boots. He works stripped to the waist, his majestic gut...well, out there. "He has that country thing," Fowler says of Bart's act. "He goes out to the audience shouting gawl-dern this and dad-gum that. People love it."
Bart, too, has wrestling deep in the family blood. "My son Joshua is five, and he knows every move," he says. "My sister made a tape of my matches, and about a year ago, Joshua watched it day in and day out. He took his stuffed animals and started doing the moves on them. He'd do leg drops and big splashes off the sofa. Shit, he completely tore the stuffing out of his bear. Now he's knocking around his [toy horse] Pegasus."
Bart, a 42-year-old from Haltom City, grew up watching Johnny Valentine and Fritz Von Erich wrestle at Will Rogers Coliseum. He got in the business fresh out of high school in 1973. "My first name was the Arkansas Strangler, then it went to Strangler Malakov, then Rick Harris, Man-mountain Harris, then El Lobo, which I did under a hood. It's been Black Bart for the last 15 years." Wrestling for 11 months with the WWF in 1990, Bart and his trademark branding iron made more than $100,000. "Of course I blew it all," he says, explaining why these days he works full time on a construction crew. They install utility poles -- which you imagine Bart simply lifting up and sticking in the ground. "It's in my blood; I could never get it out," he says of his weekends in wrestling.
At times, Bart reveals what you might call his softer side. He lectures his students about being dependable and showing up on time, pulls them aside for some encouragement, rests them when they're hurt, advises them to practice their facial expressions at home in the mirror. "I'm working" he says, "with some good kids."
If anything, the five guys in Power Pro Training Camp are living proof of the potent force of TV on young minds. All came of age watching pro wrestling on the tube, and they reach for those memories to explain why they want to carry on this retro sport.
Twenty-one-year-old Bryan Hlavaty, a lanky type who optimistically describes himself as 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, remembers his fascination with the Von Erich offspring -- the ill-fated Kerry, David, and Michael Adkisson, who ruled Dallas wrestling in the 1980s. "I watched them on TV and went down to the Sportatorium, then I stopped watching," recalls Hlavaty, who graduated from Berkner High School in Richardson and now works processing checks for an insurance company. "Then about five or six months ago, I started watching again. I always wanted, you know, to be an actor. Then it was being a writer. When I started watching this again, I thought, 'This is something I want to do'. All my friends thought it was just another phase."
Aaron White, 28, says he's been watching Saturday-night wrestling for so long, he remembers "when Hulk Hogan was a bad guy." White moved to Dallas to attend the school from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where he made a living as a welder, tugboat crewman, and factory laborer. "It's been my dream," says White, a married father of two. "I finally got the nerve to check it out, and I jumped in."
Like several of his peers, White checked out the WCW and WWF schools and couldn't swing their tuition: $2,500 up front. Fowler wants only $500 up front, and $75 a lesson, pay as you go, up to a total of $1,500. Fowler says most students take four to six months to train.
Everyone in the group talks about wanting to break into the big time, but they also talk about other, perhaps more realistic, routes: wrestling in the small time for a while, or picking up work in Japan or Mexico, where some smaller wrestlers have thrived. They draw some optimism from the fact that agile wrestlers in the 210-to-220-pound range are currently in vogue at the top.
Says White, "I don't want a weekend job. I want to be on the road making money."
To be continued...
Jeff Jarrett is beating up on somebody as the program opens. It's Chris Benoit! Benoit fights back and eventually puts Jarrett down then empties his nostrils in his direction (eyewwww!)
Nitro is coming to us live from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA. We go right to the ring for the opening comtest.
TAFKA Prince Iaukea (w/ Paisley) vs. The Maestro (w/Symphony) - Paisley hands the mic to TAFKAPI so he can say, "Yellow"...? Maestro then makes his entrance seated at a piano and descending from the ceiling onto the platform. He conducts an imaginary orchestra as he makes his way to the ring. Basically we have two fops about to get it on. Iaukea comes on very aggressive but Maestro just levers him out of the ring to the floor. The former then drags the latter from the ring and rolls back in to catch him as he returns. Iaukea is not above (or below) cheating these days. He goes for the eyes to maintain his advantage. Each man then tries to flirt with the others lady and gets each of their faces slapped. Iaukea rolls Maestro up and pins him with a handful of tights. Jeff Jarrett then runs in and whacks both guys with two separate guitars! He challenges "slap-nuts"...er...Benoit - to a Bunkhouse Brawl.
We see Bret Hart and Kevin Nash in different parts of the backstage area.
Evan Karagias is making time with Spice until Madusa catches them. Madusa attacks the Nitro Grrrrl and has to be restrained.
Bret Hart makes his way to the ring carrying both of his World Title belts. He talks about the #1 contender (and his tag team partner) Goldberg. He expresses great respect for his upcoming Starrcade opponent but vows that he won't be beaten. Goldberg's music then plays and the man himself makes that long walk to the ring. Goldberg repectfully disputes the Champ's assertion then declares to his face, "Your next!" Now the Outsiders put in an appearance on the platform. They want to challenge for the Tag Team Titles tonight. The challenge is accepted.
Mean Gene talks to Madusa who wants a match with Spice. In the parking lot, Roddy Piper arrives wearing a striped shirt.
Lex Luger arrives backstage only to be confronted by Terry Taylor who tells him he has an bizarre tag team scheduled.
Madusa vs. Spice -Hey, why not? Miss Kitty is the WWF Womens' Champ. Madusa is all over her opponent then Evan comes to the ring to reason with her. He enters the ring and she demands that he hit Spice. They turn their attention away from Spice to argue and the latter attacks from behind and gets the pin! Afterward, Madusa suplexes her boyfriend.
In the back, Vince Russo is talking to his minions about a "remote control" when Rhonda Singh barges in and tries to talk to him. He tells her he doesn't talk to people at her "level" and tells her she needs an agent. She splits, to get one I suppose. Russo sends "Shane" to go get Piper.
Mean Gene invites Jim Duggan to the ring. Hacksaw arrives 2X4 and flag in hand and is outraged at the disrespect being shown to our good old USofA. He vows to defend the flag unto death if necessary. The crowd loves him for it. The lights go out and their is snow on the big screen. In the dark, someone rushes in and attacks Duggan, leaving him laying.
Cut back to the throne room, Russo is talking about how great the "remote control" is. Piper arrives and is assigned to referee a match between Curt Hennig and Buff Bagwell.
Curt Hennig vs. Buff Bagwell- Roddy Piper is the referee - Russo told Piper to consider this assignment as a test and he "should do the right thing." Okay... Bagwell is cocky as ever as he starts the match with an armdrag and his peculiar strut. Hennig comes back with some more aggressive tactics but Bagwell out-maneuvers him and almost gets the pin. Hennig gets in Piper's face for counting on him and positions himself for another attempted roll-up. Meanwhile, Buzzkill is lurking about ringside with a placard. In the ring, Hennig attempts a pin and Piper counts noticibly slower. Bagwell comes back and then inexplicably pauses to pose and is blindsided. But he comes back and takes the pin on a fast count. Creative Control appears on the platform but declines to take action against Piper who splits.
Backstage, Luger finds Flair's dressing room but hears strange sounds emanating from inside. Jarrett is shown hauling a load of plunder toward the arena floor.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Chris Benoit - Bunkhouse Brawl - Jarrett enters with a guitar and a barstool as we return from the break. His cart full of plunder is not in evidence. Benoit shows up with a ladder! Jarrett meets him in the aisle and clocks him with the barstool. As Benoit struggles to rise, Jarrett hits him with it again. He returns to the ring and comes back with a bullrope and tries to use it - but Benoit beats him to the punch and first strangles him with the rope then delivers a stool shot of his own. He drags Jarrett to the ring and tosses him inside then continues his assault. He goes for his first pin attempt but fails. Jarrett makes a comeback and tries to use the rope for a lariat but misses. benoit downs him and goes after his ladder - but Jarrett baseball slides it back in his face. Jarrett drags the ladder inside and props it in the corner then tries to whip Benoit into it - but Benoit reverses the whip. He throws Jarrett into the ladder a second time then uses the rope to put Jarrett down as he rises again. Jarrett turns the tables by pulling the rope out from under Benoit's feet then climbs the ladder and launches himself only to be met by a shot to the gut. Benoit climbs the ladder but is roped there and bealed to the mat. Benoit is down as Dustin Rhodes runs in to battle Jarrett. He ties up the referee then turns around and delivers a kick to the crotch of Jarrett just as Jarrett cracks him with the guitar. Both are down and Benoit is up and climbing the ladder. But Dustin recovers and moves Benoit's target - Benoit hits hard and Jarrett gets the pin.
Luger is trying to talk strategy with David Flair, but the latter is too interested in hugging a headless teddy bear. A white ragtop Porsch pulls up out back.
Piper has a bat and is facing Russo. Russo signals "the chairman" to strike, but Piper blocks it - unfortunately he doesn't see Hennig swinging his own chair and goes down as the minions swarm.
Tank Abbot vs. Meng - two genuine tough guys are about to duke it out - Abbot bulls Meng into the corner and both are delivering big shots. They struggle for position and then Abbot gets a powerslam. He perches on Meng's throat until the latter slips from the ring. Abbot follows him out and the brawl continues up the aisle as the referee rings the bell throwing the match out.
The door to the Porsch opens and out pops Chris Kanyon looking like a rather subdued pimp. he is joined by two ladies and heads inside.
Meng and Abbot are still brawling backstage as we return from the break.
Revolution makes their entrance and Shane Douglas delivers his rather unpatriotic rant. He taunts Hacksaw Duggan and says that the Revolution will take him and his partners out on Sunday. Malenko declares that "America Sucks!"
Harlem Heat vs. Dean Malenko/Saturn/Aysa (w/Shane Douglas) - the lights go out right after Harlem Heat arrives. When they come back up, Midnight is in the ring. Tony is hinting that perhaps these are the three partners of Jim Duggan but Douglas isn't getting it. In the ring, the Heat are pretty much having their way as Shane continues to rant at the announcers' table. The Revolution keeps trying to turn the tables but they are clearly overmatched. Malenko finally turns the tables but Saturn blows a springboard splash and tumbles to the floor. Midnight comes in but hurts her leg on a leapfrog. Stevie Ray is surprised and rolled up for the pin.
Mike Tenay tries to interview Flair and Luger but Flair is being manic again. Luger declares that Elizabeth is under exclusive contract to him and won't be coming out with Sting tonight. Meanwhile, Rhonda Singh waylays someone who looks familiar (is that Clarence Mason?) in the hallway and asks him to be her agent. He turns her down, but Chavo Guerrero is right there to sell her some dance gear.
Paul Orndorff arrives backstage and is directed to the throne room by Mike Graham. We get Nitro Grrrrls dancing in the ring for the first time in months only to have it spoiled when Rhonda joins them. Meanwhile, Screamin' Norman wanders into "the Block" in a football uniform and gets his butt kicked until the two brawlers stumble in and break that up. Orndorff has his meeting with TPTB and is summarily fired for training Midnight "to well". He protests and ends up being assigned to wrestle Creative Control. Wow! Mr. Wonderful in the ring again!
Goldberg watches the monitor in the back as Tony spiels. Mike Tenay talks to Sid Vicious about his Powerbomb Challenge against Steve Williams. Sid has brought his own coach tonight, young Seth appears to be suffering from Downs Syndrome.
"Dr. Death" Steve Williams (w/Olkahoma) vs. Sid Vicious (w/Seth) - Powerbomb vs. Suplex match - Williams attacks off the apron as Sid arrives ringside. They take it inside and Williams takes over with punches and kicks. He tries to go for a waistlock but Sid shoves him away. Williams is trapped in the corner when Oklahoma gets up and hands him his boot. Williams uses the weapon but then Vampiro runs in chasing OK. Williams takes Vamp out but his distraction gives Sid a chance to strike. he powerbombs Dr. Death to win the match then chokeslams Oklahoma. The Outsiders run in and overwhelm him.
Sid is being attended to by medical personel as we come back from the break. Tenay talks to the Outsiders who say Sid got what was coming too him.
The Total Package/David Flair vs. Diamond Dallas Page/Sting - Luger makes his overblown entrance - hopefully Flair will run out and whack him with that crowbar. Nope. He skulks out and circles the posing idiot. DDP and Sting enter separately as well. The latter team is even stranger then the former concidering what went down last week between Sting and Page. Flair is still carrying his crowbar and teddy bear as the bell rings. Luger convinces him to give up the bear but leaves him the crowbar. This is a no DQ match. Sting immediately disarms Flair and Stinger Splashes him - then Page comes in and starts a fight with Sting! Meanwhile, Flair recovers and runs after his bear when Luger tosses it to the crowd. Luger attacks Sting with the crowbar but then Liz runs in and grabs it away. Luger gets a chair and menaces Liz who is shielding the unconscious Sting. Flair returns and attacks Luger with the crowbar. Liz positions Sting to get the pin.
In the back, Mean Gene tries to get a word with Kanyon, who is calling himself Chris "Champagne" Kanyon. Rhonda Singh accosts Mason (or whatever they are calling him now - Biggs?) but he brushes her off. Bam Bam Bigalow then appears and tries to get friendly with Kanyon. Mason intervenes, Bam Bam shifts his attention and gets blindsided by Kanyon.
Bam Bam Bigalow comes to the ring and rants about Kanyon's new found personna.
Bam Bam Bigalow vs. Chris "Champagne" Kanyon (w/Mr. Biggs?) - the agent tries to set some ground rules but Bigalow knocks him out of the ring then goes to work on Kanyon. Bam Bam is very angry and has his way with his former partner until Kanyon comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. But Bigalow regains the advantage with a fall away slam. He pauses to menace the agent then returns to the frey and still is dominant. Kanyon has had about 1/2 second of offense thus far. Bammer hits a flying headbutt to the groin from the top but Kanyon comes right back with "That's a Wrap" (formerly the Flatliner) and gets the pin.
In the back, Meng is looking for Smiley, who is cringing behind a post. Marinero's Boyz are stalking the back halls, apparently looking for Disco Inferno.
Piper is fitting his injured arm with a brace and psyching himself up for his "chair match" coming up later.
Lash LeRoux (w/Disco Inferno) vs. Vito (w/Johnny the Bull) - Bodybag match - Lash is caught napping at the beginning of the match. The former "Baldie" shows that he knows his way around the ring. He is also capable of taking shortcuts - like biting his opponent's nose! LeRoux recovers and turns the tables shortly thereafter. Vito starts back pedaling. Johnny climbs onto the apron but Lash points him out to the referee and he is ordered back to the floor. Disco takes care of Johnny on the outside then whacks Vito with the same chair. LeRoux gets his finisher and starts putting Vito in the bag. Outside, we see Johnny clock Disco while LeRoux finishes the job and wins the match. Johnny attacks LeRoux then helps Vito out of the bag. Vito gets a DDT then they stuff LeRoux into their bag and tote him away. Tony says they are headed out to dump him in the river.
The Boyz haul Lash out to the parking lot then leave him laying on the pavement while they go try to find their car. Lash escapes while they are gone.
Paul Orndorff vs. Creative Control - handicap match - Mr. Wonderful is out of uniform for this one - obviously he didn't bring any wrestling gear. One of the twins bulls him into the corner but he spins the big guy around and goes to work on him. He overwhelms the younger man and shows that he originated a version of the "People's Elbow" - actually a forearm drop with flair (which I had forgotten until I saw him do it tonight). The other twin comes in and turns the tables until Orndorff pulls out a hidden cord and strangles his opponent. The first twin runs in and they have Orndorff in trouble until Larry Zbyzsco and Arn Anderson come in to even the odds. Orndorff gets his famous piledriver to win the match but then a second referee reverses the decision for outside interference.
The Boys run over and kick the body bag then find Screamin' Norman inside.
Curt Hennig vs. Roddy Piper - chair match - Hennig gets a shot in as Piper enters the ring and follows up with several more. Piper is helpless in moments but then reverses a whip and sends Hennig shoulder first onto his own chair. Piper swings his chair and forces Hennig from the ring. Hennig slinks away and Piper wins the match by countout.
In the back Bret Hart's been attacked and is down. Goldberg is checking on him as we go to commercial.
Hart is conscious but still out of it as we return. Meanwhile the Outsiders make their entrance.
The Outsiders vs. Goldberg/Bret Hart? - WCW World Tag Team Title match - there is a question about whether Hart will be able to compete as Hall and Nash go to the ring. Nash grabs the stick and claims that Hart can't wrestle. He wants Goldberg to come out and hand over the belts. In the back, Goldberg gives up on his partner and goes out to face the challengers alone. He carries both Title belts. He drops them at their feet then delivers a double clothesline. He ejects Nash with a side kick then knocks Hall out there to join his partner. Hall comes back in to face him and they lock up. Hall grabs an arm wringer but Goldberg reverses it and applies a pump handle slam. Nash tags in and they lock up. Goldberg is whipped to the ropes and comes back with a flying tackle and follows with a scoop slam. Hall distracts him allowing Nash to hit a boot to the face. Hall comes in again and the two of them work him over in the corner. They tag in and out continuing their joint assault. But here comes Bret! He takes them both on as Goldberg is down against the ropes. He puts Hall down and puts the Sharpshooter on Nash but Hall recovers and attacks him. Goldberg recovers and sets Hall up for his spear while Bret continues to battle Nash. Goldberg gets his spear but meanwhile Bret has been injured in the knee. Goldberg gets the Jack Hammer but Nash has already pinned Bret. The Outsiders take the Tag Titles.
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RAW is coming to us live from the Ice Palace in Tampa, Florida tonight. We see Mr. and Mrs. Helmsley strolling hand in hand through the hallway. They stop to embrace - but we have yet to see them kiss. Meanwhile, Shane McMahon impatiently waits for his father to arrive.
The Millenium Bug makes his entrance wearing the Intercontinental Title belt. Jericho toots his own horn as he goes to the ring. X-pac appears on the platform and challenges him for the title. Jericho says "come on down." A referee runs out and then Chyna appears with Miss Kitty. In the ring we have...
Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac - WWF Intercontinental Title match - X-Pac attacks on the bell but Jericho ejects him from the ring with a back kick. He climbs to the top but is knocked off by the recovered challenger. As the match goes on, the two ladies continue to observe from the platform. In the ring, X-Pac misses the bronco buster and hands Jericho the advantage who then hits his springboard moonsault but fails to get the pin. X-Pac comes back with a spinning heel kick but Jericho returns with a powerbomb and the Walls of Jericho. Chyna walks down and enters the ring. X-Pac is tapping out but the referee is too busy arguing with Chyna, who decks him and causes a disqualification. What was that all about?
Outside, HHH and Steph (who has changed her hairdo to demonstrate her new personna) confront Shane, who wants nothing to do with them. Steph looks drunk or drugged or something and sort of mumbles but doesn't really say anything. HHH taunts his "brother-in-law".
Shane continues to wait for Vince to arrive as we return from the break.
The Godfather (w/6 Garden Tools) vs. Mark Henry - Henry, of course, messed up their tag match last night. On the TitanTron we see Henry on GTV talking to the woman he's just made love with - it's Mae Young - smoking a cigar! Henry enters thereafter and walks right by the Garden Tools. Apparently he's smitten. He goes on the offensive immediately and almost gets a quick pin. GF levers him out to the floor but he comes back with a neck snap. Here comes Mae Young. She climbs onto the apron and distracts GF so that Henry can blindside him and get the pin.
Out back, Vince shows up with a sledge hammer. He refuses to speak as Shane tries to talk sense to him. He stalks into the building looking murderous as Shane continues to try and calm him down. He goes straight to DX's dressing room and knocks the door down with the sledge. It is empty, so he storms off looking for them. Shane calls after him as he stalks away.
Vince stumbles to the ring, sledge hammer in hand. He calls HHH out, calling him a coward and a rapist. Steph appears on the platform and strolls to the ring looking sullen and disheveled. She wants to know what he intends to do with the hammer. "Bash HHH's head in? Bash my head in?" She challenges him to do it. She flaunts her wedding ring in his face. She claims that it was Vince who wanted her to get married when she wasn't ready for it (huh?) She says now that she always admired HHH (huh?) She reminds him that he had her abducted by the Ministry of Darkness and locked in a celler. She ticks off the other things that were done to her during that period. She taunts him with her marraige to the man he hates the most then leaves the ring and returns to Helmsley on the ramp. He taunts Vince as well then kisses his bride.
The McMahon men depart as the "happy couple" wave them away. Steph and HHH then decide that since the rest of the family is gone - they will take over for the night.
The Rock makes an entrance and goes into his schtick singling out Wade Boggs at ringside. He invites Boggs to do domething special with a chicken of his choice.
Rock n' Sock Connection vs. The Dudley Boyz - the Dudleys pause rant their biblical crap but Maivia halts Devon's statement to ask, "...who are you guys?". Then, "It doesn't matter..." etc. The Rock begins the match and dominates both Dudleys then hands it oevr to Mankind who goes for a cover on Devon but fails. Bubba comes in and turns the tables. Devon slips a chair to his partner but Maivia runs around and runs him into the broadcast table. Meanwhile, Bubba tries to use the chair but the referee grabs it away and DQ's the Dudleys. Then HHH and Steph come out and inform them that the match is a No-DQ contest. Maivia starts to rant at them but is attacked from behind as we cut to commercial.
Rock n' Sock are taking out their opponents with a chair at ringside as we return. It seems that No-DQ is no problem for the former Champs. Back in the ring, the Rock has Bubba on the run. Mankind takes Devon to the floor but loses the initiative. He is rolled back inside where the Rock is distracting the referee while the Dudleys doubleteam Foley (someone tell the Rock, "...it doesn't matter what the referee sees"). Bubba then goes for a big butt bump and misses. Mick comes back with the double arm DDT and both are down. He tries to tag out but Bubba holds him back. He hits a low blow from behind and gets the tag as Devon comes in. Maivia puts Devon down then hits the Elbow - but Bubba takes the referee out. A brawl starts on the floor then HHH and Steph send in a referee in a Vince match - he counts the dazed Mankind out and tries to leave. But Maivia drags him back and Foley tears off the mask. It's Al Snow! Roc n' Sock clear the ring.
Snow yucks it up with Mr. and Mrs. HHH backstage.
During the break, the Helmsleys have put together a Womens' Title match in...God help us...chocolate pudding... The Posse appear before the newlyweds and try to suck up. It doesn't work. They get the Acolytes tonight.
The Cat (formerly Miss Kitty) vs. Tori - Womens' Title match in Pudding - this is just stupid. Tori isn't dressed to wrestle so she strips to her bra and panties. Tori grabs a body scissors and looks to be in charge until X-Pac appears in a wet suit. Tori leaves the pool to attack X-Pac and is shoved back in and pinned. Kane then appears and throws Waltman in. The New Age Outlaws save his cookies. Afterward Lillian Garcia announces the winner as Miss Kitty and gets dunked for forgetting the new moniker.
Lawler tries to get a Steve Austin doll to talk but has little success.
The Posse vs. The Acolytes - handicap match - what I mean is that the three of them are handicapped - this is a silly match. Bradshaw bends a chair all out of shape on Pete Gas's head then does the same to Abbs. Then they split. At ringside, the King figures out that his dolly doesn't have batteries.
Backstage the newlyweds are serving ord'oevres and inviting the Outlaws to watch a cage match with them.
The Hardy Boyz (w/Terri) vs. Edge/Christian - Tag Team Cage match - funny how they were able to arrange for the cage within about an hour after taking over the program. Amazing, actually... JR announces that to win this match, one member of a team has to climb out and touch the floor.The Hardey take the early advantage. then Jeff heads for the wall. Edge catches him but he pulls away - but then he throws a senton bomb off the top and hits the mat. Edge then throws a corkscrew splash from the same position and takes out his brother and Matt. Everybody is down for a moment then Matt starts to climb the wall. He is almost ready to start his descent when Christian catches up to him and they race to the floor. They fall and hit the floor simultaneously. The referee declares they both hit the floor together so the match must continue. In the ring, Jeff puts Edge down and starts his climb. He is over the wall when Christian stops him from the outside. Edge slips out the door while Christian holds Jeff off the floor.
Kane and Tori are leaving but the newlyweds catch them and order Kane back inside for a Triple Threat match.
The Outlaws make an entrance as we return from the break. They run down their usual schtick.
Rod Dogg vs. Billy Gunn (right...) vs. Kane - Triple Threat match - really, of course, this is a handicap match - the Outlaws start double teaming Kane right away but that isn't a sure thing against the Big Red Machine. The Dogg goes into his jive dance and then gets booted in the face for his trouble. Kane then plants Billy and almost gets the pin. The Dogg saves him. Kane comes back with a chokeslam attempt but Billy low blows him then hits the Famea$$er. Kane kicks out. Theu hit a spiked piledriver on him to take the pin. They are collectively declared the winners of this "Triple Threat" match.
In the back the newlyweds decide to put the Big Show against the Boss Man and Prince Albert in a handicap match.
The Big Show vs. The Big Boss Man/Prince Albert - WWF World Title handicap match - if either of the challengers pins the Champ, he wins the title. That mysterious orange symbol appears on the big screen before the challengers make their entrance. Big Show attacks them on the ramp and disarms the Boss Man. back in the ring he makes mince meat out of his chief opponent. PA tags in and suffers the same fate. Big Show fights them both off then chokeslams PA. The Boss Man saves his partner but then he is chokeslammed and pinned.
Now Stephanie wants the Outlaws to wrestle a second time and defend their titles! She assigns HHH and Test as the challengers!
Stephanie comes to the ring as we return from the break preceeding her husband.
HHH/Test vs. New Age Outlaws - WWF Tag Team Title match - Test enters but only gets as far as the apron where he starts talking trash with HHH. The Outlaws run out and attack him from behind. Inside the ring, they isolate Test but then he manages to outwrestle them both. But then he is isolated again for a bit but then gets a sidewalk slam. He refuses to tag HHH in. Meanwhile Stephanie is cheering Test on. He is tumbled to the floor and punked by Billy while the other two keep the referee occupied. HHH and Steph have words but she sweet talks him and then continues to urge Test on. HHH looks to be getting a bit put out by this behaviour. Test knocks Road Dogg off the apron then collides with Billy and both are down. The referee is distracted so HHH drags test over and tags himself in. He faces off against Billy...then turns back and attacks Test! Test is punked again then held while Stephanie slaps him. X-Pac arrives with a chair which HHH uses to take Test out. Stephanie poses with DX and does the DX crotch chop.
After all the build-up, all the controversy and all the protests concerning the bad taste of the entire angle, I personally found the denoument of the Boss Man/Big Show storyline quite dissatisfying last night.
The least they could have done would have been to have Big Show beat on the Boss Man until he was disqualified or something. As it is, it hardly seems like they can lay claim to Paul Wight having gained any measure of revenge for all the humiliation he has been made to suffer over the last few months since this entire sorry storyline first reared its ugly head.
It would appear that the brevity of the match was a testament to how little stock was put in the strength of it's participants as main event draws, which then begs the question, "Who do they throw up against the World Champion next?"
One of the difficulties is that Wight has been painted as a sympathetic babyface in his past storylines while the WWF is notably lacking in monster heels. In fact the only one really qualified at this point is HHH, who just happens to have a Title shot coming too him after defeating his "father-in-law" at the PPV last night...what a coincidence...
I can only hope that they will give the coming feud a fitting build-up and then provide a better payoff then we got last night.
On another note: I am a red-blooded American male and so I have to say that I enjoyed Miss Kitty's shenanigans as much as any other member of my demographic. But I have to wonder what the parents of children who were allowed to order the PPV, or indeed, those who actually attended the live event with their children, thought about the WWF allowing one of its performers to expose her breasts at the conclusion of her event. This strikes me as yet one more instance of Vince McMahon thumbing his nose at his critics in the cause of the almighty ratings point.
I have stated in the past my concern that this kind of behaviour would come back and bite the WWF (and the rest of the wrestling community) on the butt eventually, and I was proved correct when various sponsors saw fit to pull their advertising from the WWF product in the last few weeks. Of course, the WWF boosters can say that they were able to refill those ad spots with other, apparently less socially responsible, sponsers who were lined up and waiting to hitch a ride on the WWF bandwagon - and they are correct as far as that goes.
Of course we've yet to see how many of those afore mentioned parents will now take the step of banning WWF PPV's and live events from their children's viewing habits - and what affect that might have on future ad revenues and ratings...and sales of WWF licensed toys and games that Vince McMahon still (incredibly) insists aren't aimed at children and adolescents...
But there is also another area of concern here. The WWF is now a publicly traded company and stockholders are notably jittery types, especially when they perceive that the people in charge of a company have a tendency to go around recklessly offending everyone in sight. The WWF might be wise to think these things through a little more carefully in the future...
...but I'm not holding my breath.
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.
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