Volume 1, Issue 55
October 5, 1996
I returned last night (Friday) from a 5 day vacation trip to Lassen National Park to discover that we lost power sometime Monday and so I didn't get a recording of the Nitro Broadcast that evening. I realize I promised an opinion piece concerning the Monday night wars...but what can I say. Fortunately, a friend did record the RAW program and I was able to get a hold of that recording before it was taped over so I do have fodder for a report.
I would also like to say that I received quite a bit of correspondence while I was away and will try and answer it as quickly as possible. Please be patient with me.
Learn About Becoming a Pro-Wrestler
I want to mention that there is a great interview with Mr. Roland Alexander, owner and operator of Superstars Pro Wrestling Training Camp on my friend Mike B's Wrestling Site. Check it out when you get a chance.
Monday Night RAW
I'm really enjoying the new "Jim Ross as Heel (sort of)" storyline. I find it interesting that it apparently "...tore apart the foundation of the World Wrestling Federation" and that "...tonight a new era begins" - then later, they turn the whole thing into a joke by introducing these two clowns as "Razor" and "Diesel".
Did anybody notice the ECW and NWO signs in the crowd behind the broadcast table? Did you notice that the NWO sign disappeared later but the ECW sign was still there? I hope Vince isn't really going to try and put over his own version of the WCW/NWO storyline...Vince where is your vaunted creativity?
Steve Austin vs. The Snake was a great match - one of the better ones I've seen on RAW actually. Classic "young lion" verses "crafty veteran" stuff. I like it that they let Jake get his DDT on Austin even though he eventually lost the match. Lawler made an ass out of himself as usual.
One of the better lines of the night: "...if I dig it, he will come." - Mankind during the Buried Alive promo. Great stuff. Kevin Costner is turning over in his grave...
Re: the HHH challange hurled at Perfect - hard to see how this is going to lead to a "Perfect Alliance" with Helmsley in it. Maybe that's just one of those Internet rumors of which we see so many (does anybody remember how Glacier was going to be Brian Adams? The Outsiders' third man was definately going to be Sean Waltman...etc?) The good news is that Hennig accepted the challange - its about time we see this great star back in the ring.
I'll skip the "Grimm Twins vs. the Godwins - a nowhere match (to paraphrase Paul McCartney).
Oh boy! Here comes "Razor Ramon"! Did you see the gut on that guy? And what's with those limp-wristed chops and punches? The dialogue between Monsoon and Ross was from somewhere in the Twilight Zone. Now here's "Diesel", he seemed to have a hard time stepping over the top rope - maybe because he's not seven feet tall. I'm sorry, I still think this is silly...Ross' new character is interesting but this Diesel/Razor thing makes it into a joke. Too bad. The match (against Savio Vega) ended in a screwjob when the "Midget Diesel" interfered.
Mark Mero's "Wild Thing" (shooting star press) is a nice manuever. Have you seen Billy Kidman's version of this move? He does his gainer in a full layout position instead of going into a tuck as Mero does. Much more impressive in my opinion.
Vader/Cornette vs. HBK/Lothario - this was great stuff between Michaels and Vader, although Vader's "work" was not very impressive. His over-the-head slam (ala Razor Ramon) was clumsy and when Michaels got the flying foerarm on him he was already halfway to the mat before the Kid connected. I love to watch Cornette get belted. Wow! HBK slammed Vader and didn't even clutch his back! Well...maybe a little bit. Vader wins with a clean pin, setting him up for another title shot I suppose...or more likely a tag match with Vader/Goldust vs. HBK/Sid.
Not a bad show - two good matches and some low comedy...sorry I can't make the usual comparison - I guess I'll have to wait until the replays on WCW Saturday Night to get a feel for what happened on Nitro.
Vince McMahon on AOL
I promised several of my correspondents that I would publish this transcript when it was made available so here it is.
OnlineHost: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome...Vince McMahon!!!
WWFLive1: Vince: This is Vince McMahon. lm looking forward to talking with everyone in Cyberspace. It's been quite a while since I have had the pleasure of joining everyone on AOL. I'd like to do it more often.
Question: Vince, where have you been? --"CRS CAPS"
WWFLive1: Vince: I have chosen to perform other duties such as producing and directing talent and I'm taking a more active role in corporate affairs. That's why I have been curtailing my broadcasting activities. Although, I must say I miss it.
WWFLive2: "Crs Caps" sent this in. . .
Question: Vince, what do you think of the NWO and WCW?
WWFLive1: Vince: The WCW is an organization founded of course by Ted Turner. Turner continues to deficit spend quite like the US government. It seems as though the only thing Mr. Turner really cares about is Monday night TV ratings. He has pooled many of his resources dedicated to hurt the WWF. In the end, the only individuals he is hurting are fans because they have the opportunity to watch two shows at the same time. The NWO is an idea...by using former WWF superstars based on the concept of the WWF invading WCW. Turner very cleverly used WWF trademarks in an effort to perpetuate this concept. Nonetheless, the NWO and its existence is very successful for WCW. It's ironic that all the members of the NWO achieved their popularity here in the WWF. (Editor's Note: I find it ironic that most of the WWF's current top stars, like Vader, Dustin Rhodes, Marc Mero, Brian Pillman, Mankind, Sid, Steve Austin, Jim Cornette, etc. - all achieved their popularity in the WCW...but what do I know?)
WWFLive2: "Soldier f" wants to know...
Question: Why have you been losing all of your good wrestlers? And what are you going to do about it?
WWFLive1: Vince: Good question... quite frankly, even though we did a parody of Billionaire Ted, the reality of his resources is in fact what keeps WCW's engine burning. Ted Turner doesn't care if he can outspend his opponent to get what he wants. In this case, thus far, he has been able to pay exorbitant amounts of money to superstars that came to prominence first in the WWF. However, practically all of our WWF superstars are now under long-term contracts. This will prevent Ted Turner from this practice. Ted can now concentrate on attempting to make his own stars...something that he has never been able to do before.
Question: Vince, I was at Madison Square Garden today and the arena was less than half full. Plus Raw ratings have been plummetting lately. What in your opinion is the reason for the sudden downfall?
WWFLive1: Vince:You're right, MSG was only half full today. I think everyone in NYC is waiting for Survivor Series, the next event in MSG on November 17th. And, quite frankly, the attraction today was not as strong as our normal MSG attractions. I was very pleased with the count today. However, I have not been pleased with recent RAW ratings. We have plans to improve our ratings, although we like Turners organization, don't live and die on TVratings. There are many other measurements, live gate attendance, PPV subscribers, Merchandising and Licensing revenue as well as the support shown by you members in cyberspace. WCW is way behind the WWF.
WWFLive2: Dr Fate34 sent this in...
Question: Mr McMahon, What do you think of Eric Bishoff?
WWFLive1: Vince: I don't know Eric Bischoff. I don't know what kind of skills he has. Although I must say that it does not take a genius to be able to pick Hulk Hogans mind and spend zillions of dollars with multi network backing to accomplish what WCW has currently accomplished.
Question: Mr McMahon, Any chance of seeing the Warrior back in WWF?
WWFLive1: Vince: It's highly unlikely.
Question: WHAT ARE YOUR COMMENTS ON JIM ROSS?
WWFLive1: Vince: Jim Ross appears to be a disgruntled employee with an ax to grind. I think I should deal with Mr. Ross in private.
WWFLive2: Mr B1onde sent this in...
Question: Will you comment on the recent departures of high-level management, specifically JJ Dillion?
WWFLive1: Vince: I was shocked at JJ Dillons activities. I did not understand why Mr. Dillon would abruptly quit his job. But, now that I see he starts Oct 1 at WCW, I see why.
Question: Is having RAW live every week in the cards for the WWF?
WWFLive1: Vince: Production expenses alone are well over 6 figures. Under normal circumstances, we attempt to record as many shows as possible thus minimizing our expenditures. We do not have Turners resources to lose millions a year and to spend over 6 figures every week on one show. We cannot match check books, we must be as we always have been ...more innovative, maintain a stronger work ethic, and never forget who brang you to the dance... our fans!
WWFLive2: MadDogJMF sent this in...
Question: Is there a deal between the ECW and WWF?
WWFLive1: Vince: The only deal between ECW and WWF is that ECW, if they have not already, will be hearing from our attorneys as a result of their intrusion on our PPV and Live MNR show. As I recognize, this is America. ECW has just as much right to be in business as us. I would appreciate it if they did not interrupt our activities to gain notoriety.
Question: Vince, whats with Bret Hart?
WWFLive1: Vince: Today in MSG it was announced that we are currently negotiating with Bret. Hopefully he will return to action at Survivor Series against Stone Cold Steve Austin. However, though Bret remains, has been and continues to be under contract with the WWF, we have thus far been unable to coax him back to the ring. I am hopeful that we will be successful at the Survivor Series. If in fact we are not successful in coaxing Bret back, I would extend to him, the possibilty of a front office position, the possibility of consultation, public relations or wherever he would like to pursue future activities. I am concerned that Bret has lost his competitive edge. Quite frankly, he will more than likely retire. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that he willl return for one farewell match at Survivor Series.
Question: Do you feel that the wwf missed the boat on capitalizing on the talent of the Mexican wrestlers?Such as WCW has took advantage of it.
WWFLive1: Vince: You might be right, I don't know. It's certainly an avenue which we will explore in the future.
Question: Are there negotiations for bringing in Dan Crofit and Doug Furnas to the WWF?
WWFLive1: Vince: Yes, we are currently negotiating both individuals. We look forward to making an announcement as to whether or not they will join us, within 30 days.
Question: Is there any truth to the rumors of a live WWF show late on Saturday nights?
WWFLive1: Vince: All things are possible, here in the WWF.
WWFLive2: Here is one from Rryder. . .
Question: Will the WWF be launching a site on the World Wide Web, and if so....how will it effect the AOL site?
WWFLive1: Vince: Good question, especially coming from you Bob. For those of you who don't know Bob Ryder, at Prodigy, he paved the way for the WWF's success on AOL. MR. Ryder had a concept at WM XI of joining cyberspace and wrestling...we tried it out and it works very well. Unfortunately Prodigy did not big bid on our business..so a debt of gratidude is owed to Bob Ryder. However, to answer your question, the WWF will be launching a web site in the near future. This however, will co-exist and compliment our AOL site. We believe we can do both AOL and a www site. Thank you for your question Bob, best of luck.
WWFLive2: MadDogJMF sent this in....
Question: Why were Mitchell & Barstow fired and what does this mean to the WWF On-Line?
WWFLive1: Vince: Notwithstanding the problems that you, mad dog had with Bob Mitchell and Lee Barstow, as it relates to the AOL grandstand, for which they apologized on behalf of the WWF...a misunderstanding. The release of Mitchell and Barstow was a part of an ongoing restructuring at TitanSports. Nonetheless, suffice to say however, our commitment to AOL is stronger than it has ever been.
WWFLive2: DKramer21 sent this in..
Question: Will Hulk Hogan ever be inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame ?
WWFLive1: Vince: Yes.
WWFLive2: FLAVA5 sent this in
Question: Which wrestler would you most like to see in the WWF that is not here already?
WWFLive1: Vince: Recognizing that my "friends" in Atlanta our monitoring our chat, my answer would have to be Six...formerly known as the 1-2-3 Kid.
Question: Who do you believe is the best wrestler today?
WWFLive1: Vince: This will probably strike most peolple as unusual, but I would suggest the best wrestler in the world today is Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Question: Vince, do you listen to the reaction from the fans on the internet and on AOL?
WWFLive1: Vince: Yes, I do. I welcome both positive and negative criticism.
Question: Is it true that Brian Lee, and Lance Wright have signed with the WWF?
WWFLive1: Vince: They have not signed, no it is not true. However, both are prospects.
WWFLive2: Ruby115 sent this in...
Question: Vince, do you plan on bringing Gene Okerlund back to the WWF?
WWFLive1: Vince: I'm quite certain that Gene Okerlund is still under contract with WCW.
WWFLive2: TRobson sent this in...
Question: Had you to do it over again, would you have done the "Billionaire Ted' skits?
WWFLive1: Vince: Yes, I found the Billionaire Ted skits provactive, satirical,and very adept at getting our message across in an entertaining fashion. Few people in media or in life, have the tenacity to make fun of Ted Turner. We're not afraid of Ted, not afraid of his billions of dollars or even the big bad wolf.
Question: Vince, what was your favorite WrestleMania?
WWFLive1: Vince: WM III at the Pontiac Silverdome. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant. Andre had been a protege of my fathers...it was only fitting that Andre as well as Hogan would have the opportunity to make WWF wrestling history. I can't tell you how proud I was of the performances of both individuals on that day. It was a moment that will always be special for fans all over the world as well as those of us inside the wrestling business. When I walked to the ring to the introduction in front of 93,000 fans, all I could think about was my father and how much I would have wanted him to have been a part of that extravaganza.
WWFLive2: Ok..last question of the night..Sent in by DEFCAM2...
Question: If Vince had to change one decision over the last year, what would it be and why ?
WWFLive1: Vince: There is no one decision that I can look back on in the past that was pivotal. The success of an enterprise such as the WWF is a cumulation of a lot of decisions. We don't claim to be the smartest....but we will work harder than anybody else. We have a deep abiding respect and love for the business that we are in and for our fans who enjoy that business. Hopefully the cumulation of all of our decisions in the past as well as those we'll make in the future, will be decisions that will entertain and dazzle WWF fans all over the world even in the face of overwhelming odds, Billionaire Ted.
OnlineHost: Thanks for joining us tonight Vince McMahon!. . .It's been our peasure!!!
WWFLive1: Vince: I would like to thank everyone for all of their support. I would like to thank you for all of your opinions. And hopefully we can do this on a monthly basis. Goodnight.
OnlineHost: And a special thanks to all the FANS for attending tonights LIVE event!
OnlineHost: Have a great night!!!
End of Transcript
This was an interesting interview...McMahon seems to be obsessed with WCW. I noticed that he took every opportunity to slam the Turner organization even when the question didn't really deal with their rivalry. He was a little more candid then I expected but I also noticed that his answers to the questions about the ECW "invasion" and the Jim Ross angle seem to be set-ups for an NWO type storyline, much like Eric Bischoff's "on camera" remarks each week. The difference is that Bischoff doesn't try to maintain the illusion "off camera" in his Prodigy chats.
Vince's assertion that the Monday Night Wars have been "bad for the fans" is clearly disengenuous...he is, in effect, denying that his broadcasts have improved since the debut of Nitro. I find it interesting that he gives Hulk Hogan the credit for Bischoff's NWO storyline. I give him "B" for balls.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
Read what others have said
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.
Copyright 1996 - Jump City Productions