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Solie's Saturday Morning Report

Crash Holly takes the WWF Hardcore Title

Rhino Handed the ECW TV Title

The Way I See It...

Weekly Review by Earl Oliver

VERNE GAGNE'S BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

From the AWA web site


Volume 5, Issue 550 - February 26, 2000

HWA - Press Release 2/22/00

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE !!!
Contact Les Thatcher at 513-771-1650

Pillman 2000 website info !!!

This week, a brand new website dedicated to the late Brian Pillman was launched. This website gives you an up close and personal look into the life of Brian Pillman. In WCW, he was known as "Flyin' Brian," and during his stint with the WWF, he was "The Loose Cannon." Included are never before seen photos (i.e., baby pictures, family photos, Pillman memorial show PICS, words with Brian's friends). Also included is information on this year's memorial show, "Pillman 2000." So log on now to www.pillmanshow.com.

We would also like to announce the new and long awaited HWA hotline is finally up and running. The number to call is 513-684-HWA1.


Editor's Note: On Sunday afternoon I will be flying to New York to be a presenter at the On Demand Printing Industry Trade Show. I will be out of town until late Friday night and will probably not have time to watch the shows or to write a report on them. I will definitely not be able to watch the PPV or write it up. There will be a newsletter edition next Saturday, but at this point I am not sure what will be included. I will have internet access on the road and so will continue to maintain the Mailroom as best I can.

This morning's edition opens with a brief sketch of the professional life of wrestling legend and AWA promoter, Verne Gagne.


VERNE GAGNE'S BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

From the AWA web site

Certain athletes are synonymous with greatness in their own particular sport, in professional wrestling, the name Verne Gagne was most often linked with unsurpassed talent in the mat sport.

Born in 1926, Verne grew up on a farm in Minnesota. Leaving home at age 14 after his mother passed away, he entered Robbinsdale High School participating in football, wrestling and baseball. It wasn€t easy for Verne, working many hours before school sweeping and scrubbing a local tavern and beauty shop. Still he managed to win district, regional and state championships in high school wrestling and was selected to play in the All-State-Football team.

In 1943 Gagne was recruited to play football at the University of Minnesota, becoming a member of the All-Conference Team that same year. After one year of college, he joined the Marines, based at El Toro, California and played on the marine football team. At the time, this team was ranked number one in America. Verne was such an outstanding star that he could have written his own ticket as to which college he would attend following his discharge from the service. He chose to return to the University of Minnesota where his dual interests in football and wrestling brought him recognition as a top athlete. In college:

In football he played end for the Gophers, wining Honorable Mention in the All-American voting. In 1949 he was asked to play in the college all-star football game in Chicago against the NFL Champions the Philadelphia Eagles.

Verne also enjoyed a brief stint playing professional football with the Green Bay Packers. But the initial training given him by the excellent coaches at Robbinsdale High School and the University of Minnesota, gave wrestling the upper hand when it came to choosing a profession. The late Tony Stecher the Minneapolis wrestling promoter encouraged Gagne to enter the world professional wrestling.

In the spring of "49" Gagne had his first professional match against Abe "King Kong" Kashey. Former heavyweight boxing champion of the world Jack Dempsey refereed the match. In l950 he won the Junior Heavyweight title and held it throughout l951. The next move was to Chicago where he received his biggest break, wrestling every Saturday night for the Dumont network. This tremendous national television exposure gave Gagne perhaps one of the largest following€s of any wrestler before him. Having a terrific retinue of holds and escapes he became the country€s foremost exponent of scientific wrestling, with the "Flying Dropkick" and the "Sleeper Hold" becoming his trademarks. With skill, personality and wholesome good looks he became a national celebrity, holding the National Heavyweight Championship from 1952 until 1956.

Wrestling became so big during this time that sellout crowds were the norm in auditoriums all over the country. At one event on February 4, 1953, Gagne was the headliner in New York€s Madison Square Garden. An all-time record crowd of 19,300 including 1,400 standees filled the auditorium. A riot took place outside when 5,000 fans were turned away.

In 1960, Gagne returned to the Twin Cities with the newly formed American Wrestling Association becoming the World€s Heavyweight Champion. In that same year, he bought an interest in it. Bringing with him the benefit of years of television experience, he produced a weekly one- hour wrestling program and negotiated with TV stations around the country to air it. His primary objective was to produce quality "All Star Wrestling" programs with world class talent. It€s success stemmed from a total commitment to professionalism, eventually leading to a hundred and twenty television stations around the country carrying this program. With his keen sense of promotional expertise combined with business savvy the program syndicated nationally, for over 30 years. Eventually the program was picked up by ESPN network.

Ultimately becoming the sole shareholder of the corporation, which controlled the American Wrestling Association, he promoted and ran live events from New York to California and Canada to Mexico, as well as international events in Europe, and the Middle East. He held events in such historic venues as the; LA Forum, The Amphitheater and Comisky Park in Chicago, The Meadowlands in New Jersey, The Cow Palace in San Francisco and countless other facilities. He also was involved with special events carried over closed circuit television from multi-locations and national and regional pay-per-view events.

As a professional wrestler his record was second to none, up until his retirement in the early '80s. Through the AWA and his rigid training camp, came some of the best wrestlers of then and today. These include: Ken Patera, Brad Rheinghans, Chris Taylor, Jim Brunzell, Greg Gagne, Ric Flair, Larry and Curt Hennig, Ole Anderson, Gene Anderson, The Iron Sheik, Dale Lewis, Ricky Steamboat, Larry Heinimi, Steve Olsonowski, Jan Nelson, Buck Zumhoff, to list a few. Additionally, he helped developed such stars as Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Hulk Hogan, Billy Robinson, Jimmy Snuka, Andre the Giant, and many, many more. All were indebted to Verne for being the catalyst to their success.

He has been a staunch supporter of amateur wrestling programs, not only in his home state of Minnesota, but nationally. Through contributions of time and money, he has been instrumental in the development of the U.S. Olympic Greco Roman Wrestling Team. Many aspiring wrestlers can thank Verne for the support and the encouragement that he has given the amateur wrestling community, be they wrestlers, coaches, or the schools themselves.

But the success of Verne Gagne is not just the story of an athlete or promoter, but rather it is also the success of an individual deeply committed to his community, recognizing and helping those less fortunate. Gagne has been, throughout his career, involved in community services and charities such as: the Courage Center, Camp Confidence, Cystic Fibrosis, Easter Seals, The American Cancer Society, Children€s Hospitals, The Ronald McDonald House, Save the Children, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the Jerry Lewis Telethon, to list a few.


Finally!! The Rock's and Mankind's Autobiagraphies are now both available at Solie's Storefront! Check it out for great deals on wrestling books, records and videos and to help support Solie's Vintage Wrestling. All proceeds from the Storefront go into paying for upkeep on this web site and keeping our features as a free service to the Internet Wrestling Community. In association with Amazon.com.


The Way I See It...

By Earl Oliver

Monday Nitro had Mean Gene opening the show with an interview. He called Hulk Hogan out but Lex Luger and Liz appeared instead. Luger is in complete a total denial over what happened during his match with Hogan Sunday night. Lex appeared to have gained one percent in body fat since the PPV when he said his body had 3% fat. Monday he was saying 4%. He went on to say that his feud with Hogan is just beginning before the Hulkster's music interrupted him. Backstage, Jeff Jarrett promised revenge on everybody whose done him wrong. He warned everybody to watch out for the Harris Boyz.

Torrie was strangly restrained in her dress tonight (damnit!)as she accompanied her boyfriend, Kidman, to the ring to face Lash LeRoux in a very fast paced match which was abruptly interrupted when the Harris Twins invaded the ring and made mincemeat out of both competitors. I guess this is what Jarrett was talking about.

Vampiro was put throught the ringer which is Fit Finley, who seems to have gained somewhat in viciousness since recovering from his leg injury. Vampiro flat took it throughout the first half of the match, then he made a brief comeback before Finley regained the advantage for several more moments until he made a mistake and got himself pinned rather suddenly. He then tried to punk his opponent but the latter managed to roll out of harms way before much damage was done. Backstage, Buff Bagwell got into a set-to with the inarticulate one (the Maestro) over his courting of Symphony. They set up a match for later.

Somehow Booker ended up in a handicap match against the World Tag Team Champions for the Title! And he was well on his way to winning it all when Disco interfered and spoils it for him. Then the Harris Twins showed up again...

Oklahoma came down for some reason to help make the call during a Cruiserweight Title match. A sort of scaled down La Parka shows up to challenge TAFKAPI. Oklahoma was sure there was something fishy. He ran in and tore off "La Parka's" mask to reveal that it was Madusa in disguise. Meanwhile, the real La Parka ran in with a chair and clobbered Oklahoma. The Artist then pinned the distracted La Parka and the match was over.

Uh oh...here they come again...oh I see - this was a match for the Harris Brothers against the Texas Duo of Terry Funk and Dustin Rhodes. The match was a route, the twins have everything going for them including youth and size. Funk was isolated for about 6 or 7 minutes before finally making his comeback, only to have Jeff Jarrett distract him by approaching the ring with his guitar in hand. There is standoff and for some reason the twins didn't interfere. Sid showed up and charged the ring, chasing Jarrett out of the building. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Dustin was attacking Funk and hitting him with a chair...what??? Later, as the medics were trying to take Funk away, Dustin ran in again, knocked Funk off his stretcher then drove away with the ambulance!

Mean Gene called Sid to the ring for a parlay. His main message was to accept Jeff Jarrett's challenge to a one-on-one battle for the belt. He set it for the next PPV (Uncensored 2000).

Backstage, Kidman and Booker were trying to attack the twins but were held back by security forces.

Buff Bagwell's match against the Maestro began in the absense of Symphony, who was ordered to stay at the entryway. But soon she made her way to the ring to provide excellent distraction for Buff. At one pint she got to close to the action and was bowled over and into the ring steps. It looked like a mistake and she definitely wasn't prepared for such a thing to happen. As the fight started to get good, Ernest Miller decided to show up and distract the Maestro so Buff could get the pinfall. He also presented the Maestro with some new entrance music - a hip-hop flavored piece that drives the Maestro wild. This guy's acting is by far the worst I have ever seen, by the way. His rants are mostly incomprehensible, at least the few I've heard so far. Of course his grandfather (Gorgeous George) never had to say anything since he did his entire act in pantomime.

Jim Duggan dug the WCW Television Title belt out of the trash over the weekend and now intends to defend it! In fact he did defend it on Saturday against Robert Gibson?? It was indeed... Steven Regal then threw out a challenge for next week on the Saturday show.

Bam Bam Bigalow got a Hardcore match against the Wall after losing the Hardcore Title to Brian Knobbs Sunday night. The Wall is a real big bruiser - almost the equal of Bigalow - and he dominated the match until about the final third when the former champ made his move. Bigalow is an incredible talent, much underrated in my view. His insiguri is as surprising as it is devastating...but it wasn't enough in this case. The Wall shrugged it all off and went back on the attack. A piledriver gave him his most impressive win yet.

Backstage, Ric Flair was a bit manic, ordering his former best friend and neglected son to get their acts together as the two sit stonefaced.

Hulk Hogan ran down his usual tired rant against his opponent again tonight - Lex Luger. They had a steel cage match later...

...in fact, it was next. On their way to the ring, Lex Luger and Nature Boy encountered Jimmy Hart and decided to have some sport with him while waiting for Luger's opponent. They beat him up then dragged him to the cage - then we went to sell something.

They were still beating on the little guy as we returned. Hogan jumped his music and ran to the ring to save his little buddy. He goes right after Luger but Flair is there as well so he has to be removed by security and finally the match begins in the ring. It's a last-man-standing match, no DQ, no pinfalls, no submission, the winner has to leave the cage etc. Hogan took charge from the first moment, using the cage very expertly, pausing from time to time to acknowledge the crowd which is actually quite into this silly match. The package had not had a moment of offense after several minutes in action. Then he turned the tables quite decisively. Like Hogan, Luger is very good at staying on top once he arrives there. He executed a series of elbow drops that left Hogan writhing on the mat feebly. The Total Package then put Hogan into the rack then dropped him and turned his back...Hogan popped to his feet and started hulking up. He gets the famous one two - then Flair kicked the referee out of the way and entered the cage. Hogan caught his breath then fought his way past both of them. Then he removed his weight belt...and was blindsided and punked. Doug Dillenger came down and got creamed. They put the chair-on-the-arm deal on Dillenger then went back to work on Hogan's limp carcass as the program faded to black.

RAW is WAR was live from the Georgia Center in Atlanta. DX arrived via an even bigger bus this week and made their way directly to the ring. They started out handing out gratuitus insults to the crowd - stalling until the Rock was ready to make his initial appearance. When Maivia did appear he surprised everyone with a dead-on impression of HHH, dangling consenents and all. HHH tried to put the Rock down but didn't have the wit to pull it off. In the middle of his threat to do bodily harm, Cactus Jack showed up to help even the odds. He added his two cents worth, ushered in Kane then challenges DX to a six-man match - oh, and a melee immediately... The Big Show ran in like the cavalry and changed the situation for the worst. The good guys were punked.

Chyna preceeded the Millennium Bug to the ring to face the British Bulldog and Kurt Angle. Angle ran down a ridiculous rant which Jericho cut off with an attack. Jericho and Chyna actually functioned pretty well as a team, and in fact far surpassed the almost non-exitent teamwork on the other side. In the end, however, Angle distracted the referee while the Bulldog attacked Jericho then Chyna distracted the referee while Angle knocked Jericho out with the IC title belt, then took the pin.

Too Cool came down without their big friend to face Headcheese - who are in the back still working on their gimmick. Snow wants them to dance but Blackman breaks his boombox instead. Not surprisingly, Too Cool dominated the match from the get go, but as the match progressed the tide began to turn. The end came when Snow talked his partner into dancing for a moment. Just long enough for Scott Taylor to sneak in and knock Blackman into his parner on the apron then pin him on the rebound.

The Goshfathers I & II brought a whole platoon of lovelies to the ring. A sign ringside reads "The Peoples' Pimp". This match was against Saturn and Dean Malenko. The crowd favorites dominated the action for the first few exchanges, then the Godfather went for an early train move and had a wreck... From there the two Radicals swiftly tied things up. D-Lo was pinned by Saturn at the end.

The Hardeys, Edge and Christian took on the New Age Outlaws and the Dudleys in an eight man match which broke down early when first Christian accidently attacked one of the Hardeys then Bubba Ray attacked Billy Gunn with a chair for no apparent reason. Somehow the good guys won the match but I didn't catch how...

The Acolytes came out for a regular match for a change, they were there to be Mark Henry's partners in a six-man against the Hollys and Viscera (JR first said it was Gangrel but then corrected himself). Whatever...the match itself was pretty one sided since the Acolytes and Henry are by far the larger team and Viscera doesn't care that much for his partners. Everytime one of the Hollys got in the ring they would throw away the advantage. The Acolytes finally ganged up on Crash Holly and took him out. Afterward, Mae Young came down to the ring and attacked Crash - but Steroid Bob is there to knock her down (so gallant...) Viscera then splashed the poor soul. How disgusting...

Chris Benoit was put to the Test on RAW. The youngster came out full of fire and brimstone but didn't reckon with the ire of the Wolverine (a wolverine doesn't need to be rabid, JR...) who came on like gangbusters for several exchanges then was mowed down. As Test made his move, Eddie G snuck up to the ring and interfered with his L-shaped weapon (whatever it is).

Rakishi crutched himself to the ring (with three crutches taped together to support his bulk). Eddie G strolled down delivering insults for this No-DQ matchup. If he thought he would have an easy time, he was mistaken. As soon as he took his attention off his oppoenent, Rakishi attacked him with the crutches!! Then he squashed him in the corner and pinned him! The Radicals swarmed in but then Too Cool showed up and helped their friend clear the ring so they could dance.

There was a commercial for a TV program featuring Rena Mero during the break. Looked like an action adventure series or something but I didn't pay much attention. I remember her appearanceon Pacific Blue a couple seasons back. She was actually pretty good as a tough prison inmate.

Another good contest for Tazz as he took on the Big Boss Man in a brutal fight which ended prematurely when Prince Albert decided to lend a hand to his off again on again pal.

The main event was Cactus Jack/Kane/the Rock vs. HHH/X-Pac/Big Show - which immediately degenerated into a ringside brawl then sorted itself out and got into the ring. At one point the Rock overcame an early attempt at a Pedegree then turned "the Game" over to the madman Cactus Jack. HHH tagged out in a flash and threw X-pac to the wolves. Moments later Jack had X-Pac out on the floor pummeling him when HHH came out to lend a hand. Cactus continued to take on all three of his opponents as he was isolated pretty effectively. Finally the Rock got in and cleared the ring but then HHH pulled the ropes down and Maivia tumbled out to the floor. Now the Rock was being isolated until HHH climbed to the top a little too slowly. Maivia caught him there and turned the tables. He tagged in Foley who did some ring clearing of his own and almost pinned HHH. He ended his flurry by bringing a fire extinguisher but failing to use it. It was conveniently there later on when HHH needed something to hit the Rock with and win the match. The match was over but the fight was just beginning as the six competitors continued to pound on each other all over the arena until HHH and the two women ran out to the bus and were driven away - but not before Jack managed to puncture the windshield with a big pipe...

Thunder (on tape from Reno, Nevada) opened with Kevin Nash doing a little burlesque take on a case of amnesia...which I am suddenly struck with myself as these three really lame guys start singing about, "...you can't keep me out of your heart..." Fit Finley had a match with Evan Karagias - but of course with Three-Clowns it's always three on one, and in this Hardcore match it was even legal. Finley just swatted the competition, no-selling his way through all three of them - repeatedly - until they collapse in a heap. Meanwhile, Nash was still trying to figure out who he is..."wait...I'm the Commissioner? Commissioner? Commissioner Gordon! Of course! Call Batman!!!

Buffy is coming on to Daffny in a stairwell (talk about a threatening situation!) who just hears him out then screams in his ear before flouncing away with a chuckle.

The Nature Boy was at his heelish best, carrying Hulk Hogan's weight belt like it's his old "ten pounds of gold", insulting the hometown crowd and complaining that he can't get an opponent tonight. Vampyro came out to humbly accept the challange and even threw in an "I'll kick you ass..." line to seal the deal. Backstage, Okerlund interviewed La Parka who spoke through a disembodied translater. I don't know - I like it better when Silver King does it...

Berlyn returned with his usual pomp and circumstance, made a threatening speech in German then drop-kicked La Parka right off of his chair during his introductory dance. But, the Mexican star bounced right back and took the measure of der Funkengruuven in short order. A forgetable match...forget it...

Mean Gene spoke to Tanked Abbott but was interrupted by "MmMike JJones" (thats Virgil/Vincent/Curly Bill/Shane to you and me) who wants a rematch because "wrestling you almost cost me my career..." sounds like the time to run away to me...

Buff Bagwell's got his commuppance for his dalliances with Daffny by being allowed to beat up on David Flair. He proceeded to do just that until he dropped his guard for a moment and got hit with a low blow. That's it for Bagwell - uh oh...here comes trouble. The Maestro ran in with a maniacal grimace on his face and started pounding on Buffy's shoulders and back. Bagwell basically just shrugged him off then chased him from the ring. This Maestro guy is an embarrassment to his grandfather...

Is it possible that Tank the Abbott is being groomed to face the returning Goldberg..? Someday..? His match with MMike JJones was anticlimatic - they all are, aren't they..?

Kevin Nash decided that Ralphus is Bruce Wayne...

Vampyro (I know that's spelled wrong - but I just like the way Oklahoma pronounces his name...) got the biggest match of his career, against the 14 - 12 - 16, whatever time World Champion Ric Flair. Flair has been in great shape lately. In this case, he moved just fast enough to be in place for each of the youngster's big strikes earlier in the match, then deftly turned the tables and started working on the left leg of his opponent. Vamp rallied late in the game and was building momentum when Lex Luger ran in and interfered.

Backstage, Vamp was trying to work the kinks out of his knee when Fit Finley ran in and attacked him.

Dustin "Look Ma! It's a pirate!!" Rhodes couldn't string two words together at first but soon warmed to his task of threatening Terry Funk and trashing the Reno crowd. Funk answered on the big screen with insults so vile (like your grandfather might deliver) that Dustin was moved to attack some of the production crew at ringside.

Backstage, Mickey Jay wanted Jarrett's suspended "back pocket" referee back in the ring for one more time. Terry Taylor said, "sure".

The Artist formerly known as Devon Storm, with pipe in hand, got his shot at the Cruiserweight Title. Actually they relieved him of the pipe before the match started. Mr. Bar, as Heenan dubbed him, let his desire to reclaim the pipe take his attenetion away from the match. But that was only the beginning of his problems. Daffny came down to ringside and managed to distract TAFKAPI by flashing her purple wig at him. Meanwhile, Paisley started getting froggy with her man's opponent. Daffny took umbrage and the dangedest cat fight ensued. In the confusion, the Prince dropped the challenger with a back kick on the point of the jaw and then took the pinfall.

Disco Inferno ran into a Wall after not even realizing that his companions the Tag Champs had been ambushed back in the entryway. He tried to talk his way out of the match but "der funkenmonster" wasn't buying it. Disco tried to defend himself but it was hopeless...

Kidman and Booker made an odd pairing although they are equally athletic. This match is a result of the fact that both of them suffered humiliation at the hands of the Harris Twins over the last week or so. A kind of duel revenge match, I guess. They didn't get much. Kidman got his clock cleaned early on, being whipped piller to post then strangled. It could dishearten the lad. When Booker finally got into the ring he was a house afire but he had two strong opponents to look to since Kidman was largely ineffectual. A Big H Bomb told the tale.

The main event was a non-title contest between Big Sid Vicious and Big Headed Lex Luger. The Package had his sights set on breaking Sid's arm, of course. But first he had to get past Sid's initial attack, which was no easy feat. He tried to escape to the floor, but Sid followed him right out and pounded him into submission before rolling im back inside. Luger finally got some offense but it was just temporary. Sid came back in a flash and Ric Flair had to run down and run interference - but even that didn't work at first as Sid creamed both guys until Luger got a hold of his baseball bat and delivered a knee shot. Sid was down and getting punked while Jarrett and Company watched on a monitor backstage. "Let go get us some of that..." said the Twins. So they headed out with only a momentary pause to deliver a guitar shot to Mickey Jay who tried to have them barred from the arena. The program faded before the carnage began over again.

SmackDown came to us on tape from Nashville, TN and Test made his way to the ring to defend his Hardcore Title against Crash Holly at the top of the program. From the get-go, Test was in control of things - as could have been expected. Crash was tossed over the barricade then harried into the crowd before being thrown back into the ring area. Rooting around under the ring, Crash came up with a fire extinguisher to turn the tables. This brought Steroid Bob out to the platform to watch the action. Meanwhile, Test was rooting around under the ring and came up with a chair which he used to cut Crash's flight off the ringsteps short. Back in the ring, Test tried to set up a DDT onto a pair of chairs but Crash thwarted that move and regained the advantage. In the end, Bob Holly came down to ringside and measured his cousin for a chairshot - but accidently hit Test instead - giving Crash the pin, and the title.

Outside in the DX Express Bus - HHH and company were divying up the matches against their mutual enemies - as usual...

The Big Show came to the ring and whined about the way the crowd is treating him and rolled the footage of the ending of the Royal Rumble three times (once in slow motion), trying to convince the fans they should be on his side. Kurt Angle showed up to explain to the big guy why he has become such a parriah. He explained that he has the same problem. These people just don't like athletes with integrity - that's his story and he's sticking to it. Before he can relate a little Olympics anecdote, the Millennium Bug came out with Chyna to rain on their collective parade. This elicited a challenge from Angle to a tag team match - him and the giant against Jericho and Chyna (I would suppose) - then the Rock showed up before that could quite be spelled out. He said that he wanted to be Jericho's partner to shut the Show up. He then admitted to the Show that his feet did indeed touch the ground first at the Rumble, but said he could show his own footage that would show Wight why he wasn't popular. He showed his footage - of himself doing his whiny impression of the Big Show, three times as well (once in slow motion).

For his "revenge" match tonight, Chris Benoit got Kane - and actually acted like he was looking forward to it. Personally, I think this was a case of HHH getting revenge on Benoit for being twice the man he'll ever be...but then that is my own bias talking... For his part, Benoit came down with his entire Radical crew to punk Kane outside the ring before the bell rang. Once inside, Benoit had a ready made advantage until he threw his swan dive head butt only to see the big guy pop right up while Benoit was still reeling from the blow. Kane dominated the action until Tori came out to distract him by attacking Paul Bearer. This got Kane out of the ring and counted out. He then followed Tori up the ramp where he was met by X-Pac toting a pyro cannon which he set-off in Kane's face! (I read that they had to run this scenerio twice at the taping because the cannon fizzled the first time).

An 8 man tag match pitted Edge, Christian and the Hardys against Al Snow, Steve Blackman, Saturn and Dean Malenko. The match didn't really get interesting until Jeff Hardy was tagged in and all hell broke loose on both sides. After several moments of confused melee, Saturn and Malenko doubleteamed Jeff to take the pin. Afterward, the two good guy teams got into an argument then a fight to set them up for their Tag Team Title contenders' match on Sunday.

HHH, X-Pac and the Road Dogg took on Too Cool and Rakishi in a 6 man brawl. Rakishi was moving around pretty good on that bad wheel of his until HHH had the presence of mind to attack the injured limb. The Road Dogg kept the assault going but then X-Pac decided to attack the big guy's chest and ended up getting squashed. Too Cool then took over the action, isolating X-Pac and almost getting the pin. A melee ensued and Rakishi was back in the driver's seat until HHH hit his leg with a chair then slammed the same leg onto the ringsteps. DX separated Too Cool and handled them on opposite sides of the ring. Eventually Scotty was overwhelmed in the ring and pinned. No dancing this night...

The Godfather and Godfather, Jr. brought about a half dozen garden tools - some of whom were actually hot... to go up against the Big Boss Man and Prince Albert. D-Lo and the GF were showing some tag team coordination for a change. They probably would have won anyway, but at a critical moment, Tazz ran down to attack Prince Albert and thus handed them a decisive victory.

Jim Ross was in the ring and invited Cactus Jack to the ring for an interview as we returned from a break. In what could well e his last in-ring statement, (but don't count on that...) he spoke passionately of his desire to go out with a "Bang! Bang!.." As he turned to leave the ring area, Stephanie appeared on the platform to castigate Foley for messing up her bus the other night. She promised him that HHH would end his career at the PPV, and...she said she had a warrant for his arrest! She then sent police officers to the ring to cuff him and haul him away. HHH appeared on the platform as the prisoner was led past him. He was taken to the back and locked in a convenient cell.

Billy Gunn had a match against Bubba Ray Dudley which basically turned into a handicap match because Devon wouldn't stay out of the ring. Devon eventually interfered one time too many and got his partner disqualified. They were too busy setting Billy up for a table shot to care much however. The Road Dogg ran out and spoiled their plans and then Billy used his Famea$$er to put Bubba through his own table.

In the back HHH and Stephanie have talked the cops into letting them watch the prisoner and now they have him set up to be dragged away by the bus cell and all.

The main event was, of course, the Big Show and Kurt Angle against the team of Chris Jericho and the Rock. The two most electrifying performers in the WWF against the two biggest whiners... Angle attacked Jericho as soon as the Rock finished his entrance (nobody intrrupts the Rock's entrance!) Jericho tagged Mavia in to tear into Angle but the latter got the drop on him and then tagged in the giant. Maivia managed to tag Jericho back in so that he and the Show didn;t get a chance to hook it up. For the rest of the match the two of them never met in the ring until Wight ran in to save his partner from destruction. Moments later, Chyna hit the big guy with a chair and caused the DQ. That didn't end the fight, however. The Rock was able to put the Rock Bottom on the Big Show and then Jericho put him into the Walls of Jericho! Later, he did the same thing to Kurt Angle while the Big Show and the Rock brawled back into the backstage area until the Rock was tossed through a window! Out back, the bus took off and dragged Cactus Jack into the sunset (metaphorically, of course).

ECW on TNN

Joey Styles stated that the program was starting one minute early as it came on the air exactly at 8 PM. Cyrus was in the ring spouting company policy about what to do concerning the injury to Rob Van Dam. He has been told by the network (or so he says) to appoint a new TV Champ - he chose Rhino. He also demanded that Paul Heyman be the one to bring him the title belt ("...and a coffee while you're at it...") Paul E appeared in the entryway to massive chants of "Paul E! Paul E" as we cut to the opening montage.

Heyman was in the ring as we returned and Cyrus was giving it to him over their role-reversal. Heyman clutched the belt and was very reluctant to do the deed. Cyrus ended up screaming, "Give it to me!" so Heyman did - right in the forehead! Rhino and Company swarmed into the ring but then the Sandman showed up. Somehow, the Sandman is always able to take as long as he wants getting to the ring. As soon as he appears, all punk-out action in the ring ceases as all eyes turn to watch his beer swilling, cigarette smoking antics.

Sandman was still wasting time out in the crowd as we returned from the break. Paul E appeared to have escaped from the ring at some point. Apparently Sandman was to challenge Rhino for his new title. He waded in with his cane but Jack Victory ansd Steve Corino were on hand to tear it out of his hands - so the fight was on. It fell out to the floor right away and while Rhino was out of it for a moment, Sandman ran back and brought a ladder to the ring. He was starting to draw a table out from under the ring when the recovered Rhino attacked him. Back in the ring, Sandman sidestepped his opponent and senmt him careening into the ladder. Back out the floor they went and Sandman picked up the table and basically suplexed it onto Rhino. Back in the ring, Sandman missed a spot and ran himself into the ladder. Rhino made his comeback but Sandman just fended hm off and delivered a big knife-edge chop. Jack Victory got involved, grabbing Sandman's hair from the apron but when Rhino charged, Sandman ducked away and Victory got clocked. Suddenly Tajiri was in the ring and sprayed his green mist into Sandman's eyes! A punk job started ut was instantly broken up when Super-Crazy ran in to the rescue.

Danny Doring and Road Kill had a verbal sparring match with a couple of country bumpkins called the Dupps. After the break the two teams met in the ring. This turned out to be a loser-leave-town match for some reason. But before it could get started we went to commercial again.

The match got under way as we returned and the country boys were way out of their league from the get go. In fact, it took less than two minutes for the end to come.

Tommy Dreamer was next up. He came to the ring alone which caused the announcers to speculate on the whereabouts of Francine and Raven. He entered the ring and pumped up the crowd by asking, "Is this WCW country? Is this WWF country?" The crowd said no so Tommy then concluded, "then this must be ECW country. He then challenged Raven to come out and face him - but he got Francine instead. She tried to convince him that Raven didn't DDT her on purpose two weeks ago. In the midst of this we cut away to watch tape of the incident in question. As we returned, the Impact Players made the scene. After some exchanged pleasantries (er...insults) Lance Storm told Dreamer to find himself a partner for a Tag Team Title match. Dreamer wanted to pick someone from the audience but Francine then promised that Raven would be Dreamer's partner. The punk job started immediately but Raven showed up and evened the odds. Dreamer soon dragged Justin Credible out into the crowd while Storm and Raven continued the match in the ring. The brawl in the stands got more and more extreme while Raven and his opponent continued to have a more-or-less conventional match in the ring. Dreamer and Credible brawled back to the ring where Dreamer ripped up a bank of seats and passed them up to his partner. Both Impact Players were dropped face first onto the chairs. Next Raven and Credible fought away from the ring while Dreamer and Storm went on hardcore style in the ring. Dreamer unleashed a Spicolli driver from the top rope and put Storm through a table. Dreamer almost got the pin but Dawn Marie saved his butt. That started a cat fight. Meanwhile, at ringside, "that guy" was pouring powder into Raven's hand. Raven tried to blind Storm but got Dreamer instead. Francine ran to help her man and got DDT'd! The Impact Players had Dreamer at their mercy after that. A spiked tombstone on a chair finished Dreamer.

The program ended with "that guy" talking into the camera at the bottom of an unfinished swimming pool (really!) and then cackling maniacally as the camera shot faded. I'll be back with some kind of report next Saturday. Until then...

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter



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