By Robert Wilonsky
The Von Erichs were once this town's ubiquitous heroes, authentic good guys in a sport filled with cartoon evil. Even patriarch Jack Adkisson, better known as the goose-stepping, Nazi-sympathizing Fritz Von Erich, became a hero -- a good businessman who helped turn wrestling into a million-dollar enterprise, a good Christian who spoke in front of church groups, a good father who had no answers for why his boys died before he did.
"Fritz Von Erich" became the creation of a boy from a small Texas town who moved to Dallas when he was in his teens. Jack was a track star at Crozier Tech, then a football hero at SMU, where he shared the field with Kyle Rote -- until he married his wife, Doris, and lost his scholarship. He took all sorts of jobs after college -- working as a loan collector, a fireman, anything to make money. In 1952, when he heard there was going to be a pro football team in Dallas, the Texans of the old AFL, Jack signed up. He didn't last more than a couple of preseason games -- his knees were too bad for football.
At the suggestion of an acquaintance, Jack then hopped on the pro-wrestling circuit. And he was awful, losing every one of his early bouts during a time when wrestlers were coming out of college' it was, for a moment in the 1950s, still a sport. It was hard to imagine that Jack Adkisson, who was once a golden, handsome man, would wind up becoming Fritz Von Erich -- the German Bomber, the man whose Iron Claw grip could dead-stop any comer.
By the 1970s, Jack had become one of the pioneers in modern wrestling. He leased out the Sportatorium, formed World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), brought multiple cameras into the arena, and launched a televised wrestling revolution. During the early to mid-'80s on Saturday mornings, young boys and their fathers and grandfathers around Dallas would turn on Channel 39 to watch the Von Erich brothers tangle with the Freebirds or Ric Flair. Young women filled the Sportatorium, which even then was a decaying venue, and screamed in delight. They adored the boys' good looks, their athleticism, the way they destroyed the bad guys with such grace and charm.
And this was just in Dallas. Around the world, the Von Erichs were even bigger. By 1983, long before Vince McMahon took control of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and Hulk Hogan had become a household name, the Adkissons were millionaires, owning homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and parcels of land all over North and East Texas. They drew 40,000 to Texas Stadium for wrestling matches. They met presidents of foreign countries. They often couldn't go out in public without causing scenes.
Kerry, his hair feathered and flowing, was like a comic-book rock star' he was all locks and muscle. David, a walking grin, was the cowboy of the lot, as hard as the Texas ground upon which he and his brothers were raised. Kevin, his feet always bare, came off as the brother whose gimmick was that he didn't have one. In the world of pro wrestling, where ugly men passed themselves off as pretty boys in wigs and makeup and skin-tight leather, the Von Erich boys emerged as clean-cut warriors. They never fought dirty. They loved family, God, and their fans.
Jack Adkisson didn't necessarily want his boys to follow him into the ring -- and they, in turn, were determined not to become wrestlers -- if they could help it.
Kevin received a scholarship at North Texas State University, where he showed great promise at fullback and defensive end. While playing under legendary coach Hayden Fry, he injured his knee during a game. It took him four months to recuperate, but then he ruined the other knee while trying to catch a pass thrown too far behind him. Like his father, Kevin was relegated to the sidelines.
"It was so natural to me to watch my dad get in the ring and wrestle and want to do the same thing," Kevin says. "We all did. Of course, I never really wanted to wrestle. I kinda figured I'd enjoy it and would do it one day when I retired from football...But then I had two big knee surgeries... After that, I had to play football in these braces, and it took the fun out of it. Just firing out of my stance was a bitch. That was the beginning of the end."
David was a two-sport athlete at NTSU, where he too received a scholarship. He played basketball and football. According to Kirk Dooley, who in 1987 wrote The Von Erich Family Album: Tragedies and Triumphs of America's First Family of Wrestling, Kevin liked to give David a hard time about playing basketball, telling his younger brother it was "a sissy sport."
But it was Kerry, who was born 11 months after Jack and Doris Adkisson lost their first child, who seemed destined to make his mark in the athletic world. Like his father, who was a record-holder in the discus at Southern Methodist University, Kerry was one hell of a hurler. Jack, acting as his son's coach, made Kerry study films of Kerry's workouts and dragged his kid down to the ring they erected on the family property. While at the University of Houston, Kerry broke the junior world record -- and shattered a longstanding Southwest Conference record held by his father.
Kerry was primed to attend the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, but then Jimmy Carter got political and boycotted the games. There was nothing for Kerry to do except go into wrestling.
To be continued...
My first web page...
Nitro came to us from St. Louis, Missouri. We watched DDP being attacked by the New Blood in Kanyon's hospital room earlier in the day before the scene switched to the live show in the arena. Hogan and friends arrived together en masse. David Arquette showed up with Eric Bischoff & Co. to crow about the number he did on Diamond Dallas Page as Page was stalking in the back door with murder in his eyes. The former World Champ definitely looked a little non-plussed when Page's music played and man himself ran into the ring. Page got a Diamond Cutter on Arquette before the troups overwhelmed him. Sting saved his butt then Kronic showed up to even the odds after more of the New Blood thugs ran in. This led to some hasty "impromptu" booking backstage as Bischoff scheduled matches for Page and Sting. Page against Awesome in a Stretcher match and Sting challenging Jeff Jarrett for the World Title.
Screamin' Norman Ralphus took on Terry Funk once again in another handicap Hardcore Title match. The fat man was taken out on the ramp and then Funk went after Smiley, who drove off in a golf cart with Funk in pursuit on foot! Funk finally beat them both into submission with a cookie sheet. This one was supposed to spell the end of the careers of Smiley and Ralphus...but don't hold your breath.
The announcers talk about David Flair's turn on his father as if we didn't see the exact same scenerio less than a year ago as the Nature Boy told his partner to stay out of this father/son quarrel.
Flair came to the ring carrying his old NWA World Title belts after the break to lay down the gospel according to the Nature Boy. He described his early days in the business and how he first won the World Title. He demanded that his son come out and admit that he made a mistake last night. David showed up with Daffney, but Vince Russo followed him out and they went to the ring together. Russo just had to rub it in, of course. He had a list of former wrestling greats that he "spit in the face of." He described himself as "the father that David never had..." David just said, "I'm mad at you, dad." Russo suggested that there should be a "Father vs. Son" match at the Great American Bash. At this point Flair pulled out a cell phone and offered to call Vince McMahon and have David put on RAW next week! That was enough for David - he embraced his father - but then attacked him again with a Statue of Liberty figurine when Flair turned his back to confront Russo. Flair was carted away in an ambulance.
Backstage after the break, Flair was despondent and threatening to quit the business. Luger couldn't talk him out of it.
Out in the arena, Luger's music played and Chuck Polumbo - who is calling himself "The Main Event" these days - came to the ring and did his Total Package impression. His story is that he has 3% (not 4%) bodyfat. He threw out a challange for Luger to come and face him in the ring on the program. This brought Luger (and Liz) out. Luger was in street clothes but that didn't slow him down as he made mincemeat out of Polumbo. Then two members of Bischoff/Russo's security force tried to take charge of Liz. Luger left the ring to attack them and ended up being blindsided by the recovered Polumbo. Liz was recaptured. Luger was taken away in an ambulance.
Backstage after the break, Russo told Liz she would have to wrestle Daffney for her contract.
"The Perfect One" Sean Stasiak came to the ring and threw out some insults to the hometown before facing "Captain Rection" - the former Hugh Morrus - who brought Curt Hennig to watch his back. Except that Hennig pulled one of his usual turn-on-your-friends numbers and helped Stasiak avoid disaster at the last moment and win the match. Stasiak then ran into Kevin Nash on the ramp. Nash dragged him back to the ring and jack knifed him. He then made a statement in which he demanded that Vince Russo face him in the ring. Instead he got the former Filthy Animals (Kidman, Konnan and Misterio) with Kidman as their spokesman and the one who answered Nash's challenge - then the three of them charged the ring. This brought Hulk Hogan out to even the odds, and sent the Animals scrambling. Nash next proposed a Street Fight (handicap of course - though which sides holds the cards wasn't really clear...)
Bischoff and Kimberly joined the broadcast team for the Stretcher match right after the beginning of the second hour. Mike Awesome was DDP's opponent for this one. Page first took the big guy out to the floor and dumped him on the announce table right in front of the boss. As Page took control of the fight, Kimberley decided at that point to force Page to sign her divorce papers - thus distracting so that Awesome could attack on the blindside. A chairshot and a DDT later - he was loading a bleeding Page onto the stretcher. The referees started to roll him up the ramp but Page rolled off and crawled back to the ring. Awesome was setting up a table in the meantime. Page fought as much as he could but was put through the table. Bischoff then maneuvered his hand to sign the papers. Onto the stretcher he went again and out of the arena.
Backstage, Russo tried to talk Scott Steiner into protecting him from Nash - Scotty told him to shove it... After the break, Russo got Rank Abbott to do his bidding instead.
Scott Steiner came to the ring with his girls and his belt and made a typical Big Poppa Pump obscene rant. As he was challenging Booker T, Talentless Tank ran in and attacked him from behind. Steiner went down like a very muscular sack of potatoes.
Kronic (wearing the Tag Team Titles) came out to face a whole plethora of teams (The Marmalukes, Harris Twins, Harlem Heat) while the Tag Champs joined the announce team. Meanwhile backstage, Steiner was on a rampage looking for Abbott. In the ring, the problem for the New Blood was that they were fighting each other! Kronic eliminated the Harris Boyz and the Paisons but were losing their composure under the weight of all three members of Harlem Heat. But they managed to hold on and win in any case. Meanwhile, Buff and Barf recovered their belts...for about three seconds until they ran into Steiner on the ramp. Steiner continued to the ring and put big Cash away with a belly-to-belly. Then he threatened to sit in the ring until Tank Abbott was sent out to face him. Backstage, Abbott was browbeating Doug Dillenger. telling him, "...don't screw up, do just what I told you..."
Steiner was still waiting in the ring as we returned from the break - then Goldberg's music started playing!! Backstage, Abbott came out of his dressing room doing a bad (like everything else he does) Goldberg impression. He did the entrance with the security, the pyro and the whole nine yards. Steiner attacked as soon as Abbott hit the ring - suplexed him a few times then put a crossface on him. Meanwhile, Rick Steiner came through the crowd and pulled his brother off of the Talentless One - then he attacked him and held him for Abbott to punch out!
Miss Liz had her match with Daffney while we were realizing that she didn't have any backup because both members of team Package had been stretchered out of the arena earlier on in the evening. Liz wore a camoflage outfit while Daffney had "Liz Will Die" on her tank top. Daffney ran around in a circle until Liz grabbed her and threw her down. Suddenly, Madusa ran in and attacked - which got Daffney disqualified. Mona then ran in and attacked Madusa and then Liz came back with a chair and knocked Madusa out. In my book, Liz won the match via DQ - but apparently Russo didn't see it that way because his security force took her in tow yet again.
Hogan and Nash had their match against the Filthy Animals as the second to last match on the card. As I said earlier, it really wasn't clear who was on the handicapped team here...until the rest of the New Blood team was introduced - Mike Awesome joined the thugs and it was four-on-two. As the fight got started, Juventud Guerrera came out but avoided any contact. He sat down with the announcers while Nash and Hogan were holding their own in the ring. The Animals and Awesome thought they were luring Hogan backstage to his doom but they were met by Horace Hogan who lent his uncle a hand. Moments later, however, the Animals had bats to attack with. Hogan was stuffed into a car trunk and driven away. Back in the ring, Nash had laid waste to Juvie and was wondering what happened to his partner. The scene switched back out to the garage area where the Animals car was suddenly blocked by the Goldberg monster truck! The Animals bailed and abandoned their vehicle. After the break we saw Hogan limping away from the car - who opened the trunk for him we don't know...
In the main event, Sting challenged Jeff Jarrett for the Heavyweight Title. How this is seen as punishment, I haven't yet figured out. By the way, the "Crow" that we see each week heralding the arrival of Sting is really a raven (black beak folks, crows have yellow beaks...) From the get go it looks like doomsday for Jarrett's second title reign until Sting missed a splash off the top to the runway. Jarrett came right back and got in a chair shot then a couple more. Sting was laid out on the ramp. But then Jarrett walked away - Sting recovered and clotheslined Jarrett back over the top into the ring - taking both guys down. Jarrett recovered first and slapped on a figure four. Sting resisted the pressure and then turned the move over to relieve the pressure, but Jarrett reached the ropes to escape. But now Sting had recovered and was in the driver's seat again. He hit two Stinger splashes then slapped on the Scorpion. Suddenly Vampiro emerged from a trapdoor in the ring and manhandled Sting underneath. A smokey substance erupted from the hole and then Sting was shoved back out covered in the red, bloody substance. Jarrett was allowed to take the pin and then members of the New Blood hit the ring to gang up on Sting. At this point, Nash and Hogan reappeared and waded through the thugs on the ramp. Meanwhile, outside, Abbott and the Dogface Gremlin were trying to make their escape but the Goldberg truck appeared and destroyed their car.
Excellent show. I would hazard a prediction that WCW may have just turned a corner...
RAW was live from Long Island, New York and started with a Tag Team Title match - Edge and Christian against the Acolytes - actually the Acolytes came out as the Champs bodyguards but then the idiots (the Champs, I mean...) had the temerity to throw out an open challenge with the Acolytes right there in the ring. The match was going the challenger's way when the Boss Man and his rookie friend crashed the party.
after the first break, HHH and Stephanie led the MH Faction to the ring for their bi-weekly rant fest. The usual melenge of nonsense...mostly putting down beaten WWF referee, Earl Hebner. HHH delivered that blast and then switched his emphasis to the Rock. Does anyone else see this stuff as getting old..? HHH demanded a sixty minute Ironman match at the next PPV between himself and the Rock for the World Title. Which begs the question, "Has anyone actually thought about what these two are going to do to maintain fan interest for sixty minutes?" I mean, betwen the two of them they might have 25 minutes of material. Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart they are not. At this point Chris Jericho showed up to lay the Smackdown on the bad guys. Calling Vince "Vance McMahon" Jericho offered him an apology for punching him out last week. He proceeded to then refer to Shane as a word that rhymes with "wussy" and Stephanie as a garden tool - and announced that McMahon's member was somewhat lacking in the size department. Vince threatened to come up and lay into Jericho - but then thought better of it when Jericho's friends Big Show, Rakishi and the Dudleys appeared to back him up. Vince declared that Jericho would have to defend his IC Title against Kirk Angel. Shane took the mic and ran down the Big Show and declared that, "...tonight, one way or the other, you and I are going to settle this." Vince took back the mic and set up a table match for the Dudleys against...Gerald Brisco? And a match for Rakishi against...Pat Patterson..? Something was definitely up...
Jericho's defense against the former Olympian was a bit anticlimactic in the early going as the Champ outmaneuvered his challenger again and again. But finally Angle hit a belly-to-belly and turned the tables. He went to a reverse chinlock but Jericho escaped and hit a back breaker to turn the momentum back. The next several exchanges were see-saw but Jericho was coming back and taking over steadily. Eventually he applied the Walls of Jericho and Angle tapped out. Backstage, Shane had to think fast when the Big Show confronted him in his dressing room. To turn the big guy's ire aside he offered him an IC Title match!
Eddie G and Chyna came to the ring for Guerrero's match against the Godfather. My wife happened to walk in during this guys entrance once and couldn't believe I was watching such blatantly sexist fare. Chyna's reaction to his offer to make her one of his garden tools was similarly received. That set the Godfather off and meant that Eddie G was in for it during this match. The match was fairly short as Eddie got train wrecked then Chyna distracted the Godfather long enough for D'Lo Brown to blindside him and allow Guerrero to take the pin.
Next up - the table match featuring the Dudleys against Gerry Brisco. Except that it wasn't like that. Brisco introduced his partners - T&A, then he basically just stayed out of the way until the Dudleys were down - then he got involved. As soon as he got in trouble he bailed and let his partners take over again. In the end the Dudleys got the Three-D on Test and put him through a table in the ring. The victors then threatened Brisco but the NewNew Age Outlaws saved his butt. They put Bubba on a table and let Brisco splash him and break it.
Jericho had a second title defense against the Big Show and was showing some strain as he neglected to make any speeches on his way to the ring. The match hardly got started when someone decided to show Shane McMahon on the TitanTron bragging to a friend on the phone that he had wrapped the Big Show around his little finger. Big Show abruptly abandoned the fight and went after Shane, who commandeered a limo and split. Backstage, Stephanie pointed out to Vince that Jericho was still the Champ - so he booked a third title defense against Chris Benoit.
Too Cool danced to the ring to face the Boss Man and Bull Buchanan (who didn't dance even a little bit...) This would seem like a mismatch except that Too Cool are a great team and Buchanan can't wrestle his way out of a paper bag. As usual, Scotty got to do his worm and then got clobbered directly afterward. Moments later however, a well timed doubleteam allowed Scotty to pin the Boss Man for what was seen as an upset by the announcers - though I can't agree. The two big guys tried to do a punk job but the Acolytes ran out and put a stop to that so the cool guys could do their victory dance.
Backstage the Radicalz were seeing their team fall apart because of the ongoing argument between Malenko and Saturn. Benoit and Guerrero both tried to calm them down - though Eddie G really wasn't much help.
The two of them faced the Hardey Boyz in the next match and their argument didn't help their teamwork at all. In fact Saturn accidently hit Malenko with a side kick and caused the latter to be pinned. They were arguing again after the match when Guerrero and Chyna tried to intervene - but they were clocked and the two went back to fighting until a phalanx of officials broke it up.
Rakishi got a chance for some revenge on Pat Patterson, who came out to Hulk Hogan's old music. Before the match could get started, Vince and Gerry Brisco appeared on the platform and introduced the NewNew Age Outlaws as Patterson's partners in what was now a handicap match. Rakishi managed to win the first exchange but then the former tag champs ganged up on him. But then they made the mistake of tagging Patterson back in. Big mistake. The big guy clobbered him and took control again. X-Pac had to hit a kick to Rakishi's face to turn the tables back the other way. Patterson got a chair and polished Rakishi off and then stripped to his "skidmarked" underwear and put the stinky face on Rakishi. That was certainly tasteless...why am I not surprised? Too Cool ran out to rescue their friend. Backstage, Shane arrived back at the arena and after determining that the Big Show was gone, made his way inside.
Chris Jericho made his third title defense of the evening against Chris Benoit. One final (they hope) nail in Jericho's coffin was that HHH had appointed himself as the special outside referee for the match. The shiner on Benoit was quite prominent as he stalked to the ring. Fatigue was definitely showing in Jericho's actions and his judgement as he tried to launch himself for an inside-to-out drop kick but was propelled to the railing instead. Now it was all Benoit as Jericho was returned to the ring and pounded on. Benoit slapped on an upper body vice and bore down but Jericho fought back to his feet. Benoit was well in control when he turned and shoved the referee - which brought HHH in to get into a shoving match with Benoit! The regular referee was ejected and so HHH took over and the match continued. Moments later, Jericho got the Walls of Jericho and HHH was right there asking if he wanted to submit. But then Stephanie appeared headed for the ring and HHH turned away as Benout was tapping out. Jericho got frustrated and ran HHH over - thus distracted he was grabbed and put into the Crippler Crossface by Benoit. HHH declared a submission victory although it was unclear whether Jericho had actually given up. Benoit was declared the new Champion. The rest of the MH regime came out and Jericho was punked until the Big Show, the Dudleys, Too Cool and Rakishi ran out and broke it up.
Is it just me or did Nitro pretty much smoke RAW on Monday..?
Thunder was taped Tuesday night in Springfield, Illinois.
The program opened with highlights from Nitro then went right to the ring for a title defense by Cruiserweight Champion Chris Candido (w/Tammy, of course, who did her usual little strip tease number) against Crowbar (who came down with a lead pipe and the weird chick, Daffney) Crowbar is a formidable competitor and he gave Candido all he could handle and then some, dealing out some spectacular moves off the apron as the Champ stood and sat alternately on the floor at ringside. The moment things started to go bad for her man, Daffney came in and delivered a low blow and then a Frankensteiner off the top! That brought Tammy in and a short cat fight ensued. Moments later, Candido came back and won it.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff, with Ernest Miller and Kimberly on hand, was trying to buy out Terry Funk to get the Hardcore Title into the New Blood fold. Funk told him to stick it. Out in the parking area the Tags Champs emerged from a silver sedan and went inside. After they were out of camera range we noticed the Goldberg monster truck lurking about.
In a series of vignettes, Vince Russo escorted David Flair, Daffney and Crowbar around New York. In the first one, Daffney was told to go play in traffic (and she did...) while the boys checked out a porno theater. In a later one, David proposed marriage to Daffney and she accepted with her usual scream. This is interesting because I just read that in real life, Daffney just became engaged.
Harlem Heat came to the ring and Stevie Ray demanded a Hardcore Title match for his team. Funk showed up with two raw chickens and stalked right to the ring to get beat on by all three members of HH. Despite their best efforts, Funk was unpinnable (is that a word..?) Then the Heat suddenly started fighting each other. Funk slipped a chairshot in on Big Cash and took the pin.
A taped interview with Vampiro was full of surprises. He claimed that he doesn't have a wrestling character, but rather he is like that all the time. He seemed obsessed about Sting and pulls a raven out of a cage, claiming that it is Sting's crow. It sat on his forearm while he talked. He told the story about Ozzie Ozborne biting the head off of a chicken (an untrue story according to Ozborne, by the way...) and then threatens to do the same to the raven. Only Sting chose that moment to appear and attacks Vamp - leaving him laying...and laughing...
Sean Stasiak took on Lash Leroux (who is supposed to have been fired, but what the hell...) He wants to be known as Corporal Cajun these days. Curt Hennig came out and sat at the announce table. Hennig claimed he got all the MIA (Misfits in Action) reinstated. In the ring, the Corporal was turning the tide of the match while Hennig was denying and animosity towards Stasiak for stealing his old gimmick. The next moment Hennig was interefering in the match on the side of Stasiak once again, allowing him to take the pin on a Hennigplex.
Backstage, Vince Russo was setting up a match for Miss Liz...against Rhonda Singh. After the break we got the match, which was a rout from the get go - Rhonda outweighing Liz by about 200 pounds. Lex Luger came out and got between them as Singh was about to splash Liz in the corner. Rhonda charged and got racked for her trouble. This brought Chuck Polumbo out with a baseball bat to first hit Liz and then start whacking on Luger as we cut to commercial. During the break, Polumbo carted Liz away to the back.
Vince Russo came out to the ring right at the top of the second hour to make a speech about Ric Flair and his supposed retirement, his relationship to his son, yatta, yatta, yatta...accusing the Nature Boy of torturing his son. I have to admit that this guy is growing into this very unlikely character he is portraying. He handed the mic over to David Flair who blasted his father for never being there for him. Russo then reassumed the podium and called Arn Anderson (or Uncle Arn, if you weeell) to account for his own relationship toward his godson. Arn came out with that "take no prisoners" look on his face and proceeded to lay out the facts about the real situation. Russo cut him off in mid-sentence to book a match between Arn and David on the program. Arn had no problem with that, saying that he'd borrow some gear and wrestle. Backstage, Hulk Hogan pulled up in his black Dodge Charger.
After having another argument with Bischoff backstage, Terry Funk defended his title against the ersatz Total Package (the "Main Event", Chuck Polumbo) and beat the tar out of him with a little help from Lex Luger.
Horace was forced to take on Kidman in the goldarndest match I have ever seen. On top of that, his career was on the line. Bischoff was at ringside and kept changing the rules every few seconds. The entire Filthy Animals stable was present and Bischoff had them all in the fight. First he declared it a no DQ match - then he made it into a handicap match, then he declared it a Texas Tornado match (this so that Kidman would have a ten count to recover after he was pinned) - then he turned it into an "I Quit" match. Finally he offered Horace a place in the New Blood. Horace spit in his face! It took all the Animals to pile on and pin the big guy. They started a punk job but Hulk Hogan ran out and broke that up. Then Kevin Nash stalked down to the ring with a baseball bat in his hand to bat clean up. Russo appeared on the platform at this point and hurled threats at Nash, telling him that he was going to make Nash "cool". Suddenly the bloodbath splashed from the rafters...only it was slightly off target. Only a small part of it actually hit Nash - the rest of it splashed off the mat and ran onto the floor.
After the break we saw Bischoff and Russo run out of the building and jump into a limosine with Nash and Hogan in hot pursuit. Hagan and Nash proceeded to bash out the windows of the car with their bats.
Arn Anderson came down for his match with David Flair - I'm not sure if either of them was aware that Russo had left the building. Naturally, Arn wrestled rings around the young punk. Crowbar ran in and was downed, then Daffney distracted Arn so David could whack him with his Statue of Liberty figurine. He then put on the figure four while Crowbar continued put the boots to him and we went to commercial.
Rick Steiner came down for a rant directed at Goldberg. He brought out Talentless Tank, who again did his Goldberg impression with the security guys, pyro, etc. Lurking in the parking lot again was the Goldberg truck. Steiner switched his focus to his brother, explaining that his heel turn on Monday was payback on Scott for turning on him last year. Cronic showed up and decided to charge the ring - which brought the Tag Champs down on their heels to take their title belts back. Next a bunch of R&B security guys appeared on the ramp and tried to hold Scott Steiner back from going to the ring. No chance. The three good guys (I guess) cleared the ring out while the Goldberg truck crushed yet another car (the Tag Champs' silver sedan this time) in the back.
The main event was an "Ambulance match" between Sting and Mike Awesome.It was short and sweet. The two of them fought back up the runway to where an ambulance was waiting and then climbed right up on top of it. There, Awesome attempted twice to powerbomb his opponent but Sting wriggled free and got a Scorpion Death Drop. He went down to open up the back of the ambulance ony to have Vampiro emerge and spray the red stuff in his face. Sting was dragged inside and the ambulance drove off...with Awesome still laying on top of it!
SmackDown was taped Tuesday night in New Haven, Connecticutt. The Dudleys came out at the top of the program to take on T&A with the returning Trish Stratus at their side. Before that, however, Gerald Brisco came out to tweak the Dudleys' noses and claim that he is the champion of all women in the WWF. He then introduced the opposing team. Again before the fight ensued, Shane McMahon came out to concur with Brisco's assessment. Of course the two of them stuck around to interefere and ensure T&A's victory. After the pin, the Big Show came out and tried to lay hands on Shane, but Test distracted the big guy and Vince's little boy made good his escape.
The Godfather had his chance to regain the Intercontinental Title in a match against current Champ Chris Benoit and took Benoit to the limit in a fight that ranged from the ring, out to the floor and back. He made a big mistake when he tried to do a backsplash off the corner when Benoit was way to far away. Benoit slapped on the Crippler Crossface and took the submission victory. After the match Michael Cole confronted Benoit on the sleazy way he won the title on RAW. His claim is that Jericho didn't tap out because he was in too much pain...right. He then offered Jericho a rematch at the next PPV - a submission match to be exact.
HHH led the MH faction to the ring after the next break. Pat Patterson grabbed the mic and actually proud to show video of the disgusting display he put on Monday night. He would be waving those stained BVD's around for the rest of the evening. He proceeded to say that he had been granted permission to book a match - a six man elimination contest pitting DX against Too Cool and Rakishi. Shane then booked a table match for the Big Show against the Dudleys - who had already wrestled once on the program. HHH took the mic back and claimed that the Rock was afraid to show up on RAW and face HHH after hearing about the Ironman match. Vince had a few words to say about the fans' shortcomings. His tag line: "Life sucks and then you die..." That's what they get for calling him as a$$hole...
Chyna got a shot at Dean Malenko and his Light Heavyweight - although I have to question whether she really qualifies in that weight class. She certainly dwarfed her opponent and dominated much of the match. In the middle of the fight, just after the referee had been knocked out, Perry Saturn ran down and attacked Eddy G then took Chyna out so that Malenko could take the pin.
The Boss Man and Bull Buchanan showed up at a local bar and muscled there way into some prime seats. Back at the arena, Edge and Christian demonstrate their hubris by charging fans for autographs and pictures. After the break they made their way to the ring to make another self serving speech putting down the boys in the back for being envious of them - except for Kirk Angel, of course. Angle came out and contributed to the mutual admiration society then joined the Tag Champs in the ring to take on the Hardeys and Chris Jericho. The bad guys pretty much ran the show until Jeff Hardey caught Edge with a drop kick in mid-air then tagged in the Millenium Bug. Chris Benoit had to run down and hit Jericho with a spear to reverse the tide. Jericho abandoned the ring to fight with Benoit, leaving his partners to be overwhelmed. Angle joined Benoit on the platform to put the boots to Jericho until a phalanx of referees broke it up.
The British Bulldog defended his newly won Hardcore Title against three time former Champion Bob "Hardcore" Holly. The Bulldog was the first to introduce a weapon to the fight, a broom - but Holly grabbed it away and used it on the Champ. Bulldog came back with a toolbox, to which Holly countered with a fire extinguisher. Crash Holly ran in with a referee in tow, took his cousin out with a cookie sheet then surprised and pinned the Bulldog to become the seven time Hardcore Champ!
Bck at the bar, Boss Man and the Bull were bragging about beating up on the Acolytes when a bystander reminded them that they had run from the Acolytes on RAW. The bystander was hustled away before there was trouble.
The Dudleys brought down their own table for their handicap table match against the Big Show. The Dudleys started out strong and were dominating the proceedings as Shane came out to the platform to watch. Shortly thereafter, the Show turned the tables (not a pun...really...) and hauled the real table into the ring to try and win the match. He set Bubba Ray up and was getting prepared to come off the second rope when Devon ran in and hit a low blow on the big guy. The Dudleys hit the 3D to get the win. They split as the sneaky Shane came in to harrass his nemesis. The Dudleys came back to help their friend but then the NewNew Age Outlaws showed up to beat them all three up.
The Acolytes caught some of the Bossman/Bull show on TV and decided to go out for a drink.
Eddie G took on Perry Saturn in the second part of tthe evening's intra-Radicalz feud and defended his European Title while he was at it. The Champ dominated the match early on, and SWaturn seemed to have a hard time getting anything happening. As Saturn finally started to pull ahead, Chyna seemed unconcerned, smelling her roses and looking coy. Suddenly she was on the apron and clocked Saturn with here vase - assuring the Champ his victory.
Jerry Toliver, of racing fame was seen sitting ringside after the break. At the bar, the Acolytes challenged the Bull and Boss Man for their seats, thus starting a bar fight. The Acolytes won, as usual. They need a Hardcore Tag Team title for these guys...
The main event was the DX vs. Too Cool/Rakishi 6 man elimination match-up. Road Dogg started out for his team but was no match for the high-flying duo of Too Cool...then they tagged in Rakishi. X-Pac came in against Scotty next but was similarly out maneuvered. Scotty did the worm then was dragged from the ring before he could get the pin. Rakishi and HHH battled out on the floor as Scotty was eliminated by X-Pac. HHH then took out Brian Christopher in short order leaving Rakishi to face the three of his opponents. He actually handled all of them pretty handily until the referee got caught and downed. Even then he managed to hold out a few moments but eventually found himself down and being booted by three pairs of feet. X-Pac put the X-Factor on Rakishi and then the Dudleys ran in (the referee was still down). HHH was out cold on the announce table when Rakishi pinned both of his partners. That left HHH to face Rakishi alone - not his favorite past time... HHH was pulling ahead in the contest when Patterson walked down and rubbed his dirty underwear in the big guy's face. Unfortunately that put him within reach of the big guy - who took him out then pushed the underwear into HHH's face! Stephanie came in and was trapped in a corner when Patterson attacked and ran Rakishi into Stephanie - knocking her out. Rakishi delivered his own stinky face on Patterson the was getting ready to do it to Steph when her husband ran in and used the element of surprise to get the Pedegree and the pin.
For the opening of ECW on TNN "That Guy" and Mikey Whipwreak weren't happy with the director/cameraman's performance while they were cutting a promo so Mikey threw fire in his face! The intro montage was then cut short to take us directly to the ring where the announce team went through their normal gyrations. The program came to us from Minneapolis this week. After Gertner ran down his usual obscene intro, doubling Styles over with laughter in the process, Tommy Dreamer came to the ring. Styles asked about his state of mind after winning and losing the ECW World Title in the same evening. Before Dreamer could answer, Simon Diamond (whoever that is...) came out with an entourage (one of whom looked like a Musketeers) to interrupt the proceedings. Diamond taunted Dreamer for a moment and then got his clock cleaned. The announcers told us that Diamond is a "former semi-pro baseball player". Outside the ring Diamond finally got in some offense with a handy chair. But it didn't last long for him. Dreamer took the fight into the bleachers and was in control again as we cut to commercial.
The match was back in the ring as we returned but now Simon's companions were interefering in the contest giving him the edge. Like everyone else, Simon exploited Dreamers injured back throughout the match. Like everyone else - it didn;t help him much. Dreamer tied him to the tree of woe and then stood on his upturned crotch. Shortly thereafter, the Musketeer entered the ring and unsheathed his sword (no, you have a dirty mind! - I mean a real sword...) Dreamer got hold of a crutch to counter the weapon. Simon tried to use a chair a little later but the referee grabbed it away. While Simon kept the referee occupied, his other two companions (the Prodigy and the Prodigette?) fought over who was going to drop a moonsault on Dreamer. The distaff member won the toss but then way overshot the mark. Dreamer hit a double DDT on the both of them while the referee was getting into a fist fight with Simon. Simon missed a clotheline on the ref and stumbled right into Dreamer's DDT and was pinned.
Lance Storm came to the ring with Dawn Marie, who hobbled out using a crutch because of a twisted ankle. Jerry Lynn (the hometown boy) was the opponent for the evening. As soon as he arrived we cut to commercial.
Lynn had the speed advantage over his opponent and managed to dominate the early going. Storm soon came bck however and the match went into see-saw mode. Storm was clearly the better mat technician and after a while it began to tell as he turned a rollover into a single leg Boston crab. What followed was a series of alternating pin attempts until the both got up and clotheslined each other simultaneously.Dawn Marie slid a chair into the ring for her man to use but Lynn countered a DDT attempt then hit his own version of the Van Daminator. Storm hit a low blow to turn the tables then set Lynn up on the top corner. But Lynn escaped the predicament and turned it into a Tornado DDT onto the chair. Justin Credible ran out and tried to hit Storm with a cane but got Lynn by mistake. Storm took the pin then a melee ensued as Tommy Dreamer hit the ring as well.
The fight drifted away from the ring area as Cyrus entered the squared circle to tell the fans that the "Network" didn't want to come to Minneapolis at all because of the percentage of "idiots" in the State (he cited their election of Jesse Ventura as evidence for this...) Lynn came back to the ring so that Cyrus could try to sweet talk him, comparing him to "Frank" Tarkinton and Greg Gagne. Lynn finally started to show his ire as Cyrus talked down his famous wrestling coach, Brad Rhingans. Cyrus made Lynn an offer - let him do the talking while Lynn does the wrestling. Tajiri showed up to talk some sense into JL but made the mistake of turning his back to menace Cyrus and got decked by Lynn. Lynn then told Cyrus he didn't do it for him, but for himself. He called Cyrus a censorable name and left. Steve Corino and company came in and tried to attack Tajiri but he fought them off easily until Rhino ran in and clotheslined him. Tajiri immediately challenged Rhino to put up his TV Title in a match right there and right then Rhino agreed and the fight was on - but first we went to sell something...
Why is the ECW Hotline seemd to concern itself more with news about WCW and the WWF..?
Rhino was setting up a table in the ring as we returned. Tajiri was being roughed up on the floor and was rolled back in. Before Rhino could get his hands on him he got a facefull of green mist. Tajiri repositioned the table and placed Corino on it while Rhino rolled around on the outside trying to clear his vision. Tajiri put Corino through the table but Rhino came back in and speared his opponent then used a jumping piledriver onto a table outside the ring to incapacitate his opponent and get the pin. The thugs started a punk job on Tajiri but at that moment the Sandman made his appearance. As usual everything in the ring came to a halt as Sandman wended his way to the ring. Rhino and SWandman were face-to-face in the center of the ring - then Rhino attacked and gored him. He put the piledriver on him while Corino said some unkind things about Sandmans other half. Rob van Dam ran in and flattened both Corino and Jack Victory then got into a dustup with Rhino and bested him. We cut back to the announcers who eneded the program with a promo for the upcoming Hardcore Heaven PPV.
Thats it for this week. I'll be back next Saturday. Until then...
At least that's the way I see it...
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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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