We open this edition with an editorial letter from my friend Ervin Griffin, responding to my The Way I See It... piece in the last edition of the newsletter.
Opinion by Ervin Griffin
Read what you said about the Goldberg heel turn. Have to say that if you look at Bill's style, he was more like a face that had a "heel's" attitude anyway!! While Goldberg's turn was an interesting twist, I don't see where it compared to Hulk Hogan turning back in 1996. If that's what Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo were looking for, then they greatly miscaculated the fans and themselves.
Speaking of WCW, apparently Kimberly wasn't that comfortable with the DDP angle as she is quiting WCW. Makes me wonder what her husband's future will be with the company. At least she did leave with more class and character than her blonde counterpart Rena Mero did (with the WWF) last year. Just my opinion (since I prefer Mrs. Page to Mrs. Mero) but Kim didn't seem very snooty and said some respectful things about WCW but just didn't like the angle she was involved in and felt that management wasn't going to use her for anymore than T&A when she has shown that she can play a face or (more recently) a heel. In Mrs. Mero's case, I feel that egos just got out of hand there on both her's and the WWF's part. In the case of Mero, she was just willing to tote the WWF Women's championship around like some piece of jewerly and not really job (much like Stephanie McMahon is doing now). On the WWF's end, I do think they step over the line a lot and do have the women do some degrading things. I mean, a shot of chest and booty is one thing but to portray them as hookers and golddiggers constantly is a bit stereotypish. Still, it is funny how Mero picked the time of Owen Hart's death (and the pending lawsuit there) to file her lawsuit, isn't it?
Back to WCW, I feel that their shows are actually better than the WWF's but here are the reasons that WCW won't overtake the WWF for another few months at least:
2. Perception - I feel that WCW's low point was Starrcade '97. You remember? That "big" card that was supposed to have Sting Vs. Hogan for the WCW belt. Well, that big event turned into a big debatical with missed matches, wrestlers not showing up and a botched ending with Sting winning the world title though he clearly (and cleanly) got pinned by Hogan moments earlier. From that point on, WCW started a downhill slide while the WWF (with the help of Vince Russo at that time) started to get back up around that time with the emergence of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Degeneration X (guys like The Rock and Kane were still being developed at that time). By March of 1998, WWF began to overtake WCW after being dominated by them for almost two years. Recently, WCW has improved but they were putting out crap for so long that people just got sick of them while the WWF was putting out a more entertaining product. Not necessarily a better wrestling show, but just a better package as a whole. The perception is that the WWF is still better even though WCW is putting on a much more entertaining show these days. WCW is going to have to fight through these public views if it hopes to take over again.
3. Work enviroment - The WWF has taken much heat over the last year with the death of Owen Hart, the Rena Mero case and the pending case of Nicole Bass. The press has had a field day with Vince McMahon. However, I have read just as many things about WCW's locker room as well that most of the press simply ignores. Such as the discrimination case pending with Sonny Ono, Bobby Walker (who probably had the weakest case of the bunch), and others. Also, with the departure of Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, Eddie Gurrerro over the last year, many are wondering about some of the business practices of Eric Bischoff as well. While he certainly is not the rat-b*stard that Vince McMahon is, he is no saint by any strech. Remember how he fired Steve Austin and X-Pac? He didn't even have the guts to fire them to their faces!! Over the telephone? Fed-Ex? I'd probably jump to the WWF too!! At least Vince meets with his wrestlers most of the time! Now, with the recent rumblings about Hogan gaining locker room power again, the departure of Kimberly Page and possibly DDP (Officially, he's taken time off to heal back injuries and I know he hasn't said that he's leaving but don't think it can't happen/I'm only stating possibility, not fact here concerning Mr. Page), the firing of several luchadores and the suspension of Lex Luger and his girlfriend Elizabeth (they are a real life item), WCW is still in a rut. In contrast, the WWF locker room is much more content (if nothing else). Vince McMhaon might be the devil himself but he seems to get along with his wrestlers better than Bischoff and Russ does. WCW needs to establish some kind of comradery between the wrestlers and management. True, management makes the big decisions and provide the stage for the wrestlers to perform but it is the wrestlers that bring in the money. One can't survive without the other.
Ervin Griffin is Solie's resident wrestling historian. His articles on the careers of the Road Warriors, the Midnight Express, Sting and Bret Hart and his History of Starrcade can be found in the Articles section of the web site. Check out Ervin's Pro-Wrestling Fan Fiction web site.
Out back in the control trailer, the Tag Team Chumps are trying to set up a little videotape surprise for Talentless Tank and his Dog Faced friend - but they aren't aware that the latter tow are watching them throught the window. As they leave the truck they are attacked and left laying.
The Cat is so desparate in the back that he actually calls for Three Count to go to the ring. They deliver a collective rant about a new single they have coming out then try to launch into their excreble music. Fortunately, the Jung Dragons run in and get the match started before they can start to sing. These two teams can certainly go and do so at a furious pace. The crowd is surprisingly into it. This guy Yang is really something. His housecleaning in the middle of the match is a tour-de-force. Hayashi and Yang try a moment later to launch a double flying move but one of the opponents knocks them off. In a flash, Three Count has won the match. But then Lance Storm comes running in and knocks them all on their cans before splitting back through the crowd.
Big Vito is up next, defending the Hardcore Title against his former tag team partner, Johnny the Bull. Johnny came to the ring with a baseball bat but lost it immediately as the Champ was al over him. The match started on the ramp and then went to the backstage area where Vito continued to hold the advantage over his young opponent as they bowl right over a seemingly innocent bystander working on a laptop computer. Johnny finally took over and got a bit of offense but it was short lived as they fought onto a pile of scaffolding. Vito turned the tables and suplexed Johnny onto a table to takw the win and retain his belt.
In another part of the backstage area, Chavo Guerrero is calling for his MIA partners when he is attacked by Rey Misterio and the Artist. They punk him until GI Bro runs in to make the save.
Backstage in the dressing room, GI Bro assigns all of his troups to watch each other's backs (Cpl. Cajun gets the bast assignment - watching Major Gun's backside...) He tells them he has other things to do and that its up to the MIA to clean out the scum, like...
...Positively Kanyon, who is still doing his DDP impression. He hawks his book then throws out an open challenge. GI Bro answers the call and the fight is on by the time he reaches the ring at a gallop. Is it me or is Mark Madden's "Old JR" impression much better than Oklahoma's ever was..? Kanyon splits and GI Bro rips off his black tights to reveal...a set of white tights underneath. Is he trying to tell us something..?
Backstage, David Flair is searching for Daffney - then ends up being sorry he found her when she whallops him upside his head! In Naah and Steiner's dressing room, Big Papa Pump is all for disregarding the Cat's admonishion not to interfere - but Nash asks him to be patient.
Horace's match against Goldberg starts as we come to the last few minutes of the first hour. Horace takes the fight right to his opponent and manages to hold the immediate advantage...for about 4 seconds. He falls out to the floor and Goldberg follows him out to continue his assault - but he misses a shot and smacks his fist into the ring post. In a flash Horace has a chair and is beating on his opponent. Back in the ring he delivers his version of the Hogan boot to the face...and Goldberg gets right up! He hits the spear and the Jack Hammer to take the pin. After the match, Goldberg grabbed Horace in a reverse headlock and hauled back on his neck - but then he released the hold when the referee started to count on him.
Nash again cautioned Scotty to cool it as he got ready to head to the ring for his match against Miller. After the break, the Cat comes down first and shoots his mouth off (suprise, surprise...) then cuffed his briefcase to Madden's wrist. Nash shows up and starts beating on him, so he leaves the ring and tries to call for reinforcements - but Nash cuts him off in mid-sentence and continues his attack. Back in the ring, Miler finally turns the tables for a moment, but Nash takes a few shots and then comes roaring back. He delievers a jack knife and then pins him with one foot. He grabs the key to the cuffs and opens the case - only to find pictures of the Cat - no contract. As he is about to take Miller out, Goldberg appears on the jumbo-tron and shows Nash the missing contract...then stuffs it in his mouth and starts chewing as he invites Nash to come do something about it at the Bash. Has anyone stopped to think that contracts actually don't work like that..? Especially with a high tier star like Scott Hall, there are usually very strict provisions for when a contract can be voided and when it can't...
Backstage after the break, Nash reminds us that the PPV takes plae on his birthday, that Scott Hall is just 40 minutes away from Daytona Beach, and that Nash is the only wrestler who has ever defeated Goldberg. He plans a birthday party...
Elements of the Filthy Animals (Re, Disco and Konnan) come to the ring while Juventud joins the broadcast team. Rey has a Cruiserweight Title match against Lt. Loco tonight, along with the Artist - it's a three-way-dance. The fight starts between the Champ and the Artist outside the ring then Guerrero is tossed back inside. The Artist goes for a pin but Rey-Rey haouls him off. This precipitates a dust up between the supposed allie and the fight is on in three directions. As the fight continues, Guerrero manages to take advantage of his opponent's mutual distrust and takes the pin on a roll-up over Rey. Paisley tries to throw a forearm on Major Guns - but hits Tigress by mistake.
Backstage Daffney is about to be interviewed when David Flair interrupts and offers black flowers and an apology. The lady takes him back. I'm sure she will regret it. After the break he sent her off to a hotel in her car and then went back inside to smooch with Miss Hancock. Little does she know that Daffney followed him back inside and is watching it all on a monitor...
The Tag Team Chumps (who have lost every match they've had since winning the titles) came to the ring to face the Talentless one and the Dog Face Gremlin. Naturally, this one is a total rout from the opening bell. Steiner and Abbott seems to be having a high old time as they clean the mat with their opponents. Unfortunately for Steiner, Tank decides to leave the ring and take on a ringsdie fan. He chases the guy right out of the arena, leaving his partner to face the Chumps alone. Not that that's such a hard chore, actually for a powerhouse like Steiner. He takes a few shots but manages to continue to hold his own and eventually takes the advantage. This state of affairs holds until Palumbo gets his hands on the Lex Flexor and applies it to Steiner's mid-section to turn the tables and take the pin.
Backstage, Dale Torborg is out of character and telling his fiance (Aysa) to hold onto his Demon costume until he can take care of Vampiro. He mentions being out a couple of months for "therapy"...
Vampiro came to the ring after the break and delivered a rant on the Demon, saying that he thought the Demon had potential but now his is disappointed to hear that the Demon is hanging it up. He calls the "beautiful couple" out, delivers a little more palaver and then the lights go out. When they come back on, Aysa is gone! The lights go out again and Vampiro vanishes - only to appear on the jumbo-tron, driving away in his hearse. The announcers wonder if Aysa was in the car...
The Triple Threat comes down for their match with Kronic/Buff Bagwell - but Chris Candido has his right arm in a sling. During the match, Douglas stayed in through most of the action until Buff was about to enter the ring, then he tagged in Bigalow. Moments later (as soon as Bagwell was out of it), Douglas was back into it. The highlight of this part of the match was Douglas' series of three verticle suplexes ala Chris Benoit's German suplexes. Next, a melee started as Kronic came in against both Douglas and Bigalow. This ends when both Douglas and Candido abandon the match and run off with Kronic in hot pursuit. Bagwell hits the Blockbuster and takes the pin on Bigalow then Douglas re-appears and delivers a blindside punk job.
The main event pits Big Papa Pump against Jeff Jarrett for the World Heavyweight Title. We actually haven't seen Jarrett since the top of the program. Mike Awesome is assigned as the special referee. (Does anyone remember the last time Scotty defended the US Title?) As Steiner is starting to make some stipulations, Jarrett sneaks in behind him and attacks him, which puts him in control for about 8 seconds or so. Steiner came roaring back and was in control until Jarrett got hold of a chair on the outside and whalloped him. This state of affairs lasted a moment until Latasia attacked Jarrett, leaving him open to a chairshot from Steiner and the pendulum swung back the other way. Back int he ring, Jarrett missed a drop-kick and set himself up for a catapult into the corner. Steiner is working on the back of the Champ, setting up for the Recliner when Jarrett comes back with a flying forearm. So far, somewhat surprisingly, Awesome has been calling the match down the middle. Jarrett slaps on a sleeper but Steiner breaks free pretty easily - so Jarrett grabbed it again. Steiner reversed it and hit a high verticle suplex - putting both guys out on the mat as Awesome laid in the ten count. Both were up at eight and Steiner got a powerslam and a two count. A belly-to-back got him another two count then Steiner slapped on the Recliner. The problem is that the Cat has declared this an illegal hold. He orders Steiner to release it but Steiner ignores him so Awesome lent the Champ a hand. Steiner took them both on and knocked Jarrett from the ring before applying the Recliner on Awesome. Jarrett delivers a guitar shot which ends the match. Steiner is clearing the ring when Goldberg shows up and spears him. This brings Nash out and the program ends.
The Faction came to the ring after the break. Vince is reading his FAX as he walks. HHH takes the mic and rants on the Stooges for messing up the blackmail scheme against Kane last week but goes on to say that Kane, Rock, and Undertaker are not united so there is nothing to worry about. Vince reads the FAX and then reveals that Linda has decided that the PPV main event will be for the World Title! If one of the good guys defeats any one of the bad guys - that wrestler will be the Champ. He said Linda said he wasn't being fair and insults his "Grapefruits" as well. He then declares that the 6 man tag team match at KOTR would only be a Championship match if all the partners win their matches tonight. He books three handicap matches. Kane vs.The Hardy Boys, Undertaker vs. Bull/Bossman and the Rock vs. T & A.
X-Pac takes on Chris Benoit for the next second round KOR tournament matchup. This was a great contest with lots of action. Benoit doing his usual wolverine number while X-Pac competed at his furious best and managed to dominate most of the match until he went for a bronco buster and missed. Benoit took over as Tori attempted to provide distraction for her man but was knocked off the apron. In the end the Dudleys ran in and put X-Pac down giving Benoit his opening to advance. The tag team then tried to punk X-Pac but the Road Dogg ran in to even the odds and the Dudleys ended up on the receiviong end.
My candidate for potentially the most interesting match of the night pits Eddie Guerrero against his girlfriend Chyna in a second round KOR contest. Especially because, before the match, Chyna insisted that Eddie take her challenge seriously but then played him like a violin once they got into the ring. She then declined to go for a low blow on her man's jewels only to have him then sucker her into a roll-up and a pin. Backstage, Christian informs Edge that he can;t stick around for his match tonight because he has a meeting with the editor of Tiger Beat.
Backstage after the break, Eddie G is desparate to get back on the good side of his Mamacita. He finally manages it by presenting her with a puppy.
Edge faces Chris Jericho in the next match for a KOR birth in another match full of great action. Edge has started to look better to me since he stopped doing that wimpy spear of his so often. Of course, he uses it in this match when they are out ofn the floor and causes bot of them to almost be counted out of the ring. After several minutes of furious back and forth action, Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho and took the win by submission.
The first of the three handicap matches sees the Undertaker taking on Boss Man and the Bull. This was going against UT until the Boss Man decided to take a powder - leaving his young partner to the wolf...
Another KOR match sees Scotty Too Hotty taking on his good buddy Rikishi. The big guy dominates the first two exchanges due to pure power, but Scotty uses a back kick to take his opponent off his feet. Of course, knocking him down and pinning him are two completely different kettles of fish... He manages to hold the advantage using his superior speed and delivers the worm (as usual) but still can't get the pin. Rikishi squashes him in the corner then bombs him off the second rope to advance in the tournament. Val Venis runs in and attacks until Grand Master Sexay intervenes and sends him packing.
Backstage, the Undertaker tells Kane to pretend like he is fighting his brother against the Hardeys tonight (that match is next).
Kane throws a fright into his opponents right away with his entrance. They seem reluctant to lock up with him but eventually Jeff decides to go first. He is the first victim, of course - squashed in the corner then tossed across the ring. A gorilla press slam does nothing for his back. Matt is wiser and immediately attacks the big guy's knee. Not that it helps much. Kane roars back and Matt is on the receiving end. A blind tag and a double team finally put the Hardeys in control for a few seconds - but then Kane flies through the air and almost gets a pin on Matt. Jeff saves the day with an elbow drop. They go to the floor where the Hardeys try a double team again and finally get a leg up. Back in the ring. Kane is back and the Hardeys abandon all pretense of this being a tag match. Jeff goes for a Swanton Bomb but misses when Kane sits up. Matt runs in and is downed and almost pinned. Moments later the Hardeys collide in the corner and Kane gets a chokeslam and pins Matt. Backstage, HHH is gettng a little peeved about the ay things are going...
Crash Holly faces his cousin Bob for another KOR second round match up which Crash manages to dominate for the first several exchanges. Hardcore came back with a sidewalk slam to turn the tables and then puts the boots to his opponent before tossing him to the floor. It is all Hardcore Holly now for several minutes - but Crash is a tough little bugger and refuses to be pinned. As the fight continues the Stooges come running down to ringside with a referee in tow and carrying clubs. Brisco suddenly enters the ring and whacks Crash with his club - thus giving him the win via DQ. But then he calls his referee in a pins the Hardcore Champ and takes the belt! Backstage after the break, the Stooges celebrate with the referee and a round of champagne toasts...which turns out to be a russe. Pat Patterson whacks him with a second bottle then pins him for a title reign of his own.
The Rock took on T and A (w/Trish Stratus) in the final handicap match to determine if the World Title will be on the line this Sunday. Albert and Mavia begin the match and the Rock immediately throws Albert out to the floor. Back in the ring, the team abandon the tagging approach, from then on T & A control the match. Trish gets physically involved in the match as well, choking the Rock on the apron for several moments while Test distracted the referee. A few seconds later Rock grabs Trish by the hair but Test breaks that up. Maivia gets the rock bottom on Test but Trish goes on the apron to provide distraction while Albert comes in and hits the Rock with the ring bell. Test goes for a pin but no cigar. Then, out of nowhere, Maivia puts a Rock Bottom on Test. Albert runs in and they both clothesline each other. All three are down for a bit then the Rock proceeded to clean house. He threw Albert out of the ring, spine busted then lays the elbow on Test and gets the win! Backstage, Triple H is going crazy and the Faction is fighting and Vince says wait until Smackdown.
I'll be back on Saturday. Until then...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
This page is a personal tribute andis 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 2000 - Jump City Productions