Volume 1, Issue 59
October 13, 1996
LiveWire Gets Stripped
Saturday morning's WWFLiveWire program took a step back into obscurity with the return of Todd Pettingill to the helm (along with Sunny, who seems to be trying to soften her image lately). I will say that the program was better than the opening show a few weeks ago with all that ridiculous sniping between Sunny and Jim Cornette, but it was a definite let-down after last weeks fireworks with Vince McMahon. The Ahmed Johnson segments were better than I expected (especially the on-air faceoff with Faarooq via the telephone) but I missed "Doc" Hendrix and especially Vic Venom (if that is his "real" name - the moniker is said to actually be the "nom du plume" of the WWF Magazine Editor-in-Chief). They need to bring back "Doc" and pair him up with Venom on a regular basis to make this show really fly.
The program suffered, in my opinion, from too many softball questions from the fans. Either they are being vigerously screened - giving a lie to the supposed "spontaneous" nature of the program - or else the entire thing is a set-up. I hope it is only the former...but fear it is the latter, knowing the WWF's penchant for stage-managing even the smallest details.
NWO Segment on WCW Saturday Night
In it's first official television broacast, the NWO was given a segment of the WCW Saturday Night program to strut their stuff. Unfortunately they chose to showcase the second round of the "NWO Tag Team Championship Tournament" - a farce featuring Hall and Nash in a match against two jobbers taped in an empty arena (except for Debiasi and "Vincent" sitting in the stands). The Giant again filled the ring announcer's shoes while Hall and Nash took turns each doing play-by-play while the other wrestled. This was reminiscent of the Burger King's announcer-as-wrestler matches but not nearly as funny. I hope it gets better than this...
WCW Puts $4 Million Offer on the Table
There is a strong rumor afloat that Turner Broadcasting has offered Bret Hart $4,000,000.00 multi-year deal which includes movie roles via the Time-Warner media companies and, of course, a wrestling contract with World Championship Wrestling. It is further rumored that, after getting wind of the offer, Titan chief Vince McMahon had a pow wow with Hart and made a $3 million + counter offer.
If Hart were to accept the Turner offer it would represent yet another blow to Titan Sports which has been suffering mightily in the television ratings as of late. Bret is reportedly scheduled to appear on the next live Monday Night RAW program to make an annoucement concerning his possible retirement from the WWF. It seems to me there is also the distinct possibility of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin getting into it on that occasion with Hart (assuming Bret will actually make an appearance). This could be the set-up for a Hart/Austin feud which has been anticipated since Brian Pillman announced Hart's supposed appearance on the last In Your House PPV.
I for one would be disappointed if Bret jumps ship because I fear for what his role in WCW would be. If he joins as a member of the NWO it would be a profound shock to his legions of fans (including this one). If he joins in opposition to the NWO it sets him up to be another Outsider "whipping boy" - a disheartening turn of events to say the least.
Michaels/Austin Match Coming Up on RAW
Meanwhile, I'm really looking forward to the clash between Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin slated to be seen on this week's RAW. This should be a classic match between two superb wrestlers.
Superstars on Fire!
Speaking of Steve Austin, the fireworks between him and Mr. Perfect were quite entertaining on this morning's WWF Superstars program. Hennig was sitting in his usual broadcast chair while Austin was on hand as "guest-commentator" for a Savio Vega/Salvitore Sincerely match. Perfect objected to Austin's comments concerning Bret Hart (Steve was claiming that Hart is "chicken" and that he would "kick his a**" if he were to return to the WWF) and they got into it pretty heavily and nearly came to blows. Jim Ross then suggested that Austin leave the broadcast position - which he did. He subsequently came back to ringside and interfered to cost Vega the match.
I hope this means we can expect to see a Perfect/Austin match sometime soon.
BTW - Shortly thereafter on the show, Crush got into verbal sparring match with a fan ringside and ended up pulling this skinny kid over the railing and pummeling him until security personnel and Clarance Mason pulled him off. Hard to tell if this was a shoot or not. I guess we'll know soon if Crush continues to appear in the WWF. He would certainly be subject to arrest for his actions in the "real" world. I hope their not going to treat this as the "Sting/Lugar stealing the cop car" incident in the WCW a while back - i.e. ignoring it.
Godwins Upset Owen/Bulldog
This morning's program also featured a great non-title match between the Godwins and the Tag Team Champions which ended in a decisive win for the Godwins. This should put them back in contention for the Tag Straps which I believe is well deserved. Despite their "cartoon" image these guys are an outstanding team (I still liked them better as "Tex Slazinger and Shanghai Pierce" in WCW).
It looks like Vinnie Mac has finally found a good possible counter to WCW's Monday night dominence. By setting up feuds and advancing storylines on the live weekly WWF Superstars program, they can get the jump on Monday Nitro. Jim Ross' already established position there as the host helps keep his angle alive as well.
Further thoughts on "Double J's" Return
Has anybody else noticed that Jesse James has to be prompted by his "collaborator" (Nashville singer/songwriter Jim Johnston) in order to come in at the right time in that in-studio clip they keep showing. Johnston maintains the beat for him and then sings along for the first few words to get the song started. I'm sorry, but as a professional recording engineer for 20 years and a singer/songwriter for 30, I can tell you that this guy (James) is no musician. "Double J" is still a fraud - I suspect that Johnston's is the "real" voice on that recording of "My Baby Tonight".
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
Often imitated - never duplicated!
Come join in the liveliest discussion of Wrestling Topics on the Web!!
(Please watch your language - we have children surfing in here!)
Read What Others Have Said
This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.
Copyright 1996 - Jump City Productions