Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
Most of you know of, or have seen, the International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Newton, Iowa. For those who may not know, the Museum is a history of wrestling from the beginning of time through the amateurs of today, and a special wing is devoted to professional wrestling. To those of you who have supported the Museum with press or bucks, I am eternally grateful. These few have recognized the importance of the Museum to future generations and future wrestlers.
I have not talked with one person who felt the Museum was not first class and far more than they expected. Now, don't mistake what I am saying to you -- I am a true capitalist! If this Museum is not important to you -- just forget this message, because I respect your money as much as I do mine. However, if it is important to you for the Museum to succeed, we need your help. And we need the help of anyone you can enlist.
IWIM has given professional wrestling a place of honor among Olympic and champion amateur wrestlers. Dan Gable is a director on the board, as I am, and he is a supporter of the inclusion of professional wrestling. Some of you may not realize how unpopular this concept was in the amateur community.
Mike and Bev Chapman lost support they could have used by having professional wrestling as such a prominent focus. I know I have a vested interest in the Museum and in the way professional wrestling is portayed to my great grandchildren. (Since my youngest and his wife are expecting their sixth child, I have a large interest!) If this Museum does not succeed, I fear there will never be another with the courage to show respect for professional wrestling as anything more than entertainment.
I am asking you to help in any way you can -- $5 -$10 -- any amount-or spreading the word about fan clubs or fan organizations meeting there for conventions, or if you have any suggestions of contacts in large corporations who might want to sponsor a gallery or exhibit. The boxing community has a vested interest also. The memorial to Rocky Marciano is there (he died about two miles from the site of the Museum). I am not one to beg, especially for someone's hard-earned money, but I want everyone to have an opportunity to contribute to a cause that may be important to you. I know so many times I learn too late about a crisis to be of any help.
I know the devoted fans are out there because I have them on the forums and Email me all the time (now I wish I had saved their addresses.) Please help me get the word out to anyone who would want to help.
Email me if you have any questions, suggestions, or need to get the Museum address.
By Dan Parker
Rule No. 1 of the Ancient and Prevaricating Order of Wrestling Promoters is: "Never admit The Game isn't on the level -- and why should we when it is?" The interrogatory part of the rule is supposed to cover cases where the promoters might, in a moment of frank soliloquizing, admit it to themselves.
Impresario Jack Pfefer, the only backslider in the ranks, has consistently mocked his brethren for their hypocrisy and has been cast out like a devil, for his apostacy. It is small wonder, therefore, that when Honest John Heim, the Milwaukee mat mahout, blurted out the unvarnished truth about his dodge recently in saying an honest wrestling match would kill the game by boring the customers to death, there were exclamations of pious horror from promoters of the type of Fred (Coca) Kohler, Chicago's entrepeneur de burp, who think everyone else was born yesterday.
Far more amusing to me than any act I ever saw on the wrestling mat is the dead-pan expression on a promoter's face when he tells you that there is nothing phony about wrestling. Even the late Jadck Curley, a high-class gentleman, would look his best friend, Gene Fowler, in the eye and tell him not to let his faith in the classic Greek sport be shaken by the loose talk of professional iconoclasts who gloried in tearing down anything as beautiful as wrestling.
Yet, there was one occasion when Curley broke the rule. As one of wrestling's patron saints, Jack will probably be forgiven by the faithful when it is explained that he fell from gracde only as a last resort to punish a young whippersnapper of a promoter who wasn't rendering unto Caesar the things that were Julius'.
Of all the unlikely persons to fill such a role, the man in question was Jimmy Bronson, one of the most respected men in boxing. This happened at Joplin, Mo., early in the century when Jimmy, who ran a boxing club on a monthly rental basis in one of the public halls, decided to take a flier at wrestling promotion on alternate weeks to his semi-monthly boxing shows which usually featured Jeff Clark, the Joplin Ghost. For his first attraction he was able to book Dr. Roller, biggest name in the mat world at that time, against Yankee Rogers, the American Apollo. The day before the show, Promoter Curley arrived in town and broke the news that Dr. Roller wouldn't be able to wrestle.
"Well," said Jimmy, glumly reaching for the phone, "I guess I'd better call the papers and tell them it's off."
"Why should you do that?" asked Jack. "I can arrange for Rogers to wrestle any three men in the house and if he doesn't throw each twice within 30 minutes, give them $100."
"But there aren't any wrestlers here," said Jimmy.
"Don't worry," Jack assured him. "There will be."
To be continued...
On tape, David Flair arrives earlier in the day. His friends Crowbar and Daffney are there to bury the hatchet and wish him luck. Nitro is live from Charlotte, North Carolina, the hometown of David and Rick Flair, and the very heart of Horsemen country. David asks Daffney if she's seen his father yet today. She hasn't.
The Filthy Animals come down to the ring. Konnan goes into his usual schtick but is interrupted by Disco, who calls out Kronic for a Tag Team Title match. The Champs haven't been consulted about this and protest to no avail. The big guys have the immediate advantage, of course, based purely on overwhelming size and power. A blind tag finally allows Rey Rey to get in a drop-kick to the knee of Brian Adams. He and Juvey follow up with a double suplex. That is the end of their offense as the Brian's make a come back...but then the harris Brothers show up to spoil the party. Adams is hit with a TV camera and then Disco takes advantage of the distraction to deliver a chairshot on Clarke. Some judicious double-teaming takes him out and the Tag Champs retain. Out back, the bride arrives with her folks.
I notice that Jeremy Borash is still on the announce team tonight.They are telling us that Vince Russo has suffered a concussion and, supposedly, they are going to show us a video of his "brain surgery" later this evening. The Cat makes an entrance at this point. Miss Jones is out of her neck brace this week and lookin' fine in a spangled halter top. Miller informs us that the injunction that Russo had filed to usurp the Commissioer's powers has been thrown out of court. He announces that the World Title match at Fallbrawl has been changed to a cage match! And there is also a World Title match tonight pitting Big Sexy against...Scott Steiner!! Next, Miss Jones decides to challenge Jeff Jarrett to a match tonight..? This brings Jarrett to the ring to accept the match and offer to fight with his wrists cuffed together. Jarrett further states that as soon as his troups arrive, they intend to take over the show. Miller invites him to try it now and a brawl erupts. The Cat is in charge until Scott Steiner shows up and changes the odds. Steiner has the recliner on the Commish as we cut to commercial.
Terry Taylor confronts Sting and Booker T who have just arrived. He tells them to go help the Cat keep the bad guys from taking over the program. In the ring, Big Vito is ranting about Reno, with who he has a "stickball bat on a pole match". Tony tells us that an enraged Cat has made Booker T the special referee for the main event - and Goldberg as the special ringside enforcer. Reno shows up with Chuck Palumbo, who proceeds to interefere almost immediately - but Vito runs Reno into the referee, who caroms off Palumbo and sends him crashing to the floor. The bad guys regroup and Vito is in trouble until Johnny the Bull shows up. At first he faces the Idiots and holds them off with a kendo stick - but then he turns around and attacks Vito! A little later, Vito makes a comeback and holds his own for several moments before he is buried under the crush of Idiots.
Back in his office, the Cat is calling for security as Sting and Booker walk up. The Cat enlists their aid in his fight against the forces of chaos. After the break, the bad guys are gloating over their triumph when the Cat and his troups break in on them. Under threat of bats, crowbars...and havin their contratcs tornm up, the bad guys agree to abide by the Cat's rules...right.
Neat up - Torrie vs. Madusa - an uneven contest if ever I heard one. Torrie arrives without her usual protector...but I'm sure we will hear from Shane Douglas before this is over. The early going is as expected - Madusa has her way with her opponent. Then Shane shows up and attacks her, and the referee. He suplexes her then slaps on an STF. Torrie is in her face with a mic, taunting her, when Kidman runs in and breaks it up. He fights off Douglas and rescues the former ladies champ. Douglas retreats with Torrie as Madusa throws out a challenge for a scaffold tag team match among all of the parties presently involved. Backstage, Crowbar, wearing a tuxedo t-shirt, helps David on with his dinner jacket. In another dressing room, Stacy is putting the final touches on her attire as well when she receives a special delivery letter. She puts it aside and ignores it. Out back, a limo pulls up...but we are more interested in the Mondrian-painted bus that disgorges Mr. Leisure suit himself, Mike Awesome.
Steiner is having a fit backstage as Nash sits calmly watches. He suggests that Steiner let him perform a "touch" shot, Steiner lays down, Nash takes the pin (like he did with Hogan last year). Steiner keeps asking, "I lay down?" Uh oh...
Time for Miss Jones vs. Jeff Jarrett. The Cat is there to makes sure that the cuffs are on securely. He then lays in a cheap shot, but Ms. Jones tells him to leave it to her. She proves to be a pretty tough lady, snap maring Jarrett and then taking him out to the floor and bashing him against the railing a couple of times. Back in the ring, she prepares to deliver a guitar shot but he blocks it and gets the guitar and bashes her with it for the pin. As he is ready to deliver a chair shot, Mike Awesome runs in and chases him off. Backstage, Nash is trying to show Steiner what he wants to happen by drawing stick figures on a white board. Steiner isn't buying it...uh oh some more...
After the match, Nash solicites Jarrett to help convince Steiner to blay ball. In the arena, Hacksaw Duggan arrives complete with American flag to the cheers of the crowd. He thanks the fans for their support and takes us back over his travails of two years ago, against cancer. He then starts to make what appears to be a retirement speech. It is. He announces his retirement! He is in tears as he continues, stating that he is naming someone to carry the flag in his place. He invites General Rection to come down to the ring and accept the torch...and the flag. Of course, Lance Storm comes out to spoil this tender moment. He insults Duggan, and the USA, then challenges Rection to a match right now. The fight is evenly fought. As Storm slaps on his finisher, Duggan points out to the referee that Rection's arm is under the rope. The ref calls for the break which enrages Storm. He goes out to the floor and attacks Duggan. Back in the ring, he is ready to throw a splash - but Duggan whacks him with his 2x4. Storm is caught, powerslammed and pinned. Afterward the MIA run down and celebrate with Duggan and Rection. In the back, Stacy finally decided to read her letter. Her comment, "Oh my God!"
Its the top of the second hour and time for the wedding. Crowbar is the groomsman, Nitro Girl Baby is the brides maid. Daffney is...Daffney. Stacy's folks escort the bride to the ring - where else would you marry a wrestler? Before the service, David makes a statement. He says he loves his friends and his family, then asks Arn Anderson to come out. AA arrives mic in hand and delivers some words of wisdom - his advice is less then enthusiastically greeted by the bride. David then invites his dad to the ring. Ric Flair has some hair back. In fact, his haircut looks almst exactly like David's! Ric talks about how proud he is f his boy and echews his usual flamboyence - this is his son's night. As the service gets started...but then a group of police officials show up and arrest Ric for being in the arena. It turns out that Vince Russo has taken out a restraining order forbidding Flais from coming within 100 feet of the arena! Looking at this logically, of course, Flair could hardly be arrested for this without ever having been served with the restraining order...but what the hell... As he is led away, Stacy suddenly abandons the ring and flees. What's up with that?
After the break, we watch Flair being loaded into a patrol car. AA tells him he will be down to bail him out. The scene switches to earlier tody, a "doctor" explains that Vince Russo's suffered a bloodclot on his brain which had to be removed with surgery. He predicts a full recovery after several months of recuperation. Tony isn't buying it He thinks the doctor is a phoney...so do I...
Sting makes his entrance and is followed by the Harris Brothers. Mark Madden tells us this is a handicap match set up by Vince Russo from the hospital! The twins carry chains and use them in the ring to put Sting down in a thrice. Kronic then run in with chains of their own ansd soon the Harris Boyz join Sting lying on the mat. Sting is rolled over and covers Heavy D for the pinfall. Backstage, Jarrett is trying to convince Steiner, who is still disagreeing. Meanwhile, David catches up with Stacy in the back and convinces her to come back to the ring and finish the ceremony.
After the break, the wedding continues. The "minister" is way overdoing his service - me thinks he is a bad actor... He invites anyone who can show cause why the wedding shouldn't continue...and Stacy raises her hand! She reveals that David is not the father of her child!! She bolts for the second time tonight with David in hot pursuit...and we cut to commercial.
We return to find the Natural Born Idiots punking Mike Awesome back in the parking lot. They are taking him to the top of the bus as we cut away again.
Backstage, Scott Steiner tells Mean Gene that he intends to walk out with the World Title tonight. That match is next. Again, the special referee for the match is Booker T, who arives at the ring before the combatants. Steiner and Nash make his entrances and the then special enforcer, Goldberg, arrives. He takes a seat on a folding chair at ringside. The Cat joins the braodcast team for this one. As the match gets underway, nash goes for the finger push but Steiner refuses to go down.So Nash goes right after Steiner's injured face (his eye socket was broken a while back). They start to fight, but then Steiner turns and attacks Booker! Goldberg enters the ring and breaks that up in a hurry until Steiner delivers a low blow from behind. He takes Booker out to the floor while Nash works on Goldberg inside. Another referee has come out but he is superfulous. Steiner re-enters the ring and suplexes Goldberg then tosses him to the floor. Somehow this turns into a tag team match with the original referee and enforcer one of the teams...huh? Goldberg and Booker are about to put on their finishers when Mike Awesome's bus drives into the arena and right to the ring. The Idiots and Jarrett appear from the bus and turn the tables in the ring. They lay Booker on the hood of the bus, then Nash shoves him through the windshield!! Goldberg is handcuffed to the front of the bus then Steiner beats him with his steel pipe. The bus is started up and reving when Goldberg breaks himself loose, and the program fades...
The program (live from the America West Arena in Phoenix) opens with Commissioner Foley coming to the ring to talk about the guy who injured Steve Austin. He urges whoever it was to come out and admit his culability. The Rock makes an entrance but says it wasn't him. He then goes on to rag on Kane, telling him to "bring it" at the next PPV. Chris Benoit puts in an appearance and demands that he be the #1 contender instead of Kane. This brings out the Kane and the Undertaker who insists that they shouldn't forget about him. Kane then attacks Undertaker while Benoit attacks the Rock. In the melee, Foley is knocked out of the ring. Afterward, Foley declares a tag team match - Rock/Undertaker vs. Kane/Benoit. he also says he will name the #1 contender later. He gives HHH the night off, by the way...
The Dudleys and the Hardeys battle to determine the #1 contenders for the Tag Team Titles. The match is barely underway when the Tag Champs come down to interfere. Edge hits Bubba with his title belt, which causes him to be pinned by Matt. The tag Champs then attacked the new #1 contenders. The Dudleys run back in and clear out the Tag Champs.
In the best match of the show so far, Ivory challenged Lita for her Womess' Title. Unfortunately, Mideon cams out and distracted Ivory, causing her to lose the match. Backstage, Kurt Angle demands a handicap match against T&A to show that he can do anything HHH can do, and also wants HHH to have to wrestle. Foley agrees as long as Kurt will shut up. Meanwhile, Eddie G is asking Chyna's forgivness for his actions last week. It almost sounds like he is going to propose to her - but he never quite gets around to it. He agrees to dance with Too Cool after their match tonight regardless of how it goes down. In the match, Chyna is friendly with the opposition before the match, but Eddie uses her distraction to go on the attack before the bell. During the match, Eddie pretty much leaves Chyna out of it - but in the end she comes through for him, although Eddie still gets pinned. Eddie offers to dance with the winners but then leaves the ring and comes back with his title belt and hits them with it. Rikishi runs out to beat on Eddie - but Chyna comes through for him yet again, knocking him away when the big guys goes for the Stinkface.
Backstage, Hunter tells Stephanie he doesn't want her out at ringside tonight during his match, against whom has not yet been revealed. Meanwhile, Chyna reveals to Eddie that she is going to appear in Playboy!
At the top of the second hour we get HHH vs. his mystery opponent...Chris Jericho. A spirited contest, pretty evenly fought, but with Jericho mostly in the driver's seat. HHH finally takes the advantage and is about to administer the Pedegree when Stephanie appears on the ramp and distracts her husband. HHH is distracted and almost pinned. HHH thwarts a bif splash and then Kurt Angle shows up and starts dragging Stephanie away. HHH leaves the ring to pursue them. While that argument goes on in the aisle, X-Pac enters the ring and intereferes - which ends the match on a DQ. HHH comes back to the ring and attacks X-Pac for spoiling the match.
Bull Buchanan and the Goodfather come to the ring to face the Acolytes. As the match gets underway, Val Venis appears on the platform, dressed as usual in his white wrestling gear, and carrying a chair. He advances toward the ring slowly as the matcg progresses. The announcers are sure he is going to attack the RTC...but I don't know... In the ring, the Acolytes are starting to take control of the match. Val climbs onto the apron, but the referee warns him away. Suddenly the RTC wins the match and then Val enters the ring...and attacks the Acolytes with his chair. Steven Richards appears and shakes hands with Val and they leave together.
The new European Champ has decided that he is from Germany this week. He appears in leiderhosen and has knackwurst strung around his neck. He leaves a picture of David Hasslehoff on the announce table as JR explains that Hasslehoff is a big star in Germany. His opponent tonight is Tazz. In the match it is clear that although Tazz is a suplex machine, Snow is the more accomplished wrestler...so Tazz resorts to brawling. He takes Snow out to the announce table and bashes him into it. Back in the ring, Taz is ready to win the match - but the King runs up and hits him with the picture. Tazz loses - and then he tells Lawler that he is giving up. he says he can't compete with Lawler's political power in the company. He calls himself "just another victim" of the WWF.
Next up - Kurt Angle vs. T&A in a handicap match. Angle does pretty well for a few minutes and then starts to wilt under the onslaught. Backstage, HHH is enjoying the carnage. He turns to Stephanie - but she has vanished. Back in the ring, Trish is starting to get involved, but Stephanie is there and stops her. Stephanie is chased into the ring and it is HHH who comes down to rescue her. Hunter ends up helping Angle fight off the opposition. As Hunter is watching them retreat, Angle is helping Stephanie up. Hunter sees that and goes berserk. He downs the referee, then attacks Angle. A second referee arrives and is also dispatched. The two of them continue to grapple, but Stephanie tries to pull her husband off and gets back elbowed by HHH - wait - didn't we see this angle just a couple of weeks ago?? Hunter breaks off the fight and starts to carry his wife up the ramp - but Angle attacks him and then is hustled away by officials. HHH and his wife are left lying on the ramp as we cut to commercial. Backstage, after the break, Foley talks to HHH and sets up a match at Unforgiven between HHH and Angle - gosh...who could have seen that coming..?
X-Pac challenged Steve Blackman for the Hardcore Title but was no match for the Lethal Weapon, who made good use of his usual plunder. Waltman had a short spurt of offense toward the middle of the match, but then went for a fire extinguisher and blew it. At this point the match heads up the ramp and into the entry way. X-Pac again turns the tables and is about to use Blackman's own numchucks on him...but then Chris Jericho attacks him with a kendo stick. Blackman gets the pin on the platform.
Backstage after the back, X-Pac attacks Jericho with the rubber numchucks - hitting him right in the face with them. In his dressing room, the Rock confronts the Undertaker, wanting to know if he can trust the latter to be there for him tonight. UT vows to be there - but also says he plans to come after the World Title.
In the main event, UT is true to his word and backs the Rock all the way in this no DQ match. He has reason, of course to be down on both his brother and Benoit. Maivia surprises everyone by putting a Crippler Crossface on Benoit early on in the match. Moments later he goes for the Peoples' Elbow, but Kane trips him up and turns the tables. In the middle of the match a crazed fan has to be hauled away from the ringside area. The Undertaker is tagged in and ends up battling Benoit in the ring while Kane and the Champ battle out on the floor. As Maivia and Kane retun to the ring, Kane manages to incapacitate the Rock long enough to give Benoit the pin. The fight rages on and officials flood the ring but are all put down. The Rock and the Undertaker each apply their finishing moves as the program fades.
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 and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the memory of the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.
Copyright 2000 - Jump City Productions