Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
APW held it's second show of the year at San Leandro High School. A very good attendance that looked to be around 500 very vocal APW fans turned out to see a great show that would include the return of the "Mighty Midgets", a tag team championship match and a "Royal Rumble". The last San Leandro show also had a good turnout, and it is turning out to be a great place to hold a wrestling show.
18-Man Royal Rumble - Kid Chrome, "Bad Boy" Boyce LeGrande, Chris Cassanova, Vinny Massaro, Seymour Snott, George C. Snott, Shane Ballard, Myaki Frantz, Shannon Ballard, "Brown Bomber" Robert Thompson, Boom Boom Comini, Jardi Frantz, "Filthy" Frank Murdoch, Super Destroyer 2000, "Fighting Irish" Patrick O'Doul, the 7-foot giant...Dalip Singh, "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels
Winner: Christopher Daniels in 22:17 ( * * * )
Grudge Match - Super Destroyer 2000 (with Buddy Cotello Esq.) vs. "KC" Kid Chrome
Winner: Super Destroyer 2000 in 7:44 ( * * * 1/2 )
6-Person Mixed Tag Match - "Filthy" Frank Murdoch, Boom Boom Comini & Shane Dynasty vs. The Snott Brothers & Betty Beefcake
Winners: The Snott Brothers & Betty Beefcake in 6:15 ( * * )
The 7-Foot Challenge - Ma'och vs. Dalip Singh (with Style & Substance)
Winner: Ma'och in 2:49 ( * )
Mighty Midget Championship - "Beautiful" Bobby Dean vs. Little Kato
Winner: Bobby Dean in 14:31 to retain the Mighty Midgets Championship ( * * 1/2 )
Family Feud - The Kamikaze Kids (Jardi & Myaki Frantz) vs. The Ballard Brothers (with Cheerleader Melissa)
Winners: The Kamikaze Kids in 11:35 ( * * * 1/2 )
APW Universal Tag Team Championship - WESTSIDE PLAYAZ 2000 - "Bad Boy" Boyce LeGrande & "Brown Bomber" Robert Thompson (with ICEBOX) vs. "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels & "Innovator" Vinny Massaro (with Buddy Cotello Esq.)
Winners: Westside Playaz 2000 to retain the APW Universal Tag Team Championship in 20:43 ( * * * * 1/2 )
So properly named the Westside Playaz 2000, since in the year 2000, they are undefeated. The streak climbs to an even more remarkable number of 17-0, and they are still the number one tag team in the country today. Whoever says the Playaz are washed up, better think again, and watch this match. One of the most physically draining matches of the year for any team. The show comes to a close with the Playaz in the audience, partying with the fans of San Leandro, raising their titles high above their heads, in victory...while Massaro, Daniels & Cotello leave the ring, with their heads down.
Any of you had the flu this year? Well, it absolutely sucks. I feel like someone beat me up for fun. My joints hurt, my throat is sore, and, well, like I said, it sucks.
Now, guys are known to regress straight into childhood when sick. The average age reached is about three. We whine and complain, and become general pains in the neck.
Of course, I don't do those things.
This is leading somewhere, you know. It is a wrestling column, and I have been working my way to the main subject.
Wrestlers are tough. In general, I really think that wrestlers are tougher than the other professional athletes.
You probably agree, if you are enough of a fan to read this column on Solie's. However, I don't want to stop with just that statement. Let us continue with some examples:
Contusion. That means a bruise. Laceration...a cut. Shoot, wrestlers do that on purpose. I can imagine what would happen in an NFL locker room if one lineman walked in to the other team's locker room and asked his opponent to cut him, so the fans could see some juice. Dislocated finger? I can remember at least half a dozen times seeing wrestlers come out to work a match with a finger or two taped together. HHH has wrestled Monday night matches after bleeding a preposterous amount the night before, at some PPV.
Can you see my point? If not, follow my thoughts.
A pro football player will sit out a game with turf toe. I have had turf toe....it is uncomfortable. Yes, even painful. Is it broke? No. Is it unusable? No. Just a bit painful. Could I play? Sure. A player will be sat out of an entire game, and not even play if the game is in question, because of turf toe. Name a wrestler who took time off for a stubbed toe.
Troy Aikman has had numerous concussions. I have had at least four (OK, you don't believe me?
The fact of the matter is (I said FACT, not opinion), wrestlers need to be tough. There are 11 guys on the field in football. There are usually 30 or so more on the sidelines. More than likely, the loss of one player would not totally compromise the game, or his team. In wrestling, the injured individual is usually involved in an angle built specifically around him or her, and stands in the ring with only one other athlete. To coddle every little nagging injury would decimate the production of solid programs and characters. In wrestling, you almost have to ignore the little stuff. Sometimes, you even have to work with the big stuff. Billy Gunn tore his shoulder up, and still wrestled in the PPV, just to finish up the storyline and give him a reason to drop out of the spotlight. Austin did the same.
Now, what happens to the workers at the end of their careers? Bad joints, chronic pain, blurred vision, and other things all athletes deal with as they retire. I have not seen any studies about the physical well-being of pro wrestlers, but I wonder if they experience the same life quality we do, or even other pro athletes do, after they retire.
I bet not. At least we understand, don't we? Maybe it will be different someday. Maybe not.
Now, my medicine, and to bed.
Come to the best news and rumors web site going, at www.bodyslam.cc, and read our other columns, the Factor, the Corner, and the Update. Of course, Solie's has the venerable Tuesday Morning Report, as well as the best archive of wrestling info anywhere on the Internet. Thanks again, and see you next week for another Connection.
Because of my business trips over the past two weeks, I was unable to catch much wrestling on TV. I did get to see Nitro and RAW tonight, so I will comment on the two programs and add some other editorial comments that come to mind.
Nitro was live from Chicago and opened with Lex Luger coming out and insulting Mark Madden for daring to comment on Luger's physical conditioning on last week's show. He went into the ring and challanged Bill Goldberg, vowing to end his win streak at the next PPV, then proceeded to brow-beat one of the editors of WCW Magazine then put him into the Rack. A couple of segments later, Luger set Goldberg up for a gang-up attack by himself and Bam Bam Bigalow. Still later, Goldberg maintained his streak by planting Bigalow as Luger watched from the platform.
The new CEO made an appearance with the promise of some startling announcements...but really didn't deliver anything immediately that couldn't have been predicted. A "Straightjacket" match in a cage for the World Title at the next PPV, and physical restrictions on Scott Steiner (yawn...) A little later, Flair finally did deliver by having Diamond Dallas Page show up as the fans went wild. Page told the crowd that Flair asked him to return, but that he had already made the decision to come back after a house show earlier this year. He then led the Cat, Buff Bagwell and the returning Rick Steiner (the Dog) in an impromptu cross-promotional brawl with some of the BattleDome warriors who were at ringside for the show.
On RAW, (live from the Compaq Center in Houston, TX) Vince McMahon made his return to television right at the top of the program. He used his time on camera to urge fans to vote in tomorrow's election. He then left the building with Stephanie in the very next segment - so much for come-backs...
I notice that the Undertaker wore a Yokozuna t-shirt under his denim tonight as he squashed Val Venis.
I'm sorry, but the more Kane speaks, the less interesting he is. The fact is that Kane sucks as a heel. He needs to find a way to return to his face personna, pronto. Maybe when Tori comes back... By the way, Mona made her WWF debut tonight at the side of Crash Holly.
At the top of the second hour we saw the reformed Degeneration-X taking on the reformed Radicalz...ahh the nostalgia... Shortly thereafter, RTC, in the persons of Bull Buchanan and the Goodfather, took the Tag Team Titles in a wild brawl of a match. Isn't it interesting that the WWF's tongue-in-cheek version of the PTC is becoming a growing power in the promotion while in the meantime any objective reading shows us that the WWF has certainly toned down the risque nature of their programming in the wake of that organization's successes in driving away some of their most lucrative sponsers (AT&T, Coca Cola, the Army, etc.)
And finally, at the very end of the show, we found out who Rikishi's accomplice was. Shattering for good his current face push, and after coming out supposedly to "help" Steve Austin, then hitting him with a rubber sledge hammer - HHH fessed up to committing the dastardly deed.
Now for the editorial...
So, now the word seems to be that Vince McMahon is not likely to be buying the WCW promotion after all. In fact there are indications that Ted Turner may have decided to not try and sell the ailing wrestling company. Such actions on WCW part as renewing vendor deals for the coming year, conducting ratings seminars with WCW employees, and also going ahead with a minor league affiliate deal after sitting on the paperwork for several weeks while the company appeared to be perched on the auction block, all point to a fate for WCW other than being sold to the highest bidder.
This is good.
One can only hope that WCW can finally turn it's fortunes around because otherwise we face a wrestling industry with little or no competition - and that would be a very bad thing indeed. Lack of competition inevitably leads to a shoddy product. Think WWF TV programming circa 1983...
On another front, it looks like the latest victim of the unwise use of fire in the wrestling ring is Jim Mitchell, better known to ECW fans as the "Sinister Minister" and to WCW fans as James Vandenberg (sp?). I say "unwise use of fire" because, in my opinion, any use of fire in wrestling is unwise. I only have to hearken back to the horrendous accident which caused Hacksaw Jim Duggan to have that "wandering eye" which is now so much a part of his image. This came about back in the early 80's when Duggan was the top face star of the now defunct Mid-South Wrestling promotion. In that case the fire was unleashed by Scandor Akbar - who, it may be pointed out, never used fire in the ring again after that incident. In my view, Akbar learned his lesson well - something all wrestling promoters and personalities should take to heart. Fire is way to unpredictable to ever be considered "safe" to use in the wrestling ring.
On yet another topic: I had the chance to see (and tape) the wrestling documentary "Beyond the Mat" off of PPV tonight. Again I found it to be a good documentary, but a little shallow. I felt it could have could have gotten deeper into the way wrestlers are exploited by the big promotions. Barry Blaustein should have turned his camera a little more on the big guys like McMahon, who came off looking a bit jaded but largely went unscathed instead of picking on a small fry like Roland Alexander, who I happen to know personally, and know that he treats his guys fairly and helps them a lot. The film made Alexander look like a slimeball by suggesting that he isn't good about paying the performers - but they failed to mention that Alexander puts on shows on a shoestring and manages to deliver the goods everytime. The film also fails to mention that when Tony Jones and Mike Modest went to the tryouts at the WWF they did so at Roland's expense, who also paid his own way to be there to provide morel support. Some of his guys that have gone on to the majors include Spike Dudley, Vic Grimes, Crash Holly and Blitzkreig among others. Ask them how they feel about Roland...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
Copyright 2000 - Jump City Productions