Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
Jardi Frantz, debuted in APW two years ago under a mask. He was then known as Chicano Flame 2. However, he was unmasked and taken under the wing of "Mack Daddy" Jimmy Ripp, who appointed him the "Fly Daddy" of APW. Frantz is quickly becoming one of the most respected high flyers in all of indy wrestling today, and his brother Myaki is nothing short of a human highlight reel himself. If you can't make it to Livingston, Ca. to see WSP2K vs. Kamikaze Kids, be sure to order a copy of the tape through www.allprowrestling.com.
For more information visit www.clickmovie.com and get hooked up!
TAMPA ó As if things donít look wild enough for NWA Floridaís "Night of Decisions" on Tuesday, November 14th, add two high flying Japanese wrestlers to the mix.
NWA Florida President Martin Yoffe announced this morning that Naoki Sano from Japanís DDT group will face Mitsunobu Kikuzawa who also works for DDT, as well as Onita Pro. According to Yoffe, both men can do everything from lucha to hardcore and claim they will "bring the house down" at the Ft. Hesterly Armory.
While Sano is the younger of the two, Kikuzawa has worked main events in Japan against Genichiro Tenryu and Onita. He also works for Super Delfinís Osaka Pro Wrestling under a hood.
Other matches scheduled for the seven bout card include: NWA World Heavyweight Champion "Colorado" Mike Rapada defending against Sabu, former tag team partners B. Brian Blair vs. Steve Keirn in a Steel Cage with the winner taking both halves of the NWA Florida tag team titles [a stip added by NWA Florida Commissioner Buddy Colt], and NWA Florida Champion "Royal Stud" Adam Windsor defending against Brent "Cameron" Dail in a Texas Death Match with NWA legend Dory Funk Jr. as the special referee.
Also scheduled to be on the card are: "The Indestructible" Cyborg, Hector Guerrero, the Big Boy Brigade [Amazon Freddie and River Rat Rivera], Lex Lovett, the New Heavenly Bodies [Classy Chris and Big Vito managed by Gigolo Jimmy Del Rey], and the Tampa Cliq ["Iceman" Buck Q, Iron Mike Sullivan, Scoot Andrews, and NWA Florida Junior Heavyweight Champion Pepe Prado].
Event: NWA Florida Wrestling - "Night of Decisions"
Date of the event: Tuesday, November 14th
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Fort Homer Hesterly Armory, 504 N. Howard Avenue, Tampa
Ticket prices: $15 VIP [first two rows], $12 Ringside, $10 Reserved.
For more information, visit NWA Florida on-line or call the NWA Florida Hotline at (813) 960-4168.
Sherri Dupree died on Saturday, November 4th.
Cherie Ann Marie Duval was first married to a Mr. Dupree, before she married George Wagner, who interestingly later legally changed his name to Gorgeous George in 1954. She was generally regarded as the first wrestling valet, slightly before Slave Girl Moolah and Sheik's Princess Salima (Joyce Farhut). Like The Princess, she would at times become physically involved or get slapped or pushed. There was also the two times she had her head shaved(actually closely cropped butch and then would wear wigs-it was never shaved, her daughters said).
She had protected his image ever since, suing Mike Lebell in 1974 for bringing in Gorgeous George, Jr who she'd not heard of when he previously worked the Southern Territories (spelling the end of his career) and she and her daughter were going to take action over the Gorgeous George3/Maestro character WCW had since he claimed to many to be Gorgeous George's legit grandson. When she became aware of Maestro and his claims; it was noted Maestro no longer was on WCW TV.
Sherri's daughter and son will hopefully be on my radio show asking for burial aid, as there was no estate, no insurance to help properly bury Sherri who was a lovely lady who recently suffered a series of strokes at her Florida home.
I spoke last night with Cherie's daughters who are estranged from the only natural son of both Cherie and George Wagner, son Gary Wayne George (age 41). Gary now lives with Cherie's 3rd husband. "My mother had at least 3 husbands, possibly more, she was a character," said Cherie's daughter, Bobette Bundy(51) who was raised by George Wagner. "He raised me like his own from when I was 6 until past 13. He was a wonderful man and my mother, as you know, was incredible in the wrestling business. Mom married Ray Vacanaro after Gorgeous George passed away in 1963, and Gary now lives with the son Cherie had with Ray, Ricky who's a little younger than Gary. Dad's name before he legally changed it was George Wayne Wagner. He also had two adopted kids before he married mom, so it is a bit complicated," Cherie's oldest child, Bobette Bundy said last night.
"The funeral is this Sunday at 1 pm. Mom is being cremated Saturday as she instructed. Family from California, Hawaii, Tennessee are already coming and everyone is invited to celebrate Cherie Dupree's life. We're having the service right here in my home which is in a beautiful, woodsy part of Florida, out in the country".
"The same address is for anyone wanting to send aid because mom had no insurance, was on welfare for quite a few years and has a stack of medical bills and we can't afford the funeral really at all. She'd had the strokes as you know and had a bad heart and lung problems, pneumonia. She'd had this happen once before and thought she'd pull thru it again. Anytime my sister Sherry(yet another half sister but Cherie was her natural mom, ala Bobette) and I would leave even for a few minutes, the hospital nurses said mom would go into a fit and wouldn't sleep or eat. So we (along with other half sister Shari Gross from another post-GG marriage) bathed her and changed her sheets. Gary has been estranged and living with the Vicaneros in the mid-west. He had taken some wrestling lessons at Slammers Gym but never wrestled since he was too skinny. All those phony Gorgeous George's, mom sued to protect his image. None of them were related. Gary has a daughter Amanda only who's now 13. I thought mom was coming around last week when she goosed me. Her teeth were good, but the bone around them was bad as you know- so she'd just lost all her teeth. Because of this, mom was even skinnier- down to 70 lbs but she was a fighter. I brought her Ensure, that she liked and she'd always goose me if I bent over. The papers said she died Monday but she died last Saturday the 4th."
She and their son of all things, had lent their credibility and unknowingly helped Herb Abrams at several Reseda, CA UWF shows before they gave up. Georgie will hopefully return on this week's WrestleTalk radio show along with Canadian wrestling filmaker Dale Barnes who recently filmed a lengthy interview with Sherri. Barnes, like John Dolin, has done a series of wrestling tv specials shown througout Canada on the likes of Gorgeous George, Dick the Bruiser, Yukon Erik, Pepper Gomez, etc.
The address to send and attend the service Sunday at 1 pm is 3970 No. U.S. HWY 1, Ft. Pierce, FL 34946.
Dr. Mike Lano is a well known wrestling photographer and writer. Solie's wishes to extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Miss Beyer/Mrs. Wagner.
What a week.
I have two things on my mind right now. Of course, in addition to the thing on all of our minds.
This election had been magnificent. It is proof that votes count, that no-one has a mandate, and that the Constitution is alive and well, thank you very much.
However, that is not what this column will be about today. If you do want my political opinion, e-mail me at email@example.com. Put "Election" in the subject line.
The two things I want to address are the WWF lawsuit against the PTC and the turn of HHH. I have spoken about the PTC in the past, but current events warrant redress.
Vince McMahon has decided to file a lawsuit against the PTC. I have read enough of the text of the lawsuit ( from an article by James Garibaldi ) to give a simplified explanation of the suit, which is this: The leader and main people in the PTC illegally and unethically tried to punish the WWF for providing pro wrestling to the general public.
If you get a chance to read the text of the suit, you can read all the tortured legal language and come away confused, but as I work in a job that requires my knowing such language, I can give you a simple breakdown, as well as the reasons behind it. According to the suit, the head of the PTC, a guy named Bozell, is an ultra-right (almost a fascist) nut who lives by raising money for organizations that hold his views, and being paid for it. He hates all minorities. He illegally has raised money and threatened to hurt the WWF by coercing sponsors to drop their advertising and/or break their contracts to advertise. This monetary harm is called tortuous harm. The suit also says that the PTC is a fraudulent entity, that actually is a laundering point for the views of the MRC, or Media Research Center. The MRC is Bozell's organization that is bent of forcing certain types of TV off the air. The WWF is one of those types of shows. The WWF thinks this is a violation of free enterprise, of copyright law, and that they are subject to monetary compensation for these violations.
Get all that? Well, what does it mean?
It means that the PTC hurt the WWF. It landed a good jab to the pocketbook. It made the WWF look bad to potential viewers, thus costing them potential money as well. Thus, Vince wants to stop this from continuing, and wants to try and break the financial back of the PTC. This after the WWF clearly won the PTC/WWF battle.
This should not surprise anyone that knows Vince McMahon. He is intensely driven to win. Not just win, but dominate. It is all personal. From Bischoff and the Monday Night Wars, to this PTC battle, Vince has proven that he will fight a battle just to win, and that his operating principle is, "Don't just beat your opponent...break them." Not satisfied with a relatively safe and mildly profitable regional wrestling concern, he expanded and overran the other regional federations in unprecedented fashion. He has forced the WCW to the brink of financial ruin, even though he would have made millions splitting the audience with the WCW (yeah, the WCW helped by becoming stale, but that is a different subject). He even considered buying the WCW (that does not look probable at this point). Vince McMahon plays to defeat his opponent, not just to win.
All that being said, I think that the lawsuit is a good idea. This has nothing to do with my private views. I think some of the stuff that the WWF does is overboard. However, this suit has to do with censorship of media that is not deemed harmful to the general public, like pornography. The market decides what airs...if it is too racy, people won't watch or let their kids watch. The WWF seems to have found a product that walks that line, and they make money. No one has the right to stop them from doing so by coercive means. Now, outcompeted the WWF would cost the WWF money, but it would be legal. Telling people to not watch is OK as well. However, threatening someone not to watch by monetary penalty is a violation of law.
You work for me. I pay you $20/hour. However, you behave in a certain way when you are not at work. Your behavior has no impact on your job performance. I don't like your private actions, therefore I fire you. You could sue me for a violation of your civil rights, and win. This is a loose analogy to this suit. The PTC, according to the WWF, does this to the companies that advertise on the WWF TV shows. Their advertising neither harms nor hurts the PTC or the MRC, but they are pressured into dropping their ads from the WWF by the PTC. The PTC spreads information harmful to these companies, and they lose money.
The other thing I wanted to mention is HHH's heel turn. I spoke about it in my other column (the Crossface Corner on www.bodyslam.cc), and I will share with you a little bit. The HHH swerve was totally unexpected, and was not predicted on the normal outlet for these things (the Internet). It was effective for several reasons, and will help the current operating angles.
First, it reinforces both the heel turn of Rikishi and the face-dom of Austin. It firmly establishes the Rock as uninvolved, as I said from the beginning (and that is a FACT, not opinion). It frees up Angle to feud with other main-eventers and high mid-carders for the Title. In addition, it returns HHH to his heel persona, which is one of the top heel characters in the last 20 years. As it throws the DX and Radicalz angles into a soup, you can't say it was clean, but the beauty of it was that it was an unclean turn, and thoroughly unexpected.
It helps the current programs by adding uncertainty to the Stephanie angle, which needed refreshing. It opens up positions for the Big Show to get involved immediately, be it on one side or the other, when he makes his expected return. It allows the Undertaker, who is wildly popular, to make a Title run without fighting another face main-eventer. It also helps Austin re-establish himself, because the Rikishi angle was at a plateau; there was not much more that could occur, other than some sort of felonious assault, and Austin needed to start assuming his old mantle as the head star. The HHH turn also gives the WWF time to build the Rock/Austin angle up to climax at WM17 next year. To start such an angle between Austin and Rock now would doom it by April.
Well, that is what is on my mind, not including the election. Remember, the best place for news, rumors, and results from the ECW, WWF, and WCW is www.bodyslam.cc, home of the Crossface Report and other great columns, and the most fact-filled, info packed site on the web for pro wrestling is this one, Solie's Vintage Wrestling. E-Mail me with any questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org, and thanks again. See you next week with another Connection.
The following article will be "in character." In other words, I will do it as if the angles currently going on are real and not part of a script (as we know they are). Originally, this article was supposed to be about "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock and Rikishi but with the recent twist of Triple H, I had to go back and redo the article. While the involvement of Hunter Hearst Helmsley is only mildly surprising, it does make some sense as he has a past grudge with both "Stone Cold" and "The People's Champion." Here is an analysis of the past history and how it relates to now (in terms of the angle):
September 1996: The first known meeting between "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Hunter Hearst Helmsley. It was at a In Your House PPV. Austin had just won the 1996 King Of The Ring a couple of months earlier and had started to become a household name in the WWF. Triple H, in contrast, was in the midst of a slump and was about a month away from winning the WWF Intercontinental Title from then-champion Marc Mero. These two "heels" went at it with Austin being a surprise crowd favorite despite his villain status. Being that Austin was in the middle of a build up feud against Bret "The HitMan" Hart and that Triple H was being "punished" for his actions back in May 1996 when he openly celebrated with Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash at MSG, Austin was given the win via the move that has become his trademark, "The Stone Cold Stunner."
By the way, it is interesting to note that the "Stunner" move actually became famous in All-Japan Wrestling by American wrestler Johnny Ace, who called his version the "Ace Crusher." Also, Ron Simmons (during his days with Butch Reed as the team of DOOM) used a variation of the move to often escape a simple hammerlock so that move actually could be dated back as early as 1989.
Anyway, back to the timeline.
Survivor Series 1996: The Rock (then known as Rocky Maivia) makes his first official appearance at Madison Square Garden in an eight man elimination tag team bout with "Wildman" Marc Mero, Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Barry Windham as his partners. Ironically, his opponents that night were Goldust, Crush (Brian Adams), Jerry "The King" Lawler and then-WWF I-C Champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley. The Rock's team won the elimination match with The Rock being the sole survivor (his finisher in those days was the shoulderbreaker). By the way, Austin was receiving his big push that night with a spirited loss to a returning Bret Hart.
February 1997: On an edition of RAW, Rocky Maivia upset a favored Triple H for his first WWF I-C Championship. This began the hatred between these two young superstars. Subsequent rematches saw Maivia retain his title but not really get over with the fans. In fact, in most of the rematches, Triple H was cheered even though he was the heel at that time. Still, Maivia retained his title and that feud was put on hold.
April 1997: Bret "The HitMan" Hart, now in his "anti-American" mode, challenged Rocky Maivia for the WWF I-C title. During the match, he seemed more intent on punishing Rocky rather than defeating him. After Bret got DQ'ed, he put his ringpost figure four on the youngster (I call that move the "HartBreaker"). This prompted "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, who saw Bret in a vunerable position, to come down and attack Bret. I mention this because this is the first real time that the man now known as The Rock and "Stone Cold" ever crossed paths (unless you count the 1997 Royal Rumble).
July 1997: Triple H (who now had Chyna at ringside) met Austin again on an edition of RAW. Thanks to interference from Mankind (Mick Foley), Austin defeated Helmsley again.
Survivor Series 1997: Gang Rulez - "Stone Cold" Steve Austin makes his official return to challenge then-WWF Intercontinental Champion, the late Owen Hart. Austin goes on to win that match in front of the hometown Canadian crowd.
December 1997 - The Rock, then a member of The Nation Of Domination, begins challenging Austin to a title match. This was the first real signs of a feud between the two which included The Rock stealing Austin's I-C title during a sneak attack by The Nation and Austin getting a little revenge by tricking Nation members Faraooq, Kama & D-Lo Brown into leaving The Rock alone in the ring for an Austin sneak attack.
In Your House: Degeneration X (December 1997) - After weeks of sneak attacks by both sides, Austin drives his own pick up truck down to the ring and uses it as a weapon against The Nation, including the now infamous "Stone Cold Stunner" on the truck on D-Lo Brown. Austin went on to pin The Rock and retain his title. The next night, Austin surrendered the WWF I-C title when "Stone Cold" refused to agree to WWF Head Vince McMahon's edict to defend the title again against The Rock. This lead to Austin "stunning" The Rock, taking the I-C belt and throwing it into a river! The Rock, however, was the new I-C champion.
Royal Rumble 1998 - "Stone Cold" Steve Austin wins the Royal Rumble after eliminating The Rock in a brief but fiery confrontation in which they were the last two men in the ring. The Austin-Rock feud would die down at this point as both men went on to other feuds. The Rock was feuding with former UFC Superfight Champion Ken Shamrock over the WWF I-C title while Austin was gunning for the WWF World Title against Shawn "HBK" Michaels. Also, by this time, Degeneration X (which had formed the previous fall) was in full swing.
WrestleMania 1998 - "Stone Cold" defeated Shawn Michaels to win his first WWF World Title.
March 1998-August 1998: For a short time, Triple H (who was WWF European Champion and had taken over leadership of DX) made a run at Austin's title while touring Europe during the latter part of March. That run failed and when they returned to the U.S., Austin's attention was taken by Vince McMahon while Helmsley (as well as DX members Chyna, "Bad Azz" Billy Gunn, "Road Dogg" Jesse James and X-Pac) found himself in a feud with The Nation who had been taken over by The Rock by that point and was made up of Kama "Godfather" Mustafa, Mark Henry, D-Lo Brown and Owen Hart. That feud would dominate throughout the spring and summer of that year. It saw Triple H lose his WWF European title to D-Lo Brown on an edition of RAW (thanks to The Rock's meddling) while gaining The Rock's WWF I-C title in a classic ladder match at SummerSlam '98.
October 1998 - On an edition of Sunday Night Heat, The Rock (now a solo wrestler and no longer affiliated with The Nation) took on Jeff Jarrett in a one on one match up. After the match and helping The Rock fend off a sneak attack by Jarrett and another wrestler, The Rock and "Stone Cold" had a long stare down. While it didn't lead to a physical confrontation, it nearly blew the roof off as the fans cheered wildly for this match to happen! Austin had become the top draw in the federation while The Rock was (and still is) the only man that could draw a response like that. Meanwhile, Triple H had to forfeit his WWF I-C title due to a knee injury at this point. That title was won by Ken Shamrock.
Survivor Series 1998: Deadly Games Tournament - In this tourney to crown a new WWF Champion, The Rock came out on top with impressive victories over The Big Bossman and then-WWF I-C Champion Ken Shamrock. In the finals, The Rock defeated Mankind (Mick Foley) in a tainted victory to become the first minority wrestler to win the WWF World Title. It was tainted because Vince McMahon ordered the time keeper to ring the bell on a "submission" that never took place. Meanwhile, "Stone Cold" was robbed of his chance to be in the finals against The Rock when Vince McMahon and his cohorts screwed Austin out of a victory over Mankind. I should also note that the following night, Austin challenged The Rock for the WWF World Title on RAW. Austin won the match by DQ but The Rock retained the title. This rivalry was put on hold for a time as Austin became embroiled in a feud with The Undertaker while The Rock was feuding with Mankind.
December 1998: On an edition of RAW, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (along with Degeneration X members Triple H, Chyna, Road Dogg and "Bad Azz" Billy Gunn) cost The Rock the WWF title in a no DQ bout against Mankind. While DX had members of the Corporation held at bay, Austin snuck into the ring and bashed The Rock with a steel chair. This allowed Mankind to pin The Rock and win his first WWF Championship. This also was a sign of things to come.
January 1999 - The Royal Rumble: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was on his way in eliminating Vince McMahon to win the Royal Rumble and face The Rock for the WWF title. I should also note that The Rock regained that belt against Mankind that night in the legendarily brutal (and controversial) "I Quit" match. Anyway, as Austin was setting up McMahon for the kill, The Rock came down and distracted Austin long enough for McMahon to sneak up behind him and throw out Austin for the win. The next night, however, McMahon gave up his right to face the WWF Champion at WrestleMania, thinking that he could pick the challenger for The Rock. This proved to be his downfall as then-WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels revealed that when the winner forfeits his right to face the WWF Champion, then the runner up (Austin) gets all rights and privileges! Also that night, Triple H challenged The Rock for the WWF World Title in the very match The Rock "won" the previous night. Triple H was on the verge of winning the WWF title that night but thanks to The Corporation holding Chyna hostage, Triple H was forced to say "I Quit" though he never was physically forced to. This added another chapter to the Triple H/Rock saga.
WrestleMania 1999: The Ragin' Climax: After weeks of mind games, including the infamous beer truck incident where Austin sprayed The Rock as well as Vince and Shane McMahon with Coors beer, "The Rattlesnake" and "The Brahma Bull" finally got it on for the WWF Title. Despite two referees getting smashed and interference from Vince McMahon, Austin won the big contest after surviving two "Rock Bottom" slams. The Rock himself survived a "Stone Cold Stunner" but couldn't get up from a second "Stunner" as Austin pinned him. I should also note that Triple H & Chyna turned on DX and went with the Corporation. A week or so after this match, The Rock paid Austin back for that incident in December of 1997 when he threw Austin and his "smoking skull" version of the WWF title into the river! This lead to another match at WWF Backlash that saw Austin win again despite biased officiating from referee Shane McMahon.
April 1999 - The next night after WWF Backlash, The Rock leaves The Corporation and strikes out on his own. He is immediately targeted by the newly established Corporate Ministry with Triple H being the "hitman." The two would clash several times over the summer. At WWF Over The Edge, The Rock defeated Triple H by DQ (I should note that The Rock said a touching message to Owen Hart during the bout saying "The Rock Loves You Owen." Owen, of course, passed away that night). At WWF King Of The Ring, Triple H cost The Rock his chance at being WWF Champion by helping then-WWF Champ The Undertaker. At WWF Fully Loaded, Triple H (with the aid of Chyna and "Bad Azz" Billy Gunn) defeated The Rock in a strap match, thus gaining a title shot at SummerSlam '99.
SummerSlam '99 - Triple H was originally scheduled to go one on one with WWF Champion "Stone Cold" Steve Austin but a twist of fate made the match a Triple Threat affair when a returning Mankind was thrown into the mix. In weeks prior to the match, Triple H and Austin had several run-ins, including an attack on Austin's bad knees. During the match, the knees of Austin became the focus of Triple H but Mankind ended up scoring the pinfall on Austin to win the title! Frustrated, Triple H went on to attack Austin's legs and put him out of action for about a month.
September 1999 - Meanwhile, Triple H went on to win the WWF Title twice during Austin's absence. During those two reigns, he pinned The Rock during the premiere episode of WWF Smackdown when former DX mate Shawn Michaels (who was the special ref) gave The Rock his "Sweet Chin Music" super kick as "The People's Champion" was going for "The People's Elbow." Triple H also pinned The Rock at WWF Unforgiven during a "Six Pack" match. Afterwards, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was named the number one contender to the WWF Title for WWF No Mercy.
WWF No Mercy, October 1999 - Austin was in a WWF title match against Triple H, who had attacked The Rock earlier in the evening with a sledgehammer. The Rock came down for revenge but accidentally hit Austin with the sledgehammer, costing "The Rattlesnake" the WWF title. This lead to the Triple Threat Match and the events that we know of now.
November 1999-March 2000 - "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is preparing for his triple threat match against then-WWF Champion Triple H and The Rock when a Lincoln Continental mysteriously runs him over. Brief investigations at the time reveal nothing while Austin sits on the sidelines for 11 months recovering. Meanwhile, The Rock, Rikishi, Triple H, Kurt Angle and others start to emerge as WWF superstars during Austin's absence. Triple H also makes several attempts to eliminate The Rock during this period by using the power gained through his "marriage" to Stephanie McMahon. While he did manage to keep The Rock away from the WWF title, he couldn't eliminate his long time nemesis.
April 24, 2000, WWF Backlash - Austin makes his first appearance since the car incident. Vince McMahon, who had sided with then-WWF Champion Triple H at that point, was the one that first suggested that The Rock was the one that ran him down at Survivor Series. This was an attempt to maybe get Austin to help them during the title match at Backlash. It backfired as Austin helped The Rock regain the WWF title.
May 2000-August 2000 - During this period, The Rock and Triple H traded the WWF title twice. Triple H regained the title by defeating The Rock in a 60 minute IronMan match at WWF Judgment Day. The Rock would regain the title the following PPV (WWF King Of The Ring) in a six man tag team match where the man that gets the winning pinfall would win the title. The Rock pinned Vince McMahon to regain the belt though he never defeated Triple H for it. In between a feud with Chris Benoit, The Rock also had a challenge from Olympic wrestling star Kurt Angle. The Rock faced Angle and Triple H in a Triple Threat Match at SummerSlam 2000 that saw the anger of Triple H towards Kurt for kissing his "wife" Stephanie three days before the event cost him the WWF title as The Rock retained his belt.
September 2000 - Austin makes his return at WWF Unforgiven looking for the one that ran him over at Survivor Series. This would go on for several weeks until it is revealed that it was Rikishi Phatu that ran down Austin. Rikishi claims that he did it for The Rock and that the WWF has always been about "the great white hope." The Rock later claims that he knew nothing about this at all and Rikishi, at first, claims that The Rock had nothing to do with it.
SINCE THAT TIME.......
We have seen Austin and Rikishi go at it twice. Neither victory really settling anything. We have also seen Rikishi, who feels that The Rock owes him, say that The Rock did know about the car incident because he's the one that planned it. Most recently, we have seen Austin actually attack The Rock with a "stunner" and The Rock retaliate with a "Rock Bottom" attack on Austin. We also now know that Triple H has been the accomplice with Rikishi during the two sneak attacks on WWF Smackdown. We still don't know if he was the one that ordered the original attack back at Survivor Series but it would make sense for this reason.
Triple H, The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin want to be the top man in the WWF. PERIOD! The Rock wants to be because he feels it is his destiny to be so. His lineage has been documented many times. Triple H and Austin, on the other hand, had to pretty much bust their behinds to get where they are today. Both came from WCW where they were pretty much held back due to political influences of some of the more known wrestlers (particularly Hulk Hogan). Austin, of course, was already being touted as a future superstar even in WCW so he already had a name for himself when he came to the WWF. Triple H had to pretty much forge his name after several failed gimmicks and personas.
Of the three wrestlers, Triple H's character seems to be the most calculating and ruthless. The Rock is driven by ego. Austin is driven by sheer hatred and mistrust. Triple H is driven lust, power and desire. To have Triple H in the mix does make sense because the fans just wasn't booing "Stone Cold" nor The Rock. Despite the image of fans cheering a bad guy, you still have to have someone to root against and Triple H is just better as a bad guy. Also, this gets rid of Kurt Angle because I like him where he is. A champion that most respect but no one likes that anyone will strike at anytime. Triple H will almost certainly continue to feud with Angle despite his return to heel-dom. As for The Rock, expect him to take on Rikishi sometime in the near future as early as Survivor Series. Triple H and Austin will almost certainly collide one on one as S.S.
Well, enough rambling!! To Earl and his readers, I say SEE YA!!
Ervin Griffin, Jr. is Solie's resident wrestling historian. Many of his past articles can be found by clicking on the "Articles" button in the menu bar to the left of this page.
Okay - first question: Does anybody really care that the two jobber guys thrown off of their respective teams (Jamie-San and Evan Karragias from Jung Dragons and Three Count) have some heat between them? I doubt it... Question number 2: Why can't either of these guys complete a suplex?
Congratulations to Crowbar for winning the WCW Hardcore Title in a wild match on Thunder this week. There is no doubt in my mind that if Devon Storm can maintain his health (and that, in itself, is questionable) he is going to be a major star in the sport of professional wrestling. Give the assist for this title victory to Big Vito, by the way, but I thought it was well done in that Crowbar fought a great match and dominated the action right up to the moment that Vito interfered.
Does anyone else agree with me that WCW has made a major error by taking the Cat out of the Commissioner spot and putting LTA (less-than-adequate) Sanders in his place..? I never thought I would say such a thing but...BRING BACK THE CAT!!!
In a very large surprise, the Natural Born Lamebrains turned on Kevin Nash and joined Sean Stasiak in beating him down until Booker T ran out to save his butt!
A second great match on Thunder this week was the World Title contest between Booker T and Mike Awesome, who got the Champ out to his own territory (the floor) and was almost able to put him away.
On SmackDow, HHH took to the ring at the top of the program to gloat about his involvement in the Austin auto incident. This prompted Commissioner Foley to come to the platform and make a tag team match for HHH/Rikishi vs. The Rock/Austin on the program and singles matches for the four of them at the next PPV. Does anyone else feel, as I do, that this whole angle is getting a bit contrived and not a little illogical? For one thing (looking at it as Ervin does above, as if this was not a made-up storyline), why would HHH, who was at the time the WWF's top heel, mastermind the rundown of Steve Austin and then not brag about it? Also, if Rikishi was capable of such a heinous act, how did he pull off his babyface character for all that time thereafter?
"The One" Billy Gunn? To paraphrase the late Gorilla Monsoon..."give me a freakin' break!" Is it just me, or could this guy pass for Sean Stasiak's twin brother with his new haircut?
Is it funny or what to hear Jerry Lawler railing against the heel Tag Team Champs? Here's a guy who spends most of his time making excuses for other heel wrestlers. I wonder if it ever bothers him having to be in agreement with his fellow (face) commentators such as Mike Cole and Jim Ross...
This program seemed a bit dragged out to me. Although I didn't see it, I hear that last weeks show was very good. It had to be better than this one. The three-way main event was okay - but I could have skipped most of the rest of it, especially all that talking in the first half-hour...
Nitro came to us on tape from London and featured a Lethal Lottery tag team tournament to determine a number one contender to the World Title (after the next PPV, of course). This was announced by CEO Ric Flair at the top of the program, who named Mike Awesome/Bam Bam Bigelow, Booker T/Lex Luger, Boogie Knights, and Scott Steiner/Sting as the four competing teams! Steiner/Sting took out the Awesome/Bigalow twosome pretty easily. A little later, the Dancin' Fools tried to buy their way out of the tournament by paying Kronic to take their place. Flair thwarted their plans by making them face Goldberg in a handicap match. You can guess the outcome of that one... Later, Steiner interfered in the Kronic vs. Booker/Lex and gave Kronic the win, thus setting up Kronic vs. Sting/Steiner for the main event.
It also featured the first Hardcore Title defense for new champ, Crowbar against former champ, Big Vito. This was another outstanding match for Crowbar, who was brutally handled by the challenger, but it was unfortunately spoiled when Reno decided to intervene on behalf of the champion.
The big surprise on tonight's program (at least to those of us who didn't read the spoilers all over the net...) was Major Gunns turning on the MIA and interfering on behalf of Lance Storm to give him back the US Title during his challenge for same against Gen. Rection. Storm is now the three time US Champ.
In the main event, Sting/Steiner took on Kronic and beat them after a great match. Steiner, who had put on a suplex lesson during the match, then attacked Sting until Booker came out to his rescue...or so we thought. After clocking Steiner with a chair...Booker then gave Sting the same treatment! All of this sets Sting up for a World Title match against the winner at Mayhem, the next night on Nitro.
Over on RAW, the Undertaker was invited to watch Kurt Angle take on Crash Holly (with one hand tied behind his back) at the top of the program. This program was remarkable for the fact that, for the first time in quite a while, HHH was not on the program (almost). He's nursing an injured back, by the way...trying to get in shape to wrestle at the coming PPV on Sunday.
Does it strike anyone else as passing strange that Kane's entire reason for apparently hating Chris Jericho is because he is good looking..? And what is with JR? He keeps pointing out Jericho's good looks...I thought Pat Patterson was the one who...never mind.
This program saw the dissolution of the Tazz/Raven pairing - so now I guess they will go back to something resembling their antagonisms in ECW. That could be fun... By the way, what the hell happened with the pyro smoke tonight during this match? The announcers ignored it as long as they could - but we could hardly see the comptitors for the dense smoke in the ring. I figure someone must have opened a door behind the entryway...
Was it funny or what, the way Low Down kept having their interviews interrupted by wrestlers higher on the food chain. Talk about getting no respect...
This program also saw the return of Hardcore Holly, who rescued his cousin Crash at the beginning of the show, then joined his cousin and the Undertaker to take on the team of Edge, Christian and Kurt Angtle at the top of the second hour.
Somebody please stop Road Dogg from rapping!! He's ruining his reputation for mic skills.
The main event was a mammoth 8 man tag match pitting Steve Austin, the Rock, Chyna, and "The None" Billy Gunn against the Radicalz. The Radicalz dominated through most of the battle, by dint of their superior teamwork (the other team had virtually none). Eventually the Rock and Benoit brawled out of the ring and right out to the backstage area. Chyna and Gunn then got rid of Malenko and Saturn, leaving Austin to finish off Guerrero with a stunner. Maivia and Benoit continued to fight backstage until Rikishi appeared out of nowhere leaning out of a car window and hitting the Rock with his rubber sledge hammer. Rikishi got out of the car and talked some trash before returning to the vehicle, driven by HHH! They drove away together.
This program was somewhat of an improvement over SmackDown.
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
Copyright 2000 - Jump City Productions