Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
Tonight's edition opens with some APW News, the latest Crossface Connection from Solie's regular John Cross, and then my own traditional Christmas column.
Only 3 days left until All Pro Wrestling hosts the first annual King Of The Indies tournament. This one night tournament will be the greatest event in Independant Wrestling History. The full lineup has been announced, and here it is...
8-Man Single Elimination Tournament to crown the 1st ever King Of The Indies!
"Natural One" Michael Modest vs. "Brown Bomber" Robert Thompson
"Funboy" Donovan Morgan vs. Vic Capri
"Black Nature Boy" Scoot Andrews vs. "Innovator" Vinny Massaro
"Bad Boy" Boyce LeGrande vs. "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels
"Shooter" Tony Jones in action!
7' 3" 408-pound giant known as "The Next Big Thing" Dalip Singh will take on "Fighting Irish" Sean Patrick O'Doul
The Ballard Brothers vs. "Fly Daddy" Jardi Frantz & Kid Chrome
Ma'och vs. "Big" Peter Snott
Boom Boom Comini & Super Destroyer 2000 vs. The Snott Brothers
Speical Interview with Shane Dynasty
Plus an autograph session with all 8 men involved in the tournament, where fans can get souveniers signed by the wrestlers.
The show takes place Saturday Night December 30th at the Breakaway Sports Center in Galt, Ca. All the action starts at 7:00pm.
Visit the APW Web Site for more information
I would like to begin by wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. It is a special time of year, and one must humble themselves before God at such a time. Enjoy the time as it should be, with giving and togetherness with friends, family, and the like.
OK. Moving on.......
You thought this was gonna be some sappy, It's-a-Wonderful-Life type of column, didn't you? Well, even though I mean all of it, Earl has me write a wrestling column, not a holiday pamphlet. You should know all the above-mentioned things already.
I was tempted to write a column that had a Christmas-type or End of the Year topic, but I couldn't think of a suitable format. Like a poem, or the Grinch, or whatever. It's all been done before, and unless it was very good, most of you would have forgotten all about it in, say, 47 seconds. So., faced with this dilemma, I had to conjure up a topic.
That being said, all of you know how motivated we get around the holidays. I couldn't warm up a freezing flea with my motivation right now. However, something piqued my interest on Thunder the other night, and I wanted to comment on some WCW issues.
Many people, like I said last week, bash the WCW. I want to make some observations that will be critical of the WCW, but not bashing. I think that the WCW had done several good things, but has also made a couple mistakes.
One such mistake is DDP. It was evident to me that the WCW really wanted to bring Scott Hall back. They really did. They needed his popularity, his mic work, and his relationship with Kevin Nash to stir up some ratings. However, Mr. Hall shot himself in the foot....repeatedly. He must have had the setting on 'Automatic'. Either way, the return of the Outsiders had created a momentum of its own, and the teasing done by Nash and the 'Net forced WCW into a position to try and give the fans what they wanted. However, the only good solution was to either come clean with the fact that Hall was forever gone (and have Nash SHUT UP about him), or bite the bullet and bring him back. What they did was take Page and put him in Hall's place. Sure, they are somewhat similar, but why? DDP was NEVER an Outsider, never a member of the nWo Wolfpac, hasn't been a wrestling partner of Nash or Hall in the last 3 or 4 years, and has been, for the most part, aligned AGAINST those two wrestlers. Why try and pass him off as an Outsider, of Hall's station? It isn't valid, it seems false, and it derails DDP's own popularity.
Another mistake WCW seems to be making is Kronik. What are these guys, APA Jr.? There are two problems with this angle, and that is one.....they are copying the heel-APA angle so closely that it seems ridiculous. Gee, paying a big, strong, dominating tag team to beat up your enemy. Next, Kronik will have an office, and will sit back there drinking beer and smoking cigars. That was too close of a imitation of a current WWF program, and, at least to me, seems to be a nonsensical move. Secondly, why turn them when they were so over as faces? I think they were as over as any tag-team in WCW has been in the last two or three years, and they were then suddenly thrust into this role. Add to that the fact that Goldberg beat BOTH of them at a recent PPV, and they seem less vaunted then they were as well. See, I am high on Kronik...they could be one of the keys to WCW's resurgence, if used right. They are the most WWF-like tag teams in the WCW, and, since that is the popular trend, they should be used, and used a bunch. However, their misuse (like how they are now) is and will be detrimental to the WCW.
Now, the last thing that WCW is doing wrong is more like what they are not doing. They need people at these shows. They need loud, raucous, cheering and booing crowds at their shows. People get into the shows more when the crowd is into the shows. In fact, the reaction of the live crowd reinforces the action (and that is a FACT, not an opinion), and subliminally dictates if a certain move, segment, or interview is successful. For example, Shane Douglas gave a very good heel promo in the ring on Thunder, talking down Rection and the Misfits, but the crowd reaction was very low. He even had to result to cheap heat (he badmouthed the local crowd), but even that was lukewarm. The same promo, if done to a WWF crowd, would have received a much larger and voluminous reception. The WCW fans that attend these shows are quiet and distracted. If you remember the Australian and European shows they ran, they SEEMED to be very good shows to the watchers at home. If you go back and read the objective reviews, even they said the shows were very good for WCW programs. However, they were the same quality as the other WCW stuff, and the only difference was the receptiveness of the crowd. Lance Storm proved that, by his making everyone on 2 continents go from liking him to hating him. The crowd is important, and the WCW MUST find a way to stoke fan interest and participation at these taped shows.
Well, that is all I have this week. Oh, I could always go on and on, but I have gifts to wrap and others to buy. I gotta kiss and hug my kids and sing "Jingle Bells" another seven hundred times. I gotta go watch Heat Miser and Snow Miser on the TV a little more. You know the drill. YOU have to go to my website, at bodyslam.cc (don't forget the WWW in front of it) and read the best opinion, news, rumors, and results on the WEB. Of course, give yourself the present of massive WRESTLING RESOURCES here at Solie's. Thanks, and see you next week for another Connection.
I missed Thunder this week, on the road again to Atlanta (or more correctly, I was on my way home from Atlanta, when Thunder was on). I guess the big WCW news this week was the supposed "shoot" brawl between Dallas Page and Scott Steiner backstage at Nitro. Do we really believe any of this?
Smackdown opened with 15 minutes of Vince and Stephanie congratulating each other on their mutual business acuity. They mildly pissed off the crowd, who were so glad to see Vince back, they had a hard time reacting with the proper amount of disdain. Vince allowed his daughter to style him as "the Role Model" and "the ICON". How boring was that?
Out back after the break, Vince ushers Stephanie away in a limo then has an awkward scene with Trish - what did he say about the "next Mrs. McMahon..?
Low Down went fully AYRAB this week. The King called them "ragheads" - how PC... I wonder how longs it's going to be before one of these guys strangles himself on those head dresses they wear. They took on "those filty Americans" the Dudleys. I would vote for a tag team of, Chaz & Tazz, whattayuhthink?
Later, Vince rather politely ordered Steve Austin to act as a referee tonight. Austin seemed to imply that Vince would be sorry he made that decision. The match would be a European Title defense for the fastidious William Regal against Steroid Bob Holly. Steve insisted on bringing beer to the ring and wouldn't you know that Regal would catch him in the corner and SPILL STONE COLD'S BEER!!! That was enough for Austin. He put both guys down in a flash. Then Kane showed up and evened the score. What...???
Raven brought a trash can full of...well...trash...for his Hardcore Title challange against Champion, Steve Blackman. It wasn't enough...
In the main event, the Rock & the Undertaker defended their Tag Team Gold against the former Champs and lost when the special referee Kurt Angle decided to get physically involved. Number five for Edge & Christian.
I probably won't get to see RAW on Christmas evening, and Nitro is off the air for the next two weeks, so I wanted to leave you all with something traditional. But before that I just want to say how privileged I have felt to write this column for the wrestling fans and thank you all for coming to this place when you could certainly go other places if you wanted to...
I decided, since it was such a big hit the last four years, to republish my (slightly edited) version of this famous Christmas poem...
'Twas the night before Christmas and all round the ring.
Not a creature was stirring, not a dad-blasted thing.
All the ring ropes were hung round the apron with care,
in hopes that the wrestling fans soon would be there.
The tickets were sold, the nachos were hot.
The vendors were ready - there were fights to be fought.
I sat in the office awaiting the action,
with visions of putting on a major attraction.
When out in the lobby there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Away up the aisle I flew like a flash,
jumping the barrier, avoiding the trash.
The worklight reflecting the newly washed mat,
gave a eerie pale glowing - or something like that...
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer..?
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
but who was wearing some tights and boots with soles thick.
He was ready for action, at least so it seemed,
he was older than dirt, he would likely get creamed.
But he was determined, a fight he would make,
and I figured he might be a match for the Snake.
Now the wrestlers arrived and before I could shout,
he was right in their faces, he was calling them out!
"Now, Piper! Now, Goldberg! Now, Bubba and Benoit! On, Hitman!
On, Stone Cold! On, Nitro and on RAW!
From the top of the heap to the jobber on call,
I'll bust you all up, I'll take every fall!"
So up to the ring like the dickens they flew,
with Hollywood Hogan and Saint Nicolas too!
And then in a twinkling, I heard the bell sound,
the wrestlers went over the ring to surround.
It's a handicap match he shouted with glee,
"...the numbers are even, all of you against me!"
He was dressed in all fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all covered with ashes and soot.
He was really a mess but it made him look fierce,
as the entire arena his war-cry did pierce.
His movements so fluid, his chops were like lightning
When he bulked-up and posed, it was really quite frightning.
Goldberg was up first, his feint was a ploy
as Santa said "You've been a very bad boy!"
Bill tried to grab him, but his blows didn't land,
as bunches of fur came off in his hand.
Santa just sidestepped the monster's mad rush,
then brought down a forearm, his hopes he did crush.
Then Stone Cold attacked, and was knocked on his can,
the Hitman was pummeled, Benoit turned and ran.
The Undertaker walked on the ropes then fell down,
the King was knocked out to the floor on his crown.
The Giant then slipped as he walked up the stairs,
Randy Savage went flying they were losing in pairs!
Ric Flair went "wooooo..." as he fell on his face
And Santa just laughed as he stepped up the pace.
Scott Hall was edged out, Kevin Nash just got creamed,
there were bodies all over, it was like a bad dream...
He was everywhere at once, he moved like a flash,
he gouged this one's eyes and that one he splashed.
He handled them all with the greatest of ease,
Then he looked at the time, and collected his fees.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, to the top rope he rose.
He said "Oh goodness! I've got to be gone."
"I've a long night ahead" he said with a yawn.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a shout,
the fight was all over, he'd layed them all out!
But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to all..."
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
for great wrestling discussion.
Copyright 2000 - Jump City Productions