Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
We hope you will publicize this project by e-mailing this press release and telling fellow fans, posting this information on various websites, and by the wrestling media noting this in their respective forums. Feel free to reproduce this press release as is, or to summarize the pertinent information.
Also in this annual, noted journalist Mike Mooneyham talks with Bruno Sammartino (taking on Mark Madden) and Ric Flair who pays a touching tribute to his recently departed dad.
There are extensive interviews with Bill Anderson (trainer of Sting, Ultimate Warrior, and Louie Spicolli), Road Warrior Hawk, Bobby Jaggers (who takes us through a tour of the old territories), and Johnny Legend on Fred Blassie, Andy Kaufman and the Olympic Auditorium. Also featured are 10 questions with Dory Funk, Jr., a tribute to the late Eddie Sullivan, Harold "Odd Job" Sakata, rock and wrestling comics, merchandise listings, tons of clippings and rare photos, and many surprises as well. The Wrestling- Then & Now 2000 Annual is a signed/numbered collectible, as Bill Anderson will autograph each and every cover featuring Bill with his friend Louie Spicolli. Send $12 US/$15 overseas today. All checks payable to: Evan Ginzburg, PO Box 640471 Oakland Gardens Station, Flushing, NY 11364. For more information check out Wrestling- Then & Now at: www.walkertown.com/wtnow
Thank you for supporting this worthy cause and for your help in preserving wrestling history.
By Pat Pheifer
Wally Karbo's name was synonymous with professional wrestling for more than 50 years. His face, voice and mannerisms were familiar to generations of fans who watched All-Star Wrestling on Saturday morning television.
"Wally WAS wrestling to Minnesota," said Jesse (The Body) Ventura. "Wally's a legend."
Karbo, 77, of Bloomington, was having lunch with a friend Thursday when he suffered a heart attack. He was pronounced dead at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. In recent years he had been a commissioner of the Ladies Professional Wrestling Association, but he got his start in the business nearly 60 years ago as a kid straight out of parochial school.
Walter Joseph Karbo was born and raised in northeast Minneapolis, the son of Polish immigrants. He graduated from De La Salle High School in 1934 and was quite an athlete in his own right. He played basketball and was offered a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, said his brother Mike. Finances were tight, and he chose not to go to college. Instead, he started hanging around gyms with his next-door neighbor, Stan Mayslack, who wanted to be a wrestler. In time he met Tony Stecher, the top boxing and wrestling promoter in Minneapolis during the 1930s.
He worked for Stecher as an office boy/go-fer and eventually was offered a job as referee for out-of-town wrestling matches. By the time he was 23 or 24, he had refereed close to 8,000 matches, his brother said. During his lifetime it was closer to 25,000. Soon he began organizing matches in Toronto, Winnipeg and the Dakotas and as far west as Denver. By the 1940s he had moved into the Twin Cities and elsewhere in Minnesota, and was one of the best-known promoters in the country.
"He was really well respected," Mike Karbo said yesterday. "He really was in love with it."
He and Verne Gagne were partners in the American Wrestling Association for more than three decades. The association's All-Star Wrestling debuted on TV in the early 1950s, and the matches continued across the country. "He would talk in circles and he would garble his words and he would do all kinds of stuff that just endeared him to people," said David Lee, his attorney and longtime friend. "Wally would always treat people fairly . . . and they were loyal to him and vice versa."
Karbo never thought he was better than anybody else, said Ed Sharkey, a former wrestler turned trainer turned promoter. "He wasn't a guy who wore a three-piece suit and sat in an office," he said. "He was one of the guys. He wanted to ride in the car with the boys. He wanted to go have a beer with the boys."
Karbo was to have received a lifetime achievement award at a Pro Wrestling America match on April 17, Sharkey said. "I don't know what we're going to do," he said. "The whole wrestling community is just shattered."
Ventura said that he started wrestling for the association in 1978-79, but that he had watched Karbo on TV since he was a little boy. "Wally was sly like a fox," he said. "A lot of people perceived Wally as not being real brainy, but Wally Karbo knew the wrestling business better than anybody who's been in it. Wally could recognize talent and who could draw money. He enjoyed life to the fullest."
Karbo sold his interest in the association in about 1984. He continued to promote women's wrestling until the day he died.
He also was known for his civic contributions. He had been honored for his work with the March of Dimes Variety Club Heart Hospital at the University of Minnesota and other organizations. He visited his 100-year-old mother at a nursing home every day. When he had time, he found great joy in going on fishing and hunting trips with his buddies.
His wife, Viola, died five years ago. Besides his brother Mike, who lives in Bloomington, he is survived by a son, Steve, of Eden Prairie; a daughter, Mary Ann Duffee, of Bloomington; his mother, Anna, of St. Anthony; another brother, Ed, of Minneapolis; a sister, Wanda Hanigan, of Las Vegas, and four grandchildren.
Services will be held Monday at an hour yet to be decided, at St. Hedwig's Catholic Church, 129 29th Av. NE., Minneapolis. Arrangements are by the Kapala-Glodek Funeral Chapel in northeast Minneapolis.
All Pro Wrestling's 1st Annual King Of The Indies Tournament Breakaway Sports Center
Galt, Ca. December 30th 2000
All Pro Wrestling returned to the great city of Galt to host the first annual King Of The Indies tournament. 8 of the greatest wrestlers in the independents today took part in a single-elimination tournament to decide who the true "king of wrestling" is. This was a huge night for APW, with a good turnout. A great band called "KGB" entertained the fans during intermission, lots of autograph opportunities for the fans and other festivities throughout the entire night. Definitely a show that will go down in the record books as one of the best nights of wrestling, by any indy promotion out there.
"Next Big Thing" Dalip Singh (with Style & Substance) vs. "Fighting Irish" Sean Patrick O'Doul
Winner: Dalip Singh in 2:13 ( * 1/2)
"Shooter" Tony Jones (with Shane Dynasty) vs. Ma'och vs. "Big" Peter Snott (with Betty Beefcake)
Winner: Tony Jones in 3:20 ( * 1/2)
King Of The Indies Introductions...
All eight competitors in the K.O.T.I. tournament were then announced, by the great longtime wrestling announcer Alan Bolte. After Roland Alexander hyped up the tournament, and thanked the fans for coming out, each man came to the ring to cut a promo about what they were going to do in the tournament. They were introduced in order of their seeding...
King Of The Indies Tournament Match (First Round)
#1 Seed - "Natural One" Michael Modest vs. #8 Seed - "Brown Bomber" Robert Thompson
Modest came to the ring drinking coffee, and obviously not taking the challenge of Thompson very serious. These two longtime rivals put on a great first round match. They battled all around the ringside area, in and out of the ring. Every time Thompson would take control, Modest would leave the ring to take a break. This seemed to really be getting on Thompson's nerves, and he went out after Modest. However, it was the wrong thing to do, as he was met with a boot to the gut, and a toss into the guardrail. For the next few minutes, Modest was in control, in and out of the ring, working over Bomber's arm. Even hitting it with a steel chair. Modest bullied the referee around the whole match, and once the ref even shoved back, letting him know he wouldn't be putting up with any attitude.
For the next few minutes, it was Modest brutally working over Thompson's arm. He locked on several different Armbars & submission holds, and even though Bomber made a brief comeback, it was stopped when Modest locked on a final Fujiwara Armbar, forcing Thompson to submit. Modest won a pretty tough battle against his top nemesis, and he advanced to the final four.
Winner: Michael Modest in 7:57 ( * * * )
King Of The Indies Tournament Match (First Round)
#4 Seed - "Funboy" Donovan Morgan vs. #5 Seed - "Icepick" Vic Capri
This was a fantastic match. Capri really suprised me with all the power he has packed into that little frame of his. His suplexes were amazing, and Donovan took a couple really sick ones right on top of his head. These two worked very well together, and Capri had a ton of impressive offensive moves, including a never-before-seen Local Motion Northern Lights Suplex (amazing!). However, no matter what was thrown at him, Morgan would escape. Donovan hit a great top rope Hurricarana for a two count, and couldn't seem to find a way to put Capri away. That was, until he reversed a Backslide attempt, and turned it into an Angel Wings piledriver. Morgan made the cover and got the three count after a very solid opening round match. Morgan will go to the next round to face his mentor, Michael Modest.
Winner: Donovan Morgan in 6:48 ( * * * 1/2)
King Of The Indies Tournament Match (First Round)
#6 Seed - "Innovator" Vincenzo Massaro (with Buddy Cotello) vs. #3 Seed
"Black Nature Boy" Scoot Andrews (with Style & Substance)
This was a good solid wrestling match, nothing too high-flying or flashy, but these were two good wrestlers, working stiff and working hard, trying to advance in this huge tournament. Andrews was accompanied by his new managers Jason Deadrich & Terri Nicole Ash, who helped him on more than one occasion, lending a hand (or a boot) whenever it was needed. They worked a very good back and forth program, featuring Scoot's flip over the top rope and countered by Vinny's stiff suplexes in the middle of the ring. For a couple of minutes, Scoot worked on Massaro's leg, trying to wear down the Innovator. Andrews did whatever he could that would hurt Vinny's leg, and put him on the mat.
Vinny did make a brief comeback about 8 minutes in, hilighted by his Tilt-A-Whirl Face Eraser but only got a few two counts. Massaro went for a high-risk move, and missed a bit Moonsault. Andrews immediately recovered and locked on a modified version of the Figure Four. This was too much pain on Massaro's leg, and he submitted, allowing the Black Nature Boy to advance to the semifinals, after a very good match.
Winner: Scoot Andrews in 9:26 ( * * * )
King Of The Indies Tournament Match (First Round)
#7 Seed - "Bad Boy" Boyce LeGrande vs. #2 Seed "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels
The last match of the first round was a rematch from a San Francisco show earlier in the year. These two tore the house down then, but could they do it again? The fans were clearly behind Boyce, as Daniels loved to taunt the crowd, and make them hate him. The first few minutes had the men feeling each other out, trying to get an early advantage. They reversed a number of Wristlocks and Hammerlocks, hoping to take the other man down off his feet. Boyce came out on top in this exchange, holding on to a Hammerlock for a couple of minutes, and even nailing a top rope Legdrop on Daniels' arm to put more pain on it. However, the Fallen Angel came back, and hit some good offensive moves to gain control. His clotheslines and suplexes were all followed by pin attempts, but he was only able to get a couple of two counts.
This was a fantastic match, back and forth, probably the best match of the whole first round...which is really saying a lot, considering how good the other matches were. Boyce put up a great fight, and went up top for the Swanton-Bomb, but Daniels moved out of the way, and the Bad Boy went crashing to the mat. Daniels then reversed a Slop Drop attempt, and spun it around into the Last Rights, and was able to secure the victory with a three count. Christopher Daniels had claimed the final spot in the next round of tournament matches, and would face Scoot Andrews next.
Winner: Christopher Daniels in 11:13 ( * * * * )
Boom Boom Comini & Super Destroyer 2000 (with Buddy Cotello) vs. The Snott Brothers - George & Seymour (with Betty Beefcake & Peter Snott)
This was a special tag team attraction that took place in the middle of the tournament rounds. The Snotts were outweighed by a good 250-pounds total, by this huge team of SD2K & Comini.
Winners: Boom Boom Comini & Super Destroyer 2000 in 6:47 ( * * 1/2)
King Of The Indies Tournament Match (Semi Finals)
#3 Seed "Black Nature Boy" Scoot Andrews (with Style & Substance) vs. #2 Seed - "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels
This was a rematch from last years ECWA Super 8 Tournament final, and it turned out to be a fantastic match, again. These two showed why they are considered two of the top workers in the country, as this match was nonstop action from opening bell to the finish. Daniels loves to get cocky, and yell at the ringside fans, but just when you think his mind is off the match, that is when he can be most deadly. Andrews & Daniels seemed to know each others style very well, as they met each other hold for hold and move for move for the first 5 minutes or so of the match. Daniels then took control, slowing the pace down a bit, and keeping the Nature Boy grounded.
Action spilled to the outside on a couple of occasions, with Deadrich interfering on behalf of his man Andrews. The match was back and forth, lots of reversals & near falls. Daniels impressed the Galt crowd with moves like his Double-Jump Moonsault and a version of the Rock Bottom. However, about 10 minutes into the match, Daniels knocked Andrews into his own manager (Deadrich), while kicking out of a pin attempt. This was good news for Daniels, as he caught the woozy Andrews with The Last Rights to finish him off. Christopher Daniels had beaten Andrews again (for the 2nd year in a row), and he has solidified his spot in the 1st Annual King Of The Indies Final match.
Winner: Christopher Daniels in 10:14 ( * * * 1/2)
King Of The Indies Tournament Match (Semi Finals)
#1 Seed - "Natural One" Michael Modest vs. #4 Seed - "Funboy" Donovan Morgan
This was APW's answer to Scoot/Daniels. This was APW's two franchises. Morgan was trained by Modest. Modest cloned Morgan after himself. Everything Morgan knows about wrestling, was taught to him by Modest. But now it's time for Morgan to show Modest what else he has learned, during Modest's time away. Modest has got to be one of the best showmen in the game today, as he kept the fans entertained all night long with his actions. However, once the bell rings, he is 110% business.
This was a great match, that went back and forth, with Modest thinking he could get the upper hand, but every time he came up with something, Morgan would find his way out of it, and nail Modest with a move of his own. This continued for a few minutes, until Modest caught on to the pattern, and slowed the match down a bit. Modest was now in control, and he was beating Donovan all around the ring and the ringside area. Modest used a chair, and even tossed Morgan shoulder first into the steel ringpost. However, anytime Morgan made a comeback, he would use a hold that focused on the knee of Modest, which is still not 100%. Morgan was ruthless in his attack on the knee, and locked on a number of different Leglock submission holds.
The limping Modest did break out with a sick Dragon Suplex, that dumped Morgan right on top of his head. This sickening thud could be heard all throughout the arena. Modest then hit one of his finishing moves, the DVD. Then, while going for a Chicken Wing Suplex, Morgan switched it around, and turned it into the Angel Wings Piledriver. Morgan hit the move, and covered The Natural One for the victory. Donovan had done it, he had defeated his teacher, the # 1 seeded Michael Modest. Morgan will now advance to the King Of The Indies Tournament Finals to face "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels
Winner: Donovan Morgan in 9:02 ( * * * * )
The Ballard Brothers (with Cheerleader Melissa) vs. Kid Chrome & "Kamikaze Kid" Jardi Frantz
This was another tag team attraction between tournament rounds, and this was a very good tag team match.
Winners: Jardi Frantz & Kid Chrome in 13:27 ( * * * )
King Of The Indies Tournament Final Match
#2 Seed - "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels vs. #4 Seed - "Funboy" Donovan Morgan
This was it, this was the match for all the marbles. This match was to decide once and for all, who is the real King Of The Indies. They had both won two very hard matches in the night, but only one man could come out on top of this one. The fans had grown to hate Daniels throughout the night, and they were mostly behind Donovan Morgan. Could the APW Universal Champion dethrone the current ECWA Super 8 Champion? The fans in Galt knew how lucky they were to see this match, with these two men...two of the finest wrestlers in the nation today.
The match began with a show of respect by both men, a handshake...and after that, it was on! The Armbars and Wristlock exchanges took up a good portion of the first 5 minutes of the match, as both men were trying to force the match to run at their own pace. Morgan, although he works fast, likes to take things a little slower than Daniels. The exchanges and counters had unbelievable, cat-like precision, and neither man could take a clear advantage. As Daniels left the ring to yell at some of the ringside fans, Morgan got the mic, and told Daniels he better take the match seriously, because he was going to get his ass kicked! The fans loved that comment by Morgan, and Daniels hated it. Right back in the ring went the Fallen Angel, where he was met by an Armdrag, followed by a number of Armbars & Wristlocks. Daniels was in obvious pain, having already wrestled almost 22 minutes, and now he was on his back, in the clutches of Morgan.
Donovan worked over all parts of the body...head, leg, arm etc...trying to break Daniels down on piece at a time. The exchanges got quicker as time moved on, and around the 8 minute mark, is where all the Suplexes & Bodyslams came in. The counts got quicker, and the pace quickened. Morgan hilighted the match, with some of his signature dives over the top rope and through the ropes, onto the waiting Daniels on the floor. Daniels used some cheating tactics to his advantage, wrapping Morgan's arm around the steel ringpost and even hitting Morgan's arm with a wooden crate that was at ringside. The fans were chanting vulgarities all night at Daniels, and this cheating he was doing, wasn't going to make it stop.
The match went on for a good 5 more minutes, with lots of big moves by Daniels. Whether it's mat wrestling, power moves or tricking the ref with cheats, Daniels can do it all...and he did. He poured the punishment onto Morgan, using just about every move in his book to take the fight out of the Funboy. It seemed that every time Morgan would comeback, Daniels would find someway to see himself coming out on top. A series of surprising Roll-up pins wasn't enough to hold down Morgan or Daniels, as both men worked to get a count of three on one another. This match was fantastic, a dream match, no doubt. Pin attempt after pin attempt...Roll-up after Roll-up...Small Package after Small Package...neither man could get the three count. The fans could sense it was coming to an end soon...as the high impact & high risk moves were done, and now the pin attempts and near falls were coming in.
About 19 minutes into the match (41 total minutes for Daniels...34 total minutes for Morgan) Donovan hit his famous Michinoku Driver (aka Suicide Drop)...and went for the pin...1...2...No! Daniels had kicked out just in the nick of time. There was a ton of heat buzzing throughout the audience at the Breakaway Sports Center in Galt. The fans knew they were only minutes, maybe even seconds, away from seeing the first ever King Of The Indies being crowned. Daniels came back and hit Angel Wings...1...2...No! Morgan kicked out of the pin, and the match was still going. A few more Roll-up's for two counts, and then, finally...about 20 minutes into the match, "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels rolled Donovan Morgan into a ball, with an Inverted Rolling Backslide (first time i had ever seen that move done live and in person!)...and got the 1...2...3!!!
Christopher Daniels had won the First Annual APW King Of The Indies Tournament, defeating Donovan Morgan in a fantastic final match, definitely worthy of a 5-star rating. The finish was fantastic, as Daniels broke out a never-before-seen pinning maneuver, and suprised Morgan with it, to take home the cup.
Winner: Christopher Daniels in 20:32 ( * * * * * )
King Of The Indies Aftermath...
After the match, Morgan handed the trophy to Daniels, as the other 6 men from the tournament made their way to the ring to congratulate the winner...as did APW President Roland Alexander. The show ended with all 8 men from the tournament, standing in the ring together, and Daniels holding the 4-foot tall K.O.T.I. trophy proudly above his head. Christopher Daniels wrestled 45 minutes tonight, and defeated three of the top indy wrestlers in the nation (Boyce LeGrande, Scoot Andrews & Donovan Morgan)...and after his ECWA Super 8 Tournament victory earlier in the year, there is no doubt that Chris Daniels is the top wrestler in the US today without a Big 2 contract. Whenever someone decides to wake up and sign, not only Daniels, but the 7 other wrestlers in this tournament, it will be a great day for wrestling.
Hats off to all 8 wrestlers and everyone associated with this tournament. It turned out to be a great night of wrestling action, just as we had all been anticipating for the last month or so. Definitely the most solid APW wrestling show of the year, and i am definitely looking forward to 2001's King Of The Indies in Vallejo, Ca.
Welcome to the first Crossface Connection of the year 2001. I am pleased to be writing for Solie's again this year, and will continue to do so until Earl comes to his senses and gives me the beatdown.
Over at bodyslam.cc, it is an exciting time as well. We made our hit goals and we are aiming even higher this year. I know many of you came and took a look at our site....please continue! Tell all your friends that the best info site for the history of professional wrestling is Solie's, and the best news, rumors, and results page is bodyslam.cc. Thanks for allowing the shameless plug.
Now, looking back on 2000 is in vogue right now, and I will go ahead and bend to the popular tide and give you my "Best of.." thoughts.
Worst Angle (WCW) -- David Arquette winning the WCW World Title. Sorry, WCW, but this was plain stupid. The WCW Title, in my eyes, is the heir apparent to the once-unified World Title, and having Arquette win it demeaned it and trivialized it. Anyways, Arquette is irritating and should be deported (and that is a FACT, not an opinion).
Best Angle (WWF) -- Stephanie McMahon/HHH. I can hear a lot of people saying "Austin...Austin!", but the HHH/Steph angle was the biggest of the year. It ended up involving Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Vince, the Rock, Mankind, Linda, and Shane. They dominated the middle of the year, and put themselves way over as heels. In addition, during this program, HHH almost got over as a face (before the Austin turn). It was done well.
Worst Angle (WWF) -- Dean Malenko as James Bond, Ladies Man AND Naked Mideon. Dean's sharp guy angle landed before takeoff, and couldn't even get over with the Godfather's help. Naked Mideon was, well, a bit funny and a bit troubling. Ugh.
Most Intense Moment (WCW) -- Bischoff taking the WCW Championship from Sid. His comments about "the knife", referring to the knife fight between Sid and Arn Anderson some years back, were not exactly specified in the script. There was some real anger and amazement in Sid's face.
Most Intense Moment (WWF) -- Mick Foley's Retirement AND Rikishi being named as the driver. Mick's retirement was widely considered legit, and his final match (the first one, against HHH in the Cell) offered very poignant moments when Mick was leaving the arena. Rikishi's admitting that he was the driver startled the audience and viewers so much that there was no real reaction, either on the 'Net or otherwise, for a couple days.
Best Move (WCW) -- Getting rid of Hulk Hogan. The ego was so big that he wouldn't lose to Jarrett clean. Sorry, Terry. WCW needed company men while they were down. Vinny Ru embarrassed you badly in front of thousands of people, and you deserved it.
Best Move (WWF) -- Changing the Undertakers gimmick. Good idea, as the Dark Gothic Biker Satanic team leader gimmick he had evolved into was old, stale, and unable to be evolved anymore.
Biggest dropping of the Ball (WCW) -- Positively Kanyon. Where'd he go? That was one of the funniest things I have seen from WCW in a long time.
Biggest Dropping of the Ball (WWF) -- Kurt and Steph. There was some good sexual tension and mistrust there, and then, nothing. HHH turned heel, I know, but why not keep it going to a conclusion?
Most Important Moment (WCW) -- Losing Benoit, Malenko, Saturn, and Eddy G. to the WWF. This crippled the ability of the WCW to put their new talent over, and solidify the main-event and mid cards.
Most Important Moment (WWF) -- Gaining Tazz, the Radicalz, and Raven. See above, just switch it around. Every Radical has had a title, and Raven is the current Hardcore Champ.
Year Grade (WCW)--C+ Tried hard for the last 3/4 of the year, but was off track before.
Year Grade (WWF)--B. Stalled a bit after their amazing 3-year run. Vince has gotten out to push a bit.
Best Wrestler (WCW) -- Lance Storm
Best Wrestler (WWF) --Kurt Angle, barely ahead of Chris Benoit.
OK, that is enough. I could go on, but I will allow you to make up your own minds about what is good and bad from next year.
If you want to tell Earl how good this column is, e-mail him using the link at the bottom of the Report. Or, e-mail me by clicking on my name on the top of this column. Again, come to bodyslam.cc early and often for news, rumors, and results. Happy New year, peace, and see you next week for another Connection.
Thunder was a year-end recap show this week. I watched some of it. It was amazing how many different angles and storylines have been used by WCW this past year. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I will say that the storylines seemed to hang together a lot better when laid out end-to-end as they were on this program. Maybe they're just to subtle for all of us... :-)
Is it me, or did they seem to give inordinate attention to Eric Bishoff's brief return to WCW last year? Now I hear that Bishoff as bought WCW and will assume control in time for the January 8th Nitro broadcast! That is a rumor, of course...
SmackDown provided a platform for Stephanie McMahon to showcase her best heel personna.
Sorry, Steph - I just don't think your sudden abandonment of your mother washes. This storyline could be so much more convincing if you had become your father's rival - or is that what's really going on..? I would be happy to learn that your heel turn is all a plot against your father...
Anyway, she took over the program and arranged some handicap matches, then later, she was humiliated by Steve Austin (yawn...haven't we seen all of this before?) At the end of the show she changed the main event, a handicap match featuring the Rock and the Undertaker vs. Rikishi, to include Kane and William Regal on Rikishi's side, thus changing the handicap to the other side - not really unpredictable given that she had inexplicably given Mavia and UT the upper hand in the first place.
The lowpoint of the program was an ineffective video skit in which Val Venis and Ivory impersonated Jim Ross and Chyna in a recreation of their "shoot" interview from last week's RAW. Val and Ivory were stiff and unconvincing in their portrayals and the dialogue really blew. The RTC spot later in the program against the APA and Jacquie was more interesting. I don't remember Jacquie often being portrayed in a face personna since she emerged in WCW years ago.
Bubba Ray Dudley was given a World Title shot and made the most of it. He dominated the action but at the critical moment got caught attempting to use the Title belt as a weapon and was disqualified. Edge and Christian ran-in, yadda, yadda, yadda...
In the main event, the good guys won the match despite the odds against them (what else is new..?) and then got beat down after the match was over (ditto..?) The match was fun to watch however, as was the World Title match.
On RAW, which was taped Friday night at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX., opened with Austin entering the building and being told to see Stephanie in her office. They then went straight to one of the two main events for the evening - a match between Rikishi and the Undertaker for a shot at the World Title on RAW next week. Actually this was a preliminary match-up, along with a Rock vs. Kane match later on. The winners of these matches would then face off on SmackDown to determine the #1 contender. UT got his revenge and pinned the big Samoan in an unusual manner, using a DDT to render him incapacitated after he failed to lift his opponent for the Last Ride powerbomb.
Austin met with Stephanie and demanded, as he did last Thursday, a title match against Kurt Angle. Stephanie told him he's have to earn it...by selling beer and hotdogs to the fans in the arena! Before the evening was over, this predictably got her squirted with mustard. Later Austin managed to sell his beer to APA and Jacquie! After cajoling Steph into putting him into the World Title mix (he got a match against William Regal to qualify), he proceeded to "accidently" rip off her blouse. Stephanie got her revenge later by being the special referee for the Austin/Regal match and fast-counting Austin to a loss.
In an initials vs. initials match, RTC took on APA w/Billy Gunn in a 6 man tag match. The main fight here was between Billy and Val, over what happened to Chyna a while back. It was Billy who took the pin for his team, defeating Venis with a Sleeper Slam.
Tazz was back in the ring for the first time in weeks, facing his former partner in a Hardcore Title match. The action headed back to the Ladies' restroom, where Raven got dunked in an unflushed toilet bowl (ich!) The three Hollys and Steve Blackman all got involved before it was over - the end coming when Raven pinned Crash..?
Tonight marked the final breaking up of T&A as the two feuded over the fact that Test was given an Intercontinental Title match. Like anyone really cares... Albert interfered in the match, along with Trish, and Test was the loser because of it.
In the Kane vs. Rock match, Kurt Angle interefered to give Kane the win. He will now face the Undertaker and William Regal in a Triple Threat match on SmackDown to determine the challenger for the World Title on RAW next week.
All in all it seemed like the WWF didn't really try all that hard this week. Steve Austin's backstage antics continues to prop up the shows for the most part.
At least that's the way I see it...
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