Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
Isaac Rosario, former World Wrestling Council (Puerto Rico) wrestler, who retired from the ring in the early 90's, but did a couple of shows a few years ago against Rico Suave (1997) and was lately working as the ring announcer and time keeper for the promotion, left the sport on 12/17/2000 at Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, after spending 27 years with WWC.
Rosario, probably 58, whose real name is Isaac Rosario Perez, worked WWC since WWC began it's first show in 1974 and also went to Japan in the 70's. Perez never held a title on WWC, probably because they never gave him an opportunity. He certainly had the potential, but was used almost always as a jobber.
He is not retired from wrestling completely since he runs a wrestling school at Vega Alta. He taught wrestling to the WWC Universal champion Carly Colón, his brother Eddie Colón, the WWC Tag Team Champions Thunder & Lightning, former International Wrestling Association wrestler Bryan Madness and former IWA Junior Heavyweight champion Tommy Diablo. A few other wrestler used to practice at his school.
Speaking of the IWA, former IWA Junior Champion, Tommy Diablo, real name Armando Gorbea, 20, underwent knee surgery on December 6, 2000. I communicated with him personally and he stated that he will be returning. IWA did an angle in Manati in December wherein Paparazzi attacked him aggravating his knee injury. Diablo is just taking some months off to recuperate.
Hey Readers, as a result of The Royal Rumble Sunday night, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin will now face WWF Champion Kurt Angle at WrestleMania X-Seven in Houston, TX. Or will he? After all, we have awhile before that big event comes and a lot can happen within two months or so. Like most of my articles (except bios), I will do this "in character." Let's take a look: 5 REASONS IT WILL HAPPEN
2. Angle's Quest - Though he has accomplished a lot during his first year in the WWF, Kurt still gets a lack of respect from most of the WWF fans and media. Many feel that most of Kurt Angle's wins came on flukes and cheating. While that is true, that is also true for many of the current wrestling champions in all the feds these days. Still, Angle feels that he has something to prove to the world and a win over Austin would help in that respect. Truth be told, Angle MAY need Austin more than Austin needs him.
3. Stone Cold's Revenge - Let's face it, the "Stone Cold" character is based in vengeance. Much like Marvel Comics' "The Punisher", Austin is bent on getting his justice regardless of the consequences and by any means necessary. He feels he was robbed out of a year of his career by Triple H. "The Game" also robbed him of the WWF title on two occasions since his return. Austin feels like the WWF title is his property and will go through anyone to get it.
4. No other original possibilities - Rock Vs. Austin. Been there, done that. Austin Vs. Triple H. Same thing. Rock Vs. Angle. Already done. Triple H Vs. Angle. Boring. All those potential main events have been done several times already. Austin Vs. Angle is one of the few that hasn't been beaten into the ground yet.
5. The Undertaker/Kane Alliance - Why this? Think about it. Much of their energy lately has been devoted to destroying Rikishi and The Rock, two men who could be considered top contenders to the WWF Title. In truth, this eliminates four potential contenders from WM, leaving Austin Vs. Angle wide open.
2. Triple H - Much like Austin, Triple H is driven by rage. But, he's also got a calculating mind, which makes him more dangerous. Triple H will do anything to be WWF Champion again. Look for him, as a result of his loss to Angle, to redouble his efforts to get the title before WrestleMania.
3. Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley - If anyone knows Kurt Angle, then it is this woman. She led him to the WWF Title last fall with a win over The Rock. You can bet if Triple H regains the title before WrestleMania, he'll have Stephanie to thank for it.
4. Perception - A lot of people may not buy WrestleMania because the current main even is Austin Vs. Angle. While Kurt has become a player in the last year, most fans still don't consider him in the same league as Austin, Rock or Triple H. This perception may make this match a hard one to sell.
5. Vince McMahon - Of all the wrestlers on the roster, Vince wants Austin the champion the least or does he? Remember, he is known for pulling swerves when least expected and with on going rumors about an Austin/McMahon alliance, we may see Vince pull some strings to make sure that Angle isn't the champion. That would be a new twist by the way since McMahon blocking Austin would be too obvious and its been done already.
Well, those are just a few reasons. Granted, they might all be bull but, hey, that's what editorials are about. They give one point of view with the chance to hear other points of view. Well, until next time, see ya!!
Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and also contributes to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis. Many of his previous articles are available in the Articles section of the website. Check out Ervin's Pro-Wrestling Fan Fiction web site.
As I am sure many of you know by now, APW and three of its top wrestlers invade the Galaxy Theatre, home of UPW, on Wednesday January 31, 2001. According to the UPW website, I have been invited to be in the corner of Donovan Morgan, Tony Jones and Michael Modest during a six-man tag-team event. I'd like to explain how this all came about.
Michael Modest approached me about 3 weeks ago and asked me if I would be interested in joining him, Morgan and Jones in their corner for a six-man tag in UPW. I answered Modest with a question, "Why the hell would I want to do that??"...... Modest replied that he thought there might be some things we could learn from UPW and that perhaps, we could establish a relationship with UPW. After giving it some thought, I told Modest I would do it and to have Rick Bassman, owner of UPW, call me. Bassman called me and extended the invitation. The deal was done and I was looking forward to finally meeting Rick and checking out UPW live.
Only one slight problem.... The very next day, I visit the UPW website and find the following:
The Opposition?? People wonder why I choose to advise the APW wrestlers to be careful with outside bookings. Here is a perfect example of why. UPW has booked us against Frankie the Future, Smooth Billy D and Outlaw Mike Knox. They have booked us in a match where there is everything to lose for APW but nothing to gain. Please don't misunderstand me, as is often the case. I am all for young guys trying to get a break in this business. But, isn't this stretching it?? Frankie the Future sent me a tape for an APW booking several years ago and I told him he needed additional training and recycled the VHS tape. Although I have never seen Smooth Billy D in action, I have heard some stories about how his greatest wrestling move is hanging wigs in the middle of a match. To be honest, I am more embarrassed by Outlaw Mike Knox. Who?? Never heard of him. If UPW is serious about putting their best against APW's, where is Christopher Daniels?? Where is Mikey Henderson?? Where is Prototype?? But, it doesn't matter!! There is no question, APW is the leader in talent development and I would never consider booking these wrestlers in an APW ring. I think it is a low blow for us to even be booked in a match with Billy D., Knox and the so-called Future. Rick Bassman, trying to remain a promoter, has obviously gotten my message and decided to put the SoCal belt on the line -- the pinfall winner of this awesome 6-man goes home with the gold! Trust me, Rick Bassman will regret playing the political game when one of the APW trio captures some of the UPW gold on January 31st and returns home to northern California with the Southern California Championship.
Why else am I upset?? You don't think I missed this one do you??
I know exactly what Bassman is up to when he extends an invitation for me to accompany Jones, Morgan and Modest. He's thinking, "My house, my show, my referees, etc.., etc.... "I control the outcome." That's right, he's got a large home field advantage! Well, he isn't fooling anyone by positioning himself as a "Take on all comers" promoter and putting the Southern belt on the line. I say let 'em have the home field advantage. That is something that superior talent can overcome. My guys are so damn superior to Bassman's so-called "Best of UPW" that it's painfully obvious that no matter what home field edge they try to take advantage of, APW will be returning to northern California with some UPW gold and there isn't a damn thing that b*#ch, Rick Bassman can do about it. Let's see if Bassman puts this up on his website. I hope this press release meets your expectations of how I feel about Rick Bassman and UPW and if it doesn't, sorry, because I don't play the politics game and I am always outspoken with my feelings.
(President All Pro Wrestling)
"As WCW's cruiserweight division continues to flourish, independent stars from across the country have been applying for consideration. Modest and Daniels are two of the most sensational cruisers in the States -- but only one will get a chance to join the greatest wrestling company in the world."
Which of these APW (and soon to be WCW) legends will get to "join the greatest wrestling company in the world"??? Find out this Monday on WCW NITRO!
I would ask that all of you sit down.
I have huge news that may throw many of you into consternation. Some may just wig out.
Take a deep drag on that cancer stick, or a long sip from that brandy snifter.
Good. Are you ready now? OK.
Nitro totally beat the living H-E-double hockey sticks out of Raw. I mean, it wasn't even close. The spots were cleaner, the storylines sharper. and the wrestlers worked harder. Even the announcers had a wee lilt in their voice.
Heck....I will even say that Lex Luger did good.....and I don't say things like that about Luger (and that is a FACT, not an opinion).
I know Christmas is past, but if you have kids under the age of three (I have two of 'em), the chorus of "Jingle Bells" is still heard a couple times a day in late January. To that end, do you remember the words in the song "Oh Holy Night"? More specifically, "....a thrill of hope..."? Coupled with the purchase news was an eager crowd, and the weary WCW responded with the best Nitro I have seen in two years. Also, there was no Goldberg. Notice that?
Kevin Nash awoke like a sleeping giant and really worked hard (I swear he used four wrestling holds in his match..ain't that somethin'?). Flair found that little touch of instability that made his feud with Bischoff so interesting a couple years back. Scotty Steiner did a good job putting Nash over, too. Kronik made their turn, as I thought they should, and are back to being fan favorites. Even Buff looked happy. Konnan worked the best match I have seen him work in a LONG time.
Is it me, or does a "hair Vs hair" match just do something for a wrestling show?
Now, Raw wasn't bad. The Trish/Steph program heated up (as did Vince and Trish), and the tension between Rock and UT (with the related hints at a Kane/UT unification) continued with standard WWF refinement. Austin continued to bluster, posture, and create chaos as only he can, and Kurt Angle got his first face pop in over a year. However, the spirit of WCW's show, and the effort made by the participants, pushed it over the WWF offering.
I spoke about this last week. The WCW is poised for a determined run at the WWF dominated Monday Night Wars. If Nitro can maintain this kind of production and energy, and the WWF does not move to counter this offensive, in a month or two the difference in Nielsen ratings will dramatically shrink.
Hope is a beautiful, terrible emotion. It is the belief in relief without proof that relief is coming. It causes people to do the most wild, insane things. It will make people charge against overwhelming odds to a goal. When hope is instilled in a group like the WCW, they can become very dangerous to the WWF.
Maybe the term hope is not strong enough for what the WCW is feeling right now.....maybe desperation is what I am looking for. They HAVE to realize that failure now spells their doom. They are either going to flare and collapse, or fight like a cornered animal, searching for the shot or blow that will injure the enemy and give them the advantage. I have to think that Eric Bischoff will channel their energy constructively, like they did on Monday night. Any less will mean the end of a viable WCW.
If that occurs, after their great show on Nitro, then the failure will be Eric Bischoff's, and no-one else, because the workers showed they can be motivated.
Good luck, WCW. Put your shoulder to the grindstone and push.....all the fans will benefit from the renewed competition.
Since you are here at Solie's....you have great taste! Leaf through this website and learn everything you will ever want to on wrestling history and federations. My site, bodyslam.cc, gives you columns like my Crossface Corner (this week the column is really good, in my opinion), the Crossface Update, new Crossface Canadian and the "point/counterpoint" Crossface Report, and the latest news, rumors, and results.
See you next week for another Connection.
Thunder was an evening of surprises and opened with the Cat coming to the ring and calling out Lex Luger and Buff for a dressing down. The latter decided to attack but Kronik ran out to support their new ally and the bad guys were foiled.
Our first surprise was Meng taking to the air to deliver a frogsplash on his Hardcore Title challenger, Bam bam Bigalow.
Norman Smiley was handling Big Ron Harris pretty nicely when Heavy D pulled the old switcheroo and took him out. This was a surprise because Brother Don had just told us all that his neck was injured by Meng the other night and that he had been forced into retirement. Smiley seemed to feel that he was unbeatable because he had received a note from Glacier earlier, telling him that the Iceman would be watching his back. Apparently tonight he was watching it...on television...
What seemed to be inevitable for several weeks finally happened tonight when half of General Rection's remaining troups turned on him. In a grudge match against Chavo Guerrero, the General was suddenly surprised to find A-Wall helping his opponent. All the General has left now is Cpl. Cajun - and we know he's going to turn any minute...
In the main event, Diamond Dallas Page took on Jeff Jarrett in a match that contained no surprises. When things started to look bad for Jarrett, his thug friends invaded the ring, thus ending the match in a DQ. Too bad - the program was moving along nicely until then.
SmackDown started on a promising note with a beat down of the Millennium Bug by Saturn and Chris Benoit, but then immediately went to a backstage skit with the Helmsley-McMahons discovering that Trish Stratus has a private dressing room, Steph was outraged, yatta, yatta. Later Steph decided to spill something onto Trish's cleavage. Before a cat fight could get started, Vince intervened and took Trish's side of the argument - much to Stephanie's chagrin. He asked the rhetorical question, "Why can't we all just be one happy family?" Stephanie returns to throwing food, etc. (yawn) I'm sorry folks, but this McMahon dysfunctional family storyline is getting oooooolllldddd.... (snore) The only interesting thing in this entire angle happened minutes later when the cat fight finally got started in the ring. Over to quickly, however...
Val Venis and Test had a pretty good match as a thoroughly "besmirched" Steven Regal provided commentary. Test had seen him sitting ringside before the match and attacked him, shredding his suit coat in the process. Regal got his revenge with a chairshot when the referee wasn't looking. Val went on to win over his unconscious opponent.
I have to say that I thought the Rock's commentary tonight was a little bit in bad taste. I appreciated the fact that he paid tribute to Martin Luther King - but then he turned that tribute into a sleazy promo by declaring that he too, has a dream... Really - this was a little much.
The Royal Rumble PPV got off to a bang-up start when the Dudleys defeated Edge and Christian for the Tag Team titles. By all accounts the entire PPV was top flight from top to bottom.
In other news, Steve Austin (who was the #27 entrant) won the Royal Rumble Battle Royal, Chris Jericho won the Intercontinental strap and Kurt Angle retained his WWF Title (despite the predictions of most of the internet pundits). Ivory also retained her title, after what appeared to be a legit injury on Chyna's part. She was stretchered out after the match.
In the Rumble match itself, one surprise entrant (#5) was comedian Drew Carrey (yes, you heard me). He climbed out of the ring and eliminated himself after finding himself alone in the squared circle with Kane and Raven. Three more surprises were the Honkey Tonk Man, the Big Show and, perhaps the biggest surprise, the #29 entrant - Meng (going under his previous WWF name, Haku). The word is that Meng dumped the WCW Hardcore title and made the jump last night. He was eliminated soon after he entered the ring, leaving Kane, Billy Gunn, Rikishi, the Rock and Austin to battle it out. Rikishi went next, followed by Gunn. The Rock was eliminated by Kane and then Austin ousted Kane to win the Rumble.
Fresh off their second biggest PPV show of the year and without any competition for the third time in a month, RAW opened with 15 minutes of McMahon-Helmsley gab fest then went to a quickie European Title match which yielded the strap to the challenger, Test. The program was live from the Cajun Dome in Lafayette, Louisiana.
As usual, HHH (the new Bret Hart of the WWF) was whining about getting screwed out of the WWF Title at the PPV by Steve Austin and threatening to bop him with his sledge hammer as soon as he shows up. HHH's role then for tonight was to stand around in the parking lot all night.
Vince McMahon actually made it to the arena tonight, and immediately threw what could be a monkey wrench into HHH and Stephanies' plans for matches against their respective nemesii (assuming that's a word...)
Without Kevin Kelly to kick around, the Rock delivered a rather laid back interview during the first hour of the show.
At the end of the first hour, the new IC Champ and the Rock took on Chris Benoit and the returning (much slimmed down) Big Show. Although TBS nimbly jumped the top rope to enter the ring, his slimmer physique didn't appear to garner him any increased speed. The guy is a lumberer... He wasfast enough to catch Jericho and chokeslam him on the floor outside the ring, thus rendering him out of commission for the bulk of the match. I the end, Jericho managed to come back just in time to flatten Benoit and hand him to the Rock for a Rock Bottom and the pin.
I just wish JR would learn how to pronounce Rikishi - it's not Rock-ishi, Jim - it's Rick-ishi, Rick-ishi damnit!
Lo (who says Vince can't come up with a lame gimmick?) Down took on the Dudleys for the Tag Titles and won the match, but unfortunately for them it was by DQ. I hear that D-Lo is seriously thinking of jumping to WCW when his contract is up any day now.
In a match that never got into the ring, Al Snow won the Hardcore Title then immediately lost it back to Raven when a mysterious woman in black leather attacked him with a bat.
For the main event, Vince gave his kids what they wanted, sort of... He ordered a mixed tag match pitting HHH/Stephanie vs. Kurt Angle/Trish. In the contest, the men did most of the work, although there was a pretty good cat fight in the ring at one point while the guys brawled on the outside. In the end, Angle accidentally knocked Stephanie down and let himself be distracted while he tried to apologize to her. HHH was enraged and attacked him, at which time the afore mentioned cat fight took place. HHH eventually put a Pedigree on Trish then let his wife take the pin. After it was over, Steve Austin ran out and put the Stunner on HHH to cap the program.
On Nitro, which aired on Tuesday this week from the Lawrence Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, NC, they finally announced the sale of WCW - but without actually saying who the new owners are. In fact they used the sale as a storyline point, speculating on what Ric Flair might do to cement his power before the transition occurred. With that, the announcers threw it directly to the CEO in the ring. Flair proceeded to name Alex Wright as the #1 contender to the World Title at Starrcade. This didn't set well with Kevin Nash, of course, who came to the platform and just stood there as Flair screamed at him. Wright then took a poke at the big guy and got Jack Knifed through the fakiest looking breakaway stage in the history or wrestling for his trouble. Nash then claimed that with Wright out of the picture, he was the #1 contender and brought the Commissioner out to back his claim. Flair countered with an offer of a qualifying match...against Buff Bagwell with Lex Luger as the special ref. But the Cat wasn't done. He announced that Lex was busy tonight - he had a match with Diamond Dallas Page. He proposed that the winner of that match would referee the Nash/Bagwell contest. Of course, when the prelim match went down, Luger won it thus giving Buff the edge in the main event.
Hey! There's my buddy Mike Modest! And he's taking on Chris Daniels! These are two APW (see the article above) veterans who I have been watching for the last several years here in Northern California. Modest used his pecular version of the fall away slam (as the announcers told us he doesn't have a name for it yet) but Daniels got his foot on the rope and stopped the count. As the contest seemed to be winding up, Scott Steiner ran in with his steel pipe and spoiled the match. Too bad...
Konnan and Lance Storm had a match to settle the war between Team Canada and the Filthy Animals. Konnan lost to a Canadian Maple Leaf. Somehow I think it isn't over... In another not unexpected development, Gen. Rection disbanded what was left of MIA and returned to his Hugh Morrus personna to take on A-Wall and Chavo with his partner, Lash LaRoux. In the match, which Morrus and his young friend lost when Chavo pinned LaRoux, at least Morrus didn't suffer the humiliation of having his last friend desert him...but it's coming I'm sure.
In the main event, Kevin Nash managed to defeat Buff despite his enemies attempts to thwart him. The program ended with the requisite run in and beat down by Scott Steiner (of course) - but Nash did earn the right to face Steiner at the next PPV.
WCW kept on the right track this week and the WWF managed to kick it up a notch for a change.
At least that's the way I see it...
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