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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000

WWF No Way Out Report

The Rock takes the WWF Title!!

Will face Austin at WrestleMania

Booker T returns on Nitro

Big Show takes the WWF Hardcore Strap

Vince turns on Trish!

Stylin' and Profilin':
The Legend of Ric Flair

Part 47 by Ervin Griffin

Crossface Connection

Opinion by John Cross

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

XPW News

All Pro Wrestling News

by Jermz

Volume 6, Issue 621 - February 26, 2001

Jasmin St. Claire and The Blue Boy on No Holds Barred

Jasmin St. Claire and The Blue Boy joined Jason Barrett & Joseph "SA" Miller on No Holds Barred this past Saturday and here are a few tidbits from the interview. A lot more was covered during this interview including: Talk of jumping to WCW, the rumors about being backstage at Nitro, how they got started in the business, Jasmine's thoughts on some of the women involved in wrestling, plus a whole lot more. For the full interview transcript, log on to www.noholdsbarredwrestling.com
Editor's Note: Here's a flash for you all. The Solie's Readers' Forum is back in business! Check out by clicking on the link below:

Tonight's edition concludes Ervin Griffin's epic article chronicling the life and times of the "Nature Boy", Ric Flair. The first installment of this article was published in Issue #291 of the newsletter, way back on March 16, 1998. The latest installment, #46, was published in the last issue. Because of that long span of time, I have set up an index page located at http://members.aol.com/solie/stylin.html, which has links to all 44 previous chapters. This way, if you want to catch up with the previous chapters, you can.

Tonight's issue also contains some XPW News, APW News, our weekly Crossface Connection editorial from Solie's regular, John Cross, and as always, my own topical rant. I was traveling on business on Wednesday and Thursday, so I missed Thunder and Smackdown this week.


APW News:
APW/UPW WAR FAR FROM OVER

by Jermz

The war between the two biggest and best promotions on the West Coast is far from over. This past Wednesday night at the Galaxy Theater, Team APW met Team UPW in a match with many added stipulations to it. Representing APW, was "Natural One" Michael Modest, So-Cal Champion "Shooter" Tony Jones, and APW Universal Champion "Funboy" Donovan Morgan (with Roland Alexander in their corner). On UPW's side, it was King Of The Indies "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels, "Miracle" Mikey Henderson and Tom Howard (with Rick Bassman in their corner). Team UPW came out on top in the match, however, the war was far from over. Not only did the loss send the So-Cal title back to UPW, it also allowed Bassman and Alexander two minutes in the ring...alone! The two of them battled for a minute, and then Bassman locked on a sleeper hold. But it was UPW's Mikey Henderson that jumped his own boss, and knocked out Bassman! Henderson had joined up with Team APW, and Alexander paid him in cash right in the middle of the ring. The bad blood between APW and UPW is still getting hotter, and you can expect repercussions at the next show.


MARDI GRAS MAYHEM QUICK RESULTS

Here are the quick results of APW's last show "Mardi Gras Mayhem" from the Pacific Sports Center in Vallejo, Ca. held on Saturday Feb.17th.

-"Bad Boy" Boyce LeGrande won a 16-Man Battle Royal by eliminating "Brown Bomber" Robert Thompson

-The Ballard Brothers (with Cheerleader Melissa) over Boom Boom Comini & Super Destroyer 2000 (with Buddy Cotello) with a Double Downward Spiral

-"Fly Daddy" Jardi Frantz over Kid Chrome with a Phoenix Press

-Frankie "The Future" Kazarian, "Smooth" Billy D & The Prototype (with Rick Bassman, Loony Lane & Samoa Joe) over Seymour Snott, "Big" Peter Snott & "Fighting Irish" Sean Patrick O'Doul when Prototype hit S.Snott with a Twisting Side Slam

APW Worldwide Internet Championship
-"Innovator" Vincenzo Massaro (with Buddy Cotello) over "Kamikaze Kid" Myaki Frantz with a Twisting Powerbomb to retain the Internet Title

APW Universal Tag Team Championship
-THE WESTSIDE PLAYAZ 2000 - "Brown Bomber" Robert Thompson & "Bad Boy" Boyce LeGrande (with ICEBOX) over WRESTLING INC. - "Shooter" Tony Jones & "Natural One" Michael Modest when LeGrande hit Jones with a Swanton Bomb to retain the Tag Team Titles

APW Universal Heavyweight Championship
"Future Legend" Donovan Morgan over "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels by DQ when Team UPW interfered to retain the Universal Title


HELP APW GET TV

APW FANS UNITE!!!

Hey APW fans out there. I encourage everyone to e-mail KRON (Ch.4 in the Bay Area), they are in charge of BAY-TV, and may be interested in putting APW on the air here in the Bay Area. Let them know that you want to see APW on BAY-TV, and let them know why! APW is the number one indie on the West Coast, and it's a travesty that we have no TV. Send your e-mails to:

Let them hear what you have to say...and let them know you want APW on your television!

XPW News:
KING OF THE DEATHMATCH 2 JUST DAYS AWAY!

XPW'S MY BLOODY VALENTINE IS THIS SATURDAY NIGHT! FEW FLOOR SEATS REMAIN AND GENERAL ADMISSION IS GOING FAST!

XPW's most brutal event of the year is upon us and this Saturday night 8 men fight in the most xtreme tournament in U.S. wrestling history. Do not miss this event. Tickets are available now either by calling (818) 779-6479, dropping by the XPW offices at 16140 Leadwell St in Van Nuys (just 3 blocks north of Sherman way between Woodley and Valjean), or by loging on to www.XPWrestling.com. Tickets will be available at Patriot Hall on Saturday night starting at 5:00 pm and we anticipate the show will sell out by bell time at 8:00 pm so be sure to get your tickets early. Also, with the weather report calling for rain this weekend, be sure to start your trip early so you don't get turned away in the rain. Patriot Hall is located on the campus of Birmingham High at 17000 Haynes St at the corner of Victory and Balboa in Van Nuys.

XPW officials have announced the first round matches for the King of the Deathmatch tournament:

SABU TO DEFEND XPW WORLD TITLE IN MEXICO CITY AND MORE XPW STARS IN ACTION SOUTH OF THE BORDER!

On the debut show for Xtreme Latin America Wrestling taking place on March 4 in Mexico City, XPW stars will hit the ring south of the border. In the main event XLAW promoters have scheduled their top wrestler Damien 666 for a shot at the XPW World Title plus XPW's Juventud Guerrera and Nozawa as well as Damien's former tag team partner Halloween. Does this signal an impending return of Mexico's Most Wanted to XPW? XPW fans in Mexico, this is a show you do not want to miss!


Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair

By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka

Part 47: Title History and Awards: Part 2

24) World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Title. Flair defeated Sting on January 11, 1991 in East Rutherford, New Jersey to win the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Title and become the first World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion. He was stripped of the title on July 01, 1991 when he was fired by World Championship Wrestling after signing a contract with the World Wrestling Federation. Length of reign was 5 months 22 days.

25) National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Title. Flair, reigning World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion, faced Tatsumi Fujinami on May 19, 1991 in St. Petersburg, Florida and regained the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Title. He was stripped of the title on September 08, 1991 after signing with the World Wrestling Federation. This reign made Ric Flair the first man to have held the title on nine occasions. Length of reign was 3 months 21 days.

26) World Wrestling Federation World Heavyweight Title. Flair eliminated Sid Justice (Sid Eudy) from the Royal Rumble battle royal on January 19, 1992 in Albany, New York to win the title. During his reign he was managed by Bobby Heenan (Raymond Louis Heenan) and Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig). He lost the title on April 05, 1992 to Randy Savage (Randy Poffo) in Indianapolis, Indiana at Wrestlemania 8. This title reign made him the first man since "The Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers to have held both the National Wrestling Alliance and World Wrestling Federation World Heavyweight Titles, and he is still the only man to have held the National Wrestling Alliance, World Wrestling Federation, and World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Titles. Length of reign was 2 months 18 days.

27) World Wrestling Federation World Heavyweight Title. Flair defeated Randy Savage in Hershey, Pennsylvania on September 01, 1992 to regain the title and was again managed by Bobby Heenan and Mr. Perfect. Flair lost the title for the last time on October 12, 1992 to Bret Hart in Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Flair became the fifth man in history to have held this title on two occasions, and was the first man to have held both the National Wrestling Alliance and World Wrestling Federation World Heavyweight Titles on two occasions. Length of reign was 1 month 12 days.

28) National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Title. Flair defeated Barry Windham on July 18, 1993 in Biloxi, Mississippi to win the title. During this reign he led The Four Horsemen and was managed by Fifi. Ric was stripped of the title on September 01, 1993 when World Championship Wrestling withdrew from the National Wrestling Alliance. To make a long story short, World Championship Wrestling had booked a National Wrestling Alliance World Title change between Flair and Rick Rude without getting the change approved by the NWA Board of Directors. So, World Championship Wrestling withdrew from the National Wrestling Alliance and continued to recognize Flair's belt as a World Title so they could proceed with the Rick Rude angle. This reign made The Nature Boy the first man to ever hold this title on ten occasions. Length of reign was 1 month 15 days.

29) World Championship Wrestling International World Heavyweight Title. Since Flair was being recognized as a World Champion by World Championship Wrestling, but he had been stripped of his National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Title, World Championship Wrestling turned his belt into the International World Heavyweight Title. So, when World Championship Wrestling withdrew from the National Wrestling Alliance on September 01, 1993, Ric Flair became the first World Championship Wrestling International World Heavyweight Champion. Flair went on to lose the title to Rick Rude on September 19, 1993 in Houston, Texas. Length of reign was 19 days.

30) World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Title. The Nature Boy defeated Big Van Vader (Leon White) on December 27, 1993 in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina in a match in which Flair promised to retire if he didn't win the World Title. The title was held-up on April 23, 1994 after a match in Chicago with Ricky Steamboat resulted in a double-pin. This reign made Flair the third man to win this title on two occasions. Length of reign was 3 months 28 days

31) World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Title. Flair defeated Steamboat in a rematch on April 24, 1994 in Atlanta, Georgia to win the vacant title. He was managed by Sensuous Sherri beginning on June 23, 1994. On June 23, 1994 Slick Ric defeated World Championship Wrestling International World Heavyweight Champion, Sting, to unify the two titles. The World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Title remained and the World Championship Wrestling International World Heavyweight Title was abandoned. This eventful reign came to an end at the hands of Hulk Hogan (Terry Gene Bollea) on July 17, 1994 in Orlando, Florida. This reign made Flair the second man to win this title on three occasions. Length of reign was 2 months 24 days.

32) World Championship Wrestling International World Heavyweight Title. On June 23, 1994 Ric Flair, the reigning World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion, defeated Sting, the reigning World Championship Wrestling International World Heavyweight Champion in Charleston, South Carolina to unify the two titles. On this night, Sensuous Sherri began managing Ric Flair. Due to the title unification, the International World Heavyweight Title was immediately abandoned. Flair became the third man to hold this title on two occasions and was the final champion. Length of reign was 1 day.

33) World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Title. On December 27, 1995 Ric Flair became the first man to win this title on four occasions when he defeated Randy Savage in Nashville, Tennessee at Starrcade. To earn the title shot, Flair had to defeat Sting and Lex Luger (Larry Pfohl) in a triangle match. During this reign Flair led The Four Horsemen and was managed by Woman. Savage would regain the title on January 22, 1996 in Las Vegas, Nevada on an episode of Nitro. Length of reign was 27 days.

34) World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Title. Flair became the first man to hold the belt on five occasions by regaining the title from Randy Savage on February 11, 1996 in St. Petersberg, Florida in a steel cage match. Flair was still leading The Four Horsemen and was managed by Woman and Miss Elizabeth. He lost the belt on April 22, 1996 to The Giant (Paul Wight) in Albany, Georgia on an episode of Nitro. Length of reign was 2 months 11 days.

35) World Championship Wrestling United States Heavyweight Title. With so many headliners in World Championship Wrestling, Flair was asked to step back from the World Title picture and fill the shoes of a United States Heavyweight Champion. He did so by defeating Konnan (Carlos Ashenoff) on July 07, 1996 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Flair was still leading The Four Horsemen and was still managed by Woman and Miss Elizabeth. Ric was stripped of his title on November 24, 1996 due to a lack of defenses as a result of a shoulder injury received by Kensuke Sasaki on a tour of Japan. However, the storyline in the U.S. was that he was attacked by the New World Order and received his shoulder injury from them. Regardless, he was stripped of the title. Length of reign was 4 months 19 days.

36) World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Title. Flair returned to the big picture by defeating Hulk Hogan on March 14, 1999 in Louisville, Kentucky in a steel cage first blood match to become the first man to hold this title on six occasions. He was leader of The Four Horsemen and President of World Championship Wrestling during this reign. He lost the title to Diamond Dallas Paige (Paige Falkenburg) on April 11, 1999 in Tacoma, Washington in a four corners match also involving Hulk Hogan and Sting. Length of reign was 29 days. 37) World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Title. The Sixty-Minute Man proved he can stand the test of time when he defeated Jeff Jarrett on an episode of Nitro on May 15, 2000 in Biloxi Mississippi to become the first man in history to hold the title on seven occasions. Flair was stripped of the title by Vince Russo on May 22, 2000. Length of reign was 8 days. 38) World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Title. The Nature Boy was awarded the title by Kevin Nash to become the first man to hold the title on eight occasions on May 29, 2000 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Nash had won the title from Jeff Jarrett and awarded the strap to Flair due to the unfair means by which Russo stripped the title from The Man. On the same night, Jeff Jarrett ended Flair's reign after David Flair interfered to give Jarrett the win. Length of reign was 1 day.

Since the dates of Flair's early title wins are unknown or unprecise, it's hard to know exactly how much time he spent as a champion. However, since 1980 Flair has spent 10 years 11 months 13 days as a champion and has been a World Heavyweight Champion on Twenty-Two Occasions.

Awards Won:

If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at griffiev@hotmail.com or griffiev@yahoo.com

Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian. Check out Ervin's Pro-Wrestling Fan Fiction web site.

Matt Benaka is the originator of Solie's Title Histories and a major contributor to the site over the years.

Several of their previous articles are available in the Articles section of the Solie's website.



Finally!! The Rock's and Mankind's Autobiographies are now both available at Solie's Storefront! Check it out for great deals on wrestling books, records and videos. In association with Amazon.com.


Crossface Connection

by John Cross

When is the last time you had your heart in your throat?

Mine was last week, when I went to Solie's to review my column......and it wasn't there! I e-mailed Earl, and he fixed it that night. (Editor's Note: Sorry folks - my bad...)

WHEW! I have a pretty good streak going here, so I don't want to screw it up. Someone may even read this, so I have to keep them happy, too. Maybe, someday, I will have actual fans!

Cool.

Now, about fans, a long time ago, I wrote a column of the website (bodyslam.cc) about the biggest and best heel of all time. I came to the conclusion that the greatest heel of all time is Roddy Piper.

Now, who is the greatest face? This is a simpler question, but the thought process is the same.

First, what makes a good face? Well, the face has to be able to stand alone. He has to be able to defend his point of view, against the heel and/or the heel's gang, without timidity and with great strength. Steve Austin does this all the time, but he isn't the biggest face wrestler. Maybe in the top 5 or 10, but not the greatest of all time.

Second, a face wrestler must have a solid gimmick. The wrestler in question should be original and recognizable immediately to any fan. A lot of face wrestlers nowadays flip back and forth between face and heel within a year, but Kevin Nash's nWo Wolfpac gimmick is a good example, as he is the biggest face in the WCW. DDP is another good example, as are the Hardyz. All their gimmicks and characters are easily recognized, and widely known. However, none of them are even in the Top 10 of all-time faces, in my humble opinion.....which isn't so humble (and that is a FACT.....not an opinion).

Third, a face wrestler must stand for something, or they must have a virtuous allegiance. They could represent the undefeatable spirit of the loner, like Austin, or everything good and brave, like The Ultimate Warrior. They could be patriotic, like Sgt. Slaughter (during his face run), or Jim Duggan, or The Patriot. They could be the champion of the people, like The Undertaker, or the common man, like Mankind. In the current era, wrestlers can become face wrestlers just by standing for themselves, like the Undertaker, but none of these wrestlers are the greatest face of all time.

The answer to this question is simple....only one guy has done all these things perfectly and stands head and shoulders over the other face wrestlers. As I mentioned wrestlers from the last 15 years only, I don't want you to think I have forgotten about Bruno Sammartino, or Pedro Morales, or Dusty Rhodes, Dory Funk, or Stan Hansen. At times, these guys were way over as face wrestlers, but they all, old and new alike, pale to the greatest face wrestler of all time.

Who is it? Geez, this is so simple....

Hulk Hogan. Hands down, the greatest face of all time.

When he was mentioned, or came into the arena, the response was overwhelming. He had the greatest face run of any wrestler, and was almost supernatural in his ability to connect with the fans who watched him. There was no mistaking the gimmick and character. He has feuded with the greatest heels that the sport has ever created, like The Iron Sheik, Roddy Piper, Sgt. Slaughter (his Iran/Iraq heel turn), Andre the Giant (who is also one of the greatest face wrestlers...figure that?), and the like. Another thing that points to his top standing is the furor that came from his heel turn, which is the greatest single heel turn of all time, in my opinion.

His feud with Piper was legendary. I think that that was the point where he established himself, and his legend grew from there. It is unfortunate that he let it all go to his ego......

Either way, Hulk Hogan is the greatest face of all time. If you don't agree, let me know at bodyslamcc@aol.com. If you agree, then you are right, and are on the right track in life and all things important.

It is also important to come to bodyslam.cc for the latest news, rumors, and results. IT WILL COMPLETE YOUR LIFE...not really, but it will be a pleasant visit.....almost as good as surfing through Solie's website.

See you next week, with another Connection.



The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

Since I was traveling on business earlier this week and missed Thunder and SmackDown, I figured I could at least buy the PPV and report on that. So here is your WWF No Way Out report. The program came to us live from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and opened with a Hardcore Title defense by Scotty Peacock...er...Raven. This was a confusing affair as first a popcorn vendor, who turned out to by Crash Holly, got into the match - then Bob Holly, Billy Gunn and Steve Blackman showed up. Billy actually won the title - but then Raven won it back. Then the ladies (Molly Holly and the Mystery Woman) got involved - leading to a win for the Big Show (who was the scheduled challenger, by the way).

The next match was a fatal Four-Way for the Intercontinental Title involving Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit and the newly returned X-Pac. My question would be, "What did X-Pac do to deserve a title shot, having only returned to the fold last week...much less the right to represent the title" (after all, if X-Pac were to be pinned, it would cost Jericho the belt)...but what do I know. Naturally the two Radicalz teamed up and went right after the current champ. In fact, the only thorn in their side was X-Pac, who naturally wanted a piece of Jericho himself. Eventually things broke down as even the Radicalz discovered they really didn't want to give up the title to each other. At one point Jericho got the Wall of J on all three challengers in succession then was distracted by Justin Credible showing up on the apron. After a few more minutes of everybody beating on each other, Jericho rolled X-Pac up and retained the title.

The big ladies(?) match was next on the card. An extended video promo, a short bit from WWF New York and a backstage skit led to a commercial! I'm not kidding - a real commercial, right in the middle of this program that we all paid $30 bucks each to watch. This finally brought us to the challenge match between Stephanie McMahon and Trish Stratus. The sound, I just noticed, is a little off. The announcers lips are moving just slightly out of synch with the voices we hear. I think it's funny the way Steph gets Triple H's old entrance music. I wonder if that has something to do with community property... The match itself was just stupid - neither of these girls knows a wrist lock from a wrist watch. Trish showed her lack of professionalism (and her bum) by failing to straighten her tights for several minutes after they rode up to thong proportions - and then she got a round of boos when she finally did. The match went to the floor where Stephanie smashed Trish's forearms...er...forehead onto the announce table then threw a pail of water on her. Back in the ring she attempted to strip Trish to her real thong - then the two of them performed a simultaneous face jam on each other. At this point Willie Regal got involved but couldn't seem to make up his mind whose side he was on until Trish slapped him. Then he planted her and gave Steph the win. Afterward, backstage, Vince gave Regal a dressing down for causing the wrong result! He then booked a match for tomorrow night on RAW - Trish/Vince vs. Steph/Willie!

This PPV has more promos and commercials then anything I ever paid $30 to watch. I think it will be a while before I pay for another one of these.

This latest interminable interruption led us to the big (second) main event of the evening - Stone Cold vs. HHH - three falls: 1) a regular wrestling match, 2) a street fight, and 3) a cage match. These being the stips specified by HHH - the idiot playing right into his opponent's hands. Actually, the first fall looked like a street fight to me. Certainly it was a brawl and not a wrestling match of any kind. I have to say I was disappointed, seeing as how both of these guys are capable of wrestling a fine scientific match. Again, this strategy(?) played right into the hands of Austin, who is certainly the better brawler of the two. In fact, HHH had to use a wrestling maneuver (a neck breaker) to turn the tide and start to gain some ground on his opponent by working on his knee. HHH looked to have the first fall won with a Figure Four Leglock - but then Austin managed to turn it over and force the break. On the third try, Austin hit the stunner and took the first fall.

The second fall started out on the floor and headed up the ramp in short order. Then reversed direction and went into the stands. As expected, Austin dominated the opening moments of this fall. Back to the ring area, where several chairs were thrown into the squared circle, Austin got hold of one and beat HHH within an inch of his life right off the bat - but failed to get the pin. He then grabbed the ring bell and tossed it inside - but Hunter was up and left the ring. They brawled some more out on the floor - then Austin found one of Mick Foley's favorite weapons, a 2x4 wrapped in barbed wire. But HHH took it away from him and hit him in the face with it. Austin was bleeding from the forehead at this point. They fought over to the announce table and HHH ripped the top off then dragged Austin onto it and started pummeling him. He went for a pedigree but got reversed and back dropped onto (you guessed it...) the Spanish announcers' table. Austin got hold of a beer can and smashed it on HHH's head. Back in the ring, HHH grabbed the ring bell and flattened his opponent - but again, couldn't get the pin. He then hit a neck breaker on one of the chairs - still no cigar. Moments later Austin was back suplexed onto the same chair. HHH went for the Pedigree again...and was again back dropped - this time over the top rope to the floor. Back outside, Austin hit a chair shot then flattened HHH with the ring steps. But then HHH got hold of his sledge hammer! But he missed his shot when Austin ducked and hit him in the gut. Back in the ring, Austin put the boots to Hunter in the corner. HHH got the hammer again and this time got a chance to use it. A Pedigree then settled the second fall.

The cage match started with both competitors sucking wind. Austin soon dominated the action once again and HHH thought he would try to escape - but JR reminded us that that wasn't one of the ways to win the match. The ring was still littered at this point with three chairs, the 2x4 with barbed wire and the sledge hammer (I'm not sure what happened to the ring bell). Now both combatants were wearing the crimson mask and it was Hunter's turn to get a chair shot then went for the Pedigree - but Austin blocked it then got a stunner. He went for the pin but only got two. They both got to their feet, Austin grabbed the 2x4 while HHH retrieved the hammer. They struck simultaneously and went down with HHH on top. Austin was pinned and HHH had the victory. After the match, Austin delivered another stunner and split. This was certainly the match of the night...if not the year.

Next up - the King vs. Steven Richards for our right to see the Kat naked. Ah...I love these high-minded contests... Of course the opposite stip is that if Lawler loses - the Kat has to join RTC. Lawler dominated this contest from the get-go using his famous right hand. Richards repeatedly rolled out of the ring to escape the King's fury. Unfortunately for him, he was distracted by the two girls out on the floor and get run into the corner. But back in the ring, he took the advantage right back. By the way, Taz joined the announce team to sub for Lawler and it was kind of funny hearing him pulling for his old nemesis during the match. Richards kept trying to cheat but he couldn't seem to catch Lawler off guard. Then the Kat entered the ring and "accidentally" hit Lawler with Ivory's title belt - thus handing Richards the victory. Afterward, RTC bundled the Kat up and made off with her.

Another extended promo leads us to the Triple Threat Tag Team Title Table match - the Scarey Brothers vs. the Dudleys vs. Edge & Christian. The Scarey Guys came to the ring first - then cut Edge & Christian off as they came down the ramp. The Dudleys closed in from the back side - but then E&C jumped off the ramp and left the other four to fight it out while they headed on into the ring. UT and Kane dispatched the Dudleys temporarily then went after the Canadian team wit a vengeance. They were about to get the table shot when the Dudleys reappeared with chairs and broke that up. Back in the ring, E&C and the Dudleys went at it while the Scarey Brothers had disappeared somewhere out on the floor. The Dudleys dominated and went for a table - but UT and Kane were back in it and squelched that notion. Back in the ring again and the Scareys are large and in charge. Moments later two tables were in the ring but needed to be set up. The Dudleys reappeared and slowed their progress for a few minutes - then E&C were back and a free-for-all ensued. The Scareys were ejected and the Dudleys got the tables upright. The Undertaker re-entered the ring but was ganged up on and failed to get the table shot on Edge. Next the Dudleys tried to put UT through a table but Kane overturned the furniture to thwart that move. In the next moment the Scareys decimated the field and reset the tables. They were about to win the match when Rikishi and Haku invaded the ring. The four big guys fought up the ramp while the Dudleys finished off Christian in the ring to retain their titles.

Another long promo precedes the main event - Kurt Angle vs. The Rock for the WWF World Title. Angle initially kept one step ahead of his challenger using his superior wrestling skill vs. the Rock's brawling techniques. This caused Maivia to alter his style a bit as he grabbed a Sharp Shooter and came close to getting a submission. Angle got to the ropes to force the break then bailed himself out using a big suplex. He then went to the top but was caught there and super-plexed back to the mat. Moments later, Maivia was ejected from the ring and suffered an injury to his left leg. Back inside, he caught Angle in a DDT and then...the Big Show decided to make an appearance. He chokeslammed the referee rather clumsily then did the same to both combatants...before retreating back up the ramp...huh..?? Back in the ring both wrestlers were down and Earl Hebner and Tim White were on the scene to help the referee out of the arena. Angle recovered and went for a pin so Hebner ran back in and made the count...to two. Then he split, leaving the champ and challenger battling without an official. But then he came back in time to lay a count on Angle...close but no cigar. Maivia was still limping and so Angle grabbed an ankle lock on the bad wheel. Maivia refused to submit and got to the ropes. Next they went into slug-fest mode - which ended with a spine buster on Angle. Rock then dropped the People's Elbow - but Angle kicked out! A low blow laid Maivia out while Angle unlaced the buckle cover in one corner, jammed the Rock's face into it then hit the Olympic slam. But Rocky kicked out! Another slug fest - then Angle attacked the ankle again. He rushed Maivia but was propelled into his own trap in the corner. Maivia hit the Rock Bottom and got a two count - hit it again and got the pin. The Rock is the new Champ!! (for the sixth time)

All in all a great PPV - although, for my money, they could have cut out a bunch of those promos (and all of the commercials) and run another match instead.

Nitro (live from New Orleans, LA) opened with the "Malignant 7" facing off with Doug Dillenger, who was accusing them of doing Kronik in. Ric Flair stepped in and broke up the confrontation. Next we see Scott Steiner beating up people who can't tell him where to find Diamond Dallas Page. Page appeared in the stands and taunted the World Champ, who immediately headed out to the ring to deliver a rant. They face off verbally, at a distance as Page mentions that one of the guys that Steiner supposedly put out of wrestling is coming back tonight.

Tonight featured the prelims of a World Cruiserweight Tag Team Title Tournament to conclude on March the 18th at the next PPV. In fact the opening contest pits returning WCW veteran Johnny Swinger and newcomer Jason Lee against Rey Misterio, Jr. and Kidman. Lee appears to be a Chris Candido clone with his stocky physique and short bleached hair. Lots of high-flying action in this one and a predictable result. The Filthy Animals advance.

The Cat came to the ring and announced his resignation as Commissioner so that he can go after Chris Kanyon for what he did to Ms. Jones last week. What the hell??? He just won that back a week or so ago!!! This brought the Nature CEO to the ring to claim that he was going to take the Cat's office away in any case, then booked a Cat vs. Kanyon match at the Greed PPV. The Cat was unimpressed and that pissed Flair off. He stripped off his jacket - then changed his mind and decided not to fight. As the Cat turned away, Flair sucker punched him but ended up getting his head handed too him. The upshot was that Flair decided to sic Rick Steiner on Miller later on the program. Meanwhile, backstage, Konnan announced plans to unite the locker room against the forces of evil.

Kanyon seems top have assumed the roll of Flair's hatchet man - not to different from his former role when he ran around Diamond Cutting everyone. Only now he's gone back to using his own signature move, the Flatliner.

The Cat/Steiner match erupted in the aisle but quickly made it to the ring where Steiner immediately took control. Despite his best efforts, Miller seemed unable to mount any kind of comeback throughout the match until right near the end. After a short, furious flurry he launched himself into the corner buckle and lost his momentum. Some see saw action ensued and then Miller accidentally downed the referee. The two combatants tumbled out to the floor where Totally Buff decided to get involved - but Hugh Morrus showed up and broke that up - then knocked Steiner out so that Miller could get a Felinerand the pin. The thug troups then appeared and the good guys were beaten down. DDP ran out and right into the trap...then Booker T appeared and saved the day. At 8:59 we ended up with a big time 6 man match featuring Booker/DDP/Cat vs. Scott Steiner/Buff/Lex Luger - interesting timing all right... Booker looks magnificent with his new curly hairdo and his pumped up physique. The match is a brutal one, especially for the Cat, who was picked as the weak link in the good guys team and exploited as such. When page finally got in he allowed his obsession with the World Champ to distract him. Then Booker got tagged in and all hell broke loose. Fights all over the ring and the floor until Booker ended up in the ring with Steiner, hit an ax kick and pinned him! The good guys then retreated through the crowd to thwart the expected beat down by the thugs. A very exciting 15 minute match that overran the beginning of RAW. It will be interesting to see the quarter hour ratings breakdown on this one.

The main event pitted Jeff Jarrett against Dustin Rhodes with Rick Flair as the special referee. For his part, Flair seemed determined to call the match fairly through much of the match - but then that is a standard dodge. Sure enough, the first chance he had to make a count on Jarrett, he slow counted him and then pulled the rope down as the action resumed and Dustin was whipped in that direction. Dustin, whose outfit looks like something the Road Dogg would have worn back when he was called Jesse James and his mother was dressing him funny, was pretty out of it for the next little while as Jarrett brutalized him on the floor but recovered once they returned to the ring. The match went into see saw mode then Flair slow counted a second time. Dustin finally lost it and bulldogged both of his enemies and then reached back into his Goldust repertoire to prop Flair in the corner and smash the family jewels! Jarrett lost control of his guitar for a moment but then recovered it and then got in the Stroke to end the program.

RAW was live from the America-West Arena in Phoenix, AZ. and opened with the requisite scenes from last night's PPV card then went right to the ring for an opening rant by our new World Champ, the Rock. He congratulated (in a sort of backhanded way) Kurt Angle for showing him a vicious side during their match on Sunday then Steve Austin showed up to congratulate the Rock on his victory. The Rock's answer was to tell Austin to "get ready" for their meeting at WrestleMania.

My how the mighty have fallen. Justin Credible has gone from being the ECW World Champ to being X-Pac's poor relation tag partner in a match against the Radicalz. Well...at least in this case he gets paid... Credible's contrbution was less then steller in this outing and he was actually set-up for the pin off of Benoit's swan dive headbutt when X-Pac dragged him out of the way and then took the pin. An upset for sure.

Molly Holly and Lita faced off in a real womens' wrestling match to determine the #1 contender for Ivory's WWF Ladies Title. Of course the Mystery Ninja had to interefere to give Lita the win.

The New Headbangers (Haku and Rikishi) challenged the Dudleys to a Tag Team Title match and almost had it won when the Scarey Brothers intervened on behalf of the Champs...and then chokeslammed everyone in sight.

At the top of the second hour they put on the mixed tag match which had been teased all evening and which ended rather abruptly and surprisingly when Vince first menaced his daughter and then suddenly turned on Trish! The three of them (Vince, Stephanie and Wille Regal) ganged up on Trish and used a mop bucket full of oatmeal (they tried to pass it off as something out of a toilet, but I'm sure that's what it really was) to "mop the ring up with her". They really made a mess of her. This was a startling development to say the least (and makes no sense whatsoever...) Of course, Mike "the sensitive one" Cole was right there after the break to ask her that classic journalists' question, "How are you feeling..?"

Dean Malenko finally defended his Light Heavyweight Title against the "first" WWF LHW Champ (really the 33rd - but that is another story) Taka Michinuko. The match was short and Taka didn't retake the title.

Dethrowned Hardcore Champ, Raven challenged Chris Jericho for the IC Title but came up short. His Mystery Woman (it's Tori, folks...) showed up followed closely by Molly Holly, who almost succeeded in unmasking her.

The Kat...er...Stacey...made her first appearance as the newest member of the RTC, rather reluctantly to say the least. The event was a 6 man tag pitting Jerry Lawler and APA against RTC in the persons of Val Venis/Bull Buchanan/the Goodfather. This was a grudge match all around, of course, after what the RTC did to the King last night, and to APA last week. As the fight wwent on in the ring, the Kat managed to get a choke hold on Ivory out on the floor. Steven Richards had to break that up anf therefore wasn't available to help his team win. The King put the big fist on Val and took the pin. RTC spirited the Kat away.

The Big Show was "punished" for interefering in the main event last night by having to face Kurt Angle and the Rock in a Triple Threat Hardcore Title match. This turned into another one of those mulitple challengers contests as the usual suspects all showed up to horn in on the action. The fight went to the back leaving Angle, Saturn and Albert back in the ring to do a beat down on the Rock. In the back, the Big Show actually held Essa Rios up against the wall to get the pinfall as the Rock started to make his comeback back in the ring. He downed Saturn and Albert but then Angle caught him in an ankle lock. Suddenly Steve Austin ran in to the rescue and then split once everything was under control.

That was it, folks.

At least that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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