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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

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

HHH is the Intercontinental Champ

Parallel Lives: The Story Of
Diamond Dallas Page & Kimberly Page

Part 5 by Ervin Griffin, Jr.

Crossface Connection

by John Cross

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

XPW News

All Pro Wrestling News


Volume 6, Issue 629 - April 9, 2001
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:

In this issue we present the fifth installment of Ervin Griffin's multi-part biography of Diamond Dallas and Kimberley Page.

Tonight's edition also contains some XPW News, our weekly Crossface Connection editorial from Solie's regular, John Cross, and as always, my own topical rant.


APW ONLINE NEWSLETTER

by Jermz

APW BRINGS KING OF THE INDIES TOUR TO VALLEJO THIS SATURDAY NIGHT!

APW's "KING OF THE INDIES TOUR 2001" will be returning to the venue where it has had so much success for the past five months, The Pacific Sports Center on Mare Island in Vallejo, Ca. The show takes place this Saturday night at 7:30pm. This will be a huge night of wrestling action, that promises to leave the fans begging for more. Here is a run-down of all the great matches you will see this weekend...

6-Man Elimination Match
TEAM APW (Robert Thompson, Vincenzo Massaro & Donovan Morgan) vs. TEAM UPW (The Prototype, Frankie Kazarian & Smooth Billy D)

Triple Threat Tag Team Match
The Snott Brothers vs. The Kamikaze Kids vs. Samoa Joe & Hardcore Kid

Super Destroyer 2000 vs. "Bad Boy" Boyce LeGrande

Sean Patrick O'Doul vs. Iron Sheik Comini

Kid Chrome vs. Tommy Blaze

Plus two more big matches featuring The Ballard Brothers & "Big" Maxx Justice! check out www.allprowrestling.com for more details. Don't miss this exciting APW live event!

APW AWARDS BANQUET & SHOOTERS CUP COMING SOON

The 4th Annual APW Awards Banquet as well as the 2nd Annual APW Shooters Cup Tournament are almost here. The two events have switched dates with each other. The 4th Annual APW Awards Banquet will be held on Friday night April 20th at LaCocina Mexican Restaurant in Hayward, Ca., while the 2nd Annual Shooters Cup will be the next night, Saturday, April 21st, at the APW Garage in Hayward, Ca. The Shooters Cup is a single elimination tournament with amateur wrestling rules. The top students from the APW BOOT CAMP will compete for the rights to call themselves the champion of the Shooter Cup. It is a very interesting and innovative show that APW began holding for the public last March. The Team's have been announced for the Shooters Cup, and you can find them below. The show starts at 5:00pm and is expected to end around 8:30pm. You must have a banquet ticket to attend the Shooters Cup.

Now, onto the Awards Banquet, which takes place Saturday, April 21st at LaCocina Mexican Restaurant on Hesperian Blvd. in Hayward. Voting should be starting soon on the APW website (www.allprowrestling.com), for Wrestler Of The Year, Tag Team Of The Year, Rookie Of The Year etc. You will be able to vote online and then you can check out the winners at the Award show next weekend.

You may attend both events for a total of $30 for each person. Tickets will be available at the APW Garage in Hayward, as well as at the Vallejo show on April 14th. For more information on the Awards Banquet & Shooters Cup, contact All Pro Wrestling.


XPW UPDATE NEXT SHOW INFO
AND TICKETS ON SALE!

On Saturday night, April 21, XPW's past, present, and future collide on what will prove to be the biggest night in XPW history! Taking place at the Olympic Auditorium, XPW's SCENE OF THE CRIME will have ramifications which will send shockwaves through not only XPW, but the entire professional wrestling industry.

Tickets to SCENE OF THE CRIME will go on sale later this week at all TicketMaster locations or TicketMaster Charge-By-Phone at (213) 480-3232.

To insure that hardcore XPW fans were able to get the best seats, tickets for the first three rows went on sale this morning through the XPW Box Office. The XPW Box Office can be accessed by calling (818) 779-6479 or loging on to www.XPWrestling.com

THE FIRST TWO ROWS ARE ALREADY SOLD OUT! A few third row seats remain and then the rest of the seats will be available through TicketMaster. Tickets purchased through the XPW Box Office are free of TicketMaster service charges.

Fans will not want to miss this night which will feature all of the stars of XPW including XPW World Champion Sabu, XPW King of the Deathmatch The Messiah, New Jack, Vic Grimes, Kronus, Supreme, Steve Rizzono, and more! Plus, the return of one of the most important people in XPW history and the debuts of a number of XPW newcomers including Konan!

Saturday night, April 21, XPW's past, present, and future collide as XPW presents SCENE OF THE CRIME live from the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles!


Parallel Lives: The Story Of Diamond Dallas Page & Kimberly Page

by Ervin Griffin, Jr.

Part 5: Randy Savage

In the midst of their war with the renegade group the nWo, WCW found an unexpected new hero in Diamond Dallas Page! With his attack on Scott Hall & Kevin Nash and victories over Scott Norton and "Buff" Bagwell, DDP was beginning to become a fan favorite for the first time in his career based on his improved performance in the ring and his courage to stand up to the nWo (of course, his finisher The Diamond Cutter was getting major pops whenever he used it as well).

In his private life, he was proud with his wife's career as Kimberly Page did a photo spread for Playboy Magazine for their special Playboy Nude Celebraties '97. Let me just say that DDP is a lucky man to have her to come home too !! Anyway, DDP was on a role but still didn't really want to have anything to do with the WCW/nWo war. That is, until WCW Uncensored '97. DDP, who wasn't wrestling on the card, was being interviewed by "Mean" Gene Okerland when the nWo's newest member "Macho Man" Randy Savage (with his own ex-wife Elizabeth) came out to taunt Page not only about Page himself but to reveal the magazine spread that Kimberly had done. During the argument, Kimberly came out in a lime green dress covered with black spray paint crying her eyes out! Page, naturally, went over to comfort his wife only to be attacked from behind by Savage. Randy then administered the spray paint treatment to Dallas as well as a tearful Kimberly hunched over her husband!

In the weeks that followed, Page admitted publicly for the first time that he and Kimberly were married (this was a fact that was only known to insiders of the sport until this point). He also declared war on the nWo and one man in particular........Randy "Macho Man" Savage! That face-off would occur at WCW Spring Stampede '97 and actually headlined the card. For the first time in nearly two years (since 1995), Kimberly would accompany DDP to the ring but this time as his wife, not his manager! This wasn't the greatest match but the personal tone to it made it exciting nonetheless. While Page had purpose for this bout, many still saw Savage as the favorite because of his track record in big matches and he didn't have anger to cloud his focus like Page did.

Those that betted on Savage this day, however, lost a lot of money as DDP scored a tremendous upset over the more experienced Savage with his Diamond Cutter finisher! More noted is that referee Nick Patrick (who was affiliated with the nWo at the time) actually made the three count on Savage! Irate with the loss, Savage went on a rampage on DDP, Nick Patrick and nearly Kimberly. Eric Bischoff, who was the leader of the nWo along with "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, ran down to actually stop Savage from harming Page's wife! Savage responded by actually striking Bischoff and almost had a confrontation with Kevin Nash! Needless to say, this war was far from over!

NEXT: A Savage War & A "Perfect" Betrayal

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 and formerly contributed 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.



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

Usually, I start the Connection with a question. I do it to pique your interest, and to throw off the structure of the column, so that it is a more enjoyable read for the Solie's faithful. However, I had a really wild question to ask today, so I thought I would preface it.

Are you ready?

Have you ever had that dream, where you arrive somewhere and suddenly realize that you don't have any clothes on?

HUH?

Yeah, I got a very subtle shade of that horror when Earl put out this week's Tuesday Morning Report. As he had put out the PPV Report on Monday, I had thought one Connection was enough. I e-mailed him in a panic, but he reassured me that it was OK. I guess that I will have to prove his confidence with this article.

Oh, boy.....uh...lot of pressure here..(Editor's Note: Actually, John doesn't need to prove anything to me. This is his 25th weekly editorial, a record for any contributor to Solie's Newsletter!)

I mentioned in my Crossface Corner that a lot of my material would be on hiatus with the WCW. Commenting about the WWF angles, programs and characters every week could really become tedious, and I have no want for that. So, I figure that I will have to dig for some Indy news and general industry info to keep you and Solie's happy. However, this week, I want to talk about the WWF's big angle, which is the Austin/Vince alliance and the inclusion of HHH into it.

There are a couple of facets to this turn. To begin with, the way it was done was immensely effective, to the regular fan. Many pundits were critical of the way it happened, and I would respond by using computers as an analogy: When I was younger, I had a TRS-80 Color Computer. To operate the thing, I had to learn BASIC, a computer language, and write my own programs. Now, there is Windows, and any person can write e-mail, put together a resume, or surf the Internet. Many programmers think Windows is not the best designed program, but to the everyday user, it is a godsend. That is how the fans that I have talked to reacted to the Austin turn....they were floored by his actions. They had huge Austin heat in their hearts, and they fumed about his selling out. Also, by having the Rock kick out of so many impossible situations, they built his "hero" quotient up at the same time they were doing Austin's about-face, thus using the inherent comparison of the two competitors to fortify Austin's turn. My brother and I said several months ago that the only way that you could turn Austin heel was to have him help Vince put the beatdown on the Rock. I guess I was right.

Also, in that line of thought, I want to mention something about what Earl said in his "The Way I See It.." editorial from last week. He said that the Austin heel turn and persona seemed "..desperate." I wholeheartedly agree, and I think it is meant that way. The whole thing revolves around Austin selling his independence, his integrity, and his fans, to Vince for the WWF Title. It smacks of desperation, and I am of the opinion that they will play it that way. Austin will pull all the heel tricks to keep the Belt, and we can expect run-ins, run-aways, and set-ups for a while as Vince and Stone Cold worm their way out of situations where the loss of the belt would be imminent.

Now, about HHH. They are going to turn him face. Right now, not including the Rock, their is one babyface main-eventer in the WWF. That would be the Undertaker. Opposing him are HHH, Austin, Vince (who may not be a wrestler, but is still in the main event ranks, don't you think?), and, nominally, Kurt Angle. Kane, Benoit, and Jericho, while all faces, still inhabit the high ranks of the mid-card, with the Big Show and, again, nominally, Kurt Angle. Even for the Dead man, these odds aren't good, and since the Sports Entertainment industry has conflict as it's main food, there is a definite shortage of good guys. Add to this that HHH's heel run is among the longest currently in the WWF, and the crowd pops deliriously when he makes a feint toward face-dom. The Vince/Austin program will also serve as the vehicle to divorce HHH from the McMahon umbrella, and set him up to face Austin for the Belt at a future PPV. He is ready for a monster face run.

While looking into my crystal ball, I see the Undertaker going out as Champion, and I see him retiring within 20 months. I also see...wait, the ball is getting cloudy. I can't see anymore. How embarrassing...

Do I have my clothes on? Yep. Whew...that's a relief (and that is a FACT....not an opinion).

Bodyslam.cc is waiting for you to come and check us out. We are giving away t-shirts and bumper stickers, so come to the website and find out how to get one. After that, return to Solie's for all the Wrestling history and info you could ever shake a stick at.

See you next week with another Connection.



The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

Smackdown came to us on tape from Oklahoma City, OK. and opened with a barn burner match pitting the Scarey Brothers against RTC - all three of them. No cause for alarm - the good guys won.

About 20 minutes into the program, Vince took center ring and declared that the Rock would not be here tonight. He said he had indefinitely suspended the Rock from competition in order to protect him from being beaten up! Maivia is off to do his movie...bye bye Rock!

Chyna talks about how proud she is to be a role model. She must have just come off of Jenny Jones... Backstage, Commissioner Regal harasses the Hardey Boys, first telling them they are great and "...oh by the way, was that Shane McMahon, the owner of a rival wrestling organization I saw you talking to last week? Oh it was? Well then, Jeff, your going to wrestle the Big Show."

Chris Benoit faced a handicap match against Regal and Kurt Angle and pretty much destroyed his opponents within the first two minutes with a series of German suplexes before he finally got caught between them and squashed. This was not a tag team style handicap match - both bad guys were in at once. They disagreed earlier about which if them was going to administer the coup de gras - so both of them put their submission moves on him at once! Benoit submitted and Regal let go of his Regal Stretch - but Angle held onto his Ankle Lock until he was pulled off by the Millennium Bug. New tag team alert! New tag team alert!

Backstage, Vince was harassing Jim Ross, wishing him luck in his interview with Stone Cold later. After the break, Debra was asked how she felt about the Rock's suspension and about her husband's actions. She said that the former was unfair and uncalled for, and the latter was none of Kevin Kelly's business.

Jeff Hardey and company reluctantly approached the ring for his match against the Big Show. This was a route, plain and simple. Jeff was not 100% because of his ladder match on Sunday so he was unable to mount much offense at all until Lita decided to get involved - then he expended his energy rescuing her. The referee turned against the big guy after the Show grabbed him by the collar and threw him down. He stood by while the Hardeys and Lita outflanked the giant and executed a three way pinning combo. The Show was counted out with a quick 1-2-3. After the break the Show was out wandering the halls looking for the Hardeys. He pushed open the wrong door and got his clock cleaned by the Undertaker and Kane! UT said, "Next time knock!" as he slammed the door.

X-Factor - the new name for X-Pac and crew - Tazz calls them impact players. Their opposition was made up of Too Uncool and "The One" Billy Gunn who easily outmaneuvered the bad guys during the opening moments. But it is a short term advantage. Steve Blackman was in the middle of a blistering martial arts attack when Albert caught him by the leg and Justin Credible laid him out with a side kick. From then on they isolated Blackman for several minutes until he managed to tag in Gunn. Gunn cleaned house with X-Pac and Credible, then knocked Albert to the floor. The fight went to the floor, while in the ring, Grand Master pulled off a big leg drop off the top on Justin but seemed to hurt himself badly. Gunn came in again and got X-Factored (fer real!) Justin was rolled on top of him for the pin.

Backstage, Stephanie tries to intimidate Chris Jericho but he intimidates her instead. Next she shows up in Vince's office with a VCR tape featuring her mother, back at her desk, telling the world that her husband is a jerk and how proud she is of her son Shane and how much fun it was kicking Vince in his, "...how did you put it? ...gonads?". She promised to show up on RAW Monday and explain some business facts of life. Then Mick Foley showed up with two grapefruits and Linda chopped them both in half with a butcher knife. How symbolic...

Jim Ross came to the ring to the Oklahoma fight song. It was like old "Oklahoma" all over again. Did you ever notice how much Jim Ross looks like Ed Ferrar..? Austin did his usual entrance to a face pop initially and then growing boos. Ross said he wanted to talk about Austin in private but that he hadn't been afforded that opportunity. He asked Austin how he could align himself with Mr. McMahon, a person he despises. Austin calls McMahon his insurance policy. JR wonders if Austin feels any remorse over turning his back on the fans. The audience starts up a desultory Rockie chant. Austin starts haranguing Ross, saying he doesn't care about anyone. Ross was intimidated but went on. How could Austin ally himself with HHH? The guy who had him run down with a car? Stone Cold says, if he was sick enough to do that, wouldn't you want him on your side? He starts in on JR, critiquing his hat and clothes. JR reminds him that there was one person who has always stood by him, and that was Ross himself - he feels like he is losing his best friend. Austin decided to interpret that as saying that JR didn't want to be his friend anymore. He attacked JR until Vince showed up on the ramp and said, "Stop it! What are you doing?" and then ordered him to really beat Ross up! So Austin did the beat down on Ross. A bunch of referees showed up...and stood around while the Rattlesnake took Ross apart. Boy! They sure want Austin to be thought of as a heel I guess... Backstage, HHH and Stephanie are enjoying all of this immensely...

In the main event, HHH defeated Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Title in a pretty good match. After an initial heavy assault by Hunter, Jericho actually trapped his opponent in the Walls of Jericho, but Steph distracted the referee so he missed the tap out. Regal ran down and tried to interfere, but was knocked off the apron with a chair shot. Steph jumped on the apron and got grabbed by Jericho. HHH hit him with a chair then applied the Pedigree to take the win and the title. Interestingly enough, I think Jericho showed in this match that he is the next HBK. I see him moving into the World Title picture soon.

RAW opened with a short video montage telling the Vince vs. Linda saga and ending with her issuing her implied threat, Mick Foley at her side. Cut to the opening credit montage and then to the backstage area where Vince is waiting for Jim Ross to arrive. He waylays Ross and orders him to come to his office to discuss his "frame of mind". JR brushes past him.

RAW is live from the Fleet Center in Boston, MA. For the opening, Paul Heyman is all alone out by the ring and takes advantage of the situation to doa bad JR impression. Kurt Angle comes to the ring saying he feels a little bit naked. He insults the Boston crowd. Tim Wakefield and some of his team mates are at ringside, and seem to be enjoying being insulted. Kurt issues an open challenge to any WWF Title holder to put up his gold. He gets the Hardcore Champ, of course. Kane intercepts Angles attack out on the ramp and forces him back into the ring, where Angle bushwhacks him coming in. Angle grabs some trash cans out from under the ring and gets one kicked in his face. Angle is suplexed on the mat outside the ring then hit squarely with a trash can. Back inside, Angle goes for the Anglelock but is kicked away. He does his Nature Boy impression and tries but fails to fly off the top. The Big Show suddenly appears and goes after Kane. In moments he is trying to pin the Hardcore Champ! The Undertaker arrives and weighs in as well. With both Scarey Brothers in the ring, the odds are overwhelming, even for the giant. Honestly - how can anyone beat Kane under Hardcore rules?

Vince is talking to JR backstage. He's still talking about JR's frame of mind. Steve Austin bursts into the ring and sits on the other side of Ross. Their intent is to keep JR away from the mic. Vince says he intends to show some movies...

Backstage after the break, the Big Show orders Kevin Kelly to go tell the Undertaker to meet him in the ring tonight.

Vince's "movie" is called "The life and Times of Good Old JR". It is a replay of last weeks interview and beat down on SmackDown. We look over the shoulders of Vince, Austin and JR as the monitor shows the start of the beating. Vince looks transported as the camera switches back and forth between the three of them and what they are looking at. One has to ask the question: "Why did JR even go to the arena tonight? What kind of a masochist is he??" Vince asks JR again if he is in the right frame of mind. JR allows as he is - and then mentions that he talked to his lawyer, and they tell him he has a pretty good lawsuit if he want to go that route - but that isn't his way. He says he might quit tonight - and if he does he will go to work for Shane over at WCW! Now wouldn't THAT be a hoot! He gets up and leaves saying he is going to work. Vince seems more bluster then seriously threatening as JR departs the room.

JR heads for the announce table after the next break and is in time to call a handicap match featuring the Hollys, Molly and Crash (who, we are reminded, is the Light Heavyweight Champ) vs. Rhyno. This will be a route, of course. Interestingly, Rhyno doesn't look all that large next to Crash. They say he's 275 lbs - but I don't buy it. More like 250, or somewhat under, I bet. Hardcore Holly runs in after Rhyno spears...er...gores Molly. He practically dwarfs the rookie monster...

Vince and Stephanie are commiserating backstage. Uh oh...here comes Linda. After the break, Linda McMahon heads to the ring. On the way she encounters various of her supporters in the cast including the APA and Chyna. Spike Dudley is being interviewed by Mike Cole when the X-Factors show up and beat on him. After some bad natured banter between JR and Heyman, Coach is called into Willie Regal's office and ordered to tell the Chris's (Benoit and Jericho) that they will have to face each other in the ring tonight.

The Undertaker answered The Big Show's challenge - as we knew he would - at the end of the first hour. Despite his lack of any descernable talent or charisma, the Big Show is almost twice the size of his opponent, so he holds his own against his legendary adversary - but then he gets cocky when he thinks UT is trapped in the corner. He mounts the second rope - which puts him right in position for an easy Last Ride powerbomb and the pin.

Well, it took her a whole segment to get there, but Linda finally entered the ring right at the top of the second hour. She says she has three announcements. One - she is back as the CEO of the WWF. Two - she is proud of her son Shane, who did what he had to do at WrestleMania. The third announcement involved her husband, Vince. She requests that he join her in the ring - and he does, strutting to the ring in his best "take no prisoners" style. Vince tries to embrace her, but she holds him off and won't even shake his hand. Vince tries to take over, saying that Linda has come to apologize to him!! She tells him to "shut up", and says she is going to do the talking tonight. She shows a video clip of Vince telling her off last December and demanding a divorce. He tries again to take over the conversation, saying he was a little angry - she cuts him off and lambasts him for his behaviour since then and then backs it up with more videos of Vince at his worst. She definitely has the goods on him... His goose is cooked! She means to have her revenge. He wants to apologize - on his knees even... He thinks she's Christ or something - all he has to do is repent. She stares him in the face and demands a divorce! Then she leaves...

There's some commercial about the XFS...or something like that...I don't remember anymore what that's all about.

On her way out of the building, Linda encounters Lita who tells her she is inspiring. Vince arrives in time to watch his wife drive away - then he turns on Lita and tells her to get the Hardeys and face Stephanie, HHH and Stone Cold in the ring later.

The X-Poseurs took on the Dudleys (all three of them) in what was the match of the night to this point. The highlight of the fight was Albert freight training into his partner (the diminuitive That's Incredible, or whatever his name is...)

Next up - the two Chris's get it on. And Willie regal decided to referee. It is a barn burner once the Commissioner orders them to mix it up. This match has Paul Heyman's stamp all over it - a great wrestling brawl by two superb athletes. Lots of counter wrestling - very reminiscent of the battles between Jerry Lynn and RVD in ECW. The Commish finally goes to far in getting between the two of them and ends up getting trashed by the both of them. Then Jericho applies the Walls while Benoit slaps on the Crippler Crossface simultaneously! The referees break it up but the die is cast - I wonder who Regal will get as his partner against the Chris's?

There's that football thing again...what is that all about..? Even JR is shilling for those losers... After the things Vince said about his announcing of the games...amazing...

Backstage, the RTC (in the persons of Stevie Richards and Val Venis) confronts Raven and attempts to convert him to their cause. He is singularly unimpressed. We are reminded that Val and Raven have a match later. In the next segment, the Tag Team Champs are at WWF New York and challenge the Hollys to a Tag Team Title match. Backstage, Steve Austin and HHH are talking strategy and pointedly leaving Stephanie out of the conversation.

The main event saw the Hardeys and Lita run circles around their opponents until Lita pinned Stephanie - and then all hell broke loose. HHH and Austin proceeded to brutally assault Lita, first putting the boots to her and then repeated hits with a chair when shw tries to sheild one of her partners. My, that was digusting...

A final thought...

I wrote this for my Solie's Wrestling Radio broadcast this week...

Ah, what a long strange trip it has been. I started this column in 1996 when the WCW promotion was just starting to shake up the wrestling industry with their brand new challenge to the World Wrestling Federation juggernaut, Monday Night RAW.

Monday Night-ROW, they called it - it was like the same phrase with a slightly different spelling. It was so outragious a conceit that it slipped right past the fans attention. I started writing to chronicle the events in this wrestling business competition they called the Monday Night Wars...which were a lot of fun, and exciting at times, but they are over now - Vince won the Monday Night War.

What you have now is a situation where Vince McMahon controls the bulk of the best name, and up and coming wrestling talent in the business. There are plenty of great, lesser known wrestlers out their, doing their thing, but almost the totality of known wrestling stars are now, one way or another, beholden to Vince McMahon.

So, if I want to watch my favorite wrestling stars on TV, I have no choice other than to watch McMahon's product - whatever it is called.

Week before last I completely forgot about SmackDown. I was working and didn't keep track of the time...I am becoming complacent along with the wrestling industry...

On the other hand, only having 4 or 5 hours of wrestling a week instead of 8 is certainly a going to be a good thing for a guy who tries to report on all the major shows - so THAT is the one plus in this whole sorry situation that I can see.

The big question in my mind is: What is going to happen to WCW? Actually, more accurately,: What has happened to WCW - because it is a fact folks, WCW ceased to exist as we know it the moment we saw those WCW wrestlers hanging out in the rafters at WrestleMania. Is that to be the fate of WCW - to be out on the fringe looking in for a while, then fade away? Will WCW manage to last past the current "WCW Storyline"?

I guess now we will really find out whether or not McMahon is a "genius" by how he handles the fate of his biggest competitor. If he is smart, and I have never denied that he is, he will do everything he can to make WCW a legitimate rival to the WWF for the hearts and minds of the fans. The financial bonanza he stands to reap from such a strategy would be enormous, just as it has been when the business competition was real. With the chance he has to integrate two internationally known brand names, he would be a fool to trash the WCW brand just to satisfy his impulse to crush the competition. Vince McMahon is no fool.

So I think WCW will go on. The late night Saturday TV spot currently being proposed sounds like a deliberate attempt to bury them, but it has to be looked at in the context of what the WWF could get for their poor relation immediately. TV networks can't just throw out a prime-time series on a moment's notice. If Vince is wise, he might consider eventually giving the Thursday show to WCW. Not right away of course...leave WCW on Saturday nights for a while - maybe have an intrapromotional match at some point down the line to "win" the timeslot or something. And of course they need to do a syndicated program. What we all have seen over the last few years is a glut of wrestling programming that can stand to be trimmed substantially and left that way. I expect McMahon has already gotten that message.

If Vince is willing to do all that, then I might concede that the WCW as a promotion would be better off than they were as an independent organization, at least in the last few years. Is Vince willing? I don't know. Is he smart? We'll find out.

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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