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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

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

Chris Jericho takes the Hardcore Title...
then is immediately pinned by Rhyno

Lance Storm shows up on RAW!!!

First sign of the pending WCW Invasion angle

HHH Out for 4 to 6 Months!

Torn quadriceps puts him on the shelf

4 Way Tables, Ladders and Chairs on RAW!

Could be the match of the year

Magnificent Seven:
The Seven Most Influential Stars
Of The Solie's Years

Part 2 by Ervin Griffin

Crossface Connection

by John Cross

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

All Pro Wrestling News

by Jermz

Volume 6, Issue 635 - May 28, 2001
Editor's Note: In this edition we conclude the special Anniversary article from Solie's resident historian, Ervin Griffin, Jr. We also have some All Pro Wrestling News from Jermz, the latest Crossface Connection column from John Cross, and as usual, my own topical rant.

You can get more of the latest news and rumors by listening to this weeks Solie's Wrestling Radio report.



Owen Hart On Line Memorial Planned

CALGARY, Alberta On the 2nd anniversary of the tragic accident, which caused the death of beloved wrestler Owen Hart, the Hart Family has commissioned the construction of an online tribute to his life and career.

The site, which is being built by Stampede Wrestling's Blake Norton and graphic designer Dayna Everett, is currently in the later stages of development. The project is being created as an opportunity for fans, friends and family to celebrate one of the most remarkable people this industry has ever seen. Along with photos of Owen's life, both at home and in the spotlight, the website will house original memories and moments from Owen's mother and father, brothers and sisters, as well as contributions from his co-workers and fans all over the world.

The Hart Family respectfully invites the wrestling media to help pass along this information to the fans and friends of Owen Hart. We would like to hear from any of his co-workers and friends that would like to contribute their thoughts to be put along side those of the family's. The site staff can be contacted at the e-mail address Owen@StampedeWrestling.com

We also invite fans to send in tapes of their favorite Owen Hart matches and moments, photos and otherwise, which will also be featured on the site. We look forward to hearing from fans with such contributions via e-mail.

An Owen Hart message board has been launched on StampedeWrestling.com. Until the official site launches next week, it gives fans the opportunity to contribute their thoughts and memories, many of which will be printed on the final site.

The World Wrestling Federation has agreed to contribute to the upcoming site. Owen spent most of his career with Vince McMahon's WWF, where he became one of the top names in the industry. His achievements include recognition as King of the Ring tournament winner and two reigns as Intercontinental Champion.

The Owen Hart Online Memorial is scheduled to launch as soon as all main contributions have been processed, which should be sometime next week. A second release, with further information, will be made available at that time.


All Pro Wrestling News

by Jermz

ANDREWS FIRST INVITED TO KOTI 2K1 - MORE TO FOLLOW

Last week, APW President Roland Alexander made the announcement that the first man who will be competing in the King Of The Indies 2001 Tournament this October in Vallejo, is Florida's "Black Nature Boy" Scoot Andrews. Andrews, a very accomplished indy superstar, competed in last years KOTI Tournament as well, advancing to the semi-finals, before losing to Christopher Daniels. Scoot will bring a lot of credibility to this very prestigious tournament. He is, however, only the first of sixteen names that will be announced in the coming weeks.

Alexander has stated that they do have twelve names who have agreed to compete in the tournament so far, but are holding off reporting them to the public & media. Alexander only hinted that there is some "International Flavor" in the tournament this year, and there are still four spots remaining. There has also been mention of an official King Of The Indies website opening up soon, with lots of information and profiles on the wrestlers involved.

Plans are also still in the works for the King Of The Indies Weekend to be one of the biggest wrestling weekends ever. With lots of events planned for all three days, sort of like an APW Fan Fest. A Cauliflower Alley Club Legends Reunion BBQ, A King Of The Indies Press Conference, A Mini-Boot Camp for the fans, plus Friday & Saturday night shows! This will definitely be a weekend that out-of-town wrestling fans won't want to miss.

The names of the remaining wrestlers will slowly leak out one at a time as the weeks go by, so keep checking www.allprowrestling.com and this APW Online Newsletter for the latest on October's 2001 King Of The Indies Tournament.

APW MAKES PRESENCE FELT IN WWF

This past week, when the World Wrestling Federation traveled to California for their TV tapings, six APW Superstars were invited to compete for matches to be shown on Saturday afternoon's telecast of WWF Metal. Former APW wrestler, currently competing in Southern California's UPW, "Bison" Smith, and Maxx Justice were featured on Monday Night RAW as police escorts for Shane McMahon.

Also, on matches taped for Metal:

Congratulations to these APW Superstars for making it to the WWF TV tapings, and being shown on National Television. Also, lots of thanks to the WWF and their wrestlers for the professionalism which was shown during the matches. It's always exciting when WWF comes to town, because you never know what APW wrestlers will get their shot.

APW ON EVENING MAGAZINE

Just last week, Ch.5 in the Bay Area's "Evening Magazine" filmed a segment at the world famous "APW Garage" in Hayward, Ca. "EM's" Malou Nubla was on hand, filming the piece along with APW's Vincenzo Massaro, Betty Beefcake and Head Boot Camp Instructor Donovan Morgan. Morgan gave her a crash course training session, and then puts her in the ring, against BETTY BEEFCAKE!!! Pictures of the shoot can be found on the message boards over at www.allprowrestling.com, which were taken by APW's Photographer, Biz. No word on the official date the show will air, but keep checking this newsletter for the latest. Thanks to Ch.5's Evening Magazine for their coverage of APW's Boot Camp. QUICK RESULTS:

All Pro Wrestling's "King City Kaos"
Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City, Ca.
Saturday May 19th 2001

-Chicano Flame won a 14-Man Royal Rumble in 17:13 by eliminating Maxx Justice

-"Big" Maxx Justice over Sean Patrick O'Doule in 2:08

-The Snott Brothers over Super Destroyer 2000 & Sheik Ali Boom Boom in 8:00

-Chicano Flame battled Jardi Frantz to a No Contest when Maxx Justice interfered

-"Kamikaze Kid" Miyaki Frantz over "The Bomb" Robert Thompson (with Jimmy Ripp) in 13:00

-"Natural One" Michael Modest over "Next Big Thing" Dalip Singh in 6:42

-"Future Legend" Donovan Morgan over "Innovator" Vincenzo Massaro in 12:06 to become the NEW APW Worldwide Internet Champion HR>

Magnificent Seven:
The Seven Most Influential Stars Of The Solie's Years

Part 2

By Ervin Griffin, Jr.

6. Mick Foley - What can be said about this crazy man that hasn't been said? We all know about his origins so I won't go into that (maybe a subject of a bio by me sometime/)! Today, I will go into what he's done since Solie has started. When Solie was taking off, he was in ECW as Cactus Jack with his final match against former partner Mikey Whipwreck. He came to the WWF as Mankind. At first, it was seen as an insult to a man that had worked hard to make Cactus Jack a household name in pro wrestling but he made the Mankind character respectable in its own right as he defeated The Undertaker twice at two big PPV's! Once in a regular match at the 1996 King Of The Ring and at the 1996 SummerSlam in a Boiler Room Brawl! Though UT would eventually gain the upper hand in the feud, this was a sign that this man was not be taken lightly. Over the next three years, he would feud with a younger Triple H as both Mankind and Cactus Jack. He also has the distinction of being the first PPV opponent of Kane at the 1997 Survivor Series. At the 1998 Royal Rumble, Foley made history by entering The Rumble match three times! Once as Cactus, once as Mankind and once as Dude Love! He also became a two time WWF Tag Team Champion that year with both Terry Funk and Kane. But nothing would compare to his memorable Hell In The Cell match with The Undertaker at King Of The Ring '98 as Foley took to hellacious falls from the top of the Cell. The first was through the spanish announcers table and the second was through the cage and into the ring! Amazingly, even though his shoulder was injured and a tooth was pushed through his lip, Foley finished the match in a losing effort to UT! His greatest moment, however, would come at the end of 1998 when he defeated then-WWF Champion The Rock in a no-DQ bout that saw "Stone Cold" Steve Austin cost The Rock the match and give Mick Foley his first world title. Foley would go on to win the strap two more times as well as two more tag team titles with Al Snow and The Rock respectively in 1999. His active career officially ended at WrestleMania 2000 when he lost a "Fatal Fourway" match to Triple H, The Rock and The Big Show. He would stay in the limelight both as an ambassador of sorts for the WWF as well as their commissioner at one point. From Hardcore to straight up, Foley has been a champion all around and has gained the respect of most (if not all) the people that has ever viewed Solie's.

7. The Rock - When Solie first came out, the man now known as The Rock was beginning his wrestling career down in the old USWA area as Flex Kavania. He came to the WWF in November 1996 as Rocky Maivia and made his debut at WWF Survivor Series '96. Since then, we've seen him go from Rocky Maivia (his purest face form) to a member and then leader of The Nation Of Domination (where the character of The Rock began to emerge) to the Corporate Champion to The People's Champion! Along the way, he endured comments and chants such as "Rocky Sucks" to "Die, Rocky, Die." Now, it is just "Rocky! Rocky!" and he has won two WWF I-C titles, six WWF World Titles and three WWF World Tag Team Titles, making him a member of the "Triple Crown Club" with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Bret "HitMan" Hart, Pedro Morales, Triple H and Shawn Michaels (Michaels and Triple H are the two members of the Grand Slam Club because they have won the WWF European Title as well as the other three). In addition, he has now made the cross-over into the mainstream with appearances in Saturday Night Live, Star Trek: Voyager, That 70's Show and an appearance in The Mummy Returns! I mean, I know people that aren't even fans of pro wrestling know who he is! I haven't seen this kind of appeal since the hey day of Hulk Hogan (only SCSA has had that kind of appeal in recent years). True, others from the WWF has been in the mainstream but not as visibly as The Rock.

Honorable Mentions

Chris "The Crippler" Benoit - This talented product from Stu Hart's "Dungeon" in Calgary, Alberta has been highly regarded since his early days in the mid 80's when he wasn't much bigger than Billy Kidman! Over the years, he has gained more experience and added more moves to his repertoire with trips to Mexico and Japan (as the Pegasus Kid). He introduces some unique moves to American shores (most notably the full-nelson/Dragon suplex) and was dubbed at one point as the most underrated performer in wrestling. Over the years, titles has included several IWGP Jr. Heavyweight titles, a reign as ECW Tag Team Champion (with Dean Malenko), two WCW United States Heavyweight reigns, one WCW World one WCW World TV Title reign and one brief WCW World Heavyweight title win. He has gone on to the World Wrestling Federation along with Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko and Eddie Guererro. Of the four, Benoit has had the most success, winning the WWF I-C title on three occasions and nearly winning the WWF World Title from then-champion The Rock! His most memorable performances have come against fellow Canadian Chris Jericho and Olympic Champion Kurt Angle. I have a feeling that Benoit, given the right circumstances, will have at least one run as WWF Champion.

"Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner - What a change with this guy! He went from the athletic dark haired wrestlers that, along with brother Rick Steiner, dominated tag team wrestling for years! While the hurricarana had been around for years, Scott's version was so spectacular and devastating that it was renamed the "Frankensteiner" by many fans and wrestling observers. He was already a champion before his transformation to "BPP", winning the NWA World Tag Team Titles, the WCW World Tag Team Titles, the WWF World Tag Team Titles, WCW United States Tag Team titles, the IWGP Tag Team Titles and even a WCW World Television title under his old image defeating non other than Ricky Steamboat in 1992. When he became "Big Poppa Pump" in 1998 however, success just came to him. Already a superb physical specimen, Steiner even became more muscular and powerful. His new physique took away his high flying and "Frankensteiner" moves (though he would occasionally do the move from the top rope), he could still deliver a devastating suplex when necessary and the loose cannon image made him more visible. He also won a second WCW World TV Title, two runs as WCW United States Champion (a title that he was never defeated for either time) and a run as WCW World Heavyweight Champion. He also holds victories over former AAA Champion Konnan, Booker T. , Sting, DDP, Sid Vicious and has the closest thing to a "clean" win over Goldberg (certainly cleaner than Nash's or Bret Hart's wins over "The Human Cyborg"). While back problems and other injuries have plagued him over the last few years, he continues to battle through them.......and over his opponents!

Bill Goldberg - This man was the closest thing since Hogan that WCW has had to a crossover star. In fact, many argue that (besides Hogan) Goldberg was the only thing that kept WCW afloat against over the top characters like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and Mick Foley in the rival WWF (and we know how that promotion rivalry ended). He came onto the scene in 1997 as a "sparring" partner for "Rowdy" Roddy Piper but his career officially began on an episode of WCW Nitro when he defeated Hugh Morris convincingly. He would also go on to have the longest winning streak ever in pro wrestling, winning the WCW United States Championship AND the WCW World Title at the same time, becoming the second man to do so in WCW history (the other was Lex Luger in 1991). He would also go on to win a second U.S. title as well as a brief reign as WCW World Tag Team Champion with Bret Hart. These days, no one knows where his career will go or whether he will even step into the ring again but his run was one of the few bright spots in the history of WCW during the Time/AOL Warner era.

Booker T - A transformation similar but not as radical as Scott Steiner's. For years, was partnered with brother Stevie Ray as The Ebony Experience in the now defunct Global Wrestling Federation (they were their tag champions). When they moved to WCW in 1993, they changed the team name to Harlem Heat and went under the individual names of Kole and Kane. They later went back to Booker T. and Stevie Ray and came under the direction of "Sensational" Sherri Martel. Under her, they won seven of their ten WCW World Tag Team Titles from 1994-1996. They would go on to win the titles three more times in 1999. Before that, however, Booker began to prove himself as a singles champion as he won the WCW World TV title for the first time from The Disco Inferno towards the end of 1997. He would go on to win the that belt five more times but his big moment came in the midst of the controversy between then-Champion Jeff Jarrett, WCW Head Booker Vince Russo and "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan at Bash At The Beach '98 when he pinned Jarrett for the WCW World Heavyweight crown. He would hold that belt for a total of four times and even added a WCW U.S. title win to that collection. His future is questionable as well but I can't see the "new" WCW NOT using him.

Well, I could go on and on but then I'd be the rest of the day and most of the next day/LOL! I know there are others that probably deserve to be on here but that's my list! Still, it is not in stone and I welcome a debate on the article or even a discussion! My e-mail is griffiev@hotmail. com

Oh, one more thing! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SOLIE'S!

NEXT: More Magnificence and some Honorable Mentions, as well.

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.


Crossface Connection

by John Cross

It is Memorial Day.

I wanted to say something about that first, because I am a veteran (PN3, USN 1987-1995), and I know a little about combat, and people giving their lives, in a far away place, for the rights we have. Ten years ago, my generation went to Kuwait, so I want to give a quick word of remembrance and thanks to all of my co-sailors and the soldiers who earned the Southwest Asian Expeditionary Force medal.

Now, that being done, I want to find a good subject to dissect this week. I figure I should primarily address HHH, and his injury.

It makes sense, and I figure I can hit another subject before I am done. However, first, to HHH.

Simple. This is going to help the WWF.

HHH has been so reliable, so over as a heel, and so important to the WWF and Vince Jr. that he had to be replaced.

Why? Well, I can tell you (and that is a FACT...not an opinion).

The WWF is going through the same thing that the WCW went through.....that being the stratification of the main-event workers and angles. Simply put, every current WWF main-eventer has had a major feud with every other WWF main-eventer within the last two years. Look it up (I ain't gonna do it here, for goodness sake....we're at Solie's, and it is all right here), and you will see that, if you haven't seen it already. Nobody, except Kurt Angle, has risen through the mid-card ranks to main-event the WWF. Even Kurt Angle didn't headline his own matches, as he would come out first (a pet peeve of mine, you know) before the Opposition, be it the Undertaker, HHH, or the Rock. Since Angle's defeat, no mid-carders have come up to the top.

There could be many reasons for this. Back stage politics (I hear Austin is notorious for that) could play a role, and HHH himself addressed that in an interview a couple weeks ago. Vince may believe that the top mid-carders are unable to generate the heat needed to carry a main-event position. The combination of mic skills and in-ring skills may not be developed enough in the higher level of the mid-card. Or, it could be something else that I don't know about. That is a faint possibility.

However, now HHH can't feud with Austin. Obviously, that is where the whole angle with Austin was going, and that was confirmed on Smackdown. Now, the Undertaker feud has to be put on the back burner, so that other people can be brought up into the main-event. It looks to me that Jericho and Angle will be the first to get the push.

Jericho will be pushed against Austin, and that should be a good thing. Jericho has a gimmick that you don't see much in the main-event, and that is comic relief. His on-ramp interviews have been entertaining, and he is probably the most over of the mid-carders. The only bump in the road for the booking committee is Jericho's position with Benoit. Will they split up the Tag-Team Champions, in order to gather Jericho support for a singles push? We will see on that.

Now, Angle is basically going to replace HHH as the co-heel in Vince's stable. Angle has been pitted against Shane McMahon, thus inherently putting him under Vince and allying him with Austin. Since Angle has been here before, and with his great heat, that should not be a problem for the fans to digest.

I wonder, though, about the Undertaker, What are they going to do with him? He has already beaten up Big Show, he is currently allied with Kane, and all the other main-event heels are locked up in programs with other workers. I still see him getting the World Title before the year is out, one way or the other, and I hope he stays as a face.

Some other people they could push are Test, Albert, and Big Show. I know, I know, Big Show hasn't done anything to deserve such a push....however, he has been there before. He has to do something to get heat back, like jump Kane or the Undertaker, and/or something else.

A short side note, before I change topics. Do you all like the song The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald? It is playing right now, and I gotta tell you, it is my favorite tune of all time.

OK, to subject 2, and that is the WCW. How does Vince start the WWF Jr. up and get it going?

Well, they ought to start having WCW guys showing up, every once in a while, to do a run-in, or a promo, or something. Shane is good, and funny, but he isn't WCW. Ric Flair, or Lance Storm, or Scotty Steiner, or Sting (not likely, but a nice idea) are WCW, GOLDBERG is WCW, to the wrestling fan, and a cameo appearance on a Raw or a Smackdown would be a sight. Maybe Booker T running in to save Shane from Angle, or Ric Flair slapping the taste out of Paul Heyman's mouth for running down the WCW.

Now, I figure they will attempt to do something with the INVASION PPV in July. If they do, that first WCW TV show MUST be a barn-burner. They should work it with some WWF guys trying to stop the show from occurring, and the WCW guys standing them off. Vince should show up, and growl and shout about how it is unfair, and that this is wrong, etc....and Shane comes out and puts the beat-down on him.

Now, as for the behind-the-scenes crap that is going on presently, the WWF should offer the veterans short-term (1 year) contracts, at their present pay, and inform them that they will be expected to lower their salary requirements in order to stay for year 2. There HAS to be a solid main-event base, with established workers, for the WCW to regain credibility. As the first year moves on, the newer guys can gather their feet up underneath them for their own pushes, and the older guys can put them over. Hopefully, they will have learned their lesson from the collapse of Turner Wrestling, and put the newer guys over. It just benefits them all.

OK. Enough though for the holiday. I got to send this to Earl, and then I gotta go to a picnic. While you are here, check out all Solie's has, in the way of historical info and wrestling links (like I said last week, the best on the Net), and come over to bodyslam.cc for the news, rumors, results, and columns you want, need, and desire. Happy Memorial day, and see you next week for another Connection.



The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

SmackDown was taped on Tuesday evening in Anaheim, CA and opened with an appearance by Mr. McMahon, who stayed up on the ramp to announce that HHH has been severely injured during the Tag Title match on Monday and will be out of action for four-to-six months (this is for real, folks, his thigh muscle was torn during the match - and I have to give him great credit for managing to finish the match the other night). Of course, don't expect him to be off TV for that long...but it will be a long while before we see him in the ring again. He then went on to announce the main event for tonight. A 4-Way TLC match for the Tag Team Titles pitting the Hardeys, the Dudleys and Edge & Christian against the new Champs, the Chris's (Benoit and Jericho).

They went right to the first match, featuring Eddie Guerrero vs. X-Pac (he of the naked face...) This was a fast paced, although pretty much grounded match. In fact, the first time Eddie went to the top, he was caught and X-Factored. Waltman took the win. Wow! Less then 18 minutes into the show and already the first match is past history...

After the break, Yoshiro Tajiri made his WWF debut playing a flunky to the Commissioner who trades on his flunkydom to break into the big leagues of pro-wrestling. His first assignment - go get Willy Regal some tea and crumpets... Backstage, Kurt Angle arrives and tells Coach to keep his eyes peeled for Shane McMahon. Meanwhile, Spike Dudley is arguing against his brothers' plans for Molly Holly...without success.

After the break, Angle encountered Molly backstage and ended up getting into a tiff with Spike, who challenged Angle to an immediate match! Angkle trailed Spike to the ring, not believing what was happening. The match got underway and Spike got in the first couple of licks before Angle caught him coming off the apron and suplexed him on the floor. From there it was all downhill for the diminutive Spike as Angle ran him into every object he could find out on the floor. This culminated in an Olympic slam off the ring steps to the floor. In the ring, he delivered a second O slam then slapped on the ankle lock and got the submission. Molly ran in to confront Angle but her cousins showed up and dragged her away. Angle went back to the ankle lock as the Hollys retreated.

Backstage after the break, Angle was unrepentant over his behavior and goes on to vow revenge against Shane McMahon for embarrassing him on RAW.

Dean Malenko was accompanied to the ring by Perry and Terri to face Raven (whom we haven't seen much of lately). After an initial assault, Raven finds himself on the receiving end of an attack on his legs by the "Man of a Thousand Holds". He manages to recover (though he limped throughout the remainder of the match) and was about to get his "Raven Effect" finisher (they used to call it the Evenflo DDT) when Terri distracted the referee, and Perry laid on a neck breaker to give Malenko the victory. Raven caught Saturn after the match and DDT'd him for the hell of it. Back in the mens' locker room, Trish had erected a screen so she could change in privacy. Her silhouette on the screen caused Steve Blackman to drop his stick... After the break, Grand Masta came in and caught Blackman behind the screen holding his stick in a suggestive position while Trish commented on it's "hardness"... (really, Vince...)

The World Champ came to the ring doing his best Bret Hart impression (whining and complaining, etc.) and told us all his name about 16 times (What was that again..? Oh yeah, Stone Cold Steve Austin.) He complained that he didn't deserve to be defeated by Chris Jericho. The crowd chanted his other name and he threatened to leave...but didn't. He blamed HHH for his defeat (actually, he got that one right...) and renounced his former partner. Of course, HHH wasn't around to dispute the facts. He ranted about the Undertaker's confronting him in his dressing room on RAW, then challenged anyone in the back to face him for the World Title...but not tonight in Anaheim...

Rhyno broke into Willy Regal's office to demand a title match against...anyone... He ends up with an IC Title match against Kane.

The next match was a 6 person tag match - Trish, Steve Blackman and Grand Masta against RTC (Goodfather, Bull Buchanan and Ivory). I must say that Trish is coming along nicely as a wrestler - quite a surprise there (her spear is second only to Shane McMahon's - and considerably more believable then Edge's, considering her size). In fact her mic skills have improved quite a bit as well. Who woulda thunk it..? This match was all power against finesse - and finesse was on the receiving end for the most part, but in the end, a Hip Hop Drop off the top (Hey! the rhymes!) saved the day for finesse - and they got to do their victory dance (with Trish doing the "Worm").

Backstage, Perry Saturn is apparently brain scrambled from all of the head shots he's taken this week. E&C declare that they will experience "Total Victorification" tonight in the TLC Title match (Honest, Edge actually said that...)

Rhyno got his IC Title shot against the Big Red Machine, but got squashed (in an extended fashion). Give him credit - he did knock the big guy down...once... His gore missed, then he was chokeslammed big time, and pinned.

The TLC match was everything it was cracked up to be and pretty much indescribable. You simply had to be there. The Tag Champs held there own against the three TLC veteran teams. Some highlights: Chris Jericho throwing a face buster off the top of a ladder on Bubba Ray. Benoit going through a table off the apron and being stretchered away, leaving Jericho on his own to defend the titles. Jericho applying the Walls of Jericho on Edge at the top of two ladders. Christian riding a ladder straight to the floor from the center of the ring. Devon hiptossing Matt Hardey from the top of the ladder then Bubba Ray suplexing Jeff from the same position. Then Benoit reappeared, bruised, possibly broken) ribs and all. As the entire field is lying out on the floor, the Wolverine calmly scaled the ladder, only to be stopped by E & C. Then they laid the Con-Chair-Tow on him! Them Bubba told Devon to "get the table" as the crowd repeated the line in unison. But there was Jericho laying about himself with a chair until Christian delivered a chair shot of his own. Moments later, the Dudleys pulled Christian off a ladder and hit the ultimate 3D. Then, an amazing stunt! The Hardeys set up a 20 foot ladder then Jeff used a 15 footer to do a leapfrog over the taller one and dropped a leg on Bubba, who was laid out on the announce table, collapsing it in a heap. Matt was in the ring in a flash, trying to climb after the belts. But Jericho returned and knocked him off. Edge and Jericho raced to the top of two ladders - but then Edge speared Jericho from the top! The Benoit was back!! Bodies were laying all over the place inside and outside the ring as Benoit retrieved the belts to retain the gold.

Raw comes to us live from the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta , Canada, and opens with a two minute video recap of the fantastic TLC Title match that took place on SmackDown Thursday. This is followed by the introductions and then Mr. McMahon made his way to the ring for his opening rant. He parcels out some back-handed compliments (despite your devalued dollar, you seem to be getting along just fine...) Just when I was thinking that Chris Jericho needed to come out and tell McMahon to "...shut the hell up!!" - he did come out - but skipped the admonision to jump straight to World Title challenge...before telling Vince to clam up. He then went on to accuse him of wearing a toupee, then dragged out some embarrassing video footage of Vince singing a rock song with Hulk Hogan playing the bass! Vince demanded to know where Jericho got that footage - then booked Jericho into a Title match...the Hardcore Title against the Big Show. Chris Benoit then showed up and also demanded a World Title match - then showed some more of the same footage - this time showing Vince during the dance break from the same show. He booked Benoit into a match with Rhino, then declared that the one he deemed the most impressive would indeed face Steve Austin in the main event.

After the break we were treated to an appearance of the Hart family (minus Bret) at ringside. The rumor is that Stu is doing some kind of business deal with the WWF involving his recently revived Stampede Wrestling promotion. Owen Hart's widow, Martha, got wind of the meeting and expressed disgust and disappointment over the move.

The opening match pitted the Mighty Midgets (X-Pac and Justin Credible) vs. the Hardey Boyz. I notice that Waltman is already started growing his beard and mustache back. Makes you wonder why he bothered to shave them off. In the match, there was a lot of interference from the folks outside the ring on both sides. The Hardeys won it.

Backstage, Terri and Trish had a little verbal tiff. This will lead to a mixed tag match - Terri and Saturn vs. Trish and Steve Blackman. But first we get a little Willy Regal moment with Tajiri - which is interrupted by Albert barging in and demanding a match against Eddie Guerrero, followed by Chris Benoit's match against Rhino, who immediately goes to work on Benoit's injured ribs. Benoit comes back with a series of German suplexes then grabs the Crippler Crossface. But Rhyno gets to the ropes and secapes...then comes back with a gore that sends Benoit to the floor. Back inside, Benoit is clearly in pain but recovers to deliver a fourth and fifth German suplex then sets his opponent up on the top corner for a superplex. He almost gets a pin off of that but has trouble holding Rhyno down because of the pain he is in. Rhyno tries to come back with another gore - but Benoit sidesteps him and drives him to the mat in another Crossface. Rhyno taps out.

The mixed tag match is next and Terri surprises us all by showing a lot of spunk in her matchups against Trish Stratus. At one point she jumps on Blackman's back and ends up getting a spanking. Moments later Lance Storm runs in and puts a side kick on Saturn!! Blackman takes the pin, leaving the announcers to puzzle out what Storm (a WCW contracted wrestler) was doing on the show. I guess, with it looking more and more like TNN is going to balk at putting WCW on their air, the WWF has decided they need to keep the phantom promotion in the public eye. Let's face it folks, as entertaining as Shane McMahon's appearances have been - he is NOT WCW. During the break, we saw that Shane met Storm outside the building and drove him away in his limo. Meanwhile, Vince is furious and dressing down his security troups. Of note is the fact that Storm performed his run-in in his home town...

Al Snow is at WWF New York and cuts a promo for the coming MTV series, Tough Enough. In a backstage interlude, Spike Dudley pursues his Romeo and Juliet relationship with Molly Holly until Kurt Angle shows up and butts in. Spike slaps the Olympic Hero which earns him a slam on the concrete floor. Molly runs to get the other Dudleys but as they prepare to follow her, they are attacked from behind by the Holly cousins (who just happened to be passing in the hall at that moment...) We can see where this will lead - the Dudleys are sure to believe that Molly set them up. Sure enough, after the break, Devon and Bubba are vowing revenge and nothing Spike can say will convince them otherwise.

Next up - the Big Show defends his Hardcore Title against Chris Jericho. Chris looks a bit surprised when Lillian Garcia introduced him as the co-holder of the Tag Team Titles and the Intercontinental Champion... What was up with that? I wonder what Kane thought..? Try as he might, Jericho was no match for the Champ, who is more then twice his size. Add weapons to the mix and Big Show seems pretty unbeatable. But, miracle of miracles, after drop kicking the ring steps into the big guy's face - Jericho managed to pin him with a Lionsault! As he retreats up the ramp he is ambushed by Rhyno, who with referee in hand, gores Jericho and retakes the Hardcore Title.

Albert dominates Eddie Guerrero in their match but the latter manages to roll him up and take the pin. Interestingly, Lita ran down at that moment. It didn't look like Albert even noticed her, but the announcers were insisting that she distracted him as we went to commercial.

Mick Foley is shown plugging his new book with Katey Couric.

A short peeping tom video shows Sara Calloway (Mrs. Undertaker) through the window of her house as a mysterious voice tells us that we will see more of her. Backstage, Vince tells Benoit that he is going to be the challenger for Austin's title, leaving Jericho to tell Benoit (paraphrasing) "...this is your night - but I want the first shot at the title after you win it." Backstage after the break, McMahon tells Commissioner Regal that Steve Austin has come up with a "brilliant idea" for the main event.

Next up - the Dudleys vs. the Hollys in a table match - this one was short and sweet and ended when Steroid Bob wa 3D'd through a table in the ring. Bubba and Devon then grabbed Molly and started setting her up. Spike tried to intervene but was knocked aside. As Bubba got ready on the corner, Spike placed himself on the table - Bubba powerbombed Molly onto Spike so that they both went through the table. After the break we watch Molly and Spike being stretchered away. Then we cut to a replay of the feature on HHH's injury from Heat last night. This guy showed incredible courage as he went on to finish the match after such a horrific injury. A pure professional - no doubt about it. I imagine that after 4 to 6 months, HHH will be able to come back and do anything he wants as either a face or a heel. If he can just figure out some way to blame Austin for his injury...

It's nice to see Howard Finkel back in his old ring announcer position after an absense of several years. As the main event got underway there is no hint of what Austin's "idea" is. Austin went right to work on the ribs, of course. A few minutes into the match, Benoit slapped on the crossface - but Austin got to the ropes and escaped then rolled out to the floor where Benoit continued to assault him - until he was revrsed and and rammed into the steps. Back in the ring, Benoit is on the receiving end for a few moments, then Benoit gets a Sharpshooter. This time, Austin is unable to reach the ropes at first but finally gets there. Back to the floor they go, this time Austin maintains control on the outside. He suplexes Benoit onto the announce table then throws him back inside. He fails at two pin attempts then goes for an abdominal stretch until benoit hip tosses him off. Benoit gets two German suplexes then sets the Champion on the top corner. Austin throws him off then lifts his opponent ontop the same challenger and gets a superplex of his own for a two count. They fight out to the floor then back inside where Austin gets a Styunner - but McMahon is distracting the referee on the outside so the moment is lost. Austin goesa for the Stunner again but Benoit blocks it and gets the crossface again. McMahon drags the referee to the floor then gets shoved on his can. In the ring, Austin reverses the crossface and McMahon immediately orders the bell rung and Austin declared the winner by submission...though Benoit never gave up... Chris Jericho ran out and attacked Austin after the match. He put on the Walls of Jericho while Benpoit slapped the crossface on McMahon. Both of the bad guys tapped out but neither was released immediately as WWF officials tried to pry Benoit and Jericho off their victims.

Not a bad show at all...but really, Vince, do you have to re-create the infamous "Montreal Screw Job" everytime you go to Canada?

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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