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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

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

Matt Hardey wins the Light Heavyweight Title

Crossface Connection

by John Cross

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

All Pro Wrestling News

by Jermz

Volume 6, Issue 637 - June 11, 2001
Editor's Note: In this edition we have some All Pro Wrestling news, the latest Crossface Connection column from John Cross, and as usual, my own TV recaps and topical rant.

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


All Pro Wrestling News

by Jermz (All Pro Wrestling Senior Media Editor)

VALLEJO RESULTS - 6/9/01

All Pro Wrestling's "Game Over"
Pacific Sport Center - Vallejo, Ca.
Saturday, June 9th 2001

The fans of Vallejo, California were treated to another night of All Pro Wrestling action on Saturday night. The crowd was a very vocal one, and they are showing how much Vallejo loves APW. The Pacific Sports Center was to play host to a big show filled with superstars from all over the country. Ring Announcer Joseph Lee did interviews with some superstars such as Michael Modest, Donovan Morgan and Chicano Flame in the APW Merchandise Bunker before the show got started. Then at 7:30pm, Lee climbed into the ring and did his famous "Let's Get Ready To WRESTLE!!!", signaling that the show was ready to begin...

-Sheik Ali Boom Boom (with Buddy Cotello, Esq.) vs. Chicano Flame
Winner: Sheik Ali Boom Boom in 5:35 ( * * )

-Super Destroyer 2000 vs. Tommy Blaze
Winner: No Contest in 5:06 ( * * )

-Interview with The Original Westside Playaz

After the beat down by the Playaz, "Mack Daddy" Jimmy Ripp introduced his Playaz, and talked a lot of smack to the fans of Vallejo. SD2K & Tommy Blaze had to be carried back to the dressing room by security, while Ripp mouthed off about The Kamikaze Kids absence. Miyaki Frantz is out filming a movie, while his brother Jardi is touring with NOAH. Ripp says it's all false, and the Kids really want nothing to do with Thompson & Jones. They called out Boyce LeGrande and told him to find any partner to take them on tonight for the titles.

Boyce came out on the stage with his valet/girlfriend Xtacy. Robert Thompson grabbed the mic and warned Boyce that if he got in the ring, they would destroy him. Robert talked about how he was upset at Boyce for following the orders of Xtacy, and he would be better off not getting in the ring with them tonight. Finally, Boyce got a chance to speak. He said they made it personal by putting their hands on Xtacy last weekend in Pacifica, and he was going to find a partner to challenge them for the belts. However, if there is nobody available, he would wrestle them both by himself.

-Keiji Sakoda, Samoa Joe & Frankie "The Future" Kazarian (with Shane Dynasty) vs. The Snott Brothers & ???
Winners: The Snott Brothers & Dalip Singh in 11:36 ( * * * )

-Interview with Donovan Morgan & Michael Modest

Morgan & Modest came out for an interview conducted by ring announcer Joseph Lee. They talked about how they were no strangers to Chris Daniels & Maxx Justice, and tonight they would prove that they were the top indy wrestlers in the nation, and not Justice & Daniels. They called themselves the "Franchise Players" in APW, and they were going to prove it tonight in the ring. They also said they had a surprise for Shane Dynasty and Team UPW tonight.

-Dr. Luther vs. Jay Jensen
Winner: Dr. Luther in 9:56 ( * * 1/2)

-B-Boy (with Shane Dynasty) vs. "Innovator" Vincenzo Massaro
Winner: Vincenzo Massaro in 11:15 ( * * * )

APW Tag Team Championship

-The Original Westside Playaz (with Jimmy Ripp) vs. "Bad Boy" Boyce LeGrande (with Xtacy)
Winners: Boyce LeGrande & Mark Smith in 15:52 to become the NEW APW Universal Tag Team Champions ( * * * )

Main Event

-"Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels & "Big" Maxx Justice (with Shane Dynasty) vs. "Natural One" Michael Modest & "Future Legend" Donovan Morgan
Winners: Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan in 17:12 ( * * * 1/2)

-Team APW vs. Team UPW Aftermath...

After Team APW's huge win over Team UPW, they weren't satisfied yet. Morgan & Modest decided that they would pay back Shane Dynasty for turning on APW. They knocked him out cold in the middle of the ring, while Justice & Daniels tried to recover from their loss. Morgan announced that the fans would not be leaving until they saw the surprise that Dynasty was going to get. Just then, out came Betty Beefcake!!! She got in the ring, and with Modest/Morgan holding Justice back with steel chairs, she backed that thang up, and unloaded Biscuits & Gravy right in Dynasty's face!!! However, Chris Daniels got into the ring, and put a stop to it. The Fallen Angel grabbed Betty, and was screaming at her. What was he going to do?!?! Modest & Morgan luckily ran to her aide, and hit a chicken-wing-piledriver on him. Daniels was then placed in the corner, and much to the delight of the fans, Betty Beefcake hit Biscuits & Gravy on the Fallen Angel!!! The fans loved it, and Daniels wiped his face off about twenty times, with whatever he could find. Dynasty & Daniels went back to the locker room together, disgusted with what they had just gotten from Betty Beefcake & Team APW.

The fans cheered Modest, Morgan & Betty victorious in the ring, as the show came to a close.

APW Wrestlers Try Out for NOAH

All Pro Wrestling would like to announce a successful meeting between APW President Roland Alexander and VP of Operations Jason Deadrich with Japanese wrestling superstar MITSUHARA MISAWA on Monday June 4th at the APW gym in Hayward, California. While on a tour of the US in search of American wrestling talent to perform in NOAH, one of the leading Japanese professional wrestling promotions, Mr. Misawa made a visit to APW headquarters to meet with Mr. Alexander and Mr. Deadrich, and to evaluate APW wrestlers for possible wrestling opportunities for the NOAH promotion in Japan.

Several members of the Japanese news media and NOAH television production crew members accompanied Mr. Misawa on his tour to the APW headquarters in Hayward, California.

Many APW wrestlers were given an opportunity to perform “try out” matches for Mr. Misawa while at APW headquarters. The “Natural One” Michael Modest, “Future Legend” Donovan Morgan, “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels, Maxx Justice, Mark Smith, “Innovator” Vinny Massaro, Jardi Frantz, “Ice Pick” Vic Capri, Kevin Quinn and “Shooter” Tony Jones all wrestled for an audience that included Mr. Misawa, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Deadrich, representatives from NOAH, several members of the Japanese Press, and the APW Boot Camp students, staff and television production crew.

"I thought today’s festivities went well and I look forward to the relationship we are starting to build with Mr. Misawa and NOAH. I think it will benefit both organizations and as the relationship grows and wrestlers are signed to go on tours of Japan, Japanese dojo students would be sent to the APW boot camp to learn American style wrestling, while top APW boot camp graduates would be sent to the Japanese dojo to learn Japanese style wrestling, I think the relationship will be very complimentary. If we are successful with all of the above, then who knows maybe a Misawa vs. Modest match at an APW venue in the US would not be out of the question. All Pro Wrestling has always been a believer and a supporter of the sport of pro wrestling and our relationship with Cauliflower Alley demonstrates our desire for the history of our great industry not to be forgotten. There's no doubt in my mind that many of the wrestlers in APW as well as myself, have all been longtime followers of Japanese wrestling and followers of Mr. Misawa in Japan. NOAH provides professional wrestling fans with a product and level of talent that APW is proud to be associated with and compliments our own style perfectly. We are looking forward to working with them on any business or projects conducted in Japan or in the US, and we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship." Said APW President Roland Alexander following the meetings.

Huge Update on APW's "King of the Indies" Weekend

After talking to APW President Roland Alexander earlier in the week, he was able to give me details on APW's "King of the Indies" tournament and the festivities surrounding the entire week. Wednesday October 24th-Thursday October 25th:
-There will be a two day Boot Camp Summit. There will be a time set during one of these two days where we will open the training session to fans that come in early for this event or some of the local fans. The other times will be private training sessions that will allow the top indy wrestlers in the world to exchange ideas on training habits both in and out of the ring as well as exchanging moves, holds, counters etc… This will be held at the APW Garage, the only event of this week that will not be held in Vallejo at the Pacific Sports Center.

Friday October 26th:
-There will be a Press Conference/Q &A session with all sixteen of the "King of the Indies" tournament participants before the night's action begins. Be there to find out a little bit more about the performers.

  • The live show will consist of all eight first round matches as well as one or two non tournament matches featuring APW performers, making it nine or ten matches in all. It should be great.

    Saturday October 27th:

  • In the morning, there will be a amateur wrestling clinic showcased. The names of the instructors have not been announced, but Roland is working on getting the best in that field to lead the event.
  • In the afternoon, APW will bring the Boot Camp out of the APW Garage and into the Pacific Sports Center. There will be a free mini camp to anyone over the age of eighteen (or sixteen, with a parent present to sign a waiver) who wants to participate. For those of you coming in from out of town, be sure to bring your wrestling gear and climb into the ring.
  • Another Press Conference/Q + A session before the show, this time with the eight remaining men in the tournament.
  • There will be a Legends autograph and photo session with proceeds being donated to Cauliflower Alley.
  • On to the live show, where there will be two or three other matches including a 20 Man Battle Royal to break up the tournament and give tournament participants a chance to breath before advancing to another round. The participants in these extra matches will come from a pool of those eliminated from the tournament on the first night as well as some APW talent.
  • At intermission, there will be a Legends Awards ceremony, as APW pays tribute to some of the greats in wrestling's past.
  • The "King of the Indies" will be crowned, with the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals of the tournament being held on this night. It should be historical.
  • There will be a trophy presentation to the winner of the tournament at the end of the show.
  • APW will be hosting a KING OF INDIES after party at the local hotel with some of the performers and staff. Admission will be one of the unique benefits you receive when you purchase a "King of the Indies" package. Do not miss out!

    Sunday October 28th:

  • The Legends Reunion Barbecue. Once again, if you purchase the KING OF INDIES PACKAGE, you'll get a chance to visit with some of wrestling's all-time greats and attend this great event. As you eat, you'll be able to listen to great stories and meet performers who were the stars of yesterday, and make much of what you see today possible as well as meeting some of the indy participants and APW wrestlers. This is an event you will not want to miss. We are still a little over four months away, but it is never too early to begin preparing for an event of this magnitude.

    Crossface Connection

    by John Cross

    I sometimes feel like there is nothing to write about.

    Frankly, I think that I am perfectly accurate in that opinion.

    Maybe someone can clue me in on all the exciting stuff, because, frankly, there ain't that much to write home about.

    Sure, you got Benoit and Jericho getting the long-awaited push, but that seems kind of flat, don't you think? The Undertaker made a strong showing this week, and expanded the role and breadth of his character, but mostly operated on the back burner. The Canadian Swing was a success, and the WWF shows have been steadily improving, but I haven't been excited to watch a wrestling show for a month and a half.

    Truth is, about a full third of the wrestling fans who were watching the WWF in February agree with me...they aren't watching anymore either. The WWF is in 4.4 ratings-land right now, and that does not bode extremely well for the WWF or the WWF Jr. (WCW).

    However, it ain't the end of the world. For a couple of reasons

    Listen, I figure that Vince is a whiz at marketing, but he isn't a deity. The core fans (I would say they make up 3.0 of the 4.5 rating that the WWF gets) aren't going anywhere, and these are the people Vince does NOT have to market to. They are gonna stay, just as long as the product is better than horrible. The other 1.5 (ratings points are about 1 million viewers) or so are fans who like wrestling better than the other shows that are on, but they are not "die-hard". Also, I would guess that the 1.5 that I am talking about are not permanent, and the members of that block of watchers change over time. Some watched Survivor, and came back after it ended, while some are now watching the NBA Finals, or baseball, or getting out of the house (it is summertime, you know), so I guess that the slide is close to being over.

    As for the upper-most the lone WWF can go, I would say a 6.5, maybe a little less. Those new watchers will be those who like wrestling, but would rather watch another show or do something else when the shows are boring. These are the people that the WWF has lost since the collapse of the WCW. Face it, the lack of competition has hurt the WWF. More people watched it, and liked it, because the WCW was so sloppy during it's last year. It is like comparing a piece of hard candy to an ice cream sundae....the WWF was much, much better at Sports Entertainment than the WCW was. However, the WWF lost it's comparative edge, and the fence sitting fans are somewhere else.

    Another thing is the fact that the biggest story in the last 40 years was the utter defeat of the WCW. I am of the opinion that the collapse of the WCW aided the fandom of the wrestling world as a whole. Until the very end, I think that one of the main things holding viewers was the WCW saga, as they tried different things to prop themselves up. Until it got obvious that there was no hope, viewers didn't miss the shows. Nitro never averaged less than a 2.1 ( and that is a FACT....not an opinion), and Thunder stayed right about a 2.0 until the bitter end. Once it was over, the suspense was gone, and the reasons to watch quickly evaporated.

    This drop might have been able to be stayed. If Vince, Shane, and the WWF had been able to re-start the WCW within a couple weeks, or a month, it would have helped to keep the viewers attentive. If the run-ins by the WCW workers would have occurred sooner, as opposed to just Shane walking in and propositioning wrestlers to come to the WCW, then interest could have remained kindled. However, this is all opinion.....we know the saga to date, and we could beat up all the responsible parties all night, with no change possible.

    Oh, and back to my original point, about the lack of subjects. I wonder what journalists and reporters felt like after the treaty to end WWII was signed. There was no war to report on. There was just normal, trivial stuff. I kind of understand that. People ought to realize that the WCW story was the biggest in the last 40 years, and then it just ended, with a whimper. I wrote about Vince's voracious greed and drive, how the WCW was screwing up, what the WWF was doing right, and several stories about the people and actions and storylines that were all acting and occurring at that time. Now, there is one fed, two shows, and transitional storylines, as the WWF valiantly tries to push someone other than HHH, The Rock, Austin, or the Undertaker. We have the WWF of 1995-96, and no nWo to rouse the fight and ideas out of Vince and the boys. It is kind of mundane and boring, isn't it?

    Now, the matches are good, as the hand of Paul Heyman is being seen a little more in the booking. The young Chris Connection have stood up to fill roles in the main event, and Austin is ALMOST over as a heel. However, there is an edge missing, and I can't feel the excitement.

    Oh well, I just may be getting old. I turn 32 on 6-9. Yeah, yeah...Happy Birthday to me. Humph.

    See you here at Solie's Vintage Wrestling for the Tuesday Morning Report (best recap in wrestling, as well as the best topical rant), as well as the links and trivia you have to have, and come over to bodyslam.cc, for all the latest rumors, results, and columns. Oh, and respond to my Survey (Who is the most influential and/or important wrestler in the last 20 years) before next Tuesday night (6-12), and I will give you the breakdown in the Crossface Corner, at bodyslam.cc, on Wednesday.

    See you next week for another Connection.



    The Way I See It...

    by Earl Oliver

    SmackDown was taped on Tuesday at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota (although JR insisted they were at the University of South Dakota - go figure that one...) and opened with a King of the Ring qualifying match featuring last year's King of the Ring - Kurt Angle, against Hardcore (Steroid Bob) Holly. These two are almost perfectly matched, blending a fast paced style with an unexpected emphasis on power moves. Angle went for his ankle lock early but was too close to the ropes and had to let go of it. Holly has really come a long way in the last few years, and Angle has parlayed his Olympic fame into an almost perfect pro wrestling heel personna. After a lot of false endings, Angle advanced.

    Backstage, the Undertaker told his brother he was going out to the parking lot to wait for Shane McMahon - apparently he thinks Shane has something to do with the mysterious stalker. I guess he hasn't heard those slowed down versions of the stalker's speeches that show undeniably that the stalker's voice, at least, is Vince McMahon.

    Steve Austin came to the ring for this evening's promo. Saying that he was here looking for a fight - and apparently he is because he is wearing both braces (always a sure sign). He and Vince are teaming up to take on the Tag Team Titles tonight.

    Backstage, Spike and Molly (that's Romeo and Juliet to you and me...) are about to kiss, but Saturn shows up and gets in the way. At least his interruption is benign as he hands out some nonsensical advice and monkeys learning sign language. In another part of the building, Vince is on the phone assuring whoever it is that he and Stone Cold will win the Tag titles tonight. Willie Regal and Tajiri show up and, after the flunky is sent away to get popcorn, Regal warns Vince that the WCW1 limo is circling the building again. Vince says don't worry about it and then reveals that he was probably the one who siced UT onto Shane.

    Jeff Hardey challenged Jerry Lynn for the Light Heavyweight Title and won it after a high-flying battle and despite what appeared to be a legitimate injury to his left leg early on in the match. In fact he dominated the match pretty much from start to finish ( which he pulled off with a Swanton Bomb. In a pre-recorded skit, the mysterious stalker watches and comments on Sara Calloway as she gets into a pickup truck and drives away from a parking lot.

    Out back, the Undertaker meets the WCW1 limo as it arrives but Shane isn't in it. Whoever is in it is advised by UT to "pick another night to become famous..." Backstage, Molly and Spike are at it again. This time they are interrupted by Tajiri who runs into them and spills his tub of popcorn. Some words are exchange - unintelligable one to those of us who don't speak Japanese...

    The Undertaker defends his Intercontinental Championship against his former friend the midget bookend...er...X-Pac. Is it me or is that music X-Factor uses the pits? Do these guys strut worse then D'Lo Brown? Am I asking too many rhetorical questions? Am I starting to sound like Dave Scherer yet? (sorry Dave - I couldn't resist :-) This matchup is completely unrealistic. It's one of those fights that just proves that everything in wrestling is a work...and it still turns out to be an extended squash. Kane defeats all three members of X-Factor in order to win this match and retain his title. Of course they all go after him following the pinfall (surprise, surprise...)

    Back in the locker room, Mick Foley approached Chris Jericho to apologize for messing up his World Title match last week, and to present him with a copy of his book. Jericho was friendly but asked Mick to stay out of his matches in the future.

    Commissioner Regal came to the ring after the break to deliver a rant as only he can in his clipped British accent. He was directing his ire at former Commissioner Mick Foley, somehow making a comparison to William Shakespeare into an insult. Foley appeared on the platform to "besmirch" his royal commissionership - Regal had him escorted from the building by security. Backstage, Shane is in the building and encounters Test, who warns him to stay away from the Undertaker. Shane seems determined to confron the big man.

    The Dudley Boyz were up next, taking on the "What is left of Radicalz", Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko. Isn't it strange that the "genius" Vince McMahon can't seem to come up with anything better for Saturn then a rehash variation on the last character he played in WCW? But then Saturn really hasn't had a decent character to play since his days as the odd man out of Raven's flock. In this match, Saturn wandered away from the ring to look at the Dudleys' glasses while his partner was forced to take on the duo on his own. His final act was to mount the top rope wearing Devon's glasses and proceeded to drop the "Wazzup?" on his own partner!! Then he yelled, "Devon! Get the muffins!! You're welcome..." The Dudleys shrugged then put the 3D on him for good measure. Backstage it was Kaientais' turn to interrupt the Molly/Spike show.

    After the break, UT found Shane and attacks him before he has a chance to say anything. Kane gets between them and convinces his brother to lay off the younger McMahon.

    In a hilarious backstage skit, edge and Christian pretend to be brothers trying to convince each other that they really are pulling for each other in their respective KOR prelim matches. Meanwhile, Willie Regal congratulates the boss on his winning the Tag Titles later tonight (a bit prematurely, to be sure...) Regal (practically) guarantees Vince that his team will win.

    Test took on Edge in the next KOR qualifier. Test dominates the match from the get-go, but of course, Edge has that second man on the outside to run interference for him. Christian Pearl harbors his brother's opponent out on the floor thus setting him up for a loss. Test injures his leg in the skirmish and Edge goes right to work on it. This is good strategy because although these two appear at first glance to be of a size - in fact, Test is a monster and is superior in both weight and height to his opponent. As Test is making his comeback, Christian interferes again, providing distraction so that Edge can catch his opponent in one of his wimpy spears. One final time, Christian takes a boot to the midsection in order to give Edge the chance for a face jam and the win. Edge advances.

    In the main event, the Canadian Chris's took on Steve Austin and Vince McMahon for the WWF tag Team Titles. Before the match, Commissioner Regal appeared on the platform and announced that there would be a preliminary softening-up non-title battle for them against the APA! APA came to the ring immediately and the fight was on. As this match continued it became obvious that the advertisement of a McMahon/Austin challenge was a bit of bait and switch as the prelim match consumed about a third of the allotted time left in the program. This was confirmed when Regal sent out Rhyno and the Big Show for yet another preliminary match. This one was really brutal, as the Tag Champs were basically trounced for another five minutes or so. The Chris's won the match almost by a fluke as both Jericho and Benoit put their respective submission holds on the Big Show. Rhyno re-entered the ring with a chair to cause the DQ - but the attack continued for a couple of minutes following the declaration. With about 5 minutes left in the program, Regal finally introduced Austin and McMahon as the Chris's laid in the ring and out on the floor in disarray. McMahon immediately went for a cover on Benoit, but failed to pin him twice. As Austin attacked Jericho out on the floor, Benoit reversed McMahon into a Crippler crossface. Austin saved the boss then tagged in only to be caught in a series of German suplexes...again... He recovered and sent Benoit flying to the floor then dumped him on the announce table. Back in the ring, he placed Benoit on the top corner then hit a superplex - I think that's the first time we've ever seen him do that. He then applied a Crippler crossface on Benoit. Jericho broke that up and then put McMahon in the Wall of Jericho. Austin dropped Benoit again and then saved his boss. His distraction allowed Benoit to roll him up and pin him with a handful of tights.


    Raw is live from the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia and we are treated (?) right off the bat to a harangue by the Commissioner who makes a handicap match for Chris Jericho against Rhyno and the Big Show, and a cage match main event for Chris Benoit against Kurt Angle. In the midst of his rant, as he is giving a piece of his mind to Mick Foley, we get...Mick Foley. Foley says he is going to introduce a special guest. Regal says, "Oh no you don't..." and calls for security. Instead he gets...Linda McMahon. Willie starts to gush all over her - but she cuts him off to make her own rant. She disagrees with Regal, who had said earlier that he didn't consider either of the Chris's worthy of a World Title shot, and proposed that perhaps Steve Austin could face both of them in separate matches at the King of the Ring...but she decides that wouldn't be fair. She then rolls some footage of Austin boasting that he could beat both Chris's at once - so she proposes the main event at KOR as a Triple Threat Match for the title! She asks Regal for his opinion...and the "Regal Suckup" decides desecration is the better part of valor...and agrees.

    Christian takes on Kane in a KOR Qualifier and is losing handily when Edge distracts the referee, then Albert runs in and puts the Baldo Bomb on the big guy. Christian advances. Out back Steve Austin arrives and meets Linda and Mick leaving the building. He puts the bad mouth on her until Foley gets in his face. He backs off, but only long enough for Foley to get around to the other side of Linda's limo - then he goes back at her through the car window. Foley leans over the car and tells Austin about the match she has just made for him at KOR. Austin is beside himself as the limo drives away.

    Next up - the Hardeys come to the ring with Lita for a tag team match against X-Factor's smaller members, X-Pac and Justin Credible. Unfortunately, Eddie G has been injured and is on the shelf for a while - thus putting the kibosh on his developing angle with the Hardeys and Lita. Despite all of their underhanded tactics, X-Factor is losing to the Hardeys' superior teamwork until they get lucky right toward the end. At the point of an upset, Lita intervened with a big Frankensteiner on X-Pac and handed the victory to her boyz.

    Backstage, Steve Austin accosted Willie Regal in his office and was challenged by Tajiri. He turned to the diminutive athlete and clobbered him before leaving the room in a huff. After the break, Trish offers her services at ringside to Steve Blackman. In another part of the building, the Chris's are discussing the their good fortune while in yet another part of the building, Molly and Spike are about to get that kiss...when the Dudleys show up and spoil the moment.

    In the loading area, Steve Austin meets Vince arriving and tells him he holds him responsible for his wife's actions. Vince starts to walk away but Austin grabs him and menaces him for a moment...before grabbing him in a hug? Over Vince's shoulder, Austin wears a determined and possibly, a bit manic, expression.

    After the break, the Millennium Bug makes his entrance. Rhyno runs right to the ring and starts the fight before his partner arrives. Big Show gets drop-kicked off the apron giving Jericho a chance to almost pin Rhyno off of a Lionsault - but the big guy drags him out to the floor and breaks that up. From that point, Jericho is on the defensive and not faring well. Jericho manages to keep Rhyno in the ring and holds his own, but once TBS gets into the match it starts to go downhill. Jericho gets the big guy off his feet with a missile drop kick and goes for the Walls of Jericho on the giant! Rhyno breaks that up. Jericho is chokeslammed...then Rhyno gores his partner and takes the pin on Jericho!

    Backstage, Shane talks to Kane and plants the suggestion that maybe Kurt Angle is the mysterious stalker. I guess he doesn't hang out on the internet... After the break, Mike Cole asks Rhyno why he did in his partner. He spouts some fuzzy logic about being the number one contender for the World Title if Jericho wins the gold. Speaking of Jericho, Chris is being treated by a trainer backstage when Steve Austin runs up and attacks him.

    Kurt Angle comes to the ring not looking like he is ready for a match. Nope, he's here to rant. He takes off on the hometown folks, pointing out that Richmond was the capitol of the losing side in the Civil War. He talks a little about their penchant for battle reenactments - then promises one of his own. A reenactment of him kicking Chris Benoit's butt. He then mentions that he was recently inducted into the Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame and shows the footage to prove it. The crowd is not impressed...(although, frankly, I am...that institution was established by Lou Thesz among others). He goes on to promise that he will win the King of the Ring for the second year in a row...and will still have enough to take care of Shane McMahon. He challenges Shane to come face him. Instead, he gets the Undertaker! UT goes right to the ring and gets in Kurt's face, demanding to know what Angle knows about the stalker. Kurt makes the mistake of telling UT that he doesn't even find Sara attractive. Kurt gets chokeslammed then the stalker comes on the TitanTron, revealing that he knows where Sara is hiding out in a hotel room. He even has footage of himself (actually just his gloved hands) rifling her underwear in a drawer. UT splits up the aisle, leaving Kurt to fend for himself as Shane comes out of the crowd and catches him in an Olympic Slam before fleeing in front of security forces.

    Steve Blackman brings Trish to the ring for his match against Perry Saturn, who is accompanied by Terri and Dean Malenko. This is another KOR qualifier match. I'm surprised to see Malenko out here after what happened on Thursday. In this one, Terri and Dean interfere to give their partner the win - then Trish attacked Terri. Malenko grabbed Blackman's kendo stick but it is ripped out of his hand and used on Saturn instead. Yet another big blow to the head...

    Back in his office, Debra offers her husband a carrot to ease his pain. He is not biting...or maybe he is. He grabs handfuls of the vegetable platter and stuffs them into his mouth as ha shouts at her. In another corner of the building, Molly pleads with her cousins to take it easy on Spike. They agree, providing that she is the one to to pin him in their match.

    That match is next. Of course, right away the conspiracy is to get Molly and Spike in against each other. She strikes first then Bob tags himself in. He clobbers the little guy then tags in Crash who manages to throw away the advantage. Spike tags in Devon who is all over Crash. Bob tags in and is accosted by Bubba then has the "Whazzup" put on him. The Dudleys set their table up out on the floor then go after Molly. She slips away from them, however. Back in the ring, Crash is 3D'd and pinned. Bob goes after the Dudleys after the match but only succeeds in getting himself put through the table. Now all of the antagonists are out on the floor, leaving Molly and Spike to finally get their kiss in the center of the ring.

    As the cage is lowered onto the ring, HHH is shown in his rehabilitation regimen. Test is interviewed by JR via satellite at WWF NY about whether or not he might be going to WCW. He seems amenable. We are then treated to several minutes of recap of what went down earlier in the evening concerning Steve Austin.

    As the cage match is announced, Steve Austin shows up to "provide commentary"...right... Angle spears Benoit the moment he enters the cage, then throws him in a belly-to-belly suplex. Benoit shakes that off and goes after the Crippler Crossface. But Angle is too quick and avoids the move. The match is pretty even from the get-go b ut soon, Angle takes the advantage and holds it for quite a while. Benoit makes a come back and they are back in see-saw mode. Angle attempts an escape over the top of the cage, but Benoit catches him and suplexes him off the top rope. Moments later, Angle went for it again and Benoit caught him again - but this time it was Benoit who suffered the consequences. Angle shoved him to the mat then dropped a big elbow. But Benoit bounced right back and began to gain ground. He went for the escape but Angle delivered a low blow to prevent it. Then he delivered the Olympic Slam (now called "Angle" slam for some reason...) Angle climbed to the very top of the cage then threw a huge moonsault...and missed!!! Now it is all Benoit for a while until Angle sidesteps a rush and turns the tables. He is all over Benoit, but hte latter escapes and then hits series of 6 German suplexes. Angle is out on his feet as Benoit goes for the door. Angle recovers and attacks from behind - only to be on the receiving end of three more suplexes. Benoit climbs to the top of the cage...and Austin pops up and starts swinging at Benoit with a chair. So Benoit reverses course and throws his swan dive from the top of the cage. Both guys are down. Austin is having a cow outside the cage as Benoit tries to leave via the door. Austin knocks the referee down and holds the door closed until Benoit kicks it in his face. Angle goes for the Ankle lock but Benoit manages to to turn it into a insigurie. He goes for the door again - ut Austin slams it in his face. Angle then climbs out and escapes to win the match. This leaves Austin to enter the cage and wear Benoit out with a chair.

    Austin's heel turn seems to be going somewhere at last...

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

    Earl Oliver
    Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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