Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
You can get more of the latest news and rumors by listening to this weeks Solie's Wrestling Radio report.
Part 10: Hogan
After an attack on Monday Nitro by nWo Hollywood (specifically Dennis Rodman and "Hollywood" Hogan), Diamond Dallas Page vowed revenge. DDP also made some mainstream headlines in 1998 by attending Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Salt Lake City, Utah between The Utah Jazz Vs. The Chicago Bulls in support of The Jazz (who lost that game and the finals when guard Michael Jordan hit a last minute 2 pointer along with strong defense from his Bulls to win their sixth NBA title). This trip also made news on Nitro as it was rumored that DDP was training power forward Karl "The Mailman" Malone for a match Hogan and Rodman (ironically a player from the victorious Bulls).
Those rumors turned into fact as WCW announced the main event for their Bash At The Beach card that pitted Hogan and Rodman against Malone and DDP. While this match DID get mainstream press, it didn't go over too well with long time wrestling fans (me being one of them)! I mean, if Rodman and Malone want to get into wrestling, let them get their ass kicked like everyone else in training!
Anyway, this was one of the worst main events on ANY wrestling card that I have ever seen! The only significance was the ending when The Disciple (Ed Leslie) came in and gave DDP a version of the "Stone Cold Stunner" on DDP to win the match for his team. DDP would get his revenge the next night on Nitro but the feud between Page and Hogan would rage on. The nWo would stage another attack on DDP right before a match to fill the vacant United States Championship. It was vacant due to the previous champion, Bill Goldberg, winning the WCW World Title from "Hollywood" Hogan! DDP refused to drop the match but lost to veteran Bret "Hitman" Hart.
Over the next few months, DDP would continue to have nWo run-ins as well as several matches with Hogan that ended inconclusive. He would even get a title match with then champion Goldberg at Halloween Havoc. That match saw Goldberg tested like never before in any match prior to that night in October. Goldberg still retained his title but there was a new respect for Goldberg and DDP afterwards. In November, Page regained the WCW United States championship from Bret Hart but would lose it a month later to Hart after The Giant came in and helped Bret win. This would lead to the biggest feud (literally!) in DDP's career.
NEXT: The Giant
If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.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
I have a computer game that is driving me mad.
I thought it would be civil of me to allow you to know that tidbit of information before you read about my reactions to it in the World Weekly News.
I can see it now....the headline would read," COLUMBUS NATIVE SNAPS DUE TO ALIENS IN COMPUTER!!"
It would figure...disaster at the pinnacle of my massive columnistic career (he speaketh dryly).
I was watching Smackdown this week, and an idea formed in my mind. Now, this happens from time to time, and though many people try to keep it from happening (and that is a FACT.....not an opinion), I can get some mileage from a thought or two. I think I got this from Solie's Readers Forum, where I regularly go to see if anyone is dissecting my column (all the thinkers go there to be erudite....you oughta go and take a gander at it, and maybe share your opinion), so I don't claim total originality. I thought about this WCW Vs. WWF PPV, the crossover matches, and the like, and formed the natural, logical picture.
They should create a unified title. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Now, they should keep ALL the current belts. The WCW and WWF World Heavyweight Belts, Lightweight belts, Tag-Team belts, and secondary mid-card titles (IC Title, US Title, European Title, and the Hardcore Titles) should all remain with their proper federations...just add a Unified World Championship Belt. The WWF and WCW wrestlers could then vie for the Unified Championship.
Make it so the Unified Champion would have to defend it against either the WWF or the WCW Champion. If a WWF Champion would win the Unified Belt, they would drop the WWF belt that they had (if they had one). That belt could then be competed for within the federation it belonged to.
For example.......Mick Foley is the WWF Champion, and he is facing Goldberg (who, we will say, is the Unified Champion). Mick Foley wins......he becomes the Unified World Champion, or, maybe, just the World Champion. The WWF Title would then be vacated, and would revert to the WWF for filling via a tournament or a match between two opponents of the commissioner's choosing. Goldberg would return to his fed and would resume a "normal" match schedule.
I think that this could add all sorts of angles and intrigue to the WWF and the WCW. Since pro wrestling is now all about angles, suspense, and the soap opera element, we could see cross-federation cooperation in screwjobs, politicking, and the like. There would be an added main-event title to throw into the mix, so that you could have a heel WCW worker with the WCW Title, and a WCW face with the World Title, or a face WWF worker World Champion against a face WCW challenger...the combinations are legion.
Also, and this is to those readers who understand me best, it would complete a circle. The World Title would become just that, and the WWWF/NWA split would be reconciled. Maybe not the way the pure of us may want, but unification is unification. In a way, it would come full circle from that time, and maybe even signify a new beginning in the sport.
The bad side? What, you want me to be objective? OK.....if they over played this, and overexposed this Title, it would not be as effective. Have it defended sparingly, and maybe not at every PPV. Make your KOTR winner the first Challenger for the Unified World Title at the next PPV. Work your WCW PPV's the same. Also, favoring one fed over the other in the capturing and holding of the Belt would inherently place the dominant fed over the other, and the lack of real competition hurt pro wrestling, didn't it?
Might I be looking into a wishing well? Well, I could be. However, I am of the opinion that such a risk (making a real World Title, above the current WWF and WCW World Titles) would eventually pay off for Vince, the WWF and the WCW. If you did it right, and worked it like it was the greatest honor to hold that Belt, for the worker himself AND the federation to which he belonged, it would be a VERY effective Title.
Let me know if I am way off base. E-mail me and let me know....just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, for the second, shorter subject. I got another letter. Again, I won't share the name, but it was another Solie's reader who thought my opinion about the Undertaker warranted a response. She liked it, and said that she agreed with me.
I think she has great taste, don't you? Also, she made some really good points about the UT, and this angle with DDP. I read it over my morning coffee and, when I was done, the sun seemed brighter, the songs from the birds lilted a wee bit more cheerfully, and I........was very appreciative of the e-mail. Thank you very much, and write anytime.
That goes for all of you, too.
Come over to bodyslam.cc for all the latest news, rumors, and results from the pro wrestling multiverse, and get all your wrestling info from Solie's Vintage Wrestling, THE place for wrestling on the 'Net.
See you next week with another Connection.
by Earl Oliver
SmackDown came us on tape from Madison Square Garden in New York , New York (the city they liked so much they named it twice...) and opens with a video recap related to, what else..? The WCW invasion, of course! It ends with Shane's statement that he is going to do what Vince did to his father...put him out of business... Hmmm, well, actually what Vincent K. did was buy his father out - but what the heck...this is a wrestling storyline. After the opening montage, Vince himself came to the ring for the opening rant. Gosh, I wonder what's on his mind? He lamented the fact that Madison Square Garden is no longer "hallowed ground" - that it "stinks" because WCW stars have set foot in the arena. He disparaged the Garden by comparing it to the Nassau County Coliseum... Vince said that he is doing the public a service by preventing WCW from getting any TV air time. He then invited Shane to bring his WCW wrestlers on down to get their butts kicked. This brought Linda McMahon down to the ring (to WrestleMania theme music, by the way). She tells Vince that she knows he didn't mean what he said about the Garden. She then showed him footage of him denouncing the WWF fans and herself, and their marriage right there in that very ring last year. Vince tried to tell her that he's changed since then (right...in the background a fan holds up a sign saying, "I'm Vince's REAL son!") and that he still loves her. She cut him off saying that she thinks in the "interest of fairness", that he ought to start allowing WCW stars to wrestle on RAW and SmackDown. Vince flatly refused. So she proposed that they rename the next PPV to "Invasion" (gosh! fancy that!) and make it a WCW verses WWF event! And he agreed!! And promised to run Shane and the WCW right out of business! So, it's on...
Backstage, APA were again agitating the locker room to keep WCW wrestlers away from the ring. Even Test (a known WCW sympathizer) stood in the front ranks and pledged to do his part.
Edge and Christian came to the ring to face Billy Gunn and X-Pac. It is still evident that there is some jealousy on Christian's part as he is shown snatching the KOR trophy out of Edge's hands as they stroll down the ramp. A very fast paced match ensues which is dominated for the most part by the brothers. In the end, Edge acutely uses a Buzzkill (one of X-Pac's moves) to defeat Sean Waltman.
Backstage, Steve Austin tried to convince Vince that he should allow WCW matches on WWF TV - and managed to succeed. He whispered something into Vince's ear. Vince response was, "That's brilliant!", and then he declared that there would indeed by WCW matches on WWF TV next week. Hmmm...I smell a rat...
Spike and Molly were shown backstage, talking about a recent date to go to the Statue of Liberty. We witness a "Saturn moment" and then Crash walks up and tells them that he has set up a mixed tag match featuring himself and Jacqueline against Spike and Molly. In another part of the building, Jim Ross interviewed Mr. and Mrs. Undertaker. Sara did all the talking, warning DDP that he is playing with fire. In still another room, Vince and the Austin's are discussing Booker T when Kurt Angle walked in and questioned what might happen if Austin and Booker T crossed paths. Steve was all bluster and threat about it, of course.
Kane faced off against Albert in the next match. They met on the ramp and the match (No DQ for the Intercontinental Title) was on. Right off the bat, as soon as they made it back into the ring, Baldo proved his mettle by hitting a scissors kick up under the chin and putting Kane on his back. During this match, Mike Cole brought up the WCW wrestlers coming to TV on Monday and emphasized that the WCW matches would pit WCW wrestlers against WCW wrestlers. Meanwhile in the ring, Kane had started to turn the tide. It almost looked like Albert was going to catch Kane in a powerbomb - but Kane turned it into a Frankensteiner! Unbelievable!! This feud with Kane is obviously meant to raise Albert's cache - but so far it seems like week after week it just cements Kane's reputation as being invulnerable...until tonight. In the middle of Kane's comeback, Diamond Dallas Page suddenly ran in and put a Diamond Cutter on Kane! Albert followed up with the Balso Bomb and took the title.
Next up - the Hardeys challenged the Dudleys to an Elimination Table match for the WWF Tag Team Titles. The Tag Champs dominated the opening moments, sending Jeff to the floor then double-teaming Matt. With Jeff back in the ring, the Dudleys decided to isolate him. But this didn't last long as Jeff turned the tables, then got his brother into the ring. They turned the tides for a bit, but then the Dudleys made a comeback. Devon went out to the floor to set up two tables while Bubba set one up on the inside. They failed to use it, however as Lita got physically involved with a Frankensteiner on Devon. Moments later Devon was swantoned through the table in the ring and eliminated. Then Jeff was thrown through the table out on the floor. At that moment, Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire ran in and cleaned house! This emptied the locker room and the WCW Tag Champs were caught in the crossfire, then dragged back to the ring and pounded. Both were put through tables before it was over. It looked remarkably like a good old fashioned nWo punk job...
Backstage after the break, we saw the WWF gang after tossing Palumbo and O'Haire out of the building.
Next up - the mixed tag match. Spike/Molly vs. Crash/Jacquie in a real knock down drag out fight. Some of the best moments of this match were between Molly and Jacquie - although Holly managed to get in some pretty good shots on Crash as well. In the end, Molly won the match for her team by hitting a somersault splash on Jacquie and taking the pin. Afterward, Crash tried to blame Jacquie for the loss - she clobbered him, of course.
Backstage, Kurt Angle was breaking down the possibilities of what might happen in a match between Stone Cold and Booker T - (and Steve was not really looking all that good...) when Earl Hebner knocked on the door to tell Vince that "someone from WCW" was waiting for him in locker room number 4. Vince tried to get Austin to go see who it was, but Austin backed off saying, "You know I can whip his butt - so you go...) Vince headed out with Angle and, eventually, Austin, backing him up.
After the break, the "new three stooges" stood at the door of locker room 4 - in which they found Torrie Wilson! She came to talk to Vince in private, she wants to defect to the WWF, and she starts kissing up to Vince...who is immediately interested in having a weekend meeting - as are Kurt and Steve...
Back in the Commissioner's office, Willie Regal was still trying to scrape the green mist off of his face. Regal was trying to figure out a way to punish Chris Jericho when the man himself showed up ad proposed a tag team match - Regal and "Tajunior" against Jericho and an unnamed partner. The match was made...
Meanwhile, the Big Show got hold of Saturn's mop and raised the nutcases ire - the result - the next match. Big Show still has Trish accompanying him to the ring as he squares off against Saturn...and squashes him with only a momentary setback when Saturn hit his knee with a drop-kick. Moments later, the Show tossed him to the floor like a rag doll, then menaced Terri. He turned back to attack Saturn and ended up with his legs straddling the ring steps. Before Saturn could take advantage of the big guy's precarious position, Trish distracted him by grabbing the mop. This was enough for the Show to regain the advantage and win the match.
The Regal/Tajiri vs. Jericho/? match was next. The Commissioner and his Partner occupied the ring first then Jericho appeared on the platform and introduced his partner...Scotty 2 Hotty! It was Scotty vs. Tajiri for the opening of the match, and he managed to dominate his opponent then tagged in Jericho, wo continued the assault. Tajiri came back very quickly, however and tagged in Regal, who knocked Jericho down and then stupidly turned his back. Jericho came off the top and then Scotty was back in the ring. Eventually, Regal got the better of the returning star and turned the tables. After a head-to-head collision both men ended up down in the ring - then both got the tag and it was Jericho and Jericho squaring off again. Jericho had Tajiri down when Regal ran in and dropped an elbow - on his partner. Scotty hit the worm on Tajiri and took the pin.
Back in the owner's dressing room, Angle was still harping on the possibility that Booker T was going to show up. Austin decided to go to the ring and call Booker out. It's interesting that the WWF is pushing the latest WWF CD which features the theme music of Too Cool...
Sure enough, after the break, Austin came to the ring and did exactly what he said he would. He gave Booker ten seconds then started counting it down. he got to ten - and there was no Booker. But Tazz got up from his seat and went to the ring, climbing in behind the Champion then confronting him as he turned around. He told Steve he should be worrying about what is happening in the WWF - then demanded that Austin apologize to Mike Cole for beating him up last week on the show. Austin refused, so Tazz offered to beat an apology out of him, then challenged him to a title match, "...right here right now!" Steve agreed, but not tonight - then he attacked tTazz with the title belt, threw him to the ground and hit him with a chair, dragged him back to ringside and ran him into the apron then hit him some more with a chair as Cole looked on in horror. The crowd seemed stunned by this, then broke into as "*sshole!" chant. Cole went to Tazz's aid and then stood his ground when Austin threatened him again. Austin ordered him to come into the ring and "take your beating like a man". Cole turned and walked away as Booker T entered the ring with the WCW Title belt in hand. Booker cold cocked Austin before the WWF gang ran in and chased him off. Out back, Shane was waiting with his limo to make their getaway.
Raw is live from the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma , Washington and tonight should prove to be historic as WCW matches will be held for the first time on RAW. The program opens with an appearance by Mr. McMahon. Vince struts to the ring, all smiles - he seems to be enjoying himself as he launches into his opening rant. He disparages the stature of WCW - comparing WWF to WCW and equating it to Washington DC compared to Washington State. He tries to compare Steve Austin to Booker T - but his comparison doesn't quite come off - then Kurt Angle shows up. Vince is annoyed at the interruption - so Kurt starts kissing his butt - telling him what a great boss he is and then showing footage of Booker T's shenanigans over the last few weeks. Interestingly, the footage shows Booker outmaneuvering Vince and Austin at every turn. He ends his speech by saying that Booker has made Austin look like a "jackass" - which brings Austin to the ring in a snit. Kurt stalls him by saying, "I know how mad you are at Booker T..." Austin soon disabuses him of that notion - he basically tells Kurt to butt out, then calls him a "jackass" to his face, then invites Vince to say the same. Kurt says he's a "hero" - Steve says "jackass" - they argue back and forth until Vince gets between them and suggests they have a match to settle the issue. Steve is ready, he embraces Vince - Kurt looks a little uncomfortable...then Shane McMahon shows up. He taunts the three of them and starts talking about the letter "i" - which stands for "Invasion". He suggests an Inaugural Brawl at the PPV between the best of the WWF vs. the best of WCW. He then states that he has been given the right to book the main event on RAW! He books a WCW Title match between Booker T and Buff Bagwell.
Backstage, APA are trying to figure out how the WCW got into the building on SmackDown last Thursday. They conclude that there must be a "mole" in the organization and set out to find him.
The Undertaker came out for a match with Albert (for some reason). In the middle of the match, Diamond Dallas Page ran in to interfere, but was surprised when Kane showed up to watch his brother's back. Clearly a set up.
Next up, a reconciled Crash Holly and Jacqueline face off with Spike and Molly in a mixed tag match. Crash and Molly are apired up to start and she is all over him until Jacquie trips her and drags her to the floor. Jacquie is ready to nail Molly when Crash slides out and gets in the way. Back in the ring, Crash uses superior strength to dominate his cousin. But Jacquie is pissed off again and snaps his head off the top rope to give Molly the win. They argue after the match and she cleans his clock once again.
Backstage, Vince is still trying to reconcile Steve and Kurt (with Debra present) when Torrrie Wilson shows up to talk contracts. Vince takes her out of the room, leaving Steve and Kurt to argue some more.
After the break, Torrie Wilson is doing her best Trish Stratus impression for Vince when Steve Austin shows up to interrupt their tete-a-tete. Steve insists that Vince should be thinking about Invasion. Vince agrees, but after Steve leaves, he tells Torrie they need to find somewhere more private.
Scotty Too Hotty has a match against Tajiri (w/Commissioner Regal). This is the first good match on the program - these too both being top flight light heavyweights. Tajiri gets his Tarantula submission hold soon after the opening bell - but of course, in the WWF this is an illegal hold, so the referee breaks it up. Scotty comes back a little while longer and goes for the Worm - but Tajiri was ready for him with a blast of green mist and a kick to the head to take the pinfall.
Vince takes Torrie into a "mop closet" - which he refers to "Shangri-La" - only to be interrupted by Kurt Angle, who shows Torrie his medals...
Booker T meets test backstage and they have a friendly/rival type conversation. This is followed by the Dudleys coming to the ring to meat out some punishment on Chris Jericho for threatening to jump to WCW at the behest of the Commissioner. They basically squash the Millennium Bug for several minutes...then he makes a comeback when he catches them climbing the corner. From that point it is all Jericho, culminating in the Walls put on Devon, who is tapping out but Bubba drags the referee to the floor and clocks him. Bubba sets up a chair but Spike runs in and drops him on his head, giving Jericho the win. Some punishment...
Vince is making out with Torrie in a men's room! But she smells something strange. Saturn emerges from a stall - mop in hand to break them up once again. This is a strange take off on the Spike and Molly show, isn't it?
Chris Benoit is shown consulting with his surgeon and then having surgery on his spine. It sounds like it could be a year before he is back 100%. Interestingly, Nancy Benoit (nee Sullivan) was shown but not introduced or referred to in the commentary.
X-Pac (w/Justin Credible) defends his Light Heavyweight Title against Christian (w/Edge). This is another good match, with both edge and Justin getting physically involved. In fact, it is Edge who distracts his brother and causes him to lose in the end.
Backstage, Faarooq and Bradshaw have narrowed their suspects down to Test. Then they hear that he was seen talking to Booker T. 'Nuff said...
Test and Rhyno wrestle for a shot at Mike Awesome's Hardcore Title at the next PPV. This is a regular match for a change. As the fight gets underway, APA shows up at the head of a phalanx of WWF undercard wrestlers and surround the ring. The competitors in the ring don't seem to notice them as they continue their match, until Bob Holly and the Godfather jump onto the apron. Test is distracted and gored for a loss. Then the gang enters the ring and does the beat down on Test.
Next up - another inter gender tag match pitting the Big Show and Trish against Matt Hardey and Lita. The giant smashes Matt then tags in Trish - but Matt is not quite that out of it. He disables her then tags in Lita who is all over her opponent. Trish tags TBS back in and Lita flies off the top in an attempt at a Frankensteiner, but is caught - so Matt drop-kicks him in the knee to put him down. The big guy ends up out on the floor, where Jeff has now shown up to interfere. Meanwhile, Trish gets a bulldog on Lita back in the ring, but is thrown off when she goes to the well once again. Trish is hung up in the corner when the giant returns and menaces Lita. Matt runs in and is immediately in the grip for a chokeslam along with his girlfriend. But they hit him with a double low blow and then drop him with a double DDT. All the guys end up on the floor again while the girls finish the match. Lita pins Trish. Afterward the Big Show starts verbally abusing his partner - until Jeff hits him with a missle drop-kick and puts him on his backside. The giant rages as Jeff limps away - it looks like he might have hurt his shoulder at some point.
Shane talked to Buff Bagwell backstage - wishing him luck - which Buff didn't seem to think he needed. After the break, the WWF "truth squad" is celebrating their squashing of the mole when Sgt. Slaughter comes in and lets them know that Test was innocent.
Out front, the WWF announcers abandon their post in anticipation of the WCW Title match that is next. Shane comes down to the ring to a largely silent crowd which perks up a little when he introduces Arn Anderson and Scott Hudson as the broadcast team, accompanied by ring announcer, Stacy Kiebler. Scott and AA takes their places as Stacy starts to announce the match. Nick Patrick is on hand as the referee. At that moment, Commissioner Regal shows up and bans Shane from the building! Shane agrees to leave, saying that he doesn't need to be in the spotlight. There is now a stylized WCW logo showing in the corner of the screen in place of the usual WWF version. They cut to commercial before the match gets started.
In an historic match by any measure, Booker T defends the WCW World Heavyweight Title against Marcus "Buff" Bagwell. The crowd seems subdued at the opening of this match. They are nearly silent as the two competitors are introduced. Buff attacks before the bell and the fight is on. He continues to dominate the match throughout the early going. The announcers are obviously going all out for this opportunity, two good choices, by the way. They talk about the situation between the two promotions almost to the exclusion of what is happening in the ring - but manage to keep current with the action just the same. As the match continues, the crowd still is subdued but are starting to come around, with boos and catcalls if nothing else. As Booker is turning things around, Austin and Angle run in and interfere on behalf of Bagwell. Buff catches on fast and joins in the beat down. So much for WCW loyalty. The match ends as all concerned disappear through the entryway.
Back in the laundry room, Torrie is continuing her seduction, undressing the boss as he tells her how far she could go in the WWF. he stands with his back to the camera as she strips him to his socks and shoes! She tells him to close his eyes and wait for a big surprise. he gets a surprise all right - when he turns around and opens his eyes - Linda is standing there!
Meanwhile, Booker is still being beaten backstage as the announcers continue to call the action. They throw him out of the building. Then Buff starts to crow - so they attack him next and toss him out with Booker.
That was interesting - but a bit of a letdown. I am disturbed about how all of this is going so far. When McMahon acquired WCW, I held off on predicting disaster because I have always taken a lot of abuse for being "anti-WWF" and I just figured I would give them the benefit of the doubt and see how things played out. I am still in that mode at the moment. We have a PPV coming up that is now being advertised as a joint show, and there is time for needed changes to be made.
But I am beginning to feel that old pessimism creeping in... It is starting to look like Vince has not quite absorbed the fact that he has won the war. It is like he is still trying to bury WCW - a puzzling attitude when you consider that it is now his company.
I remember a few years ago when the much anticipated "ECW Invasion" was threatened. I predicted then that if ever such a thing came to pass, that the end result would have WWF wrestlers dominating the "invaders" because, of course, Vince McMahon would never want to even hint that any other promotion might turn out better stars then his organization.
So far, during this invasion - it appears I was not far off the mark.
At least that's the way I see it...
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