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.
NOAH ADDS MORGAN & MODEST TO THE MIX
The Voice Of APW Joseph Lee released this breaking news to the press earlier in the week:
"In a press conference from Japan earlier today Pro-Wrestling NOAH announced the newest American wrestling stars signed to travel to Japan and participate in their next pro wrestling tour.
"The Natural One" MICHAEL MODEST, current APW Universal Heavyweight Champion and Stampede Wrestling Pacific Heavyweight Champion and “The Future Legend” DONOVAN MORGAN, current APW Worldwide Internet Champion have been signed to compete in the next Pro-Wrestling NOAH Japanese tour. The tour should span the month of July from the 12th to the 27th.
APW wrestling fans should be proud of their champions accomplishment in earning a spot on the NOAH roster, and should offer Mike Modest and Donovan Morgan their support while they travel to Japan. Updates on Mike and Donovan will be posted here and on the generation APW newsboard (www.generationapw.com) and at the official site of APW (www.allprowrestling.com), so stay tuned for more information!"
STATE OF APW ADDRESS
Earlier this past week, APW President Roland Alexander posted a "State Of APW" address on the message boards of www.allprowrestling.com. Here are some of the topics he touched on...
1. EVENING MAGAZINE came out to visit the school and they have post-produced a very entertaining show. I don't want to give any of it away but it includes an interview with Donovan Morgan and Betty Beefcake makes her pro wrestling debut in the ring. I think you will enjoy it and it airs on Thursday 6/28 at 7 p.m. on KPIX Channel 5.
2. Randy "Macho Man" Savage came by the gym and was accompanied by KRON Channel 4 for a very special interview. I believe that interview already aired but you may want to call BAY TV or KRON and ask if it will air again. Randy was on a special "SLIM JIM" tour and made a stop in the San Francisco Bay Area. I don't know exactly what he was involved it other than it was for a very good cause to help teenagers. Let's tip our hats to Randy and SLIM JIM for their participation. Randy said he knew me from somewhere and I told him we had never met and he kept swearing he recognized me and I mentioned Beyond the Mat and the bell finally rang. He was later preoccupied with Dalip Singh when Dalip came walking down the stairs. Randy joked and talked about how he was involved in a new promotion that might be starting up and he immediately wanted to see Dalip in the ring. He offered to return in the limo to see Dalip in the ring but unfortunately, it was a Friday afternoon and the gym was empty and I had nobody to get in the ring with him. I know what you are thinking, "Why didn't Roland get in the ring with Dalip"?? I might not bet the brightest light bulb but I do have some common sense.
3. Mr. Misawa, NOAH front office management and the Japanese press, all paid a visit to the APW GARAGE in Hayward to check out the APW BOOT CAMP and some of its wrestlers along with a host of other indy wrestlers we decided to showcase. I can't tell you enough how impressive everyone was. Jardi was so impressive, they signed him to immediately tour on the next tour. Jardi was on an 8:30 am flight the very next morning to Honolulu to handle administrative paper work regarding visas. This is very common for those touring Japan for the very first time. Jardi was somewhat nervous and might not have had matches that met his standards. I believe starting with the 3rd or 4th show, Jardi began to wrestle to his standards and made some impressive showings. He received a standing ovation at the beginning of a match during the tour when he succeeded with a high-risk, high flying move that took him over a security guard rail. The tour ended yesterday and I will be talking to NOAH officials about Jardi's performance sometime this week. I can tell you that everyone looked sharp during the NOAH tryout and that Tony Jones, Mark Smith, Michael Modest and Donovan Morgan looked very impressive and just may have had career matches in this try-out. Look for us to continue to work with NOAH on a regular basis and as soon as I get word on other APW wrestlers appearing, we'll be sure to pass on the information to you. I look forward to seeing Jardi Frantz perform in Vallejo on 7/28 and sitting down with him prior to that and learning more about his experience in Japan. Jardi is a hard working student of the game and deserved this latest reward for all his hard work. I am glad Jardi made the move from Philadelphia to California to be retrained. He joins Crash Holly as someone who benefited from attending the APW BOOT CAMP after being trained by someone else in the wrestling business.
Politics have changed in the wrestling business over the years and they have even changed more-so in Japan especially since many of the All Japan wrestlers left to join NOAH last year. I see wrestlers being used in more than one promotion and everyone seems to be working with everyone much more and the politics have eased up.
Knowing this, maybe we can develop relationships with more than one promotion in Japan. It would certainly be a first. For more on that, stay tuned later in the week when we reveal big news regarding another top promotion in Japan that paid the APW BOOT CAMP a visit this past week.
4. Rumor has it that APW's Donovan Morgan will be taking on a wrestler in the Brian Pillman Memorial that everyone is familiar with and you have seen him wrestle in APW. I look forward to the announcement from Les Thatcher on this great matchup.
5. Congratulations are in order to Tom Howard, Samoa Joe and Keiji Sakota on their successful tour in ZERO ONE in Japan. Keiji and Joe captured the INTERCONTINENTAL TAG-TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS. Tom Howard was said to have a career best match vs. Hashimoto. Again, congratulations to all these wrestlers. It is always fun to get news that someone deserving did good when they finally got a break and these 3 are certainly deserving.
6. Look for other top indy wrestlers, not selected for KING OF INDIES 2001, to still attend the APW BOOT CAMP SUMMIT on Thursday October 25th. In addition to the tournament wrestlers, APW will be extending an invitation to many of the top wrestlers in the world to attend.
7. APW BOOT CAMP is finishing up the current camp. I believe there are only a couple openings left for the next camp in August. There are still plenty of openings for the camp after August scheduled to start in September.
8. Anyone attending KING OF INDIES 2001 and participating in the FREE MINI CAMP, will be given an opportunity to sign up by deducting their expenses related to KING OF INDIES with the exception of food (only ticket prices, airfare and hotel). This discount will be given in addition to other discounts always available with the #1 pro wrestling training school. 9. Congratulations are in order to Michael Modest for capturing the Stampede Championship from Bruce Hart. This belt is a prestigious belt and has been held by many a great wrestler. For more information on his appearances in Canada, please visit the APW GENERATION section of our website.
ALEXANDER COMMENTS ON KING OF THE INDIES & VALLEJO
Here is a copy of Roland Alexander's post on the message boards of www.allprowrestling.com about traveling from out of town this October for the King Of The Indies tournament...
"For those of you traveling from out of the area, please keep in mind that if you ever thought of traveling to California for a vacation, October would be the time to do it. Not only are you going to witness the greatest week in Indy Wrestling, WEEK OF LEGENDS featuring the KING OF INDIES 2001 tournament but there are many great things to see and do while here. Allow us, KING OF INDIES 2001, to be your gateway to endless adventures. The Napa Valley Wine country is one of them. Those of you that enjoy wine, check out some of the stuff on the web and partake in one of many wine tasting tours.
Don't forget historic San Francisco and Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf. There is so much to see and do in San Francisco, you'll need several days to do it all. Come early or stay after KING OF INDIES 2001 and partake in one of the great tourist cities in the U.S. Vallejo is about an hour drive from beautiful San Francisco.
For you auto racing fans, Sears Point Raceway is very close by.
Don't forget, a 10 minute drive from the hotel and KING OF INDIES venue are Six Flags Marine World. They have really gone through some additions and improvements and that park takes a day or two to really enjoy. You can see the park from the hotel.
The Jelly Belly Factory (no Roland jokes now) and several golf courses are some of the most popular attractions at your fingertips.
The hotel includes year-round heated pool and spa and a Deluxe complimentary continental breakfast daily which is better than your typical hotel continental breakfast. Room Service is provided by Lyon's family restaurant. There is coin and valet laundry and everyone that is a guest at the official KING OF INDIES 2001 hotel, will receive complimentary off-site passes to 24 Hour Fitness. There are Fax and Copy services available at the hotel as well for guests.
I visited some of the restaurants surrounding the KING OF INDIES official hotel yesterday. Just to name a few, there were Chevys, Applebees, Black Angus, Lyons, Red Lobster and I-Hop Pancakes in addition to Burger King, McDonalds, and Taco Bell in the fast food industry. They are all within walking distance of the hotel. Many great stores such as Target, Costco and other neat shops also surround the hotel. It is like a Village. Maybe we should call it the KING OF INDIES VILLAGE.
For those that want to come in for KING OF INDIES and want to save their rent-a-car money for other tourist activities, there is talk about providing shuttle to and from the hotel to the PACIFIC SPORTS CENTER, the home of KING OF INDIES 2001. For those wanting to rent a car, we are checking into several companies to see who might offer the best KING OF INDIES rate.
Check out the KING OF INDIES website at www.kingofindies.com for more information starting July 1st and www.allprowrestling.com should also have duplicate information available."
LATEST KOTI NEWS as reported by "The Voice Of APW", Joseph Lee
As many of you independent wrestling fans already know the President of The Cauliflower Alley Club, RED BASTEIN, announced earlier in the week on Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Live many of the legends of pro wrestling who will be participating in APW’s King of the Indies Tournament 2001 Week of Legends (October 24 - 28) festivities. Mr. Bastien announced that the following Legends of Professional Wrestling would be participating in the KOTI 2001 Week of Legends: Cauliflower Alley Club Vice President NICK BOCKWINKEL, "The Destroyer" DICK BEYER, Former WCW announcers BOBBY HEENAN and MIKE TENAY, PEPPER GOMEZ, and DON MINUKIAN. RODDY PIPER’S name has been mentioned, but has not been confirmed.
Specific details about each of these legends participation in the KOTI 2001 Week of Legends activities has not been finalized as of press time. However, once these details are confirmed another press release will be issued with all of the details.
APW President Roland Alexander commented: “The association with Cauliflower Alley Club and the King of the Indies was a major development that brought a great deal of prestige and respect to our event. Now with the announced participation of these wrestling legends we feel we will present an unprecedented combination of Legends of Wrestling with the Future Legends of Wrestling during the greatest event in indie wrestling, the King of the Indies Tournament Week of Legends 2001.”
"Wrestling’s Week of Legends" will precede the KOTI Tournament. This will be the week where APW honors legends from the past while showcasing future legends. The Cauliflower Alley Club will be involved heavily throughout the entire week spanning from October 24th thru the 28th. All of the activities will be held in and around the Pacific Sports Center on Mare Island, in Vallejo, California.
Amateur wrestling clinics, free mini camps, training sessions and more will take place during the day with Ribs-N-Wrestling Bar-B-Q, after-parties and other chances to rub shoulders with wrestling legends taking place during the evenings. In addition to all the festivities, picture/autograph sessions with Cauliflower Alley Club legends will make the "Wrestling’s Week of Legends" an unforgettable experience for wrestling fans of all ages.
As details become available they will be posted on the official King of Indies website at http://www.kingofindies.com As well as http://www.allprowrestling.com and also be sure to visit our friends and colleagues at http://www.caulifloweralleyclub.org
My brother and I are at his house tonight.
Like that is supposed to be interesting to you........
I am here because he wanted me to come over and see the fireworks. From his house, you get a really good view of them, and it turned out to be a pretty good show. The arena was about a mile and a half from his front porch, so we got good sound effects, too. When the show was done, my nieces (8 and 5) and my nephew (3) applauded.
However, I am not writing this column to share with you my feelings about the Fourth of July....I will do that later. I am here to talk about the WCW push within the WWF TV universe.
Let's face it....Raw was pretty mucked up. The fans were not into the WCW match in the least. Actually, now that I think about it, it was worse...they disliked it. They booed, chanted, and only cheered when the WCW workers were thrown out of the building. Now, Smackdown was much better, as the fans were more receptive, and the matches were better, especially the Kidman/Helms match. The angle needed that match (and that is a FACT.....not an opinion), and it warmed the crowd for the Booker/DDP match later in the show.
I have several reasons why this WCW “takeover” of the WWF shows launched so poorly.
Hey, I can share them with you here! I like that idea....
First, I will ask a question that will serve as an answer:
How many times had we seen Buff Bagwell on WWF TV at the time of his match?
The answer, of course, is once....that night, on Raw, when he stopped Shane and mouthed off to him. There is a little problem with exposure. If nobody has ever seen Buff Bagwell, how can Vince (or us, or anyone, for that matter) expect them to have a good amount of heat for him? Booker has some heat, because he has been on Raw and Smackdown a fair number of times. DDP has more heat than Booker because of his program with the Undertaker (I guess UT DID make him famous). Hence, there was a pretty good amount of heat for the DDP/Booker match...much more than for the Booker/Bagwell match. The WCW workers need a lot more TV time for these angles and characters to work again.
Another reason that the WCW angle started flat is that the WCW wrestlers are working against other WCW wrestlers. I think that a great way for the booking committee to generate fan interest is to begin matching up WCW mid-carders against WWF mid-carders. Heck, there is a perfect environment to do this, and that is within the Light Heavyweight division. Kidman, Helms, and Storm would work wonderfully against X-Pac, Scotty Too Hotty, Dean Malenko, Jerry Lynn, Crash Holly, Essa Rios, The Hardyz, Edge and Christian, Tajiri, and Spike Dudley. If the WCW could sign Rey Jr., Chavo Guererro, Evan Karagis (or however he spells his name this time), Moore, Disquo (same as Karagis), Crowbar, and the rest of their vaunted Lightweight Division, the stage would be set for wild WWF Vs. WCW matches that would be very entertaining, yet would be far enough removed from the main-event to keep the top storylines clean and separate. You could run a dress rehearsal within the little-man ranks for the main invasion program. Just a thought.
Lastly, I say again that you make it worth Sting's and Goldberg's while to come back. Pay then enough to return to the ring, at least for the short term, to fill out the main-event ranks of the WCW. I can't say this enough....you need Sting, Goldberg, Ric Flair, and probably Kevin Nash to lend continualty and star-power to the new WCW. I have said in the past that Goldberg and Sting were worth the money needed to sign them...look at the Connection from 5-28-2001. Of course, you will have WWF defections to the WCW, but there is an immediate need for the big stars to be there.....c'mon Vince, quit pinching those pennies until they sing “Amazing Grace”! Sign ‘em!
Well, that is my opinion on the WCW invasion. Let me know how much you agree, or disagree, by e-mailing me. I share the good mail (and all of it is good, you know....don't want anyone's self-esteem hurt) with everyone in my column.
And, if you dare, after learning all there is to know about wrestling history and the like from Solie's, come to bodyslam.cc, for all your wrestling news, rumors, and results. Also, see our columns, the Corner, Commentary, Cooler, Q & A, and the Rambler.
About the 4th of July, I just wanted to ask you to give a belated thought to those in uniform who are away from home, keeping the watch and standing in defense of our liberty.
Just a thought.
See you next week with another Connection
by Earl Oliver
SmackDown was taped on Tuesday evening at the Tacoma Dome, in Tacoma, Washington and started with a video recap from RAW. The Torrie Wilson/Mr. McMahon debacle - the look on Vince's face when Linda appeared was priceless - and then his explanations - classic Mr. McMahon with his hand caught in the cookie jar... The featured WCW match tonight was Booker T defending the World Title against Diamond Dallas Page.
But the show opened with a Tag Team Title defense for the Dudleys against Chris Jericho and Spike Dudley. This was a pretty good match, with Spike hitting some pretty good spots against his brothers before becoming isolated and clobbered. Jericho managed to save his partner from defeat on a couple of occasions. Jericho finally came in against Bubba then transferred that fight to the floor while Spike almost pinned Devon in the ring. Moments later, Spike was 3D'd and pinned.
In the back, WCW referees had a little tiff with their WWF counterparts. Elsewhere, Steve Austin sought to soothe Mr. McMahon's shattered composure with a gift. A cowboy hat. Kurt Angle broke in and wondered why Steve didn't get him a present. Austin surprised him with a hat of his own...a tiny cowboy hat that made Kurt look like a clown. Kurt, of course, loved it...he wore it for the rest of the program.
Jacqueline took on Crash Holly in a grudge match and squashed him, gaining the pinfall after a Frankensteiner. Backstage, Booker T arrived at the building to jeers from the WWF wrestlers. He held his head high and told them the he might get his butt kicked - but he is the WCW World Champion.
After the break, Vince was served with a summons after Kurt let the guy into the room. The running gag tonight is Steve and Kurt fawning all over Mr. McMahon trying to win his favor.
Next up - a WCW match for the Cruiserweight Title defense by Gregory (?) Helms (I guess they figure that WCW already has a "Shane") against Billy Kidman. This was a great match between to top-notch light heavyweights. Again with AA and Scott Hudson in attendance to call the match. Charles Robinson was the referee. After some spirited back and forth, Kidman regained the Cruiserweight Title for the 4th time.
After the break, Vince came to the ring to explain his actions with Torrie and ended up breaking down in the ring, telling the world that he was sorry for ever being born...until the Commissioner came out with Tajiri and talked him out of that. He then stood up and declared that nothing was his fault! "My name is Vince McMahon, and I'm damn proud of it!" he screamed as we cut to commercial.
The Hardey Boyz (w/Lita) were up next to take on Billy Gunn and the Big Show. This lopsided battle was won after Billy Gunn resorted to cheap shots. Backstage, Vince was in a celebratory mood and invited Tajiri to accompany him to a "nudie bar"!
Next up - Edge challenged Albert for the Intercontinental Title as his brother watched backstage on a monitor, munching popcorn from the KOR trophy. True to the fact that both of these guys are currently getting pushed - this was a very competitive match which ended when Albert connected with a Baldo Bomb.
Backstage, the APA led faction were trying to sooth Test's battered feelings. The Steve and Kurt Show barged in and urged them to keep up the good work by attacking Booker T tonight. Kurt was not much help as he handed out backhanded compliments and insults - the result was that the "faction" walked out on Steve and Kurt.
Scotty Too-Hotty took on Dean Malenko in the next match as Saturn sat at ringside on Howard Finkel's lap. Is it me, or had Malenko just been boring since he arrived in the WWF? Scotty carried him to a reasonably good match in this one until he was tossed to the floor. Saturn came in and did his impression of the Worm - but ran face-to-face into Malenko who threw him out of the ring. That distraction gave Scotty the chance to make a comeback, do the real Worm and grab a pinfall.
Backstage, Diamond Dallas Page was wished luck by one of the WCW referees and this caused him to go into a rant about the Undertaker and Sara...go figure.
Backstage, Debra proves to be the only sane person in the room as Steve and Kurt compare what each would do to Booker T if given the chance. Thus Kurt talks himself into doing this week's beat down on the WCW Champ.
Next up - the WCW World Title match - featuring Booker T defending against DDP. This one went over considerably better with the crowd then the match on RAW. It was fought inside and outside the ring - scattering the announcers more then once when the fight spilled onto the commentary table. DDP finally dragged a chair into the ring and jammed Booker's face onto it. He was about to use it again when the Undertaker ran out and chased Page from the ring. Kurt Angle then ran in to do his duty but was caught and clobbered. Booker retained the title, by the way. Out back, UT caught up with Page only to find himself surrounded by a gang of WCW wrestlers who proceeded with a punk job until Shane McMahon ran in and tried to break it up. The gang then turned on Shane! Booker T ran in to rescue the boss and got his own butt kicked. What the heck was that all about???
Editor's Note: The following editorial comment was written prior to Monday's RAW program. I left it in place just as an illustration of how much things can change in under a week...
I am disturbed about how this Invasion angle is going so far. If the majority of fans wanted to see WCW vs. WCW matches - they would have watched the WCW programs and the promotion would still be in business. 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 may not have been far off the mark, but as I said earlier, I am still feeling some optimism. Especially now that I am hearing rumors related to the possibility that RAW may be turned into a WCW program. Interestingly enough, I actually predicted that this sort of thing might happen right after McMahon bought his rival promotion. At the time my idea was pooh-poohed by several people who will remain nameless. It's funny how these things come back around...
Amidst swirling rumors about property settlements and RAW going to WCW, Raw is on the air live from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia - WCW country if ever there was such... The program opens with a video recap of the beat down of Booker T by his "buddies" in WCW. The program kicks off with a bang - the Shane McMahon vs. Diamond Dallas Page Street Fight! Shane was introduced - but before DDP can be called - the Undertaker shows up with his wife Sara! UT grabs a mic and addresses the crowd and Shane, saying, "Page is mine!" Page then enters, chair in hand and soon finds himself surrounded at ringside. He retreats to the ring and the fight is on. UT devastates his opponent from the get-go...but as he is about to issue the coup de gras - Shane suddenly attacks him with his kendo stick! He is successful for about 5 seconds then he is grabbed in a chokeslam. At this point, Page returns with his chair and attacks UT!! UT is beaten down in the corner. Meanwhile, Sara has the kendo stick and enters the ring to attack Shane. But Page finishes up on UT and grabs her, assaulting her with his Diamond Cutter. Shane and Page slink away as EMT's and UT help Sara in the ring and we go for a replay. WOW! That was pretty awesome...
Backstage, Page and Shane perform the final insult as Page rides off on the Undertaker's motorcycle. In an unintended comical touch, Shane has to show Page how to put the bike in gear...
After the break, UT is shown accompanying Sara to the ambulance then we are sent back to the ring for a Tag Team Title match between the Dudleys and APA. This is an interesting pairing - two mixed race teams, of course - and both double tough. In fact, when you consider the path of destruction that the APA have sewn in the WWF (in the few actual matches we have seen them in) it's about time they were given a Tag Title shot. The match is fast and furious and ends suddenly when Spike Dudley runs in, clobbers Bubba with his crutch and also distracts their brothers. APA are the new Tag Team Champs.
Backstage, Vince McMahon is beside himself about the situation. Steve Austin is sitting next to him repeating his rant catch phrases. Kurt Angle bursts in with presents. He is still wearing that hat. Kurts presents? Badges to go with the cowboy hats! He gives tin stars to Vince and Steve, but reserves a gold star for himself. Austin then utters the perfect line, "Badges? We don't need no stinking Badges!" (-- paraphrasing Alfonso Bedoya in "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" - 1948) then proceeds to talk Kurt into going down to Booker T's dressing room and challenging the WCW Champ for his title.
Next up - an IC Title defense for Baldo...er...Albert against Rhyno. From the beginning we know that the Rookie Monster had no chance, as X-pac starts interfering in the match. He puts up a valiant effort, but in the end is distracted by his opponent's partner and then booted in the face for the pin.
Back in Booker's dressing room, Kurt carries through on his challenge. Booker accepts then asks him what happened to his hat and if Kurt thinks he has a chance. Kurt's reply - another movie line reference, "You Betcha...Yippee Ki-Yay Mother-Hugger!" (Die Hard, I believe...) After the break, Kane received the news from Commissioner Regal that Sara has been taken to the hospital for observation. Kane demands that he be allowed to take his brother's place in a scheduled handicap match against Lance Storm and Mike Awesome. Regal agrees. So now there are two WCW vs. WWF matches scheduled for the program...
The next match features Jeff Hardey vs. The Big Show. As this match gets underway, Trish Stratus shows up to watch. Jeff gets a few good shots on his monster opponent but there is just no way he can prevail. He is planted and pinned inside of two minutes. After the big guy leaves, Trish plants a big wet one on him then walks away as he looks stunned.
Back in McMahon's office, Angle is loosening up. Vince is encouraging him while Austin continues to throw out insults. Steve wants to change the focus to him being the leader of the WWF faction in the Inaugural Brawl. These guys are fast becoming the funniest comedy team in the WWF since the Stooges. In fact - I think I actually referred to them that way last week. At any rate, Chris Jericho bursts in and offers his services for the Brawl. Steve and Kurt reject his offer, then the comedy routine continues.
Coming back from the break, a few of the Atlanta Falcons were shown at ringside. JR then announced a new match for Invasion – Lita & Trish Stratus vs. Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson in a Bra & Panties match. Charming... Lita was interviewed at WWF New York with her boyfriend, what's-his-name. She accepts the challenge - but Jeff does most of the talking. Backstage at the arena, Shane is encouraging his US and World Champ with a pre match pep talk. Meanwhile, Vince is giving Angle a similar pep talk - except that Austin is repeating his words. Steve wants to accompany Angle to the ring - but Angle rejects that idea with a patriotic speech then walks out. Vince and Steve look at each other with dubious expressions...
The historic WCW Title match (the first ever intrapromotional match between the WWF and WCW) is a comedy of errors as first Shane, then a WWF referee, then a second WCW referee all get involved. The match is a very knock-down-drag-out affair with lots of move and counter move. Both guys wrestling right to their limits. Toward the end, Angle gets the ankle lock on Booker, but Shane distracts the referee and Booker (who is tapping out, meanwhile) escapes. Moments later, as referee Nick Patrick is distracted by Shane on the floor, Angle actually has Booker pinned. Earl Hebner runs in to count the fall but is snatched out of the ring by Patrick. Patrick returns to the ring to argue with Angle about the count, then Hebner enters the ring and spears the WCW referee! As the two referees square off out on the floor, Booker hits Angle with his title belt and Charles Robinson runs in and fast-counts Angle out. Booker T has retained his title. The referees are in a brawl outside the ring as Booker and Shane retreat.
Backstage after the break, in Vince's office, Angle is asking Vince and Steve where they were... Scott Hudson interviews WCW’s Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler. Torrie says Vince thought he could get her in bed because he is a billionaire, and it was her pleasure to humiliate him. She calls him a disgusting excuse for a human being. Stacy says it would be their pleasure to show the women of the WWF who the real women in sports-entertainment are, and why they will always come out on top. In another part of the building, APA offer the Dudleys a beer and also a rematch at SmackDown. The Dudleys refuse the beer but take the match.
The next match is supposed to be Lance Storm and Mike Awesome against Kane in a handicap match. But the Millennium Bug chooses this moment to prove his loyalty to the WWF by volunteering as Kane's partner. JR mentions that the 24/7 Hardcore Title defense rule has been suspended until after the Invasion PPV - so Awesome's title is not in jeopardy here. This is another real barn burner. Clearly, the entire roster is going all out tonight. After several minutes of intense action, TOMMY DREAMER and ROB VAN DAM suddenly run out and take on the WWF Wrestlers. The match ended in a no contest decision. The locker room empties, and suddenly we have what appears to be a huge former ECW wrestler's standoff (the Dudleys, Tazz, Raven, Justin Credible and Rhyno are all there). One has to wonder how many in the audience really understood what was happening here.. But then the 10 former ECW guys (including Storm and Awesome!) join forces - together they beat down Y2J and Kane! At this point Paul Heyman throws down his headset and enters the ring to exchange high-fives with his former boys from ECW. He grabs a mic and calls JR a corporate sell out! He declares that neither the WWF or WCW is hardcore enough for his wrestlers. he challenges both Vince and Shane to open up the Invasion PPV to ECW and take it to EXTREME!!!
After the break, JR is shown alone and trying to figure out what just happened. He speculates about how long Heyman had been planning this moment. Backstage, Vince and Shane meet and decide to bury their differences for one match tonight - a 20 man battle royal combining the WCW/WWF forces against the ECW guys.
So how do you follow that? You put on a Light Heavyweight Title match?? Heck, why not - they can't possibly top what just happened. X-Pac defends his title against Scotty Too Hotty. This one is short and sweet. X-Pac retains his title.
Backstage, Vince and Shane are rallying their troops for the big brawl. APA, Billy Gunn, Hardcore Holly & Big Show were on the WWF Side, as Shane contributed Mark Jindrak, Sean Stasiak, Chuck Palumbo, Chris Kanyon and Sean O’Haire. Shane informs his dad that he will assume command of the combined forces and then leaves. Vince tells his guys to ignore Shane and do things the WWF way. Great - a recipe for disaster...
Of course, as soon as the combined WCW and WWF wrestlers are in the ring, a big fight breaks out. The WCW guys are forced out of the ring. At this point the 10 ECW guys arrive and proceed to beat the tar out of the 5 WWF guys. On the outside, Shane regroups his troops and they re-enter the ring and face off against the ECW renegades...for a moment...then suddenly 10 rebels become 15 as the ECW and WCW forces combine to kick the 5 WWF wrestlers' butts!!! Vince runs out to the ramp demanding to know what is going on. Shane explains that he decided that since he couldn't compete with his father's checkbook, he decided to co-opt the ECW stars and merge them into his organization. He then introduced the new owner of the combined WCW/ECW promotion - Stephanie McMahon!!!! Vince is crushed and JR is screaming imprecations as the program goes off the air.
Amazing! That was one of the most exciting wrestling programs I have ever seen. Nobody predicted these developments. Vince McMahon just may be a genius after all...
At least that's the way I see it...
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