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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

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

Kurt Angle takes the Hardcore Crown
...then loses it back to RVD

Tajiri Wins the WCW US Title

Crossface Connection

by John Cross

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

All Pro Wrestling News

by Jermz

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

Part 14 by Ervin Griffin, Jr.

No Chance: The Inside Story of
Vince McMahon and the WWF

Book review by Earl Oliver

Volume 6, Issue 648 - September 10, 2001
Editor's Note: In this edition we have some APA News, our weekly Crossface Connection column from John Cross, the conclusion of the DDP/Kimberly Biography from Solie's house historian, Ervin Griffin, and my own TV Reports and topical rants.

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

To begin this edition, here is my review of a new wrestling book, which I received in the mail on Wednesday.


No Chance: The Inside Story of Vince McMahon and the WWF

By Clif Droke

A book review by Earl Oliver

Before I get into this review, I want to say that I enjoyed reading this book. I will tell you right off the bat, however, that this reads more like a series of magazine articles gathered under one cover, then a book as such.

I would classify this as "after dinner reading", meaning that it can be easily read in the time between when you finish eating and when you go to bed, without having to stay up past your normal bedtime to do so. At 115 pages, this is a slim volume to say the least. You would think, with a character as ripe as Vince McMahon, this author could find more to say about him.

The brevity of this "tome" is exacerbated by the paucity of its original information. In fact, almost half of the book is reprinted from various articles and interviews, including the Bob Costas and Inside Edition interviews with Vince McMahon, and Greg Oliver's (no relation) interview with Bret Hart, which are reprinted verbatim. Not that these transcripts aren't fascinating material in and of themselves - but they do take up and awful lot of the real estate therein.

In reading Chapter 1, entitled, "Vince McMahon the Man", I was struck immediately by the feeling that I had read these words somewhere before. As I read on through the first three pages I became mistakenly convinced that our author was guilty of plagiarism! In the next section of that chapter, the focus changed from Vince McMahon the elder to Vince McMahon the younger and here the material was apparently original. At the end of the chapter, there were some footnotes which revealed the source of my confusion. Those first three pages were indeed lifted word-for-word from an article by Lou Sahadi called, "Vince McMahon: The Tradition Lives On" (this article is, in fact, reprinted in the Articles section of this web site) and Mr. Droke, or the publisher (who would appear to be Mr. Droke) misplaced the footnote reference numbers. It would seem that some tightening up on the editing might be in order before this book is released to the public.

In the press release, which I received along with this promotional copy, the following statement is made:

I searched in vain for the above information. I actually read the book twice (in one afternoon!) trying to uncover Vince's pending "business coup". As to the story about institutional firms accumulating WWFE stock - I didn't find that in there either. In fact, Mr. Droke's theory about WWFE's business future seemed rather bleak as I read it in the book itself (Chapter 6 is entitled, "The Financial Demise of Vince McMahon and the WWF"). I also was not able to find any mention of a pending deal with a "Big Three" network. The closest thing to this latter claim would have been the XFL's deal with NBC - and we all know how that turned out. As a matter of fact, the author does a pretty thorough job of laying out that entire fiasco within the pages of the book.

One has to wonder whether Mr. Droke reread his own book before he wrote the promotional copy. Maybe he was thinking of stuff he meant to include...

It was in the aforementioned Chapter 6 where I found some of the most interesting reading. Although none of the revelations in it could be described as "breathtaking", the author's excerpts from the WWFE stock prospectus would be sufficient to give anyone contemplating investment in the company the "willies".

Despite its faults, repetitions and hyperbole (at one point, Droke refers to the WWF as, "...the world's largest entertainment empire..." - sorry Clif, I think Time-Warner, Disney, and a few others would probably dispute that claim), I have to say (again) that this was actually an enjoyable read. There is no denying that Vince McMahon is a fascinating character, and Mr. Droke has done an admirable job of researching his facts and laying them out for our perusal. And I can't say that I found any serious inaccuracies, which tend to crop up in droves in wrestling business books of this sort (See my review of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wrestling" for an example) - so that is another point in Droke's favor.

Interestingly, I looked this book up on Amazon.com, and there it is called, "No Chance: The Sordid Story of Vince McMahon Jr. and the WWF". Possibly a more appropriate title...

Whether or not this book breaks new ground, as stated in the promotional copy, is doubtful. Would I pay $10.00 (plus $2.50 shipping and handling) for this book? Probably. Would I recommend that my readers do the same? Well, that's another question...


No Chance: The Inside Story of Vince McMahon and the WWF by Clif Droke (ISMB:09707283-3-6) is available for $10.00 + $2.50 shipping from Publishing Concepts, 1101 Holston Ave., Bristol, TN 37620. Also available on line from Amazon.com (for $17.00!) Publisher guarantees satisfaction.

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

by Ervin Griffin, Jr. Part 14: Exile

After the stinging betrayal of his wife Kimberly Page, DDP found his life to be spinning out of control both personally and professionally (just following the angle). With Kim a firm member of The New Blood, DDP was fighting a physical and emotional battle.

Kimberly would make strikes at DDP by demanding a divorce and sending various N.B. members after DDP, namely Jeff Jarrett, Tank Abbott and Mike Awesome. DDP, however, would combat with tactics of his own with the aid of Chris Kanyon and Kevin Nash. During this difficult period, DDP actually regained the WCW World Title from Jarrett in a cage match on WCW Nitro. Two nights later, however, Page would lose the title in a tag team match to............DAVID ARQUETTE! That's right, the terrible comedy actor was Page's partner during that bout against Jarrett and Eric Bischoff and got the pin on Bischoff. Later, this would be revealed to be a plot as at WCW Slamboree, DDP lost the title back to Jarrett after Arquette turned on DDP and helped Jarrett regain the WCW title in a three tier cage bout! This bout also saw Mike Awesome hurl Chris Kanyon from the top of the cage to the stage platform below!

Kanyon was seemingly injured and confined to a wheelchair but this turned out to be a big hoax too because at WCW Great American Bash, DDP lost an "Ambulance Match" to Awesome when Kanyon used DDP's own "Diamond Cutter" move against him!

This betrayal was too much for DDP to take as he walked out of WCW the following night. Meanwhile, Kanyon took to mocking DDP by pretending to be him from the tights, wig, the finisher and even had Kimberly accompanying him for a time!

Meanwhile, things off camera began to go sour for Kimberly as she had creative problems with WCW staff over her character. The main people cited were Vince Russo and even Scott Steiner. Also, the "feud" with her husband was beginning to take a toll on their marriage off camera. These problems led to Kimberly leaving WCW entirely and has not been seen at a pro wrestling event since.

A few months later, DDP made a surprise return as the partner of "Big Sexy" Kevin Nash! The two were even WCW World Tag Team Champions for a time. Later, when "Nature Boy" Ric Flair came into power in WCW, Page and Nash went to war with Flair and his "Magnificent Seven" which included, Scott Steiner, Rick Steiner, Lex Luger, Buff Bagwell, Jeff Jarrett, Road Warrior Animal and Flair himself. DDP ultimately challenged Steiner for the WCW World Title at WCW Greed in March of this year and lost. This would be the last appearance of DDP under the old WCW, though he did do a taped interview for the final Nitro on TNT. In it, he says that "his ride is just beginning." We now know what that meant as he is currently a key player in the WCW/ECW VS. WWF angle, feuding with The Undertaker!

Now, in my view, Page is one of the most unlikely superstars. From a manager to a commentator to a wrestler! Page went the reverse, impractical way to success but he is just that, a success. As for his wife, Kimberly was one of the most beloved women in pro wrestling. While she certainly doesn't need the industry to succeed (anyone with her education background has the skills to do whatever they want), it wouldn't break my heart to see her again! True, the industry will not die without her and she won't dry up without the industry but still..........ah well!!

Hope you enjoyed the ride into the career of the Faulkenbergs (aka The Pages)! See ya!

If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at griffiev@hotmail.com or griffiev@yahoo.com

Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and formerly contributed to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis. Many of his previous articles are available in the Articles section of the website. Check out Ervin's Pro-Wrestling Fan Fiction web site.



All Pro Wrestling News

by Jermz

RECKLESS YOUTH OUT OF KING OF INDIES TOURNAMENT

It has been reported on allprowrestling.com by Michael Tavares, that Reckless Youth is going to be out of action for the remainder of the year, meaning he would have to miss the King Of Indies tournament, which he was to take part in this coming October. Tavares reportedly got the news from Jeff Bradley that Reckless has a torn disc and a contusion in his lower back and hip area. He is currently undergoing physical therapy with the hope that he will be able to make a comeback in early 2002.

This leaves another opening for the King Of Indies sixteen-man tournament, which now has seven empty slots. The next two or three weeks should be very interesting as well as very productive as far as the tournament goes. Expect the final six names to be announced soon, as well as the replacement of Reckless.

As more news comes along regarding Reckless Youth's condition, you will be updated here in the APW newsletter. We would like to wish him the best in his recovery, and look forward to seeing him back in the ring in 2002.

APW AROUND THE WORLD

Pro Wrestling NOAH's results for the week of September 4th through September 9th involving three of APW's top superstars, Donovan Morgan, Michael Modest & Mark Smith (thanks to puroresupower.com) Sep.4th at Tagajo City Gym in Tagajo City:

Sep.5th at Iwate Prefectural Gym in Morioka City (Samurai TV Taping): Sep.6th at Aomori Prefectural Budokah in Hirosaki City: Sep.8th at Nagoaka City Kousei Hall in Nagaoka City: Sep.9th at Differ Ariake in Tokyo:

Modest, Morgan & Smith are coming back to California early this week. NOAH's next tour is a tag team tournament which will be taking place October 6th through 19th.

NEW VINNY MASSARO SITE

There is a new Official Website of APW's "Innovator" Vincenzo Massaro. Right now the page can be accessed by going to allprowrestling.com and finding Massaro's profile in the "superstars" section. There you will find a link to the new & improved Vincenzo Massaro page. The page is expected to soon have a domain name for easier access. This is your one-stop-spot for all information you need on Vincenzo Massaro.


Crossface Connection

by John Cross

I want to start by saying that I am a Notre Dame fan. I know that my boys in Gold and Blue got key-holed in Nebraska, but they will be back.

OK....that being said, letís get to the Connection, before I hear all about it from the readers who dislike "real" sports.

I have been studying the subject of wrestling angles this week. I figure that since this age in pro wrestling could be "The Age of the Angle", I had better hone my skills on the subject.

Letís face it....the wrestling in the ring can be said to play a second fiddle, at times, to the soap opera that Vince has created from wrestling (and that is a FACT....not an opinion). Proof of that is obvious....if Vince decided it was OK to waste 45 minutes to an hour of each show on non-wrestling programming, it must be working in his favor somehow. If the current fan base wanted more wrestling, I think we would see the ratings drop a little more precipitously. People watch for the melodrama, then for the action. Tying it in makes it all work well. The WWF has done it best, and the inability to tie it together helped doom the WCW.

So, I have come up with the following scenario. It is a basic outline of how a main-event angle works in the WWF. Follow me on this:

Week 1-- The heel worker usually starts the angles, basing it on some sort of slight (accidental or contrived), but sometimes the face worker is using the familiar "Challenge" angle. Face wrestler challenges heel wrestler to a championship match. The first show usually involves no more than jawing between the two parties, either directly of indirectly. That is because both guys are usually in the later stages of previous angles at the same time. The second show will feature a run-in, predominantly by the heel, to put the screw job on the face during an important match. This happens all the time at PPVís.

Week 2 -- The face worker, justly angered by the heelís cowardly attack, arrives at the arena and stalks the heel throughout the night. The heel manages to avoid the face for the majority of the night, until he is set upon during the main-event. The face runs in and makes the save for some poor upper mid-carder who angered the star heel by working a superb match. Thus, the mid-carder face is put over by the main-event face, and the heel backs away, sputtering and vowing revenge. The next show involves little personal contact between the two, as either one is not at the show, one has been banned (for his own safety...this happens to the face wrestler mostly), or for whatever reason. This lets Vince and the Booking Committee cool the feud off a bit, so it can be properly built for the PPV.

Week 3 and 4 -- Basically this is a tit-for-tat period, where the heel will screw the face, and the next night it is vice-versa. If you watch these angles run, you will notice (like you havenít already) that the heel and face alternate beatdowns every show. In the last show before the PPV, the guy destined to win at the PPV gets his clock cleaned, pressed, and delivered in a plain brown box.

PPV 1 --- The winner of the match, as it is pretty predictable from who won the Thursday before, can not be assumed to have won the feud. Also, because there are a very limited number of main-eventers in the federations that function on nation-wide TV (all 1 of them), we are only half done with this angle. The next angle, involving these two workers, will be hinted at heavily during the PPV.

Week 5 -- If the face won at the PPV, the heel will come out, outraged that "his" match was rigged, the face has his belt, etc. We have all heard that about twenty-thousand times before. Now, if the heel won, it involved some sort of run-in or foreign object....rule breaking was somewhere involved for the heel to win. Of course, the rightous indignation of the face is shown. No challenge is set, though...it is merely implied. However, we all know that these two are stuck feuding with each other for another 5 weeks, because they arenít yet involved in other angles.

Week 6 -- We now see other faces and heel brought in to give added dimension to the feud. Face against heel tag matches are common in this stage of the program. We can call this part the "middle age" of the angle, as the two workers have faced each other three or four times to this point, and the fans are ready for something a bit different. The alternating beatdowns start to make a return.

Week 7 -- This is when we see the "extracurricular" activities. Angle throwing Austin into the wading pool, and Angleís medals going into the drink are good examples of this stage in an angleís development. This injects a lot more vigor into the angle, if done properly. Austin blowing,up HHHís bus is another example.

Week 8 and 9 -- See Week 6. However, the big thing that happens now is that the new angles for each protagonist are being set up.

PPV 2 -- Usually, the face worker wins at this point. If this happens, most angles will end here, to be replaced with new ones on Raw. If the heel wins, though, the faceís new feud will be with the guy who did the run-in. Main event feuds that end with a heel winning almost always involve a run-in, or a screwjob.

Well, there you go. I hope this departure satisfied you readers who are wanting for something a little different. If you still aren't happy, then I cant help you. It may make you feel better if you keep the dial here, at Soles. You can dive in and digest all the wrestling history and info you could ever desire on any drunken night. If you want the latest news, rumors, and results, plus great commentary from great fans, come over to www.bodyslam.cc.

See you next week with another Connection.



The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

SmackDown comes to us live from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for a special Tuesday night edition which opens with scenes from last night's incidents on the bridges of Toronto. It was so funny hearing Austin saying, "I can't cry..." then immediately switching to, "I'll cry..." I think it is the only time I remember him actually being funny in recent memory... It should be real interesting to hear what kind of spin Austin tries to put on all of this tonight.

But first, lets have a tag team match featuring the Hardey Boyz (w/Lita) in their first match together since Jeff injured his ribs a while back, taking on the unlikely duo of Justin Credible and Raven (w/Terri). This is very strange to see the latter team working together, when you consider their antagonistic relationship in ECW. Of course, as could be expected, the opposition went right for Jeff and his injured ribs, attempting to isolate him early on. Jeff finally got his head up under Raven's chin and delivered a jawbreaker to escape and tag in his brother. Jeff continued to be involved in the action and even delivered the illegal swanton bomb that allowed Matt to get the tag. After the match, Terri foolishly decided to get in Lita's face and got treated to a Twist of Fate for her trouble.

Backstage, Steve Austin faces his compatriots for the first time since his humiliation of the night before. They are clearly embarrassed for him, but he claims that he "...did it for them", that if he hadn't felt responsible for them, he would have told Kurt Angle to go ahead and do his worst. Right... As he is speaking, Chavo Guerrero arrives late. Steve brushes aside his excuses and attacks him brutally, then shoves Debra toward the door and leaves.

Christian heads for the ring as we return from the break. No doubt he intends to explain his action of last evening, when he turned on his brother, Edge. He claims that last night was "one of the greatest nights" of his life, and manages to work in an insult directed at his hometown crowd. He expresses his jealousy of his brother by claiming that other people are jealous of him, claiming that he was always there for his brother - "... but where were you last night, Edge?" His claim is that Edge let him down last night because he couldn't stand the idea of his brother walking around with singles gold of his own. The crowd pelts him with a "You Suck!" chant. He wants to challenge his brother for the IC Title at the Unforgiven PPV. Edge fails to appear during this rant, but I have little doubt that the match will be made.

Backstage, Sean Stasiak walks into Austin's dressing room and offers him a cup of coffee. Steve takes a drink and burns his mouth. He attacks Stasiak and runs him into a locker, knocking him out (I would have thunk that Sean's head would be a little used to that by now, but what do I know..?) He tells Debra to call the medics...for his mouth...

Stevie Richards comes to the ring after the break to challenge the Undertaker, claiming that it was UT's fault that the RTC broke up. UT answered the challenge (of course) and chased Richards around the ring and up the ramp, where he finally catches him. But then, down at the ring, Brian Adams suddenly appears, and knocked over UT's bike! UT heads back down, only to be back jumped by Brian Clarke! The Brians are back! Kronic is back!! They punked UT then left as a Kronic sign mysteriously appeared in the stands. I have kind of wondered what became of the duo, who enjoyed such great success during the last year of WCW. Now we know...

Back in the Commissioner's office, Shane-o-Mac and Booker T remind Regal that the WCW is property of WCW, which means it is under Shane's jurisdiction. He orders a handicap match for the title at Unforgiven, the Rock to face himself and Booker.

After the break, Debra urges Austin to go and address the public concerning recent events. Next up - Test heads to the ring to face "The None" Billy Gunn (or whatever it is they call him these days). Test dominates the match from the get go. After an extended squash - he took the pin off a big boot to the face.

Backstage, Austin is still contemplating whether or not he will make a public statement. After the break, he appears to have made a decision as he starts to make his way to the ring, but then turns back, only to make his entrance once more and finally go to the ring. In the stands a fan holds a sign reading, "Austin 3:16 says Kurt Angle made me cry..." Another holds up a cardboard cut out of Austin with a sign declaring him as "Jacka$$". Austin declares that he only came to the ring because, "...you guys are a bunch of foreigners..." Uh...no, Steve...you are the foreigner... Austin goes on to recount his manhandling at the hands of our Olympic hero. He refers to the crowd as the "Canadian race", whatever that means... He gets the crowd to respond with a "Hell Yes!" when he asks, "Do you want to see Stone Cold shackled and thrown off a bridge?" He reminds the crowd that he won't be shackled at the PPV, and declares that he won't be beaten. This brings Kurt Angle out to have his say, telling Austin he doesn't care if Steve forgives him, then he shows video footage from last night, begging and crying. Steve protests that he wasn't really doing either. Kurt sows some more footage and Austin goes ballistic, demanding that he stop. Kurt uses Austin's own "What?" line to taunt him, with hilarious effect. He then vows that Austin will see a side of "his Olympic hero" that will make him wish he'd never screwed around with Kurt Angle.

Backstage, after the break, Austin is among his minions again. He declares that the first person who comes through the door is going to be taken to the ring and beaten. In another part of the building, Lillian Garcia interviews the Rock, asking him how he feels about having to defend his title in a handicap match. He turns the tables on her, telling her that he "knows" that she has feelings for Maivia...that she gets wet...with perspiration, standing this close to the Rock. He says he knows how she feels about pie - but how does she feel about strudel? Would she like to try some of the Rock's "strudel?" She finally admits that she would, "...more than anything..." So then he steers the conversation back to the title match situation. He turns to the camera and addresses Shane and Booker T, telling them that it is obvious that they love each other and ought to go ahead and have a baby! He turns back to Lillian and finally answers her initial question. he feels "electrified". He tells her to stop thinking about the Rock's "sturdel...if you smell what the Rock is cookin'!"

Back in the locker room, Steve decides to go out and find someone to beat on. He opens the door - and there stands Rob Van Dam. Steve tells him to talk to the troops about what is going to happen to him, then leaves.

Hurricane Helms comes to the ring looking for trouble...and gets it. He gets to defend his European Title against the Big Show! he states before the match that he will make this short, and it,"...will probably hurt me more then it will you." No doubt that will be the case. Helms manages to avoid contact at first but then TBS cuts off the ring. Helms then goes for a chokeslam!! He can't so it (of course). But then Lance Storm runs in and saves Helm's title by getting him disqualified. They both get chokeslammed for their trouble.

Next up - an 8 man match featuring the APA/Chris Jericho/the Rock vs. the Dudleys/Rhyno/Booker T. This is somewhat of a throw away match in which the Rock appears to be everyone's whipping boy. Toward the end of the match, Shane McMahon got involved and distracted Jericho so that Rhyno could deliver the gore and take the pin.

Bob Holly uses his satellite interview from WWF New York to declare that he is back and ready to rumble.

Back in Austin's dressing room, RVD is told that tonight his name is Kurt Angle. He says, "OK Stone Cold. But my name isn't Kurt Angle, it's (here the crowds chants along) Rob Van Dam." This should be interesting...

The match gets underway after the break and Stone Cold dominates the fight from the get go. Van Dam finally makes a comeback with a spin kick then pummels Austin in the corner until Stone Cold pokes him in the eye. The match goes into see saw mode until RVD launches himself only to be levered over the corner post and onto the floor. Outside the ring, Austin tosses his opponent over the security railing then follows him over, only to find himself brought up short as Van Dam unleashes an onslaught that forces the Rattlesnake back into the ringside area. Austin regains the advantage and chokes Van Dam with a boot to the throat as he lays on the floor. Back in the ring, the fight returns to see saw mode, then tumbles out to the floor again, where RVD suplexes Austin on the ramp. Back inside again, and Austin is back in control. He applies a reverse chin lock, planting his knee in the small of Van Dam's back. Van dam escapes and is back on his feet when Austin goes for a Stunner, but fails, then takes a drop kick in the face. Austin comes back with a chair and takes the Van Daminator (although they don't refer to it that way). RVD goes for the 5 Star Splash, but misses. Austin hits a stunner...then slaps on an ankle lock! Suddenly Kurt Angle's music plays. There is no sign of Angle, but Stone Cold is distracted...and rolled up and pinned! Kurt appears on the platform as the program fades.

That was a pretty good show. That makes two in a row.


Raw is live from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, TX where Steve Austin led his troops down to the ring to open the show. Feigning anger at Rob Van Dam, he eventually admits that he likes the cocky young Hardcore Champion because of his confidence and brashness. He embraces the man who pinned him last week on SmackDown. Then they announce that RVD will take on Kurt Angle on the program tonight. Test comes down next and expresses confidence that he can take out the Rock in a non-title battle later on the show. Kanyon then gets into the act by challenging any WWF wrestler to take him on for the WCW US Title. Finally, Tazz responds to the call for confident athletes by telling Austin that he (Tazz) expects the Rattlesnake to be beaten at the Unforgiven PPV! Austin's response is to deliver a Stunner then order his thugs to pounce on the helpless former ECW Champ. The funny thing about this little skit is that each of these Alliance members manages to get in a little dig at Austin himself during their speeches. Test mentions that, "...no one good ever came out of Texas." Kanyon alludes to throwing out his challenge, "...just like Kurt Angle threatened to throw Austin off a bridge last week." For RVD's part, his smirking presence throughout Austin's self serving tirade is clearly not at all respectful of the Alliance "leader". Does anybody else see Austin coming to the end of his rope at some point soon? Like maybe, after he loses his title at Unforgiven..?

Christian comes down to a new, very weird, theme song to take on "The None" Billy Gunn. Christian wins this one in short order, using the ropes for leverage to get the pin, and then is attacked after the pinfall. He recovers, however, and gets his revenge with a one man Con-chair-toe.

Seemingly having patched up their differences, Test and Stephanie watch the action together on a backstage monitor. Test allows that breaking up with Stephanie was good for him because it toughened him up. Steph announced that her former fiancť will take on the Rock in a handicap match, with Test's partner being chosen by the WCW Champ...huh? test says that it is ideas like that that have made Stephanie the most dominant woman in sports entertainment. Okay, test, if you say so...

Backstage, Lance Storm congratulates the Hurricane on his super hero "act". Helms is pleased by the compliment, but expresses confusion, saying that he really is a super hero. He goes off to find "Psychic" Ivory for their mixed tag match, which is next. This guy is starting to crack me up...

The opponents are the Hardeys and Lita. This has the potential to be a great match. Helms, with his in-ring antics, is the first victim of the Hardeys' superior team work, but he recovers quickly and tags in Storm who goes on a tear. He subdues Jeff, then tags Helms back in to continue the assault. Jeff is isolated for several exchanges. Helms does a great bit, putting his cape on for a flying cross body during which he poses in mid-air like Superman in flight. Ivory then whips the cape off of him right on cue and the match continues. When the ladies finally get into it, Lita dominates her opponent and the WWF team takes the advantage for the first time in the match. In the end, it is Lita who takes out Ivory with an assist from her boyfriend.

Mike Cole (the new Kevin Kelly) had the temerity to barge into the Rock's dressing room while he was getting out of the shower. He is accused of looking at "the People's Strudel". In another part of the building, APA are in the middle of a poker game when Y2J bursts in and reminds them that they have a 6 man match coming up next. Meanwhile, in the Commissioner's office, Tajiri is fondling Torrie Wilson while Willy Regal rants. They have a conversation, but I am too busy watching Torrie squirm to make out what they are talking about... (I think it involves Kanyon) Back at the Rock's door, Cole gets his interview with Maivia, who is pondering the choice he has to make - Test's partner for the handicap match later. He decides that person has to be fast, easy and have no testicles. The logical choice is...Stephanie McMahon! He sings a hilarious variation on the Wedding March which refers to Steph's artificial enhancements...

The Dudley Boyz and Rhino took on APA and Chris Jericho in an intense battle which ended abruptly after a missed gore was followed by a Clothesline from Hell and a Lionsault.

Backstage, Stephanie is outraged at the Rock's decision and derision. test wants to take on Maivia on his own, but Steph is insistent that she wants to help him out. Meanwhile, Booker T and the Undertaker were shown in their respective dressng rooms, getting ready to do battle.

After the break, RVD walks in on the Austin's relaxing in their dressing room. Rob suggests to the Alliance Leader that he should put his title on the line against Angle. Austin compliments RVD, telling him he sees him as the next Stone Cold in about five or ten years. Van Dam replies that he is just fine being RVD.

In the middle of a pretty good match between the Undertaker and Booker T, Stevie Richards ran in and spoiled it all. His distraction gave Booker the chance to sneak in a scissors kick and take the pin. UT was ready to deliver the Last Ride on Richards when Kronic showed up and handed him his head. I see a great feud brewing if Kane ever reappears...

On the phone, outside the arena, Stephanie argued with her brother, who tries to talk her out of participating in the handicap match. She hangs up on him.

Kanyon dominated his title defense right up to the moment when Tajiri sprayed green mist in his face. Tajiri took the pin and the US Title.

Backstage, RVD and Stone Cold stood face to face as Austin ordered Van Dam to beat the hell out of Angle for the entire Alliance. RVD said he would go out and do what Austin couldn't do at SummerSlam, "...beat Kurt Angle with a 1-2-3. Because I'm RV-" "I know who you are!" Austin angrily cut in. He told Van Dam to go out and get it done.

The Kurt Angle/Rob Van Dam Hardcore Title battle was a brutal contest. Angle is really outdoing himself these days, showing that he can brawl with the best of them. He eventually forces RVD to tap out with an ankle lock up on the platform. But Steve Austin shows up knocks Angle to the floor. He demands that the 24/7 rule be observed and the match restarted. He then tosses Van dam on top of Angle! Van Dam retakes the title with a pinfall on the floor. Angle is taken out of the arena on a stretcher.

Stephanie joins the broadcast team for the handicap match. Early on, Test knocks the Rock to the floor and allows Stephanie to deliver a series of kicks to the WCW Champ. Back in the ring, Test goes for the pin but fails. The Rock came back with a DDT and the match went into see saw mode. The Roc takes the upper hand and readies a People's Elbow, but Stephanie grabs his ankle as he nears the ropes. This distracts the People's Champ, who takes a bog boot to the face. Steph goes for the pin but fails. Meanwhile, here comes Booker T down to ringside. He arrives just in time to catch Stephanie as she is knocked off the apron. Test, who had crashed into Steph, turns back and walks right into a Rock Bottom. Maivia retains his title.

Backstage, Mike Cole interviews Steve Austin who professes no concern whatsoever over Kurt Angle's possible injuries. He added some rough treatment to end the interview.

Another good show...

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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