Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
You can get more of the latest news and rumors by listening to this week's Solie's Wrestling Radio report.
I am going to take a break from my usual approach to FLASHBACK and focus on the new angle with WCW U.S. Champion Kurt Angle defecting to the Alliance prior to November 18th Survivor Series in Greensboro, NC (just two hours from me/damn I wish I didn't have to work!/LOL). I will also discuss this SS match and how it COULD play out.
While it can be debated on how terrible this move was, it was at least an attempt to break the monotony that has dominated WWF programming in the last couple of months. A miserable attempt but an attempt nonetheless.
Still, I find myself agreeing with WWF star Mick Foley on this one. It seems that the writers are just pulling stuff out their butts just to try to get higher ratings. This wrecks of the old WCW way of booking and this is not what the WWF needs right now!
For example, can someone explain to me how the hell did Linda & Vince get back together? Weren't these two on their way to Divorce Court? If it was called off, then how? This is a VERY big hole in the storyline! Also, seeing that it was just a few months ago that "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was brow-beating Triple H verbally right after his injury and a venomous response from Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley to Austin, how are these two co-existing?!
Finally, the Kurt Angle heel turn. Again, I give them credit for trying something different but this was a bad move. In fact, why have anyone turn on the WWF at this point? The only rational explanation I can see there is that Vince COULD be setting up the Alliance for a big downfall. If this happens, it will come from one of three sources: 1.Kurt Angle - This turn was waaaaay to convienent and out of the blue! It is very conceivable for Vince's character to send Angle in as part of the Alliance only to have him turn on them at SS! Speaking of moles...........
2."Stone Cold" Steve Austin - This one is highly unlikely but very likely at the same time! After all, if there is no WWF, then SCSA can't claim to be WWF Champion and the only thing that the SCSA character cares about more than life itself is that Championship so it is very likely that he would turn on the Alliance just to save his belt.
3.Rob Van Damn - Regardless of the outcome, look for RVD to leave the Alliance and branch out on his own. Backstage politics and complaints about his style aside, this is a tremendous performer and should be no worse than upper mid-card. Now, if the WWF loses (don't laugh, I wouldn't put it past Vince to let the WWF lose only to have them return for, SAY, WrestleMania X-8), it will probably come from these three possibilities:
2.Chris Jericho - Remember, the Jericho character was a heel when he first came to the WWF. He became a face by default when he began to feud with then-heel Kurt Angle and later Triple H! A heel turn here would be very keeping with his old WCW character. Also, a catalyst here could be none other than........STEPHANIE MCMAHON-HELMSLEY! Think about it, this could be the classic "hidden love" angle that was teased when Angle feuded with Triple H back in the Summer of 2000. Only this time, Steph could turn on her husband for real and go with Y2J, revealing that all those insults were actually sick, twisted admiration for each other and also in keeping with Steph's character as well.
3.The Rock - The most unlikely but still possible one here. While many want The Rock to return to a heel persona, it is unlikely with all the popularity he's enjoying in the mainstream. Promoters would probably want him to stay a face to keep the momentum going so I don't think they'll turn him.
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 been reading all the very, truly erudite e-opinions about last Monday’s heel turn of Kurt Angle, and I understand the reasons why everyone is blathering on about it.
I get the fact that the guy ws only just starting to get some depth to his face character, and I realize that the face push he was getting was very effective. In fact, he was the #2 face, behind the Rock, in my opinion. Add to that the fact that he was the last WWF main-eventer to have turned (Jericho doesn't count, as he hasn't ‘turned’), and I can see why there is consternation. He would have been the last person many people would have thought would turn heel, and join the Alliance.
Hey, I was as dismayed as a lot of these writers are. I couldn't figure who would go over, but I had my suspicions. Rock would have been the least likely, according to popular opinion, so he was immediately on the top of my list. Then, Kane would have been next. Jericho was so heavily hinted at going over, I knew he wouldn't be the one. Angle would have been less likely than Jericho, in my book, and I knew that the Undertaker would not allow himself to be moved over to what is now the junior league.
As the show progressed, I couldn't put my finger on who would turn, or what would happen. I figured Jericho and the Rock wouldn't turn, especially after their match. One of them will probably go over to the Alliance later. When Vince spoke to the Undertaker and Kane, it was so negative, and so hinting at an Undertaker turn, that I knew that he would stay (Rule #17 in WWF storylines---never take the obvious hint). So, I was pretty clueless until the final match.
As soon as Angle hit the ring, I knew he would be going over. First off, he had the chair, and that is the current weapon of choice for rule-breakers. Secondly, he ran in last, thus securing the fact that he was the one to turn. See, if you run in last, you are the one to either clear the ring, or turn heel. Since no one had turned yet, Kurt had to be the one.
So, as Star Trek: The Next Generation started, I continued to sit, lost in my torn-up emotions, trying to piece together the fragments of my shattered mind (is that a Gordon Lightfoot song?). I had that high-in-the-gut tension and angst that is a result of something sure gone bad. I asked myself, why? The American Hero, awash in praise and red, white, and blue, has joined the side of wrong, and chaos. How can I go on? Is there no fairness? Is there no justice?
OK....it wasn't that bad. However, I was disappointed that Kurt turned heel, and joined the Alliance.
And, as DDP says, that is not a bad thing, it is a good thing!
Why? Well, you deserve my opinion on that (and that is a FACT....not an opinion), so I will share, being the good neighbor that I am.
I have preached a myriad of things in this column, and one of the top topics I have entertained is that the wrestling in Pro Wrestling takes second stage to the entertainment in Sports Entertainment. Storylines take precedence over the in-ring action. I really dislike that fact, and it is a fact. Why else would someone like Chris Benoit not immediately be a World Title holder? So, it takes a good angle to get my attention, or a good situation to pique my interest.
I have also admitted to you that I mark out for certain wrestlers.....first and foremost are Mick Foley (Mankind persona) and the Undertaker (any persona, save the Ministry). Kurt Angle was slowly penetrating into that hallowed ground, in my estimation, and was almost on a par with lo’ UT. Why? I am a sucker for any wrestler who waves the Flag. It may be a weakness, but it cannot be helped. Also, the way he has worked, work or shoot, when he has been hurt (HHH's piledriver mishap, RVD’d clumsiness, etc.), and his desire to do what is needed, be it winning or jobbing, to forward the interests of the whole, have impressed me. I said that he was the real deal, in my other column (the Crossface Corner, over on bodyslam.cc), about 13 months ago. I really like Kurt Angle.
So, when he turned, I was down about it. That is what makes it so damned effective.
I am not the only person put off by this turn, but I bet I am the first to admit that I was upset because I had marked out for a face Kurt Angle, and not because of some pedantic, rambling, psychological reason better explained by Carl Jung. When the man turned, I was upset, but only because I wanted him to stay a good guy. The feeling was totally emotional, and not based on logic.
Again, a good thing. If you sit and try to logically figure out Pro Wrestling, you will come to some stark conclusions about our species. All of the serious Pro Wrestling columnists (I hope I can be considered as such) look at wrestling with the logic of that universe, and only translate the information learned or observed into the logic of this one. It is scripted violence, high drama, and soap opera, and we must learn to view it in those parameters to enjoy it. It fails to entertain us if we start to assume their rules are the same as ours.
How else can you survive such emotional trauma?
Don’t worry...I have rationalized that Kurt is a plant, and that he will come back home to the good side at Survivor Series. He will pull the screw-job on RVD, for all those idiotic stiff shots and heavy suplexes.
Christmas is coming, and I have gone to Solie's Storefront and purchased a book for my sister, who is on the learning curve where wrestling is concerned. You should go there, too, and spend some dough for your loved ones. Also, it will help Earl maintain the site here.
On a side note, I was asked by a younger columnist about Soles, and I explained the site to him as a site "...for more educated, mature, and serious fans." Does that sound about right?
Either way, come here for the wrestling history and info, and come to bodyslam.cc for current news, rumors, and results, as well as some great columns (the Crossface Report, Cooler, Corner, Rambler, and Commentary).
See you next week, with another Connection.
by Earl Oliver
SmackDown was taped Tuesday at the Firstar Center in Cincinnati, Ohio and opened with the video evidence of Kurt Angle's perfidy.
The Rock and Chris Jericho defended their Tag Team titles against arch rivals Test and Booker T in the opening match. The usual miscues happened, of course, between the feuding partners - and, of course, it was Jericho who "accidentally" drop kicked his partner and allowed the pinfall that ended their partnership...and their grip on the titles. In the aftermath, Maivia and Jericho started finger pointing and got into it. Jericho was Rock Bottomed twice.
Backstage, Vince McMahon bawled the Rock out, telling him he needed to make peace with Jericho because they will have to work together at the Survivor Series. Maivia was explaining that he would always give his all for the WWF when Jericho burst in and was restrained by a phalanx of referees. Vince shoved the Rock out the door then started yelling at Jericho.
Matt walked in on Jeff while he was examining the bruise under Lita's eye. When Matt expressed some displeasure at the closeness of the two, Lita turned on him and said that at least Jeff was showing some concern, then she wanted Matt to explain his recent encounters with Stacy Keibler. She stormed out, leaving Matt to tell Jeff that he felt he had apologized enough for his actions.
This dynamic figured in the next match - a 6 person tag battle pitting the Hardeys and Lita against the Dudleys and Stacy. Toward the end, Matt accidentally knocked Lita off the apron. Jeff rushed out of the ring to check on her, leaving his brothers at the mercy of the Dudleys' 3D.
In a self serving interview, Kurt Angle rationalized his heel turn to the fans. Pure hogwash...
Kurt Angle defended his US Title against Kane in his first match since the infamous heel turn. Using his vastly superior wrestling skills, Angle still managed to let his opponent dominate him through much of the match until Kane actually tried to lock in an ankle lock. Angle escaped with a forward roll and then he worked mercilessly on Kane's left leg and eventually forced the big guy to tap out with his patented ankle lock, thus retaining his title.
Backstage, Commissioner Regal tried to convince Tajiri that he should join the Alliance. Tajiri refused (surprisingly, at Torrie's urging). Regal pretended to accept the decision, but then suddenly attacked, telling Tajiri that he (Regal) would be his "nemesis" from here on out and challenged him to a match later. Thinking that Tajiri was subdued, Regal turned his attention to Torrie, only to have Tajiri catch him with a kick to the head. Tajiri and Torrie beat a hasty retreat. Meanwhile Stone Cold presented Kurt Angle with an Austin 3:16 hat and then opened a presentation box and handed him...his gold medals!! Austin commented on what a hard time he had "fishing these out of the Detroit River... Angle impulsively hugged his new hero - who turned toward the camera looking grim. Meanwhile, the Rock has a message for Chris Jericho..."just bring it." he wants a WCW Title match on RAW next week.
After the break, Austin and Angle participated in a comedy put down routine with Rob Van Dam that didn't work at all. Tazz suggested in his commentary that Angle could just be a mole in the Alliance, a spy more or less. Hmmmmm....
Rob Van Dam defended the Hardcore Title against Edge. RVD seems to be falling back into his ECW rut of making his matches into demonstrations of how creative he can be using chairs as weapons. This was one of the reasons I was never that impressed with him in ECW. I had hoped he was getting away from that "one-trick-pony" routine, but apparently not. In this match, Edge seemed to be one step ahead of him throughout the battle. In fact, Test showed up a few minutes into the match and provided a boot to the face to give the advantage to RVD for the first time in the match. Van Dam won with his frog splash.
In his response to the Rock's challenge, Jericho told the Rock to bring it on. After the break he walked into the Rock's dressing room and attacked him. The referees showed up and hauled them apart.
William Regal made short work of Tajiri in their one-on-one match then continued to punish him after winning the match. Back in the dressing room, the Undertaker was preparing for his match when Vince came in and started exhorting him to "...bring the WWF Title back tonight." UT told Vince that he intends to kick Austin's butt tonight, but that for doubting his loyalty on SmackDown, Vince could kiss his a$$.
Steve Austin defended his WWF Championship against the Undertaker and started the match by attacking him from behind just as the Dead man dismounted from his motorcycle. Austin exploited his instant advantage, running UT into the corner post and then attempted to ride off with the bike! He had trouble getting it started, however, and ended up being a sitting duck for UT's comeback attack. It was all Undertaker for the next several minutes, as the big guy battered the Champion on the outside. Then he jumped on his bike and tried to run him down, forcing him to dive over the security barrier. UT followed him into the crowd and continued his assault. At this point, the match wasn't yet officially underway! Austin was knocked back into eh ringsdie area where he grabbed the bell and tried to conceal it against his body. As he turned around to use the weapon, UT caught him with a boot to the face, then dragged Austin into the ring, where the bell finally sounded. With Austin reeling, UT waked the ropes and put his opponent down to get a two count. After that, Austin started his comeback with some knee lifts to the abdomen then went for a Stunner - but failed and rolled to the floor, grabbed his title and tried to leave. UT followed him up the ramp and clobbered him then dragged him back to the ring. Austin still had the belt and tried to use it. Again, he was booted to the face. UT got hold of the title, but was distracted by the referee, who warned him not to use the weapon. Austin used his distraction to sneak in a Stunner. UT fell to the floor, followed by Austin who continued the attack. Back in the ring, UT tried a whip, but Austyin came back with a Thesz press. He went for the pin, but failed. They took turns running each others' heads into the corner buckle then traded punches for a while. During this action, the referee was knocked down and out - so Austin grabbed a chair and went to work. He positioned UT's leg wedged in the chair and climbed to the top. But UT pulled himself to his feet and tripped Austin, then used the chair, opening up a cut above his eye. As the referee started to recover, UT prepared for the chokeslam and executed it. But then Kurt Angle ran down and interfered. The match ended in a DQ and UT was punked. Shane McMahon came down with a cooler full of beers. The three of them cracked some brews and celebrated over the Undertaker's prostrated carcass.
Raw came to us live (on tape) from the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island, New York and opened with Vince McMahon strutting to the ring with a rather smug look on his face to announce that the Rock and Chris Jericho are going to have a rematch for the WCW Title and then said he had a major announcement - one that would make WWF history - one that would sound the "death knell" of the Alliance. Someone from the Alliance is coming over to the WWF, according to Vince...at Survivor Series, during the Winner-take-all match. He hinted at naming the wrestler, and then did it! He named Stone Cold Steve Austin!! This brought Austin to the ring to disabuse him of that notion...then put a stunner on him. Afterward, Paul Heyman referred to McMahon as "Vince McSatan" and wanted to know why...he was smiling?
During the break, Austin went back to the dressing room, where the Alliance troops looked at him with suspicion.
The first match of the evening featured Lita vs. Ivory. As could be expected, it started out as a great match. For several minutes these two fine lady wrestlers went at it with a vengeance with Ivory more or less dominating the action. JR speculated that Lita might be suffering some jet lag from her all night flight returning from the UK card over the weekend. About that time, Lita made her comeback and put Ivory on the defensive for a couple of minutes. The Lance Storm showed up to interfere. Matt Hardey ran out to chase him away, but the damage was done. Ivory took the pin on a roll up.
Backstage, Shane looked at Austin a little askance, but finally admitted that his father was a known liar, but maybe there was some truth to his pronouncements. Kurt Angle showed up to ask Austin to cover his back tonight during his match with the Undertaker. Austin wanted to know where the hat he gave Angle was. He agreed to be there for Angle, but after the latter left, he and Shane looked at each other and you could see the gears turning...
Test challenged Edge for the Intercontinental Title. The fight started out on the floor but moments later made it to the ring and the bell was rung. After a pretty good scrap, Test pulled off a pinfall while Edge's feet were under the ropes to win the title.
Backstage, Hurricane showed up in his "secret identity" as a "mild mannered reporter" to interview Christian, who had a Title defense against the super hero later. Christian didn't appear to be fooled... Meanwhile, the Rock told Vince to bring Austin back in because he, "...has been waiting."
In fact, that match was next. Christian taking on Hurricane with the European Title at stake. Christian entered first, and started to make a speech - but the Hurricane arrived just in time to cut him off. Christian won the title, by the way, last Tuesday night at the SmackDown taping, in a match that wasn't televised for some reason. Christian won the match handily to retain his title.
Backstage, Booker T was accusing RVD of being the real traitor - which resulted in a match between the two for later in the program. In another part of the building, Stephanie found Kurt Angle in a hallway and was assured by Angle that he would never defect back to the WWF. Kurt recalled for a moment their quasi romantic relationship of a year or so ago, which seemed to make him a little dreamy - then he snapped out of it and told her he planned to make the Undertaker tap out during their match - coming up next.
In fact, Angle defended the WCW US Title against the Undertaker in the next match, which was a regular knock-down-drag-out affair. Angle, of course, spent a lot of the match working on UT's left knee in order to set up his trademark ankle lock submission hold. The first time he went for it - about 3 minutes into the match - UT managed to kick him off with his good leg. Angle followed up with a fall away suplex then grabbed a front face lock to wear him down. UT fought back to his feet, but was still weakened. A kick to the face caused his own leg to buckle. He managed to apply a chokeslam, but had to raise the left foot off the mat to do it. He went for a Tombstone, but Angle wriggled out of it. UT went for a regular pile driver but Angle reversed the field and grabbed the ankle lock. UT struggled for several seconds - and then he reversed the move!! At that point, Steve Austin kept his promise to Angle and attacked UT - causing a DQ finish. Angle lost, but retained his title.
In a backstage interview, Kurt Angle asserted that Austin's actions proved that he was loyal to the WWF. But Coach suggested that maybe Austin was just doing what he had to in order to maintain a charade...hmmmm...that got Angle to thinking...
The APA and Jacqueline took on the Dudleys and Stacy in the next lopsided inter gender 6 person match Table match. Putting Stacy in against Jacqueline defies any attempt to be believable, especially if they have Stacy's team win...but they didn't - so I guess it was all right. In fact, Stacy's involvement in the match was minimal (she spent most of the match on her hands and knees on the floor outside the ring), and at one point, Jacquie took on D-Von head to head. Faarooq won the thing by putting Bubba through a table with a spine buster.
Backstage, the Rock spouted some catch phrase laden trash talk relating to his WCW World Title rematch against Chris Jericho later tonight. Meanwhile, over at WWF New York, we were introduced to the WWF's latest Tag Team sensation - Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo - I guess that means that the "Big A$$" team is no more.
Next up - Rob van Dam defended his Hardcore Title against Booker T. This is the match that was made earlier to "settle their differences" over Booker's allegations against RVD. So does this mean that if (and when) Booker loses the match, he's going to change his mind about RVD being the traitor? Somehow I doubt it... This was a pretty good hardcore style match which went awry when first Tajiri ran down to attack Willy Regal (who was providing commentary). The end came when the Big Show stormed the ring and chokeslammed both competitors. This prompted the referee to declare a No Contest - which seemed mighty strange when you consider that this was a Hardcore Title match with the 24 hour rule in effect...
Chris Jericho returned fire at the Rock concerning their main event match coming up. The match itself went on and on, with both guys getting in their best shots before it was over. Jericho seemed about to win the match with the Walls of Jericho, but the Rock managed to get to the ropes and then came right back with a roll-up and won the title! Afterward, Jericho caught Maivia by surprise with a shot with the title belt upside his head then gave him two tremendous chair shots to end the program.
Well, they stirred things up a little tonight...
At least that's the way I see it...
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