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.
Supreme lost the Second Annual King of the Deathmatch tournament to Vic Grimes thanks to interference from Rob Black. He then teamed with New Jack to battle the Black Army and got back on track toward winning back his KOTDM title. But what appeared to be an accident, and would later be revealed to be an elaborate set up, would put Supreme on the shelf as The Enterprise burned him alive after putting him through a flaming table! But Supreme would come back and at XPW's Halloween In Hell II this past October, beat Grimes in the first US Exploding Ring Match to become King of the Deathmatch once more!
The former Kid Kaos came into his own an transformed into a cool, cocky, and egomaniacal Mr. Kaos. Using his own uncle (Supreme) to get himself over and then turning his back on his own flesh and blood by aligning with The Enterprise (which lead to the burning incident), Kaos would also prove his in ring abilities when he became the first ever XPW Television Champion!
NOW, ALL THREE TITLES ARE ON THE LINE, SATURDAY NIGHT, NOVEMBER 24!
WEBB will defend the XPW World Title against a Mystery Opponent KAOS will defend the XPW TV Title against an opponent to be named this coming Saturday night on XPW TV and SUPREME will defend the XPW King of the Deathmatch title against STEVE RIZZONO.
Plus, SANDMAN is hot on Webb's trail, NEW JACK still wants the Black Army's ass, but so does KONNAN and LA FAMILIA (PSYCHOSIS, JUVENTUD GUERRERA, DAMIEN 666, and HALLOWEEN).
All this plus more on SATURDAY NIGHT, NOVEMBER 24 LIVE AT THE GRAND OLYMPIC AUDITORIUM IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES
FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION LOG ON TO www.XPWrestling.com or call TicketMaster at 213-480-3232!
Watch 2001 go out with a BANG!
By Roland Alexander, Owner and CEO
I'd like to thank the many APW fans who frequent our message boards who have been more than patient waiting for some answers to the many rumors going around. Let me first preface this by saying that I understand the following address will please some and not please others. Some will say the whole truth is not being spoken while others realize that sometimes every detail cannot be discussed. Remember, you can't please everyone but hopefully, this State of APW Address will answer many of your questions.
KING OF INDIES
I'd like to say that King of Indies 2001 was a huge success. Did we lose money?? Sometimes, I am amused at some of the questions that are asked. Many times, I have come on these boards and talked about how APW loses anywhere from $2,500 to $3,500 per show. We do these shows because we have been a minor league feeding system to bigger federations. These shows are good for the loyal APW fans, the wrestlers, the students of the APW Boot Camp and the pro wrestling industry on a whole. Without television and without a marketing team to underwrite these shows, APW currently does shows with the intent of losing money. Those financial losses should not affect anyone except myself, since APW is currently a sole proprietor, and upper APW management. Those financial losses DO NOT dictate whether a show is successful or not. With that being said, we lost a little over $10,000 on KING OF INDIES but we still deem KING OF INDIES 2001 a success. The one thing about KING OF INDIES that pleased me to no end was that it was the closest we have ever come to promoting a product and/or event that I wanted to be associated with. I can't thank the wrestlers enough that made this tournament the best indy show in the history of indy wrestling, most of them busted their ass and for that, I thank them from the bottom of my heart. I want to thank the LEGENDS from Cauliflower Alley Club that donated their time and I thank them for all the compliments bestowed on the wrestlers, the production staff and the booking team. I want to thank all the APW staff both paid and volunteer and especially the PRODUCTION staff headed by Jason Deadrich and Gabe Ramirez. Those guys along with our ring announcer, Joseph Lee and the wrestlers and fans were the glue that made this event the success it was. When KING OF INDIES first ended, I said to myself, "I could have never expected the tournament to turn out this good. I don't think we could ever do this again"... With some time to reflect back and think, I take that statement back. I believe we can bring in most of the same crew, replace 4 or 5 wrestlers with even better wrestlers and I am confident that KING OF INDIES 2002 will be an event you'll surely not want to miss.
FUTURE APW SHOWS
We feel that KING OF INDIES was the best possible APW event to end the year on. Therefore, the November 24th and December 22nd shows have been canceled and anyone calling the PACIFIC SPORTS CENTER could have gotten that information. Same can be said with those trying to acquire tickets through TICKETS.COM... We canceled those shows immediately after KING OF INDIES. We are going to take the holidays to regroup and restructure APW Events.
What direction are APW events going in?? Well, it is no secret APW has high standards and expectations every time we go out and do a live event. It is well documented by fans, wrestling legends and indy wrestlers alike that we set a new standard in APW and in pro wrestling with KING OF INDIES 2001. Mr. Nick Bockwinkle, one of the more respected legends and Vice President of Cauliflower Alley, said it himself at the conclusion of the awards ceremony.
We are going to take the next couple of months to restructure and fine tune our product and production. What are we leaning towards as of today??
There has been talk of doing back-to-back shows and utilizing the same talent roster used in KING OF INDIES 2001. APW also feels we need more time in between shows to properly market the shows. At the same time, the Boot Camp graduates and current students need as much experience and exposure as they possibly can receive. Therefore, there is a chance we will continue to do local fund-raisers throughout the year with a smaller budget that will enable us to do more of them but we would like to continue to do major shows on a quarterly basis utilizing the back-to-back suggestions brought up in staff meetings.
The time off at the end of 2001 will give us an opportunity to regroup and get us ready for shows for the year 2002. Keep in mind, our greatest value as a promotion has been the varied entertainment we provide at an APW event. In the Gym Warz days, we had guys who could wrestle, guys who did hardcore and guys who did the lucha high flying. The product you saw in KING OF INDIES was similar only we replaced the hardcore stuff with AMATEUR/SHOOTFIGHTING/MARTIAL ARTS... So, yes, we will have wrestlers that excel in martial arts like a Low Ki or Samoa Joe. We will continue to have the greatest flyers in the country with Christopher Daniels, A. J. Styles and the Jardi Frantz's of the wrestling world. We will also continue to attempt to book the true real wrestlers of the wrestling world. We will continue to use guys like American Dragon and Doug Williams that can really go out there and wrestle with the best of them. Stay tuned to our website for details on our first big show of the year 2002.
APW BOOT CAMP
We regret to announce that on Monday, November 5th, Donovan Morgan submitted his resignation as HEAD CAMP INSTRUCTOR of the APW Boot Camp. Donovan will sorely be missed. Donovan did an outstanding job in taking over for Michael Modest when he stepped down for the Urban Wrestling League. Many don't know this but Donovan was valuable in many other ways to APW. He was responsible for the Boot Camp marketing as well as many other miscellaneous duties. He in essence, was my right hand man.
Over KING OF INDIES weekend, we interviewed AMERICAN DRAGON and SPANKY for positions on the APW BOOT CAMP staff. We are always looking to bolster the APW staff. Since Donovan became a regular in JAPAN for NOAH, there is no doubt, the Boot Camp has suffered because of his availability being only part-time, 2 weeks out of every month. Not that assistants like Vinny Massarro and Bison Smith were not doing a good job, they were. But, they could never do the job Donovan Morgan was doing with the Boot Camp. In APW, we have always had a tradition of grooming our instructors. Unfortunately, we felt nobody had been groomed to replace a Donovan Morgan so we have been seriously considering bringing in someone that can do the job full time. Donovan would had continued to oversee the Boot Camp on a part-time basis. After KING OF INDIES 2001, Donovan felt like there were philosophical differences between himself and the company. He was not comfortable with those philosophical differences and therefore, he decided it best to leave the company. We want to take this time to thank Donovan for his loyalty and hard work over the years. We hope to see his face from time to time working out in our ring and we wish him nothing but the best in all his future pro wrestling endeavors including his tours with PRO WRESTLING NOAH in JAPAN.
We have named ROBERT THOMPSON as the new INTERIM HEAD COACH at the APW BOOT CAMP. He will be joined by his ASSISTANT COACH, JARDI FRANTZ. They will be joined by part-time assistant coach VINNY MASSARRO. We are continuing to evaluate the situation with the Boot Camp and are considering many for the permanent HEAD COACH position. Those being considered include ROBERT THOMPSON, MICHAEL MODEST, AMERICAN DRAGON, SPANKY and a few others indy wrestlers not yet revealed through rumors on the message boards. These wrestlers are being considered for the HEAD COACH position as well as marketing positions with the APW BOOT CAMP.
Robert Thompson was one of our first graduates in the APW BOOT CAMP in 1993. He made his pro debut in June 1994. He has assisted the BOOT CAMP many times with some of his sound fundamentals as a volunteer and loyal APW wrestler. Robert has been one of the more loyal graduates to come from the APW BOOT CAMP. I look for big things out of Robert in both the APW BOOT CAMP as well as our promotion, APW. In his 1st week on the job, students were asked to complete an evaluation on the coaching staff and Robert and we are pleased to announce the change as being quite favorable. Mr. Thompson has already stated that he is not opposed to stepping down and continuing as an assistant coach to make room for a Modest, Dragon or whoever APW feels is the right choice for HEAD COACH. Now that is company loyalty.
Robert will be assisted by 2 assistant coaches. Jardi Frantz has been volunteering and working as an assistant with many of the younger students and has been very instrumental in the development of Myaki Frantz and Bobby Quance. Jardi has more than earned his position with our staff with his loyalty and hard work. We feel Jardi more than qualifies for this position and we congratulate him.
Vinny Massarro, who has been so valuable and loyal around APW since he came to us at the age of 18, is finally being rewarded and put on the payroll. He will be an assistant coach and his past experience of running the Boot Camp when Donovan toured Japan, will make him a valuable addition.
Last but not certainly least, there is no secret in regards to my health problems. Actually, I feel very fortunate to be as healthy as I am as I know there are many people in our world that are less fortunate with their health problems. Just to give you a little background, I have a history of high blood pressure that is controlled through medication, I am a diabetic and I control my sugars through medication and proper diet and I also have sleep apnea. This is compounded by my family history of heart problems.
It is also no secret that I cannot make APW grow on my own as a sole proprietor. To make APW grow takes money and takes bodies. I have made a very comfortable living with APW for the last 10 years but we cannot grow any more until we have gone corporate.
I have decided to sell the company or at least, a large portion of the company. Legal matters are being resolved as sometimes these transactions can be very complex. We are almost done with some legal issues that needed to be taken care of before the sale can be made and I am hoping we can consummate the sale by the end of the year. That would certainly be a perfect world. The new ownership has asked me to stay on as a board of director and with an area of responsibility. I have conveyed to them that I would like it to still be involved but in a very limited capacity and only involving the wrestling operation end of the business. I don't want to be involved in the day-to-day operation of the company especially if it is going to become a growing company with much more responsibility. It is tough enough being a sole proprietor. We are still trying to iron out some of the details.
I just wanted to take this time to thank all the fans that have supported APW in the past. No matter what happens, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Being a part of the pro wrestling industry is something I had a passion to do a long time ago and I'd like to believe I accomplished most of my goals. I still have a few goals to accomplish and my preference would be to still be a part of the new ownership but again, that would be in a perfect world. I must do it my way and that would require a limited participation on my part.
What is my way?? I wish I could discuss all the details I have laid out to the new ownership in my request but I am not at liberty to discuss this matter for the time being. I am pushing for many of the volunteers to get full-time jobs and am pushing for some of the volunteers that have not earned their way to full-time jobs to at least continue as volunteers. I don't know if this will be accepted or not. If for some reason I cannot sell the company on my terms, I want you to rest assured that I am leaving APW in very good hands. If things don't work out with the new ownership and I am not able to stay on in a limited capacity, I don't regret walking away from the wrestling business at this time. It has not become fun anymore and is way too taxing on my health and personal life. Sometimes, I feel like I am a professional baby sitter with all the whining grown adult wrestlers can do. Keep in mind, for the most part, these are wrestlers and/or students who have not made a career of this business as of now. It always amazes me when people who come to you to learn the business, feel they get to a point where they know more than you and then think they can work you. It happens every day in this business.
I've always said, when this business was not fun and passion was not running through my veins, I would walk away without hesitation. I believe I can continue to have passion for this business but only in a limited capacity and only if done my way. I don't feel I can be involved in the business end of the business any longer. I wish I could go into more detail of some of the things taking place behind the scenes right now but I am not at liberty to do so. Whether I continue to be a part of APW or not, I guarantee APW will live on and APW is about to enter a new generation with its growth and APW is about to launch something never attempted before. Stay tuned... As I am more at liberty to discuss, discuss I will. In the meantime, I always thank you for your support of APW and I encourage you to continue to support APW in the future because as Frankie Kazarian would say, "The Future is bright"....
CEO and Owner, All Pro Wrestling
I was wrong.
Yep...I was wrong, and I will admit that to you, and everyone.
I predicted that the WCW HAD to win the match at the Survivor Series, and it didn't happen....the WWF won, with Angle being the mole...as was predicted by some of us e-columnists right after his turn to the Alliance.
I didn't predict that...I merely mentioned it as a hope of mine (11-5-2001), because I marked out for Kurt (I mark out for flag wavers). I said, "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." This isn't a prediction...so no props to me. I figured that the WCW had no choice but to win.
Reason being, where do we go from here? Like my brother said as I was leaving, "It seems that the WWF took the easy way out." Since the WCW is now no more, the Invasion is finished, RVD, Booker, and the rest of them are gone, and all is as it was.....and if you believe that, I have some prime ocean front property in Wyoming I want to sell you...cheap.
This, in my opinion, is the worst thing that could have happened to the WWF. Sure, there is an immediate heel/face reaction to the victory, and the good guys won....hooray. But, now, where do we go?
Is there a show lined up for the WCW? No. Has there been any preparation to create a segment or time slot for a WCW-only show? No. Is there enough star-power in the Alliance for it to stand on its own? No. So, does it make sense to Split the WCW and the WWF right now? No.
Having the WCW win would have been so much more interesting, but this is Vince McMahon we are talking about, and not someone that is doing the expected, or even the sensical thing. I figure he has some sort of plan...I have no idea where he is going with it, though.
I will tell you that the full erudite explanation to my absolutely wrong opinion can be read in last week's Connection. I still think it was the better option (and that is a FACT...not an opinion), but, since I am wrong, let's move on...it's rather uncomfortable to be surrounded by one's own errors and/or incompetence. The match itself surprised me a bit.....first off, why was the Undertaker out so early? I figured that he would be second to last to go, and second to last to enter the arena (is Y2J more over than the Undertaker? No.), but, again, I was wrong, Obviously, it turns out that Jericho had to be there second to last because the tease that he would screw The Rock needed to be there....ol' UT showed up to keep the peace.
Then, the Big Show...even when he gets pushed, he jobs *sigh* At least the bookers had the whole Alliance team put their finishers on him before he got pinned...that made him look a little more impressive. Poor Show.
Then, the good thing...Shane went out relatively early. Thank God. In other PPV matches, Tajiri didn't waste any time breaking Regal's nose, did he? I think he did that on the first kick. I wonder how bad Tajiri got mauled by Regal during the match.
Sorry, but is Test getting a push? Maybe I am missing something....did the continent shift? Is the sun rising in the west? Is Ivory looking for my home phone number? Are birds flying backwards? Are there cats having....well, you get my point. Test worked hard tonight, and even though I am really glad Edge got the reward for his hard work in the WWF, I am also happy that Test won the Battle Royal.
How about Tazz? I think he will keep getting pushed.
Jazz was used effectively....and Ivory is longingly gazing at my picture. In standard WWF fashion, the talents of a new worker were completely ignored. Go figure.....why show off, when you have to push Trish?
Am I sounding sarcastic? Well, I am still bitter and overcome by being wrong about the finale. I still think I had a better solution.
Shop at Solie's Storefront, and get some Christmas gifts there...it helps Earl, Solie's, and you....because only a high-class individual would get wrestling gifts for a fellow fan, instead of a tie, or Brut aftershave.
Also, come to bodyslam.cc...for all your wrestling needs, including columns, reports, and the latest news and rumors.
See you next week for another Connection.
by Earl Oliver
SmackDown was taped Tuesday night at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, New York and opened with Rob Van Dam taking on Kane in a non-title, non-hardcore rules match. This was an extended squash for Kane, who easily dominated his smaller opponent. The first real offensive move for Van Dam was a forward roll splash off the top corner about 3/4 through the match. He managed to knock the big guy down and held his advantage for...oh maybe a minute and a half. Then Kane came back and RVD never knew what hit him after that. Van Dam couldn't seem to do anything right. Then Booker T ran out to ringside to provide distraction. Van Dam capitalized and beat a Scarey Brother for the second time this week.
Backstage, Test and Stacy had a little tete-a-tete. Chris Jericho showed up in the Rock's dressing room to assure him (in a rather backhanded fashion) that he is a WWF team player. They have a disagreement about just who is going to be the leader of the WWF team on Sunday, but Rock agrees that for the time being they are on the same team. They do a little business with "secret" handshakes. Not really funny stuff...
Next up, a 6 man tag match featuring Edge and the Hardeys vs. Test and the Dudleys. Lita and Stacy were there as well, just to add some spice. One of the highlights of this match was the Hardeys and Edge suplexing both Dudleys simultaneously (a five-man suplex?) During this match, Mike Cole was talking about the unification matches that were set up by Commissioner Foley for the PPV. I found this ironic because I am now hearing from my sources that Foley's appearance on RAW may very well have been his last ever on WWF TV. Apparently, a lot of what he said on the show Monday was pure "shoot". He is said to not be at all happy with the direction that the WWF has been going lately and blames Vince McMahon for the shrinking viewership and other problems. In the match, the Edge/Hardeys team showed a lot of good continuity. Edge finally took the pinfall after not succumbing to Stacy's distraction then hitting D-Von with a spear. After the match, the Dudleys put a 3D on Lita.
In a "tender" backstage moment, Matt Hardey assured Lita that he was going to do everything he could to protect her from harm from now on. But when he hugged her at the end his expression was weird as he looked at the camera over her shoulder. I think he was trying to portray himself as being fed up with her whining or something - but he wasn't doing a very good job of it.
In the next segment, the Big Show came out wearing a set of false teeth and a blond wig and proceeded to pull off a spot on impression of Diamond Dallas Page's "motivational speaker" character. DDP came out and attacked the big guy, but was summarily dispatched by a chokeslam. As the giant was celebrating in the ring, Shane ran out and beaned him with a chair. backstage, Paul Heyman interrupted Stephanie who was busy watching taped footage of the night the Alliance was born. Heyman told that wan nothing, and told her to watch what he was going to do next.
After the ring, Heyman came to the ring and started his rant on Vince McMahon. This speech was somewhat cut for the TV show, so I have borrowed part of the following transcript, courtesy of Wrestling.Dot.Com (thanks, Ross!) The part that was cut out of the broadcast appears in boldface type below.
"In just a few moments, at my leisure, I will call Vince McMahon out to HIS ring, in front of HIS public, on a television show that is owned by HIS grand company....At least that is...until this Sunday at Survivor Series. I know how much you appreciate what Shane, Stephanie and I have done, how Shane Stephanie and I have stood up to the tyranny of Vince McMahon and how this Sunday, the WWF will die. But don't blame me for that...it's not my fault. I am not the one who lifts up my leg...and pees all over the memory of Bruno Sammartino. I am not the one who desecrated the memory of Superstar Billy Graham. And I am not the one who ruined everything that was accomplished by Stone Cold Steve Austin."
When returned form the break, Tazz was gone and JR was again in his place at the announce table.
Booker T headed down to the ring to face the Undertaker, who bushwhacked him on the ramp before he got there. UT dragged Booker to the ring and stomped a mud hole in him - then went for a chair. But the referee snatched it away before he could use it...so he chokeslammed the Booker man, then turned to the camera and declared that he was delivering a message from the WWF tonight.
What followed was a recap of the WWF Edition of The Weakest Link. HHH won, eliminating Stephanie in the final round. Willy Regal was the first runner up. By the way, the Big Show was the first one eliminated.
Backstage, Commissioner Regal told Ivory about a ladies title match he has planned for Sunday. She left and the Hurricane showed up in his "secret identity" as "Gregory Helms, mild mannered reporter". He interviewed Regal concerning an "Immunity" battle royal that will take place at Survivor Series - the winner of that match will be guaranteed a job for at least a year, regardless of which promotion survives...
Backstage, Kurt Angle and Steve Austin accused each other of being a traitor to the Alliance. Kurt swore he isn't going to jump. Austin failed to be so convincing... In another part of the building, Willy Regal and Torrie had some words for each other prior to their coming mixed tag match. By the way, congratulations go out to Torrie and Billy Kidman, who announced their engagement today (Thursday).
That mixed tag match was next and Torrie did a little too well against former ladies champ, Ivory. Tajiri, also dealt out some punishment to his counterpart but then missed with the green mist - hitting Ivory instead of his intended target (Regal). Regal put Tajiri out and then slapped a submission hold on Torrie to take the victory.
Cole and Ross were making speeches as if the WWF was about to fold, thanking the fans for their support over the years. Backstage, Howard Finkel encountered Vince in a hallway and made a similar speech - thanking Vince for all of his hard work. He embraced the boss, who looked pained, then said, "Howard, the WWF will prevail on Sunday...and don't ever touch me again..."
The main event was a tag team battle pitting Chris Jericho and the Rock against Steve Austin and Kurt Angle. This was a real barn burner that started with a slugfest between Maivia and Austin and went on for more then ten minutes, with Chris Jericho doing most of the work for his team. When the Rock finally got back into the match, he took on both opponents and then locked in a Sharpshooter on Austin. Angle broke that up, then he and Jericho got it on out on the floor. Jericho was smashed into the post, then the Rock was double teamed in the ring. It ended in a DQ when Austin brought a chair into the ring and used it on Maivia's ankle. Afterward, the Undertaker, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Kane, the Big Show and Shane, all ran down and got into it. Austin was the last man standing. Vince appeared on the platform and he and Austin shared a grin...what..?
The first match was a European Title defense for Christian against Al Snow? Don't ask me...I just report these things. Snow put up a good fight but lost.
Alliance Commissioner Regal took on Tajiri in a grudge match. This was a very stiff match - which we have come to expect from both of these competitors. Regal was bleeding from the nose within two minutes - moments later, Tajiri got hung up by the neck in the two top ropes. In the next exchange, Tajiri missed a back kick and Regal hit a powerbomb then rolled his opponent up for the pin. Regal's threw in a second powerbomb after the fact. He started to leave as Torrie ran in to tend her fallen man. Regal stomped back to the ring and powerbombed her as well.
Next up - Test, putting the WWF Intercontinental Title on the line in a unification match against WCW US Champion, Edge. At the start of the match, Paul Heyman repeated the falsehood that the IC Title was established when Pat Patterson won a tournament in Puerto Rico. There never was any such tournament, folks. Patterson was the WWWF North American Champ when that title was dropped in favor of the IC Title. Patterson was awarded the IC strap... Jim Ross then made up a cock and bull story about the US Title being created during a tournament in Greensboro. This is a tale I have never heard before (unlike the IC Title myth, which is standard WWF misinformation). Here are the facts: Lex Luger was awarded the first WCW US Title, because he held the NWA counterpart when that title was vacated. The NWA US title was first won by Harley Race in Talahassee, FL in 1975. He lost it to Johnny Valentine, who then was injured in a plane crash. Valentine's career was ended. The title was then put up in a tournament - in Greensboro - but it was around before that for almost a year. The unification match was a barn burner, Edge won it with a roll up to unify the IC Title with the US Title.
After that it was time to unify the two Tag Team Titles. The Dudleys vs. the Hardeys in a first time ever (for these two teams) cage match - but without tables, ladders or chairs. At one point, Jeff was tossed into the cage wall and used the opportunity to try and scramble out of the cage - but Bubba stopped him. Later on, I was shown to have spoken too soon when Stacy lifted the key to the cage from Nick Patrick's pocket and managed to slip a table into the cage. The Hardeys thwarted the attempt by their opponents to use the weapon and then Matt got out of the cage. Jeff got some breathing room moments later and almost climbed out - but then turned back to try and splash Bubba on the table. Bubba ducked away and Jeff was smashed and pinned.
Next up was the Immunity Battle Royal. This featured both WCW and WWF wrestlers who battled for the chance to be guaranteed a job for one year. Sean Stasiak was eliminated right after the bell rang. Then Tazz ran in and joined the fight. The Hurricane was next - clotheslined out by Bradshaw. Albert tossed Saturn to the floor then Faarooq was thrown out then DDP. Chavo Guerrero and Hugh Morrus showed up - two wildcard entrants (having been fired by Stephanie last week). They were tossed out soon after. Tazz stopped to jaw at Paul Heyman and got tossed from behind by Billy Gunn. Albert and Billy Gunn were eliminated at the same moment, then Bradshaw tossed Kidman to the floor. It was down to Lance Storm, Bradshaw, Billy Gunn and Test. Bradshaw and Storm were taken out simultaneously by Billy Gunn, who then turned around and had to face Test - who eliminated him to win the match and secure his position for the next calendar year.
In a Six Pack challenge for the WWF Womens' World Championship, Jacqueline, Trish Stratus, Lita, Ivory, Mighty Molly and a mystery opponent (who turned out to be Jazz from ECW) took each other to the limit. Five of these ladies are great wrestlers - and then there is Trish, who has improved substantially in recent months, but still has a way to go. This was the fastest paced match on the card by a long shot. Almost to fast to call. In the end it was a surprise when Trish managed to pull out the win by pinning Ivory after hitting the Stratus Faction.
The next match was the main event - this match was introduced when there was nearly an hour left in the program. The teams were Shane McMahon, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle and Steve Austin vs. the Big Show, Kane, the Undertaker, Chris Jericho and the Rock in an elimination tag team match to determine which entity would remain in business. During the early going, Shane was all over the ring, performing saves to prevent his guys from being eliminated. The Big Show was the first wrestler eliminated, having been hit with three finishing moves by Booker T, RVD and Shane - Shane pinned him. But this left Shane in the ring to be isolated and then suffer the same fate...after a Tombstone Piledriver and a Lionsault. As the fight among the other remaining competitors spilled out to the floor, RVD eliminated Kane back in the ring. A few minutes later, Steve Austin hit a Stunner on the Undertaker then rolled Angle onto him to get the pin. That left the Rock and Jericho to take on the four remaining members of the Alliance team. Booker T was eliminated by the Rock next with a roll up, but the Rock continued to be isolated. Jericho finally got back into it and pinned RVD. The fight broke down as Austin took the Rock to the floor and punished him with a catapult to the ringpost while Angle used a reverse chin lock on Jericho back in the ring. Austin then took over on Jericho and hit a superplex on him. Jericho was isolated for several minutes while his partner recovered on the apron. When the Rock eventually got back in he almost immediately executed a Sharpshooter on Angle and made him tap. Now it was Austin, bleeding from the mouth and facing two opponents. So much for him being the turncoat... Now one of two things had to happen. Either Jericho would be eliminated, or he would turn and join Austin and the Alliance. He was eliminated - thus setting up Austin and Maivia to fight it out to the end. Then...Jericho did turn! He face jammed the Rock!!! Austin went for the pin...but failed! Jericho started back to the ring, but the Undertaker intercepted him on the ramp and forced him back out of the arena. Meanwhile, Maivia was tossed over the top and jammed his leg against the announce table. Austin followed him out and they battled on and around the table. Back in the ring, the Rock assumed control then the match see sawed. Austin went for a Sharpshooter but was clumsy with it. Maivia struggled to the ropes and forced the break. Austin left the ring and came back with the WWF Title. he tried to use it but Maivia got the Sharpshooter. Austin made it to the ropes, but Maivia dragged him back so that Austin had to struggle to the ropes again. He come back with a low blow then went for the gut kick but was caught. Maivia reversed the move then got a Stunner of his own! Earl Hebner tried to make the count but Nick Patrick dragged him out of the ring and clocked him! Next - Austin hit a Rock Bottom on Maivia!! Then he clobbered his own referee when he failed to get the pin. With both referees down, Austin hit the Stunner - but there was nobody to count. Suddenly, Kurt Angle ran in and drilled Austin!!! The Rock got the pin. The WWF lives!
Questions left unanswered: Okay, so the WCW promotion is out of business. So, does that mean that the Rock is no longer WCW Champ? What about Tajiri (the Cruiserweight Champ)? And since Austin is still the WWF Champ, does that mean he is still employed? Sounds like he really had nothing to lose tonight...
Tomorrow night should be interesting...
Raw came to us live from the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina and opened with the historical montage that opened last night's PPV show, then switches to an airstrip where Mick Foley waited to greet Vince McMahon as he disembarked. Instead he was beaconed into the plane where Vince sat eating canapés. Mick told him that he didn't want anything from him - then told him that he was resigning as WWF Commissioner. Vince started to say something, but Mick cut him off, saying, "Go ahead and fire me..." Then he left. Vince called, "Have a nice day." to his retreating figure.
Cut to the arena, where Jim Ross was extolling the survival of the WWF promotion. Vince strutted to the ring looking real pleased with himself threw his arms in the air in triumph, declaring, "Tonight is a night for celebration!" He then introduced Kurt Angle, saying that he did more then any other for the company last night. He declared the Alliance, ECW and WCW dead. The only remnant of WCW would be the WCW Title which will now be called the "World Heavyweight Title" (maybe we should call that - the "Real" World Title...) He announced that there would be drastic changes during the program, and stated that one member of the Alliance would come on the show and kiss Vince's a$$, "...in this very ring." He also mentioned that Steve Austin would be present, then he mentioned the empty chair at the announce table and invited Paul Heyman to the ring. Heyman showed up and entered to the ECW theme. He went straight to the announce table and shouted at JR, "I got away with it!" Vince called him to the ring, telling him that he appreciates people who speak their minds. Then he fired him to his face! Paul decided to challenge Vince to a fight...but when Vince shed his coat, Heyman left the ring. Then he turned and tried to attack JR! But JR beat him to the punch and got in a few licks before Heyman was dragged away by security people. Vince then introduced Heyman's replacement...Jerry Lawler!!!
The first match of the evening was a Womens' Title match - Lita challenging new Champion Trish Stratus. This match started with a horrible missed spot, it looked like Lita went for a Japanese arm drag and Trish totally failed to go with it. Trish was obviously overmatched, but Lita played the good soldier and tried to make her opponent look good. At the end, Matt Hardey "helped" his girlfriend back into the ring a little too soon - and she was on the receiving end of a backslide for the pin. Trish retained.
Backstage, Vince confronted the last remnants of the Alliance (other than Austin). Test - who won the Immunity match last night and therefore can't be fired for a year. Christian - the WWF European Champ. The Dudleys - the Unified Tag Champs, and Rob Van Dam who still holds the Hardcore Title. He reminded RVD that he had been invited to join the WWF and refused, then he booked a handicap table match - RVD vs. the Dudleys. As the others left, Christian hung back and tried to ingratiate himself with the boss...who wasn't buying it.
The handicap match was next. Van Dam started strong, but was soon overwhelmed. The Dudleys brought two tables into the ring. But Van Dam recovered in time to knock D-Von to the floor then incapacitate Bubba for a moment. He used a Vandaminator on Bubba, as he got up. Then laid D-Von out on one of the tables and attempted to hit him with the frog splash...but missed. The Dudleys had to 3D him twice to break the table and win the match.
In the back, Kurt Angle arrived. Greeted by a stage hand asking, "How're you doing?", he bragged on his accomplishments last night then asked where he could find the Rock.
After the break, Angle found the Rock and asked for some gratitude. Maivia was having none of it, telling Angle he didn't want or ask for his help. He told Angle that he wasn't fooled by his "save the day act" and then challenged him to a match. Out back, the Billion Dollar Princess and her big brother arrived...in a rented car.
Vince was back in the ring as we returned from the break. He invited Steph and Shane to the ring and then allowed them to speak their minds before he had his say. Shane told his dad, "Congratulations. You won and I lost. And I lost to the better man." Shane then turned and left. Stephanie was called upon to say her piece. Craven to the last, she called him, "Daddy" and said she'd made some bad mistakes. Then she turned and blamed Shane for the whole thing!! She told Vince that she loves him and she's sorry and threw herself on his mercy. Vince had her thrown out of the arena...
Vince was on the phone backstage as we returned from the break, telling someone about his plans to have some one kiss his butt in the ring, when Chris Jericho arrived. Vince asked him about his actions last night. jericho said his ego got away from him. Vince seemed to accept that...then he booked Jericho into a match against Kane. Mr. T was shown at ringside.
The "World Champion" Rocky Maivia defended his title against Kurt Angle in the next contest. This was entirely a slugfest which Angle started as soon as he entered the ring. A little later Angle went for his ankle lock - but the Rock has apparently been watching video on Kurt. He twisted away from the hold and escaped. After some more fisticuffs, Angle hit a series of German suplexes, putting the Rock down hard then pounding on him some more. Later, Angle slapped on the ankle lock a second time - but again Maivia rolled out of it, then rolled Angle up for the pin. Chris Jericho ran in afterward and attacked the Rock. Angle shoved him aside and then went to the ankle lock again!! Referees pulled him off - then Jericho put the Walls of Jericho on the Rock! The referees pulled him off - but he went right back to it! Jericho finally split and the Rock was left writhing in pain.
After the break, Vince was in the ring again. he announced the first member of the "Kiss Vince's A$$ Club" - William Regal. After some gyrations, Vince pulling down his trousers, then baring his butt, then making Regal apply some chapstick to his lips...Regal did, indeed, kiss Vince's butt.
Chris Jericho faced Kane in the next match. As could be expected, Kane dominated the opening moments, but then Jericho made a comeback. Then he fetched a chair from ringside and let fly on his gargantuan opponent. He applied the Walls of Jericho, then refused to release the hold and was disqualified. After the loss, he went back to the hold again. Jericho seems to have lost his mind...
Backstage, Kurt Angle was still stomping around looking for some gratitude. He encountered Edge, who pretty much gave him the same speech as the Rock. When Angle claimed to have "saved" Edge's job, Edge held up his dual titles and said, "You see these two titles? That's called me saving my own job." Edge pointed out that Angle's actions was just a way to play one side against the other, meaning that he could end up on the winning side no matter which way it went. Then he stalked away leaving Kurt still feeling unfullfilled...
Willy Regal returned to the ring still in his civies for an impromptu match against Tazz. The two of them had a run in backstage after Regals humiliation in the last segment. Tazz came down in warm up clothes and they went at it. After an intense battle, Regal slapped on an STF for the submission victory.
Backstage, Vince finds Kurt Angle dejected in his dressing room. He listened to Kurt's complaints, then said, "How would you like to be the WWF Champion?" Angle said, "Sure!" So Vince invited him out to the ring.
After the break, and after expressing his gratitude, Vince was ready to award the WWF Title to Kurt Angle due to Steve Austin's failure to appear. Suddenly, Ric Flair's theme music blared forth and the man himself appeared on the platform to tumultuous applause!! He joined Vince and Kurt in the ring. Vince asked Flair to explain himself, so Flair revealed that he was the one who bought Shane and Stephanie's shares of the WWF - so he is in partnership with Vince!!! Then Steve Austin's music played and the Rattlesnake made his way to the ring and started stomping on Angle, then turned and attacked Vince. Flair and Austin stood nose to nose for a moment, then Flair allowed Austin to take the WWF Title belt off of his shoulder. He and Austin shared a beer moment as Vince and Angle looked on in horror from the platform and the program ended.
Great stuff. What..???
At least that's the way I see it...
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