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.
Hello, yeah, it’s been a while……not much…how about you?
Yeah, I know it’s an old 70’s song (I think it’s Seals and Croft, but I’m not so sure), but I felt it fit what I wanted to use in opening the Connection.
In short, the last two weeks have been interesting. I mentioned my grandmother in my last Connection…well, she passed on the 19th. We had the funeral after we arrived in the States from Canada…we were up and out of the country. Hence, my inability to give you all a Connection for two weeks. I apologize, to Earl and to all of you.
Now…on to the Connection.
I was right about Hogan….I’m not gloating, you know….in fact, I am kind of bummed. I really wanted him to succeed, but his heat in that run was very shallow. Maybe everyone else saw that fact, too. Sure, it is a good thing that he was allowed the title, maybe it you twisted my arm a little I would admit that his historical value to the WWF (E) was enough to grant him a run…and I bet he had a great time. However, this change….allowing the title to migrate back to the regular main eventer (like ‘Taker, HHH, and the like), is really a good idea.
Now…the question is…..who is next? A big toss-up.
However, I think it will be Austin. Why? Because he is crying.
Look, folks, wrestling is scripted…it is, in a sense, a very real fantasy. The characters these guys and gals portray are fantasy characters…we say life-like, but that in and of itself connotates non-reality. So, these people get paid to play-act characters, while engaging in mock battles.
Non-real. Mock-Battles. Scripted. OK….there you are. So, why is Steve Williams so upset about how Steve Austin is used?
That completely floors me, and I am sorry if you all are tired of hearing me talk about it. If Vince tells Steve Austin to lose the match, it doesn’t reflect on the MAN Steve Williams….it reflects on the fantasy-character of Stone Cold Steve Austin.
What we have is ego…like all the freaks in Hollywood, someone in the WWE is upset that they aren’t being totally catered to.
It’s a freaking SCRIPTED SHOW, Steve ol’ buddy! You’re a millionaire! What gives?
Well, the precedent has been set. When Austin left the scene for two weeks after Wrestlemania, Vince had two choices. He could have told Austin that he had better come back, and face the music, and do what Vince, the boss, the owner, asked him to, or he could let Austin get his way.
We know what happened.
Austin is going to have that Undisputed Title around his waist by Labor Day. I would almost guarantee that. He will complain about the feuds he will be in (Guererro and Benoit), and then he will get moved up in some gimmicked-up fashion. Then, he’ll beat the Undertaker for the Belt.
Because he wants to. Because he’ll weep and piss and moan if he doesn’t. Because Vince decided that he would rather cater to Austin (probably in order to keep him happy and quiet) than set his foot down, like he has before.
Darn shame, if you ask me.
The other guy I want to talk about is Edge, and what luck this guy has. Last year, he was set up for a mongo push….and the Invasion began, derailing every good shoreline the WWF had at that point. Then, he got over that, managed to hook up with Kurt Angle for this very successful angle, and injured himself, tearing apart his shoulder, and sidelining himself for six weeks. What luck!
Sounds like me….
Either way, it’s a darn shame, because the match they worked on Thursday’s show was very, very good…the kind you see at a PPV. They worked their butts off, and really set themselves a very high bar to raise. Then, this, and now Angle is going up against Hogan, in a feud that will probably see the Olympian job several times to the Real American.
It may not be so bad, as I think Angle will work well with Hogan. He’s also much smaller than Hogan, and that should enable Hogan to do a little more.
But, alas for Edge. What to do with him now…….
We’ll all see.
Now, Solie’s has done nothing but get better ever since I left, and, though it is hard to improve on perfection, Earl has done it. Make sure that you look all around the site, and take in what he offers.
Of course, I invite you over to bodyslam.cc….for all your wrestling needs.
OK….time to split. We will see you next week, with another Connection.
by Earl Oliver
SmackDown! was taped on Tuesday at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which opened, naturally, with a video replay of Hulk Hogan trying to retire.
The opening match was for the Tag Team Titles as the former champs, Upchuck and Billy, challenged Rikishi and their "stylist" Rico. Despite his attempts to upset his partner, it was Rico who pinned Chuck by falling on him after being kicked in the face by Rikishi. In the aftermath, Rico was left to explain himself to his charges while Rikishi did his dance on the platform.
Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan arrived backstage. In video from earlier in the day, Maven was seen getting a big wet one from Torrie while Tajiri spied on the couple. Man! I might just sign up for the next season of Tough Enough myself!!
Tajiri got some measure of revenge against Maven by interfering in his match with Christian at a critical moment. He ran in and kicked his rival in the face (while the referee was distracted, of course) and caused the rookie to lose the match. Note: It was later learned that Maven broke his leg during a baseball slide in this match. That he went ahead and finished the contest shows just how much guts this kid really has.
Dawn Marie made her WWE debut in the next segment, posing as a paralegal from the WWE attorney firm. She brought some papers for the boss to sign (Stacy wasn't around tonight because she was off hosting the Tough Enough finale on another network). Vince reviewed the papers and the new addition to the roster until Chris Jericho barged in to complain about having to face Faarooq on the program. Vince delivered the same snow job he used last week to convince Jericho to perform, saying that since Triple H had a match tonight, it behooved the original Undisputed Champ to match the Game.
In that match, Jericho got the pad off one of the turnbuckles then sidestepped his opponent, who ran headfirst into the exposed buckle and knocked himself out. Jericho took an easy pin.
Backstage, Lance Storm asked Reverend D-Von to hear his confession...that he had committed the unholy sin of being a Western Canada..?? D-Von said he would have to donate something to expiate his sin. Lance dropped a coin into the box, then walked away as D-Von commented on his cheapness. Then Hulk Hogan was interviewed. As he talked about wanting to get his hands on Vince, the man himself walked up and started screaming at him. Hogan was ready to let fly when Kurt Angle slipped up behind him and hit him with a pipe! Do I smell a match??
The next match was Randy Orton's surprise world title challenge. The Undertaker made a speech before the match, indicating that he had respect for Orton as a third generation wrestler, and for Calgary as a city with a rich wrestling tradition. He even shook hands with the challenger before the match. Orton is a game competitor, and a pretty big guy in his own right. He managed to dominate the early going and even scored a two count against the champ. He continued to give the Dead Man a run for his money, but eventually the Champ hit a chokeslam and took the pin to retain his title. After the match, UT was up to his old tricks, doing a punk job on Orton, when Triple H ran out and attacked him at ringside. Helmsley then issued a challenge to the Dead man to put up his title against the Game.
During a cruiserweight tag team match pitting the Hurricane and Billy Kidman against Tajiri and Chavo Guerrero, the infamous "stalker" finally revealed him (or her)self...sort of. Actually they showed a photo on the OvalTron of Helms next to an obscured figure with what appeared to be a set of feminine hands. Since Helms was wearing his Hurricane outfit in the photo, it seems almost certain that the mysterious "stalker" is Molly Holly...but somehow I think that is probably just a straw man (or woman). Tajiri took advantage of Helm's distraction and wrapped him up for the pin.
Triple H took on Test and probably would have beaten him except that Lance Storm came down and distracted him and layed him out with a kick out on the floor. Later, HHH was setting up the Pedegree when UT showed up at ringside. Distracted, HHH took another boot to the face and Test got the upset victory. While the Game was still down, the Undertaker started pounding on him, chokeslammed him, then hit him repeatedly with a chair.
Val Venis approached Edge backstage before his cage match with Kurt Angle and asked him to try and get the wig off of the Olympic Hero. Edge said that was his intention. During the match, which was a barn burner main event, Angle managed to climb out and escape, which should have won the match for him - but the referee was out of action and didn't see it. This gave Hulk Hogan an opportunity to run down and clobber him, then toss him back into the cage with Edge. The match continued and eventually (after another run-in from Hogan) Edge hit a flying spear off the ropes and won the match. Hogan entered the ring again and went back to work on Angle, trying to take off his head gear. Angle used a rake of the eyes to escape, leaving Hogan to congratulate Edge and pose with him as the program ended.
Raw came to us live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas and opened back in Ric Flair's office. Flair was there with Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit and Arn Anderson. He said something about having plans in case Steve Austin shows up tonight and then headed to the ring...with about a dozen security guys in tow. We switched the scene to the arena, where Flair, Benoit and Guerrero were leading their entourage to the ring. Flair took the mic and congratulated himself on how he and his minions handled the Rattlesnake last week on the show. He handed the mic to Benoit, who blamed Austin for his year long absence from the ring, and the fact that he didn't win the WWF Title back then. Guerrero took over and claimed that his Intercontinental Title was stolen from him, but he felt better after punking Austin. Flair then took back the mic and asked the crowd if they wanted to see Austin wrestle tonight - then said it wasn't going to happen because Austin is still benched. The crowd was booing him when the TitanTron came on and we could see AA, half conscious, being maipulated like a puppet by Steve Austin! He threw Anderson aside and then demanded a match against either Guerrero or Benoit tonight. Flair nixed the idea - Guerrero had a match already, and Benoit wasn't cleared to wrestle yet. Austin then proposed a match with Flair himself, his wrestling status being on the line. Flair agreed...with one condition - Flair wanted an "old fashion wrestling match - not a Stone Cold bar fight." He then added the stipulation that if Austin loses, he would be benched permanently. Austin then turned to Arn and started stomping him again - then he peed on him!!! The brightest, sulfer-yellow "pee" you ever saw in your life.
When we returned, Bradshaw was in the ring challenging Stevie Richards for the Hardcore Title. Bradshaw knocked the Champ down then hit him with a cow bell. Then he hog-tied him! He went to the outside and pulled a trash can, a saddle and a bulls horn out from under the ring. As he re-entered the ring, Richards hit him with the trash can lid. About the time that Bradshaw started to recover, Spike Dudley ran in to get a piece of the action. Bradshaw tossed him from the ring then pinned Richards to win the title. He quickly fended off an attack by Justin Credible and another from Crash Holly. He walked away with the title.
Backstage, Kevin Nash announced that he was going to make and announcement later tonight which would affect the entire nWo. Goldust walked in doing a Jonathan Coachman impression, and speculated that the announcement would be Goldust's enrollment into the stable. Nash started to veto that idea, but Booker pointed out that Goldust and X-Pac have a match later - and maybe they should let that match decide the issue. If Goldust wins, he's in and X-Pac is out. Nash jokingly agreed, which didn't make X-Pac happy.
That match was next - it was also a King of the Ring qualifier. X-Pac won. Too bad - I'd much rather see Goldust in the KOR tournament then X-Pacsucks (that's his name...right?)
Rob Van Dam was interviewed backstage, telling Coach that this would be the "Summer of RVD". He was interrupted by Paul Heyman and his monster, Brock Lesnar. Apparently they have a match later. In another part of the building, Matt Hardy came upon his brother, who was playing a guitar (badly). Matt asked him where he'd been all day, Jeff said that he had been right there, thinking about their team having lost their edge, and saying that he had a plan to cure the problem. Meanwhile, back in Flair's office, the Nature Boy was having his lawyer write more stipulations into the contract for his match with Austin. He put in a stip that if Austin loses, he has to become Flair's personal assistant. Also, if Austin throws one punch, he is disqualified and loses the match. Austin barged in and signed the contract without reading it.
Next up, Trish Stratus in her weekly gimmick match - against Terri this time in a bra and panties match for the Womens' Title. I have to say that Terri has become quite the little scrapper of late. She dominated the opening moments of the match. Trish won it with a Stratusfaction. After the match, Molly ran out with brass knucks and tried to hit the Champ - but Trish blocked her with the title belt, then clobbered her with it. Molly went down - Trish stripped off her panties (she had a thong underneath) and dropped them on Molly's face before leaving the ring.
Eddie Guerrero and Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) took on Bubba Ray Dudley and Rob Van Dam in a tag match. Is it as obvious to everyone else as it is to me that eventually, Lesnar is going to turn on Heyman? I figure at some point. Lesnar is going to become convinced that he doesn't need to use cheating tactics to win his matches, then he and Heyman will butt heads over it, then Heyman will get his can kicked (yet again), and Lesnar will turn face. Maybe when Goldberg shows up... Anyway, this match was an all out brawl with Heyman getting involved at the critical moment, knocking RVD off the top corner so that Eddie G could hit him with the frog splash and take the pin.
William Regal was putting down his opponent in his upcoming KOR qualifier, when the man himself, Booker T, walked up and told him off. That match came up after the break and was another barn burner. Regal is a legitimate tough guy and a very good foil for a bruiser like Booker T. Regal got frustrated toward the end and first threw his European title belt into the ring, then brought in a chair. The referee grabbed the chair away, allowing Booker to retrieve the belt and hit Regal with it to take the pin.
Backstage, Tommy Dreamer was sick to his stomach from worrying about his match with the Undertaker later tonight. Coach showed him footage of what the Dead Man did to Triple H last week, which caused Dreamer to be sick all over again. We got to watch him barf...oh joy...gosh, what an uplifting show... In their contest, Dreamer was completely overmatched despite the fact that he came to the ring toting his slop bucket (or maybe because of it). In fact, before he started the match, Dreamer scooped a double handful out of the bucket and ate it!!! What is the point of this??? He attacked UT with gusto for about 6 seconds, and then it was all downhill from there on out. A chokeslam and three elbow drops, then Ut went for the pin...but pulled him up. He applied a dragon sleeper and made Dreamer tap out. After the match, UT grabbed the bucket and threatened the announcers and time keeper with it, before emptying on Dreamer. As UT was getting ready to leave, Jeff Hardey ran down and drop kicked UT so that he landed in the middle of the mess that was Tommy Dreamer! Hardey fled back up the ramp before UT could react.
Backstage after the break, UT gave Matt Hardey a message for his brother - he kicked his butt!
Kevin Nash came to the ring for his big announcement. He introduced the newest member of the nWo - Shawn Michaels!!!! Michaels came out in nWo colors. Is this full circle or what? Michaels was the leader of Degeneration-X - a blatant nWo rip-off that went so far as to use the Wolfpac crotch chop as their primary mode of expression. Then of course there is the whole prior history in the WWF between Michaels and Kevin (Diesel) Nash.
Backstage, after the break, Debra was reading the contract and realized that the way it is worded, the stips go both ways. If Flair loses the match, he has to become Austin's assistant! The introductions started at 9 minutes before the hour - so you knew this would be a short contest. In all of this, everybody seems to be forgetting that Austin made his initial reputation as a scientific wrestler. He came into the WWF as the Ringmaster, remember? Of course, early on, the referee had to remind him that if he threw a punch he would lose the match... So a lot of chops were thrown instead. As the match proceeded, Chris Benoit sauntered down toward the ring, which caused the referee to immediately leave the ring to intercept him...what? That's not his job... As the ref was distracted, Austin hit the stunner, but there was nobody to count Flair out. Then Eddie G ran in and clobbered the Rattlesnake. Then we cut to commercial.
Shortly after we returned, Flair started working on Austin's left knee. This led to the figure four, which Austin resisted and eventually turned over. More chops traded back and forth. Each time Flair started to slip he would insert thumb in eye. Finally, Austin hit the stunner and took the pin. After the match ended, Austin hit him with a stunner for a second time, then had a beer moment. So now Flair has to become Stone Cold's assistant...sweet...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
for great wrestling discussion.
Copyright 2001 - Jump City Productions