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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

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

McMahon Wins Back 100% of WWE

Brand Extension Status Left in Doubt

Billy and Chuck the Tag Champs Again

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

Crossface Connection

by John Cross

All Pro Wrestling News

by Jeremy "Jermz" Medeiros

Ric Drasin's "The Job Squad" Set to Film


Volume 7, Issue 687 - June 10, 2002
Editor's Note: In this edition of the newsletter we have our weekly Crossface Connection by Solie's regular, John Cross plus 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.


All Pro Wrestling News

by Jeremy "Jermz" Medeiros

GYM WARZ RESULTS

Here are quick results of APW's "Gym Warz" show from the APW Garage in Hayward, Ca. held on Friday June 7th:

Another fantastic show put on by APW last night at the world famous APW Garage in Hayward, Ca. This show was tons of fun, and had a little bit of everything in it. The crowd was very hot, and the action in the ring was even hotter! Here are the quick results and some thoughts on each match...

In a pair of Amateur Showcase matches, Mike Thornton defeated David Agate and Jameil Hemphill defeated Vince Shipman. Shipman & Hemphill have been in the amateur matches for the past few months now, and are really looking good in there. Remember the names, because they may be the next pro's to come out of the Boot Camp.

"The Bomb" Robert Thompson (with Nikki) vs. "Mr. Personality" JoJo Fantastico - This was an excellent match! JoJo had most of the crowd behind him (except myself...who will ALWAYS be a Bomber mark) :P Robert taught the rookie a lesson though, as he wiped up the ring with Mr. Personality. JoJo has a ton of charisma, and you can't help but love the guy. His ring enterance, his dancing, his facial expressions and just the way he carries himself is priceless. JoJo is definately a crowd favorite.

Great Gym Warz Moment Of The Night # 1: Thompson makes one of JoJo's most vocal "cheerleaders" from the audience, stand in the corner with Nikki, and cheer for JoJo. Thompson literally forced the guy to get out of his seat and become JoJo's official cheerleader for the rest of the match. The guy did a good job too, and was a really good sport about it. Very funny moment.

In the end, Thompson forced Fantastico to submit to a camel clutch submission hold. Bomber is the man!

WINNER: Robert Thompson ( * * * )

Larry Blackwell vs. James Watkins - Before the match, Blackwell explained that he was upset about losing his Universal Title Match against Robert Thompson in DeAnza, and blamed it on James Watkins not being able to watch his back. Blackwell asked for this match, to test Watkins and see if he is still worthy of being his partner.

The match was pretty good, and had a little more wrestling than you would think from these two bruisers. These are two mean dudes who just battled it out for a good 8 to 10 minutes. At one point in the match, they began slugging it out...back and forth...until referee Max Marquez got in the way and got nailed by both men. Marquez called for the bell and declared the match a double disqualification. Blackwell told Watkins that he has proven he is tough enough to be his partner, and the two of them raised each others hand, and left the ring to the boo's from the fans.

WINNER: Double Disqualification ( * * 1/2)

Great Gym Warz Moment Of The Night # 2: While the beautiful ring announcer for the night, Mistress Betty, was filling time between matches, she called some kids to the ring for a dance contest. This led to some big clunky Dustin Rhodes lookin' guy from the crowd who got in the ring and busted out a few dance moves of his own (if you can call them dance moves ;P Anyway, this led to JoJo Fantastico making an appearance and showing the audience member how it's really done! JoJo danced for a minute, and this led to ROBERT THOMPSON coming to the ring, looking totally disgusted that JoJo was dancing in "his ring"! But JoJo got lucky, and Robert must have been in a good mood, because instead of knocking JoJo's lights out...he asked JoJo to show him how to do the JoJo Dance! It was hilarious!!! Just a very funny moment that I thought I should share with everyone. Robert's dancing gets 4.5 stars!

Bobby Quance vs. James Choi - This was a match that I was really looking forward to seeing, and I was not disappointed one bit. What a great high-energy match this was. It came complete with all of the jaw-dropping excitement that you would expect from these two. If you haven't seen James Choi yet, you are missing something...and if you haven't seen Quance yet, you are REALLY missing something. Quance is good enough to work the 2002 KOI, and Choi looks like he may be ready for 2003 edition. I am predicting Choi to be a big star in indy wrestling. He has a great look & good body, excellent facial expressions & selling and he's got tons of talent. This match is one that I hope APW decides to put up on the internet, because fans need to see these two work together. Choi has a cool handspring-elbow and a nice spin-kick...while Quance can mat wrestle, high-fly and toss just about any kind of suplex in the book (even some that I have never seen before). When this great match was all said and done, it was Quance coming out on top after his Shooting (5)-Star Press for the pinfall victory.

WINNER: Bobby Quance ( * * * 1/2)

"Kamikaze Kid" Jardi Frantz vs. Kafu - Pretty good match by these two, continuing the trend of the night; very solid one-on-one matches. Nothing spectacular, and not the best either guy has done, but still a very nice little match. Kafu might have the hardest chops the Garage has seen since Jason Clay tore the place up 5 years ago. Jardi did a lot less high-flying than we are used to seeing him do, but still worked nicely on the mat. Jardi is getting very good all-around, and is just polishing his skills now. He can put together the craziest high-flying stuntshow you have ever seen, and blow you away with high-spots galore...then he will turn around the next night and put on a mat wrestling clinic. His psychology work is improving as well. Kafu is loved at Gym Warz already, as his t-shirts look to be hot selling items (I usually see a few of them being worn at every show).

The end of the match came after Jardi hit his super cool 450-splash to get the victory over the popular Kafu.

WINNER: Jardi Frantz ( * * )

Nikki vs. Melissa - I was excited seeing these two in the main event of the night. APW's first all-girl main event since Gina & Brenda's catfight in 1997...and that is a far cry from what we saw last night from Melissa & Nikki. No hair pulling, no eye gouging and no lesbian kisses this time...just pure wrestling. They started off slowly trying to get a feel for each other, working into a fast paced exciting ending. Melissa is still the far better wrestler, but that doesn't mean that Nikki isn't getting pretty good as well. We may be blessed to have two of the best women in US Indy wrestling today. Melissa nailed an awesome spear that popped the crowd. She is going to be a huge hit overseas. Melissa ended up winning with a roll-up on Nikki after a very good match.

WINNER: Melissa ( * * * )

Farewell To Melissa...

After the match, APW Officials Jason Deadrich, Doug Anderson & Gabe Ramirez got into the ring and made the announcement that this would be Melissa's final match with APW, as she was going to Japan to work for ARSION. Melissa would be teaming up with MTV Tough Enough's Taylor during her time overseas. It was a very emotional moment, as the APW fans gave Melissa a standing ovation, and tossed confetti and streamers into the ring (Japanese style) :) All the wrestlers came to the ring to wish Melissa well and give her a proper sendoff. Head Camp Instructor Robert Thompson told Melissa how proud he is that she is going to Japan, and how proud he is that he (and American Dragon) played a part in training her and helping her prepare for her Japanese tour. The night ended when Melissa was presented with a plaque signed by all of the APW wrestlers, and hoisted onto the shoulders of some of the wrestlers while the fans let out a huge "APW" chant.

Good luck Melissa, we will miss you in APW, but everyone is so proud of everything you have accomplished. You will always be a part of the APW family. Good luck in ARSION!!!


APW GYM WARZ IS BACK IN TWO WEEKS

APW will be holding another "Invite Only" Gym Warz show at the APW Garage in Hayward, Ca. on Friday night June 21st. Only those who recieve e-mail invitations to this show will be allowed inside the building. However, don't feel left out...the results of the show will be right here in the APW Online Newsletter just two days after the show is held...or you will be able to check out www.allprowrestling.com for quicker results, which will be posted the day following the event.

APW's Gym Warz shows are full of non-stop wrestling action, featuring the top superstars of APW such as Robert Thompson, American Dragon, Jardi Frantz and more! This is also a chance to catch some up and coming young talent as they get their feet wet with amateur style matches to open up the shows.


Ric Drasin's "The Job Squad" Set to Film

ELAGO ENTERTAINMENT is very proud to announce it recently has completed a co-production agreement with Ric "The Equalizer" Drasin, to produce a new feature film entitled, "The Job Squad". Created by the former WWF Hall of Fame Member, "The Job Squad" is a light hearted and personal look at the world and emotions of small town wrestling. A story about the dreams, hopes and struggles of average people who strive to become immortal as professional wrestlers.

Ric Drasin's career as a wrestler began in the 60s when Ric became a wrestling legend, known as the Equalizer. He trained with Arnold Schwartzenegger (and close friend), winning Mr. America and Mr. USA titles. He was the Demi Hulk on the Incredible Hulk series (with Lou Ferrigno) and has been an internationally renowned celebrity. Ric has also been a writer and contributor for many wrestling and body building magazines including Joe Wieder's publications. He has also been a well respected personal trainer to many stars including Gene Simmons, Jeff Goldblum, Paul Reiser and more. In addition to The Job Squad, Ric Drasin is currently in pre-production on a documentary about his life and career, (Elago Entertainment is producing) and is in discussions with leading publishers for the forthcoming release of a new book, "Time of My Life" which is his autobiography.
Co-Producing "The Job Squad" is Richard R. Leedom, who was previously a co-founder and CEO of Citadel Productions, FilmSpex. Producer of "The Hollywood Showcase", "Kiev", "Hunter's Moon"; and Toney Smith, (CNN News Producer, "Tanner's Jump" and CEO Clean Sports).
The Job Squad boasts an impressive development package that includes developed merchandising, licensing arrangements and substantial attention from Hollywood insiders. "We are very confident" reports Richard R. Leedom, "that this will be the film to watch, once it becomes more fully developed and launches production".


Crossface Connection

by John Cross

Well, I turned 33 on Sunday, the 9th.

I have no problem with getting older.....do you? I mean, it is pretty inevitable that one age, and eventually reach middle age.

When I get there, I will tell you.

However, as I thought about this on Sunday, and as my brother and I wrote the Crossface Report, I figured I have grown past the WWE.

Sorry, Vince, but I'm growing out and away.

I have no urge to see simulated bodily functions. Now, in the Pink Panther movies, it was pretty funny. Seeing the good Inspector losing his pants once a movie...that was amusing. However, I have heard flatulence, seen simulated urine (two times), and witnessed two wrestlers simulate vomit (one of whom actually acted like he was putting it back in his mouth).

Is that wrestling? Um.......no.

I have seen a half-dozen sex scenes that would make a movie change rating. Maybe that is a good thing for ratings, but it seriously degrades, in my eyes, the product as a whole. Now, I like sex...I am frequently seen kissing my young, good looking wife (real fox, you know), but as part of a pro wrestling angle? Or, the base way it has been presented, especially with Vince being the lech.....he is married, you know. I wonder what Linda thinks.....

Is that wrestling? You tell me.

There are still some very solid performers in the WWE. Hulk Hogan, as Earl has said, and as I will admit, can pull off a very good effort when needed. Then, the everyday foci of excellence......Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Edge, Eddy Guererro, and the like....are brilliant, and are great to watch. There is also a very solid undercard, with people like Lance Storm, Raven, Shane Helms, Billy Kidman, Booker T, and others. However, to me, the crap that is put out there JUST to entice the target audience (males, 18-30) detracts from the genre.

Lingerie matches....OK, great. Fine. Trish is a scrapper, but she does not have the depth of experience to carry Terri Runnels through a match. No-one does. That match exists to show us breasts and butts. Also, if you do decide to watch that match for the technical merit, you find none, because both women don't want to lose their tops...as if there is any imagination as to what is there. They wrestle terrible matches.

Mud matches, gravy matches....OK. Nice. I'll take 'em or leave 'em.

Then, add to the sex the language, the very realistic personal exchanges (which I think are more bothersome to the kids than the matches themselves), and the whole package becomes tainted.

What gets me is that this demographic that Vince is trying to nail down is both economically shallow, and shrinking. The actual shrinkage, according to the Census people, is 572,000. Now, that may not sound like much, but it would have GROWN by 1,860,000 if the demographic had held to the larger population trend (grown by 5.044%). This is the 20-30 year old range, regardless of sex or ethnicity. http://eire.census.gov/popest/archives/national/nation2/intfile2-1.txt is the Web page where I found the info. Also, at http://eire.census.gov/popest/archives/national/nation2/intfile2-1.txt, I found that the average income for that age is lower than at any other adult age, other than the post-65 year old demographic. That is what I mean by shallow. There is no real depth to their financial standing i.e. no deep pockets. Vince can't keep going to this well...it is already as close to being dry as any other age group.

I am a believer that numbers mean things. I am also a believer in marketing, and this is a mistake that Vince is making. Just like pinning a monster push and a Title run on Hogan based upon Canadian anti Rock sentiment, this is a marketing miscalculation by Vince, in an effort to land quick improvement in the ratings and in the income of his company.

How do we fix it? Well, how does Vince and Linda fix it.....well, you first accept that you are going to take a hit while you change your format. Just like they did in the mid-90's, when they re-did their format, they are going to take a ratings dump. Take out the T&A, put some good female wrestlers in there, get the younger, more technically minded grapplers to the forefront, and clean it all up...at least a little. Take the emphasis off of the sophomoric humor and storylines, and bring the level of discourse up to a more mature level.

Do it for me, Vince....do it for my birthday present.

Or, do it for your kids. You won't have the company left to give them, if you fail to adapt and improve the WWE.

Thanks, everyone. Those of you who expressed your sympathy at the passing of my grandmother, I thank you.

Come to bodyslam.cc for our columns, news, and rumors. Solie's is the place for historical info, and the Tuesday Morning Report. With a duo like that, you can't go wrong.

See you next week for another Connection.



The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

SmackDown! was taped on Tuesday at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and opened with 16 wrestlers, dressed to wrestle, in the ring and then the entrance of Triple H, followed by Chris Jericho, followed by Kurt Angle (still wearing his rug), followed by Hulk Hogan. Finally, Vince McMahon came out to the platform with a microphone and announced a 20 man battle royal to become the #1 contender to the World Title spot for King of the Ring. Then he signaled for the bell and we were off. Godfather was the first one eliminated, then Faarooq. The announcers noticed that Edge was not in evidence. D-Von Dudley was next out, then Kidman. Val Venis bit the dust followed by Christian (who threw a tantrum out on the floor). Triple H was taken out (through the ropes) and pummeled by Lance Storm and Test. Randy Orton was tossed out. Al Snow was thrown over to land on the apron, then knocked off. Lance Storm was out next then Chavo Guerrero. Hurricane went for a chokeslam on Angle, but was blocked and tossed. Albert was out. Mark Henry gorilla pressed Angle and threw him but Angle snagged the ropes and hung on, then levered Henry out. Hardcore Holly was out next. Angle was eliminated soon after. It was down to the top three guys and Test. Then Jericho and Test eliminated each other, leaving Hogan and the Game, nose-to-nose. Hogan paused to rip off his shirt and Helmsley attacked. Moments later Triple H clotheslined Hogan and they both went over to the floor. The two referees disagreed about who won! From our camera angle there was no way to tell - then we cut to commercial.

When we came back, the dispute was still going on in the ring. McMahon appeared on the big screen and declared tonight's main event would be Hogan vs. HHH for the title shot. Backstage, Kurt Angle contended that he got screwed and complained about it, as usual. Hardcore Holly walked up and told him to stop whining - so we get a match. Meanwhile, Rico tried tor ingratiate himself with Upchuck and Billy by telling them what slobs they have become.

The next match was for the Tag Team Titles - Rikishi and Rico vs. Upchuck and Billy in an elimination match. Naturally, Rico started the match and got himself eliminated immediately, leaving his partner to face the former champs on his own. Billy was eliminated a few moments later, leaving Rikishi with Chuck, while two enemies lurked out on the floor. As the fight continued, Rico eliminated one of the turnbuckle pads so that Chuck could run Rikishi headfirst into it. He failed to min him, however. The match continued. As Billy distracted the referee, Rico delivered a superkick. Then Chick delivered a second one and took the pin. Upchuck and Billy ride again...

After the break, the Hurricane discovered that his stalker is...Nidia! I hear from Miss Pamela, the first female Tough Enough champ has been at Ohio Valley Wrestling, sharpening her skills. Nidia told Helms that she was mad at him for dumping her (?), and that her new boyfriend was going take his Cruiserweight Title. Jamie Knoble then ran in and punked him.

Christian took on Val Venis in a KOR qualifier. Venis won it with a powerbomb.

Backstage, the latest Tough Enough winners (Linda and Jackie) barged into McMahon's office and interrupted him on the phone to introduce themselves. McMahon was welcoming them to the company when Ivory came in and started dressing the two of them down for walking into Vince's office uninvited. Vince took the situation in hand and ordered a match for Linda against Ivory on Velocity, Saturday night.

Next up, a grudge match pitting Kurt Angle vs. Bob Holly (who holds Angle responsible for the arm injury that put him out of action for several months). Toward the end of the match, Angle got a chance to hit his spectacular run-up the corner to a belly-to-belly suplex - which got him a two-count. Moments later, Holly went for the Alabama Slam, but Angle ducked it and then grabbed the ankle lock. Holly made it to the ropes to escape, then went for a roll up. But Angle rolled right through it then took the pin with some help from the ropes. Holly was furious and succeeded in getting the Alabama Slam then went after the wig. Angle slipped away and then returned to the ring with the bell. But Holly wrestled it from his grasp and clobbered him with it.

At the hospital, Maven was resting when Torrie showed up. She made some suggestive moves with a banana - they got rid of the nurse, and then Torrie stripped off her top and drew the privacy curtain. Switch the scene to the lobby, where Tajiri had arrived and was asking where he could find Maven. The desk nurse told him that Maven's "girlfriend" had just arrived. Uh oh...

After the break, Tajiri was scene lurking in a hospital hallway, dressed like a doctor. Before he could locate maven's room, he was rushed away to the ER!

Edge showed up with his arm in a sling and not dressed to take on Chris Jericho in a KOR qualifier. He went on the mic and told the crowd that he has a torn shoulder from the cage mask last week, and is going to have to have surgery and will be out of action for a while. He then forfeited the match, saying that he needs to take care of himself so he can come back and win the WWE Title. At that point, Jericho made his entrance, talking to himself all the way to the ring, and then entered the ring with a mic of his own. He chastised Edge being a quitter then demanded that Edge raise his hand on victory. he started taunting Edge until the latter lost his temper and attacked. jericho immediately turned things around then went to work on the injured shoulder. He exposed the steel safety railing and rammed him into it, then ran him onto the steps before grabbing a chair. As Edge laid with his shoulder extended over the steps, Jericho whacked it with the chair. Val Venis ran out and chased Jericho off.

Stacy and Dawn Marie had a run in backstage, then Lance Storm told Billy Kidman he needs to loosen up and not be so serious... Finally, Tajiri slipped into Maven's room just after he and Torrie finished "doing their business". He attacked Maven and left him squirming in pain on the floor.

Dull and boring Billy Kidman took on the charismatic Lance Storm in the next contest. This was a good match up - two tremendous speed demons. Kidman went for the Shooting Star early on, but it was too soon, and he was upset. Storm came back with a super kick and won the match.

Triple H was interviewed backstage, after being shown footage of what happened last week with Test and Undertaker. The interviewer, the new guy (what's his name), pointed out that the doctor has stated that HHH only has 30% range of motion in that arm, and wanted Helmsley to comment. HHH walked away.

The main event was the match for the #1 contender spot - Hulk Hogan vs, Triple H for the first time on broadcast TV (as they reminded us again and again...) Hogan tossed Helmsley out through the ropes early on and the latter caught his elbow on the ropes, thus hurting himself again. Hogan followed him out to the floor and then battled around ringside. Hogan was eventually knocked down and HHH fled back top the ring. Back inside again, Hogan was on the receiving end. HHH then slapped on a sleeper for quite a while. Hogan got loose eventually and "Hulked Up". He hit the boot to the face, but then missed the leg drop. HHH hit the Pedigree and took the pin. He left the ring and started walking away but Hogan called him back, and told him, "I ain't got a problem shakin' the hand of the better man." They shook and embraced. Hogan started to leave, but now it was HHH calling the Hulkster back. He wanted to pose with Hogan! As they were celebrating with the crowd, Kurt Angle showed up on the ramp, distracting the two in the ring so that the Undertaker could attack from behind. The two bad guys beat up on the two good guys to end the program.


Raw came to us live from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia where Ric Flair came the ring immediately after the introductory montage, with his usual pomp and circumstance. Of course, tonight we are faced with the aftermath of last week's match in which Flair's loss of same means that he has to become Steve Austin's personal assistant. Right off the bat, Flair owned up to his loss, and stated his intention to follow through with his obligation to Austin - but unfortunately, Austin has not shown up tonight. At this point, Mr. McMahon showed up and strutted to the ring. He grabbed a mic and began to upbraid Flair for his failures as an owner. He accused Flair of driving RAW into the toilet, and told him that as an owner, "You suck!" Vince went on to propose that Flair have a match with himself, no holds barred, for 100% ownership of the WWE promotion! Flair immediately agreed in the most flamboyant terms... (I hear a rumor that Austin walked out in a snit before the show started tonight because he was booked to wrestle Brock Lesnar. This caused the entire show to be re-written, since Austin was supposed to be involved throughout the program. The speculation is that Vince's appearance on the show tonight was a last minute decision, taken after the departure of the Rattlesnake.)

The first match was a 6 man tag contest pitting the nWo (X-Pac/Booker/Big Show) vs. Planet Stasiak/Tommy Dreamer/Spike Dudley. This one was short - the highlight being Dreamer threatening to throw the contents of his slop bucket at Booker, then throwing it...only to reveal that it was filled with confetti. It was cute, but not effective. Booker came back and clobbered Dreamer.

Goldust's impression for tonight was of "The Undercover Brother". Rather than try to join nWo, Goldy's tack with Booker was to try and convince him to quit the group. He stated that Shawn Michaels would want Booker out. In an interview with Terri, Molly was in the middle of her interviewer down when Trish showed up and did a little putting down of her own - telling Molly that her butt's too big! This led to a match for later, the stips being if Molly wins, she gets a title shot, if Trish wins, Molly has to wrestle in a thong. Molly slunk away covering her butt with the latest issue of RAW Magazine. Back in Flair's office, Eddie G and Chris Benoit confronted Flair over his lack of judgement in accepting the match with McMahon. He assured them that he would win.

Bradshaw (who is the current Hardcore Champ) took on William Regal for the European Title in the next match. Not surprisingly, Bradshaw dominated the opening moments and then began to be out wrestled for a while, and then was making a comeback when Chris from Tough Enough I jumped the barrier and onto the apron. This distracted the referee so that Regal could use the brass knuckles (tossed to him by Chris to) to knock out Bradshaw and retain his title. Chris (who JR referred to as "Chris Nowiski" was dressed in a Harvard sweater, and left the arena with Regal.

The next contest was the Trish/Molly gimmick match. The camera seemed to be focusing on Molly's butt throughout the match, of course, as Lawler commented on same. Meanwhile Molly dominated the entire fight and won it handily with a somersault planche from the top corner. Afterward, Molly retrieved the pair of Trish's panties that were used to taunt her with last week, and choked the Champ with them.

Backstage, Arn Anderson confronted Vince and told him he was crazy to risk his entire business on a match. Vince shoved him away, then Arn told Vince he was looking forward to his "early retirement" tonight.

Rob Van Dam took on Eddie Guerrero in a KOR qualifier and beat him in somewhat controversial fashion after a great match. Not that it matters, really, since we all know that Guerrero will be taking on Steve Austin at the PPV.

Coach tried to get an interview with HBK outside the nWo locker room, but Shawn just breezed by him. Kevin Nash stopped by long enough to say that Michaels would have his say in the ring later.

The Undertaker (who we saw earlier arriving on his bike) rode his machine right to the ring, dismounted and then entered the ring to deliver a rant. It was his usual whining and crying about not getting respect...yadda, yadda, yadda. He trashed Triple H and Tommy Dreamer and then turned his ire on Jeff Hardey. This brought Matt Hardy out (dragging a ladder) to complain about UT disrespecting him last week. UT invited him to the ring, but didn't see Jeff climbing the corner behind him. Between the two of them (and the ladder) they managed to put UT down and punk him, then left him laying in the ring and walked away. Moments later, Chris Nowinski was being interviewed about graduating the top of his class at Harvard, when Jeff Hardy highjacked the mic and camera to make a statement about the Hardys' plot still being unfinished, then he split the building and drove away.

Bubba Ray Dudley took on Brock Lesnar in a great KOR qualifier...and lost due to Paul Heyman's interference. So, I wonder who he'll face at the PPV...

Backstage, McMahon was getting ready for his match with Flair. Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar walked in and Heyman made what was probably a shoot reference to the problem with Austin. He then told Vince that he had an idea for using Lesnar at KOR. Vince looked pleased at that. Kevin nash and HBK were seen heading toward the ring as we cut to commercial.

After the break, in a pre-recorded segment, the Rock faced the camera and said that he is coming back...

Shawn Michaels came to the ring and had a few things to say. Some of it, apparently unscripted, referred the the absence of Steve Austin. He seemed quite bitter about Austin "stealing his spotlight" a few years ago when Michaels was forced to retire by health concerns. He assured everyone that he wasn't back to wrestle then introduced Nash as his "best friend in the world" and the one guy who stood by him when he was down. He signaled his approval of the Big Show and X-Pac as nWo members...then he super kicked Booker T!! Booker T was punked and left laying as the four remaining members of the stable celebrated in the ring. This sets Booker up for a major face turn, of course - just what he needs to do...

Ric Flair and Vince McMahon had a brutal, bloody match which started on the ramp, ranged into the ringside area then out into the crowd before settling back in the ring. Before it was over, Lawler was saying that he was going to put Flair's blood (which got all over his jacket) up for sale on eBay! Much later, as Flair was working on Vince's leg to set up a figure four, Arn Anderson came down and set up a big straw man, the idea that he was going to turn on Flair...but it didn't happen. Instead, Arn entered the ring and just stared Vince down as Flair locked in the figure four...then Brock Lesnar ran down and took Flair out. McMahon took the pin, won the match, and is now once more the sole owner of WWE.

I hear that the wrestlers were told backstage that this development doesn't mean that the brand extension is dead... Hmmmm....so what does it mean..?? I am even hearing a rumor that Steve Austin will return with Eric Bischoff in tow to start another new faction...right...

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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