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.
The NYSWF honors professional wrestling’s manager of champions, Captain Lou Albano for his over 50 years of contributions to our industry with a “Roast & Toast” banquet.
Mr. Albano will be roasted by his peers including two of which he managed to World Tag Team Championships, “Luscious” Johnny Valiant and Afa of the Wild Samoans. David Sammartino, actor Vinny Vella, former middleweight boxing champion Iran "The Blade" Barkley will also be on hand for the evening. There will be more wrestling personalities added to the dais in the weeks ahead.
The event takes place Saturday, July 27th beginning at 7:30PM at the West End Sports Club located at 76 3rd St. in New Rochelle, NY. The event will be catered by Frankie & Johnny’s and features live entertainment by "Third Stone". Banquet tickets are available for $50.00 and can be picked up at Deluxe Taxi in New Rochelle or by calling 914.235.4676 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
CHEERLEADER MELISSA RECIEVES ARSION CONTRACT
On Friday night June 7th at APW's Gym Warz show in front of all of the loyal APW fans and family, it was announced that Cheerleader Melissa had received a contract from one of the top Japanese women's wrestling promotions, ARSION, and will join MTV Tough Enough's Taylor as they leave for Japan next week to compete as a team.
The announcement brought the fans to their feet in a show of appreciation as the APW locker room filled the ring to congratulate Melissa. The young superstar was then presented with a special award signed by APW superstars and staff while fans filled the ring with streamers and confetti from the garage balcony above. It was a great moment for Melissa as she was brought to tears by the showing of support, and the standing ovation she recieved.
While we hate to see her go, we are proud of her accomplishments and the training she's received from American Dragon and Robert Thompson. We look forward to a long-standing relationship with ARSION as we continue to build a strong female division in APW.
We will do our best to keep you updated with Melissa's progress in Japan. Please be sure to stop by the message boards at allprowrestling.com or at Melissas official site www.cheerleadermelissa.com to wish her well on this great opportunity.
With graduates receiving contracts from WWF, WCW, ECW, NEW JAPAN, NOAH PRO WRESTLING and now ARSION, there can be no doubt that APW Boot Camp is the the number one professional wrestling training school in the nation today.
KRON CHANNEL 4 AIRS APW STORY
KRON news Channel 4 aired a story this past Tuesday live from the APW Garage in Hayward, Ca. The short story, hosted by KRON's Henry Tenenbaum, focused on the APW Boot Camp and featured such superstars as Robert Thompson, Melissa, American Dragon, Nikki, James Choi and APW President Roland Alexander. APW would like to thank KRON for coming to the APW Garage and doing a story on the number one training school in the country today, The APW Boot Camp.
News 4 broke this story this weekend - professional wrestler Steve Williams (a.k.a Stone Cold Steve Austin) allegedly hit his wife Debora in the face at their San Antonio home on the far Northwest Side. Mrs. Williams told police this isn't the first time it has happened and that she was scared to call the police.
Sunday, World Wrestling Entertainment told News 4 that Stone Cold walked out of an event. Senior Vice President of Talent Relations, Jim Ross, said, "He took himself out of the game. Vince McMahon didn't. J.R. didn't. Steve Williams took Stone Cold and flew him to San Antonio."
The President of WWE, Vince McMahon said, "This is not a publicity stunt. This is something that, unfortunately, is sad."
That is a news story from the KMOL, San Antonio, TX, web site, about Steve Williams, formerly Steve Austin. I am letting you read it for yourself, and decide that to think. Unless the situation absolutely warrants it, I'll not speak of him any more after this column.
I tried to express in the past what this guy was all about, and I am of the opinion that many of the readers agreed...to a point. There is a boundary of sorts between the wrestling universe, and the real one. This forum has been replete with stories about 'regular guy' conversations with pro wrestlers, like Miss Pamela's entries about meeting the Undertaker. However, this is a situation that is probably more common than we realize.
In sports teams, there are always those guys who don't talk to the media, are introverted to a certain extent, who have deeper problems than just a bad attitude. I don't think that is such a mystery to anyone, because there are people like that in everyday life. However, Steve Williams' descent into his own personal collapse is rather marked, and probably not visible to many people ahead of time.
Why? Well, not because he didn't show signs of it....walking out after Wrestlemania, self-pushing in the locker room, stopping or hampering other people's pushes, and refusing to do what the management asked, even though what they asked him to do was in-line with what they asked others of his stature to do. I just think that the signs were so gradual, for so long, that when it finally erupted, it was a shock.
I would guess that a character that is dark, angry, brooding, and always on top of the game is a very good place to hide in, when the man behind the character feels the same way. I would gather that he took as a personal affront the attempt to push others to the main event, and at his expense. This thought pattern would do much to hide the fact that he had been in the spotlight for a long time, and that it was a natural healthy progression in the industry to allow this to happen. I can see that someone who was resentful about being replaced in the spotlight would have that feeling.
Add to that the fact that this guy was basically unable to advance his career for many, many years, and then, when he could, he almost lost it all due to injury. That would make me bitter, as I sat and thought about what my career might have been, or how it had been cut short with a move I had worked a hundred times.
Then, comes the recovery, and, once the man was on top, the efforts to make sure he stayed there. I cannot convey the gut feelings that I had as the rumors and news about his behind-the-scenes mechanizations hit the 'Net....I knew that Williams was becoming, in his own opinion, bigger than the fed. All the signs were there...the holding back of Jeff Jarrett, the ceasing of Kurt Angle's first WWF Championship run, the refusal to job to people clean (Evidence? How about Scott Hall's match at WM18? More? How many times, in Title matches, did he lose clean? Out of six losses, two were clean pins. How about his wins? He won five of six cleanly. I think that means something), the refusal to put people over (is that the same as the last point?), and his departure after Wrestlemania, which he publicly attributed to 'burnout', tell a tale of someone who wasn't willing to share the load to make the WWF/E better...he was all about Steve Williams. All about pushing Steve Williams to the forefront, and keeping him there at the expense of others.
Another thing that amazes me is the fact that Vince allowed him to return after refusing to do the job at Wrestlemania, and then leaving for a week. That would alone kill any other career, but the WWF/E was desperate, as ratings were slipping, they were in a dead zone where angles and ideas were concerned, and they allowed him back, with nothing but a recommendation that he not do it again. Well, they looked for the cheap, quick fix, and they really paid for it.
His departure forced them to re-write about every angle they had going. Don't kid yourself.....Ric Flair's blood was spilled on Monday because Mr. Williams decided to turn tail and run from his problem. Whoever said that on the Forum was very astute. The loss of Austin is incredible, both audience and revenue-wise.
However, now there will be a needed change. New faces, angles, and programs will have to be created. The Williams Effect in the locker room will be rapidly neutered. Established main-eventers will see clearly that such things will not be tolerated, and that the management is ready to listen first, before acting. Don't doubt that Vince's power base, as well as JR's, hasn't been shored up dramatically.
There is a silver lining, as I said. However, my heart goes out to Debra. She is becoming the focus of his angst. She didn't do a damn thing to deserve this, except be close, and accessible. I hope that he reaps what he sows.
I won't miss him, as he is what is most wrong in wrestling.....and in life. I am sorry that he allowed his emotional baggage to come between him and what many will agree is wrestling's hall of fame, but he built this sand castle...and the waves of reality are washing it down into nothing. He destroyed himself, and for that, I feel nothing but regret.
Steve Austin is dead...and that is a FACT.....not an opinion.
Thanks for reading. See you next week with another Connection.
by Earl Oliver
SmackDown! was taped on Tuesday at the BI-LO Center in Greenville, South Carolina, and opened with an appearance by the (now) 100% owner of WWE (they actually introduced him that way) Vince McMahon, who came to the ring surrounded by about 20 security guards, and boasted that he now, "...owns it all..." He then acknowledged that people like him (rich people), have a responsibility toward the people like those in the crowd (peons...or something...) and that is to entertain them. So he brought out the Undertaker and Triple H to hold a contract signing for the PPV WWE Title match. After the signing, Vince's rent-a-cops held HHH so that the Undertaker could attack him - but Helmsley overcame the opposition and pulled his sledge hammer out from under the ring. That sent Vince and company scattering. Left alone in the ring, Triple H grabbed the mic and threatened to occupy the ring until he gets a match with the dead man tonight.
When we returned from the break, the Tag Champs were trying to get to the ring with their stylist. After some palaver, they rushed the ring but HHH was too much for them and they retreated. Hunter continued to call for the Undertaker's butt in the ring. His next gambit to start tearing up the ringside furniture - destroying the announce table and monitors with his sledge. Then he grabbed a TV camera and was ready to smash it when Vince finally appeared on the platform. He agreed to let UT face HHH in the ring...but only as part of a tag team with Kurt Angle and Hulk Hogan on the respective teams. HHH agreed...and then smashed the camera anyway.
Next up - a KOR qualifier pitting Test vs. The Hurricane, who was shown having run in with his ex-girlfriend Nidia backstage earlier tonight. In the match Helms started strong, and continued to out run his opponent until he was caught in "Test Drive" and clobbered. As Test left the arena, he passed Jamie Knoble and Nidia on their way to the ring. While the Hurricane was still out of it, Nidia removed his mask to reveal his true identity as...NO!!! Gregory Helms???
In a second KOR qualifier, Hardcore Holly took on Tajiri. During this match the announcers started talking about the walk-out by Steve Austin. They asserted that all the facts will be revealed on this weeks edition of WWE Confidential. How much you want to bet that we will only get Vince's side of this story? The math ended after a pretty good battle when Holly kept his head during the Tarantula. As soon as Tajiri was forced to release the hold, Holly levered him into the Alabama Slam and took the pin.
Chris Jericho and Lance Storm took on Val Venis and Billy Kidman in a tag team match. , in that This was a great battle with lots of false endings, which ended in a double roll-up with Kidman pinning Storm. But there was some controversey because a second camera angle showed that both Storm and Kidman had one shoulder each off the mat when the three count was administered.
Backstage, Hulk Hogan was interviewed concerning his match later. He challenged Kurt Angle to a match at KOR and also vowed that he would take Angle's wig off later tonight.
Backstage, during the break, Lance Storm took the referee of his match (Brian Hebner) to task for his call. He reminded all of us of a prior incident in which a referee named Hebner screwed a Canadian... In Vince's office, both Kurt Angle and the Undertaker expressed their displeasure at having to face off against HHH and Hulk Hogan later in the show.
In the ring, Reverend D-Von delivered a rant against masterbaters, calling them sinners. Faarooq took exception to that, saying, "You may not do that any more...but I do!" Then he busted D-Von up.
Trish Stratus teamed up with Tough Enough Champ, Linda Miles, to take on TE Champ, Jackie, and Ivory. I have to say that both of these rookies are showing me something - great performers already - and Jackie is just plain HOT!! In the end, the Ladies' Champ defeated Ivory with Stratus Faction.
Back in Vince's office, the MAN was sexually harassing Stacy Keibler, who secretly showed her disgust as he mauled her. Meanwhile, Dawn marie was knocking on the door... In another part of the building, Hulk Hogan was attacked and knocked unconscious by Kurt Angle and the Undertaker.
The main event was next - supposedly the Undertaker and Kurt Angle vs. Hulk Hogan and Triple H. But, of course, Hogan had just been taken out backstage. HHH attempted to even the odds a bit by attacking Angle on the ramp as he made his way to the ring, leaving Undertaker alone to face HHH - at least initially. Soon enough, however, Angle was back in the fight, which made it a handicap situation for Hunter. For quite a while, Triple H managed to hold his own and it started to look like it was possible he might actually win this match. he pretty much took Angle out of it and then attacked UT with his sledge, getting himself disqualified. At this point the numbers finally started to take their toll. Angle came back and hit the Olympic Slam on the Game after the match ended. Angle tried to leave the arena but ran into Hogan at the top of the ramp. Forced back to the ring, Angle was punked by both of the good guys and then finally had his wig removed by Hogan!! HHH hit him with a Pedigree to put a period on the evening while Hogan donned Angles wig and headgear. He and the game posed in the ring for the fans as the program ended.
Raw came to us live from the Oakland Arena in Oakland, CA (just down the freeway from my home in Hayward) and although the big story in the opening montage was about Booker T being "booted" out of the nWo - I can't help being more concerned about what the company is going to do with Ric Flair going forward. The show opened with a match between Rob Van Dam and X-Pac (Sucks!) There were, of course, two prominent chants throughout this match... This one ended shortly after RVD was knocked to the floor. The referee went out to his aid, and Booker T ran in and put his finisher on X-Pac. Van Dam climbed to the top and finished him off with a Frog Splash.
Next up was a recap from the WWE Confidential story and Steve Austin's departure. I am waiting to see how often (or if) the crowd will start "What!"ing people before the show is over.
Backstage, after the break, Kevin Nash assured X-Pac (Sucks!) that he had a plan to get back at Booker T.
Mr. McMahon made his way to the ring in the next segment to talk about Steve Austin. He started by confirming that Austin is really gone, and that hopes he will come back eventually, but he doesn't know what will happen. The crowd started the "What!" chant, which Vince ignored and continued with his story of how Austin walked out once before after WrestleMania, and then again last Monday night. He declared that Steve Austin owes and apology to the other wrestlers, to the company and to the fans. This started an "Austin!" chant, which died on the vine in few moments. Vince went on to say that company officials tried to call Austin but he would take only one call - from Jim Ross. Ross pleaded with Steve to come in and talk about the situation, but the Rattlesnake refused. Vince then made what sounded an awful lot like a personal plea, although it took the form of him simply saying, on befhalf of us all, "thank you, Steve, for the memories". Vince had a beer thrown to him, he opened it, took a drink and then left the can sitting in the middle of the ring as he left the arena, and we cut to commercial.
Oh my God...it is a work...trust me folks... Saturday night, Vince was full of venom for Stone Cold - tonight he turned around and got maudlin on us. This is too weird...
Jeff Hardy took on Raven in the next match...with the Undertaker scowling at him from the platform. Has anyone else noticed that Raven is much tamed down from his ECW and even his WCW days. The same is true of Rob Van Dam, but with him it isn't as obvious. Both specialized in ECW in creative use of chairs in the ring. Both have been forced to abandon that tack. In Van Dam's case, it has made him more interesting to watch, but for Raven, it seems to have done the opposite.
Booker is looking at Goldust in a bit friendlier vein this week, since his, falling out with Nash and company. Meanwhile, Molly Holly is doing thigh crunches (with a Thigh Master!), as Jonathan Coachman entered to interview her. He managed to offend her with a "butt" joke and got slapped for his trouble. In another part of the building, X-Pac is still whining about Booker's attack when Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar walked in. Heyman demanded that they stay out of Lesnar's match with Booker later in the show. This nearly precipitated a fight...but not quite.
Next up, the wrestling debut of Cris Nowinski...or maybe not. Accompanied by Willy Regal, Nowinski came down in his street clothes. His opponent was Spike Dudley, who came on strong right out of the chute and dominated CL for a few seconds. Nowinski then side stepped his opponent, tore off his break-away outer garments to reveal a gold and black outfit, then dragged Spike back into the ring and trounced him. For those of you who don't remember, or didn't watch Tough Enough, Chris was the one member of the first season cast who had prior pro wrestling experience in the indies. It showed in this match - he was smooth and quite effective. After winning the contest, Regal joined his protégé in a beat down of Spike, until Bradshaw ran in and rescued the little guy. I smell a tag match coming on...
Ric Flair came out next. This outta be good... He started by blaming Brock Lesnar for his defeat last week, but declared that he hasn't lost everything - maybe he's regained "Ric Flair". He compared his own career to Hulk Hogan, who was recently the WWF Champ, and has a big match at the PPV Sunday - and said that he has made the decision to continue wrestling. He was unloading on Lesnar when Steve Austin's music suddenly blared forth and heralded...Eddie Guerrero?? Guerrero came to the ring and grabbed a mic, stating that the crowd had just heard Stone Cold's music for the last time. He expressed his anger at the fact that he was ready to face Austin on Sunday - and now it isn't going to happen - as the crowd happily "What!"ed him. He blamed Flair for Austin's departure and called him a "worthless piece of crap." Chris Benoit then showed up and seemed to be taking Flair's side of the argument, reminding Guerrero that Flair has dedicated his entire life to this business. Eddie wasn't buying it - he called Flair a loser to his face. Flair came back with an offer to take Austin's spot on Sunday. Guerrero came back with promises to kick Flair's butt. Benoit interrupted again, telling Guerrero to back off...but then changed his tack and tore into Flair for ruining his life. Flair struck first and got the drop on the two of them but they overwhelmed him in a flash, punished his left leg then Guerrero put a figure four on him. Flair sucked it up and refused to tap, then Benoit kicked his leg a couple of times before Guerrero released the hold. Referees showed up to end the carnage.
Backstage, Vince was on the phone with Tony Garea when Chris Nowinski barged in to introduce himself. Nowinski spouted his accomplishments at Harvard, then Vince told him that Garea just informed Vince that "the man" is on his way to the arena - Steve Austin, or at least, that is what Vince thought he meant...huh? During the break, Vince told his security guys that Steve Austin was on his way to the arena and he wanted them to allow Austin access to the arena, and told Sgt. Slaughter to make sure he has a camera on Austin the whole time.
Trish Stratus and D'Lo Brown took on Molly and Crash Holly in an inter gender tag match. As they did last week, the cameraman made a point of doing the wide-angle shots on Molly's butt throughout the fight. After a down and dirty match, D'Lo out Crash down with a powerbomb. Molly immediately grabbed Trish off the apron and tossed her onto the announce table.
At the World in New York, Lita was there hosting a RAW party. She expressed her concern about her boyfriend going up against the Undertaker later in the program.
Jackie (from Tough Enough) was told by Vince that if she showed up next Tuesday for something called "WWE Divas Undressed" that she could be a regular on RAW.Jackie promised to show Vince just how "raw" she could be...
Next on the program was the Undertaker/Matt Hardy match. Matt did all right at first but eventually it started going downhill for him. Thanks to a run in by Jeff, Matt was making a come back, when Raven ran in and interfered, giving UT a chance to deliver the last ride and take the pin. After the match, Raven produced a pair of handcuffs and cuffed Jeff to the top rope, then held Matt off while UT beat the tar out of Jeff.
After the break, UT told Terri that what just happened is what anyone who gets in his way can expect. Vince was still making arrangements for the apparent imminent arrival of Stone Cold. Meanwhile, Paul heyman encountered Earl Hebner in the hallway and tried to tell him how to do his job vis-a-vis Brock Lesnar's match with Booker T. Hebner told him to butt out. Heyman then ran into Booker T, who promised to whip his boy's butt.
That match was next - a KOR quarter final, by the way. Then nWo followed Booker down and took up positions near the ring. In the ring, after initially coming on strong, Lesnar turned the tables and was beating on his opponent when Goldust showed up and confronted Heyman at ringside. This provided distraction for Booker to make a come back. X-Pac and the Big Show jumped onto the apron each in turn to draw Booker's attention away from his opponent so that Lesnar could win the match. Heyman and Lesnar left, while the nWo did a punk job on Booker and Goldust. How ironic is that the "Clique" is now masquerading as the nWo?
Backstage, Sgt. Slaughter informed Vince that Tony Garea has arrived in the parking lot. Vince instructed Slaughter to intercept the Rattlesnake and pursued him to meet Vince in the ring.
As we returned from the break, sure enough, Vince was in the ring and inviting Austin to make his appearance, asking for a beer. Garea arrived and informed Vince that it wasn't Austin he was talking about. Then the Rock showed up!!! Maivia acknowledged the crowd, who broke into a massive "Rocky!" chant, then turned his attention to Vince, who was now grinning ear to ear. The Rock went into his spiel, "Finally, the Rock comes back to Oakland..." He then lit into Vince, for expecting Austin to come back just like that. He then gave Vince 15 seconds to vacate the ring. Vince split up the ramp, then the Rock threw the beer after him! Mavia then addressed the crowd, ranting against Steve Austin for deserting the company. He then announced that he will be at King of the Ring this Sunday (he was scheduled to come back next month). He said that Steve Austin could take his ball and go home, but as far as he is concerned - this is home.
At least that's the way I see it...
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