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.
Saturday night July 6th
Napa Fairgrounds : Calistoga, Ca.
15-MAN BATTLE ROYAL - This match featured all the APW superstars in the ring at the same time, battling it out in an over-the-top-rope Battle Royal. Young Boot Camp graduate Vince Shipman made his APW debut in this match, but was the first man eliminated, and Nikki was also in the Battle Royal, the only female in the match.
Bodies were flying everywhere, and the final four came down to Larry Blackwell, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels & American Dragon. The three smaller wrestlers teamed up to toss the 350-pound Blackwell over the top rope, and then American Dragon tossed Daniels out. While Dragon celebrated, he was attacked from behind by Samoa Joe, and eliminated from the match. Samoa Joe was declared the winner of the Battle Royal, and was on a hot streak. Would he be able to continue his streak and win the Universal Championship from Robert Thompson later tonight? We would soon find out...
Winner: Samoa Joe ( * * )
James Watkins & Larry Blackwell vs. Kafu & Disco Machine
Winners: Larry Blackwell & James Watkins ( * * )
Nikki vs. JoJo Fantastico
Winner: Nikki ( * 1/2)
"Tornado" Tony Kozina vs. James Choi
Winner: Tony Kozina ( * * 1/2)
MASK vs. HAIR MATCH
Super Dragon vs. "Kamikaze Kid" Jardi Frantz - This match was for Super Dragons mask or Jardi Frantz's hair...the loser would have to give up one of their most prized possessions. This was an excellent match. The two of them were practically flawless, and the hilight of the match was Jardi's springboard 450-splash! He sprung from the apron to the top rope, and all in one motion, hit a nice 450!!! It was unreal! In the middle of the match, Samoa Joe & Disco Machine came to ringside. The fans were wondering what they were doing there, as they were obviously cheering for Super Dragon. However, after missing a Phoenix Press, Super Dragon found himself on the mat, face first, with Frantz taking over. Jardi locked on a version of the cattle mutulation, but Super Dragon was not giving up. Samoa Joe, who was still at ringside with Disco Machine, all of a sudden, tossed a towel in the ring, and referee Jason McCord called for the bell.
Joe had "thrown in the towel", and forced Super Dragon to lose the match. Fans were confused, as they thought Joe & Disco were out there to support Super Dragon, not make him lose the match. However, things became very clear when they announced that Super Dragon would only lose his mask if he was defeated by pinfall or submission...not by forfeit! They stated that the stipulation had been waved, because it never said anything about losing the mask if a towel gets thrown in the ring. Jardi Frantz was upset that he had put his hair on the line, and now, even after winning the match...he wouldn't get to unmask the tricky Super Dragon. Jardi grabbed for Super Dragon's mask, and yanked it off...but Super Dragon was wearing ANOTHER mask under that one! Super Dragon jumped out of the ring, and left with Samoa Joe & Disco Machine. He was just happy to get out of the match without losing his mask.
A very solid match with two of my favorite indy workers. I hope to see this feud settled soon, with a rematch between these two high-flyers.
Winner: Jardi Frantz ( * * * )
INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & SAMOA JOE - Two bright indy superstars came to the ring for a quick promo. All they wanted to do was trash the fans and the city of Calistoga. Daniels really laid into them with a pretty good promo, talking about how he and Joe didn't need their help or support...and how they can cheer Robert Thompson tonight because he needs all the cheers he can get. Daniels & Joe threaten to take the Internet Title & Universal Title back to SoCal with them if they can win their matches tonight.
APW UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP*
"The Bomb" Robert Thompson vs. Samoa Joe
The Universal Championship was on the line. Samoa Joe, who had turned on Thompson during the Tag Tournament back in King City, was now on the opposite side of the ring, and ready to take his best shot at de-throning the king of APW.
A great back & forth match, these two really showed me something here. Neither mans best match, but definately a match worth checking out. The heat involved in this match alone was enough to have the fans on the edge of their seats. This one was for all the marbles.
A good 10 minutes into the match, Super Dragon came walking out to ringside carrying a chair. The fans were now starting to put together the Super Dragon/Disco Machine/Samoa Joe connection, and realizing that it must be a SoCal vs. NorCal thing. Anyway, Super Dragon climbed onto the apron, holding a chair for Thompson to be rammed into. However, just as Joe tried to do so, the champ turned the tide and slammed Joe's head into the chair that his own partner was holding. Thompson then climbed to the top rope and nailed the unconscious Samoa Joe with a huge Frog Splash. 1...2...3!!! Robert Thompson had defeated his biggest challenge of the year, and pinned Samoa Joe right in the middle of the ring. Even Joe's partner Super Dragon couldn't stop Thompson. The Bomber is on a roll now, as he made his 3rd straight successfull title defense tonight in Calistoga.
Winner: Robert Thompson retains the APW Universal Championship ( * * * 1/2)
APW WORLDWIDE INTERNET CHAMPIONSHIP
American Dragon vs. "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels - Another great match here. I really love to watch both of these guys work, and together they put on a fantastic match. It could have been a touch longer, but it was non-stop action from beginning to end. Lots of counters, near-falls and false finishes throughout this intense match made for a good one.
The end of the match came when American Dragon hit a top rope headbutt, and followed with a belly-to-back suplex from the top. American Dragon covered Daniels and got the three count! American Dragon would continue his reign of the Internet Title, which has now reached about one month. No title changes tonight!
Winner: American Dragon retains the APW Worldwide Internet Championship ( * * * 1/2)
Prince Cheezy vs. Joe Kidd
Winner: Joe Kidd ( * )
I am going to jump into something that I will probably regret. Have you ever done that before? You get that sinking, nervous feeling....
Like I'm getting ready to jump into 12 feet of cold, cold water...at 6:00 in the morning....
You say you like that kind of stuff? Well...bear with me.
Chris Jericho wrote a column last week blasting everyone that looks at his wrestling, and finds it wanting. He got on the 'Net 'smarks' for saying his match at KOTR was not the best offering he had ever given.
Now, I was there, and it was a pretty good match. Was it the best match of the night? I would say it was close. Noble/Hurricane was also a good match. Both were superlative. But, that is not the reason he wrote the column that he did.
He has totally converted his WCW-wrestling methodology to a WWE system, and that served to 'dumb-down' his technique and ring action. Kind of like driving a station wagon with an eight-cylinder engine. Do you remember the matches he had with Dean Malenko? His character back then? A lot different. However, that is not why he is complaining.
You know why? Because he can. Lance Storm, too. Because they can.
This is just indicative of the change in the industry that once was professional wrestling. Before Chris Jericho was a wrestler, kayfabe was king. You didn't go out and blast the fans out of character. Of course, they were open game when you WERE in character, but I would assume that the blasting of fans that Jericho levied on his website very rarely happened. Was wrestling scripted? Figure it out yourself, or ask David Schultz.
Now, everybody and their mother admits that it is scripted. Read people's books, see their interviews......admit it is scripted, and you are a "sports entertainer", a great, '90's' type of wrestler, respectful of the fans knowledge, blah blah. Rocky came out in his book and said so, as did Mankind. Jericho doesn't even go that far....he has an immediate outlet to all of us....the Internet.
When he gets angry at our reaction to his work, he can just go to his computer, type in a few paragraphs about how ignorant we are, fire it off to his webmaster, and we get to see it in hours. Immediate gratification for ol' Chris. He has an opinion, and he has to, he must, give it to all of us as soon as he can. Why? Because he can. Because he must share his emotions with us as quickly as possible, good or bad, insulting or praising.
In short, he is just like the college-aged smarks he rails against.
He is an emotional, impulsive, impressionable young man, buttoned down right in the middle of Generation X. We forget that these people are that young, don't we? He is young enough that he hasn't found reason (or the ability)to control his reactions to what people say. He also must receive positive reinforcement from somebody (probably his peers) when he complains...if he didn't, he wouldn't do it.
People have been critiquing wrestling for as long as I can remember. In fact, the people in his home country of Canada look at wrestling much more scientifically than we do down here in the Republic. Is he upset that we would look at his wrestling, and find it wanting? Or, is he mad that we would actually have the gall to voice an opinion that was different than his?
I say the second.
His reaction is blatantly arrogant. How dare we say his effort was not the best of the night? How can we tell him that his match was not what we wanted? We don't know..we have no idea what is good and bad...we are just so stupid!
Mr. Irvine...we are the people that pay your damnedable salary...remember? We are consumers...we want the product that you produce, which is your wrestling. You look at it as a way of life. We look at it as entertainment. If we go to a movie, and don't like it, we can share that opinion with anyone and everyone. And, yes, movie stars blast critics and the public for those opinions. Now, you do, too.
Fine. Do so. However, you run the risk of truly alienating your fans from you. There is a reason that wrestlers 'pander' to the fans, as you call it...because without the fans, you would be writing op-ed pieces in Wawa, Ontario, about the new medical center/hospital they are building, or the Watson's flourishing tour business.
We can take the criticism, and just turn you off, not buy your merchandise, and you suffer. You lose heat, you drop down in the card, you aren't worth that much to Mr. McMahon. A terrible circle of repercussions, huh?
Recognize what side of the bread is buttered.
Thanks for the Solie's Forum for the subject this week...I was really at an impasse where subject material was concerned. You all should go down to the Forum for their stellar opinions.....just as you should come to bodyslam.cc for our news, rumors, and reports.
See you next week, with another Connection.
by Earl Oliver
SmackDown! was taped on Tuesday at the Fleet Center in Boston, Massachusetts and opened with Lillian Garcia's rendition of "America the Beautiful" - only to be rudely interrupted by the Canadian Whiners Contingent (CWC), Lance Storm, Christian and Test. Christian took the mic and lambasted the Boston crowd for thinking that "Independence Day" was the day Will Smith saved the world from a bunch of aliens. Storm took the mic and stated that the USA was ungrateful when they declared their independence from England. He reminded the crowd of our "defeat" in the Viet Nam War, and accused the American people of not allowing dissent, dispute the tenants of our Constitution. Test added that the rest of the world hates America and thinks we are hypocritical. The three of them then yelled, "America Sucks!!" This brought Rikishi to the ring to face Lance Storm in the first match of the evening - but first, we cut to commercial.
Despite the interference of his buddies, Storm was losing this match handily until Rikishi went for his Banzai drop. Test put a boot in his face and gave Storm the win.
Backstage, after the break, Vince McMahon sent Stacy to fetch rookie sensation, John Cena, to his office for a parley.
Meanwhile, Rev. Devon and Deacon Bautista went to the ring to face Randy Orton and Val Venis in a tag team match. Bautista (the former Leviathan, on the indie circuits) is a marvel for sure. Where do these monsters keep coming from?? Although he made a few rookie errors during the match, eventually, he put Orton down and pinned him.
Backstage, Chris Jericho was pacing and complaining about Edge spoiling his fun last week, when Cena walked in. Vince introduced him to Jericho. Cena tried to shake the Millennium Bug's hand but Jericho gave him a verbal lambasting, demanding, "What kind of 'ruthless aggression' do you have junior?" Cena's response was to slap him silly and then walk out.
During the break, Jericho demanded and got a match with Cena for tonight. Meanwhile, Kurt Angle was interviewed about his upcoming match with the Undertaker. He then excused his performance against John Cena last week by saying he has the flu. He showed his own highlight reel, showing him defeating first the Undertaker and then Hulk Hogan.
Backstage, Upchuck and Billy were doing their "ambiguously gay duo" thing, eating hotdogs, when Rico walked in and told them they needed to prepare for the big Tag Team Title match against Hulk Hogan and Edge.
That match was after the break. Hogan entered to his old "I'm a Real American" music for the first time since leaving the WWF years ago. He took on Chuck to open the match, and threw him of with little trouble. Chuck next attacked with his fists and had a little more success, but was bested eventually. Billy tagged in and fared no better, then had to face Edge, who took on both Tag Champs for a while, then they turned the tables and double teamed him in isolation for several minutes. Hogan finally got back into the match and cleaned house in his inimitable fashion. He hit the big boot to Billy's face but wasfoiled when he went to the leg drop. But Hogan came back with a double clothes line and tagged Edge back in. Edge cleaned a little house of his own until Rico interfered. Hogan went after him on the outside. back in the ring there were several false endings as Edge hit a spear and got a two count, but was dragged from the ring. Back inside again, Edge joined Hogan and hit a double boot on Billy (who had deviously replaced his partner in the ring while the referee was not paying attention), then they each dropped a leg before Edge took the pin. Hogan and Edge are the new tag Champs (a first for Hogan).
John Cena held his own against Chris Jericho, but unlike his contest with Kurt Angle last week (a relative rookie, despite his successes in a pretty short WWE career), against Jericho he didn't fare nearly as well during the bulk of the match, although he did get a couple of two counts on the former WWE Champ. Jericho's first attempt at the Walls of Jericho resulted in a reversal to a roll up and another two count on the veteran. Jericho finally won using a Flashback (and some foot action on the ropes). Afterward, jericho suckered the rookie into a handshake, then tried to cheapshot him. Cena saw it coming and turned the tables with a sidewalk slam variation that knocked the wind out of Jericho, both literally and figuratively.
In the next segment they replayed the Big Show's humiliation by the nWo last week, and the announcement that Triple H would be joining that stable. This was followed by a replay of Torrie's winning the Diva competition last weekend - what a classic moment - Torrie, standing there with a big sucker (a prop from her "little girl" costume), learns of her victory and sticks the sucker on top of Dawn Marie's breast as she goes to claim her trophy...
In a taped segment, Jamie Noble surprised his main squeeze, Nidia with a new truck and a double wide trailer...
Stacy and Torrie took part in a bra and panties grudge match, as a result of their dust up at the Diva's competition on Saturday. This was a pretty clumsy match, although both of them have a come a ways since their WCW days, they still need some seasoning before we can consider them wrestlers. Torrie won the contest by stripping Stacy to her black bra and panties, and then gleefully stripped down to her own, star-spangled, underwear. What a country...
The main event featured the Undertaker putting his WWE Title up against Kurt Angle's challenge. Angle came very close to winning this one - and in fact at least one referee thought he had. He was holding UT in a Triangle Choke, and both of their shoulders were near the mat. Angle settled in at one point and was counted out, but it wasn't immediately clear just who won, because UT was tapping out during the three count. The final decision was a draw - which meant that UT retained his title.
Raw came to us live from the First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and opened with a statement from Vince McMahon. First he announced that he had given the Undertaker the night off. Then he declared that the main event for the next PPV will be a Triple Threat match for the WWE Title - Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle vs....the Rock!
Booker T came to the ring for some palaver concerning his problems with the nWo. He called the nWo out...but got Eddie Guerrero instead Eddie G came to the ring and confronted Booker and told him that he made a promise to himself last week, that he was going to take on the first guy who ran his mouth tonight. So, that was Booker. In a flash they were into it. Eddie exhibited a solid strategy early on in the match, attacking Booker's left leg to take away about 3/4 of his weapons. Booker finally rolled Eddie up with a kind of over the shoulder Sunset Flip and took the pin. Immediately Chris Benoit ran in and helped Eddie go to town on Booker. Goldust ran in to help his partner, but the two of them were overwhelmed by the attack of Guerrero and Benoit until the Dudley brothers ran in and saved their butts.
Backstage, Booker had a strategy session with Goldust and then attacked a vendor who bore more then a passing resemblance to X-Pac. He realized his mistake, but not until after he had done the damage. In another part of the building, Trish was being interviewed when Jackie (from Tough Enough) walked up and started giving her some lip. Chris Nowinski (also from Tough Enough) got involved so Trish suggested a mix tag match. Jackie and "Harvard" agreed and started naming cartoon characters that Trish could team up with. She chose Bradshaw, much to the rookies' chagrin. In still another part of the building, Goldust (dressed as his version of Ben Franklin) confronted the Dudleys and suggested they join forces with Booker and Goldust. The Dudleys weren't interested.
Bubba had a match against Chris Benoit next. Eddie G and Spike were in attendance as well. Benoit consistently out wrestled his opponent throughout the contest, though Bubba did manage to hit a great German suplex on Benoit shortly after taking one himself. After several instances of Guerrero interfering, Benoit surprised a distracted Bubba with the Crippler Crossface and won via submission. The ex-Radicalz then started a punk job until Booker and Goldust ran in and returned the favor from a while ago.
Chris Nowinski showed us around the Harvard campus (yawn...)
Jeff Hardey met Ric Flair backstage, who congratulated him on his performance against the Undertaker last week. After the youngster moved on, Flair had to listen while Steven Richards run his mouth. he challenged Richards to meet him in the ring. Richards agreed and then hit him with a cheap shot.
Womens' Champ, Trish Stratus, joined her partner, Hardcore Champ, Bradshaw, to take on the two Tough Enough rookies, Jackie Gaeda and Chris Nowinski in a mixed gender tag team match. Bradshaw ended up chasing his opponent around the ring and then out into the crowd, leaving the two ladies to duke it out. Trish missed a flying bulldog spot, but Jackie showed she was a trooper and took the fall anyway. Trish took the pin.
Backstage, Guerrero and Benoit met up with the nWo, who suggested the possibility of an alliance. The nWo then continued out to the ring as we went to commercial. After the break, the nWo appeared in the ring and Shawn Michaels demanded that Triple H give them an answer to their offer to join the group. He gave him 2 weeks to make up his mind. Kevin Nash then announced that he has been medically cleared to wrestle - and he wanted a match. He proposed a ten man tag team match - the nWo, Benoit and Guerrero vs. Booker, Goldust, the Dudleys and...someone...
Ric Flair had his challenge match against Steven Richards next and just destroyed the kid from the opening bell. He beat him in a matter of minutes with a figure four leg lock.
Paul Heyman was in the ring with his boy Lesnar, running his mouth as usual, about how he made all of the ECW stars, when Tommy Dreamer came out to dispute that notion. he attacked Lesnar with a Kendo stick! Then he went to work on Heyman until Lesnar recovered and attacked him from behind. Rob Van Dam then ran down and knocked Lesnar to the floor, then hit a spectacular Vandaminator of Heyman, who was sitting in the corner.
Jeff Hardy was back this week for a European Title match against current Euro champ, Willy Regal. Hardy tried to turn this into a high flying extravaganza, but Regal is too good a wrestler to let that happen. He succeeded in grounding the explosive youngster through much of the fight. In the end, however, Regal was paying too much attention to trying to remove a corner pad and thus distracted, was downed and then hit with a swanton bomb for the pin. Hardy is the new Euro champ!
Backstage, after the match, Regal was asked how he felt after losing the title - and broke down and cried!! Chris Nowinski comforted him and led him away. In the dressing room, the Dudleys took on Rob van dam as their fifth team mate.
The match was next. The nWo, Benoit and Guerrero vs. The Dudleys, Goldust, Booker T and Rob Van Dam. Joe Frazier was shown in the audience as the introductions were being performed. We went to commercial in the middle of the intros. After the break, the good guys team was introduced. The two high flyers started things - Van Dam vs. X-pac. Waltman was clearly out of his league, then he tagged in Goldust, who continued the assault. Bubba was next in - poor X-Pac continues to be isolated. Even Spike out maneuvered him handily. But then Benoit was tagged in against Spike, who was immediately on the receiving end. Benoit stayed in against Van Dam, who was then isolated as the Big Show entered the frey. About ten minutes into the fight, Nash had yet to get into action. But then, Booker hadn't been in yet either. During Van Dam's isolation, Shawn Michaels started getting involved from the outside. As Bubba took on the Show in the ring, van dam chased Michaels up the ramp and ran right into Brock Lesnar, who cleaned his clock, leaving Van Dam's team mates at a disadvantage in the ring. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Booker T finally was tagged into the match. Nash used a cheapshot to knock Booker down and then tagged in. Almost immediately all hell broke loose and the next thing we knew, nash was down in the corner having appeared to have blown out his knee. Michaels super kicked Booker then the Show finished him off to end the match, then Michaels made another call to Triple H to join the club. Nash was helped from the ring. Hmmmm...this doesn't look good... I now read on the internet that Nash injured a quadriceps and will require surgery. Tough break indeed...
At least that's the way I see it...
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