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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

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

Triple H Admits He Attacked HBK

RAW writing takes a nose dive

More Talent Raids

Benoit and Guerrero show up on SmackDown!

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

Crossface Connection

by John Cross

All Pro Wrestling News

by Jeremy "Jermz" Medeiros

Interview with Roland Alexander

Part 3 by Lars Hildebrand

An Insider Guide To Wrestling School

by "Mark Jabroni" reprinted from the Bagpipe Report

Volume 7, Issue 695 - August 5, 2002
Editor's Note: In this edition of the newsletter we have our weekly Crossface Connection by Solie's regular, John Cross, some APW News from Jermz, including the third installment of a great interview with APW General Manager, Roland Alexander, an article on wrestling schools reprinted with permission from the Bagpipe Report (thanks, Blake!) 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.


The Scrapbook of Joe Wolfe (1940-1954)

I have just posted a major new image gallery! The Scrapbook of Joe Wolfe (1940-1954) contains photographs, newpaper and magazine articles and other memorabilia collected by Ohio wrestler Joe Wolfe, whose career spanned the era of Lou Thesz, Gorgeous George and Buddy Rogers.

An Insider Guide To Wrestling School

By "Mark Jabroni"

("Mark Jabroni" is a former promoter who wishes to remain anonymous.)

Not that long ago, it used to be hard to find a Pro-Wrestling school. When I graduated high school in 1981 kayfabe (keeping most elements of the sport secret) was still practiced and I got no tips or help from the wrestlers who performed in my area. The reason was a simple one; why should they steer you in the right direction when you might eventually take their spot in the company? I tried the local public library's reference section to no avail. As Pro Wrestling's popularity increased, so did the opportunities for people interested in getting into the business. Schools began to pop up. Some of them were very respectable and run by former stars, others were fly by night operations that collected a person's money and disappeared shortly thereafter. When Pro-Wrestling was "exposed" as sports entertainment, the opportunities increased even further. Schools felt free to advertise themselves without fear of exposing that side of the business.

Today there are many, many Pro-Wrestling schools. I am going to attempt to address what someone interested in going to a wrestling school needs to look for and what to look out for.

First, take as realistic a view of what you're getting into as you can. If you've ever watched "Tough Enough" or any of the news reports or specials that include segments on wrestling schools, you know that the training can be grueling. There's no way to know in advance if you can take the "bumps". The only way is by experiencing them. While you may love Pro-Wrestling to death, if you don't have a high pain tolerance, this may not be the life for you. Never sign a contract agreeing to pay some large sum of money until you've discovered whether or not Pro-Wrestling really is for you. Most of the smaller training centers will charge you a one-time fee for your first training and if you come back they'll talk about the future. If you are interested in going to one of the more expensive "name" schools, it's not a bad idea to go for at least one day to one of the smaller schools to see if you can handle the "bumps". Now, I know some of you reading this are thinking, "Well, of course I can handle it, I'm tough!". From personal experience I can tell you that when I was co-owner of a Pro-Wrestling promotion and training center in St. Louis, MO, we had big, tough looking guys come in for one day and never come back. They may have been big, they may have been good amateur wrestlers, street fighters or whatever the sport, but Pro-Wrestling is different. Most people don't land on their backs over and over and over...and you can't judge whether you're able to take it until you've tried it. My point is, before you make a commitment, give it a try to see if you're cut out for it.

The second step is investigation. This will take a little legwork on your part but in the end it'll be worth it. Treat this as you would any other school. If you're serious, this may be your career. If you were deciding which college to go to or what trade school to go to, hopefully you wouldn't just walk in blindly without checking out their success rate. Whether it's by attending live shows or by ordering tapes, find a way to watch wrestlers who have been trained by the particular school you're interested in. While you may not be an expert, if you watch wrestling on television then you know what a good wrestler should look and act like. As with any business, the end product is what a Pro-Wrestling school should be judged by. Also, if it's possible, talk to wrestlers who have been trained by the school in question and get their opinion. Many times a wrestler will train for only a short time with a particular school and then go elsewhere to get more training. Also, talk to the actual trainers. There are some very high-priced schools out there who are run by famous names from the past, however they seldom if ever set foot in the ring with you. They leave that part to other trainers and while those trainers may be very good, are they as good as the person who owns the school? And don't be fooled for a minute, if this is the case, the larger wrestling companies know it. You can tell them you've been trained by "Gorgeous George" but they know whether he's actually there in the ring showing you the ropes or if "The Assassin No. 15" is doing the actual training. They'll be impressed if "Assassin" is a good trainer but if he's not, the "Gorgeous George" part won't help. Most of the wrestlers who are currently under developmental deals were not trained by these "big name" schools, so keep that in mind. Again, it's the end product that counts.

Now before we get to step three I'd like to discuss with you some other things you need to look at while investigating. You'll need to look at finances. Beyond the cost of training you will incur other expenses. Even if you're not sure whether you want to make this a career, you're going to need at the very least a good pair of wrestling shoes. If you go to your local sporting goods store they can steer you in the right direction. You'll also need to invest in knee and elbow pads. This is the bare minimum. As I'll discuss later, I went to a very famous wrestling school for 7 months and saw many trainees show up without these bare essentials. Many times they didn't have the money to invest in additional items without sacrificing money they had earmarked for other things. If, after training for a period of time you decide you want to continue, you'll need a professional costume and possibly wrestling boots. Also, if you go to a school that is not within driving distance of home you'll need money for food and incidentals. Be realistic. If you're training regularly, you're going to be eating and drinking more. Even if you choose a school that is nearby you will still be eating and drinking more so keep that in mind. While this might all sound obvious, believe me, there are many individuals who dive in only to find they hadn't considered the other expenses attached.

Step three is being an educated consumer. Remember that you're the customer here. In any educational environment, there are always some teachers or people in management who feel they are doing you a favor. They lose site of who butters their bread. You need to find out what you get for the money you pay. If you're training at a small, independent wrestling school, will they allow you to tape yourself training? Will they allow you to have pictures taken of yourself? If not, why not? If you're training at a more expensive school, will they provide you with tape and pictures of yourself? Keep in mind that in order to work for any of the larger companies and most of the smaller companies the promoters are going to want to see tape of you in action. If you walk out the door of that school at the end of even one month of training and have nothing to show for it, then how are you going to get yourself hired? Personally, I went to a very well known, respected Pro-Wrestling school, spent over ten thousand dollars and have nothing to show for it. I have a few pictures they used in their advertising but when I attempted to use those I was threatened with legal action. You want to find a school that is interested in helping you further your career in addition to furthering their bank account. Basically, you'll want to be assured that at the end of whatever training you receive you walk out of there with proof of your ability to work for a Pro-Wrestling company, whether it's an independent promotion or one of the larger companies such as WWE.

Finally, I'd like to clear up some myths. First, training with any school should not be construed as a guarantee you'll work for them. As I mentioned before, I was involved in the operations of a wrestling school in the past and am currently also involved in another company. If you're guaranteed a job with the company you need to walk away. Not everyone who trains, even if they come back month after month should be guaranteed a spot. If the promotion is legitimate, they base their decisions on who they use by wrestling ability, not whether or not a person is training with them. No college guarantees their students a job; no trade school does either. Your trainers should, if they are competent, be honest with you and let you know how you're doing but it's up to you to impress them and make them want to hire you. I've seen trainees that come back month after month but just don't have what it takes. A good trainer will be honest and help their trainee to work on their deficiencies. The thing is, even if you're very good, if the promotion already has enough wrestlers who are as good as you, they can't make room for you unless someone leaves. Don't take it personally. In the world of sports and in the world of sports entertainment, slots get filled and unless someone filling one of those spots leaves or cannot keep up their performance level, you're out of luck. Fortunately, there are a lot of independent Pro-Wrestling promotions around the country so if you have the tape and pictures I mentioned earlier, you can probably find one that will at least give you a chance.


All Pro Wrestling News

by Jeremy "Jermz" Medeiros

*GYM WARZ RESULTS 8/2/02

Here are the quick results of last weeks invite-only Gym Warz show from the APW Garage in Hayward, Ca. (thanks to Butch)

Rookies Seth Lesser and Dana Nishibe would not wrestle in their amateur match, in spite of Venace The Menace getting a Pro match last week. APW Head Camp Instructor Robert Thompson granted them a match later in the show

APW Universal Champion Robert Thompson defeated Venace the Menace

James Watkins battled Nikki to a no decision when Nikki suffered an extremely bad knee injury

"Kamikaze Kid" Jardi Frantz defeated Kafu

APW Worldwide Internet Champion American Dragon defeated James Choi

Larry Blackwell defeated Dana Nishibe and Seth Lesser in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match

The next Gym Warz show is Friday night August 16th


INTERVIEW WITH ROLAND ALEXANDER

Editor's Note: For those of you not familiar with Roland Alexander and his APW wrestling promotion and school, Alexander is the developer of such current wrestling luminaries as Spike Dudley, Vic Grimes, Crash Holly, Blitzkrieg, Chris Daniels and many others. He is probably best known for his appearance in the wrestling documentary, "Beyond the Mat", where he was shown bringing two of his top wrestlers, Mike Modest and Tony Jones, to a WWF tryout. He (and I) feel that Mr. Alexander was not portrayed fairly in that film, but he has no regrets about his role.

Part 3 by Lars Hildebrand

Question: What might be the reason of the success APW & the Boot Camp have in the West USA?

Answer: One word. PASSION. From the owner down to the instructors in this company, everyone has passion and pride and our system calls for passing that along to the students. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have great internet marketing and and great volunteers helping out, and we have both.

Question: At the end of the year 2001 American Dragon became one of the head trainers of the APW Boot Camp. What were the reasons for you to choose him?

Answer: I was so impressed with American Dragon during KING OF INDIES. His wrestling was the best but it was more than his wrestling that led to me interviewing him during KING OF INDIES weekend. He worked hard during the Boot Camp summit where most of the wrestlers got in the ring and wrestled with each other and tried to learn from each other. He showed PASSION. He is a person with great moral values and was only 21 with a world of knowledge and in my opinion, the #1 independent wrestler in the country already. I think you are going to see many more graduates than we have produced in the past make it over the next several years because of American Dragon. He has been everything I thought he would be. This guy stays 3 hours after class and comes in before class and works with the students. He is a student of the game and has a passion for wrestling. Although small, he has a great look and physique. He trains hard and is natural. He does not condone steroid use. This guy is not lazy, he trains hard and expects his students to train hard. He is a good person and a fabulous wrestler.

Question: What do you think about losing Michael Modest, Tony Jones and Donovan Morgan in just a few months? Did you use this sacrifice as a change in APW and bring some new faces to the APW crowd or is it a fact you’re very sorry about?

Answer: Sorry? NEVER! I'd do it again a million times over. It hasn't been easy. We lost students. Students defected to PRO WRESTLING IRON. Students who owed money to APW. Students under contract where the contract stipulated they could not wrestle or participate with any other wrestling organization until their fees were paid in full. There was an attempt to take some of the great management APW had. We are currently researching the legalities of what went down. I am very disappointed in the methods used. When you look back, it seems silly. This all went down because an APW wrestler did not win KING OF INDIES. Very unprofessional! I wanted to get wrestlers that did not graduate from our camp to Pro Wrestling NOAH, yet some of the guys had a fear for their job security and did not want to do anything for anyone that was not a graduate from the APW BOOT CAMP. They were setting examples that we did not want our students to learn. We are very old school. Prior to all of this going down during KING OF INDIES, APW was becoming stale. The training was not good. Just like a baseball team losing games and needing to change their managers, we were needing a change. Out of loyalty, I never made the change. I didn't have it in me to make the change. Modest and Donovan were like children to me. KING OF INDIES, was like receiving a gift of God. I had already been giving change lots of thought. I knew it would be difficult. I knew it would be stressful and unhealthy. I knew times would be tough for a while. Now that I look back on it, it was like being a General Manager of a ball club. Your club has gone stale. Your training has gone stale. The fans love guys like Modest, Morgan, Smith, Massarro, Jones, Comini, and a few rookies that were, well, not that good. We needed to make a trade that would make things very rough for a while but in the long, run, APW would be better off. Sounds like a lot to give up but would you do it for the #1 wrestler in indy wrestling you had seen in 11 years, that was not only a great wrestler, with a great look that was not on steroids, but a great human being?? I think most General Managers would be too scared to pull the trigger. I pulled the trigger. We gave up a lot and went through a very tough rebuilding period but we now have the best possible training with Robert Thompson, American Dragon and Jardi Frantz as instructors. We'd like to believe the #1 independent wrestler in the United States is now a huge part of All Pro Wrestling. I think you'll see in the future how the trade paid off. Actually, it is already paying off. Not quite yet with our shows as we are still flying in many top indy talent until our rookies get some experience but the live shows are still very entertaining and I can't wait to see what some of the little Dragons look like a couple years from now. I'd say with the Boot Camp, the trade ha already paid dividends and in a year or two, the live APW events will have its payoff.

Question: You provide complete APW matches to download online. Many fans love these matches. What were the reasons for you to create an Internet Title and provide these matches to download?

Answer: Exposure. Our Internet and Jason Deadrich is one of the main reasons APW became a success. Jason came up with the idea of the Internet title and Jason was the one who overhauled our website and you have to admit, it is one of the best out there. We kind of dropped the ball with the internet belt at first, but we seem to have a good handle on it now. We've had some great wrestlers holding that belt.

Mr. Deadrich is now putting up those title defenses on the internet and the internet world including fans in Germany have seen some great matches. Hopefully, those matches will give these young indy wrestlers some exposure. We don't have television and we happen to be in a tough television market but with the internet, it gives us a chance for everyone worldwide to see our wrestlers, our matches and how our students develop.

To be continued...


Crossface Connection

by John Cross

How do I love Kurt Angle? Let me count the ways.....

Other than the venerable Undertaker, I have never found a wrestler that I have enjoyed as much as the Olympic Hero. He is the total package...a bit of size, good speed, ability to go up in the air, superlative wrestling skills, and overboard acting skills.

In a lot of ways, he is the antitheses of the Undertaker...for many years, 'Taker was a quiet, looming, dark presence, escorted around by Paul Bearer, oozing manevolence and evil. Kurt is a 'can't miss me', obtuse, sometimes doltish character, who, at the times he is challenged, rear up into a fighter that would match the Undertaker in ferocity.

Case in point, and the reason for this column (and my big freakin' irritation), is the spot on Smackdown where Angle called out Brock Lesnar.

He was beautiful. After garnering the heat from the fans, he started his rant. Slowly the crowd began to waver, and even though Angle hit all of his heel buttons, ("Look at these, Brock.....where are your Gold Medals?"), the crowd started to turn slowly towards Kurt's position. Then, when he called Lesnar out, the crowd cheered vociferously....they wanted to support ol' Kurt against Lesnar! They wanted to see Lesnar come out and face Kurt Angle!

Then, ol' Hogan came in, and completely stole all of Angle's face heat. Completely, and utterly. I mean, if Angle's face heat was a flash fire, Hogan was a million gallons of water. When this happened, all my hopes that Angle was sliding towards facedom were crushed, and I slid to the floor, in dispair and needing a stiff drink; Hogan taking the heat and the promo over hurt me inside.

Then....later in the show, to top it all off, the Smackdown writers decided to completely ruin Kurt's brief segue into 'good-guy' status and have him go after Hogan with a chair....man...I was disappointed. Obviously, the move was an effective one, as I was chagrined by a guy who was acting like he was a bad, evil dude.......brother.

Sorry...lapsed into some Hogan lingo, there.

I like a good performance...I think that is why I watch wrestling. At the level of the WWE, the good performers (and I mean the GOOD all-around performers) tend to gravitate towards the top of the card....for all their lack of technical skill, people like The Rock and Hogan hover near the top of the card because they can perform in the ring, and have the mic skills (Hogan's mic skills I will label optimistically as 'vintage) that can produce heat with the crowd, be it live or via a taped promo. In that realm, the Undertaker has also risen to the top, proving that one can be effective, and not be too verbose.

Oh....that reminds me...Miss Pamela, I need an e-mail...any subject will do. As with the Undertaker, verbage is not a requirement. An old "Hi!" will do.

Back to effective performers. I have said here that Kurt Angle is the real deal...it is something I have said before, and I'll keep repeating it. He has the in-ring skills of Benoit, the mic skills of Rocky, and the presence of HHH. He also has a huge amount of heat with the fans, and he is probably the reason they moved the 'Un-Americans'....there is no way the American Olympic Hero could be a co-heel with those haters of the Republic. They needed to move them, so they could get into a feud.....

.....with the last person I would want to feud with. You had better not doubt that the Undertaker isn't planning some sort of sick revenge on those three. I can see Lance Storm going for a Last Ride in about 14 hours. I would also throw in a couple chokeslams for Test and Christian....he'll destroy them.

Oh oh....I'm sinking into the sea of kayfabe! But, if the WWE is doing their job, shouldn't I be? Shouldn't I be looking at the in-ring opera and losing myself into it? If I am, then those guys are doing their job. Hogan, Angle, Flair, Jericho, 'Taker, HHH....if they do their jobs right, then I should want to watch the show because of that enjoyment, that momentary insertion into the multiverse of the WWE...the heros, the villans, the in-betweeners, and the people you wish you were like. It should be fun. It hasn't been fun, but it is starting to get that way again, thanks to players like Kurt Angle, the Undertaker, HBK, and (gasp) Hogan and Flair.

To digress a bit.....the only bad spots this last week were from Chris Jericho and Mark Henry. Mark Henry has the in-ring workrate of a slug...he was given a great opportunity to show off for the crowd and manhandle Brock Lesnar, but it came off as Brock letting the clubbing and slow Henry work himself into an ambush. That was terrible; either the match scripting of the workrate was poor. The match could have been used to demonstrate Lesnar's wrestling abilities against an obviously stronger opponent, but whoever-it-was decided against that whole thought process.

And....Chris Jericho. His match with John Cena was the lowest rated on the Vengeance PPV. Add to that the poll was sponsored by the WWE themselves, and that tells me that Mr. Jericho's problems aren't caused by our dislike of his Internet opinions.....they just might be his own. Hmmm....

Well, I'll let you go now. After your lengthy stay on the Solie's site, please come over to bodyslam.cc, for all the news, rumors, and columns that your little heart desires.

See you next week, for another Connection.



The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

SmackDown! was taped at the Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina (Ric Flair's home town) and opened with a rather low-flying cruiserweight battle between Tajiri and Rey Misterio. In this one, Tajiri actually outweighed his diminutive opponent for a change. Again, Misterio was grounded through much of the fight. In my opinion, Misterio hasn't yet been allowed to show us what he's got since coming to WWE. Toward the end of the match, Mike Cole miscalled a sunset flip as a Hurricanrana for some reason. That's OK - I prefer the name Frankensteiner anyway (in fact, that is the way that Misterio himself has been known to refer to it). In the end, Misterio did pull off the springboard Frankensteiner and won with it.

Kurt Angle came to the ring and whined and cried about how Brock Lesnar made him look bad last week, while the crowd mocked him as usual. He challenged Lesnar, but instead, Hulk Hogan came out to the platform and and said that he had more reason to face Lesnar tonight. Angle took offense to that and challenged Hogan to come to the ring. Hogan was going to oblige him, but Stephanie appeared on the platform and declared that there would be a match between Angle and Hogan tonight for the privilege to face Lesnar next week. Angle and Hogan agreed then Angle started shooting his mouth off again. Hogan clobbered him and sent him crashing to the floor.

Backstage, Stephanie found Eric Bischoff waiting for her when she returned to her office. She ordered him out, but he just taunted her. She finally had security escort him out, but before he left, he asked Stephanie who was in her main event.

Next up, a rematch (I believe) for Mark Henry against Brock Lesnar. They talked about this match as if it were a first, but i could swear I remember one prior encounter between the two, which Lesnar won with a powerslam - or maybe that was Albert...whatever you do, don't get old. Lesnar won this one with the F5.

After the match, Lesnar strolled right into Hulk Hogan's dressing room and wished him luck in his match tonight, saying he wants to face the Hulkster next week. Out in the hall, as Lesnar passed by, Upchuck and Billy seemed on the verge of breaking up their team, now that the Tag Titles have gone to RAW. Their "stylist" tried to talk sense to them but they weren't buying it. They walked off still bickering as John Cena walked up and started giving Rico a hard time. They almost came to blows...but didn't. Rico stalked away and bumped into Kurt Angle as he was leaving the heel dressing room. The camera followed Angle, who encountered Lesnar and Heyman in the hall. Lesnar ran the same number on him that he had on Hogan, except that Lesnar called Angle his "little buddy". This entire segment was shown in one rolling camera shot.

Angle made his way to the ring after the break for his match with Hulk Hogan. Hogan made his entrance in full red and yellow feathered regalia. Hogan dominated the early minutes of the match with seeming ease. Of course, Angle bragged that he would make Hogan tap again, so you know that's not going to happen easily, if at all. Eventually, Angle turned the tables and there was an extended period with Hogan on the receiving end as Angle took every shortcut he could think of. Hogan ended up in a reverse chin lock, then started to come back. Hogan "hulked up" and turned the tables, but when he went for the big boot, Angle caught it and reversed to an ankle lock. But he couldn't quite lock it in - Hogan kicked him off then walked into an Angle slam...and kicked out. Angle went for the ankle lock again and got it. But again, Hogan got his body turned over and kicked Angle off. The referee got in the way and went down. Angle went for a chair, but when he tried to use it, Hogan got the boot up and kicked it into his face! Brock Lesnar came running in, but Hogan saw him coming and blocked his entry to the ring. Hogan was distracted, giving Angle a chance to hit the chair shot. The referee saw it and DQ'd Angle. So Hogan goes against Lesnar. But speaking of Lesnar, he wasn't through. As Hogan and Angle continued to battle, Angle was knocked down, and Lesnar ran in and hit the F5 on Hogan.

Rikishi took on Devon (with Batista) in the next match. Of course, with Devon's big friend around, this couldn't really be called a fair fight. he highlight was when Devon went for a "Whuzzup?" and ended up falling victim to a modified Stink Face. Batista tried to intervene, but Rikishi knocked him out with a savat kick, then hit the Rikishi bomb on Devon to take the pin. The two of them attacked the big Samoan after the match and left him laying.

Backstage, Stephanie found Stacy getting her makeup done and somehow decided that it was Stacey's fault that Eric Bischoff got into the arena. She told her that Bischoff ever got into the arena again, Stacy would suffer the consequences. She stalked away, leaving Stacy to watch her go with a somewhat calculating look on her face. Do I smell a mole..?

Jamie Noble and Nidia were in the ring as we returned from the break. Noble had some pithy words to say to the local Charlotte crowd, then he stepped down to try and intimidate Michael Cole. Strangely, he sent his "woman" Nidia across the announce table to make out with him! He seemed to be implying that Cole could be convinced in this manner to say nice things about them.

Backstage, a few wrestlers (Kidman, Mike Awesome, Hardcore Holly) were watching tape of Shawn Michaels being hauled away after the attack on him on RAW. Stephanie walked in and chastised them for watching the competition, then ordered them to pay attention to their own show.

Next up - John Cena vs. Rico - a result of their earlier encounter. After a short, but intense match, Cena won it with his modified sidewalk slam. After the match, Upchuck and Billy ran in and attacked the rookie. The announcers then told us that the main event was coming up - between Edge and the Rock. At that moment, Eric Bischoff showed up with a ticket in his hand. He made his way to the ringside seats and paid a spectator to trade seats with him, as we went to commercial. Some idiot fan kept getting in his face, trying to get a picture with him, but Bischoff ignored the clown and finished the skit.

As we returned, Stephanie was on her way to the ring. Bischoff was still sitting ringside, and mocking her as she passed. Stephanie noted that Bischoff had managed to get into the arena after all, then shocked everyone by announcing that she had misstated the main event. In fact it is the Rock and Edge as a team against...Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit!! Eric was so freaked that he tried to get into the ring - which gave Stephanie an excuse to have him ejected again. Something tells me we haven't heard the last of him...

The main event was next, as Edge and the Rock joined Guerrero and Benoit in the ring. I can't imagine that this match will end without an appearance by "The Next Big Thing". Guerrero and Benoit were wearing matching red tights tonight, by the way. This was a great, very fast paced, match. Four guys at the top of their games, and at the top of the heap in wrestling, going all out to entertain the crowd. Edge ended up being isolated throgh most of the match - it was clear that the heels were the superior team. When Maivia finally tagged in, he cleaned house for about...6 seconds. Then he went down under a double team assault. But then Edge broke that up and the Rock was able to come back. As he was stalking benoit, Brock Lesnar (what did I tell you?) appeared on the platform with a chair in his hand. This distracted Maivia so that Benoit could attack him from behind, then slap on the Crippler Crossface and make the Rock tap out. Lesnar was retreating back up the ramp in reverse when Hulk Hogan appeared behind him with a chair and got some revenge as we went off the air.


Raw came to us live from the Baltimore Arena, Baltimore, Maryland and opened with the Millennium Bug coming to the ring and claiming RAW as "his show". before he could get too far into his rant he was interrupted by Triple H, who voiced his suspicion that it might have been Jericho who did the dirty deed on Shawn Michaels. Jericho denied it, citing the fact that Hunter himself attacked HBK first. HHH then speculated that Jericho probably didn't have the guts to pull off the attack - but he intended to find out who did. Then he left. Jericho attempted to restart his rant but was immediately interrupted a second time - this time by Rob Van Dam! Van Dam challenged Jericho's notion that he was the top guy on RAW now, and then challenged him to a match. Jericho agreed. The shouting match escalated into a brawl, which ended on a spin kick by Jericho who then skipped away from the ring in a hurry, tossing taunts back over his shoulder as he hightailed it.

Bubba Dudley took on the Big Show in a table match which was mercifully short. Trish Stratus used her womanly wiles to distract Big Show and give Dudley the win (with an assist from Spike, who hit a spear on the big guy while wearing a Baltimore Ravens' football helmet).

In a backstage interview, the Canadian Whiners were spouting off their usual anti-American rhetoric when Sgt. Slaughter stomped up and took issue with it. He challenged Test to a match! Test accepted and the Sarge promised to deliver some "ruthless American aggression".

Tommy Dreamer defended and retained his newly won (August 3 in Miami, FL at the American Airlines Arena) Hardcore Title against former champ, Bradshaw, who initially brought his own referee and attacked the new champ backstage.

Backstage, Molly Holly introduced Willy Regal and Chris the Harvard Guy to her friend Victoria, who was set for a match against Trish Stratus later. As Victoria was following Molly out of the shot, Nowinski stopped her and asked if Molly is really a virgin. Victoria said that she was. After the two women left, Nowinski was heard to remark, "...not for long." In another part of the building, Triple H questioned Booker T about whether or not it was him who attacked Michaels. Booker denied it, but said he didn't have any problem with the fact that it happened. Eric Bischoff made his first appearance on the program on the phone (supposedly) with Sony Pictures. Howard Finkel barged in to complain that he wasn't getting enough ring announcing assignments. Bischoff told him he could alternate with Garcia and they would let the fans decide. While he was there, the Fink read a telegram from Stephanie that taunted Bischoff about his recent talent losses to Smackdown!

Test took the Sarge out in a flash in the patriotic challenge "match".

The next match featured Booker and Goldust against Willy Regal and Chris Nowinski. It was a pretty good match, Nowinski is coming right along (though he needs a better gimmick). In the end, Nowinski and his English friend went down.

Backstage, Triple H questioned the Canadians about their possible role in the attack on HBK. They confessed to having planned to attack him - but said that someone else beat them too it.

In her match against Trish, Victoria played possum (faking a leg injury) to lure her opponent in do some damage, then later rolled her up for a (rope assisted) pin. Molly, who had been sitting at the announce table, then joined her protégé in the ring to attack Trish - who turned the tables and left both of them laying.

Backstage, Triple H pulled his Kojak act on the Big Show with the same results as in earlier encounters.

The Hardy Boyz were back together to take on the Canadian Whiner for the Tag Titles and looked set to win when Christian caused a DQ. test then joined his comrades in the ring and they administered a beat down on the Boyz until the Undertaker showed up and attacked everyone in sight. The Whiners ran out of the arena, jumped in a car and sped away. UT then commandeered a police motorcycle and gave chase! One has to wonder if we will see UT in custody next week...

Eric Bischoff announced that he would have a big surprise of HHH later then decided to settle the dispute between the two announcers Lillian Garcia and Howard Finkel. He showed a trailer for the new Sony movie, "Triple X", and invited them to add their own tag lines. Bischoff declared that neither of them was entertaining enough, and promptly set his attack dogs (Rosie and Jamal) on them. Finkel demonstrated his "ruthless aggression" by shoving Lillian into their grasp then slipping away as the two bullies did their worst.

RVD took on Chris Jericho, who eventually tried to use a chair on his opponent, but Ric Flair Pearl Harbored the Millennium Bug, giving Van Dam an easy win.

RAW General manager, Eric Bischoff met Triple H in the ring and and then opened a satellite link to Shawn Michaels in San Antonio. HBK told HHH he forgave him for the Pedigree, then proceeded to show some enhanced video footage showing Helmsley standing over HBK in the parking lot after the attack! Hunter admitted his culpability (huh?) and said he did it to show Shawn how weak he is (?) Michaels then hinted that he would come after HHH at SummerSlam. Is this lame or what?

Jeez, last week's RAW was such a great show...this one showed promise early on...what happened?

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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