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.
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 4 by Lars Hildebrand
Question: Cheerleader Melissa was your first female Boot Camp member to gain a contract with a promotion from Japan. Do you think there are more females (for example, Nikki) in the near future to make this step?
Answer: Yes, we have 4 more females training in our July camp. I also feel Nikki will be in Japan before too long, probably the beginning of the year. Nikki, has become American Dragon's personal project along with our latest student who relocated from Japan, Makoto. Nikki is tough and hungry to learn. She is an excellent student of the game. She is also one tough girl. She has overcome many injuries and one of her weaknesses is to not let anyone know when she is injured. I believe her and Melissa will go down as two of the better females trained in the U.S. and they will both have much success in Japan and maybe even in the states someday. They are in good hands with Bionic J. J is also one tough girl who has lots of talent and she is taking Melissa under her wing. People always said to me, "You do such a great job with training the guys, why haven't you ever trained females?" It takes females to want to train. In the past, not many females have joined our camp. This year alone, we have already had 4 female students join our school. I feel that the Arsion connection will eventually do for our female training division the same thing "Beyond the Mat" did for our male division.
Question: Word association. What comes to your mind when you hear the following words:
-Christopher Daniels: "Class, funny, great athlete, should have gotten a break by now. Daniels is so gifted with speaking skills & WWE completely overlooks it."
-Sports Entertainment: "Vince McMahon"
-Backyard Wrestling: "They need to join a training school. We did backyard wrestling but only because only two schools existed in the 70's. Verne Gagne & the Stu Hart Dungeon."
-Vince McMahon: "Marketing genius. Understands how to market and run a company. Even with all the publicity he gets, he is underrated. Don't underestimate his pro wrestling knowledge, he has it, he only much rather compete with Hollywood."
-"Wrestling Is Fake": "Makes me angry as much as it does wrestlers. Wrestling IS NOT fake! Everything you see in the ring is real?? The wrestlers bodies take lots of abuse."
-Japan: "Certainly a country that treats their wrestling with respect. They treat pro wrestling history with respect."
-US Indy Wrestling: "Tough to make a living as a wrestler or promoter, but today they are necessary along with good training schools because I don't see the major promotions having great talent development systems."
-Gym Warz: "The start of something that spread in U.S. Indy wrestling. Many training schools now do these as part of the training program. I feel APW was the innovator of this and we had some great shows but and continue to have Gym Wars but it will never be the same as it was in 1996, 1997 and 1998. They will always remain an important part of our training program. It is where a student gets to get his feet wet in a smaller setting."
-Vic Grimes: "I wish he had as much brains as he does guts but I wish him the best never the less."
-World Wrestling Entertainment: "Huge, huge and huge! The very best in Sports Entertainment."
Question: Is there anything you want to say to APW’s german fans and/or wrestling fans in general?
Answer: I truly wish we could bring APW at it's best to Germany for a tour in the future. Who knows, maybe someone would sponsor a KING OF INDIES in Germany (smiles) someday. Until that time, I implore each and every serious pro wrestling fan to follow our matches on the internet at www.allprowrestling.com. Support Indy Wrestling!
Copyright 2002 - APW
Is there anything going on in the WWE?
Umm.....yeah, sure there is.
There are two things that have struck me as interesting this week, and I want to share them with you, as you all seem to be an affable lot and will understand my pleadings for understanding and sympathy.
Sympathy.....why that? Because.....I am confused.
I'll start with the easy thing...the HHH/HBK angle. I am of the erudite and salient opinion that this angle makes vinyl shoes look posh and high-class.
Real cheap, if you ask me. No hints, no build-up, and the worst delivery of a storyline twist I have ever seen. Even the WCW did it better than this. Sorry, booking committee, you really bit it this time. We need an apology in writing for this one.
The show was cleverly designed.....good matches, nice spots, ol' Sarge (ol' Sarge makes a show, huh?)...and then...the end. That show would have ended better with a "We are having technical difficulties, please stand by" placard on the screen. HHH and HBK get on there and talk haltingly for 25 minutes. Oh, hold me...that was true excitement. HUH...is it over yet? I was resting my eyes.
Sometimes, in a pro wrestling angle that everyone knows has turned out bad, the participants press on through it, even though they know, like the rest of us, that it absolutely sucks. But, being good troopers, they bite back the sour taste and munch their way through the ordeal. It looks like HHH and HBK were doing just that, fighting their way through the storyline exit ramp (I won't call it a twist) while simultaneously sucking on lemons. At least they finished the show looking angry at each other as opposed to laughing at the pile of crap that the promo turned out to be.
Now, it isn't that the idea is so terrible that network TV should ban it....rather, the delivery was horrible. Kinda like when you order that Domino's double-cheese, pepperoni, and hamburger pizza, and the delivery guy drops it three times coming up the walk.
Here's what I would have done......think the Rikishi/Rock/Austin situation of a couple years ago. Austin gets assaulted, and comes back, looking for answers. Rock is the biggest suspect, but claims to be innocent. The Commissioner (Mick Foley) launches his own investigation, and, after a couple weeks of this (on both shows), an unknown assailant comes out of the woodwork, in order to receive a big-time push. So, instead of Rikishi, substitute an RVD (big heel turn, huh?) or some other mid-carder that needs pushed. Keep HHH his huge-face self, have HBK come back and face this person at Summerslam, and make HHH's heel turn more insidious...have him screw HBK during his match at the PPV, and end up being in an alliance with Eric Bischoff.
Well....that is called, in some circles, crying over spilled milk. The booking people decided on this cheap way to reintroduce the HHH/HBK rivalry, so they have to live with picking up the pieces. No problem for me, as I think that Smackdown has really taken up the slack, and has been the better show for most of the last 10 weeks or so.
Now, I would like to change subjects. I want to speak about the Suddenly-Mortal Hulk Hogan.
I know that I came to this column and spoke to all of you about how Hogan's attitude (not Attitude) helped bury the WCW, and how he never shed the spotlight and put younger workers over like he should have. I was right (always have been, unless otherwise noted by myself), and I'm going to stick by that opinion, because it was right at the time.
Now, I am watching Hulk wrestle Kurt Angle, Undertaker, Rock, and Lesnar....and lose. I was there when he tapped out to Angle at the Columbus PPV (Vengeance, I think), and I saw him job to Lesnar this week.
And, you know what? I am not sure I like that so much. What do you think of that?
So, I am getting the medicine I asked for, and it tastes a bit bitter. Seeing Hogan get humbled in the ring seems discordant to me...and though I know that the guy has had his time in the sun, and that he has done everything he ever wanted to do in the industry, it makes me sad to see him slowly become a very famed Brooklyn Brawler. Of course, Kane and The Big Show do the same thing, but Hogan is different, isn't he?
Maybe the fact that I grew through my teens watching this guy win over and over and over has made me expect him to win and overcome the apparent odds. Maybe because I am reading 'The History of Wrestlemania', there is a melancholy nostalgia being experienced here. I don't know. Maybe the fact that he is getting older is finally making me realize his humanity.
Oh, who the heck knows? It is just the same ol' thing I thought when watching Chief Jay Strongbow job to all those heels in the very early 80's...there was a guy who won his share of matches, and was now returning the favor. Maybe he was facing his own age, and the mortality of his career. I mean, there has to be some sort of letdown when the management tells you that you are going to be putting over the younger talent. It must be a blow to your ego to know that your time to shine as a star is ending. Hogan must be feeling a bit down, even if his run has been almost as long as my life has been.
However, I figure there are two ways to handle it. Accept the fact that every pro wrestler must face this prospect, and do your best to make the younger guys look good. Or, refuse to do it, and damage the fed. Hogan did the latter at the WCW, and is now doing the former. Lesnar wasn't even born when Hogan was winning championships, so I would hope he is humbled by the fact that Hogan, and Flair, for that matter, put him over like true company men.
Just so he can put over Kurt Angle. OK...that was just my own little addition. I have the right.......
OK, folks, remember that bodyslam.cc has the latest in news, rumors, and results for your perusal. Of course, Solie's is the place for all things wrestling, so meander through here as well.
See you next week for another Connection.
SmackDown! was taped Sunday at The Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia and the big match of the night was touted as the one pitting Hulk Hogan against the Next Big Thug, Brock Lesnar. But as the program opened, it was Kurt Angle who came to the ring for the opening match against rookie sensation, John Cena. This is, of course, a rematch from Cena's first one-on-one TV outing a few weeks ago, when Angle made an open challenge and Cena rose to it. Angle dominated this one - unlike their first encounter, but Cena still managed to score some big points. Is it me or is Angle using a lot more rest holds these days? The highlight of the match was Cena, blocking the third of a series of German suplexes then turning the tables on the Olympic Hero. Then moments later, using a roll out to counter the ankle lock. Then still later, drop kicking his opponent off the apron to drop his chin on the steel steps. Then, all hell broke loose. Chris Benoit ran in and attacked Cena, then Rey Misterio ran in on Benoit, then Eddie Guerrero ran on on Misterio followed by Edge running in and helping run off the bad guys. Angle just kind of disappeared during all this. Oh yeah...Cena won the match via DQ.
The new guy tried to interview Benoit and Guerrero backstage, but didn't get any of his questions answered. Guerrero referred to his partner as "the master of submission", which brought Kurt Angle barging in to dispute that claim. He came close to getting into a fight with Benoit, but Eddie G intervened to suggest a tag team match - them and Angle vs. Edge, Misterio and Cena tonight. Angle agreed, but still preferred to think of himself as the "master of submission".
Rev. Devon took on Mark Henry in the next match. Of course, Henry had to deal with Batista at ringside. But, at least initially, he had his hands full with Devon. Henry surprised everyone by taking Batista off the apron then hitting a back spin kick on Devon before pinning him. The bad guys tried to do the punk job after their loss, but Rikishi ran out and foiled their plans. This turned into an impromptu match between Rikishi and Batista, which Rikishi won with a super kick after Devon accidentally hit his own man. Batista wasn't too happy with Devon after the match, to say the least.
Backstage, Brock Lesnar told Paul Heyman that he was headed to Hulk Hogan's locker room to ask the legend if he really wanted to go through with the match later. After the break, Hogan goaded Lesnar into putting up his title shot at SummerSlam in the match tonight. In another part of the building Nidia got into a little tussle with Torrie Wilson, who was tres fetching in a bikini outfit.
Upchuck and Billy took on former Three Count members Hurricane and Shannon Moore yet again...and won for a change. Billy was going for his big tackle of Moore on Chuck's shoulders, but Moore ducked then rolled Chuck up and pinned him! Quite and upset, actually.
Back in the locker room, edge, Cena and Misterio plotted revenge on their opponents in the next match. Misterio stated that he wanted to take care of Angle.
After the break, Heyman went to see Stephanie and try to get her to reverse Brock's rather precipitous stipulation agreement. She didn't, in fact, she cut him off and said she thought it was a great idea to put the title shot up! Heyman left in a quandary.
The big six man challenge match went down next - Guerrero/Benoit/Angle vs. Edge, Rey Misterio and John Cena. What's with Misterio's eyes, anyway..? Despite Misterio's claim to have Angle's number, it seemed like the entire heel team concentrated on Cena - isolating him as the weak link on the face team, I suppose. Edge finally got the tag and cleaned house with a vengeance, spearing both Guerrero and Angle before getting caught in a German suplex by benoit. What followed was a series of suplexes from one side to the other, then Misterio hit the flying Frankensteiner on Angle and pinned him.
This seems to be rookie winner night...
After the break, Kurt Angle complained about losing to Misterio, who was not the legal opponent when he pinned the former Champ. he challenged Misterio to do the right thing and forfeit the win.
In a mixed tag match, Nidia made her in-ring debut with her partner Jaime Noble against Billy Kidman and Torrie, and won the match for her team by executing a "schoolgirl" roll up on Torrie.
In Stephanie's office, Dawn Marie arrived with the "time sensitive" papers she was supposed to give to the GM. Stacy intercepted her and talked her into giving the papers to her instead. Dawn left, and Stacy promptly slipped the envelope under the couch!
After the break, Stacy told Stephanie a story about Dawn Marie stopping by and then going to look for Stephanie. Stephanie left, then Eric Bischoff emerged from hiding and examined the papers with a big grin on his face.
Hulk Hogan was interviewed backstage, and admitted that he is the underdog in their upcoming match tonight, but insisted that he has a chance because the fans are behind him, and he has a big experience advantage.
The main event started pretty early, but somehow I didn't expect it to be a long match. I was sure they have some big scene planned for the end of the program in the latest phase of the talent raid angle. In the meantime they did the introductions for the main event...and then cut to commercial.
Both competitors were in the ring and the crowd was going nuts when we returned from the break. They locked up and were stalemated power wise. The second lockup saw lesnar throw Hogan off. Now the rookie was grinning. he executed a go-behind then started stomping on the legend. He scoop slammed Hogan, then turned to acknowledge the crowd as Hogan popped right up and started hammering on him. Hogan continued his assault then clotheslined Lesnar over the top rope to the floor. Lesnar started to show some frustration at that, he thought for a moment before feigning a re-entry to the ring, then dropping down and dragging Hogan to the corner and pulling him into it. back in the ring, Lesnar started his attack in earnest - but he was making a mistake by playing to the crowd as Heyman urged him to finish Hogan off. Out on the floor, Hogan recovered again while Lesnar continued to showboat. Hogan surprised the youngster again and rammed him into the corner post. Back in the ring, Lesnar turned the tables again, but Hogan wasn't out of it yet. he recovered and "Hulked up" then actually hit the big boot and the leg drop - but Lesnar kicked out! Hogan was then distracted by Heyman, so that Lesnar could catch his opponent in the F5. Lesnar again paused to play to the crowd. Heyman was going nuts, but Lesnar decided to slap on a bear hug. Hogan started to bleed from the mouth and failed to lift his arm the third time. lesnar was declared the winner, but refused to release the hold for several moments until Heyman pursueded him to come off of him. Lesnar then walked over to the announce table and grabbed a chair then re-entered the ring. Hogan could hardly stand, but as soon as he regained his feet, Lesnar put him back down with the chair. Interestingly, the crowd chanted "Rocky!!" throughout all this. Lesnar started to leave but then went back to the ring and smeared some of Hogan's blood on his chest.
Raw came to us live from KeyArena in Seattle, Washington and opened with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman brandishing tickets and taking ringside seats. Brock was wearing a Hulkamania t-shirt...
Triple H came to the ring to declare that he was never Shawn Michaels' friend...right...but his rambling, insulting, rant was interrupted by the Rock (Thank God!) who came down to pick a fight with Lesnar. HHH decided to reassert himself (and his TV time). This led to a fight, which Brock then interrupted, allowing the Rock to be blindsided by Helmsley with a Pedigree. Brock and Heyman were hustled out of the arena by security. Later, the Rock complained about what went down to Eric Bischoff, and demanded a match with HHH later tonight.
Molly and "Mr. Harvard" took on Trish and Spike Dudley in an intergender tag match and defeated them when Nowinski took out Spike.
Backstage, Goldust coerced Bischoff into giving him and Booker T a shot at the Canadian Whiners' tag Team Titles at SummerSlam, if Booker could defeat Lance Storm in a singles match tonight.'
In the ring, the Fink declared that he was now the lead announcer on RAW and he was sorry about what happened to Lillian Garcia...yatta, yatta...then Kane's music and video aired - but the Big Red Machine failed to appear. Finkel was still about to pee in his pants...
Backstage, Bischoff told Rob Van Dam that the papers he "liberated" from SmackDown! were actually a contract for RVD to take on Chris Benoit for the IC Title at SummerSlam. He claimed that Stephanie planned to tear them up. Jeff and Matt Hardy were standing by and each made their cases for a singles match with RVD for that spot on the PPV. Bischoff tossed a coin, without actually flipping it, then awarded the match to Jeff. Matt was speechless...so he didn't say anything.
Booker won his match with Storm, thus securing the Tag Title shot for his team at the PPV. The Canadian Whiners tried a beat down but the Undertaker ran in and saved the Americans' cookies.
Back in the ring, Bischoff had MiniDust in tow. He announced a 8 man tag match pitting the Rock, Booker, Goldust and the Undertaker against the Canadian Whiners and Triple H. He followed up by giving the little guy three minutes to be entertaining, then had him tossed like a dwarf...then he introduced Stacy as the latest RAW acquisition.
Big Show and the Big Mouth (Chris Jericho) had a tag match against Ric Flair and Bubba Dudley - Jericho got the win over Bubba by slapping on the Walls of Jericho. Flair then snuck up behind him and upset his apple cart, trying to grab Jericho in a Figure Four leglock. The Big Guy returned to the ring and chased Flair off before he could sink the hold in.
Backstage, Jericho told Coach he had demanded and gotten a match against Flair at SummerSlam. He also mentioned that he and his band, Fozzy, would play on next week's show.
Tommy Dreamer defeated Steven Richards in a boring hardcore match...they just kind of slugged each other for a while...with a chair and a cane.
In the IC title contender's match, Jeff Hardy seemed to be on his way to winning against RVD when Matt slipped into the ring (while the referee was out of it) and hit a Twist of Fate on his brother! So much for that challenge.
Backstage, Test told Terri that he would take care of the Undertaker personally at SummerSlam and in the upcoming 8 man match, then Lance Storm asserted that the Rock's foundation is "crumbling". Meanwhile, Bischoff stormed into the production truck and demanded to know why they had aired a SmackDown promo naming Brock Lesnar vs. Rikishi as the main event for that show. The director told him that the spot ran during a commercial break, so he had nothing to do wit it. Bischoff decided to name the Rock vs. Triple H as the main event for RAW next week.
The main event was over in a flash. Test pinned the Dead Man after saving Christian from the last Ride, and the Whiners left the face team laying in the ring. This show was definitely below par. It had a several of what seemed to be just "thrown together" matches.
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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Copyright 2001 - Jump City Productions