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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

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

ROCCO ROCK PASSES AWAY

Dead from heart attack at 49

WWE Unforgiven Report

Kane and Hurricane take the Tag Straps

Trish the 3 Time Champ

Ric Flair turns on RVD

Helps HHH retain his title

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

Crossface Connection

by John Cross

All Pro Wrestling news

by Jermz

Volume 7, Issue 702 - September 23, 2002
Editor's Note: In this edition of the newsletter we have a press release from Roddy Piper, our weekly Crossface Connection by Solie's regular, John Cross, some APW News, plus my own TV Reports and topical rants.

As we were going to press we received the sad news that Ted Petty, better known as "Flyboy" Rocco Rock of the tag team, Public Enemy, has died of a heart attack at the age of 49. Solie's would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Rocco Rock.


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.

ROCCO ROCK PASSES AWAY

from the Essential Wrestling Newsletter

Flyboy Rocco Rock (49) passed away Saturday night after wrestling Crowbar in Jersey City, NJ. Rock and Crowbar wrestled first on the show as Rock had to drive immediately after to Philadelphia for the 3PW show at Viking Hall.

Born Ted Petty on September 1, 1953. He wrestled for many years under the Cheetah Kid gimmick. He will be remembered however as one of the tag team Public Enemy. With tag partner Johnny Grunge the two became a underground favorite in the early days of Extreme Championship Wrestling. The two held the ECW tag titles four times and had several memorable feuds with Terry Funk and Sandman.

Public Enemy then went onto WCW in the mid 90's where they assumed a mid-card role and had held the WCW tag team titles as well. They were with WCW for several years before they were released.

Following WCW Public Enemy returned to ECW for a short stay before signing with the WWF. However the two did not make a good fit and Public Enemy was released as well from the WWF.

The two since had been working the independents and occasional shots for WCW before the company finally went under.

Georgiann Makroupolous states that his death was from a massive heart attack. Petty was to have been married on October 26th.


Press Release:

Are You Ready to Get Rowdy?

He is the last of professional wrestling's untouchables: An accomplished amateur and professional wrestler, Golden Gloves boxing champion, actor, musician, businessman, and author, he even has a black belt from "Judo" Gene LaBell who trained Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee. He is the epitome of wrestling's greatest, he is the master of drawing money, he is the crescendo of professionalism - he is "Rowdy" Roddy Piper!

Piper has been married for 23 years and has four beautiful children, a scarce rarity in the sport of professional wrestling. Having left home at the age of 13, he holds the world record for having over 7,000 pro fights, and is the youngest professional wrestler in history, his first match being the first one he had ever seen, an accident all at the unbelievable age of 15. He also came 5th in the world playing the bagpipes at the young age of 14. He has sacrificed a hip, and once even went down in a plane, broke his neck, and wrestled twice, all within a period of 12 hours. Having done over 60,000 interviews, he is the genuine coup de gras when it comes to captivating you and taking you beyond your wildest imagination into the behind the scenes, uncensored details of professional wrestling.

You will read about "the perfect murder," and the undeniable proof that makes it so perfect. You will find out why Roddy Piper's motto was "I don't take dives and I don't do windows." You will read everything from Roddy getting stabbed three individual times while wrestling, one an inch from his heart, to his encounter with the infamous Hillside Strangler in Los Angeles after which he moved to Riverside, CA only to nearly escape an attack and have a gun held to his head by the Riverside serial killers who were responsible for the deaths of 22 young boys whose bodies were found in shallow graves wrapped in green garbage bags. He will take you from his creation of the "WWF Machine" to the offer that "the end of Cyndi Lauper's career could be the beginning of yours." You will understand why pro wrestling has the highest suicide rate of any sport, and for the first time have a name put to the cause of these tragedies, "The Sickness," a chapter in "In the Pit With Piper." As Piper puts it, "The amount of the sickness in the wrestler is directly proportional to the amount of the manipulation by the promoter," and he will explain this in the most graphic of details. He will tell you why five of the six Von Erich family wrestlers have committed suicide, and how Piper calls this and other suicides/deaths in the sport of pro wrestling "assisted murder." Roddy started Andy Kaufman's career and went on to star in 25 motion pictures and even dealt with having his Frat brother Bruiser Brody bleed to death on the dressing room floor over a wrestling match finish.

From creating the first ever wrestling Pay-Per-View, 1983's Starcade, to starting the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling, as the truth will come out Roddy Piper is the Founding Father of the WWF which has grown into an international billion-dollar industry. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper will do for you what he has done for the world: Unite the wrestling fans/non-fans of the world alike, and define the "Rowdy" in Roddy Piper, the same "Rowdy" that has made him a Living Legend of our time and a trademark name known worldwide, not by his words, but by being in your living room since 1969.

By clicking this link http://www.inthepitwithpiper.com, you will be able to pre-order personally autographed and gift-wrapped copies of IN THE PIT WITH PIPER. Books will be shipped on the release date of November 4, 2002, and you can place your order now! Allow 5-7 days for delivery, longer for international orders.


All Pro Wrestling News

by Jermz (APW's Senior Media Editor & Webmaster at www.bayareawrestling.com)

FANS CALL GYM WARZ "BEST IN FOUR YEARS"

Here are the results of APW's Gym Warz from the APW Garage in Hayward, Ca. on Friday night September 13th...

Amateur matches were followed by an interview with APW President Roland Alexander. Roland talked about where they are with planning for King Of Indies, and said that they are not going to rush it just to get it out by 2002...as they are planning a lot of big things that will make it even better than 2001...even if they have to wait until January. So don't worry, KOI is not dead like some people would like to believe. He also made the boldest statement of the night, saying that he thought Michael Modest had the most natural talent of anyone to ever walk through those doors, until Bobby Quance came along. Roland got over how great Quance was going to be in the very near future.

-Super Dragon vs. Nikki
WINNER: Super Dragon ( * * 1/2)

-Interview With "Shooting Star" Bobby Quance - Quance is quickly becoming one of the most popular wrestlers in APW today. The fans cheered loudly as he announced that he was back in APW (after a 2 month absence), and he was ready to climb up the ladder, and claim his spot on top in All Pro Wrestling.

Psycho Seth vs. "Kamikaze Kid" Jardi Frantz
WINNER: Jardi Frantz ( * * 1/2)

-Interview with "The Bomb" Robert Thompson & Kafu - These two came out to talk about their match tonight against Larry Blackwell & Kryptonite. The fans love Bomber & Kafu, and cheered loudly for them. The interview was interrupted by Blackwell & Kryptonite, who came out to sweeten the match a little bit. After a lot of insults tossed back and forth, and a little bargaining, it was decided that if someone was to pin Thompson, they would become the new APW Universal Champion...but if someone was to pin Blackwell, they would become the new APW Worldwide Internet Champion. So what started off as a simple tag team encounter, had now turned into a full-fledged double-titles grudge match!

-Vennis The Menace vs. "Shooting Star" Bobby Quance
WINNER: Bobby Quance ( * * 1/2)

DOUBLE TITLES TAG TEAM MATCH - Larry Blackwell & Kryptonite vs. "The Bomb" Robert
WINNER: No Decision ( * * * )

-Super Dragon vs. TARO
WINNER: Super Dragon ( * * * 1/2)

-Super Dragon/TARO Aftermath...

After the match, Super Dragon kicked TARO out of the ring, and kept taunting him. Just then, out of the locker room, came Robert Thompson! Bomber nailed a clothesline on Dragon, and began to beat on him. Bomber told Dragon that the GARAGE is "his house", and hit an inverted fisherman's buster on him! Just as Bomber was getting his licks in, the GARAGE door flew open!!! It was Larry Blackwell, Kafu & James Watkins!!! The three of them tossed chairs and fans out of the way like they were nothing, and jumped in the ring to save Super Dragon. It had turned into a 4-on-1, and Bomber was alone!!! All of them got in the ring and attacked Robert Thompson. Beating on him over and over. They hit Bomber with a garbage can, and then hit him with the garbage can lid, knocking the champ out.

Finally, the save was made by APW Security, and they chased the villains out of the building. It took forever to get them away however, as Kafu, Blackwell, Watkins & Super Dragon continued to throw chairs, chase fans out of their way, and totally wreck the APW Garage. These four were there to cause mass destruction!

The show ends with APW Security guards helping Robert Thompson back to the dressing room, while APW Officials scream at the heels to "get out of here", and "leave the building". Blackwell, Watkins, Super Dragon & Kafu (and I am sure Kryptonite was somewhere watching and laughing at it all)...had caused havoc at the APW Garage like I hadn't seen in years!

I can't wait for the next Gym Warz show (September 27th). There are so many possibilities for matches that they can do now that they are starting to run great angles like these. This show made me leave, wanting more. I was satisfied, but I would have loved to see more! And that is exactly what a wrestling show is supposed to do, keep you coming back for more. Good job tonight APW, you guys put on a helluva show, and I can't wait to see what you have planned next for this big angle.


Crossface Connection

by John Cross

I wrote about the fact that Vince has worked hard to destroy professional wrestling in the Crossface Corner, and I have written about that very subject many, many times. However, I am going to write about something that Vince did, and that I liked. Something I think was from the old days...the old school, if you will.

I think that the way the whole ‘Commitment Ceremony" angle was handled was a masterful example that, while Vince might not be good fro professional wrestling, he is still a darn fine promoter, and gets his shots in on the establishment.

Well, again, Vince surprised me. I figure that he had this whole angle planned out years ago, as the story is that he wanted to do it with Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor. Well, you know how that turned out...it was their destiny to become the dancin' fools Too Cool. Vince had to wait, especially while Lenny and Lodi had their run. It wouldn't have looked good if Vince came out with a ‘gay' tag-team while those two were on the stage...that would have been too copycat-ish...even for the Monday Night Wars. So, ol' Vince bided his time.

Eventually, he got his opportunity to forward his own idea of the ‘gay' tag-team...Billy and Chuck. In many ways, this was the ultimate progression of this type of angle. The gifts for each other, the crotch spots, the hugs, the promos for the swimsuit calendars, and the like. They did pretty effeminate things in the ring, but, you know, they never progressed their characters the same way that the ‘happy' characters in the past did...they didn't act so feminine, you know? They acted, well, more like normal, as opposed to pink wearing, make-up caking characters like Adrian Adonis. They usually spoke without feminine overtones, and were tag-team champs for a long time (for the present-day WWE).

Now, I will tell you now, I don't like these angles. I have my list of angles that I don't like, for whatever reason, and this is one of them. Why? Other than the fact that I think there is too damn much soap opera in wrestling anyways, my skin crawls when I see two men acting like that, and not for the moral reasons you would assume; I knew that at least one of these guys were MARRIED, and I could imagine them looking at the bookers' request, and saying, "What do they want us to do?" I don't know if I could have done it, and I cant identify with those actions. The Un-Americans do the same thing to me...both angles make me intensely uncomfortable. They don't belong in pro wrestling.

That being said, if we critique the angle without comfortable-ness being an issue, you have to give both of the men involved really high marks. Even though Billy came out early in the angle's life and said that he wasn't comfortable with it, both he and Chuck Palumbo carried on magnificently. They worked hard in the ring, they carried on with their silly spots without a shudder or a fault, and, in my humble opinion, they should really be respected for that. It takes a lot to put yourself into a role that you would never, ever emulate in real life. They should be applauded for that.

Now, for the Commitment Ceremony….this whole build-up bordered on genius. I was really ticked off about it...I really didn't see a place for this in wrestling (and I don't still), BUT THAT WAS THE POINT! My attention was grabbed, and even though I was angry about it, my interest was stoked. Does this question sound familiar: "They CAN'T be doing this...it's gotta be an set-up, right?"

I bet it does for a lot of people. It was on my mind. So, after swearing to myself that I wouldn't watch it, I ended up doing just that. But that is just part of the plan, so sayeth Vince. The old Snake Oil salesman was just counting on my attitude for part of the picture…the rest was coming.

Vince set this up so that the public news agencies would take this and run with it. Billy and Chuck showed up on talk shows, morning shows, radio shows, op-ed pieces, and everywhere else that they could be forced, pushed, or scheduled into and for. Stephanie showed up on one or two, if I remember correctly, and I think I even heard Vince pop up in the media a time or three. They even got GLAAD (a gay/lesbian anti defamation group) to give them a WEDDING GIFT! This is a sure sign that Vince was right on with this…this was kayfabe, my friends, raising it's battered head to tell us that it isn't dead, just mostly forgotten about. No-body got it, and a lot of us (me included) forgot about the fact that this is still pro wrestling.

If it seems real, it is more than likely scripted.

So, the show itself. This was a very good segment. From Billy and Chuck's jokes and panicked looks at each other as the deal was getting close to being sealed, to Bischoff's nice get-up (that Justice of the Peace was played way over, but, folks, this is the WWE), this went off as well as I would have hoped. Billy's exclamation, "This was just a publicity stunt, right?" was the line of the night. Right then, I got it. Vince had successfully shot a flare up into the media's sky, and they all turned their cameras at him. All this angle boiled down to was Vince McMahon waving his hands at the rest of the entertainment industry, and saying, "Remember us? We're still here."

And, boy, did he get it. GLAAD immediately wanted their gift back (and took any mention of Billy and Chuck off of their website as soon as they could), the fans cheered, and the shows that hosted Billy and Chuck (except the Stern show) went awfully silent. Vince got ‘em, in a move that was as outside the pale of the present wrestling market as Cyndi Lauper was outside the pale in her ‘Rock and Wrestling Connection' days. Another marketing shot across the bow of conventional wisdom.

Vince may be a real poison to Professional Wrestling, but he is a damn fine promoter. Kudos to the man, and to Chuck and Billy.

We also don't want to forget what this angle accomplished: It managed to turn Stephanie around, and get her her first deep face heat. It turned Billy and Chuck face as well, and set a heel Rico up as a singles competitor (which he is very good at). The Island Boys got a push out of this as well, and their match at the PPV is proof of that. If you saw the PPV, you also saw Rikishi's most recent push start.

Man, that guy makes a really ugly woman.

OK...the PPV was great, so read all about it in the Special PPV Report, here at Solie's. If you want to read the latest results, rumors, and the latest Crossface Report, come on over to bodyslam.cc, and take a look around.

Last note, and it will be the first of many: Christmas is only 12 weeks or so away. Go to Solie's Storefront, and look around for gift ideas for your wrestling-loving relatives.

See you next week for another Connection.



The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

SmackDown! was taped Tuesday at World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where the story of the night is what happened on the program last week during the commitment ceremony for Upchuck and Billy.

First up, the lovely Torrie Wilson came to the ring to partner with Rey Misterio against Nidia and Jamie Noble. Funny thing how, with no discernible teamwork, Torrie and Rey Rey seem a bit outmatched by the guile and cheap shots of their opponents. But in the end, Misterio was able to get the pin on Noble. Do I smell a Cruiserweight Title challenge..?

In a backstage moment, Stephanie told Devon that she was counting on him to bring Batista back into the SmackDown! fold, at the risk of his job... Then she talked to Paul Heyman, who had hired some armed guards to protect his boy against a sneak attack from the Undertaker. Stephanie let him know that UT, after being delayed by his wife's temporary hospitalization (false labor), was definitely on his way to the arena.

Stephnaie came to the ring after the break and ran down what happened last week on SmackDown! Then she showed footage of her revenge on RAW Monday then brought her tag team to the ring. They did a little comedy routine based around double entendre references to them being gay...or maybe bi... Billy was ready to give the "S*ck It!" tag line when Kurt Angle showed up to rain on their parade. He and Chuck had some words and then Angle threw out a challenge for a match later tonight for either one of them. Stephanie interrupted to say that if Upchuck and Billy were going to compete tonight it would have to be as a tag team. So Angle agreed to team up with "anyone" in the locker room. Stephanie booked the match, Upchuck and Billy vs. Kurt Angle and...his PPV opponent, Chris Benoit.

Brock Lesnar came to the ring with his agent, Paul Heyman, to take on the rookie, John Cena, in a non-title match. Basically, Lesnar destroyed the youngster. As usual, Cena gave a fairly good account of himself and even made an impressive rally late in the match (thanks to Lesnar's seeming preoccupation with the imminent appearance of the Undertaker), but this one was over before it got started.

Backstage, Eddie Guerrero was complaining about the fact that he got the stink face from his nephew, Chavo, last week. He vowed to have his revenge against Edge.

The Guerreros faced Edge and Rikishi in the next match. As could be expected, this was one of the better matches on the program. The Guerreros can really go, and their opponents are no slouches either. Their big mistake was trying to do a double suplex on the too-large-for-that-maneuver, Rikishi. He reversed the move then got the stink face on Chavo. He tried to get Eddie but failed then Chavo grabbed a video camera and brained him to get the pin. After the match, the Guerreros punked their opponents. Eddie hit Edge with a chair and opened up his forehead.

Next up - Stephanie and Eric Bischoff had a conversation via satellite hook-up. Nothing happened...

Matt Hardy took on the Hurricane in a one-on-one contest. The crowd was all over Hardy, yelling, "We want Jeff!!" at various points in the match. This just spurred Hardy on to display his "Mattitude" a little more. After a fairly long, very competitive fight, Hardy used a low blow to gain the upper hand and take the pin.

Lesnar and Heyman are still holed up with their bodyguards. UT hasn't shown up yet but is rumored to be on his way... meanwhile, Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle were seen arguing backstage. They were set to be partners a little later on the program.

In fact, that match was next. Angle/Benoit facing off against Upchuck and Billy. Hard to imagine how Angle and Benoit were going to coexist as partners. Right away they started arguing about who was going to start the match. Benoit eventually went in against Chuck for the opening of the match. Angle was laughing out loud as Benoit got his clock cleaned. Angle tagged in and faired a bit better - but his hubris allowed him to be distracted - soon he was on the receiving end as well. Benoit finally did something good for his partner, lying in wait as Angle led his opponent into a standing clothesline out on the floor. Back in the ring, Benoit took on Billy and was handling him...well...handily... Angle continued the carnage and at last they were working as a team. Angle was back in the ring when Billy turned the tables. Both combatants tagged out and confusion reigned for a while. Then Angle grabbed the ankle lock on Chuck - but he wasn't the legal man. Benoit pushed him aside and applied his own submission hold. Angle came back in and distracted benoit, causing him to lose the match. Afterward, Angle attacked Benoit and slapped the ankle mock on his partner and refused to release it until Benoit reversed it into a Crippler Crossface.

Meanwhile, the Undertaker arrived out back as we cut to commercial.

UT made his entrance as we returned and made his way to the ring for a rant. He called Lesnar out, saying that he would go hunt him down if he had too. Lesnar showed up, with Heyman trying to hold him back. Lesnar finally shoved him aside and entered the ring. He attacked immediately, but UT turned the tables and was pounding the champion into the mat when Matt Hardy showed up and attacked UT! As the Undertaker took care of this new annoyance, Heyman and Lesnar made a hasty retreat. UT left the ring and went looking for them. He caught up with them, surrounded by their bodyguards, who held off the Dead Man while Heyman and Lesnar made good their escape.


WWE Unforgiven Report

The program came to us live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California where Jim Ross welcomed us to the program then threw it right to the ring for the first match featuring the Canadian...excuse me, International Whiners vs. Booker T, Bubba Ray Dudley, Goldust and Kane. Goldust squared off against Christian to start the match. Lance Storm came in almost immediately to form the double team, but Goldust hit them with a double clothesline then Bubba joined him to even the odds. Bubba dominated Storm, hanging him up in the corner then chopping him down. He almost got the pinfall and ended the whole thing early. But then Test came in and forced Bubba to tag Goldust back in. Test dominated for a moment then Goldust out maneuvered him and tagged in Booker T. Bubba came in soon after. In the Whiner's corner, Storm foolishly distracted the referee while Goldust took the Devon part for a "Whazzup?" flying headbutt. Things really picked up at that point, then the Whiners managed to isolate Booker for a while. When he eventually escaped, he tagged in Kane to face Storm, who was immediately overmatched. Test broke that up, delivering a pump handle slam on Kane, then Booker was back in and did a number on Test. Unfortunately he then paused to do the Spineroonie, only to get clocked by Christian as he returned to his feet. Things really exploded at that point with bodies flying all over the ring. Finally, Kane put Storm down and pinned him.

Next up, Chris Jericho putting the Intercontinental Title on the line against the Nature Boy, Ric Flair. From the opening bell, Flair seemed to have Jericho's number. Easily countering every attack by the champion. But that was only a temporary situation. Soon, Jericho turned the tables and took control. A few minutes later, however, Flair surprised everyone by throwing Jericho out of the ring and then started his comeback by roughing Jericho up out on the floor then bringing him back inside to start his traditional assault on the champion's knee. At one point shortly thereafter, Jericho appeared to come down wrong on his leg and started to beg off, saying his leg was injured. The referee called for a trainer - but it turned out that Jericho was playing possum. As soon as Flair turned his back, Jericho popped up then slapped on the Walls of Jericho for the submission win.

Backstage, Eric Bischoff assigned Rico to work in Rosey and Jamal's corner for their match against Upchuck and Billy. Shaquil O'Neil was shown in the crowd with his son.

The Edge vs Eddie Guerrero grudge match was next. As the bell rang, Guerrero seemed to be in a mood to avoid a lock up, leaving the ring repeatedly, rather then face the very pumped up Edge. But soon he was in the thick of it, and the match itself was firmly in see-saw mode until Eddie G caught his opponent with a DDT off the top rope and took control. He began to show off his considerable knowledge of submission wrestling. For his part, Edge, who recently suffered a concussion at the hands of Guerrero, was still reeling from the DDT blow to his skull. Guerrero continued his assault, pretty much unimpeded, until Edge suddenly landed a hay maker from out of nowhere that dropped Latino Heat to the mat. Guerrero recovered first however, and went back to his game plan. Edge gradually recovered from his head wound but then hit a neck breaker that hurt him more than his opponent. But he was on his way back and the match slowly turned in his direction...until he shakily mounted the corner and threw a missile drop-kick...that missed. Guerrero quickly removed a turnbuckle pad only to be run into it himself. But moments later, he reversed the tide and slammed Edge's forehead into the steel, then hit a superplex and took the pin.

Backstage, Triple H took a moment to try and intimidate his opponent later, Rob Van Dam. It didn't work...

After some boring hype we got to the interpromotional tag team match pitting Upchuck and Billy against Bischoff's bully boys. Almost immediately, Rico started interfering in the match. Chuck was isolated as a result. Eventually Billy was tagged in and cleaned house until he tried to bash the Island Boyz heads together. Big mistake - they simply shook it off and then clobbered him with a double headbutt. Billy recovered but was again distracted by Rico. He was caught between his opponents and pinned.

Backstage, Eric Bischoff stood with a line of three "lesbians", trying to make up his mind which one to send into the clinch with Stephanie.

But first...they started hyping the next match - the World Title match featuring Rob Van Dam challenging Triple H. This match showed a somewhat different RVD then we are used to seeing - he repeatedly returned to straight mat wrestling whenever the champion threatened to overwhelm him. Triple H left the ring to escape it, so RVD did his own impression of Hunter's shtick with the water bottle. HHH returned to the ring in a snit and was immediately ensnared in a side headlock for about the 10th time. Moments later Van Dam went for a big inside to out splash and missed. He was almost counted out. The match continued with RVD on the receiving end. Eventually, van dam used his "educated feet" to turn the tide then got his flying game going. HHH was in bad shape when the referee was knocked out to the floor, thus wasting RVD's advantage. As van Dam tried to wake up the ref, HHH hit a low blow, then went out to the floor and found his sledge hammer under the ring. But then RVD kicked it right back in his face. Both guys were down when Ric Flair slid in and grabbed the hammer! Triple H saw what was coming and started backing away. RVD recovered and approached the duo. Suddenly, Flair turned around and hit Van Dam in the mid section with the hammer!! Triple H then got an easy win with a Pedigree. After the match, Flair brought the belt to HHH and raised his hand.

Backstage, D'Lo and Billy Kidman met Victor something-or-other - one of the stars of The Young and the Restless (Wrestless??) he was asked about the "babes" on the soap opera, but refused to comment. Dawn Marie then walked up and took him away.

The Womens' Title challenge was next. Trish Stratus vs. champion Molly Holly. This was a very competitive match. Molly is an excellent wrestler, and Trish has made great strides in the last year or so, and has developed some good martial arts skills that Molly can't match. Eventually, she managed to slip in a over the top bulldog and became the Womens' Champ for the third time.

The second grudge match of the night saw Chris Benoit put his skills up against our Olympic Hero, Kurt Angle. This match was a real wrestling clinic, both guys being excellent mat grapplers. At one point, Mike Cole mistakenly referred to Angle as having held "...all of the WWE singles titles." Angle was never, of course, the Cruiserweight Champ, or the "World Champion" (or the Women's Champ, for that matter...) Both wrestlers tried early on to apply there respective submission holds, but each was able to wiggle out and avoid the loss. Both spent a lot of time throwing each other around the ring with suplexes. In the end, Benoit hit his flying headbutt then slapped on the Crippler Crossface. But somehow, Angle grabbed his opponent's leg and reversed the hold into his own finisher. Twice they reversed back and forth - and then Angle applied the Crippler Crossface!! But Benoit managed to reverse one more time and then used the ropes for leverage to pin Angle with a cradle.

Before the main event got underway, Eric Bischoff came to the ring with his "lesbians", "Peaches" and "Cream". First he had them provide a little "sneak preview", but then cut them off before they could actually get started - then introduced Stephanie. Steph came to the ring in a leather jacket, looking demure and somewhat humbled. The "lesbians" helped her off with her jacket, then started to apply some massage at Bischoff's instigation - then he stopped them and sent them away, leaving Stephanie alone in the ring with him. He then brought out a rather rotund black woman (Hidagard?) who he claimed was not just a "lesbo" but had done some prison time. The big gal approached and suddenly Stephanie threw herself into the arms of her tormentor - who then stepped back and tore off his wig and makeup to reveal...Rikishi!!!! He clobbered Bischoff and then laid a stink face on him! Stephanie and the big Samoan danced in the ring as Eric slunk away.

Finally, the match we have been waiting for (although this has been a great PPV from top to bottom), the WWE Title match (no longer "Undisputed") pitting the champion, Brock Lesnar, against the challenge of the four time former champ, the Undertaker. In the opening moments, UT threatened his opponent with fisticuffs only to have the younger man back off and complain to the referee. Within a minute, UT had knocked his opponent to the floor twice. Brock's style (except for the fact that he also wrestles) most closely resembles that of Kevin Nash - using the big knee lift to get out of trouble, then using shoulder thrusts in the corner to wear his opponent down. UT was keeping up admirably with the youngster until Heyman distracted him. What followed was several minutes of Brock in control, until UT came back with more fist action. List turned the tables with a big throw and then slapped on a bear hug. He took UT to the mat and poured on the pressure. Undertaker made a brief comeback, but Lesnar threw him again then went back to the bear hug. UT finally spun around and sent Lesnar flying through the ropes to the floor. back in the ring, UT started taking shots at Lesnar's kidneys, then knocked him to the floor yet again. He went out after the champion, but he was sucking wind and distracted by the referee as Lesnar went back on the attack. Heyman then took over distracting the referee so the champion could use his title belt as a weapon. Back in the ring, it was Lesnar's turn to resort to fisticuffs on his bloodied challenger. Brawling with UT proved to be a mistake however as the challenger turned the tables. Ut came back with a snake eyes maneuver and then a kick to the face. He got a two count. Then the referee was knocked out just before UT hit the chokeslam. Matt Hardy ran in and was treated to a Last Ride for his trouble. This distraction gave Lesnar a chance to attack again. he seemed to have the challenger down for the count - but UT kicked out then reversed the field and took another two count. He went for the Tombstone but Lesnar slipped away and the referee was knocked out again. Heyman threw a chair into the ring. Brock tried to use it, but UT got under the chair and clobbered the champ with another kick to the face, then delivered a chair shot or two of his own. Lesnar was forced to the floor again. UT followed him out and tossed Heyman over the safety railing then returned to the ring, before reversing course and rolling Lesnar back in. Lesnar was now bleeding from the forehead. Taker hit a big leg drop, ala Hulk Hogan, then went for the pin. Lesnar kicked out. UT went for the Last Ride, but Lesnar wiggled out of it. He went for the F5 but UT ducked away. Again the referee was caught in the corner and knocked down. This time he had had enough and threw the match out. This, of course, didn't please either competitor - they continued to brawl and UT hit a chokeslam before the referee's finally separated the two men. Lesnar started to leave, but then turned back. UT met him in the aisle and then brawled up to the entryway, where UT threw his opponent through a sign board just before we faded to black.

That was a great show!


Raw came to us live from the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California and opened with Trish's first title defense since winning the Womens' strap in a Triple Threat match with Molly Holly and Victoria (who is badly in need of a character - could somebody help this lady out?) Shortly into the match, Trish took a horrific bump when Molly picked her up and chucked her over the top rope to the floor. It looked like she could have hurt her arm pretty severely in that fall, but apparently she escaped injury and was able to come back in. In the meantime, Victoria and Molly, who had started out working together, had terminated their partnership in an attempt by each to secure the title. Trish took advantage of their fallout to take the pin and retains her title.

Backstage, Goldust and Booker T ran some video footage for a few of the boys (including Matt Hardy, Bubba Dudley, Steven Richards and Kane) of the "HLA" segment from last night's PPV. They also displayed a doctored photo of Bischoff engulfed in Rikishi's considerable behind. Rico showed up and was outraged - then took off to tattle to Uncle Eric.

After the break, Bischoff was seen shaking the hand of the latest recruit from SmackDown! The wrestler had his back too us so we couldn't see who it was. Rico rushed in and took a dressing down for not being around to help in Eric's time of need last night. He tried to redeem himself by telling on the guys in the locker room. Bischoff went right to the ring in a fowl mood and started haranguing the crowd before turning his ire on his roster for not coming to his aid last night. He then disclosed that Vince has ruled that there can be no more roster raiding without agreement from both sides. He called Booker T to the ring to give him a piece of his mind, but Booker just laughed at him and made jokes about his situation. Bischoff brought his "three minute" boys in to do a number on the 5 time WCW champion. Booker fended them off, but then Rico hit the ring and provided the distraction needed to take Booker down. Goldust ran in to his partner's rescue, but suffered the same fate. Sorry, Eric, but that wasn't nearly as funny as what happened to you last night...

Backstage after the break, Bischoff told Rosie and Jamal that he would put Booker and Goldust into singles matches tonight. Chris Jericho barged in complaining about Goldust putting down his band earlier. Bischoff set up an IC Title match to "teach Goldust a lesson". Jericho actually hadn't had that in mind...

Matt Hardy took on the Big Show in the next match. Silly match...

Chris Nowinski set Tommy Dreamer up by inviting him to a classroom and then attacked him with a Singapore cane. Didn't work. Dreamer took a shot or two then turned the tables (or desks, if you weeel...) then wiped the floor with the Harvard grad.

Jim Ross was in the ring when we returned and introduced the mystery recruit, Randy Orton, to take on Steven Richards in the next match. Almost immediately after he returned to the table, Ross referred to him as "...only the second third generation WWE superstar..." - apparently referring to the Rock as the first - but completely forgetting about both of the Guerreros (that makes Orton the 4th, JR...) This was a fairly competitive, if a bit pedestrian, match, which Orton won in a fairly pedestrian manner, with a top rope splash.

Next up, Union Underground, the band that plays the RAW theme, performed that number. The best part was Stacy's dancing...

Ric Flair came to the ring next for a rant concerning his actions at the PPV last night. He said that he decided that Triple H had been right when he referred to the Nature Boy as "pathetic" for caring about what the fans thought. he then talked about becoming the Game's mentor. Rob Van Dam showed up for some revenge, but was waylaid on the ramp by Triple H from behind. RVD was punked until Bubba Dudley ran in to his rescue, only to get some of the same medicine. He eventually came back with a chair and cleared the ring.

Backstage, after the break, Bubba told Coach that he was tired of hearing from and seeing Triple H. RVD appeared and suggested they go right back up and kick HHH and Flair's butts. Bubba agreed...but Bischoff didn't - he set up a tag team match instead.

Chris Jericho defended the IC title against Goldust, in the match set up at the top of the program by Bischoff. I don't believe I remember these two ever locking up in the past. In fact, when you think about it, Goldust was brought back for the Royal Rumble a while back and was said to just be a temporary acquisition. Seems like he has done pretty well for himself since then. He gave Jericho a great fight in this one, coming close to pinning him on several occasions, but in the end he succumbed to the Walls of Jericho.

Kane took on the Tag Team Champs for the titles with his mystery partner, newly recruited from SmackDown!, the Hurricane. Of course, Willy Regal was on hand to deliver cheap shots and distraction from the floor but it wasn't enough. After Hurricane was isolated through the bulk of the match, kane finally got into the fight and cleaned house - then Test finally showed up to interfere, only to find himself and Regal being ejected from the arena. The new team then delivered double chokeslams and Kane pinned Storm to take the titles!

Booker T took on Rico for his singles match tonight. For his part, Rico put up a pretty good fight, but he was no match for the Booker man. The Three Minute Boyz ran in after the pin and took Booker out while Rico held the referee back. Goldust ran in and managed to overcome all odds, cleared the ring of the bully boys then shattered Rico's "dreams". Rosie and Jamal returned to the ring and overwhelmed the Golden one.

Backstage, Bischoff caught up with Booker and Goldust as they were being helped to the locker room and informed them that they would have a tag match against Rosie and Jamal next week.

The main event was the aforementioned tag team grudge match pitting Rob Van Dam and Bubba Dudley against Triple H and Ric Flair. Personally, I don't see what HHH gains by teaming with Flair, at least not considering Flairs track record in the ring of late. When Van Dam came in against Flair, I imagine in his excitement over being in the ring against the Nature Boy for the first time, he almost forgot that his ribs are supposed to be injured. He completed a flying move, jumped up seemingly fit as a fiddle, then suddenly remembered, "Oh yeah...my ribs..." At least for the remainder of the match he was careful to favor that side. Later on, RVD instructed Bubba to "...get the tables". They effectively removed HHH from the action for a moment, but he came back in time to prevent the table shot on Flair. Flair then held the tights in order to roll RVD up and pin him. Flair and HHH then tried to get in a sldege hammer shot on Bubba, but RVD broke that up then Bubba put HHH through the corner of the table. He then positioned Hunter on the table fully, and held him while RVD splashed him through.

And that was it - not a bad show...

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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