Volume 1, Issue 72
November 4, 1996
Program is from Grand Rapids, Michigan this evening. Sting is hanging out in the rafters. The Giant and Debiasi are on hand. The Ladies Championship Belt is on the dais. There will be a Tournament to determine a new Womans' Champ starting tonight.
Eric Bischoff is in Portland, Oregon tonight trying to sign Roddy Piper to a match with Hulk Hogan.
Clip of the Hogan/Piper face-off is shown. Larry thinks Hogan is afraid of Piper.
Brad Armstrong vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell - Bagwell looking unusually intense - this is a pretty even contest. Armstrong has the experience - Bagwell has youth and superior strength (but not much). Nobody has a clear advantage going into the first commercial.
As we return Bagwell slaps Brad and gets his dander up. Ends up getting clotheslined outside. Bagwell comes back in and takes the advantage. Returns the favor. Now its all Bagwell - he throws an inside-to-out splash which hurts them both. We divert our attention to the stands as the NWO guys leave - back inside Armstrong has taken over. Moments later Bagwell is back with a gut-buster on the knee. They criss-cross twice then throw simultaneous body-checks. Bagwell ends up on top and gets the pin. Cut to commercial.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Ice Train (w/Teddy "the Jumping-Jack" Long) - DDP and Nick Patrick seem to be having a little conference before the match. Ice Train comes on strong all throughout this match. In fact he might have won it except for Long's usual idiotic actions, Nick Patrick's slowed down officiating and...oh yeah - the Outsiders came out and hit him with their Tag Team belts! The Train absorbed those blows but while he was distracted by Hall and Nash, DDP put on the Diamond Cutter and got the pin. Is this an indication that DDP is associated with the NWO? It's not clear...
It is announced that the winner of the WW3 Battle Royal will get a World Title shot...I guess Eric listened to the fans and gave up the idea of stripping the title for this match.
Scotty Riggs vs. Dean Malenko - this match is surprisingly competitive (Syxx is in the stands - he seems to be leading a parade of NWO fans with signs). Riggs dominates at first until Malenko suckers him shoulder-first into a ring post. But Riggs comes right back with a flurry that is cut short when Malenko shakes him off of the top rope. He falls to the outside where his partner Bagwell reveals his intention to turn heel by giving the downed Riggs a disgusted look then throwing him back into Malenko's waiting arms. The Champ wins with a roll-up.
Review of Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero from last weeks show. Guerrero is said to be out of action this week.
Hector Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit - Benoit is less heavily taped this week. Hector is on hand to avenge his younger brother. He wrestles circles around the Crippler during the early going. Benoit's shoulder is still hurting and Hector knows how to take advantage of the injury. Cut to commercial.
As we come back Benoit has taken over...Woman is smiling. But Hector is tough and Benoit can't hold him down. Hour two begins in the middle of this match. Benoit ignores the distracting fireworks and maintains his advantage right up to the end of the match when Guerrero escapes and gets on top...but Woman breaks that up by raking his eyes - Benoit takes the pin by the skin of his teeth.
Review of the Giant's rant from last week
Interview with Jarrett/Benoit/Mongo - Jarrett calls himself the "lead Horseman" but the other two object to that. They say their pieces and leave (there's Sting in the stands). Jarrett rants on - he seems to think he can lead the WCW against the NWO...says "...you can cross Sting off your list" - Sting's listening and his eyes go wide at this but he continues to lurk.
Womans Championship Tournament match - Yabuki vs. Madusa. Yabuki takes the fight right to Madusa - very powerfull woman for someone so slender. Zero (another Japanese woman wrestler) shows up with Sonny Oono to scout the competition. The match seems pretty even - Yabuki has the power - Medusa the martial arts offense. Medusa wins with a bridge suplex.
Michael Wallstreet vs. Chris Jericho - classic young lion vs. crafty veteran stuff. Rotundo has the height and weight advantage but Jericho is all heart and overwhelms his slower opponent until Wallstreet sidesteps him and flings him out of the ring. Now Chris has trouble getting back in. He finally pulls off a modified sunset flip but ends up in an abdominal stretch. Wallstreet swiches to a reverse chinlock then a reverse chancelry. Jericho escapes with a jaw breaker and then takes over. Its all Jericho until Wallstreet falls out to the floor. Chris follows him out and gets posted. Back inside Chris is wobbly but proves to be playing possum - he surprises the veteran with a cradle and gets the pin.
Nick Patrick and (fake) lawyer vs. Jericho and Teddy long in a silly interview. Somebody needs to punch out the lawyer and put a sock in Teddy's mouth.
Review of the Lugar/Booker T debacle from last week
Rematch of Lex Lugar vs. Booker T (w/Sherri) - hopefully Lex can keep his mind on the match this time. Lugar's tied his hair back (last week he was having a mammoth bad hair day). Lex is all business tonight - he dominates the action until the commercial.
Lugar gets a powerslam as we come back and almost wins. Another flurry ends when Booker T slips in one of his kicks. Now it's all Booker T. Outside the ring he and Sherri take turns clobbering the "Package". Back inside Booker T continues to administer the punishment until he misses with a spin kick and ends up stradling the top rope. Lex goes for his backbreaker but Booker T blocks it by holding the ropes. Booker is back in charge and has the match won until the Colonel decides to do his Teddy Long impression. The distracted Booker T gets caught in another powerslam and pinned.
Tony is talking up the Piper/Hogan (possible) match. Eric is on the phone - he says the negotiations are going well but Pipers "people" are getting in the way. He's being stonewalled...plans to fly out to Toronto later to talk to Piper himself. Here's a new cliffhanger for us...
Review of the Halloween Havok confrontation between Piper and Hogan gets cut short yet again.
We get another Hogan "performance" to end the program. He gets his lighting again. They show clips of "Santa With Muscles" - Santa Clause beats up some mall thugs...the show is going overtime while this goes on.
Hogan complains about not being invited to the Cable Ace awards ceremony - now he's threatening Ted Turner...says he'll crash the Awards (he wasn't invited) and steal Turner's award. He calls Piper a coward and then goes into his pose-down schtick. Fade to black.
There were a couple of good matches tonight but Hogans end pieces are getting old in a hurry. The Nick Patrick angle is weak and should either be spiced up or dropped. There just is no logical reason why this cripple should be officiating matches.
Review of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin rampaging around the studio last week. We see the front of Brian Pillman's house (said to be in Cincinnatti, Ohio despite the fact that the snipe at the edge of the screen says they are live from Walton, Kentucky...huh??)
Goldust makes his usual entrance...on film...in letterbox format. He will face "the Stalker" Barry Windham. Crush, Mr. Perfect and Hunter Hearst Helmsley are on hand to watch their Survivor Series teammate.
Windham enters (sans face paint) with his own SS teammates (Marc Mero, Rocky Maivia and Mark Henry) - the match starts outside the ring and quickly moves inside. This has the look of a lumberjack match (Austin is on the phone - he says he's calling from a cell phone in his car on the way to Pillman's house. Vinnie warns Austin that Pillman has "reinforcements" on hand waiting for him. Austin says he's not worried because he's carrying a "six-pack of whup-ass"). lawler goes off mic to join his teammates around the ring.
In the ring, Goldust is getting his own taste of "whup-ass" from Windham. The two competitors climb the ropes together - Windham is going for his super-plex but Rhodes blocks it. He head-butts Barry twice then kisses him on the lips...hard, before shoving Windham to the mat. Cut to Austin/Hart promo then a commercial.
We're back and Goldust has evened things up a little. Suddenly a melee erupts outside the ring as Crush attacks Maivia - Mark Henry goes after the Burger King - it all breaks down - both competitors are disqualified. Cut to SS promo with "Doc" Hendrix.
Clip of an interview with Paul Bearer, Mankind and the Executioner (Terry Gordy). The disembodied voice of the Undertaker interrupts and a cage is revealed to contain a hogtied effigy of Paul Bearer.
Pillman interview - he's seen reclining on a couch, his wife is there (showing a lot of cleavage). He's pissed at Austin (Gee! I wonder why...) Austin is said to be circling the neighborhood. Pillman has a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol (looks like a Glock) and he's brandishing it...we hear that Austin has arrived as we cut to commercial (Gosh! maybe Vince is finally going to take my advice and have someone killed in order to increase his ratings...)
We wait with baited breath through the commercial...
We come back to one of those silly Karate Fighter matches - Sid defeats Marlena.
We're back at Pillman's house and Austin is fighting it out with Pillman's friends out in the driveway. He's creaming these two big guys. Nows he's trying to get into the house but he's locked out. He stalks around to the back - let's watch a match now.
Alex Porteau vs. The Sultan - Mr. Bob Backlund introduces his man. He accidently calls the promotion the WWF - his character seems to be slipping (maybe he can't hear himself without his glasses on...)
The match is a squash of course - but nobody cares because we're all worried about what is going on out at Pillman's house...even the King seems more concerned about someone getting shot.
Now we're back on Cincinnatti (Walton...whatever). Austin breaks down the back door and charges into the room - Pillman is aiming the gun and looks maniacal...the camera goes to snow - lets go sell something. (Geez! What is Bischoff going to do to top this??)
We're back again - the satelite feed is kaput - Jim Ross is in the ring - he introduces Sid.
Vince says the producers have notified the authorities - they're playing the paranoia card heavily. Shawn Michaels makes his way to the ring.
There's a podium set-up in the ring so that the two wrestlers can face off on either side. Shawn claims he got Sid out of the "loony bin" and brought him back to the WWF (yeah right...). Sid says "...that's bulls**t!" Ross tries to stir things up...they start to cut back to Pillman's house but it isn't happening (this kind of reminds me of the "Beware of Dog" PPV - I wonder if that was a work...?)
Sid gets in a great line when Shawn tells him he's not in HBK's "league" - Sid replies "Right! I'm not in the little league little man!!" They are about to come to blows when Camp Cornette shows up (here we go again...). They surround the ring and suddenly Sid and Michaels are on the same side. Bulldog attacks - Shawn fights him off - Vader comes in and Sid pins him in the corner. Owen comes in with a chair and uses it on Sid who goes down. Shawn snatches the chair and clears the ring. Naturally Sid sees Shawn with the chair and assumes that HBK hit him...
The bad guys attack again, the good guys fight them off. They're facing off again when the officials get between them.
We review the doing at the Pillmans' house - at the end we hear the Mrs.' screams but no shot. Vince is calling it a "publicity stunt gone awry".
Marc Mero enters the ring to face the bogus "Razor Ramon". "Razor" comes to the ring with his other false friend (they're still trying to re-establish the satelite link...) I notice that everyone is referring to the imposters as Razor and Diesel.
In the ring Mero in outwrestling "Razor"...
They have a crew member on the phone (actually the director of the live shoot Kerwin Sifries). He says the house is dark - nobody has come out - Austin's car is still in the driveway - he "may" have heard a couple of shots...he's not sure...
Burger King is trying to keep calling the match...Vince refers to the imposter as "J.R.'s Razor Ramon..." which sets Ross off - but we don't get to hear the exchange because we're off to sell something else...
We're back on the phone with the director again, he's still trying to restore the satelite link...then he's interrupted...now they've lost the phone connection.
Ross is blaming Vince whose doing his best Eric Bischoff impression - all subdued and contrite...and defensive...
Oh yeah...Mero is still whipping Goldust'd butt, but here comes Perfect and Helmsley...cut to commercial.
We're back again and Mero is making "mince"meat (pretty cute, huh?) out of Rhodes until Hunter pushes him off the top rope. "Razor" does a real clumsy rendition of the Razor's Edge to win the match.
Vince says he accepts responsibility for the doings up in Cincinnatti...but he wants to share the credit with Ross and others...
Now we're back at the Pillmans' abode - Brian's friends are restraining him - Kevin Kelley is suggesting that shots have been fired...he refers to them as "explosions" (so where are the police?) Austin is gone...No! He's back - Pillman has the gun again...they're pushing Austin out of the room - Pillman says "let him go!"...Mrs. P is freaking out...fade to black...
Pretty hairy...and also pretty unbelievable. This supposedly went on for about a half hour in a suburban neighborhood, shots were fired, but no sign of the cops...give me a break!
The difference between this and the NWO parking lot incident a while back is that when that melee happened it was played out for real, with emergency vehicles and the whole nine yards. They stopped the entire production for about twenty minutes to tend to the wounded.
In the case of this riot it all seemed to be happening in a vacuum. That's because it was, of course - the action on RAW at the arena was all on tape with the announcers dubbed in - naturally Jim Ross didn't know what was going on while he was in the ring interviewing Sid and Shawn...because it wasn't going on at the same time.
This whole episode, as exciting as it was, doesn't hold any water in the light of reality...it strikes me as a desparation ploy which can't be sustained.
Questions: Wouldn't Austin be arrested for breaking and entering and for beating up Pillman's friends? How are they going to keep him involved in the Main Event at the next PPV? He's going to be in jail isn't he? Or is this going to be just like the attacks on fans and security personnel by Crush recently...with no apparent consequnces. How can they justify not at least suspending Austin?
I suppose a few marks are going to buy this farce but it just seems like another example of the low esteem in which the WWF holds its fans...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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