Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
In this edition of the newsletter we have John Cross and Matt Benaka with the latest installments of the Crossface Connection and This Week in World Title History, respectively, plus my own TV Reports and topical rants.
This week in World Title history is brief and very simple. I wish I could tell you great stories or explain strange endings, but this week just provides some basic results that crowned new champions. I hope you enjoy it! If you have any questions, comments or corrections, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and please visit my web site at: http://www.geocities.com/mrbenaka/index.html
World Title History for the week of May 12th to May 18th
On May 12, 1995 Mascara Ano 2000 defeated Perro Aguayo in Xalapa, MEXICO for the International Wrestling Concil and AAA World Heavyweight Championships.
May 15, 1965 saw Mighty Igor Vodic defeat Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon in Omaha, NE for the American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title.
The AWA World Title traded hands again on May 13, 1984 when Rick Martel defeated Jumbo Tsuruta for the strap in St. Paul, MN.
I want to start by thanking anyone and everyone that has come over to bodyslam.cc for the latest Miss Elizabeth news and updates. Your patronage has helped propel us to a 125% increase in readership, and I personally appreciate the relationship that Earl Oliver has fostered and helped maintain with bodyslam.cc and, consequently, with me.
It is an honor to be associated with Solie's. I hope I convey that sentiment to the readership here at Solie's Vintage Wrestling, and to Earl.
Now, on to the subject at hand.
Jeff Hardy. You know, I am besieged by the habit of putting wrestlers into the professional wrestling 'universe', and forgetting that they are people, just like myself. I guess I did so with Jeff Hardy as well.
He was released from the WWE about 10 days ago. We all know this, and it wasn't really a surprise. He had been rumored to have been chronically late, ill-tempered, and unmotivated. His in-ring performances have been uninspired, or at least have seemed so to me, and he has been floating through angles with no connections made, nor with any change in his on-screen effort. It just seems, with everything considered, Jeff Hardy was through with the wrestling scene six months before he was released.
However, a couple things threw me. First, and foremost, were the lengths that the WWE went to keep this guy on the roster. They gave him heck for being late and no-showing at house shows (which would make sense, as you would expect an unmotivated wrestler to skip those shows first), but they pushed him with HHH, The Undertaker, RVD, Chris Jericho, and, finally, HBK. The WWE tried desperately to get the man back into a semblance of good feelings, and rolled out the heavy guns of their roster in an attempt to show him that they wanted him to remain in the fed…..and it didn’t work.
One would think that being put over, in one way or the other, would prove to Jeff Hardy that the WWE was willing to make an effort to keep him. It would seem as such to me, and I was very surprised that, even though the WWE got rid of The Godfather, Justin Credible, Raven, and D’Lo Brown, they kept an obviously-sinking Jeff Hardy. Was it his heat with the fans? You got me.
So, when I heard he was released, I wasn’t surprised. It seemed that he wanted to be released. I still feel that way...he was not going to quit, it seemed, if only because he didn’t want to.
Then, he released an audio tape, explaining his state of mind.
There was no question to me that the man was nuts. In an echoing, double-talk riddled excuse for an explanation, he verbally wandered through a semi-spiritual rant about sinking into the depths, rising up, achieving all he could, but failing, his suffering creativeness, and his promise (and promotion) about his musical career.
It sounded drug induced. I was really wondering if he was really released due to a refusal to take a drug test (which is the leading rumor that describes the straw that broke the WWE’s back), because he surely sounded like he had been dancing with Mary Jane.
Then, I thought about it. He’s a kid. Young kid, if I remember correctly…only 23. He’s been wrestling since he was a kid, and I think he was in the WWE when he was 19 or 20. His character is merely an extension of how he sees himself…a gothic, misused and abused underdog that must express his inner angst. I see those kids everywhere (and they seem like they are very prevalent in my town…), and why is Jeff Hardy any different? How is he different than any kid that wants to find himself? He’s still looking towards what he wants to be when he grows up….in our society, you aren’t expected to know until your 24 or 25. And….he’s still looking to express himself.
I understand, but I don’t think it is necessarily the best thing. Maybe I’m a little old-fashioned. Maybe he should be a bit more dedicated to the company that so obviously tried to keep him in the fold. Maybe he decided to quit, and exposed a character flaw borne of his youth and immaturity. Or, maybe he’s been so successful that, like Chyna, he’s forgotten who has buttered his bread.
If he’s injured, they could have given him a break. It sounds as if they would have, should he have asked. I think he was bored, and wanted to do something else.
That’s a shame. And, a mindset I can’t agree with. Good luck, Jeff.
Again, thanks to Solie’s for the patronage at bodyslam.cc. It is better than I ever hoped it to be, and I hope it continues for a long time.
See you next week for another Connection.
SmackDown! came to us on tape from the Halifax Metro Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and featured Mr. McMahon at the top of the show ranting about Hogan's appearance last week as "Mr. America". Eventually the crowd started ragging him about screwing Bret Hart in this same arena, so he broke it off and summoned his daughter to the ring. He demanded that she tell him how he can break the "unbreakable" contract that Stephanie negotiated with "Mr. America" (he can't be fired or suspended under his contract. She could only suggest that he has to prove that Mr America IS Hogan to void the contract. Vince then got Hogan on a satelite feed from his home in Tampa, Florida and tried to get Hogan to admit that he is the "Mr. America" character. Hogan was having none of it - and even suggested that Mr. America "might" show up on the program tonight!
Backstage, after the break, Vince was told by a stagehand that Mr. America was in the building.
Matt Hardy brought his stooges and the belt he never defends to the ring to take on Eddie Guerrero, w/Chavo in tow. Hardy dominated the opening for about...oh...15 seconds, then Guerrero kicked it into gear culminating in a series of three verticle suplexes. Matt made his comeback and came close, but Eddie took him in the end. Afterward, Matt attacked Eddie while at the same time Team Angle ran down and beat down Chavo at ringside in order to rescue Kurt Angle's Olympic Medals. Funny how the guy's jewelry is around even when he's on the shelf...
Brian "Spanky" Kendricks was up next, sprinting to the ring and scampering around like a chipmunk or something. He ranted on John Cena so that we expected to see that worthy...but no, his opponent was Jamie Noble. For the first time I can remember, Nidia was actually of some help to her champion. She delivered a few kicks to the ribs of Kendricks out on the floor at one point. In his usual efficient style, Noble used his considerable mat wrestling akills to tie "Spanky" up for the first half of the contest. Kendricks finally got into the air and changed the momentum. After several false endings, he used an over-backward stunner move to put Noble down for the count.
Next up - a replay of that silly match from BackLash, Rey Misterio against the Big Sow...uh...Show.
Backstage, Funaki told Vince he was going to the arena to watch Mr. America. McMahon made the Japanese star pour him coffee. Does anyone besides me expect that eventually Edge will show up in the Mr. America costume?
Mr. America made his entrance to the ring...to "Real American"...all in long shots... From a distance it certainly looked and felt like Hogan. The crowd went wild, of course, and Mr. America had to collect himself before speaking...still in long shot... The cheering went on for several minutes - and we got close-ups...of the crowd. Then suddenly the camera zoomed in and there was Hogan, in a mask, yelling, "I am not Hulk Hogan!" The crowd chanted, "Hogan! Hogan!". He went on to tell of the first time he "saw" Hulk Hogan at a WrestleMania, he quit his job and started training to become Mr. America. McMahon came stalking to the ring, bent on removing Hogan's mask. He confronted Hogan, then called Stephanie out. He whispered somethingto her then strode into the ring. In the middle of their palaver, Vince suddenly looked over Hogan's shoulder then shouted, "Stephanie, No!" Hogan was caught off guard and felled with a low blow. McMahon started to struggle with the mask as Stephanie tried to reason with him. Hogan threw Vince off and sent him crashing head-to-head with Stephanie. Steph went down, and Vince, preoccupied with his daughter's welfare, ended up on the receiving end from "Mr. America". In a scene reminscent of Hogan's famous incident with Miss Elizabeth, Hogan tenderly lifted Stephanie into her arms and carried her to the back.
Stable...er...Sable came to the ring looking a bit chilly in that outfit, and settled into a ringside seat for the next match - between Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie. The two Diva's went at it catfight style, then Torrie got a roll-up for the win. Torrie left the ring as Sable entered and got as far as the platform when Sable addressed her directly and challenged her to a Bikini contest.
Team Angle took on the team of Tajiri and Rikishi. The Tag Champs tried to isolate Tajiri at the beginning - but that didn't last long enough. When Rikishi got into the ring, he cleaned house. He then helped his partner sucker Haas into a Tarantula. Finally, Team Angle cheated and won - only to see Los Guerrero making off with their painting of Kurt!
Spanky joined the announce team for the next match - John Cena vs. Rhino. After the requisite fake rap from Vanilla Lice, the rookie monster railroaded in and stuck himself in Cena's face. Rhino just took Cena apart for about a minute until he fell out of the ring and then got creamed. Cena pressed Rhino severly with a bow & arrow until Rhino levered him into a corner buckle. From there things went into see saw contest which ended when Cena tried to introduce a chain. Spanky ran in and grabbed it out of his reach then Cena was surprised and pinned. Afterward, Cena chased Kendricks away then sidestepped an attempt at a gore from his opponent. Rhino ran into the post and fell out of the ring - Cena retreated up the ramp.
Backstage, Brock Lesnar allowed Nuncio to sucker him into a room, where he was locked in with a forklift blocking the door. Big Show then headed to the ring carrying a stretcher with Chris Benoit's name on it. With Benoit's partrner, Brock out of the picture, the match was changed to a one-on-one - Benoit vs. TBS. Benoit harried the big guy pretty successfully but finally went down after a chokeslam. A-Train came to the ring and the two big guys buried the Wolverine, then put him on the stretcher. Big Show was about to try his stretcher trick on Benoit, but Brock Lesnar appeared out of nowhere and attacked. Surprisingly, the Big Show eventually overwhelmed the champion.
Backstage, Trish Stratus was menaced by Victoria and her crazy love slave. In another room, Triple H, his face covered with little bandages, spoke earnestly to the Millennium Bugg, reminding him that he (Jericho) had a career boost when he injured HHH's quadriceps, then suggested that Jericho give the same treatment to Kevin Nash in their match tonight. Meanwhile, out back, Goldberg sat just inside the open door of his limo, talking on the phone. A white car drove past and hit the open door of the limo, closing it with a slam in Goldberg's face. Goldberg emerged unharmed from the other door but the car was long gone.
Backstage, Old Peanut head...uh...Teddy Long, accosted Steve Austin and tried to get his guy Red Dogg uh...whatever, into the IC Title Battle Royal because they "need a brother" according to Long. Steve agreed...that they need a "brother" and announced Booker T would be that man. How "white" of Steve. Rodney Mack had a handicap match against the agreeably ineffectual Phoenix Brothers, and put them down. Yawn...
Bischoff fended off an interview with the Coach then ran into Freddy Blassie, who mumbled something unintelligible. Bischoff moved on to deal with Rico, who was trying to push his team, Three Minute Warning. Bischoff made the connection and well...I'd rather just describe it when it happens. Meanwhile, Goldberg was seething and griping about the incident with the co-GM, who countered by asking him if he saw the driver. Goldberg said "no" but then vowed to take out his fury on Christian in a cage later tonight. Figures.
In the ring after the break, Blassie was wheeled to the ring. Bischoff dismissed "Mrs. Blassie", made a pretty little speech and then summoned the 3 Minute boys to the ring. The thugs ran in and then Uncle Eric wheeled Freddy down to ringside and and offered him to the boys. At that point, Stone Cold showed up saying, "nah-ah". He placed himself between the troups and Blassie then told Bischoff that he had reinstated the Dudleys and here they come! The Dudleys made mincemeat out of their opposition (all three of them) and Blassie got to yell, "D'von! Get the tables!".
Backstage, Christian carried an "equalizer" - a chair - and smiled nervously as he headed for the ring to face the monster.
Christian entered with his weapon and circled the ring to the jeers of the crowd then went inside and into his rant. He claimed that the bent chair in his hands was the same one that Goldberg was beat up with by the Rock. As soon as Goldberg entered, Christian dropped the chair and tried to climb out over the wall. No dice. Goldberg caught him and then started dismantling him for several minutes. Christian made a rather sudden recovery and then did succeed in introducing the chair into the contest. He worked Goldberg over pretty good with it. Christian tried to climb out again, but his nemesis recovered in time to prevent his escape. Christian got loose and attempted a spear - but Goldberg sidestepped him and ran his head into the cage wall. He picked Christian up over his shoulder then threw him like a dart against the cage wall then powered slammed him over to the mat. The Jackhammer finished the deal.
Ric Flair accosted Steve Austin backstage and harangued him about the treatment his man Triple H has been receiving when the Hurricane interrupted. Hurricane and Flair argued then Austin halted the argument and made it into a match!! Right there and then!!! He told them they had to take it to the ring...eventually. Flair turned and slugged Hurricane and the fight was on. They made their way slowly to the ring, using whatever came to hand on the way. By the time they got there, Flair's pants were torn and his shirt was in shreds. Hurricane dominated for a while after they got to the ring - but then Flair turned the tables and slapped on the Figure Four leg lock until Hurricane submitted. HHH came down and restrained Flair from further brutality towards his opponent - then went back and put on a Pedigree of his own.
The next 6 man match was just weird: Chris Nowinski and the two French nerds taking on Test, Scott Steiner and...Goldust? The fight started at ringside as the nerdy guys walked up hurling insults. While making fairly good showing for themselves, the Frenchmen and Nowinki were clearly no match for Steiner all on his own - let alone his with team mates, who both contributed to the match but each needed to be rescued by their monstrous partner before their part of the match was over.
Trish and Victoria had a hardcore match. This was pretty entertaining actually. Tommy Dreamer came down to balance out the advantage Victoria had with her "kept man". Victoria worked Trish over, first with a trash can lid, then a big leather belt. Trish came back with kicks and a Singapore cane supplied by Dreamer to win the match.
Kevin Nash headed to the ring as we cut to the last commercial block.
Jericho preceded his opponent to the ring. The fight stared as soon as Nash arrived. Nash dominated for the most part, with Jericho scoring small successes here and there. Each time Jericho would create a little breather for himself, Nash would come steam rolling back. Jericho finally managed to injure Nash's notoriously weak left knee. Now, each time Nash would make some headway, Jericho would bring him back to earth by attacking the bum wheel. Finally Triple H and Flair ran in on the attack, followed by Shawn Micheals. Things were a little confused for a few moments but when the smoke cleared the air, Nash stood tall having smashed both Jericho and HHH. Nash and Michaels posed in their old HBK/Diesel pose for the crowd as the image faded...
At least that's the way I see it...
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