Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
In this edition of the newsletter we have Matt Benaka with the latest installments of This Week in World Title History, John Cross, back from vacation with the Crossface Connection, plus my own TV Reports and topical rants..
This week in World Heavyweight Title History saw some World Champions lose there gold all over the globe! A wrestler was rewarded for jumping promotions and a classy competitor was given his only World Heavyweight Championship. 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
Recent additions to my site are the Midwest Wrestling Association (Kansas City), Extreme Championship Wrestling, and the National Wrestling Association World Title. I hope to add a few more later in the week as I am currently working on the United States Wrestling Association.
World Title History for the week of June 16th to June 22nd:
June 17th of 1943 saw Orville Brown wrestle his fifth Midwest Wrestling Association (MWA) World Heavyweight Title away from Lee Wykoff before fans in Kansas City, KS.
Orville Brown wouldn't be as fortunate in 1946 when Bobby Bruns, the man who defeated him to become the first MWA World Champion six years earlier, defeated him in Kansas City, KS to win the MWA World Title from the accomplished champion on June 20th. This was the second of three MWA World Title reigns for Bruns.
Bronco Nagurski became the first man to hold the Maryland version of The World Heavyweight Title after defeating Dean Detton on June 16, 1937 in Minneapolis, MN. Detton had won recognition as World Champion by defeating Dave Levin who had won the title from Ali Baba by disqualification.
Dusty Rhodes won the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Title on June 21, 1981 from from Harley Race in Atlanta, GA. As he ended Race's sixth reign, he began his second.
The World Wrestling Association (WWA) World Heavyweight Title (Indianapolis version) changed hands on June 18, 1977 when Ivan Koloff ended Dick The Bruiser's fifth run as champion.
June 19th of 1971 saw Strong Kobayashi win the first of two International Wrestling Enterprise (IWE) World Heavyweight Titles when he defeated Bill Miller in Duluth, MN. This was one of only two occasions where this World Title changed hands in The United States. The other time wasn't until 1974 in Denver, CO.
June 18th of 1990 saw The Snowman defeat Jerry Lawler in Memphis, TN to win the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) Unified World Heavyweight Title. Note: Does anyone know the real name or other wrestling identities of The Snowman? Just curious.
The USWA Unified World Title traded hands again on June 15, 1992 when Eddie Gilbert defeated Jerry Lawler in Memphis, TN to win the title for the first time. This match was a result of when Gilbert jumped from Global Wrestling Federation (GWF) and had a bogus unification match with Lawler a couple weeks earlier.
The last mention I'll make of the USWA Unified World Title is that on June 21, 1993 Papa Shango, a.k.a. The Godfather, lost the strap to the late Owen Hart in Memphis, TN. To my knowledge this was the only time that Owen held a World Heavyweight Title. As unfortunate as that fact is, Owen deserves mention amongst the history of World Heavyweight Champions.
It’s been a long time, I know…..do you remember me?
I do...it happens to be a fact that it takes a lot for me to forget myself.
Welcome back to the Connection…a column that has become a long-standing Solie’s tradition (go figure THAT). Earl gave me a couple weeks off to recharge the ol’ batteries, as 3 columns a week will do that to a person after a while. I also took advantage of the time off to golf (horribly) have a birthday (pretty good, for a 34th), and celebrate Father’s Day (fair to midland). Nice time.
Now that I am returning, I wanted to re-visit a topic that I haven’t talked about in a while, and that would be the NWA-TNA. I guess they seem to stay out of mind, because they are pretty much out-of sight.
Fact is, until they get a good, real, and proper free-or cable-TV deal, that is where they will stay. No matter their talent (and it is pretty good), the old proverb about the ‘light under a bushel’ will remain the modus operandi that the NWA-TNA is locked into.
Mike (the brother) and I are going to be making a trip down to the Nashville tapings in a couple weeks, and I don’t know what to expect. Over the winter break, we (the brother and I)spent $10, and watched the show. I wasn’t very impressed. In fact, this is what I said:
What I got was a cross between WCW Saturday Night and the ECW show, minus the tables. What I saw was a crude copy of the WWE, frankly. I watched the attempts to sell the sex, the foul language, and the overblown, 80-ish storylines…… In the broader sense (and, maybe even in a sadder sense), it looks like Vince McMahon had done what he wanted to do....he has changed professional wrestling to 'sports entertainment', and even those who wish to succeed by being different have to imitate the WWE. By definition, and now by practice, the WWE's version of wrestling is now the norm, folks. That fact alienates many of us to the periphery of fandom....all the people who think that the wrestling is more important than the mic, who think wrestlers should know how to wrestle, and who think that McMahon's ideas on wrestling are chaff are now the fringe. Not even the alternative to the WWE is different anymore."---December 2, 2002
If any of you have made it a habit to read this column, you know that I think Vince McMahon has warped wrestling into some sort of soft-core porn/dance/soap opera/talent show with some wrestling thrown in. The fact of the matter is, to compete, the NWA-TNA has become what it said it opposed, and that idea will stay in my mind until I get proven wrong.
No matter how many times Harley race tells everyone that this fed is the legitimate heir to the glory that was the NWA, I am not going to take it seriously. The legitimate World Title (which is held by HHH in the WWE, in my humble opinion) left the NWA over a decade ago. All that being said (and probably debated later), I would still make watching the NWA-TNA a habit IF it were broadcast on standard cable. I like variety, and the WWE shows have become pretty stale as of late. Watching the TNA would be a blessing some weeks, and I would enjoy it, much as I enjoyed watching Thunder...it isn’t (wasn’t) the best show, but it wasn’t the WWE, and the storylines and workers, for the most part, worked hard and did their best in the ring, and on the mic. And, I am sure Earl would devote more time to it, should it be on cable or syndication.
I’ll make it a point to report back to you all about my experiences in Nashville, and Mike and I plan to hit the NWA, stay the night, go golfing, and return home.
Now, a second subject...the PPV last night. The first PPV in six months that I didn’t watch.
While perusing the News and Rumors (bodyslam.cc, you know…cheap plug there), I read that He (Goldberg) was upset over the way he was depicted by Linda McMahon during a teleconference she had on Friday. According to what I have gathered, she said that His run has been "Disappointing".
HA HA AH HA HAHAHAH!!
No CRAP, people! I’ve seen him wrestle four times! Unless you have a big enough roster, and paint him as a slight underdog, he will not EVER repeat his run in the WCW. That is a fact, and here’s why: In the WCW he was new, unknown, was startling different than everyone else on the roster, and was completely dominant. He never, ever, EVER sold a move, nor did he need to. He came out, wrestled, and left...no promos (very little), and little in the way of interaction with the other wrestlers until he was well established.
Now, you have him in all sorts of segments and skits, you have him working with Goldust, you have him doing things that he isn’t good at...until I starting writing this segment, it wasn’t clear to me why Goldberg isn’t meshing, and it is because he doesn’t fit into the WWE’s idea of a "Sports Entertainer".
Though he is being imitated by Brock Lesnar, Goldberg isn’t going to get away with it because he is a known quantity, while Brock’s big push started when people only knew him as a big monster. Sound familiar? Just like the skin-deep heat for Hogan, and the laughable heat for Piper, Goldberg is so known as to be, well, unexciting. The attempts to paint him into a new light have failed, because he is, like X-Pac, typecast into a familiar role.
If you want to change Goldberg, have him get beat by heels, by cheating, or however. You have him treated unjustly, not by a obvious jobber like Jericho, but by Evolution, or Kane. Don’t make it so easy to read. Make us unsure about it. And...don’t make Goldberg operate like HHH, or Kurt Angle. He isn’t a guy you want doing a lot of segments on the mic.
I know…have him job dirty to someone or the other, come out, admit that he is getting to ‘into’ the WWE operation, and what Vince wants him to do, and have him declare his intention to ‘go back to the way I was’...the old music, the silent dominator, the indestructible force. Have him fight his way back….and, then , have a Goldberg-Lesnar match. Build them both up. It IS what we (the fans) want to see.
Why? ‘Cause I said so.
I bought Freddie Blassie’s book...from the Amazon link at the Solie’s Storefront. The man doesn’t ask for much, but I’ll ask you to get over there and help support this website.
See you next week, with another Connection.
SmackDown! came to us on tape from the Waterhouse Centre in Orlando, Florida and opened with a video feature on Rey Misterio's winning of the Cruiserweight Title last week. Kind of funny when you think about it - Misterio had already held this title on several occasions back when it was the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
We were then reminded that the big main event tonight will be Brock Lesnar defending his World Title against the Big Show...
But first it was back to Rey Rey, who defended his newly won title against former Champ, Matt Hardy, who blames his followers for the loss last week. He punched them both out before going to the ring! The match was very competitive, but in the end Misterio proved that his win last week was not a fluke.
Piper's Pit was up next - the "International Edition" if you will - featuring Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri as the guests. Piper had a spread laid out - a Mexican and Japanese food buffet. After the initial jawing, Sean O'Haire convinced Tajiri to hand over his Tag Team belt in exchange for a platter of sushi then refused to give it back. Tajiri took a sip of sake and blew it in Piper's face - then Eddie "turned the tables" literally, upending the banquet in O'Haire's face in order to retrieve the belt.
Backstage, Sable spoiled Stephanie's surprise announcement by revealing that Steph intends to bring back the US Title.
Next up - Torrie Wilson served as ring announcer for A-Train vs. the returning Billy Gunn! During this match a sign in the crowd read "Hire Sabu". Billy won the short match with a Fame-A$$er. Afterward, Torrie and Billy patted each other's buns, then left the ring together.
After the break, the Undertaker came to the ring to take on Johnny the Bull, with the other members of the FBI on hand as well to provide distraction at critical moments. After missing the chokeslam, UT won it with the Last Ride. Of course he was attacked by Palumbo after the match - Chuck got chokeslammed. UT went for another powerbomb, but Nuncio broke that up with a chair shot.
Backstage, Mr. America helped Zack Gowen pump up for his arm wrestling match against Vince McMahon.
Stephanie came to the ring after the break to oversee the arm wrestling contest. Young Gowen was set to get his WWE contract if he could win this one. Sable came out and interrupted Steph's introduction - but Steph cut her off and intro'd Zack and Mr. A. McMahon came out wearing a black power-T looking all middle-aged buff and strutting in his usual fashion. Hogan tried to challenge Vince to a real contest, but he insisted on going up against the kid. Sable whispered something to him, and Vince seemed to change his mind, offering to arm wrestle Mr. A, with the stip that the latter leave the premises if he loses. Hogan agreed and the contest was on. As Hogan was about to win, flipping McMahon the bird as he steadily pushed him over, Sable grabbed their hands and claimed that Hogan was cheating. Stephanie told her to stay out of it. The contest was resumed and again Hogan was about to win, when Sable suddenly exposed herself! Carefully concealed from the camera, of course. Hogan was distracted and Vince won the contest. Hogan was ready to pop Vince one, but McMahon told him, "Go ahead - and that kid will never get a shot!' So Hogan agreed to leave and took Stephanie with him. So now it was the kid's turn to take on the Chairman of the Board. McMahon was supremely confident - then surprised as all get out when Zack started to beat him. Then he kicked the kid's prosthetic leg out from under him and took the win. He taunted the boy and sent him packing. Zack limped away as McMahon posed for the jeering crowd. What a guy...
Backstage after the break, Hogan tried to comfort the stricken youth, but the Big Show came in and taunted him.
Chris Benoit came to the ring next to team with Rhino against the Basham Brothers accompanied by the renamed Linda Miles - now called Shaniqua. Miles got physically involved at one point and spoiled Benoit's attempt at a swan dive headbutt. Moments later Rhino accidentally hit Benoit and caused their team to lose the match. benoit and Rhino were facing off in the ring as we went to commercial.
In the back after the break, Rhino and Benoit got into an argument over what just happened and parted on bad terms.
Vanilla Lice made his way to the ring for a match against Funaki. After some bad rap, which Funaki answered with some of his own, Cena squashed his opponent in a short contest.
Kurt Angle came to the ring after the break in his new babyface (sort of) personna. He now encourages the crowd to yell, "You Suck!" during his entrance theme. He made a speech about how he will take on the winner of tonight's World Title match, then he invited Team Angle to the ring. Haas and Benjamin rather reluctantly came to the ring and accepted hugs from their mentor. Kurt gently chided them for not calling him while he was laid up - then called them to account for not being present for his return to the ring last week. They in turn accused him of thinking only of himself, asking him where he was while they fought to keep his name alive. Angle called them whiners then invited them to sit down with him and figure out how to win the Tag Team Titles back. Haas and Benjamin had different ideas. Haas told him they were tired of listening to him talk and declared that he was no longer their team captain. He replied that they don't deserve to have the crowd tell them they suck - yes, he really said that. Charlie replied that they no longer consider him to be the captain - to which Angle replied that they were no longer to be part of Team Angle - then led the crowd in singing the "Good bye Song" to them!
After the break, the team attacked Angle backstage and left him lying in a hallway.
The main event was the aforementioned World Title match. We expected that it would be short, since it started well after the two-hour mark...but it wasn't. The fight went out to the floor early on and Brock was pummeled. Back in the ring Brock played possum for a moment then struck back, but the big guy overwhelmed him and grabbed the sloppiest single leg crab I have ever seen. Brock escaped, then suckered his challenger into rushing the corner. He followed up with a German suplex, which injured his ribs so that he was unable to finish with an F5. The giant tumbled off his shoulder then moments later went for a chokeslam. Brock avoided that move but suffered a big leg drop. Show went for the pin but failed. He got the chokeslam, but still couldn't pin the champion. Next TBS tried to climb up the corner but was way too slow. Brock blocked him then pulled off a superplex off the top rope! The ring collapsed (!!) after the move as the two combatants lay stunned on the mat recovering from the move. The referee was stunned for a moment, then called for backup as the two continued to lie on the mat, not moving. A phalanx of officials and medics ran out to check on the two as the announcers showed the ring collapsing over and over - then signed off. So what about Angle now? Nobody won that match...
Up first, a tag team match pitting the Dudley Boyz against the unlikely combination of Rodney Mac and Chris Nowinski. Earlier tonight, on Heat, the Teddy Long forces had taken Devon aside and suggested that he change sides because his white brother was always giving him orders. I hope that isn't what they plan to do - they already tried splitting them up and neither of them was able to create much heat, either face or heel wise. The Dudleys showed their tag team superiority early on, but using illegal tactics, the heels managed to turn the tables. Soon after however, Nowinski went for an elbow drop and missed, losing the initiative for his team. his partner had to save him twice during the next several exchanges. Rodney Mac tagged in and was down when Bubba yelled, Devon! Get the table!!" Devon turned to Long, who seemed to say, "What did we tell you?" His hesitation was long enough to get him knocked to the floor, Bubba was double teamed and quickly defeated.
Next up - the first of three "Redneck Triathlon" events between the two RAW General managers - a burping contest! Both competitors gave forth three massive belches - right in Terri's face (poor thing). Austin's face turned purple on his last attempt and let loose a prodigious face fart that won the contest for him (actually, I believe it was all faked with recorded audio...)
Test and Scott Steiner squared off next - a contest to determine who Stacy would manage going forward. Test dominated the early going until he walked into a big over the shoulder belly-to-belly suplex. Steiner made a comeback for a while, but then Test caught him in a Pump Handle slam - but Steiner kicked out. Two more attempts at the pin also failed, so Test went out and grabbed a chair. After shoving Stacy to the ground, he missed his first swing at Steiner then tried again - but Steiner ducked the second swing as well and the chair bounced off the top rope and struck him in the face. Test went down and was pinned easily.
Backstage, Bischoff introduced Austin to four fine looking women for the "Pie Eating" contest and argued over who would get to go first. Austin finally agreed to let Bischoff go first, but insisted that he would pick the "flavor of pie" that Bischoff will eat. Bischoff agreed, saying, "Can't go wrong..." Hmmmm...this should be interesting.
Christian defended his Intercontinental Title for the first time against Booker T in the next contest. It seemed like Booker had a lock on this from the opening bell, but as usual, Christian started slow and waited for his opening. before long he was in control of the match. Booker eventually made a comeback and as Christian started to feel it slipping away he left the ring and started to leave the area. The referee forced him back into the ring by threatening to award the title to Booker if the champ was counted out. Christian reluctantly came back, belt in hand, and then thumped Booker upside the head with it to get himself disqualified, thus retaining his title.
Next up - the Pie Eating contest, second event in the "Red Neck Triathlon". Bischoff came down first, followed bu Austin, who reminded Bischoff that he gets to pick Bischoff's "flavor of pie" - and introduced Mae Young!!! I could see where this was headed. Bischoff, of course, refused the "honor", until threatened with disqualification. He then thought to defuse the situation by simply kissing her. But Austin wasn't buying that. He sent Mae into the frey - she downed Bischoff with a low blow then did a bronco buster on him in the corner. That satisfied Austin, who then Stunned Mae and declared Bischoff the winner of the second contest. So they were tied, one to one.
Rob van Dam and Kane defended their Tag Team Titles against the French Nerds (actually, they are both from Canada, not France). The controversy here stems from the fact that the two Champions have not exactly been on the same page lately. To judge from the early going, although they showed little or no teamwork, the Champions still presented a formidable challenge to the...er...challengers. The match ended rather abruptly when Kane was taken out to the floor by the challengers. RVD through a splash over the top rope hit his partner by mistake. While Kane was out of it out on the floor, RVD was double teamed and pinned. La Resistance took the titles.
Backstage, the wheel was spun for the final "Redneck Triathlon" - and a singing contest came up.
Chris Jericho took on Bill Goldberg in a highly anticipated match-up. Goldberg came into this one in a highly charged emotional state and that was probably the only thing Jericho had going for him. Interestingly, the audience seemed to be on Jericho's side from the get-go. For the most part, Goldberg shrugged him off like a flea. But then the contest went out to the floor where Jericho suckered his opponent into going for a spear. Jericho sidestepped and Goldberg dove right through the security wall! That gave Jericho his opening and he went to work on the injured shoulder of his opponent. Goldberg tried to come back with only one arm working, and gave a pretty good account of himself, but Jericho was relentless. Goldberg blocked a Lionsault attempt then hit the spear - but didn't get all of it. Both guys were down for a moment. The crowd was chanting, "Goldberg Sucks!!". Jericho came back and slapped on the Walls of Jericho. Goldberg struggled mightily and threw Jericho off with a twist of his legs. He followed with the Jack Hammer and took the pin. Now the crowd chanted, "Goldberg!", apparently coming around to the monster after his come-from-behind win.
In another much anticipated match, two old warhorses took each other on - Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels. Michaels dominated the action from the opening bell, until he let Flair get hold of his leg. Flair worked over the limb and then slapped on a Figure Four Leg lock (of course). HBK eventually escaped and went for the superkick - but Flair blocked it and went for the Figure Four again. Shawn reversed it into a cradle then a Figure Four of his own. Flair escaped and was swung into the corner. he did the Flair-flip and ran to the near corner, but stumbled during his climb to the top. He came off for the axe-handle but Michaels caught him and blocked the blow. Flair was put down and HBK wen out and set up a table. As he re-entered, Flair was ready for him. They struggled and went back to the floor, where Michaels put Flair on the table then met Randy orton coming in and put him down. Back into the ring he went and then splashed Flair through the table!! Flair was bleeding from the back when he rolled back into the ring. Michaels followed him in and went for the pin but failed. Flair struggled to the corner and as Michaels came from behind, Flair tried to hit a low blow with his leg but got the referee instead. Michaels was in charge now, but the referee was out of it. Michaels delivered the superkick then turned around and walked right into a massive chair shot from Randy Orton. Orton rolled Flair over on top of HBK and then rolled out of the ring in time for the recovered referee to count to three.
Bischoff came out and lip-synched to his own theme music as his entry. Austin came on the big screen and broke that up, challenging Bischoff to do it for real. Bischoff's own voice didn't quite live up to the recording. Austin stopped him again and said since neither of them can sing a lick, he decided to spin the wheel again, and stopped it at "Pig Pen Fun". A Pig Pen was already set up in the arena for the event near the platform. Austin told the crowd to prevent Eric from leaving. Bischoff made the mistake of trying to escape past a football player at ringside. Austin came out and threw Bischoff back into the ring, beat him up and Stunned him. He dragged Eric up to the ramp - then threw him in to win the third and final event in the Triathlon. He celebrated in the ring with a beer moment...
The main event was for the World Heavyweight Title - Triple H defending against Kevin Nash in a Hell-in-the-Cell, with Mick Foley as the referee. Nash dominated this one, as could be expected, early on. Then he grabbed a chair and really started to dish it out. Out on the floor. Nash threw a set of steel steps at HHH's head...but missed. He then went for a powerbomb - but HHH struggled free and finally turned the tables. Nash was down as HHH found a toolbox under the ring. First he tried to hit Nash with the metal tray from the box, but failed to connect. He then grabbed a hammer and hit Nash first in the knee, then in the head! he then threatened Foley with the hammer, but Foley beat him to the punch and dropped him. HHH turned back to his opponent and rubbed his face into the cyclone fence wall. Nash was bleeding profusely at this point. Back in the ring, Helmsley tried to stab his opponent with a screwdriver! Nash blocked that shot, but couldn't keep HHH from grinding the tool against his forehead. HHH went back under the ring and found barbed wire wrapped 2x4. he got in one blow with the weapon but then Nash fended him off and got hold of the weapon. HHH was hit and now he was bleeding. Nash affixed the weapon to the turnbuckle before returning to his opponent. He drove HHH into two different corners and then dropped his face onto the barbed wire!! Nash left the ring to retrieve the steps and throw them back inside. HHH escaped to the floor and as Nash attempted to reach for him, HHH found a wooden crate and broke it over Nash's head. He went back under the ring and found his favorite weapon - a sledge hammer. But Foley wrestled it away before Helmsley could use it. Nash then got a drop-toe hold and forced HHH's face onto the steps. Nash grabbed the chair again and missed the shot - then tried again and hit Foley. Now Foley was bleeding - but was still conscious. Out came...Mr. Socko!!! He grabbed the Mandible Claw on HHH, then eventually released him. Nash had the chair again and swung it again and missed. Foley was on the apron and as Nash turned, HHH barreled into him and Foley shot to the floor. Nash hit the Jacknife on HHH but failed to get the pin. Both competitors struggled to their feet and HHH got his hands on the sledge hammer again. This time he connected with it. nash went down and was pinned.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff was laying into Mae Young for embarrassing him last night then told her that she would be wrestling tonight...against an as yet unnamed opponent.
Ivory and the Dudley Boys took on Rodney mack. Jazz and Christopher Nowinski (w/Teddy Long) in a six-person mixed gender matchup. This was a fast and furious match which ended in Ivory pinning Jazz for the third straight time.
RVD and Kane met backstage, where RVD wanted to talk over strategy for their rematch against the French Nerds tonight, but Kane wasn't interested in talking. He declared that if they don't win tonight he wants to split up the team.
After a look back at the PPV, we went to the backstage area where Maven announced to Foleyt and Al Snpow that he had arranged a match against Orton for later tonight. Foley told the youngster that he would be in his corner.
After the break, Evolution were shown watching the program on a monitor.
Lance Storm came to the ring to take on some rookie - but Austin followed him out to the platform and started chanting, "boooring..." and carrying a pillow and sheets, and suggested to Storm that he needs to show him something rather then put him to sleep. he continued to chant as the match proceeded and laid down with his bedding on the platform and started snoring loudly into the mic! Eventually he so ennerved Storm that the rookie (Garrison Cane?) rolled him up and pinned him.
The Millennium Bugg was up after the break, to join Christian in a Tag Team match against Booker T and his partner, Goldberg. Booker ran in and started the match before his partner arrived. Goldberg ran to the ring without fanfair and the fight was joined. But we missed some of it because we went to commercial at that moment. When we came back to find Goldberg being double-teamed, but that didn't last long as the monster cleaned house. Booker tagged in and was soon on the receiving end, then Goldberg came back in and cleaned house yet again...am I discerning a pattern here? Goldberg went for a spear and pretended to hit the corner post (badly executed, I'm afraid). This was the shoulder he supposedly injured last night so he was out for a while. Booker came in and did a little housecleaning of his own, but was soon on his back again. Jericho was in the ring with Booker when he turned around and got speared for real this time. Booker went on and finished off Christian to take the victory.
What followed was highlights from the "pie-eating" contest last night.
Bischoff came to the ring after that and brought Mae Young and Moolah to the ring. They cut to another commercial before we found out who the opponent would be. As we returned, Test was headed to the ring! But Austin came on the TitanTron and told them that he was sending Scott Steiner down to be the referee! before Steiner cound get there, test put the pumphandle slam on Young then slipped out with Bischoff as Steiner hit the ring.
Backstage, Tough Enough champ Jackie Gaeda was back and appears to be Rico's new valet.
Mae Young was hauled away on a stretcher during the break.
Backstage, Steve Austin sent a female stage hand to bring RVD and Kane to his office.
Rico and his new companion came to the ring next for a match against Spike Dudley. Spike got a few good hits on his opponent but before long the match turned in Rico's direction as Jackie cheered him on. Her part of the match consisted of showing her body to Spike to distract him at a critical moment. Her man won it.
Backstage, Stone Cold gave RVD and Kane a pep talk, telling them to go out and win the Tag Titles back for their country.
Randy Orton took on the returning Maven, with Ric Flair in his corner opposite Mick Foley in the corner of Maven. This was a see-saw battle from the get-go, both kids looking strong. With Flair on hand, of course, the deck was a bit stacked against Maven - as the face companion, Foley pretty much stayed out of it until the end, when he used Mr. Socko on both of the heels after the pinfall went to Orton.
Rob Van Dam and Kane got a chance to recover the Tag Team title in a rematch against the new champs, the French Nerds. They had vowed earlier that they would go their separate ways if they lose tonight. The two teams were introduced and then we went right to a commercial. When we returned the match was well underway and the champs were in control of RVD. About five minutes later, Kane tagged in and changed the complexion of the contest. RVD and Kane seemed to be on the same wavelength for a change and made some headway using good teamwork, but you have to give it to La Resistance - they are also a hell of a team and soon turned the tables. As things went from bad to worse for the former champs, Kane lost his temper and used a chair on Granier, causing the disqualification. Kane continued to hit everyone in sight, including the referee. he flattened both opponents with a chair then started to chokeslam each of them...but suddenly Triple H showed up and started talking to Kane about joining Evolution! That HHH of all people would approach this guy is just ludicrous (does anyone remember the necrophilia angle?) - except in the world of pro-wrestling. Steve Austin came out and argued against Helmsley's position, and offered him a World Title match against HHH next week at the Garden. Then Bischoff showed up and threw in a monkey wrench, telling Kane that if he takes on HHH he better win, because if he loses he will have to unmask! Kane thought about that, then grabbed both Austin and HHH. At first he seemed to about to chokeslam Austin, but then he grabbed HHH and slammed him instead! Next week it is Kane vs. HHH!
At least that's the way I see it...
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