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 with the Crossface Connection, plus my own TV Reports and topical rants.
SummerSlam came to us live from the America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, and opened with a Marine Corp color guard and Lillian Garcia singing the National Anthem. Gorgeous - and she can sing :-)
The card opened with the Dudleys challenging the French Nerds for the RAW Tag Titles. This was a typical Dudleys/La Resistance match, with the Dudleys dominating but showing too much emotion and thus getting themselves into trouble. They came close to getting the pin on a 3D, but the second Frenchman dragged the referee out. Suddenly a photographer ran in and attacked, giving the French Nerds the win. The "photographer" turned out to be the Airman from the other night. Spike ran in so that all three Dudleys could be put down. After the match, Bubba vowed that the Dudleys would "do whatever it takes" to get back the titles in a ringside interview with a rather rude Coach. What was up with that?
Backstage, Christian upbraided Eric Bischoff for not giving him a match on the card. He then offered to give him a hand in his match against Shane - Bischoff told him he already had a back-up plan. He also said that he would reveal to the world what happened between himself and Linda McMahon last Monday night.
Next up, the Undertaker going up against A-Train, who was accompanied by Sable. In this one, UT showed us some of his scientific wrestling skills. Seeing as how he was greatly outweighed, this made perfect sense. He did his rope-walk bit early on in the match, but moments later he was levered over to the floor and re-injured his ribs. Out on the floor, A-Train attacked the ribs some more then tossed the Dead Man back inside. UT was dominated for several minutes as Sable looked on at ringside until he came back with a sleeper. But A-Train threw him off easily. UT came back with a badly executed Snake Eyes then they clotheslined each other and were both down for a bit. Next they traded haymakers for a while. I wonder what ever happened to the that straight fingered throat chop UT used to use all the time against big men. Undertaker went for the last Ride but A-Train shoved him off then hit the Derailer. UT kicked out. At that moment the referee got caught between them and went down. A-Train jumped out and grabbed a chair then returned to the ring only to have the chair kicked right back in his face. UT got a 2 count. UT followed up with a chokeslam and took the pin. he was about to unload a last ride on the vanquished opponent when Sable entered the ring and tried to seduce him. UT grabbed her by the throat - then Stephanie came to the ring and attacked McMahon's Minx until A-Train dragged her out and rescued her. I see a mixed tag team match on the horizon...
I really object to commercials during a PPV...
Backstage, Chris Jericho was shown stretching for his upcoming match as Coach interviewed fans at ringside.
Next up - Shane McMahon vs. Uncle Eric in a grudge match for Shane's mother's honor. Eric came to the ring first, ready to honor his commitment to reveal the details of his relationship with Linda. His story was that he made it with her several times. Shane then made his entrance and the fight was on. Shane immediately took the advantage and was all over his opponent, driving him from the ring. Bischoff tried to walk away, but Shane followed him and dragged him back to the ring, beating on him all the way. Back at ringside, he rolled in and out to beat the count, then went back to pounding on Bischoff. Why do I have this feeling that Linda is going to show up and she will NOT take the side that Shane expects - otherwise, Bischoff would have to be fired for his actions against the CEO of the company. Suddenly, Coach appeared at ringside and hit Shane with a chair!! The referee wanted to ring the bell, but Bischoff stopped him and declared the match to be a falls-count-anywhere contest. Coach hit Shane again then Eric went for the pin but failed. They dragged Shane into the ring - then Bischoff had the production crew turn off JR's and King's microphones. He handed a hand mic to Coach, who proceeded to call the match while helping Bischoff pummel Shane. He aped Ross's announce style while he was at it. Shane managed to break free and put both of them down for a moment - but Coach delivered a low-blow to retake the advantage...then Steve Austin showed up! Coach got right into the Rattlesnake's face, taunting him and reminding him that he couldn't touch the announcer unless physically provoked. Shane shoved him from behind into Austin, which gave Austin his excuse to drive Coach from the ring. Austin had the announcer's mic turned back on and turned to leave. But Shane then shoved Bischoff into Austin, so Stone Cold Stunned his co-GM. Shane went for the pin - but pulled Bischoff up. He dragged him out ands positioned him on the Spanish announce table. Returning to the ring, he threw one of his trademark flying elbows off the top corner and drove Bischoff through the table. Afterward, Steve and Shane shared a beer moment...
The fatal Fourway match for the US Title was next. Chris Benoit, Rhyno and Tajiri trying to upset current champ Eddie Guerrero. Although he might have been expected to go easy on Guerrero, Rhyno jumped right into the frey and established early on that he was in it to win the title. This was a very exciting, high impact match - which was too much to call or describe adequately. In the end, Guerrero used guile to put Rhyno in position for a Frog Splash to retain his title.
It was revealed next that Zach Gowen's leg was broken in two places on SmackDown! the other night. So he was not able to compete. On Heat, earlier tonight, Hardy went to the ring and had a referee declare him the winner of their scheduled match for tonight.
The next match was the WWE Heavyweight Title challenge of Brock Lesnar against Kurt Angle. This match started as a scientific contest, but didn't stay that way for long. Both of these guys are in fantastic condition, but Lesnar is bigger and stronger. On the other hand, he also has to carry around more weight, so Angle might be expected to have better stamina. In the opening moments, Angle dominated the contest by out wrestling his opponent. Lesnar was forced to the floor and went berserk, trashing furniture at ringside. He grabbed the title and started to walk away with it, but Angle followed him and attacked. They brawled at ringside for a while, then Angle took it back inside. Repeatedly, Angle would show his superior quickness and then surprise Lesnar with a big power move until Lesnar grabbed him and pressed him over his head before tossing him to the floor. Following him out, Lesnar rammed him into the ring steps, then tossed him back inside. Now it was all Lesnar, and Angle had to call on his resilience to hang on for an opening. It came eventually and the match went into see-saw mode. During the action, Angle twice countered the F5 - but finally Lesnar managed to complete the move. Angle kicked out! Moments later, Angle locked in the Angle lock. Lesnar had to roll out of it and took out the referee while he was at it. Angle then leaped over Lesnar and slapped on a combination headlock submission hold, then switched to the ankle lock again. Lesnar tapped, but the referee was still out cold. Vince McMahon ran out and delivered a chair shot to Angle's back. Now both guys were down and the referee was still out. Brock made it to his feet first and delivered another F5. Angle got his shoulder up again! Lesnar went for another F5 - but Angle countered into another ankle lock. This time Lesnar tapped and Angle was declared the winner. McMahon tried to attack Angle again with the chair, but Angle caught him coming in and thwarted him yet again. Vince was Angle slammed onto the chair!
Rob Van Dam vs. Kane was next, and it was announced that this would be a no-holds-barred contest. Kane took control early on and immediately pulled a ladder out from under the ring. This was playing right into RVD's hand, of course. As Kane dragged the ladder through the ropes, RVD jumped on the outside end and levered it into the monster's face. Kane recovered quickly and the fight went out to the floor for a few moments. Back in the ring, RVD finally started to make some headway with expert use of his educated feet. This was going good, until Van Dam mounted the top corner and was shoved off to land on the railing. Kane followed him out and waited with the ladder to ram him as soon as he got to his feet. Back in the ring, Kane applied a choke, telling the referee to mind his own business when he admonished the monster. Moments later, Van Dam was knocked to the floor. Kane mounted the top corner, but lost his footing and had to try again. he tried to splash RVD on the outside, but Van Dam slipped aside and Kane hit the railing chest first. He got up and rushed Van Dam, who applied a drop toe hold and ran him into the steps. Van Dam stepped up the pressure and knocked Kane over the railing, then attacked him as he attempted to return to the ringside area. Kane was left draped over the rail, so Van Dam threw a leg drop off the apron and clobbered him again. Kane rolled back inside. Van Dam returned to the ring with a chair, left it in the corner to hit a spin kick, then placed the chair on his opponent's chest and hit Rolling Thunder. RVD immediately followed up with a Van Daminator, leaving Kane slumped in the corner, then mounted the opposite corner and hit him again. Kane rolled to the floor, followed by Van Dam. Kane then reversed a move on his opponent and hit the Tombstone on the ring steps. Back in the ring, Kane took the pinfall.
Backstage, Linda McMahon confronted a broken, bruised and bloodied Eric Bischoff and slapped the tar out of him. If she doesn't fire him, I'm afraid I will have to conclude that this was all a work...:-)
The Elimination Chamber match for the World Title was the main event. HHH defending against HBK, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Goldberg and Kevin Nash. For weeks there has been speculation about the real reason this format was decided on - most centered on the unwillingness of HHH to job to anyone, with some of it referring to his groin injury of a few weeks back. It seems clear that which ever (if either) is true, there was certainly some part of this that came about because the WWE was a little leery of putting their premiere summertime event on the shoulders of the untested Mr. Bill Goldberg. Jericho and Shawn Michaels started the match and Jericho dominated the Show Stopper except for occasional flashes of brilliance from HBK. At the end of the first three minutes Randy Orton was the next one released. I am generally not a fan of gimmick cage matches and this one is no exception. This is basically what WCW used to call a War Games match without the team aspect and with a technological twist that really adds nothing. Kevin Nash came in next and was quickly eliminated by some sweet chin music from HBK and a roll up by Chris Jericho. HHH came in next and was immediately super kicked back into his chamber by Michaels. Nash then woke up and Jack Knifed everyone in sight before he left. The remaining players (except for Goldberg, who was still waiting to be released from his chamber) were all laid out. When Goldberg finally got into it he knocked everyone down again! He ended his first flurry by spearing Orton then pinning him. Moments later, Goldberg speared Jericho and put him through the plexiglass wall of one of the chambers! Michaels attacked Goldberg as he returned to the ring, but then went for the super kick and missed. Goldberg speared him, Jack Hammered him and pinned him. He then stalked Jericho and hit him with the spear again. Jericho was Jack Hammered and pinned. HHH was left blinking at Goldberg from inside his chamber. Goldberg, after some by-play with Flair outside the cage, kicked a hole in HHH's chamber and dragged him out to the area between the ring and the chain cage wall. He went for a Jack Hammer but HHH escaped and went on the attack. But that only lasted a few seconds then Goldberg turned the tables. Back in the ring, Goldberg stalked the World Champion. But as he charged, HHH turned and brandished a sledge hammer that had been slipped to him by Flair and hammered his opponent to the mat then pinned him. Flair and Orton entered the cage after the fact and together they punked the challenger, with and without the hammer. Goldberg was handcuffed to the cage wall and hammered again on the forehead. HHH then pushed the belt into his face and taunted him before Evolution left the ring.
There were exactly 7 matches on this 2 3/4 hour card and they were all good matches for the most part. This might have been fine if we were talking about long matches, but in fact, they spent several minutes between matches showing promo material and commercials. It seems like we keep getting more and more of this crap and less and less action.
By the way, according to an after show report, the entire WWE roster came to the ring after the program and sang Happy Birthday to Vince, who turned 58 yesterday. The Big Show did a "Showaroonie" in Vince's honor. The story was that everybody was out of character for this little interlude. Only Goldberg and Brock Lesnar failed to appear.
This week in World Heavyweight Title History saw plenty of activity from Verne Gagne. It also contained Lou Thesz wrestling in Mexico and the end of a prestigious World Title. 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
As always, please visit my website. The goal is to have lengths of time as champion for all the world title belts and also multiple champions club. Also, I'd like to have comprehensive title defenses for as many titles as possible. Such a feat is impossible without help from many. So, if you have any information or would like to contribute your knowledge of world titles it would be greatly appreciated. Simply e-mail at the above address.
World Title History for the week of August 25th to August 31st
August 29, 1982 saw European great Otto Wanz defeat Nick Bockwinkel in St. Paul, MN to capture the American Wrestling Association (AWA) World Heavyweight Championship.
Don Eagle defeated Gorgeous George on August 31, 1950 in Columbus, OH to win the Boston version of the AWA World Heavyweight Title. The win also gave him his second reign with the Ohio version of the AWA World Heavyweight Title. This was Eagle's second run with the title and this would be the last reign anyone had with the Boston version of this title.
August 26, 1979 saw Harley Race win his third National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Title in Orlando, FL by defeating Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes had won the title only five days earlier in Tampa and never made it out of his backyard of Florida with the World Title.
South of the border Canek won his first Universal Wrestling Association (UWA) World Heavyweight Title on August 27, 1978 in Mexico City, MEXICO when he defeated the legendary Lou Thesz.
Verne Gagne defeated Dr. X (Dick Beyer) on August 31, 1968 in Minneapolis, MN to win the AWA World Heavyweight Title. This was Verne's third run with this World Heavyweight Title.
Verne Gagne won his third Omaha World Heavyweight Title on August 25, 1962 in Omaha, NE at the hands of Fritz Von Erich.
Buddy Austin also captured his third World Title on August 25th. The difference was that the year was 1967, the place was Los Angeles, CA and th opponent was Mike Dibiase. Austin won Dibiase's World Wrestling Association (Los Angeles version) (WWA) World Heavyweight Title. I know I've said it before, but it's a real shame that Mike's son Ted never captured a World Title during his career.
I'll probably heal. No, really, I will. I slept well, managed to note the sun rising today. It all begins again, the cycle of life.
Even if that &^#$# HHH retained the World Title....again.
If you remember older Crossface Connections, you'll know that the average length of a World Title reign has shortened to about 10 weeks (387 weeks for the last 38 WWF/WWE Title changes, give or take a few weeks). That compares to the first 38 WWWF/WWF/WWE Title changes taking 1763 weeks, or 47 weeks per Title run. It's because we see the wrestlers much more often, and because of the legacy of 'Attitude' (i.e. the marketing of wrestling to a demographic with the patience and attention span of mayflies). However, let's look at it this way: HHH has had the belt since 12-15-2002, or 37 weeks. That would be the equivalent of holding it for 174 weeks, or three years, if he were to be working, say, in the 1980's or 1970's. To compare, Hulk Hogan's longest run was four years and a bit more than a week (01/23/84 to 02/05/88). In absolute terms, the last person to hold a World Championship in the WWF/E this long is Kevin Nash, in 1994-1995. With his win last night, he surpassed the length of time that Chris Jericho held the Undisputed Title.
Just a note...the WCW Title (the World Title) was held by Hulk Hogan for 51 weeks in 1996-97, but that was during the tenure of the WCW.
So, obviously, HHH has put himself together a pretty good run. I have voiced for months and months that he is booking his own Title run, and last night's match proved it to me. There were three people in there that could have won the Title, and it would have helped everyone.
HBK: Sure, he's a backstage politico, and, sure, he's a buddy of HHH, but he would be a popular champion, he's way over with the fans as a face, and could serve as a foil for Jericho, Orton, Bischoff, or whoever you wanted to push against him. You could use him to push Kane towards a Title run (that is pretty overdue), or segue Goldberg from a Title run to a straight feud with HHH, where neither would be at risk to lose or gain too much from jobbing to the other. This would be the safe pick.
Jericho: Even though this guy has been over as a heel for a long time, nothing cements it for the fans like putting a strap on someone they think doesn't deserve it. Having Jericho emerge as a Champion would have added fuel to his heel heat, and would have opened him to more options than he has now. A face turn wouldn't be such a bad idea (same idea as above, but pushing Kane against Jericho, as opposed to HBK), since he's about due for a face run. If not, having Goldberg face Jericho for the Title down the road would garner some interest, as they do have a history, don't they? How about an RVD push, at long last?
Randy Orton: This is the most interesting option that the WWE didn't use. Of course, this would have immediately put him into the face category, because HHH isn't turning face anytime soon. He would have probably had to immediately job to HHH (at least at the next PPV), but having him turn face would do exactly what HBK's victory would have done, and that is make HHH/Goldberg a better angle. You could also put the Kane program on the burner then (Kane would probably get a Title run out of that, because I can't see Randy Orton going over on Kane's character), and open up the mid-card and main-event ranks to some vertical movement.
Now, I didn't expect two of the six to have any chance, and those unfortunate two were Nash and Goldberg. Nash isn't able to maintain a Championship run, if only for the fact that he can't move worth a damn anymore. Goldberg doesn't do house shows (or, I should say, enough house shows) to maintain the backbone fan interest that the Champion needs to maintain. Goldberg was in there to foil HHH, and to look impressive, and Nash was in there for basically the same reason. See, that's the trade off these days in the WWE...the fan favorite loses the match, but ends up looking impressive as hell, just to save face. No wonder the storylines are so convoluted....there are no real winners and losers anymore!
Except HHH....darn him....managed to be injured (and waxing towards injury prone, I fear) and still hold on to the Title.
I'm sorry, friends.....you can't take that feeling away from me. You can't convince me of any other reason HHH is still the Champion. He's pulling the strings to insure his own legacy, and that frosts the heck out of me. Though I hate the idea of Vince running everything (because that's a lot of the reason the WWE has slid so far), it's better that he do it then HHH, who is just doing what he can to push himself.
I have another question. What was the whole A-Train/Undertaker match for? Earl said in his Summerslam Report that he suspects a set up for a mixed-tag event down the road, and that might be the case, but what credibility does this feud hold? I mean, Albert has become the Jobber To The Stars® in the last few months, and everyone who watches the WWE can tell you that there is about a snowball's chance in H-E-double-hockey-sticks that he'd go over on the Undertaker at a major PPV event. So, like I said, what's the point?
Well, they needed to get Undertaker on the card, and this was a way to do it, even though the storyline is weak and much to young to have matured into something worthwhile. Adding Stephanie to the storyline makes sense, as she is still working to truly get over, and keeping the assets of her and Sable on the TV screens helps viewership. Maybe they can build something out of this hastily-assembled storyline.
However, they have to do something with A-Train. The JTTS® monkey is going to remain on his back, and that automatically (in my eyes) removes any suspense from the plot. He has to get a win over the Undertaker, like Cena did, for any true interest to be generated. Cena-'Taker was/is a good feud, but Albert isn't at Cena's level, be it in heat or in-ring skills. Also, Cena actually wins matches against other wrestlers. Albert gets his shots in on the sly, so he isn't taken seriously as an in-ring performer. Not saying he doesn't work hard, and that he doesn't have his character down, but he needs to get a clean duke (at least a duke, clean or not) over the Dead Man to be taken with respect.
The Eric Bischoff-Linda McMahon segment last week was terrible. Folks, the McMahon's are getting insane, and not just Vince. Linda seems to have decided to get in on the crap-dance that the WWE's storylines are becoming. Sick.
OK...Sorry to end on such a thought, but it was on my mind. You make sure to come back early and often to Solie's. Tomorrow morning, I send my baby girl (my firstborn...I have one younger) to Kindergarten, and life moves on.
See you next week for another Connection.
SmackDown! came to us on tape from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan, and opened with our Olympic hero coming to the ring to talk about the perfidy of his "good friend", Brock Lesnar, addressing his nemesis personally, telling him, "I don't need some pumped up, 58 year old whacked out billionaire to fight my battles for me!" He went on to say he would get his revenge, by finding Lesnar and kicking his butt. He challenged Lesnar to a fight, then McMahon as well, and said that he wasn't leaving until he gets one. McMahon appeared on the platform and said that it wasn't about what he (Angle) or anyone else wants...it's about what Vince wants. Angle then insulted him, and McMahon pretended to head for the ring, but then turned back. He told Kurt that if he laid a finger on either himself or Lesnar, he would be stripped of his title and fired. He then agreed to give Angle a "tune-up" match...against the Big Show. Show showed up and held Vince back as Angle insulted him again. They started to leave, but Kurt called them back and reiterated that he didn't want a match, he wanted a fight - and then he left the ring and headed up the ramp. TBS met him at the halfway mark and they started brawling. Angle was getting the best of the big dufus when Vince sent in some officials to break it up.
Backstage, after the break, Vince and the Big Show conferred back in the owner's office. Big Show started trashing the place as Vince decided to make the match a falls-count-anywhere Street Fight.
Rey Misterio took on Matt Hardy in the first match of the evening. Each man had his regular tag team partner in his corner. Moore started trying to interfere almost immediately, but Kidman was all over him. Still, Rey Rey was distracted and suffered some, but came right back. Moments later, Moore tried to use a chair on Rey, but missed and hit the apron. Kidman grabbed the chair out of his hand just in time for the referee to see him with it and send him away from the ring area as we cut to commercial. When we returned, Hardy had taken control of the match and Rey was on his own in a two-on-one situation. Hardy hit a Side-Effect, but Rey kicked out. Rey then hit a DDT, but couldn't follow up. The match went into see-saw mode for a while. A little later, Matt was set up for the 619, but Moore ran in and distracted Rey, giving Hardy a chance to regain the upper hand. Zach Gowen then showed up at ringside and used his cane on Hardy to give Rey the win.
Backstage, Lesnar came into Vince's office and inquired about the devastation. Vince told him about the situation with the Big Show, and suggested that Lesnar needed a match for the evening. He suggested that Brock take on Zach Gowen. Brock agreed and said he's break the rookies remaining leg.
At ringside, Mike Cole interviewed Zach Gowen's mother, who expressed her pride in her son and her concern about his match with Lesnar coming up. This is taking place in Zach's home town.
The next segment featured Billy Gunn (w/Torrie) and Jamie Noble (w/Nidia) against the Basham Brothers (w/Shaniqua) in a tag team match. This was somewhat of a grudge match given the dust up among all these folks last week. The Bashams showed themselves to be a much better team then their opponents, who are a brand new duo. In fact, the bulk of this match consisted of first Gunn then Noble beating up on both opponents in two-on-one situations, In the end, after everyone had been knocked down, one of the Bashams pulled a switch with his downed brother and surprised Gunn for the pin.
Backstage, Zach Gowen encountered Brock Lesnar, who succeeded in intimidating him.
After the break, Lesnar came to the ring first for his "match" against Gowen. Brock grinned evilly as Zach kissed his mom at ringside. After Gowen entered the ring, Lesnar stepped out and offered Mrs. Gowen a handshake. She declined. Gowen took advantage of the distraction to splash Brock on the outside! Brock fended him off then turned back to stare at Zach's mom. Gowen then attacked him from behind with his false leg! Brock recovered quickly and tossed Gowen into the ring then proceeded to powerbomb him twice, then tossed him to the floor at his mother's feet. Lesnar left the ring on the other side and grabbed a chair. He strolled around and hit the kid. This got him disqualified, but he wasn't done. he headbutted Gowen until he was bleeding, then F5's his leg into the ring post, hit him with the chair again, then F5'd him again, then beat his leg with the chair!! This brought Mrs. Gowen over the railing, where her son lay in a pool of his own blood. Officials and trainers loaded Zach onto a gurney and were wheeling him out when Lesnar attacked him again, upsetting the cart. he then dragged the bloody stretcher board back up to the ring and displayed it to the crowd.
Vanilla Lice came to the ring rapping that Gowen got what he deserved, using the fact of Gowen's Detroit origins to insult the crowd. We cut to commercial at that point.
After the break, A-Train joined Cena in a tag team match against Orlando Jones and the Undertaker. The Dead Man pretty much held this match together for his team, Jones being more trouble then he was worth. In the end, UT had Cena up for a Last Ride when A-Train ran in with a chain wrapped around his fist and punched the Dead Man in the ribs. Cena got the pin.
Sable complimented A-Train backstage on his punk job on Stephanie, then gave him her hotel room key (eeewwww!)
Tajiri and Chris Benoit took on Eddie Guerrero and Rhyno in a tag team match next. hino and Eddeie showed up in his customized '60's vintage Chevy Impala lowrider. Benoit showed up and continued the mind game he has been playing on Guerrero, pretending to want to be his friend. These four have a Fatal Fourway match at Summerslam for the US Title. Rhyno won the match with a gore on Tajiri.
Kurt Angle came down to the ring, but then returned to the platform to ambush his opponent. This being a Street Fight, that was perfectly legal. He got the drop on the Big Show, but his advantage was only momentary. As soon as he was in control, Show dragged a table out from under the ring, tossed it in, then tossed Angle in behind it. Moments later he body slammed Angle onto the flattened table, then dropped a leg on him. He then started tossing Angle around like a rag doll before propping him in the corner with the table leaning on him. he backed up and rushed the corner, but Angle shoved the table in his face then hit an Angle slam. Show eventually knocked Kurt to the floor then set up the table in the ring. meanmwhile, Ange grabbed a chair and retunred to the ring. He got in one good shot before the Show turned the tables and grabbed Kurt up into a powerbomb position. Angle let himself go limp and got his hands on the chair again, then hammered his opponent on the forehead as he lifted him back up for the move. They brawled out to the floor, where Show rearranged some of the ring steps. Angle fought him off then managed to run the giant's shoulder into a ringpost. He went after Show with a chair but Show reached past it and grabbed him by the throat. As he tried for a chokeslam, Angle rolled him over and applied the Angle lock. Show escaped eventually, but ended up lying on the ringsteps. Angle dropped a leg on him with the chair in between them. he went for the pin but failed. Back in the ring, Angle repositioned the table then went after his opponent. Show fended him off at first, but then Angle maneuvered hinm into the Angle slam and put him through the table for the win.
Lesnar appeared on the platform as the program ended.
Raw came too us live from the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona and opened with clips from last night's PPV program, specifically the beating taken by Goldberg after the main event last night. They showed Steve Austin's photo, but NOT Eric Bischoff's. They switched to the arena as Goldberg came to the ring in his street clothes. As much as I hate the fact that Triple H again retained the title, the beat down on Goldberg was the best possible thing to happen to his career. The winning streak in WCW worked to a point, it established him as a force to reckon with, but such a thing couldn't possibly helpful to him in WWE. Goldberg called HHH out and Evolution immediately came to the platform. Triple H removed his shirt, prompting the announcers to speculate that there would be a rematch tonight - but, of course, it was not to be. Helmsley made a little speech about how great he is - then Goldberg interrupted to say that he intends to come after the Champion in the ring, in the street, at his house, etc. HHH's rejoinder was to offer him a title shot at the next PPV, the Unforgiven card...in a one-sided looser leave town match. Goldberg would have to agree to quit the business if he loses that match. Goldberg immediately agreed.
Trish Stratus was seen warming up backstage as we cut to commercial.
Trish headed to the ring but was attacked from behind by her opponent, Gail Kim, before she could get there. Kim tossed Trish into the ring and went right for the pin, but was unsuccessful. She grabbed a reverse chin lock and wouldn't let it go as Trish struggled in vain. Trish eventually escaped, but Kim then turned the hold into a Dragon Sleeper. Trish used leverage to throw her off, then after a few traded blows, hit a spine buster and took control. She downed Kim with a round kick and got a two count, then followed up with Stratusfaction for the win. As she left the ring area, Molly attacked her then entered the ring to confront Gail Kim. The camera's switched back to the announcers leaving that little confrontation unresolved.
Next they rolled tape of Bischoff making his declaration regarding his encounter with Linda McMahon last Monday. It was then revealed that Linda will be Chris Jericho's guest in the Highlight Reel tonight. I can't imagine that Bischoff isn't going to be fired...how do you apparently sexually assault the CEO of your company and manage to keep your job?
Backstage, Molly held Gail Kim by the throat and offered to ally with her to put down Trish.
Theodore Long brought his man, Rodney Mack, to the ring, flappin' his gums the whole time - then he introduced Mark Henry, who has been away from the promotion for years. Henry and Mack were matched up against Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade in a tag team contest. Jindrak and cade were all over mack to start the match, then Henry came in and punted both of them (literally). Long said before the match that Henry was here to "earn his playa card" - I would say that Henry just gave Mack the right to hold one of his own.
Backstage, Goldust and Lance Storm argued over what happened last week, then the camera pulled back to reveal mini-Goldust clinging to his leg. Rosie, the S.H.*.T., showed up and inquired about the "commotion in the ring". Storm brushed him off, so Rosie put his question to a script girl. She told him there was a man in the ring with a gun! Rosie rushed off in a super-heroish fashion as Hurricane flew in. Being informed of where Rosie was going, he flew off. I know, I know, but that's what happened...
It turns out, the guy with the gun was using an airgun to shoot t-shirts out to the crowd, Rosie ran in and squashed him, then got a chewing out from his mentor. Next they replayed stills of Coach attacking Shane McMahon last night and the ensuing mayhem. Backstage, Terri asked Austin what he thought of Coach's actions last night. Steve replied with a recitation of the incident, as he saw it. Bischoff (still bruised and wearing sunglasses to hide his shiners) appeared and disputed Austin's version of the event, then declared that he intends to give Coach the "Employee of the Year" award, and warned Austin that he better not interfere.
The French Nerds came to the ring with the ringer from last night, who was identified as "Rob Conway". Conway made a little speech about people not liking the Tag Champs and segued into a left-wing political rant - I kind of resent that this heel figure is out there mouthing some of my own political opinions (although some of the things he said were just bizarre). The threesome took on the Dudleys in a six-man match, naturally. During the match, Conway proved ability to hit someone from behind with a weapon, but showed me little as a wrestler.
Linda McMahon was seen striding purposely down a hallway as we cut to commercial.
The Highlight Reel, as mentioned earlier, featured Chris Jericho's special guest, Linda McMahon. Before he introduced her, however, he ranted about Goldberg spoiling his chance to win the World Title, then he reran the video from last week of Bischoff kissing Linda. Linda came out with a smile on her face, then waited for Jericho to ask his questions. Her response was that Bischoff was a liar, that her security men showed up and escorted Bischoff from the premises shortly after the cameras were turned off. She then ruminated about the "consequences" that Bischoff would have to suffer for his unprofessional conduct. She said that she considered firing him, but that she figured Vince would only come along behind and rehire him. At that moment, Vince showed up and took over the conversation, saying that he, as Chairman of the Board, would see that Bischoff faced NO consequences, then went on to deliver a scathing rant against his wife. She looked him in the eye and told him he needs psychological help. Vince countered that the only help he needs is against his ungrateful children, which she has encouraged. This brought Shane to the ring to put in his own two cents. Shane, who is actually bigger than his dad, grabbed the mic from Vince and called his father a monster, and further said that he could rot in hell (along with Kane, who had also come into the conversation). Jericho saw fit then to berate Shane for disrespecting his father. Shane pushed Jericho aside and went nose to nose with Vince, at which point Jericho attacked Shane with his mic. Vince hustled Jericho out of the ring and up the ring, but turned back to make a match - Shane vs. Jericho.
Ric Flair accompanied Randy Orton to the ring to face Maven, who brought out Shawn Michaels to even the odds. Orton, who appears to be the only one not showing any bruises or cuts from the main event last night, easily dominated this contest from the get go. When Maven started to make a little headway, Flair interfered to turn the tables back in his man's favor. Shawn ran around and downed Flair with a super kick. In the ring, things were going a little more evenly, with Maven getting in some licks of his own. Orton came back and applied the RKO - but then pulled Maven up. As maven struggled to rise, orton mocked HBK by stomping his foot then delivering a Michaels style super kick to end the contest. Michaels entered the ring and saw to his friend as Orton grinned delightedly, then went out and helped Flair up.
Backstage, Bischoff was admiring the Employee of the Year plaque he'd had made for Coach as we cut to commercial.
Terri interviewed Funk Master Flash about his new TV show, then Eric Bischoff came to the ring to present his award to Coach. Coachman made a suck up speech, calling JR, "Austin's boy". Bischoff showed the video of JR coming back to the announce table a couple of weeks back and returning to the announce table. Despite the evidence of the tape, JR shook his hand and patted him on his back, Coach insisted that he was hurt by JR's actions. Coach then demanded an apology from Steve Austin - but Christian came out instead. Christian claimed that he was due an apology from Austin as well, because he wasn't included on last night's card. This brought Austin out (finally). He told Coach that not only did he not "carry the ball" for JR, but that he couldn't even carry his jock strap. Coach rejoined calling the regular RAW announce team a joke. Lawler then interjected that he would be glad to come down and show Coach what kind of joke he is. At this point Christian interrupted in a very petulant way, demanding the attention he so craves. Austin told him to shut up, then made a match for Christian against Lawler - for the IC Title!
That match began as we returned from the break. Coach joined JR at the announce table and taunted him throughout the match. Christian dominated the match from the get go, but Lawler held his own and came back after a few minutes. Things were in see-saw mode for several exchanges, then lawler took control. As soon as this happened, Coach left the table. As Lawler went for a pin, Coach dragged him out of the ring. The King chased the announcer around and then into the ring, where Christian took advantage of his distraction to roll him up for the pin. JR apologized to the audience afterward for allowing himself to be distracted by Coach's antics.
Backstage, Shane was seen heading for the ring. In the background, we saw Kane lurking in a cage...
After the break, Coach conducted an interview with Christian. Then Steve Austin confronted him and told him that he will face Lawler in the ring next week!
The main event was a fight between Shane McMahon and Chris Jericho. This was a wild one, for sure. Shortly after the bell, Shane levered Jericho over the top rope to the floor, and he appeared to injure his right wrist. Shane was on the top corner getting ready to splash his opponent when Kane's music suddenly blared out. Shane turned to stare at the platform, but Kane didn't appear. Jericho, meanwhile, re-entered the ring and attacked as we cut to commercial.
After the break, Shane was on the receiving end, but soon turned it around. He went to the top again but was knocked to the mat, and again Kane's music played. This time Kane DID appear and went straight after Shane. He chokeslammed the owner's son then left through the crowd. Shane recovered eventually and went after Kane, who had disappeared through the entryway. Out in the parking lot, Kane suddenly attacked from behind. He pummeled Shane then ran him into a wooden wall and dragged him on top of a dumpster where he rammed him into a concrete wall before uncovering several gas cans. He poured gasoline into the dumpster, threw several open cans in and then lit it on fire. he tried to throw Shane in but was thwarted. Shane kicked Kane into the burning dumpster and then told him to "Burn in Hell!"
That was pretty horrific and not a little tasteless...
At least that's the way I see it...
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