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.
This week in World Heavyweight Title History saw a couple men have multiple reigns and there was some action in Australia. 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 September 01st to September 07th:
Don Arnold defeated Bill Miller on September 02, 1952 in Dayton, OH to capture the Ohio version of the American Wrestling Association (AWA) World Heavyweight Title.
The last Omaha World Heavyweight Champion was crowned on September 07, 1963 in Omaha, NE. The match was a unification bout between Omaha Champion Fritz Von Erich and AWA World Heavyweight Champion Verne Gagne. This was Gagne's fifth run with the Omaha World Title and his reign lasted only one day as the title was abandoned after unifying it with the AWA World Title.
Bobo Brazil capture his first World Wrestling Association (WWA) World Heavyweight Title when he defeated Buddy Austin on September 02, 1966 in Los Angeles, CA. Brazil won the match on cuts.
September 02, 1991 saw Jerry Lawler capture his tenth United States Wrestling Association (USWA) World Heavyweight Title when he defeated Dragon Master (not the same one WCW used, but in indie wrestler) in Memphis, TN.
Bearcat Wright lost the International Wrestling Alliance (IWA) World Heavyweight Championship to The Destroyer (Guy Mitchell) on September 03, 1966 in Melbourne, AUSTRALIA.
Bearcat lost his second IWA World Title to Killer Kowalski on September 01, 1967 in Melbourne, AUSTRALIA. This was Killer Kowalski's fifth reign with the IWA World Heavyweight Title. Only one man would reign as many times and it wouldn't happen for two more years.
You ever have an old piece of furniture that you just couldn’t figure out anything to do with?
You know, that old rust-colored swivel recliner that Aunt Maude gave to you, and you thought was a nice gift, but the interior of your front room is blue/gray, and the chair sticks out like a grave at a baby shower?
Well, it was expensive, and it is , well, alright, in a way, so you don’t want to just toss the ugly thing, but you have no real place to put it. You know that you should use it, yet you don’t want to, because it doesn’t fit? So, what do you do?
Usually, you put the ugly thing in the front room, just so she can see it when she comes over to the house. Then, for the other 360 days of the year, you live with it the best you can, stopping to look at it and shake your head.
Folks, The Big Show is that orange, polyester-covered, rust-colored swivel recliner.
I have watched this guy from day one, and though he has managed to get his work ethic a bit more together, he still is the odd piece in the WWE’s roster.
He’s a throwback...an Andre The Giant-like wrestler, with freakish strength, an intimidating presence, and considerable mobility. However, unlike Andre, they never decided to use this huge man in the correct manner.
If I remember correctly, Andre was usually brought into a local territory to beat the top heel to a pulp...a come-uppance for the perceived wrongs the man had wrought. He was the greatest good guy, the great enforcer of the fan’s will. He smiled, waved, drank, played, and beat up the bad guy. He was also, for the great majority of his career, indestructible. I never, ever saw him lose until that day at Wrestlemania. I never heard of him losing.
However, the times have changed, I guess. Though TBS started off with a huge bang in the WWE, this ‘giant man’ persona was never given to him. In addition to his playing of the roaring heel, he has played the clown, the corporate lackey, the Undertaker’s lackey, Paul Heyman’s favorite heel, and had a couple short face runs. At no time in this run has he approached the heights of domination that Andre so easily flew within.
In fact, possibly aside from Kane, he had been the Jobber to The Stars®. He has done the job to just about every main-event wrestler that has passed through the WWF/E turnstiles for five years or so. Lesnar, Angle, Kane, ‘Taker, Austin, Rock, HHH....name the name, TBS’s put shoulders down for him. That will do a lot to destroy the myth of his domination. And, and maybe even more telling...how many clean wins has TBS gotten against that crew? I’d like to know, because I would bet his winning percentage, if over zero, is les than 10%.
So, you have this Andre-like man, who jobs more than Michael Jackson (the wrestler) did during Georgia Championship Wrestling. Imagine if Andre did the same, back in the 70’s. Would he have become the same legend? Uh...no. So, my point...TBS is a huge guy, with all sorts of potential, but because of how Vince and Co. have used him, he isn’t believable as a main-eventer of any stature.
However, what do you do with him? He mops the floor with just about anyone else. He is freakishly powerful...and he is absolutely unmistakable in his talent. So...what do do?
Can you ‘re-upholster’ the chair? Re-define TBS as a bad-assed giant, intent on ripping the spleen and pancreas of his foes out of them? Sure, but that would take time, and the WWE has tried that before, most recently with the TBS-Lesnar program. Big Show never went over clean on Lesnar straight up, one-on-one. Even though he’s two times the size of Lesnar, TBS couldn’t even be granted one clean duke.
If you put him on Raw, you could run him through the ranks, and...whoa..wait, there is a little problem there....Goldberg/HHH/ Neither of those individuals would do the job for TBS. Hell, they won’t do it for each OTHER...
It would take some definite patience and reasonable expectations by the McMahon family to make TBS a huge force, but I think it could be done. He would need to lose 40 pounds or so, get his arms toned up a bit, and come in as some sort of changed man, but it could be done. It would be a nice thing for the Undertaker to do...get TBS put over, and re-created. That is about what it would take. However, I can’t see the WWE’s current leadership having that kind of patience.
Well..put the orange chair over in the corner. We’ll find a use for it..sometime.
See you next week for another Connection.
SmackDown! came to us on tape from Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas, and opened with the US Champ, Eddie Guerrero arriving in is home town in yet another fancy low rider - this one was NOT a vintage car for a change, but what appeared to be a brand new red convertible - I didn't catch the model. He was welcomed joyously by the definitely partisan crowd after parking the car outside and walking into the arena (again, in contrast to his usual entrance). He entered the ring to a huge "EDDIE!!" chant. He launched into a rant about his family and how his grandmother cheated on her citizenship test. This speech was interrupted by Vanilla Lice, who came to the ring amidst a sturdy round of boos and went into one of his rant-raps, with Eddie and the hometown crowd as his targets. The downlow was that he was challenging Guerrero for the US Title, saying that Guerrero doesn't deserve to hold the belt because he isn't even a citizen (Guerrero, of course, was born in this country...) Guerrero was goaded into putting up his title on the program tonight, then he punked the sucker out and tossed him out of the ring. Eddie put on Cena's jersey and mocked him. Cena rushed into the ring and was tossed right out the opposite side. Eddie did a little rap of his own to see Cena off.
Nunzio challenged Rey Misterio for the Cruiserweight Title, and tried to brings his buddies Johnny and Chuck with him - but they were turned back by the referee before the match got started. This was a very competitive match - Little Guido has always been an excellent mat wrestler. In fact, his style is not that different from Rey Rey except that he flies less, and wrestles more. In the end, Misterio won this one after dropping a leg across the challenger's throat - but he knew he was in a fight.
After the break, A-Train came down with Sable to take on Chris Benoit. The big guy dominated the opening moments through pure brute force and did a little damage, but we all knew that couldn't last. The big goof managed to get the pad off one of the corner buckle but ended up running into it himself. A-Train couldn't wrestle his way out of a paper bag, or a Crippler Crossface... Sable tried to claim that A-Train's foot was under the rope but the ref wasn't interested.
Backstage, an official informed Eddie G that someone had been messing with his ride.
After the break, a different camera angle showed that A-Train's legs were under the rope. Backstage, the big guy confronted Benoit - but it turned out to be a set up as Rhyno speared the Wolverine. Meanwhile out back, Eddie found his car jacked up and stripped. He demanded an explanation from the APA and Funaki who were nearby. The FBI had a good laugh and this made Eddie furious. He attacked both Johnny and Chuck but was rescued and dragged away by the APA.
Brock Lesnar came to the ring and complained about people telling him he tapped out of Sunday - so naturally, the crowd started chanting, "You tapped out!!" He called Angle out and demanded a rematch. His argument is that, "...it happened, but it really didn't happen." Wha?? Angle appeared on the Ovaltron (isn't that a chocolate drink or something..?) and taunted Lesnar, calling him a whiner. Angle then announced that he was going to the ring to make him tap again! He disappeared off the screen - but then the Undertaker showed up on his bike and road down to the ring. He mentioned that it's been a while since he's had a title shot, and maybe Lesnar ought to wait his turn. This brought the Big Show how to make a similar claim. Angle then showed up and said he doesn't care who he faces. Stephanie finally came out and settled the controversy by making a Triple Threat match for later tonight - Lesnar, the Big Show and the Dead Man for a shot at the title. Lesnar immediately seemed to think that TBS would be on his side against UT. Somehow, I didn't think Lesnar was correct about that...
Backstage, Josh Matthews queried John Cena about whether or not he stripped Guerrero's car. The rapper denied it pretty convincingly.
The US Title match was the match of the night, in my opinion. Cena walked to the ring carrying one of Guerrero's wheels, thus putting the lie to his protestations of innocence. Cena is growing into his heel personna by leaps and bounds. I can't stand his character, but I have to admit that he is really doing a great job, especially considering his relative rookie status. This was a long, very intense fight, which ended in a DQ when Cena delivered a low blow in front of the referee. After the match, Cena clobbered the ref then used his chain to choke Guerrero out. He then pulled the wheel into the ring and FU'd Guerrero onto it. This has the making of a great feud.
Kurt Angle joined the broadcast team for the Triple Threat match, which was a real barn burner. At first, Lesnar got his wish and the Big Show joined him in beating up on UT. As usual, when confronted with a larger opponent such as Show, UT fell back on his considerable ability as a mat wrestler. Before the match was very old, Lesnar and Big Show were fighting each other, as well as their mutual enemy. In the end, after a brutal three-way battle, UT got the pin on Lesnar out of a Last Ride. Angle then entered the ring and had a little stare down with UT - then retreated, leaving the Dead Man to accept the plaudits of his fans.
Raw came too us live from the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana, which opened with a recap of the incident that ended last week's program, Kane being kicked into a burning dumpster.
Jerry Lawler had his match with Jonathan Coachman. The match was barely underway when Al Snow came down the ramp upbraiding Coach for embarrassing himself. Suddenly the screen went blank, and when they came back up, Coach was pinning Lawler! Coach and Snow left the ring arm in arm, enjoying themselves to no end. A replay showed that Snow had slammed Lawler into the ring post while the cameras were out.
JR announced that after the show went off the air last week, the flames were extinguished immediately, that Kane is still alive and his condition would be updated later.
Backstage, Terri encountered Shane McMahon and told him that when the flames had been extinguished, Kane wasn't in the dumpster. Meanwhile, Al Snow and Coach chortled over their win against Lawler when Eric Bischoff walked up and told them he wished he'd thought of it. Stone Cold then joined them and said he was headed to the ring to do "something special" for Coach. Austin went directly to the ring and dismantled the Highlight Reel set, then went into a rant against Coach, which ended with him booking a match pitting Coach against JR for the next PPV. He switched gears and ranted on Randy Orton - that one ended with a match made for Orton against HBK, also at Unforgiven. Then he switched gears again and made a six man match for tonight for Evolution against Maven, HBK and Goldberg. After that announcement, Chris Jericho showed up all outraged because his set had been torn up. He got in Austin's face demanding to know who Steve thinks he is, and also demanding an abject apology. Austin's response was to flip him the bird. Then Christian showed up, whining about being left out again, and also demanding an apology from Austin. Stone Cold told him to shove it (in so many words). Then he announced a match for the two of them. They at first thought he meant a tag match - but he informed them that it was Jericho challenging Christian for the IC Title - and it was to start right now! But first they went to commercial...
The match got underway after the break. At first the two of them kind of pussy footed around with each other, but soon the egos took over and it became a typical match for both of them - which means a high impact contest with no punches pulled. In the end, Christian used an underhanded trick to retain his title - not a good night for Chris Jericho so far.
After the break, Steve Austin encountered Shane McMahon backstage and urged him to just go home. Shane wasn't interested in his advice. HHH came on the TitanTron and started running Goldberg down. He was full of big talk until Goldberg walked up and stood next to him on camera. Needless to say, Mr. Bill disputed HHH's assessment of the situation.
Next up, a Ladies Elimination tag match featuring Trish Stratus and Ivory against Molly and Gail Kim. The heels attacked without warning to start the match. It sorted out to Kim vs. Ivory. Right away the heels started to use illegal double team tactics, apparently trying to eliminate Ivory so they could gang up on Trish. In the end they used a double powerbomb to pin Trish, then hit a double DDT on Ivory to add some spice.
Backstage, Vince approached his son and expressed concern for his welfare, saying that he had heard that something was "going down" tonight. Shane blew him off and headed to the ring.
After the break, Shane was in the ring and wondering what was about to happen. Eric Bischoff came out but didn't get a chance to say much of anything as Kane's pyro and music started up. Bischoff looked like he was going to pee his pants. The lights went out for a moment, then Kane was in the ring and attacking Shane. He threw him out to the floor and did a number on him with the ring steps, then cuffed him to the corner buckle. He used the ring steps to trap Shane against the outside of the corner and sprinkled water on his groin area - then he pulled out a set of jumper cables and a car battery! He attached one end to Shane's pants and then attached one side to a battery terminal. He then touched the other side to send a jolt through Shane's nether regions! he did it two or three times, then Rob Van Dam came out and rescued Shane. He hit Kane with a chair then tried to release the owner's son - but was not able to unlock the cuffs. Kane sat back up - but then he walked away, chuckling to himself, of course.
Backstage, Bischoff fended off an enraged Kane by promising a steel cage match against RVD next week.
Hurricane and Rosie went up against the French Nerds in a non-title match and lost, like everyone else, when Rob Conway ran in and interfered. After the match, Sylvan Grenneir shouted, "Rene, get the table!" This brought the Dudleys to the ring and for once they were able to take the advantage over La Resistance. They almost put Conway through the table, but the French Nerds extracted him from the ring just in time.
Terri talked to Maven backstage. Maven told her that he would be going against the best that the WWE has to offer and he was excited about it. They were interrupted by Orton and Flair, who tried to intimidate him - and probably succeeded...
After the break, HBK told Maven he had earned his match tonight and not to worry - they will prevail. Teddy Long and Rodney Mack confronted Stone Cold backstage, demanding to know why "the brothers" had been bumped from the program. Austin said he'd had to add a match, so naturally he'd also had to subtract a match...
Stacy and Test took on Stevie Richards and Victoria in an inter gender no-DQ tag match. At first Test seemed to be trying to make it up to Stacy, holding Richards while Stacy hit him. He also protected her when Richards started to put a pump handle slam on her. But then later he showed his true colors, allowing the opponents to double team her and not even trying to save her, then actually holding her while Victoria tried to slap her! Scott Steiner ran out to rescue her, cleaning house while Stacy dragged herself over and pinned Victoria. Test then grabbed her by the arm and dragged her away.
In the main event, Evolution dominated things (although Shawn Michaels put up a great fight against overwhelming odds) until Goldberg got into it. Goldberg cleaned house, then was briefly sidetracked by HHH. But he recovered pretty quick and set HHH up for a spear. Orton then attacked him from behind and ended up getting jack hammered and pinned.
Not a bad show...
At least that's the way I see it...
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