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.
During the month of October, I am going to be moving to a new home in another city. Since I am going to be spending a lot of time working on the new house, and driving back and forth between the two locations (which are about 180 miles apart), I am concerned that I may not be able to properly monitor the wrestling scene during this period. So I have decided to suspend publication of the newsletter during the month of October. There will be two more editions, on September 22nd and 29th, then the newsletter will go off line for four weeks, to return on Monday, November 3rd.
The event will be held from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M., featuring appearances by some of the top superstars in the history of the wrestling business. They will be signing autographs and taking pictures with the fans. There will also be tons of wrestling dealer tables selling all different types of wrestling merchandise. There will also be a Question & Answer Session, hosted by Bill Apter from Total Wrestling Magazine, where the fans can ask the guests anything they'd like. The highlight of August 23rd's FAN SLAM! was the Question & Answer Session, and it should be no different come December 6th.
Signed to appear at FAN SLAM! on December 6th:
Anyone that was at August 23rd's FAN SLAM! can only imagine how interesting this one is going to be. For those that couldn't make the last FAN SLAM! with Bobby Heenan, Kevin Von Erich, Paul Orndorff, Ricky Steamboat, J.J. Dillon, Crowbar, and Gary Michael Cappetta, you missed a special day. Don't miss out again.
General Admission: $8.00 Advance, $10.00 at Door
Golden Admission: $20.00 Advance, $25.00 at Door *Golden Admission Includes ticket into Question & Answer Session)
FAN SLAM! Super Ticket: $100.00 - *This includes admission into the Question & Answer Session, plus FREE autograph pictures and Polaroid pictures of: "Dr. D" David Schultz, The Road Warriors, Ted DiBiase, Ivan Putski, Kamala, and Koko B. Ware. As you can see below, you are saving a LOT of money by purchasing the Super Ticket.
FAN SLAM! SUPER TICKET NOTES: All FAN SLAM! ticket holders will get to meet all the wrestlers (30) minutes before the general public does. That's right, if you're a Super Ticket holder, you get in (30) minutes before the general public does. Due to the large turnout we had last time, only (200) FAN SLAM! Super Tickets will be sold. Super Tickets MUST be purchased in advance and WILL NOT be sold at the door the day of the event.
Schultz & Road Warriors $15.00 each
DiBiase, Koko, Kamala, and Putski $10.00 each
Schultz & Road Warriors $15.00 each
DiBiase, Koko, Kamala, and Putski $10.00 each
For Advance General, Golden, or SUPER TICKET orders: E-mail: FANSLAM@aol.com.
Anyone interested in dealer tables can call Tommy Fierro at: (201) 757-7686 or E-mail him at: FANSLAM@aol.com
Much more information will become available on FAN SLAM! in the upcoming weeks.
FAN SLAM! OFFICIAL WEBSITE: For the latest FAN SLAM! breaking news, visit the new official FAN SLAM! website at: www.FanSlamWrestling.com
This week in World Heavyweight Title History was very light. Not many World Titles have changed hands on this week in the past. So, I put a few title defenses in to flesh the piece out. 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.
Since this week's article is so short, I'd like to take a quick paragraph to congratulate Bill Goldberg on winning the WWE World Heavwyeight Title from Triple H last night in Hershey, PA. While I've never been a fan of Goldberg and I doubt how great he'll be in the top spot, I applaud him for getting the chance to prove himself as the top man on RAW. I would have preferred someone like Jericho or RVD getting the strap, but it was time to take the strap of Triple H no matter who they put it on. So, congrats to the new champion and good luck. Now, on to the old history...
World Title History for the week of September 22nd to September 28th:
Canek beat Riki Choshu on September 26, 1982 in Mexico City, MEXICO to win the Universal Wrestling Association (UWA) World Heavyweight Title. This was Canek's third of many, many UWA World Title reigns.
On Spetember 23, 1963 Bruno Sammartino defended the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) World Heavyweight TItle against The Crusher in Pittsburgh, PA in the Civic Arena. Sammartino won the match via disqualification.
Kiel, GERMANY was the setting for Bret Hart challenging Ric Flair for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) World Heavyweight Championship on September 27, 1992. Ric was too much for Bret on that night and fought off the tough challenger.
Ronnie Garvin defeated Ric Flair on September 25, 1987 in Detroit, MI to capture the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Title. This ended Flair's fifth NWA Title reign and marked Garvin's only NWA World Title win.
Antonio Rocca challenged Buddy Rogers for the NWA World Heavyweight Title on September 23, 1961 in Philadelphia, PA. Rogers won the match via disqualification.
Unforgiven was live from GIANT Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and opened with Jim Ross announcing, "We're here to commentate, but by golly, we're here to fight as well!!"
The first match was introduced as a Handicap Tables Match for the WWE Tag Team Title. Apparently, Spike's injuries have rendered him unable to compete in what was supposed to be a 6 man match tonight. Eric Bischoff announced on Heat that it would be a handicap match - then Steve Austin added the Title match stip. So it will be Bubba and D-Von vs. the French Nerds and their thug friend, Rob Conway. The Dudleys started out in large and in charge, taking on all three of their opponents - at one point splashing all three of them in a corner. Shortly thereafter, a triple-team turned the tables, but their ascendancy was shortlived, as the Dudleys regained control moments later. D-Von brought in a table, as instructed by his brother and the crowd, but they were attacked from behind right after and then D-Von was shoved through a table in the corner and eliminated. During the next exchange, Bubba got a little back by putting Granier through a table - then D-Von re-entered the ring and helped Bubba toss Conway out and through a table at ringside. That left Dupree, who was dispatched quickly with a 3D. The Dudleys regained the tag titles, but I am a bit confused about why D-Von was allowed to continue to help his brother after he was eliminated.
Next up - Test defending his "ownership" of Stacy against Scott Steiner. Steiner has also put his "services" on the line in this one. The match went back and forth throughout, and it seemed like Stacy couldn't do anything right. Time after time she tried to help Steiner but only succeeded in distracting her champion. In the end, Test brought a chair into the ring. Stacy grabbed it out of his hand and swung it. Test ducked, Steiner took the chair shot. A big boot to the face put him down and out. So now Test "owns" Stacy...and Steiner...
The Legend Killer vs. The Legend was the billing on the next contest. Randy Orton (w/Ric Flair) attempting to "kill the legend" of Shawn Michaels. During the early going, Michaels portrayed his classic, cocky personna, and managed to raise not a little frustration on the part of the rookie. He dominated the youngster pretty easily, it seemed. After a spectacular splash to the outside, he was noticibly favoring his left elbow. For a while took turns spinning each other around and pummeling each other in the corner - then HBK was thrown shoulder first into the post and fell to the floor, where Flair added some punishment. Suddenly it didn't look so good for Michaels. Orton followed this up by placing Michaels on his shoulder then ramming the injured joint into the post again. Now it was all Orton, and he showed that he has been taking some lessons from the Nature Boy, working relentlessly on the injured arm. Shawn finally recovered and was again dominating the youngster - even one-handed. Flair tried to interfere twice, but was repelled both times. Then Orton irish-whipped him into the corner and turned him head over heels. Michaels was down and Orton mounted the top corner. But when he came off, HBK raised his leg and Orton ate the legend's boot. Shawn then went for Sweet Chin Music, but Orton had that move scouted and blocked it, then applied a Stunner type neck breaker. He went again to the top and flew - but HBK moved and Orton tasted canvas. Michaels then sprang to the top and lauched a flying elbow drop that devestated both men. But then HBK kipped back up and waited for Orton. Shawn hit the super kick and had the pin. The referee counted to three as Flair was putting Orton's foot on the rope. Michaels thought he had won, but then the referee saw Orton's foot and reversed the decision. Flair handed Orton a set of brass knuckles then distracted the referee as Orton used the weapon on Michaels and took the pin.
Backstage, Chris Jericho told the French Nerds that they were robbed and vowed to do something about it, and Steve Austin.
Gail Kim and Molly Holly took on Trish Straus and Lita in the next match. This is Lita's return to the ring after her serious neck injury last year. The faces dominated the early going, even showing some good teamwork. I wonder how long it will be before Kim has breast augumentation..? At any rate, the heels took over soon enough and Trish was isolated for several minutes. Lita had hit her mouth on the ring apron earlier and began to bleed pretty copiously - though she didn't appear to be severly hurt. Moments later it all turned around as Lita came in and cleaned house, defeating Molly with a Lita-sault.
Kane and Shane squared off next in a Last man Standing match. No DQ, no countouts. A ten count will determine the winner. Kane was introduced and on his way to the ring when Shane ran out and slammed him with a chair. Shane rolled his opponent, who lay down through a 4 count then rose to a sitting position. Shane immediately hit him again and there was another 4 count. Kane again rose, and this time Shane hit him in the knee, then started working on the injured limb. He took the big guy to the floor and slammed him repeatedly into the ringsteps. This time the count got up to 6 before Kane got back to his feet. Shane tried to splash Kane off the apron, but Kane caught him and got part of a powerslam on the floor pads. It was enough to put Kane in control. He lifted up a set of steps and brained his opponent with them, then tossed Shane back into the ring and started stomping on him. He let Shane rise to his feet then put him down with a chokeslam. The referee got the count up to seven before Shane got vertical again. Kane went for a boot to the face but got the referee (Charles Robinson) instead. Kane left the ring and brought the bottom portion of a set of steps back inside. But when he attempted to powerbomb Shane, the latter wiggled free then DDT'd the monster on his own weapon. Shane used the steps to punish Kane's already injured leg. He caught Kane in the corner and positioned the steps, then went to the near corner and launched himself into a baseball slide that drove the steps into Kane's body - awesome move! Like a VanDaminator using the steps instead of a chair. Kane was out of it, but the referee was nowhere to be seen. Shane approached his opponent, who shoved the steps and caught Shane in the face. Both were down as the now recovered referee got a 6 count. Kane recovered first and tossed Shane to the floor, then followed him out to pummel him. The brawled out into the aisle, where Shane started to make a comeback. Kane recovered and shoved him into the "Unforgiven" logo sign - a metal structure. The ref was there to count, and got to 5 before Kane shoved him aside and started tossing Shane into the sign repeatedly. The ref started counting again, and again Kane interrupted the count to administer more punishment - spearing Shane into the front of the Spanish announce table. He then chased the announcers away and overturned the table on his opponent. He went back down to the lower level of the set and was surprised by Shane, who had rolled under the platform then emerged from the side, and who hit him several times with what looked like a light baffle, then swung a camera boom into his face. Kane made a momentary comeback, but Shane came back and hit him with a camera and then a monitor - then he started climbing to the top of the Unforgiven sign!! He tried to throw an elbow from about 30 feet up - but Kane moved and Shane knocked a hole in the stage with his body!!! The referee counted ten and Kane was the winner. The hauled him away on a stretcher after the match. Amazing!
Backstage, Austin was watching the show on a monitor when Jericho came in and confronted him. Austin invited him to take his best shot, but Jericho said he would use a different method to "make him crack".
The Intercontinental Title was on the line as Christian took on Chris Jericho and Rob Van Dam in a triple threat contest. Jericho and Christian had vowed to work together to incapacitate Van Dam then would face each other. In this one, all three combatants are in the ring at the same time. Sure enough, the two heels worked steadily on Van Dam, but were having a hard time putting him away. Christian got splashed out on the floor and was out of it for a while - at which time Jericho seemed to be throwing out the "plan" and trying to put Van Dam down for the win. At one point, Van Dam went for a Frankensteiner on Jericho but was blocked, then Jericho turned it into his Walls of Jericho maneuver. At this point Christian reappeared and attacked Jericho! They brawled out to the floor where the IC Champ was tossed into the ring steps. Back in the the ring, Jericho continued to dominate, until Christian slipped in an Unprettier then went for a pin with his feet on the ropes for leverage. The referee saw that and ended his count. Van Dam came back in and managed to get two counts on both of his opponents in succession. There were then several false endings, with everyone getting a chance to get a two count, which ended with the two heels stacked on top of each other. Van Dam went to the top and threw a Five Star Frog Splash on both of them, but hurt himself and so mised the opportunity. As Van Dam and Jericho struggled on the top corner, Christian got under them and powerbombed both of them simultaneously. But he failed to get the pinfall on either of them. Jericho was knocked to the floor, and Van Dam went for the Five Star again on Christian - who got his title belt in the way, then pinned Van Dam while the challenger was writhing in pain on the mat.
Backstage, HHH was interviewed and told a fairy tale likening Goldberg to a "white knight". Helmsley then stated that he doesn't believe in fairy tales and intends to win tonight.
Next up was the announcers challenge match - Al Snow and the Coach challenging Jim Ross and Jerry Lawlers, with the RAW announce team spot up for grabs. Snow and the Coach came down first, then first Lawler and then Ross took off their headsets and went to the ring. This left nobody to call the match. Snow and the King started the match and lawler was obviously anxious to end the fight early. Snow, being younger and a bit bigger than Lawler, seemed to be in charge through most of their encounter. Then he tried to do a backdrop one too many times and set himself up for one of Lawler's signature piledrivers. Snow recovered quickly (remember when a piledriver was a finishing hold?) Coachman then tagged himself in, much to Snow's chagrin, and started to work rather limply on the King. He missed an attempt at a Bronco Buster and the whole thing turned on a dime. Now the Coach was at Lawler's mercy and had to saved from a pinfall by his partner. JR tagged in while Snow was still in the ring. Snow blocked his way, so JR delivered a low blow. He then rather clumsily beat up on Coach until Chris Jericho ran in and clobbered him! So that was his "way to make Austin crack". Coach took the pin and they supposedly won the match, but I wonder what Stone Cold will have to say about this.
As I noted during the last PPV - this one was short on matches and long on promos between matches.
JR and the King were back at the table for the main event - Goldberg vs. HHH for the World Heavyweight Title with Goldberg's career on the line. This will be the first time in a while that HHH has had to face a challenger without his cronies at ringside. Helmsley came to the ring with his usual entrance - all business. Goldberg came to the ring chewing gum... The crowd was solidly behind the challenger in this one. HHH got in the earliest licks, but then was whipped into a gorilla press and slammed to the mat. Goldberg went for a spear early in the contest and HHH (who had done his homework) caught him coming in with a knee to the forehead. This set HHH up to dominate the fight for the first time. He almost immediately went to work on Goldberg's left leg and, as usual, was relentless. After a couple of chop blocks, HHH applied a Figure Four on his opponent, holding the ropes for extra leverage. Goldberg eventually pulled them both away from the ropes and turned over to reverse the pressure. It was see-saw for a moment then Goldberg began to come back. He tossed HHH to the floor then followed him out to rough him up some, then rolled back inside. At this point, HHH was seen to be lacerated on the forehead. Moments later, HHH shoved Goldberg intoi the referee, who tumbled to the floor. Helmsley hit a DDT but there was nobody to make a count. Goldberg made it back to his feet and levered the Champion over the top to the floor. HHH reached under the ring and found a sledgehammer. As Goldberg leaned over, HHH shoved the hammer in his face. He came back inside, but Goldberg was back on his feet! Goldberg got the Jackhammer!! The referee returned to the ring and groggily counted HHH out. Goldberg is the new World Champ!!!
I have to say that the main event tonight was a bit disappointing...but no surprise. It appears that WWE decided to rely on the emotional impact of a Goldberg win, against the possibility of ending his career, to carry the program. Unfortunately, it didn't, in my opinion. I have always maintained that HHH needs a superior opponent to carry him to a great match. This contest only strengthened that conviction.
I was left with the certainty that this was one of the most flat PPV’s I had ever had the chance of seeing.
Certainly, this was one of the worst the WWE/F has produced…maybe better than some of the WCW’s lame-o excuses for PPV events, but this was one of the worst.
I have made it a point to complain that the Internet has destroyed all the mystery that surrounded professional wrestling, from kayfabe to storylines. Case in point is the HHH/Goldberg match. Who among us didn’t know, for sure and with less than 100% surety, that ol’ Bill Goldberg would win? NO-ONE I knew truly felt as if the next great Son-In-Law had a chance of winning, especially since we all figured that Goldberg would not lose his position in the fed. Add to that the avalanche of news about HHH getting married, turning out a fitness book, and getting ready to film a movie, and there was no doubt that Goldberg would hold the strap at the end of the night. No surprise involved….a modern-day WWE storyline conclusion.
This draws from the excitement that these PPV’s need to generate. Raw and Smackdown have long become productions that rival PPV’s in their cost, their audience size, their scripting, and their plot twists and turns. If it can be done, the PPV’s need to exceed the cable shows in these traits. If they can’t they lose their attractiveness to the consumer. Why by the ‘Super-Size’ cola if it is the same size as the one you can get for free? Or, at the very least, why would someone pay more for the same quality product? That is what the PPV’s are becoming…..expensice editions of Raw and/or Smackdown. I, for one, think this is really bad marketing.
I spoke a long time ago, on the old bodyslam.cc website, that the Internet was something that the pro wrestling fan was turning to more and more, and doing so in lieu of watching the shows on TV. Spoilers are the best example of what the Internet has done to the world of pro wrestling. Why wait to watch Smackdown when you can read what they did days before they are shown via their broadcast on TV? We, as a society, already crave expediency and dislike waiting. So, it makes sense, if you want people to hit your wrestling site, to be able to put up the results beforehand. Unfortunately, with the reduction in audience (and I figure that it is about a half-Nielsen point), they are harming the very industry that is the life’s blood of their website.
However, less directly than that, they harm wrestling by blowing up what made it so popular….kayfabe. I knew from a very young age (in wrestling-watching years) that the wrestlers weren’t really socking the hell out of each other. Did anyone not figure that out on their own? However, it was the characters that kept people coming, and the way the characters interacted with their own, kayfabe-created universe and ours. They were hyperbolic, apoplectic, and we loved it! We knew Freddie Blassie wasn’t a raging lunatic, but we saw him bite people, and file his teeth. We watched Hogan sputter and fade in the ring, and knew that, no matter the beating he got, he would ‘Hulk up’ to win the match. There was enjoyment in that…an enjoyment that we don’t have a lot of anymore.
Now, we know HHH is marrying Stephanie….for real. We know that Curt Hennig drugged himself to death, and what Elizabeth’s final BAC was. We know all the selfish, crappy things that the wrestlers do to themselves, to each other, and what the promoters (Vince) do to them. Just as reading a book about the inside of wrestling tends to make one view the sport in a more jaded way, having all of the behind-the-scenes situations presented to us by the World Wide Web ruins the old awe we had. I have a hard time watching wrestling for enjoyment, and find myself skipping shows more and more. How about you?
It wasn’t doing columns that made me sour on wrestling, you know. I love wrestling, and I could write about all the characters and the angles, but the behind-the-scene stuff has dominated my column for a while, since that is what dominates what I am exposed to.
I guess I want to now bring it about, full-circle. All the knowledge of the innards of wrestling takes the suspense out of it. It makes wrestling cheap, in a way, and lessens the fan’s desire to watch. Heck….they know what is going to happen before the bell sounds, why watch the match?
Just a thought.
Next week, I promise to do another Top 10….best CHARACTERS in the WWE. Different than the wrestlers list (from last week), you know. Just bear with me.
See you next week, for another Connection.
SmackDown! came to us on tape from the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, where Vince McMahon announced the first ever 60 Minute Iron Man match up on broadcast TV. The Undertaker interrupted him to tell him that he had no intiention of interfering in tonight's main event, but he put Vince on notice that he would be watching him, reminding him that it was Vince who sent Brock Lesnar out to mess up his (UT's) match against Kurt Angle for the title a few weeks back.
The opening match featured the unlikely team of Chris Benoit and Rey Misterio defeating Rhyno and Tajiri. Rhyno is Benoit's nemesis, of course, while Tajiri holds a pinfall over Misterio and has a title match against him next week. In this one, Tajiri accidently sprayed green mist into the eyes of his partner. Rey Rey then used the 619 on Rhyno to get the pin.
The next match also went by very quickly - Shaniqua (w/the Basham Bros.) won her handicap match against Nidia and Torrie (w/Dawn Marie in their corner). After tossing Torrie to the floor, and then pinning Nidia off a powerbomb, Shaniqua laid a hurtin' on Dawn Marie.
Backstage, Stephanie vowed to her father that she will never quit. Vince countered, saying that some day she would beg him to allow her to quit.
After the break, the Guerreros discussed their title shot for the Tag Team Championship, coming up next.
We came back to a rant/rap by Vanilla Lice, admitting that he was out smarted by the Guerreros, and vowing to push on. Then we went to the arena for the entrance of the Guerreros, who challenged Haas and Benjamin for the SmackDown version of the WWE Tag Team Titles. Eddie showed himself to be a match in mat wrestling for Sheldon Benjamin, then Chavo showed him how to brawl with the best of them. Then Eddie tagged back in and got stuck in enemy territory for a while. Moments later, Chavo was back in and cleaning house and taking names. This flurry ended with both Tag Champs out on the floor, and both challengers throwing simultaneous inside-to-out splashes as we cut to commercial. When we return, Charlie Haas was in the Guerreros' corner and in big trouble. The Guerreros were working like a well-oiled machine, despite Chavo's absence from the ring for quite some time now. Eddie finally won it with a Frog Splash on Haas. The Guerreros are the new Tag Champs!
The final contest of the program was an Hour-Long Iron Man match for the WWE Title - Brock Lesnar challenging Kurt Angle. Lesnar acted the part of a classic heel challenger, starting with a cheap shot and being driven from the ring, coming back and playing possum over a supposed leg injury, then striking out with another cheap shot, and again being driven from the ring. Then he took his time getting back in, repeatedly stalling and breaking the count to remain out on the floor. He managed to sucker Angle in and re-entered the ring with yet another cheap shot, and was yet again forced out to the floor. This time Angle followed him out and they brawled around ringside, where Lesnar finally got the upper hand. back in the ring, Lesnar unleashed an attack with a chair and was disqualified to lose the first fall. Lesnar waited the proscribed 15 seconds then entered the ring an immediately used an F5 to take the second fall. Again, Lesnar waited out the 15 seconds, then went right back to work on Angle, pummeling him then grabbing an ankle lock to secure the third fall.
After the next commercial, we returned to see tape of Lesnar putting an Angle slam on Angle, but failing to get the pin. This segment saw Angle make a comeback with a series of German suplexes, but then he was dumped out to the floor and brutalized some more. Lesnar hit an F5 out on the floor pads as the crowd chanted, "Holy Sh*t!". After that one, Angle was counted out and lost another fall as we cut to commercial once more. This put Lesnar up by two.
As we returned, Angle was in control - having executed two belly-to-belly suplexes during the break. he was immediately caught with a back elbow and dumped back out to the floor. Coming back in, Angle walked right into another Lesnar cheap shot, but moments later hit the Angle slam and achieved his second fall. This time it was Angle who waited out the rest period then went right back to work. A little while later he went for another Angle slam, but Lesnar blocked it. Angle then countered with an ankle lock, but Brock escaped then clotheslined the referee (by mistake?) Angle hit the Angle slam again but there was no referee to make the count. While the ref was down, Lesnar went to the outside and brought the title belt back in to use as a weapon - and got a fourth pinfall just before the next commercial.
Shortly after we returned, Angle was out on the floor and dragged Lesnar out of the ring to beat on him. He threw a big ax handle off the apron then tossed Lesnar in for a pin attempt without success. Next he climbed the top corner to hit a missile drop kick, but again could not pin the challenger. He then went for a moonsault, but missed altogether. Lesnar was back in charge. Neither man seemed to be able to get a pinfall at this point. Angle grabbed another ankle lock, but Lesnar twisted his body and threw his opponent back to the floor. Outside, Lesnar slammed Angle into the ring steps, but couldn't get the pin. Lesnar went back out and picked up a set of steps. he was attempting to toss them into the ring when Angle hit them with a baseball slide and sent Lesnar (and the steps) flying up the ramp. Still he couldn't get the pin, but at least he was back in control. With 18:12 left in the match, they took a final commercial break.
During the break, Lesnar won another fall with a big suplex, putting him up 5 to 2. The fight was out on the floor and Lesnar was still in control. But then he went for another F5 against a ringpost. Angle escaped and then put the hold on Lesnar!! Brock was holding his knee as Angle rolled him back inside then followed up with a single leg Boston Crab. Lesnar made it to the ropes, but Angle dragged him back to the center of the ring and applied the ankle lock. Lesnar kicked him off, just barely. Moments later, he delivered another F5 - this time in the ring, but he was weakened and couldn't hold Angle down. With less than 10 minutes remaining, Angle suplexed his way to a third fall on a visibly weakened Lesnar. Next they traded hay makers in the center of the ring, with Angle coming out ahead. He delivered a vertical suplex, but Lesnar came back with a DDT and went for the pin again. Angle kicked out. Lesnar delivered a series of 3 German suplexes as the clock passed the 6 minutes remaining mark. He went for a fourth one, but Angle countered and delivered some more of his own. On the third attempt, Lesnar blocked it, but Angle then grabbed another ankle lock. After trying several times to make the ropes, Lesnar tapped out and Angle won a fourth fall. Now we were down to 3 minutes. Angle grabbed a modified STF, which Lesnar escaped with an elbow smash. The fight went to the floor with less than 2 minutes to go. At 1:36 Angle rolled Lesnar back inside, but Brock rolled right back out again. With 1:12 to go they were back in the ring and Angle was applying German suplexes again. With 30 seconds to go, Lesnar delivered a low blow. But Angle came right back with an ankle lock. But Lesnar outlasted the 60 minute count and won the title.
Raw came too us live from the MCI Center in Washington, DC, where Lillian Garcia introduced some wounded combat vets at ringside before the new announce team made their entrance. Jonathan Coachman and Al Snow entered to a weird rap song, then sat down and congratulated each other on their victory last night. No mention was made of Chris Jericho's part in that win, of course.
Goldberg came down to talk about his own winning of the World Heavyweight Title last night. His speech was interrupted by Steve Austin, who posed in all four corners before grabbing a mic and congratulated Bill on his accomplishment. They shared a beer moment. In the middle of their second round, Eric Bischoff showed up to add his two cents, and his "congratulations" as well. The two bald wrestlers stared at him stone faced (no pun intended) as Bischoff tried to justify his nefarious actions, then claimed that he had "created" Goldberg. As he turned his back, Goldberg set himself, then speared the Co-GM as he turned back around.
The evening was peppered with vignettes of various Iraq veterans talking to their families and friends via the WWE network.
The first match of the evening featured Christian taking on one of his opponents from last night, Rob Van Dam, in a title match for the an Intercontinental Championship. RVD dominated the first couple of exchanges, but then went for a Frog Splash and missed. That gave Christian his opening, which he exploited in his usual efficient style. This was only momentary, however, as RVD came roaring back. His advance was stopped abruptly when Christian used his title belt as a weapon right in front of the referee, who promptly disqualified him. The champ then fished a ladder out from under the ring and smashed RVD with it before climbing high on it and then hitting big Frog Splash on the challenger.
Backstage, Bischoff was examined by a trainer. Chris Jericho, who asked for a World Title match against Goldberg tonight. Bischoff agreed to the match.
Marc Jindrak and garrison Cade were on their way to the ring for a tag team match when they were attacked on the ramp by Evolution, who then made their way to the ring to make a statement. HHH started by inviting the crowd to chant for Goldberg, then went on to refer to himself as the "greatest professional wrestler in the World today, and claim that Goldberg didn't beat him - he beat himself because he didn't "believe the hype". Goldberg made him a believer, he claimed. He finished by telling Goldberg to keep "his" title warm, because he will get his rematch and he will win "his" title back.
Mark henry and Rodney Mack came down accompanied by ole' Peanuthead, who declared his candidacy for the Presidency, then introduced Mack as the Secretary of State and Henry as the Secretary of Defense. he then made the standard challenge for any "whit boy" back there to take on Henry. Tommy Dreamer took up the challenge and was squashed.
Backstage, cade, Jindrack and Maven challenged Evolution to a six-man match later tonight. Meanwhile, Steve Austin confronted Chris Jericho and Christian, telling them that he was setting up a match next week for JR against Coach for the announce teams jobs - and, he set up a ladder match for Christian vs. RVD - for the title.
Molly and Gail had another tag match against Lita and Trish tonight. A rematch from last night, I guess. Lita and Trish dominated the early going, but eventually Molly got through Lita's defenses and she was isolated as the heels took turns working on her injured neck. Somehow, after taking it for several minutes, Lita suddenly came back to life and cleaned house. As Trish kept Molly busy out on the floor, Lita used the Twist-of-Fate to put Kim down for the count.
Backstage, Jericho asked Bischoff to be the special outside referee for his match against Goldberg tonight.
Back in the parking area, Test ordered Steiner to carry in his bags, and threatened to sue Freakzilla if he doesn't comply. The Last man Standing match from last night was reviewed then we went to the hospital to talk to Shane, who was resting in his bed and hoped to be released in the morning. Kane then invaded the room and attacked the owner's son, squeezing blood on him out of his intravenous bag then rolling his bed out into the hall before beating on him some more then overturning the cart. A male nurse tried to intervene, but was put down in a hurry. Kane slammed Shane against a wall before departing.
The French Nerds came out all bandaged up with their thug buddy the most bandaged of all. Conway and Dupree were here to take on Hurricane and Rosie. Grannier, who was supposedly too banged up to compete, got involved almost immediately, clobbering Hurricane with his French flag to turn the tables for his cronies. Helms was isolated for a while, then Rosie came in and cleaned house, setting up Conway for Hurricane to pin. Right after the match was over, the Dudleys showed up to congratulate the winners, then circled the rings shaking hands and embracing the veterans.
Evolution came to the ring to take on Marc Jindrack, Maven and Garrison Cade, who ran right to the ring and attacked before the bell rang. This was a silly match in which the faces took an early advantage then gradually frittered it away. Cade seemed to be the whipping boy, spending long minutes in isolation as all three of the Evolution members worked him over. Cade eventually managed to hit a DDT on HHH but was unable to get a tag. Moments later, however, he made it to Maven, who came in against Flair. Soon the ring was filled with all six wrestlers as the tide began to turn. maven actually appeared to have a pinfall on Flair, but the referee was out of the ring at that moment. HHH clobbered Maven, then positioned the nearly unconscious Flair to get the pin. HHH grabbed a mic after the match and ranted to the crowd, saying that they need him more than he needs the crowd...whatever the heck that meant.
The Rock was interviewed at the red carpet premiere of his new movie, The Run Down. He thanked his friends at WWE and also expressed his gratitude to the fans for making him what he is today.
Eric Bischoff came out to be the outside referee as Goldberg took on Chris Jericho in his first World Title defense. The new champ repeatedly demonstrated his superior power in the early going. he then stepped out of the ring to confront Bischoff. Jericho tried to attack from behind, but Goldberg had him scouted and moved aside so that Jericho caught Bischoff instead. Back in the ring, Goldberg gorilla pressed his opponent then dropped him spread-eagle onto the top rope. Back out on the floor, the champion went for a spear too early and ran himself into the ring steps. Now it was all Jericho for a while as he worked over the injured shoulder of his opponent. Goldberg came back with a kick to the face that flattened Jericho as he came off the second rope. Jericho came back with an attempt to put on the Walls of Jericho - but the champion twisted him head over heels and escaped. Moments later, Bischoff tried to interfere and drew Goldberg's ire - but also distracted him so that Jericho could get in a sneak attack. At that moment, Steve Austin showed up and dragged Bischoff back out of the ring and neutralized him. In the ring, Goldberg measured Jericho and then hit the spear, then a Jack Hammer to end the match and retain his title.
And so it goes...
At least that's the way I see it...
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