Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

Volume 1, Issue 8
June 3, 1996

Nitro Report

I didn't get home until 5:15 so I had to go back and watch the tape.

Program opens with the Shark, his head still half shaved, taking his real name (John Tenta) as his wrestling moniker and threatening Biker Bubba who awaits in the ring. He runs right over the smaller man then goes after him with the scissors. Cut to commercial.

Next up the Faces of Fear vs. jobbers - squash match.

Sting/Lugar interview - video recap of incident with Steiners last week. Steiners show up to trash talk. Hype for the Main Event.

Disco Inferno vs. Craig Pittman - Dinferno is highly underrated - needs to gain some focus. Disappointingly quick ending when Disco gives up rather than endure the Pitbull's armlock submission hold. Claims it would have spoiled his dancing.

Steve Regal vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan - a silly match if there ever was one...unless Duggan wins...which he doesn't. Actually, things got a little confused toward the end. The rest of the Bluebloods showed up in suits and ties - created about 6 different diversions while Regal rolls Hacksaw up for the pin. Duggan got the chance to tape up his fist and lays one on "Earl" Eaton during the fracas...some compensation I suppose.

Recap of the Chris Benoit/Kevin Sullivan verbal (so far) feud.

Taskmaster vs. New Jobber (Prince Iokea I think) - squash match. This guy has always given me the creeps - even when he and Cactus Jack wrestled as a face tag team a few years back. It was great having the Legend in the color chair for this one.

Sullivan interview. Jimmy Hart questions him about his "bond" with Flair and Andersen. The Taskmaster invokes the threat of the return of the HH guy to justify being nice too the Horsemen. Doesn't mention his ex-wife is part of the Flair entourage. Admits that Hulkmania isn't dead.

Rock and Roll Express vs. The Horsemen - a real classic match!! Great to see Ricky and Robert again - a little balding and paunchy but ready for action. Flair shows up wearing Kevin Greene's jersey. This was a great match - even tired old Rick Flair pumped it up an extra notch for this one. Lots of quick tags at the beginning. Furious fist exchanges. Flair gets floored twice in a shoving match with mini-ref Randy Anderson. What a crack-up - the Nature Boy jobbing to a referree!! The best part was when Morton and Flair hooked it up for several moments toward the middle of the match - Ricky Morton still has that lethal right hand. Both were sucking wind though. I think AA was the youngest one involved in this match. I seem to remember that R&R were the World Tag Champs when Arn was just emerging from the jobbers' ranks. Morton is trapped in the ring through most of the remainder of the match. Then Gibson tags in (he was always the weak link) and promptly loses via an eye gouge from Woman into the Enforcer's DDT.

Towards the end of the match Heenan leaves the broadcast booth and, after a few words with Nancy, goes to sit at Flair's VIP table. After the match he reveals his intentions. He turns Flair down and starts to walk away...then returns and says he won't manage them - but he will coach them!! Brilliant! I hate that guy.

Cut to Nitro ad - shows Hogan commanding his fans to keep watching WCW while he's away. I used to love that guy.

I'm not yet convinced that this Glacier charactor is either Kevin Nash or a martial arts trio as touted - but I'm pretty sure it's not Nash. What could all those Oriental figures have to do with Big Daddy Cool?

A video features the entire Dungeon/Horsemen entourage jobbing to Hogan. Gosh! Do you think he's coming back...?

Ice Train vs The Giant (for the title???) Giant squashes Ice Train with he first move of the match - a chokeslam. Norton runs in and gets chokeslammed twice.

Giant interview. He objects to the Hogan video - I'm glad someone did! It must be frustrating to be the most feared man in the sport and the World Champ and have to watch that nonsense.

Cut to commercial...when we return Norton is still lying helpless in the ring when his scheduled opponent, Hugh Morris, comes down the aisle. Of course he attacks the prostrated Norton - drops several elbows on him then trashes him to his face, slaps him then climbs the turnbuckles to attempt a moonsault. Doesn't see that Norton has struggled to his feet. Norton makes a half-hearted attempt to catch the hurtling body in midair but settles for dumping him on the mat. He improvises a series of elbow smashes to incapacitate Morris and then takes the pin. This guy is about due for a push. Wasn't he an armwrestler at one time? Look for a Giant vs. Norton match sometime soon.

Main Event time - Steiners vs. Sting/Lugar for the straps.

At this moment Savage calls the booth on the telephone and announces that although he is barred from wrestling on TV theres nothing that says he can't coach the NFL guys...take that Heenan!! An interesting idea - maybe its time for Macho to hang up the tights and become a manager...or a broadcaster again. Wish Hogan would hear that call...and Flair.

Meanwhile the match has started but were not paying attention. Cut to commercial.

We come back to Lugar on the mat at the hands of Scott Steiner. Lots of powermoves, suplexes, Stinger splashes etc. Then the Giant runs (lumbers?) in - chokeslams (but pulls his punch) Rick on the concrete. Havoc ensues in the ring until Stings recovers. He and Scotty team up to fling Lugar's steel-plated forearm into the Giant's chest. It works.

Cut to Bishoff for the rap-up...oops! There's Razor again! Oh boy! A confrontation between the Bad Guy and Sting!! Sting slaps the "invader" (probabely still smarting from that shot he took from Regal at the contract signing) - cheese it the cops show up! Razor says he'll have a surprise for Sting next week. Fade to black.

Not a bad show actually - but the ratio of mid-card matches has definately gone up with the change to two hours. I hope this isn't going to affect the RAW lineups in a like fashion.

* * *

RAW Report

The program opens with a recap of the Austin/Vega strap match at IYH. DiBiasi's departure is highlighted. Right into the first match - Bob Holly vs. Steve Austin.

"Stone Cold" vs. the "Spark plug"? This one is predictible. Holly is feisty but no match for the best all around athelete in the business. The match is entirely Austin. Holly makes several comeback attempts but even when he thinks he's in charge he's not. Austin takes the duke with a "Million Dollar Dream" sleeper hold. That finisher was a surprise to me. I figured that with DiBiasi gone and apparently not missed, Austin would change his finisher - maybe go back to his slingshot "Stun Gun" throw from the Stunning Steve days or something. Perhaps Steve is trying to pay tribute to his former mentor after all.

Next up - Barry Horowitz vs. Mankind - a strung out squash match.

Great interview!! Arguably the finest piece of acting I've ever seen on a wrestling program. Kevin Foley is the wrestler of the future in my opinion.

George Steele really perfected the art of portraying a mentally challanged mauler as a sports superstar but Foley's "Mankind" character has taken it a step further. This character is deranged!

Steele's "Animal" was cunning and ferocious but also frequently confused. Mankind is equally cunning and ferocious (even vicious) but he is also possessed of considerable intellegence as well as a (seemingly) total disregard for his personal safety. This guy is scary - he has every match half won before it begins on reputation alone.

RAW's usual pathetic display of Tag Team ability gives us the Godwins vs. Tecnoid 200 (or something - where do they get these names?) Sunny is down front doing color and scouting the competition for the next pay-per-view (lets see - who is her team this week?). Actually this wasn't a bad match. Both teams are deceptively large, rugged individuals. None of them are hillbillies (with the possible exception of the Watt's kid). In the end the Godwins simply overpower the Technoise - whatever.

HOG threatens Sunny before and after the match - is pulled off by Hillbilly Jim.

Clarence (the weasil) Mason calls and has some video clips shown which, he claims, shows Gorilla Monsoon manhandling him at a previous event. Mention is made that the legal action against Shawn Michaels has been thrown out by the court. Clarance threatens a lawsuit against Monsoon and the WWF. Somebody shoot this guy!!

Jake the "Snake" Roberts vs. Hunter Hurst Helmsley - lets see what Helmsley has, and what Roberts has left. This an important match for both of these men. The Snake has the reputation of being able to defeat any man on a good night. Helmsley might have that ability as well - only time will tell (is he being punished for breaking kayfabe at the last MSG card?). Roberts effectively grounds the younger man during the early going. He keeps almost catching Hunter in his DDT. He clearly has his opponent spooked as we go to commercial.

We come back to Jake in control but the tide turns almost immediately to favor Helmsley. Hunter unloads with his big guns on the Snake who takes it for awhile then comes back with a jaw breaker leading to several hard rights and one of Jake's patented short-arm clotheslines. HHH puts a stop to the enslaught with a knee lift and again assumes command as we go to yet another commercial.

Right after we return, Jakes gets a DDT on Helmsley and its over. Jake advances - Hunter gets snaked. And why not? Even the Bulldog had to job to the Snake a few weeks back.

Not bad - I'd say it was a toss-up between the two programs tonight. Equal amounts of action, drama and the usual stupid angles. I still think the Mankind interview was the best thing on either show.

Anyway, that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver,
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

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This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.

Copyright 1996 - Solie'e Vintage Wrestling