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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

Saturday Edition

The Way I See It...

Opinion by Earl Oliver

Thunder, SmackDown and ECW Reports

Volume 5, Issue 572 - June 17, 2000
Editor's Note: This will be the first of the new version of the Saturday Edition. It will feature my reports on the later weeknight programs plus my editorial comment on the week as a whole.

On a news note: I read this morning (Thursday) that Kimberly has decided to leave WCW effective immediately. She told Scoops that she doesn't like the direction her character is going and objected to the idea of asking her husband (to whom she is still very happily married) for a divorce on TV. Of course DDP has just walked away from the company within the context of his current storyline - actually taking some time off to heel his numerous injuries. That is why neither of them appeared on Thunder this week. Kimberly said that her husband was very supportive of her decision and it makes me wonder whether either of them will be back.

Weekend Report

Thunder opens with a video review of the Goldberg turn and subsequent match against Kevin Nash. Then we switch to a camera shot of the back parking lot of the Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, WVA. A black limo pulls up and disgorges the Cat and Vince Russo, who is informed that the "real" police bowed out tonight, preferring not to play any of his "games". He is upset and heads into the arena. A moment later Kevin Nash pulls up and gets out of his own car (probably a rental - also black).

Thankfully, Hudson is wearing his shirt tonight... Russo & Co. make their way to the ring for their usual opening rant. They better be carefull or they'll end up being as predictable as the competiton up North. He wears a shirt with "3 - 0" printed on it. Davud Flair is with him and he wears a lock of his father's hair on a chain around his neck. (I am hearing now that the idea to shave Flair's head was his own. Fancy that...) Jeff Jarrett takes the first turn at the mic, denouncing Billy Kidman as a backstabber and then challenging Hulk Hogan to a Title match tonight...Hogan is conveniently in the hospital, of course. Now it's Russo's turn to brag about retiring Flair and shaving his head. He then changes his tack and says that he has decided to bring Ric Flair back - he points at the hair on David's chain and says, "Here he is." He turns his attention to Nash who interrupts immediately and appears on the platform, bat in hand, declaring that Russo's a$$ is his tonight. He heads to the ring, taking out security guys right and left. Russo and Jarrett both abandon the ring, leaving David and the Cat to face the wrath of Nash.

Backstage after the break, Russo is trying to hold his troups together...and failing. Meanwhile Nash is wandering around calling, "Viiiince..."

Kronic came to the ring and demanded the title shot they earned at the PPV. They got Chris Candido instead, who made a speech from the ramp, then brought out Bam Bam Bigalow as his partner to face the #1 contenders. The only problem with this plan was that Candido couldn't seem to get a tag out once the match began. He was pretty much facing these monsters on his own. In fact, Bigalow tried to interfere but was slammed onto a table outside the ring just before Candido was pinned. Bigalow tried to make trouble after the match but security people broke that up. In the back, Russo decided to flee only to discover that his tires had been flattened!

There is trouble brewing between Johnny the Bull and Big Vito over Vito's hogging of the Hardcore Title belt. Vito makes a speech, kissing up to his partner and putting the belt on him. He then retrieves a kendo stick from ringside and clobbers Johnny with it, before proceeding to punk his former friend. He finishes the job with a jumping DDT onto a table. This brings Kevin Nash out for some reason. He runs Vito down with his bat then goes to the ring for a second speech. He just wants to remind Russo that he was still looking for him. Backstage, Russo is crapping his pants in anxiety...

A backstage surveillence tape shows David Flair in what appears to be an intimate embrace with Miss Hancock. Hmmmm...does Daffney know about this..?

Shane (Barf) Douglas comes to the ring and "shoots" on his former friend/partner Buff Bagwell (I am so tired of hearing wrestlers use that term and then spout storyline bull pucky...) In the middle of Shane's "shoot", Bagwell runs out and attacks him - but Chris Candido and Bam Bam join Douglas and the ECW "Triple Threat" is reborn. Kronic ran out to save Bagwell's butt. Backstage, the Tag Chumps are watching a monitor when Talentless Tank and his Dog Faced friend attack them from behind.

In the parking lot, Russo is still fretting as the Cat tries to reassure him. A limo pulls up and they are relieved...until the door opens and Scott Steiner comes out. The Cat bolts leaving Russo to run away over the top of a pickup truck.

Kanyon comes out wearing a DDP wig and hawks his "book", Mike Awesome at his side. He talks about some supposed TV appearances he has coming up. Awesome takes the mic and throws out an open challege to "anyone in the back" to take on himself and Kanyon. Tank and Rick Steiner answer the call. Kanyon faces off against Steiner and is thrown to the floor and punked immediately. Back inside, Awesome has a little better luck against the talentless one. As the mayhem escalates into a melee - the Tag Chumps hit the ring followed by Big Papa Pump. The referee throws the match out. The two Steiner brothers are left alone in the ring and are moving toward an embrace (I think) when we cut to commercial. That was never resolved, by the way...

In the back, Nash catches up with Russo but only manages to tear off his shirt before he splits. Mean Gene talks to Kidman about his abrupt change of team on Nitro - he has a World Title match against Jarrett tonight. In fact...

Its next on the program. The announcers are telling us that Hogan suffered a spine injury last night. Jarrett lets Kidman make his entrance, shoot off his pyro and then blindsides him to gain the immediate advantage. Jarrett is wrestling in street clothes tonight (the story is that his luggage failed to arrive - I know the feeling...) The match is barely under way when the Filthy Animals make an entrance. Their distraction gives Kidman a chance to come back and the match goes into see-saw mode. Konnan takes care of that by delivering a guitar shot...on Kidman. Uh oh, here comes Nash again...he thinks he's Sid, apparently. The Animals bail leaving Jarrett to be leashed (Nash uses his belt for this purpose) and dragged away.

Vampiro comes to the ring to gloat about his victory over the "actor Steve Borden" - aka Sting. He leaves the ring to accost a ringside fan in a Sting t-shirt and a smaller figure in a Sting mask. The smaller figure turns out to be Asya - as the mask is torn off she spits a red substance in Vamp's face. This brings the Demon to the ring - he is identified as Dale Torberg and the real-life fiance of Asya. She comes to the ring and gets Nailed in the ring. Vamp and the Demon brawl into the aisle where disaster is narrowly averted when Vampiro is swung into the railing and barely misses a security guy who has his back turned (interestingly, the security guy didn't even seem to notice). The Demon pushes Vamp into his own coffin, closes the door, then uses Vampiro's torch to ignite his breath (that must have been some lunch he had...)

Daffney comes down to the ring to tell David off and gets into an argument with Miss Hancock. David comes down and tells Daffney off, threatening her until Crowbar shows up to defend Daffney. David delivers a low blow then splits with Miss H.

Russo thinks he's found the perfect hiding place in the WCW Commissioner's office - but he hasn't... Nash is there and surprises him by popping out from behind a potted plant.

Scott Steiner goades the Cat into a match which the latter would appear to have cause to regret. He bails almost immediately, then as Steiner turns to talk to the referee, Miller comes sliding back into the ring but falls short of his goal of tripping up his opponent. This is one of the funniest spots I have seen all week - Miller laying on his stomach, doing a "surprised take" toward the camera while Scotty winds up to clobber him. Steiner is all over the Cat until the security guys at ringside ditract him, allowing Miller to get in his first offense in the match. He has the advantage for a while but can't put BPP away. Steiner tumbles to the floor and is beaten on by the security force. Back in the ring, he throws them all off and then stands back while Madasia hits a flying headscissors on Miller. The Steiner Recliner ends the fight. Afterward, Miller declares a reversed decision by calling the Steiner Recliner an "illegal chokehold" and banning it in WCW.

Back in the office, Nash has Jarrett trussed up and coughing on the floor. He calls Scott Hall in Florida for suggestions about what to do with the World Champ. He rejects at least one of them as "illegal in all 50 states and Canada..."

Mean Gene talks to David Flair who has a match coming up with Crowbar. David brandishes a shaver and threatens to make Crowbar look like his (David's) dad. Crowbar hit a baseball slide on David before he could get into the ring then generally took him apart until Flair got a finger in his eye. His advantage lasted about 2 seconds then Crowbar was all over him again. The highlight of the match is when Crowbar sits David in a chair ringside then splashes him from the inside out! This hurts Crowbar more then his opponent and gives David the opening to retake the advantage. The announcers are talking about the improvement in David's wrestling technique. Gotta say they are making a good point. But in this match - David is on the receiving end for the most part. Eventually he gets his hands on the Statue of Liberty figurine to get the win. Then he shoves Daffney away (a classic Jimmy Cagney style push to her face that sets her on her butt) before starting to shave Crowbar's head. Miss Hancock comes out to the ramp and entices David to leave off and follow her backstage.

Backstage, Nash has a chokehold on Jarrett with the bat and is dragging him to the ring. Jarrett's hands are bound by a nylon binding strap. Nash rants at Russo about being beat up in front of his young nephew, Hunter (an actor, actually). He talks about doing something to Jarrett which relates to the movie "Deliverence". It is obscured by the censors but it seems to have something to do with the famous line from that movie about "squealing like a pig..." He threatens to strip Jarrett to his underwear and powerbomb him, which brings Russo to the platform. He draws a paper out of his pocket and claims it is the contract of Scott Hall. He professes a hatred for both of them and threatens to fire Hall unless Nash releases Jarrett. Then Goldberg's music starts up...and the monsters sneaks up on Nash from behind. He knocks Nash down then rips the binding off of Jarrett's wrists. Jarrett beat on Nash with his own bat as Russo threatens to tear up the contract...and the program fades.

Finally!! The Rock'sand Mankind's Autobiographies are now both available at Solie's Storefront! Check it out for great deals on wrestling books, records and videos. In association with

SmackDown opens with the usual recap video of events from Monday night - Rock/Kane/Undertaker - Jericho/HHH - McMahons/Dudleys yatta, yatta, yatta...

The program was recorded Tuesday night in Chicago, IL., at the Allstate Arena.

Grand Master Sexay has his chance against Edge to qualify for the King of the ring. Of course this one takes place in the presense of both of the combatants' partners but rather surprisingly neither really gets involved to any great degree until right towards the end. Then for some reason which nobody can figure out, Shane McMahon runs in with a chair and takes out the Grand Master. Backstage, Mr. McMahon says something about "Phase one" being complete. Oooh...mysterious...

After the first break, Shane announces a match for later between the Dudleys and Edge and Christian. As usual this is announced as if this represents some great punishment being visited on the former team. Go figure... Vince takes the mic and denounces his wife (what fun they must have around the dinner table...) then talks about the six man tag match coming up between DX and UT/Rock/Kane. HHH decides to add a further stipulation that the one who makes the pin in that match (assuming it is someone on the opposite side) will be the undisputed #1 contender for the World Title. The other side of it is that if DX wins then HHH will put his title on the line against the winner of the KOR tournament. Vince then announces a series of "surprise" matches involving all of their enemies - but he won't say who the opponents will be. More gimmick matches... Why do I watch this..?

The scene switches to New York City where the Stooges disembark from a cab in Times Square right next to where Crash Holly alights looking for someone unnamed - but they don't see him because they are too busy bickering about Brisco's missing title belt and wondering out loud...where Crash is...

The Hardeys faced off against T&A in a fast paced, high impact contest as Trish stood by looking fabulous. This was classic high flying daredevls vs. powerful big men stuff. After some furious action, Trish decided to get physically involved when she pulled Jeff Hardey's feet out from under him causing him slam his jaw on the ring steps, thus taking him out of action so the opponents could take out his partner. Afterward, Lita ran in and attacked Trish.

Backstage, Vince had the Undertaker arrested for stealing a car Monday night. Never mind that Bull Buchanan stole UT's bike. After UT is properly trussed up for hauling away, Buchanan decides to attack him like the stand up guy he is.

The final KOR qualifier sees Scotty Too Hotty taking on D'Lo Brown. Again in this case, there would seem to be no question who would advance. On paper D'lo is bigger and stronger and has the experience edge...but Scotty and his pals are in the middle of a monster push. Sure enough, Scotty walked off with it against all odds.

Back in New York the Stooges are still bickering. When Crash walks right by them and the referee they have along for the ride tries to point him out - they tell him to shut up!

Kane's "mystery match" was against Chris Benoit - what an awfull thing to do to Kane... (he says, his voice dripping with sarcasm). Maybe so actually, since its a non-title match. In fact Benoit appears to be the one getting punished here and he ends up trying to bail in the middle of the match. Kane drags him back and attempts to nail him with a clothesline off the top rope. Benoit gets his title belt in position to smack his opponent in the head and thus is disqualified. Meanwhile Kane does his pop-up routine so Benoit crowns him a second time...and Kane pops up a second time as Benoit flees the scene.

The Dudleys "punishment" also seems to do more damage to their opponents as the fight ran right up the platform where the Dudleys prepare to put their opponents through tables - but DX runs out and blind sides them then tries to throw them into a dumpster. After some back and forth action they succeed in locking them inside then push the dumpster off the stage. The King exclaims, "Have you ever seen anything like this before..?" Well...uh...yeah, actually we have...

Stephanie joined the broadcast team for the next match, featuring The Millennium Bug vs. Bull Buchanan. If the latter had any talent, this might be a good match...but he doesn't, so it isn't. Oh, he gets in a lick of offense now in then in his own, lumbering elephantine way - but he is no match for the former IC Champ without help from Stephanie. The best moment of the match takes place outside the ring when Jericho grabs a water bottle, takes a swig and spits it into Steph's face. This leads directly to his downfall as she douses him with water later to give Bull the opening for a pin. HHH attacked Jericho afterward (surprise, surprise...)

In Time Square, the Stooges are still arguing, the referee is trying to tell them where Crash is, and Crash is still looking for someone unnamed.

Val Venis takes on Rikishi once again at the behest of Trish Stratus. Actually there was as much or more action shown in the recap video of their feud shown before the match. This was followed by Val in the ring, recapping what we have just seen in the video review. He calls out the big Samoan, and Rikishi obliges him. The fight starts on the ramp and actually isn't a sanctioned match so there is no referee present at first - then a couple of them do show up. Interestingly one is the same referee we have been watching walking around the streets of New York with the Stooges. The "match" if you want to call it that, takes place almost entirely out on the floor as Sgt. Slaughter and a phalanx of officials try to break it up. Val ends up getting some revengs as he manages to lay out the big guy with a chair before we cut to commercial.

Back from the break, the commentators talk about what just went down, and there is blood on the announcer's table. Crash Holly is shown running into Samuel L. Jackson out on the street. Crash talks to the actor, calling him "Shaft" and telling him that he's one bad mother. Jackson tells him to shut his mouth, and then he says that he knows Crash, because he's the Hardcore Champion. Crash asks Jackson for some help, and Jackson asks Crash if he tried the APA. Crash says that he has, but he has heat with them. Samuel says that it's his duty to protect Crash Holly, because his girlfriend likes him.

The Rock cut a promo with Kevin Kelly backstage concerning his "mystery opponent" - he asks Kelly if it is him, then tells him' "It doesn't matter if its you!!" The King seem to think it is "unbelievable" that the crowds are chanting the Rock's name in Chicago.

Back in New York, the Stooges find Jackson, who knocks them both down before we go to a Shaft commercial.

In one of the bigger disappointments of the evening, the Rock's "mystery opponent" turns out to be Kurt Angle. This also turns out to be a bone of contention between the Boss's daughter and her husband as she wants to go out and help Angle while he doesn't. She gets up and heads on down, prompting HHH to follow. And a good thing too, because Angle is getting his clock cleaned. From the moment the two of them reach the ringside area, the Rock is suddenly in a handicap match. Between Stephanie grabbing his legs and HHH putting in a cheapshot wherever he can, Maivia is definitely fighting an uphill battle. Still, and not surprisingly, the Rock pulls ahead and seems about to take the win when Bull Buchanan runs in and things get pretty wild as HHH, Buchanan and Angle all start beating on the fallen People's Champion. Kane then shows up to further complicate things and manages to help Maivia turn the tide. This brings Chris Benoit out to change the odds and things are brewing into a fine melee as the program ends.

On ECW on TNN tonight, for a change, Cyrus came out to confront the announce team...oh wait a minute...that happens about every other week. Tonight his target is Joel Gertner, that's not really different either. He tells Gertner that nobody really cares about him - he refers to Gertner (visually speaking) as a "ratings killer". He gets in a good line when he calls Gertner a prime example of why some people call wrestling "show business for ugly people". He threatens to kick Gertner's butt. Gertner tells him to put up and shut - state his business and leave. Cyrus says its simple - he wants an apology. So Gertner apologizes...for the fact that Cyrus just spit in his eye so now he's going to have to get a blood test, for the fact that Cyrus has just wasted 8 minutes of the program, and for the fact that he (Gertner) is about to kick Cyrus' butt. He tears off his cervical collar and is ready to go to town when Rhino spears him. Joey Styles is ready to rumble but Justin Credible runs in and and is about to attack him when Tommy Dreamer runs in and cleans house. Rhino wades back in and downs Dreamer - so Rob Van Dam shows up and he clears the ring except for Scotty Anton and Rhino. Scotty throws a chair to Rhino and RVD kicks it into his face then turns to take on Scotty as we cut to commercial. That beat the hell out of some of those booooring RAW and SmackDown openings we've been enduring lately.

After a short promo we see Gertner being loaded into an ambulance, and Rhino and Justin Credible get into a little tiff after Credibe insults the Rookie Monster - then we really go to commercial.

As we return, Cyrus is tellin the ambulance attendance that Gertner will need a full endoscopy exame because he has something lodged in his anus. How charming... In the ring, a newcomer called EZ Money is taking on Kid Cash (fancy that...) But we only see about a minute of it then go to commercial again.

EZ Money has dollar bills stuck in his waist band, his elbow pads, knee pads, etc. Probably the most stupid costume since the original Faarooq outfit (the roman looking monstrosity with the helmet). Kid Cash wins the match with (what else..?) the Money Maker. EZ's tag team partner Chris Hamerick runs in and attacks so that the two of them can punk the victor until New Jack shows up to even the odds. He uses various objects from his garbage cart to punk the punkers. He draws blood big time with a fork and later a sickle! He finishes the bit with a guitar shot and then gives the Kid the chance to take the pin again.

That guy has a weird spot featuring an American flag and some latinos. I have no idea what that was all about.

Backstage, Cyrus is trying stop Justin Credible and Rhino from tearing each other up. More comercials...

Jerry Lynn challenges Justin Credible for his World Heavyweight Title for the main event. Before he made his entrance, Cyrus stopped him and offered him congratulations and said, "The network is with you..." Lynn didn;t seem too impressed but he didn't exactly slap Cyrus' hand away either. Francine was handling her Singapore Cane in a most suggestive way as the two combatants were introduced. The match goes right to the floor where Lynn dominated the action the champ with shots to the railing and a beer to the face. Credible is busted open in no time as they fight further into the crowd. Back in the ring finally, Justin deliver a low blow back kick and takes the advantage for the first time in the match. He cements his iniative by dropping the challenger face first onto a chair. He then set Lynn up in the corner with a chair in front of him and then charged in and creamed him. Soon they are out on the floor again and Credible has a table set up but doesn;t get a chance to use it right away. The brawl back into the ring and to the top turnbuckle above the table where Lynn gets a top rope Frankensteiner which sends both of them crashing through the table. Lynn recovers as Credible crawls back into the ring clutching his knee, Lynn sets up another table (inside the ring, leaning on the corner) then returns to the attack. They scuffle some then Francine whacks Lynn with her cane. She then throws a chair into the ring but Lynn DDT's the Champ onto it and continues his assault. Credible gets hold of his title belt and clobbers Lynn with it, but can't get the pin. Francine tries to get involved again but Jazz runs in a spears her then attacks Credible. The Network Toadies show up and haul Francine away as Credible gets his finishing move...but still can;t get the pin. Now Rhino is in the ring and seems to hit Lynn by mistake...or so it seems. Regardless, it gives the Champion the win and he retains his title.

The Way I See it...

Opinion by Earl Oliver

A lot of people were understandably upset by Eric Bischoff's "Big Surprise" last Sunday. Although if handled right the Goldberg heel turn does have a lot of potential and is likely to dominate WCW storylines for some time to come, but it hardly qualifiies as the "earthshaking, industry changing" event promised at the time of the original announcement. It didn't help that the speculation about it took on a life of its own here on the Internet. It would have been almost impossible for anything to have lived up to that hype. Bischoff made a calculated mistake when he made that announcement, especially when he invoked the name, "Vince McMahon", and then didn't help matters by trying to back off from it as the week progressed. The Internet wags immediately saw what was up and set the stage for failure.

At this point, a lot of how this all plays out will depend almost entirely on how good a heel Goldberg can be.

When Hulk Hogan turned heel in 1996 there was no pre-announcement and the event truely did shake up the industry. A lot of people tend to dismiss Hogan as a no-talent bum - but the birth of Hollywood showed that he is a master showman. His portayal of the character was so spot on that the understandable shock of his turn blossomed into easily the most significant bad guy of the nineties and carried the company to the top of the television ratings for more than a year.

When Sting appeared to turn heel later that year, with the introduction of the phony nWo Sting (or "Stink" as he was sometimes referred to at the time) the volume of my mail increased ten fold - easily the most startling reaction I have seen to any event since this newsletter began. Again, there was no pre-announcement - the shock of the supposed heel-turn fueled heated speculation for weeks.

Unfortunately for Goldberg, his heel-turn was anticipated and therefore the shock was blunted. So again we are back to the question, "How well can he pull it off?"

He has gotten a good start, he is clearly into the character. As he stood on the ropes Sunday night and yelled, "What do you think of me now?!" the audience ate it up. I also think that the justification for his turn has been well enough explained. The "they stabbed me in the back" theme has always gotten a lot of milage in the wrestling business while at the same time revealing the villian's main character flaw - being full of himself. Smart fans can certainly remember the rumors of grumbling in the locker room over the fact that Goldberg was off TV at full pay while other injured wrestlers took pay cuts and the stories about him seemingly sitting out his contract while he waited for a better deal. Then we have Tank Abbott's lame but effective taunts directed toward Goldberg over the last several weeks before he reapppeared - more fuel on that fire, so to speak.

Last year, when Vince Russo first appeared in the company, we were told that it was likely that Goldberg would become the centerpiece of the promotion. This plan was necessarily put on hold when he managed to severely injure himself by putting his fist through a car window. Now we are seeing that plan reinstated and the affect of it could very well be "earthshaking"...

...but only if the man himself can pull it off.

At least that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver
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