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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000

Jerry Lawler Quits the WWF!!

Leaves in protest over the Kat's firing

Paul Heyman takes his place...

Hardeys take the Tag Belts on RAW

Parallel Lives: The Story Of
Diamond Dallas Page & Kimberly Page

Part 1 by Ervin Griffin, Jr.

Crossface Connection

Opinion by John Cross

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

XPW News

All Pro Wrestling News

Volume 6, Issue 622 - March 6, 2001

Sid Vicious on No Holds Barred

Sid Vicous joined No Holds Barred on WTBQ Radio in Orange County,NY this past Saturday and spoke about a bunch of different issues regarding the wrestling business. Below is a recap of the interview.

How is your leg, after suffering the injury at WCW Sin?

"I just went to see my doctor and I actually have to see him again next Friday, but he said I am way ahead of schedule. I have to use a walker right now for probably 3 more months and then after that my foot will be placed in a boot and hopefully I'll be able to get back to the ring sometime within the next 8-12 months".

What do you think of WCW being sold and now run by Eric Bischoff?

"I like Eric and I think he brings the show biz atmosphere to pro wrestling and that is something that is definetly needed. He's a great writer and has a proven track record".

What do you feel is left for you to accomplish?

"I want that one last hurrah. Performing in front of 60,000 fans and putting on a great show. I want to prove to the world and to myself that I can come back and be a major player, and I won't rest until I do".

Sid also spoke about his days in ECW and the WWF, the Vince Russo era, controversy surrounding his performing the move off the ropes that led to his injury, and a whole lot more. To read the entire interview, visit as it will be available within the next few days.

Also announced on the show was that Kanyon will be joining the show next Saturday and Little Guido will be in the studio on the 17th along with CWF Champion Johnny Thunder. On that same day Jimmy "The Superfly" Snuka will call in to the program for an interview and 1 lucky listener will win a grand prize which includes 2 tickets to the CWF Wrestling show on March 23rd plus the chance to lead Snuka to the ring for his steel cage match with Tommy Dreamer. Check out for full details on the contest.

Editor's Note: Here's a flash for you all. The Solie's Readers' Forum is back in business! Check out by clicking on the link below:

In this issue we are pleased to present the first installment of a multi-part article on the career of Diamond Dallas Page and his wife, Kimberley by Solie's resident historian, Ervin Griffin, Jr.

Tonight's edition also contains some XPW and APW News, our weekly Crossface Connection editorial from Solie's regular, John Cross, and as always, my own topical rant.

APW News

by Jermz


APW President Roland Alexander recently stated on's message boards, that ECW's Nova will be making his APW debut at the March 17th show in Pacifica, Ca. Christopher Daniels contacted Roland about letting Nova work for APW, and Alexander has agreed...although his role has yet to be determined. "I don't really want to switch the card around and change matches", said Alexander. 6 of the 7 scheduled matches for the show have already been announced, leaving one possible space for Nova. Alexander and Daniels had a conversation earlier this week regarding where Daniels would like to see Nova placed in the lineup. "I am not thrilled with his idea but I could live with it. I will be presenting the idea to other APW staff members", said Alexander. Hopefully by next week we will have an updated on Nova's APW appearance at the March 17th Pacifica show.


The battle that started down south, and has raged on for the past 2 months now, hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. So-Cal's UPW will be holding a show on Wednesday Night March 14th at the Galaxy Theater in Santa Ana, Ca. The show will feature a lot of APW talent, in the ring against some UPW talent. Some of the matches slated for that show include Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan vs. The Urban Outlaws, Tony Jones defending his So-Cal Title against Staz, and the man who turned his back on UPW, Mikey Henderson going one on one with Rob Van Dam. Then, the war continues April 14th in Vallejo, Ca. as APW plays host. The matches include UPW's Samoa Joe taking on APW's Seymour Snott, and Donovan Morgan, Vincenzo Massaro & Robert Thompson taking on the team of Billy D, Frankie The Future & The Prototype. Lots of big things coming up this spring from the APW/UPW war...don't miss any of it!


Fans of APW will be seeing some changes at upcoming shows. First off, the Merchandise Booth will be restructured with a new look and will include many items such as t-shirts, posters, pictures and caps. One of the most popular items so far this year has been the Official Snott Brothers Glasses, they are going for just $3.00 each. Not only can you get the hottest APW stuff at the Merchandise table, but you will now also be able to obtain information on how to join the APW Team. Someone will be on hand at the table to answer any questions you may have concerning joining mailing lists, joining the APW Street Team, joining the APW Boot Camp, bringing a live Fund-raiser to your area or joining the behind-the-scenes team.

Another change being made to the shows, is that every event will start with a 30-min. polaroid picture session, beginning 45-min. before the show begins. You can jump in the ring and get your picture taken with your favorite APW Superstar for just $10. Want your favorite wrestlers autograph? Well, you will be happy to know that every event will end with an autograph session at the APW Merchandise & Info Booth. Wrestlers will be available to sign your pictures, posters & programs, free of charge! While this is going on, there will be another opportunity to get in the ring with your favorite superstar and take a picture with them. APW is scheduling different wrestlers to be available on different show dates. For example, at the March 17th Pacifica show, the pre-show polaroid session will feature WCW-Bound "Natural One" Michael Modest & "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels...and then following the show, you can get a picture with The Westside Playaz 2000.

APW has stated that they will be implementing many more changes later in the year. 2001 is an exciting year to be fan of APW. Keep supporting your local indies!

MARK DOWN THESE IMPORTANT DATES has announced some key dates for the next couple of months. Mark these on your calendar so you won't miss a second of the great action APW has planned for their fans in 2001.

Friday Night March 16th at 8:30pm, you are invited to visit the APW Garage (Home Of The APW Boot Camp), and watch a live training session to be taught by Head Camp Instructor Donovan Morgan and his special assistant for the night, International wrestling superstar Barry Horowitz. Come and hear Horowitz tell his many funny (and some not-so-funny) stories, of his days in the wrestling business. There will also be Subway sandwiches and refreshments for the fans at the end of the clinic. You must reserve your seat by visiting the APW website and e-mailing us your reservation.

Friday Night April 20th at 8:30pm will be another installment in APW's annual "Shooters Cup" Tournament. This will be taking place at the APW Garage, and only people who have purchased a banquet ticket (which go on sale March 17th) will be able to attend. The Shooters Cup is an annual tournament where Boot Campers show their ability to mat-wrestle in a shoot-style single elimination tournament. You can get a sneak peek at some of APW's future main-eventers at this exclusive event. Shooters Cup admission is FREE with purchase of an APW Banquet ticket. Tickets go on sale March 17th at the Pacifica show, and are also available at the APW Garage. They are $30 each and will include The Shooters Cup, The APW Banquet Show and a buffet dinner.

The 4th Annual APW Awards Banquet will take place Saturday, April 21st at 7:30pm at Hayward's LaCocina Mexican Restaurant. Doors will open at 6:30pm, and you will be able to mingle with some of your favorite APW superstars before the awards banquet begins.


Patriot Hall - Van Nuys, CA
1,234 - All Seats Sold Out - Standing Room Only

Kris Kloss welcomed the fans to My Bloody Valentine and thanked the fans for supporting XPW and - even though he really doesn't like the guy -- for getting Rob Black on the ballot for mayor of Los Angeles.

Taking Kloss' announcement as a cue, Rob Black came to the ring with Lizzy Borden and the Black Army: The Messiah, Steve Rizzono, Kraq, and Kronus. Somewhat conspicuous by his absence was new Black Army member Vicious Vic Grimes. Black told the fans that he was going to be the next mayor of LA, and then he'd take XPW to a new venue in the heart of LA and make all of the fans there in the San Fernando Valley suffer. The theme of Black's speech then moved to the man of the night, XPW King of the Deathmatch The Messiah. Black talked about the accomplishments of his star wrestler and then called out XPW VP Kevin Kleinrock to present Messiah with the XPW King of the Deathmatch belt. After forgetting the combination and finally fumbling to open the briefcase, Messiah was presented with the strap as the army celebrated. Black then moved on to order of business number three as he publicly offered Lester (the former Supreme) his release from the company and a severance package. Lester, who had given up his Supreme moniker since losing his King of the Deathmatch title and valet this past November, came to the ring and looked as if he was going to take Black up on his offer. Black told Lester to get on his knees and kiss his hand. As Lester knelt down, the army members celebrated and taunted the crowd, but when they turned around they found Black writhing in pain as Lester tried to break his hand! He then floored Black with a clothesline and knocked down each and every army member one by one. As the army fled Lester said, "SUPREME'S NOT DEAD!" and left to an incredible fan reaction.

Match 1: New Jack defeated "Mr. 80s" Dynamite D

Match 2: King of the Deathmatch Round 1: Beds of Nails and Barbed Wire - Vicious Vic Grimes defeated Kraq w/Angel

Match 3: King of the Deathmatch Round 1: Barbed Wire Ladder and Bed of Thumbtacks - "White Trash" Johnny Webb w/Jessica defeated Nozawa

Luis Cypher and TOOL then made their way to the ring. Cypher said that they had done everything Black had told them to do. TOOL beat Big Dick Dudley and became the number one contender at New Year Revolution. He beat three men in one night at Payback's A Bitch, and he is still undefeated in XPW - the only one with that claim. With Sabu defending the XPW World Title in Japan, Cypher said that there was only one man they wanted - The Messiah! Messiah came out and said that since he didn't have to wrestle in the tournament he'd be more than happy to face TOOL. Rob Black came out and seemed to think it wasn't the best idea - even if Messiah didn't wrestle TOOL regardless of his relatively easy night. He reminded Messiah that he had to face the winner of the tournament, but Messiah seemed to be overly confident and after a few words with Rob accepted the match for later that night.

Match 4: King of the Deathmatch Round 1: Beds of Broken Glass and Light Bulbs - Homeless Jimmy beat Kronus to win his first XPW match ever!

Match 5: King of the Deathmatch Round 1: Beds of Barbed Wire and Thumbtacks - Pogo The Clown vs. "Gigolo" Steve Rizzono ended when Supreme ran in and made it a three way eventually pinning Rizzono and ending the match.

Kris Kloss came out to introduce his guest Kid Kaos. Kaos suffered an injury at New Year's Revolution when Juventud Guerrera, upset that he was pinned cleanly at MetalFest by the 22-year-old high-flying sensation, attacked him before their scheduled match and severely injured his knee and ankle. Kaos talked about being sidelined from his career that was on the rise and talked about having beaten great ring masters like Tracy Smothers and Juventud Guerrera. Juvy came out and got in Kaos' face about his injury. Juvy said that in WCW they were working 15 days a month and no time to rest for little injuries. He said that if Kaos was so confident that he could beat Juvy again then why wait. Why not do it then? Juvy grabbed for Kaos' crutch and Kaos threw a clothesline which Juvy ducked and the two were going at it full force. Ref Patrick Hernandez ran out and jumped in the ring and the match was official.

Match 6: Juventud Guerrera defeated Kid Kaos when Kaos passed out from the pain of his injured leg

Match 7: King of the Deathmatch Semifinals: Beds of Barbed Wire, Thumbtacks, Nails - Supreme defeated "White Trash" Johnny Webb w/ Jessica

Match 8: King of the Deathmatch Semifinals: Beds of Glass, Light Bulbs, and Beds of Barbed Wire - Vicious Vic Grimes defeated Homeless Jimmy

Match 9: The Messiah w/Rob Black and Lizzy Borden defeated TOOL w/Luis Cypher when TOOL left the ring.

Match 10: King of the Deathmatch Tournament Finals: No Rope, Barbed Wire, Beds of Glass, Nails, Thumbtacks, Light Bulbs, Nails - and the dreaded no time limit! - Vicious Vic Grimes defeated Supreme to win the second annual XPW King of the Deathmatch tournament.

Match 11: XPW King of the Deathmatch Title Match: Champion - The Messiah defeated Challenger - Vicious Vic Grimes

Parallel Lives: The Story Of Diamond Dallas Page & Kimberly Page

By Ervin Griffin, Jr.

When one thinks of the working man's wrestler, who comes to mind? Mick Foley, Bret Hart, the late Owen Hart, Chris Benoit, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Dusty Rhodes as well as others. Another one that comes to mind is the subject of this bio, it is "Diamond" Dallas Page.

Not much is known about Page or Kimberly before they broke into pro wrestling. Since I am somewhat of a gentleman, I say ladies first. Kimberly Faulkenberg (her married name) was actually born in North Myers, FL on New Year's Day. It isn't really known whether she actually grew up there or her adopted hometown of Chicago, Illinois. What is known is that she grew up to become a graduate of Auburn University as a magna cum laude under Public Relations. This led her to Chicago and to Northwestern University where she garnered a Master's degree in advertising. Other jobs done by this beautiful and intelligent woman were as a public relations coordinator, waitress, bank teller and dancer.

Her future husband, Page Faulkenburg (DDP), wasn't as charmed or decorated with honors but was no less amazing. Born on April 5 in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, his first real opponent wasn't a man or even a woman. It was dyslexia, a condition which renders someone unable to make out words, preventing their ability to read. Page has said that for a long time, he avoided reading so that no one would find out about his condition. Eventually, Page faced he fears and got help for his condition. Soon, he was reading like anyone else and since becoming a major star, he has used his status to help kids with a condition like his and even encourage others who don't have that condition to read in order to learn.

During his adult years, he moved to Florida and became an owner of a nightclub called Norma Jeans. He also tried his hand part-time in pro wrestling during the early to mid 80's but suffered a knee injury that put him out for awhile. Also during this time period, he met pro wrestlers Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond. The latter two were part of the AWA at that time out of Minnesota and were the AWA World Tag Team Champions known as Bad Company. During this encounter, Page expressed interest in getting into the wrestling business again. Tanaka and Diamond got Page signed on as their manager in 1988. When asked about a show name, he chose "Diamond Dallas" Page. Originally, he was going to go with his old nickname of "Handsome" Dallas Page but chose "Diamond" instead. The character an egotistical, obnoxious jerk who has tons of money and a harem of women with him called The Diamond Dolls. Now, I haven't seen any old AWA films in a long time but many say that Kimberly was one of his Dolls on camera too. He was a manager of Tanaka and Diamond as well as Col. DeBeers during most of 1988 and part of 1989. After Bad Company ran its course, he joined the Florida Championship Wrestling commentary team with the late, great Gordon Solie (you knew I had to mention that Earl). It was during his time with Gordon that his desire to get involved with wrestling popped up again. This time as an actual competitor.

During this period between 1988 and 1991, the relationship between Page and Kimberly began to get serious. While Page had moderate success as a manager during this time (he managed The Fabulous Freebirds team of Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin to the now defunct WCW United States Tag Team Championship and Scott "The Diamond Studd" Hall) as well as privately preparing for an in-ring debut, his personal life was taking a sweet turn for the better. In December 1991, Page made his in-ring PPV debut at Starrcade '91: BattleBowl - The Lethal Lottery. It was in Norfolk, VA and it was a tag team "lethal lottery" bout with Mike Graham as his partner as they took on the then-"World Strongest Man" Bill Kasmire and then-WCW Light Heavyweight Champion Jushin "Thunder" Liger. Liger and Kashmire won their match and it wasn't a good outing on Page's part. In the following year, however, his personal life took on a better turn as he and Kimberly tied the knot and became husband and wife in 1992. As good as his life was getting outside of the ring, it would be two long hard years before things would begin to get better in the ring as we will see next time.

NEXT: Through Hell, Fire And Brimstone

If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at or

Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and also contributes to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis. Many of his previous articles are available in the Articles section of the website. Check out Ervin's Pro-Wrestling Fan Fiction web site.

If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at or

Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian. Check out Ervin's Pro-Wrestling Fan Fiction web site.

Finally!! The Rock's and 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

Crossface Connection

by John Cross


I hope that this gets the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, I'm Late, I'm LATE!

It is Monday, and I JUST realized that the Crossface Connection wasn't done yet. I got to get the column together and send it to Earl. Man, I have NEVER been this tardy with an article. He (Earl) will probably cut my pay in half this week.......

Figures, though....I was involved in doing my wonderful annual IRS worshipping session yesterday, and I forgot to set my alarm this morning.

Yes, I am falling apart at the seams (and that is a FACT, not an opinion).

Oh, you say this is a wrestling column? Well, that's right! a subject...Hmmmmm, let's see..oh, now what was that thing that happened last week...can you give me a hint?

I got it...The King and the Kat. Big surprise there. What else is there to talk about? The WCW "shutdown"? I can do the shutdown thing next week. I will pound the King/Kat subject today.

If you go to Lawler's website, and you read his explanation (detailed explanation, I should say), the picture that is drawn for you is that this kind of came out of the blue, and the King and the Kat never saw this coming, nor did anything to deserve it. I can understand this, as they should tend to paint the picture to favor their position. First Amendment says they can, you know. The WWF has been understandably tight-lipped; they have been as such in previous, similar situations (can you say Sable?).

All of you have heard of the proverbial grain of salt. Take it now, I'll wait..............OK, here is what I think happened:

There are rampant rumors that the WCW approached Lawler last year in an attempt to acquire his services for their own use. In short, they wanted him to defect to WCW and help boost their crippled ratings. Lawler said no, obviously, but he used their offer to aid in his new contract, which he was given last year. He got more money, of course, because the WWF management (Vince) knew he was a solid draw, and didn't want to lose him. However, Vince has a knack of remembering these things (Sable). The King's actions went into Vince's little black book, so to speak, for further consideration down the line.

At the same time, The Kat was proving to the WWF and the world that she was both a bad wrestler and willing to show her breasts on wrestling PPV's (my brother's point). There was also evidence that she was somewhat hard to work with backstage. Her exposure (clothed exposure) on TV was therefore being reduced. She went from Chyna's shrunken twin to the WWF Women's Champion to nil in a couple months. Excepting mud wrestling, she really didn't reappear until she needed protection by the APA, just a few weeks ago. This new angle was forwarded by Lawler himself, probably in response to the Kat's pleadings and requests to him that he do so (also, my brother's point). So, as the King says himself, he campaigned and pushed for an angle against the RTC that the Kat would figure prominently in. He got her way (no misspellings there, people...I meant to say it like that), and the Right To Nudity (RTN) program was born.

Now, I am not saying that the angle was looked very promising. However, since the Kat and King had rubbed the producers and management (Vince) the wrong way, the producers, bookers, and management (Vince) decided to, in effect, put the writing on the wall. From that point on, it was only a matter of time.

See, Vince is vindictive, and a real butt hole. It tasked him that an employee, even on the level of Jerry Lawler, would push his ego around and bully others into doing things his (her) way. Vince is very savvy, smart, and a genius in business (I said this when the WWF purchase of WCW was rumored), but he holds grudges. He wanted to get Jerry Lawler back, if only to show who was in charge of the backstage WWF. He wanted, and in his mind needed, to show who the alpha male was.

Also, Vince knows that it is better to keep average men who tow the line, rather than keep the exceptional people who are out for themselves. This guy will not hire or keep talented workers that might adversely affect the "locker room chemistry", even though they might be wildly popular (Nash, Hall, etc.). He cuts workers who are over because he views them as dangerous to his control of the WWF environs (Sable, again, is a good example here). Therefore, all this being said, he finally found an opportunity to rid himself of the "problem", and he did so.

Jerry Lawler says that Vince didn't take responsibility for the Kat's release (although Jim Ross supposedly said it was Vince's decision), but didn't try to keep Lawler from leaving as well. The token "I sure hope you'll reconsider.." statement is a stock management phrase that means "..goodbye.." and is equal to telling someone to get the leash out after the dog has run off. I have heard all sorts of managers say dumb things like they get these phrases in a class or something? Either way, Vince knew Lawler wouldn't change his mind, Lawler knew Vince knew, and the rest is history.

That is my spin. Both sides are at fault here, and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Vince got rid of the King only when his (Lawler's) liabilities surpassed his advantages, and the Kat, although hard to work with, was sacrificed to get rid of Lawler. Lawler crossed Vince with the contract, and then let his ego and his station get ahead of his common sense, where dealing with the WWF management (Vince) was concerned.

Now, don't ask me who was more at fault, because there are a hundred ways of defining fault here. I am not talking about ethics, morality, or anything like that. This is all cause and effect here, and is best understood in that context. What the future holds is simpler still. Lawler and Kat will probably go to the WCW, at a slightly reduced salary, and that should occur after the "shutdown". The WWF, and Vince, will go on, as they have in the past, not much worse for wear.

This is what happens when egos dictate action. Learn, Grasshopper.

And, don't be late.

You know what happens now. Shameless promotion of and Solie's. I would elaborate, but I gotta send this column in. Just e-mail me (click on my name up at the top of the column) and let me know what you think.

See you next week with another Connection.......Earlier, I hope.

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver Thunder opened with another Cruiserweight Tag Team Title Tournament match featuring the unlikely team of Kwee-Wee and "Barely Adequate" Mike Sanders vs. the Jung Dragons. Was it me or did Yang look like he was drunk as he staggered down the ramp tonight? This was really quite an exciting match with both teams clearly pulling out all the stops to make a favorable impression. Tony pointed out that Kwee-Wee and Sanders graduated from the PowerPlant about the same time so they would be pretty familiar with each other despite they're having gone their separate ways. Both have shown themselves to be exceptional talents on the mic - if less in the ring... The Dragons won it to advance but they had to scrabble for every minute of it.

Booker T sauntered out to the ring for a rant after the first break, telling the fans how great it was to be back. He showed footage from the Mayhem PPV wherein Scott Steiner cracked his sternum with a full nelson slam then talked about Steiner, saying that the current Champ tends to take the low road while he (Booker) takes the high one. He then challenged the World Champ to a title match on the program. Steiner stalked toward the ring but was held back by Ric Flair, who finally agreed to the match but not for the title.

Lex Luger, Jr. (otherwise known as Sean Stasiak) had a better than expected match against Johnny the Bull tonight. This guy definitely has talent and he's finally starting to show it. Johnny gave a good account of himself as well, but Stasiak is the one getting the push (and some help from Marc Jindrack). Big Vito tried to run in and help his partner but was waylaid by Rick Steiner before he could get out of the backstage area. This lead to a match between Vito and Steiner later in the evening.

Johnny Swinger had Shane Helms tonight, and had a little meeting with Chavo Guerrero backstage prior to the match. His mission was to hurt Helms - maybe take him out of Cruiserweight Title contention. Swinger's partner Chris Lee was ringside to provide distraction and the occasional trip from the outside. Fortunately for Helms, Swinger wasn't up to the challenge, even with his partner's help. Helms even got the drop on Guerrero, who ran in to attack after the match ended.

Konnan's expected back-up, the Tag Champs O'Haire and Palumbo, were banned from ringside for the K-Dawg's match against Mike Awesome. This had him talking to himself in the backstage area before the match. The Canadian dominated the contest but seemed strangely distracted at various points during the contest. He actually went for his signature frog splash and ate canvas at one point. Eventually he hit his running powerbomb and took the pin despite his seeming preoccupation.

Disqo (Disgo, Disco...whatever) was back tonight and took on Chuck Palumbo in a singles match. The Dancing Fool tried to line up the Liars Buff to provide him some back-up, but they were just stringing him along. In the match he actually managed to dominate the larger, but less experienced Palumbo. As usual he was prone to showboat, but still kept himself on track until just about the time that Buff n' Lex decided to put in an appearance ringside. Palumbo took the pin almost immediately and then the thugs hit the ring to attack Palumbo. This brought O'Haire, Rick Steiner and then Big Vito to the ring. A pier sixer ensued until the break.

The main event was the afore mentioned non-title contest between Scott Steiner and Booker T - and it was seminar in high-impact wrestling by two of the best. Steiner's one big fault is that he seems to pay more attention to the fans at ringside then to his opponent in many cases. That works for him against your average opponent - but Booker T is no average opponent. Several time, BPP managed to throw away a possible victory by stopping to harangue the crowd. Finally, Rick Steiner ran out and cause a DQ win for Booker. Diamond Dallas Page made his first and only appearance on the program by coming to the ring and treating both Steiners to Diamond Cutters, then the thug brigade ran in so the good guys split. That was the program.

SmackDown was recorded on Tuesday night in Tucson, AZ at the Convention Center...without Jerry Lawler...

The Lawler situation - allow me to take a moment here to talk about the situation involving Mr. and Mrs. Lawler. After reading the statement the King posted on his web site, I am saddened, but not all that surprised by what appears to have happened. According to Lawler, he and Stacey left the arena after a story meeting (in which he was under the impression that everything was fine and that the creative team were going to use his ideas about having the Kat use her "womanly wiles" to be a destructive agent within the RTC organization) to go to a local gym. They returned about three hours later to find that Stacy had been terminated without notice for "a problem with her attitude". When Lawler confronted Vince about the situation, and told him that he had quit in protest, Vince's response was, "We hoped you wouldn't do that..."

To hear Lawler tell it, he is not apparently contractually obligated to the WWF - in a statement to Jim Ross earlier on he reports to have answered the question, "...what will you do?" by saying, "I can be on another channel next Monday night if I want to, but right now, all I know Iím going to do is go get Stacey and go to Memphis." Assuming it is true, this statement would appear to be at odds with some Internet rumors that Lawler had recently signed an extended contract with the company, since we know that all McMahon's contracted employees are required to agree to a "no-compete" clause. All of this seems to add up to more then we are being told somehow. It really seems like McMahon figured that Lawler would react the way he did, but went ahead and fired Stacey anyway. I have read some speculation about the possibility that McMahon may have thought that Lawler had signed a new contract, but in fact he hadn't. So Vince's decision to let the Stacey go might have been made under a false assumption.

For his part, Lawler says that he complained to Vince that the creative team didn't give Stacey a chance to "change her attitude", that no one sat her down and talked to her about it. Vince's response was, "Well, they should have...", but he didn't alter his decision. In any case, regardless how Vince feels about it, my personal opinion is that he made an error in judgment on this one. It will be interesting to see how the WWF chooses to explain Lawler's sudden departure, and the baseness of the Kat in the RTC storyline.

In a related story, Lawler is quoted in a Memphis local newspaper as saying that he has also quit the XFL broadcast team. The AP announced today that Dick Butkus will take Jerry Lawler's place on color on the XFL B game this weekend. A permanent color man will be announced next week. The AP article did not mention a thing about Lawler quitting. Prepare to start hearing about the lawsuits...

But I digress...the program opened with Kurt Angle making his way to the ring for the WIP (weekly interminable promo). Angle enumerates his accomplishments - Olympic Gold, the WWF European, Intercontinental and World Titles, the King of the Ring. He claimed to have accomplished every goal he has gone after since entering the WWF (he failed to mention trying to get into Stephanie's pants...) He rants for a bit on the Rock then switches his focus to Steve Austin. He says he's angry with the Rattlesnake (Boy! That's got to have Stone Cold quivering in his boots...) He threw out a challenge to either Austin or the Rock, saying he will leave laying which ever one shows up first. The glass shattered and Stone Cold stalked to the ring. Austin allows as how he is not impressed either with Angle's titles or his anger. Austin was getting the crowds' permission to lay waste to Angle when the Rock showed up. Almost immediately the Rock and Austin exclude Angle from the conversation - and when he tries to get back in, Maivia turns to him and shouts, "It doesn't matter how you see it!!" At this point Vince McMahon and Willie Regal make their entrance. Vince tells Angle how impressed he is with him...and then books a World Title match ...for Regal. He added that this means that Angle would face Austin, who decided to get things started by knocking Kurt form the ring. This nonsense took up the first 19 minutes of the show...

Geez...somebody tell Matt and Lita to get a room!!

I love to watch Lita and Molly Holly wrestle. They are both foxes and great wrestlers. Tonight they mixed it up in an intergender tag match with their respective partners Matt Hardey and Crash Holly. Matt and Crash are no slouches for that matter, so this was a fast paced, exciting match. Matt took the pin - then they started the mushy stuff again...

Christian took Kurt Angle's advice and took some action in retaliation for the Dudleys putting Edge out of action last week. He attacked Bubba ray in the hall with a chair and left him laying. Meanwhile, after the break, Steven Richards is locked up in a room interrogating Val Venis. This is, of course the lead-in to the infamous storyline that was involved in the Lawlers' leaving the company. Later Richards brought Val out into the hallway and set his dogs loose on him, then took him to the ring and dressed him down in front of the crowd. Val took the mic and confessed to having allowed "lust and immorality to creep into my heart" citing his relationship with an unnamed "vixen" (leaving the audience to draw their own conclusion - read "the Kat...") They forgave him, of course - and then the APA ran in to spoil this "tender moment".

It's funny how we never noticed what a small man Justin Credible is until he showed up in the WWF. He accompanied X-Pac to the ring for his match against Chris Benoit. Eddie Guerrero joined the announce team despite a warning from Benoit to stay away from the ring. The in-ring action really took a back seat in this one to Guerrero's commentary. In the end, after Justin tried to interfere in the match, Guerrero ran in and clubbed X-pac so that he fell right into the Crippler Crossface. So the question left after the match was, did Guerrero really want to help Benoit - or was he just trying to show that Benoit needed his help?

Wille R got his title shot at the bottom of the first hour and made the most of it. Of course, in real life, it is likely that Regal would be able to tie Maivia in a knot in no time flat...but this is professional wrestling... Certainly, he dominated the match from the get go - no surprise there. In fact, the Rock was forced to...gasp! WRESTLE!!! in order to turn the tables. He had Regal trapped in a Sharpshooter when Angle ran in and caused the DQ.

Christian's actions in the hallway earlier were the set-up for a 6 man tag match pitting the Scarey Brothers and Devon Dudley against Christian, Haku and Rikishi. This match was remarkable for the speed and agility displayed by the various super-heavyweights involved in the action. The critical moment in the match came when Kane held Christian in spread-eagle position for Devon and then mimicked the Dudleys' "Whazzup?!" head movement. UT had to turn his head away from the camera to avoid revealing his mirth to the TV audience - and then gave up the pretense to grin at his brother as they left the ring area after the inevitable win.

During a recap of the incident with Trish Stratus and the McMahons, it is downright eerie to hear Lawler's commentary in the background, considering that he was never mentioned during the broadcast.

The Rock joined the broadcasters for the main event Austin/Angle contest, which was a barn burner for ten minutes or so and just really getting a head of steam for the Rattlesnake when Willie R ran out and spoiled it.

Nitro was live tonight from Horsemen Country - Greenville, NC and opened with Rick Steiner in the match challenging Booker T to a match. The match barely got underway when Scott Steiner ran in and interefered, which brought Diamond Dallas Page in as well. The four had a brief set-to but the referee had already declared a DQ against the DFG. DDP then challenged the Steiners to a tag match for larer in the show.

"Prime Time" Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo defeated Air Paris and A.J. Styles to advance in the Cruiserweight Tag Title tournament as Chavo Guerrero looked on from the sidelines but didn't interfere.

Sean O'Haire fought a lumbering battle of the big men against Lex Luger with both combatent's partners interferering at every opportunity, and took an upset win off of the Seanton Bomb.

In the back, Hugh Morrus saved Konnan's butt from an assault by Team Canada.

In the second hour Jeff Jarrett took on an ersatz "Dusty Rhodes" - who turned out to be Ric Flair in a rubber mask and lots of padding. Jarrett took the win then suffered an attack by Dustin Rhodes followed closely by his dad. The two of them cleared the ring. This prompted Flair to make a challenge of a tag amatch between the two teams at the next PPV.

Sugar Shane got a match against his arch rival, Chavo Guerrero - but not for the title. Kid Romero and Prime Time helped the Champ to win the match. Another disappointment on the long road to Helms expected victory at the Greed PPV.

Kanyon was shown in the hospital room of the injured Ms. Jones, and told the cameraman to keep things rolling, no matter what. As Kanyon tortured Jones in her bed, The Cat came from across the room, brawling with Kanyon. Miller and Kanyon fought all around the room as Jones screamed for help. Finally, The Cat smashed a bottle over Kanyon's head and zapped him with a defibrillator!

Hugh Morrus had to contend with both members of Team Canada but soon took Lance Storm out of action during his match against Mike Awesome. Morrus hit his moonsault to take the pin then it was Konnan who repayed the favor later when Konnan got into trouble.

Booker allowed as how he and DDP would accept the tag team match challenge tonight if Rick Steiner would give him a shot at the US gold at Greed. The fight was on and was a pretty competitive outing for both teams. In the end the Thug Patrol streamed in to attack Booker in the backstage area where he and Scott had brawed to, but that didn't keep Page from hitting a Diamond Cutter on Rick back in the ring and taking the pin. The brawl went on as the program faded.

RAW came to us from Washington, DC, and opened with JR and Paul Heyman at the announce table. Heyman told us right away that he was there because the Kat was fired and the King walked out. Hmmmm...I wonder how much less he's making then the King was..?

This lead to this week's first WIP, as the Helmsleys came out to the ring (together for a change) and HHH ranted off on how great he is (I'm the game...yatta, yatta, yatta - yeah, we've heard it before - stick a cork in it... This all led to run ins from the Rock Austin and Kurt Angle (who no one can figure out why he is even there...) boooooring..... This set up an Austin/Rock vs. Angle/HHH match for the main event...imagine that...

Angle then lurked around ringside as Too Cool came down for a tag match with...someone. It didn't happen because Angle decided to attack Scotty and put the "Angle-Lock" on him. Scotty was carted away on a stretcher. Must be those toothpick legs of his...

Eddie Guerrero was urged by Chris Benoit to take on Chris Jericho for the IC Title. Benoit came to ringside to commentate in his own lame fashion, then hit a swandive headbutt on him at the critical moment. This brought Malenko and Saturn to the ring to ask Guerrero what was going on. Go figure...

Trouble is shown brewing between the Hardeys as Matt breaks off a conversation with his brother to go watch Lita's back. In the match - another fine outing for the ladies as two excellent wrestlers (Lita and Ivory) squared off for the Womens' Title (Stephanie and Trish Straus should really be banned from the ring, in my opinion). Lita loses after Jeff "accidently" lays a hurtin' on her. The Boyz are seen quarreling after the match.

The Scarey Brothers took on the New Headshrinkers for about the 476th time and beat them...again...

In the humiliation skit of the night, Trish Stratus tries to brown nose her way back into Vince's good graces. He takes advantage of her groveling to actually get her to crawl around and bark like a dog. Then he talks her into stripping to her bra and panties. She is ready to go all the way but he changes his mind, dismissing her as a prostitute. Such a classy guy...

The Hardeys are back and this time challenging the Dudleys for the Tag Team Title. Despite their supposed disharmony, they manage to pull of a victory after a hard fought battle (and a little help from the intererring Christian). The Hardeys are the new World Champs - but all is not well in Hardeyville...

Trish next groveled for Stephanie in the back, going out for coffee at the first suggestion. Meanwhile, Debra made her return to the WWF tonight and resigned her Lt. Commissionership in favor of becoming a manager again. Vince made her get permission from her husband, Stone Cold Steve Austin. She was later announced as the new manager...of the Rock!

Al Snow got a shot at the hardcore Title and lost...badly...

In the main event, the Rock and Austin won the match, but Austin didn't seem too pleased about his wifes association with his current main rival. I guess things aren't too well in Austinville either...but theres no time to dwell on that now because the shows over.

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

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