Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
This past Wednesday night, APW President Roland Alexander made quite a few announcements on the message board of www.allprowrestling.com. Things are happening very quick at APW right now, and people are working hard to make it grow. 2001 is going to be a big year, and one of the biggest stories to come out this week, was the fact that APW is currently in negotiations with the Pacific Sports Center in Vallejo, Ca. to do monthly shows. Both the Sports Center and APW have been very pleased with each other, and a wonderful working relationship has been born. The great fans of Vallejo will be happy to hear that monthly shows are in the works, beginning with the June 9th show. This would be APW's first monthly home since they ran regular shows at the APW Garage in Hayward almost three years ago. The management at the Sports Center has tentatively approved of the monthly shows, and all that is left now, is to detail the scheduling. More information on this subject as it become available.
MORGAN CAPTURES MCW LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE
"Future Legend" Donovan Morgan pulled off a major title victory on March 31st when he defeated "Ice Pick" Vic Capri for the MCW Lightweight Title. Donovan had lost a match to Capri on March 30th due to outside interference, and promptly challenged him to a rematch for the following night, even going so far as putting his APW Universal Championship on the line in a title vs. title match. That night, Morgan was victorious, and has now brought the MCW belt back home to California. Congratulations to Donovan Morgan, who is staking his claim as one of the top five indie wrestlers out there today.
In other MCW news, their next big show is scheduled for Saturday April 28th at Marist High School in Chicago, Ill. Some big name wrestlers will be on the card, including former ECW stars Danny Doring, Roadkill, Julio Dinero & Chris Chetti. Also, three matches that APW fans will take strong interest in:
"Natural One" Michael Modest goes one on one with "Black Nature Boy" Scoot Andrews
APW Worldwide Internet Champion "Innovator" Vincenzo Massaro will take on "State Of The Art" Jayson Reign
4TH ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET IS HISTORY
The 4th Annual APW Awards Banquet is history, and what a great night it was. Many of APW's biggest fans got to rub shoulders with the superstars of the ring, and mingle amongst each other, sharing stories and laughs throughout the night. A great time was had by all, with many hilights throughout the night, including some awesome acceptance speeches by people like Roland Alexander, Jason Deadrich, Donovan Morgan and Michael Modest. Here is a list of who the big winners for the night were...
Best Body: Dalip Singh
Most Improved: Super Destroyer 2000
Finishing Move Of The Year: Vincenzo Massaro's "Greetings From The Pink Poodle"
Most Inspirational: Michael Modest
Match Of The Year: Michael Modest & Christopher Daniels vs. Westside Playaz 2000 (12/16/00 - Vallejo, Ca.)
Manager Of The Year: Shane Dynasty
Rookie Of The Year: Kid Chrome
Tag Team Of The Year: Westside Playaz 2000
Wrestler Of The Year: Michael Modest
APW MVP: Donovan Morgan, Michael Modest & Jason Deadrich (TIE)
Thanks to everyone involved with the banquet for making it such an eventful night. Looking forward to next year!
By Ric "the Equalizer" Drasin
In any business, you must have a game plan. You must have a way of exploiting your product and calling attention to it via making it different than any other product around. In this case we are talking about you.
If you walk into a store and a salesperson helps you, that person can either make or break the sale. In this world there are those people who 'know' or those who 'don't know'. In most cases, it's those who don't know. We see them everyday in Malls, Supermarkets, and on the Freeways. They haven't got a clue what they are doing or what life is about but they seem to get by somehow. I haven't figured out how, but they do it.
You want to be in the category of those who 'know'. I have 3 children, two boys 19 and 22 and a daughter 9. All 3 of them since birth are in the category of those who 'know'. You can see it in their eyes. They can spot a situation and just know if it's right or not. I can see in their eyes whether they understand something or not and in every case, they have always caught on.
I was explaining something the other day to someone about laying out a CD cover design and the steps involved. I could see in his eyes as I was explaining that he just didn't get it. He said he did, but his eyes said something else. I think they said, 'duh'!
So, I told him, you really don't understand do you. He said, 'not exactly'. I knew that right off. I told him about re-inventing and coming up with an entirely different look on his CD. It's like when you listen to a record, if the song doesn't catch you in the first 5 sec. you move on. Same thing with a look or a visual. It has to catch your eye.
So, when you are promoting yourself, you want people to look at you as the person who 'knows'. It'll emit from you if you have it.
Self-promotion in Acting or Wrestling for example means creating a persona that everyone will notice and set you apart from the others. You can see a crowd of people and maybe one person in that crowd will catch your eye. Could be their looks, usually is, but it goes beyond that and it comes from something within them. It's body language and a feeling that they know who they are and what they are portraying. That's considered 'Star quality'.
I go on film and commercial auditions with a lot of different types of people. I have several categories that I fit in and let's take one for example. Bikers. Lots of people show up dressed like bikers and some are pretty authentic looking. But on camera, if they don't have it inside of them, it won't come across as real or as what they are trying to be. The just don't 'know'.
You have to have charisma. That is something that you usually have or not have. It's very hard to develop but can be developed to a small degree if you work on your persona and attitude.
Every see a really pretty girl and when you finally talk to her, she's dead as far as personality? Well, that is persona and at that point, the beauty really means nothing.
When I was younger and going out on commercials, the look I had was with hair and mustache. I looked very similar to Tom Selleck. Many of the actors that I went to auditions had taken on the same look. However I was able to come across on camera better as my personality came through at the right moment and I booked 5 National Cigarette Ads and 4 National Beer commercials. I was bodybuilding and in really good shape but didn't show it off blatantly as it would have been too much. But a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up and jeans did the job and showed a little muscle. This was something that a lot of the others didn't have. It made me look more like the outdoor type that did hard labor.
So, I was on to something. Just keep re-inventing my look from time to time and stay ahead of the pack.
In music and advertising, you always have to come up with something new and fresh that hasn't been seen. This is what sells. Well, the same thing goes for you. If you want to be an actor, then you need to find a slot that isn't filled and make yourself be seen.
Same thing with wrestling. Years ago in the 50's and 60's, wrestlers had entirely different looks. Each one was really unique. Not all were muscular but different sizes and shapes, but they DID look like wrestlers. Gorgeous George bleached his hair blonde before all the others and made a huge name for himself. Pretty soon others followed, Ray Stevens, Pat Patterson, Billy Graham, Hulk Hogan, etc. But it started somewhere. Today, pretty much all the wrestlers look the same and all are bodybuilders. It was the same way with bodybuilding. Arnold, Draper, Zane, Katz, Colombu all looked different. Entirely different body shapes and size and it made a contest interesting. Look at today's bodybuilder. I can't tell one from the other. The all look exactly the same. There is nothing different or unique about them.
When I designed the Gold's Gym logo with the little 'bald headed 'weightlifter, I said, one day, that will be my look~! It was about 15 years later that I decided to finally shave my head. I kept telling my wife that I was going to do it and it would create a whole new avenue for acting and wrestling. Ten years ago, I shaved it and grew my goatee. Very few people, if any had that look. I loved the look and wish I would had have done it years before. Before I knew it, I was booking more films and commercials than ever. The look worked and created a whole new persona for me. Little by little I saw others showing up on auditions with shaved heads and beards. Hmm, I thought, this is catching on and catching up with me. It's time to re-invent again. So, two years ago, I bleached my beard and mustache white with two brown side stripes. It was unusual and no one else at this point will copy me, causes I have established it as MY LOOK and people know me by that. As my motto goes, ' Often Imitated, but Never Duplicated'.
Well, I got more work and more compliments on the look. Sure it stands out, but that's what I want. It sets me aside from the others. I have offered to color it for TV jobs with a roux stick which is temporary simply because some sponsors may want it dark or all white, but in every case, they wanted to leave it as it is.
I used to get asked on auditions if I would shave it off for a commercial. In my younger years, I would have agreed reluctantly, but now I say a definite NO. I tell them, it's my look, you called me in because you obviously like it, so why would you want me to shave it off and then maybe you won't like me without it? There are plenty of guys in the waiting room without beards, take one of them. Plus, if I shave it off and have another audition tomorrow, it'll knock me out of a job.
I love standing up for myself. The production companies respect that and I get the job. IT just lets them know that they can't walk all over you. Also, what you have created works for you.
Now, with wrestling, it's the perfect look. I go out on a lot of auditions calling for a Wrestler. I see bodybuilders there, fat guys, skinny guys, etc. mostly actors and not many wrestlers. But, not many have the look. I make sure that I show up in tights, boots, etc. and I take my championship belt. That's a big plus and has cinched many jobs. It's just an added feature and prop that the production companies don't have to think about.
I was called out on a FLOOZ commercial that aired this year and they brought me in with some bodybuilders. I came in my wrestling wear and suggested that why not change the character to a wrestler instead of a bodybuilder. It's much more popular and more alive. They took my suggestion and I landed the national spot.
So, there again, I created a character that works. Plus in this case it helps to know how to wrestle, even if you don't use it, as they may want a few holds, etc.
I have tried one more thing recently. I made my beard all white for some pictures and put on some wire frame glasses and a judge's robe. I took a few shots behind a courtroom desk with a gavel. It was a perfect picture to play a judge and I had noticed that there are many roles on TV for judges. I gave these pictures to my agent and he has begun submitting me on those roles.
I always have set me own style in clothes and I had my own clothing line for years in Muscle & Fitness Magazine, called Big Boy Wear. I like to dress different, but with taste and many people come up to me and compliment me on what I'm wearing. Well, it suits me and I make it work, but it's because I feel secure with myself and I like to be creative. It works for me.
A lot of the independent wrestlers today copy each other with what they wear in the ring. I can't tell them apart. Every once in awhile someone will enter the ring with a unique outfit. Well, it stands out and gets attention.
Take a good look at yourself and write down ideas that you see for yourself in the future. If it's acting, bodybuilding, wrestling or even outside sales, you need a persona. Find what works for you and develop it. When it gets to the point that it goes stale and/or doesn't work any longer, re-invent again.
One person comes to mind as he had 50 different album covers and never looked the same in any one of them. David Bowie. I saw a documentary on him and how he kept going through the re-invention process and it started me on my way. It works, try it. Remember, you want to be one of those, who 'know.'
Ric Drasin, who is currently an actor, wrestling coach, promoter and personal trainer, created the bald bodybuilder logo for Gold's Gyms. His web site, Ric Drasin's BIG BOY Page features articles on wresting, training and fitness, and his own line of BIG BOYS clothing and other merchandise.
This is going to be a really short Connection.
Really, it is!
I usually do this at work, either Thursday or Friday before the Monday deadline. It is Monday morning, around 7:17 am, and I just began typing. Since I have to be on the the other side of town in an hour, I can't give you a biography.
Luckily, there isn't much to talk about.
All the present storylines in the WWF are being forced along towards Backlash. They are developing too quickly, and that gives them a very shallow taste. A good example of this is the Hardyz. Where did they go to? Wasn't Jeff the IC Champion on Monday? Then, after an assault by Triple H and Austin, and the entry of the Undertaker and Kane into the mix, the Hardyz vanish. They were nowhere to be seen on Smackdown.
Although it remains to be seen what will happen on Raw, this is reminiscent of a year-2000 Nitro program. Big beginning, no ending.
See what happens when you have no competition?
Raw and Smackdown are sliding in the viewership area. This isn't going to help them...at all. There is no closure in any angle in the WWF, unless you want to pay to see it. People like to see something come to fruition. People also like to see a quality product, and the WWF TV offerings have not been really up to snuff.
Was Nitro and Thunder that bad, that I thought the WWF shows were that good? Or, has the quality slipped since WWF Jr. went off the air? Hmmmm......
There is something else that I wanted to briefly touch on. I post another column on another website, other than bodyslam.cc. During the production of the column, I was fortunate to speak to another one of the columnists. he told me that the site was getting ready to censor the columns and get them off the site.
When I asked why, he explained to me the whole political BS that is occurring at the site. I really hate stupid crap like this. I have spoken here about censorship, the PTC/RTC, and WWF and WCW marks passing as columnists and web masters. What gets me is the notion that if you like another facet of pro wrestling, you can't be a fan, according to these individuals.
To the columnists at the site in question, I can only offer a place on our site, as this other site is going to close to columns. Like Solie's, I appreciate and will read differing opinion. I won't usually be swayed from my opinion, but sometimes I will get an idea or two from the author. Point is that most everybody who writes a wrestling column (unless they are completely marked out for a federation; at that point they can just bust, for all I care) can make a good point or two, once in a while....even me (and that is a FACT, not an opinion).
So, let everyone spout off. Columns make the e-wrestling experience different than watching it on the television. I think they make the experience better.
Of course, you all agree with me....don't you?
Well........don't be that way about it.
I read a letter in the Solie's letter page, and I finally saw my name mentioned. Even on this rush-rush day, it gave me a flare of pride. I have finally made it to the pinnacle of wrestling opinion....I was mentioned in a letter to Solie's! If you have any other things to say about me or my opinion, feel free to e-mail me or Solie's and tell us about it. And, of course, come to bodyslam.cc for the latest news, rumors, and results. Since you are already at Solie's, you show some sense, and I only ask you to explore all Solie's can offer the true pro wrestling fan.
See you next week with another Connection
by Earl Oliver
Smackdown opened with Willy Regal ordering the Scarey Brothers to the ring and warning them to stay away from Steve Austin and Triple Haitch. He then booked a Hardcore Title match for...right now. Against Rhyno. The latter came to the ring with the Tag Champs and we had a three on two brawl until E&C lured the Undertaker out of the arena. At that point Triple Haitch and Austin showed up and beat Kane down with chairshots - giving Rhyno the win and the title. The program was taped Tuesday at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville , Tennessee.
Kaientai and APA took on RTC in an 8 man match. RTC lost. Boooooring.... Backstage, Shane McMahon arrived. I imagine that is the last we'll see of him...
The Scarey Brothers intimidate the Commissioner into booking a no DQ Tag Team Title match for them against Edge and Christian by setting fire to his furniture! They also extract a promise to get their hands on Austin and Triple Haitch if they win this match. I love the way Regal calls Hunter "Triple Haitch" - I may start calling him that...
Grand Masta Sexay got his chance at the European Title in a challenge to current Champ, Eddie Guerrero. This was a great Light Heavyweight match - very fast paced...which the Champion won.
Backstage, Mr. McMahon, Triple Haitch and Austin are giving Willy a hard time over his latest booking stipulations. The Commissioner is trying to explain to them that since the match tonight is no DQ - that anything can happen... They aren't getting it so he proceeds to spell it out for them as Vince goes to do something unspecified (which promises to be very entertaining) to his son. After the break, Vince made his oily way to the ring and proceeded to light into Shane, accusing him of being a stalker, and then inviting him to the ring. Shane surprised his father by apologizing...for not kicking his butt a long time ago. He goes on to tell Vince that his mom and her attorneys found what Vince had to say last week very interesting. He turned to leave, but Vince stopped him to run some video of Shane talking to the Big Show last week, then he ordered TBS to the ring. Vince started out by berating the big guy as "the biggest disappointment in WWF history..." then he turned to Shane and told his son that he could have the Show. Next he ran video of Shane giving the Show a dressing down followed by stills of Shane breaking a cement block over Show's head and more video of Shane insulting him. This apparently convinced Paul Wight that he should give up his friendship with Shane. A chokeslam put Shane down - then Vince booked the two of them into a Last Man Standing match at the next PPV. Can he do that..? I mean, can he really book the owner of a rival wrestling promotion in a match??? Gosh, why didn't he do that to Eric Bischoff??
The Chris's were punished some more tonight by being pitted against the Dudleys in a Table Match. Before it could get started, the Commissioner and his Olympic friend came to the platform to announce that each of the Chris's would have a match with himself and Angle respectively at the next PPV. Benoit would have a 30 minute "Ultimate Submission" match while Jericho would face Willy in a "Duchess of Queensbury" match - whatever that is. In the match, the Chris's repeatedly foiled their opponents' attempts at various kinds of table shots. The Dudleys, for their part, pretty much did the same as the match progressed. Finally, Benoit went for a splash off the top, but was upset by Angle (who was lurking about nearby) and dove shoulder first through a table in the ring...thus ending the match.
Chyna defended the GWT (Gargantuan Womens' Title) against the obviously undersized Molly Holly. A silly match despite Molly's excellent wrestling ability. Personally, I think Chyna should go after Stone Cold's title... Is there any television program ever conceived that is more idiotic than "Chains of Love"?? I don't think so...
Kurt Angle took on three rookies in an Ultimate Submission match (a warm up for his match against Chris Benoit at the PPV) and defeated two of them easily. Then, while his back was turned, Benoit took the final rookie's place and made Angle submit to a Crippler Crossface. Afterward, Mike Cole declared that there was a "standing ovation" for Benoit as the camera scanned the audience in vain looking for anyone on their feet...
In the main event, Edge and Christian gave up their titles to the Scarey Brothers. Interestingly, although both the Undertaker and Kane have held the Tag Titles with different partners on 5 occasions each, this is the first time they have ever held them together at the same time. In the match, the Champs tried to take advantage of Kane's injured arm and it looked like it might work for them for a while. Apparently, Austin and "Triple Haitch" finally got what the Commissioner was trying to tell them, because they came down towards the end of the match to interfere (perfectly legal in a no DQ match). It didn't help. The Scarey Brothers are the new Tag Champs.
RAW was live from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, and opened with video of the encounter between the Scarey Brothers and Austin/Triple Haitch on SmackDown. Surprise, surprise... This was followed by scenes from last night's Heat during which Vince McMahon revealed to the bad guys that they have to defend their belts in a title vs. title match against Kane and the Undertaker at the Back Lash PPV. Speaking of the Scarey Brothers, they made their way to the ring shortly after the program introductions to deliver a joint rant. UT talks about a "Decade of Destruction" as if he and Kane have been tag team partners for the last ten years. He presents some footage of Triple Haitch and Austin declaring themselves the "two most dominant men" in the WWF. UT finds this humorous, since he figures he and his brother are the most dominant, in his opinion. Kane agrees, and says he's "...laughing on the inside." UT says that "all" the titles in the WWF are on the line at backlash, and names them, "Our title, the Intercontinental Title, and the WWF Title." Hmmm...I wonder what happened to the European, Hardcore, Light Heavyweight and Womens' titles...just wondering. For some reason this brings Edge and Christian out to the platform to dispute UT's claim about who is the most dominant. Edge cites their own seven tag title reigns as his evidence (pretty thin boys...) Christian challenges them to a match, "...right now." UT is contemptuous - so E&C charge the ring. They are getting their clocks cleaned when Triple Haitch and Austin attack the Scareys from behind. UT is tied to the bottom rope by Austin then the two of them are assaulted by chair shots. The Scareys are left laying in the ring. Is it just me or does it seem like Austin is now playing second fiddle to the guy he refused to do a program with just a couple of years ago?
Backstage, Stephanie and her dad are congratulating themselves over Austin and Triple Haitch's actions when their revelry is rudely interrupted by Mick Foley arriving in a limo at WWF New York on tape from earlier today.
Rhyno defended his Hardcore Title against Little Spike Dudley as Bubba ray and Devon watched from ringside and X-Factor watched from the platform. Shortly into the match (which Spike was winning, by the way), X-Factor stalked down to the ring and managed to upset his challenge. The Dudleys got theirs by attacking the attackers from behind and laying them out with trash can lids and a 3-D on Barely Credible.
RTC furthered their disintegration by losing once again to Kaientai. 'Nuff said...
At WWF New York, Mick Foley is shown eating the club out of house and home and charging it all to Vince. Backstage, McMahon ended his shoot on the Big Show by telling him that he hadn't meant what he said when he called the big guy the "biggest disappointment in WWF history". Show countered by showing footage of Test congratulating Jeff Hardey for doing not nice things to Steph last week, and then suggested that he could do a number on Test tonight by way of proving himself to the boss. Vince thought is was a good idea. Meanwhile, Kurt Angle conferred with Commissioner Regal in his office regarding their submission tag team match with the Chris's in the next match of the evening.
But first we got Triple Haitch and Austin coming to the ring to gloat and to show again what they did to the Scarey Brothers at the top of the show. Triple Haitch ranted for a few minutes, then Austin agreed with him, and then they started questioning the brothers guts. This brought a different pair of brothers out to the platform. The Hardey Boys made a brief statement then ran to the ring...followed by UT and Kane!! Triple Haitch and Austin bailed in a hurry.
Back at WWF New York, Foley took the stage at the top of the second hour, went for some cheap pops, and then announced that he had yet another secret contract signed by himself and Linda back when he was still the Commissioner. This one stated that he had the right to book the main event for any RAW of his choosing. He chose to book tonight's main event - an eight-man tag team match pitting Edge & Christian, Triple Haitch (he actually called him that!) and Stone Cold Steve Austin against the Hardys, Kane and the Undertaker!
Before their submission tag match, Chris Jericho came out to the platform with his partner Jericho and declared that he didn't know what a "Duchess of Queensbury" rules match was...but allowed as how he was sure that Regal knows plenty about Duchesses and Queens... He showed a picture of the Queen of England with Regal's face superimposed on it. The match itself was a barn burner which exhibited every submission move known to man. Eventually Benoit took the duke over Regal with the Crippler Crossface.
Does anyone else get that the new Jack in the Box Carnivores football spots are a spoof of the XFL?
The Big Show's plans were spoiled just when he seemed to be seeing them to fruition when Shane McMahon hit the ring and ended the match on a DQ. Test then ejected the Big Show with a big boot to the face. This was followed by a confrontation between McMahon and Trish Stratus backstage. Vince booked Trish into a match against Ivory - if she loses she has to join RTC.
Mike Cole and their partner (Steve Blackman) were equally confused by the respective speeches by Raven and Grand Masta Sexay. They had a six man match against the Radicalz which eventually came down to a one-on-one featuring Eddie Guerrero and Raven - which Guerrero won via a roll-up.
In the Womens' match, Ivory dominated the early going and almost won the match. But then she went for a missile drop kick and missed! Trish hit a bulldog and took the pin.
The main event tonight was a bit better than those we've seen the previous two weeks on RAW. Really there seemed to be two fights going on as the Hardeys took on E&C while the Rattlesnake and Game went against the Scareys. Kane was re-injured and took a lot of punishment throughout the match. Later on Austin and Helmsley concentrated on the Hardeys, reducing the Scareys to saving their partners' butts. In the end, Austin hit a Stunner on Matt to finish the match.
Some final thoughts...Help us celebrate Solie's 5th Anniversary
One of my regular correspondents, Jim Takacs, reminded me today that on May 13th, the Solie's Newsletter (and the web site) will be five years old. I believe that this means that this newsletter is very likely the longest running continuous wrestling publication currently available on the Internet. The only newsletter that has had a longer run is MiCasa - but my friend Mike Samuda has not published a new edition since last November. So I believe that means that Solie's now stands alone as the one, original, wrestling newsletter which has withstood the test of time. I believe that the reason we are still here is because of our hard hitting opinion pieces, unsurpassed historical features and an insistence on excellence in writing.
In celebration of this event, I am inviting readers to send me their recollections of Solie's over the last five years. I want to hear about your favorite features and writers - what you have liked and what you have not liked. Here is your chance to sound off and air your views. Who knows? Maybe I'll even finds some new contributors to present in the future.
Write to me at email@example.com I will gather the most interesting submissions, along with some of the best loved past articles, and publish a special anniversary issue on Monday, May 14th. It has been a long, strange, and very satisfying trip for yours truly - and I hope to find out how you all feel about it.
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
for great wrestling discussion.
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