Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
You can get more of the latest news and rumors by listening to this week's Solie's Wrestling Radio report.
Crossface Connection by John Cross
The defense of Liberty is a just cause.
Just wanted to set the mood there. After all, it is the Fourth of July this week. So, here I am, torn between doing a column about the treasures and price of Liberty, which is freedom under the rule of just laws, and wrestling, which is a very real type of "freedom of speech".
Note I didn't say "Freedom of Expression". That, I feel, is just a bastardization of the term. That, to me, is a way of looking at the First Amendment, and finding justification for being a sick freak. You want to talk, discuss, or think any way you wish, that is OK with me. However, if you want to piss in a cup, and put a statue of Christ in it, and say you are expressing yourself, you are, quite frankly, a victim of too little discipline, and I should feel free to express my foot into your nether region.
Just a thought, on this most patriotic of weeks.
Oh, before I forget, I want to prop Miss Pamela for her correct call about the man known as Deacon Bautista....is he a monster, or what? Talk about Goldberg...if this guy was a face, he would be the ultimate foil for Mr. Brock Lesnar. I see him turning on poor ol' Deavon Devon in a Sunday minute, and then, watch out. We may need to call in Kane, or somebody, to stop this guy. Huge....
So, here we are. I really am confused by the Kurt Angle/Undertaker angle. That may be a good thing.....because it signifies something.
It shows me that the leak in the Booking Committee has been plugged, and/or the storylines have been tightened up to the point of not being so damned predictable.
Folks, it seemed to me that there had to be somebody telling e-reporters what was being said in the boardrooms, coffee shops, and hotel elevators between Vince, Heyman, and the rest of the bookers. People were writing about these angles weeks before they would happen, and, now, there have been two surprises...first, the return of Shawn Michaels, and, then, the return of The Rock. I sure had no idea that the two would be coming back when they did, though the writing was on the wall for both guys. When they returned, though, they immediately had an impact.
And to all those people that popped off, and complained that the WWE didn't announce beforehand that the guys were returning...that was the POINT! We have been complaining and complaining that the storylines were lame, and then, when they do something a bit more surprising, or unforseen, people start complaining about that. Geez...can't make people happy, can you?
OK...all the people that don't like the idea that Vince and his 'thinkers' brought back those mega-stars without announcement, read this: If there are people disgruntled about the predictable booking, and we get surprises in the storylines, that will bring them back to the table. And, for all the people that aren't complaining, they will still want to watch more, because the storylines are evolving in a better fashion.
Take the example I cited earlier....Untaker and Angle. I really don't know who, if either, is turning face. It looked like the Undertaker, but I thought that Angle was hinting at a turn. However, I think about it, and Kurt has flipped more than Mary Lou Retton in the past year and a half (three times, to be exact), so I don't know. Add to the fact that 'Taker is STILL getting face pops when he enters the arena, and I am unsure. However, with Angle actually facing off against the Dead Man, it seems that Angle is getting back that characteristic face bravery, that...huh...see, I DON'T KNOW! It is an effective storyline!
Miss Pamela...give me a hand with this......and tell me why they changed the 'Taker's music.
Breaking with the wrestling for a second...how about that judge in California that stayed his own ruling about the Pledge? Man....talk about a bad judge. Now, it isn't because of his ruling (I don't like that either, but that is another story), but because he let public opinion force him into creating that stay. What a coward. Another problem with people...they have no principles. Do what you think is right, and stick by your guns, if your position is correct. It just shows the mental vacancy of his ruling to begin with.
I wonder where Flair was this week....I bet he was sore. I bet Jeff Hardy will be after Monday. Ol' Taker may be as well....I wonder when the last time was that he climbed a ladder.
OK. Bodyslam.cc is on-line, with news, rumors, columns, and the latest results. We hope to see you there, after to finish perusing the tons, reams, and kilometers of data here at Solie's.
See you next week, with another Connection.
by Earl Oliver
SmackDown! was taped on Tuesday at the Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois where Mr. McMahon was standing in the ring as the program opened. He introduced our Olympic hero came down to brag about beating Hulk Hogan and whine about the lack of appreciation he receives from the fans. He issued an open challenge to anyone to come down and face him. Oh - by the way he limited his challenge to "anyone who hasn't faced me before..." When nobody responded. he started to say that he would go easy on him when a developmental talent named John Cena (Zima?) stepped up to the plate. Angle ask the young man what quality he had - the answer, "ruthless aggression!!!" and then the kid exploded all over Angle! For the next several minutes the rookie alternately dominated and then was dominated by his opponent, who became more and more frustrated as he failed repeatedly to put the youngster away. Cena showed us a lot - some great flying moves, good wrestling, tenacity and great aggression. After Angle finally won the match, Zeema wanted to shake hands, but Angle just walked away with an incredulous look on his face. I have since been informed that Cena has been going by the name "Prototype" on the indie circuit. A star is born, no question about it...
Backstage, after the break, Cena was confronted by the Undertaker...who offered his hand and a compliment, "Nice job." Zeema looked ecstatic as UT walked away.
Upchuck and Billy were up next to bring us all back down. Their opponents for the Tag Titles were Hardcore Holly and Val Venis. There was a lot of talk about how tough the challengers were - but it didn't help them win.
Mark henry took on Lance Storm, who has promised the world that he will beat his American opponents. Meanwhile, we were treated to footage of Henry's latest feat of strength - lifting a 172 lbs. dumbell, over his head...with one hand! Storm's startegy seemed to be to lure his opponent in and then attack his eyes. All he could do, I guess... But, amazingly, toward the end, Storm finally got Henry off his feet with a missle drop kick, then followed up with a super kick to the face and the pin.
In the next segment, the Undertaker came to the ring to whine about not being respected, then Kurt Angle came out and challenged him to a title match on SmackDown! next week. Taker was ready to go right now, but Kurt begged off, citing his earlier match. Taker then agreed to the match and Kurt asked if he could hold the title. UT thought about it then handed the belt over commenting, "This is the closest you will ever get to holding that title." Angle tossed the belt back to distract UT and then went for an ankle lock, which he immediately released and split. Apparently just demonstrating that he could slap that hold on at the drop of a hat (or a title belt...)
Test was next up in a match against Rikishi. Midway through the match Test actually pulled off a bodyslam of his gigantic opponent. Later he countered the Rikishi bomb by getting his knees in the way. Shortly thereafter the referee was knocked down when Test shoved his opponent into him. The referee (Mike Kiota) then disqualified the bully. Test knocked the ref down, but then got stink faced by the big Samoan. Christian (a fellow Canadian) ran down on the attack, but Rikishi caught him coming in. Lance Storm ran down, but thought better of entering the ring.
Backstage, Vince McMahon had a meeting with Hulk Hogan in his office. He started out in a hero worship vein but soon turned it into a dis of the Hulkster. Hogan jabbed him in painfully the chest several times and said, "One day, Vince! One day..." Then walked out.
New Cruiserweight Champ, Jamie Noble and Tajiri took on Kidman and the Hurricane in a tag team grudge match. This was a great, high flying match. WWE has finally learned how to showcase their cruiserweights (...oh wait...these are all WCW and ECW guys...fancy that...) Kidman and Hurricane won when Kidman landed the shooting star on Noble.
All evening long, Torrie Wilson came out from time to time to model lingerie ( preview of the postponed "Diva's Undressed" special coming up this Saturday. As we went to commercial in this segment, Torrie met Stacy backstage, poised to go out and try to steal Torrie's thunder. Torrie proposed that they both go out and let the fans decide who looks better. Stacy agreed, but she looked like she was up to something.
By the time they got out to the arena, Dawn Marie decided to crash the party, showing up in a very sexy outfit. She challenged both of them to face her at the Undressed special and then shoved Torrie into Stacy, starting a fight that almost got Torrie thrown off the platform.
Chris Jericho bragged in an interview about all the different ways he could beat Hogan (yawn...)
Reverend D'Von and Deacon Batiste took on Faarooq and Randy Orton in the next match. It was pretty pedestrian unto Batiste got into the ring. We got our first look at this monster in a real match and he was awesome. Good enough to win the match...
Chris Jericho pretty much brutalized Hulk Hogan in their main event match. The excuse for Hogan was that he had so much taken out of him during his match with Kurt Angle on Sunday. Of course in the end he "Hulked Up" and made a big come back - so Jericho went and got a chair to hit him with. Jericho was disqualified, then went to the floor and set up a steel step. Taking Hogan out to the floor, he administered another chair shot, causing Hogan to collapse face first onto the steps. He was ready to issue the coup de gras when his own music suddenly blared over the loudspeakers! Edge appeared on the platform!! He came to the ring. Jericho tried to flee but he was blocked by Hogan, who now had the chair. Edge attacked Jericho in the ring. Each time Jericho tried to escape, Hogan would toss him back in the ring. Finally Edge delivered the spear, then they let Jericho go. Hogan and Edge posed in the ring as we faded to black.
Raw came to us live from the Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, New Hampshire
At least that's the way I see it...
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