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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report

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

WWE SummerSlam 2002

HBK Defeats HHH
in a Spectacular Fight

Takes a sledge hammer shot for his trouble

Brock Lesnar takes the WWE Title

Duh...Rocky goes back to Hollywood...

RVD Regains the IC Title

Kane returns on RAW

Hardcore Title Retired on RAW

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

Crossface Connection

by John Cross

All Pro Wrestling News

by Jeremy "Jermz" Medeiros

CPW House Show Reports

by Matt Benaka

Volume 7, Issue 698 - August 26, 2002
Editor's Note: In this edition of the newsletter we have our weekly Crossface Connection by Solie's regular, John Cross, some APW News from Jermz, plus my own TV Reports and topical rants.

You can get more of the latest news and rumors by listening to this week's Solie's Wrestling Radio report.

The Scrapbook of Joe Wolfe (1940-1954)

I have just posted a major new image gallery! The Scrapbook of Joe Wolfe (1940-1954) contains photographs, newpaper and magazine articles and other memorabilia collected by Ohio wrestler Joe Wolfe, whose career spanned the era of Lou Thesz, Gorgeous George and Buddy Rogers.

CPW House Show Report

Overbrook and Topeka, KS, August 9th and 10th

by Matt Benaka

Central Plains Wrestling (CPW) ran their second and third shows in Overbrook and Topeka, KS on August 9th and 10th. The shows had their ups and downs and were a learning experience for the fans and promoters. The cards were a combination of professional wrestling, grappling or submission wrestling and Pankration matches.

The Overbrook show was held at the county fair. The ring was set up in a ball diamond and there were carnival rides behind us. The fact that I would watch pro-wrestling near a carnival made me reflect on the early days of the sport and how it grew up at fairs like this. There was a large crowd who, for the most part, enjoyed the show.

On the wrestling side, we saw Sam Francisco take on Kryptonite. Francisco had heaps of charisma and the fans enjoyed him. Kryptonite was pretty green as this was his debut match. Sam Francisco dominated the rookie to pick up the win with his feet on the ropes.

The next wrestling match was a 3-Way match between Rock Ďní Roll Ninja, Kid USA, and Pimp Tight Kevin Lovejones. Ninja came out with a plastic sword playing the ninja gimmick. The fans thought he was ridiculous. He was the first man eliminated. Lovejones and Kid USA broke down into a brawl outside the ring. Chad Sullivan, CPW owner, got between them and they were counted out of the ring. Sullivan then told them they were being to extreme as he was trying to make wrestling a family show. He then booked them in a lumberjack match against each other for the next night in Topeka.

Space Cowboy took on Mr. Saturday Night in more of a brawl than a match. Saturday Night is great at getting heel heat by ripping on the town and calling everyone rednecks. The match had some high spots, but broke down when a mystery man attacked Space Cowboy and allowed Mr. Saturday Night to pick up the win.

The main event for the wrestlers was supposed to be T-Bone vs. Superstar Rich Allen for the CPW Wrestling Title. Unfortunately, Allen competed in a Superheavyweight Submission Match earlier in the card. In the match, he was choked out. Due to losing consciousness, he was deemed unable to compete against T-Bone. Instead, Sam Francisco got the title shot. He was dominated by T-Bone. His best offense came from Rich Allen attacking T-Bone with the title belt for a near fall. T-Bone wound up winning after a body slam. Rich Allen then challenged T-Bone to a title match the next night in Topeka.

The submission matches had the following results:

1) Brett Shoffner & Brandon Crowley defeated Gary Boaz & Chad Sullivan to advance to the finals of the CPW Submission Tag Team Title Tournament.

2) Jeremy Jackson & Jobe Duran defeated Stephen Twemlow & Jen Case to advance to the finals of the CPW Submission Tag Team Title Tournament.

3) Jeremy Jackson & Joe Duran defeated Brett Shoffner & Brandon Crowley in the finals to become the first CPW Submission Tag Team Champions. The secret to their success was double teaming. After a tag they could double team for five seconds before facing disqualification. They took full advantage with quick tags to dominate their opponents.

4) Herb Dean defeated Big Bill O'Connor to advance to the finals in a tournament to name the #1 contender to the CPW Superheavyweight Submission Championship.

5) Matt Miller defeated Superstar Rich Allen to advance to the finals in a tournament to name the #1 contender to the CPW Superheavyweight Submission Championship.

6) Herb Dean defeated Matt Miller in the finals of the tournament to become the #1 contender.

7) Rudy Gambino defeated Steve Kim in a singles submission match.

Pankration matches were as follows:

1) Joe Wilk defeated Joe Mabin.

2) Superstar Rich Allen and Steve Schneider fought to a 10 minute draw.

The Topeka show took place in a gymnasium at Sports Zone. The wrestling action started the show with Krow winning over Derek Stone in a makeover match. These two are good at putting together a fun match. The action started fast & then slowed to some rest holds. They picked up the pace again and Stone scored a three count, but the ref saw his feet on the ropes and re-started the match. Krow took advantage of the confusion to score the win and make Stone get a makeover.

Impressive Anthony Wayne, a small cruiserweight cut a promo about how Kansans donít know anything about hygiene. He proceeded to toss toiletries to the fans and insulted everyone thoroughly. Christopher Vincent, his opponent for later in the show, came out and talked trash on Wayne. Chad Sullivan then decided that their match would be a Diaper Match. Neither man was happy.

The next wrestling match was Pimptight Kevin Lovejones taking on Kid USA in a lumberjack match. When the action spilled to the floor, all hell broke loose. Back in the ring, Kid USA hit a tope rope frankensteiner on Lovejones for the win.

T-Bone defended his CPW Wrestling Title against Superstar Rich Allen in the next match. Allen came to the ring with a made over Derek Stone. T-Bone requested that the match be made no DQ and Sullivan made the match. Allen talks more in the ring than anyone Iíve ever seen. He was comedic and I canít imagine him as a face. T-Bone had things in control after a reverse DDT, but he then bounced off the rope where Derek Stone met him with a chain covered fist. He was knocked out and Allen pinned him to win the title.

After the match, Sullivan conceded that he couldnít change what happened in the ring, and Allen was the champion. However, he told Allen that he would have to defend his title in a battle royal at the end of the night if he wanted to leave as champion. Allen was infuriated at this news.

In a 2-out-of-3-falls match, Space Cowboy defeated Mr. Saturday Night in a return match from their Overbrook match. In the first fall, Mr. Saturday Night declared that he didnít want to waste his time on Topeka and walked out for a countout. The ref started to count the second fall and Sullivan informed him that if he walked out he would be fined $1500. The second fall was won by Mr. Saturday Night. It looked like Space Cowboy would win after a top rope military press slam, but after a little outside interference Saturday Night used a Pedigree to win. The third fall happened when a mystery man tried to hit Cowboy with a roll of pennies, but Cowboy ducked and Saturday Night was knocked out. He was then DDTed for the pin and win.

The Diaper Match was next. It would have been a better match without the diapers impeding the two wrestlers. Wayne stole so many finishers from big time wrestlers. The ones I noted were: Stratisfaction, Five-Star Frog Splash, Crotch Kick ala Goldust, Axe Kick and Spinnarooni. He continually pulled Vincent up from a pin attempt to hit another high impact move. When he finally pinned him, he used his feet on the ropes for leverage.

The main event was the battle royal title defense of Rich Allen against all the pro-wrestlers in the building. I counted: San Francisco, Kryptonite, Anthony Wayne, Rich Allen, Krow, Kid USA, Derek Stone, Mr. Saturday Night, T-Bone, & Space Cowboy. People were flying out of the ring at a rapid pace until it was down to Allen, Stone, T-Bone & Kid USA. Then things got strange Kid USA was eliminated and you would think that Stone and Allen would double-team T-Bone. Instead, Allen barely fought as Stone eliminated him and was then eliminated by T-Bone to put the belt back on him. It was very sloppy and not the way you want a title to change hands.

Submission Matches:

1)Herb Dean defeated Scott Lewis to become CPW Superheavyweight Grappling Champion.

2) Ethan Day defeated Curtis Stout after 40-minutes of grappling to advance to the finals of the CPW Lightheavyweight Submission Title Tournament.

3) Garin Johnson defeated Jen Case in a few minutes to advance to the finals of the CPW Lightheavyweight Submission Title Tournament.

4) Ethan Day defeated Garin Johnson to win the CPW Lightheavyweight Submission Title.

As I said earlier, there were ups & downs to both shows. In Overbrook, the show was made less entertaining for me because some of the submission guys were sitting near me and talking too much trash on how fake the wrestling was. Combine their comments with silly gimmicks like the ninja and it made the wrestling look like more of a sideshow than it needed to be. In Topeka, the two biggest problems were timing and gimmick matches. I was 15 minutes late for the original bell time, but I was 30 minutes early for the actual start. There were lots of cancellations and no-shows on behalf of talent that really slowed things down. Then the Day vs. Stout Submission bout went over 40 minutes. The wrestling fans lost interest and some were chanting boring. In a way, the wrestling fans were making the match even more boring by their comments just as the submission grapplers made the wrestling more fake by their comments in Overbrook. Then there were all the gimmick matches. They werenít necessary; especially on a show with true fighters. It makes the wrestling seem ridiculous. The Diaper Match would have been better without the Diapers and Stone didnít NEED to wear make up to get any angles over. To me, a wrestling title historian, the worst thing was having the wrestling title change hands in a battle royal. Now they have a champion who didnít pin anyone to win the title. Sullivan seemed too involved at times and there were moments when I wished he would just let them wrestle without making his presence felt.

My comments here are not meant to tear down what CPW is trying to do. After all, these were only their second and third shows. It takes everyone time to iron out all the wrinkles. They do need to understand that wrestling fans and submission fans are different breeds. If they consider seperating the brands and just letting the wrestlers tell a story in the ring without a gimmick, then they can help add to good independent wrestling in the Midwest.

Check out CPWís webpage at :

All Pro Wrestling News

by Jeremy "Jermz" Medeiros


Here are the quick results for APW's show last Sunday at the Hayward Zucchini Festival.

JoJo Fantastico, Vennis the Menace & Robby Lance defeated Kafu, Damon Scythe & Dustin Snyder

Tony Kozina defeated American Dragon

Nikki won a 14-person battle royal by eliminating James Watkins

Jardi Frantz defeated James Choi

Robert Thompson & Nikki defeated James Watkins & Larry Blackwell

Next APW show is an invite-only Gym Warz at the APW Garage in Hayward this Friday night, August 30th.


The APW Superstars are "On Tour". Saturday September 28th at the Colusa County Fairgrounds, APW & WCPW join forces to present "PLEADING GUILTY", a night of great independent wrestling action.

Matches include...

APW Universal Champion "The Bomb" Robert Thompson vs. Former ECW Champion "King Of Old School" Steve Corino

4-Way Lightweight Title Match - "Kamikaze Kid" Jardi Frantz vs. Bobby Quance vs. Kryptonite vs. Dante

WWE/MTV Tough Enough 2's ANNIE will go one-on-one with APW's NIKKI

3-Way Dance - James Choi vs. "Smooth Daddy" Chris Cassanova vs. "Mack Daddy" Jimmy Ripp

For more information on this show, continue to check or any of the below sites...

Crossface Connection

by John Cross

This will be short.

The PPV last night was very, very good. Best all year, if you ask me. I would even say that it was the best one that I have seen since Wrestlemania.....of last year.

Every match was solid. I think that the Angle/Rey match was unbelievable, and though I sound like the mark that I am, Angle was superb. Rey, of course, was as well, but these two guys were going to bring the house down either way.

I could sit here and go through the matches one by one, but that would not be totally necessary to this column...suffice to say that there was no bad match. Usually, there is a 'smoke-break' match, but not at this event. This was a PPV that was worth the money. was. I haven't been in a situation where I ended a PPV thinking that it was worth whatever I spent on it for a long time. Like I said, it may have been last year's Wrestlemania. This was a solid program....what a PPV should be. A PPV should be a step or two above the regular Raw or Smackdown.....this was. This was the example....unfortunately, PPV's this good are a rarity.

Why? Too many of them.

PPV's used to be the place where angle build-ups and programs ended, and new ones began. You had three or four a year, culminating at Wrestlemania, which was like the Super Bowl. Now, it's all over the place, and it is harder to get 'up' for these things. Kinda like shooting at a rifle target with a 12-gauge shotgun. Who's to say of you hit the middle of the target, when you have holes everywhere? That is what a PPV is like these days...a lot of matches, with no direction, no closure (I hate that word), and, sometimes, no reason. Would it really hurt the bottom line if the WWE cut the number of PPV's back to, say, 6 or so? It may just help. Vince should look into the economic term "market saturation"

However, there was a good build-up for this event, there was a good array of matches, and the people that matched up against one another were pretty good blends. Rock and Lesnar....Edge and Guererro....Angle and Mysterio....the best workers and the best storylines were represented. You didn't see a Big Show or Mark Henry anywhere. That may be something that they should consider.....I mean, both sides of the question should consider that.

What? I mean that Mark and Paul should sit and think about why they aren't there.

Either way, I was impressed with the offering. Even though the East Coast fans pulled their standard 'Rocky Sucks' chants out of their pockets (that drives me know?), everything went very well. Like I said, it is the best one in a year-and-a-half, by my reckoning.

See? Short and sweet. Keep it here for the way Earl sees it, and I'll see you at

See you next week, with another Connection

The Way I See It...

by Earl Oliver

SmackDown! was taped Tuesday at Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The show opened with Brock lesnar and Paul Heyman in the ring boasting about how the Next Big Thing was going to destroy the Rock on Sunday. This brought the Rock out to the platform to challenge Lesnar to get it on right now. He headed toward the ring, but was then ambushed by Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero about half way down the ramp. Later, backstage, Edge was also attacked by the dastardly duo.

Longtime tag team partners (no matter what they tell you...) Hurricane Helms and Shannon Moore took on Jamie Noble and Tajiri in the next match - with Nidia on the sidelines to provide distraction. This was a typical high-flying contest for at least three of the four - Noble tends toward mat wrestling. After some pretty intense action, Moore pinned Noble, much to his chagrin. The heels did a number on the faces after the pin, until Matt Hardy ran in and added his weight to the frey. Afterward, Hardy horned in on the competitor's spotlight...again.

Backstage, Stephanie read Benoit and Guerrero the riot act over their actions, pointing out that she needed the Rock healthy to compete against Brock lesnar this weekend. Benoit got in her face but she put him right in his place. In the middle of her harangue, Edge ran in and chased them off with a chair! He then demanded, and got, a tag match pitting himself and the Rock against the former radicals. In another part of the backstage area, Matt hardy bragged to Moore and Helms about his reception in his home town - then offered to demonstrate it again. he went back out to the ring to another tulmultuous welcome. Chavo Guerrero decided to crash the party and an impromptu match resulted. Guerrero dominated the fight, but eventually, Hardy made a comeback. He seemed about to win the match when Kane's music blared and they played his video. Hardy was distracted and rolled up for a pin. Hardy then started accusing the referee of screwing him. That'll learn him...

Backstage, Funaki told us that he intended to take us into the Womens' locker room after the break. He did just that and encountered Nidia, who doesn't mind him being there, and Molly Holly...who did. Rey Misterio was interrupted in his interview by Kurt Angle, who dissed him big usual.

Angle was in the next match against Billy Kidman. Of course, Misterio appeared out on the platform early on, throwing Angle completely off his game. At one point, Kidman thought he had Angle set up for the Shooting Star Press, but Kurt was playing possum. he jumped up and caught his opponent in a suplex off the top rope. Later Angle took out the referee with a clothesline then tried to use a chair on Kidman - but Misterio reappeared and hit him with a Thesz Press. Angle chased Misterio and got himself counted out! Of course, he attacked Kidman after the fact - but it was too late to prevent his humiliation.

The Rock and Edge conducted a little comedy routine backstage just before the break.

Devon and Batista had a match against Rikishi and John Cena - but they couldn't keep there team together to finish the contest.

Nidia challenged Molly Holly for her Womens' Title. She had pledged to expose her breasts on TV if she won...but she didn't... She was ready to do the deed at Noble's urging anyway, but Molly nixed that idea (boooo!!!)

Stephanie made an appearance after the break to assure that Smackdown! wrestlers will "steal the show" at the PPV this weekend. This led into a SummerSlam promo video and then to the intros for the main event challengers Benoit and Guerrero just before the last break.

Edge ran in early to star the match and got himself in trouble - but then the Rock ran in and evened things up. The match then sorted itself out and went about how we expected it to. Edge eventually won the match with a spear on Guerrero. Then Lesnar ran down and got into it with the Rock. He dominated at first, but then Maivia turned it around and knocked Lesnar to the floor. Heyman then dragged him away as the program ended.

WWE SummerSlam 2002 Report

SummerSlam came to us live from the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island, New York and opened with a challenge match between Rey Misterio and Kurt Angle. They have the duel announce team set up again from the last PPV. Mike Cole and Tazz calling the SmackDown portions - Jim Ross and the King calling the RAW portions. Misterio started the match by sneaking up from behind while Angle was watching the entryway. From, there, Misterio dominated for about 6 seconds, then Angle regained his composure and the match went to see saw mode. The crowd was all over Angle from the get-go, telling him "Angle Sucks!" whenever he took control of things. Angle had vowed to make Misterio tap out tonight, so his emphasis was on submission maneuvers throughout the match. Misterio tried to fly, but as usual since his WWE debut, seemed to spend most of his time grounded. When he went for one of his ultimate flying moves, the top rope Frankensteiner, Angle out maneuvered him and then slapped on the ankle lock for the submission.

Backstage, Stephanie walked into her office and found Eric Bischoff there. Bischoff pointed out that there was only one General Manager's office and suggested that they share it. Steph agreed, if only to see her rival humbled by the SmackDown offerings.

JR and Lawler announced the next contest - Chris Jericho vs. Ric Flair in a grudge match. Flair started strong and dominated his opponent for the first several exchanges, then Jericho came back and knocked Flair to the floor, where he roughed him up before returning to the ring to continue his assault. Later in the match, Flair made his comeback and started trying to set up for the figure four. One thing I have noticed about Flair since his return to WWE is that he seems to be in better physical condition then we have seen him for years. We don't see him immediately sucking wind these days like we did a few years ago during his last run in WCW. In the end, Flair hit an unobserved low blow then slapped on the figure four and made Jericho tap!

The next match pitted Edge against Eddie Guerrero and started as a very fast paced contest. But then Edge re-injured his left shoulder, which brought the "shark" out in Guerrero, who immediately went after the weakness of his opponent. It all culminated in Guerrero, believing he had Edge incapacitated, going for the frog splash - but connecting with the knees of his opponent. Edge hit the Edgecution, but Guerrero kicked out! Eddie came back and hit the frog splash on Edge's shoulder - but Edge kicked out! Edge then hit a spear - with his bad shoulder - and took the pin.

Goldust and Booker T challenged the Canadian Whiners (Lance Storm and Christian) for the Tag Team Titles. This was a very competitive tag team match among four very experienced team wrestlers. In then end, the Tag Champs retained through guile as much as superior teamwork.

Backstage, more verbal sparring between the two GM's...

Chris Benoit defended the Intercontinental Title against former champ, Rob Van Dam. These two are almost perfect foils for each other. Van Dam with his high-flying style verses the high intensity mat strategies of Benoit. Both are real speed demons as well. In fact, Benoit seemed to have the upper hand through most of the match, but every time he went for the coup de gras, RVD was able to slip away. Eventually, Van Dam managed to hit his frog splash - but Benoit came back immediately and successfully applied the Crippler Crossface - only to have RVD make it to the rope and escape. Van Dam was definitely weakened as the match continued. A few minutes later, Benoit went back to the crossface, this time in the middle of the ring, but somehow, Van Dam broke free and countered with a roll-up. Benoit kicked out of the pin attempt easily then rammed his opponent's shoulder into the corner post. Benoit then executed a series of Northern Lights suplexes then grabbed the crossface again. Van Dam crawled towards the ropes, but Benoit floated over and grabbed an arm bar, putting himself between RVD and the ropes. Van Dam then amazed everyone by reversing the hold into a crossface maneuver of his own! Benoit got out of it quickly, however. Van Dam came back with a springboard spin kick and got a two count. Then he hit another round kick and the Rolling Thunder - but still couldn't put the champ away. Next they struggled in the corner where Benoit tried for a belly-to-back suplex, but RVD reversed it to a cross body block, then hit a quick frog splash and took the pin! RVD is the new IC Champ!

In the back, Bischoff started to gloat about the IC Title coming to RAW - but Stephanie just laughed in his face...

The Undertaker took on Test in a classic clash of the titans. Test used a combination of youth, (possibly) superior power, and interference by his friends to dominate much of the match - but it was the Undertaker who delivered the Tombstone piledriver and took the pin. Afterward, UT waded into the crowd and found an American flag to take back and display in the ring.

Next up - the unsanctioned grudge fight between Triple H and former best friend Shawn Michaels. Michaels wore one of his old spangled outfits to the ring over a pair of jeans and faux cowboy boots. Early on HBK hit hard and dirty, then threw a trash can into the ring before HHH turned the tables on him. But Hunter's ascendancy only lasted a moment. Michaels came back with a trash can lid shot then hit Hunter with the can itself. Moments later, HHH came back with a back breaker, thus starting his attack on the Heartbreak Kid's known weakness. This appeared then to be the beginning of the end as Hunter just kept pounding on that back - and then went out and found his sledge hammer. Shawn came back for a moment but was slammed into the corner and then put into the abdominal stretch. Hunter used the ropes for leverage, then ignored the referee's (Earl Hebner) admonitions to let go. Of course, this was an unsactioned match - no holds barred, so Hunter could get away with it. Hebner finally got in his face and broke the hold, screaming at him and threatening him physically. Hunter backed off for a moment then went right back to work. He used a chair on HBK's back then executed a back breaker on the chair - but Michaels kicked out! Again and again, the Game tried to end the match, but Shawn kept kicking out!! Once more, Triple H positioned the chair then set up the Pedigree - but HBK slipped in a low blow and thwarted him. Again Hunter picked up the chair...and had it super-kicked right in his face! Both guys were out of it for a moment - Hunter's forehead was bleeding as Michaels started to open up on him. He pummeled his protťgť then hit him again with the chair. He spun him around and tossed him over the top corner to the floor then went out after him. Outside he started whipping HHH with his belt! He used the trash can again, then used the trash can lid to force Hunter over the Spanish announce table. He grabbed one of the announcer's shoes and hit HHH with that. Then he pulled a ladder out from under the ring!! He used it as a battering ram, then drove it into his opponent's chest as he lay on the floor. The Game tried to come back but Shawn blocked his shot and monkey flipped him into the ladder again. Back in the ring, he went for the pin but HHH kicked out. Michaels went out for the ladder, but HHH baseball slid into it and knocked Michaels down again. Shawn returned to the ring and forced HHH up to the top, then executed a super-plex. HHH kicked out again. He turned the tables, then went out and threw the rings steps into the ring. As he went to hit HBK with them, Shawn hit a drop-toe hold and forced Hunter's face against the steel. He went to the floor again and pulled a table out from under the ring and set it up. He then pulled out a fire extinguisher and clobbered Hunter with it. Placing HHH on the table, he launched himself off the top corner and put them both through the table!! Hunter rolled back inside and Shawn threw in the ladder, set it up and climbed to the top for a splash. He succeeded then was stalking Hunter for "sweet chin music". He went for it, but Hunter caught his boot and reversed it in an attempt to get the Pedigree. Shawn reversed it into a roll up and took the pin!! Then Hunter came back with his rubber sledge hammer and hit Shawn twice in the back. Referee's and medics charged the ring, Hunter retreated with an evil grin on his face. Fantastic match!!!

Howard Finkel and Trish Stratus conducted a little comedy routine in the ring. Trish basically distracted the announcer so that Lillian Garcia could sneak into the ring behind him and then unload on him.

The main event, unfortunately, couldn't help but be anti-climactic after what we just saw in the previous match. Brock started strong but then the Rock started to dominate the middle portion of the match. Brock then came back and slapped on a bear hug, amidst the announcers dire reminders of what this hold did to Hulk Hogan a few weeks ago. The Rock survived the hold, however, and came back strong. He downed the challenger then went out to the floor to clear the Spanish announce table. Paul Heyman tried to interfere but got clobbered. Lesnar tried to attack, but the Rock ducked and Lesnar ran his head into the ring post. Heyman got in the Rock's face again - so Maivia Rock Bottomed him through the Spanish announce table. Back in the the ring, the Rock delivered a second Rock Bottom on Lesnar - but the rookie kicked out!! Then Lesnar caught the Champion and delivered a "Brock Bottom" of his own!! Maivia kicked out. Both guys were out of it for a moment, then the Rock delivered a spine buster. He went for the People's Elbow - but Brock was playing possum! He caught the Rock in a clothesline then went for the F5 - but Maivia twisted away from it. He went for the Rock Bottom again - but Brock blocked it with an elbow then hit the F5. Brock took the pin...and the title.

Raw came to us live from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York (the city they liked so much they named it twice...) and opened with Eric Bischoff coming to the platform to make some announcements (including a unification match for the IC and Hardcore Titles) and then introduced the new WWE Champ, Brock Lesnar. Paul Heyman was with him, of course, and they went to the ring so he could deliver a rant. The crowd started a rather half-hearted "Rocky!" chant, but he shushed them - and they complied. He compared his man, Lesnar, to Superstar Billy Graham, Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan...combined. He handed the mic over to Lesnar, who reminded us that he was the youngest WWE Champion ever (25) and declared that "nobody" could beat him. Suddenly, Shawn Michaels' music played and...Triple H showed up to hijack the new Champ's TV time. He bragged about possibly crippling HBK, then he addressed Lesnar. He called him "just a boy" and declared that he had given Brock the title by softening up the Rock last week. He reminded Lesnar that he had told him he would come after the title then entered the ring and went nose to nose with the rookie. This was the Undertaker's cue to show up. He also went right to the ring and made a statement of his own, claiming that he has a prior claim to a title match. HHH attacked UT from behind and threw him to the floor, then turned his attention back to Lesnar. UT sat right up, returned to the ring and cleaned house! Lesnar and Heyman split. HHH came back in - but then backed off and left the ring.

After the break, Bischoff announced a #1 contender match between HHH and UT for the main event tonight.

Next up, Goldust and Booker T had a rematch against the canadian Whiners for the Tag Team Titles...and lost...again.

Chris Nowinski and Willy Regal (w/Molly Holly) took on Spike and Bubba Dudley in a tag match. Nowinski made plenty of rookie mistakes...on purpose, of course. Molly got involved early on and was roughed up a little. A Bubba Bomb put Regal down for the pin. Afterward, Bubba brought Molly back into the ring and would have put her through a table, but Nowinski blocked it. Nowinski and Regal both tasted wood.

Backstage, Bischoff was talking to someone though a doorway - addressing him or her as a "Hall of Famer" and telling him or her to wait for the intro, and then join him in the ring.

Backstage after the break, Molly thanked Chris for saving her - he hugged her and leered behind her back. Meanwhile, Bischoff was in the ring and introducing Jimmy Snuka! He presented a tribute video then presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award...then he brought in his "three minute boys" to beat him up...did anyone else see this coming..?

Snuka was being helped to his feet as we returned from the break. before he could clear the ring, Chris Jericho showed up. Jericho is no fan of "wrestling legends, as we know. He attacked Snuka and put the Walls of Jericho on him for just a moment until the assembled referees broke it up. Jericho launched into a rant, putting down Snuka and "legends" in general. He claimed that he made Flair tap out and showed the footage from last night of Flair, first grabbing the rope, and then tapping. The he announced that he was going to sing his own version of "New York, New York"...and he we cut to commercial (Thank God!)

As we returned, Jericho was still screeching...uh...singing. Thankfully, Jeff Hardy showed up for their match. The highlight of this match had to be Hardy springing off the security rail only to be caught and powerslammed on the floor (ouch!) From the point is was pretty much all downhill for Hardy. Unfortunately for Jericho, he got cocky after a while (Jericho? Really?? Nooooo...) and was clearly underestimating Hardy's resilience. An almost fatal mistake... What followed were several near falls with Jericho on the receiving end. Then he hit the Swanton Bomb...but Jericho kicked out. he went for a Frankensteiner, but Jericho reversed it and slapped on the Wall. Hardy made it to the ropes, but Jericho refused to release the hold and was DQ'd.

Backstage, the Canadian Whiners were threatening to burn the American flag in the ring...

After the break, the Whiners came out with a flag...and a blowtorch... Test was getting ready to do the deed when one of Kane's promos blared forth. But nothing happened, so they were ready to start again, when Booker T and Goldust ran out to break it up. They were put down rather quickly and Test was set to start again...then kane really did show up!! He cleaned house rather smartly. Booker and Goldust returned to the ring to welcome the Big Red Machine back...and display the Spineroonie... Booker and Goldust started to leave, but Kane stopped them and declared that the crowd also came to see...the Kanerooni! Then he showed it to them!!

Next up - Rob Van Dam put up the IC Title against Hardcore Champ, Tommy Dreamer. This match would be fought under Hardcore rules and would be the last WWE Hardcore match. The winner would be the new IC Champ. The match started like something from an ECW ring. The two went at it mat wrestling style, move and countermove, neutralizing each other and then pausing to congratulate themselves while the crowd chanted "ECDub! ECDub" Then things started to get a little rougher as Dreamer brought in his cane, then a ladder. Before you knew it, the ladder was positioned suspended between the ring and the security railing (again, ECW style). Back in the ring, the two former ECW stars gave a clinic in the creative uses of a chair. Then the ladder got dragged in and both guys managed to get driven onto it, smashed by it, crushed under it, etc. Eventually, RVD got his opponent caught up in the ladder and hit a Vandaminator on him. After that it was all over except the shouting. Van Dam retained his title.

Howard Finkel made the introductions for his own match against Lillian Garcia (an evening gown vs. tuxedo match for the job of RAW announcer). Lillian brought Trish while Stacy Keibler came out, ostensibly to make sure that Trish didn't interfere. Unfortunately for Howard, he made one too many misogynist statements. All three women ended up stripping him to his underwear!

The main event was the #1 contender match between the Undertaker and HHH. The fight started in the ringside area before the bell rang and continued in a brutal fashion into the ring. About 6 minutes into the fight, the referee was knocked out when he was caught in the corner. The Undertaker hit a chokeslam on HHH, then Lesnar showed up to distract him. HHH recovered and attacked from behind but UT got the drop on him. The Lesnar came into the ring and hit Ut with his title belt. HHH draped an arm over UT and got the pin.

Backstage, Stephanie McMahon was confronted by Bischoff. She told him that Bischoff had no right to schedule a WWE Title match because Brock Lesnar wrestles exclusively on RAW! With that she ushered lesnar and Heyman into her limo and drove away. Well, that's goin to be a problem...

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

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