Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
In this edition of the newsletter we have Matt Benaka with the latest installments of This Week in World Title History, John Cross with the Crossface Connection, plus my own TV Reports and topical rants.
WWE vengeance came to us live from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado and jumped right into the action with the finals of the US Title Tournament featuring long time friends Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. You couldn't have two more intense competitors anytime, anywhere. The referee made the unusual move of demanding a clean match and asking these two to shake hands before the opening bell. They didn't...although they did keep it relatively clean during the first several minutes of the contest. At one point, about 5 minutes in, Benoit reversed an attempted Tombstone Piledriver into a big shoulder breaker and went for the Crippler Crossface - but Eddie got a foot on the ropes and escaped immediately. From there it started to get a little less scientific, though it continued largely on a straight ahead mat wrestling basis. Four minutes later, a belly-to-back superplex put both guys out for a while. Michael Cole started listing former US Champs at one point, mentioning Scott Steiner, Steve Austin, Goldberg, et al - then posed the question, "...will Benoit or Guerrero join that celebrated list?" Check the history, Mike, both these guys already held the title previously... Another 4 minutes passed and Benoit got the Crossface again, and Guerrero made it to the ropes...again. Benoit argued with the referee as Eddie charged and knocked both Benoit and the referee down. Guerrero took advantage of the referee's problem and hit Benoit with the title belt. He went for the cover, but the Benoit kicked out. Guerrero then grabbed the belt again and hit the referee! Then he laid down next to Benoit and placed the belt on his stomach - waiting for the referee to wake up and accuse Benoit of using the belt as a weapon. But the ref didn't stir, so Guerrero tried to wake him. Benoit recovered and grabbed the Crossface again - but the referee was still out. Now Guerrero went for the belt yet again - but Rhyno ran down and set up a gore...on Benoit!!! Guerrero hit a Frog Splash and took the pin easily and became the first WWE US Champ. What is up with Rhyno?? Who knows..?
Backstage, Stephanie went to see her dad, who seemed to be trying to mend fences, gave her some flowers - but we know better than that - in fact the big bouquet was for Sable, for Stephanie he got a small dried arrangement, which he shoved at her and walked away. The flowers crumbled and fell to the floor.
Next up, Jamie Noble taking on Billy Gunn in an "Indecent Proposal" match. Torrie has agreed to "sleep with" Noble if he wins the match tonight. Of course, she says she will "sleep with him on SmackDown!" - whatever that means. Noble brought a briefcase full of sex toys to the ring with him. Nidia didn't accompany him, by the way. Early on, Billy ran his forehead into the top of a ringpost then injured his leg as he fell out of the ring. Meanwhile, Nidia showed up at ringside. In the ring, Noble started working on Billy's injured wheel. This kind of match is right up his alley, of course. Billy came back with a "One and Only" suplex to regain the advantage. His knee continued to plague him, however, and tripped him up when he went to the top moments later. In fact Noble almost took the pin, but Nidia pulled his leg under the rope and rescued him. About a minute later, Noble ran Billy into Torrie on the apron. he embraced her to save her from harm, but Noble then rolled him up and took the pin! Torrie looked pretty uncomfortable after the match, to say the least...
Backstage, Funaki interviewed the APA about what happened to them on Thursday - that got him an invitation to the Bar Room Brawl. For this match, they set up a bar room set next to the ramp. The competitors included the Basham Brothers, Matt Hardy, Shannon Moore, Spanky?, Brother Love, Doink the Clown, the FBI, Sean O'Haire, Kanyon, the Conquistadors, the Brooklyn Brawler, Funaki, a couple of rookies and...the Easter Bunny? Brother Love started to give a benediction before the fight -then turned and smacked the Conquistadors with a barstool! The fight was on - the rules were simple - the last one drinking, wins... A couple of minutes into it, Sean O'Haire started cleaning house, but then was stopped dead by Brother Love! The easter Bunny was tossed through one of the prop windows by Bradshaw, and laid there motionless with his feet sticking out. Funaki sat through all of this quaffing a beer until Bradshaw laid him out. Brother Love tried to Pearl Harbor Bradshaw but was caught and downed. Bradshaw was eventually declared the winner.
Backstage Jamie Noble was glorying in his victory, and checking out Torrie's Playboy pictorial in a well thumbed issue. A stage hand asked, "What about Nidia?" Noble didn't seem to concerned about that.
Rey Misterio and Billy Kidman challenged the "World's Greatest Tag Team" in a vain attempt to wrest the WWE Tag Team Titles away. Right away the challengers took to the air, which would seem to be their best strategy against a couple of mat wrestling masters like Haas and Benjamin, who managed to isolate Rey Rey early on in the match. Kidman tagged in and everything went wild as Kidman threw a Shooting Star from the top rope to the outside and flattened both of their opponents out on the floor. The crowd started chanting "Holy Sh*T!!, Holy Sh*t!!" But the tag champs came back and a minute or so later Kidman was being stretched in a modified bow-and-arrow by Benjamin. Kidman finally managed to tag out, but the champs were distracting the referee, who disallowed the tag. When Misterio tagged in again he cleaned house and came close to getting the pin on Haas after a 619 - but Kidman had fallen into the ring and the referee was distracted again, legitimately this time. In the end, Benjamin, who may not have been the legal man, knocked Misterio off of Hass' shoulders and took the pin. The replay revealed that Benjamin had made a blind tag, so he was legal.
Next up the big Grudge/Cat Fight between Stephanie and Sable. This was a count-out match. Sable took her time getting to the ring, so Stephanie ran out and attacked her, then dragged her over and tossed her inside. They then went directly back out to the floor, where Stephanie continued her assault. back in the ring, Sable got some distance between them and felled her opponent with a drop-kick then began to dominate the action. Her martial arts training seemed to give her an edge. She continued to talk trash and slap her opponent around, but Stephanie turned it around with a back elbow out of the corner and then began to use her superior size to advantage. Moments later she went for the first pinfall attempt of the match and got a two count. She went right back to beating on Sable and had her in the corner, pummeling her, then started tearing her top off. The referee pulled off his shirt and covered Sable - meanwhile A-Train ran in and demolished Stephanie!! Sable was confused about it all, but took the pin. Stephanie had to be helped from the ring.
John Cena took on the Undertaker in the next match. This looked to be shaping up into a classic "pass-the-torch" scenario, with the Undertaker appearing to be the odds-on favorite, but Cena coming on strong with some recent upset wins. Right away this one disintegrated into a fist fight, where the Undertaker holds all the cards. Cena was reeling in no time, as UT took him to the floor and started running him into things. Then he positioned him on the apron and dropped a leg across his chest, then booted him in the side of the head. back in the ring, UT went for a pin and got a two count. Cena tried to fight back, but UT just tossed him right back out to the floor. In the ring again, UT did his ring walk thing and delivered the ax-handle blow to the shoulder then followed up with a gigantic chokeslam. He went for the pin - but then pulled the youngster up. That was a mistake. UT went for the last ride, but Cena slipped out of it and then reversed to a DDT. As UT lay on the mat, Cena loosened one of the corner buckle pads. Moments later, Cena was backed up into that same corner and finished removing the cover. As UT rushed him, Cena side stepped and UT smacked his elbow on the exposed buckle. Out on the floor, Cena attacked the midsection of his opponent, causing him to bleed from the mouth. UT fought back, but Cena was relentless on the midsection. UT came back with a big clothesline and took another two count. Cena went back to attacking the midsection but now UT was slugging it out with him. Cena went for the FU - but Ut blocked it. By now, both men were having trouble standing up. UT started to choke Cena in the corner, then was pulled off by the ref. When he turned back, Cena gave him a shot in the ribs with his chain. he went for the FU again and succeeded - but UT kicked out! Cena took Ut into the corner and started to set him up for something - but he put himself right into position for a powerbomb. UT came back with the Last Ride and won the match.
Next up - the silly match of the night - Mr. McMahon vs. Zach Gowen. before the bell, Gowen removed his prosthetic leg. Vince forced him into the corner twice then used a gut wrench take down on the third lock up, followed by a hip toss, then a full body slam. McMahon delivered a big clothesline, then bulled his opponent back into the corner and started pounding on him. Gowen lured him out of the corner and then levered him to the floor. He followed up with a baseball slide then an Asahi Moonsault. McMahon tried to come back in and was ambushed and almost pinned. Vince switched his tactics and attacked Zach's only leg. Without a second leg for leverage, Zach was pretty much helpless. Vince started slamming his knee into the mat. As Zach would try to rise, Vince would kick his leg out from under him. Next he dragged him to the corner and ran his leg into the post. Back in the ring he applied a single legged (well duh...) Boston Crab. Zach refused to tap and reached the ropes. Vince started to move in but Zach kicked him in the knee. That was repeated three times, then Zach got to the corner and pulled him self upright. From there he started throwing kicks and got McMahon down then dragged him into the corner for some payback. He risked being counted out as he worked on the left leg of the boss. He went to the top and hit a missile drop kick. He next threw a moonsault then went for a pin, but Vince put a foot on the rope. Vince rolled out and grabbed a chair. Back in the ring, the referee tried to take it away, but Vince levered him to the floor with the chair, then turned around and took the chair right in the face when Zach drop kicked it. Vince started bleeding like a stuck pig. Zach went up for a second moonsault, and missed. Vince took the pin. Vince limped away from the ring a bloody mess. Gowen got a standing ovation.
Backstage, new announcer boy caught up with the new US Champ and asked him if his victory was tainted. Eddie denied it.
The main event was a Triple Threat match for the World Title: Brock Lesnar defending against Kurt Angle and the Big Show. Angle and Lesnar started the match double-teaming on the Big Show, but that soon went by the wayside. Just before the match, it was announced that it would be a no-disqualification contest and within minutes, Angle had trash can lids in the ring and was bashing the Big Show. Later the two of them executed a double chokeslam on the giant - but moments later Brock hit the F5 on Angle! Then he did the same to the Big Show - but Angle dragged the referee out of the ring to prevent the pinfall. Brock went to the floor and slammed Angle into the ringpost, then the steps. Kurt was busted open as the other two continued the match in the ring. Big Show was trying to bring Lesnar to the top corner for a superplex when Angle tried to interfere. Show shoved him away, but that gave Lesnar a chance to shift his weight and he put a big power bomb on Show. Angle came in with a chair and laid both opponents out! Now lesnar was bleeding as well. Big Show recovered and tossed both guys to the floor. He started tearing up the Spanish announce table. He went to slam Angle onto it, but Angle reversed it into an Angle slam and slammed the big guy through the table. Brock and Kurt staggered back into the ring as the giant lay out on the floor. They got into a fist fight, then Lesnar went for the F5 again, but Angle grabbed the top rope to block it. Brock sent him flying to the floor. They brawled out on the floor, both men delivering and absorbing heavy shots. Back in the ring, Angle hit a German suplex, then a second, released one. Lesnar did about a 270 degree flip and landed on his face. Angle went for the Angle slam, but Lesnar countered to a spine buster. Still couldn't get the 3 count. He applied a body scissors with a grapevine on the upper body on the mat. Big Show came back in and dropped a leg on the two of them. He went for a double pin but failed. Now he was really pissed! He hit a double chokeslam, but failed again to get the pin. Big Show fell out of the ring, as Angle tried to put the ankle lock on Brock. Big Show charged back in, but Angle let Lesnar go and Angle slammed first the Big Show, then Lesnar. He pinned Lesnar to win the match!
This week in World Heavyweight Title History had The Million Dollar Man's father become a champion, the first black champion of one promotion, and the World Heavyweight Title becomeing Undisputed. I hope you enjoy it! If you have any questions, comments or corrections, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and please visit my web site at: http://www.geocities.com/mrbenaka/index.html
World Title History for the week of July 28th to August 3rd:
Awesome Kong defeated Jerry Lawler for the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) Unified World Title on July 29, 1991 in Memphis, TN.
August 01, 1942 saw The French Angel win his second Boston based AWA World Heavyweight Title when he defeated Scott Casey in San Francisco, CA.
Fritz Von Erich defeated Verne Gagne on July 31, 1962 in Omaha, NE to win the Omaha version of the World Heavyweight Title. This was the first time that Fritz had won this particular title.
Rusher Kimura won his second International Wrestling Enterprise (IWE) World Heavyweight Title from Super Assasin who was replacing Umanosuke Ueda in the match. Ueda had been champion until July 28, 1976 when the title was held up after a match against Kimura. The two were set to square off against eachother again on July 31, 1976 but Assasin took the match instead and Kimura became a champion of the world.
Ron Simmons became the first black man to win World Championship Wrestling's (WCW) version of the World Heavyweight Title when he defeated Big Van Vader in Baltimore, MD on August 02, 1992.
July 28, 1967 saw Mike Dibiase defeat Kim II in Los Angeles, CA to win the World Wrestling Association (WWA) World Heavyweight Title. Iron Mike Dibiase was the step-father of Ted Dibiase. This was the only World Title that Mike would win before he died of a heart attack in July of 1969 in Amarillo, TX. Harley Race tried to save his life by performing CPR on the fallen wrestler at ringside and then riding along in the ambulance. Mike Dibase should have seen more World Championships during his career and the same can still be said about his son Ted. Sometimes the best people don't get the chance to run with the ball.
Danno O'Mahoney defeated Ed Don George on July 30, 1935 to win the Boston based American Wrestling Association (AWA) World Heavyweight Title. O'Mahoney was already the National Wrestling Association (NWA) and New York State Athletic Commision (NYSAC) World Heavyweight Champion. This win unified the titles and made Danno O'Mahoney the Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.
I really enjoyed the PPV last night.
It was a very solid PPV, and managed to do several things for me, and for fans in general.
First off, it managed to restore my faith in the Smackdown product, as they had seemed to be on a bit of a slide as of late. They managed to put all their best feet forward at this event. Let's review, shall we?
1. Eddie and Benoit opened up the event with a pretty good match. These two guys are probably the best proof that there are no 'curtain-jerkers' anymore. The WWE, and for that matter the NWA-TNA, has ceased putting their weakest workers on the show first. These two guys worked a great match, if clearly a bit slower than their last several matches (I think adjustments were made in their match, as well as the other matches on the card, because of the altitude.) Good false finishes, good drama, and Eddie got the dirty win, thanks to a hand from Rhyno. This finalized the oft halted turn of Rhyno, and sets up Rhyno-Benoit at the PPV, while pushing Eddie to defend against Billy Gunn, Matt Hardy, John Cena, and others.
Post-Match Question: Is Eddie Guererro a heel, face, or 'tweener'?
2. Billy and Noble. This was a very good 'big-man/small-man' match, with Noble's solid skills on the mat matched up against Gunn's huge strength and size advantage. I can sometimes see why Vince is reportedly high on Gunn, because he has some really brilliant flashes of talent, but I would argue that the characters he portrays harm him. Mr. Ass? The One? What? Noble worked hard, and though he grabbed the tights, he got a clean duke, and gets the girl, though I don't think anyone was surprised at that.
PMQ: How will Nidia screw this up for Noble?
3. Bar-room Brawl: Kind of interesting, kind of funny, but wasn't the sum of its parts. It was kind of weak, but I want to give kudos to Matt Hardy (trying that table spot again), Ron Simmons (playing second fiddle to Bradshaw again), and Funaki, who snared the best moment with his drunken tumble off of the stool.
PMQ: Was Brother Love that irritating 10 years ago, or am I mistaken?
4. Tag Team Championship: Arguably the best match of the night. All four of those guys work great in the ring, and they proved it. There were some plain beautiful moves in this match, not the least of which was Kidman tossing Mysterio up and over his head for the top rope Frankensteiner. Also, the Shooting star Press off of the ropes. Neat stuff. This match also set up a couple things. TWGTT gets to keep the belts, thus keeping heels in that role and and ensuring the midcarders faces that they have a place to be pushed, and Kidman can now develop a reason to turn heel, and get an angle going for the Summerslam PPV with Rey-Rey.
PMQ: How much do Haas and Benjamin owe OVW for their skills?
5. Stephanie and Sable: Face it, folks, this wasn't a wrestling match. However, I am going to give Stephanie McMahon credit for working her little tail off in the ring, and I'll give Sable credit for selling Stephanie's moves. The fans were actually in this match, hoping like mad for an accident where the bosoms were concerned, until Albert ran in and cleaned Steph's clock. This isn't over.
PMQ: Where will Stephanie be this week...on or off the TV?
6. Undertaker/Cena: This was a match that I thought would see Undertaker put over Cena, but the WWE brass must want this to continue for a while. Possibly a match at Summerslam? Either way, Cena shone in this match, and has slowly been establishing himself as one of the premiere workers on the Thursday night show. Now, I think the Undertaker coming back after his father's funeral is a testament to the character of the man, and maybe this duke was a gift to him. He worked hard, and they both made Cena look bigger than he looked at the beginning of the show.
PMQ: Who will win the WWE Title first, Undertaker or Cena?
7. Vince/Zach Gowen: Um...well...we will call this the Exploitation Match. Even Zach knows (per his interviews) that this is all because he has one leg. Now, he worked like a madman, selling Vince's power moves for all he was worth, and hitting all his spots with good skill, but having him beat Vince right off of the bat wouldn't have been smart. The guy is getting to live his dream, but I can't see a long future for him in this industry. Good effort, and the chair shot was horrific.
PMQ: What busted Vince open....the chair or the blade?
8. Three-Way Championship: I like to see Angle win, so I was pleased at the match. However, there were some things that struck me as odd. Why have Angle use the chair before everyone? If he is to be a babyface, someone else has to initiate the heelish behavior. Will he turn heel, or is Lesnar, as rumored, going to turn heel first? All three guys worked hard, as hard as they have, and any time you get Angle and Lesnar in a match together, there will be good action. However, Show needs to get the strap, because if he doesn't he will never, EVER be taken seriously as a contender again.
PMQ: Lesnar/Angle at the Summerslam PPV. Who will Show wrestle?
There you go. The John Cross take on the PPV. You, of course, can have your own opinion about it, but mine, of course, is the right one.
It is also my opinion that Solie's is the place for all that is good in wrestling. Again, I am right. Also, hit the link at the left side of the page for bodyslam.cc.
See you next week for another Connection.
SmackDown! came to us on tape from Selland Arena in Fresno, California, and opened with an appearance by the General Manager, Stephanie McMahon, who told the crowd that she's had a pretty tough week (because of what happened to her mother on Monday), but that her father is where he is supposed to be, taking care of Linda, so she was taking back Smackdown! tonight. She announced a 6 man tag match - Big Show and the former Team Angle vs. Kurt Angle, Zach Gowen and Brock Lesnar. She was interrupted by Vanilla Lice, who did a little rap about Stephanie's "assets" and begged her to snatch off Sable's top at the PPV this weekend! He then requested, and got permission to slap her butt. Then Sable appeared on the big screen, with an edited version of the cat fight that took place up in the skybox last week. When Sable started talking trash about Steph's parents, that set the GM off and she left the ring in search of her nemesis as we went to commercial.
During the break, Steph was shown searching the backstage area. She encountered Torrie to sent her headed to the parking lot.
Back in the ring, Rey Misterio came down to partner with Kidman in a Tag Team match against Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore. I am getting the picture now. Misterio and Kidman have a Title shot at the PPV. I assume they will lose and that will create the inevitable friction between the two of them. Kidman took the brunt of the attack in this match, then Misterio got in and appeared to be ready to end it. But Moore tripped him up as he went to the top corner so the match continued a while longer. Misterio was isolated for a while then Kidman tagged back in. He eventually set Moore up for a 619 by Misterio, who then took Hardy out of the picture while Kidman finished off Moore with a Shooting Star Press.
In the parking lot, Stephanie caught up with Sable, who tried to beat it to a limo. Steph roughed her up pretty good before Sable managed to get into the car and close the door. Steph found a steel pipe and was ready to break into the limo when she was stopped by her father, who told her to concentrate on her match Sunday rather than worry about her mother, or Sable tonight.
Jamie Noble came to the ring (Nidia was conspicuously absent) and took the mic to make yet another appeal to Torrie. First he told the audience that Nidia was away because she was sick - then he started upping his offer to Torrie. This was interrupted by the arrival of his opponent, Billy Gunn, with Torrie on his arm. They went right at it and Jamie got in the first licks. Of course, he was distracted by Torrie, and consequently walked right into one of Gunn's finishing moves (kind oa a spinning Rock Bottom). Afterward, Noble demanded a rematch, prompting Billy to re-enter the ring. Torrie called him off then made Noble a proposition. If he can beat Billy at Vengeance, she promised to sleep with him on SmackDown! (Not sure exactly how you accomplish that...)
Backstage, APA invited A-Train to their Bar Room Brawl. Steve Lombardi approached them wanting an invitation, saying he wanted to get his hands on Doink the Clown (pretty ironic when you realize that Lombardi was one of the 4 or 5 individuals who masqueraded as Doink). Bradshaw and Simmons told him that if he could prove that he is "really the Brooklyn Brawler" they would let him participate. I see a run in coming up...
Eddie Guerrero brought his low rider to the ring (a 60's vintage Chevy Impala - a very cool ride...) to rant about his upcoming US Title Tournament final against Chris Benoit on Sunday. He referred to Benoit as his "best friend", which brought Benoit out to dispute that assertion. Guerrero admitted his lie, saying that in fact, he can't stand Benoit, going on to rant about being in Benoit's shadow all of his career, and vowing to change that situation on Sunday, then started to leave. But Benoit called him back, challenging him to a match "right here right now". Guerrero countered saying, that he would wait for Sunday then turned to go. He then turned back and attacked, but Benoit was ready for him. They brawled out to the floor, where Guerrero snatched up a spray bottle of car wax and sprayed it in Benoit's eyes. He then bashed Benoit into the corner post. Rhyno ran out with a referee and chased Eddie out of the ring, then challenged Guerrero to a match. As we cut to commercial, Eddie seemed to be contemplating his choices.
The match was on as we returned and Guerrero was in charge of the situation. That didn't last for long, as Rhyno turned the tables with a Snake Eyes maneuver. Minutes later he locked in a Crippler Crossface, but Eddie got to the ropes and escaped. Moments later, Guerrero levered Rhyno to the floor and took the initiative once again. The match went into see-saw mode for a while, with Rhyno seeming to gain ground. But then Eddie brought Rhyno off the top with as Frankensteiner. But Rhyno came right back with a belly-to-belly suplex then set up the Gore. Eddie pulled the referee into harm's way forcing Rhyno to pull up short, then while the referee was turned away, he delivered a low blow from behind. True to his "lie, cheat and steal" motto, he pretended that HE had been low blowed., As the referee got into Rhyno's face, Eddie "schoolboyed" him into a roll-up and took the pin.
The FBI was already in the ring when the APA arrived for their match. The match itself was very short - long enough for a few kicks and punches then Bradshaw delivered a Clothesline from Hell on Palumbo to win the contest. They ganged up on Nuncio - then the Brooklyn Brawler ran in with a chair and flattened everyone! The Basham Brothers, Sean O'Haire and A-Train all joined the party and the bunch of them beat the APA down. Palumbo and Stamboli hit them a couple of times before hoisting up Nuncio and taking him away from the ring. Looks like Lombardi is in...
Vince walked in on Zach Gowen, who was preparing for his match. They talked some trash, then Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar showed up to warn McMahon off.
The started introducing the main event at 35 minutes after the hour, with the entrance of the Big Show and his partners, "The World's Greatest Tag Team". Kurt Angle was next, followed by Zach Gowen and finally, the WWE Champ, Brock Lesnar. Angle started the match, facing both Benjamin and Haas in turn. Lesnar was next in, obviously they were saving Gowen for the big pop later. Sure enough he came in moments later and did pretty well, but was overwhelmed in short order and isolated. After a pretty good beating, Zach was tossed out of the ring. As the match continued inside, Vince came down with a chair and smacked the amputee on his good leg! Referees were hauling him away as we cut to commercial.
It was now 3 on 2 as we returned from the break. This situation was perfect to give both Lesnar and Angle a chance to shine with big power moves and examples of their resilience as both were beaten down repeatedly then recovered to fight on. In the end, after Big Show had won the match with a chokeslam on Angle, the two faces got into an argument and allowed it to distract them from the situation at hand. Show hit them both with a big double chokeslam then left with an evil look on his face as the program ended.
The first match featured Booker T teaming up with Scott Steiner (w/Stacy) to take on Test and Christian. This is interesting when you consider that Booker T and Steiner were mortal enemies in the dying days of WCW. At the beginning of this match, Test refused to face Steiner, hurriedly tagging himself out as soon as BPP entered the ring. A little later, however, after providing the distraction for Christian to steal the upper hand, he tagged in to dish out some punishment. Steiner took it for a few seconds then turned the tables. All four ended up out on the floor where a brawl raged for several moments while the referee tried in vain to get them all back inside. Steiner appeared to have injured his left wrist just as we cut to the first commercial of the program. When we returned, Test was doing push-ups in the ring next to Steiner who was flat on his back. Apparently Steiner had been isolated the whole time we were gone. Moments later, Steiner executed an atomic drop to put Test down, then both competitors tagged out. Booker cheerfully took on both of his opponents, and even through in a Spineroonie for good measure. Moments later Test went for his big boot to Booker's face, but the Book Man ducked and Christian took it on the chin. He was easily pinned.
In the next segment, we were shown tape of a SummerSlam press conference. The RAW main event for the PPV has been set for Goldberg vs. Triple H for the World Title.
After the break, Goldberg plowed through Steven Richards in about 2 minutes - and he was taking his time... Triple H came out with his cronies after the match to razz the challenger. Goldberg wanted a match tonight, but HHH wasn't buying it, so Bill challenged Flair. Flair acted like he was ready to run on down, but Orton and HHH restrained him then Eric Bischoff made his first appearance of the evening to book the Goldberg/Flair match...for next week.
Val Venis was next, taking on Rico (w/Miss Jackie)...again... Rico continues to do the best impression of Ricky Starr I have seen since the early 60's. This time Jackie's attempt at interference failed and Val evened the score.
This week's Highlight Reel featured Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton as the guests - talk about a set-up. You may remember that it was Orton who interfered to give Jericho the chance to win his match against HBK last week. Orton came out first, and the two held a little mutual admiration society as the youngster presented Jericho with an Evolution t-shirt, who had the audacity to ask Orton why he came out and interfered. Orton replied that he is just enhancing his reputation as the "Legend Killer". Gosh, do you see an HBK/Orton feud brewing..? Michaels was introduced at that point and came to the ring to tell Jericho he only proved that he couldn't get the job done on his own, then turned his attention to Orton and got right in his face, vowing to kill off his career before it ever gets started. Jericho tried to remind Shawn of who beat him last week, which prompted HBK to tell him it wasn't over between them. At that point, Orton made his move and for a while HBK held them both off, then went under. Kevin nash ran out and bailed out Shawn, then challenged Jericho, who had just said he would face "anyone NOT named Shawn Michaels" tonight. We cut to commercial before the question could be settled.
As we returned, the match was already underway and Nash was in charge. Jericho eventually turned the tables by hitting a chop block on Nash - but then he made the mistake of taking his attention away from Nash's leg. Nash made a short comeback, then Jericho went back to work on the left knee. This continued for a while until Nash started to make another comeback. Jericho then delivered a blatant low blow and got himself disqualified intentionally. Afterward, he continued to beat on Nash, loosened a corner buckle pad and then went out to get chair. Coming back in, Nash caught the chair with a boot and Jericho went down with his head bleeding. nash ran him headfirst into the exposed buckle, then took him out to the floor and first ran him into the ring steps and then the safety railing, after first pulling off the top padding. he was advancing on Jericho with the wing-tips pressed over his head when the Millennium Bug crawled over the barricade and made his escape.
In the back, Hurricane is giving advice to his new "superhero in training", Rosie, who wants a cape and mask but gets a half mask and a towel - and he can't fly...
Out back, the van with Kane had arrived and one of his guards wants to open the door to give him some air. Bischoff was on hand to deny that notion.
The Dudley Boyz, D-Von and Bubba Ray came out next - ut not for a match. They joined the announce team for a match wherein the French Nerds defended their Tag Team Titles against Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade (I guess these guys defeated the Tag Champs on Heat last week, thus earning a title shot dispite their rank rookie status). In this match they gave the Champs a pretty good run but fell short. Afterward, the Champs started to punk their opponents, which gave the Dudleys a chance to run in and rescue them. As the challengers slunk away, the Dudleys set up a 3D on Grenier, but Dupree came back with the French flag and took both Dudleys out.
In the back, Bischoff ordered Kane released, but cautions the officers to keep their tasers trained on him as he was escorted toward the ring. <>Back in the ring a Womens' Title match was getting underway. Gail Kim defending against former champ, Molly Holly. After Kim's horrible performance last week (she missed a couple of major spots), I was half expecting her to lose the title tonight...and I'll be damned if it didn't happen! In fact, Kim appeared to blow a move almost immediately, slipping off the top rope and taking a pretty severe bump. Molly seemed to make a fairly easy task of it, despite an impressive show of athleticism from Kim, securing the title win in a shade over three minutes with a big somersault splash off the top rope.
After the break, Vince was in the ring and ordered Kane to brought out. McMahon met him ringside out on the floor and got into his face, then ordered his shackles taken off, then dismissed the officers. He ordered Kane into the ring then went nose-to-nose with him. Vince started to dress him down, then changed his tune suddenly, proposing that Kane join forces with him...when Steve Austin's music hit and the Rattlesnake made his way to the ring. He grabbed Vince's mic as the boss scrambled behind the moster. Austin first stated that he plans to stay on as GM and will accept the limitation of not being able to beat on people unless physically provoked - then he set about trying to get Kane to attack him. Kane mastered his emotions and backed away. Suddenly, "Here comes the Money" hit and Shane Mcmahon appeared on the platform! He came straight to the ring and rushed kane, clothelining him out to the floor. Vince pulled Shane off and got clobbered by hius son, who then grabbed a chair and pursued Kane up the ramp. He pounded on Kane until the latter fell off the platform and crashed onto a bunch of equipment. Kane then sat up and grinned evilly...
At least that's the way I see it...
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