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.
This week in World Heavyweight Title History saw some weird activity at annual meetings and a dark day for the NWA World Title. 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
As always, please visit my website. The goal is to have lengths of time as champion for all the world title belts and also multiple champions club. Also, I'd like to have comprehensive title defenses for as many titles as possible. Such a feat is impossible without help from many. So, if you have any information or would like to contribute your knowledge of world titles it would be greatly appreciated. Simply e-mail at the above address.
World Title History for the week of September 8th to September 14th:
Jerry Lawler lost his fifteenth United States Wrestling Association (USWA) Unified World Heavyweight Title on September 13, 1993 in Memphis, TN when Tatanka defeated him for the strap.
September 14, 1938 saw Yvon Robert capture his this World Title under the banner of the Montreal Athletic Commission when he defeated The Masked Marvel (Ted Cox) in Montreal, CANADA.
Mario Milano defeated Killer Kowalski on September 08, 1967 in Sydney, AUSTRALIA to win his first International Wrestling Alliance (IWA) World Heavyweight Championship.
The American Wrestling Association (AWA) World Title had a branch in Ohio that was revived in the 1960s. Karl Krauser (Karl Gotch) won this version of the World's Championship on September 14, 1962 in Columbus, OH. He was the next to last champion as he would unify the belt with Lou Thesz's National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Championship a few years later.
September 13, 1937 saw John Pesek be awarded the National Wrestling Assocation (NWA) World Heavyweight Championship. The previous champ was Everett Marshall but the NWA had stripped him of the title in September of 1936 so that they could have a tournament to determine the World Champion at their annual meeting. A year later John Pesek was the only contender who posted a $1,000 bond to enter the tournament and he won the belt by default. They later withdrew his recognition.
Everett Marshall regained the NWA World Title on September 14, 1938 when he was awarded the title at the annual meeting. Perhaps this helped to make up for the fact that they'd stripped the title from hi two years earlier.
Harley Race captured his fifth NWA World Heavyweight Title at the expense of Giant Baba on September 09, 1980 in Ohtsu, JAPAN. This marked the last time that Baba would hold the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
September 08, 1991 was a dark day for the NWA World Heavyweight Title. Ric Flair had been the reigning NWA and World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion since he'd defeated Tatsumi Fujinami for the NWA Title in March. Then things fell apart between Flair and WCW and it resulted in the firing of Flair and vacating of the WCW World Title. The NWA wouldn't strip Flair as fast as WCW did because he hadn't done anything wrong to them. In fact, for a time it was thought that Flair might work exclusively for the NWA and continue to defend the World Title at shows across the country and world. Instead, Flair wound up in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and the NWA had to strip him of his World Champion status on September 08, 1991. This marked the first time that the NWA World Title had officially been vacant in its history.
It’s 4:46 PM, Monday, and I haven’t gotten a column together.
Go figure that one out...no other columns to write, no website to update...
I want to start by reminding everyone that the anniversary of 9-11 is on Thursday. This attack on us cannot be forgotten, and I plan on taking pause in the morning to reflect and take part in a ceremony. I hope you do the same. I also hope you remember how we felt after it happened.
Angry. Confident. Patriotic. Ready to face down this new enemy, no matter how long it will take.
OK...on to wrestling...
I really don’t know what everyone thinks about the ‘Real’ Brock Lesnar…..I have been watching faces turn into heels for a long time, and I have seen the slightly insane heel….from The Great Kabuki to Victoria. It makes for a great reason to turn from face to heel…that slight, ever inexplicable move from fan favorite to neurotic, shaking, sociologically challenged heel. Great drama. Nice. Throw a one-legged guy down the steps…whoopee.
That was so terrible in taste (but it made sense where Attitude® is concerned), that I don’t want to dwell on it. We all think that Vince spends half the time beyond the pale as it is. However, I want to step past the actions that Lesnar has staged during this turn, and look at the way he has played it. What kind of actor is he?
Reason I ask, is because I remember Goldberg’s little turn. He was terrible as a heel. He didn't want to be a heel, he didn't want to appear to be cowardly…..he wanted one thing. He wanted to be an invincible face champion, and he was exactly that. However, when asked to change, and help put others over as face heroes, he visibly balked, pouted, and generally failed at his turn. He was terrible as a heel, and he tried to be terrible. Sorry, Bill, but everyone could tell.
Now, Lesnar: He's way, way over as a face, and he is asked to turn. So, he does, and I watch him, closely, because I remember what Goldberg did during his miscarriage of a heel turn.
Lesnar is brilliant.
The twitching he had demonstrated the first show after the PPV was great. The shaking, the unfocused rage, the screaming…the reactions to the chanting. Very good, better when one considers that He's been in the WWE for less than a year. Then, the next week, the act changes, if ever so slightly. Now, he’s upset that Vince has abandoned him. He’s ready to prove that he's not a quitter. He abuses the weakest of the roster, if only to show Vince how ready he is for another chance. However, the effort doesn't impress Vince as much as it scares him.
Vince played his part well, but Lesnar is really doing this well. His mannerisms, the way he spoke to Gowan (the slightly insane rationality he showed), all point towards a slight neurosis that the fans wonder about. Was it there all along? How did we miss this insanity? Did we mistake it for intensity? Where's my Cheese Puffs?
OK...not the Cheese Puffs thing….but, you know see where I am going, don’t you? I am sure that heels in the WWE get training from the same people….Arn Anderson, Vince, Ol’ Sarge, Fit Finley, and Steve Lombardi. There are others, but let's just stick with those names. These people show and tell the wrestlers what to do in order to get over. Angle, Benoit, TBS, HHH (oh…I forgot…not HHH….) all get pointers and training from these people. Assuming it is equally good advice, the good actors will turn that advice into a superlative on-screen act. Lesnar does that. Lesnar is one of the better actors I have seen. Is he Kurt Angle? No, but he is close.
Take that with a grain of salt….I think that Kurt Angle is, by far, the best actor in the WWE, even including Vince. Lesnar, though, is showing me something here. He’s bright where this industry, and it’s requirements, are concerned. He’s a pretty smart guy.
However, if there is one thing I would change, it would be his propensity for taking HUGE stiff shots, usually when he hits the floor. Lord, Brock…you gotta give some thought to the future, big guy! He hits so hard, I ache. Don’t protect yourself too much, like The Rock, but give it a thought or two before thudding off of the concrete or steel.
That’s about all I have this week, my friends. I encourage you to head on over to the Solie’s Reader’s Forum. It’s pretty slow over there, but some of the best minds put their thoughts and feelings about wrestling over there. I check it every day for info and points about this or that, and I ask you to do the same.
See you next week for another Connection.
SmackDown! came to us on tape from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana, and opened with a video review of last week's main event, which placed the Undertaker in position to challenge Kurt Angle for the WWE Title tonight on the program.
But first the APA came out to challenge the former Team Angle for their Tag Team Titles. Bradshaw was downed early out on the floor and then Faarooq took a double team beating in the ring. Faarooq was isolated for a while until Charlie Haas launched himself off the top and right into a powerslam. Bradshaw then tagged in and cleaned house and almost took a pinfall on Haas. Faarooq tagged back in and almost immediately came under another double team attack, but escaped this time only to miss a blind tag and get caught. Bradshaw came in again and again the fur flew. Bradshaw would have gotten the pin, but Benjamin dragged his partners leg out over the bottom rope. Then Haas hit Bradshaw with one of the title belts, giving his partner the win.
Out back, Eddie G was waxing his car when Vince arrived in a limo with Big Show and Rena...I mean, Sable. They exchanged pleasantries then Vince headed in only to encounter Brock Lesnar, who was feeling slighted because the boss hasn't been paying much attention to him lately. Vince pointed out to Lesnar that he had been defeated by submission at SummerSlam, then invited a furious Brock in to his office, telling him to "take a chill pill."
After the break, Vince assured Brock of his "monsterdom" and said he has something "special" for him.
Vanilla Lice came to the ring and delivered a rap/rant targeting Eddie Guerrero, then had the director air footage of his punk job on Latino Heat last week. Eddie let him finish his rant the drove his "ride" out to the ring - this week a candy apple green mini truck. Guerrero left the vehicle at ringside and and assaulted Cena inside and outside the ring. But back inside, Cena got his hands on his dropped mic and used it upside Eddie's head. Cena then stole the truck and backed out of the arena. During the break, Cena drove the truck away.
Guerrero confronted Stephanie about what just happened and she agreed to book a "Latino Street Fight" in the parking lot between the two antagonists on next week's show.
Chris Benoit took on A-Train in the next match. This was a result of Benoit's somewhat tainted win over the Train last week. A-Train was doing pretty good in this one until his goofball buddy, Rhyno, ran in and hit him with a gore by mistake.
The Undertaker said a few words concerning his title shot tonight.
The girls (Torrie and Nidia) ran down a little comedy bit backstage, getting ready for their "Bourbon Street" bikini contest a little later.
Angle had his say concerning the WWE Title match coming up.
Backstage, Vince and the Big Show were holding Stephanie's office door closed while someone, or something, pounded on it from inside. They refused to allow Stephanie to go in and hinted that it was Brock behind the door.
The WWE Title match was a very intense contest and also quite long. What started as a wrestling match turned into a fight before long. UT countered his way out of the ankle lock four times, hit the choke slam twice, and came very close to winning it at least twice, but then Lesnar ran down and spoiled it, attacking both competitors with a chair - taking special care to attack the ankle that Angle had already softened up.
During the break, UT was shown floundering around backstage but refusing any help. Meanwhile, Angle was having his injuries iced down in another room.
The "Bourbon Street Bikini Contest" was presented on video tape from earlier today. Torrie won it (of course). Shaniqua then ran in and attacked everyone but Sable.
Backstage, Bradshaw presented Faarooq with a new office door, complete with a doorbell and a butler! The Acolytes Protection Agency (APA) is back in business!!
Rey Misterio defended his title successfully against Tajiri, who won this title shot by beating Billy Kidman in a #1 contender match. After the fight, bad sport Tajiri sprayed green mist in Rey Rey's face and kicked him in the back of the head.
Vince and TBS came to the ring to announce that Brock Lesnar is the new #1 contender to the WWE Title (hmmmm...I would think UT deserves another shot at this point). He announced a WWE Title Iron Man match for two weeks from tonight. He called out to Lesnar, who was revealed to be up in a skybox. It was then revealed that Lesnar had Zach Gowen with him. Gowen was in a wheelchair, gagged, and had his leg in a cast. Brock beat up on the youngster's broken leg then tossed him down a stairwell - wheelchair and all!!
Raw came too us live from the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and opened with a cage being lowered from the ceiling for the opening match - Kane vs. Rob Van Dam. This was brutal stuff which seemingly ended when the cage wall broke and RVD fell out to the floor, apparently the winner. But Uncle Eric came out and said, "No", explaining that RVD had to escape through the door or over the top to win - he ordered the match restarted...but first we cut to commercial.
After the break, the match continued in a repaired cage. RVD was eventually pinned after being chokeslammed off the top of the cage. During the break, he was wheeled away by EMT's.
Eric Bischoff came out again and made a match at Unforgiven pitting Kane against Shane McMahon. He then shifted gears and announced that the Jim Ross/Coach match would now be a tag team with Jerry Lawler and Al Snow as the respective team mates. The winners of that match will be the RAW announce team from then on. Finally, he announced a tag match for the main event - HHH vs. Goldberg, each with a "surprise" partner.
Lance Storm (w/Goldust) took on Rico (w/Miss Jackie) and planted a kiss on the lady before putting her man down.
HHH tried to intimidate Bischoff into telling him who his partner would be in the main event. Bischoff refused to tell him.
Trish and Jacquie took on Molly and Gail Kim in the next match. All I can say about Trish is, "Man! Can that girl bump!!" She allowed herself to be tossed bodily over the top rope to the floor with nothing to break her fall but the thin mat on the concrete. Needless to say, the heels won this one.
In the next segment, Steve Austin came out and made a "State of RAW" address. First he talked about the World Title match at Unforgiven and declared that if HHH tries to get himself disqualified to retain the title, he will lose it. He was then interrupted by Christian who was still demanding (and not getting) an apology from Stone Cold. He said he wants his own talk show, he wants to replace the Highlight Reel with his own "Peep Show". Jericho then showed up and attacked Christian. Christian was driven from the ring and slunk away, then Austin invited Jericho to have a beer with him. Jericho declined, saying he knows what happens when anyone has a beer with Austin (people get Stunned), but it won't happen tonight, says Jericho, because he doesn't intend to provoke Austin. He agreed to have a beer (actually, he dropped the first one that was tossed to him). At one point a little later, Austin turned away and Jericho tapped him on the shoulder. Austin "thought he was being attacked" and Stunned Jericho.
The French Nerds, Rob Conway, Rodney Mack and Mark henry took on Rosie, the Hurricane and the Dudleys in a 10 man tag team silly match. Mark henry took what appeared to be a pretty severe bump as he slipped through the ropes to the floor, but he still came back eventually and pinned Bubba for the win. In a post-match punk job, the Dudleys were downed then Spike was thrown out and missed the table he was supposed to go through. He just barely hit the table with his head and cracked it pretty bad on the floor.
Bischoff was with Coach and Al Snow backstage as he announced a six-man tag team tables match at Unforgiven for the Dudleys vs. La Resistance and Rob Conway. Gail Kim showed up and wanted to talk to Bischoff alone. Snow and Coach left and Kim started putting the move on Bischoff (eewwwwww!)
Backstage after the break, HHH told Terri that Goldberg is nothing but hype.
Shane McMahon started to make a statement about his match with Kane at Unforgiven, but was interrupted by Eric Bischoff who announced that the Kane vs. Shane match would be a Last Man Standing contest.
Stevie Richards got squashed by Scott Steiner, despite Victoria's and Test's attempts to change the outcome. After the match, Steiner challenged Test to put Stacy up at Unforgiven. Test accepted with his own stips, somehow he expects Steiner to put his "services" on the line...wha..?
Coach was in the ring with Al Snow when we returned from the break, making fun of JR. His taunts consisted of a series of images with JR's face pasted over them - a ballerina, Jabba the Hut, etc. JR got up and headed to the ring with Lawler trailing him. he went nose to nose with Coach who continued to flap his gums until JR hauled off and punched him to the mat. Snow started to rush in, but Lawler warned him off. Snow backed up for a moment then tried to do a Pearl Harbor job. Lawler knocked him to the floor.
Backstage, Terri asked Goldberg if he knew yet who his partner would be later. He said it didn't matter. Then he turned to the camera and told HHH to "...believe the hype" about him.
The main event featured HHH and his partner, Ric Flair against Goldberg and his partner, Randy Orton?? You heard me. Before orton could get to the ring, Goldberg started beating on HHH and Flair, then caught Orton coming in. His dominance only lasted a few moments, then he was being punked, three-on-one, as the cage descended back onto the ring. Goldberg made a brief recovery, then HHH got hold of a chair and laid him out. Blood streaming down his face, Goldberg was again on the receiving end of a savage beating. HHH taunted him with the World Title belt, then whaled on him as Flair and Orton held the monster. Then he delivered one rather clumsy Pedigree followed by a better one. He painted his chest with Goldberg's blood and posed with the belt as the program faded.
At least that's the way I see it...
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