WWE Monday Night Raw is a Live professional wrestling programme, which first debuted on the USA NETWORK back in January of 1993. It is highly regarded as the flagship show of the WWE, & of professional wrestling in general. The show is hosted by Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler, who call the action from ringside. Check out http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/
- Friday 10pm on & (Subject to change)
- Edited Saturday 10am on &
- Late Night Saturday 11pm on
WWE Friday Night SmackDown is a professional wrestling programme, first debuting on Network Television on the 26th August 1999. The show originally started off on Thursday nights before being moved to Friday in 2005. The programme is pre-recorded. The show is hosted by Josh Mathews, Michael Cole & Booker T, who call the action from ringside. Check out http://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/
- Thursday (Friday Morning) 12am on & (Subject to change)
- Monday (Tuesday Morning) 12am on &
NXT (NEXT) is a professional wrestling programme produced by World Wrestling Entertainment, which débuted on the SyFy Network on February 23rd 2010. It is now a WWE.com exclusive in the United States, after being cancelled on television in 2011. The original premise of the show followed numerous WWE superstars as they mentored 8 rookies from Florida Championship Wrestling. The rookie determined to be the winner received a contract to perform on WWE RAW. The show was hosted by Maryse and Matt Striker, and in-ring action by Jack Korpela and William Regal, who called the action from ringside.
Commencing from the 17th May 2012 tapings (broadcast in the UK on the 21st June) the format of the show was changed; now filmed from Full Sail University in Florida, WWE NXT is intended to grant Worldwide exposure to stars from developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling, with some talent later being called up to either WWE RAW or SmackDown. Hall of Famer Jim Ross and William Regal call the action.
- Sunday 10am on
- Sunday 3pm on
- Monday (Tuesday morning) 1am on
WWE Vintage Collection is a professional wrestling television programme from World Wrestling Entertainment showcasing action from the extensive WWE video library, including matches from the 80s & 90s. The show is hosted by Hall of Famer Gene Okerlund.
- Sunday at 9pm on
IMPACT WRESTLING, formerly TNA iMPACT, is a professional wrestling programme produced by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), which first debuted on Cable Television in May of 2004. The show is filmed at the 'iMPACT Zone', Soundstage 21 at the Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Featuring the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, AJ Styles & Abyss, the show is hosted by Mike Tenay & Taz, who call the action from ringside.
- Every Thursday on
Ring of Honor (ROH) is an American professional wrestling promotion, first founded in 2002. Featuring new talent like Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, and former WWE & IMPACT WRESTLING stars like Jay Lethal, Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin, the show is hosted by Kevin Kelly & Nigel McGuinness, who call the action from ringside.
- Saturday 8pm on
Ring Ka King (King of the Ring) is an Indian professional wrestling promotion owned and operated by TNA Wrestling. The show is filmed at Pune The Stadium in India. Featuring new talent like Roscoe Jackson and Raisha Saeed, along with familiar faces such as Scott Steiner and Mickie James, the show is hosted by Siddharth Kannan and Jeremy Borash.
WWE Tagged Classic Reviews (courtesy of PowerSlam magazine) - 1997 to 1998
PowerSlam Magazine Recap
Issue #52, November 1998
In the News (edited by Fin Martin)
In all the happenings from WWF Raw is War & Sunday Night Heat...
From the September 21 Raw is War (taped on September 15th before a sell out crowd of 10,500 in Sacramento, California): The Headbangers turned heel on The Oddities by blasting them with silly string, then beating them senseless. The dastardly Mosh and Thrasher also destroyed Golga’s Cartman doll.
Jacqueline pinned Sable to capture the revived WWF Women’s Title.
In a vignette, ‘Man’s Man’ Steven Regal was shown shaving in a forest.
Al Snow downed Sgt. Slaughter in a lousy Boot Camp match.
Following Val Venis’ bout with Owen Hart, which ended by way of disqualification when Dustin Runnels ran in, his latest ‘XXX’ video aired on the Titan Tron. The sequel to The Preacher’s Wife – broadcast on the previous week’s programme – There’s Something About Terri also co-starred Terri Runnels. The artist formerly known as Marlena then broke the news to Dustin: there were through! Val was the new person in her life – him being the “bigger man” and all...
Finally, X-Pac defeated D-Lo Brown to lift the European title.
From the September 27 Sunday Night Heat: Golga pinned Mosh in a horrible match.
Michael Cole claimed that 'Triple H' had been attacked and would therefore be unable to defend his Intercontinental title against Mark Henry on the Breakdown show. What a shame that was...
The Hardy Boyz beat Sho Funaki and Mens Teoih in a fast-paced aerial battle.
Finally, Austin disguised as a cameraman, cornered Mr McMahon inside a steel cage and gave him a bit of a pasting.
From the September 28 Raw is War (held before a sell out crowd of 14,500 in Detroit, Michigan): Vince McMahon came out with the World title belt and claimed that, unlike in June when the championship changed hands at King of the Ring, Steve Austin would not receive a rematch. McMahon then said that he would crown a new champion later on the show...
Owen Hart went to a no-contest with Dan Severn when he nailed him with a tombstone piledriver and Severn suffered a ‘serious’ neck injury.
The Undertaker and Kane came out for the presentation ceremony but, before McMahon could announce who was the new World Champion, he was attacked by Steve Austin. After police hauled ‘Stone Cold’ out of the building in handcuffs, a furious McMahon castigated Undi’ and Kane for failing to protect him from Austin. He then said, as a punishment, they would have to fight it out in the main event of In Your House XXV: Judgment Day in order to determine the new champion, adding that the bout would be officiated by none other than ‘Stone Cole’ Steve Austin. As the ‘brothers’ were leaving the squared circle, The Undertaker caught McMahon giving him the finger, then he and Kane destroyed him.
Finally, The Rock, Ken Shamrock and Mankind defeated The undertaker and Kane when The Rock pinned ‘Taker.
From the October 4 Sunday Night Heat: From his hospital bed, McMahon claimed that his leg had been crushed and that he was in "excruciating pain." He said that he would never forgive The Undertaker and Kane - then, curiously, placed the blame for the entire incident on Austin.
Kurrgan and Golga beat The Headbangers following interference from The Insane Clown Posse.
The Rock went to a no-contest with Jarrett when Dennis Knight interfered. 'Stone Cold', on commentary, then left the broadcast position and wiped out Knight and Jarrett. The Rock and Austin stared each other down as the show went off the air.
From the October 5 Raw is War (taped on September 29th before a sell out crowd of 10,000 in East Lansing, Michigan): D-Lo Brown pinned X-Pac to regain the European title.
McMahon was shown giving a nurse a hard time from his hospital bed.
The Headbangers viciously beat the crap out of The Insane Clown Posse.
Steven Regal demonstrated his masculinity by downing a glass of orange juice.
Owen Hart apologised for ‘injuring’ Dan Severn on the previous week’s programme, then left...
Austin, disguised as a Doctor, annihilated McMahon in his private hospital ward.
Finally, The Rock pinned The Undertaker in an average match after Kane blasted him with a steel chair.
From the October 11 Sunday Night Heat: Kaientai defeated Too Much and The Hardy Boyz.
Edge pinned Vader clean.
Al Snow beat Shamrock by DQ when Shamrock refused to release the ankle lock. Mankind made the save.
Austin pinned D-Lo Brown.
From the October 12 Raw is War (held before another sell out crowd of 10,700 in Uniondale, New York): McMahon was shown arriving at the arena in his Corvette.
It was announced Hunter Hearst Helmsley had been stripped of the Intercontinental title and that an eight-man tournament would be held to fill the vacancy.
In a first round match up, Shamrock beat Steve Blackman via ankle lock submission. After the decision, Owen Hart – in Blue Blazer garb – hit the ring and attacked both men.
In other first round bouts, Val Venis defeated Marc Mero, Mankind beat Mark Henry, and X-Pac pinned Jeff Jarrett.
In Semi-final number one, Shamrock beat Venis with the ankle lock. Following the match, Goldust ran in and destroyed Venis.
X-Pac took Semi-final number two with a win over Mankind, but then fell victim to an attack from ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Heel’...
In the Final, Shamrock beat X-Pac, again using the ankle lock, to claim the title.
[A title tournament with no disqualification finishes, & all decided cleanly. Now isn’t that novel... – KK]
And finally, Austin and The Rock downed Undi’ and Kane by DQ when new signing The Big Boss Man (Ray Taylor) walloped ‘Stone Cold’ with his nightstick.
In all the happenings from WCW Monday Nitro...
From the September 21 Monday Nitro (held before a crowd of 15,000 in Boston, Massachusetts): In a PISS-poor segment, The Warrior 'kidnapped' The Disciple. Later, Hollywood Hogan discovered Disciple lying on the floor in the toilets. Then the nasty mist was piped in and, when it had cleared, The Disciple was gone!
Raven and Kanyon went to a no-contest with Villanos IV and V when Villano IV suffered a legitimate neck injury (as opposed to a Dan Severn neck injury) when Raven and Kanyon nailed him with a combination neckbreaker/powerbomb and the match was stopped. Afterwards, Raven looked very concerned.
Cruiserweight champion Billy Kidman (who captured the belt from Juventud Guerrera on the previous week's programme) downed Disco Inferno in a strong bout.
Ric Flair had an extremely heated verbal confrontation with Eric Bischoff.
Kevin Nash and Lex Luger went to a non-finish with The Giant and Stevie Ray in a poor match-up when Scott Hall staggered in, tossed the referee to one side and fell down. Nash then challenged Hall to a match at Halloween Havoc.
Finally, The Disciple revealed that he had joined forces with OWN (One Warrior Nation). Fantastic.
From the September 28 Monday Nitro (held before a sell out crowd of 9,800 in Rochester, New York): Hollywood Hogan issued challenges to Sting and Bret Hart. Later, 'The Hitman' (who turned babyface on the September 14th Nitro) vowed to "kick the crap out of Hogan;" hence, the match was on.
The Warrior cut a pathetic, nonsensical speech which was roundly booed.
Nash beat Brian Adams by disqualification when Ray and Vincent ran in. An apparently sober Hall then hit the ring and lamped Nash.
The bout between Hogan and Hart ended without a decision when Sting arrived on the scene, bringing Hollywood's assault on 'The Hitman's' knee to a halt. He took over as Luger and Konnan carried Hart backstage. Later, Hart returned to the ring and, as Sting held Hogan in the Scorpion Deathlock, 'The Hitman' drilled him with a DDT, before connecting with a barrage of punches. Hogan laughed. Looks like Hart's babyface turn was a ruse.
From the October 5 Monday Nitro (held before a sell out crowd of 8,800 in Columbia, South Carolina): After a brawl with nWo Hollywood in the backstage area, the Wolfpac headed to the car park where Sting jumped behind the wheel of a fork lift truck which he used to dent, then turn the Hollywood limousine over. Moments later, Nash and the boys began laying into the vehicle with sledgehammers.
After interrupting a match between Damian and Hector Garza, Eddy Guerrero delivered a monologue at the expense of Eric Bischoff and announced the formation of the LWO (Latino World Order). Damian and Garza signed up.
Diamond Dallas Page defeated Kanyon by DQ in a thrilling match when Raven interfered. Bill Goldberg made the save. A stare down between Goldberg and Page followed.
Finally, Sting and Bret Hart had a wild, backstage brawl.
From the October 12 Monday Nitro (held before a sell out crowd of 17,500 in Chicago, Illinois): In a segment, The Warrior asked Sting to team with him to face Hogan and Hart in the main event. Warrior was booed again.
Chavo Guerrero Jr., Super Calo and Psicosis defeated La Parka, Ciclope and Villano V, following which Eddy Guerrero offered Psicosis a spot in the LWO. He accepted.
On the heels of their argument on the previous week's Thunder, Scott Steiner nailed Marcus Bagwell and then dropped him throat first on the top rope.
Goldberg defeated The Giant by count-out following run-ins from Stevie Ray and Dallas Page. Afterwards, Goldberg and Dallas had another stare-down.
Finally, Sting and The Warrior downed Hollywood and 'The Hitman' by disqualification when the entire nWo stormed the ring.
Jim Neidhart, 43, was arrested by police on an outstanding warrant for writing a bad cheque to a Publix supermarket in 1996 on the morning of September 8th in Pensacola, Florida. He was released several hours later.
Taz (Peter Senerca) was arrested prior to an ECW card in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 12th and charged with indecent exposure and corruption of a minor following an incident at a local solarium around Noon of that day. Senerca, 31, asked a 15 year old female employee of the centre to remove her top. When she did, he is alleged to have exposed himself to her. Senerca was held at Allegheny County Jail until September 14th when he was released on bail. His preliminary hearing was scheduled for October 20th.
Scott Hall was collared by the law again on October 1st when he took one of his keys and put a seven foot long scratch down the side of a limousine outside the Diamond Mine strip club on Orlando, Florida. The driver of the vehicle caught the 39 year old Hall in the act and called the police. Hall was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and released on bail.
The Giant (Paul Wight) was charged with assault on September 9th in relation to an incident at the Marriott Hotel in Uniondale, New York on June 16th. According to witnesses, Wight, after much provocation, punched and broke the jaw of 29 year old Robert Sawyer Jr. in the hotel lobby. Wight, 27, turned himself into the authorities. He was arraigned and released on his own recognisance later that day.
Laugh, I almost choked, when I heard the news on Radio One on September 23rd. During the lunchtime Newsbeat, it was reported that Jerry Lawler had attacked Jim Carrey on the set of Man on the Moon in Los Angeles, California the previous evening; that Carrey, who is playing Kaufman in the biopic, was "badly shaken up" and had been taken to hospital for a CATSCAN; and that Carrey and his manager Eric Gold were considering taking legal action against Lawler. The story was all over the British tabloids. It was also reported in newspapers in the US and many other countries around the world. Here's what really happened on the set: after riling Lawler up all week long, Carrey spat in his face. Whether or not that was part of the script depends on whom one chooses to believe. Then, definitely unscripted, Lawler grabbed Carrey in a headlock and injured his neck. Carrey was rushed to hospital, had his scan, and left...sporting a neck brace! He was so "badly shaken up" that he was back on the set the next day, showing no ill-effects of his run-in with Lawler. Sound familiar? I'd say so. Sound like a publicity stunt? It was: a publicity stunt, designed to increase public awareness of the film. Which it did. Looks like one or two mainstream journalists and reporters - you know, those people who usually have a good laugh a wrestling's expense - have been well and truly had. Perhaps Lawler and Carrey will catch them out again in December when the Letterman incident goes before the cameras.
Recent signing Kurt Angle is making great progress in the WWF's training facility.
A campaign is under way to persuade Sky Box Office to carry WCW Pay Per View shows. If you are prepared to pay to watch these events, write and let the decision makers know.
As of October 9th, WCW Thunder is being broadcast immediately after Nitro on TNT Europe on a one-day delay.
In the Ratings
September 21st: WWF Raw is War posted a 4.0 to WCW Nitro's 3.9. September 28th: WWF Raw is War pulled a 4.7 to WCW Nitro's 4.0. October 5th: WWF Raw is War & WCW Nitro tied with a 4.5. October 12th: WWF Raw is War managed a 4.8 to WCW Nitro's 4.7.
WCW Fall Brawl: War Games
We've seen some bad ones over the years: The Great American Bash '91, WrestleMania IX, Uncensored '95, WrestlePalooza '98 - the list goes on. None have been quite as ghastly, however, as Fall Brawl '98 on September 13th in Winston Salem, North Carolina. In the absence of volunteers, the straws came out. Pity him: Fin Martin drew the short one...
Once upon a time, War Games was one of the highlights of the professional wrestling calendar - an eight or ten-man struggle between two warring factions which invariably delivered at least 15 minutes of nonstop, blood-soaked action. Of course, those days are long gone: War Games has offered offered viewers little in the way of excitement since its association with Fall Brawl began in 1993. Since then, many longtime fans have been calling for WCW to scrap the mass of steel and chicken wire which descends from the ceiling each September. After this year's fiasco, the group should heed said advice and comply forthwith: It HAS to go.
Following the opening five minute period, the participants entered the cage at two minute intervals. In no particular order. What's more, the teams were irrelevant; it was every man for himself. Oh, and a pinfall or submission could occur at any time - ludicrous as it sounds. Bret Hart and Diamond Dallas Page kicked things off with some solid action which saw 'The Hitman' overwhelm his foe with punches, a choke and a backbreaker. Stevie Ray subsequently stumbled in and dragged the match down with his spineless offence. He was followed by Sting, who brought the crowd to life with his entrance and enthusiastic dive at Ray from one ring to the other. The bout then slowed, however, and grew progressively worse as Lex Luger arrived on the scene and contributed little, and dear, old Roddy Piper ran through his anachronistic eye-poke routine. The arrival of Kevin Nash revived the audience; but Hollywood Hogan was just 30 seconds (instead of two minutes) behind him. Wielding a blackjack, he knocked out Nash, Luger, Sting, Page and Piper. Ray, Hogan's only ally, then clipped Hart's injured knee and he crashed to the mat as well. At this point, no less than six wrestlers were lying flat out on the canvas. Did Hogan or Ray attempt a pinfall? Don't be silly: Ray just stood around like a spare part while Hogan legdropped Nash a few times - for a laugh or something.
Moments later, dry ice was piped into the ring and, when it had cleared, Rick 'Renegade' Williams was standing there, waving his arms around like a moron. Dry ice then filled the area again, Williams returned to his inflatable camp bed under the ring (via the trap door) and, when the mist had gone, Hogan was left clutching a Warrior robe. The real Warrior then charged down the aisle, clambered into the cage and staggered Hogan with a barrage of punches. Realising that he - and, more importantly, the buy rate for Halloween Havoc - would suffer if he hung around, Hollywood made a hasty retreat and then ran for the door, while Ray kept the face-painted wonder at bay. Once outside, The Disciple mugged the official and padlocked the door shut, whereupon The Warrior went mental. Gasping for air, the super-athletic Warrior began rattling the door and the cage and finally booted down a section of the wall. Before he could lay his hands on Hogan again, though, security intervened. Then Hogan and Warrior wandered off.
Meanwhile, back in the cage, Page blasted Stevie Ray with the Diamond Cutter and scored the pinfall, thus securing the World title shot at Halloween Havoc, as the fans looked on, stunned, no doubt wishing they'd stayed home and watched Sunday Night Heat...
One strong bout (Raven vs Perry Saturn), a couple of adequate outings and heaps of trash, topped off with a contest almost as offensive as the opprobrious Doomsday match at Uncensored '96. September 13th, 1998 was a horrible night for WCW, a night when it drove wrestling on Pay Per View to new depths, a night when it might as well have raised a big, fat finger at its own consumers and yelled, "You Suckers!". Down there with whale droppings, Fall Brawl 1998 richly deserves the title of Worst Card In The World...Ever! It will stand as the measuring stick by which all lousy cards are judged.
[I have this PPV on WCW Home Video. It took McMahon 8 years with ECW December to Dismember 2006 to put on a worse show... - KK]
In all the happenings from WWF Raw is War, Sunday Night Heat & In Your House XXVII...
From February 14 Sunday Night Heat (held Live before In Your House XXVII): Dominic DeNucci, The Iron Sheik and that madman Bob Backlund ‘trained’ Mankind for his World title match with The Rock.
Viscera defeated Test by DQ when The Bossman ran in.
Finally, Billy Gunn went to a non-finish with Tiger Ali Singh when Venis and Shamrock hit the ring.
In results from In Your House XXVII: St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (held before a sell out crowd of 19,000 in Memphis, Tennessee): Goldust defeated Bluedust in a stinker
Bob Holly pinned Al Snow to raise the vacant Hardcore title in a passable brawl (which actually took place in the Mississippi River!)
The Big Bossman bested Mideon in a mind-numbingly boring match-up.
Val Venis pinned Ken Shamrock to win the Intercontinental title in another boring match, officiated by Billy Gunn.
Chyna and Kane beat Triple H and X-Pac in a surprisingly entertaining match when Chyna pinned Triple H.
Mankind went to a double knockout with The Rock in the best match of the night.
And finally, Steve Austin downed Vince McMahon in a decent cage match when Paul Wight burst through the ring canvas and hurled Austin into the cage which subsequently collapsed and, consequently, Austin hit the floor. During the bout McMahon bled heavily and took a dangerous bump from the side of the cage onto a ringside table.
From the February 15 Raw is War (held before a sell out crowd of 13,906 in Birmingham, Alabama): With a bandage on his forehead and a brace around his neck – from the pounding he received the previous evening at In Your House XXVII: St. Valentine’s Day Massacre – Vince McMahon persuaded Commissioner Shawn Michaels to book a ladder match between World Champion Mankind and The Rock in the main event of the programme.
Triple H and X-Pac challenged Kane and Shane McMahon to a match. After convincing X-Pac to put his European title on the line, McMahon accepted the invitation.
Val Venis gave Ryan Shamrock the elbow.
Kane and Shane defeated Triple H and X-Pac when McMahon pinned X-Pac, with assistance from Chyna, to become the new European Champion.
Finally, The Rock regained the World crown from Mankind in a red hot Ladder match, following inference from ‘Big Nasty’ Paul Wight.
From February 21 Sunday Night Heat: Shane McMahon defeated Gillberg in less than half a minute. Ha-ha-ha.
Viscera beat The Bossman by DQ when the Corporate ‘B’ team of Test, Kane and Shamrock jumped in.
From February 22 Raw is War (taped on February 16th before a sell out crowd of 8,000 in Chattanooga, Tennessee): The Public Enemy beat Gangrel and Edge by disqualification in a dreadful match when Christian ran in. Afterwards, Flyboy Rocco and Johnny Grunge were the recipients of a ‘blood bath’.
Goldust pinned Val Venis in a non-title match with assistance from The Blue Meanie.
Hardcore Champion Bob Holly beat Bart Gunn in a wild brawl after Steve Williams shoved Gunn off the stage – onto and through a table – and the champ scored the pin.
The Undertaker downed Kane in an Inferno match. Afterwards, Undi’ grabbed Vince McMahon’s teddy bear (which Paul Bearer had given to him earlier in the show) and set it on fire. Vince freaked out.
February 28 Sunday Night Heat: The programme failed to air due to technical problems.
From March 1 Raw is War (held before a sell out crowd of 16,560 in Cleveland, Ohio): Jim Ross turned heel on Bart Gunn and aligned himself with ‘his boy’ Steve Williams.
Road Dogg had a big brawl with Al Snow and Bob Holly outside the building.
Mankind beat The Undertaker by count out. Following the decision, Undi’ attempted to chokeslam Vince McMahon, but The Big Bossman made the save.
Finally, Austin went to a non finish with Kane when Chyna and Paul Wight interfered.
From the March 7 Sunday Night Heat: The Acolytes gave The Public Enemy a savage beating en route to a disqualification loss.
Goldust and Shamrock beat Venis and Billy Gunn when Goldust pinned Venis.
Finally, The Rock and Paul Wight argued. Steve Austin came out and nailed the champ with the Stone Cold Stunner.
From March 8 Raw is War (held before a sell out crowd of 17,000 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania): Test pinned X-Pac after Shane McMahon nailed him with the European title belt.
In an angle, Kane threw a fireball at Triple H, but he moved and the fire hit Chyna.
Tori (the former Terri Power) beat Luna Vachon by disqualification when Luna refused to release her choke-hold. During the match, Sable came out and showed Jerry Lawler her nude photo spread in Playboy magazine. Lawler got really excited. Afterwards, Sable attacked Tori.
The Undertaker and the Ministry crucified The Bossman.
In a match refereed by Wight, Mankind beat Austin by count out.
In all the happenings from WCW Monday Nitro & SuperBrawl IX...
From the February 15 Monday Nitro (a truly dreadful show, held before a sell out crowd of 2,500 in Tampa, Florida): The Wolfpac destroyed Ric Flair in a field in the middle of nowhere.
Bret Hart crushed Will Stasso, a member of the cast of MAD TV.
Roddy Piper beat Hollywood Hogan by disqualification in a terrible match.
Benoit and Malenko beat Mike Enos and Scotty Riggs in a tourney bout.
Finally, Flair arrived at the arena in a truck, all beaten up, and received another pasting from the Wolfpac.
WCW Superbrawl IX: It's Good To Be Bad - especially if you wear red and black. Those Wolfpac boys compiled an outstanding win/loss record at SuperBrawl IX on February 21st in Oakland, California, as Fin Martin reports.
Hot? The crowd were red-hot for the first bout of World Championship Wrestling's ninth annual SuperBrawl pay per view. But then, that's what happens when you create an issue between competitors who are over and fairly evenly matched. Everything the opening attraction of Souled Out wasn't, Disco Inferno and Booker T worked the crowd like a couple of old pros while trading one massive move after another.
Booker T pinned Disco Inferno with the Harlem Hangover. Great opener.
Contest number two was a peculiar one. We saw: Perry Saturn camping it up in a dress and eye-liner; Chris Jericho's crack bodyguard Ralphus waddling around in an old dear's frock and earrings; and referee Scott Dickinson playing it straight, with no explanation as to why. In the end, Saturn drilled Jericho with the Death Valley Driver. But, then, instead of making the cover, he nailed referee Dickinson with the DVD and left, thus losing the match by count out. From this, one can only conclude that Saturn enjoys wearing the dress. After all, the stipulation was that if Saturn won, Jericho would have had to don said garment. Oh, well. Each to his own...
Kidman beat Chavo Guerrero Jr. with the shooting star press in a fairly entertaining bout.
The odds were stacked against the combo of Robin Ethics and Dean Malenko in the closing stages of the World Tag Team Title Tournament: they had to best the much larger tandem of Curt Hennig and Barry Windham twice to raise the vacant belts. The finish was as follows: as 'The Crippler' pounded Hennig in the corner, Malenko wrapped Windham up in the Texas Cloverleaf in the centre of the ring and the big man tapped out. Prior to their second match, the final of the tourney, there was meant to be a 30 second rest period. It didn't happen: Benoit and Malenko immediately flung themselves at their opponents - which, unfortunately for them, backfired big time. As the ref attempted to separate Benoit and Hennig, Windham removed his belt, lassoed Deano and pulled back with all his might, and then flattened his foe with a clothesline and made the cover, obscuring the belt with his arm and torso. Hollow as their victory was, Curt Hennig and Barry Windham were the new Tag Team Champions.
Elizabeth's hair or Rey Mysterio Jr.'s mask? Someone was going to lose something at the conclusion of the next match, pitting Liz's guys Kevin Nash and Scott Hall (replacing an injured Lex Luger) against Mysterio and Konnan. The second best match of the night, and a darn good one at that, the opening sequence between Hall and Mysterio could not have been better. The finish came when Liz distracted the ref (and who can blame her?) and Hall sneaked in and walloped Rey with the Outsider Edge, then dumped the semi-conscious Nash on top of him, whereupon Liz ended her conversation with the official who promptly turned around and slapped the mat three times, giving Nash and Hall the victory. When Mysterio removed his mask, that funster Kevin Nash took one look at his face and told him to put it back on...
Scott Steiner beat Diamond Dallas Page for a hugely popular win via the Steiner Recliner. Best match of the night.
Scott Hall pinned Roddy Piper in a pathetic, embarrassment of a match.
Goldberg bested Bam Bam Bigelow with the jackhammer.
Main Event time. Time for those old geezers to slug it out again. Can't say I was looking forward to it; in fact, I was dreading episode 126 of the Hollywood Hogan/Ric Flair feud: no way would the decrepit 45-year-old and the haggard gent just days away from his 50th be able to pull it off. As top-liners go, this was going to suck. Actually, it didn't. Not even slightly. It was a damn good, extremely hard-hitting, and very bloody headliner between two guys who obviously still have a lot to offer pro wrestling, whether we like it or not.
A Great Wrestling pay per view, the best of of the five promoted thus far in 1999, the Atlanta crew certainly came through with SuperBrawl IX. No doubt the fans on hand at the Oakland Arena appreciated it, for the rip-roaring action and the outcome of the matches which, from the title tourney onwards, nearly all went the good guys' way. Good guys? Yeah. Good guys. Some call them bad guys. But they're good guys, really. In the current, upside-down world of WCW, the heels are the heroes. Kevin Nash and Hollywood Hogan have made sure of that.
From February 22 Monday Nitro (held before a sell out crowd of 13,900 in Sacramento, California): Booker T pinned Bret Hart in an excellent match-up to become the number one contender to the United States title.
Hugh Morrus dropped Chris Jericho, following interference from Perry Saturn.
Rey Mysterio Jr. cleanly pinned Kevin Nash in an entertaining match.
From March 1 of Monday Nitro (held before a sell out crowd of 18,600 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina): Nash and Lex Luger offered Rey Mysterio Jr. a spot in the Wolfpac. Rey wasn’t up for it, apparently.
Kidman beat Psicosis in a good match.
‘Giant Killer’ Rey Mysterio Jr. pinned Bam Bam Bigelow in a decent bout. Backstage, Nash attacked Mysterio Jr. Then Bigelow, Raven and Hardcore Hak (James ‘Sandman’ Fullington) had a huge brawl.
Benoit defeated ‘The Hitman’ by DQ in a fine match.
Finally, Flair hyped up his Cage match with Hollywood Hogan at Uncensored.
From March 8 (held before a crowd of 11,000 in Worcester, Massachusetts): Raven went to a non-finish with Hak when Bigelow ran in. Afterwards, they brawled backstage where Raven DDT’d Hak’s head on the bonnet of Ric Flair’s limousine.
Scott Steiner downed Booker T with the Steiner Recliner.
Mysterio Jr. beat Scott Norton in a poor match-up.
Bill Goldberg went to a no-contest with Ric Flair in a decent bout when the nWo/Wolfpac ran in.
ECW was on the verge of closure in February due to serious cash flow problems, stemming from the expansion of the pay-per-view schedule. At press time however, the crisis appeared to be over: Paul Heyman has obtained a loan to tide his company over until the outstanding pay-per-view revenue comes through and struck a sweet deal with Buena Vista television to co-promote ECW’s pay-per-view and television shows.
Taka Michinoku may return shortly [to the ECW] – ‘on loan’ from the WWF.
Richard Wilson died of a self-inflicted gun shot on February 22nd at his home in Marietta, Georgia , following an argument with his girlfriend. He was 33. Wilson wrestled independently as Rio Lord of The Jungle, but was more famous for his disastrous tenure as Ultimate Warrior rip-off Renegade in WCW in 1995.
WCW Superbrawl IX pulled a 1.1 PPV buy-rate for a company gross of around $5.3 million.
Word is that Chris Jericho is seriously considering taking a job with the WWF when his contract expires in July. If I were him, however, I would reconsider: now, more than ever this decade, the WWF is a big man’s promotion. And if there’s one thing Jericho isn’t – it’s big...
Sting has found God.
Bret Hart is said to be most disgruntled with the manner in which he’s being booked. And who can blame him?
A WCW staffer drove his motor over Scott Hall’s foot in the car park of an Oakland area bar after the Superbrawl pay-per-view. Hall was not seriously hurt.
Mikey Whipwreck was backstage at Nitro on March 8th. Believe it or not, booker Kevin Nash had no idea who he was.
St. Valentine’s Day Massacre pulled a 1.2 pay-per-view buy rate for a company gross of $5.7 million, making it the biggest money IYH event ever.
Jerry Lawler is considering running for Mayor in his hometown of Memphis.
Shawn Michaels has split from longtime fiancée Jennifer.
Steven Regal is still trying to kick a prescription drug problem.
Road Dogg spent some time in drug rehab in February.
Dan Severn accepted his contract release and is finished with the WWF.
The Body Shop used a photograph of former two time WWWF World Champion Bruno Sammartino in its advertising campaign for Mother’s Day.
Bill Goldberg appeared on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on February 19th. Came across damn well, too: in discussing his three year tenure with the Atlanta Falcons, his Jewish ancestry (did you know his mother was a concert violinist and his dad was a gynaecologist?), and his commitment to the fans with the large chinned chat chap, Goldberg confirmed what insiders have known all along. He’s a bright guy, with a strong sense of humour. But our Bill wasn’t booked on Leno’s show to regale the audience with his war stories and self-depreciating gags; he was there to issue a challenge. Leno set it up, Goldberg delivered.
Leno: “This Steve Austin guy...I hear ‘Goldberg’s scared of him.’” Goldberg: “I guess this gives me the opportunity to throw a challenge out.” Leno (feigning surprise): “You want to throw a challenge out there?” Goldberg: “Ever since I started, everyone’s always called me a rip off of Steve Austin. You guys and I know there’s only one Goldberg...I’ll (put up) $100,000 of my money, Austin; any time, any place. We can even (wrestle) in the back alley of the NBC studios.” Leno: “A hundred grand! Austin, you’re a dead meat!”
As luck would have it, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve appeared on the Howard Stern radio show three days later. Naturally, the Goldberg invite came up. Austin responded with words to the effect of, ‘I’m far too busy to waste my time with someone from the minor leagues’. Meanwhile, on the SuperBrawl IX and subsequent Nitro broadcasts, Tony Schiavone mentioned that Goldberg had issued a challenge on The Tonight Show. Only trouble was, he didn’t say who he’d issued the challenge to, for fear of legal reprisals from Titan. What’s more, Goldberg himself never acknowledged his throwing-down-the-gauntlet on WCW television (for the same reason). And by the end of the week, WCW had ditched the entire thing; it was like it never happened. Why it happened in the first place when WCW could not legally talk about it on its own television programmes is mind-boggling to say the least. Here’s Goldberg, the organisation’s hottest star, appearing on a highly-rated network television show to issue a challenge to a grappler who works for the opposition – a challenge that will never be answered or acknowledged on WCW TV. It’s two days before a major Pay Per View and, instead of promoting that, Goldberg, under strict orders from Eric Bischoff, is saying “How about it, Austin?”. What a waste of time.
In the Ratings
February 15th: WWF Raw is War posted a 5.9 to WCW Nitro’s 3.9. February 22nd: Raw is War pulled a 5.5 to Nitro’s 4.7. March 1st: Raw is War drew a 6.3 to Nitro’s 4.3. March 8th: Raw is War posted a 6.5 to Nitro’s 4.5.
On the June 17th Raw (held before a crowd of 7,500 in Oakland California), Vince McMahon reminded viewers that Steve Austin had walked out the previous week for the second time in three months. McMahon said that all attempts to persuade Austin to return had failed, and that he may be through with WWE. Soon afterwards, they implemented a storyline which gave viewers the impression that Austin was en route to the arena.
Ric Flair announced that he was a wrestler again. That's all we need...
Brock Lesnar pinned Booker T with assistance from the nWo to book his place in the King of the Ring Semis.
The Rock made a surprise appearance. (it was The Rock, not Austin, who was "travelling to the arena"). 'The Great One' cut an impassioned speech in which he stressed the importance of loyalty, and instructed anyone who wasn't dedicated to the WWE "to get the F out". I think there might have been a message for Austin in there somewhere. I also think it was a little hypocritical of The Rock - whose acting career has taken priority over wrestling for more than a year now - to stand there and harp on about "loyalty" and WWE being "home".
In a move which sent shockwaves throughout the industry, Vince Russo was hired by WWE to work on its booking committee on June 20. Russo, who destroyed WCW with his inept and irrelevant booking, was appointed to a position just below Stephanie McMahon on the staff. The following day, Russo met with the rest of the creative crew and revealed his ideas to turn the WWE around. Rumour has it that one of them involved The Rock character developing homosexual tendencies. We can confrim that Russo's proposals were considered so unworkable or risible by his new colleagues that Vince McMahon removed him from the booking team after just one day. Russo, who has never signed a contract, remained on the WWE payroll until July 8 when he tendered his resignation and accepted a booking job with NWA: TNA.
On the June 24th Raw (held before a crowd of 9,000 in Cleveland, Ohio), Vince McMahon coined WWE's new motto: Ruthless Aggression.
Paul Heyman introduced the 2002 King of the Ring, Brock Lesnar. Lacking charisma and personality, and oblivious to all those little things that superstars do, Lesnar looked lost out there. Again, Heyman did all the talking. RVD eventually halted this boring segment by attacking 'The Next Big Thing'.
On the July 8th Raw (held before a crowd of 10,500 in Philadelphia), Trish Stratus & Bradshaw downed Jackie Gayda and Nowinski in the worst match of the year. Stratus and Gayda blew so many spots, so badly, the crowd booed them, and the commentators were embarrassed.
Shawn Michaels advised Triple H, who wasn't present, to acknowledge that he was a member of the nWo or be considered an enemy of the Order.
Jeff Hardy captured the European Title from William Regal.
Officials [in TNA] have made it known that, in order to cover costs, each Pay Per View must draw a minimum of 50,000 buys.
In the Ratings - RAW
June 17th: 3.9 June 24th: 3.7 July 1st: 3.6 July 8th: 3.7
Signs of The Times
You can't spell overrated without RVD - Raw, June 17 Unemployed 3:16 - Raw, June 17 Lawler's love child - Raw, June 17 Someone feed Teri - Raw, June 17 Eddie Guerrero mows my lawn - King of the Ring, June 23 Brock ate Sid Vicious - Raw, June 24 Hogan stole my tanning pills - King of the Ring, June 23.
If I Can Be Serious For A Minute...
"There's a pimple on the ass of life, Paul Heyman; a walking haemorrhoid" - Jim Ross, Raw June 10.
"They're both Canadians. I guess they have stuff in common: they're Canadians" - Tazz, making another brilliant observation, Smackdown June 13.
"I said to myself, 'Ric Flair, you may have lost a half-a-step. But you are still two steps faster than just about every superstar in that locker room'" - Ric Flair, deluding himself again, Raw June 17. "You're pretty gullible tonight, JR. You said you believe that Flair's got one more good run in him, too." - Jerry Lawler, Raw June 17
"Tonight I'm going to make Hulk Hogan tap faster than Mr Bo Jangles on speed" - Kurt Angle, King of the Ring June 23.
"Big Show, the nWo never told you, did they, what happened to your father?" - Goldust, imitating Darth Vader Raw, June 24
"Man, don't you know my father's dead?" - Big Show (in response).
"Big Show, I am your father" - Darth Goldust, (in response).
[In the world of wrestling, Big Show's Dad has died twice: First being Andre the Giant, second at the hands of the Big Boss Man - KK]
"An argument can be made that Billy Gunn could be the greatest tag team wrestler of all time" - Michael Cole, Smackdown July 4.
From the August 19 Raw (held before a sell out crowd of 9,500 in Norfolk Virginia): The Undertaker said he was proud to be an American and was 'The American Bad Ass' again. He was then attacked by the UnAmericans. Undertaker's halfhearted selling was an insult to his assailants.
Fozzy performed their soulless song To Kill A Stranger. Chris Jericho's vocals were about as powerful as an asthmatic ant.
Finally, The Rock went to a non-finish with Triple H in a decent match when Shawn Michaels and Brock Lesnar ran in.
From the August 26 Raw (held before a crowd of 13,000 in New York, New York): Eric Bischoff introduced Jimmy Snuka to an enormous ovation. However, after they ran a touching compilation of Snuka's career highlights, Eric uttered the three words no performer wants to hear - "three minutes" - and in bounded The Island Boyz. Rosie and Jamal hammered 'The Superfly'.
RVD beat Tommy Dreamer in a good brawl to unify the Hardcore title with the Intercontinental belt (in reality the Hardcore belt was binned).
Lastly, Triple H pinned The Undertaker in a poor main event after Lesnar nailed the 'Taker with the Undisputed title belt. Following the decision, Stephanie McMahon announced that she had signed Lesnar to an exclusive Smackdown contract.
From the September 2 Raw (held before a crowd of 8,000 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin): Eric Bischoff awarded HHH the World championship. Yeah, just like that. The Game was handed Raw's version of the World crown. That WWE has two World titles again is bad enough. That Hunter didn't have to beat anyone to win the strap is straight out of the Vince Russo school of booking.
RVD & Ric Flair beat Triple H and Chris Jericho in a passable encounter when Rob Van Dam pinned Triple H. Flair's selling here was embarrassingly bad.
From the September 9 Raw (held before a crowd of 7,000 in Ames, Iowa): Bischoff announced that Hot Lesbian Action was on its way. Uncle Eric may as well have added: "And the reason for that is, the muppets in charge of this company have no faith in their wrestlers and no fresh ideas for them" [Boy...does that sound familiar - KK]. Eric Bischoff introduced 'lesbians' (who were UPW wrestlers Looney Lane and Savvy). They shed most of their clothes and started getting down to it, before Bischoff decided their "three minutes" was up and brought The Island Boyz in to slaughter them. The vicious male-on-female beating was cut from Sky Sports' version of the show.
The National Network was bombarded with complaints from angry viewers who were deeply offended by the HLA segment. TNN executives were also alarmed by the footage, and reportedly told WWE that they didn't want to see anything like that on Raw again.
RVD won an elimination match over Big Show, Jeff Hardy and Jericho to earn a shot at Triple H's World Title at Unforgiven.
Jerry Lawler had cosmetic surgery on his eyes and jaw line in early September. Lawler, who turns 53 on November 29, is obviously keen to remain as youthful-looking as possible in this image-obsessed game.
Mike Awesome officially hit rock bottom at the September 3 Velocity taping when he did the job to Funaki.
Kane [Raw] wrestled on a Smackdown show on September 1 in Dallas Texas. Does anyone understand this brand extension?
In the Ratings - RAW
August 19: 4.0 August 26: 3.9 September 2: 3.6 September: 3.4 (worst in over 4 years)
Signs of The Times
Sign Sabu - Raw, August 12 Eddie Guerrero washes my dishes - Smackdown, August 15 Flair is old - Summerslam, August 25 Latino Heat has smelly feet - Summerslam, August 25 The Rock sold out - Smackdown, August 29 Why is Angle still bald? - Smackdown, September 5 Undertaker = Underseller - Smackdown, September 5
If I Can Be Serious For A Minute...
"I didn't think Spike went out with Molly. I thought all his dates were inflatable" - Jerry Lawler, Raw August 12
"World's strongest man, eh? What was that for: weightlifting or body odour?" - Kurt Angle to Mark Henry, Smackdown August 19
"The only place you'll see two Olympians is right here on Smackown" - Michael Cole, failing to realise the Olympics exist, Smackdown August 15
"This isn't football, folks. These guys don't have pads on" - Michael Cole, stating the obvious again, Smackdown, August 15
"Stacy's trying to immerse Trish in that water. I'm sure she's somewhat buoyant, but..." - Jim Ross, Raw August 19
"He's a horrible human being" - Jim Ross on Triple H, Raw August 26
"Bubba's gonna get some wood, King" - Jim Ross, Raw August 26
"Molly is certainly not used to that" - Jerry Lawler (in response).
"A lot of guys don't realise that. That's how you win a match. You've gotta cover the man. A lot of younger competitors don't do that" - Tazz, drifting off into his own little world again, Smackdown August 29
From the September 16 Raw (held before a crowd of 7,000 in Denver, Colorado): New wrestler Rico upset Ric Flair in a complete mess.
Chris Jericho beat Rob Van Dam by submission in a decent match to capture the Intercontinental title for the fourth time.
A phony women’s rights group, called the International Organisation 4 Women, demanded equality for females on Raw. Eric Bischoff in response demanded Hot Lesbian Action. Moments later, Stephanie McMahon, who was hiding among the crowd of IOW protesters, removed her disguise and booted Eric in the nuts. However, the (accidental) star of the segment was the unnamed IOW spokesperson who couldn’t keep a straight face as she delivered her idiotic lines. Afterwards a challenge was issued for the Billy and Chuck Vs. Rosey and Jamal match at Unforgiven: if Billy and Chuck won, then Bischoff would have to kiss Steph’s backside; whereas if Rosey and Jamal went over, Steph would have to tackle some HLA (neither happened, of course).
From the September 22 WWE Unforgiven (held before a sell out crowd of 16,000): WWE ignored the cardinal rules of pro wresting at Unforgiven in Los Angeles, California when it put The Undertaker's demands before the good of the Undisputed title, the pay-per-view and the company itself. Undertaker, who was originally scheduled to lose to Brock Lesnar by pinfall, persuaded Vince McMahon to change the ending of the main event to a non-finish. 'Taker, as the story goes, felt that he needed to be 'protected' for his rematch with Lesnar at No Mercy (there were ways of doing that while still delivering a pinfall). Ironically, in preserving his own interests, the selfish veteran almost did require protection - from the sell out crowd in the Staples Center who were furious at the double disqualification ending.
Rob Van Dam's crack at Triple H's World crowd was the biggest match this year. On the verge of achieving genuine main event status, Van Dam might have taken that giant final step if he had pinned 'The Game' clean for the belt. But, alas, in order for RVD to rise, Hunter had to fall, and that wasn't an option. Worse, Van Dam lost after Flair ran in and 'shockingly' turned on him following a ref bump. Yawn. Flair started 2002 as a babyface, then went heel, then turned babyface, and is now a villain again.
From the September 23 Raw (held before a crowd of 9,000 in Anaheim, California): The Bisch announced that Vince McMahon had frozen all WWE performers’ contracts. Hence, there can be no further movement of talent between Raw and Smackdown!, unless it’s an official trade authorised by both Bischoff and Steph. The Bisch revealed that he’d managed to raid two more guys before the contract freeze cam into effect.
New Raw man Randy Orton beat Steven Richards in a passable match bereft of crowd heat.
Kane and The Hurricane downed Lance Storm and Christian in a fair match to capture the World Tag Team title.
From the September 30 Raw (held before a crowd of 7,500 in Houston, Texas): Trouble in The Un-American camp: Storm and Christian argued over who was to blame for their loss the previous week.
Trish Stratus beat Victoria by disqualification in a good match when Vic nailed her with a chair shot. This was a great effort by both women...
Kane downed Jericho to win the Intercontinental title.
From the October 7 Raw (held before a crowd of 8,000 in Las Vegas, Nevada): It was the Raw Roulette Wheel show - an evening of gimmick matches, all selected at random (hey, would they lie to us?) by Bischoff's wonder wheel. These ranged from the silly (the dress in drag Las Vegas Showgirl match in which William Regal beat Goldust) to the outstanding (the TLC match in which Kane retained the Tag Team title against Bubba Ray Dudley and Spike, Jericho and Christian, and RVD and Jeff Hardy).
After the TLC clash, Triple H came out and accused Kane of killing a woman ten years ago.
Vince McMahon opened secret negotiations with Lennox Lewis' representatives last month. McMahon would like Lewis, the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, to participate in an angle with Brock Lesnar early next year.
Vince McMahon mentioned at a recent stockholders' meeting that he would like to revive Extreme Championship Wrestling, complete with a weekly television show. McMahon didn't say when he might do this. I would be amazed if he ever did...
Shawn Michaels is saying he has one more match left in him, and that match will probably be at WrestleMania XIX...
During a September 30 appearance on Florida's Bubba The Love Sponge radio show, Hollywood Hulk Hogan stated that his WWE contract had expired and he was working on a handshake agreement with Vince McMahon. In truth, Hogan is under contract to WWE until February 2003. He's telling friends that he's in no hurry to return to WWE. Knowing Hogan, that probably means he can't wait to come back...
Ted Petty, who wrestled as Rocco Rock (The Public Enemy), died of a heart attack on September 21 at the age of 49.
In recent happenings from TNA...
Week 14: B.G. James downed Jeff Jarrett by disqualification in the main event when everyone ran in.
Week 15 (October 2): Jerry Lynn beat AJ Styles on a reverse decision in a thrilling Ladder match. This set up ANOTHER Ladder bout between the two on the October 9 show (an abundance of gimmick matches is always a sign that a promotion doesn't know what to do next).
Syxx-Pac and B.G. James defeated Jeff Jarrett & Brian Lawler in a crap main event. Ron Killings ran in to help Jarrett and Lawler batter 'Pac & James afterwards.
In the Ratings - RAW
September 16: 3.4 September 23: 3.6 September 30: 3.6 October 7: 3.8
Signs of The Times
Brock took my beer money - Smackdown, September 5 Push Spike - Raw, September 16 Latino Heat sold me oranges - Smackdown, September 19 I miss WCW Nitro - Raw, September 23 Hopefully HHH is in every segment - Raw, September 23 They took my sign again! - Raw, September 23 Eddie moed (sic) my lawn - Smackdown, September 26 Tazz can't add - Raw, September 30
Know Your...Wrestling Euphemisms
What wrestling people really mean when they say...
"This is an unorthodox idea" - This idea doesn't make any sense. "Oh, no! It was a set up all along!" - The bookers don't have a clue what to do next, so they're turning everyone. "There's no wasted motion in this match!" - The wrestlers in this match don't know how to work the crowd. "He's a methodical competitor" - He's a boring competitor. "He's the very best in the business" - He's knocking off the boss' daughter. "Everyone knows I'm a straight shooter" - I lie habitually. "Vince McMahon is a genius" - Please, WWE, give me a job!!! "Vince Russo is a genius" - Russo tells me I'm in line for a push "Our organisation features the greatest collection of talent under one roof in the history of the business" - We've just hired a bunch of washed-up veterans. "This kid has tremendous potential" - This kid is doing the job. "That kid doesn't know how to work" - Damn! That youngster is better than me. "I have absolutely no problem putting anyone in the company over under the right circumstances" - I'm not doing any more jobs.
If I Can Be Serious For A Minute...
"I knew Stacy Keibler was a lesbian when she wouldn't go out with me" - Jerry Lawler, Raw September 9th.
"I am the greatest World champion there has ever been. And the reason is: I've got it all" - Triple H, Raw September 16.
"You've lost it, Flair. If this is the way you're gonna be, why don't you do everybody a favour: give it up, retire. The Ric Flair I see before me now is pathetic" - Triple H, summing up the Flair situation perfectly, Raw September 16.
"Keep in mind, Brock Lesnar has all the accolades: He's a two time Big Ten champion, he's a..." - Michael Cole, boring us senseless once again with that irrelevant crap, Smackdown September 19.
"I don't have a tattoo on my back. What are you looking at my back for anyway, you dirty old man?" - Jim Ross to Jerry 'Albert Steptoe' Lawler, Raw September 23.
"I'm tired of hearing him, and I'm tired of seeing him: this is not the Triple H show." - Bubba Ray Dudley, Raw September 23.
"A '6' and a '9'. What's that: 14?" - Tazz, demonstrating his genius again, Smackdown September 26.
"A lot of 'Es' in this match: Edge, Eddie, Edge, Eddie..." - Tazz, Smackdown September 26.
From the October 14 Raw (held before a crowd of 10,500 in Montreal, Canada): Chris Jericho and Christian defeated Kane and The Hurricane in a nothing match to win the World Tag Team title.
Kane denied the accusation made by Triple H that he murdered a woman in 1992. According to 'The Red Machine', the female in question, Katie Vick, was killed in a car accident when they were returning home from a party. It happened when Kane, who was driving, swerved to avoid an animal and ran their car off the road. Poor Katie was killed instantly. Aww. Devised by a dimwit (Kevin Dunn) and approved by a muppet (Vince McMahon), this story line then leapt to the top of wrestling's all-time worst list when Triple H came out and accused Kane of being drunk when he was driving the vehicle, and raping Katie after she had thrown a seven.
Christopher Nowinski returned and defeated Tommy Dreamer in a terrible match.
Triple H pinned Rob Van Dam again in a lame Lumberjack match.
From the October 21 Raw (held before a crowd of 5,000 in Nashville, Tennessee): Triple H claimed to have videotape evidence which would prove that Kane had sex with Katie Vick's corpse.
Test beat the worthless D-Lo Brown with help from special referee Stacy Keibler. Afterwards, Keibler threw herself at Test.
HHH's video aired. It featured Triple H, crudely disguised as Kane, entering a chapel of rest and approaching a coffin which contained the body of Katie Vick (a manikin, of course). Tripper undressed Miss Vick and then disrobed and hopped on board for a spot of necrophilia. Fortunately for UK viewers, Sky Sports 1 cut most of this segment.
The Big Show hammered Rosey and Jamal and Rico in a handicap match. Afterwards, Eric Bischoff announced that Show was through with Raw and was now the property of Smackdown!
Kane and RVD defeated Triple H and Ric Flair in a poor main event when Van Dam pinned Flair.
From the October 28 Raw (held before a crowd of 9,000 in Detroit, Michigan): Bischoff announced that Triple H and Kane would settle their rotten feud in a non-title Casket match.
Test's "marketing person" Stacy announced that Test's fans would henceforth be known as "Testicles".
Kane beat Triple H in a mediocre Casket match with help from Shawn Michaels.
From the November 4 Raw (held before a crowd of 9,000 in Boston, Massachusetts): Uncle Eric seemed repulsed that he had kissed Stephanie on Smackdown! Triple H was concerned about the connection...
The Dave Batista push began. He hammered Justin Credible.
Maven returned and attacked Nowinski.
WWE received a record number of complaints about the simulated necrophilia angle on the October 21 Raw. While planning and filming the segment, the creative department was fully expecting that reaction. Bigwigs were also expecting the mainstream media to jump all over the skit. A publicity-seeking exercise, you might say. And one which failed miserably. The mainstream completely ignored WWE's rotten little angle.
Triple H provided colour commentary on the Mr. Olympia pay per view on October 19. Triple H is a huge fan of competition bodybuilders, and supposedly has framed photos of them all around his mansion...
WWE's only house show sell-outs of the month were in the UK (Belfast and Sheffield)
Randy Orton is out until February due to a separated shoulder.
Stephanie McMahon talked WWE, breast implants and sex (naturally) on the Howard Stern show on October 17. Steph, 26, stated that WWE business was down because the economy was down. [They're still using that excuse today... - KK] Quizzed about her silicon implants, Miss McMahon revealed she went under the cosmetic surgeon's knife because her natural knockers looked like, and I quote, "melted packets of butter" (how poetic).
Scott Steiner signed a big money contract in late October. Rumour has it that he will be pushed into the main event picture (on Raw, most likely) as soon as he arrives on television. Steiner's buddy Terry Taylor was rehired in October. He is working as a road agent for the Raw team.
In recent happenings from TNA...
Panda Energy, an international firm based in Dallas, Texas, purchased the majority share of NWA:TNA from Jerry and Jeff Jarrett in late October. The organisation - which has lost in excess of $20,000 on every show it's promoted since July - would have folded before the end of the year had the buy-out not occurred. The Jarretts have retained a minority interest in NWA:TNA, and dear, old Jerry will stay on as booker. Vince Russo, who was working as Jarrett's assistant before the buy out, is no longer with the company.
The new financial backing from Panda has allowed NWA:TNA to upgrade its production values, but the real problems remain. The group is short on fresh ideas, still lacks an identity and has no long term direction [Well, good to see things have changed in 8 years... - KK]
Curt Kennig made his debut on October 9 in a six man match. That same night, Syxx-Pac won the X Title in a Ladder Battle Royal.
NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler teamed with B.G. James (the washed-up lard arse formerly known as Road Dogg) to beat Jeff Jarrett and Bruce in a terrible match on the October 16 show. NWA: TNA sponsors Sadler's race car. For some reason they think that gives them the right to book this bland and wimpy looking non-wrestler in the ring.
In the Ratings - RAW
October 14: 3.9 October 21: 3.7 October 28: 3.45 November 4: 3.5
Signs of The Times
I paid 2K for HLA - Raw, October 7 Viva lost wages - Raw, October 7 Undertaker needs new music - Smackdown, October 10 Triple H is a liar - Raw, October 14 Kane is a murderer - Raw, October 14 Hollywood Hulk Huggins - Raw, October 21 More HHH please - Raw, October 21 Not another Big Show push - Smackdown, October 31
If I Can Be Serious For A Minute...
"She has flexibility, don't she?" - Jim Ross on Stacy Keibler, Raw October 17
"Is that all you're noticing: her flexibility? J.R, if Lady Godivah rode by here, all you'd talk about is the horse" - Jerry Lawler (in response)
"Where are we? Phoenix...that's right." - Tazz, on the ball as always, Smackdown October 10.
"How could you, Mark? For three months, you have lied to me and slept with me. And now I find out you're married, and your wife is pregnant. You bastard!" - Tracy, delivering poor quality lines poorly, Smackdown October 10.
"They speak French over there in Montreal, Quebec. You know that?" - Tazz, Smackdown October 10.
"William Regal, you certainly seemed at home in that female attire last week." - Jim Ross to Blackpool's finest, Raw October 14.
"How bloody dare you!" - Mr Regal (in response)
"I'll do anything to get my chance...unlike Trish Stratus, who will 'do' anyone" - Victoria, Raw October 14.
"Between Katie Vick and semen, I'm having a hell of a time focussing on this match, thanks to you" - Jim Ross to Jerry 'Sex Angles Rule' Lawler (or possibly Kevin Dunn), No Mercy October 20.
"I do what I want to do to when I want to do it, and there is not a damn thing anyone can do about it." - Triple H, Raw October 21.
"Because Rebellion is the very first Smackdown!-only pay per view, we wanted to make it the best pay per view of the year." - Stephanie McMahon, having a laugh at out expense (quite literally), Rebellion, October 26.
"Cole: has the UK area, the neighbourhood the UK as they call it...have they ever won any gold medals in anything?" - Tazz, Rebellion, October 26
On the November 11 Raw (held before a crowd of 6,000 in Cincinnati, Ohio): Ric Flair seemed very interested in managing Batista. The big man hammered D-Lo Brown in 90 seconds.
Triple H pinned Booker T with assistance from Flair. Afterwards, Chris Jericho, RVD, Kane & Shawn Michaels ran in for a big brawl to set up the Elimination Chamber match.
On the November 14 Smackdown! (taped on November 12 before a crowd of 6,000 in Columbus, Ohio): Al Wilson and Dawn Marie were discussing arrangements for their forthcoming wedding. (Al proposed to Dawn on the previous week's Smackdown!). I used to think Marie and Torrie Wilson - the other star of these segments had a modicum of acting ability. Now I realise I was wrong...
Eddie Guerrero pinned Rey Mysterio Jr. in an excellent match.
Brock Lesnar had a confrontation with The Big Show which ended when Lesnar nailed Show with several evil chair shots.
On the November 18 Raw (held before a crowd of 7,500 in Bridgeport, Connecticut): Scott Steiner cut a promo. Jericho interrupted him. He paid for that later...
Christopher Nowinski beat Al Snow in an unusual brawl which featured such props as a skeleton, a dunce cap and a bowling ball.
Eric Bischoff welcomed Val Venis/The Big Valbowski to Raw. Venis stated that he had changed his name.
Batista attacked Kane from behind and left him laying.
Lastly, RVD won a mediocre Triple Threat match over Jericho and Booker T, following interference from Steiner, to become the number one contender to the World Title. After, Michaels came out and shook hands with Van Dam.
On the November 25 Raw (held before a crowd of 6,500 in North Charleston, South Carolina): Sean Morley, formerly Val Venis, was named Eric Bischoff's new Chief of Staff.
Lance Storm and William Regal 0 a/k/a Wrestling's Most Boring Team - beat The Hurricane and Jeff Hardy in a worthless match.
Batista pinned Kane with help from Flair.
It was explained that Big Show was traded to Smackdown! in exchange for Ivory, D-Von Dudley, Maven and Morley.
And, Michaels went to a non-finish with Van Dam when - WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT? - Triple H ran in and destroyed absolutely everyone.
On the November 28 Smackdown! (taped on November 26 before a crowd of 5,000 in Columbia, South Carolina): Ernest Miller replaced Tazz in the colour commentators chair for the evening. I was hoping this would, at least, provide some nutty material for "If I Can Be Serious For a Minute..." But, instead, 'The Cat just listlessly mumbled his way through the broadcast. His clichéd and unintelligible performance was so bad, I was longing for the return of Art Donovan.
Bull Buchanan was renamed B Squared. He is associated with John 'What The Hell Happened to My Career?' Cena.
Finally, as Big Show was about to choke-slam that promising up-and-comer Fabulous Moolah, Lesnar ran in again and F-5'd him through the announcers' table.
On the December 2 Raw (held before a crowd of 5,500 in Austin, Texas): The Dudley Boyz defeated 3 Minute Warning in a poor match. Following the decision, Jericho and Christian helped Rosey and Jamal batter Bubba Ray and D-Von.
Sean Morley was renamed Chief Morley.
Jacqueline pinned Victoria in a non-title match.
Lastly, HHH pinned Rob Van Dam - YET AGAIN - in a match refereed by Michaels. That the babyface couldn't defeat the heel with a babyface referee assisting him tells you all you need to know WWE's thoughts on Van Dam's top-line suitability and its obsession with relentlessly pushing Triple H at the expense of everyone else in the company.
In all the happenings from NWA: TNA...
Jerry Lynn regained the X title from A.J Styles in a superb bout on November 6. As far as match quality goes, these two may have had the Feud of the Year.
B.G. James referred to Lenny Lane as a "******" on the November 20 event. What a step forward (he writes sarcastically). Nothing like reinforcing those redneck stereotypes. What's James' next trick: using the "N"-word to describe Ron Killings?
Bruce, another gay character, apparently turned heterosexual on November 20. April was responsible for changing his sexual persuasion.
Jeff Jarrett captured the NWA title from Ron Killings in a really good match on November 20 after Vince Russo, was was disguised as Mr. Wrestling III, drilled Killings with a guitar.
Sean Waltman quit the company after Russo returned. According to NWA management, Russo is not employed as a booker/booking assistant - only as an on-screen performer. Waltman disputes that, and that's why he quit. We also have reason to believe that Russo is heavily involved in the 'creative' department. On November 27, he uttered several 'shoot' comments, swore repeatedly and, in classic Russo fashion, made very little sense. Shock TV lives on - in NWA: TNA.
The World Wildlife Fund/Worldwide Fund for Nature is threatening legal action against WWFE again. Not satisfied with the name change, the Fund is saying it wants damages for the wrestling company's illegal usage of the WWF initials. The good news is, the Fund is prepared to settle out of court - for the sum of $90 million. How the panda people arrived at that figure, I do not know...
Steve 'Austin' Williams managed to avoid a prison term by pleading no-contest to the charge of assaulting his wife Debra. Williams - who was arrested following the couple's much-publicised bust up in June - entered the plea during a November 25 pre-trial hearing at Bexar County Court in San Antonio, Texas. The 38 year old former World champion was fined $1,000 and placed on probation for one year. He will also have to carry out 80 hours of community service, undergo domestic counselling and refrain from drinking alcohol for 12 months.
WWE Anthology is now available in the UK. The 86-track set was due for release on December 16.
Triple H suffered breathing difficulties after Rob Van Dam accidentally struck him in the throat with his knee while performing a frog splash in the Elimination Chamber. Hunter spent the night in hospital, but was released the following afternoon.
Booker T, Lance Storm, William Regal, D-Lo Brown, Rob Van Dam, Steven Richards, Al Snow and others went down with sickness and/or diarrhoea either during or while returning from the tour of India.
Rey Mysterio Jr. is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Kurt Angle was set to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery after Armageddon (which will pin him to the sidelines until Royal Rumble).
The Undertaker's wife Sara gave birth to a girl on November 22. Seems the official story that Undi' had to withdraw from Rebellion on October 26 because Sara was ready to drop was total bollocks...
Remember the Stephanie/Eric Bischoff kiss on the October 31 Smackdown!? Well, forget it: that story line has been dropped.
Jim Ross was visible during a backstage segment on the November 21 Smackdown! Stupid mistakes like that are now unfortunately happening with alarming regularity in WWE.
Perry Saturn and Diamond Dallas Page have been released from their contracts.
Kurt Angle's wife Karen gave birth to a girl on November 25.
Vince McMahon has privately admitted that the Katie Vick saga bombed.
Triple H twice called a halt to his November 9 house show match in Philadelphia. First time, when a fight broke out in the crowd; second, when a woman in the front row began yelling at him. On each occasion, HHH complained over the house mike.
After declaring a money-losing financial quarter (August to October) last month, WWFE is again under pressure to cut costs.
WWFE Classics has been replaced by NWA/WCW Worldwide on Sky Sports 1 because WWE is no longer allowed to air any footage which includes the WWF initials.
In the Ratings - RAW
November 11: A terrible 3.1. November 18: 3.7 November 25: 3.4 December 2: 3.3
Signs of The Times
I'm a huge testicle - Raw, November 11. Test has no testicles - Raw, November 11. Kane digs dead chicks - Raw, November 11. A.J. Styles is God - Raw, November 11. Big Poppa Boner - Survivor Series, November 17. Scott Steiner = drug-free athlete - Raw, November 18. Raw is worse than Nitro - Raw, November 25. Brock, U are a pansy - Smackdown!, November 28. I came to see Tommy Dreamer - Raw, December 2.
If I Can Be Serious For A Minute...
"Booker, you might have been a five-time WCW champion. But that was then, and this is now. And the fact is right now, buddy, you can't even hold my jock." - Triple H to Booker T, Raw November 4.
"I think failure has gone to his head" - Jerry Lawler on Al Snow, Raw November 4.
"Let me tell you this: in this arena, I'm God!" - Triple H, Raw November 11.
"Come on Jeff, God damn it!" - A furious Rico to Jeff Hardy after he forgot to knock Rico off the ropes in their match, Survivor Series.
"(Jamie) Noble's got something up his sleeve here; but he has no shirt on, so he has no sleeves." - Tazz, Survivor Series
"Where is this going, King?" - Jim Ross on the painfully lame segment involving Christopher Nowinski and Matt Hardy, Survivor Series.
"I don't know, but I wish it would hurry up and get there," - Jerry Lawler (in response).
"Give me a strawberry floating mike!" - Scott Steiner's first words before a crowd as a WWE employee, Survivor Series November 17.
"You should be worried that Raw will be minus Triple H tonight. Let's see you produce Raw without 'The Game'" - Ric Flair to Eric Bischoff, Raw November 18.
"Raw without The 'Game'?" - Jim Ross (in response).
"Can that happen? Is it possible?" - Jerry Lawler (in response to that).
"Al Wilson's so old that instead of renting a limo for his wedding, he's gonna rent a stagecoach." - Tazz, Smackdown November 21.
"Triple H has ruined this title match! Bastard!" - Jim Ross, Raw November 25.
"For those of you who don't know, I am Vince Russo, and I am the Antichrist of professional wrestling. I've kept a low profile for two years. But I figured before this business gets any deeper in the shitter, Vince Russo better come back" - Vince Russo, NWA: TNA November 27.
"This product sucks, WWE sucks, and Vince Russo is here to save the day once again." - Vince Russo, NWA: TNA November 27.
"I want you all to realise that I didn't screw Brock Lesnar: Brock Lesnar screwed Brock Lesnar. Brock, you're suspended!" - Stephanie McMahon, making the weekly reference to the Survivor Series '97 double cross, Smackdown November 28.
From the December 23 Raw (tape on December 21 before a crowd of 9,000 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma): The new look D-Lo Brown lost to Natural Born Thriller Test by disqualification after he pushed the referee. Brown, who now believes WWE officials are racist, was dressed like Konnan.
Eric Bischoff and Chief Morley informed Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler that they would be wrestling in the main event.
Scott Steiner beat Triple H in an arm wrestling match. Then he beat him again. And again. This was a killer angle.
Finally, Ross and Lawler defeated Lance Storm and William Regal with help from The Dudley Boyz.
From the January 2nd Smackdown (held before a sell out crowd of 8,000 in Albuquerque, New Mexico): They promoted The Undertaker's Royal Rumble return by airing spooky footage of him as 'The Phenom'. Strangely, though, The 'Taker was scheduled to return as 'The American Bad Ass'. I can't explain why WWE would mislead its viewers in this fashion - it makes no sense.
Dawn Marie 'married' Al Wilson. This segment was as badly written and poorly acted as all the others involving Marie and Al (and Torrie Wilson).
Lesnar crushed Matt Hardy.
From the January 6 Raw (held before a crowd of 8,000 in Phoenix, Arizona): As a punishment for interfering in the Storm/Regal vs. Ross/Lawler match two weeks earlier, Bischoff and Morley had 3 Minute Warning, Rico and Batista batter Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley.
Storm and Regal beat Booker T and Goldust to capture the World tag team title in a good match, with help from Morley.
Finally, HHH beat 'Big Poppa Pump' in a Pose Down Challenge when all six judges selected from the audience - whom HHH had supposedly bribed - voted for 'The Game'. Not surprisingly, Steiner pounded the judges. (who just happened to be independent wrestlers) afterwards.
From the January 9 Smackdown (taped on January 7 before a crowd of 5,000 in Tucson, Arizona): Poor Al Wilson was unable to keep up with Dawn Marie's sexual demands and, by the end of the show, had been quite literally 'shagged to death'.
And from the January 13 Raw (held before a crowd of 6,000 in Uncasville, Connecticut): In his big comeback on Raw, Raven lost to Jeff Hardy in a terrible match.
Vince McMahon returned. He told Bischoff that he wasn't happy with Raw (but then, who is?). Vince demanded that Bischoff improve the programme within 30 days or he would appoint a new General Manager. Shane McMahon then entered the picture. The Bisch got the message.
Triple H suffered a partially torn muscle in his right thigh on December 9. The injury hindered 'The Game' for around four weeks.
Bill Goldberg met Vince McMahon for the first time on January 8 in Los Angeles, California. Goldberg and McMahon discussed several different deals and scenarios - which included a match with The Rock at WrestleMania XIX on March 30. Although Goldberg has yet to commit himself to WWE at time of writing, everyone involved was confident that an agreement would be reached and that his proposed bout with The Rock at 'Mania would go ahead. Speaking of The Rock: he is scheduled to return in mid February as a heel.
Bill Goldberg stated in a radio interview before his meeting with McMahon that he would like to work with Rock, Steve Austin, Undertaker and Kurt Angle in WWE. No, Triple H is not on his list. However, Goldberg did say that if 'The Game' attempted to cause any problems for him in WWE, he would know how to handle the situation.
Jim Ross' Ross Report is no more. Ross was ordered to discontinue his weekly column because it was upsetting certain WWE wrestlers and staff and was divulging too much "inside information". That's the story, anyway...
Kevin Nash hopes to return to action at WrestleMania XIX. Oh, goody...
WWE is said to be impressed with Gail Kim, who started working house shows last month.
Bret Hart met with Vince McMahon at McMahon's holiday home in Boca Raton, Florida before Christmas. The two men finally buried the hatchet.
Dustin 'Goldust' Runnels married his girlfriend Milena on December 18.
Hulk Hogan's autobiography should definitely be stocked in the "Fiction" section of bookshops...
None of the women are actually undressed on the new Divas Undressed video and DVD.
In recent happenings from NWA: TNA...
The weekly events are now being broadcast on Star World - which serves the Far East, the Middle East and India - and Main Event, a pay per view channel in Australia.
Curt Hennig claimed he was 35 years of age in an interview on the December 4 show. I'm sure Hennig wishes he was 35: In truth, he turns 45 on March 28.
Roddy Piper made an unadvertised appearance on December 4. He cut a confusing and tasteless promo, in which he blamed the death of Owen Hart in May 1999 on Vince Russo and his style of sports entertainment. Russo came out, with Ron and Don Harris, and had a standoff with Piper. Piper later claimed this was a "shoot". It wasn't...
Dusty Rhodes made his NWA: TNA debut on January 8.
Hennig had a horrible match with David Flair on January 8 and may be through with the company.
William 'Percy Pringle' Moody - alias Paul Bearer - and Mike Sanders are now regulars with the group.
In the Ratings - RAW
December 23: 3.24 December 30: 2.8 January 6: 3.6 January 13: 3.9
Signs of The Times
Nidia likes truck stops - Smackdown, December 5 Big Show + blonde wig = Anna Nicole Smith - Smackdown, December 5 We got these seats free - Armageddon, December 15 Eddie mows his hair - Smackdown, December 19 Flair, go home. Nobody cares - Raw, December 23 Stop saying What - Smackdown, January 2 HHH, spit here - Raw, January 13 Spike is really sexy - Raw, January 13
Know Your Wrestling Euphemisms 2
"This is not in the script" - This is in the script.
"Look at this man. He's in the best shape of his career." - This guy looks terrible.
"I'm loyal to the company" - 1. I am under a long-term contract. 2. No one else will have me.
"I am no longer interested in winning the World title: I would much rather enjoy myself, and help create new stars" - My last World title reign was such a disaster that they've told me in no uncertain terms that I'm never having another.
"This guy is a tremendous athlete." - This guy has no charisma and is not over.
"How are you qualified to judge wrestling? When have you ever wrestled?" - I am a bitter and twisted grappler with no 'look' and a piss poor ring style, who has achieved little, will achieve even less in the future, and am so narrow-minded and thin- skinned that I lash out at any and all forms of criticism, no matter how well-deserved it may be.
"Let me tell you something - and this is a shoot!" - This is another lie.
"I'm going to squash you in this match, yes. But, because I'M a top guy and you're NOT, you will be elevated just by being in the ring with me." - My name is Triple H. And your push is over.
"Things were much better in the 1980s." - I was much better in the 1980s.
If I Can Be Serious For A Minute...
"If this was boxing, Chavo Guerrero would definitely be ahead on points." - Michael Cole, Smackdown December 5.
"But it's not boxing, Cole" - Tazz (in response)
"Thanks. That's why you're a colour analyst." - Michael Cole (in response to that).
"You change your mind more than an old lady." - Jim Ross on Jerry Lawler, Armageddon December 15.
"Scott Steiner is nothing but a jacked-up piece of trash." - All-natural athlete Triple H, Raw December 16.
"I'm going to introduce a man to you to whom we owe a tremendous amount of gratitude. A man who has done more for this industry than anyone else alive. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you the World Heavyweight Champion, Triple H!" - Eric Bischoff, Raw December 16.
"Even a red carpet is not good enough for a man of Triple H's stature" - Jerry Lawler, Raw December 16.
"It's hard to be humble when you're Triple H" - Triple H, Raw December 16.
"If (Eric Bischoff) would worry more about business instead of ruining people's lives and humiliating people, we'd have a better television show, I guarantee ya'" - Jim Ross, identifying one of WWE's genuine problems, Raw December 23.
"It appears that my announce team is taking their jobs for granted J.R., need I remind you that I have Tony Schiavone's number in my speed dial." - Eric Bischoff, delivering another inside line that was lost on the masses, Raw December 23.
"Rikishi, backing that big bum up. Bum means, like, butt. Get it?" - Tazz, generously sharing his knowledge of British culture with his compatriots, Smackdown January 2.
"Triple H has intimidated a lot of men in this business, but he's not going to intimidate 'Big Poppa Pump'." - Jerry Lawler, making a valid point for once, Raw January 6.
"I am here to save this business. This business is at an all-time low...Evolutuon is the solution." - Vince Russo, seeing the light at last, NWA: TNA January 8.
2002 PowerSlam Reader Awards
Wrestler of the Year - Kurt Angle
Match of the Year - Shawn Michaels Vs Triple H (Summerslam, August 25)
Feud of the Year - Kurt Angle Vs Edge
Babyface of the Year - Rob Van Dam
Heel of the Year - Kurt Angle
Character of the Year - Kurt Angle
Most Abysmal Wrestler of the Year - Big Show
Most Abysmal Match of the Year - Trish Stratus & Bradshaw Vs. Jackie Gayda and Chris Nowinski (Raw, July 8)
Commentator of the Year - Jim Ross
Card of the Year - WWE Summerslam
2002 Year In Review
The WWF did a fabulous job of promoting Triple H's return to television on the January 7 Raw. The 13, 811 fans at Madison Square Garden almost shook the roof off when 'The Game' hit the ring.
There was an outcry from PowerSlam readers when Royal Rumble was broadcast on Sky Box Office at a cost of £14.00.
The WWF signed Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall to mega-money contracts. In response to claims that the three veterans would be a bad influence on locker room morale and the promotion in general, WWF spin doctors, led by Jim Ross, arrogantly stated that the grief they previously caused in WCW was due to gutless management.
Edge was trapped in a dreary feud with the awkward, bumbling, clumsy William Regal.
It was revealed that the legendary manager Bobby Heenan had been diagnosed with throat cancer.
February 5, his very first night on the job, Scott Hall got hammered and made a complete idiot of himself and those who hired him. Nevertheless, WWF management continued making excuses for Hall - until they fired him on May 7.
The new nWo made its on-screen WWF debut at No Way Out on February 17. Thanks to the novelty of Hogan, Hall and Nash being together for the first time in Order colours on WWF turf, the supercard was a solid financial success. In the squared circle however, No Way Out was one of the worst pay-per-views of the year.
Due to sagging business, the WWF 'asked' each of its rank-and-file performers to take a $25,000 per annum pay cut. Not surprisingly, no one refused. Equally predictably, the main eventers - who probably wouldn't have missed the cash - were not 'asked' to make a sacrifice for the good of the company.
Bret Hart was invited by Vince McMahon to make an appearance at WrestleMania X8. 'The Hitman' declined the offer.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan made The Rock look foolish by deliberately turning the crowd against him in their memorable WrestleMania outing. Rock won, by the way. There was nothing else of interest on the show.
Kevin Nash almost started crying when The Rock called him "Big Daddy Bitch" on Raw. That line wasn't in the script.
The WWF held the long awaited Draft on March 25. On that same Raw show, Stephanie McMahon lost a Loser-Leaves-The-WWF-Forever match. Yes, they lied to us. Again.
The Scorpion King, starring The Rock, proved to be a sizeable hit and the perfect vehicle for the affable Mr Johnson, who received glowing reviews.
Undisputed Champion Triple H did a rare television job to Hollywood Hulk Hogan in a passable match at Backlash. The decision to put the title on Hogan was made only hours before the show. It was one they would regret later...
The legendary Lou Thesz passed away on April 28 at the age of 86.
Bill Goldberg became a free agent on May 1 when AOL Time Warner bought him out of his contract.
The WWF officially became WWE on May 5 after losing its court battle with the World Wildlife Fund. According to judge Sir Robert Carnwath, the McMahon-owned wrestling company had committed "clear and repeated breaches" of its 1994 agreement with the Wildlife Fund.
The Plane Ride From Hell was perhaps the funniest story of the year. So many of the WWE wrestlers and staff were so utterly plastered on their chartered flight back to the States following Insurrextion that anarchy ensued. In what was described as the highlight of the journey, Sean Waltman cut off Michael Hayes' hideous mullet while he slept.
The Undertake captured the Undisputed title from Hulk Hogan in a terrible match at Judgment Day.
Convinced they were onto a winning new character, WWE's booking squad forced Tommy 'The Freak' Dreamer to eat hair, second-hand chewing tobacco and hot dogs which had been on the floor.
Robin Ethics returned to television on May 27 - showing even less fire and charisma than he did before his neck injury.
Linda Miles and Jackie Gayda won Tough Enough 2 on May 30.
Fed up with the "piss poor" booking, as he called it, and furious that management would even ask him to lose to the then clueless Brock Lesnar, Steve Austin walked out of WWE on June 10. Five days later, 'The Rattlesnake' was in the news again for beating up his wife Debra.
Diamond Dallas Page retired on June 11.
NWA: TNA staged its first pay per view on June 19. Ken Shamrock captured the vacant NWA World title in the main event.
Vince Russo was rehired to work on WWE's booking committee on June 20. After listening to Russo's ideas, Vince McMahon sacked him for the booking committee the next day.
Brock Lesnar won a rubbish King of the Ring tournament on June 23. After the card, Chris Jericho on his website instructed anyone who failed to mark out for his match with Rob Van Dam to "stop watching WWE and take up bowling." Hopefully, Jericho will never be in a position where he has to run his own business.
Bret Hart suffered a stroke when he fell off his push-bike.
WWFE scored a rare victory when it was offered $3.5 million by the Parents Television Council to settle its lawsuit out of court.
Kevin Nash suffered a torn left quadriceps - his second serious muscle tear in four months - on July 8. WWE at that point may have regretted signing Nash to a $700,000 per annum downside.
Shane Douglas was named XPW booker. In a revolutionary booking decision, 'The Franchise' immediately made himself XPW Champion.
In a closed-door meeting attended by WWE wrestlers and road agents, Triple H blasted the under card and mid-card performers for being "lazy" and "not knowing how to work". Afterwards one WWE wrestle, speaking behind the veil of anonymity, called Triple H "an arrogant prick".
Ron Killings became the first black NWA World champion when he defeated Ken Shamrock on August 7.
The Hardy Boyz finally split up for good.
Undisputed Champion The Rock put Brock Lesnar over clean in the top-liner of SummerSlam on August 25. Despite his customary selflessness in the ring, though, The Rock's cover had been blown. Recognising him as a part timer who arranged his wrestling appearances around his movie commitments, fans at SummerSlam loudly booed The Rock. Consequently, 'The Great One' cancelled his scheduled appearance on Raw from Madison Square Garden the following evening. Rocky strongly suspected the New Yorkers would subject him to more of the same.
Triple H awarded himself the World Heavyweight title on September 2.
Apparently believing its viewers no longer wished to see wrestling-related entertainment, WWE hired UPW's Looney Lane and Savvy to perform "hot lesbian action" on the September 9 Raw, and had Billy and Chuck pretend to almost get married on the September 12 Smackdown! Both segments resulted in hundreds of complaints.
The Undertaker ruined the main event of Unforgiven when he refused to lose to Brock Lesnar.
Joanie Laurer made her début for New Japan. She became the first woman to wrestle men in NJPW.
Apparently believing its viewers no longer wished to see wrestling-related entertainment on Raw, WWE unveiled the Kane/Katie Vick/Triple H murder/necrophilia saga. It was the worst thing the company ever produced - and earned it a record number of complaints (in a rare display of humility and candour, Vince McMahon later admitted the angle sucked.)
Nicole Bass' sexual harassment lawsuit against WWE was thrown out of court.
NWA: TNA sold up to Panda Energy.
Issue 100 of Power Slam hit the shops. It was our best seller in years.
The Undertaker finally put Brock Lesnar over in a bloody Hell in a Cell match at No Mercy on October 20. Lesnar stuck two fingers up at The 'Taker after the finish by not selling anything and effortlessly climbing on top of the cage. Either that or he hadn't grasped the concept of selling.
WWE decided to push The Big Show again. It actually worked this time (for a couple of weeks, at least).
Sean Waltman and Joanie Laurer announced their engagement on November 14.
Triple H did his bit for WWE's future by dropping the World title to broken-down part-timer Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series on November 17. On the same show, Scott Steiner made his WWE re-début.
From the March 17 Raw (held before a sell out crowd of 16,349 in St. Louis, Missouri): The Dudley Boyz reluctantly joined forces with Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff and his lieutenant Chief Morley. Bubba Ray and D-Von had to side with the heel administration in order to get their suspension lifted.
Maven overcame interference from Rosey and Jamal to pin Rico. Neither 3 Minute Warning nor Rico’s prospects look fabulous at present.
Steve Austin pinned Bischoff in a lame match. The Rock sprinted in afterwards and levelled ‘Stone Cold’ with a Rock Bottom.
From the March 24 Raw (held before a crowd of 8,000 in Sacramento, California): Due to William Regal’s illness, Chief Morley announced that he and Lance Storm were the new World Tag Team champions.
Booker T and Goldust beat Triple H and 54-year-old Ric Flair in a plodding, 1980s-style match when ‘The Book’ pinned ‘The Game’.
Lastly, Austin interrupted Rock’s heavily hyped concert and smashed his favourite guitar.
From the March 31 Raw (held before a crowd of 7,500 in Seattle, Washington): The show began with an angle which effectively exploited Steve Austin’s very real physical problems. With Austin’s (genuine) medical records in hand, Bischoff broke the news to ‘Stone Cold’ that his neck was so far gone that his active wrestling career was over. The Bisch then fired ‘The Rattlesnake’.
Maven defeated Rosey in a rubbish match. Rosey is thoroughly awful.
Rob Van Dam and Kane downed Storm and Morley (champions) and The Dudley Boyz in an exciting and heated Triple Threat elimination match to win the World Tag Team titles.
Finally, The Rock claimed that he had “done it all” in WWE. Having nothing left to achieve, ‘The Great One’ said he would never again appear on a WWE show. Moments later, Bill Goldberg marched down to the ring to a huge reaction and floored Rock with a Spear.
From the April 7 Raw (held before a crowd of 8,000 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin): Goldberg challenged Rock to a match at Backlash. Rock wasn’t keen. He’ll have changed his mind before you read this...
Jim Ross quit in protest against Bischoff’s decision to fire Austin on March 31. Yes, ‘Cowboy’ Jim took his ball and went home...
Kevin Nash returned after Shawn Michaels and Booker T’s victory over Triple H and Chris Jericho and attacked the heels.
Brock Lesnar suffered a concussion, facial bruising and a minor neck injury when he blew his shooting star press at WrestleMania. He returned to action nine days later.
Steve Austin may have worked his last match at WrestleMania XIX. He has serious spinal degeneration and needs his C-6 and C-7 vertebrae fusing. His injuries will not prevent him from working in a non-wrestling capacity, however. Expect him back on WWE television shortly (assuming he hasn’t returned before you read this).
The Undertaker had a minor elbow operation scheduled a few days after PS went to press. He will return to action in mid-May.
Bill Goldberg has signed with the company. It’s a one-year deal, supposedly. No one will tell us how much he’s being paid. But, if it’s anything less than $1 million (plus bonuses), I would be amazed.
There was a titanic blow-up between Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff prior to the March 17 Raw taping. According to reports, The Bisch was in his made-for-television office, minding his own business, when not-so-‘Slic’ Ric burst in and began yelling at him. Flair accused Bischoff of sabotaging his career and Arn Anderson’s career in WCW. Flair, who had turned scarlet and was sweating profusely, as if he were playing that crazy ‘Nature Boy’ character, then reportedly took a swing at The Bisch! Calling on his karate skills, Eric fired back, and the two rumbled until they were separated by road agents. Later, Bischoff confronted Flair in the canteen about the incident and the two men had another row before they were pulled apart again.
Speaking of scuffles, Bill Goldberg and Chris Jericho had one of their own after the April 7 Raw. There had been heat between Goldberg and Jericho dating back to 1998, when both worked for WCW. Anyhow, on this night, Goldberg apparently dissed Jericho. And Chris took exception to it. They had a bit of a shoving match before agents yanked them apart. [Isn’t it amazing how, like on TV, these agents (& referees) always seem to be milling about & just so happen to be in the vicinity when a fight breaks out – KK]
Sable has inked a three-year contract. What are they going to do with her for three years?
The APA – Bradshaw and Ron Simmons – reformed in Ohio Valley Wrestling last month. The washed-up combo will soon return to WWE to flatten anyone who opposes/opposed the war on Iraq. I think Bradshaw sees himself as a modern-day John Wayne.
Kevin Nash was originally scheduled to return as Diesel. Plans changed, as they often do in this company.
Chris Jericho’s wife is pregnant with the couple’s first child.
Paul Heyman is still employed by WWE. He requested he be removed from television prior to WM XIX. Word is that the agent-to-the-superstars will return in an on-screen role later in the year.
Kevin Kelly was last month released from his contract as a cost-cutting measure.
The King of the Ring pay-per-view and tournament are no more. This year’s June supershow has been renamed Bad Blood.
Sting has reopened negotiations with WWE and could make his debut for the company in the summer.
Piper’s Pit returned at the April 8 SmackDown! Taping. In the first one, Roddy Piper interviewed Vince McMahon. Who says this company is bereft of new ideas?
Dustin ‘Goldust’ Runnels absolutely buried his ex-wife Teri during an appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show on March 19. Runnels, who referred to Teri as a “bitch”, said he filed for divorce after he discovered that Teri had committed adultery with two men – her dentist and gynaecologist! Dustin said he never speaks to Teri backstage at WWE events. He also claimed Teri’s second marriage only lasted a month.
The big rumour out of Stamford is that Triple H and Stephanie are expecting their first child. Huntor, we’re told, is praying it’s a boy, so he can put him over for the title in 20 years’ time. Sources tell us that HHH has privately admitted he might be ready to retire by then...
Former WWF and WCW wrestler Haku (Meng) is now working as a car salesman in Orlando, Florida.
Curt Hennig died of acute cocaine intoxication. Dr. Jacqueline Lee of the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office, who carried out the post-mortem, stressed that Hennig did not die of a cocaine overdose. It is believed that Hennig’s heart gave out when he suffered an adverse reaction to what was probably a bad batch of cocaine. Hennig was found dead in a Tampa, Florida motel room on February 10.
In recent happenings from NWA: TNA...
D-Lo Brown teamed with Jeff Jarrett and Dusty Rhodes to beat the useless trio of David Flair, Erik Watts and Brian Lawler in his in-ring debut on March 19. Afterwards, Brown walked out on Jarrett.
Raven defeated AJ Styles in a Ladder match on March 19 to become the number one contender to Jarrett’s NWA World title.
Perry Saturn made his TNA debut on March 26. He joined with The Sandman, Brian Lee and Slash to best Elix Skipper, Christopher Daniels and Ron and Don Harris in a shambolic main event. During the bout, TNA fans received a special treat when the artist formerly known as Mabel and Viscera (Nelson Frazier) waddled in.
New Jack was the TNA surprise of the week on April 2. He and his Team Extreme buddies Saturn and Sandman downed Daniels and Harris twins.
Though he hasn’t appeared on screen since his ‘retirement’ speech on March 5, Vince Russo is still on the booking team and is working backstage at every show.
In the Ratings
March 17: 3.8 March 24: 3.45 March 31: 3.7 April 7: 3.5
March 13: 3.0 March 20: 2.73 (pre-empted in numerous markets due to the war in Iraq) March 27: 3.2 April 3: 3.3
Colour Commentary (by Mr. Colour)
I probably should be irate; but when you so frequently sigh, "It figures," anger and feelings of helplessness meld into melancholia. No sense in kicking furniture. You're resigned to the fact that although something positive is possible, it's foolish to expect that it actually will. What's turned Mr. Colour blue? Booker T ending up on his back at WrestleMania XIX was a monstrous screw-job, with the fingerprints of his opponent's political manoeuvrings coating every facet. Worst of all, it was exactly what I expected. Between getting over huge, despite a second-rate push, and a hype-job which included the public admission of a dodgy past (as well as the dreaded race card) logic said Booker "had to" win the World title at 'Mania. However, when T scored a pin on HHH during a tag team match on the Raw prior to WM, it guaranteed the former was doomed in the pay-per-view finish. Note to novices: Any time you see an egomaniac with clout lose clean less than a week before a major event, take it as wrestling sign language for: "No way am I doing the job twice in a row." What may seem like a generous gesture on the surface - the star agreeing to take the weekday loss - is, in actuality, him setting the table for his foe to get reamed on the far more important show that weekend. I'm not about to launch into a fiery diatribe about Hemsley's astronomical selfishness and lack of scruples, as HHH regularly gets blasted throughout PS. Instead, I'll publicly pose questions to the man. Everyone not named Paul Levesque wanted Booker to capture the World belt at the big event. So, what possible harm would it have done to switch the strap? Seriously, name one negative consequence of sending the fans home happy. You may not believe it, but we 'get it': You have the stroke and, barring a split from Stephanie, will retain it for the remainder of your career. Still, couldn't you have taken one bloody night off from rubbing it in? Maybe YOU don't 'get it'. It's WrestleMania, the big party, where poopers are definitely not welcome. Lose the attitude or don't come at all. No, the world didn't collapse at the end of the match, nor was the show ruined. Nonetheless, an opportunity to toss loyal fans a bone was squandered...yet again. I wish I could say it was difficult to see it coming.
Signs of the Times
Hurricane blows – Raw, March 17 Woof! – SmackDown, March 27 Cena mark – SmackDown, March 27 Where are my pants? – WrestleMania XIX Pukestar Pukestar Pukestar Pukestar – WrestleMania XIX Heel section – WrestleMania XIX What about Raven? – Raw, March 31 I need a boyfriend – Raw, March 31 Nathan Jones = Outback Jack Jr. – SmackDown, April 3 Eric, please fire J.R. – Raw, April 7
If I can Be Serious For A Minute...
“Are you on crack, Coach?” – The Rock to Jonathan Coachman, Raw March 3
“I know what signing this contract means, brother. I know that I gave my word to all these ‘Maniacs out here that if I lost this match, I’d hang those tights up and I’d never wrestle again.” – Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Smackdown March 20
“I find that hard to believe” – Gene Okerlund (in response)
“Arrest The Hamburgler! Get his little green monkey ass out of here. Arrest him: he’s guilty of shoving Chicken McNuggets up his ass.” – The Rock, Raw March 24.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have put my career on the line at WrestleMania. But I did and I will because I’m a man of my word.” – Hollywood Hulk Hogan, cracking us up again, SmackDown March 27
“Twist of Fate! Ladies and Gentlemen, this is over!” – Michael Cole, making it clear the Matt Hardy vs. Rey Mysterio match wasn’t over, WrestleMania XIX
“How long did you work at WCW?” – Jim Ross to Jerry Lawler, WrestleMania XIX
“Never” – Lawler (in response)
“Well, I did” – Ross (in response)
“Was it a joke?” – Lawler (in response)
“Damn Right.” – Ross (in response)
“Stone Cold has never quit on any of us in his entire life!” – Jim Ross, WrestleMania XIX
“Booker T came so close to becoming the world’s heavyweight champion at WrestleMania” – Jim Ross, apparently seeing something we didn’t, Raw March 31
From the April 21 Raw (held before a crowd of 10,000 in Atlanta, Georgia): In the first Five Minute White Boy Challenge, Theodore Long’s main man Rodney Mack pounded jobber Sean Evans (whose name was never mentioned) in less than two minutes. It will take more than a low-rent racist angle like this to get the nondescript Mack over.
Lita returned to Raw. She was quickly interrupted by Eric Bischoff, who (correctly) noted that she had not received medical clearance to wrestle. Since she couldn’t run the ropes, Eric suggested that Lita should make herself useful by baring all for Playboy. He also proposed that she show him her assets in his hotel room. Totally creeped-out by his sinister tone, Lita told Eric to “go to hell”. Bischoff then fired her.
The Rock flattened Goldberg during the Rock Concert II. ‘The Great One’ later levelled Goldberg a second time with a barrage of chair shots.
Finally, Triple H went to a non-finish with Booker T in a poor match when Chris Jericho, Ric Flair and Kevin Nash ran in.
From April 27 Backlash (held before a crowd of 10,500 in Worcester, Massachusetts): Backlash didn’t do much for me, to be perfectly candid. I had no interest in seeing Rob Van Dam and Kane tackle The Dudley Boyz again – or the umpteenth match between Trish Stratus and Jazz. The (laudable) attempts to get new acts over (Sean O’Haire, John Cena) failed. The Big Show vs. Rey Mysterio did neither man any favours, and was followed by a high risk angle which could have left Mysterio with serious injuries (as Rey was strapped to a stretcher, Big Show grabbed the board and swung it forcibly into the ring post). The six man semifinal, designed to intensify the Triple H vs. Kevin Nash programme, instead proved that no one gave a rat’s bottom about their feud. And The Rock vs. Bill Goldberg main event, although decent, failed to deliver the promised thrills and spills.
From the April 28 Raw (held before a crowd of 9,000 in Boston, Massachusetts): Sill fuming over being nailed with a sledgehammer and pinned by Triple H the previous evening at Backlash, Nash came out and chased ‘The Game’ backstage with a sledgehammer. Actually, “chased” is an exaggeration: Dear old Nash’s knees are so knackered that he cannot even walk briskly – never mind run. Still, he somehow caught up with HHH, just as the World Champion climbed into a limousine in the underground car park, and smashed two of the car windows with the sledgehammer.
Linda McMahon made her quarterly appearance and revealed that WWE’s phoney Board had decided to hire a co-General Manager of Raw to keep The Bisch in line. It was, of course, Steve Austin. ‘Stone Cold’ Stunned Eric to a huge reaction.
From the May 5 Raw (held before a sell out crowd of 7,000 in Halifax, Canada): Austin announced that the Intercontinental title would be revived in a Battle Royal at Judgment Day.
Jim Ross was reinstated as announcer after Jerry Lawler pinned Chief Morley in a stipulation match. Afterwards, Bischoff fired Morley for being incompetent.
Austin and Goldberg met in the ring for the first time and drank some beer. (In real life, Austin’s alcohol ban has been lifted by his probation officer – so expect to see this scene on every episode of Raw.)
From the May 12 Raw (held before a crowd of 9,500 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania): The Legion of Doom returned and lost to Rob Van Dam and Kane in a dreadful match. Hawk (who is 45) and Animal (who’s 43) were abysmal.
They brought out Fred Blassie to promote his autobiography. 3 Minute Warning were about to attack him when The Dudley Boyz ran in and flattened Rosey and Jamal.
Finally, Bill Goldberg defeated Christian in a Cage match.
Kurt Angle had successful neck surgery last month. At time of writing, he was on course to return to action in mid-June.
The Undertaker underwent successful elbow surgery on April 10.
Batista tore his right triceps muscle again in early May when he fell over. He had a second operation to reattach the muscle, and will be sidelined until Autumn.
Goldust has missed several dates due to neck problems.
Rey Mysterio was badly shaken when The Big Show flung him into the ring post at Backlash. He suffered no lasting injuries, though.
Booker T spent three days in hospital suffering with Pneumonia just before Powerslam went to press. He’s okay now.
Chavo Guerrero suffered either a biceps or triceps tear at the May 13 television tapings and will be benched for at least three months.
Circle October 25 on your calendar: that’s the most important date of the year – nay, the decade – for sports entertainment. Yes, on October 25 wrestling’s favourite couple, Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque and Stephanie McMahon, will become man and wife! Steph is already hard at work planning her special day. Our sources tell us that no expense is being spared, and that hundreds will be invited. I don’t think Power Slam will be among the guests, though...
In other wedding news: Torrie Wilson and Billy Kidman will tie the knot on July 25.
Former WWF star Elizabeth Hulette died on May 1 of a suspected drug overdose in Marietta, Georgia at the age of 42. Hulette – most famous for her role as Randy Savage’s valet Miss Elizabeth in the 1980s – lost consciousness in the house she shared with longtime boyfriend Lawrence ‘Lex Luger’ Pfohl. A frantic Pfohl called an ambulance but Hulette was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital. Pfohl was questioned by police over Hulette’s death, but later released when no evidence of foul play was found. However, during the investigation, police discovered 14 different illegal drugs in Pfohl’s home. Among the drugs were the steroids Dianabol, Sustanon, Boldenon and testosterone, growth hormone and a large quantity of downers. Pfohl was charged with possession of controlled substance and released on $27,500 bail. This was Pfohl’s third arrest in two weeks. It later emerged that he was charged with battery after he allegedly attacked Elizabeth in their garage on April 19. Elizabeth had bruises on her face and head when police arrived at their property in response to a 911 call. Two days later, Pfohl was arrested again, for drink-driving and driving with a suspended license, after he caused a car accident.
Ultimo Dragon has signed with WWE. He was set to make his in-ring debut at the post-Judgment Day television tapings.
There have been no further negotiations with Sting.
WWFE made ten office staff redundant in early May after the WrestleMania buy rate came in well below expectations (the event pulled 550,000 buys, a whopping 300,000 less than what they’d hoped for, which tells you how out of touch the company is with its public). More cuts are expected imminently in all departments – and that includes the locker room.
The Rock said goodbye to fans in Worcester after the Backlash pay-per-view went off the air. The latest on ‘The Great One’ is that he will return to WWE after he has completed his publicity tour for Welcome To The Jungle, which will be released in late September.
WWE will publish a Triple H workout book in November. ‘The Game’ was asked to work with a ghost writer on an autobiography, but declined because he didn’t think he was ready for the ‘biog treatment.
The National Network (TNN), home of Raw in the States, will change its name to Spike TV on June 16.
I can only assume that Chris Jericho wears that chequered jacket and trousers because he wants to be voted The Uncoolest Man On Television. It’s 2003, not 1987, you muppet...
WWFE scored its first victory over the Worldwide Fund for Nature on April 7. The Court of Appeals in London reversed a decision made last year which banned THQ/Jakks from selling classic WWF videogames. THQ/Jakks can now market games which feature the old “WWF” Scratch logo. WWFE was delighted with the ruling.
Arn Anderson has been sent to a drying out clinic. Anderson has reportedly had a drink problem for a while.
‘American Dragon’ Bryan Danielson is on a tour of the UK. He has wrestled for All-Star and on the Butlins holiday camp circuit.
In recent happenings from NWA: TNA...
Jerry Lynn and The Amazing Red captured the NWA World Tag Team title from Christopher Daniels and Elix Skipper in a superb match on April 16.
Justin Credible and Mike Awesome debuted on April 16. Credible is with Team Extreme; Awesome is a member of the New Church.
A.J. Styles needed nine stitches in his head after his match with Glen Gilbertti (formerly the Disco Inferno) on April 16.
Raven signed a contract extension in early May.
Rick Steiner and Buff Bagwell returned on the May 7 show in a Battle Royal to determine the number one contender to the NWA World Heavyweight title and did nothing to distinguish themselves. Vince Russo’s buddy Gilbertti won the match.
The promotion will stage its first anniversary show on June 18 in Nashville. Many people didn’t think NWA would last a year, so it’s a double celebration for the company.
TNA is working on television deals in the US and UK.
In the Ratings
April 21: 3.8 April 28: 3.9 May 5: 3.5 May 12: 4.4
Know Your Wrestling Euphemisms 3
“He’s been granted a leave of absence to address his personal problems/issues.” – Oh, boy. You should have seen him at the last show: what an embarrassment. The guy was totally incoherent – smashed out of his mind on painkillers, I reckon. In that state, they wouldn’t let him go anywhere near the ring. He was sent home immediately – and told to seek professional help. This is his last chance. One more screw-up and he’s history.
“I really do prefer to work the small circuits.” – 1. WWE wouldn’t give me a tryout if I paid them. 2. I am clinically insane.
(Announcers) “I’m convinced the challenger is going to win the title tonight.” – The challenger is definitely not winning the title tonight.
(Announcers) “Look at the size of this man! He’s huge!” – This grappler is devoid of talent and charisma – and no one gives a toss about him. But he is really big.
“He arrived at the arena in no condition to perform.” - He was off his head on drugs.
(Announcers) “This wrestler doesn’t get paid by the hour, that’s for sure!” – This wrestler’s matches are booked to last two minutes or less because he’s F’N clueless.
“I’m signing with the big money promotion to secure my family’s future.” – I’m just after the cash, really, because I want to live in a bigger house and drive a faster car. But I haven’t got the guts to admit it.
“Our locker room is like one big happy family!” – The wrestlers in our promotion all look out for number one, but are told to propagate the ‘family’ myth because it makes it sound like they care, even though their actions prove they don’t.
“Wrestling had a drug problem in the 1980s. But it doesn’t exist anymore.” – Wrestling has a drug problem. But if I pretend it doesn’t exist, the problem will just go away.
Signs of the Times
HHH is boring – Raw, April 7 Security took my better sign – Backlash, April 27 Big Show loves Cher – Backlash, April 27 My sign rocks – Raw, May 5 Linda is wonderful – Raw, May 5 Vince took my sign – Raw, May 5 World’s biggest testicles – Raw, May 5 Stun me! – Raw, May 12 X-Pac still sucks – Raw, May 12 LOD = OLD - Raw, May 12
If I Can Be Serious For A Minute...
"You look horrible” – Vince McMahon to Roddy Piper, SmackDown April 10.
“He’s a lying, manipulative piece of trash, and everyone in the business knows it.” – Shawn Michaels on HHH, Raw April 14.
“I don’t care what your name is; that don’t mean nothing to me. All I know is that you’re just another white boy. And, unfortunately for you, this isn’t white boy day.” – Theodore Long to Sean Evans, the first victim of the Long/Rodney Mack Five Minute White Boy Challenge – Raw, April 21.
“I’m speechless.” – Jonathan Coachman, Raw April 21.
“You are in so much trouble: you’ve been making fun of Goldberg for years.” – The Rock to Gillberg as Bill Goldberg came out during the Rock Concert II segment – Raw, April 21.
“Well, I have a feeling right now, despite the fact that HHH is in control, somehow Booker T will be able to come out of this the World Heavyweight champion. I can feel it in my bones.” – Jonathan Coachman, Raw April 21.
“It could just be gas.” – Jerry Lawler (in response).
“I give to you the newest disciple of Mattitude: Crash!” – Matt Hardy, adopting another loser, SmackDown April 24.
“Crash has 14 pets...He has five dogs, two turtles, two pigs and five cats.” – Michael Cole, SmackDown April 24.
“I’m very proud of him. His house must smell like a real stinky zoo smell.” – Tazz (in response).
“I want you to know I’m more interested in a mature woman.” – Eric ‘Sleaziest Man On TV’ Bischoff to Linda McMahon, Raw April 28.
“Crash is a vegetarian, Cole...He tosses salad.” – Tazz, SmackDown May 1.
“I don’t know everything, Cole. I know you think I do...” – Tazz, SmackDown May 1.
“This is America: home of the brave, land of the free. But it is not the country of stupidity. You are not Mr America; you are simply Hulk Hogan.” – Roddy Piper to Mr America, SmackDown May 1.
“Well let me tell you something, brother: that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, brother.” – Mr America (in response).
From the May 18 Judgment Day show (held before a crowd of 14,000 in Charlotte, North Carolina): Judgment Day was a waste of three hours of Pay Per View time. Featuring mainly rushed or uninspiring matches and half-baked performances and an offensive finish in the boring World title match (which mirrored the one used in Triple H's match with Scott Steiner at Royal Rumble, JD was a failure in terms of booking and execution. You know things are pretty grim when The Big Show is one half of the hottest match of the night.
Chuck Palumbo, Johnny Stamboli and John Cena defeated Robin Ethics, Rhyno and Spanky in just four minutes.
La Resistance downed Test and Scott Steiner in a terrible match.
Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri beat Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas in a good ladder match to raise the WWE Tag Team Title.
Christian won a rotten Battle Royal to capture the vacant Intercontinental title.
Mr America pinned Roddy Piper in a worthless match.
Kevin Nash downed Triple H by DQ when 'The Game' intentionally hit the referee to 'save the title'.
Jazz retained the Women's title against Trish Stratus, Victoria and Jacqueline in a decent Fatal Four Way.
And finally, Brock Lesnar beat The Big Show in an entertaining Stretcher Match.
From the May 19 Raw (held before a crowd of 7,000 in Greenville, South Carolina): Triple H was ordered by Steve Austin to defend his World Title on the show. Austin graciously allowed Tripper to choose his own opponent. It could be anyone - so long as he was a former World champion. 'The Game' selected Ric Flair. Backstage, HHH asked Ric to lay down for him in their match. 'Slic' Ric wasn't keen.
Austin discovered that Chris Jericho had engineered the hit and run attack which almost wiped out Bill Goldberg in the car park on the previous week's show.
Lastly, Triple H pinned Flair in a passable bout. Afterwards, Austin announced that HHH would face Kevin Nash in a Hell in a Cell match at Bad Blood. What a waste of a perfectly good gimmick.
From the May 22 SmackDown (taped on May 20 before a crowd of 4,000 in Greensboro, North Carolina): Vince McMahon set up a stipulation match between Mr. America and Sean O'Haire. If America won, Roddy Piper would be fired, whereas if O'Haire won, America would have to take a lie detector test.
Two days after suffering a concussion at Judgment Day, Spanky made his in-ring comeback and took several wild bumps en route to a useless squash loss to John Cena. Young Brian Kendrick should have been given the week off.
The Undertaker returned and saved Brock Lesnar from a three-on-one attack by the Full Blooded Italians.
Lastly, O'Haire defeated Mr. America by count-out.
From the May 26 Raw (held before a crowd of 6,500 in Mobile, Alabama): Shawn Michaels and babyface Ric Flair exchanged compliments. And more compliment. And more complements still. In fact, this shameless display of arse-kissing went on so long, I thought I was watching the Academy Awards ceremony. Then Triple H and Eric Bischoff joined them in the ring. The Bisch booked HHH against Michaels and Flair in a handicap main event.
In the Highlight Reel, Jericho trashed Goldberg. He then dropped him with a shot of mace to the face when Goldberg launched the Spear.
Finally, the Handicap match proved to be a set up all along (I never tire of that angle): 'Slic' Ric turned heel on Michaels in a deeply predictable main event. Soon, a masked man joined in HHH and Flair's assault on Michaels. The masked man was Randy Orton, which begs the question why he was wearing a mask. Regrettably no one cared.
From the May 29 SmackDown (taped on May 27 before a crowd of 5,000 in Pensacola, Florida): Mr America passed the lie-detector test with flying colours. He's not Hulk Hogan after all, you know. This infuriated Mr McMahon, who decided to hook himself up to the polygraph machine to 'prove' it was faulty. Instead, McMahon was totally humiliated when the machine 'proved' he was a selfish, power-mad pervert. Vince was a riot throughout the segment.
Lastly, the Basham Brothers defeated Spanky and Rikishi in their instantly forgettable début.
From the June 2 Raw (held before a crowd of 8,000 in San Diego, California): Due to all the squabbling between Stacy Keibler and Test and Scott Steiner, it was announced that Test would clash with Steiner at Bad Blood and the winner would earn Keibler's managerial services.
Jericho poured paint all over Goldberg's car. Goldberg ran outside to nail him, but Jericho had disappeared. Goldberg was outsmarted again.
The Rock came back for one night only and turned babyface in a Highlight Reel hosted by Christian.
Finally, Goldberg returned to the arena and tried to Spear Jericho. But - guess what? - Jericho was way ahead of him yet again: the man with no dress sense sidestepped the Spear and Goldberg levelled the referee.
From the June 5 SmackDown (held before a crowd of 7,500 in Anaheim, California): Kurt Angle returned as a babyface. He had a confrontation with The Big Show, and shook hands with his new buddy Lesnar. That friendship won't last...
Cena pinned Robin Ethics in a mediocre match after Rhyno 'inadvertently' nailed 'The Crippler' with a chain. Looks like Benoit and Rhyno are heading for a feud...
Finally, Rey Mysterio beat Matt Hardy in a good match to capture the Cruiserweight title.
From the June 9 Raw (held before a crowd of 7,500 in Miami, Florida): Trouble in the RVD/Kane camp. Kane was nowhere to be seen when Van Dam was flattened by La Resistance. When RVD confronted him about it later, 'The Big Red Machine' walked off, without offering an explanation.
Mick Foley was announced as the referee of the HHH vs. Nash Hell in a Cell match at Bad Blood. 'The Game' later attacked Foley and gave him a proper beating.
Earl Hebner suffered a badly bruised shoulder when HHH drilled him with a sledgehammer at Judgment Day.
Scott Steiner is having serious back problems (along with everything else). Rumour has it that he doesn't have many matches left in him.
WWE decided not to hire the Legion Of Doom. Management was not impressed by their performance - in particular Hawk's no-sell job after he absorbed the Five Star Frog Splash - in their match with RVD and Kane on May 12.
Ultimo Dragon made his debut on May 26. He defeated Rico in a dark match.
Steve Austin suffered cuts and bruises in a car accident in late May. That's why he looked so awful on the May 26 Raw (you didn't believe that tale about him slipping in the shower, did you?)
Fred Blassie died of a heart and kidney failure on June 2 at the age of 85. Blassie, one of the greatest managers ever, had been in poor health for several weeks.
Mark Henry is still stationed in OVW - in the unlikely event that you're wondering what happened to him. Hey, only three more years and the WWE will finally be rid of Henry: his contract expires in 2006.
Still no sign of Goldberg on House Shows...
Mr America's buddy Zach Gowen is the artist formerly known as Tenacious Z. The one legged 19-year old can work an exciting short match, as NWA: TNA fans discovered in February.
In recent happenings from TNA...
Chris Sabin captured the X title in a Triple Threat match against The Amazing Red (champion) and Jerry Lynn on May 14. Afterwards, Sabin joined Christopher Daniels, Low Ki, and Elix Skipper in the Sports Entertainment Xtreme stable.
Sean Waltman was scheduled to return in a prominent role on May 21, but managed to miss his flight from Los Angeles (where he rents a very expensive apartment). Believing Waltman to be unreliable, TNA has no plans to use him again.
BG James returned on May 28. So did Vince Russo. He ran in during the main event between Raven and Glen Gilberti (WCW's Disco Inferno) and nailed Raven with a rubber baseball bat, which enabled Gilberti to score the pin.
Jeff Jarrett defeated Gilberti with Russo's assistance on June 4. Russo was also involved in the finish of the NWA World title bout on June 11, which ended with a new champion being crowned. In a Triple Threat encounter between Jarrett (champion), Raven and AJ. Styles, Russo ran in blasted Jarrett with a guitar, and Styles made the cover to win the NWA World title. Yes, it was a set up all along...
Sting was scheduled to make his first appearance for the promotion on June 18.
In the Ratings
May 19: 3.6 May 26: 3.7 June 2: 3.9 June 9: 3.5
May 15: 3.2 May 22: 3.3 May 29: 3.4 June 5: 3.1
UK - RAW
Week ending April 24: 240,000 Week ending May 4: 230,000 Week ending May 11: 200,000
Signs of The Times
Sable is FOXY - Raw, May 19 I want Stone Cold to lose his temper - Raw, June 2 Piper has my leg - SmackDown, June 5 Big Daddy - Insurrextion, June 7 Spoiler: Triple H wins - Insurrextion, June 7 Jazz is a boiler - Insurrextion, June 7 HHH is holding down my sign - Insurrextion, June 7 wHHHo booked this crap? - Insurrextion, June 7
If I Can Be Serious For A Minute...
"Don't forget: Charlie Haas was an academic All-American. He's got the brains...Well that's not going to help him in the ring here." - Tazz, Backlash April 27.
"He's a rock star, he's a dancer...now, he's an interviewer?" - Jerry Lawler on Chris Jericho, Raw May 5.
"Not really a fashion plate though, is he?" - Jim Ross (in response)
"The irony of the innocence of Miss Elizabeth, juxtaposed to the way that she died. There's a message there somewhere. I'm not too sure what it is.. But it's something that performers in our business have to learn from, so they do not repeat the same mistakes that were made by others before them." - Vince McMahon, Confidential May 10
"Not everything in France is bad, JR. The Eiffel Tower's nice. Those berets...it's a functional item of apparel." - Jerry Lawler, Raw May 12
"I know berets are illegal in the state of Oklahoma." - Jim Ross (in response)
"Do you like sushi, Cole?" - Tazz to Michael Cole, SmackDown May 15
"I love sushi!" - Michael Cole (in response)
"You can't afford sushi, you geek. You like hamburgers." - Tazz (in response to that).
"...Unimpeded?" - Tazz, Judgment Day May 18
"It means nobody in their way, no obstacles." - Michael Cole (in response)
"I know what it means, Cole. Let's just call the match." - Tazz (in response to that)
"In WWE, I became one of the biggest stars in the history of the company." - Chris Jericho, dreaming again, Raw May 26
"A lot of farmers cattle with Cadillacs, you know that?" - Tazz to Michael Cole, SmackDown May 29
"What are you talking about?" - Michael Cole (in response)
"The one thing I can't stand, Hogan, is a liar." - Vince McMahon to Mr America, SmackDown May 29.
"All this cruiserweight talk. These flying cruiserweights, they don't deserve a second look. It's like watching The Haiti Kid beat on Lord Littlebrook." - John Cena, SmackDown June 5.
"They got rid of Mad Cow Disease, but what about Fat Cow Disease?" - The Bisch on the gals at the Telewest Arena, Insurrextion June 7.
From the June 15 Bad Blood Pay Per View, before a crowd of around 10,000 in Houston, Texas): The single-brand pay-per-view format started very badly with Bad Blood. Most of the matches ranged from mediocre to abysmal, some of the booking was downright offensive, and all of the segments between Bischoff and Steve Austin - which featured a burping contest, 'pie-eating' [Mae Young, wearing a thong, came out and gave Bischoff a Bronco Buster. Austin then gave her a Stunner] and singing - was one of the worst things I've ever seen on a wrestling show.
Rodney Mack and Christopher Nowinski beat The Dudley Boyz in a passable opener
Scott Steiner pinned Test to win Stacy Keibler's managerial services. [This is the match where Steiner fell off the apron in hilarious fashion]
Booker T beat Christian by DQ in a rubbish match when Christian nailed Booker with a belt shot in front of the referee.
La Resistance downed RVD and Kane to win the World tag team title in a worthless match.
Goldberg pinned Chris Jericho in a passable match.
Ric Flair defeated Shawn Michaels in another so-so effort.
And HHH downed Kevin Nashm with Mick Foley as referee, in a gimmick-filled Hell in a Cell match.
From the June 16 Raw (held before a crowd of 11,500 in Dallas, Texas): Mick Foley exchanged barbs with Randy Orton. He then exchanged blows with Orton, Triple H and Ric Flair and, inevitably, took a pasting.
Rob Van Dam and Kane had an argument backstage. However the team did agree they would split as a team if they failed to beat La Resistance later on the show.
Steve Austin told Lance Storm he was boring. He then led fans in a "boring" chant.
Changing his gimmick again, Rico was unveiled as a modern-day Adrian Street, complete with a female valet Miss Jackie (Jackie Gayda). Street - who strongly implied but never said he was gay - had a good run on the British circuit in the 1970s before he and his valet Miss Linda emigrated to the US, where they worked for various Southern territories. Anyway, back to Rico. He pinned Spike Dudley in a bout memorable only for its "boring" chants.
Finally, La Risistance defeated RVD and Kane by Disqualification when Kane went ballistic on the heels. Afterwards, it was announced that HHH would face Kane in a World title vs. Mask match on the June 23 Raw.
From the June 23 Raw (held before a crowd of 15,451 at Madison Square Garden): La Resistance beat The Hurricane and the enormous Sgt. Slaughter in a rubbish match.
Triple H pinned Kane in a decent match, following loads of outside interference. Complying with the stipulation, Kane unmasked afterwards - and, strangely, looked normal, apart from his ridiculous half-bald hairstyle, which was cut specifically for this show. So, after nearly six years, we saw Kane's face - but no evidence of burn scars. Indeed, for a man who was badly disfigured in a fire, Kane didn't look too bad.
From the June 26 SmackDown! (taped on June 24 before a crowd of 9,500 at Madison Square Garden): Orlando Jordan lost to John Cena in his SmackDown! début. Neither wrestler looked impressive.
Outside the arena, Jamie Noble learned that his Aunt Lucille had left him $827,000 in her will. In real life, a wrestling fan once left Shawn Michaels even more than that...
Vince McMahon told Zach Gowen that he would sign him to a WWE Contract - if he joined the Kiss My Ass club. The plucky Gowen again defied and outsmarted the boss by drilling him with a low blow.
Lastly, The Big Show, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas bested Mr. America, Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar when Show pinned America.
From the June 30 Raw (held before a crowd of 7,500 in Buffalo, New York): Gail Kim in her Raw debut won the Women's title in a Battle Royal.
And... HHH downed RVD AGAIN in a forgettable match. Following the decision, Kane came out (with a bald head) and choke-slammed Eric Bischoff off the ramp onto a large crash mat.
From the July 3 SmackDown! (taped on July 1 before a crowd of 4,500 in Rochester, New York): Gunn beat Cena in the US title tournament after The Undertaker distracted Cena.
Benjamin and Haas beat Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri to regain the WWE Tag Team title in an exciting match. Afterwards, Guerrero turned heel on Tajiri and bodyslammed him through the windscreen of his lowrider.
Vince announced that he had fired Mr America/Hulk Hogan.
Lastly, Zach Gowen and Stephanie McMahon defeated The Big Show, with assistance from Angle and Lesnar. Gowen pinned The Show with a one-legged moonsault to finally 'earn a WWE contract' .
From the July 7 Raw (held before a crowd of 7,000 in Montreal, Canada): Booker T defeated Christian to win the Intercontinental title in a good match.
In The Highlight Reel, Chris Jericho 'interrogated' Shawn Michaels about the 1997 Survivor Series double-cross. The fans cheered Jericho (a Canadian) and loudly booed Michaels at the start of the segment. However, when Michaels said the double-cross was ancient history (which it is) and asked everyone - the people of Montreal, especially - to come to terms with it and move on (which everyone should), and reminded supporters that Jericho, their babyface hero, thought so much of Canada he moved to Florida, the mood in the arena began to change. Fans grew even more perplexed by it all when Michaels challenged Jericho to a match, and Jericho backed down. Who was supposed to be the face and the heel here? And what was this awful segment meant to achieve?
Test pinned Kevin Nash in less than two minutes.
Jericho beat Mark Jindrak in a terrible match.
Lastly, Kane turned heel in a mini-brawl with Steve Austin.
Brock Lesnar suffered a large gash on his lower leg when he caught it on a propeller during a boating trip in mid-June. Lesnar, who needed stitches, only missed a few house show dates.
Bill Goldberg was excused from the July 7 Raw when he suffered a serious arm infection which required hospital treatment.
Marc Mero filed for divorce from Rena 'Sable' Mero on June 19. Rumour has it thar Marc sought a divorce after he learned that Rena was having an affair with a member of WWE Management.
Hulk Hogan left WWE following his appearance at the SmackDown! taping from Madison Square Garden. Hogan was not comfortable with the way his character was being portrayed. He attempted to negotiate a compromise with Vince McMahon, but, when their discussions failed to meet his satisfaction, he decided to quit (again). Hogan, who was working on a handshake deal, has since talked about wrestling in Japan and setting up his own company. I'll give him six months, and he'll be back working for Vince again...
Crash Holly was released in late June.
Extreme Championship Wrestling now belongs to the WWE. After a two-year legal struggle in bankruptcy court, it was ruled last month that WWE owned the rights to the ECW name, logos, characters, and videotape library. We have no idea what they're going to do with them.
WWE made a record loss of $19.2 million in the year ending April 30. The good news is that the losses were caused by the disaster that was The World restaurant in New York City.
RVD this month plans to open a comic shop in Long Beach, California. The shop will be called RVD's Five Star Comics.
Bill Goldberg was furious at a comment made by Linda McMahon during a conference call to discuss WWE's financial results on June 13. Linda, in a truly senseless public dressing down of a WWE employee, said Goldberg had been "disappointing". Goldberg and Vince had a little chat about it a few days later.
Mick Foley's house in Pensacola, Florida burned down on June 7. As estimated $300,000 of damage was caused to the property, which had not been occupied for more than a year. I hope Foley was insured...
Roddy Piper was fired by WWE on June 26 after he spoke honestly about his personal drug use and the callous nature of the wrestling business on HBO's Real Sports programme about premature deaths in wrestling, which aired two days earlier.
The now retired Del 'The Patriot' Wilkes was also interviewed by Real Sports, and talked openly about his steroid, cocaine and painkiller use during his wrestling days. But the star of the feature was undoubtedly Vince McMahon, who again cracked under the pressure of having to answer real questions from a real reporter. McMahon refused to accept any responsibility for the changes in the wrestling business in the 1980s (even though every performer he pushed was on steroids), the bad habits wrestlers developed or their untimely deaths. When reporter Armen Keteyian dared to challenge McMahon about his statements, Vince flew off the handle and attempted to knock some papers out of Keteyian's hand. Well done, Vince!
Bret Hart released a statement on his website regarding the Survivor Series double cross segment on the July 7 Raw. In a nutshell, he wasn't happy about it. Hart also stated that Shawn Michaels has never apologised to him for his role in the double cross.
In Pay Per View buyrate news: Royal Rumble 2003 drew 515,000 buys; No Way Out 450,000; WrestleMania XIX 560,000 buys; Backlash 350,000; Judgment Day 230,000 (a disaster).
In recent happenings from TNA...
Sting made his NWA: TNA debut on June 18 in a tag team match. He joined with Jeff Jarrett to beat AJ Styles and Sean Waltman when Jarrett pinned Styles. Sting is scheduled to make further appearances for the group on special events.
America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm) defeated Elix Skipper and Christopher Daniels to capture the NWA World Tag Team title in an excellent Cage match on June 25.
Jarrett and Raven teamed up for the first time on June 25 to beat the awful combo of Glen 'Disco Inferno' Gilberti and Shane Douglas by Disqualification when Jim Mitchell interfered.
The Sandman downed New Jack in the final of the Hard 10 hardcore tournament on July 2.
NWA plans to use Don 'Cyrus the Virus' Callis and Terry Funk on forthcoming events.
In the Ratings
June 16: 4.1 June 23: 3.9 June 30: 3.6 July 7: 4.2
June 12: 3.7 June 19: 3.2 June 26: 3.4 July 3: 3.0
Signs of The Times
Kevin Nash fears bumps! - Insurrextion, June 7 Goldberg, please go away - Bad Blood, June 15 Foley is round - Raw, June 16 Spear our Mayor - Raw, June 16 500lbs of crap - SmackDown!, June 19 Can U rig it? - Raw, June 30 No more double cross angles - Raw, July 7 WrestleMania XX spoiler: HHH retains - Raw, July 7
If I Can Be Serious For A Minute...
"Triple H retired Mick Foley almost three years ago." - Jim Ross, deliberately ignoring Foley's comeback 22 days after his 'retirement' match, Raw June 9.
"If Christian leaves here tonight with the Intercontinental title, it's going to be a miracle." - Jim Ross, informing everyone 'in the know' that Christian was about to retain the IC title, Bad Blood June 15
"This is even more boring than I thought it was going to be. I'm starting to get a little sleepy up here. You know what, Lance, you're better than a sleeping pill, kid...(score)...I'm having a dream that Lance Storm is in the ring. No, no, no! It's not a dream; it's a nightmare, and he's boring the hell out of me." - Steve Austin on Lance Storm, Raw June 16
"Lance Storm, you are, without a shadow of a doubt, the. most. boring. son-of-a-bitch I have ever seen!" - Steve Austin, laying it on thick, Raw June 16.
"This is not the night to confront Kane, because he'll tell you who your daddy is!" - Jim Ross, June 16.
"Billy Gunn's six-foot five, and he's got Jamie Noble by two inches. Noble's, like, five-foot 11, I guess" - Tazz, losing it again, SmackDown! June 19.
"'The Game', who I consider to be the greatest World Champion of all-time." - Jerry Lawler, Raw June 30.
"I tell you: Nidia looked great in that coat, didn't she?" - Michael Cole, SmackDown July 3.
"She did. Nice beaver." - Tazz (in response)
"It was a mink." - Michael Cole (in response to that).
"Nobody cares about what happened (at the 1997 Survivor Series)." - Shawn Michaels, in a segment based around the 1997 Survivor Series, Raw July 7.
Issue #110, September 2003
In The News (edited by Fin Martin)
From the July 21 Raw (held before a crowd of 10,500 in Los Angeles, California): Bill Goldberg and Triple H had their first on-screen confrontation. Goldberg, not surprisingly, told 'The Game' that he was "next.
And Chris Jericho defeated Shawn Michaels by submission in a decent match, following interference from Randy Orton.
From the July 24 SmackDown! (taped on July 22 before a crowd of 6,000 in Fresno, California): John Cena cut a promo - written by Stephanie McMahon - about how gorgeous Stephanie McMahon was. Can you imagine what they'll be ordered to say about her on her wedding day?
Lastly, Big Show, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas downed Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar and Zach Gowen in a good match when Show pinned Angle.
In results from WWE Vengeance (held before a crowd of 12,000 in Denver, Colorado): This supercard was a fabulous return to form by WWE. After producing several inferior quality pay-per-views, the organisation came through with its first all-SmackDown! supershow (in the U.S.), which delivered everything it promised and more.
Eddie Guerrero beat Robin Ethics to win the vacant/reborn United States title in a good match with a wacky finish (the referee went down and Rhyno ran in and turned heel on Benoit).
Jamie Noble beat Billy Gunn in a passable match.
Bradshaw won the Old Compton Street fake Bar Room Brawl (which sought laughs, and fell short every time).
Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas defeated Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman in a superb wrestling match.
Sable pinned Stephanie McMahon, with help from A-Train, in a decent match for (two non-workers).
The Undertaker pinned John Cena in a fair match.
Vince McMahon pinned Zach Gowen in a simple but effective encounter (McMahon bled incredibly badly just before the finish).
And finally Kurt Angle defeated Brock Lesnar (champion) and The Big Show in an exciting Triple Threat bout to win the WWE Title when he pinned Lesnar.
From the July 28 Raw (held before a crowd of 5,000 in Colorado Springs, Colorado): Goldberg hammered Steven Richards (who, believe it or not, was once an entertaining and productive performer). As Goldberg celebrated in the ring, Evolution sauntered onto the stage and interrupted him. Goldberg challenged Triple H to a match, right there and then. Cooler-than-absolute-zero HHH declined the invitation; he was prepared to wait until SummerSlam. So Goldberg fired off a challenge to Ric Flair. By rights, 54-year-old Flair (the mid-card heel) should have been visibly intimidated by 36-year-old Goldberg (the top line killer babyface). But that's not the way things are done in this company. Flair couldn't wait to tackle Goldberg; he had to be held back by his colleagues. Eric Bischoff then arrived on the scene and booked a Flair vs. Goldberg match on the August 4 Raw.
Lastly Molly Holly downed Gail Kim to win the Women's title.
From the July 31 SmackDown! (taped on July 29 before a crowd of 4,500 in Colorado Springs, Colorado): New WWF Champion Kurt Angle offered Brock Lesnar a rematch. Lesnar was elated. However Vince McMahon came out and forbid it. Instead, he announced the two would team up in the main event...
Eddie Guerrero pinned Tajiri in a very entertaining match-up.
Shannon Moore beat Zach Gowen, with help from Matt Hardy. It looks like Gowen's big push is over - and thank God for that. As courageous and talented as Gowen is, a man with his disability does not belong in main event scenarios. When he wrestles, I find it impossible to suspend my disbelief.
Lastly Angle and Lesnar beat the awful team of The Big Show and A-Train in a poor match when Angle pinned Show after Lesnar nailed him with an F-5. Following the decision, Lesnar attacked Angle for stealing his pinfall.
From the August 4 Raw (held before a crowd of 6,500 in Vancouver, Canada): Goldberg defeated Ric Flair by disqualification when Orton ran in and drilled Goldberg with a chair. Flair looked ancient, awkward and, above all, abysmal in this bout. At one point, he just fell down for no reason. And the booking again did nothing to aid Goldberg, the so-called golden goose: he should have smashed through this frail veteran in his usual squash-like fashion.
It was announced that the main event of SummerSlam had been changed. Triple H would now defend World title in an Elimination Chamber match against Goldberg, Orton, Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho.
Lance Storm admitted to Goldust that he was boring, and asked for his help.
And Gail Kim turned heel on Trish Stratus. I have no idea why.
From the August 7 SmackDown! (taped on August 5 before a sell out crowd of 4,000 in Kelowna, Canada): John Cena pinned The Undertaker in a poor match after A-Train ran in and flattened 'Taker.
Lesnar turned heel on Angle in a Cage match. Actually, Angle was just the Special Referee: Lesnar faced big, bad Vince McMahon in the match itself. Which was, of course, a set-up all along: Lesnar attacked 'The Olympic Hero' from behind and left with Vince.
And from the August 11 Raw (held before a crowd of 7,000 in Moline, Illinois): Jim Ross returned. He threatened to sue Bischoff for placing him in an unsafe working environment (you know, on the July 14 Raw, when he was attacked and set on fire by Kane). In an effort to appease J.R., The Bisch reinstated him as lead announcer. But he had to do more than that. To avoid a lawsuit from 'Cowboy' Jim Watts, Bischoff had to sign a 'legal document' brought to the ring by Steve Austin. He did so, without reading it - and then learned it was a match with Kane later on the show...
Kane refused to harm Bischoff and deliberately lost to him by count out (to bedevil the fans, apparently).
Finally, Goldberg beat Flair in another rubbish match, with assistance from Michaels. Orton was the Special Referee.
More crippling news for Triple H. He went down with another haematoma in his leg in an early July match, and then suffered a torn groin in his post-Raw showdown with Bill Goldberg on July 28 (which Goldberg won by disqualification). When management learned the injury would effectively sideline 'The Game' for eight weeks, they decided to scrap the Triple H vs. Goldberg singles match at SummerSlam and replace it with a six-man Elimination Chamber. That's the story, anyway. HHH was also pulled from the tour of Australia.
Manager Paul Heyman is still recovering from neck injury.
Christopher Nowinski is suffering from post-concussion syndrome.
William Regal still hasn't received clearance to return to action after suffering a strange virus in February which led to a heart condition. He is now working as a road agent.
Playboy has revealed that its May 2003 issue, featuring Torrie Wilson on the cover, was a massive seller. That probably means Hugh Hefner will invite another WWE Diva to pose nude for his magazine at some point in the future.
Would it be possible for Rico to be any less over? You could blame it on the gimmick - which undoubtedly is the pits. But he is too...
Undertaker's motorbike died on him when he rode out on the stage at Vengeance. That's why he walked to the ring...
Torrie Wilson and Billy Kidman were married on July 11 in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Among the wrestlers and personalities invited to the ceremony were Chris Jericho, Dawn Marie and Simon Diamond, Glen "Disco Inferno" Gilberti, Chris Kanyon, Victoria, and Test and Stacy Keilber.
Road agent Arn Anderson returned to work on July 21 following his stint in an alcohol rehab clinic.
Prediction of the Month: Hollywood Hulk Hogan will return to WWE in 2004 and play a major role in WrestleMania XX. Hogan's ego will demand that he wrestle on the event because, firstly, it will be hyped more than any WrestleMania in history and, secondly, it's being held in the city (New York) where much of America's media is based. Hogan can't get enough of that mainstream publicity...
It seems we were overly optimistic about Ultimo Dragon's WWE prospects in our article in 109. Management as already lost interest in pushing Dragon because his ring style differs so greatly from the standard WWE style. That's why this promotion will never have a thriving cruiserweight division: WWE will not allow its junior-heavyweights to employ a fast-paced, high spot-based style which would effectively distinguish them from the heavyweights.
An accidental overdose of alcohol and painkillers took the life of Elizabeth Hulette on May 1 in Marietta, Georgia.
Joanie "Chyna" Laurer is seeking a restraining order against Sean "X-Pac" Waltman. Laurer, 34, applied for the protective order on August 1 after alleging that Waltman had hit her, pulled her hair out and threatened to kill her. Laurer also claims that the 31-year-old Waltman has threatened to take his own life. Laurer and Waltman were engaged. But not any more...
Hulk Hogan's defamation lawsuit against WCW and Vince Russo - which had been on the books for more than three years - was dismissed during a Federal Court hearing in Fulton County, Georgia on August 6. Judge Susan B. Forsling ruled that Russo's comments were directed at Hulk Hogan, the wrestling character, not Terry Bollea, and therefore were not defamatory.
Scott "Raven" Levy's answering machine cordially instructs callers to "strawberry float off".
In recent happenings from TNA...
Don Callis made his debut as a heel manager on July 9.
Jerry Lynn beat Justin Credible in a very good Last Man Standing match on July 16.
Michael 'Crash Holly' Lockwood made his debut as Mad Mikey on July 23. Unfortunately he lost in his first match to Elix Skipper.
NWA World champion A.J. Styles beat D-Lo Brown in a best-of-three-matches series on July 23.
Kid Kash beat Rick Morton, his original trainer, on July 30.
Konnan, Ron Killings and B.G. James are now collectively known as 3 Live Krew. The trio filmed some strange vignettes in a trailer park and a Mexican restaurant before their official debut on August 13.
Dusty Rhodes returned on August 13. 'The American Dream' teamed with America's Most Wanted to beat Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger and Glen Gilberti.
Low Ki also returned to NWA: TNA on August 13. He put A.J. Styles over in the main event.
In the Ratings
July 21: 4.2 July 28: 4.2 August 4: 4.0 August 11: 3.9
July 17: 3.4 July 24: 3.4 July 31: 3.4 August 7: 3.0
Signs of The Times
The guy behind me can't see - SmackDown!, July 10 Sars section - SmackDown!, July 10 I'm laughing at you Kane - Raw, July 14 Kane uses J.R.'s BBQ Sauce - Raw, July 21 Stephanie is a McMAN - Raw, July 18 Free ticket - Raw, July 28 We took our honeymoon on Raw - Raw, Aug 4 This Raw is only 70% as good as an American one - Raw, Aug 4 La Resistinks - Raw, Aug 4.
If I Can Be Serious For A Minute...
"I swear, and I'm not just saying this..." - Tazz, SmackDown July 10
"The Big Show's fingers are the size of most people's wrists. I'm not exaggerating. That's straight up: it's the truth" - Tazz, SmackDown July 10
"Not the (ring) steps! They're about 400-500 pounds!" - Tazz, talking total gooseberry fool again, SmackDown July 10
"Lance Storm can't believe it. Not only is he boring, he's on a losing streak." - Jerry Lawler, Raw July 14.
"Sold out in Fresno, California. (It's) 111 degrees here today." - Michael Cole, SmackDown! July 24
"Yeah, it's hot. It's like the Himalayas." - Tazz (in response)
"Punk, I'm going to kill off your career before it ever gets started." - Shawn Michaels to Randy Orton, Raw July 28
"You see Gowen favouring his right leg, the leg Mr McMahon worked on on Sunday." - Michael Cole, taking about the one-legged Zack Gowen, SmackDown! July 31
"Randy Orton always puts a smile on my face." - Triple H, Raw Aug 4
"Goldberg's a lot of flash, right? I'm the real deal. He's all show, no go. I'm all go, baby," - Triple H, as he was virtually immobile after suffering another injury, Raw Aug 4.
Velvet Sky BLOWOUT
TNA's Velvet Sky slapping her arse. Yesterday. Officially the greatest moment in TNA history.
Velvet Sky Photos
Velvet Sky Photos (2)
Velvet Sky Gifs
AJ Lee Gifs
SoCal Val BLOWOUT
TITAN TRON SIZE
Last edited by KKLEIN on Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:41 pm, edited 85 times in total.
I'm not going to break from tradition so I won't be ordering Summerslam. I do want to see what happens in the Hell in the Cell match though, Edge has been absolutely superb for the last several weeks in his promos.
For the first time in ages, Sky Sports edited Smackdown on Friday in a major way. It was an awful show anyway, but the whole final angle was cut, in its place 3 video packages. Squash matches, no main event to speak of...it was practically Velocity.
I got all my old toys down from the loft at my parents house yesterday. I found my entire collection of WWF figures complete with my ring. I currently have it on display in my lounge with Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior frozen in time in a recreation of Wrestlemania 6. Pics will follow when my girlfriend isn't about!
For the first time in ages, Sky Sports edited Smackdown on Friday in a major way. It was an awful show anyway, but the whole final angle was cut, in its place 3 video packages. Squash matches, no main event to speak of...it was practically Velocity.
I noticed that on another forum, and so I watched the cut section from the end of the show on Youtube yesterday. I didn't think it was too bad in all honesty, it was just Edge acting like a psycho really. Although he did fling Vickie out of her wheelchair again so maybe that's why they cut it.
For the first time in ages, Sky Sports edited Smackdown on Friday in a major way. It was an awful show anyway, but the whole final angle was cut, in its place 3 video packages. Squash matches, no main event to speak of...it was practically Velocity.