~~~~~THE TBL NEWSLETTER~~~~~
Volume 2, Issue #7
Brought to you by:
The TBL Newswire –
I. Note from the Editor
II. News & Rumors
Note from the Editor:
Note from the Editor:
Can you feel the excitement? It’s almost here! The Granddaddy of them all is coming to you live on Pay Per View this Sunday! I can’t wait!
News & Rumors:
All news and rumors taken from The TBL Newswire
^^^Foley Gets a New Deal^^^
Mick Foley has signed a new book deal with Knopf Publishing, a division of Random House. Knopf is considered to be one of the most prestigious fiction publishers in the US. Knopf will publish Foley’s first fiction novel, titled Tietam Brown. – Siddharth Kothari
^^^WWF In Asia Results ^^^
In its first trip to Asia, the company sold out all three live events in Tokyo, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. More than 40,000 fans attended the three events, which generated more than $2.6 million dollars in ticket and merchandise revenue. In addition to the more than 40,000 enthusiastic fans, the three events drew high profile dignitaries from each country’s governments and royal families. In Singapore, the Crown Prince of Brunei (Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah) and his family attended the show. In Malaysia, two Cabinet Ministers, the Minister of Youth & Sports (Dato Hishamuddin) and Minister of Tourism (Dato Abdul Kadir), and various dignitaries and members of the various Malaysian royal families attended the event. – Joe Balrog
The WWF Divas Website has been completely re-designed and updated. There are now many new pictures of the various WWF Divas. There are also new sections dedicated to Stacy Keibler, Torrie Wilson, Jazz, Stephanie McMahon and Sharmell Sullivan. To view the site go to http://www.wwfdivas.com – Siddharth Kothari
Rounding the Squared Circle
By: Sam Jerry
“WRESTLEMANIA, WRESTLEMANIA, WHERE FORTH ART THOU?”
“‘TIS BUT SEVEN DAYS HENCE TIL THE COMBAT BEGINS”
Harken, methinks the din beyond yon northern glen be Wrestlemania X8, since it doth beckon in but a weeks of sunrises. We are now but a week away from the spectacle that pales The Super Bowl, The World Series, The Olympics, etc., at least in the minds of the True Believers. We have been beset (and besmirched)? with rumor after rumor about who “might,”” could possibly,” “may just,” ad nauseam, show up. If you believed half the rumors, you know that President Bush will be there to throw out the first illegal alien; that Osama (Usama) (Sh*t by any other name still stinks) bin laden will be there to throw out the first hand grenade; and that Senator Kennedy will throw out the first empty Scotch bottle (You didn’t really think he would throw it out full, did you?). These and just about all the other 10,896 (Unofficial Count) rumors are all Bull Droppings. In Rounding The Squared Circle’s continuing effort to keep you informed, I thought I would comment on some of the more prominent rumors.
[According to Meltzer, Jazz is so ugly that 127,000 people change the channel whenever she appears. (Thanks to Sister Midnight) ]
Rumor No. 1: The Canadian Crybaby will be the Special Guest Referee for the Undisputed WWF Championship Match between HHH and Y2Jock Strap and his faithful (Mentioning Stephanie and “faithful” in the same Zip Code is like saying Sleazy Willie entered a monastery) Business Partner, Princess Stephanie and her Trained Bowling Balls. This rekindled the “Who Screwed Who” argument. Whether you believe “Vince Screwed Bret,” “Bret Screwed Bret,” Sleazy Willie screwed that Beautiful, Bodacious Babe (Break for Barfing) Monica, is not relevant. The thing to remember is the Prime Directive of All Business: Rule 1 – The Boss is always Right; Rule 2 – If The Boss is ever wrong, refer back to Rule 1. If you are flipping burgers and The Boss tells you to mop the slop, you mop the slop or seek gainful employment at some other fine eating establishment. If you are climbing telephone pole and The Boss tells you to wash the truck (even though it isn’t Truck Washing Day), you grab the hose and start swabbing. We all live by The Rules. The Boss makes them, the employees follow them. It doesn’t matter what the job is, and wrestling for all its other things, is still a job. While never a fan of The Canadian Crybaby, I would love to see him and The Emperor kiss and make up; it would be good for the fans and for wrestling. He was approached by the WWF’s top man in Canada and rejected an offer to appear at WM X8. Whether the man making the offer was acting on his own trying to heal the wounds (and score points), or had The Emperor’s blessing really doesn’t make a difference. Old Baldy came back despite the problems between him (and his “purely home grown” pythons) The Emperor. It would have been great to see The Calgary Complainer do the same. Solving the Mideast crisis is nothing compared to this, eh.
[Helen of Troy was the Face That Launched 1,000 Ships: Jazz is the face that sank them.]
Shawn Michaels, aka The Heartbreak Kid (HBK) will be the Special Guest Referee at either the above mentioned match of the Tussle of The Tongues, Old Baldy, with his personal Medicare Advisor, v. The Rock. HBK is sitting home collecting more per month than 99.9% of you make in a year. He was backstage last week when RAW came from North of the Border (which is now being closely guarded by elements of the US Special Forces, Green Berets, Delta Force, CIA, FBI, KMA, GFY, etc.). It was rumored (see, another case of pure camel poop) that he would make an appearance. That along with he was there to reform “The Kliq,” a rumor reinforced by the “KLIQ” on Mr. 98 Proof’s warm up gear. We may see HBK at WM 18, but only The Emperor and his inner circle know. Believe the rumors on the Internet and I have a cherry Ford Pinto to sell you.
The will be surprises (there always are), but most of them will be just that surprises. I did hear a pretty good rumor that they will be holding “An Ugly Diva Contest.” The WWF has two contestants: Methuselah and Jazz. The Judges will include: The French Olympic Skating Judge, Janet Reno, Rosie O’Donnell and Hillary Clinton. A panel well qualified to judge ugly. They have been instructed not to allow Methuselah’s snakes to cloud their judgment, no matter how beautiful they consider them. All males in the audience and at home will be instructed to turn away from looking. There is some question whether it’s being turned to stone by seeing Methuselah, or something even worse by seeing Jazz. You can’t say you weren’t warned.
Enjoy WM 18. It promises to be a great show. Ignore the Elephant Piles you read. They are just that Piles of Elephant Piles. One more RAW and one more SmackDown to go. The complete card should be set on RAW. Get your scorecards out kiddies.
By: Linda Robin
Wow is Raw getting mixed reviews today. Although the bad seem to outweigh the favorable. Well I for one liked Raw a lot. I was pleased with some things that were done and the one thing I didn’t care for didn’t really take up that much time so it didn’t bother me.
The thing I’m talking about is the Stamford meeting with Vince, Flair and the staff. It was to see who should have total control over the WWF. Vince or Flair time to vote. I thought this was all ridiculous, quite boring but you know this is the beginning of the split. I guess they had to find a way to fit it in. I felt sorry for the fans that were there live to sit through this, for me it was dull but not to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore. Yes they played it throughout the show but thankfully it didn’t last too long each time. But it was totally uncalled for.
Very fast let me just say as far as the matches go the opening with RVD and The Hardy’s vs. Regal and The Dudley’s was very enjoyable. Did you notice when each one came out the fans popped BIG, but soon as Regal came out, the crowd fell silent. Poor Van Dam he’s got his work cut out for him this Sunday. By the way The Detroit crowd cheered their home state boy RVD as loud as they could I loved it.
I also thought the women’s match with Jazz and Stacey vs. Trish and Lita was good as well. Bringing Jazz in was a total plus for this division and I for one am looking forward to the triple threat match at WM with Jazz, Lita and Trish. It could be better than you would expect.
I thought Test vs. Rikishi was lousy, and I’m not blaming Test for it. Rikishi is extremely slow and I still say team him up with someone. Also like Regal when Mr. Perfect came out the fans sat on their hands. I think they are trying to tell Vince something about signing this man. Also another match I could live without was the Hard-Core title match. However I couldn’t be happier that Al Snow defeated Goldust. Now I’m hoping Snow will be on regularly to get that division moving again. Also Goldust for me has worn out his welcome. Why they found it necessary to bring him back is beyond me, but I would like to see him go.
Now before I go about a few more matches let me switch to what I really liked last night. I liked Kurt Angle/Booker T and Edge with their in ring promo. Edge was hysterical as was hip hoppin Kurt Angle and Booker. I thought this was one entertaining segment and the match with Angle and Booker vs. Edge and Big Show as Edge’s surprise tag team partner came off pretty good. Edge took a nice step up meeting Booker at WM. This poor guy suffered long enough in the meaningless and probably one of the most boring feuds ever with William Regal. We know Angle will take on Kane, whom by the way was out selling his head injury given to him by Kurt on last week’s Smackdown.
I also loved DDP with Christian and Big Bad Billy Gunn teasing Christian only to have Christian take him on. I thought the match was good, but the best part for me was the split of DDP and his pupil, spoiled brat Christian. I felt it coming on, and as soon as DDP helped him beat Gunn, you just knew the old Christian was back. I thought this was done so very well, and I would expect them to have a match at Wrestlemania.
And even though I feel Hunter and Jericho should be verbally fighting over the title I can’t tell you how glad I was to finally see some heat being poured on between these two. Yeah it centered around the cruel treatment of Lucy the dog. Jeicho being the jerk he is tied her to a car only later to have the car back out pinning the poor puppy under the car. Hunter happened to come out and hear the dog, which led him to finding her under the car. Of course he was sick over it, and so was I. I hate seeing things like that done, but LUCY LIVES, SHE LIVES, she has a broken leg, but at least she’s still breathing. I thought Steph’s meanness to her and Jeircho’s uncaring attitude for her was done just to make them look like the worst heels ever.
They also topped themselves by setting up Hunter who again ran to the ring and tried to Pedigree the soon to be ex. Boy let’s see at the wedding renewal Steph’s breast popped out and last night Hunter dragged her back in to the ring by the seat of her pants displaying her bare butt. Haven’t we all seen more of Steph than we ever thought? Ok anyway Hunter tries for the 50th time to pedigree her, but again is stopped by a sledge-hammering nut Y2J. He hits Hunter on the left thigh same place where his quad ripped. Hunter goes down in pain, barely able to stand, and there’s Mr. Main Event and The Wide Open enjoying every bit of his torture.
Then Hunter gets up as well as he can, and Jericho takes him down with the sledgehammer again. Oh my God shades of last May and Hunter being out again. You see Sgt. Slaughter and other’s helping a very injured Hunter out of the arena. Then after the commercial break we see a replay of Hunter walking toward the ramp and Jericho running down and attacking Hunter again knocking him down. Hunter is then put in an ambulance saying his leg feels just like it did when he tore it. And Hunter is gone. Well it kind of got to me; no it got to me a lot, a little to similar to what really did take place almost a year ago. But damn they finally got things going. I just wish it was about how important the title is not about Steph or the dog. But I will take what I can. It sure makes me look a little more forward to Sunday’s feud, that is if Hunter can come back.
Another very big highlight for me was the nWo being held off the show until the end. What a refreshing idea. I didn’t have to hear them or look a them. And as far as the main event, Hall looked ok, Rock and Austin carried the match and I’m sorry but Hogan looked out of place as did Nash. My feelings after seeing Hogan out there is that their match with Rock is not main event quality. I didn’t like what I saw at all. I think Austin with Hall will be a better show. No the main event wasn’t crap, but I give the credit to Rock and Austin for that and yeah I’ll even say Scott Hall came through.
So for me there was a lot more good than bad on Raw, and it’s one show to go before that big PPV of the year Wrestlemania. I think they should rethink the main event for Sunday, but they won’t. Also I would expect Hunter not to be on Smackdown. Only my question is if he’s in such agony and compares it to May’s quad rip, how the hell will he be there for his match? Can’t wait to see how they write that in.
As I See It
By: Bob Magee
So let me get this straight…
On the Monday before Wrestlemania, the biggest pay-per-view in the WWF’s year…the performer getting the most sympathetic reaction…is not The Rock, who is in the main event with Hulk Hogan…is not Steve Austin, who’s working Scott Hall…is not HHH, who’s in what was originally supposed to be the main event with Chris Jericho.
Instead the performer getting the most sympathetic reaction is “HHH’s puppy”, Lucy?!?!?
Not to mention a large dose of Stephanie McMahon splashed all over RAW…again.
Apparently Vince McMahon figured that Rob Black got attention by doing animal cruelty angles with puppies a week or so ago, so McMahon figured that it would be even more successful on his sports entertainment program…better production values and all, you understand (especially the obviously dubbed in dog yowlp when Lucy’s leg was “run over by the limo”).
No need to starve a snake, either.
So instead of watching an obnoxious pornographer who thinks he’s a wrestling promoter) being mean to animals; we get Stephanie…who thinks she’s a storywriter and a TV star doing the same.
Anyone wanna bet the World Wildlife Fund people over in the UK won’t care for this one? Lord knows the WWF has enough problems with them these days on more serious real-life business matters.
I guess my point is this…doesn’t Vince McMahon understand that the idea in the week before his biggest pay-per-view of the year is to use his TV to make people want to buy Wrestlemania?
More effort seems to be going into DDP making Christian “a positive person” (until Monday’s turn on DDP)…or Chuck and Billy in their roles as the Ambiguously Gay Duo…or the “War of the McMahons” (aka Stephanie and HHH’s “divorce”)…than there is in making the average fan want to buy this year’s Wrestlemania.
One of the few highlights in the Wrestlemania drive has been the pushing the Flair-Undertaker match. They’ve certainly done a better job pushing it than what pushing was originally the main event of Wrestlemania: Chris Jericho against HHH.
The Flair-Undertaker build had actually been well done, if you can stomach the dozen different skits that occur on each RAW or Smackdown before you got to see what they are doing on each show to further it…like beatdowns of Arn Anderson and David Flair.
Well, it was a good buildup until we were forced to see skits Monday night from “an emergency board meeting at the WWF offices in Stamford”.
The logic was that Ric Flair had gone off his rocker by “hitting a fan” during the most recent Flair-Undertaker brawl, so Vince McMahon went to the WWF “Board of Directors” to state that Flair should be removed from power.
Now, even within a storyline…shouldn’t there be some internal logic?
If the idea was that “someone was going to harm the WWF” and that this person should be removed from power…haven’t we been watching “Mister McMahon” talking to mirrors and saying he’d inject “a lethal poison” into the WWF, and saying he’d destroy what he created…all of which was presumably seen on television by the WWF “Board of Directors” (just like we’ve all had to)?
Someone please let me know, even within the Alice-In-Wonderland reality of a WWF storyline, how a Board of Directors that viewed this wouldn’t think “Mister McMahon” wasn’t nuttier than a can of Planters?
Further, if they’re worried about Flair “disgracing” the WWF with his “arrest”…haven’t they watched co-owner Vince “arrested” numerous times in skits involving Steve Austin, or being publicly revealed to have had an affair and to have drugged the company’s CEO, his own wife, as part of it?
If they’re so concerned about Ric Flair wrestling Undertaker, haven’t they watched Vince wrestle, as recently as 2 months ago, against Ric Flair…or back in November at Survivor Series match where he was combating “The Alliance” to save the WWF?
If one suspends disbelief and buys into this storyline, it sounds like the WWF’s “Board of Directors” has about as much sense about how to run a business and do their duty to maintain stockholder confidence as did Enron’s.
Back to reality, it seems that the booking committee has taken leave of their senses in writing a storyline like the one above that was so full of holes that I was able to pick them out Monday night while half asleep from a bad head cold.
Despite all that I’ve said above, you’d think with a main event like The Rock against Hulk Hogan…it shouldn’t be so hard to get people to buy this PPV. Think about it: one of wrestling’s most notable personalities of the last twenty years in a match with one of wrestling’s most notable personalities of the present day.
The match got good early mainstream publicity…which seemed like a positive sign.
But no mainstream media interviews with Maivia or Hogan are scheduled this week to plug Wrestlemania, at least as the date I’ve written this column. There are no doubt various interviews in the Toronto market…but all I’ve seen in the States, where most pay-per-view buyers are is a HHH appearance on Opie and Anthony.
Yes, there’s the Best of Wrestlemania special on TNN and the Divas special (which does absolutely nothing to sell Wrestlemania)…and Smackdown.
But how in the hell do you miss the chance to have The Rock and Hulk Hogan plugging the main event of Wrestlemania? Not even on the Tonight Show or Regis Philbin’s talkfest, which have both traditionally allowed the WWF to plug their major pay-per-views?
Instead of the powers-that-be in Stamford finding ways to get mainstream media opportunities during the last week before Wrestlemania… they give lots of face time on RAW for a puppy to poop on carpets, to be cooed at by HHH (nice way to build HHH’s character, folks), to be growled at by Stephanie, and be “run over” by a careless limo driver.
When watching Monday night’s dog crap (no, I don’t mean the chocolate bars they laid on the rug as pretend dog s–t); I can’t help but think of the skit that Eddie Gilbert did back in 1993 on ECW TV with Scooter, his real-life dog.
It was said that Missy Hyatt didn’t care for Scooter when they Eddie and Missy were together, and acted an awful lot toward Scooter like Stephanie did last night. So, after the Hyatt-Gilbert breakup, Eddie could get the dog to growl on command just by mentioning Missy’s name…and had Scooter do it in the promo.
Eddie Gilbert, and even Scooter, are no doubt shaking their heads at Monday’s night’s television, wherever they are…Eddie knowing he could have written a better storyline…and Scooter knowing that he could have acted it out better, perhaps better than even Stephanie.
Until next time…
AS I SEE IT archives/PWBTS.com
By: Dan Wilson
Shooting Gallery Wrestle Mania Special #2
Top Ten Wrestle Mania Matches
The WWF has completed another full circle and the grand daddy of them all has come again. Wrestle Mania has been the host to some of the greatest matches of all time. In my own opinion, the best matches in Wrestle Mania history usually center around the Intercontinental Title (as you’ll see in my list). With so many great matches, this list was hard to make but, I made it and hopefully I didn’t miss anything too significant in my analysis. So without any further adieu, it’s time to TESTIFY!!!
1. Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart (Submission Match) (WM 13)
The culmination of the feud that launched Steve Austin into super stardom. This match also contained the rare (at least at that time) double turn. Austin and Hart had been feuding for the last couple of months off and on and the feud came to its boiling point at this show. After beating the hell out of each other for over twenty minutes, Austin lay face down in a pool of his own blood, locked in Hart’s Sharpshooter. Special guest referee Ken Shamrock had no choice but to call off the match and give hart the win. Here’s what made the match truly special. Hart went back and put Austin in the Sharpshooter again causing the double turn which launched Steve Austin to become the most popular wrestler of the late 90’s.
2. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (Ladder Match-Intercontinental Title) (WM 10)
Wrestle Mania has been the stage that has launched many careers. Shawn Michaels name can be added to that list. Leading up to Wrestle Mania 10, the Intercontinental Title was awarded to Razor Ramon after Michaels was stripped of the title. Michaels would later claim to be the true IC Champion while Ramon would do the same. To settle the dispute, the two were scheduled to face each other in a ladder match at Wrestle Mania. Following a match that revolutionized extreme bumps, Ramon walked away with the title but, not before launching himself as well as Michaels up a couple of rungs of the WWF ladder (pun very much intended).
3. Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat (Intercontinental Title) (WM 3)
At the time of this match, wrestling was basically fought by two grapplers trying to ware down his opponent through a series of submissions and holds. How refreshing was it for all wrestling fans to see two guys come out and wrestle in one of the fastest paced matches that I have ever seen. These two also beat the hell out of each other but, they kept the pace going throughout the entire match. In the end, Steamboat rolled up Savage during and attempted slam and won the match and the IC Title.
4. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (WM 10)
A feud which was originally to be Bret Hart versus his brother Bruce Hart ended up providing fans with many great matches and a feud that lasted over 3 years. At Wrestle Mania 10, Bret was also scheduled to face the winner of Lex Luger versus Yokozuna for the WWF World Title. To make sure that both participants in that match were even, Bret was scheduled to face Owen earlier in the night so that both wrestlers would be in their second match. Owen rolled up Bret after a technically masterful match which would help Bret get even over more when he defeated Yokozuna in the main event.
5. Dudley Boys vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian (TLC 2-Tag Team Titles) (WM 17)
Following there performances at Wrestle Mania 16 and Summerslam 2000 in the first TLC Match, these three teams were packaged together again at Wrestle Mania 17 in the TLC 2 Match. In the weeks leading up to the match, Rhyno debuted to help E & C win the Tag Titles. Later in the same show, Spike Dudley debuted to help the Dudley Boys win the titles. I along with many other fans prayed for the debut of Jerry Lynn along side the Hardy Boys but that never happened. The match set new precedents for WWF bump-fests and ended with Edge & Christian winning the titles AGAIN.
6. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (Iron Man Match-World Title) (WM 12)
After winning the 1996 Royal Rumble, Shawn Michaels headed in to Wrestle Mania 12 ready to do battle with Bret Hart. The two were scheduled to face each other in a 60 minute Iron Man match. After 60 minutes, the two were dead-locked with neither man picking up a pin or a submission. Gorilla Monsoon ordered the match into a sudden death overtime period where Michaels defeated Hart following two Super Kicks and then fell to the mat clutching the title he had worked long and hard to gain.
7. Roddy Piper vs. Bret Hart (Intercontinental Match) (WM 8)
At the 1992 Royal Rumble, Roddy Piper defeated the Mountie for the IC Title (which the Mountie had won a short time earlier from an injured Bret Hart). Piper was scheduled to defend the title at Wrestle Mania 8 against the former champion, Hart. The two beat the hell out of each other until Piper locked his sleeper hold on Hart and it seemed as if Piper would retain the title. Then Hart propelled himself backwards using the turnbuckle and pinned Piper to regain the belt. The two then shook hands after the match, a rarity in those days.
8. Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan (World Title) (WM 5)
This match was fueled by the hatred that Savage and Hogan had developed towards one another in the weeks leading up to the show. At Wrestle Mania 4, Hogan had been responsible for helping Savage capture the World Title. However, their alliance didn’t last forever as Savage became jealous of Hogan’s friendship with Miss Elizabeth and turned on him. The scene with the two stars beating the hell out of each other in the medical room following the initial turn is something I’ll never forget. In the end, Hogan pinned Savage to recapture the World Title.
9. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant
Maybe not the greatest match in Wrestle Mania history work rate wise but, definitely the most hyped and important match in the events history. Andre the Giant was undefeated entering this match. Hogan had been on a great run as the WWF Champion. The two met before a 90,000 plus crowd at Wrestle Mania 3 where all of those 90,000 plus fans held their breath when Hogan seemed to have been pinned by Andre following a failed slam attempt. Hogan of course fought his way back and defeated Andre to retain the title.
10. Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior
Another greatly hyped match in which two of the greatest forces in WWF history were scheduled to lock up with the World Championship on the line. This match took place at the Skydome in Toronto, Canada (the home of Wrestle Mania 18), in front 65,000 plus fans. After a back and forth match, the Warrior gorilla pressed Hogan, dropping him face first onto the mat and then followed that up with a Big Splash to the back for the win. This would be the only time that Hogan cleanly jobbed to another wrestler during his entire WWF stint.
Well, that’s the list. As far as this years Wrestle Mania goes, my only comment is, has anybody else noticed that the show is pretty much all singles matches. If there was a tournament scheduled for this years Wrestle Mania (like Wrestle Mania 4), then everything would be fine and dandy. However, with all singles matches in a non-tournament show, there is no variety. Even with the Tag Title match in there and the triple threat Women’s match, the card still doesn’t balance out. Anyway, feedback is always welcomed and is greatly appreciated. Until next time…
ProWrestlingInline.com – Those of you who know me, know that I am a stickler for the older websites out there. I love the staying power and sheer greatness of some of the older wrestling sites. PWI is one of those sites. PWI has been around for years and is a great place for your daily news and rumors fill.
1WickedWorld.com – This is one of my personal favorites as far as wrestling sites go. Not just because it is a good site, but because there are so many other options there to explore besides the wrestling. Take a look!
Copyright © 1999 – 2002 Joe Vincent