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Torch Flashbacks
5 Yrs Ago: Bret beats Taker to retain title in U.K. PPV, Austin news

Sep 28, 2002 - 1:24:00 PM
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The following is a reprint of the Torch Newsletter review of WWF Newswire from five years ago this week.

-Jason Powell, Torch assistant editor

* * *

Torch Newsletter Archive
By Wade Keller, Torch editor
WWF Newswire
Originally published: Pro Wrestling Torch Weekly newsletter #459
Cover dated: September 27, 1997


ONE NIGHT ONLY
Sept. 20 in Birmingham, England at NEC Arena, the WWF held their first pay-per-view for an overseas cable audience. The PPV was available in both the UK and in Canada. In the opener, Hunter Hearst Helmsley pinned Dude Love. In the end Dude hit a double-arm DDT after Sweet Shin Music. Hunter stopped the pin with his foot on the rope. He then hit the Pedigree for the win. Before the match Dude faked a British accent during his interview.

Tiger Ali Singh pinned Leif Cassidy. Sunny handled ring announcing. Leif sported a new look including died blond hair with a brown pony tail. Singh tried to play the role of a babyface, but the fans didn't buy it.

Savio Vega & Miguel (of Los Boricuas) beat The Head Bangers in a fast-paced match.

The Patriot pinned Flash Funk. Funk was really over with the crowd in part because Patriot was so despised by the fans. They worked hard in the match and put on a really strong performance. In the end Flash went for a top rope finisher, but Patriot lifted his knee. He then gave Flash the Uncle Slam for the three count.

The Legion of Doom beat The Godwinns after the Doomsday Devise shoulder-clothesline finisher.

Originally Vader was to face Rockabilly and Ken Shamrock was scheduled to face Owen, but due to Shamrock's punctured lung, they combined the two matches. Shamrock appeared to explain to the fans why he wasn't wrestling. When Rockabilly gave him a hard time about not toughing it out, Shamrock put him in a toe hold submission.

Vader pinned Owen Hart. Jerry Lawler brought Owen to the ring, but Owen was upset with Lawler when he called the fans morons. Late in the match Owen hit the enziguiri and applied the sharpshooter. Vader reached the ropes to break the hold. Owen slammed Vader and went for a spin hook kick, but Vader caught him and gave him a powerslam for the pin. Also said to be very good.

Bret Hart beat Undertaker via DQ so Undertaker retained the WWF Title. Bret was over in a big way with the fans and both wrestlers really turned it up a notch for the match. Bret spent a good part of the match working over Undertaker's leg, including the figure-four around the ringpost. Back in the ring Bret applied the sharpshooter, but Undertaker powered out. He then went for a chokeslam, but Bret escaped. They continued for several more minutes.

Bret grew frustrated with his inability to put Undertaker away and grabbed the ring bell. Undertaker blocked Bret's attempt to use the bell and then wrested the bell from Bret and was going to use it, but the ref stopped him. Undertaker turned his attention in anger to the referee so Bret clipped Undertaker's leg from behind. Bret then hit a cameraman, but in the process got his head caught in the ropes. Undertaker continued to beat on Bret beyond the ref's five count prompting the DQ. Undertaker then chokeslammed the ref.

In the main event, Shawn Michaels beat British Bulldog to capture the WWF European Title. Rick Rude came out in the middle of the match and stopped Bulldog from scoring a pin on Michaels. Michaels threw Bulldog out of the ring. Rude slammed Bulldog into the ringpost. Michaels then dove onto Bulldog at ringside. Rude rammed Bulldog into the side of the ring. Michaels brought Bulldog back into the ring. Michaels went for his finishing Chin Music, but Bulldog ducked. When Bulldog went for the powerslam, Rude tripped him. Hunter then came out to join Rude in aiding Michaels, but Bulldog hit him. Outside the ring Michaels hit Bulldog with Chin Music. Hunter followed by giving Bulldog the Pedigree and threw him back into the ring.

Bulldog, by this point stripped of his knee brace, cried out as Michaels applied the figure-four. It was another one of the finishes where the ref calls for the bell during a submission hold even though the wrestler didn't give up or tap out and no explanation is given. Fans threw debris into the ring. Chyna went after Diana Smith at ringside. Owen and Bret finally came to the ring to prevent further gang action by Michaels, Rude, and Hunter. Hunter referred to himself, Chyna, and Michaels as the Triple Threat, bringing up more questions regarding whether a WWF-ECW feud between Douglas and Michaels is forthcoming based around Rude's involvement with both men. [Alec Smith, Dave Patrician]

ON THE ROAD
With the rest of the crew in England for the pay-per-view, the remaining WWF crew wrestled three shows over the weekend. Sept. 20 in Scranton, Pa. (1,890 for $26,497; merchandising $12,621): Brian Christopher pinned Scott Taylor in the opener. The crowd was into the match throughout. Christopher had a tremendous amount of heel heat. After the match Christopher said he was the toughest man in Scranton. Brakus pinned Dr. X with a weak-looking spinebuster. The absolutely huge Brakus worked as a babyface. His main offensive weapon was a clothesline. After the match Christopher came out repeating his declaration that he was the toughest man in Scranton. Brakus then cleaned his clock with an Ultimate Warrior style press slam and clothesline.

Marc Mero (w/Sable) beat Sultan (w/Iron Sheik) via submission with a variation of the figure-four. Mero, sporting a shaved head (!) came to the ring wearing a black boxing robe and didn't seem to appreciate Sable waving to the crowd. Mero didn't release his submission hold until long after the bell rang and got in a couple of stomps on Sultan before exiting the ring. The Blackjacks (Justin Hawk Bradshaw & Barry Windham) beat Jesus & Jose (of Los Boricuas). Bradshaw caught Jesus with a bodypress and then Windham dropkicked Bradshaw's back sending him on top of Jesus for the pin.

Brian Pillman (w/Marlena) beat Goldust via DQ. Marlena wore an outfit similar to the one she was wearing on Raw is War. Goldust entered through the crowd and attacked Pillman from behind to start the match. The end came when Goldust used a chair for the DQ. Skull (of the DOA) pinned Jesse Jammes with a spinning sidewalk slam. James wrestled in a heel style and even kissed Skull during an Irish whip to antagonize him. There were several "Jesse sucks" chants during the match. After the match James responded to the fans: "The only thing I suck is your money out of your pocket into mine." Ahmed Johnson pinned Rocky Maivia after a Pearl River Plunge. After the match the rest of the NOD attacked Ahmed. DOA came out for the save. Ahmed hugged members of the DOA in thanks.

Crush & 8-Ball & Chainz (of the DOA) beat Faarooq & D-Lo Brown & Kama Mustafa (of the NOD) when Crush pinned D-Lo. DOA was over with the crowd and there were several DOA chants during the match. For the finish, Rocky returned to the ring with a chair to hit Crush while D-Lo was holding him. Crush ducked and the chair hit D-Lo and Crush covered D-Lo for the pin. The entire event lasted two hours including a 30 minute intermission. [Alan Trybulski]

Sept. 19 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (2,059 for $38,948; merchandising $16,671): Brakus beat Dr. X, Brian Christopher beat Scott Taylor, Brakus beat Brian Christopher, Los Boricuas beat Blackjacks, Mero beat Sultan, Pillman beat Goldust via DQ, Skull beat Jammes, Ahmed beat Rocky, Crush & Chainz & 8-Ball beat Faarooq & Kama & D-Lo.

Sept. 21 in Liberty, N.Y. drew 966 for $17,844 ($6,471 in merchandising) with similar results.

Sept. 22 in New York City, N.Y., before Raw went on the air live: Steve Corino pinned Jimmy Cicero (fans were chanting "Let's Go Rangers" out of boredom). The Brooklyn Brawler won a battle royal. The Shotgun taping opened with Vader & Patriot beating The Godwinns (w/Uncle Cletus). Patriot hot-tagged Vader at 8:00, who cleaned house and hit a Vaderbomb for a clean pin. Savio & Miguel won a squash. Jesse Jammes beat Flash Funk. Lawler, who came to ringside to announce that match, interfered to help Jammes get the win. Crush & Chainz beat The Truth Commission via DQ. The Commandant was not at ringside and someone else took his place at ringside.

WWF NOTEBOOK
Jim Ross reported on the WWF hotline that Austin is booked for some "non-sanctioned" matches in late-October...

Ken Shamrock is out for a week or so due to suffering a punctured lung from his Raw match against Faarooq. Shamrock was coughing up blood during the match as a result of the internal injury...

There are no plans on either the WWF's part to bring Sid back or for Sid to return to action anytime soon. His doctor will not release him to wrestle until at least January. He had a bone from his hip fused into his neck. He is currently working out lightly...

Austin appeared at the Columbus Avenue Street Festival on Sept. 21 in New York City at the United Care USA stage in an effort to spread word about preventing child abuse...

Quarter hour ratings for Sept. 15 Raw: 2.0, 2.0, 2.7 (minis match), 2.8; 2.8, 2.5, 2.9 (peak for Michaels interview), 2.6. During the time Raw went head-to-head with Nitro, Raw drew a 2.5 and Nitro a 3.8...

The Blackjacks may team for All Japan's upcoming tag tournament, although the WWF is considering dropping the gimmick and repackaging Windham and Bradshaw as singles wrestlers...

Dusty took some veiled shots at Mike Tenay during the Sept. 20 WCW Saturday Night. He told Schiavone how Nitro isn't the same without him...

Seagram bought 100 percent of USA Network from former 50 percent partner Viacom. It is not expected to have any immediate impact on the WWF...

Sept. 20-22 ratings: Mania-1.3 (4.2 share), Superstars-1.5 (4.3), Raw-2.3 (2.3 (3.5). (See "TV Review," pg. 3 for quarter hour Raw ratings). Raw shockingly didn't received a bump when Nitro went off the air. It stayed at 2.2


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