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Newsletter Flashbacks

5 Yrs Ago: WWF Newswire - Vince on Screwjob, Pillman's widow talks

Nov 24, 2002, 5:54pm

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The following is a reprint of the Torch Newsletter 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 #466
Cover dated: November 15, 1997


Nov. 10 in Ottawa (8,209 paid for $142,598; merchandising $53,383). Three dark matches preceded the live broadcast of Raw is War. Robbie McPhear beat Brooklyn Brawler (Steve Lombardi) with a reverse tilt-a-whirl. McPhear was okay, but was said to not look ready for the WWF. Many fans were still filing into the arena during the match. Mark Henry beat Miguel Perez Jr. It was his first return match in front of a crowd since his leg injury last year. He has trimmed down his weight, but still appeared to be very limited in the ring. Henry came out to Patriot's music. Fans chanted "Shave your back!" as Miguel and he played into it. Glen Kulka beat Sexton Hardcastle with a top rope shoulder tackle. Both guys were said to look strong and both got good reactions since both are Canadian. To avoid turning the crowd against them before the broadcast, they didn't announce the no-shows of the Hart Foundation.

The taping for the Nov. 15 Shotgun Saturday Night began. Max Mini beat The Army Midget. Lots of good lucha moves mixed with comedy. The fans were into the match. Two heel minis attacked Max Mini after the match, but two babyface minis made the save. Ahmed Johnson beat Andy Ellison (local wrestler) with the Pearl River Plunge in a squash. Vader beat Martin Roy (Judas) with a powerbomb. Vader got a great pop. A total squash. Doug Furnas & Phil Lafon beat Flash Funk & Scott Taylor when Lafon pinned Taylor after a superkick, clothesline, DDT combination. Furnas & Lafon got a great pop when they came out with a Canadian flag. In a dark match to fill time before Raw went live, Sunny War Cloud beat Jose Milano with a top rope elbow.

After Raw went off the air as the referee was counting, Shamrock actually kicked out of Hunter's pin attempt. The match actually ended with Shamrock pinning Michaels, footage which will air next week on Raw. The ref ignored several opportunities to DQ Hunter, but finally counted Michaels's shoulders down when Shamrock caught him interfering. Hunter sold a leg injury as he left the ring.

The scheduled main event was supposed to feature The Hart Foundation. Instead, Mero (w/o Sable) & Vader & Steve Austin & Undertaker beat The NOD (subbing for the HF) ending when Austin (who wore his street clothes) pinned Rocky Maivia after a Stone Cold Stunner. Austin only tagged in at the end and didn't take any bumps. Fans chanted "Rocky sucks." During the match the wrestlers lightened the mood as Undertaker shouted "ouch!" really loud when Kama kicked him, cracking up his partners. Austin pointed out a "Sable 38:EEE" sign to Mero and both laughed about it.


Melanie Pillman also released a statement through AOL last week regarding the death of her husband, Brian Pillman.

It has been a month since he died and I am finally able to do this. First and foremost, the medical examiner's office called today to let me know all the toxicology reports are complete. Brian died of a congenital heart disease which led to a heart attack, exactly as his father did when Brian was only three years old. There were no recreational drugs found in his system, nor any alcohol.

According to the position and manner that he was found, they have concluded that he died with no pain and in his sleep - thank God. Brian and I had been arguing lately, but we were living together and everything was fine between us at the time of his death. We argued about the fact that he relied too much on painkillers to wrestle. I wanted him out of the business, but he thought he could handle things. Again, the medicine did not cause his death.

The reason I came across as strange on TV was that I was in shock. My friends brushed my hair and helped me dress. I had been up since I was told he had died. Vince never said I had to do this, and maybe it was ratings driven, but I wanted to help the company that had taken care of my husband throughout his rehab of his ankle. It did not upset me to be asked as I know that Pillman would have wanted it and it helped to keep busy, although the week of his death is a complete blur to me now.

The girl who killed herself two years ago was Brian's ex-girlfriend, never his wife. They never did get along well, and I had pretty much raised their child as she was neglectful of her. Her death was painful for us. However, it had nothing to do at all with Brian's death. Brian was cremated and sits in a wooden urn on my office desk. Steve Austin picked it out and paid for it as I was too distraught.

He always wanted his ashes spread over the Grand Canyon (where he proposed to me) and as soon as I can get out there I will. He left a little life insurance, but not much. He had recently tried to obtain more coverage, but was turned down because of his medical problems. The kids are doing okay, but they miss their father a lot, and I miss him more than words can say. DDP has helped in conjunction with the WWF to set up a memorial fund for the kids" educations. The money sent will be used here, but the fund is set up through Star Bank, Florence, Ky. I did not come on here for that, though. Only to set the record straight. He would want everyone to know the truth. He was never one to mince words. I want to thank everyone for all of their support, and to the ones who wrote nasty things about my wonderful husband, @#$%& YOU!!!

Oops, guess that was the spirit of the Loose Cannon coming through me.

Love you all, Melanie


Nov. 7 in Toronto, Ont. at SkyDome (14,374 paid for $296,674; merchandising $133,000): Max Mini beat The Army Midget, Tiger Ali Singh beat Miguel of Los Boricuas, D-Lo Brown & Kama (w/Rocky) beat The Head Bangers, Ahmed Johnson (w/Glen Kulka) beat Rocky Maivia (w/NOD) thanks to interference by Kulka who DDT'd Rocky behind the ref's back, Goldust vs. Savio Vega didn't take place because Goldust didn't have medical clearance due to his injured wrist but they brawled briefly anyway, Legion of Doom beat The Godwinns after Henry accidentally hit Phinneous with the slop bucket, Vader beat Faarooq (w/NOD) via DQ in a strap match (ending in a brawl with the NOD, LOD, Shamrock, Godwinns, and Ahmed), Shamrock beat Hunter in a no holds barred match after Hunter accidentally kneed Chyna and Shamrock rolled him up for a three count, and Steve Austin & Mankind & Undertaker beat Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart & British Bulldog. The HF got the biggest babyface pop of the night. The match ended when Kane distracted Undertaker by walking out into the aisle at which point Bret put Undertaker in the sharpshooter. Austin interfered and broke up the hold, and then gave Neidhart the stunner for the three count. Bret circled the ring and saluted the fans before leaving.

Nov. 8 in Detroit, Mich. (7,286 paid for $123,425; merchandising $51,242)

Nov. 9 in Montreal, Quebec (18,101 paid for $447,284; merchandising $137,000)


Nov. 11 in Cornwall, Ont. (3,754, $46,619; merchandising $21,000, $5.60 per cap), the WWF taped the Nov. 17 edition of Raw is War and the Nov. 22 edition of Shotgun Saturday Night.

Dark matches: Robby McPhear beat Andy Ellisson with a side suplex. Adam Oakland (a/k/a Sexton Hardcastle) beat Christian King with a running powerbomb. Glen Kulka beat Doug Furnas with a sidewalk slam. Steve Blackman beat Phil Lafon via submission. Mark Henry beat Brooklyn Brawler with a powerslam. Henry looked lost at times during the match and didn't take one bump.

Shotgun: D-Lo Brown beat Flash Funk after Rocky distracted Flash. Interrogator & Jackal beat Dan Dalton & Don Rude when Jackal pinned both men after Interrogator beat them up. Jackal actually did color commentary at ringside until the pinfall when he entered the ring. Brian Christopher beat Devon Storm with the Tennessee Jam. DOA beat Los Boricuas when Savio pinned Jesus. Shamrock then came out for an interview. He said, "Bret Hart did not give up. Bret is still my friend, so Michaels you should watch your mouth."

Raw: Steve Austin came out and challenged Rocky. Rocky came out with the NOD. Rocky stole the IC Title belt. A fan jumped into the ring and security hauled him out. Jerry Lawler beat Marc Mero via DQ when Sable interfered, choking Lawler with her whip. Butterbean was back and he exchanged words with Mero. Sable had a black eye. Billy Gunn & Road Dog beat Miguel & Savio via DQ when the other two Boricuas jumped in.

Warzone: Degeneration X came out for an interview. Michaels said he ran Bret out of the WWF and he ran his family out of the WWF, and now he is going to start running his friends out also. Hunter then ordered Slaughter to join them in the ring. Hunter told Slaughter to keep his chin out of their business. He said Slaughter's old lady doesn't think his privates can do their job anymore, so if Slaughter sticks his nose in their business, he's going to swing by his house and take care of business. He then did the X crotch chop. Slaughter slapped Hunter and DX beat up on Slaughter. They placed a giant "X" of toilet paper over his chest. Scott Taylor beat Eric Shelly with a top rope DDT to advance in the light heavyweight tournament. Fans were filing to the concession stands during the match. Mero and Sable came to ringside and demanded an interview with Ross. Mero said Sable got her black eye from being hit by a horse (which is probably some sort of inside jab at Bret giving McMahon the black eye). He said that Butterbean was stalking his property - Sable. Butterbean got in Mero's face and they shoved each other. Torretito & Tarantula & Army Midget beat Max Mini & Mini Nova & a third midget. Sunny was special referee. During the match the lights went out and Kane showed up. The minis and Sunny hid behind Ross and Cornette. The Head Bangers came out to fend off Kane. The minis retreated to the back while Kane beat up the Bangers with tombstone piledriver. Goldust said he could not wrestle Vader as scheduled due to his injured wrist. He then pulled a hammer out of his sling and bashed Vader. Goldust's outfit seems to suggest the new lover in his life may be a man after all. Slaughter announced that Hunter will have to face him in a match at the Dec. 7 PPV. Dude Love beat Rocky via DQ when the NOD interfered. Rocky pointed out that it was a "non title" match beforehand, as if he is IC champ. Austin ran in for the save.

Dark main event: Ahmed & Vader & Undertaker & Austin beat the NOD when Austin gave Rocky the stunner. Austin didn't take any bumps and only tagged in at the end. Undertaker may have blown out his knee when he chokeslammed D-Lo. [Bertrand Hebert]


The Head Bangers and Dok Hendrix appeared on Canada's home shopping channel pushing Undertaker merchandise and the Wrestlemania complete video tape collection. Someone in the audience had a Sid doll and one of the Head Bangers said, "We don't like to show that one since that guy doesn't work for us anymore." There was plenty of Bret Hart merchandise plugged and there was no acknowledgement of his giving notice. They even showed the Bret "Start the Fire" video and plugged his match at Survivor Series, saying the weight of Canada is on his shoulders...

On Raw a fan held up a sign that read, "Helmsley: Midcarder for Life"...

When the Jeff Jarrett interview aired on the TitanTron in Ottawa, fans didn't react to the names Dude Love and Mankind, but people reacted big when they mentioned Cactus Jack. Strange. They booed Bischoff, Hogan, and Michaels, yet cheered Savage's name...

Jarrett may not debut in the ring for the WWF for a few more weeks...

Hawk missed Raw and wrestled only briefly at Survivor Series due to a staph infection. Animal made the trip, but did not wrestle...

Nov. 8-9 weekend ratings: Live Wire-1.4 (4.5 share); Superstars - 2.1 (5.8)...

Nov. 22 in Greensboro, N.C. features Michaels vs. Undertaker in a casket match, Austin & Dude vs. Owen & Bulldog, LOD vs. Gunn & Road Dog, Ahmed vs. Neidhart, Shamrock vs. Hunter, DOA vs. NOD, Taka vs. Christopher, Vader vs. Kane, Mero vs. Vega...

There is a lot of talk within the WWF that McMahon is so loyal to the current adult-theme of the TV shows because it was Shane McMahon's idea and he doesn't want to second-guess his son...

On Nov. 3 Lafon received a phone call from a man who said he was coming over to confront him about a relationship with his girlfriend. When the man arrived, both he and Lafon had guns. Lafon allegedly drew his gun and pointed it at him. Lafon's girlfriend then allegedly stabbed the man (who apparently knew her) and a fight broke out. The girlfriend fired the gun as Lafon beat the guy up. Police then came and arrested Lafon for assault with intent to inflict harm. He has a Dec. 22 court date, but will wrestle until then...

© Copyright 2002 by

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