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1708Wrestling-Online Newsletter #1607

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  • Colin Vassallo
    Jun 1, 2003
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      / _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #1607
      | (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Sunday June 1st 2003
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      By Colin Vassallo, [Editor@...]

      Hey folks. There goes another week! The new newsletter website is
      scheduled to go liiiiive sometime this coming week at wonewsletter.com.

      We'll be back tomorrow. Later.

      Get the new WWE Divas DVD & VHS video 'Desert Heat'
      Pre-order now WrestleMania XIX on VHS or DVD and witness one of the
      greatest events in wrestling history! Hogan vs McMahon; Angle vs
      Lesnar; Rock vs Austin; Jericho vs Shawn Michaels and much more! The
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      - The 'WWE' keyword moved six places forward from last week on Lycos'
      Top 50 chart, this week landing in the tenth place. The keyword is in
      its 197th consecutive week on the list. On the Yahoo! Buzz Index, 'WWE'
      is in the sixteenth place, up one place from last week's ranking. The
      keyword is in its 115th consecutive week on the chart.

      - The Oregonian newspaper covered the WWE's return to the state
      yesterday after the company performed a live event in front of a jam
      packed house of over 16,000 screaming fans inside the Rose Garden. The
      show was the biggest live event in a lot of months for WWE, and
      certainly the biggest for either of the two rosters. The story has a lot
      of comments from Flair and you can read it at

      - WWE made its return to Portland yesterday after an absence of ten
      years due to state regulations. W-O Newsletter reader Brian Ewers
      attended the show and sent in these notes and results. Christian
      defeated Booker T; Goldust & Maven defeated Lance Storm & Mark Jindrak;
      Jazz defeated Ivory, Victoria & Jacqueline; Rico defeated Lance Cade;
      Dudley Boyz defeated Chris Nowinski & Rodney Mack; Kane & Rob Van Dam
      defeated La Resistance; Test defeated Val Venis; Triple H defeated Kevin
      Nash. The main event saw the Dusty finish once again, with Nash pinning
      H first but a referee reversed the decision since Nash used the title
      belt. After the Dudleys match, a little boy was picked from the crowd
      and got his picture taken with the Dudleys and even went home with a
      piece of the table; Also Jericho hosted the Highlight Reel with The

      - W-O Newsletter reader 'Theresaw' attended the live event in Las Vegas,
      NV., yesterday and sent in these notes. Chris Benoit defeated Sean
      O'Haire; Orlando Johnson defeated Kanyon; Crash Holly defeated Funaki;
      Los Guerreros defeated Team Angle; Matt Hardy defeated Jamie Noble;
      Torrie Wilson defeated Nidia; A-Train & The Basham Brothers defeated Rey
      Mysterio, Spanky & Bill DeMott; John Cena defeated Rikishi; Brock Lesnar
      & The Undertaker defeated The FBI.

      - Tickets for the RAW brand only pay-per-view Bad Blood are not going
      too well. Row four seats selling for $300 a pop are still available and
      tons of tickets in the lower and upper level seats are still available
      as well. The show will live from the Compaq Center in Houston, TX., on
      Sunday June 15th and will be headlined by Kevin Nash vs Triple H in a
      Hell In A Cell match.


      By Jason Clevett, [jason.clevett@...]

      AJ Styles is, simply put, awesome.

      “Um, yeah, we know that! We watch him on TNA and we agree, he is
      awesome in the ring.” You are saying.

      I agree, but when I say he is awesome, I am referring more to AJ Styles
      the person, who took the time to talk to me at Stu Hart’s 88th Birthday.
      Not only that, but 15 minutes after his match ended he was out signing
      autographs and taking pictures with anyone who wanted them.

      “I could say “No not right now” but to me that is BS.” Says Styles while
      signing. “Without them I am nothing, I am just another guy, I don’t mean
      anything. I need them to come out and show they care. I appreciate
      fans.” It is important to AJ that he keeps a level head. “You can’t
      forget where you came from. I was just a kid trying to make it in a
      crazy business where there is no money. If you forget where you come
      from, then you will be just another cocky wrestler that nobody likes.”

      It is this type of attitude that keeps Styles, a Christian, grounded.
      His belief in God keeps him from the temptations of the road.

      “There are a lot of good looking girls out there, and especially when
      they find out that you are married, a lot of them seem to really want to
      try to get you to cheat on your wife. I won’t do it.”

      It isn’t surprising that the girls are after the boyishly handsome
      southerner. I received one e-mail from a fan wanting me to ask simply
      “Is he single?” Styles is happily married and that has had a heavy
      influence on his career, including turning down a developmental offer
      from the WWE.

      “Financially I couldn’t afford to go up there. My wife was in college
      and I was the sole provider. It wasn’t feasible for me to move to
      Cincinnati for a developmental deal when I was making nothing.”

      So instead, AJ takes advantage of the opportunities that being an
      established Independent Talent gives him - freedom to pick and choose
      his dates, and be home in Atlanta if he wants too.

      “All I have to do (contractually) is wrestle Wednesday nights, if I want
      to stay home, I can. WWE stars can’t do that, they go all the time. I
      am not ready for that.”

      Along with NWA-TNA, which AJ states is a “fantastic place to work”
      Styles made a name for himself working in Ring of Honor in
      Philadelphia. ROH’s tapes are quickly become a hot item among tape
      traders, and guys like Styles are a big part of the reason why.

      “Ring of Honor is respect and honor, it really is. You’re not going to
      just come up there and they are gonna cheer you. That is not the way it
      works. You have to come up there and show them what you can do, and if
      they approve they will let you know. My first match there was against
      Low-Ki and it was off the charts. Probably one of the best matches I
      have ever had. It keeps getting better with guys like Paul London,
      American Dragon, Amazing Red.. the guys in ROH are unbelievable, it is
      great to work with them.”

      Although he started 5 years ago in what is now NWA Wildside, Styles says
      that most of his training has happened in the ring, learning by
      wrestling nightly guys like Christopher Daniels (He really put me on the
      map) and Jerry Lynn (I learned so much from Lynn it’s pathetic.) He
      can’t pick out just one match or opponent as a favorite, but what quick
      to answer a question about one person he wants to face. Chris Benoit.

      Unlike many wrestlers, he didn’t grow up addicted to wrestling, and
      originally, his plans were for different sports.

      “As far as I was concerned I was gonna be a professional football player
      or baseball player, then I realized I was white and slow. “ quips the
      5’11 220 pound cruiserweight.

      The light schedule also allows for AJ to wrestle special shows, like the
      Stu Hart Tribute, where he teamed up with “Black Dragon” Brett Como, a
      Canadian dungeon-trained wrestler who had a lengthy feud with Ultimo
      Dragon in Japan as his evil twin. They faced the young team of future
      stars “Stampede Kid” TJ Wilson & Harry Smith, son of the late British
      Bulldog, in the main event.

      “What an honor to be invited by anyone in the Hart Family. I got to
      meet Stu, which was a thrill for me. The match was awesome and had
      great psychology. You don’t see that in a lot of independent matches.
      (Wilson and Smith) are great wrestlers.”

      AJ also spent time talking to many of the young wrestlers at the show,
      giving advice and answering questions. The opening contest of the night
      was a triple-threat spotfest that was fun to watch but lacked any
      psychology. Styles enjoyed the match, but gave sound advice to the

      “You can’t go out and do it every night. When guys take their spots and
      add psychology and where to put their spots it is going to mean more.
      You learn that with time.”

      Styles had heat from a number of sources when he used the word “faggot”
      on a TNA broadcast. This especially surprised those familiar with his
      strong faith. Styles regrets the slip-up.

      “To me faggot is a word you just say when your when goofing off.
      Unfortunately it is not the right thing to say, I wouldn’t say it in
      church so I shouldn’t say it anywhere else. It just slipped out. It
      surprises them that I said faggot in Nashville, of all places, but when
      I said bastard, which really bothered me the week before, it didn’t
      bother them at all. They wanted me to say SOB, I compromised and said
      bastard. Never the less, it was wrong, and I apologize.”

      Styles loves working for TNA, where he is a former Tag Team Champion
      with Jerry Lynn and a two-time X-Division titleholder. He agrees with
      many fans that TNA is a great alternative to the stale WWE product.

      “I watch Monday nights at a friends house. I like to watch wrestling,
      and unfortunately it has to be WWE. They just aren’t doing what people
      want to see right now. Right now it’s “Grab a headlock and talk.”
      Whoopee! I can do that it doesn’t take much.”

      TNA, on the other hand, is a entirely different world.

      “We don’t talk as much. We also do a lot more dangerous stuff,
      unfortunately that is what people want to see. We are different then
      WWE, we give you things you don’t get to see.” Styles feels that the key
      to TNA truly being established is getting TV, but that is difficult in
      today’s market. “People look at WWE and saying “They aren’t doing well,
      I don’t want wrestling. Wrestling is dead.” WWE is dead, not TNA.”

      Of all of the things that WWE could adapt from TNA, they oddly chose to
      steal the “Styles Clash”, AJ’s modified face-first piledriver, and give
      it to Crash Holly, dubbing it the “Crash Landing.”

      “He doesn’t use it very well, so I am not to worried about it. If
      anybody is going to use my finisher, thank god it’s him because he
      hardly ever wins or is on TV.”

      To wrap up the interview, we played the ever popular “name association”.

      Jeff Jarrett: The Man at TNA. I had a great time in my World Title match
      with him. He was really receptive, I got Jarrett to do some X-division
      style work in the match. He and Jerry treat me like one of their
      biggest stars and I appreciate that.

      Ric Flair: The master of cutting promos.

      Vince McMahon: He’s slipping.

      Raven: A little to old school, but I respect him.

      D-Lo Brown: Awesome. It’s about time. It’s obvious to me that he wasn’t
      used correctly in WWE, because I can’t get pops sometimes cuz D-lo is so

      Vince Russo: Good story lines, so far.

      Rob Fienstien: Great guy. Thank god there is ROH.

      And as for fellow Atlanta wrestler Goldberg?

      “….. I am glad he’s a Georgia Bulldog Fan.”

      Styles would love to face Chris Benoit, but can’t pick one match or
      opponent as his best.

      AJ’s goal is to save his money so that he can retire early and be with
      his family. But in the meantime, his plan is simple. To give the best
      show possible.

      “I am always reinventing myself; I am not going to let you get bored.
      I’ll do crazy stuff but let me heal afterwards. If you watch my
      matches, it’s not a regular match. I want to make sure you get what you
      paid for, and that you are entertained.”

      Thanks to Ringside Manner for allowing me to use some quotes from their
      interview to add to mine. You can hear their interview with AJ at


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