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  Feb 21, 1998



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Taka loses, wins belt


By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM! Sports

 WWF Light Heavyweight Champion, Taka Michinoku, is counting his lucky stars. The high-flying Japanese sensation was able to lose and regain the title from Brian Christopher in the same night.

Kicking off the Road To WrestleMania tour in Toronto's SkyDome, the Light Heavyweight title swap wasn't the only changes seen by wrasslin' fans. For the second time, federation officials changed the main event from D-Generation X member Hunter-Hearst Helmsley versus (Stone Cold) Steve Austin to Austin against Nation Of Domination member Rocky Maivia. The Rock's coveted Intercontinental belt which was forfeited to him by Austin was not up for grabs.

Helmsley explained the change in a ring interview saying that until the supposed legal wrangle over Austinis attack on valet Chyna is settled; he won't face him and had slipped some green to the Nation to take care of Stone Cold. In case anyone is keeping score out there, the original feature bout was European champion Owen Hart against WWF World champion Shawn Michaels.

Jerry (The King) Lawler set the tone for the Light Heavyweight title match by slamming Canada's Olympic hockey team who failed in their effort to win a medal at the games.

"The only thing that stinks worse than you people is your hockey team. Now you'll get your chance to see someone win some gold," snickered Lawler introducing his son and challenger Brian (Too Sexy) Christopher. The crowd shouting "Burger Kid! Burger Kid!", Christopher dominated the opening moments. Michinoku racked up more frequent flier points springboarding onto Christopher outside the ring and nailing father and son after motormouth Lawler attempted to tag into (Duh!) the strictly singles competition.

A rolling DDT from the second ropes and a lethal top rope missile drop kick had Christopher reeling. Seeing his flesh and blood in trouble, Lawler leapt onto the ring apron argued with the referee and threw a steel chain to Christopher. Too Sexy wrapped it around his fist and haymakered the young champ attaining the pinfall. Christopher was declared the new champ secretly handing off the illegal object back to his proud papa.

A second referee nixed the decision declaring that the match should continue because of Lawler's interference. Power bombing Michinoku, Christopher went for a piledriver. As he did so, Taka rolled Too Sexy up and pinned him in a brilliant counter move. Lawler and son lunged for the new champ but Michinoku hurtled over the ringside fence exiting into the crowd.

"We're never coming back to Toronto," yelled Lawler over the house mic expressing his anger over the outcome of Christopher's short title reign.

The crowd cheered in response.

"Just for that...we shall return," said Lawler as he and Christopher head back to the dressing room

The World Wrestling Federation returns to Toronto's SkyDome on May 23rd. Tickets are now on sale.

Road To WrestleMania at SkyDome results

The Quebecers Vs The Head Bangers

: Mosh hits with the Stage Dive as The Quebecers chat with the referee.
: Toronto retailer and celebrity Honest Ed Mirvish slam dances with The Head Bangers in the middle of the ring.

Winners: The Head Bangers at 8 minutes and 39 seconds.

Skull Vs Marc Mero

: Mero orders Sable from the ring again.
: Mero is about the land the T.K.O. but he is distracted by Sable's return. 8-Ball switches with Skull and rolls Mero up for the pin. Luna Vachon and Sable want but don't get at each other. Sable shoves Mero down a la No Way Out.

Winner: Skull (or 8-Ball, take your pick.) at 3 minutes and 33 seconds.

Kama Vs Ken Shamrock

: The entire Nation except for Rocky Maivia is at ringside.
: Shamrock submits Kama and escapes the wrath of the Nation.

Winner: At 4 minutes and 37 seconds, Ken Shamrock. .

The Legion Of Doom Vs The Godwinns (Country Whipping Match)

: The Country Whipping match is really just a strap match in which everyone carries and can use a leather belt.
: Henry trips Hawk from outside as he prepares to slam P.I.G. P.I.G. pins Hawk in a blink-and-it's-over bout. This sets up the eventual return of LOD manager Paul Ellering who will stop The Road Warriors' losing streak.

Winners: At a speedy 2 minutes and 24 seconds, The Godwinns.

Goldust Vs Owen Hart (European Title Match)

: Owen makes Goldust submit to the Sharpshooter then slaps it on Luna as pay back for her interference throughout the match.

Winner: ...and still European Champion...Owen Hart at 5 minutes and 13 seconds.

Cactus Jack and Terry Funk Vs The New Age Outlaws (WWF Tag Team Title Match)

: Bad Ass Billy rams one of the tag team belts into Terry Funk's back. Road Dog gets the easy pinfall.

Winners: ...and still WWF Tag Team Champions...The New Age Outlaws at 9 minutes and 35 seconds.

Chainz Vs Kane

: Chainz Tombstones Kane. Kane gets right back up. The Undertaker's bro Tombstones Chainz and gets the 1-2-3. The D.O.A. try to team-up on Kane. He chokeslams them and a referee too.

Winner: At 2 minutes and 27 seconds, Kane .

(Stone Cold) Steve Austin Vs Rocky Maivia

: Austin Stone Cold Stunners Maivia for the victory then does the same to D-Lo and Mark Henry.

Winner: At 9 minutes and 29 seconds, (Stone Cold) Steve Austin .