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

WWF adding to talent base


By GLENN COLE -- Toronto Sun

  It was huge week for Vince McMahon.

 Not only did the WWF head honcho launch a football league, but he also added four talented performers to his roster at a time when the WWF needed an injection of new blood.

 The key, of course, was Chris Benoit, the Montreal-born, Edmonton-raised, Calgary-trained wrestler who held the WCW title for one night last month before asking for and getting his release from the WCW.

 The addition of Benoit and that of Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn and Eddie Guerrero comes at a time when the WWF was starting to feel the absence of Stone Cold Steve Austin and some of the angles were becoming a little stale.

 And the folks who run the WCW look like clowns in letting the quartet free without any limitations put on their ability to jump to the WWF.

 Several times, wrestlers have wanted to change organizations in the past but have been limited by contract clauses.

 And do not think for a moment that their appearance on Raw Is War was an accident. The plot writers would like you to believe they haven't been hired, but people just don't show up anymore.

 It appears as though the WCW refugees will be feuding with the members of De-Generation X, judging by the pounding they laid on Road Dogg the other night.

 The four arrived at ringside during the New Age Outlaws against Al Snow and Steve Blackman opening match, and quickly entered the action when Road Dogg ended up in their laps. Hence the pounding.

 There has been a dearth of opposition for that group for several weeks and Benoit and friends certainly can be more than a match for them. Somebody has to put X-Punk in his place.

 But Radicals, as they are being called, lost all three matches against D-X on Smackdown though Benoit had Triple-H in a crippler crossface with the referee knocked out. Triple-H recovered for the win.

 Earlier, Guerrero suffered an elbow injury in a tag-team bout.

 HERE AND THERE: There are some familiar faces working in that WXO promotion that is based out of Lakeland, Fla. Sweet Stan Lane and former WCW announcer Chris Cruise are the play-by-play men with the likes of Mike Enos and Barry Darsow among the talent working the shows. The telecasts are carried on Fox-29 at 1 p.m. Saturdays and also on KTLA, the L.A. superstation, at 5 a.m. Sundays. The show features some wrestlers from the New Japan promotion ...WCW's Bret Hart is out of action for the next little while with a concussion ... Hulk Hogan has returned to the WCW as has Mike Rotonda, who was squashed by Sid on Thunder ... The Big Show decided to get a haircut. There is a debate as to whether he looks better.

 LOCALLY SPEAKING: The Empire Wrestling Federation has a card tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Orangeville Fairgrounds Coliseum. The Judge will defend his heavyweight title against the winner of a battle royal featuring many of the top EWF performers. Ricky Stardust, the Cisco Kid and Iron Ted Sharp are among those who will be appearing. Tonight, the ECW has a show at Peterborough's Trent University... The Hardcore Wrestling Federation has a new television deal with CFPL, the new PL, in London ... The UCW stages a card on Wednesday night in London at the Fanshawe College Fitness Centre. The main event will feature two of the top stars of ECW battling for the UCW Heavyweight Championship. The legendary Sabu, the UCW champion, will make his first title defence against ECW's Rhino in a ladder match... In addition, WWF star and former European and Intercontinental champion, D-Lo Brown, will take on Scott D'Amore, a former UCW heavyweight. In a battle of the big boys, 400-plus pound King Kong Bundy who meets former WCW star, the seven-foot monster Reese.