Hogan turns back clock
By TIM BAINES -- Ottawa Sun
Hulk Hogan turned back the hands of time on last Sunday's Backlash pay-per-view, somehow finding in his beat-up body the resolve to defeat Triple H for the WWF heavyweight title.
The match was slow-paced and the fans were not nearly as noisily behind the aching Hogan as they were at Wrestlemania or the following RAW and Smackdown!
Despite interference from Chris Jericho and The Undertaker, Hogan was able to get the win. And his opponent, Triple H, who used dirty tactics at times during the match, saluted Hogan as the new champion.
In other matches: Tajiri beat Billy Kidman for the cruiserweight belt; Scott Hall beat Bradshaw; Jazz beat Trish; Brock Lesnar beat Matt Hardy; Kurt Angle beat Edge; Eddie Guerrero beat Rob Van Dam for the intercontinental title; and Billy and Chuck beat Al Snow and Maven.
The Big Show went from friendly giant to nWo assassin in a matter of minutes on RAW. Doing his best Benedict Arnold, The Big Show (Paul Wight) joined the nWo to pummel Stone Cold Steve Austin. There also are rumblings The Undertaker could join the nWo. Here's the conspiracy theory that may unfold:
RAW boss Ric Flair cost Austin his No. 1 contender match against The Undertaker at the Backlash pay-per-view, failing to see Austin's foot on the ropes while finishing his three count. Flair said it was an innocent mistake.
Then, on RAW, Austin's scheduled partner, Bradshaw, was pummelled and unable to compete. It was Flair who chose The Big Show. Given Flair's devious past and his moniker as "the dirtiest player in the game," it seems logical that he has switched his allegiance to the nWo. The WWF had so much success with Austin feuding against the company owner Vince McMahon, it makes sense that Flair would become Austin's new whipping boy.
Lita's impressive career has ground to a halt for 6-9 months. With three cracked vertebrae, she will have surgery Tuesday.
Hogan's 38-foot 1996 nWo powerboat is up for sale on ebay. The reserve bid on the boat is reportedly $200,000, with bidding ending May 2.
Toronto's Apocalypse Wrestling Federation returns to action today at the Birchmount (Cactus Pete's), at 4 p.m. The card is headlined by two title matches: Jackal vs. Joey Knight and Frankie the Mobster vs. Piranha. The AWF hits the road for a May 5 show at the Cowboy Tavern in Brantford and May 19 at the Portly Piper Plaza in Ajax.
Vince McMahon told WWF.com he is not worried about losing The Rock to Tinseltown. The Rock is basking in the glory of his wildly successful starring role in The Scorpion King.
"He will always come back to us. These are his roots; this is where he achieved stardom," McMahon said. "The one thing you cannot get from any other form of entertainment -- you cannot get the rush of 20,000 people, what they give you as a performer. No actor can get that. You can't get that on a soundstage. You can't even get that from the people walking the red carpet at the Academy Awards. Those people aren't fans; they're not passionate. The feedback you get (from fans) for being a certified superstar here in the World Wrestling Federation -- the only place you can get it is here. There's no Hollywood outlet for this. The Rock's hooked, like all of us are."
Austin says the shows he missed following Wrestlemania were not the result of any friction with Hall and Nash. Instead, he says, he just needed a rest to regain his edge.
Next week's Sports Illustrated features an article on Kurt Angle. It suggests that Angle can opt out of the WWF for two years if he wants to train to compete as an amateur wrestler in the 2004 Olympics. Angle says his chances of competing are 50/50.