Last week's column
Triple H and The Rock just can't seem to get enough of one another. They've wrestled at pay-per-view events, on RAW and Smackdown. They've wrestled for various titles in ladder matches, in iron man matches, tag matches and mixed-tag matches.
For the past 18 months, it seems the two have been involved in almost every kind of gimmick match and been put in every conceivable situation and storyline.
In reality, Triple H (Paul Levesque) and The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) have been joined at the hip much longer than their recent feud. Levesque and Johnson have been involved since the day Johnson debuted in the WWF four years ago. The following is a look at various milestones in Johnson's and Levesque's WWF careers, highlighted by their work together.
May 1995: WWF debut
Oct. 21, 1996: Won first Intercontinental title
Feb. 13, 1997: Lost Intercontinental title to The Rock
June 8, 1997: Won King of the Ring tournament
March 30, 1998: Formed new DX with X-Pac, Chyna and New Age Outlaws
Aug. 30, 1998: Beat The Rock for Intercontinental title
March 28, 1999: Turned heel at WrestleMania 15
July 25, 1999: Became No. 1 WWF title contender by beating The Rock
Aug. 23, 1999: Beat Mankind for the WWF title
Sept. 26, 1999: Won WWF title in six-pack match that featured The Rock
April 2, 2000: Won four-way WWF title match at WrestleMania, pinning The Rock
April 30, 2000: Lost WWF title to The Rock
May 22, 2000: Beat The Rock in a 60-minute, iron man match
Nov. 17, 1996: WWF debut at Survivor Series. Beat team that featured Triple H
Feb. 13, 1997: Won first Intercontinental tile, beating Triple H
Aug. 13, 1997: Joined The Nation of Domination
March 30, 1998: Turned on Faarooq and became Nation leader
Aug. 30, 1998: Lost Intercontinental title to Triple H
Nov. 15, 1998: Beat Mankind for WWF title
Sept. 26, 1999: Lost to Triple H in WWF title in six-pack match
April 2, 2000: Pinned by Triple H in four-way, WWF title match at WrestleMania
April 30, 2000: Beat Triple H for WWF title
May 22, 2000: Lost to Triple H in a 60-minute, iron man match
FLAIR TO HAVE SURGERY
Ric Flair will have surgery next week on his ailing shoulder and could be out up to two months.
Flair, who was feuding with his real - life son David, was written out of the storylines Monday when he had his head shaved on Nitro in front of his entire family.
ANOTHER KURT ANGLE?
The WWF has signed NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion Brock Lesnar to a developmental contract. Lesnar, who went to Minnesota, will begin work late this month in Louisville at the WWF's developmental camp.
Lesnar follows in the footsteps of 1996 Olympic gold medallist Kurt Angle who has become one of the more popular WWF wrestlers to make the jump from amateur to pro wresting.
If you already have a ticket to the WWF's July 23 pay-per-view event Fully Loaded in Reunion Arena, consider yourself lucky. If you still want a ticket to the soldout event, you better be rich.
Several tickets are available via on-line auctions and high prices are not deterring bidders. On Thursday, several seats around the ring were available on EBay for $250 or more per ticket.
ON THE STONE COLD TRAIL
Last week, the WWF barred its wrestlers from using any form of a piledriver. While the ban was new to some wrestlers, Stone Cold Steve Austin has had the move banned in his matches since his neck injury at SummerSlam in 1997.
"I won't ever take a piledriver in a match," Austin said. "There isn't anyone who will ever piledrive me."
Q: Now that the WCW has decided to turn Goldberg into a bad guy, do you think it will come up with a good guy gimmick to counter it, such as bringing back the NWO and turning that group into crowd favorites?
A: In WCW's current setup, it believes that the best way for it to ignite fan interest is to shock the audience. Turning Goldberg, a character who has always been a fan favorite, into a heel was a direction the promotion felt fans would not expect.
Now that he is a heel, there needs to be a strong babyface character to oppose him. The idea of bringing back the NWO is a possible one and one that already has had some development. Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan, two original members of the organization, are WCW's top crowd favorites. Scott Hall, the other original member, is out with an injury, but he should be returning soon. Having Hall join them seems obvious and would seem to make for good television. But, if that's what is expected, expect WCW to go a different direction.
SIGN OF THE WEEK
(NOTE: The Shakedown wants pictures of your best signs. Send pictures via e-mail in jpeg format to firstname.lastname@example.org and check in to see if your sign wins "Sign of the Week.")
All Goldberg needed was a toga and he would have looked the part of Julius Caesar's Brutus. After turning heel Sunday at the Great American Bash, fans Monday on Nitro let the WCW star know they felt betrayed. In the front row, a fan had a sign that read "Et tu Goldberg".
LINE OF THE WEEK
Mark Madden get points for a standout performance Sunday in an otherwise unspectacular Great American Bash pay-per-view event. Madden played the role of heel commentator perfectly. Among his best lines of the evening was a reference to Hulk Hogan merchandise selling well. He said, "After Hogan loses tonight (in the retirement match) there will be a whole lot of Hulk Hogan merchandise available."
Vince McMahon's reference to Wilmington, Del. Monday on RAW was related to the USA Network-WWF court case over programming rights that is taking place in Wilmington ... ECW is having payroll problems. The organization is nearing 30 days without having paid its wrestlers and could face grievances if the problems persist ... Samuel L. Jackson, star of the new movie "Shaft," was on Smackdown Thursday. Chyna will be on "The Tonight Show" Friday with Jackson ... Too Cool and Rikishi filmed a Crunch 'n' Munch ad Wednesday ... TNT's Standards and Practices overruled several planned storylines for Monday's Nitro. Vampiro was originally supposed to set the locker room on fire and have Asya, a female wrestler, be the most seriously "injured." Several wrestlers were also against the storyline. Vampiro also was against delivering his finishing move at Tuesday's Thunder tapings to Asya because he didn't want to do the move on a woman ... Great Muta will not be at Nitro Monday because of a visa problem. The earliest WCW expects to have the Japanese star is the June 26 Nitro ... Bull Buchanan's television time is going to be increasing. The WWF is high on the Big Bossman's former partner and wants Buchanan, who recently signed a contract extension, in higher profile feuds ... La Parka, Silver King, Lodi and Psychosis were among those released this week by WCW.