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  Aug 21, 1999

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Body slammed for refereeing grappling bout

By GLENN COLE -- Toronto Sun
  There are some people in Minnesota who are not keen on the idea of their governor, Jesse (The Body) Ventura, refereeing the World Wrestling Federation's SummerSlam main event tomorrow night at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

In fact, a former write-in candidate for governor launched a lawsuit, claiming that Ventura was in conflict of interest.

A Minnesota state district judge refused to put a halt to Ventura's appearance, noting that there is nothing in the law books that makes what he is doing illegal. Ventura, by the way, plans to donate the $100,000 US fee he is getting to charity. Meanwhile, you would think the good people of Minnesota would have something better to do with their time and money than to pursue something as trivial as this.

HELMSLEY TO RULE: It appears that Triple-H, otherwise known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley, is in prime position to become the WWF world heavyweight champion by about 11 p.m. tomorrow. The three-way match which sees Stone Cold Steve Austin put his title on the line against Mankind and Triple-H likely will have Helmsley pin Mankind for the strap, with Austin helpless to do anything about it.

Word is that Austin did not want to job to Helmsley, so with a three-way, Austin can bow out, do whatever movie or TV project he wants, and then come back and say that he never was pinned. If that script is followed, it will be interesting to see how the Monday night ratings war fluctuates, although the WWF's Raw is War is so far ahead of WCW's Monday Nitro even Austin's absence isn't likely top change things.

HERE AND THERE: Bret (Hit Man) Hart is supposed to return to action against Hulk Hogan this weekend at cards on the West Coast ... Even though Hogan has a bad knee and needs some time off, he held off Kevin Nash's challenge at Road Wild, one of the worst pay-per-views in recent memory ... All is quiet on the local independent scene after a highly successful and entertaining WWA card at Medieval Times ... WWF Smackdown makes its debut on Thursday at 8 p.m on WSBK. Next Friday, TNN airs its first ECW card starting at 8 p.m. Sabu, Jerry Lynn and Justin Credible will be featured on that show ... Lenny Lane won the WCW's cruiserweight title on Thunder this week. See, sometimes things can happen on the lame show ... Raw ratings have dropped a bit since Vince McMahon has been off the show. Maybe he'll reappear when Austin takes his time off ... Chris Jericho is just one guy, but he will be a burst of energy for the WWF at a time when things were getting a little boring. Jericho certainly is more entertaining than Paul (Big Show) Wight, who looks stiff and bored. It seems that the WWF image-makers have some serious work to do to make him entertaining ... Wildest rumour making the rounds: ABC offered $100 million to WWF to move Raw off Monday nights and avoid a conflict with Monday Night Football. But remember, Disney chairman Michael Eisner has been ordered to trim budgets, including that of ABC, which Disney owns. One would think he doesn't have a $100 million to throw around ... Wonder if Sportsnet, always looking to pick up its sagging ratings, will attempt to secure Stampede Wrestling, which returns to the air next month in Alberta.