October 10, 2000
Rikishi, Austin - Let the war begin
The biggest WWF storyline to come down the pike in quite some time came to a head on Monday, October 9, 2000, in Anaheim, California. At the end of Raw Is War, WWF Commissioner Mick Foley confronted and got Rikishi to admit to running over Stone Cold Steve Austin at last November's Survivor Series pay- per-view telecast in Detroit.
Let the war begin.
I don't know of anyone who predicted Rikishi but personally I am ecstatic. I know a lot of "fair weather" fans will turn their backs on Rikishi but you can bet I will not be one of those. Even though WWF play-by-play man Jim Ross called Rikishi a "son of a bitch" for his actions, did you notice and hear all the fans still cheering and applauding Rikishi when he admitted to doing the deed? I have been a fan of his since the very beginning, when in 1989 he was known as Fatu and was was one half of the Samoan Swat Team back in the old World Class wrestling promotion in Dallas, Texas. Ironically enough, that is also the same year and the same promotion where Steve Austin made his debut in the wrestling world. Amazing, isn't it?
Rikishi is quite a unique athlete. He comes from a heralded wrestling family which includes "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, Yokozuna, Afa and Sika from the Wild Samoan(s) tag team and of course...the WWF Champion...The Rock. That right there makes for very interesting TV. Blood is thicker than water, so we'll see how all of this develops over the coming weeks.
Don't get me wrong. I am also a big fan of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. I think he brings more excitement to the table than any other wrestler in the history of the WWF. Add to the fact Rikishi is regarded as a legitimate bad ass by other WWF wrestlers in the locker room and you have got one hell of a feud coming up between these two.
Rikishi will be able to absorb any punishment that "Stone Cold" can dish out and that makes this upcoming war so much more interesting. Oh, I expect "Stone Cold" to be the ultimate victor when it's all said and done but Rikishi will finally be established as a "main event" competitor which he so rightfully deserves.
Will Rikishi follow in Yokozuna's footsteps and squash every opponent that faces him like sour grapes? Will The Rock ultimately choose to help Rikishi in his war with Stone Cold? Will other family members such as "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka or Haku and Tama from the late 1980's Islanders tag team come on down to pummel on the Texas Rattlesnake?
Chris Skolds is from Cincinnati, Ohio. He can be emailed at TURK1971@aol.com.