Look for Foley to take crown
By GLENN COLE -- Toronto Sun
It is wrestling's biggest weekend.
Never mind the hype (and there is lots of it). WWF's Wrestlemania is, in the minds of most fans, the event of the season -- a can't-miss, must-watch extravaganza.
They have gathered in Anaheim for the most-popular pay-per-view of the many cards that are shown -- and for good reason.
The WWF will bring out its best, have a few surprises, and give the fans what they want -- three solid hours of entertainment.
And while the focus of the regular TV shows has changed from athletic action to more of a soap opera, there is little doubt of their popularity. Sometimes it is lewd, crude and borders on the obscene, but the WWF has taken the show that wrestling is to a different level from what it was 10 years ago when Wrestlemania VI rocked the SkyDome.
For the non-wrestling fan, or those who follow only casually, there will be a four-way match to decide the WWF crown tomorrow night (Viewers Choice, 8 p.m.)
Mick (Mankind) Foley, the Rock, the Big Show and Triple-H will be involved athletically and all four members of the McMahon family -- mom Linda, big daddy Vince, son Shane and daughter Stephanie -- will be ringside to add dramatic touch.
Prediction: Foley will win the title with a little help, though not necessarily from Linda, who will be in his corner. Linda could engage some outside help. Outside interference in wrestling?
Added to the mix for the card tomorrow is a women's title match pitting Stephanie McMahon against Jacqueline. That was announced on Smackdown last night.
Kurt Angle puts his Intercontinental title on the line in a three-way against Canadians Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho. The result of this match is expected to trigger a Benoit-Jericho feud, something the WCW failed to exploit when the pair worked there.
Canadians Edge and Christian go after the tag-team championship in a three-way ladder match against the Dudleys (the champions) and the Hardy Boys, who have been feuding with Edge and Christian for several weeks. Six other matches complete the card, which basically will set the course for summer feuds leading up to SummerSlam, the WWF's No. 2 pay-per-view property.
TRIAL DATE SET: A trial date of Feb. 5, 2001 has been set for the wrongful-death lawsuit launched by the family of Owen Hart against the WWF.
The civil suit names the WWF, parent company Titan Sports, WWF chairman Vince McMahon and WWF president Linda McMahon. Also named are the designers, manufacturers and riggers of the stunt equipment used by Hart.
Hart died May 23 at Kansas City's Kemper Arena when he fell from a cable as he was being lowered into the ring.
SLEEPER HOLDS: The WCW claims major changes will make it a better organizations now that Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo have been put back in charge.
Russo admitted this week that he is scrapping the entire Spring Stampede card and reworking it with Bischoff.
Russo had started to get things back on track as the WCW booker before being demoted Jan. 15 and replaced by Kevin Sullivan. That sparked an exodus of stars such as Benoit, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero and Perry Saturn, who now are with the WWF. Bischoff, who is back as executive vice-president, was released from his duties last September.
It will be intriguing to see if Russo, ex-creative force with the WWF, and Bischoff can get along.
HERE AND THERE: No official confirmation yet, but word is that Smackdown will be carried by Headline Sports starting in September ... Three-time WWF world tag-team champion Pierre-Carl Ouellet (the Quebecers) is accepting independent booking dates anywhere in Canada and the United States (including Puerto Rico). Serious promoters interested should contact Bertrand Hebert via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (514) 830-3867.