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Wrestling Today's Date:

Falls Count Anywhere


Just call me Sweet Baby Chris.
Or Big Baby Chris.
Just call me.

Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.

They did an apology spot where they had Angle walk over to Joy Giovanni and the Big Show and apologize for last week. Big Show said he respected that and wanted another one from Amy Weber and JBL.

The four-way match for the tag titles was made because RVD got his knee hurt and they needed to get the belts on someone new. The match was pretty good, with RVD doin’ just about nothing and Rey having a good ol’ time working. Booker T got a nice reaction coming out as did Eddie Guerrero. They’re a good team that is sort of being built to keep the two of them in a program and out of the Title picture.

Nice way to eliminate Jindraik and Luther Reigns. They had Rey, who wasn’t involved in the ring at the moment, give Jindraik a 619 and then Eddie put Danny Bashem on top of him for the pin. Eddie and Rey continued their story where Rey has the better of Eddie by having Rey get a pin with a leg scissors roll-up. This was good, but they need to be building these two towards a real match with something on the line that Eddie can win to show that he’s still the top guy.

The Bashems smashed RVD’s knee, explaining why he’ll be gone for a while. The Bashems ended up winning after it looked like Rey was about to win it and they did the Bashems/Killer Bees switch, and the other Bashem gave Rey the Sky-High for the pin. Pretty good match.

Strange love.

Big Show and Joy ran into The JBL Administration and Show demanded an apology. Amy called Joy a slut and they started catfighting. I like both of these girls, but when they announced that they’d be meeting in an actual match later in the show, I was hoping there’d be an angle to prevent it from staining my eyes.

Hiroko and Kenzo did a little promo backstage where Hiroko said that Kenzo loves America and that John Cena is what’s wrong with this country. I was gonna say Michael Moore, but maybe it was John Cena all along.

Another hometown challenge, this time with Roderick Strong, who actually got a little mic time and slapped Kurt before getting destroyed. I had seen Strong wrestle a couple of times and he’s pretty good. Now, in a strange twist, I was reading this week’s Observer and Dave Meltzer said that Paul Heyman had originally planned for Kurt to face Daniel Puder in San Jose and be the one that actually beat Angle in the challenge…just like I said weeks ago! Puder has been sent to OVW because he’s not ready for the show, but he’ll still be in the Rumble and likely at the San Jose Supershow.

Cena and Kenzo had a little match that wasn’t very good. It did what it did, gave Cena a chance to play to his peeps and hit an FU for the pin. Hew left through the crowd, which is a good gimmick, if they can manage to keep the crowd under control.

Amy Weber was being all scared about being in a match with Joy. Amy’s taller, got more reach, but Joy’s got those boobs, so it’s a tough call. Joy and Big Show kissed again.

Amy came out for her match, and they played Joy’s music twice before they announced that Weber won by forfeit. Amy plays relieved pretty damn well.

Theodore R. Long (Holla-holla) sent out folks to find Amy and JBL said he had nothing to do with her being gone. Heidenreich was also there asking for a change in stips, but Teddy wouldn’t go for it.

Afterward, Funaki couldn't shake the taste of walnuts...

Funaki took on Nunzio, who is a personal fave, and the match was far better than the crowd obviously found it. Jumping DDT for the pin by Funaki. The crowd was absolutely dead.

Torrie and Jackie, the Boobsie Twins, told Teddy Long they had seen Joy being stalked by Orlando Jordan. Big Show attacked Jordan, but Jordan said that he had only said that Amy was gonna kick her ass in a fit of mind games and that he didn’t know where she was.

They had JBL getting an award from the Florida Agricultural Group as Man of the Year. Childish humor at its best. Angle said that JBL kidnapped Joy and opened the JBL trunk, showing that Joy was tied up in there. Big Show came out and attacked the cabinet, while Amy and JBL "secretly" ran out through the crowd. Turns out that Angle was behind the whole thing.

Not a very good show, but the Tag Match was very solid and I really wanna see where the Eddie vs. Rey thing goes.

Hulk Hogan was backstage at the Tampa SmackDown! taping. The Observer says that he talked with Shane, likely about WrestleMania. I had been told that he got a brief sit-down with Stephanie. Daniel Rodimer was also at the taping, and he’s a WWE darling and was the one that the WWE wanted to win Tough Enough. The Dudleys were also there since they live in Tampa.

Lita had her surgery and will be out for a good long while. She’s going to be pretty lucky if she can still work her traditional style after she gets back.

I forgot to mention the other day that Rulon Gardner, one of the US’s top Olympic wrestlers of all-time, won his first Mixed-Martial Arts match on New Year’s Eve. He didn’t use any wrestling, instead relying on boxing, which worked nicely. Bob Sapp, of Adam Sandler’s new The Longest Yard, managed a draw.

Carmella of the Diva Search (or former Playboy Playmate of the Year, whichever works for you) was on trial for her beating up of one of Gilroy’s own Jeff Garcia’s exes. I never liked her, but she got off with the assault charge, but was nicked on violating a restraining order. She got a tiny fine and 24 hours of ComServ.

Other legal news. Jake Roberts in, Hector Garza out. They released Hector Garza from custody today, though he pled guilty to possession of steroids and was sentenced to 15 days in the pokey, so he has 6 more to serve. Jake Roberts' girlfriend rolled on him to get time off of her possession charge. They got him on possession of drug paraphernalia, finding a residue-laden crack pipe. He’s had a fair amount of trouble in recent years and he’s on just about everyone’s Dead Pool.

The recent spate of injuries are a reminder that you can not book too far in advance like they did in the olde tymes. It reminded me of a match where a possible injury changed everything and made one guy bitter for the rest of his life. I take you now to 1911…

There had been a famous match between Frank Gotch and George Hackenschmidt at Chicago’s Dexter Park Pavilion in 1908 where Gotch had won rather solidly. This was Hogan vs. Andre for the Turn of the Century set. There had to be a rematch, especially since the match had been rather dull. Comiskey Park in Chicago was the site and more folks were at this match and paid more money than for any other match in US history.


In those days, training used to be a big deal. They would hold public training sessions which would help whip up the city into a frenzy over the match. They would also do private sessions where they would invite local wrestlers to work with them. One such guy, who most everyone worked with, was Ad Santel. Ad beat many of the top Judoka in the World, with the founder of Judo sending his personal favorite like one of those actors always sending his best loved chef into Kitchen Stadium.

The story that Hackenschmidt told for years was that he was working with Santel and he suddenly put a leglock on him and injured his knee. The thought was that Gotch had paid him off, since his best known finisher was the step-over toe-hold. They claimed that he had injured himself training with Dr. Benjamin Roller, a much better known wrestler of the day, as a way to make it look like he had been injured by a top guy. This is all disputed, of course, but the story is there. Most say that he had his knee looked at and was cleared. Others say that the whole event never happened. We’ll never know since there is no one in the circle to have known still alive.

The match itself was pretty typical, Gotch won in two straight with his toe-hold. The crowd really didn’t like the way it ended and it hurt business in the city. There is a photograph of the two shaking hands before the match and it was filmed, at least partly, for newsreels around the country. No one has seen that footage in at least 50 years.

Hackenschmidt is considered by many to be the greatest Greco-Roman wrestler of all time. Few can deny that he was the best at the time. He wasn’t quite as good a Catch-as-Catch-Can wrestler, though he beat Tom Jennings, who some consider to be Gotch’s equal. The Gotch losses haunted Hack for decades, to the point that someone asked him about Gotch at a banquet and he slammed his fist into the table and said ‘I don’t want to talk about Frank Gotch!’. Since Gotch died in 1918 and Hackenschmidt in the 60s, Hack’s version of history is the one that most folks have heard, but most also admit that it’s not the complete truth.

As was once said about Liberty Valance, ‘when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.’ That’s certainly the best way to look at the great match of the early Twentieth Century.

That’s all for today. Next week, I’ll talk a little more about old-timers.

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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