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Falls Count Anywhere


I, too, am great in Danish.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and there seems to be a lot of folks who like TNA…

I got in a little late and missed the first two segments, though I did get to see Muhammad Hassan attack Chris Jericho on tape. That was good stuff. Daivari is a real talent and Hassan gets how to build heel heat, even if he’s not a good worker.

I understand that there was La Resistance, who won the tag team titles at a house show this week to cover for Eugene’s injury, and Maven beating Shelton, Hurricane and Rosie in a match that wasn’t very good from what I’ve read. They also announced a Steve Austin press conference. That should be interesting as everyone is playing it close to the vest.

I got in as Randy Orton was in the ring doing his promo, calling on HHH. Here’s the deal: Orton is sadly trapped in a space that has killed many a career. He’s getting the push as the new top babyface, but there’s another guy who isn’t turned yet who is more over as a face than he is. It happened to Lex Luger back in the day.

This wasn’t a bad promo and when HHH came out, it got even better. They exchanged words and then HHH just walked away. Like an idiot, Orton followed and got nailed by HHH when he started the turn to go backstage. Not a terrific segment, but pretty good.

They did a lot of tension between Batista and HHH, with Batista saying that he needed to talk to Bischoff alone. They’re dragging it out too far. They need to pull the trigger right quick or the fans will just crap all over the turn when it finally happens.

They did an interview with Shawn Michaels backstage and the Toronto Fans just destroyed him. They kept talking about Toronto being Bizarro world, where the heels get cheered. I thought that was Philly? Michaels then took on Christian. Christian was the total face in the match and he ended up doing the job to loud boos. This wasn’t a bad little match either. Tyson Tomko interfered a little and Edge tried for a Spear, but got tossed outside. After, Edge destroyed Michaels. That made the crowd happy.

Batista took on Viscera in a match that was pretty much made so that Batista could look all strong by giving big Vis the Spinebuster. Batista got a decent reaction, certainly more positive than Randy Orton. Poor Randy. They then did a segment where Batista said to HHH that ‘nobody likes a self-serving ego-maniac.' No one but Vince and Stephanie, that is.

Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho had a really good match, though the crowd, faced with the problem of their two favorite babyfaces, couldn’t decide who to cheer, so they stayed quiet. The match was solid, with Benoit working hard and Jericho doing all his best stuff, but it also seemed a touch off from their regular levels.

That's no way to treat a lady.
Winner for best in-ring segment of the year so far is Trish Stratus. She got a good reaction coming out as Toronto’s own, and then proceded to drop some of the most hilarious mic work in ages. She’s been doing comedy for a while now and she’s really good. She made fun of Lita, saying that while she was rehabbing her knee, that any member of the locker room should feel free to impregnate her. She was so great here, much better than she usually is. Kane came out and hesitated at first, but then let his demons win and gave her a solid-looking chokeslam.

They did a nice package about the history of Snitsky vs. Kane. The match wasn’t good; it was a typical brawl and they sold things too loosely to make them really seem important. They had Kane set up Snitsky on the top of the ramp and then Chokeslam him to the work area below. Kane, though, went with him. This got some ‘Holy Sh*t’ reactions from the crowd and was a strange way to go off the air.

Not the best RAW in a while. It was far weaker than the last two weeks, and they are really in danger of blowing the whole Batista/Orton thing. Still, the highlight had to be Trish and I hope it’ll go far in getting her a better set of challengers and give her a chance to do some real mic work in the future.

SmackDown! last week did a 3.7. That’s really good for the Thursday show, and the buzz is that it was an awful show, though I wasn’t as down on it as others were. There is a minor snap-back that’s been going on, but I’m guessing that it’s not going to show in house show receipts for a while.

Ric Flair went off on the Winnipeg crowd that was heavily booing Shawn Michaels in their match. He went off saying the Shawn was the best he’d ever been in the ring with and that Bret Hart was just a Ric Flair wanna-be. There is some question as to whether Flair had just had enough or if he was told to go out and say it as a way to punish the Canadian fans for their disloyalty to the McMahon family following the Montreal Incident.

Jack Evans, aka Blitzkreig II, injured himself doing a 630 splash at a show in SoCal. He got a concussion after landing on his head. He’s OK-ish, but’ll be out of action for at least a couple of weeks.

The TNA promotion is in trouble financially, has had serious problems with many of their wrestlers and they worked their locker room, which is one of the things that killed WCW. Still, I liked the result with their latest PPV.

They did a couple of pre-show matches, the second of which I got to watch and was impressed with the five minute Chris Candido win over Cassidy Reilly. Candido is a great worker, and if he really has cleaned up and gotten over his demons, he should be a great addition to the TNA full-timers club.

The PPV opener was Michael Shane, Frankie Kazarian and Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels taking on 3Live Cru. Fallen Angel had his robe back. That’s what made him my fave indy worker in 2000 and 2001. Lots of great work in this one, especially from Kazarian. He used a Yakuza Kick, which is my favorite Japanese maneuver. Konnan, Killings and James are all fair to good workers, but they were really outshone by the Three guys they were in the ring with. By the way, I believe that Chris Daniels is actually older than Batista (I think he’s 37). Chris Daniels went to do a Split-legged Moonsault, but he ended up hitting Kazarian. A Killing’s side-kick ended it, giving the win to 3 Live Cru.

They did this scavenger hunt thing with Dusty Rhodes, Traci and Trinity. I was really uninterested in it and every time it came on, I went for more oatmeal in the kitchen.

Prime Time Elix Skipper and Sonjay Dutt had a really good match. I like Elix a lot and Dutt proved to me that he’s the real deal in the Urban Empire Wrestling DVD. Lots of smart flying by Dutt. Elix did a great spot where Dutt was on the top rope, Elix ran up and drop kicked him, sending Dutt to the outside. That was dope!

Dutt managed to give Elix a Sunset Flip Powerbomb and also a Swinging DDT for near-falls. He then missed the Hindu Press and ended up in the Spinning Rock Bottom-like thingee which gave Skipper the win. Really good match. These guys are both tops in my book.

Kid Kash took on Dustin Rhodes. This wasn’t on the level of the two openers, but Kash tried and Dustin can work a little, if he’s motivated. Kash worked Dustin’s knee, which was a smart idea, and they did a good job with that. Dustin managed to get a Bulldog for the win in a little over ten minutes. Not bad, but not too good. It’s a solid meh.

Eric Watts may have tried to commit suicide last week. He certainly almost over-dosed, and there was speculation that this match would not be happening. The Watts seem to be in danger of becoming the Von Erichs, without all that success baggage. Raven and Watts had a fairly OK brawl. Watts was fine as a member of Techno Team 2000, but here, brawling like he meant it, he was carried by Raven’s fantastic selling and smart offence. Watts used the Powerbomb into the Corner, which is one of the reasons I’ve always loved Kenta Kobashi and Pro Wrestling Noah. Watts got the win after one terrible Chokeslam and another far better one. I hope he gets some help.

You know how it is with them "A" cards...
Rowdy Roddy Piper is the special guest ref between Jeff Hardy and Scott Hall. Piper searches Hall and they make a joke about Hall being used to searches. My joke would have been that this was the first time Hall had been searched without a rubber glove. They do a lot of Hardy stuff, and Hall tries, God bless him, he tries. Hall manages a Chokeslam, then he tries to use Knux on Hardy, but Piper stops him and gives him a poke to the eye! Sweet little segment that allows Hardy to get the advantage and then hit the Swanton for the pin. Then, in a move that no one knew anything about, Abyss came back and gave Hardy the Torture Rack Bomb. Everyone thought that he was going to the WWE, but he signed on Tuesday and they worked this which annoyed a lot of the locker room because they didn’t mention it. Nice stuff, though the match was only OK.

Monty Brown beat Kevin Nash and DDP. Nash should be nowhere near a ring and DDP worked hard. Brown is a decent worker and he’s going to be a star once he realizes that he could be a big time heel in the WWE. The rules stated that you could eliminate a guy by pinning him, making him submit or by tossing him over the top rope. This rule was made so that Nash didn’t have to lie down for a pin. He’s an old guy who would be best actually putting people over and he refuses. It was down to DDP and Brown after Nash was tossed and they did their thing and ended up with Monty pouncing DDP for the pin in ten minutes or so. Better than it could have been.

America’s Most Wanted best Team Canada for the Tag Team titles. This was a top-notch tag team match that I’d say was slightly better than the AJ Styles match from the last TNA PPV. The guys work really hard and America’s Most Wanted might have a real shot at next year’s tag team of the year. The crowd loved this match. They did a neck vice and Coach Scott D’Amore started singing Oh Canada! It was a nice touch. Bobby Rude did a Full Nelson slam, which is another great Japanese move that we don’t see enough in US wrestling. America’s Most Wanted hit a Powerplex, but only got a two out of it. Sadly, Young got hit by a chair by one of his countrymen, leading to America’s Most Wanted getting the pin. Fantastic match! Almost twenty minutes of wrestling pleasure.

The Ultimate X match was about as good as the big Cage Match was last month. I’d say it might have been a bit better, but they Cage had more memorable spots, while this had more even flow. Chris Sabin is one of the five best lightweight wrestlers in the US. AJ Styles is a heartbeat away from the WWE making a big money offer to him. Petey Williams is Canadian. The Ultimate X concept of having to climb up and then go across the cables to get the belt is a strange one, but they always use the top wrestlers and get really good matches out of them. Petey does a great spot. Sabin is on AJ’s shoulders and Petey grabs him and does the Victory Roll (really, it’s called a rana) on Sabin. Nice. Sabin hit a Running Powerbomb into the Corner.

The finish was another good one. Sabin and Williams were both grabbing for the belt, with Williams being upside down trying to grab it. AJ then rockets off the ropes and across the ring, grabbing the belt in mid-air and getting the win. That was a risky spot, because if they blew it, there was no good way to go to another finish. Great match, probably the best Ultimate X match yet. Williams and Sabin should be given so much credit, and AJ was his usual self.

Monty Brown took on Jeff Jarrett in a match that played out well, though after Ultimate X and the Tag match, there was no way they could get to that level. Double J was in control of the match a lot, which isn’t unusual. Lot’s of chair and guitar shots in this one. Brown did hit his Alphabomb, but his pounce took out the ref. Jarrett had to take a chokeslam, and that was followed by Monty making like Sammy Sosa and nailing Jarrett with the Guitar. JJ hit three strokes to get the pin.

Monty Brown made Nash and DDP look reasonable on a PPV in 2005, which is amazing. The lighter guys made this show memorable, and the TNA philosophy seems to be working. Now if they can just stay in business…

That’s all for today. More on Friday!

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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