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Wrestling Today's Date:

Falls Count Anywhere


The Christones live on!
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and the Jivetones are no more…

This was an awful show. There were some moments, but all in all, it just failed to create any real excitement. They are going into one of the big three Pay-Per-Views and there is no heat on any of the programs.

The show opened with a review of the Joy angles of the previous two weeks. This showed that at least they are paying attention and keeping this angle somewhat logical. Theodore R. Long said that Kurt Angle would have immunity until he got in the ring to apologize to Joy Giovanni, and after that, it was open season on Kurt. Big Show parked himself in a quite unfortunate folding chair in front of the entrance, waiting to pounce on Kurt.

The first match was The Bashems defending against Booker T and Eddie Guerrero. This was a very good match that got enough time to build and allowed everyone to show they got, but it also had a weak ending. The Bashems used the Eddie Guerrero trick against him, doing the ‘I got KOed by the belt’ gambit, which led the ref to disqualify Eddie. But, it should be noted, EDDIE IS A FACE!!!!! That sort of thing should only be done to punish the heels for their tactics, not to screw the faces.

Eddie and Booker argued, and they started teasing a Guerrero heel turn, which would be a serious mistake, and I doubt the Hispanic crowd would stop cheering him anyhow. Just like the Memphis crowd would not stop cheering the Fabulous Ones. Eddie was about to walk out on Booker when The Book was jumped. Eddie waited a bit, then came into the ring to make the save. They gave Orlando Jordan a Scissors Kick before Eddie hit the Frog Splash.

Akio took on Scotty 2 Hotty in a Rumble qualifying match. Why is Scotty given the win? Seniority? Akio tried, but Scotty is so banged up that he can’t go along anymore. Akio also wasn’t terribly crisp, looking a bit like RVD on a bad day. Still, he did an awesome variation on the flying headscissors. Not a very good match.

Cena did an interview while wearing a Montreal Canadien’s jersey. Sadly, this actually set back NHL and their Player’s Union negotiations. Cena beat Rene Dupree in the Royal Rumble qualifier. They are over-using the missing finishers and then hitting one for the finish sequence. Here it looked good and worked with the crowd, but it’s going to hurt the product pretty soon. Where’s Patterson?!?

Rey Mysterio took it to Chavo in another decent match. Rey flew all over the place. They did a great segment where they did three or four reversals before Rey hit a roll-up. Chavo got the GoriBomb, which is a personal favourite. They didn’t go as long as I would have liked, but this was solid. I’d still like to see Chavito in the Rumble, and my bet is that they’ll do a “Second Chance” mini-Rumble next week and the winner gets in. My guess would be Chavo or Dupree in that case.

For this pose alone, Angle should get Austin's film deal...
Kurt Angle made his way through the crowd, bypassing The Big Show’s stake-out, and called Joy Giovanni, who was looking damn HOT, to the ring. Kurt then read an apology, which wasn’t great, and the crowd didn’t seem to enjoy it or really get the bit that Kurt was obviously doing. Kurt then said that he would take his lumps and called the Big Show out. Show came to the ring, and Kurt scurried off, meeting JBL and his cabinet on the ramp.

Amy Weber was carrying the belt and looked awesome as well. Seriously, I really think that she could be a serious manager. She’s better than Trish was at this stage of her career. JBL and Kurt then shook hands and the Cabinet and Team Angle attacked, though Big Show held the ring for a while, when they went one at a time. Kurt managed to sneak behind Big Show and give him the Angle Slam and JBL hit him with a chair to get the blood from the Show.

This was a lame episode. Still, there may be some bright spot coming with the Rumble shaking things up and maybe getting the belt off of JBL.

Sadly, the wrestling world lost another one this past week with the death of Pistol Pez Whatley. Pez was a regular in the Carolinas back in the 1980s and was a decent little wrestler. I must have him wrestling on two dozen different tapes. The thing he’s probably best known for, and that he was least proud of, was his spot in the tag team the Jivetones. I’d say he was about 55 at the time of his death.

The Press Conference with Austin and McMahon was to announce a three-picture deal for Steve-o. WWE films will be producing them and the script for the first one looks half-way decent.

No story of the old times would be complete with a mention of the old hookers. No, not those kinds of hookers, though they were certainly around and there was more than one wrassler who had become entangled in their web, but the kind who were specifically there to make sure that no one could collect on the big money for winning matches at carnivals.

The ladder of acceptance was pretty solid. The bottom were the journeymen, the guys who were average workers, often used as bait to get the stronger boys in the audience to try and challenge. Above them were the shooters, the tougher guys who knew hold after hold and could take most challenges. The top of the line were the Hookers. They couldn’t be beaten, at least not by normal humans. Ad Santel was a hooker, as was Ed Strangler Lewis. Perhaps the last of the real hookers was Lou Thesz.

Hey, big boy...
Lou Thesz was born Lazos Tijza in Hungary in 1916 and was a major star by the age of twenty-one, when he won his first world title. Strangler Lewis and Ad Santel both helped train Thesz in the way of hooking, using moves that were designed to break bones. They taught him well and that combined with the fact that Lou was a serious physical specimen led to no one messing with Thesz, and that was why he was always champ.

Why did you need the World Title on a guy like Thesz? Well, the reason starts in the 1920s. There was a powerful syndicate of promoters who controlled the World Title which traced its lineage back to George Hackenschmidt, Tom Jennings and Frank Gotch. In the 1920s, rival promoters started trying to find ways to steal the title. They used in-ring double-crosses with annoying frequency. Stanilaus Zybysko shot on Wayne Munn to win the World Title from him in 1925.

This caused major repercussions, since there went a lot of people who could take old Stan at that point and he was well passed the age where he shouldn’t have that he should have been such a troublesome contender. Dick Shikat did a much more complex trick to win the World Title from Danno O’Mahoney in Boston. These were typical for the day, but once they put the belt on Thesz, nobody tried that crap again.

And being such a top-flight hooker, he threw his weight around. If there was someone he didn’t want to job to, he didn’t job to them. He chose the guy who would take the title from him, choosing Dick Hutton, who failed to draw nearly as well as Thesz.

The big issue came in the 1960s, though it had roots back in the 1950s.

Nature Boy Buddy Rogers was the next big thing. It was easy to see that he was going to be the next major star on a National Scale. There was talk of making him champ from his first match. He wasn’t a great wrestler, but he was a legendary showman and he sold a lot of tickets. While driving to the first of many matches that Thesz would wrestle against him, Rogers asked why they had to split the gate with “that fat old bastard”, referring to Special Ref Ed Strangler Lewis. This annoyed Thesz, who then refused to job to the up-and-comer, much like Steve Austin refusing to do the right thing and put over Brock Lesnar.

Over the years, the two had a serious hatred, and even though that was the case, Rogers got the World Title, winning it from Pat O’Conner in Chicago in 1961. In 1962, Vince McMahon Sr. made a deal to set up Capital Sports as its own territory, to leave the NWA and take Rogers with him. They agreed to drop the title, and the NWA sent Lou Thesz in. Thesz, in his mid-40s by this point, actually went up to Rogers before the match and said “we can do this the easy way, or the hard way.” Luckily, Rogers chose the easy way and jobbed clean on his way out.

This just doesn’t happen much anymore. Yeah, we’ve seen at least one double-cross in the last ten years (and there has been talk of a couple of others in MMA competitions), but nowadays there are still hooker-types. Kurt Angle would have certainly been a hooker back in the day, and so would Tazz. So would UFC guys like Frank Shamrock, Chuck Liddle and Dan Sevren. Times have changed, mostly due to the amount of money know available easily goes over the prestige of holding a world title.

That’s all for this week. I’ll be bringing you a brand new set of Falls on Tuesday, with a look at the Royal Rumble.

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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