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Wrestling Today's Date:

Falls Count Anywhere


My life has been TiVo'd.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I voted for the Blue M+M.

SmackDown! TV Report
(since I already told you about the live side)
You can find the full report in Tuesday’s Falls, but I thought I’d approach this as a TV show. First off, it was about the same as it was live, except live we didn’t get any of the backstage stuff. The matches were slightly clipped and the heat was pumped at some points, and sweetened at others.

The opener was exactly the same, with John Cena and JBL and Teddy Long doing a very good job. I forgot about JBL telling Theodore R. Long that he doesn’t speak ebonics. This led me to ask Maximum Mike Flores “well, why doesn’t he have Orlando Jordan translate for him?”

They showed the Angle and Michaels portions of the Rumble in snapshot mode. That was a nice touch, as it gets over the importance of what will probably end up being the top worked match of Mania. Kurt then did the match with Nunzio and the crowd sound was sweetened a lot as the live audience hated it. The match wasn’t half bad though.

Now it all makes sense what they were doing with Team Angle coming out to help Jindraik. The live audience was never told that the Undertaker vs. Dupree match would determine who would face the winner of next week’s Angle vs. Rey match, so we had no idea they were being sent out to soften up Rey. We also didn’t hear that Theodore R. Long was being called before the Board of Directors next week to determine if he is going to remain General Manager, which I am betting is going to go one of two ways: either Austin will return and be GM (since he signed that deal it might work), or Teddy will remain and there’ll be some sort of further angle that will explain why he was called before them. Carlito was really good in his segment with Teddy. He’s a big star waiting to happen.

Amy Weber, again looking all hot, came into Joy Giovanni’s dressing room and presented her with a two hundred dollar dry cleaning bill. Joy wouldn’t pay and Amy said that The Bashems would take it out of Big Show’s hide for her then. Joy laughed it off. Amy is a better natural talker than most of the women in the WWE, save for Trish and maybe Ivory. She just needs time to develop her promo style and I think she could be fantastic.

Cirque du Solame...
The Bashems vs. Big Show match was exactly as I remembered it, though I have to say it wasn’t a bad match, it’s just not what I wanted to see. Get the Bashems into a hard working tag team feud, like with a team of Rey and Eddie or something.

They announced the first part of this year’s Hall of Fame inductees. They are Ace Cowboy Bob Orton (inducted partly due to his being Randy’s father, partly due to being one of the best workers in the WWF in the 1980s), Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorf (Great wrestler and big drawing feud with Hogan), Nikolai Volkoff (big drawing Russian brawler who was a draw for his feud with Sanmartino and later formed a decent heel tag team with The Iron Sheik), the Iron Sheik (former champ, company man, big star for many years) and The Mouth of the South Jimmy Hart (manager of the Hart Foundation, Greg Valentine, former Memphis big deal and Jerry Lawler arch-nemesis, also Hulk Hogan’s dear friend and the guy who wrote the Gentry’s hit Keep On Dancin’). A decent crowd and expect Hogan, Gordon Solie and perhaps one more to be added.

Other than the fact that they gave us the reason for Luther Reigns and and Mark Jindraik to be at ringside, the Undertaker vs. Rene Dupree match was still not what I wanted to see. They did explain that it was a tournament match and that the winner of Rey vs. Angle would get to the Finals, which I hope means that Angle will get distracted by Michaels somehow and Rey will go on to face Cena.

Big Show talked about being in the Barbed Wire Cage match at No Way Out (they showed a really strong commercial for it) and he said he liked the idea. He also said that he didn’t care if Batista jumped to SmackDown! or not, he’d still beat him.

If this were in silhouette, it would be a James Bond title sequence.
Booker and Eddie had a segment where Booker complained about Eddie eliminating him from the Rumble.

They showed the first two of the funny WrestleMania commercials, featuring Flair and HHH doing Braveheart and Eugene as Forrest Gump. At the same time in the program, they were showing us the trailer for Be Cool. I think the Mania commercial was better, but Be Cool has Vince Vaughn, so it may be a toss-up. The Eugene one was great, as Eugene had all the mannerisms down, and he accidentally knocked out an old lady, leading to Regal coming in and telling Eugene to run. Pretty funny.

The main event was good, easily the best worked match on the show. The stress is starting to show on Eddie again, and this could mean he’ll need a little time off. The reaction Eddie got should tell you that it’s probably not going to happen. It wasn’t a bad match, and they cut off the Booker heel ending.

All in all, an average show. They should have used some RAW folks to spice it up since they were available.

Lex Luger got arrested again. This time it’s a DUI. He fell asleep in his car with an open container. He’s lucky he’s not in a Three Strike state.

RAW did a good number this week, a 4.1. That’s the highest in a while and it was without an returns, which is a rarity as all the really high numbers tend to be either Foley, the Rock or Austin coming back.

With all the troubles that wrestling has gone through, this isn’t the first time wrestling popularity has dropped to dangerous levels. In fact, one of the most important arenas in the world for decades stopped booking wrestling for twelve years.

Madison Square Garden was originally called Gilmore’s Garden, and wrestling had been held there since the days of William Muldoon. In fact, Muldoon headlined the Garden several times. The most famous tournament of the early days, held in 1915, was held at the second MSG. This was the arena where NYC wrestling fans got to see the big title matches. New York wrestling was pretty much ruled by a trust which was led by Jack Curley. These guys controlled the world title and many of the most important wrestlers in the US, including guys like Jim Londos. A title match had been set up with their current champ, Danno O’Mahoney.

O’Mahoney is often forgotten about in history. He was a huge draw among the Irish in Boston and a good draw in NYC. He had beaten Londos for the New York State Athletic Commission title and the National Wrestling Association belt. He had always beaten Ed Don George for the AWA belt out of Boston. He was a really big deal and he was set to face Dick Shikat.

Shikat was one of those shooter types who was pretty damn dangerous. He was a German and was out of Columbus, mostly. He was an OK draw and a real mean man from what I’ve found. The match was set up for Danno to go over. That didn’t happen. Shikat, a solid wrestler with years of training, seriously beat O’Mahoney, claiming the world title. This wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened, though it did take the title out of the hands of the East Coast Trust. The worst thing was how the Trust responded.

They sued.

They tried to keep Shikat from appearing elsewhere. In court, with the reporters of all papers eyeing them, Shikat’s people claimed that wrestling on the East Coast was ruled by a syndicate that fixed matches. This absolutely killed business in NYC, to the point where no wrestling could be booked in MSG.

Wrestling still went along well elsewhere, but the New York circuit was nearly dead and the career of booker Curley was over. Things started to change in the 1940s with the advent of television, and the first card in twelve years was headlined by national TV star Gorgeous George.

We’re nowhere near that level of trouble, but it could get that way.

That’s all for this week. Next week more!

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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