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Wrestling Today's Date:

Falls Count Anywhere


Boldly going.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I love William Shatner!

There’s a good way to open a show. I call this way ‘Kurt Angle arrives and does a short interview before having a fifteen plus minute match.' This week’s battle with Marty Jannety was a throwback to the matches of the late 1980s, particularly in flow and pacing. The closest thing I can come up with to this match would be a Steamboat vs. Mike Rotundo match from 1989 with Jannety in the Dragon’s shoes and Angle working full Varsity Club style.

The crowd really didn’t seem to get into it after some initial ‘Marty’ chants, but at the end, they were 100% down. Really smart work, with Angle using a lot of traditional mat stuff and Marty doing simple things like arm drags and armbars. They did a great ending segment with Marty escaping several anklelock attempts before finally getting caught, holding out for a while and tapping. A great match and one that shows the best of a lower impact style.

Theodore R. Long was about to announce his planned punishment for John Cena when John Bradshaw Layfield interrupted. Teddy eventually said that JBL was safe except for anytime the two of them were in a match, so Cena could get his hands on him ‘from bell to bell’ and that was all. Teddy also announced that the main event would be a six man match with JBL and Cena on opposite sides.

Chavo and Eddie Guerrero did a thing backstage where Chavo was asking ‘What happened to you, Eddie? You used to be cool.’ Eddie’s still cool, but the seed of the turn is there.

Luther Reigns lost to Booker T. Luther looked better than usual, and they did show Booker’s new wife, the former Nitro Girl Paisley. Heidenreich came to the announce position, but didn’t say much until he read a poem of thanks to Booker for some reason.

They did the big contract signing. Theodore R. Long came out first, but before he could call the folks down to the ring, Eric Bischoff’s music hit and he came down. I am fully pleased that Eric has embraced the fast that he’s grey-haired. It’s much better than his jet black days. Eric called Randy Orton to the ring. Undertaker then took his sweet time getting into the ring. Randy was booed pretty seriously. He did a bit of a promo which was not half bad, talking about the twelve guys who couldn’t beat Undertaker at Mania. He did wrestle Kane twice, so it would be eleven, but beating both HHH and his ego should count twice. Randy stood eye to eye with Taker and then slapped him. This led to UT calling on his AV guys to run a TitanTron bit obviously inspired by The Ring Two, which hits theatres today. Orton ran off.

Paul London and a returning Billy Kidman had a decent little match. London did a ton of fast spots, but they seemed a bit rushed. London tried to Springboard in, but Kidman dropkicked him to the outside. The DropSault is still impressive. London won with a 450.

Carlito Caribbean Cool was on Hot Dog detail. He got fed up with a kid who asked for change and doused him with catsup before spitting chewed-up Hot Dog on some guy. I like this little thing as a way to keep CCC in the eyes of the fans. The Big Show talked about Akebono, saying that he’s a big fish in a small pond. I don’t know if he’s checked lately, but there are some HUGE men currently working the K1 world and when you take the sumo scene into mind, you’ve got even bigger guys. They showed the various SmackDown! divas in the stands to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Michelle McCool is hotter than I thought at first, but Dawn Marie is the Wicked Awesome Hot.

I think I played this on the Atari 2600 once...
JBL and The Bashems lost to Cena, Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero. This was a pretty good match, though not on the level of the Angle vs. Jannety match. Cena bides his time and once the bell rings, he dives after JBL, only to be headed off by Danny Bashem. That’s a nice touch. The guys work over Danny for a while, with Cena dropping a leg on him and Eddie giving him the Rolling Senton. A lot of back and forth and Rey hits his 619 after working out of a powerbomb. Rey pins a Bashem and after the match, Cena goes out following JBL, who is terrified and reminds Cena of the Bell-to-Bell concept. Instead of nailing JBL, he sets the chair up, takes a seat and does the ‘You Can’t See Me’ thing. Nice touch. Oh yeah, he also beats up the Bashems.

A solid night for openers and closers, but between there was a little creamy fluff. I kinda hope Jannety comes back for a bit. The Match with Angle was solid and I bet he’d have an interesting run at it.

Not much on the Lita/Edge/Matt Hardy front. There’s a lot of talk about things, but no decision on who’s staying or going or when Matt will be back.

There’s some heat on management for bringing in Akebono when it won’t help the buy-rate and about 10 good guys don’t have matches at Mania. Sadly, I think they’re missing the point, that Akebono will make Mania a much bigger event in Japan, that Japanese video sales will probably drive a new market and when they come back, they can probably run the Tokyo Dome and sell it out with Akebono on the card.

It looks like Psicosis has actually signed a contract. Good for him.

Among the folks that have pretty much committed to the June ECW PPV that the WWE is putting on are Justin Credible, Masato Tanaka, Axl Rotten, Bill Alfonso (and there is talk of Tazz coming in and wrestling) ,Sabu (and he’ll probably wrestle on the show, though it’ll likely be a Low Impact piece of work), The Sandman (rather a surprise), Tony Mamaluke and Tracy Smothers. These are the working names, though there are others that have been contacted, including TNA about getting some of their guys. Still, Paul Heyman isn’t expected to participate on the show itself, though I’m betting they’ll have him make an appearance.

TNA Destination X PPV
OK, here’s what I have to say: if you’re gonna put on a two match show, they need to be complete blow-away matches. The Ultimate X was great, but not on the level of the previous ones. Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss was a very good match in my eyes, but not enough. Look at the old 1997 WWF PPVs where they were carried by two matches and still managed to make it worthwhile.

Eight Man Match opened things up with The Former Road Dogg and Konnan teaming with America’s Most Wanted to face Team Canada. I really like Team Canada, and they were OK here, but they entire match was a bit of a drag. Harris and Storm did a couple of dives onto Team Canada, which was cool, but this needed about 10 more minutes to really work for me. Konnan got hit with the Northern Lariet before he got pinned.

The most stunning thing on the entire card happened following the Chris Sabin vs. Chase Stevens match. The match itself was OK, nothing super special, though Sabin is always on and looked good, they just didn’t get the time. After Sabin manages to get a pin with a bridge, Douglas, Candito and Stevens beat on him until a masked guy comes through the makes the save, doing a flip dive onto all three on the outside. He pulls off a mask to reveal Shocker! You might recognize him from the McDonalds commercial. I’ve liked Shocker for a long time and seeing him in TNA might be a lot of fun. He seems to have replaced Hector Garza as the token pushed Mexican.

Raven vs. Dustin Rhodes was weak, especially with the brawling ability these two have. It ended with Rhodes Bulldoggin’ Raven on a chair for the pin. Team Canada attacks Dustin, but America’s Most Wanted runs out and they clear the ring. Another match that had a chance but was far too short.

Phi Delta Slam vs. The Disciples of Destruction was longer, but still pretty lame. I’ve never been impressed with PDS, but I will say they worked harder here than I’ve usually seen them. I like the DoD, have ever since they were the Bruise Brothers. They don’t usually work very hard, but they are solid brawlers.

A very lame ending kills Monty Brown’s match with Tryton, which wasn’t very good anyhow. The lights go out and a masked guy is in the ring. Monty pounces him and that counts as a win. Usually this type of thing doesn’t bother me, but this was exceptionally lame.

The Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy Falls Count Anywhere match was as solid as they could have gotten out of these two. I was very impressed with the level that Abyss worked at and Jeff was his regular ‘anything for a good match’ self. They worked a lot of the match out of the ring, of course, though Jeff did deliver the Swanton off the rafters. Of course a ladder comes into play, and Jeff uses it well. HUGE Superbomb through a table that looks like it could have killed Jeff. Jeff ends up getting the Twist of Fate to win the match in a little over fifteen minutes. Really good, but not enough to save the show to this point.

Kevin Nash vs. The Outlaw was so bad that I was glad for fast forward. Terrible, terrible stuff. Nash lost, but that’s OK because he wasn’t pinned. Nash flipped out and beat on The Outlaw. All the momentum built by the Falls Count Anywhere match was lost here.

AJ Style. Chris Daniels. Elix Skipper. Ron Killings. You put those four guys in a match and you are bound to have good things happen. Add the excitement of the Ultimate X match and it’s a huge spotfest with too much action to describe. The highlights were AJ doing a Shooting Star Press and an STO both off of the cables. Lot’s of great work with a good ending. AJ had gotten the belt, but a ref bump meant that he didn’t see it and Daniels managed to hit the Angel Wings and get the win when the ref woke up and saw him with the belt. Good ending to a very good match. Still, this PPV feels bad.

The Main Event was supposed to be DDP winning the World Title from stale champ Jeff Jarrett. This did not happen. The twenty-one minute match wasn’t bad, though it was too long for these two, and DDP was good in there, as usual. They did a very typical Dusty ending. DDP hit the Diamond Cutter and Monty Brown came in and Pounced DDP! This was much like Ron Garvin’s turn on Dusty Rhodes in 1988, but even more out of left field. This match wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t World Title Match quality either. There was a lot of interference from Sean Waltman, Billy Gunn, Konnan, Brian James and others, but it just felt so flat because of JJ’s weak standing as champion.

Not a great show, though the two matches are worth finding.

That’s all for this week. I’ll be back on Tuesday with another edition and a look at a WrestleMania star who is sometimes forgotten.

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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