to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I love William
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.
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.
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
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.
think I played this on the Atari 2600 once...
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
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.
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
Not a great show, though the two matches
are worth finding.
all for this week. I’ll be back on Tuesday with another
edition and a look at a WrestleMania star who is sometimes
about today's column in the forums!