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Falls Count Anywhere


Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I want T for the Hall!

Wow, what a strange edition of RAW, and at the same time, so typical it’s not even funny.

Robert Conway and Shawn Michaels had a good little opening match. These were the types of matches you’d see on RAW in 1994, where you’d have a star and a pushed jobber work a solid match. True, it wasn’t spectacular, but it was good enough to make me smile and stick with it. They then showed another of the WWE’s classic promos detailing the war waiting between Angle and Michaels. This was almost as good as the WrestleMania ads. Actually, this will probably get more Mania buys than the ads, but then again, it won’t get shown in movie theatres.

William Regal, Tajiri and Christy Hemme took on Molly Holly, Maven and Simon Dean. Can you say train wreck? Christy looked awful, though I have to say that she does an OK job with the Reverse Twist of Fate. This was an awful match as Tajiri and Regal didn’t get to work much.

OK, when the history of HHH is written, the interview he gave at this RAW will be remembered as his downfall. Not because it was a bad interview; it was actually great, brilliantly delivered though just a tad too long.

You will bow down before me, Garcia!
You...and one day, YOUR HEIRS!
The reason it will be his White Whale is the fact that he buried everyone, not only Batista, but everyone from JBL to John Cena to Randy Orton to Chris Benoit. That’s right, his ego just rose up and swallowed them all in an interview basically saying that they were all below him and that he was the only real star. He buried Orton so hard, far harder than anyone else, and they aren’t even in a program. This hurt so many people, and then he closed it making references to the Shiavo case. That was topical, but maybe a little dark. This was a good segment, but it basically says that the company is doomed once HHH takes over from Vince, which won’t be too much longer now.

Edge and Christian took on Jericho and Shelton Benjamin in a match that was pretty good, but ended poorly. Christian and Edge had some problems early which they played up. Tyson Tomko interfered liberally and everybody worked fairly hard. It was as if the steam had been taken out of the audience from the HHH promo, because this would normally have been a hotter match. It ended with Christian getting Shelton’s belt and hitting him with it, which allowed Edge to hit the spear for the pin.

Ric Flair did an at times unintelligible troop talking to backstage. He ranted, saying that there was a spot in Evolution and that if someone from the group of Lumberjacks from the Lumberjack Match between Kane and Batista came through, they might have a place in Evolution. They then had Bischoff saying that he didn’t know that they were going to have him in a Lumberjack match, but Batista clowned on him a bit saying that Bisch would make a better Politician or Used Car Saleman. At least he didn’t say Lawnmower.

Stacey, you need a man with both feet on the ground.
Orton came out with Stacey and did a talk. Then he kissed Stacey. Then he RKOed Stacey. Why? Because they wanted to show what he would do to his girlfriend which should give you an idea of what he’ll do to Undertaker. This got some real good heat and turned him all the way. It was an obvious set-up, but it worked. I think that Orton as a heel will work better than his ill-advised face run. Here’s hoping he gets back what he lost.

Chris Benoit beat Tyson Tomko. It’s nice to see Benoit winning once in a while.

They had a bunch of wrestlers delivering lines from Taxi Driver. That was funny. This is a great campaign and I’m betting they’ll get some Ad Award notice for it.

Shawn Michaels and Muhammad Hassan had a little backstage talk. Hassan said that he was sick and tired of getting the high hat and said that he should have had a spot at Mania. Michaels said that he’d get a chance to prove it with a match against Michaels next week. There’s got to be an angle here, perhaps featuring Angle, since neither guy should be losing at this stage.

In a bad match, Batista beat Kane in a Lumberjack match. At one point, the Lumberjacks beat on both guys, but they came back. Kane hit a chokeslam, but Batista came back with a spinebuster and a DemonBomb for the win. That made him look super-tough and that’ll help them on the road to Mania.

Aside from HHH basically shooting himself in the foot for his future run as WWE’s head, this was an episode that was fun at times, had a good Orton turn and a couple of OK matches.

Akebono finally got a win in K1, now he’s coming to WrestleMania and the thought is that the match with Big Show will be a shoot. At least that’s what they’re letting on.

In an article I found in the New York Times, Harley Race claimed to be the first to bodyslam Andre the Giant. There may be some truth to that, as I can remember hearing about one of Andre’s first visits to the US where he faced Race and Race bodyslammed him as a set-up spot. It wasn’t a big deal as Andre hadn’t become a mega-star yet. There were at least two times that Andre was slammed in Montreal and probably a lot more when he was in France.

No more word on Hardy-Lita-Edge. There’s something that’s got to happen soon and that’s figuring out who of the three of them will leave RAW. I doubt it’ll be Edge, so it’s got to be Hardy, which will be much easier since they haven’t brought him back yet from his injury.

Spike TV will not be bidding for the WWE’s services, so for the second time in five years, RAW will be moving. The most likely bidder is USA Network, which has supposedly put a good offer, though far less than the WWE was hoping, on the table. The twist on this is that the WWE doesn’t have anywhere else to go, as TNT, FX, FOX, and TBS have all said that they are not at all interested in running WWE programming. They’ll settle on a number with USA and get a place shortly.

Sly Stallone will be the one inducting Hulk Hogan into the Hall of Fame. That’s a shock reported by Dave Meltzer over at wrestlingobserver.com. I didn’t think they’d get him, though I had heard his name mentioned. The other name I had seen bounced around was Vince McMahon, though that was before Hogan had committed for 100% and Vince hurt himself.

No word on the condition of John Earthquake Tenta. He was battling cancer and he was doing pretty well. On the cancer front, Steve Williams is well enough to travel and has been talking about doing some appearances in Japan.

Marty Jannety was signed to a deal after his great showing last week. No word on what plans they have for him.

1986, WrestleMania has split itself into three smaller events in three different cities around the US. They booked LA (LA Sports Arena, I believe), New York (Nassau Coliseum), and the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago. In LA, they got Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy in a Steel Cage. In New York, they had Roddy Piper and Mr. T boxing. In Chicago, they had the biggest battle royal as far as celebrity status goes.

The Chicago Bears were the hottest thing in the world at the time. They had just won the Super Bowl, destroying the New England Patriots. They had a hit record with the rap hit Superbowl Shuffle. The team was full of big stars: Sweetness Walter Payton, the Punky QB Jim McMahon, and the most famous of them all, William The Refrigerator Perry.

We know a freakshow when we see one, too...
Vince McMahon, knowing a freak show when he saw one, made a deal to get a few NFLers into the ring at WrestleMania 2. He contacted several teams to try and get footballers to join in on the action. His real intention was to get The Fridge into the battle royal and hopefully build him for a feud with Big John Studd. Some folks responded, like Russ Francis (whose dad was a wrestler and would work a match in 1987 at SuperClash 2), Jim Cobert, Harvey Martin, Bill Fralic, and of course, Ed Too Tall Jones.

The Battle Royal was pretty heated and Perry got a great response. The football guys went out pretty quick, and the best elimination of all-time happened when the Fridge, who I think was the last football player in the ring, was tossed out by Big John Studd. After a moment on the outside, Fridge offered his hand to Studd to shake it while he was standing on the ground. Studd took the hand and Perry pulled him out of the ring. That elimination got the place buzzing.

In the end it really didn’t matter that Andre the Giant had tossed Bret Hart over the top to win the match. Just about every news show had the shot of Fridge eliminating Studd. In fact, ESPN showed it and did a segment where they asked if football players should be allowed to participate in wrestling. This may have been a good point, as there was talk of a Studd vs. Perry match down the line, but the Bears supposedly nixed the idea. Probably for the best, because even working with good wrestlers, Studd could not have a good match.

That’s all for this week, since I’m in Seattle until late Sunday. I’ll send what will hopefully be the last of my Giant-Sized reports on Tuesday, complete with WrestleMania predictions and news!

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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