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Wrestling Today's Date:

Falls Count Anywhere


Keen powers of observation,
honed razor-sharp.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I went to Seattle and it rained. Go figure.

SD! opened with Tazz in the ring and The Big Show coming out. This was a serviceable promo, but Luther Reigns came out driving his Jeep. Luther talked a bit and then said that he was going to roll the Jeep over. Of course he couldn’t do it.

Big Show got rid of Reigns then tried to tip the Jeep over. It didn’t work the first few tries, but eventually (and I believe with the help of TV magic) he managed to push it over. The most impressive thing in my eyes was the way The Big Show slapped the windshield and it shattered so nicely. Not a good segment, but still, I’m into the Akebono thing.

There was a weird match for the US Title. Orlando Jordan, the Heavyweight Champion of the United States as they called him, took on Scotty 2 Hotty. Scotty stood in JBL’s face a bit and JBL slapped him with his hat. This was followed by Scotty Superkicking JBL and that seemed to make the match Bradshaw vs. Scotty, which was won with the Clothesline from Hell. Weird.

Carlito Caribbean Cool had to do an Elvis imitation all night. He was awful, but it was pretty funny. I really like Carlito and I hope when he gets better and returns that he’s able to make the most of the push he was getting just as he went down to injury.

The Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio match was made for Mania as a way to push the Guerrero turn, though something tells me that it might be a swerve and they’ll turn Rey-rey. The way Chavo pushed Eddie into the match makes me curious. The tag champions, who will meet at Mania, took on Bob Holly and Charlie Haas.

Before the Champs enter the ring, the lights go out and the Undertaker, who had promised a human sacrifice, seemed to be coming, but he did not. The match started after a commercial and it wasn’t half-bad, though the Holly/Haas team isn’t exactly going to set the world on fire. They had another blackout and another set of commercials. The finish was Rey hitting a Plancha on Holly as Eddie got the Frog Splash on Haas for the pin.

Babies, don't let your mamas grow up to be wrestlers...
In the moment of the year to date, Kurt Angle came out to "Sexy Boy," the Shawn Michaels theme, with Sherri Martel, Shawn’s former manager. While she doesn’t look like she’s stayed in shape, she did still bust out some of her classic cleavage. Kurt made the most of his entrance and then he and Sherri did a live rendition of "Sexy Boy" which was brilliant. Shawn Michaels appeared on the TitanTron and they showed a great video of his highlights. Sherri appreciated this montage and Kurt put her in an ankle lock. Great stuff. I’m really hyped for this match!

Michelle McCool, who is hot, lost to Dawn Marie, who is hotter ‘an a Times Square copy of Star Wars. This was an awful, awful, terrible match.

CCC, still in his Elvis get up, was interviewed by Funaki. Funaki then did a bit of his Elvis, then Carlito dropped him with a guitar shot and followed that up by spitting apple onto him. Poor Funaki, from Cruiserweight Champ to this in less than a month.

Booker T and Rene Dupree had a match scheduled, but The Undertaker interrupted. Booker, apparently remembering his angle where he was afraid of UT, bailed and left Rene to get beat on, including taking a Tombstone onto the Steel steps. That was a cool visual, but ruining a match that would have been decent wasn’t my favorite of ways to go with it. Still, UT is trying to build some interest in the Randy Orton match. He seems to be failing.

I hate wrestling debates, save for the one where Ken Patera put the belt around Bobby Heenan’s neck and tossed him around. This one was no better than any of the others I’ve seen, but the ending was OK. First off, no matter how you’re going to end a wrestling debate, do not use it as a closer for a show. Second, if you’re gonna have two guys who do good promos do a debate, make sure the face wins in his points, because JBL just shredded him in this one. The finish was Cena filling JBL’s hat with water, then he spraypainted him. This No-Touch rule is kinda funny.

Not a terrible episode, but nothing fantastic. Kurt easily had the highlight of the night.

RAW and SmackDown! both did completely average numbers for recent times. Not surprising. The Mania ads are playing in all the AMC theatres around the country (I saw one with Ring Two and one with Be Cool) and they are hoping for one million buys. It’ll be tough, but they have a shot.

There’s a lot of press stuff this week for the WWE folks, mostly Austin, HHH and Hogan. There’s a lot of talk about a surprise at WrestleMania. Some folks are clinging to the hope that Bret Hart will show up, though I’ve been told over and over that it’s not happening. Some are saying that it might be Foley or Rock, and neither would overly surprise me.

The last edition of RAW before WrestleMania opened with the Highlight Reel and all six guys who will be in the Ladder Match at WrestleMania. It was a pretty typical segment that ended in a brawl.

I have to say that the match hasn’t been built the way they should have gone about it, but the match itself will probably be really good. The brawl led to a match with Shelton/Jericho and Benoit taking on Edge, Christian and Tyson Tomko. This was a good match where everyone did their thing. Jericho got Tomko to submit, but Christian attacked Jericho with the Ladder. Kane came in and started layin’ down the law, hittin’ a chokeslam and standing over everyone on the ladder. This did build some more interest.

This puzzles only Garcia.
Trish Stratus is the female version of HHH. There’s no one else in her league, even though at times Lita has come close. Why, WHY is she being dumped on a program with Christy Hemme? Christy beat Trish twice in short fashion, so Trish went buckwild on Lillian Garcia and Lita. What a waste of Trish.

Randy Orton did a post-turn interview where he basically said that he was back to his old ways and that Stacey was a distraction. This was actually a well-delivered interview and it may be the start of the road to erase the whole ill-advised turn. Still, Orton’s got a real rough road ahead of him.

William Regal and Tajiri beat Simon Dean and Maven. This was a completely average match with almost nothing behind it. Still, I love it when Regal gets airtime.

Shawn Michaels beat Muhammad Hassan by Disqualification in their big match. I actually kinda liked this one. Hassan was given most of the offense, and he decided to use a lot of rest holds, though I think if he changed them to more serious looking rest holds and had Daivari work the crowd, his style could get over. Daivari and Hassan both put Michaels back around the ringpost, and that was followed by a Michaels comeback. Just as he was about to go for the Sweet Chin Music, Angle came in for the DQ. He tried an Angle Slam on Michaels, but HBK escaped and hit Hassan with the Sweet Chin Music. Like I said, I kinda enjoyed this one.

Hassan and HBK in happier days.
The big Contract Signing between HHH and Batista was the first time I really felt that Batista came off as a World Champion-type Superstar. The crowd was so into him that it felt like one of the early days of The Rock’s run. There was a big chant for Batista, and he got wild cheers. HHH said that Batista was nothing before H, which is true, and Batista thanked HHH and Flair, especially Flair, for everything they did for him. HHH slapped Batista and a scuffle happened, ending up with the two of them being pulled apart.

I thought much of this episode was pretty average, but it did build the matches for Mania. Angle vs. Michaels is a great match, but it comes across better on SmackDown! than on RAW.

That’s all for this week, as the Sonoma Valley Film Festival runs this weekend and I’m gonna be there. When I get back, there’ll be great mounds of reviews and fun to report.

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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