to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and Mitch Hedberg
is surely warming up the crowd as they wait for the Pope’s
set to start.
now return to our regularly scheduled program...
This was a better than I expected SmackDown!. I heard awful
things from a few folks who were at the taping, but they
turned out to be only partly right. Jerry The King Lawler
replaced Tazz, whose father just passed away. I like Lawler
and he did a good job, though there is something about Tazz’s
form that makes you take matches a little more seriously.
with Eddie Guerrero vs. Danny Bashem. There was a good chant
before hand. They played up the fact that Eddie asked Rey
to stay away from ringside, though Doug Bashem was out there.
The match was pretty good, though not the level of many
of Eddie’s matches, but what are you gonna do -- it’s
Danny Bashem. Rey ended up coming out when Doug kept distracting
the ref and he hit Eddie, leading to Danny getting the roll-up
for the win.
was a cruiserweight battle royal and it was a lot of fun.
The story is this: Chavo is hurt and can’t work for
a while, but he was the champ. They had made Paul London
#1 contender, but they couldn’t do a full match. The
smart part of the booking here (since Chavo really couldn’t
go at all) is that they had all the Cruisers team up and
toss Chavo. It does make Chavo look a little weak, but it
also makes a lot of logical sense.
match went on very smoothly, with London being over in his
home state. Scotty hit the worm, which Lawler had obviously
missed. Paul London did a double dropsault on Akio and Kidman.
It was nice to see Akio in the final three. Kidman tossed
Akio, the bastard, and then London got thrown, but he skinned
the cat and used a badly done headscissors to win the title.
After the match, London partied like it was 1995.
to be put back in the mix and not have to be Theodore R
Long’s whipping boy. Teddy made a match between CCC
and John Cena. Nice recall there, that was.
Rey told Eddie
that it was an accident and got Rey to make a match against
Doug Bashem as a way to get revenge. This is heel turn sign
are bringing Booker’s wife into things and she gave
him a pep talk before his match with Luther Reigns. The
match itself was completely average, with Luther not looking
bad, but Booker not really being able to use all his athleticism.
We got what we wanted: a Booker Spinerooni, a Scissors Kick
and a little hand staring.
I thought was one of the best build-up segments of the year,
right up there with many of the Angle-Michaels bits, Cowboy
Bob Orton came to SmackDown! to get The Undertaker not to
hurt his son. Cowboy Bob, who was a star at times and didn’t
look like a powerful guy though he could totally pull off
power moves, got the mic and said he was glad to be back on
TV. He said that he molded Randy into the wrestler he has
become and then he called out The Undertaker. He then proceeded
to beg the Undertaker not to hurt his son at Mania. Cowboy
Bob said that Orton is the future of the business and than
he shouldn’t hurt him like he did The Frenchman. Good
point. After Cowboy Bob took a knee, Randy attacked from out
of nowhere and hit the RKO. This was a great way to build
the match at Mania and it came at just the right time.
dad couldn't beat up Randy's dad...
lost to Doug Bashem in a fairly fun little match. It was
a similar ending to the Eddie Guerrero match, except that
Eddie ran up to stop Danny Bashem and knocked Rey off the
top, allowing Doug to get the roll-up. Why wasn’t
Rey in the Cruiserweight Battle Royal?
Kurt Angle was
interviewed by Josh Matthews. The best thing about having
Josh as an interviewer is that since he’s trained
as a wrestler, they can do bits like this. Josh asked Kurt
about the failed attack on Shawn Michaels that he tried
on Monday. Kurt said that he was gonna make up for it by
beating up Josh. This he did. A LOT. He beat him backstage
and brought him out to the ring. This was brutal but it
did build to the match.
out and they did the weigh-in. Then, they announced that
Akebono, or Chad Rowen, would have his first match, a squash
against a jobber named Fast Eddie or some such. The Akebono
thing is interesting since the US audience seemed to accept
CCC took on John
Cena. The crowd was way into Cena. Cena dragged Carlito
by his hair a lot, which I wouldn’t do since there
could be all sorts of traps in there. After a while, John
Bradshaw Layfield made his way out with a bunch of police
officers. They had Cena handcuffed and then JBL managed
to touch him. This led to Cena trying to get to JBL, but
the fuzz held him back JBL then gave him a low blow.
show. I liked it a lot, though the crowd sorta died at the
end after being way into the show most of the night.
USA Networks, the home of the WWF for all of the 1980s and
90s, has finally agreed to the WWE’s proposal and
will be taking RAW starting in September. It’s good
to be back.
There is nothing like WrestleMania. Even the bad Manias
had a huge buzz around them. This year, they delivered in
so many ways that there wasn’t that much really bad
and the good was so far beyond what was expected that it
just simply made everything better.
with Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. The guys worked a
nice series of headlocks and arm drags, almost like the
opening of a Flair match with Ricky Steamboat, that is if
Steamboat had been a Mexican. Eddie does a Crossbody to
the outside on Rey! That ruled. Eddie got the surfboard
which is a move that I have missed quite badly. Eddie just
about Powerbombed Rey, but Rey turned it into an armdrag
that sent Eddie out of the ring. Rey hit a baseball slide
and then a CORKSCREW PLANCHA! We don’t get to see
many of those nowadays. This was the highlight of the match
for me, and the rest fo the match was solid. Eddie was pinned
after Rey got a rana. Just great stuff, though probably
a point or two off from some of their best matches. I smart
choice to open and the two shook hands after the match.
isn’t much I can say about the Ladder Match. It was
amazing. Honestly, while Edge got the win in the match,
it was Shelton Benjamin who came out of it looking better
than anyone else. He did an Exploder off the ladder! He
hit a plancha off of the ladder! He was just a GOD! Not
that everyone else wasn’t great too. Benoit hit a
German Suplex on Jericho while he held on to a ladder! Edge
and Christian hit a Conchairto using two ladders! Benoit
sold that his arm was destroyed, which came into play when
he tried to reach for the briefcase with the contract in
it. Edge got the win and this was a match that will be fondly
remembered. The concept of Kane in the match was smart,
as it gave them a pillar to build around. And he did some
great power stuff. This was his best match in ages.
out and is all psyched! Hassan and Daivari come out and
beat on him. This draws Hogan out of his hidey-hole. Hogan
beats on Hassan and then goes on to treat Daivari like Bobby
Heenan in 1987, knocking him around the ring. The crowd
went nuts for this. It was the right thing to do, and they
telegraphed it so much that the crowd was chanting for Hogan
even before the actual attack on Eugene. Good stuff.
beat Randy Orton. It was a bad choice of endings. They want
to protect UT’s legacy, but they could have erased
all the troubles of the last year or so for Randy. They
instead went with UT getting the win. The match itself was
really good, as UT always tried when he is on the big stage
and Orton is really good. They worked smart spots making
us think that they were going to give Orton the win. The
best moment had to be when Cowboy Bob Orton came out with
the cast that he wore for ages in the 1980s and nailed UT
with it. That led to a great near fall. Randy turned a Chokeslam
into an RKO, but that didn’t work either. The end
was Randy going for the Tombstone and UT turning it around
and getting it for the pin. I’d say this was a notch
below Eddie and Rey.
The ladies wrestled.
Trish won with a Chick Kick. That’s all you need to
Kurt Angle. You’ll be lucky to ever get two guys of
this level in the ring together ever, and this meeting between
two damaged warriors was as good as wrestling will ever
be. It wasn’t Flair vs. Steamboat, or even Williams
vs. Kobashi, but it was amazing to see the two of the great
working together and telling a great story. They do a coupel
of great spots, one where Michaels misses an Elbow off the
Top and one where he arm drags out of an Angleslam. So many
great spots, but it was really the way they went between
moves and sold the impacts that worked so well. Michaels
put Kurt on a table and came off the top with a bodypress.
Wow. The guys do so much great work, including an AngleSlam
off the Top and Sweet Chin Music. Wow. Angle gets the tap
out with the Heel Hook. This is my match of the year and
right on the level with Austin vs. Bret at WrestleMania
They did the
Piper’s Pit with Austin. Nice to see the guys working
together, as they both had a fun time, though Piper seemed
to get a little annoyed with the crowd’s reaction.
When Carlito came out, that was when the real fun began.
Piper grabbed his apple and spit it on CCC. Nice. They eventually
teamed and took out Carlito, but Austin then gave Piper
a Stunner. Nice.
Akebono and Big
Show had a Sumo match that was worked. It wasn’t very
good. This will probably lead to something the next time
the WWE is in Tokyo, probably at the Tokyo Dome.
beauty of this sport eludes me...
Cena won the
SmackDown! Title from John Bradshaw Layfield. Sadly, the
crowd was not into it as much as they should have been.
JBL will not be remembered as a strong champ, but he did
great interviews at times and his commercial with Cena for
Mania was remarkable. They did a typical match, with JBL
carrying the action. FU led to the win. The crowd sorta
got into the finish, and after the match, Cena dived into
the crowd and celebrated. That was a great touch.
Batista did what
everyone knew he would do and pinned HHH clean in the middle.
This was a long match, not perfect, but it had an aura of
huge impact. They worked smart, though and avoided long
segments of Batista selling. They did a great spot where
Batista was about to hit the Pedigree, but Batista powered
out and turned it into an Emerald Frozion-type thing. I’d
say this was the fifth best match of the night. Batista
got the Batista/DemonBomb and the pin.
Not one of the top, but near that level. Angle vs. Michaels
at their individual heights would have been incredible,
and even with their broke-down bodies, it was still next
to Godly. Huge Thumbs up.
They opened RAW with the Austin Mania commercial and then
launched into a five minute recap video. Smart move, as
it was a great video package and caught us all the way up
to where we are.
HHH came out
and said that he got beat clean, but that was just one night.
He had a great delivery here, and when he faced off with
one of the fans who was jawing at him, that Fan shut up
due to the rage that HHH managed to put out there. Solid.
The first match
was Shelton Benjamin vs. Christian vs. Chris Jericho. This
was an awesome match of the time they got. They worked in
fast forward, hitting well-placed spots. Lot’s of
switch spots, with the guys taking turns. Jericho did a
series of spots where he dominated both guys, including
doing a nice double leg-trip into double cradles. Jericho
got the Walls on Christian, but Shelton came off the top
with the Bulldog for the pin. Shelton is the most underrated
worker right now.
Trish kept her
run for Heel of the Year alive by kicking Christy Hemme
in the head before their match. This led Lita to stand up
to Trish, and Trish responded by kicking her in the bad
knee and then putting a toe hold on her. She’s so
good as the evil bitch heel.
bitch heel meets sneaker heel.
did an interview that was OK until Hassan interrupted and
then they attack him. Go figure. Still, Daivari got to clip
Shawn and that is always a good thing as Daivari is always
Edge took on
Benoit in a match that was better than the Three-way, though
they would have been better if they had the same amount
of time. Nice work here, with great back and forth and Benoit
selling his arm, which may have been really hurt. Benoit
does a series of Crossfaces, but then avoids a spear and
gets the pin. Edge then wails on the bad arm of Benoit to
get himself over as a majour heel. Thank God it looks like
it’s going to take.
came back to RAW by beating on Simon Dean and Maven. They
did a long segment where Austin said that Dean needed to
taste his beer and Austin had to drink the Simon System,
Austin hated it and Maven ended up spilling the System on
Austin, which led to the beatdown that we all knew was coming.
Randy Orton in a match that was mostly setting up Randy
to get his time off so that he could get his shoulder surgery.
They tried, though they were really just there to give Batista
a first win. Batista hit the DemonBomb after tossing Randy
into the post and beating on his arm.
This was a really
good follow-up show and one that I hope they manage to follow
all for this edition. I’ll be back on Friday with
more news, views and a FlashBack!
about today's column in the forums!