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Wrestling Today's Date:

Falls Count Anywhere


I am from roughly ten minutes
in the past.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I’m Ready like Stagnetti.

RAW was a wild ride full of big announcements. The biggest issue I had was some serious heat deficiency at times.

The show opened with Eric Bischoff saying that Jim Ross’ match with HHH will be No Disqualification. Wow, they just made things a whole lot worse. No one really wants to see this match and by making it No DQ, they guaranteed that it will go long.

In a good brawl, Edge and Chris Benoit fought all over the place. Before they did though, they worked a fast little series in the ring, including submission escapes, the Edgecution, a German and more. Then it broke into the fight. It was a lot like Benoit’s brawls with Kevin Sullivan back in 1996 (wow, could it really be almost 10 years since those?) that really put Benoit on the map as a brawler. Edge held up his end as well. This was the best roaming brawl in ages and I was glad to see it. The two of them were then told by Bisch that they will meet in a Last Man Standing match. That should be interesting.

Trish and Lita did a segment. Trish tried to apologize to Lita, who would hear none of it. The odd thing is (or since it’s NYC maybe it’s the obvious thing) Lita got booed out of the joint. She was treated like the biggest heel on the card from where I sat. They chanted the “You screwed Matt” chant at her and there were a few other chants too.

Kane came out and Lita hit Trish with a crutch. OK, is Lita a heel or a face? And what about Kane? Trish tries to run, but she trips and Kane catched her leg and brings her up, but Viscera stops him from chokeslamming her. He carries her to the back and announces that next week, Trish has got to pay him back with a date and some lovin’. Sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph, this could well suck.

If it works once...
Sadly, the debuting HeartThrobs lost in their match with Tajiri and Regal. What? Me not siding with Regal and the Taj? What gives? Well, I’m not saying that they should have beaten R+T, but they should have gotten a win, or at least a solid beatdown, in their first match on RAW. They did their entrance, which is what’s going to make them stars.

Sadly, this also shouldn’t have debuted in MSG, because this audience is going to be the wrong kinda of wicked to it. They are very Chuck and Billy from 2002, but they do it far better. They’re not great in the ring, and the match got some ‘boring’ chants, but they did a lot of dancing and stuff in the match itself, which will help them in the long run. Regal and Tajiri win and keep the title. They did give Tajiri their finisher after, but it was hardly a great first impression.

Ric Flair and HHH sent Batista’s limo on a wild goose chase after it picked up Batista at the airport. I wouldn’t want to have Batista in the backseat while I was trying to take him around the city. With all that roid rage, he may well destroy me.

Hassan and Daivari come out and talk a bit. Daivari is the best talker on RAW. Hassan then took on Shawn Michaels and the two had an average match, though it went longer than usual with a commercial break. There was a lot of action, though. The highlight for me was when Daivari went to the top and Michaels caught him and treated him like Flair and slamming him to the mat. That led to Hassan getting the Finishing Touch and the DQ. They beat on Shawn a bit, and then Hogan came. Hogan clears the ring and he and Shawn spend a long time soaking in the applause. I swear this is the loudest pop I’ve heard in ages. They do all sorts of posing and head out. Hot segment, but you could also tell that the crowd kinda blew their wad here.

Masterlock Challenge, starring Chris Masters. He got a guy from the crowd, Roman from Bayside Queens, and has him sit as Masters puts on the Full Nelson. I noticed that Nelson doesn’t do the interlaced fingers, but instead a handshake type grip. Nice touch, as that’s a much stronger grip to use. Of course, Roman can’t break it and Masters won’t let go until the ref makes him. Lameish segment, but it will lead to something interesting, I’m sure. Crowd didn’t even pop that big for the Queens plug.

Simon Dean comes out for his match with Shelton and starts his pitch, but Jericho interrupts and brings Fozzy’s guitarist in and they sing a song calling Shelton Benjamin a little bitch. This allows Simon to jump Shelton and the match is on. Shelton quickly turns the tables on Dean’s advantage and hits the Stinger Splash and the Exploder for the win. I’m very excited for the Benjamin vs. Jericho IC Title match.

Christian and Tomko are out to complain and Christian complains about the Christian Coalition not giving him as big a reception as they gave Hogan. Then, to another huge pop, comes Vincent Kennedy McMahon, all recovered from his injuries. He announces that there’s going to be another draft lottery, and there will be no exclusions, so this may be where they switch Cena and Batista to get fresh match-ups. Christian says that he’s a main eventer and McMahon makes a match for next week with Christian and Batista. Nice rub there, Vinny.

In wrestling, you're never too old for this s***.
Main event is JR vs. HHH. H gets an OK reaction. So does Ross. The match itself is long and slow and is mostly Jim Ross hyper-selling and then blading. JR did give Trips one punch and that sorta got a strong reaction. There was something going on in the stands that drew attention away from the ring, but it wasn’t hard. This was a boring segment until Batisa’s limo showed up and Big Dave came to the ring. He traded with HHH for a while, but then Flair jumped him, allowing the bad guys a temporary advantage. This led to Batista working over Flair and HHH getting a chair and hitting Dave with it.

When he then went for the Pedigree, Batista back dropped him out of it and then waffled HHH in the melon with the chair, dragged JR over and had him pin HHH. This got a great reaction, but they could have done it five minutes before. The crowd actually counted along with the ref as he counted the pin. Good ending to a match almost entirely without heat.

No one else has been released.

There’s word floating around that Brock Lesnar has been made a nice offer as a last ditch effort to clear up his status. The offer was supposedly less money than he was making before and he would still have to travel to house shows, but it would also come with the dropping of the suits. Interesting.

I am a huge science fiction geek. Most of the folks who know me know that to be fact. I was once at a convention where I was chatting with a writer of fanzines who said that there is little over-lap between the two worlds. I pointed to Arnie Katz, fanzine editor of the zine Flicker (available on eFanzines.com) who also runs a wrestling website and runs a section by April Hunter in every Flicker. I also pointed to the famous photos of Blassie with some of the attendees at an LA con. And I mentioned SpaceMan Frank Hickey and the Mummy from Gene LeBelle’s promotion. What I forgot was the greatest tag team of the future: The New Breed.

The NWA was trying to compete with the WWF in every way, including coming up with cartoonish characters. They created LaserTron (there’s another column) and the Masters of Disaster, but they hadn’t been able to come up with a gimmick that really competed with the WWF’s characters. Then two young wrestlers were put together and given the gimmick that they were from the future. They were Chris Champion and Sean Royal and they were called The New Breed. This was the era of the in-studio taping and they were great in the ring. They destroyed jobbers and did interviews after the matches. They were great! The gimmick of them being the wrestlers of the future was cool, as was the fact that they came to the ring to the strains of ‘You’ve Got To Fight For Your Right to Party.' That song, playing at NWA arenas, was a huge change.

They had a couple of feuds, one with the Rock ‘n Roll Express which was solid and the two teams had a couple of great matches. I was reading on the legendary John Hitchcock’s site about a match where Champion came off the top to the outside and landed on his knees on the concrete. I can’t remember that, but wow. I do remember that they had a few matches with the Road Warriors and at least one with The Midnight Express. The guys were two top workers. I’d say they could have been huge if they hadn’t had a couple of bad beats.

Chris Champion was in a car accident and broke his arm. Sean Royal couldn’t keep it up on his own, so he left the business. Champion came back with his arm in a “robo-cast”, a regular cast with PCBs imbedded in it. Most of the NWA fans at that point wouldn’t have known that they were just cosmetic, but it was an awesome angle for a guy supposedly from the future. After a year or so of jobbing, Champion left.

The gimmick of wrestlers from the future could have caught on, and they probably would have succeeded in the WWF at the time. The guys had talent and they worked so well, but they just never got the ball to run with. Still, of all the characters that Dusty created, The New Breed might be my favorites.

That’s all for this edition. On Friday, I’ll have more!

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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