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Wrestling Today's Date:

Falls Count Anywhere


It's a jolly 'oliday wif Michaels...
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris. Ha-ha Ha! Cookies on Dowels!

Well, RAW from England. That’s a good sign that you’re gonna get really good heat, but not always a really good show. With Japan, they had to do a strong show because there’s so much wrestling in the country that they could lose audience if they didn’t put on a stellar performance. England has no such pressure. Still, there were ups to go along with the downs.

Batista came out to a great response and did an interview thing with JR. They basically clowned on HHH and H came out, great selling his anger. Batista was pretty funny, but he’s not a talker. They need to make him into Goldberg where he doesn’t have to talk much, just chew up people and spit them out. Then again, when Goldberg started talking, he turned out to be pretty good at it.

Viscera and Trish Stratus had their date. I will say that this was one of the worst bits they’ve done in ages. Trish could pull it off, but Viz is no Mark Henry when it comes to playing dumb situations for laughs.

Chris Jericho beat Sylvan Grenier with the Walls of Jericho. This wasn’t a bad match, as Grenier can go when he’s motivated and Jericho is a guy who can motivate most wrestlers. After Jericho won, La Resistance, who it seems have been away for a while, jumped Jericho. This led Shelton Benjamin to come out and save Jericho, only to give him a T-Bone. The crowd did not like that one bit. Who’s the heel in that feud?

Looks like somebody finally saw Blade: Trinity...
Christian did a couple of things with Evolution. Flair told Christian to soften up Batista for HHH, but Christian said that this was his night. He then did an in-ring interview where he came out to a face pop and then did the standard insulting of the hometown thing to get the heel reaction they wanted for the main event. Kane came out and beat down Tomko, leading Christian to run through the crowd and into HHH’s dressing room to talk about how they could work together.

Chris Masters did the MasterLock Challenge. He won. I wonder if this will go on as long as the Angle Challenge?

In the highlight of the night, Coach was interviewing Shawn Michaels. They talked about how he and Hulk would work together and Shawn brought out Hogan to a huge, ravenous crowd response. It was mind-blowing. Hulk then told Coach to hit the bricks and gave us the return of Mean Gene! Oh YEAH! Gene did his interviewing and Hulk tore his shirt off, and Michaels tried, couldn’t do it, and walked off. That was a great segment.

All sorts of ladies were in the ring, including a Daily Star girl who looked to be smuggling puppies under her tank top, and they brought out William Regal to a big ole pop. This was great and he talked about his book. Muhammad Hassan and Daivari then arrived and challenged Regal and Tajiri to a match, which Hassan and Daivari won when Tajiri got pinned.

There was a reason for that, since they need to build up that Hassan and Daivari are legit challengers to Michaels and Hogan. Still, it sucks to see Regal’s team job in his own home land and even worse to see him get beaten up after the match. They also should have had Hogan and Michaels make the save and pose with Regal after, but you know how that goes.

I'd say he's handling that rather calmly...
Trish slapped Viz and told him that once he takes care of Kane, they’ll knock boots like cobbler’s elves. He wanted his taste now, so Trish flashed him.

One of the weaker matches of late was Val Venis vs. Edge. Edge basically took the entire match and won with the Spear. He then put on the Sharpshooter, since he is a Canadian, and an Implant DDT. Benoit came oot and gave him the Germans.

Batista beat Christian, as if it could have ended any other way. The crowd seemed very into Christian in the match itself. I though it was a weak match mostly due to Coach playing heel ref. Batista had Christian pinned, but the Coach was busy tying his shoes. It ended after a ref bump when Batista hit the DemonBomb and used Coach’s limp hand to make the count. Following that, HHH came in the ring and gave Batista the Pedigree.

Not terribly good, but I have seen far worse RAWs.

Poor Chris Candido. The guy suffered a seriously broken leg during his opener on the Lockdown PPV. He’s had to get pins and screws put in. This is the worst injury in the career of poor Candido, who was looked at as a guy ready to be trusted with a big push again. Here’s hoping he’s back sometime.

Trish was off most of the shows in Europe due to a back injury. I’m not sure if her vignettes with Viscera were shot in the US or the UK. She’s actually been told to take more time off as she has almost always worked pretty hurt. She’s not Kurt Angle, but she has performed at far less than 100% for a good long time.

There are rumors of a Lita/Matt sex tape floating around. These rumors were mentioned by Matt himself on Opie and Anthony. This could be interesting, and some are going to be quick to blame Matt for circulating it to get back at Lita.

Nothing new on the Brock front. He did an interview not long ago that the folks who did it are still talking about but haven’t released on the net yet. I’m told that they are clearing it to see if they can get sued for what’s on it.

SmackDown! did about average, as did RAW. The RAW number has some folks very unhappy since it was the one with Hogan and the JR vs. HHH main event. The guy who will take the blame for all of that is Batista, though really, I’d put it on not saving Hogan for a time when he could be advertised.

TNA’s Lockdown
Eight Cage matches. It sounds like a PPV concept that I would have come up with when I used to do fantasy booking. Then again, Dusty Rhodes never met a stipulation he didn’t want to use over and over again. Still, this resulted in some interesting stuff.

Apollo and Sonny Siaki took on Chris Candido and Lance Hoyt in a match that featured Candido getting his leg all broked-up. They started off with a camera guy in the ring in protective gear, which was kinda a nice touch. I was pretty excited because it looked they were going to have a really good match, but right quick Candido went down after a Siaki Leg Lariet. Still, after Chris was taken out of the cage, they worked and worked hard. Hoyt worked the rest of the match on his own, and he did a good job for the five and a half or so that he was out there. Siaki did a nice Release German that Hoyt took beautifully. Hoyt eventually got himself pinned following a Splash off the top. Good, but not great. Afterwards, the Naturals came out and beat on Hoyt.

They did something interesting with the Blindfold Match between Dustin Rhodes and Bobby Rude of Team Canada. They made it a Two out of three falls match where the third fall would be blind-folded. 90% of all Two-of-three falls matches go to that third fall, so this was expected. The first fall was Rude rolling up Rhodes in about one minute. The second fall was ten minutes and not half-bad. Shattered Dreams and a BIG superplex. Rude hit the Northern Lariet. It ended with Rhodes getting the pin with the Bulldog off the top rope. Leading to fall three.

One of the worst matches of all time was the Jake Roberts Blindfold match when he had been blinded and they put Rick Martel under the blindfold. This one was too long, but it had it’s moments. While the two of them were blindfolded, Rude was getting verbal cues from Team Canada, which led him to punching the turnbuckle. That was a funny bit. Rude’s manager slides a chair in and Rude takes. D’Amore managed to break into the cage and tried to hit Dustin with the Canadian flag, but Rude wailed him with the chair. Ha-HA, the Irony! The former Goldust got the chair and hit Rude for the pin. Better than it could have been, but probably too long still.

There was an X-Division Xcape Match with Michael Shane, Shocker and Chris Sabin and Sonjay Dutt. This was a spotfest and I liked it. Sonjay Dutt deserves more of a push, and Shocker is a huge star in Mexico. They have a nice little match with everyone getting at least one big spot that I remember and will talk about fondly. Shocker hit a TKO and Sonjay did a Twisting 450. Trinity hit a Moonsault off the top of the cage and Sabin hit his Cradle Shock. It ended with Sabin and Shocker with Shocker going over since he’s the next big pushed Mexican wrestler. A lot of fun.

OK, as a lot of stunts, Jeff Hardy vs. Raven worked. I wasn’t too impressed with it overall and it would have been just as good in two minute highlight form. Jeff missed a Swanton off the top of the cage, which was an impressive visual. Jeff crotched himself on the cage door. Jeff hit a leg drop through four tables off the top of the cage for the win. That, as far as I’m concerned, is all that matters.

In a match that I thought was great, America’s Most Wanted beat Team Canada’s Eric Young and Petey Williams. These teams are just so perfectly matched that I doubt they could have a bad match. This was a Strap Match in the cage, which I know has been done before, I think by Bill Watts back in the Oklahoma days. Just great action for the first ten minutes or so and that led to a longish segment of big move after big move. A Hart Attack to Eric Young! An awesome Superkick! Then, in an old skool tribute to Dusty’s glorious past, they had Petey get a handful of chalk, but it got kicked into his face. He then gave the Canadian Destroyer, the most incredible finisher in all of human history, to his own partner, since he was blinded and couldn’t tell. Good ending to a really good match.

I am a huge fan of Fallen Angel Chris Daniels. Primetime Elix Skipper can be exceptional. Their match for the X-Division title was really good. Daniels should be in the WWE, as he’s a great worker and has a better gimmick than any of their cruiserweight guys. They worked a match that was all about high impact, though with fewer Holy Crap! Moves than most of the matches of the night. Daniels uses a Hammerlock Back Suplex, which is a move that doesn’t get used enough anymore. Elix did the Rope Walking legdrop for two, and then a Flying Crossbody off the top of the cage for another two. They do the WWE ending where one guy goes for his finisher (In this case, Daniels’ Angel Wings), then the other escapes and tries his finisher (Skipper’s Sudden Death) and the first guy gets his hit and pins the other. Good stuff.

There was the match that was kinda like WarGames (and why hasn’t the WWE brought that one back?) where Monty Brown, The Outlaw and Jeff Jarrett took on Sean Waltman (fresh from his appearance as obsessed ex-boyfriend on The Surreal Life), DDP and a Mystery Guy. It was pretty obvious it was going to be Jesse, I mean Bryan, James, but still we didn’t know whether it would be a turn and a reformation of the New Age Outlaws or if they would start a feud. They seemed to start the feud. Despite all the weapons and the brawling and Monty Brown going on a Pouce-tastic run, there really wasn’t too much that I liked about this match. Maybe it’s just Jeff Jarrett that’s bugging me. He needs to drop the belt, but I doubt he’ll do it unless he’s promised a longer run with it after he drops it for a bit.

This is how you start a cage match: have whoever enters first do a running dive through the cage door onto his opponent before he enters the cage. That is how AJ Styles started his match with Abyss. They had a physical match that had AJ bleeding pretty good…and that was before they brought in the thumbtacks. The chain was also used, including a big DDT onto the chain and a Style Clash onto Abyss on the Thumbtacks!!!!! For the love of everything good and decent, that was sick! AJ manages to get a Sunset Flip Power Bomb onto Abyss onto the thumbtacks for the win. I really thought this was a great match and an even better spectacle.

Over-all, a good show, though they need to do a PPV without any gimmick matches next time to balance it out. And, considering the state of the company’s finances and the fact that Dusty is likely to head out, there may only be one or two more PPVs.

That’s all for this edition. Friday will feature more and more of the good stuff.

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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