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Wrestling Today's Date:

Falls Count Anywhere


Speaking cryptically since 1978.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and there are plans afoot…

This entire edition was built around a tournament for the Number 1 Contendership called The Gold Rush. A great title, but this is the third tourney in as many months. The bookers are running out of ideas on how to build challengers. Now, don’t get me wrong, this tourney has already provided a couple of great matches, but they could come up with a better way. Batista said he wanted to wrestle Bischoff, but then said ‘I’m Keeeeeeeeeeding!’

Kane (with Lita and the tiny, tiny top she was wearing) beat Christian in the first Gold Rush match. This was the wrong way for this match to go. They should have given Christian the win, unless they are really serious about sending him to SmackDown! and even then he won’t be seen as a legit contender. The match wasn’t bad, better than most Kane matches of recent times. Christian went for the Unprettier, but Kane sent Christian flying into Tomko, who was on the apron, and then hit the Choke Slam for the win.

They showed a great package of Hogan’s return tag match with Shawn Michaels. This was one of those things that the WWE will always do well. They then had Muhammad Hassan come out and complain about not being in the tourney and that he blamed Hogan, Michaels and the fans. He then blamed Daivari for losing the match at Backlash and then gave him a beatdown. Daivari then followed him, staggering, back to the dressing room.

Yeah, it's an unfortunate angle...
Big Viz has now become Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry, only with harassment skills. He cornered Lillian Garcia and said that he wanted to be on her. Well, who doesn’t? He then had Simon Dean come out and call him fat. They had a little match, where Simon basically bumped for him. The finish was great as Simon came off the middle rope, but Viz met him with two open palms and just about pushed him through the mat. Very simple but HUGE impact on that one. Viz then grabbed Lillian’s ass.

HHH complained to Bischoff about the Tourney, but he said all HHH had to do was win to get his shot. Following that was a Shelton Benjamin interview where Jericho came out and they announced mutual respect. Looks like they’re holding back on that heel turn.

In the match of the night, and an even better match than anything on Backlash or even the most recent TNA PPV, Shelton Benjamin jobbed to Shawn Michaels. Wow, what a physical match these two had. They started off with some great and serious looking mat wrestling. It wasn’t as pretty as the stuff that Angle does, but it looked legit and they were really working hard. There were all sorts of spots where Shawn would go for something but Shelton would be too quick and hit a move instead. They did a lot of great stuff, including Shelton clotheslining Shawn out of the ring and following him over the top. They did a series of near falls where Shelton looked like he was within a tenth of a second from the match, but Shawn always kicked out. Shelton blocked Superkicks and hit his whipkick for a near fall. They did an exchanging pins segment that wasn’t as polished as Dean vs. Eddie, but it was good. It ended with Shelton coming off a Springboard and being met with a Superkick from Michaels that looked like it went right through him. Fantastic match.

Edge did an interview and they had a brief segment where they seemed to have Lita and Edge play like they were in cahoots. Interesting way to play the angle, that.

Hurricane and Rosie beat La Rez, but I didn’t really care.

Edge and Chris Jericho had another very good match that ended up with Edge coming out on top. Lot’s of great back and forth and Edge got to use his briefcase too. Edge polished off Jericho with the Spear. The two of them are both great and Edge is so close to the point he needs to be to get the belt. Jericho is sorta stuck in neutral, but they are showing signs of either turning him heel or shipping him to SmackDown!. Either could be a very good thing.

They aired a little graphic about The Rock’s birthday. JR said that he had spoken with the Rock earlier in the day. I believe he’s filming in Vancouver now, but I could be wrong.

Another Masterlock Challenge, this time offering a Tom Brady autographed football and a Curt Schilling jersey along with the 4k. He got some big guy who couldn’t break it.

Thou canst not say I did it...
In the shocker of the night, HHH tapped out to Chris Benoit. Wow. I mean, we all, everyone who writes about wrestling on the net, give H a hard time about holding folks back and only jobbing to his friends when it is opportune. Here, he did a clean as a whistle job to Chris Benoit who has been floundering for a while. I have to applaud him, because if he’s willing to tap for Benoit, he might actually see what’s right for business. Either that or he’s hurt or he doesn’t want his fingerprints on another weak PPV buy-rate.

The match itself was quite good, with Benoit selling that he had a concussion from the night before when Edge hit him with the brick. They did a lot of back and forth with Benoit trying a lot of submissions. It ended with Benoit catching HHH in the Sharpshooter, with H reaching for the ropes. He was close, but Benoit held on and HHH tapped out. The crowd was incredibly hot for this match and the pop for Benoit’s win was very good. Hopefully, they’ll follow up.

This was the best show for wrestling in ages. Three very good matches, all given enough time. The tourney looks like it will be Benoit vs. Kane and Shawn vs. Edge, both of which we’ve seen before.

If you’ve been wondering where Kenzo Suzuki is, he’s out with a lung problem. No word on when he’ll be back, but there are a lot of folks who would like to see him not return.

Brock Lesnar has said that he’s going to try and get himself on an NFL team again, this time trying out for an Offensive Lineman. That would actually seem to be a better fit for him.

Looking Back at Backlash
Backlash 2005 was a better PPV than a lot of WWE’s work recently. I thought it opened well, closed very strong and had a couple of peaks and valleys along the way. I’d say I’d much rather have watched this show than the recent TNA show.

The opener saw Chris Jericho and Shelton Benjamin tie up in a strong match. Shelton is so underrated that he needs to be pushed and pushed and hard to get folks to notice that he’s just about the most talented champion the company has right now. The guys worked mat and traded holds to open. Hey, nice escape from the Wristlock. Nice to see that the tradition of Owen Hart is not forgotten. Benjamin tried for a Powerbomb off the apron, but Jericho gives him the old Kidman to get out of it. Shelton was tossed over the top rope, but he returned by giving a leaping Bulldog off the ropes for a two. Great move. Shelton has such a natural grace to his work.

Shelton gets a near-fall for the T-Bone, but gets caught in the Walls, though he manages to make the ropes. A big series of pin reversals ends with Shelton getting the pin and retaining the title. Really good match. It seems that the idea right now is to turn Jericho heel and push him as a serious contender for Batista’s title. I like the idea.

They do tag team turmoil and honestly, it was sloppy booking. They need to keep positive attention on The Heartthrobs, but they have jobbed them twice now with no reward. Regal and Tajiri looked good beating The Heartthrobs and Maven and Simon Dean, but then lost to La Resistance. This led to La Rez vs. Rosie and Hurricane, which wasn’t a bad segment, honestly. The match was short, but it ended with Hurricane diving off of Rosie’s shoulders onto Conway for the pin. Hurricane and Rosie are now Tag Team champs. That’s odd; as much as I like The Hurricane, I don’t see this as a team that should have the belts and unless they drop them right soon to The Heartthrobs, I don’t see why they’d make the change.

In the best match of the year so far when it comes to brutality, Edge beat Chris Benoit in the Last Man Standing match. These two put on a hell of a show. Edge, the next guy to get the belt from HHH after he wins it back from Batista, looked great and Benoit will always be Benoit. Chris needs a win soon, though. He’s losing that sheen he had most of last year. The brawl into the crowd, which the WWE hasn’t been doing a lot lately. Maybe they’re preparing us for the ECW PPV.

Benoit manages a tap out in the ring, but it doesn’t matter since it’s last man standing. Benoit goes for the top onto Edge, but eats a face-full of trashcan lid for his troubles. They add a ladder and do some great spots, including a German Suplex off the ladder! Edge hits a couple of spears, one of which looked harder than normal. Edge gets his briefcase, the one with the contract he won at Mania in it, and opens it. He takes out a brick and hits Benoit to get the win. Probably the match of the night. These two have had better matches, especially in tags, but this was another in the very good feud.

Lita and Kane continue to make the best of their marriage of ‘What the Hell Were the Bookers Thinking’ by chatting about Tish and Big Viz playing Merry Mattress Melodies.

The Divas came out and they were interrupted by Chris Masters. He’s upped his offer in the Masterlock Challenge to 3 Grand. Masters picks a chick (I think, she kinda looked like a Dude) and put her out with the Full Nelson.

Kane and Viscera meet in a match that sucks, but not to the level of some of Viscera’s abominations (his match with Diesel, for example). The match just sort of plods, but they actually tried. Viz hit his Double Armed Chokeslam for a near fall. Lita gets in the ring and Viz is about to go for her when Kane catches him and gives him the Chokeslam for the win. Like I said, it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good.

I remember doing the time warp...
Hulk Hogan. That’s really all you need to say when you’re talking about the big tag match that featured his return. The man with the artificial hip didn’t do much in his match, though he did deliver the big boot a couple of times and did his selling. Michaels worked like a mad man, though he had Daivari who is pretty good to work with. The heat was fantastic, and the fact that it was such a hot match means that Hogan will be back at some point. Lots of posing after a smart finish where Hassan grabbed Hogan’s leg from the outside when it looked like he was going for the legdrop. Michaels Superkicked Daivari and Hogan fell on him for the pin. Very good for what it was and the heat really helped.

ECW’s One Night Stand. Man, I can not f***ing wait. Sorry, but the profanity seemed so justified when talkin’ ‘bout ECW.

Christian and Tomko came out and Christian just tears it up on the mic. He’s a great heel and I hope they do send him to SmackDown! during the draft because that will be awesome. He called John Cena the WWE’s version of Corey Haim. I dunno, I think he’s more the Feldman of the company.

HHH did a cleanish job for Batista. It was a solid match with some great storyline sentering around HHH getting the Pedigree. Lot’s of great stuff and Hunter looked like it was late 2000 again. Of course, he has much better facial hair now, but the work was back up to pre-hamstring levels. Hunter actually got the Pedigree and a pin that was long enough to get the win but the ref had been KOed. Hunter went to the top to punch Batista, who had staggered to the corner. Batista came out of the corner with H up and gave him the DemonBomb for the win. Good stuff.

I’d say this was a solid pay-per-view and well worth the time and effort to see.

That’s all for today. More on Friday!

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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