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Wrestling Today's Date:

Falls Count Anywhere


I'm taking a pill for it.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I’m still feeling BayCon all over.

SmackDown! opened with Carlito, which is a good way to do it. He did one of the great bait-and-switches of all time. He got the crowd behind him by saying things like ‘Make some noise’ and getting them revved, and then saying that Edmonton was the least cool place in the world. That got them booing. Am I the only one who sees that Carlito is the new Roddy Piper? They show the way Matt Morgan punked out The Big Show and then he called out John Cena. Carlito said that he OWNED Cena, since he beat him on his first SmackDown! match. Cena didn’t like that. Cena had taken the time beforehand to get a match teaming with Big Show against Morgan and Carlito.

Booker demanded that Theodore R Long release Sharmell from the match. He wouldn’t do it, but he did let Booker join in as a Handicap match.

MNM took on Holly and Haas in a fifteen minute Iron Man match. This was really good, as both teams worked hard and worked well together. A Haas singles push is way overdue as he is the perfect combination of flying and mat work. He smartly tried to get falls on the guys in MNM with a ground attack to open things up. Very smart psychology.

Okay, so Holly's unhappy about it...
Holly took over for a while, but they went to break and when they came back, they showed Haas do an awesome dive onto Nitro. Great move. MNM were up two points to none when Haas very smartly got a pin to make it two to one. Holly was on his game and even did a Frankensteiner (the difference between a Frankensteiner and a Hurrancanrana is Holly did it by jumping up and catching the guy while he was running, like Scott Steiner used to do), and with the final seconds he hit an Alabama Slam, but Melina came in and covered Mercury to keep Holly from getting the pin in time. Not a great ending but a very solid match. Haas and Holly were way over and MNM is a great heel team.

I’m not going to talk much about Kurt vs. Sharmell and Booker, even though the match was smartly laid out and well-worked. My big problem is that the angle is so icky and they are flirting with doing one of the do things that they always said the WWE wouldn’t do, and that’s rape (though I guess one could say they’ve blown up that bridge with Katie Vick and recently with Kane and Lita). I do have to say that Kurt makes the most out of every situation and when he set Sharmell up for a Piledriver, he did the old Rick Rude Pelvic Gyration. Wow.

Heidenreich brought out a new friend, a little red headed who should be tempting Charlie Brown any second now. He then won a squash. Wow, that’ll help get him over.

They showed a lot of ECW promos, most of which I thought were really good, especially the Dudleys one. There is a lot of talk that the WWE has blown this one by having all the involvement from WWE wrestlers, but I think that they’ll still put out a good product, especially if they let guys like Gene Snitsky get beat. It’ll also be nice to see the Dudleys back in action.

Nunzio took on JBL. Line of the night: ‘Why chant E-C-W when you could chant J-B-L.” The match was declared an ECW Rules match so that Nunzio would stand a chance. Nunzio got thrown outside, but retrieved a Kendo Stick and wailed on the Cabinet and JBL a while. Then he took a Big Boot in the ring, got hit once with the stick and then JBL got the pin. Meh.

My son does the exact same thing with his Raggedy Andy.
The Matt Morgan and Carlito vs. Cena and The Big Show match wasn’t much of anything, but there were moments. Show has some very good selling instincts, including going for a Side Slam and when he hit it, he was wincing in pain. That’s smart and shows that he takes the moves and “injuries” seriously. Cena did some nice stuff, like a Fisherman’s Suplex and an FU that kinda turned into a Michinoku Driver II (don’t ask me what a Michinoku Driver I is; I’m not sure). That was the end of the match.

Again, water was treaded and the show was OK. MNM vs. Haas and Holly I want to see continue. Booker and Sharmell vs. Kurt Angle I do not want to go on. Next week: The Draft.

If you live in OK City, that’s Oklahoma City to us outside of Indian Territory, you’ll get Unforgiven LIVE! On September 18th. No word on matches, but UT is supposed to be back full time by then.

There’s a lot of talk about TNA. WGN hasn’t made them an offer and they have no TV as of now since the Fox Sports deal ended. There are a couple of groups interested in buying TNA, but one has pulled out and no one is sure if the Carters want to sell. The Jarretts want nothing more than to have full control and to get the NWA belt back on to Jeff. We’ll see how this goes, but there’s a possibility that Spike might make them an offer too, which would be interesting.

By the way, I ran into Dave Meltzer’s Mom at BayCon this past weekend. She’s the one who deals with the Wrestling Observer’s subscription fulfillments and has always been very good about making sure every one gets every issue they deserve. Just a shout out to Marilyn is all I got. Things like that are the way I fill up space on slow news weeks.

FlashBack!: The Battle For The Shooting Star Press

Most folks who have closely followed ‘rasslin’ for a lot of years will probably know what the Shootign Star Press is. It’s an Inside Moonsault-like thing that is a highspot all over the place and still retains some measure is impressiveness even though it’s no longer a super special move. The whole trip starts back in 1984.

Keichi Yamada was one, if not THE, star of the 1986 class for New Japan Pro Wrestling’s training facility. He was a tiny guy by the standards of the day, not to mention that others in the camp included Chris Benoit and Ultimo Dragon. The group all became big time players and all played a role in the whole New Japan resurgence. Yamada was incredibly agile and kept surprising folks with new moves. The Moonsault was just coming in with Mutoh using it in camp and a couple of the Guerreros bringing it to the States. The myth goes that Yamada liked to do the Senton, a backflop onto your opponent, off the top rope. One day, perhaps a little too hopped up on his talent, he over-rotated and did a full backwards revolution. This was the supposed origin of the Shooting Star Press.

Once Yamada came to the rings in front of people, he was hugely impressive and restarted the Junior Heavyweight division as a flying group. He was something of a big deal playing the role that Rey Mysterio would in WCW: providing a high flying opening match to get the crowd into the show. This was his role until 1989 when he debuted as Jushin Thunder Liger. At that point, his matches were no longer curtain jerkers and once in a while he’d end up in the main event, often defending the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title. He made the Shooting Star Press the hottest move in the world, with Mexican wrestlers managing to do them starting about 1991 or so.

By 1994, no American had successfully done one in any of the four important US feds, that is, the WWF, ECW, WCW, or Smokey Mountain Wrestling. I’m also fairly sure that no one on any of the Lucha shows in the US had done one. There were probably a few on the indy circuit, and Billy Kidman as Billy The Kid and Kid Flash, probably did his first in-ring Shooting Star around 1994.

A lot of guys were doing them in practice sessions, but no one had done one in the ring. In Japan, Hayabusa had become the second Japanese wrestler to manage to do one. Chris Jericho wanted to be the first American to do the Shooting Star in a match and it had been set up as the finish for his Tag Team Title match in November of 1994. While working on the move, he miscalculated and broke his arm. It almost ruined several months of storylines for Jim Cornette, Smokey Mountain’s booker, but it ended up all-right. So far as I know, Jericho has never done a Shooting Star in a match.

Time passed and by August 3rd, 1996, no American had done one on TV, though most folks knew about Kidman by that point and Liger had done one on his US trips. In front of the ECW Arena crowd which included one Mr. Christopher J. Garcia, 2 Cold Scorpio took on Chris Jericho. Now, this was Jericho’s last match in ECW before going to the WCW, so you knew Scorpio was going over, but how was the question. After a fairly good match, Scorpio slammed Jericho, went to the top and did the first American Shooting Star Press.

And it sucked.

Dave Swift hits the press, courtesy of the Prairie Wrestling Alliance.
Kids, don't try this at home.
His legs were all out of position and there was no grace whatsoever, but he landed it and there was no serious damage to himself, so he was the first American to make it happen. It wasn’t too long after it showed on TV, in October of 1996, that Kidman made his first appearance on WCW Nitro. He started doing the Shooting Star on TV about the same time. At one point, he started doing a Shooting Star where he would run on the apron and do the move to a guy lying on the floor. This was big news, as no one had ever seen it. In 1997, Hector Garza debuted doing the move off the top rope to the outside during a trios match on Nitro. I have that match on tape somewhere.

The first WWF wrestler to do a Shooting Star was Marc Mero, who called it the Wild Thing. What I really liked about Mero’s SSP was the fact that he went into a tuck position when he did it, something that no one else ever did. Until Kidman showed up in the WWE in 2002, no one other than Mero had ever done a Shooting Star in the WWF/E. In 2003, a third guy who had done them all the time in OVW gave it a shot as the finish of his main event at WrestleMania. Sadly, Brock Lesnar did not succeed, but he also didn’t hurt himself too badly. Paul London has done them once in a while as well, and I think Spanky did too.

There are about ten guys who use Shooting Stars regularly now, including a few who do them while running the ropes in the ring and landing on a guy on the mat. Still, Kidman and Paul London get good pops for the move whenever they use it.

That’s all for Falls this week. More of the same on Tuesday and Friday of next week.

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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