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Wrestling Today's Date:

Falls Count Anywhere


...with every breath you take.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and sometimes synchronicity is a pain.

JBL opened the show in the ring and gave his typically good promo. After a bit, the bWo came out! I was so psyched. That was the reason they traded Richards and Simon to SD!. The Blue Meanie was JBlueL and it was great to see Simon Dean playing Hollywood Nova again. Stevie Richards had an Afro Wig on to be the Chief of Staff. It was a good segment, but they should have held off and done it at an East Coast city where there would have been a stronger reaction. JBlueL challenged JBL to a match and he accepted. Meanie then painted bWo on JBL’s limo. Nice touch.

Chris Benoit and Booker T had a good little match. Booker and Benoit had a series of Seven matches back about 1997-8 that was excellent and they seemed to still have much of that chemistry down. Benoit got the chops and did a Snap Suplex early, but Booker got a type of Hot Shot on Benoit and took over for a while. Booker missed a Scissors Kick allowing Benoit to get the Triple Germans. Benoit went for a Cross-Face, but Booker turned it into a Cross ArmBreaker. Eventually, Benoit won with the Crossface and is officially the number 1 contender to Orlando Jordan’s US Title.

Eddie and Rey continued the Dirty Little Secret story by having Eddie blackmail Rey into being his tag partner against MNM. They did this really well.

This led to a strange note on the bottom of the screen, at least on UPN 44 in San Francisco, that read ‘This event was taped prior to the events in London. Parental Guidance is suggested.’ They then had Muhammad Hassan do a segment with Theodore R. Long where Long basically gave Hassan a shot at the Undertaker with the Winner being the Number One Contender for the title at The Great American Bash, and also gave Daivari a match with UT later in the show.

Does this make JBL Lennon or McCartney?
JBlueL beat John Bradshaw Layfield in a No DQ Match. JBL even did Meanie’s dance, which ruled. This was a brawl where JBL had almost all the offense, but when Orlando Jordan distracted the ref, Batista appeared and gave JBL the Spinebuster, pulled The Meanie on top of him and gave him the win. Fun little match, it was.

MNM came to the ring with their great ring entrance. They needed a little mic time this week that they didn’t seem to get. Eddie came out and then Rey reluctantly joined him. Eddie was totally in control early on, but then insisted that Rey make a tag. Rey rolled through a Sunset Flip attempt and hit the Dropkick. Eddie tagged in and hit Triple Verticals and a Frog Splash, but he pulled Mercury up before the three count. He tagged Rey who went for the 619, but Guerrero knocked him down. Rey did the SuperSpinning Head Scissors and the 619 and the Leg Drop, but Eddie broke up the cover. Rey got hit with the Snapshot to give MNM the win. This was a good match with a really good storyline. Even though I don’t like the Eddie-Rey thing, they at least give us performances in the ring.

Matt Morgan, who was let go by the company earlier this week, was supposed to face William ‘Don’t’ Call Me Steven’ Regal, but the Mexicools came out and beat on the Matt. This was a nice way to send him out and they can say that the Mexicools ran Matt Morgan out of the WWE. They also got good cheers in Sacramento. Go figure. They are gonna be big.

Daivari had Muhammad Hassan in his corner for the match against the Undertaker. This was what the warnings were about. Basically, UT squashed Daivari with the ChokeSlam and the Tombstone, but then five guys ran into the ring dressed like Terrorists and that allowed Hassan to get the Camel Clutch. I understand the problems, but they could have replaced this angle with something. It felt in bad taste, but not overly so. I also understand that they did edit some of the announcing.

"Quick, Petey! Fastball Special!"
Christian took on Batista in a Non-Title Match. This was a match that saw both Batista and Christian get better than expected reactions followed by a dead crowd. This does not bode well for Batista. In fact, with the exception of Eddie, it’s hard to think of anyone on SmackDown! who gets great reaction for his matches. It was an OK match, with Christian working very hard and Batista not getting in the way too much. Christian hit a DDT and a few other moves, but it was all about Batista nailing the PowerSlam, Spinebuster and the DemonBomb for the win. JBL and Orlando Jordan both attacked Batista, but Batista got the upper hand and went for the Demon Bomb, but Jordan stopped it. JBL and Batista stared down to end the show.

Not a bad show.

Lot’s of guys and gals got their walking papers. Matt Morgan, Dawn Marie, Jackie Gayda, Charlie Haas, Spike Dudley, Billy Kidman (though not his wife, Torrie Wilson), Akio, Marty Jannety, Gangrel, Shannon Moore, Maven, and Mark Jindraik. They also broke my heart by getting rid of Joy Giovanni (though you can still catch her occasionally on G4).

These aren’t the end of it, as they may well release Stevie Richards and Simon Dean next, though the bWo thing still has some legs. Other names floating around include Mark Henry, the Dudleys (though they just won’t have their contracts renewed, which was the contract issue that I had been told about) and three or four others. I’ll talk about this more in a minute.

Brock Lesnar has signed to return to the WWE, likely on the SmackDown! side. This happened pretty quickly after Brock was very ass-kissing in a recent interview. There’s big money in Lesnar, and SD! needs it. His return will require some massaging, though programming him with Batista could do good money if they draw it out and wait until, say, WrestleMania, to deliver on it. The terms are said to be near what he got with the WWE in his first run.

Jim Cornette is in trouble again. The guy behind Ohio Valley Wrestling slapped Johnny Geo Basco after he had blown an angle. The Bogeyman, a new character who was supposed to be frightening, came out and Geo Basco started laughing. When they got to the back, Cornette went off and started slapping Geo Basco. Most say that he would have been OK to give him a good dressing down, but to slap him like he did, even though he caused no damage, was probably too far. Cornette has been on thin ice, though there’s little question that TNA would want him as a manager…if they ever get TV again.

Analysis of the Releases
There’s no question that costs had to be seriously cut. They’re going to be losing somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 million in revenues next year. There’s some cost-cutting measures that could be done, but in the end, some of the stars would have to go.

But why mid-carders who often provide a very good show? That’s easy: Because they don’t draw money or ratings.

Is Brock really worth this many mid-carders?
This is sad but true. Spike Dudley, a favorite of mine, is a much more entertaining wrestler than John Cena, but Cena can talk, has size, and draws ratings. Even though Cena is making 3 or 4 times as much as Spike, he still earns his keep by drawing, and right now he may even be the top draw in the WWE. Getting rid of some of the ladies is a good idea, as they don’t add much and a couple of them can go a long way. Plus, the current Diva Search will probably add a few more (hopefully Ashley). I’m kinda mad that Dawn Marie was released, since she’s pregnant.

Spike Dudley posted a rant about the WWE not caring about their employees and not rewarding hard work and letting him go when they did. There is a downside, that a couple of guys who were released were former ECW guys, so it gets harder. Still, there are some people who could have been released and saved a lot more money, with Mark Henry being the top of that list. They did cut some guys who are no doubt losers when it comes to drawing, like Matt Morgan and Mark Jindraik, but a few of the guys had good runs, like Billy Kidman.

Lesnar coming back may have also prompted some of this cutting. He’s going to have a good-sized contract, and if he draws like he used to (and he has a great heel concept already set for him) then it’ll be worth it. There were massive cuts before they started adding bigger and bigger contracts which led to the WWF turn-around in 1998. This might be one of those situations.

That’s all for today. Next Week more.

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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