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Wrestling Today's Date:

Falls Count Anywhere


I smell cookies.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My Name is Chris and I am also known as the Angel Crusher.

I thought this was an OK episode, just for the wrestling, but there was a little too much of everything else to keep me held tight. We opened with Rey Mysterio and Super Crazy in a match that was good, and on the level of the WCW Cruiserweight openers of 1996-7. There’s a lot of hot action, as these two have never faced off before in the US, I think. Mysterio makes all his moves seem effortless, and SuperCrazy has always made everything look like a struggle that he meets and surpasses. SuperCrazy got a Spinebuster, though really, he just caught Rey and then dumped him with force onto the ground.

During the commercial, Eddie comes out and does commentary talking about his latest gimmick of being the Secret Keeper. I still don’t like it. The match goes great, with Crazy busting out the Swinging Surfboard and seated abdominal stretch submissions. A nice moonsault where Rey bounced off the top rope onto Crazy. The ending was Rey getting Crazy into 619 position, but Eddie ran in and beat him down. Weakish ending to a good match.

They did a bunch of fake commercials saying that JBL was the Greatest American. There was one that compared him and Ronald Reagan that had me on the floor.

Eddie is about to hightail it out of the arena when Theodore R. Long stops him and says he has a match. He doesn’t say who he’s wrestling. Teddy is so great in his role as commish. I really hope they keep him around at the level he’s at right now, which is not over-used but well positioned in case they need a quick angle out of him. He’s like Gorilla Monsoon when he was GM.

Heidenreich watches Animal do his make-up. There’s an awkward silence in the air, as if there are secrets between the two. Animal turns and slaps Heidenreich, walking out of the room as Heidenreich realizes that Animal truly loved him, but is now gone forever. Wait…that didn’t happen because the WWE isn’t a New Wave French film. Basically, Animal says that Heidenreich is a lot like Hawk and they go to the ring and they give a fast beating to two unsuspecting jobbers. Well, that’s set them up for a title shot.

Eddie comes out and is soon joined by Chris Benoit. Eddie wants nothing to do with Chris, who says that he was one of Eddie’s friends. Eddie hits Chris before he can finish and gives him the Vert Suplex and then goes for a chair before the ref stops him. Eddie brings back the boot scrape, but Benoit manages a Release German before the commercial.

When we’re back, we see that Benoit is giving it to Eddie with chops. Eddies works on the leg, including doing a knee bar. Benoit busts himself open with headbutts! A Superplex puts both guys down, which was nice. Eddie gets two of his three Triple Verticals, but Benoit manages to make it into a Crossface before Eddie makes the ropes and heads out of the ring. He’s met by Rey-rey, who beats on him for a minute. Good match, better than their ECW PPV match and on the level of one of their Japanese matches from the mid-1990s.

Support the troops!
Candace Michelle comes out and looks smokin’. She announces that all members of the Armed Forces over-seas will get to see the Bash for free. Melina comes out, apparently not a big supporter of the military, and points out that Candace will ref the Melina/Torrie Bra and Panties match. Melina then lays some forearms into Candace and strips her before Torrie makes the save. I kinda liked this segment, and not just for Candace’s ‘Oh My God!!!’ body.

Booker T destroys Simon Dean in about a minute with a Spinerooni and a Scissors kick. Simon’s been doin’ double duty by also playing Hollywood Nova. No wonder they only had him work for about a minute here.

JBL came out to give his Great American speech. He’s wearing one of Kenzo Suzuki’s old Red, White and Blue outfits. He looked silly, but he started working the mic with almost criminal comedic value. Batista comes out, calls JBL a bully and then beats on Orlando Jordan while JBL bails. He then puts on JBL’s ridiculous outfit, and gets a good pop.

I would have liked to switch places between the Eddie/Benoit and the JBL speech, but I understand why they did it this way. Good wrestling with two strong matches and a couple of good talking segments, but all in all, it was a show that gets a middling grade.

Lord Alfred Hayes, the heel of the 1960s and 70s and later host of WWF TV shows including Tuesday Night Titans, passed away on Thursday. He was 77. He had been in poor health and had a series of strokes. I’ve seen very little of his early work, but I’ve been told that he was a great heel back in the day.

TNA officially has a SpikeTV deal. In October, TNA will be on SPIKE and it looks like the first date will be October 1st. The show will be a Saturday show in the slot where the WWE had Velocity or whatever show it had at 10 that I never watched.

Muhammad Hassan is no more. The Italian guy playing the Arab has been dropped and it’s mostly because the network, UPN, would not allow the WWE to use him on their show anymore. No word what the plan is for Daivari, who’s only 20, but the odds are they’ll find a role for him somewhere. Hell, have him act as the business manager for MNM or some such.

According to the Observer, Jericho was close not to signing a new deal because he wanted to work on his music. Well, that’s almost reasonable, but still, he came back to the bargaining table. He’s probably better off doing VH1 and playing dates once in a while and still wrestling.

TNA No Surrender
We are again treated to another good TNA PPV. Sadly, without TV, they’ll have a hard time getting numbers for it, but still now that they have TV, they’ll be able to pick things up.

The opener was a strong affair between Michael Shane and Alex Shelley with the lovely Traci and America’s Most Wanted. It was the type of match you expect from a TNA PPV, with strong back and forth and a few big moves here and there. A beautiful dive off the ramp by Storm makes me happy. He’s probably the better of America’s Most Wanted, though in this match, I thought that Shane was the top guy as his selling and work has always been very good and he’s probably the most consistent worker in TNA (except for Daniels and Styles). Traci gets involved and after she delivers a low blow, she gets handcuffed to the corner! After Traci throws in a shoe that leads to a couple of near falls, Shelley takes a Superkick and that’s all they wrote. Good match that got nearly 15 minutes.

In a Qualifier for the Super X, Shark Boy, Elix Skipper and Mikey Batts lost to my favourite Sonjay Dutt. This was either really good or really bad, depending on how you look at it. Everyone just delivered spot after spot and some of them tripped over one another. This is what a lot of fans used to call Spot-Fu when Michinoku Pro used to do their 10 man tag matches back in 96 and 97. Sonjay busted out one of the sweetest headscissors of all time early on, and every one dropped moves like Spinebusters and moonsaults. I was having a hard time keeping up at times. There was a great Released German Suplex that ended up with Elix landing on Shark Boy! I love that move. It ended with Dutt getting a Hindu Press for the win in a wild match that I really liked. I kind of would have liked to have seen Shark Boy get it, but what you gonna do?

Simon Diamond and David Young vs. Apollo and Sonny Siaki wasn’t a great match, but no one was expecting it to be. Siaki has had a real rough time since the whole Chris Candido thing happened and there are some who are saying that he might leave for a while. I always kinda liked him. I’m hoping that he pulls it together. Apollo did all the work early, and I really like his work. He did a HUGE no hands plancha which just about made my heart stop. Big time air. Lot’s of slapping between Siaki and Young, with Siaki getting the better of it. Apollo hit a TKO to get the win for his team. Not a bad match, but far from the worst thing I’ve seen of late.

Big Man.
Samoa Joe is the man. He decimated Chris Sabin in a match that I really enjoyed and that really made Samoa Joe in everyone’s eyes. Joe kinda played bully, knocking Sabin around and doing all sorts of take downs. It was almost like a squash, but Sabin got enough awesome offense to come out of it looking better than ever. And he hit my favorite Enzuigiri! Really, this was a match where Joe was in control and made himself look like a monster. Why he didn’t sign with the WWE I’ll never know, but then again, Vince didn’t make Tazz World Champion, so what chance would Joe have? Finished it up with a submission win for the Samoan. By the way, the next issue of other Magazine will have an article that I wrote about Samoans in Pop Culture called Big Men.

For some reason, Lance Hoyt is the name that people are thinking of right now, especially with Hoytmania running wild as it is. He teamed with The Naturals to take on Team Canada in a match that was fun. They did the thing where a couple of guys fight, then one is sent out so the face team stands in the ring to applause before the entire heel force comes back in for a brawl. I love that move. Very ECW. The Naturals and Hoyt did a bunch of dives, which was awesome! The middle saw Team Canada in control, with A1 hitting a nice Powerslam and Roode with a backdrop and a Full Nelson Slam. Hoyt gets to give the Guzzle a couple of times, but Team Canada uses Jimmy Hart’s megaphone for the win. I really liked this, just because everyone works really hard.

The 3LK (Konnan and Killings) vs. Monty Brown and Kip James match basically told us that the WWE was serious about The Outlaw needing to get a new name. Why he chose Kip James, I’ll never know. Ron Killings did a plancha early onto Kip. No, call me Chip. This was a brief match, which worked well since I don’t like to see too much of Konnan, James or Brown. We got to see The Pounce and James hit a DDT onto a chair before Brown pins Killings. Bryan James, the former Road Dogg, comes in the ring, teasing a reunion as Kip hands him a chair. Bryan tosses the chair and that’s that.

Sean Waltman lost to AJ Styles in a match that was good, and at times very good. Jerry Lynn was the special ref. Lynn and Waltman had a feud back in the old days of Global Wrestling Alliance when Waltman was 19 or 20 as the Lightning Kid and Lynn was a 25 year old who had been working the circuit. Lynn would go on to be Mr. JL in WCW and then himself in ECW. In many ways, AJ is to today’s wrestling what Waltman was to 1993. Lot’s of back and forth, but it was obvious that AJ was really the one in control of the match. As much as I’ve heard about Waltman not having his heart in it anymore, he looked good. Nice plancha by AJ that leads to a series outside. Waltman, showing that he’s still the man, hit a senton from the top to the floor. That’s a Jeff Hardy circa 1999 move! Some sort of DDT variation by AJ rules. Waltman’s nose gets busted and bleeds like a mad man. All sorts of shennannigans with Lynn and Waltman lead to a series of near-falls and finally the Styles Clash for the win. Good match that went 15.

Chris Daniels is my favorite wrestler not currently in the WWE. Petey Williams is up there as well. These two against one another is a good thing. Petey starts things off fast, getting the advantage with a poke to the eye and sending Daniels out to the floor. He would hit a slingshot hurrancanrana too! Tree of Woe with Petey steppin’ on Chris’ crotch. Fun stuff. Petey goes for another rana, this time off the apron to the floor, but Daniels turns it into a powerbomb on the apron! I think the only other time I’d ever saw that was in All Japan in 1993 or 4. Daniels takes over and it’s really good, including the Flatliner and the ultra complicated Koji Clutch submission! After a while, Samoa Joe comes out to watch, with the story being that he’s facing the winner. Lot’s of fast action at the end with interference from A1, but Daniels gets a moonsault for the win. I really think that Daniels is going to be a big star with increased exposure as he’s the most over TNAer right now. I’m really looking forward to Daniels vs. Joe.

The Dog Collar match for the NWA title between Raven and Abyss was pretty good, though I’m getting a little burnt out on big time brawls. They start using the chain early, which makes sense. They follow that up with a chair. It’s not too long before Raven is a bloody mess. Abyss makes a pile of chairs and puts Raven on it, but when he goes for a middle rope leg drop, Raven makes and he crashes onto them. Raven gets his offense and it’s stiff and he looks like ECW Raven again, or at least like the Raven that feuded with CM Punk in 2003. Jim Mitchell does a little mic work and Raven takes a couple of chokeslams and he blocks a couple of chokeslams. Of course, thumbtacks get involved and Raven powerbombs Abyss into them and later gives him the DDT into them for the win. Good stuff.

Over all, strong PPV with a lot of folks coming out of it stronger than when they went in. Too bad there’s no TV to capitalize on it.

That’s all. Next week, there’ll be the Bash to talk about.

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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