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Falls Count Anywhere


Neither did I.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I’m willing to bet you you don’t see it comin’.

They went over SummerSlam to open things, which was the exact right thing to do (and what they do after every PPV). Shawn Michaels then came out to a monster pop. It was a Hogan-like pop and probably the loudest I’d heard for him in a while. He then cut a good promo saying that Hogan was too quick, had too much wrestling acumen and guile for him. His sarcastic delivery and dry humor here was hilarious, but it was also lost on the crowd.

Before too long, Chris Masters came out and said that he was the new wave and that Shawn didn’t know when to step aside, just like Hogan. Shawn took umbrage to this and slapped Masters. A brief brawl ensued and Michaels got the better of it. Masters and Michaels will fight next week.

Chris Jericho and Bischoff had a discussion where they announced that the main event tonight would be a ‘You’re Fired’ match.

In the match of the night, and probably right at the level of the Shelton-Michaels match from earlier this year, Kurt Angle beat Shelton Benjamin. These two opened with great mat work. Shelton actually got the best of Kurt in a couple of really fast exchanges. Shelton looked really good, and he kept up with Kurt every step of the way. Benjamin managed to send Kurt to the outside and we went to commercial.

Coming back, they showed that Kurt gave Shelton a belly-to-belly suplex, sending him to the outside. Kurt blocked a Superkick, but then Shelton hit his Whip Kick. Benjamin went to the top rope, but ended up getting a bellt-to-belly off the top. Angle went for the AngleSlam, but Shelton turned it into the DDT. Match ended with Shelton tapping out to the Ankle Lock. This won’t be as well remembered as the Michaels match because the ending wasn’t as strong, but it was a great match. They really need to work on getting Benjamin big time wins. Then again, in all those matches that made Michaels well known, he lost.

Chavo…I mean Kerwin White, said that he was the official spokesman for Middle Class America. Hmmmmm…

Gene Snitsky was sniffing Maria’s feet when Big Show came in and said that Gene was a pervert. Maria then asked what a pervert was. In the future, Gene Snitsky’s kids will ask him what his gimmick was and he’ll have to answer ‘I had a foot fetish’ which will lead his kids to stop talking to him.

Aim for the head.
Rob Conway beat Matt Hardy using the same gimmick as they did last night. Matt sold this really well. Some people are saying that Matt looks really weak now, but I like the way this is working out and he’s playing the role beautifully. Edge and Lita came out to distract him. Matt got pinned after Conway dropped the elbow off the top and then Edge came out and put Matt’s head between the ring and the steps and kicked the steps. That looked awesome and Matt sold it like he was dead.

Flair came out for Carlito’s Cabana. Carlito talked about watching Flair’s matches with his dad and said that since he was a 16 time champion, he lost the title 16 times. He also said that Flair wasn’t cool. Flair agreed and said that he wasn’t cool. Carlito spit apple in Flair’s face and Flair fought off Carlito. This was a good segment with Carlito doing a hell of a job.

Big Show beat Snitsky when Snitsky just walked out. Let us never speak of this again.

They debuted a look at the new tag team of Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade. They are basically the new Texas Outlaws that were once Rhodes and Murdoch. Trevor, who I believe is Dirty Dick Murdoch’s son, looks just like him. This could be an interesting team.

Torrie Wilson and Candace Michelle came out and said that they had been traded to Raw. Torrie announced Ashley and she came out dressed like she was the first couple of weeks of Tough Enough. Ashley got a better reaction than I expected her to get. She did a little mic work, which wasn’t hideous, and then Torrie and Michelle attacked her. Apparently they’re jealous. Weird.

John Cena got Chris Jericho fired when he won the ‘You’re Fired’ match. It was a good match, nearly as good as their match from SummerSlam. Bischoff brought out guards and interfered a lot in the match. At one point, Cena hit the FU, but Bisch put Jericho’s foot on the ropes. Lots of solid stuff here, even though Cena’s offense is still weak. Cena caught Jericho in position for the FU, but had to struggle against Jericho. He managed to hit the FU and get the win.

After the match, Jericho asked for another chance, but Bischoff said that he was fired. After Eric had Chris dragged to the back, and actually be carried by the guards, Kurt Angle attacked Cena. This got good heat and placed their feud on good footing to start with. Eric announced that Cena’s new Number One Contender was Kurt Angle.

Good show with minor things really being crap. I’m liking much of the direction they have chosen.

Lots of talk that Chris Jericho may be done with the WWE for a while after RAW. He did, in fact, re-sign this year, but there’s talk that he wants to take a bit of time off to work on his music and get back in shape as he’s been looking a little doughy. It’s doubtful that this is his retirement, but he may be gone a few months or possibly longer.

I headed over to McG’s place (no relation to that other McG) and we hunkered down with a tape of SummerSlam. After a while, we were joined by Pedro and Snuffy and the party was on!

We opened up with a Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan match that went, I kid you not, less than 30 seconds. This was more than a squash; this was an embarrassment. If you needed any more evidence that the JBL Cabinet gimmick was finished, this was it. Benoit destroyed him with a German Suplex and a Crossface. Benoit with the US Title is a step in the right direction, and burying Orlando like that means they see some of the reality of their undercard situation.

Eddie’s wife did a bit where she was trying to tell Eddie that he didn’t care about Dominic, he just cared about beating Rey. Eddie was OK here, but his wife was really good.

In the second speed match of the night, and the weakest ending, Matt Hardy had the match stopped because of his bleeding. It was a shame because these two were getting good heat and Matt chants were wild. They stiffed the hell out of each other, especially Edge. They made it look more legit, though they were obviously still working. Edge had Hardy on the apron and gave him a spear where both of them fell to the floor. Edge dropped Hardy face-first on the top of the corner post and that started a gusher. It wasn’t a bad blade job, in fact the Hogan blade later in the show was much worse, but Hardy was acting like he was out of it and they stopped the match. It wasn’t the match we were hoping for, but it’s obvious that they wanted the time for other matches. Still, the intensity of the blows and the heat made it come off OK until the end. This is also not the last of it.

In what I think is my favourite ladder match since the heyday of the Hardys vs. The Dudleys vs. Edge + Christian, Eddie Guerrero lost to Rey Mysterio. Here’s the thing: this had some rough spots. There were a few misses, but all over this told a story and while it had less innovation, it had better flow and more logic. The guys built a match using both of their styles to the point where they were taking risks within their bounds, which means they missed a couple of spots. What they hit were great though. Rey was hanging from the briefcase and fell right into Eddie’s arms and he turned it into a powerbomb. Rey did a sunset flip that sent Eddie into the other ladder and Rey fell as his own ladder tumbled. It looked like Eddie hurt his knee on a bump off of the ladder, but he didn’t. Eddie had the match won when Dominic came out and tried to shake the ladder. Eddie came down and gave Dom a talkin’ to, but Rey had enough time to make a comeback. Eddie set up the ladder on Rey’s chest, but Rey managed to shake the ladder enough to send him off. Eddie had an advantage, but Eddie’s wife came down and held him so that Rey could get the win. Great storytelling and having Rey win was the right call because it ends that part of the storyline but still allows for Eddie to look for his win over Rey.

Just before the savant went down...
Kurt Angle made up for all the booking failures of late and destroyed Eugene. Eugene was hated by the crowd, and Kurt was a certain favorite. There was a lot of heat all night, and this match, even though the heel was getting cheered, had a lot of it. Angle beat him up, took a little offense, and got a clean and fast win with the Ankle Lock. This was followed by Kurt getting a chair and standing on it while the ref placed the medal around his neck. Nice idea to build him up so that he can be reasonably well-led to a match against Cena with a lot of momentum. Maybe having Eugene in the position was Vince’s way of saying that he knows Eugene isn’t working and Angle would get enough of a rub from having him destroy him.

Wanna talk big time? Randy Orton came through with a really good match with the Undertaker. I shouldn’t say that, because UT wasn’t just a lump, but Randy worked really hard and showed a lot more fire than he had to to get this match over. The two of them work pretty well together, even if the WrestleMania match was better, they showed a lot of polish on this one. Randy bumped a lot and very well. He sold very smartly to the point where you could say that he was over-selling the offense, but not to the point where it didn’t fit with the gimmick that the Undertaker has been using for years. Randy worked on UT’s leg, which was actual psychology that we pretty much only see in the matches against the big guys. Orton took his fair share of UT offense, including a Chokeslam and the Old Skool. The finish was a fun one. UT had the match won, but someone ran into the ring from the crowd. This distracted the Undertaker and allowed Randy to hit the RKO for the pin. This will, no doubt, lead to UT vs. Randy at WrestleMania for the final of the Best of Three and that will finally be UT’s first Mania loss. I can’t wait.

Speaking of bumping and making a lesser guy seem like a million bucks, Chris Jericho did all of that to an even greater degree with John Cena. Cena, who has the worst looking punches of anyone under 50, worked as hard as he could and managed to keep up even though his offense is still lame. Jericho bumped well and provided good offense. The crowd was split, certainly with Jericho getting a lot of favor. The WWE really needs to see that Jericho is a major player and might be in a place where he can win the big belt. Still, I don’t think they’ll give him that much anytime soon. Jericho did a great spot where he went for the springboard clothesline onto Cena who was on the outside, but Cena ducked and Jericho crashed to the floor. The two did a fair amount of brawling, but it was Jericho who was directing traffic. Finish was Cena catching Jericho for the FU and pinning him clean. Really good match with lots of heat.

Batista and John Bradshaw Layfield. Why, WHY, do we have to put up with this feud? This wasn’t a good match, but it had the right ending. JBL brought in the sttel steps, but Batista stopped him from using them. Batista then hit him with the DemonBomb and instead of pinning him, he picked him up and gave him another on the steps for the pin. That got a good reaction. It wasn’t a terrible match, but I wouldn’t want to see it again. It also seems as if this is the end for JBL’s major push and that he’s likely to start working with Benoit for the US title or just getting some time off.

The Main Event. Michaels. Hogan. A match that I was afraid of happened to be the best match of the year when it came to realistic heat and drama. There were hotter matches at ECW, but this topped that when it came to the heat that was generated from the actual progression of the match. Hogan couldn’t do much and his punches are the only ones worse than Cena’s, but Michaels sold everything like Terry Funk when he had both good knees and would face people like Andre. He was all over the place, working like his job depended on it. Hogan didn’t do too much offense, but every bit he did, Michaels made look like a billion bucks. Michaels took a full flip on the big boot spot which helped when Hogan did the ear cupping before dropping the leg. Michaels shook Hogan’s hand and said ‘I had to know, and I found out,' as they went off the air, pretty much turning him face again. This was a good match with a lot of drama. This was even better drama than the Hogan/Warrior match. This wasn’t quite Hogan vs. Rock, but it was close and probably the last great match in his long career.

That’s all for today. More on Friday!

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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