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Falls Count Anywhere


I'm so brilliant it's criminal.
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and the last thing I need is a court case.

In a strange replay of RAW, Benoit came out and was about to take on Christian. Orlando Jordan came out and said that he was going to get a rematch. Benoit was distracted and he got jumped. Benoit managed to get the Crossface on Jordan fast, but Christian came in. Booker ran out for the save and the ref turned it into a Tag Match. Same thing as opened RAW this week. The tag match wasn’t bad, and there were some really nice spots, like Jordan getting a Benoit Snap Suplex onto Christian and Booker giving Orlando a Bookend while he was coming off the ropes. Booker got thrown into Sharmell, which allowed Jordan to toss him into the ring steps. After a Suplex by Benoit on Christian, Benoit went up top, but Jordan knocked him down and Christian got the Unprettier for the win. This wasn’t a bad match, even if it was the same as a better match on RAW, and the finish was good.

Theodore R. Long and Palmer “I’m with the Network” Cannon were in the ring and they brought out Batista. The Commish and The Network Stooge did a grapple over the mic thing and announced that Eddie Guerrero was the number one contender. Guerrero did a pretty good promo saying that he just wanted to be Batista’s friend. Batista then hugged Eddie, which seemed to confuse him.

Animal and Heindenreich took on MNM. Heidenreich had some nice face paint going on. MNM got a lot of offense, certainly more than any of the jobbers LoD-lite has been facing of late. MNM got a nice Double Russian LegSweep on Animal. Match ended when Mercury hit Heidenreich with a tag belt. Bad match, especially since they could have given MNM the tag belts again. True, Animal is over with the crowd, and maybe waiting until a PPV like No Mercy is a better idea, but still, I want a real tag team to hold those belts.

Taste the power.
John Bradshaw Layfield took on Rey Mysterio. Wow. I really wasn’t hoping to see this match. They did a pretty typical Big Guy, Little Man match, with Rey flying high. There was a great spot where Rey went for a Flying Body Press, but JBL caught him and tried for a Fallaway Slam, which Rey then turned into a Swinging DDT. I like that series of moves a lot.

Rey kept managing to confound JBL with his flying, including a couple of really nice spots where he avoided getting the Clothesline from Hell. Rey hit the 619, but then went for the Seated Senton, but JBL caught him and tossed him back, which led Rey to land on his feet and hit a Springboard Moonsault for the pin. Perfect ending, with JBL about to kick out, but Rey’s surprise got him the win. They’ve had really good matches before, but this was short and well done.

Nunzio was complaining to Palmer Cannon that he hadn’t been on SmackDown since he won the Cruiserweight Title (which even I didn’t remember) and Eddie Guerrero said he’d like to see Batista in action. Cannon then announced Nunzio vs. Batista, which was not Nunzio’s idea of a good time.

After Josh Matthews couldn’t get a word with JBL, Ken Kennedy came out and did a little promo running down Arkansas and Josh’s underwear changing schedule. He then did his gimmick and beat some jobber with The SteamRoller. I still love that move and Kennedy is getting more over every time he comes out.

Batista squashed Nunzio with Eddie looking on and apparently supporting Batista. This is going to be an interesting programme leading into No Mercy.

Randy and Cowboy Bob Orton were getting the U-Haul Truck ready…but for what?

After a brief skit where JBL hired Jillian Hall, the Undertaker took on Randy Orton. They started the match during the commercial, which isn’t a way I’d go, unless the start was a real train wreck. They did a nice Suplex off the middle rope after Taker missed Old Skool and Randy Orton called for the U-Haul. Undertaker sat up, but Orton, being the only guy who apparently has watched earlier Undertaker matches, went after him and gave him a DDT. They rolled out a casket from the truck. These two were working a really good match. Orton is so fluid right now, and UT seems to want to try again.

Michael Jackson's new look?
Taker opened up the casket to reveal a lifelike dummy that looked him. It was a very Twilight Zone moment. Orton attacked after UT opened the casket, but Undertaker managed to almost get The Last Ride before Orton slipped away. A UT Clothesline hit the Ref, and Randy got the RKO on him and called a second ref. Undertaker kicked out and hit a Chokeslam, but Cowboy Bob Orton clocked the ref to stop a count. Taker handled the Ace Cowboy and then hit the Tombstone for the win. Not the best of their three, but a good TV match with a lot of good stuff.

With a couple of good matches, this was a good show to have on the first full Friday night slot, and they pulled about the same number, if you take the preemptions into account.

Jeff Jarrett got the win over Raven to give him the NWA World Title again. There is general unhappiness with this decision, though many are saying that it’s the #2 belt anyway in TNA as the X-Title has had so much more heat with the Daniels/Samoa Joe/AJ Styles period.

There’s a lot of talk about Brock Lesnar coming back to New Japan. He’s been announced as being a part of a main event over there and there hasn’t been anything to done to stop it. The word around is that New Japan has agreed to pay any legal troubles this may cause, since they stand to make a boatload on this because Brock is a hot commodity in Japan. There’s still the thought that he’s clear to go and he’s just waiting for his WWE contract to come through and this is really a play for negotiating power. We’ll see how this turns out, but the odds are that the WWE will either end up blocking it or it’ll go on and they’ll be in big trouble down the line.

Words have been brought up as to the future of various members of the writing staff, including Dave Lagana likely moving to the New Media division with Shane McMahon. That’s an interesting thing as Dusty Rhodes was recently brought in.

Cowboy Bob Orton has signed a deal of some sort beyond the Legends Deal he got for the Hall of Fame. Not sure about more than that, but it sees to be the case.

I caught Hulk Hogan and John Cena on MadTV this Saturday. They were at the Teen Choice awards and Bobby Lee and someone else was doing comedy with them. Cena was really good in his bit. He may go all VH1 on us.

The US Open and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be preempting RAW next year. They’ve rescheduled RAW for different days. I love the Dog Show, and this year I won’t have to flip back and forth.

RAW set itself up with an interview where Eric Bischoff was about to announce Kurt Angle as the new WWE Champion. Vince’s music hit right before he made the announcement. Vinny Mac came out and shook Kurt’s hand and grabbed the mic from Eric. Vince says that Eric doesn’t have the authority to make Kurt champ because his match ended in a DQ and that they’d be moving to USA and everyone and their mother will be on that show, including Foley, Austin, Moolah, Volkoff, and many, many more. He then announced that Cena would be defending his title on the first USA show against Eric Bischoff. That’ll be good.

Torrie and her little dog came out with Candace and Victoria to take on Trish Stratus who brought out Ashley. Trish did a great job making something of this match, though she couldn’t do much to make it good with Torrie in there. Ashley did a double Clothesline on Victoria and Candace.

I really can't tell what she's holding, but she's happy...
Candace will be in Playboy. That’ll rock.

Torrie rolled-up Trish after Victoria threw her off the top, but Trish kicked out. Trish got her own roll-up for the pin while Torrie was yelling at Candace and Victoria. Torrie, Candace and Victoria (TCV may be a good shorthand for them) then attacked, though Victoria’s Clothesline was met with Trish’s Matrix move which sent Vickie into Candace. Torrie gave Ashley the Facebuster and Trish took the Widow’s Peak.

Trevor Murdoch may be the best new character on RAW. He’s just a plain mean old Texas bastard who likes chaw. They did a great job portraying him as a mean SOB as at one point he went out of the ring during his match with Hurricane and Cade had to calm him down. Hurricane hit a head scissors early, but then Murdoch took over and gave him some clubberin’. Murdoch went for a DDT, but Hurricane held the rope. Hurricane took over for a little bit. Hurricane went to the top rope and did a Missile Dropkick, but landed on his shoulder and was left with one arm to use against Murdoch, who finished him off with a DDT. Interesting little match. Not great, but Murdoch is showing signs of being great. I believe that Hurricane’s arm injury is a work.

Edge was complaining to Eric Bischoff about Matt Hardy. Eric says he’s tired of the two of them causing all sorts of chaos. He then announces that on the first USA RAW, it’ll be Matt vs. Edge in a ladder match. Over the ring will be the briefcase with the Title Shot contract. Oh yeah, and the loser has to leave RAW.

That’ll be a big match and if you know your history, in all those Hardys vs. E+C Ladder matches, Edge and Christian always won. Still, there’s no bad way to book this one. If Edge loses, he goes to SmackDown! and he is a heel foe for Batista and makes a run at it. There are also some fresh match-ups over there that we haven’t seen in a while (like Edge vs. Rey Mysterio, for example) and Matt can use the title shot at the opportune moment to take on Cena.

If Matt loses, he goes to SD! and ends up back where he started, though with a new push, while Edge will get Cena in a big match after he’s done with Angle. All in all, I think it’ll work.

Eddie Craven got the Big Boot from Tyson Tomko. That was all there was, really.

Carlito and Ric Flair had a rematch from their IC title match the night before and they had a fun, and long, match. Flair did his cheating thing that I love. A very similar opening to last the Unforgiven match, with Flair doing what Flair has always done. Flair gets a hammerlock and works it. Carlito managed to send Flair to the floor and work his a bit. Carlito looks great in this feud, and Flair is probably having his final run with a belt. Flair takes a big Backdrop, but then hits his Greco-Roman poke to the eye. Lots of chops in this one. Flair was doing all his cheating. He even fishhooks Carlito in the corner!

THIS is dedication to the craft...
They go to a break after Flair runs Carlito into the post outside and when they come back, Carlito is in control. The crowd was way into the match and they were hotter than usual all night. Flair had a really bad mouse up over his left eye and it kept getting worse as the match went on. Carlito gets a Spinebuster for a near fall. Flair manages an Atomic Drop (and underused move nowadays) and more chops. In another miracle, Flair goes up top, and Carlito stops him to throw him off, but Flair knocks him away and hits a shot off the top. Two nights in a row after a Twenty-Plus year drought!

Flair starts working Carlito’s leg and after a low blow, he gets the Figure Four and Carlito taps. Another really long and really good Flair match. This one was about twenty minutes of good stuff. Flair can still go and Carlito is one of the best at working the young heel style.

The main eventers, Cena, Matt Hardy, Shawn Michaels and The Big Show, did a group interview where everyone got their moment, but the highlight was Cena doin’ his thang. This was followed Flair doin’ an interview and being interrupted by Carlito, who then starts to beat on Flair and is helped out by Chris Masters. Well, at least they have a direction.

The eight men come out for the main event. The heels come first, Angle, Snitsky, Masters and Edge, and then the faces. The match starts out hot, with the crowd really into everything. The match starts while they are on commercial break. It looks like they’ve been doing all the standard feeling out spots that they always do in these big matches, keeping away from the natural program match-ups. Masters and Show work a bit with Show slapping him a bunch until he takes an eye-rake. Hardy tags in and he’s so over right now. He also looks like he’s in a bit of pain from the Legdrop at Unforgiven. He works with Masters after he does an exchange with Michaels. Hardy knocks Masters away and brings in Edge and they go at it. In a good way to go to break, Hardy is about to give Edge the Twist of Fate, but Masters comes from behind and locks on the Master Lock which is only broken when Big Sow comes in with a headbutt.

After the break, Edge is in with Hardy. They work for a bit and Edge tags in Snitsky. Snitsky does a Suplex and follows it up with a chinlock. Hardy manages to get a Twist of Fate, but he’s too out of it to cover. Snitsky manages a tag to Angle and Hardy tags Michaels. These two just work brilliantly together and they do simultaneous kip-ups! They work a bit, including Michaels missing a Flying Elbow off the Top. Angle tries the AngleSlam, but Michaels turns it into a Sunset Flip which Angle turns into an Ankle Lock! Michaels works for the ropes, but Angle keeps stopping him. The crowd really into at this point.

Big Show comes in with a Red Eye-worthy headbutt and tries for a Chokeslam, but Snitsky makes the stop, allowing for Angle to AngleSlam Big Show over the top rope to the outside! That was impressive.

Another break and Edge has the Lasso From El Paso on Michaels, but he works to the ropes. Masters comes in and works on Michaels’ leg. Angle tags in and goes for a chinlock? Why not the Ankle Lock? Michaels back suplexed Angle and went for a tag, but was blocked. Michaels then took an AngleSlam, and was saved by Matt Hardy. Masters goes after Hardy and then some hell breaks loose, like it always does in these matches. Cena eats a big spear from Edge on the outside. Big Show is up again and works over everyone. He’s about to Chokeslam Snitsky and ends up getting low blowed for his troubles followed by a spear, though he manages to kick out. Edge gets the case, but Cena gives him a Side Suplex and the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Edge then takes the Chokeslam from Big Show and all four faces pile on him to get the pin.

This was an awesome match with great heat, a fun story, and it shows that the upper card of RAW can mix perfectly with one another. This was All Japan 1995 level good when it comes to an eight-man tag team match.

Two long and good matches. Can’t say I didn’t like the show.

That’s all for this week. Next week, more of the same and a look at what TNA will be facing when they enter the game on October 1st!

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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