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Wrestling Today's Date:

Falls Count Anywhere

11-08-05, page 3 (Smackdown!) (FanFest in Newark)

The finest tribute...
TNA Wrestling
I am kinda into Monty Brown, but not a lot. He opened with a talk and then Abyss came out with the Sinister Minister coming out and he talked, and he’s the best guy on the stick in the company.

Hearing Capt. Lou go a little on Saturday, it’s obvious that he’s on that level and should be given the chance to shine on a bigger stage. Abyss and Monty Brown faced off for a second until Jeff Hardy came out . The three of them fought a bit until Security came. It was an OK bit.

Samoa Joe is awesome and he’s on my MySpace friend’s list! He’s basically a Samoan Taz circa 1996. His match with Austin Aries was good, though the two of them have had better matches in Ring of Honour. Samoa Joe used an amazing flat-footed single legged dropkick that just looked awesome. Austin Aries used the Crucifix move that dropped Joe on his head. Joe then hit the Muscle Buster and the rear-naked choke for the win. Joe stared down with Daniels after the match.

I really didn’t like the America’s Most Wanted teaming with Jeff Jarrett. It reminded me of HHH and Evolution too much. I also hate Shane Douglas as an interviewer.

AJ Styles, who is the leading merchandise seller in TNA far and away, took on my man, Petey Williams in a Finisher vs. Finisher match. A really solid, though not the best match these two have had. Styles Clash is awesome, but it’s nowhere in the league of the Canadian Destroyer. I really wish Petey was a bigger star. He’d do great in Japan, and I’d love to see him take on KENTA or Marafuchi in NOAH. Wow. Good match between these two. The finish was Scott d’Amour getting in the ring and AJ was about to give him the Styles Clash when Petey got to him and gave him the Canadian Destroyer.

Sadly, that was all I got to see. I’ll say this, they didn’t do a bad job building towards Genesis, but they need a great PPV after the somewhat lackluster PPV a few weeks ago.

As you’ll have noticed, Eddie Guerrero passed away in his hotel in Minneapolis, the same city where Brian Pillman died. There are so many similarities between the two of them, with Eddie having been injured in a car accident, having trouble with pain pills, having family issues and so on. It’s a sad story. There’s a lot of people looking at Vince to finally crack the whip, mostly because this was not only a guy under contract, but a guy who was a big star. One former WWF wrestler said ‘It’s time we cleaned it up. Vince can’t make excuses now.’

TNA’s backstage was shocked and stunned at Eddie’s death. Eddie had a lot of friends in TNA, with guys who he worked with during his run in the indies and in WCW. The guys found out fast and they were stunned. TNA’s lockerroom is said to be very emotional, mostly due to the Chris Candido death and the guys all feel very close to the folks who did their days in the indies.

WWE’s locker room is a wreck. There’s word coming out that Chavo wants to go back to being Chavo Guerrero and get a run to honor Eddie’s memory. The shows for Monday and Friday have been rewritten (I’m writing this Sunday afternoon) and there’s already talk of doing a full-blown tribute show in Texas, though that’s only talk and it’s coming from folks around the fed and not in the fed.

Fans pay tribute...

With the Passing of Eddie Guerrero, the entire format was changed. This was a sad day, as Eddie was probably as well liked as Owen Hart was when he passed. The mood was somber, but the crowd wanted to honor Eddie, and they chanted his name loud and proud and often. It was emotional and well-done and like the Owen Hart Memorial Show, it wasn’t much about wrestling.

No review could do it justice, it’s just one of those things that happen once in a while that is beyond talking about and it really has to be felt. I found myself in tears more than once, especially when Chavo was talking to the camera.

Here are a couple of things. The fans weren’t popping for the superstars like they normally would, as Eddie was still the most over figure on the show. Everyone in the stands seemed to be there for Eddie, but that had to be expected.

They opened with a great tribute with the ten bell salute. They had a Low Rider out in his honor. Angle and Benoit and a bunch of others were obviously crying, and a number of folks in the crowd were as well. A lot of the interviews from the boys were great, and I really liked Cena’s acknowledgement of Eddie’s impact on him. Lillian Garcia’s bit was great, and she managed to keep it mostly together until she started to speak in Spanish.

MNM jobbed to Big Show and Kane. It happens, and winners and losers mean less on this show than any other. From what I understand, The Big Show was close to Eddie.

Kurt vs. Shelton was a great short match. It was the type of match that you would have expected from Eddie on TV, and it was obvious that they were both going out there trying to have a great match. I got an email from a reader who said that Kurt and Eddie were always having a friendly competition to see who could have the best match on a given night. The move of the night had to be Shelton’s Release German Suplex off the Top. Oh My God, as Joey Styles would say. This was a very strong match.

There was a dream match, Rey Mysterio vs. Shawn Michaels. These two had an OK match, and some of them have to be questioned as they are going to be doing a real series between the two brands, but honestly, for Eddie, it was the right thing. The Shawn vs. Rey match was great and the crowd found the match to be really good. They worked hard, though it was obvious that Rey would rather have been somewhere else, and since it was taped last night, that’s completely understandable. Shawn dodged the 619 twice, and then when he hit it, Rey got the legdrop and the pin. Rey and Shawn hugged and it was obvious that they were both very emotional.

Dave Batista talked about Eddie helping him carry the weight of being champion by talking with him and reading the Bible together. It’s hard to be emotional on TV for a guy whose gimmick is to be a tough guy, and this hit me harder than any but the Chavo segment.

Johnny Cash + Emotional footage of one of your heroes = Water Works. It was very well produced.

They had all the Divas from both brands come out for a Battle Royal. The crowd wasn’t really into it at first, though they gave Trish a nice pop. Great spot between Trish and Victoria on the top, Trish goes for Headscissors, but blocks it, then Trish powers herself un and manages to give a full Hurrancanrana. Melina wins after Trish and her throw out Maria and Melina throws out Trish when she went for Stratusfaction. This was better than you’d expect, though there were some rough spots. Styles actually helped this a lot.

Eddie Guerrero (is my favourite wrestler)...
Rey did a scattered promo, part in English, part in Spanish, and then he took off his mask. That was far more powerful than anything anybody said. The meaning was there, even though he’s taken his mask off before.

Eugene and Simon had a match and that didn’t much matter, and was the only thing that seemed like it didn’t fit on the show.

That match was followed by Chris Benoit’s segment which was also powerful. The two of them were close and when he broke, it was hard to watch because you knew he had lost one of his favorite people on Earth. HHH’s promo was certainly from the heart, though not as touching as the others.

Flair beat Regal. Those guys love wrestling each other and they made the most of their brief time to do it.

Steph said some very nice words. She didn’t put her foot in her mouth like she did on the 911 show. She was obviously affected by his loss and she showed more emotion than all but his closest friends.

The show ended with Cena over Orton, which was very short and ended with a DQ, probably because they were trying to keep Orton from having to job before he wins the title from Batista. The prevailing thought was that Eddie was supposed to feud with Orton after he won the title. Cena put his Eddie shirt in the middle of the ring and laid the WWE title on it as we faded out. That was a nice finish.

There’s more of this that we’ll see on Friday, plus we’ll get many of Eddie’s best matches.

That’s all for this sad week. I’ll try and get the Genesis review up sometime this week and I’ll update with whatever information comes out. It could be a while though.

Here’s to you, Eddie.

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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