Welcome to Falls
Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and Johnny Carson is still
funnier than Leno.
Chris Garcia Day...
in my mind...
Well, we started off smart, with Edge, Christian and Tyson
Tomko taking on The Chrises (Benoit and Jericho) and Shawn
Michaels. Great double team spot where The Chris Connection
tossed Christian over the top onto Tomko and Edge. Edge
and Michaels did a nice running bit where Edge would only
tag in against Michaels when Edge had the advantage and
whenever Shawn would fight back, Edge would tag out. Benoit
got his suplexes following a hot tag from Michaels, Jericho
hit his springboard drop kick and Michaels used the Superkick
to allow Benoit to get the pin.
They did a nice
tribute to Johnny Carson by showing him with Hogan. Carson
is the only Tonight Show host with no ties to wrestling.
Steve Allen appeared at a WrestleMania for a bit with the
Bolsheviks and announced wrestling back in the radio days.
Jack Paar also announced wrestling for radio, while Leno
did one match with WCW.
Kiebler announced the it was officially Jim Ross day across
Oklahoma. She then introduced legendary Jr. Heavyweight
Champion Danny Hodge, who at seventy-something still leaped
over the top rope into the ring. Wowwy-Wow-Wow!!!
man Ross came to the ring and started a speech when HHH
interfered. This was good, as Flair and H made it hell for
Ross before Ross got the crotch shot from Trips which put
him down. Hodge, who is a legendary tough guy, decked HHH
and Flair jumper Hodge from behind. HHH then wanted a kiss
from Stacey, but remembered that if Steph divorced him,
he’d have to start doing clean jobs, and decided on
a Pedigree. This was a great segment, especially with Hodge
really was Jim Ross Day in Oklahoma.
was going wild on the women backstage and then ran into
Batista. He bragged about what they done, but Batista, slowly
letting the face sink in, seemed like he was troubled by
all this. He then said that he wanted to have a Rumble Qualifier.
Bischoff was then approached by Regal for a Qualifier, but
instead he gave it to Coachman. Bischoff also said that
La Resistance would face Batista in a two on one. Batista
calmly said that he would beat them. Turn the Big Man NOW!
You can already sense the crowd getting twitchy for it.
for the Rumble in an Over-The-Top Match against Tajiri.
No, this does not mean that he arm wrestled the Japanese
Buzzsaw for custody of his child. Viz won even after being
sprayed with the mist. After the match, Regal took Tajiri
by the arm for a discussion that must have lasted a long
time, because they never came back to the two of them.
La Rez in a match that showed that Batista as a face is
over, all they have to do is turn him. They briefly had
the advantage, but Batista hit a Powerslam and a Spinebuster
to get the pin on them both.
The new look
Val Venis (who should probably be called Stone Cold Val
Venis) lost to Muhammad Hassan. Daivari kept talking into
the mic and yelling in Arabic (or maybe it was Farsi) as
the match went on. It was a nice touch. Hassan didn’t
get as much reaction as he has the last few weeks. Venis
went for the Moneyshot, but Hassan moved and got the Downward
Spiral for the pin. After, Hassan put Venis in the Camel
HHH said that
he convinced Bischoff to give a Rumble shot to Ric Flair.
This is likely going to be for Flair to either screw Batista
out of winning the match, or for Batista to eliminate him
and secure his faceness.
Maven came out
and challenged anyone with a spot in the Rumble. Kane came
out, which caused Maven to flip his melon. He said he didn’t
mean Kane, but anyone else with a spot. This brought out
Snitsky. They were both selling their injuries from the
previous week. Kane and Snitsky fought one another a bit,
then turned and did some lame offense on Maven before Kane
pinned him following a chokeslam.
Randy Orton beat
Ric Flair. HHH tripped Orton, which the ref thought was
Batista, so he got sent away. HHH kept interfering. Orton
was busted open early, which added something to a match
that was pretty typical. Flair got the Figure Four Leglock,
but Orton reversed. The ref was KOed, and HHH came in the
ring and started working Orton’s leg. HHH took out
another ref and did more attacking, including bringing the
title into the ring to use on Orton’s leg. Orton knocked
HHH out of the ring and managed an RKO on Flair for the
pin. After the match, Orton stood with the balt, taunting
HHH to come back into the ring.
and everything rests on them being able to convince us that
we love Batista. We’ll see Sunday.
get too comfortable, Victoria...
There is a lot of heat on Victoria about her comments to
Alex Marvez about the new girls, and in particular Christy.
She said she’s seriously jealous because she’s
making so much money and not wrestling while Victoria’s
been having great matches on a bum knee and she’s
not making nearly that much. I’d tend to agree with
her on this, but if there’re another round of cuts,
I’m betting she’s gone.
Oddly, I understand
that Mark Henry is still with the company. He signed a ten
year contract in 1996, right before the Olympics, and he’s
been frequently hurt and seldom over with the audience,
though he’s a very funny guy and one or two of his
skits with Mae Young were classic (the one with the Clapper
in San Jose was my All-time Fave). He’s survived five
different rounds of cuts. I doubt they’ll renew his
I thought I’d talk about Danny Hodge. He is a legend
on the College Wrestling circuit, having never lost a match
(and I believe never lost a point) in his college career
and then followed that up with an Olympic Silver medal.
He was also an outstanding boxer and Golden Gloves champ.
He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, which I
believe he is one of only three wrestlers to ever do (the
other two being Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant).
Danny went pro, he got the NWA Jr. Heavyweight championship
pretty quick. From 1960 to 1976, he dominated the belt,
I believe holding it eight times. He was a guy who’d
force everyone to work. He was one of the toughest men alive
and there are stories of him keeping the peace through superior
firepower. He was in Leroy McGuirk’s office out of
Tulsa, OK, a tough territory to be sure. He was a big draw
for McGuirk, who built his house on the backs of lighter
of the toughest wrestlers ever.
Perhaps the proof
of Hodge’s toughness comes in the accident that forced
him to retire. While driving between matches, Hogde fell
asleep and went off a bridge down into the rocks.
car was on its rooftop going along the rock banisters and
every time it hit one I could feel my teeth and neck break,”
Hodge said to Slam! Sports.
broken neck wasn’t all. He ended up in the water and
had to make his way through the windshield, even though
it had been seriously compacted. He had to swim to shore
and walk to get help…and he did all this while holding
his head since his neck was seriously broken. That is the
sign of a tough man. The only other person I know of who
did something like that was Akira Hokuto, who broke her
neck in a match and then did another five minutes of high
spots to the planned finish while she had to hold her head
retired. McGuirk was about to be supplanted by Bill Watt’s
run at the territory and Jr. Heavyweight’s weren’t
really a big sell anywhere else until Tiger Mask and Dynamite
Kid came along in the early 1980s. Hodge is now retired
and I believe that he still works for the WWE doing scouting
of talent. He’s also working with his grandsons as
they wrestle at the same high school that both their father
and Danny himself wrestled at!
all for today. I’ll have more on Friday!
about today's column in the forums!