Welcome to Falls
Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and the big news is nothing
still pretty much old.
A really good SmackDown! opened with Theodore R. Long in
the ring. Before he got to really get into it, JBL came
and said since the Champ was no longer here, he should be
given a new title. Teddy didn’t like that idea and
introduced Chris Benoit as the first Draft Lottery guy to
SD!. To me, this isn’t a great choice as he’s
a face and he was on the show just over a year ago, so there
aren’t many fresh match-ups gained.
sending Batista over at this point would be a little too
obvious. Benoit talked about JBL being a quitter, and he’s
still not a guy you want to have on the mic for long periods
of time. Benoit asked for a match, which Theodore R. Long
gave him, and as Chris was about to leave, JBL jumped him,
but Benoit turned the tables and almost got him in the crossface.
Nice way to start off.
First match was
Carlito vs. Charlie Haas. After having great matches with
MNM along with Bob Holly, this was sorta a let down. Haas
is a great wrestler and if he was sent to RAW and started
a fued with Benjamin over Shelton jumping, that would be
a hot program. Haas went for a dive outside, but from what
I hear, he actually mostly landed on his head and face.
You couldn’t really tell from the angle they used.
Carlito rolled up Holly using the tights. After the match,
Morgan gave Haas the F5.
was asked to be Heidenreich’s friend. Benoit looked
at him like he was crazy. Benoit then was found by Eddie
Guerrero (and I hope on Sunday they spell his name Eddy
Guerrero, like they did in the ECW days) and Benoit said
that he didn’t like the way that Eddie had been treating
his friends of late, including the one guy Eddie couldn’t
manage to beat, Rey Mysterio.
and Paul London had a match that was way too short and ended
badly. Akio, who needs more UPN time, did an awesome Rolling
Flip Kick on London, but Eddie Guerrero came to ringside
and grabbed a mic, killing the match. Eddie entered the
ring and knocked around Akio when he started bugging him.
London then got taken out, but he came back twice to try
and Eddie tossed him out. Eddie then complained about Rey
and said what he was gonna do to him. They didn’t
need to interrupt a match for it, but it did get Eddie over
as a guy who thinks he’s more important than the wrestling.
He should watch out, HHH might try to depush him for using
Rocky III end with this?
Now, while I
still hate the Sharmell/Angle program, I did really like
the Booker T vs. Kurt match. They are both good workers
and Angle had a night where he looked less hurt than usual.
Lots of back and forth and Angle used the bearhug. When
most other guys use the bearhug, it’s a rest spot.
When Angle does it, it’s a brilliant piece of psychology.
Angle got the Ankle Lock and Booker sold the leg for the
rest of the match. Nice spot where Kurt did the Rolling
Germans and Booker rolled through the third one and got
a nearfall. Angle got a chair after a ref bump and went
to wail on The Book, but ended up hitting the top rope,
sending the chair back into his own head. Booker then hit
an emotional Scissors Kick for the win. Really good match
with smart work and some very strong selling from Booker.
After the commercial
break, Angle was sitting in the ring, leaning against the
bottom rope like Raven used to do. After a while, he got
up and went to see Tazz, to demand an answer for whether
or not Tazz was with the WWE or ECW. Tazz didn’t answer,
but stared right through Angle. Eventually, Angle got up,
and as Tazz turned to Michael Cole, Angle hit him with the
mic and then hit him with a chair, busting him open. Tazz
was helped to the back. This was a good angle.
match with some jobber was only notable because the chick
they chose to be his friend for the night looked like a
Jersey Shore Hoochie, by which I mean she had a nice rack,
a slutty shirt, was chewing gum and wearing big earrings.
I love Jersey Babes.
introduced Paul Heyman, who came out with his ECW crew,
minus Balls and Axl Rotten. They surrounded him as he did
commentary with Michael Cole. Heyman was great here as he
called the Chris Benoit vs. JBL match. JBL brought out his
Crusaders, which included Carlito and company. The match
wasn’t really much. About the only spot I remember
is Benoit giving JBL a nice back suplex when JBL had him
in a headlock. After a while, JBL’s crew interfered
and the entire thing broke down. The ECW came in and there
was a general brawl.
moment of decorum...
And he walked
to the ring with Balls and Axl. Everybody cleaned house
and ECW stood tall in the ring again. It was the right way
to put ECW over before the PPV.
Really good show
with a really good ending and lots of strong momentum going
into Sunday’s show.
According to the Observer, Oleg Taktarov is missing in Namibia.
He was shooting a documentary thing about witches and the
copter that was supposed to pick them up didn’t get
there on time. None of them have been seen since and it’s
nearly a week. Oleg was a big UFC star, probably the fourth
biggest star of the period after Gracie was no longer the
always winner. He trailed only Dan Sevren, Ken Shamrock
and Tank Abbott, and he remained one of the most visible
competitors until about 1998 or so. He went on to have roles
in various movies, including Ronin.
New Jack won’t
be on the WWE’s ECW PPV because there are warrants
against him. Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka will be facing
off, which makes sense that Mike Awesome will be working
(and doing just one match every few months probably means
he’ll be healthy for once). The matches listed so
far are: Awesome vs. Tanaka, Jericho vs. Lance Storm in
Storm’s Retirement match, Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris
Benoit, Little Guido vs. Super Crazy vs. Tajiri, and Tommy
Dreamer and The Sandman vs. The Dudleys in what should be
the big ol’ brawl of the night. Plus, I believe for
the first time in five or six years (maybe more, in fact)
Rey Mysterio will take on Psicosis. That match was what
put both guys on the map in the US as they were the two
Luchadores who faced off in ECW for the first time in 1995.
They had matches in ECW, the Japanese WAR promotion, WCW
wrestler and personal fave Shark Boy is suing Miramax because
of Robert Rodriguez’s new film The Adventures
of Shark Boy & Lava Girl. Because Shark Boy had
his name and gimmick trademarked years ago, I think as early
as 1998, he’s able to sue, mostly because he thinks
that damage will be done with people thinking he’s
associated with a children’s character. These things
have happened before and it’s never gone to court.
There’s a lot of talk about what happens to the ECW
name after the PPV. There are rumors, both great and small,
about plans and ideas, but nothing set in stone. Here’s
my thoughts on many possible situations.
First: The PPV
pulls in low numbers (you know, like the WWE has been doing
of late). This is the end scenario of ECW. If that happens,
there’s no chance of anything bringing it back short
of someone buying the rights to the name and the trademarks
from Vince and putting it up. This is highly unlikely, though
not because of the WWE stars, but because the ECW name is
so different and it should draw.
The ECW PPV does OK numbers (slightly more than a usual
PPV) but still draws less or about the same as the HHH/Batista
in Hell in the Cell. This is a good scenario for the future
of the brand. This would keep HHH happy, as he’s still
be able to say that he’s the top draw and wouldn’t
be out to take ECW down. It would be enough to make Vince
at least think of further ECW shows (in this case, probably
a second ECW PPV with RVD as the centerpiece) and maybe
getting ECW guys jobs with the company. This is what most
folks in the company think will happen and there are some
plans already being looked at. Unless the PPV really bombs,
ECW will have a second PPV, just to give RVD the spotlight
for one big show. HHH doesn’t like RVD and has made
moves to block him getting any sort of major push, but under
this, he’d be less of a threat and H would probably
let the dog have his day.
would that look with HHH?
ECW’s PPV does very good and beats out HHH/Batista
by a fair margin. This is good news for the possible relaunch
of ECW as a show (perhaps taking over Sunday Night Heat)
and getting guys jobs with the company. It would also mean
there’d certainly be a follow-up PPV, again headlined
by RVD. This would also make HHH defensive, trying to make
sure his is the top spot and not to be challenged by guys
like RVD, Dreamer or the like. This would likely lead to
HHH trying to either get himself involved in whatever form
ECW takes or to him trying to bury the brand by saddling
them with guys on creative that are Steph’s crew.
Folks say he’s been trying to do just that to SmackDown!
and it might be working, though they have their moments.
The nice thing about this scenario is that the cooler heads
would probably prevail and guys would be allowed to work
their style without too much interference from H and his
Last: The PPV
does HUGE (500k+) buys and is easily the best in-ring PPV
of the Year
This is the worst-case scenario. There’s no way Vince
wouldn’t make ECW a regular thing, and there’s
no way that HHH would allow it to happen without him involved.
This would certainly lead to HHH being whatever ECW’s
version of champion is and more than likely having some
control over the booking. That would lead to the inevitable
drop in viewership and quality, and would certainly lead
Paul Heyman to go elsewhere. That would be the end of the
ECW concept, though the name and probably even the PPVs
would continue. They would certainly run a regular show,
which would mean no extra outlet for guys who are now ‘Heat
guys.' Folks would be fired, though the way the company
is today that’ll happen anyway. ECW would then have
the problem of fading away instead of burning out, which
would be the worst possible way for it to end. The upside
to that would be more available older ECW material, including
the possibility of the ECW PPVs getting DVD releases. That
would be sweet no matter how you look at it.
that it will do 20% better than the Hell in a Cell, which
will irk H somethin’ fierce. The next six weeks are
going to be important and I hope that we get to see something
positive come out of the whole process. My bet is, at that
level, Vince will again try an invasion angle, but might
get it right this time. That would be the best way to go,
especially if they can make it into an nWo level of invasion.
all for this week. More on Tuesday!
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