to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I did the Vegas
happens in Vegas
stays in Vegas
and leaves a bad taste
in my mouth.
Well, this was not a happy week for Friday night wrestling.
Back in the olden times, there was Friday night wrestling
regularly on the DuMont Network. Most of the wrestling back
in those days was pretty bad, but I tell you what, SmackDown!
has had some bad shows of late, and this one wasn’t
much better than the worst of them.
JBL came out
with a burro and a sombrero and cut into the Loredo, TX
fans. It wasn’t a bad promo, but it wasn’t cut
against Rey Mysterio nor was it anything new. He’s
done this same promo three or four times on TV from the
days when he was feuding with Eddie, and now it’s
just recycled. He does still have impressive delivery.
that up by teaming with the slowly gaining momentum form
of Ken Kennedy to take on Hardcore Holly and Rey Mysterio.
Not a bad match, with Kennedy looking good and Rey doing
a lot of his good stuff, but obviously not going as far
out as he does when there’s bigger purpose. A nice
hot tag to Holly led to a beautiful dropkick and a nice
Full Nelson Slam. Kennedy took the 619, but JBL managed
to get the Clothesline from Hell after Kennedy tripped up
Holly and that gave the heels the win.
as Eddie is dining on some good looking Mexican food. He
promises Batista that they’ll become Tag Team Champs
after their match with LoD. Batista, fearing that Eddie
will get sick again, takes the plate away and starts eating
it for him. This was really weak.
Melina took on
Christy Hemme. Christy is trying, and Melina has had decent
matches, but this just plain didn’t work. The ending
was Christy getting tripped by Nitro which allowed Melina
to get the pin. Wasn’t that nearly the finish of the
last match? Christy attacked Melina after, and the rest
of MNM gets involved, and right before they could give her
the SnapShot, Heidenreich and Animal run in for the save.
In a fine debut
on SmackDown!, Cowboy Bob Orton got pinned by the UnderTaker.
This started with the Ace Cowboy saying that Randy wouldn’t
be involved. Of course, that ended up not being the case.
Randy came in after a ref bump and they teamed up on him
and Randy revived the ref to make the count, but UT kicked
out. UT tossed Randy aside and ended up getting a Tombstone
on the Cowboy for the win. This wasn’t a great match,
but as a storyline, it was good and I had a lot of fun watching
(doesn’t he have a Def Poetry Jam or some such?) got
squashed by Bobby Lashley. Lashley got a package beforehand
that showed him training and cut in pieces of his match
from last week. It was a well-done package. Lashley looks
like he’s ready for a run and got the win with the
Dominator. Simon Dean comes out and announces that he’ll
take on Lashley at the PPV and then offers Bobby the Shake.
He doesn’t drink it, and when Simon goes to punch
him, he grabs his hand and Press Slams him out of the ring.
Good stuff that.
Peep Show was up with Chris Benoit joining up with Christian
on the controversial (according to Michael Cole) edition.
Christian said he deserved a shot at the US title because
he beat Benoit. Booker came out and said he deserved it
and then Orlando Jordan came and said that since Benoit
couldn’t beat him in under 30 seconds last time that
he deserved the shot. Good logic.
R. Long made a Triple Threat between the potentials which
followed. It wasn’t a really good match, but Booker
looked OK and Christian was at about 2/3 of his full working
potential. The finish was cool as it looked like Booker
was about to beat Christian when Orlando rolled the Book
up from behind.
the match, Benoit said that he’d give Jordan the shot,
then said that since Christian beat him, he’d get
the shot. Booker was looking dejected in the corner and
Benoit said that he’d get the shot. A lot of confusion
led to a Fatal Fourway between the guys set up for No Mercy.
Nice storyline way to get there, but weak all around.
McMahon showed up and talked with Palmer Cannon and Theodore
R. Long. He basically asked who was going to be on the Homecoming
PPV, and they said JBL, Mysterio, Eddie, Batista, Benoit
and Christian. I bet they do a Six Man Tag. Vince then asked
how Everybody Hates Chris is doin’ in their
old slot and he says ‘Another great hit for UPN’,
which may have been true the first week, but last week’s
rating was down.
Guerrero basically got his ass handed to him for a while
by Animal in the Batista/Guerrero vs. LoD 2.0 match. Eddie
is basically the best guy at playing heel while presenting
himself as face. Lots of ref distraction. Animal worked
over Eddie a lot. They went for the Doomsday Device, but
Eddie countered with a rana. MNM ran in and hit Animal with
a chair to get the DQ win for the champs. Eddie went to
hit Mercury with the chair, but ended up hitting Batista
instead. He then did the logical thing: he tossed the chair
to Mercury and played dead so that Batista would destroy
Mercury. Smart move. Eddie and Batista hugged after the
a false face...
not a good show, but it seems like they are trying to built
towards the PPV. Then again, Homecoming is much more of
I’m told Kenta Kobashi vs. Samoa Joe from New York
this weekend was the best match of the year and one of the
all-time great US matches. I must get the tape.
and flipping back and forth with the UFC Special
I really didn’t think that the night would feel as
special as it did. Not only did they throw everything against
the wall, but the crowd reacted like it was 1989 again and
really drove home Homecoming as a major event, giving strong
reactions to the people you wouldn’t expect.
I started by
watching the Ultimate Knockouts special. It was pretty typical,
but there were some awesome KOs, including my man, Tra Telligman,
getting hammered. When Homecoming started, I switched over
to RAW. Mick Foley came out first. He then introduced Rowdy
Roddy Piper. It was weird to have the guest on Piper’s
Pit introing the host, but it’s also obvious that
Foley was always a huge Piper fan. Piper put Mick over as
the biggest nut in wrestling history and they both got good
pops. Randy Orton and Ace Cowboy Bob Orton came out. They
talked about how Bob carried Piper’s career, making
him into a superstar, which I thought they were going to
say, and that Randy was raised right to be a Legend Killer.
Randy attacked Piper, then Bob and Foley pulled them apart.
Bob then attacked Foley. This is interesting and set the
stage for the rest of the night, and most likely for the
biggest feud in the last five years. Afterwards, Bichoff
and Theodore R. Long had a conversation where Eric claimed
that Teddy sent them out and Teddy denied it. Eric was wearing
showed all the legends at ringside. There were the guys
you expected, Moolah, Mae, Nikolai, and a few that I was
really glad to see, like Dr. Death Steve Williams, Dusty
Rhodes, Harley Race and One Man Gang. It was a nice scene.
Kurt Angle came out to a good heel entry reaction. Then
Shawn Michaels came out to a good face reaction.
must really pay Eugene a lot.
30 Minute Iron Man Match began and you could tell these
two wanted to do it right, as they’d both done 60
minute Iron Mans that were considered small disappointments.
This was exactly how these matches should be done. They
started fast, making a solid attempt to get things going
and hook fans so they wouldn’t change the channel.
I didn’t except at the commercials. Michaels and Kurt
were both doing what they’ve been doing lately, with
Kurt working mean. They did a lot of spots where the guys
were trying to score fast pins, but they didn’t get
any fast. It was so smart in booking.
fought to the outside a bit with Kurt getting high elevated
out of the ring and then Shawn trying a Baseball Slide.
Kurt pulled him out and avoided the impact, allowing him
to get an AngleSlam on the outside! They worked back into
the ring. Kurt gave him the PowerBomb into the corner! Eventually
Shawn went to the top and Kurt Angle Slammed him off and
got the first pin. This segment, about 8 minutes or so,
was brilliant. It set the table for the rest of the match,
drew in the crowd and was just plain great work.
They then went
to commercial, and it was a long one, allowing me to catch
two nice KOs on UFC, including one from a punch that just
Kurt worked Shawn’s
back when we returned and later hit a gorgeous German Suplex.
Nice pin combination followed Michaels getting tossed into
the ropes and then rolling Kurt up, but he rolled through
and turned it into an Ankle Lock, but Shawn turned that
into a roll-up for the pin. Great series! Angle was upset
and jawed at the ref. Kurt went back to work, but Shawn
caught him with a Small Package for a near-fall. This time,
they went for a suplex, but Kurt escaped and after another
roll-up attempt, he got the Ankle Lock and cinched it in
for the tap. Shawn sold his leg from then on.
We returned from
a break with time running out. Kurt kept working the leg,
but Shawn held out. He managed to slam Kurt, then hit an
elbow off the top and then get the Sweet Chin Music for
the pin. Even at 2-2. The final series was both of them
going all out and Kurt caught a long Ankle Lock that Shawn
managed to kick his way out of after more than a minute.
He then hit a last second SuperKick, but he didn’t
get the cover in time. Amazing match! Not quite as good
as Mania, not on the level of Samoa Joe-AJ-Daniels, but
damn good. Shawn got the mic and asked for Sudden Death,
but Kurt just kept walking away. The crowd hated that decision,
but keeping the two of them even so that a final rubber
match can be on PPV is a good idea. Shawn hugged all the
legends as he left the ring.
They showed Cena
at the Hip Hop Honors. He does these things so well, and
he even mingled with Snoop!
introduced Kevin Von Erich to the crowd and he stood up
and showed the claw hand to everyone. He was HUGELY cheered.
With maybe four exceptions, his sounded like the loudest
reaction of the night. Good to know the Von Erichs are not
wouldn’t make the Eric vs. Cena a NO DQ match. Vince
was then introduced by Lillian “Future Mrs. Christopher”
Garcia as the greatest, and best endowed, man in history.
I’m only barely exaggerating. He ran down his best
moments on RAW and then brought out Austin who got a HUGE
response. Just amazing. He ran down his favorite moments
and ran Vince down a bit too. This was old and didn’t
go well until he gave him the Stunner.
brought out Shane, who got an interesting reaction before
taking a fast Stunner. That brought out Steph. It was good
to see her on TV again, and she looked hot with dyed blonde
hair, and she and Austin had a nice series of exchanges.
The two of them are just really good together. Steve thought
she was flirting with him, and she had Evil Steph look (though
no crimped hair) and slapped Austin, who then Stunnered
her. This brought out Linda. They had a long exchange, which
was kinda funny.
Austin: Your husband’s a piece of trash.
Linda: Well, that’s true.
ended up drinking beer with Austin and then taking a terrible
stunner. This wasn’t great, it went way too long,
but it did get a reaction from the crowd.
I caught a good
deal of the last two rounds of Josh Koschek, who I really
like, and Drew Ficket on the UFC special. A slowish match,
with Koschek mostly just wrestling him and not going for
leg submissions when he had the chance and not trying hard
to finish. When Ficket got a lucky knee (it looked like
he was going for a bigger kick and just happened to hit
with the knee, he had the presence of mind to go and get
the Rear Naked Choke. Good ending, and Koschek may be done
because of it.
Hardy is gone from RAW after Edge beat him in the Ladder
Match. Lita looked Hyper-skanky hot. Edge and Matt had a
really good match that the crowd liked and at times loved.
They wasted no time getting into the big spots. Matt put
Edge between the top part of the ladder, stood on his back
and squoze him as he closed the ladder on him. Edge set
up a ladder with the ‘This is Not a Step’ part
facing into the ring. Matt went face first into it. Edge
climbed the ladder, then Matt knocked him off into the ladder
that was set up on the corner.
point, Matt was about to PowerBomb Lita through the table,
but Edge stopped him with the Singapore Cane (does anyone
even remember the Singapore incident anymore?) and then
put Matt through the table with the Splash off the apron.
Lots of great bumps, a little weird selling, and Lita missed
a cane shot. Matt went up and ended up holding on to the
briefcase as Lita took the ladder out from under him. Edge
then pushed him until Matt fell hard onto the ropes. Edge
then tied him up in the ropes and Lita crucifixed him, allowing
Edge to get the ladder and make ‘I beat ya!’
faces down on him. Matt then left to a good reaction. Edge
was getting all sorts of heel heat at the end, though some
of that may have been that folks didn’t want him to
win. Really good match.
I loved the Brandon
Vera win with a huge knee to the face on the UFC. It was
a good match, and the finish was amazing.
They showed Ashley
(Hot) and Trish (Very Hot) in the back chatting about their
bras and Trish snuck a peak at Ashley’s bits. There
are so many things to say. Mae Young then came in and showed
her bra, but the girls got her into the legends reception
area where she showed off to Ted DiBiase, Hacksaw Jim Duggan
and Jimmy Snuka. The Million Dollar Man then offered to
pay her three thousand dollars to put her clothes back on.
Jimmy Snuka then borrowed the money and went after Mae.
I hope Mae got away because she might end up dead of an
overdose if she went with him. Ric Flair then did a great
interview with Maria, who was dressed up as the Homecoming
Queen. He was just on fire.
I saw the end
of the Chris Leben fight. I really don’t think Leben
is that good a fighter, but he looked good here. I’d
really like to see Leben vs. Ficket.
HHH and Ric Flair
beat Chris Masters and Carlito. It’s interesting that
the new RAW ad campaign features Carlito heavily. The match
wasn’t great, though there were some really good spots.
Trips and Flair gave Double Chops and then did a simultaneous
strut out of the corner. HHH didn’t look to be in
perfect shape, but he was over mad as a face. Finish was
Flair giving Masters a Chop Block to prevent him from stopping
HHH from giving Carlito the Pedigree. After the match, the
guys celebrated and HHH hit Flair with the Sledge. He then
took him out and beat him around ringside and up the aisle
and to the back. Michael Hayes got a shot, too! HHH tossed
Flair into a limo and then smashed the window as he told
them to take Flair away. The match was weak, though fun,
the post-match was really strong and Flair bled like he
was Dusty Rhodes. I really wish Kevin Von Erich would have
made the save and that would have led to Von Erich and Flair
vs. HHH and whoever, but that’s never gonna happen.
legends were in the ring and Dusty Rhodes was their mouthpiece.
He was putting everyone over and Rob Conway came down and
made old guy jokes. That was not a good idea as they started
working him over. Dusty gave him the Bionic Elbow and then
Kevin Von Erich gave him the claw. The crowd was nuts over
that. Snuka then went up top and gave him the splash. Snuka’s
well beyond 60 now, but the crowd was all into this segment
and it was a good way to use the legends.
I caught a bloody
ending in the Loiseau vs. Tanner UFC match. Loiseau battered
Tanner, who was still holding his own despite massive blood
loss. Good ending and a decent overall match.
Ashley and Trish
beat Torrie, Victoria and Candace. This was a little bit
of a train wreck, but it wasn’t that bad. Still, compared
to the other stuff on the card, it came off as very very
a train wreck, you still have to watch...
Hogan came out
and basically said that he wants to fight Austin. He got
a great pop. They had Mean Gene do the interview which featured
the long-missed phrase “you know, Mean Gene…”
I was happy.
Since Vince had
left, Eric declared that he was in charge again. He came
out after they had announced all the SmackDown! guys and
said that the match was off and to kill the lights. What’s
awesome is that the SmackDown! guys got good pops, especially
Rey, which for Dallas is a natural, and Batista, who was
the second biggest pop of the night.
The main event
was weak, but that was only the start of it. Bisch came
out and got a good heel reaction. Cena’s reaction
was bigger than Austin, though not as sustained. Bischoff
brought out Angle with him, and since he declared it No
DQ, he could help. Cena was really good at playing with
that concept, as everytime he went after Bisch, he kept
his eye on Angle. Eric got an advantage when he was tied
up dealing with Angle. Nice finish as Angle tried to hit
Cena with a chair, but it bounced off the ropes and he hit
himself in the head with the chair. That allowed Cena to
get the FU for the fast finish. Angle and Cena then started
then Theodore R. Long came out and said that they were gonna
do it Gangsta Style and he sent the SmackDown! guys out
to get the RAW folks. RAW sent reinforcements and there
was a big brawl and the crowd loved it.
RAW in a long, long -- I’m talking 1996 long -- time.
It delivered and even if the two best matches had endings
that the crowd didn’t care for, they were still great,
PPV-level matches. It also started what I’ve expected
for a while: the RAW-SmackDown! war. Expect things to start
happening on both shows leading to Survivor Series being
RAW vs. SmackDown! which will lead to the Rumble and finally
Mania. With SD! not likely to be renewed, it makes a lot
of sense to do this now.
all for this long and glorious week. Peace Out!
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