Falls Count Anywhere 4-18-2003 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere.

My name is Chris, and I just watched the weirdest movie… SmackDown! SmackDown! was a fairly good show, not great, but no really bad matches, and some nice touches. Even the usual guys you expect to stink the joint up did fairly well. Rey Misterio and Tajiri have a match with Big Show and A-Train that is half-way watchable? What the Hell? Seriously, I would not mind watching this match every now and again. That One Armed press slam ruled! I would have rather seen Tajiri and Rey win, but for what it was, it was good. Brock is no good on the stick. Please, let him be a silent monster. The rest of the segment was OK, and Benoit may not be a great interview, but he gets across the importance of a match. Mr. America is coming. I always hoped that Charleton Heston would take up wrestling. Hey, who would have thought the Shelton Benjamin could do a better Latin accent than Chavo? The match between Eddy and Jamie Noble wasn’t bad either. I love the pump handle suplex by Noble. Eddy is still a step off his high back in August. Too short, but solid. And that sound you hear is GLAAD storming the ring. Les Vichy. Hate mongering at its worst. Then again, it’s just the frogs, so who cares? Nathan Jones actually showed a little fire in his backstage angle with Nunzio. Nice view of Torrie doing her stretches, and a fairly nice gratuitous ass shot of Miss Sable. I still think it’s a lame angle, but DAMN!!! Piper’s Pit. This is honestly good stuff. I think he can make it work for a while, though not if he keeps working with O’Haire. SNUKA!!! Nothing like draggin a feud from 19 years ago out. I think it could still draws. Best line: “Whatever the morons are saying, I agree with them.” Snuka facials are classic, but Piper’s talking was awesome. Torrie vs. Nidia, a match that I’ve seen, but that usually brings the best out of both of them. Sable in the ring as the ref added another ingredient to the match that we’ve seen again and again. Nidia busts out a sweet Northern Lights Suplex! Nidia lands on her head! Torrie hits a swinging DDT for the pin. Not good, but not bad either, and for a SmackDown! woman’s match, that is saying something. Brian Kendrick and Matt Hardy have a very fun match. Kendrick hit a very cool DDT out of a Full Nelson. Hardy won a little too easily, but it was still a good performance from Kendrick.

Nathan Jones in the ring is never good, but it was short. In fact, I’d say that the whole night was a series of matches that were far too short. The tourney final actually went better than I expected, but then again, it’s Benoit, so it’s always at least good. I like Cena, I think he can work a smart style, but just needs time. I am expecting a tough match at Backlash. Not a great match, but a tough, physical match that might be able to deliver a few surprises. The finish worked very well for me, and the crowd was into it too. All in all, a better than average show, and it built to Backlash nicely. FlashBack! I’m going to try and interview Paul Hough of The Backyard next week, but this week, I thought I’d look back at a movement in wrestling: the broken table. Tables have always been a part of wrestling, since the days when each wrestler would work the carnivals and sign in before their matches. The timekeepers table seems to have come into the picture in 1915 or so, and as soon as that happened, they began to come into play. While wrestling was extremely different in those days, there was no one going through them. It was sometimes used as a part of a set up, where a guy would go to drop off his robe and the villain would attack from behind, then throw him into the ring. As wrestling evolved, those out of ring accoutrements became a bigger part of the show. The fifties introduced a lot of new things to wrestling: a lot more pomp and circumstance, stranger characters, and the occasional brawl. The earliest table bump that I can find happened in 1952 in San Francisco. A match between a pair of undercard guys had a brawl that led them into the ringside area that ended up with one of them getting pushed onto the table, which broke under his weight. The spot got a big reaction, and they repeated it in the other cities on the circuit. Some places, like Chicago, Tennessee, and Texas were featuring brawls, with Wild Bull Curry getting a lot of use out of the tables, using them a lot in the 50s. Curry may have been the first to put a guy through a table by jumping off the apron and dropping an elbow on a guy on the table. His brawling style caught on and bookers started using it around the country. Memphis in the 1960s saw a few tables used, everywhere from Japan to England had the occasional table bump. Jackie Fargo used it a lot in his No DQ matches. He’d bring a table in, set it against the turnbuckle and toss his opponent into it, breaking it. This remained the preferred method for table breaking in Memphis for years. Memphis also had the first table breaking that made all the wrestling magazines. Randy Savage had come into the territory and was feuding with the Rock & Roll Express. During one match, Savage took Morton out of the ring and piledrove him through the table. That ended up on the cover of The Wrestler and helped make the feud one of the hottest around the country.

Tables came into the scene more during the Mid-South (later UWF) Bill Watts tears. Tables were used frequently, and it even caught on in the larger areas. Memphis was still using them, as was Japan. The late 80s featured the famous Terry Funk piledriving Ric Flair through a table immediately after Flair had beaten Ricky Steamboat. That moment may have helped changed the views of Paul E. Dangerously, so that when he took over ECW, he added liberal doses of tabletop shenanigans. It was ECW that innovated the multi-table spot, using tables to break high falls, and the putting of managers through tables. The Dudleys became the first tag team to use tables as a major part of their gimmick. The WWF brought tables to the scene with the Bret Hart/Diesel match from Survivor Series 1995. Bret took a high knee that sent him off the canvas through the timekeepers table. Within 6 months, every WWF show had at least one wrestler going through the Spanish Announcer’s table. Japan used tables a lot, though they tended to use much stronger tables, ones that would withstand a wrestler being laid out on it and another diving off the ropes and still not break. To see a guy go through a Japanese table is rare, but the crowd usually goes wild. There’s the whole scoring debate, but for the most part, the tables are of low-quality, and don’t really need it. Look for clean breaks, and no metal sides. Those are fakes. Tables have changed the world of wrestling, almost as much as chairs (I have a lot of research to do before I can write this article about the impact of the chair on wrestling). It’s hard to imagine wrestling today with tables, and maybe that’s for the worse. Every Backyard wrestling fed uses tables, or at least the ones that get coverage. It’s an impressive image, watching a guy getting put through a table, and one that will be with us for a long time. That’s all this week. Next week, more stuff for all, and the Paul Hough interview, hopefully.