382005 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and the story you’re about to hear is true.

SmackDown! Cinequest has been slowly sucking my life force. Every so slowly sucking my will. So, on Sunday, at 3:45 am, I finally got to watch SmackDown. After watching it, then sleeping for a couple of hours and then heading back into Cinequest, returning the tape to my recording buddy, I remember almost nothing. The highlight, and what will probably be the highlight leading up to Mania, had to be Angle getting jumped by Michaels who was dressed up as a cameraman. It’s an old trick, I think they did it in Memphis during the Paleozoic Age, but it really worked. These guys are building good heat and smart money says that they’ll put on the best performance at Mania. The only other thing that I can hazily recall is Orlando Jordan winning the US title. I think that JBL threatened to fire him if he didn’t win the belt, and he managed to, which allows Cena to take the World Title from JBL at WrestleMania. All in all, I can’t say that much caught my attention, but I will say that it seems that at least the top level storylines are getting the attention they deserve and that folks are going to want to buy the pay per view. Michaels vs. Angle will probably set the world on fire and Cena is getting his first step out, which may set him up to be another Sting: a great chaser, but not a draw with the belt. News Not much. Scott Hall is in deadly serious trouble. His binge drinking has left him with very serious kidney damage. He was told under no uncertain terms that he has to stop drinking or he’ll not last long. He hasn’t slowed and at least once had to be carried back home. It’s gone beyond funny into sad, then aback around to funny again. RAW RAW was a solid show marked by a very good series of building segments to the Mania main events. Shawn Michaels came out to talk about all he had done in his WWF/E career and to tell us that Kurt Angle had done none of it. Kurt came on screen and this was a great promo face-off. Kurt 2003 vs. Shawn 1996 would have been the greatest match ever. As it stands, these are two broken guys who can still go if they have to and I imagine they will. Kurt proved that he is the strongest promo in the world right now. Triple H went back in his late 2000 form by taking on Rosey. Rosey got some offense in, then he missed a moonsault and HHH just destroyed him with a Pedigree. He then used the sledge on him. This wasn’t a terribly effective segment, but I do like HHH getting

TV matches. Backstage, Flair complained the H made him a match with Batista. Well, I’d be mad too if I were Flair, though I’d be madder at Vince than HHH. Bischoff made the ladder match at Mania a Money in the Bank match, meaning that the winner could pick his spot and get a title match at any point in the following twelve months. Jericho, Benoit, Edge, Shelton Benjamin and Christian are involved, leaving space for one more contestant. Kane beat Christian in a nothing match, but then Tomko attacked Kane with a ladder. Please don’t make this a Mania match. Randy Orton then talked about making his challenge, which will be the Undertaker match. This will be useless unless Orton wins. Edge beat Chris Jericho in a really good match. Lots of smart work here, especially with Jericho working on Edge’s arm. There were all sorts of You Screwed Matt/Lita chants, which is a reference to the fact that Lita and Matt Hardy broke up and someone was at fault. They brought a ladder in the ring, giving folks a taste of what’s to come and Jericho did his famous drop toe hold into the ladder and Edge used it to give Chris a Low Blow and a Jumping DDT for the pin. Really good stuff. Bisch had Batista choose HHH’s next opponent, and Big Dave chose Benoit. HHH will get to choose the week after for Batista. They did the official calling out ceremony of Orton vs. UT. This kinda sucked, but Orton did give Bisch the RKO. Chris Benoit beat Shelton Benjamin in a match with the ladder around again. Benoit did a headfirst dive and ended up going into the ladder. This was very rushed but very good. Shelton is such a solid guy and if he gets the win in the Ladder Match, they may well get mileage out of him yet. Benoit got the crossface, but Benjamin made the ropes once and finally got the tap out after a second try. Hassan told Bischoff to put him in the ladder match. He said no. Hassan was not happy. In the latest sadness in my life, Christy Hemme came out and talked about her Playboy appearance. Trish came out and challenged Christy for a match at Mania. Christy has been training with Lita and she gave Trish a Twist of Fate. Wow, that’s rich. I really, sincerely, and totally hope they don’t go more than a minute or two. Main Event was Batista beating Flair in an OK match. They talked about Flair being a legend in these parts. Flair worked mean heel and Batista did his best as defensive face. Batista hit the bomb for the win. HHH then attacked Batista, hitting him in the knee. He followed that up by getting the sledge, but Big Dave blocked the shot and then broke it over his knee. Wowwy-Wow-Wow! This was a nice build to their match and I can’t wait to see it. All in all, Mania is shaping up quite nicely.

That’s all for this week. I’ll be back on Tuesday with the first report after Cinequest, so things will be back to where they belong.