632003 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere.

My name is Chris, and I know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. RAW RAW was good, though not as good as last week. The Blassie announcement pretty much took me out of the event. Austin was not as good as he has been, but he still adds intensity. The Good The Chick Tag Team match was really fun, especially the segment early on that led to Trish kicking Victoria through the ropes and Ivory coming off the top onto Molly and Victoria. Nice to see the girls using the classic Michinoku Pro heel moves, as the Camel Clutch/Boston Crab Combo was nice. Man, Jacky throws an amazing Exploder, and she just dropped Molly on her head. Nice to see Ivory get the win in a match that was quite enjoyable. Ric Flair was great. Give Flair the mic and he’ll give you good results. Nice to see Flair getting the chance to carry a programme. The Michaels stuff has been good, and I really wanna see them wrestle at the PPV. The guys are great after all these years. Now, if only some of the young guys can perform at this level. The Rock was nice to see back, and Christian held up his end. Replacing Jericho with Christian for the night was a smart move, and he proved to me that he could handle a big push with his mic skill alone. The Rock going into the crowd was a good touch, but not a smart move, as he was quickly swamped. I actually prefer the Christian section to the Jericho section. Austin wasn’t good in most of the backstage bits, but the thing with Kane after his match was classic Austin, with top notch intensity. It is nice to see them doing something with Kane, who could actually draw some money. A good segment, but it felt a lot like an old 1997 WWF segment they would do with Vader. The Booker and Goldust match with Team Canadian Violence was fairly good, but that spear that Goldberg laid into Lil’ Match, Charles Robinson was stiff as hell. The Average Steiner and Richards had a match that really didn’t do anything, but was hardly offensive. The post-match with Bischoff was very predictable, but at least it gave that match at Badd Blood a little real meaning. Stacey is really bad, but she is kinda hot, so it is a balancing act. The backstage stuff between Austin and Bischoff was OK, but nothing special. La Resistance vs. Kane was not good, but not really bad either. Kane can go sometimes, and he did better than he has in a while on his own. Still, not enough for the good.

The Bad So much shilling. I really don’t like them pushing the website. Lawler isn’t even entertaining in the role that he should be best at. Freddy Blassie passed away. I am not surprised, but it’s not an easy thing to find out that the guy you respect as the best in the field that you love and watched from birth pass away. The Main event was poor, though I did like the Hurricane in it. What in the blue hell were they thinking with that finish? I mean, was it a flub? It must have been, but they could have covered it better. All in all, good. I have a little hope for Badd Blood, but then I remember that Nash is in the main event. Blassie Freddy Blassie was my hero. He was what it meant to be a heel, what it meant to be a tough guy. He wrote Pencil-necked Geek. He managed Hulk Hogan in his early WWF run. He was the guy who turned crowds of Los Angelanos into rabid mobs, wanting his blood, which he so frequently gave. He was a star, and he was my star. I’m too young to have seen his heyday, when his feuds with The Sheik, John Tolos, and Rikidozan, but I saw so much of his career in tape, in reviews, and his managing career began just as I was starting to watch. He was my hero, my favorite from the beginning. I’ll miss him, even if I never really got a chance to meet him. Fred Blassman, aka Classy Freddy Blassie wrestled for almost 40 years, well into his 50s. Blassie was almost continually employed in wrestling in one way or another for 67 years, which may well be a record. He was the classic heel, the man who introduced the concept of the Hollywood Blonde as the heel. He started slow, with his career interrupted by serving in WWII. After a few years, he caught fire in Georgia, and then shortly thereafter in Los Angeles. He was the biggest drawing card in LA for decades, and to this day, my folks who used to live down there in the 60s despise him. His match with John Tolos, playing the face after doing a blinding angle, drew more than 28,000, a record for wrestling attendance in the state of California. Blassie was the man in Japan. After having met Rikidozan in Southern California, Blassie was brought to Japan to take on Rikidozan in a bunch of bloody, violent, and legendary matches. He often claimed that he killed 99 old men who were watching his violent matches in Japan. It’s not true, though 6 people are believed to have died from heart attacks while watching his matches. He became a celebrity early on by filing down his teeth to sharp points so that his Vampire Teeth finisher would get over as a serious move. He remained a legend and came back for several tours.

Blassie had friends all over the world, was a star in Japan even recently, when a Manga wrestler characters was modeled on him. He was friends with a number of film and TV stars. A few of his friends threw a legendary party for him on his 50th birthday at one of the LA hot spots. Supposedly, the party ran a full 24 hours, featured appearances of many of the great Hollywood stars, the major California wrestlers, and Happy Birthday sung by Judy Garland. Whether or not it really happened has been debated, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it did. A point that definitely needs to be made is that this is pretty much the official passing of the Golden Age, as Blassie was the last real star of the original Television era. While Thesz was a bigger star on a national level, and guys like Verne Gange are around, though were never the top guys in the glory days. Blassie was a huge reason that LA wrestling TV stayed strong for decades, even after he left. His bloody style proved that there was a place for the hardcore back in the day. Every wrestler who juices big and brawls should thank Blassie for getting that style over in the US. That’s all for this rather bummer edition of Falls Count Anywhere. I’ll be back on Friday with more.