1172003 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere!

My name is Chris and I’m going for broke (which isn’t a very long trip at all) SmackDown! A show built around two good things: Eddy Guerrero and turning John Cena face. The opener was Rey Mysterio taking on John Cena. Rey got a big pop when he came out, and Cena got good heel heat. I hate seeing Rey being used as a semi-jobber to get the next top stars over, but he is so good at that sort of thing. Hell Yeah! Cena is wearing a Dick Butkus jersey. He did another inspired rap. Best line: “I’m reloaded like the Matrix. How am I gonna lose to a Midget Dominatrix?” The crowd was totally into him. The WWE booking crew must have been watching how they turned Austin in 1997. Cena manhandled Rey-Rey half the time and sold strong the rest of the time. Cena got a lot of support, which bodes well. Rey took the hardest toss into the turnbuckle I’ve ever seen. It seemed to slow him down for the rest of the match. HUGE delayed vertical suplex. Needless ref bump, but Cena gave a low-blow to Rey as he came off the springboard. I cringe. Not a great match, but solid, entertaining, surprisingly hot, and well-placed for the show. After the match, Team Lesnar came out with Heyman to ask if Cena would be on the team. He, of course, said no. The turn, which I am told is not just a swerve, started here and looks to be ready to send him high up the face ranks. They are totally pushing him like Austin. Calling Lesnar’s crew Team Sasquatch is a great idea. Man, brutal chairshot onto Cena’s skull. Man oh man. They added A-Train to Team Lesnar. The Week From Hell review was a good way to sell Eddy’s return to success this week. Chavo has been living up to Eddy’s push for the last few weeks. He cut that great promo last week, and this week’s was subtle and strong and hinted towards his heel turn. Eddy himself looked even better than usual because he was fired up and strong. It should be interesting to see if the Eddy vs. Chavo feud is given Owen vs. Bret coverage, or Bart vs. Billy Gunn type booking. They are doing a lot right on the Eddy front. Bradshaw vs. Big Show. If ever there needed to be fast forward on Live TV, this was it. Lot’s of serious boring chants. Heyman hit on Torrie. This is classic Heyman stuff. His fingerprints are getting all over the shows. By the way, Torrie looked massively hot in that outfit. It was very creepy, as Paul Heyman is the only guy who can out-creep Vince McMahon. Undertaker did a tepid…I mean taped interview about Vince. He had some intensity, but it was sorta a promo for Vince instead of against him. They should do these things, but it felt crowbarred into the show. And I know a thing or two about crowbars.

Hotel Room skit with Earnest the Cat Miller. He had some HOTHOTHOT babes with him and an afroed butler. It was a funny little bit. He’s got charisma, but isn’t great in the ring. Still, he can have some fun stuff done with him. Eddy and the Bashems had a fine match that I dug. Taz and Cole did some nice commentary about strategy. This sort of thing helps with an air of believability. Sweet Powerbomb type thing from Doug Bashem. Eddy went for what looked like the arm drag / headscissors combo, but Doug cowered and Eddy did a hurancanrana on Danny. Beautiful Pescado into a Plancha from Eddy. Great Double Slingshot Suplex from the Bashems. Buffalo was all up for Eddy. Shaniqua is going to be big in a year. Eddy was classic in blaming Danny for the whipping of the refs ass. Eddy made this a good match. It looks like Vince was watching old Brian Pillman tapes to prepare for his in-ring promo this week. Seriously, it was very Pillman when he was in the Hart Foundation. It wasn’t a bad promo, but Vicne held back a bit, which is odd for Vinny. When he finally got all riled up, I had already mostly checked out. They are still hoping to get Holly over with this latest segment where folks talked about him. If he does well in the Survivor Series match, he can move up to being a solid between PPVs opponent for Brock Lesnar. Ultimo Dragon and Jamie Noble took on Tajiri and Nunzio in a tag match that had moments and some fun fun stuff going on. Noble wasn’t getting much reaction, but Tajiri looked good in his role. Nunzio got a little chance to shine, and Ultimo was himself of late. A fast-paced match that wasn’t great, lacked heat, but was entertaining. Nice Hurancanrana into a sunset flip into a brutal chest kick from Ultimo. If Ultimo can bring back the Dragon of 1996, then the matches with Tajiri will rule. The main event featured Brock sitting out for most of it doing commentary and the faces taking a beating for a long time. Brock held Benoit in a Fisherman’s Suplex-type position for ages. It wasn’t a great match, but they made it mean something. Angle’s house of fire comeback was sweet. The post match brawl was brutal and helps solidify the team for SS. I’d say that this edition was strong the whole way through. The UT interview and the Vince segment were not great, the Big Show match sucked, but overall, I’d say thumbs up. NEWS This just in Crash Holly, real name Mike Lockwood, was found dead at the Florida home of Steven Richards. Lockwood had trained at All Pro Wrestling in Hayward and the first time I saw him he was working as The Leprechan Erin O’Grady. I saw him work an All Pro show at Homestead High and he was great. I talked to him a few times, the last being 1999 at a WWF show. He was a friend of a friend of mine at the time and she introduced us a few times. He had been gone from the WWE for a while and had been

wrestling as Mad Mikey. He had competed in ECW a few times and in a few other promotions around the world. The story, as it stands now, is that Lockwood choked on his own vomit. That is the official cause of death for many of the passings of serious drug users, but Crash wasn’t well-known for his partying. Mike Lockwood was 34. Hey, someone needs to give Rhynno some love. Vince apparently hates his work and even went so far as to call one of his matches in the middle because he thought it was so bad. I like Rhynno quite a bit, as his powerhouse style is very athletic and works well with the SmackDown! style of work. Most folks are very high on Tajiri, on the other hand, as he is popular with folks, his work has been great, and he’s willing to do anything they ask. Good for him. Merch Plugs (Order them through us!) Hey, if you haven’t bought the WWE Cage Match DVD, what the HELL are you waiting for? The complete Magnum TA vs. Tully Blanchard I-Quit cage match is enough. The Muraco vs. Snuka match is a great piece that every fan of 1980s wrestling should rewatch. It’s a great DVD that you should buy. By the way, the Ric Flair DVD is coming out in a couple of weeks and that looks even better, with matches between Flair and Barry Windham, Ricky Steamboat, Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, and a bunch more. FlashBack! If you haven’t already, check out my 2002 Recap of all the past Survivor Series. Today, I thought it would be nice to go over what my favorite matches from Survivor Series history. SS has always been a home for good wrestling, so this was a hard list to make. There are a couple that come very close, like Diesel vs. Bret Hart from 1995, the Wild Card match from 1995, the Bret vs. Michaels 1997 match, and the Heavenly Bodies (featuring Dr. Tom Pritchard, the Patron Saint of Falls Count Anywhere) taking on the Rock and Roll Express at the 1993 edition. 5) Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart- 1996- This is the match that really made Austin look like the next big thing in the WWF. He had already won King of the Ring that year, and his feud with Hart was just starting to warm up. Hart had been out of the WWF since dropping the belt to Michaels in March, so Austin had been cutting promos mocking him, which got him the match. The match itself was great, with lot’s of back and forth action and the ending that we had all seen in the Piper vs. Hart match from 1992. Austin had the Cobra Clutch (his old Million Dollar Dream finisher as the Ringmaster) and Bret pushed off the ropes, pinning him beneath him. Great match. 4) The First Survivor Series Tag Team Elimination match- 1987- This was an awesome match with a ton of stuff going on. All-time great WWF teams like Strike Force, the Killer Bees, The Hart Foundation and The British Bulldogs all made this a classic. It went 37 minutes and had great heat. The Bees did their classic masked switch, which won them the whole thing. Too bad they never got the titles, since I always liked them.

3) Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels- 1992- Not the Montreal match, which may be the most important match in modern wrestling history, but the first PPV meeting between the two. Michaels was IC champ at this point, so the match was Champion vs. Champion with only the World Belt on the line. The two put on a great match, with Michaels looking like the star he would become. Hart, at this point had only been champion for a few weeks, was great as always, but really rose to the occasion. Few folks remember that this match led to a ladder match that rocked and was before Michaels famous one with Razor Ramon. 2) Shawn Michaels win the First Elimination Chamber Match over HHH, Kane, Booker T, Jericho and RVD- 2002- Man, what a match. This was a beautiful match that moved beautifully and used the gimmick masterfully. HHH was better than normal, and Shawn looked great in one of his earliest matches back in the Fed. Solid work and great brawling, making it feel like one of the early War Games / The Match Beyond events from the NWA in the late 1980s. There were so many great moments, like watching Jericho get tossed through the plexiglass, and seeing Michaels bring back 1997 and his famous performance in the first ever Hell in the Cell. I think they really pulled out all the stops for the Elimination Chamber and though the second edition was far weaker, it is still going to be the new Century’s big event match. 1)Bob Backlund vs. Bret Hart Throw In The Towel Match- 1994- This is the longest singles match in Survivor Series history, and it ruled. The match moved very well, as Hart was able to run with Backlund’s early 1980s offense and make it an interesting match in the ring. Outside the ring, it was even better. The late British Bulldog, Davey Boy Smith, held the towel for Bret, while Owen Hart held the towel for Backlund. The heat for this match was amazing, as Backlund was a very hot heel at the time. The match was long and had a good-sized mat segment, very rare for the WWF at the time. The Bulldog got knocked out eventually and that’s when the fun started. You see, Bret was doing an amazing sell job for Backlund’s CrossFace Chicken Wing and Owen took the towel and handed it to Helen Hart. He was then pleading, in tears, for Helen to throw in the towel and end the pain, but Stu kept grabbing it away from her. Eventually, after 5 minutes of Owen’s pleading, she grabbed the towel and threw it in. Backlund, who had lost the WWF belt in 1983 when his manager Arnold Skaaland had thrown in the towel, had won the belt again by having Owen trick his mother into tossing it. Owen ran to the back, laughing manically on the way. This was a great, old school WWF title match from the first of the new generation and one of the best from two generations prior. The best match in Survivor Series history, and on my top 50 of (W)WW(F)E’s all-time list. That’s all for this week. Tuesday I’ll talk about RAW, News, and a look who could be called the King of Survivor Series.