1222003 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and tonight, I see SmackDown! LIVE!

RAW Opening with Goldberg is a good idea, and Sac-town gave him a fairly good pop on his entrance. His talk with straight forward, nothing fancy, but he got over his hatred of HHH and Kane. Why did I know that Eric Bischoff would be coming out during this segment? Aparently, they have renamed RAW the Eric Bischoff, featuring Eric Bischoff. I like the power mad Bischoff bit. Wait…that music. I know that music. It can’t be. It is. It’s MICK FOLEY!!! Mick returns as a creative consultant to the RAW brand, hired to make changes, which he immediately does. He hires himself as the New Co-General Manager, which means he’s gonna be around. SWEET!!! He passed around a petition to get Austin back, starting with Lillian Garcia (who is of no blood relation, and thus, is able to be a part of my harem). They legit passed it around the fans at ringside. Mick was great, doing a fine anti-Bischoff riff, which he must have been waiting to do for years. When he got in Bisch’s face, you could tell that this was letting out all of his frustrations when he was in WCW under Eric’s iron rule. The crowd was nuts for Foley, loud Foley chants, much louder than those for Goldberg, and heat for every little thing he did. Great to have him back. The World Tag Team champs the Dudleys took on Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak in a title match that featured Buhbuh wearing shorts so tight you could tell he was goyim. It was a solid, hard hitting match, and the crowd, fresh off of getting a dose of Mick, actually gave some decent heat to the match. Buhbuh sent Cade to the ropes in the ring while Dudley was standing on the outside. I hadn’t seen that before. Nice Dudley win with the handful of tights. Cade gets the mic, and complains that he was robbed. He gets some nice heel heat for his cry tactics. Mick had a little backstage vignette with Al Snow and Coach. Coach and Mick had some nice interaction. Al was great in reacting to Mick. While he was playing annoyed, you could tell that Al was happy to have Mick back. They set up a Lawler vs. Coach match with Coach’s career on the line. Booker T and Test wrestled. Stacey looked hot, even as she was WAY over-selling as she laughed at Test getting punched by Booker. The Book was selling like a mad man. I really like Booker because he is so selfless. He makes guys look great. HE learned a lot from his feud with Benoit. Great bicycle kick from Booker T. Sloppy pump handle slam

from Test. Nice spot having Stacey knock Test’s feet off the rope, and then slapping him. The crowd popped good for Stacey slapping Test and the huge Axe Kick from Booker. Decent, if very short, match. Mark Henry comes out to ruin the crowd having fun with Stacey’s legaroonis. Mark Henry looks fierce, but they have never been able to get him over as the monster that he easily could be if booker right. Lita and Trish had a little segment where Lita asked what the deal between the two of them happened to be. The world also wants to know. Watching this segment, I just kept hoping that one or the other would admit to their long-standing lust for the other and let us in on the Great American Dyke-Out. That was a sweet Team Canada jersey she bought for Jericho. The return of the Kiss My Ass club really flattened the crowd while they were trying to get her to pucker up. Foley picked the crowd up just by showing up and getting Stacey to come to him so that he could fire Test and Steiner. If only he had been here several months ago. Mick Foley came out to lend a little heat to the Storm and Val Venis match against La Resistance. Mick was great doing his “People want to love La Resisance” bit. Conway moves so well, and the match wasn’t a heat-filled spotfest, but it was not a total waste of time with Foley out there. Mick did a thing with the Pledge of Alligance, then when they didn’t perform to his standards, they were fired. Mick then marched down the aisle as they stood dumbfounded in the ring. Trish and Chris Jericho had a mixed tag match with Jacky and Rico, who got no response coming out. Jericho got a mixed face / heel reaction, which he has gotten before, but never to the level that he got this time. This would make a lot of sense if they were turning him, but they don’t seem to be doing that at all. Rico is a very lucky man as he got to come in while licking Jacky’s belly. She wore pants with Ass Portals. This was pretty fun, as Rico can actually go. Rico was G. Gordon Liddy’s bodyguard at some point. This tidbit from JR made me smile. Trish came in the match with a Lucha-style bodyblock off the top. There was a fair amount of heat as this match got going, mostly due to Trish playing face in peril. Jacky is quite poor in the ring, though she did use a DragonSleeper, which was actually called by JR. Then and awesome stiff clothesline on Trish after she escaped. This was easily the best Mixed Tag Match in a good while. Surprisingly good considering that Jacky was in there. Some idiot was chanting boring during the Matt Hardy vs. Christian match. It wasn’t their best match, but I enjoyed it. Having Lita in Christian’s corner was a nice touch. This was a solid match, though I was hoping for more. Lita got attacked by Molly Holly which distracted Christian to give Matt the win. The Coach came in to no response, though Lawler got a decent reaction and a few chants. Lawler gave Coach the Kaufmanplex, the same move that he used on Andy in their famous first match. It ended with Coach getting no offense. Coach was then fired. God Bless Mick Foley!

Now it comes out what the whole thing is. It was nothing but a major bet between Jericho and Christian. Too bad that Trish isn’t a great actress. This ended rather unceremoniously, but I should have seen this coming a mile away. HHH no-showed ringside during the Randy Orton, Bautista and Kane match against RVD, Goldberg and Shawn Michaels. This was a nice touch, and the match wasn’t great, but the crowd was very into it. This was what the WWE should do more of, big six-man matches that advance storylines. A well-placed commercial also helps. All Japan used the Six-Man main event for years during the mid-1990s, and the WWE could certainly do it as a way of getting stories advanced without giving away big matches. Good pop for Michaels’ hot tag to Goldberg. The crowd got wicked hot for the Goldberg vs. Kane match-up. Sac can be a solid crowd if given the chance. Loud heat for Goldberg beating down Kane. I think this is a sign that the fans really want to support Goldberg. Foley came in to make the count after Flair Koed the ref. Bischoff came out and confronted Foley. Foley said that he never really fired anyone, just gave Bisch a taste of his own medicine. Foley then knocked Bischoff down and gave him the Mandible Claw. This got the crowd really hot, after they sort of had the wind taken from the sails when he said he wasn’t really firing anyone. I thought that this was a strong show. It was pretty Foley heavy, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. Some fun matches, some nice vignettes, and a crowd that was easily lit up. I appreciated it highly. Last Week’s SmackDown! It was a good show where the wrestlers carried the entire event. The Eddy vs. Chavo thing is getting weird, they should just do the turn and let them at it for a few months. To quote Jake Stratton of the fine combo BloodHag “Is this gonna be a tag breakup or a support group in the making?” The whole show was solid, with no McMahon presence, which adds a lot in my eyes. That said, it was also sort of a place holder show, with not a lot pushing the main stories forward, but keeping them warm until this week…WHEN I WILL BE AT THE TAPINGS!!! The Battle Royale was fun, but the finish is just about the best way to program these two, as dueling babyfaces looking for the spotlight. I’m interested to see this feud develop. Jamie Noble, even though he had to go through with all the Nidia crap, had a fine match with Akio. The crowd loved it too. Akio has a bright future…or at least as bright as any cruiserweight in the WWE. Haas vs. Eddy was good, and the Eddy chants reminded me that he is so ready for the big push. A-Train vs. Cena featured no rap at the open, though Cena is showing signs of being able to carry folks. That said, the highlights for me were Brock getting to show some personality and Shannon Moore trying to be Mike Jackson by bumping all over the place. NEWS

Well, more death. Moondog Spot, a legend in Memphis, died this week, after suffering a stroke and a heart attack at the Mid-South Colisseum during his match with eth Rock ‘n Roll Express. Spot, also known as Larry Latham and real name Larry Booker, was a legendary wild man, providing some classic beat-downs. The 1992 feud between the Moondogs and Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Lawler was one of the greatest, most violent feuds ever. One match in particular from Kennet, MO, was a classic brawl in the tradition of the Tupelo Concession Stand brawls of the early 1980s. Tons of blood and ECW type weaponry all over the place. The Moondogs also beat the living bujeezus out of a ton of unsuspecting jobbers. The Moondogs were WWF tag champs in 1981, managed by Capt. Lou Albano. Thanks to Steve Warren for sending me a press clipping on this one. FlashBack! Old School fans will remember the AWA. Names like Verne Gagne, Nick Bockwinkle, Larry Hennig, Steve Regal, and Baron Von Reschke come to my mind first, though most of the major stars of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s all at least passed through. Also forgotten was the fact that the AWA used to run fairly regular stadium shows, preferring the warm confines of Comiskey Park in Chicago, though they also held events at Soldier Field and at the MetroDome. One of the big stadium shows took place on September 28th, 1985. It was called SuperClash and it was a great event. SuperClash I (there were three others over the next 5 years) featured a ton of top name stars and managed to draw 21,000 people. The show was a combined bill with talent from the NWA helping the AWA. I’ve never been sure what the deal was between them, but there were a bunch of big shows where guys like Ric Flair, the Fabulous Freebirds, and the Road Warriors would show up. Hell, all those guys were even featured in the AWA action figure line from REMCO. The matches themselves were all over the place. Sgt. Slaughter took on Boris Zukoff in a short match that played right into his American Defender storyline. It was about this time that he got his deal with GI Joe. This was a bad match, but it did its job. Kerry Von Erich, who was one of the tip-top guys, got a huge pop for his match with Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin. I am fairly certain these two had previously feuded in Texas, but it was an OK match. Mil Mascaras took on Freebird Buddy Jack Roberts in a short, and fairly awful match. I remember I was really excited about seeing it and being utterly disappointed by the results. The card also featured a midget’s match (Little Tokyo vs. Little Mr. T) and a woman’s match, and a few matches that would just not fit elsewhere, Kamala vs. Crusher Blackwell for example. For most of the AWA’s big name long-time stars, if they weren’t involved in title matches, they got big tag match exposure. Long time AWA champ Nick Bockwinkle teamed with Ray Stevens and Larry Zybysko to take on Starship Coyote Scott Hall, Curt Hennig and Greg Gagne. They gave Gagne a sort of a Rambo get-up, which he would later wear as part of his REMCO figure. The match wasn’t bad, but it was sort of a waste of star power and talent. The Irwin Brothers, known as the Lone Riders, teamed with perennial NWA champ Harley Race to take on the All Japan trio of Giant Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta, and Genichiro Tenryu. This was not the first time that Baba and his protégés had come to the

US, but it wasn’t too much longer before Baba-san would close the Occident out completely from using his boys. The worst travesty had to be Krusher Kruschev and the Koloffs, Ivan and Nikita, beating Crusher Liskowski, Dick the Bruiser, and Baron Von Reschke. This match was awful and full of fossils. The matches that mattered were interesting, though hardly definite. Steve Regal, and underrated wrestler in my eyes, beat Brad “No Personality” Rheingans in an AWA Junior Heavy Title match that wasn’t awful. Ric Flair, the outsider NWA champ, pinned Magnum TA in a match that was very good. The Road Warriors had a long match with Terry Gordy and Michael P.S. Hayes of the Freebirds. It looked like the Freebirds had won the belts, but of course, it was overturned. The highlight had to be the Main Event. Rick Martel, the former AWA champion, was taking on Stan Hansen, the legend to three generations of Japanese fans and the AWA champ, in a match that lasted less than five minutes but featured a wild post-match brawl. It was excellent enough that you really forgot that the match itself was so short. These were the AWA’s dying days. They could still put on a good show, but it was getting harder and harder to pull in fans. Bockwinkle could still go, but they didn’t give him a real match on the show. Even though he was over 50 at the time, in a few months, he would end up holing the AWA title again. They were fighting the WWF for their base cities like Chicago and Minneapolis. They lost that fight, and the fight for most of their real talent, but this one event is worth tracking down. (A plug for John McAdam, who has this tape, along with just about anything else you wanna find, available on his site, www.johnmcadam.com) That’s another Falls Count Anywhere! Friday will feature more of the usual along with another AWA memory and this week’s SmackDown! taping report.