6132003 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere!

My name is Chris, and I am a fan of the San Francisco Giant’s young Barister Bonds SmackDown! SmackDown! has not been on the level of RAW lately, but it’s been good. SD! Ended up with the greatest visual ever, something they can work with for ages. The opening recap of the Matt Hardy vs. Misterio match from last week was solid, and the match they had to open the show was really good as well. I’ve been saying that Matt deserves a bigger push, and it’s looking like he’s going to moving up to the heavyweight division. WHOA, BIG Splash Mountain by Hardy. The ending was slightly afoul, but still, good match. When we get Ultimo Dragon in, it’ll only get better with Rey-Rey on top of the J-weighters. Piper’s Pit has tended towards the good, but I thought this was only fair. I do love the cars that Eddy drives in to the ringside area. Best line from Eddy “Hey, Roddy. You’re not gonna do the loaded burrito gimmick, are you?” Best Piper line: “Show him belt.” I don’t like O’Haire outside of the ring as much as I do when he gets to show that he actually has ring skills. Eddy tosses the table, proving that he is the Man. Indeed, Eddy Guerrero is my favorite wrestler (again) OK, Sable looked all sorts of hot in her little segment with Steph. Bringing back the US title. I’m of two minds. This could be a good thing, but odds are, they’ll just use it as a mid-card trading tool. Then again, they could use it as a way to get the better wrestlers into feuds that have a built in device for heat. Torrie Wilson is now the worst Ring Announcer ever. Congrats, Miss Wilson. The match between A-Train and Billy Gunn wasn’t great, but at least we got to see Billy come back with a solid win. It was obvious that the crowd noise was sweetened quite a bit. The ass slapping bit was a little…weird. By the way, Torrie looked hot in her 1967-era bodysuit. Hey, FBI vs. Undertaker. Go figure. UT: King of the No-Sell to Nunzio. Taker used a nice Stunner over the top rope. Not a good match, but the crowd seemed to like it. I actually have to admit, I went searching for the Lee DeForrest documentary on PBS. That should tell you how interested I am in the Undertaker. The arm-wrestling challenge was, as expected, a screw-job. With Sable out there, you had to expect it, but it was the best they could have done with it. I really think that Zach Gowen is going to be good for the WWE. I’ve seen some of his work and it’s good. Tonight, the Part of Vince McMahon’s body will be played by Johnny Steroid. Seriously, he looks far more juiced than even Scott Steiner. Vince’s facials are just too much. Sable Flashed! Sable Flashed!!! That’s the only way to defeat a real American, by showing some boob. Zach Gowen and McMahon was a farce, but Zach really has good facials

and can sell. The crowd seemed all into it. I thought this was better than it could have been, but there are better ways to spend TV time. Well, nice to see Linda Miles coming back as a manager, but if they are going to call her Shanique, why did they talk about her being Linda Miles? The match with the Bashems vs. Benoit and Rhyno was OK, but too short. AWESOME release German Suplex by Benoit. They are so trying to start the Benoit turn, but I am still against it, as they are one of the better teams in the WWE. The bust-up between the two of them backstage is another example of the reinforcement of intensity in the WWE of 2003. The Cena rap was better than usual, with all the references to Cole’s Boy Band fetish and Funaki’s camel toe. But Funaki busts the old U-G-L-Y break on Cena before busting out the robot. Cena is getting better in the ring, but it’s hard to tell when all his match intros are longer than his matches. Kurt is back on my TV!!! Once a week is not enough. The break with Team Angle was necessary, and it was pretty well done, though they still need to work on the mic skills that Kurt has in spades. Haas isn’t half bad, though. The best part about it: we may get some Angle vs. Benjamin matches out of it. Wow, the big guys were moving much faster than they normally would. Brock has a way of making Big Show look good. He sold for him, and Big Show even took a couple of bumps. Still, this match would have been nothing special from any other wrestlers. The crowd wasn’t all the way into it, but they seemed to like it. Good pop for Brock. Whoa, German Suplex on Big Show! A lot of folks say a wrestler’s worth is measured in the quality of matches he can get out of wrestlers who are not in his league. Brock has worked minor miracles with Big Show, and this was another in the line, that was also helped a lot by the ending that made my mind go back to 1990 and a bumb that I will never forget. Watching Brock set up Big Show for a Superplex was awesome enough. Watching him pull it off was even more amazing. Watching the ring collapse was the big deal. Even the ref sold it huge, like the shockwave had knocked him off his feet. Maybe they over sold it, as the way it collapsed wasn’t as immediate as would have been needed to really injure the guys, but it still looked awesome, reminding me of the ride Terry Funk and Cactus Jack took in a dumpster back in 1998 or so. Amazing sight that got brought the crowd higher than I have heard them in ages. One for the record books. Man, the ending is enough to make this the most memorable SmackDown! in ages. Just an amazing visual that reminded me of the other classic ring breaks. I’ll do an article on that some day. News Not too much. A-Train re-signed with the WWE and got less money on the downside. A lot of wrestlers are bothered by the fact that their fortunes are slipping, as times are getting tough. It should be noted that the slides seemed to have stabilized, and that the

situation is perfect for a new star to rise from the ashes and start a great comeback. I don’t see who they’ll bring up to do that, but it’s ripe for the picking. Sting has returned to the NWA and was on TNA’s PPV this week. I am not expecting him to stay around too long, because if he shows any sign of getting over, the WWE will pull him in, as there have already been talks. My guess, he really just singed with TNA to get some ring time before he went into WWE. FlashBack! OK, Mick Foley. I have a memory of Mick from the old days, way back in the early 1990s. It also featured another of my childhood faves: Mil Mascaras. You see, the WCW used to have these events called Clash of the Champions. The Clash started in 1988 as a way to combat WrestleMania IV, by running it directly against it on free TV. The Clash ran about once every four months through 1997 or so. The matches usually tended to be longer than on the Weekend shows, with a few classics, like the Flair vs. Funk I Quit match, and the famous Sting vs. Flair match that launched the Stinger into the upper-tier. In 1990, Cactus Jack was just making his first run through WCW, and his Clash match was with Mil in the wrestling mecca of Corpus Christi, TX. The match featured the typical Mil match, where he did his dropkicks, his plancha, and of course, he got the win with the big cross-body off the top. Now, I always loved Mascaras, but Cactus had a moment that forever made him in my mind. About 5 minutes in, Cactus was on the ring apron and Mil bumped him off, sending Cactus crashing to the concrete floor. I swear I jumped off the couch, screaming. How the hell did he survive? I had heard of the feats of Cactus Jack Manson in Texas and Memphis, but I had never seen him. That’s probably not entirely true, as I watched a lot of those shows back then, but he must not have made much of an impression as he wasn’t heavily pushed. He got back in the ring and I was amazed. He could still stand. MM got the win a minute or so later, and then Cactus went on the warpath, attacking the guitarist of the band that had been playing some of the intros to the ring. He was mostly made that night, by one big bump and by attacking a helpless musician. Now, I know that it sounds very simple when you consider what he’s done in the years since, but this was 1990. No one was doing even simple table spots in the WCW at the time. I think the old DQ for throwing a guy over the top was still in effect. Seeing Cactus take that bump really announced the coming of the next generation. It also led to the natural next step: Cactus didn’t get used for a good while after. The WCW didn’t see the value in him at that point. Maybe it’s not a good thing that he did get big in, because you can pin at least a fair amount of the current injury plague on the fact that Cactus continually raised the bar as far as bump taking went. Still, I’ll never forget the visual, even though I’ve seen him crash into a million things since.

That’s another Falls Count Anywhere. I’ll be back on Monday for more fun, including a special FlashBack! dedicated to my man: Ricky the Dragon Steamboat.