6282005 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere!

My name is Chris and my stomach is in revolt RAW I thought RAW was solid as they come. It opened with Kurt in the ring. He talked about Michaels evening the series at 1-1 with his win at Vengeance, but since Kurt won at WrestleMania, that counts for 2. He then said that HHH stuck his big nose in his business last week and Flair comes out, says that Hunter is all banged up and that if he wanted a match, Flair would wrestle Angle, and if he couldn’t beat him straight, then he’d cheat in a bunch of different ways, including biting, gouging and grabbing him in the testicles. He actually said that. Flair was weirdin’ off and there was a battle of Woos to finish the segment. Fun stuff. Some bad choices made with what was supposed to be Kane and a mystery partner vs. Edge and Snitsky. Edge and Lita come out and are chased out through the crowd by a chair-wielding Kane, leaving Snitsky there. This only continues to cut the knees out from under Edge. Bischoff comes out and says that he’d like to introduce the next Draft Pick and he’ll face Snitsky one on one. The Big Show comes out and has a two minute match where he beats Snitsky. It wasn’t good, but it was the right way to make the switch. Cena and Maria had a segment where Cena basically rode her for not being prepared. He said that Bisch was afraid of him and that the six-man match they were set for with Christian, Tomko and Jericho would feature HBK as his partner. Cena then asked if Shawn had ‘made the call’ and Michaels answers yes. Hmmmmm….. Masterlock challenge. Masters jaws and that brings out Tajiri. Tajiri attackes early, getting a couple of kicks and the Tarantula on Masters. He hits a handspring elbow, but Masters gets the Masterlock and Tajiri is out like Mike Tyson. Masters gets the mic and asks a downed Tajiri if he respects him. Tajiri responds with a face full of green mist. This was the best of the Masterlock segments so far. Carlito’s Cabana made its RAW debut and he said that the Draft Lottery had just given RAW a lemon. He was great on his delivery. He then introduces Rob Van Dam. That was a good choice to move to RAW. Carlito starts talking about RVD’s ECW promo and how all he says is ‘dude’ and ‘cool’. RVD is wearing an ECW shirt. RVD responds that when he thinks of Carlito, he thinks of fruit. Rob then says that Carlito doesn’t have to worry about RvD, but he does have to worry about Mr. Monday Night taking RAW to the extreme. Carlito attacks RVD’s hurt knee and beats on him for a while before he does the apple spit. Great way to get the ball rollin’ for RVD on RAW. Angle vs. Flair. Wow. This was a great match with a brilliant storyline. The story went like this: Flair had to cheat. Simple, eh? It was smart and brilliantly booked and well worked and just about the best thing I’ve seen on RAW in ages. Ok, maybe since the Michaels-Benjamin match. The two of them worked hard from the start with headlock exchanges and Flair backdropped Angle to the outside, then headed out and chopped

Angle. Back in the ring, the guys work a little mat and Angle has the advantage until Flair bites his fingers! This is blatant, but it works. Angle let’s go and Flair attacks with fish-hooking Angles mouth and doing what some refer to as the Beer Tap submission to Angle’s nose. Flair was cheating with a purpose. Angle manages to get outside, Flair follows his chops, but Angle gets the Euro Uppercut and hits a Belly-to-Belly on the floor as we go to break. They’re working mat again when we return and it’s a great match that the crowd is really into. The last two days have featured great audience reactions. I was watching an NWA tape from 1984 and while the WWE of today will never match that level, they had similar types of reactions. Flair took one of his big backdrops. Flair went to the top, and Angle followed, hitting him with rights until Flair pushed him off and fell to the floor. Angle got the AngleSlam, but that only managed a two count. The crowd was hot for the near fall. Kurt gets the Anklelock, but Flair does the nut grab to escape. He returns to it again to get more damage and it sets him up for the Figure Four. Kurt makes the ropes and after a few chops, manages a German on Ric. This leads to the finish where Flair goes for the knee breaker, but angle twists ‘round and makes the Anklelock for the win. Great match. I can’t say enough about how good a 36 year old with a bad neck and a 56 year old can work a match of this caliber. Diva Search is next. Big Viz comes out. This is bad. They all show off their bras and panties, except for the one who didn’t wear any of either (though you could tell she was wearing a thong) and the one who wasn’t there to play nice and who quotes Flair “to be the woman, you have to beat the woman.” My faves are, in this order, Ashley (the punk one), Simone (the Italian One), Elisabeth (the sporty one) and Summer (the Southern one). After they’ve all had their go, Sgt. Slaughter comes out and says that he’s ready to put them through Bikini Bootcamp next week. That’s a great gimmick for the Fourth. Big Dave Batista does a promo talking about how it was hell last night to be in that cell. It wasn’t his best interview, but he’s got some of that HHH intensity. Christian, Jericho and Tomko were talking in the back about who the other guy would be. They said that made it was Kevin Nash, and Jericho said that he’d tear his quad just answering the phone. They then said that they were close to Hollywood, which I think they meant to make us believe it was The Rock, but I immediately thought of Hogan. IT turned out to be Hogan and Cena, Michaels and Hogan warmed up a very appreciative crowd. This led to the match which was entertaining. The five non-Hogan parts of the show worked a smart little match, but it ended with Hogan getting the tag, beating on Tomko, hitting the big boot and Leg Drop for the win. Lot’s of fun with this one. Good show to follow a great PPV. NEWS There’s word that the Dudleys aren’t on the shelf just because Creative has no ideas for them. There may be some contract issues preventing them from being used. In the past,

that has meant everything from “We can’t afford to pay them traveling money” (This happened a lot in the mid-1990s) to they have riders in their contracts saying that have to occupy a certain level as far as booking. With the WWE certainly looking at the ECW returns and starting to capitalize, it would be odd to see them off for too long. There’s also word that the WWE is looking at a few people to sign for the ranks of tag teams. Roadkill and Danny Doring and Balls and Axl Rotten are the ones that have been talked to about getting try-outs. I’d like to see that. Vengeance: Review and Analysis The WWE’s Vengeance PPV was easily the best WWE Single-Brand PPV ever. There was so much great work, so much well-done forward movement that they managed to make a weak build and a few bad choices into a great pay-per-view. And still, no one will ever remember it because ECW is still looming over it. That’s the problem Vince is up against, how to minimize the effect the most important ppv in the modern era has on how his current product is viewed. The obvious thing is that WWE wants ECW to go away for the most part. They want their name to be the only one in town save for the moments when they decide that ECW is advantageous. They may be realizing that that isn’t a good method, as the RVD intro on Monday showed, but they are certainly not going full bore to take advantage of what may be 2005’s biggest moneymaker. The opener was Carlito vs. Benjamin. This was very much Ricky Steamboat vs. Larry Zybysko, with Shelton working like the Devil himself and Carlito stalling and cheating. Shelton’s jumping bulldog is one of my favourite moves right now and he did it on the money to Carlito. Nice finish with Carlito undoing the turnbuckle guard and then he moved when Benjamin went for a StingerSplash and that allowed Carlito to roll him up for the win. Good match. Victoria beat Christy Hemme in a match that I was so glad to see went the right way. After Chrsity started off strong, Victoria hit her with The Hot Shot for a near fall. Basically, Victoria worked Christy over and Christy got a comeback which the audience didn’t seem to like. Christy actually Sunset-flipped out of a Widow’s Peak. Victoria sat down and grabbed the rope to pin Christy. One of the weakest matches of the show, but far better than I feared. Edge and Kane met in a match that really shows that the WWE has real troubles seeing how to make a top heel. Either that, or Edge is really in the Dog House. Kane worked the match like he usually does, as a face doing heel spots. This match should have gone one way: with Edge pinning Kane after help from Lita. Instead, it ended with Gene Snitsky getting involved, which makes a tiny amount of sense, and Edge hitting Snitsky with the briefcase instead of Kane, allowing Kane to get the ChokeSlam for the win. Huh? This makes no sense. Why have Edge, who is a few serious wins away from being

the top heel that they can build around, do the job when Kane gained nothing from the win. I just don’t get it. If this had been a classic brawl with all sorts of memorable spots by Edge, it would have worked, but this match was pedestrian at best. Angle and Michaels. There two couldn’t have a bad match. This was on the level with their Mania match, though I saw the ending coming from a long way off. The two of them just have such great timing, know how to work a crowd and are two of the best facial workers of all-time. The two worked back and forth, exchanging on their feet and on the mat. Angle powerbombed Michaels into the corner, which is an Pro Wrestling NOAH move that I’ve always loved. Michaels has turned into a bit of a Bret Hart as he hit the Flying Forearm, followed that with the Kip Up and the Flying Elbow. Angle went for an AngleSlam, but Shawn turned it into a Tornado DDT. They did an extremely nearfall following an AngleSlam, but then Kurt got the Anklelock. Shawn made the ropes, playing off their match from Mania. They do Sweet Chin Music to a double count down, but Shawn managed to cover Kurt at 9, though he ended up with only a two and 99/100. Kurt went to the top and came off, but he met a Michaels Superkick for the win. The ending was the same as the Benjamin, and that one came off better, but this was the best match since Mania when it comes to wrestling. OK, Lillian asked Viz to marry her, which brought out DeAnza College’s own The Godfather. He says it’d be a shame to lose Viscera to marriage and Viz chooses to ride the ho train instead. This was better than it could have been. Lillian manages to cry on cue, which is pretty amazing considering she’s not known as an actress. The Triple Threat Match was one where it could have gone either way. Luckily, it went the good way and they had a fantastic match. The basic premise was that one guy would get nailed with a big move and would sell while the other two fought. Makes sense in my eyes. Jericho was great in this one, and Christian wasn’t bad either. Jericho went to suplex Cena through the Spanish Announce Table, but Cena turned it into a DDT on the floor. They do the thing where one guy is trying to Superplex the other and the third guy turns it into a Powerbomb. Good finish as Cena gets Christian up for the FU, then swings him like an airplane spin to KO Jericho, allowing him to get a pin. Cena is ready to take Raw on his back. Let’s see if HHH lets that happen. Hell in the Cell was great. It’s a good gimmick and HHH understands it better than anyone. They used gimmicks galore, from chains to a barbed-wire wrapped chair. This was an ultra-great brawl and probably the best match that Batista will in involved with for ages. Loads of brawling, with HHH getting the chain and hanging Batista by it for a while. Big Dave managed to switch things up and used the chain to whip H. Hunter gets the barbed-wire chair and slams it into Big Dave. This draws like taps of blood. These were serious shots too. It’s obvious that he was trying to out ECW ECW. The only difference, which they had good heat here, was that the ECW show had amazing heat and the people really cared how things went on. Trips goes for the Pedigree on the chair, but Dave backdrops out of it and when H charged, Batista gave him the powerbomb on the chair. After Batista tried a DemonBomb, HHH hit him low and got the Pedigree, but it only got a two count. HHH grabs the steps and is about to Pedigree Batista on them, but

Big Dave turns it into a Spinebuster. H grabbed the Sledgehammer, but Big Dave managed the DemonBomb for the pin. Great match. They were trying to erase the memory of the ECW PPV. They didn’t get to that level. They need to see that what made ECW great was the work and taking everything seriously. They need to tighten up their booking, make stipulations stick and increase the over-all workrate. They did find a few things that just didn’t make much sense, thought they managed to put on a good show. I’d love to see them integrate ECW into the show, perhaps as a face stable to try and make a run at Bisch, but I know they’re more interested in showing that they are better than ECW. I thought the two PPVs were about on the same level when it came to work, though emotion was certainly ECW’s big bonus. The WWE is in a bad position, and I think they know it. That’s all for this edition. Friday will see more!