Mall yester8152003 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere!

My name is Chris and if you have to know, I probably shouldn’t tell you. SmackDown! OK, SmackDown! was something of a disappointment. The opening segment with Vince and Brock and Steph was not very good. I don’t really like the storylines they are doing with these guys, but even Vince was weak. True, there was some decent heat, but it did not make the segment. The rest of the Stephanie stuff was bad too, as was Spanky’s little exchange with Vince. I just pray to God that someone listens to me: The Good Stuff is in the Ring. The best stuff was the wrestling, especially the Misterio/Kidman vs. The Self-Proclaimed World’s Greatest Tag Team. Man, a great match that had PPV quality all over it. Haas took a couple of huge bumps and Shelton was very good with everything. The SPWGTT played heels better than everyone else in the tag ranks. The Misterio as Face in Peril bit worked brilliantly. Just a great match and easily the highlight. Spanky vs. Brock, John Cena vs. Zach Gowen, and Doug Bashem vs. Billy Gunn were all solid beatdowns that were almost entertaining in themselves, but advanced a few issues. The Bashem post-match was solid and violent. I love Billy Gunn’s new hiptoss into the suplex throw, but he is best left to tag feuds. Spanky took a hell of a beating that got good heat and he performed a couple of nice bumps. Zach Gowen has some pretty sweet bumps himself, but is still being wasted. Another waste of time, a lot of time, was the Undertaker vs. Big Show match. Seriously, they are pushing this feud and it sucks hard. Big Show is terrible, even if Brock can carry him to a decent moment or two. Undertaker needs to be protected. Terrible stuff. The biggest waste was the main event. Steph McMahon, while looking extra hot, should never wrestle in a main event. His over-pushing of the McMahon family is killing the show and needs to end. A couple of months without Steph or Vince might be what the company needs. Not good, but the tag title match was great. News Barry “Bull” Buchanan had a try-out in a dark match for TNA and ended up not signing with them. As far as I have heard, the deal was that Barry thought that the dark match was a paying gig, and the TNA method is to not pay most dark match participants. When he went looking for money, at least for his transportation, he was informed that it was really more of a try-out. This is standard TNA operating, but if they don’t realize that Bull is perfect for their show, they should really get out of the business.

Tickets for WrestleMania XX are going for obscene prices. The top ticket price is listed as over US$750.00 each. Now, that’s insane, but other shows have had US$500.00 tickets each, so it’s not too big a jump. The lowest price seats are a little over US$50.00, which is about the same as other Manias in the past. While these prices may seem nuts, I am almost certain that Japanese ticket prices, especially for the Pride, K-1, and the bigger Tokyo Dome shows, are even higher still. Also, it has been reported by the up-standing American TV show Celebrity Justice, that Chyna, aka Joannie Lauer, has filed a restraining order against Sean Waltman, aka Lightning Kid aka Syxx aka X-Pac aka that thin annoying guy from the Clique. The order cites a choking incident and apparently Lauer has gone into hiding. Waltman has been a timebomb at various points in his life and folks have been talking about this relationship as doomed from the beginning. FlashBack! The place was the San Jose Civic Auditorium and the match was Austin Idol vs. Sgt. Slaughter. These two had been touring the chain match for the better part of six months, and the San Jose stop was to be the first time there had been wrestling in the Civic for more than 3 years. My pal Andy and I had tickets: prime seats on the floor and near the curtain. We spent the early part of the night getting autographs, and the show had been fantastic. The Guerrero Brothers, Chavo and Hector, had a good little match with the Rock ‘n Roll Express. The whole night featured great crowd heat, even for the guys who would have been jobbers if they hadn’t been contracted for the tour. The main event, Slaughter vs. Idol was coming up, and little did I know that the match would prove to be everything I’d ever need to know about wrestling. You see, if I had been looking objectively, I would have had to say that the match sucked. It was slow, over the period of about ten minutes neither guy did anything and when they did something, it was a punch or a kick and then back to a rest hold. And even though that was the way the match went, it still got amazing heat. Here’s how they did it. First Austin knocked Slaughter down with a drop kick, then he grabbed him and wrapped the chain around his eyes, pulling on the ends as if he were tightening, but really just making it look good. After a minute or two of taunting the crowd and just holding the chain there, he doubled up, putting another length of chain across his forehead. After another couple of minutes of taunting, and getting huge heel heat, he laid an elbow in and released the chain, allowing Sarge to fall forward, blade, and come up for another round of wrap the chain around the face. After a minute or two, Slaughter got a reversal and did the same thing to Austin. Not just in theory the same, every movement the same, but instead of taunting, he played up to get cheers. And we gave it to him. Huge face heat. After another round of that, they went to a few other moves that, though they involved the chain, obviously weren’t aided by

having the chain involved. They whipped each other a couple of times, but mostly, it was just wrap the chain around each other’s head. The finish was obvious, Sgt. Slaughter gets the Cobra Clutch, and Idol is out in the middle of the ring. Everyone went home happy. I’ve been in some of the big moments where huge pops and incredible heat were expected, but in that auditorium, I had no idea that we would be in one of those moments. If you did the same match today, you’d get no reaction, everyone would complain about how slow and plodding it was, but everyone in that auditorium went into hysterics over it, less than 13 years ago. No acrobatics. No huge bumps, just smart build and a perfectly played crowd. We need mor of that. That’s another week from me. Next week will be a special week for me, as I will be looking at the greatest losses in wrestling history. First up, Owen Hart.