09232003 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I’ve got one more silver dollar.

RAW Well, Goldberg and Austin have a bald man’s convention in the ring. Goldberg got a good, but far from great, pop coming in. Austin got an Austin reaction. Bisch coming out was what I expected. Not a great segment. Well, we are greeted with Coach and Al Snow entering to announce and they get an OK heel reaction. I notice that they are not JR and The King quality, but they are OK as heel announcers. The big test will be to see if they are able to elevate a match by doing a straight call. RVD and Christian have a very fun match that I liked. RVD looked better than he did last night. Christian looked good. Nice Legdrop onto Christian on the Apron from the second rope. Sweet Gutbuster by Christian. Christian’s ladder beat-down was cool too. Too short, though. Evolution comes out and gives the crowd a chance to chant Goldberg. HHH gives a nice “I lost but I am still God” promo. Flair used to make those all the time and this was OK. Strong presence from HHH. Orton and Flair just stood there. The look at Rock’s new movie The Rundown was pretty good. The Rock is a face in all his promos. He has such charisma that just pulls folks in. Theodore R. Long dropped some knowledge on us. The man can flat out talk. He talks about painting the White House black. His wrestlers are of little or no talent. A shame. Tommy Dreamer comes out to take on Mark Henry. It was as good as I expected, and that’s not good. The New Guys, Garrison Cade and Mark Jindraik, charge in on Evolution as they are checking out Orton’s abs. Pretty much a nothing segment. Hey, Lita is hot. So is Trish. The match against Gail Kim and Molly was OK. Awesome Backbend into a handstand into headscissors. Sweet. The announcing was at it’s best in this match since it didn’t affect the storyline that they were pushing as heels. Lita looked good in this one. Shane McMahon did his hospital speech before Kane attacked. Kane’s attack was not as good as the famous Austin attack on Vince in the hospital, but the spraying blood all over Shane was cool. La Resistance vs. Hurricane and Rosie was almost nothing. The best part was Sylvan doing his little dance before dropping the elbow on Hurricane. The Hurricane and Rosie

finisher of the Neckbreaker/Samoan Drop combo is still sweet. Not enough tag team finishers anymore. The youngster trio of Maven, Jindraik and Cade took on Evolution. This reeked of feeding the chum to the sharks to try and get their heat back. Still, there was some good action, but HHH wouldn’t even go down to a solid clothesline from a wrestler who was bigger than him. HHH’s ego is going to continue to be a problem. I love Orton’s over the back neckbreaker. Now that the piledriver is being seriously discouraged, the hip kids are all doing neckbreaker variants. The match moved well enough, but there was little real heat. I’d say that they should try to elevate these young guys with real pushes. The Rock came off even more as a face in his interview with Mr. Lloyd at the Premiere. It kinda sounded like a going away speech. He then got into solid character, and did more heelish stuff. He then did his standard closing, then he said he can’t wait to get back to the WWE rings. Goldberg vs. Jericho. It was better for having Jericho in there, but still not great. They are trying with Goldberg, but there are troubles with him. His pop entering was weak. They did get some chanting done, which I guess helps. Still, looks bleak. A rather bland edition, but nothing that would push it into the bad category. Unforgiven Notes I’d say that the WWE blew the big things but did a couple of the little things absolutely correct. The show itself was substandard, not meeting the level of the recent editions. I’d say that last Thursday’s SmackDown was a good deal better, and it certainly had a main event that provided more drive. The Tag Title Table match was best described as meh. Nothing offensive, just about the average opener for the WWE of late. Steiner vs. Test. Why must I write those words again? The feud is awful, and it looks like they are going to keep holding on to it. The match wasn’t terrible, and I admit that as the two of them work together more often, they seem to get the rhythm better, but it’s still not good. Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton was a strong match. Orton is going to be huge, and Michaels made him look great. The foreign object finish was nice to see, and Michaels made great strides towards making Orton a star. Let’s see if the WWE can keep this train a rollin’. Gail. Molly. Trish. Lita. Oh yeah. The match was really good for the woman’s division, as everyone looked very strong. Lita had a misstep or two, but still looked good enough. She busted her mouth but good. I should say that Trish and Lita as a tag team could be good. Also, Lita is still freakin’ hotter than grandma’s curling iron.

Shane vs. Kane in the street fight was fun stuff to watch. I like Shane a lot, and he put himself through some hell. At least when Shane performs he always puts himself on the line. The leap off the set was cool, but Kane should have destroyed Shane to keep his monster image going. IC Title three-way was fair. Little heat early, but they did that sweet three-way Electric Chair drop. There was some sloppiness, which I’ve come to expect from RVD, but still, it held together for the most part. JR and Lawler let all the wrestling world down by losing to Coach and Snow. Now we’re stuck with C + S on RAW every week until they come to their senses. The match was pretty much crap, but no one really expected any different, right? The follow-up, with JR saying goodbye at eth end of the show was a very nice touch. HHH is the problem with the WWE. No question. He made Goldberg look like a chump in his win. The audience seemed to agree, as there was almost no heat in the match. There is a saying that the pop you get for the win the belt determines how your reign will be perceived. If it holds up, then this reign will be a joke. Now, I will say that HHH worked very hard in his match, especially with the injury, but he did not make Goldberg look like the strong champion-type that he needed to. He should have used the hammer early, let Goldberg fight back in the long match and get the win convincingly. The way this one went, they devalued Goldberg in his win. Question: Where do they go from here? Putting the belt on a deflated Goldberg is the worse thing they could do. HHH will likely be out for a while working on a movie, and there is no one else who is really strong enough to carry the belt. I’d say they should keep it on him until Mania so they can do the unification match that will draw money, since Lesnar 2003 is almost the money player that Goldberg 1998 was. The fact is, they are in trouble unless they can give Goldberg back some of his mystique. News Modern Wrestling Fans Suck! They want backstage angles and the McMahons and openly ignore the good stuff when they are offered it. Why the rant? The ratings for last week’s SmackDown are in and they are down from the average weeks. Yeah, NBC was hyping their season finale replays, but it wouldn’t account for the drop, really. This was the best WRESTLING show in ages, where they had great wrestling the whole way through including a match that will be a strong match of the year candidate, but the TV audience tuned it out? What gives? In less angry news, John Millius, the director of Conan and writer of Apocalypse Now, has written a script that McMahon will produce into a theatrical release with HHH as the star. Yep, WWE films lives!!! There are a couple of different stories as to how the script came to life. One theory, floated around wrestling circles, is that Millius had known Vince for years and sent him the script. Another, that I’ve heard from some hard core movie geeks, is that Millius wrote the script at Vince’s request as a way to get the big guy over in the movies. The third one, which came from a WWE guy, says that Millius had

been floating the script forever, found Vince through Arn Blackfarmer(I am not allowed to use his true name due to election pressures) and they made a happy agreement. No idea which is true, but it looks like it’ll be around late 2005 before we see it. The Rundown, starring the Rock, has been getting fair reviews. Most folks are talking about Walken, and also like Walken, but folks note that Rock has a strong presence on the screen. The film opens on Friday. FlashBack! When talent and personal insanity collide, the result can be breathtaking. Art “Love Machine” Barr was that kind of combination, and for a brief while it looked like he was going to explode on the international scene. The other trouble with talent and insanity meeting is the danger to the source. Art Barr burned bright and brief. Art Barr, like so many workers who became well-known in the Pacific Northwest, was a second generation wrestler whose father was a popular, but not terribly successful worker named Sandy Barr. He grew up with the fans at the Portland Sports Arena, and with the wrestlers. His hero was one Rodderick Tombs, aka Roddy Piper. While he was small, about 175 when he started straight out of high school, he was a good worker from the get go. He had a few troubles in his youth, including a cocaine bust while he was in high school, but he always had his eyes on wrestling. Piper was instrumental in getting Art his first break. In 1989, Piper had Barr put on some ragged clothes and make-up to resemble Michael Keaton from Beetlejuice. The bit was an instant hit. I can’t think of a gimmick that was so brilliant. Barr would come to the ring leading a procession of kids, from pre-schoolers to teens. He was a sort of Pied Piper, and got big reactions. He was one of the last big things in Portland wrestling, but he was easily the biggest thing in the promotion. The gimmick though did have a downside. In July 1989, Barr and a 19-year old fan had sex on the stairs in the arena. There were conflicting stories and Barr was charged with first degree rape. This got plea bargined down, but a great deal of damage had been done to Barr’s name, as the Portland press did not let up on the fact that he was being pushed as a face with the kids following him. The promotion stopped using Barr due to the heat that the local press was giving him, and the local commission refused to give him a license renewal due to the earlier coke bust. He had to find work somewhere and WCW came calling. WCW used the same gimmick for Barr that he had used in Portland, only they called him The Juicer. The Juicer wasn’t around for too long, but he did meet Konnan while he was there. With his WCW dates drying up, he was signed to work dates for EMLL in 1991. This recharged Barr’s career. Using the name Love Machine and wrestling under a mask, he was free of all the pressures that he would have faced in the US. He was making good money as star and brought his family down to Mexico City, though they eventually left. EMLL was making big money in those days, drawing more fans than any other promotion in the world due to the fact that they were finally televising matches regularly. Love Machine’s feud with

Blue Panther was what launched him to big time success. The two feuded for several months until a Mask vs. Mask match was set for April, 1992. Blue Panther won and Barr unmasked. They drew 18,000 fans in the building and 8,000 more to the parking lot to match the match on a screen. This was a huge success and may have been the most successful drawing match of the year in Mexico. A month later, Konnan and booker Antonio Pena left EMLL to form AAA and Barr went along with them. In late 1992, Barr finally received a license to wrestle in Oregon again and he won the Christmas Night Tag Team Tourney with Konnan. They brought the belts back to Mexico where they became the AAA belts. Love Machien had always been a fan, and the turn took a long while. He returned to his feud with Panther, drawing huge crowds. He used the illegal tombstone piledriver on Panther, which got him disqualified. That started his turn, which ended in a classic turn where he beat on El Hijo del Santo with Eddy Guerrero. That night, Los Gringos Locos came into being. Guerrero and Love Machine quickly became the biggest thing in Mexico. They were the perfect team, with Guerrero working in the New Japan style, and Barr doing the huge heel bumps and and using his almost over-the-top facials. They were sort of a Lucha Hart Foundation. They headlined AAA most of the year and stole the show on the huge When World’s Collide Pay Per View in LA on November 6th, 1994. That was Barr’s last match. Barr came back to Oregon to see his son. In the morning, when no one had heard from him, his mother went to his house and found him dead. He was 27. There were a great many questions as to the cause of death. Many thought that it was drugs, as he had a drug conviction to his name and he was unknown to the partying that went around. He did seem to have a heart defect that was very similar to the one that killed John Ritter, but likely it was exacerbated by drug and steroid use in the past. I see many parallels between Barr and James Dean. On top of the world, ready to break through even bigger and he saw his life end suddenly, just before the pinnacle, making him more of a legend. The team of Love Machine and Eddy Guerrero was one of the greatest ever, and if you can find tapes of their matches, do it.