10282003 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I’m a licensed diamond dealer.

RAW A sweet package opens up the show. I keep saying it, but the WWE does these things better than anyone but NFL Films. They make you want to see the follow-up. Hey, there’s a cage hanging over the ring. Always a good sign. Flair came out with Evolution and got a good pop from the Flair Country crowd. Flair was awesome on the mic at the opening, doing his strut after bouncing off the ropes. Giving the mic to Bautista was not a great idea, but he has some mic talent. If only he could get a little charisma, like Randy Orton has a ton of. I’d say that Orton just needs some time and a real push to make him a true star. Then again, having Orton push for HHH to get the title back was a obvious nod to the Boss’ son in law. I liked the segment, especially Bischoff’s role. The guy is great. Jindraik and Cade come out and get a nice pop for a little bit of a beat down. Sweet! Trish and Lita in their bras, taking about Trish’s mysterious love life. It’s still a weird angle. Booker gets a good reaction coming out for his match against Rico. Booker looked very good, though not as good as Jacky Gayda. Seriously, she could be a serious star diva if they just got her with a real wrestler to manage. Booker squashes Rico leading to Jericho coming out. The concept of lowering the cage to allow for a beatdown was a good one, but they needed to time it better as it would have been much better if they had let RVD climb the cage and jump onto them. Holy SWEET CRAP!!! They are pushing Shane as a killer face in the Survivor Series promos. It’s a bad idea, as much as I like Shane, they are shooting themselves in the foot by not having a new star instead of giving a family member the top face spot. Theodore R. Long comes out with Mark Henry and he’s wearing the greatest suit ever. Seriously, let the man talk. Lance and Henry have a match that isn’t really good, but it allowed Shawn Michaels to get a round with the crowd and get a really good pop. We’ll see how Godly Michaels is when he and Mark Henry have their singles match. Anything that is nearer to decent than crap will be all HBK. The Hurricane and took on La Resistance. Rob Conway makes for a much better tag team with Dupree. Hurricane with an awesome sumersault plancha. Heinreich looked like exactly what I had heard he would. Beautiful twisting neckbreaker by Conway with Hurricane on the top rope that will end a career sooner or later. That was still pretty damn sweet! Hurricane looked damn good, as he usually does. They gave the big albino

a modified Rock Bottom as a finisher. How predictable. He might be able to get over if they make him into an unbeatable monster…like Shane-O Mac. Shane took on Test in a No DQ match that sucked at moments and made Shane look far too good. Why devalue Test in favor of the boss’ son? Oh, because he’s the boss’ son. He does bump well, and there was a nice Van Terminator. Lita opens up the woman’s four way like a house of fire with a good back heel trip that you don’t see enough. Everyone looked good with Lita working up to the level of the rest. Wow, what a stiff and sudden DDT by Lita to get the win. A fast match that went too short. Well, Coach coming out and doing his book review was lame until Stone Cold came out and intimidated him. Really, that’s all they needed to do in the segment. Coach has good heel instincts. Jindraik and Cade took on Flair and Orton in match that wasn’t bad, but Maven botched his portion of the finish. There was cohesion from last week’s show, which also helped a lot as they can know hook people with on-going storylines. I think Maven will be a big star once he gets his ring legs fully. They made a bad camera choice when they failed to show Cade getting the over-the-back neckbreaker from Orton. RVD vs. Chris Jericho wasn’t a bad pair of short matches, but there was a good amount of RVD slop. Once the cage came down, things got worse. I liked Jericho a lot, especially when he got his solid offense in. I liked the rematch angle when used against the heel for once, and RVD getting the win in the end was a smart call. This was easily the match of the night, as nothing else got anywhere near enough time to develop like this did, but it had some problems. I’d say this RAW was slightly below the last two weeks, though it’s nice to see Cade and Jindraik getting a taste of a push. The bounty angle needs to play more and it will get stronger as time goes on. They shouldn’t kill it now, but should have Goldberg come back and keep the heat on. NEWS The wedding was this weekend and all went well. They are off on their honeymoon now. Stone Cold’s autobiography comes out this Tuesday. It’s said to be pretty good, on the level of the Lawler biography for style, and the Lita bio for honesty. Bradshaw apparently made some bad financial picks on his last outing on the Financial News Network, or whatever it’s called. He picked Merck, which has stumbled, and he took flack for it. FlashBack! Japanese wrestling exists because of American wrestling, mostly due to tours of US wrestlers into Japan following WWII. The odd thing is, since then, there has been a huge

divide between US and Japanese wrestling. Almost no American knows anything about Japanese wrestling, non-Japanese wrestlers, who tend to be the best in the world. And the best wrestler ever to come out of Japan is Mitsuharu Misawa. Misawa was born in 1962 and was a fan of Giant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta. He was one of a wave of students trained for All Japan Pro Wrestling by Dick Beyer. He was a standout early on and was sent to Empressa Mexicana Lucha Libre in Mexico about 1982. He was there for a couple of years, generally soaking up how to use highspots and submissions. Some think that it was Misawa’s years in Mexico that made him so good at the six-man matches they had in the All Japan glory days. He came back and was given the honor of carrying on a tradition that had mostly faded: Tiger Mask. The original Tiger Mask was Satoru Sayama, the man most responsible for changing the traditional mat-based lightheavyweight style to a more flying version, introducing moves like topes and back handsprings. Tiger Mask had been a people comic back in the 1970s, so he was the first Japanese cross-over gimmick. Tiger Mask retired in 1984 after only 2 years in the game. He went on to do shoot fighting, but people never took to him like they did when he was fighting as the flying Japanese luchadore. New Japan had been the home of the original Tiger Mask, but All Japan figured they could get the rights to the name Tiger Mask and put their own guy under the mask. They chose Misawa due to his years in Mexico. Misawa was amazing from the beginning. He won the Wrestling Observer match of the year in his first year under the hood in a match against Kuniaki Kobayashi, a lightheavy who had come over from New Japan not but a few months before. He won various titles under the mask, including the NWA Jr. Heavyweight title. He was teamed with various stars in his days as Tiger Mask, including Jimmy Snuka and Giant Baba. He was a star in the country, having met many of the stars of the company in the various tournaments that All Japan specialized in. He was believed to be one of the three best wrestlers working the Japan. He formed a tag team with his future rival, Toshiaki Kawada, and they were highly successful. One day in 1990, he asked Kawada to unmask him and he wrestled without the mask for the first time in five years. Shortly after unmasking, he was given a match with Jumbo Tsuruta, the All Japan legend he had grown up watching. The match launched him to singles heavyweight stardom. The match made him the star of the company and everyone could tell that he was being groomed to take over as the top star. He had many matches with Tsuruta, which won them Wrestling Observer Feud of the Year. That time came fast as he won the All Japan Triple Crown in 1992 from Stan Hansen. The reign was very long by All Japan standards of the day, more than 2 years. He was also a half of the Misawa/Kawada tag team that was frequently voted Japan’s best. The two broke up and Misawa began teaming with Kenta Kobashi, the young rising star who was having amazing matches day in and day out. The two formed perhaps the greatest tag team of all time. They feuded with Kawada and his new partner, Akira Taue. The two teams met several times in the Real World Tag Team Tourney, producing several match of the year candidates. They were the chief reason for a string of sell-outs at the 16,000+ Budakan Hall in Tokyo.

Kobashi and Misawa had several famous matches, including one in 1997 that won Match of the Year, and one earlier this year that many consider to be the finest match by either man in the last three years. Misawa was the chief singles star, as a victory over Misawa meant you were a real star after Tsuruta and Baba retired. He kept adding moves to his list, including being the man who introduced the Tiger Driver, The Elbow Suicida, and the Emerald Fusion. These moves made him a star, a heavywiehgt who was doing lucha inspired flying and mixing in huge suplex and submissions. His style is closest to what the second wave of New Japan Juniors have been using over the last 7 years or so. He held the Triple Crowd 5 times, but was tiring of the way All Japan was ran after the death of Giant Baba. He headed the group of wrestlers including Kobashi. The group was named Pro Wrestling NOAH and after a hot start, faded slightly, only to come burning back. They have mostly eclipsed All Japan over the last year, and their wrestlers are among the best working today. Misawa himself has scaled back a bit, mostly due to the fact that his body has begun to break down. After dozens of injuries he has his off matches, but still, his match quality is above 90% of the guys working today… or ever for that matter. He’s like Ric Flair and Rey Mysterio mixed into one guy. Well, that’s all. Friday more.