10312003 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere!

My name is Chris, and I’m going to revel in the funk of Forty Thousand Years! SmackDown! Nice opening match with Benoit and Angle against A-Train and Cena. John Cena did an awesome rap to open the segment. It was dirty and awesome. Cena looked really good, and Benoit and Angle looked like Benoit and Angle always do. It wasn’t very long, but it worked. Benoit won with the Headbutt! Nice. Vince gave a promo that was all hissing and spiting and anger. He was almost popping a blood vessel with every word. I liked it a lot, as it really got the bitterness and anger over. The segment was really Vince’s Oscar push. It was over-the-top, but it set up the program even better than last week. T & A shots of Torrie and Dawn Marie in preparation for their match. I just wanted to give Derek a reason to put up a shot of one of the hot babes. The Paul Heyman and Vince second metting was awesome. Paul Heyman is one of the great talkers and he delivered a great promo trying to pump Vine back up. It was awesome and perfect for the program they seem to be setting up. As huge as Vince was playing, Paul was on that level, but it didn’t feel like he was overplaying it at all. They are keeping the House Show focus by showing packages again. Good idea, and they get to use their editing skills for these little things. Their editors are awesome. Rey Mysterio vs. Ultimo Dragon was great back in 1997 and 98, but here it was a step down. Tajiri was out with his Yakuza boys doing some interesting commentary. Even with it being a step down, it was still a good match. Rey busted his regular moves, and Ultimo hasn’t shown too much in his WWE stint. I am liking the Tajiri push, as he is a solid worker and is a great talker, if you consider that he isn’t a strong English speaker. Hey, a couple of talentless big guys are in the ring? It turns out that they are Nathan Jones and Matt Morgan, who is huge and scary looking. Now, it feels like old WWF tradition, pushing undertalented green monsters all the way to the top of the card way too early. Heyman introed the boys and then called out Brock. Brock got a good response coming out. They brought Big Show out and it was pretty obvious this was some sort of set-up from the beginning. What the hell kind of main event is the APA vs. Brock and Big Show? They are pushing Hardcore Holly pretty hard in these promos. He has charisma and talent. I’ve always liked him and I hope he and Brock have a nice little feud. Awwwwww, yeah! Funaki in a fro is too SWEET!!! Torrie was all sorts of hot in her bunny outfit. Dawn Marie looked even hotter as Wonder Woman. OK, this was lame,

but they were hot! The bobbing for apples in chocolate led to Dawn getting into the tub and coming out without her top. That was awesome! Dawn Marie is all sorts of hot. Taz’s role was fun as he has such a natural charisma and he never gets to do these in-ring things anymore. It was a shame to do that to such a fine suit. Earnest the Cat is coming in to SmackDown! I dig the hell out of him. Always have. Anything that keeps him out of the announcing booth makes me happy. Taz giving Cole the big Choclate hug was nice. Taz can do comedy. OK, Eddy and Chavo do a promo backstage that rocks hard. These guys can talk, and they finally realize it. They are obviously ready to give us Eddy vs. Chavo, and Chavo was great in setting things up by bringing up Eddy’s drug problems, by whinging about how he lost his bread and butter with the tag title loss, and just being a general jerk. Such charisma. Once in the ring, Eddy got a huge reaction from the Atlanta crowd. Eddy was amazing here as the face going to the fans begging for forgiveness. He was powerful up there, reminding me of some of the great post-title interviews by guys who lost the NWA titles in the day. Eddy got all emotional and made it work for the crowd. Soemtimes these types of things can turn a guy to a sissy in the eyes of the fans. Here, they were begging him not to be so hard on himself when he said he sucked. Eddy looked tough and came out of this looking tougher than ever and getting a big pop. Eddy is the next big thing and his feud with Chavo could be Bret vs. Owen type stuff. Shaniqua came out and Latino Heat made a Mamacita reference. Ah, Chynna is gone, but not forgotten. Eddy cleaned house on all three. Eddy got Austin 1998 type heat for the beat down of the Bashems and Shaniqua. After the tide turned, the Bashems started getting serious heel heat. Chavito came out a little late, prolonging the turn a little longer. Heyman did his heel commish bit with Eddy setting up his handicap match with the Bashems for next week. Team Angle vs. Team Lesnar is shaping up. OK, Angle, Benoit, Hardcore Holly and the APA vs. Brock, Morgan, Cena, Big Show, and Jones is an entertaining idea, if they can keep the talented guys in and the others on the apron. Hey, Undertaker in a confessional promo about choosing the Buried Alive match with Vince. Everyone is saying that this is the time when UT will lose, get some time off and then come back as the dead man. Hell, I’m all for it, if he is going for the long run. At least the main event was action-packed, even if it wasn’t very good. They are bringing back the hobbling with chairs stuff, which hasn’t been around for a while. It was a good beat down on the APA, and the post-match brawl was an awesome way to get heat on the match for SS.

Well, this show had way too much talking and too little wrestling. The wrestling wasn’t bad, and the Dawn Marie and Toorie stuff was lame, but I have to admit that it was kinda fun. I am most interested to see what the rating turns out to be. NEWS Well, RAW has been putting on solid shows and has been getting ever-increasing ratings, at least until this week. After SmackDown! pulled in a surprising rating last week, RAW went down three tenths of a point to a 3.4 for Monday. Now, I think football was a bit of a factor, though it wasn’t a marquee game, and the rest of the competition was at normal levels, save for fire coverage on much of cable news that got solid ratings. The Kane / Shane / Test stuff got the peak rating, which is troublesome to me. Add Jeff Hardy to the wrestling folks who are working on their music. He’s got a concert coming up in Cincinnati. Matt might be jumping to RAW to get involved with the Heel Dude with Face Chick angle. It sounds like a nice fit, if you ask me. FlashBack! The Junkyard Dog was not the best wrestler to ever walk the Earth. I’m sorry all of you 1980s fans who adored the Dog and his majestic Thump, but the guy couldn’t work a lick. The same could be said for Jake Roberts, though he was amazing on the mic and could pull off an angle like nobody’s business, and Butch Reed, who had amazing hair. But the best of the non-workers were the Road Warriors. And one of the keys to the Road Warriors success was a guy you’ve never heard of unless you were watching TBS on Saturday afternoons in the 1980s. He happened to be the Alabama State Junior Heavyweight Champion Mike Jackson. You would not think of Mike Jackson as a wrestler if you were to see him on the street. I think he was about 5’7, not much muscle, and a beard that made him look more like a pastor at a liberal church, which I believe he was at one point, than a wrestler. He was a top-notch wrestler in college back in the day. He must have started a tradition, as his son was a fine wrestler at Kansas as well. He was mostly a jobber in the larger territories, but I believe he ran a small office out of Alabama where he was king and went over some big names. He never succeeded in such a venture, but he was still important. You see, he made guys into stars. In the early days of the Road Warriors in Georgia Championship Wrestling, Jackson was their favorite opponent. He was small, which made them look bigger. He could bump all over the ring, which allowed their moves to seem even more devastating. He allowed himself to be destroyed week after week, even while being billed as the Alabama State Junior Heavyweight champion. He wrestled the Road Warriors on TBS at least thirty times with just as many partners. He took hundreds of clotheslines, and his weight, around 150 or so, allowed Hawk and Animal to do reps on the press slams. He made the

Road Warriors stars. I am sure that if we could look into the ratings, Mike Jackson would have been in more high scoring quarter hours than almost any other wrestler of his size. The Road Warriors were made and they started taking on other guys, but Mike Jackson stuck around, doing jobs for everybody. He and Arn Anderson had a good match back in 1987. Dr. Death Steve Williams destroyed Mike for ten minutes in one of the greatest squashes of all time. Sting, Rick Steiner, Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Bam Bam Bigelowe, and The Midnight Express all beat up on poor little Mikey over the years. I still remember a match from 1986 when Ric Flair, then the NWA heavyweight champion, took on Mike Jackson in a match that I would call great for the TBS studio days. Flair seldomly wrestled in the TBS Studio tapings, though he was always doing his interviews. They went almost 15 minutes, and across a commercial break. Mike worked Flair on the ground and Flair then chopped the hell out of the poor little guy. It was a great match that ended with the classic figure four after several minutes of Flair dominance. It was a great match. I am told that Mike Jackson still dons the tights once in a while, which is nice to see that not all 60+ people in the work force are in fast food. If you get a chance, get some of the early and mid-1980s World Championship Wrestling tapes and watch Mike get destroyed by some of the legends of the business. That’s all for this week. Keep an eye open for more fun and frolic next week, including a look at cage match that changed the world.