gt11192004 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere!

My name is Chris and I get odd phones calls all the time… SmackDown! If there was one thing we knew going into this, it was that John Cena was going to win the US Title from Carlito Caribbean Cool in the main event, as a way to deal with CCC’s injury which could keep him out for a couple of months. John Cena opened up with a decent little promo that managed to get a few good pops, but was nowhere near the level they would have wanted for a guy returning to free TV. He did bust a fine line, referring to Carlito as the Pillsbury Fro-boy. Sweet. Not a bad segment. We got the Tough Enough elimination of Chris Nowacki next. Seriously, I don’t care about any of the guys who have been kicked out, though the guys I like are all still in there. They then came into the ring to do the Capture the Flag challenge against The Bashems. Solid idea, as they had the guys trying to make it to the flag in the corner while the Bashems held them back. The Miz did not do well at all. The Vanilla Gorila, I think that’s what they call him, did better. The cocky blonde guy tried football hits, which didn’t get him close. Justice, my choice for the guy with the best look, also got close. Daniel Puder, easily the guy who should be chosen, nearly had the flag twice. Seriously, three of the biggest guys did OK, but Puder was so close when the buzzer went off that he only would have needed another second or two to get the win. This was the best Tough Enough segment yet, nothing stupid, a serious contest for once and it went the right amount of time. They debuted three new Divas tonight, though all of them had been on the Diva Challenge. The first one was Michelle McCool, who helped RVD and Rey Mysterio stretch. She’s hot, but not as hot as the other two. Carlito had a meeting with Theodore R. Long where he tried to get out of his match with Cena. Teddy said no. Nice to see Carlito and Teddy talking. It couldn’t have been a worse time for Carlito to go down to injury, as he was getting on a real roll. Heidenreich and Paul Heyman did a thing talking about how nuts Heidenrreich is. Then he had a match with Charlie Haas. He gave Haas a shoulderbreaker, but rolled out of the ring and started raving. The end of the segment, with Heidenreich rolling around outside seemed to have been directed by Carl Theodore Dreyer, as it was almost all in close-up. It was like The Passion of Heidenreich de Arc. Dumb segment, but at least Miss Jackie was really hot! Rey Mysterio and RVD beat Kenzo Suzuki and Rene Dupree in a non-title match. OK, the heels did nothing, but Rey sold most of the match and told a good story. Rene had a nice spot on the outside where he put Rey’s head between his legs like he was going for a

powerbomb, but then did the French Tickler. He of course got hit for it. There were a few good spots, and RVD was solid without missing too much, though I am betting they edited it a bit as this was supposedly a really long match. Rey played face in peril, but got a tag and RVD cleaned house. RVD and Rey do double team moves, which I appreciate. Now-spectacular, but Kenzo was bleeding. Kurt Angle announced his new gimmick: The Kurt Angle Hometown Invitational. Dean Fisk came out and got beat. I know where this is leading and I will certainly be at the next San Jose show. Thet’ll keep this up and when they are in San Jose, they’ll have Daniel Puder accept the challenge and that will be awesome. Amy Weber is the new Image Consultant to John Bradshaw Layfield. She looked damn awesome. I’ve had a thing for her since she was on Son of the Beach. Just look at the photo. They had JBL come out and make a victory speech. He talked a bit and then Booker came out calling for a match for the title. Then Eddie Guerrero came out. There’s nothing as cool as the jacket he was wearing. Seriously, Eddie became the best dressed man on SmackDown! with the awesome ¾ length jacket. Then the Undertaker came out. Teddy Long then said that they’d all have a fourway match. That’s a good thing, as Eddie and Booker can carry the workload, while our friend Undertaker and JBL can bring heat and drama and most likely blood. Should be an interesting match. The tough Enough folks were given twenty seconds to say why they should stay. Puder got a decent reaction. Joy Giovanni, the boobtastic Diva Search contest who should have won, debuted working on CCC’s shoulder until he expressed his dissatisfaction. I am so glad she’s back, and I’m sure she’ll be rolling around half-naked in the coming weeks. Oh YEAH! Carlito Caribbean Cool dropped the US title to John Cena. Cena beat him up on the outside then took him in to the ring and pinned him for the belt. It was all it could be due to the injury to CCC. After celebrating, Jesus the Bodyguard Attacked John Cena’s kidneys, which led to him being carried out. It was predictable, but it worked for me. I liked this show. It did what it had to do and I wasn’t bored by any of it. Even the weak stuff, like the Heidenreich piece, didn’t bother me. I’m liking SmackDown! more every week. NEWS I really don’t have much. The big one is that the Savage deal is complete and he’s in to TNA. The early returns seem to indicate that the TNA PPV did 40k buys, which would be profitable. No one has been fired by the WWE this week. FlashBack!

Wendi Richter was the ultimate Vince project. He had one of the hottest stars in all of entertainment with Hulk Hogan and he was looking for a female counterpart to Hogan. He settled on a star who had been doing well in the various feds who happened to have decent charisma and a good look. The way to do it, Vince reasoned, was to get Richter hooked up with a real big mainstream celeb. He had one of the best at his fingertips. Cyndi Lauper was a wrestling fan growing up, and supposedly Capt. Lou Albano had known her for a while leading up to appearing as her father in the video for Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. 1984 saw Cyndi have a string of hits, which put her only behind the huge names, like Michael Jackson, as the top pop music star. Supposedly, and I believe this is true, Albano had gotten Lauper to agree to work with the WWF by using his connections to MS charities and agreeing to donate, something that may have genereated up to four million dollars for the cause. Cyndi was put with Wendi for a good reason: they had similar styles and they both had accents. The deal when they got Cyndi involved was brilliant. Capt. Lou was doing an interview saying that he made Lauper a star. He ran down women and was very funny, as he always was, and Cyndi hauled off and slapped Lou. She issued a challenge for Albano to find a woman to manage and she would get her own woman. Lauper picked Richter, who was nowhere near a name at that point. Albano picked long-time WWF Woman’s Champ The Fabulous Moolah. The stage was set for the first MTV wrestling match: The War to Settle the Score. The match was a big deal, with Richter winning the match and taking the woman’s title. This was a huge deal, as she was said to have held the WWF Woman’s title since 1956 or so (this is not true, as she had dropped the title a couple of times in Japan). They did an angle where Albano tried to make it up to Lauper for all of his evils by presenting her with a Gold Record. This was huge, as they did it on MTV. They did it on Piper’s Pit and Lauper didn’t want to accept it, but Piper took it from Albano and hit Capt. Lou with the record. This made Piper the top heel in the US and Hogan, who made the save, got even bigger. This was the height of the WWF, and Wendi Richter…well… You see, she wasn’t on Hogan’s or Piper’s level. They were pushing her huge and they couldn’t get her over huge. Sure, she still got some nice reactions (I can remember her getting the second biggest pop at the Cow Palace in 1985) and lost the belt to Leilani Kei and won it back. She was set for a long run when she become Bret Hart twenty years before Bret Hart. Wendi Richter’s contract was about to come up. Vince went to her and told her that she had to sign the contract. Wendi was about to go out for a match with Spider Lady. They had been doing several matches with Spider Lady over the previous few months, usually played by Fabulous Moolah, though I seem to remember that Spider Lady was played by either Donna Christanello or Judy Martin, though I’m not 100%. Vince sent her out there, and according to Richter, she was supposed to go over as she had on all the other matches they had had. It didn’t go like that. After a minute or so, Spider Lady put her into a cradle and got the pin. This was the first of Vince’s double crosses, getting the title

away from Wendi so he could build a new woman’s star. He went to get Sherri Martel, then the AWA woman’s champ, though it took a while to get her. Richter went off to Japan and the US indie scene, though she was mostly working on foreign soil. She had a pretty good feud with Monster Ripper (Rhoda Singh) and a few other Japanese stars. She was used as the star the first time any of the Japanese women’s videos were available in the US. They still only sold a few thousand copies, but most of them came because of Richter’s face on the package. Wendi’s come out of retirement a few times, never for very long. There was talk about bringing her into the WCW to feud with Medusa in the late 1990s, but something fell apart. I believe she always claimed that she was never paid for the Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n Wrestling cartoons, which featured her very prominently. There may have been a lawsuit over it, but it was settled if it actually went forward. Wendi recently has been hitting the reunion and conventions scenes, including doing a match with Sherri Martel. She’s not likely to do much from here on out. That’s all for this week. Next week will feature an early look at this year’s award season by talking a bit about Tag Team of the Year.