11252003 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris and I am about to shake it like a Polaroid Picture.

RAW WHEEL-OF-WRESTLING!!!!! RAW Roulette opened with Bischoff out with the wheel, talking about all the cool match possibilities with the lovely young ladies out with him. Shawn Michaels entered to a great pop, and the Salt Lake City crowd chanted for him during his talk. Bautista came down and was all stiff in his delivery. Best Line: Michaels- “Come on down, you jackedup Nimrod!” Michaels and Bautista was set up for the PPV as a way to get Bisch a little heat from the crowd for denying them the match then and there. Bischoff chose a tag match between Flair and Bautista and Michaels with Chris Jericho. Lita and Victoria had a cage match as a part of the RAW Roulette. They kept saying that this was the first Women’s Cage match. There are a bunch of them from the last decade or so, including several from all Japan Woman’s. This was a solid match where the crowd was really into Lita. They hit each other hard, threw each other into the cage a lot and and just fought a good fight. Lita got the cage door slammed on her head while she was about to escape, allowing the very hot Victoria to get to the win. Christian made the save in this strange storyline. The ending was the same as the classic Christmas Night match between Flair and Kerry Von Erich where Terry Gordy slammed the door on Von Erich to start the legendary Freebirds vs. Von Erich feud. Orton was hilarious in his interaction with the showgirls that Eric brought out. He claimed to have pre-spun the wheel for Orton, giving him a Legend Killer Match. Then he announced the Hurricane would fight Rosie in a Capture the Midget match. I really wanted to see that one last time around. Orton took on Sgt. Slaughter in the Legend Killer match. Slaughter looked like he’d skipped a few meals in prep for this one, not like the blob he was last time. They talked about Slaughter wrestling Bob Orton Sr. and Cowboy Bob. I believe that makes Sarge the first guy to wrestle all three generations of a wrestling dynasty. The match was short, but Slaughter got a lot of offense that had the crowd way into him. Orton got a rope break to save himself from the Cobra Clutch, and then hit the RKO for the pin. RVD came out and brawled with Randy a bit. This could be a good match at Armageddon. Lance Storm and Val Venis tried to score with some of the Gorgeous Ladies of Utah under the guise of showing them that wrestlers weren’t so bad. Hurrican and Rosey chased the midget into the room. It was silly, but I really wanna see them catch that midget. Hurricane was funny with his giant net. Flair did what he has always done: gave a good interview to get the other guys, in this case HHH, Orton and Bautista, over. I really wanna get the Ultimate Flair DVD.

They did a Strange Bedfellows Match. In Mexico, they call these parejas increibles, where a heel and a face will team in a match. This time it was Garrison Cade and Buhbuh Ray Dudley taking on Matt Hardy and Christian. Christian got all sorts of cheers, which must be the rub he’s getting from being programmed with Lita. It wasn’t a bad match, with Cade doing an awesome elbow off the top for the finish. It was a fun match, and the fall out managed to get Cade more face time to do his great subtle heel stuff. Goldberg was made to look very bad again, as HHH was about to pin him when Kane’s fireworks went off. The match was good, with Goldberg working harder than usual and HHH bringing his A-Game. The opening is still impressive, as Goldberg is made to look tough as leather. This was an important match, great heat, and it felt like an event, but the way they dealt with the ending was not a good idea. The match and the interference led to Bischoff making it an Armageddon 3-Way Main Event. This could be interesting, but I think they just use it as a way to get Undertaker back into the fold. Mark Henry beat Booker T. Mark Henry beat Booker T. It just doesn’t sound right. Jericho and Trish kept up their angle, and the Midget was around again, finally jumping into JR’s lap, getting Ross declared the winner. RVD got screwed into having to take a Handicap Singapore Cane match with Test and Steiner. It wasn’t a good match, but RVD tried to make it into something better. RVD almost got the win, but he was attacked with the cane that kept him from the winner’s pay window. Trish Stratus beat Jacky Gayda in a Bra and Panties match where Rico also had his pants ripped off. Lillian then got stripped. We were all winners. Jericho and Michaels beat Flair and Bautista in an entertaining match. The work was solid, and Flair seemed to break his nose while running the ropes. There was a good amount for blood there, too. This had one of those endings that I love. Michaels caught Sweet chin music on Flair and Jericho hit Michaels with the Superkick that sent Michaels falling onto Flair for the win. Nice Ending. The show held together well, as the bad guys got to beat on the faces over and over again. I was impressed that while there was no match better than just good, it felt like an important night. Matched like Goldberg vs. HHH and Lita vs. Victoria actually felt important. A strong show. NEWS No one died this weekend. Shocking for 2003, the most death heavy year on record. SmackDown! did a 3.6 rating last week, which was a nice number that I am sure UPN is happy with.

I caught Goldberg on Maury Povich, as he was reuniting with a girl who knew the heartache of eczema. He came across as a good guy who did a lot for charity, which I’ve always heard is very true. FlashBack! William Muldoon was a wrestler. He was likely the wrestler of the 1870s and 1880s. It’s hard to understand the fact that wrestling was everywhere in those days, every carnival had a troupe of wrestlers would travel with them, appearing in dozens of cities every year and competing against each other and usually members of the crowd. In fact, during the Civil War, most regiments had wrestling challenges that saw the naming of Regimental Champions. Muldoon supposedly learned wrestling while serving in the Union Army. Muldoon was born in Belfast, NY, but after the War of Northern Agression, Muldoon headed to NYC to serve as a copper. He was well-known for his physical training. He taught other cops how to defend themselves. Ever since, cops have been competing in various fighting contests, including in recent UFCs. Muldoon would wrestle, most frequently in Greco-Roman affairs, and began to draw large crowds. About 1875, he did something that almost no other American had done before: he became a full-time athlete. Most athletes would either have jobs for the off-season, especially baseball players, or they would play sports on the weekends. Muldoon was one of the first to make his entire living off sporting, and he made a very good living at that. Not too long afterwards, Muldoon won the Greco-Roman title from French champion Christol. He later wrestled Thebaud Bauer at Gilmore’s Garden. As the site would later be the home of Madison Square Gardens, it’s fair to say that this was the first major wrestling event on the site of the World’s Most Famous Arena. Muldoon won the match, maintained the Greco-Roman championship and won a ton of money. Muldoon was an active champion. He wrestled stars from around the world, including the first important Japanese professional wrestler, Sorakichi Matsuda, who Muldoon easily outweighed. They wrestled a number of times, with Muldoon winning more than his fair share. He wrestled champions from Europe, all over the US, and even a couple of wrestlers from Australia. He was a big part of getting international wrestlers into the States, which would help make US the wrestling capital of the world. He was so popular that he was featured on regular sporting cards alongside great boxers and ball players. Muldoon was also a trainer, not only of wrestlers, but also of boxers. He trained John L. Sullivan, and also toured with him doing feats of strength and boxing and wrestling. Muldoon was big into physical fitness, and opened the Muldoon Hygienic Institute in Purchase, New York. Sullivan came to Muldoon to train for his famous fight with Jake Kilrain. Muldoon had some strange methods, including threatening the Boxer with a baseball bat and wrestling him into submission if Sullivan wanted to go out for a drink. Sullivan won the fight since he was back in real fighting shape. Muldoon eventually became the first boxing commissioner in the US and held the post until 1929.

Muldoon and Sullivan met in Gloucester, MA in 1887. Supposedly, Muldoon slammed Sullivan, the most popular boxer of his time, and the crowd went nuts and charged the ring. Is it true? Who knows, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the fight was stopped due to a riot since that happened all the time back in those days. William Muldoon may be the only man in both the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame and in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. While he was easily eclipsed by Farmer Burns a few years later and by Frank Gotch, Evan Lewis, Tom Jenkins, and George Hackenschmidt by the turn of the century. He never fully retired, staying active on the boxing commission, but he settled down and lived his life until passing in 1933. He was well-remembered, and still gets mentioned by historians as one of the greatest of all-time. That’s another Falls Count Anywhere. I’ll be off on Friday, so Next week, we’ll have a jumbo edition ‘cause that’s the kind of bastard I am.