12122003 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere!

My name is Chris and I just got three new stories published SmackDown! on Fast Forward I had to watch this on fast forward, and it was an OK show, with a main event that I really liked and had all sorts of hometown hero heat and a finish that didn’t really make sense. Paul E. gave a nice promo, one that I left the remote alone for. He is so great at playing the role of the heel promoter/commissioner, probably because he was a heel promoter for such a long time. He said he was gonna build SmackDown! around Brock like Vince Sr. did around Bruno and Vince Jr. did around Hogan. A nice touch. Rhyno vs. Bradshaw was better than it had to be, since I never expect much from Bradshaw. I fast forwarded a bit, but not as much as I expected. Well, they addressed the Nathan Jones situation by suggesting that Heyman fired him as a part of some punishment. He made mention that he would be firing A-Train for betting for Benoit last week. I do like the fact that they are using the FBI as bookies. I like that a lot. Maybe it’s because I have a gambling problem. OK, this Cat bit I watched all the way through, mostly because I didn’t believe that it was as bad as it seemed the first zip through. Just awful. Selling it as Sable and Cat doing a musical number was a bad way to sell this terrible segment. Let me say that The World’s Greatest Tag Team is the best team in the WWE. Let me also say that Los Guerreros are the best team in the WWF. I can’t decide. This was a great match, with excellent action and a tight feel that gave it a legit atmosphere. Chavo played the soon-to-be-heel role very well. Eddy was great too. Shelton was great, and Haas has taken off in a big way. I want to see this feud go on. Cena vs. Big Show in the Rap Battle was a lot of fun. How could any segment with the line “You’re the white girl and I’m Kobe Bryant!” be anything less than rad! Benoit did a serious interview that got Benoit over. He and Brock have a similar interview style that isn’t great, but it does get across intensity and seriousness and makes the programmes seem more effective. The way Brock treated Rey at the beginning of their match, including tossing him around by his leg really made the comeback that Rey got far more effective. Brock is great at playing the bully, nad Rey is great at playing the underdog. Nice run around segment by Mysterio. Rey did what he does best, and Brock sold it all right. There were times that it seemed the crowd would buy into him beating Brock. They got rabid once Rey started

getting real near falls. They were nuts for it!!! It was a good match where everything worked nearly perfectly until the finish where Brock used the Brocklock on Rey for the submission. I really like the Brocklock. The crowd was dead from Rey’s loss, and only picked up by the post-match run-in by Holly dressed as Rey. It was a nice touch, but they should have gone further. It went so fast, though Brock took an awesome bump to the outside. This was a good show that I think well start the SD! crew running towards their half of the Royal Rumble. News All sorts of stuff. Charlie Haas and Eddy Guerrero had a brawl backstage. The story goes that Eddy had a sore arm and Haas worked it over a bit to stiff, leading to the two having a brawl backstage. This was broken up after Chavo got involved, and the two were made to shake hands afterwards by Jim Ross and John Laurenitis. This could be developed into something more serious. There was a serious issue on the flights to the Far East last weekend. They needed to make an emergency landing in Russia to refuel. Then there was a very rough landing when they arrived. Most have said that they feared for their lives, especially Ric Flair, who was in a serious plane crash that killed Bobby Shane and ended Johnny Valentine’s career. Nathan Jones was so shaken up that it was the last straw for him. FlashBack! The AWA was in trouble. There was no question that as 1987 rolled around, the AWA was basically using ESPN and the noon slot as a life preserver. They were still putting on some good matches, especially with Nick Bockwinkle on top, feuding with Curt Hennig. The two had a classic sixty minute draw in Las Vegas at the end of 1986, but to settle things, they were put into a match at SuperClash II at the Cow Palace. The show was well built. Everyone knew that this was going to be the first match in the big Hennig push to the title. They were both faces at the time, and Bockwinkle was obviously waiting to go to the retirement window. They did a great build and they had a classic waiting for them for that fine May afternoon. They also had Ray Stevens, the all-time biggest draw at the Cow Palace in the 1960s, teaming with the Midnight Rockers of Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannety, against Buddy Wolfe, Doug Summers, and Kevin Kelly. This was a decent enough match, at least for those of us that were there live. Sherri Martel, the AWA’s woman’s champ, took on Medusa Micceli in a really good woman’s match. Considering everything that was being given to us by the women of the WWF at the time, this was a great match. The big deal was Jimmy Snuka. Snuka had been feuding with Col. DeBeers, who was constantly dropping racist propaganda on the mighty Fijian. I always wondered why DeBeers wasn’t scheduled for the match, which was instead given to his minions The

Terrorist (Brian Knobbs, later of the Nasty Boys) and The Mercenary (Tennessee wrestler Ron Fuller). Snuka chose as his partner San Francisco 49er Russ Francis. This was huge as Russ was big in the Bay Area. His father had been a wrestler who was big in the Bay Area during the Ray Stevens era. Now, all of this, mixed with the Cow Palace being a great building with huge history that was regularly drawing big for the WWF house shows that came every other month or so, they should have done a big number. They didn’t. They drew last than 3,000 fans…including me. The show was OK and comes across OK when viewed on video today. Hennig turned at the end of his match, where Larry Zybysko, the lead heel of the AWA, handed him a role of quarters. They were supposed to do a Best of Seven series, like the one that had worked so well with Magnum TA and Nikita Koloff the previous year. Nick ended up quitting and going to the WWF as an announcer, ending that possibility. Hennig was awarded the title that had been announced as held-up, and had a reign that proved that he could carry a ton of older wrestlers to good matches. He would lose the title to Jerry Lawler, giving him his first real World Title. There were a couple of highlights for Verne Gagne’s crew after this, but this was a huge black mark on the promotion. It was a shame, as this was a great show. WrestleMania 3 had just done so amazingly well that anything done afterwards would need to be bigger than the AWA could possibly do. They were dying, and this showed so much that they were done, even if not immediately. That’s all for this week. Tuesday will feature a look at the pay-per-view, RAW, and a new set of Royal Rumble memories.