9242007 Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere!

It’s time for some news… I’ve not had the chance to watch any current wrestling this weekend, so I spent a little time watching old stuff while I was on the BART (portable DVDs are the BOMB!) and looking up stuff on the web. This is what we in the industry call a Twippledop, so hold on. Kurt Angle is crazy. He’s always trying to settle some sort of deal that allows him to stay in the spotlight and work as little as possible. The latest ploy has the IFL at its heart. He said he was in talks with IFL about fighting for them. He said he’d need about a year to train to make that happen. Now, it’s not impossible that it’s true. He’s talked to a lot of companies about a lot of things (one of which was Warner Bros. about doing a talk show, believe it or not) and it could be that they had some serious talks. The guy’s pushing 40, he’s in great shape but is likely still on the juice, and he’s never fought in MMA at all. I’d say he was a little crazy to try, but it could also be his way of saying that he doesn’t want to wrestle much and will use training as an excuse to draw a paycheck for showing up for PPVs and work towards his day in the ring. The Observer noted that he was at the IFL finals and said he was in talks. There a lot of money in Brock Lesnar, but he’s being hard to get for a couple of groups will working for the good people in Japan once in a while. UFC has made a great offer and he’s on the fence about taking it. The suspended guys (at least John Morrision, Kennedy, Edge, Helms, Funaki, and Haas) will be back the first of October. That’s a good thing as they can run a stronger program, but let’s see who comes back smaller and who never gets pushed again. Ric Flair is gone, but they still hope to get him back for one last run. McMahon himself is big on getting him back but Gerwitz just doesn’t get it. No word on the Benoit Diary pages being released to the public. There are ten pages out there, according to the Observer, but no one’s sure how they survived when the rest of the diary was destroyed. A neighbor had the pages and handed them over. If you are a conspiracy theorist, this might be the time to start asking the hard questions about timeline and access control to the scene. I watched Flair vs. Vader from 1993. That would have been the perfect time for Flair to retire. I know he still thought he had it in him, and at times he has, but watching the emotion and the work of the match, that was the time to let go and start over. Vancouver has banned MMA. That’s a blow to the UFC who could have done good money with Georges St. Pierre on top. Vince McMahon has reached out to former employees, specifically wrestlers but there are others on the list, offering them counseling This is a positive step and it looks like they’re willing to take further steps. The talk right now is that they’d like to have guys alive.

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Dave Meltzer wrote a stinging editorial against the Jock Mentality in the latest Observer. It was rough, saying things like guys shouldn’t play hurt. There’s a can of worms that needs to be dealt with. I saw a great video about AWA’s Training Camp. It was from Wide World of Sports in the 1970s. Chris Taylor, the Olympic Gold Medalist, was one of the guys training. I think part of that footage was used in the AWA DVD from the WWE. The big MMA show next weekend is at the Playboy Mansion. I know I’ve said it before, but I just needed to remind folks that Heaven exists. What does it take to build a big match in MMA? I mean, personal issues are easily (ie. Shamrock vs. Ortiz) and luckily wins can be big changers (Cro Cop vs. Randleman) and there’s the big name who can face anyone and draw a number (Randy Couture because of his amazing story) but the match that I think will turn the world on ear is Emelianenko vs. Cro Cop. Why? Because that way they’ll either rebuild Mirko Cro Cop or turn Fedor into an unstoppable machine. Fedor vs. Couture is big money and if Randy won that one, he’d have to be considered the greatest heavyweight ever. John Cena is being considered for a run that is longer than Hogan’s in the 1980s. They’ve talked about having him drop it, but between his popularity with children and his usual workrate (not counting the debacle at Unforgiven) and you’ve got a long-term star. In many ways, the WWE is rebooting wrestling philosophy by changing the product in many ways. Giving people the feeling that a title change is rare again is a great idea. The Great Khali isn’t expected to be going anywhere. October 21st in San Francisco and October 20th in Las Vegas are the first two Ring of Honor shows in the Western US. I’m excited for the SF show because I’ll be there and it’s my birthday! I now have my entire wrestling library back for the first time in years. I watched some early 1990s All Japan Women’s wrestling and I have to say that the stuff they were doing with the outsiders from JWP was amazing. Mayumi Ozaki, Dynamite Kensei and Cutie Suzuki. You kind find a lot of their stuff from tape traders on the net, and it’s really worth sniffing out. I miss Ray The Crippler Stevens. The guy’s been dead for a decade and I still miss him.

OK, that’s this edition. I’ll have more on Thursday, including RAW.