to Falls Count Anywhere. My name is Chris and blood makes
No, no, no, that is not how it's done. RAW was excessively
weak, even when they had an angle that was a surefire hit.
They had dozens of ways to play the firing, and they used
the worst one: no Austin, no real pay-off, and worst of all,
promos were uneven, not bad, just sort of start and stop.
It would get interesting for a minute, then go slack. I did
like the touch of Bischoff presenting his "Bisexual Lesbians"
to Vince, only to get knocked down and fired.
Vince section was awful, as rehiring him based on the promise
of Austin was stupid. Why not have Austin show up on the screen,
since he was in LA, and say the only way he'd come back is
if he got a match with Bisch? These are little things that
need to be looked at.
lame subjects: Jeff Hardy making the save for Test, though
showing that he is struggling to keep from turning to the
dark side is an OK angle. The Batista match was nothing, and
squashing Tommy Dreamer served no purpose. The Horsemen beatdown
that followed was only memorable for Randy Orton splitting
though, the other matches were all at least passable, though
rushed to fit in all the other talking.
Christian was decent, at exactly the same level as D-Lo vs.
Booker. The Jazz vs. Molly was quite good, but I seemed to
hear fans chanting "boring" in the middle (see the
FlashBack for more on this). Jazz would have made a good foreign
heel in All Japan Women's
Wrestling about 10 years ago, when
they were on a hot streak. She is wasted in the WWE because
the fans very seldom take these matches seriously. The Jericho
vs. Hardy main event was a good little affair, with Jeff looking
better than usual. The Dudleys beating on Chief Morley was
fun, and one of the few moments where the fans seemed to be
really into the show (stupid LA fans).
that nobody takes seriously.
have been down on Jonathan Coachman for his commentary, replacing
JR. Though he certainly wasn't at JR's level, I didn't mind
him much. I thought he took things seriously, though I noticed
the Lawler stepped up his game a notch too, so that may have
had something to do with it.
had extended the matches, brought out the Hurricane, and had
a show of Austin, I would have been all for it. As it stood,
the stuff for Bischoff took too much away for me to enjoy
As you have likely read, Mr.
Perfect has passed away. Details are very sketchy, but
the WWE did acknowledge it at the opening of RAW. A lot of
people are looking at putting together a benefit show for
Curt and his family, and the likely place for it is in Minneapolis.
of Mr. Perfect likely would have gotten a full career review
package from WWE, but all of his footage would have been from
the WWF period, and since they can't use that footage, and
have yet to buy the AWA archives, it couldn't be done.
there is talk that Nathan Jones will hit SmackDown instead
of RAW, that there will be another round of folks let go by
the fed, and that Tough Enough is in talks to return. I'll
keep you posted.
OK, I want to say one thing: wrestling fans can truly be idiots.
This was driven home by a show in Boston in 1993, where the
world realized that the WWF had lost its way.
Series, one of my favorite events each year, was being held
at the soon to be demolished Boston Garden. I was living in
Boston and was so excited, since I never got to go to live
events and here the big one was in my backyard, just 5 stops
on the T away from the comfort of my dorm.
was I excited? On the card was a match between the Rock and
Roll Express and the Heavenly Bodies from Smokey Mountain
Wrestling, and I knew I was going to see an amazing match.
Smokey Mountain was a fed in Tennessee, run by Jim Cornette.
They had gained a reputation in less than two years of being
the best small federation in the country, a place where fans
of old school Southern wrestling could go and see the best
wrestling in the world.
of familiar faces worked Smokey Mountain, Al Snow, Kane (as
Unibom), Chris Candido, Terry Funk, Kevin Sullivan, the Gangstas
and even the legendary Cactus Jack. They had great matches,
sometimes even beating the trends that the WWF was setting
at the time, such as having an amazing ladder match a week
before Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon had their famous WrestleMania
Mountain signed a deal with the WWF where the WWF would use
some of their guys, and Vince would send some WWFers down
to raise the gate. I never got down to Tennessee, so I was
happy to have them coming up to me.
all around was pretty bad, but the match for the Smokey Mountain
Tag Titles was great. These teams had been feuding for a year,
and the matches were always great. The R+Rs were legends,
multi-time NWA tag champs, and a pair of guys who could always
go. The Heavenly Bodies were Gigolo Jimmy Del Ray (aka Jim
Backlund) and Dr. Tom Pritchard, a legend and the brother
of Brother Love who now works for the WWE. The match was great,
action the whole time, building to the finish, no question,
the best match the WWF had seen all year.
chanted boring during the whole thing.
Vince had been pushing gimmicky, muscle-bound freaks for years:
guys who couldn't work, but could do a few spots, decent interviews
and simple matches.
matches from Bret Hart and Ric Flair had been on top for a
while, but the fans never responded as well to their matches
as to those of Hogan, Sid Vicious, and the Undertaker. The
fans were programmed to respond to that, and it killed any
chance of a classic match which followed the wrestling tradition
from getting over. The boring chants were so loud, the WWF
could't get rid of them for the video because they were picked
up on the announcers' mics.
this was the point where Vince knew he had to retrain the
audience, a process that took several years. After this, the
WWF was highlighted by the Bret vs. Owen feud, the first top
feud that was all workrate based. The rise of Shawn Michaels
and the phasing out of muscle-bound freaks, partly due to
the steroid trail, all helped teach the fans how to react
to top-flight 'rasslin'.
with retraining fans is that revenue goes down for the duration
of the treatment. By 1997, the WWF is in deep, but the fans
had started to turn around, and embrace the superior product
that the WWF presented. By 1998, the WWF was on top again,
and by 1999, the fans would not accept a less-than-superior
main eventer...well, at least anyone other than the Undertaker.
another Falls Count Anywhere for ya. Friday, SmackDown!, News,
and a FlashBack to-be-named later.