By way of introduction I’m known as Lucian (not my real name) and I’m a professional wrestling fan from Toronto, Ontario. I watch all the wrestling I can on TV and sometimes order a Pay Per View. I’ve been a fan for years (since the day of the original Raw/Smackdown brand split to be precise) and play wrestling video games and write wrestling fan fiction for Hollywood the Game. I’m looking to be your regular wrestling columnist for My Hollywood Dream. On Saturday I attended the Ring of Honor internet Pay Per View and last night I watched World Wrestling Entertainment’s Fatal Fourway Pay Per View.
If you wonder why I like wrestling there are a number of reasons. I’m a big fan of long-term continuity. A few weeks ago Rampage Jackson was on Monday Night RAW promoting the new A-Team movie. To make a long story short Rowdy Roddy Piper showed up still nursing a grudge against Mr. T and the original A-Team. Where else but a soap opera or a comic book do characters show up nursing a grudge over two decades old? Unlike a comic book these are real people. They age, they retire, they learn, they come, they go but it’s one big storyline stretching back to the fifties. Unlike soap operas it has impressive displays of stage combat. As a former stage actor I was always a sucker for good stage combat. I also like larger than life characters, classic struggles between good and evil and some comedy mixed in now and then. Plus hot women (and men) means I expect to be a fan for a long time to come.
That does not mean I think the current state of American professional wrestling is particularly strong. WWE is struggling to adapt to its new PG rating while Vince Mcmahon’s wife Linda runs for public office. TNA tries to offer an alternative but they usually look second rate compared to WWE and seem to blow every opportunity that comes their way. Ring of Honor offers a true alternative but not on a major TV network and with their Pay Per Views on the internet. But wrestling can change on a dime. One new personality could change everything. There could be a next Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin about to debut at any minute. You never know…
Which brings us to tonight’s show. Some interesting things have been going on in WWE programming lately and we’re going to see things come to a head tonight. The rookies from season one of new show NXT have invaded the company. The Undertaker was found beaten into a vegetative state (to cover a real life injury) and his brother Kane will stop at nothing to find the culprit. And, perhaps most important of all both the major championships will be defended in Fatal Fourway matches; where the champ has a statistical 75% chance to lose his championship. Add in a few minor matches and it should be a full card. But who knows, a last minute match could always be added.
Our opening promo highlights that we’re seeing two big Fatal Fourways tonight. For the uneducated a Fatal Fourway is a four-person match where everyone competes at the same time and the first person to score a pinfall or force a wrestler to submit wins the match. We’ll also see a women’s Fatal Fourway tonight but that’s not important enough to mention in opening credits. Also, the Smackdown half of the promo heavily features Kane, who is not even in the match, and his quest to find out who put his “brother” The Undertaker in a “vegetative state”.
We begin with an appearance by Mr. McMahon himself. He’s here to let us know Raw General Manager Bret Hart will not be here tonight. He even shows us the footage of the renegade faction of former NXT rookies attempting vehicular homicide on Hart. Recently Daniel Bryan was legit fired for choking someone out with a tie, but apparently using a car as a weapon is just fine for a PG rated show.
Before Vince leaves we bring out Vince’s pet project Drew McIntyre. They shake hands and when Drew reaches the ring he calls out Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long, who he has been abusing for weeks, to watch his title shot from ringside. We finally hear from the announce team as current Intercontinental champion Kofi Kingston arrives to defend his belt. It’s a 3-man announce team tonight of Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Matt “The Teacher” Striker.
This is a good choice for opening match. Drew McIntyre isn’t a great wrestler yet but Kofi’s flashy style keeps the match exciting throughout. McIntyre works typical heel style, inflicting early damage on Kofi’s left arm then focusing on it throughout. With so much focus on Teddy Long at ringside it’s no surprise when the ref goes down and McIntyre forces Teddy Long to take his place. But Teddy grows a pair and refuses to count Drew’s pin. But Drew’s other enemy, Matt Hardy, attacks him, despite being suspended. This lets Kofi make the comeback and this time Teddy is happy to count the pin.
A quick backstage segment tells us The Hart Dynasty have a 6-person tag against newcomers the Ousos and Tamita tonight. Neither Tyson Kidd nor David Hart Smith are any great shakes on the microphone yet.
The first Fatal Fourway of the night is the most minor, for the Divas championship. This being WWE it’s more about being hot than being a great wrestler. Gone at the days of the Fabulous Moohla. Our competitors are Maryse (hot French Canadian), Gail Kim (hot Korean Canadian), Alicia Fox (hot African American) and champion Eve Torres (hot Hispanic American). Of them all Alicia Fox is my least favorite and she picks up a win by stealing the pin from Eve, becoming the new Divas championship. It would have been a bad idea to have the champion retain but Fox is not someone I think deserves a title belt.
We get a face-to-face between Rey Mysterio and The Big Show, the good guys in the Smackdown Fatal Fourway, to make it clear they are not going to do each other any favors. Rey looks like a midget compared to Big Show. Show’s fist is almost as big as Rey’s head.
Another surprise match between Chris Jericho and Evan Bourne. Word is WWE Management put Chris Jericho in the doghouse after he signed to do the ABC TV game show Downfall (Tuesday at 9 on ABC) and John Cena recently went to bat for Evan Bourne. So it’s no surprise when the rising youngster picks up the win. But Jericho doesn’t dog it at all and the match is superb. If you need to punish Jericho then losing to a rising star is far smarter than having Big Show crush him as they did on RAW.
To find out the results of the rest of the WWE’s Fatal Fourway event, check out part 2 of Lucian’s Wrestling Report.