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By DON 'Cyrus' CALLIS -- 

The word "classic" is often used far too liberally in describing wrestling matches. I tend to use it rather sparingly, but when I do use it I tend to mean that the match in question is really above the fray of the"really good" four-star match you might get every so often on pay-per-view. Think Flair-Steamboat 1989 and you get the idea of what my criteria is for a classic matchup.

Really, in order to qualify as a classic, a match should embody several qualities: First, it must be a match that fans are dying to see. It should also be between two opponents that the fans believe in on some level, to the point that the idea of the two of them going head-to-head makes you want to pay to see it -- kind of like a dream match. The match should have something important on the line, like a title, or a career, or a place of power and influence for those "smart" fans who don't believe in titles and prefer backstage intrigue. Lastly, of course, it should be a helluva wrestling match that tells a great story and suspends disbelief with its psychology and athleticism.

Pretty tough standards, but by that yardstick I believe we may have seen just such a match on Thursday night between Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar. It is hard enough to have a really good match, much less a classic, but to do so in the context of a 60-minute ironman match is really moving the bar up a notch. As a former wrestler, I can tell you that going 60 minutes in any context is very tough physically. It is even tougher to keep fans in this day and age interested in something that goes much longer than 10 minutes. Brock and Kurt pulled it off on Thursday.

It is also rare that I recommend actually seeking out a tape of such a match, as I have done in the past with the great Muto-Tenyru match of last year. That said, I strongly suggest that you get the tape of this match, after giving yourself a good swift kick in the butt for missing it in the first place. The only downside of the whole thing is how in the world is the Raw world champion ever going to be able to call the Smackdown titleholder a paper champion again? That comment looks a bit laughable at this point.

Thursday was indeed something special. Two legitimately world-class athletes at their best, literally beating the living hell out of each other for one hour and taking the "sports" part of the term "sports entertainment" to a new level -- all the while captivating fans with the sheer reality and athleticism of their match. How the heck does anyone follow that up? Short answer: you can't. Oh, by the way, Brock won the match five falls to four, but as is often the case in a classic match, it really doesn't matter who won and who lost, because both men came out stronger than they went in. Now that is what this business is supposed to be about.


Raven got his head shaved by Shane Douglas on the last TNA show after being DDT'd by Vampiro, who showed up in a huge surprise. The match was a great war between the two men generally regarded as the two most influential ECW World Champions in history. Douglas suffered a serious stinger in his elbow and toughed out the match. Raven looks completely different with his head shaved. ... Roddy Piper showed up at the show and I had the pleasure of doing a segment with him and banning him from the building. I guess Tony Condello would have liked to have been able to be there for that. ... If you are interested in becoming a wrestler, manager, valet, announcer, referee or writer, you can do it at the NHB Training Centre by e-mailing us at ... Don't forget about the big Smackdown shows coming to Winnipeg and Brandon -- tickets are still available.


You can listen to Don "Cyrus" Callis's NHB Radio Show every Sunday at 6:00 pm on 92 citi FM or, on the web at :

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