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 Cyrusofecw@shaw.ca. ...
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 :
click here for NHB