Congrats to Cassidy OReilly on getting signed to WWE developmental. Really don’t know how I forgot to pimp him in the “who from ROH/TNA could make it in larger [i.e. WWE] arena environment” thread. He was one of the highlights of early TNA. We listed him at 275 the first time he landed on the DVDVR500. He then disappeared for a while came back as a jobber, Dusty took a look at the jobber talent and decided to push him and Candido, unfortunately Reilly was hooked up with the suck that is Raven and then after Dusty left Reilly was pretty much left unused. No reason to believe that WWE will make better use of Reilly then TNA did, but here’s hoping.
Don West is great!!! “That’s so diabolical. That’s so Raven.”
Christian’s velour shirt.
The five minute midcard six man was better than I expected. You see a six man of Sabin,Storm, AJ Styles vs. Chris Daniels, Rhino and Petey Williams and you expect shit. You expect just awful unwatchable even match. Instead they work this with faces moving forward/heels moving back. The Williams/Sabin section is still bad but they actually had Sabin heeling and begging off instead of just trading stuff. Styles is always fun as heel prick and James Storm stays heel by refusing to keep punching when the crowd starts to count along. Styles does a spectacular job at eating Rhino’s normally shitty looking spinebuster, and Storm does an amazing job of eating Daniels normally shitty looking stroke. Which is the glaring problem with this match. You have a pair of heels (AJ and Storm) who are really great at eating and selling offense against a set of faces who don’t have particularly good looking offense and whose idea of working as babyface is all about shouting. Williams gets a section of babyface hits lots of moves and then does fired up screaming “YEAH”, section of Daniels hits lots of moves and then does fired up shouting “AAUGH” and then Rhino doing the same. AJ Styles with the Finlay tribute finish was cool. And the five minute main event was a lot of fun. Christian’s mugging in the cage amused me. They put up a “reserved” seating sign on the cage. I assume this was put there to keep out that creepy old man who sits dead center every week “Hey I showed up first on line I can pick any seat I want to sit in”. I’m not a big fan of the ringside cage but this really felt like a match setting up the cage “high above the ring” (which is where I like my cages). Tomko is a guy who will fly all over the ring to try to make Abyss look good. Tomko does an amazing chokeslam take. Most of Tomko’s offense also looked crisp with a nice clothesline and a sharp big boot. Tomko did do some fists from the mount at the end which didn’t look good. In his second to last Heat run Tomko was using some nasty looking knees from sidemount. He should stick with those. Abyss did do some of his garbage I am sandpapering the sky punches but Tomko kept this brawling and moving. They really should be protecting Tomko more than they do.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
-This was the Jeremy Borash show. Why is Jeremy Borash on my TV? They already have a semi-competent backstage interviewer in Leticia. Do they really need two backstage interviewers? Where is Leticia? Jeremy Borash was all over this show. I mean he must have had five different comically inept segments. Borash asks Joe “For once you didn’t interfere with Angle’s match”…”for once”? He’s only interfered in one Angle match the one on the last episode. Angle was face last episode so I was expecting him to be heel here, instead this question and the whole framework of show has Joe as heel. The Borash interviews Samoa Joe and James Mitchell segments were set up with Borash asking an initial question then camera panning away from Borash while they answered. This had the nice feature of keeping Borash’s reaction shots from fucking up interviews. When Borash interviewed the Dudleys he positioned himself between the two and you were stuck watching a lot of Borash mugging. Why is Bubba doing a Slaughter impression? Or was that a Kirchner impression? It came off like second rate Portland Rambo impression. Not even a poor man's Sgt Danny Davis. They WWE's released Doug Basham no reason not to bring in the real Sgt Danny Davis. They replaced "Tenay does sit down interview with jungle drums playing in background" with "Borash does sit down interview in empty movie theatre". They’ve either replaced the sit down interview theme music or they were watching Cocoon as the music was all swishy and space operaish. The sit down interview was hilarious as Borash asked Chris Harris “How are you doing emotionally?” If Jeremy Borash is going to be doing fake Sally Jesse Raphael, he needs to start wearing scarves.
And then there was the JB and Eric Young segment.
So apparently it wasn’t anal lube. Traci Brooks sent Young out for protection. I thought he had a week or else. This would be the end of the week..but I’m guessing that Russo remembers giggling all though sex ed and thinks birth control devices are just naturally funny. So they are going to drag out Eric Young buys birth control for as long as they can. This week Eric Young shows up back stage with the pill and thinks he is supposed to take it and it is supposedly making his breasts tender. First of all this isn’t funny, second they went with the making breasts tender joke and not the regulating period joke, third the pill isn’t something you can get over the counter. It’s prescription med..everybody knows this. I mean DAMN! Ok about a year ago I was out at a Mongolian Barbeque place and the IT guys at the table next to me were discussing the birth control patch. One of these nerds said he didn’t understand “what happens if it falls off in the heat of passion”. At the time I was blown away by this level of ignorance and because I’m an ass started loudly talking about it. “HEY DID YOU HEAR WHAT THIS IDIOT AT THE TABLE NEXT TO US SAID?? HE ASKED WHAT HAPPENS IF THE BIRTH CONTROL PATCH FALLS OFF IF YOU’RE FUCKING TOO VIGOROUSLY!! I BET HE THINKS YOU NEED TO SWALLOW VIAGRA QUICKLY OR YOU’LL GET A STIFF NECK. WHAT AN IDIOT!!” I want to apologize to that table of IT guys as even they wouldn’t write a comedy segment as ignorant as the Eric Young, Jeremy Borash one. So the joke was supposed to be “HAHA look at that naďve Eric Young he thinks men are supposed to take the pill”. Instead the real joke is “HAHA the comedy writers at TNA have never been around actual women and don’t know anything about how birth control works”. Russo has a wife and he’s raising two daughters who he supposedly had a part in conceiving. I mean I realize after you’ve spent enough time in wrestling you just assume that everyone has access to whatever prescription drugs they ask for. But still.
Eric Young asks Borash to touch his newly tender breasts. Young: “Grab That” Borash ”No thanks, I’ll take you on after the show”
I bet you will.
-What the fuck was going on with Angle vs. Matt Bently? Bentley hit one nice lariat (his missed lariat leading Angle to transition to offense was laughably bad as it looked more like a callisthenic stretch than a missed lariat) but still why are they working a competitive squash with Bentley controlling 70% of the offense? So sometime in 2004/05 as I was regularly pimping the superiority of Smackdown wrestling to RAW wrestling, someone asked me to rank the RAW brand workers. Like many projects I take on I never finished it. I watched a lot of HEAT put together a list and started writing blurbs. At 14,15,16 were Angle, Tomko and Shelton Benjamin: athletic spot guys who couldn’t actually lay out a match. I had a lot of trouble deciding on how to order those three: but really felt that despite his body falling apart, Angle should be ranked highest. Angle was getting a regular feature in 3 minute Kurt Angle Invitational matches. These were fun three minute squashes where Angle let opponent get a bit of fire before beating them. He was the one of the three guys in 2004 who could put together a fun under three minute squash ( both Benjamin and Tomko struggled at putting together compelling squashes). Being able to lay out a meaningful match means more to me than how spectacular your spots are, and Angle could lay out one type of match well. Tonight TNA runs Angle vs. Matt Bentley in a three minute competitive squash where Bentley controls 70% of the offence. Bentley hits a vertical suplex on Angle and then controls the former Olympian on the mat with a headlock that Angle has to throw strikes to escape. Angle can’t even squash a jobber well anymore? After the match Raven comes out to discipline his jobber team. How many times has TNA booked the ex-ECW guy to mentor a team of jobbers through tough love? How many times have they done this? James Mitchell, Candido, Diamond, Raven at least twice, Shane Douglas…am I missing someone? Shane Douglas mentors Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas., Raven mentors Bentley,Kazarian and Stevens …The joke is “Whats next? Is Simon Diamond going to take Elix Skipper and David Young under his wing?” Gawd and they now need to pump in crowd noise for Angle matches...they've exposed him faster than VKM. The whole show was filled with pumped in fake crowd heat which is really sad as this is the iMPACT zONE. This isn't a critical crowd.
-The ads for the Iron Man match are hysterical. “30 minutes of fury, 30 minutes of hatred.” I couldn’t read between the lines and realize “Hey they’re advertising an Angle match where he’ll be comatose for the whole thing” as instead of focusing on the “30 minutes” I got caught up in the “fury and the hatred”. They’re running an Iron man match on the same PPV with a Last Man standing match (Texas Death), where the Iron Man one is supposed to be hate filled. Ideally you do 30 minutes of nothing but chair shot DQ falls as might be best way to protect two injured guys. Apparently instead Angle concussed himself in first 6 minutes and wasn’t able to call the match short so Joe called the last 24. I think that may have been what they were actually advertising. “We guarantee 30 minutes with a guy who had to call a match home 14 minutes early because his body can’t take it…this time he won’t be allowed to do that”. Normally I think I’m really good at reading between the lines but somehow I missed that as I’m kind of interested in seeing what Joe can do with a comatose Angle.
-Sting is a guy who has been wrestling for about twenty years at this point. Heavily pushed charismatic babyface for most of that time. But never really a guy known for his mic work. I can’t think of a single angle he was in, in all that time where he was asked to carry the bulk of the mic work. Heel Sting had Missy and Eddie Gilbert to carry the mic work. Surfer Sting could get over youthful enthusiasm on the mic and would cup his hands around his mouth and do a war whoop. Crow Sting was all about him being silent. So it’s really odd to watch how great Born Again Sting is at presenting conviction on the mic. Really Sting is single handedly carrying this Abyss storyline. It’s pretty clear that he’s writing his own stuff as his mic work is on such a different level from everyone else in this angle. For some reason this show had a Jim Mitchell promo while Sting was stuck doing mime. Shitty.
-Do I really need to explain why the Voodoo Kin Mafia in San Antonio videos are stupid? I mean I’ve already covered this as thoroughly as one can so read the last 8 of these. If you’re too lazy to do that: TNA is in competition with WWE. VKM has declared was on VKM. The Voodoo Kin Mafia are acting as the surrogates for TNA and their fans in that competition. The promotion/audiences surrogates are portrayed as insignificant buffoons who are being ignored by the WWE and can’t tell the difference between Alamo rental car and the Alamo. Plus no one sang “Davey Crocket”. "Killed a bar when he was only three" It's a great tune.
It'd be a Gobbledygooker 2.0 moment if it's anything but the Network. Because it's CES, there are a hundred companies doing presentations. It may be just be that was just the best time they could get to actually get media over there.