I really feel that I’ve exhausted the workrate report format for writing about Impact at this point. I did it for a year. No real belief that I’ll be able to say anything new within that format. This is an episode where the format makes show look better than it was. But until I come up with new format for writing about Impact…I watch, and so I write.
-No Chrissie Hemme doing the TNA bumpers? I assume that means she's getting ready for the angle where she turns out to be Petey Williams' cousin.
-THE GRIOT RETURNS---"HIS HEAD AND HAIR WERE WHITE AS WOOD"---"HIS HEAD AND HAIR WERE WHITE AS WOOD"---"HIS HEAD AND HAIR WERE WHITE AS WOOD"--"HIS HEAD AND HAIR WERE WHITE AS WOOD" "OKADOWA KWENZA JANI" she's a rich girl, she don't try to hide it she's got diamonds on the souls of her shoes---"HIS HEAD AND HAIR WERE WHITE AS WOOD"
-It's a fucking stupid stupid stupid angle but I thought Samoa Joe did nice job with his opening mic work. Teasing dissention between James Gang is also dumb as fuck but thought BG James did a nice job with his mic work too.
-AJ Styles has some really great punches. As did Homicide. Konnan not so much.
-Hoyt/Killings vs. Diamonds in the Rough was better than it had any right to be. Hoyt stinks, but was kept from doing anything as he just ate David Young's offense. David Young and Killings are ex-Wildside guys and felt really comfortable with each other. Match was at max four minutes long and doing dissention angle is really stupid. does anyone actually want to see the Skipper v Young feud? Does anyone want to see Billy Gunn vs. BG James? I do have sick desire to see Buh Buh vs. DeVon but I'm guessing I'll have to wait a month before they run that split. Oh yeah Christian vs. Joe was fun for large chunks too. The booking of match was stupid, the clusterfuck finish was horrendously embarrasing, and they go to commercial after two minutes of action with Joe dominating and come back to find Christian completely in control with no explanation. Christian is so much better as big bumping heel working bottom than he is as strong face or heel top. And Joe is guy meant to work top. And Yeah the booking and finish were so bad this really should be on bottom but I'm leaving it topside on a week where the show struggled to have anything on the top side.
WHAT DIDN"T WORK:
Sabin/Shark Boy/Dutt/Lethal v. Senshi/Williams/Debine/Shelley
YIKES~!! this was bad. Eight man setting up Williams vs. Senshi. Most over face is Shark Boy. Shelley does nothing but heel shtick. Shark Boy has a fun face run. Devine does a nasty snapmare into downed knees. Dutt did the bulk of the work for the face team with Shelley doing the bulk for the heel team. Why those two? Who fucking knows neither are in the match they're building to. And whole thing was just a fucking mess. Mike Tenay announces that this match is dedicated to the late Antonio Pena. Match really needed multiple runins, an ex-Mascara Sagrada working as el SPIKE Televisa Deportivas, Pena on a motorcycle, heel and face refs, an ambulance chase, fake low blows, and some guy spitting out a fireball to cover for the shitty work.
GOD this show was full of BOOKING ~!! How many teams are breaking up? Rhino doesn’t care about Sting…isn’t Sting the reason he started questioning and eventually going after Christian? The main event was just a giant cluster fuck of different motivations and just meaninglessness. Why didn’t Tenay say the ladder match was dedicated to the memory of Pena? That would of at least given it some pathos. So back when I was writing these things regularly one of the only things that consistently worked was the Jim Cornette as matchmaker role. Pretty simple role, guy not really involved in the angles so much as guy who watches the angles play out and decides to resolve them through matchmaking. Sting wants to resolve issue with Jarrett, he goes to matchmakers and proposes a match. Basic stuff Cornette in role of saying “these actions merit these matches”. Tonight was all about wrestlers making matches. Samoa Joe has stolen belt which he will return if he is first in line as challenger after PPV. Abyss wants to take belt from Joe to make himself first in line. Christian challenges Joe to unsanctioned match which Joe accepts. Nash pops up and issues challenge for an invitational. Can anyone make matches? Why isn’t SharkBoy challenging Senshi for a deep sea battle? What the fuck. This was just a mess. The whole Joe with belt angle is pretty ridiculous as the entire promotion has been building toward Sting vs. Jarrett retirement vs. belt for the last ten months. It kind of hurts your major match stip when the belt isn’t there.. For whatever its worth, interesting article on the serial in Victorian society can be found here: http://www.worldandi.com/public/1998/november/crawford.cfm.. Lots of interesting points but the thing that I want to highlight is the idea of characterization driving story instead of action. The endless action/ “stuff happening” in this TNA episode just felt obviously hack and overwritten but I think it also hurts any possibility for character motivated story telling.. This much meaningless stuff actually kills anticipation for next episode in serial.
Unlike alot of other people on the net I am happy about Angle going to TNA.. I was really worried about Angle going to MMA. MMA has yet to have a big death. Eventually they will of course, but they haven't yet. Former Olympic gold medalist dieing while training for MMA would just set the sport back a ton. The neat thing about the way WWE has successfully branded itself as equaling pro-wrestling in the US, is that if drugged up Olympic gold medalist dies while working for TNA, AWA, PWFG , etc...WWE will still be tarred. So happy that he isn't in MMA. For drugged out of his gourd guys who throw alot of suplexes, he'll eat more stuff than Steiner. Unfortunately I don't think he is as good at drugged out of his gourd mic work. He was pretty good tonight but really there was no menace to it.
I have the same memories of Whatley in the mid-80's Mid-Atlantic region. He turned on Jimmy Valiant (and by extention, superjobber Rocky King, for whom he was a sorta mentor I think) to hook up with Paul Jones and his army of freaks.