-Sometimes Don West’s clothing choice is really ridiculously Vegasy and ugly. Other times he dresses like the worlds greatest fashion conscious black deacon. Tonight he was in full on deacon territory with the reddish orange silk shirt with white cuffs and collar and full on matching tie.
-I liked Tomko v Joe. Tomko’s offense has gotten better looking and he still eats stuff well. The neck vice in match this short is full on RAW level silly and wow Samoa Joe is loosing a lot since the end of his undefeated streak. I thought loosing to Angle was supposed to have made him “tempered and forged”…instead it just leads to more meaningless throw away losses. Really get the sense that a one shot Tomko appearance in NYC ROH match v Joe would have been really good. An FIP match would have been really great too. Maybe they’ll be given time to do a long match in UWF or whatever touring TNA promotion they get running.
-OK so I really loved the Homicide beat down and attack on Johnny Rodz. Homicide when given the mic in this context is pretty great and violent. There is this story I’ve heard a couple times told by ex-SNCC folks about when Bayard Rusten was trying to recruit among a group of young militant blacks. The militant guys called out Rusten and argued for the need for revolution. Rusten, the organizer, carefully started to sketch out a plan for how one would accomplish a violent revolution; how you would need to keep the planning secret, how you would need to develop fronts for revolution, how you would need to carefully police your secret society, weed out snitches and possible informants, etc. Basic gist was that violent revolution would require you to kill a whole lot of your own people before you even started getting anything off the ground. I don’t know if it’s an apocryphal story or not but still neat story about nature of non-violent resistance (there’s also a really neat story about Rusten supposedly knowing that the civil rights movement was being infiltrated by FBI and saying something along the lines of “yeah those guys were really efficient workers. We put those agents in charge of stuff no one else would do”). So Homicide attacking fellow Puerto Rican Johnny Rodz was kind of poignant. In order to enact a revolution you have to take down a lot of your own, you can stop a revolutionary but can’t stop a revolution, to live and die in LAX. Sad and poignant. I mean having your comedy videographer film a serious violent beat down is incredibly stupid. Other people own cameras. Homicide referred to Channel 5150 and not Paparazzi Productions. The idea that Shelley is only guy in promotion with access to video camera is stupid. At least this time there was a lot of arty editing in the video of attack. The attack on BuhBuh’s Italian Uncle was filmed security footage style, here there was a lot of MTV style editing because “filmmaking is a passion”of Alex’s. Also the introduction of mentor of D-Von who has never been mentioned before in same episode the mentor gets attacked is stupid. Rodz is a father figure for D-Von? I didn’t know that? I’m supposed to feel for Devon because of an attack on a relationship of his that I had never known anything about? This relationship that has never been mentioned before. What happened to Samoa Joe’s girlfriend anyway? She might have been Rodz trained too for all I know. Is Samoa Joe also angry? So lots of reasons that this angle is stupid. But Homicide’s mic work combined with the violence and the subtext behind an attack on Puerto Rican in the name of a revolution built on Hispanic unity…all made this work for me.
-I kind of liked Joe’s mic work setting up his match with Christian and his mic work telling Abyss to man up. I kind of liked Buh-Buh/Alex Shelley interaction. Amusing version of Serch v. Dasit. Maybe was pedantic KRS-1. Maybe it was Buh Buh as Bill Cosby lecturing these young hip hoppers about the evils of their materialistic druggy existence? "Not like when I was growing up and we were respectful and I hung out with Ray Charles and jazz heads at the Playboy mansion, there was no misogyny or drugs there." Ehh, I can't come up with the right analogy. I don’t know what the right comparison is but Buh-Buh as pedantic KRS-1 is better than Buh-Buh as angry Italian Glen Reynolds. Alex Shelley as obnoxious chicken shit heel begging off “Filmmaking is my passion, see I went through art school” was also pretty amusing.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
-Ok so having your comedy midcard gimmick filming your serious violent angle is stupid but it worked for me. But having Buh Buh no sell and pinball Homicide and Hernandez around the ring and only sell for the comedy midcard guy is absolutely idiotic. Homicide and Hernandez are involved in a “serious” blood feud with team 3D. Nash is a character who provides comic relief and Alex Shelley is working a comedy heel gimmick. Buh-Buh sells nothing for the people who he’s engaged in a serious blood feud with. Instead he sells fear of Nash and a low blow from Alex Shelley. This is backassward, and embarrassing.
-I think part of the reason that Joe’s mic work came off well was that he didn’t have mood music played behind it. I mean the “Massacre in New York” video had all kinds of editing and that made sense because Alex Shelly went to art school and all. Sting does a promo where the strings and mood music completely drowned and distracted from anything he was saying. Chris Harris did a promo where some rejected ER/House type medical show’s theme song was getting played louder and louder. And I missed half of what he said because someone was flat lining. Someone (but not Shelly…are they going to bring in Mareck Brave as Shelly’s film school rival?) was filming the humiliation of Eric Young with Benny Hill theme on calliope playing endlessly. Am I supposed to laugh at Young’s humiliation or feel sympathy? At least Joe got to do his backstage mic work without being drowned out by music. I will also point out that Abyss miming reflection and contemplation really shat on the Joe mic work. And was tempted to put the whole thing on the bottom. If you thought Abyss crossing his arms and bugging out his eyes to sell “I’m crazy” was shitty, wait till you see Abyss cocking his head, squinting and rolling his eyes back to sell “I’m pensive”.
-For a guy who is all about working 50-50 matches Angle sure isn’t doing anything to put Steiner over in their brawls. The formula with Steiner v Joe was that two would stand toe to toe exchanging blows while security would come and they’d do lots of pull aparts to build up heat for the actual match. The first Samoa Joe v Angle PPV match (the one that actually drew) was built up the same way. I like pull aparts. Liked Don Frye and UFO in New Japan, liked the pull aparts that would end every Zero-One show in their first year of existence. They build heat. Angle and Steiner aren’t having pull aparts. Angle is beating up and manhandling Steiner. Steiner gets his buddies to come over and they “play the numbers game” so Steiner and them can take advantage. Or this week Steiner just has security pull Angle off him. Steiner talks shit about Angle Angle comes in takes Steiner down and beats on him until security pulls Angle off. Steiner stiffed the hell out of one of the guys working security but he gets no shots in on Angle. Angle wants to get at Steiner and pretty much the story they are telling is that if only Angle can get Steiner alone Angle would have his way with him. Are they building to a cage match? Before they build to their first actual normal match? They’ve done absolutely nothing to make me believe that Steiner can stand toe to toe opposite Angle. Nothing. No reason to want to see this match. I mean they are doing stuff stolen straight from both guys’ series with Joe : Steiner wasting a Natural, Angle snapping and attacking authority (although it should be said again that the Angle snaps stuff didn’t draw last time). But it’s pretty clear that they have no idea of what worked previously. Pull apart brawls only work when BOTH guys are going at it.
-This was a weird episode of TNA in that normally I have no idea how the audience entertains themselves. I mean they have to spend 80% of the show watching backstage stuff taking place on monitors. They have to wait through that to get a couple of shitty three minute matches. What’s the advantage of watching that live as opposed to on TV? This week my sense is that the X division 6 man might have been actively good live. Pretty much had two good teams. I mean Sabin isn’t much but he’s pretty much kept to jabs and heeling at this point and well Jerry Lynn was kept out of ring for most part. So most of this was Senshi/Lehtal v Shelly/Starr. It looked like Shelly and Starr had a nice section working Lethal over as face in peril and it looked like they had a nice build to finish and endrun through the finish section. And I love a "This is Awesome "match that ends with a roll up. Match looked to be about ten to twelve minutes long and like it might have been good if we actually saw it. Unfortunately we didn’t see it as they go to commercial after first minute, come back four minutes later and then the camera keeps on going to the announcers table for a good chunk of match. I could almost make the match out. But I felt like a teenager watching Playboy channel on scramble-vision. Every three minutes maybe I’ll get to see a 20-30 second shot of actual action. Ki/Backlund v Starr/Rodz could be really great parejas increibles.
-There is no way to realistically gore someone off a scaffold. Why advertise something that you can’t possibly do?
Well, I think big heel characters have to have a certain type of charisma. I was a kid when the Sheik and Bundy were around, but I had their big rubber LJN figures and always had them (along with Big John Studd) work over Hogan.