-“You almost took my eye out bro”---Ok I actually dug Steve Borden’s macho Steven Baldwin extreme sports Christianity mic work this week. It helps that he’s actually now a death match worker. I should have mentioned it after last weeks show, but Holy SHIT King of The Death Match Sting is NUTS!!!!! Every post-PPV Impact, they show clips of Sting doing another insane garbage bump. He took a light bulb candelabra to the eye!!!! Light bulb not light tube. Bulbs with little wires and shit inside. Sting is nuts. I mean Flair owes alimony and money to IRS and is essentially an indentured servant at this point…he can’t turn down bookers when they tell him to work thumbtack spots and garbage matches. But Sting could turn this stuff down. He has no reason to be working death matches. It’s a shame Sting is stuck in endless feud against such a shitty brawler. I imagine Sting v. Corino could be spectacular. I mean there are a ton of really great U.S. death match workers, while Sting is stuck working Abyss' poor man’s XPW era Kronus. Maybe the poor man’s XPW Kronus is harsh..I could see someone arguing that Ryder is a nastier garbage bump than Nicole Bass. So maybe not "poor man's". "Sting is stuck working the functional equivalent of XPW Kronus."is probably the fairer statement. Point is mediocre deathmatch worker like Supreme or Pogo the Clown would be better. Could Pogo achieve Christian redemption or are there some things beyond the possibility of redemption? Sting’s parts of the main event tag match were really the only good parts of that too.
-The Miss Tennessee vs. Gail Kim pull apart brawl smoked all of the Kurt Angle vs. Scott Steiner pull aparts. Jackie is stiff as shit just walloping Gail Kim. Kim isn’t really stiff at all but Jackie still sells big time for her. Jackie picks up tennis racket and nails Kim with it, Kim responds by hitting Jackie with a mouse pad. Chris Harris’ mic work is fine but real mistake to have him do “I almost lost my eye” in a worked angle mic work on the same show you have Sting do his shoot “I almost lost my eye”speech.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
-This show sucks and well these reports really don’t capture the degree of suckitude because on some level it is more amusing to me to write the “what worked” part. Trying to find the one semi good thing that I can sort of give a backhanded compliment to is perhaps more damning than listing all the things wrong anyway. More amusing to find the one silver lining in the turd than it is to catalogue every single piece of feces. Still this show is a turd.
- I have mixed feelings about the Eric Young vs. Austin Starr match. Part of me was really tempted to put it on the top side. Essentially it was match that the announcers couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to. Completely ignored until the run ins. And it was worked like a match that was going to be completely ignored. Basically worked like a match where one guy puts his opponent in headlock and sits in it waiting for run in finish. This is a fed filled with matches where the wrestlers are trying to squeeze in 20 storyline talking points into three minutes. Matches where guys are doing a million meaningless moves to pop crowd in a four minute match. And so it was kind of refreshing watching two guys just futz around doing nothing. I mean it wasn’t like they were laying in a headlock, this was a workrate version of laying in a headlock (although that would have been more emotionally satisfying than average TNA match too) …doing lots of stuff for the purpose of not getting pops. Starr did a second rope springboard back rake. Guys futzing around deliberately trying to keep the focus away from themselves. If this match was held anywhere else it would obviously go on the bottom side of the What worked/What didn’t division, but in TNA it comes off more natural and meaningful than the rest of their shitty matches and junk.
- The show had a million and three sports entertainment and backstage segments and outside of the Sting, Chris Harris and Miss Tennessee v. Gail Kim ones they all sucked. They’ve repackaged AJ Styles as flabbergasted flustered Barney Fife, Jerry Lynn mutters endlessly, Bob Backlund brings in a urine sample as though anyone believes that TNA drug tests, 3D talk about their high school football days, Abyss’ mother shows up and Abyss sells “torn/conflicted man in need of direction” by grabbing at invisible balloons. The show opens with Angle on the mic while Rhino and Samoa Joe stand behind him in the role of Angle’s muscle. Angle is the least mic worker of the three at this point and he’s the guy on the mic!!! It should be pointed out that this is a fed that also gives Jerry Lynn and Raven extended mic segments but still. Regimmicking Rhino and Samoa Joe as Jindrak and Horshu is insane. Rhino doesn’t have the ring skills of Jindrak and I like Joe on the mic but he’s no Horshu. Angle does some sort of Voltron “three parts of machine” mic work and its one of those booking committee talking points where Tenay has to repeat “three parts of machine” again and again. The Team Angle v Serotonin match is a squash but it’s a dull really unimpressive squash. Johnny Devine does a great eat of a gore but really shockingly unathletic, unintense looking squash match. Samoa Joe once did an interview explaining how Hashimoto explained that the most important part of wrestling is the eyes. Watching the squash, Angle’s eyes look glazed over like he has no idea where he is, Rhino’s eyes look confused like he’s trying to remember where he left his keys, and Samoa Joe’s eyes just look bored as he’s struggling to stifle a yawn. Post –match Raven “tortures” Serotonin in a backstage segment. They need to stop putting Raven on the mic. This week he directly rips off Florida era Kung Fu Billy Graham mic work and totally fucks it up. And then for some reason they have Raven “torturing” Serotonin with hot wax. He’s been pasting them with cane shots for months and now he’s using hot wax? This is completely backwards. You introduce hot wax before you start strapping her with canes and paddles. What is he going to do next week? Lite spanking, gentle choke play? Completely backwards.
I'm enjoying the nuances they're brought to Cena's character. He's not the biggest guy, or the best wrestler, but he's smart enough to figure out ways to beat guys like Umaga who're bigger/stronger than he is.