So I haven’t done one of these in ages and damn this is an awful episode to get me back on the wagon.
HOLY SHIT did this show suck. I can’t think of anything nice to say. I guess Christian got off one semi amusing line with “Of all the Booty Daddies I know, he is definitely the biggest and baddest” and James Storm had one neat jumping kick. And well watching the Dudley/Konan electric cage match LEGACY video package did remind me that I really do like lucha cage matches where the top of ring is electrified for first five minutes, and Konan was the “brains” behind the Star of Death Cage Match. Devon may be marginally better than Cibernetico, Bubba Ray may sell slightly more than Rey Sr., Konan is even more broken down than Perro Sr. (and well Konan in his prime was never really anywhere near Perro), I like Spike and Homicide but they’re no Juve/Rey and well Hernandez is no Damian 666…but still its lot of garbage and you can have a million random LAX members, Italians, and street thug indy workers running in doing stupid shit. If there is anyone who can make a match built around lots of extraneous meaningless shit for pops, it’s Konan. That really isn’t a “WHAT WORKED” moment so much as it was a moment where I went “Hey this might have some potential”…but there was nothing in the promo package itself that made me think that. The idea of Team 3D being in the same line as the Funks, Briscos, LOD, Arn/Tully, and MX is as ridiculous as HHH being in line with Harley Race, but honestly that’s the formula on how you’re supposed to do the promo.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
Did I mention that this show sucked? Because it SUCKED.
-Matches all stank.
-Yeah there was one nice leaping kick in the Young v. Storm match but damn was that bad. And Eric Young has a mystery “special friend”? Holy shit are they that stupid? Could they possibly be thinking of doing a Scott Damore face turn? You can’t have Damore and Jarrett turn face in same month. This stank.
- Wow was that 6-way match a stinker: Alex Shelley works the bulk of the first section and then gets eliminated. Petey Williams Russian leg sweep is shitty enough without a Shark Boy assist. Jerry Lynn is booked as Dusty where everyone lines up to take the STAR’s elbow, except Dusty had good looking bionic elbows and Lynn just has an armdrag. Someone decided to have a two faces bat around one heel section with Austin Starr having to bounce around for Williams and Lynn’s jabs. Yeah that’s right, someone thought it would be a good idea to build a section of a match around two guys who can’t throw jabs, throwing jabs. The whole premise of the match is that its pinfall or submission to start and then the last two guys have to wrestle escape the cage rules, but there is no escape the cage teases, no cage escape near falls…just two guys racing out and then one landing first. About the flattest ending you could possibly have. This stank.
-And holy fuck was that main event a mess. Ok the whole booking behind the main event is stupid. Angle and Abyss are wrestling with the winner getting Tomko’s services? The whole show is built around this premise. Trying to book Tomko as Batista to Christian’s Helmsley is incredibly stupid. Tomko has never been protected before in TNA. Never presented as anything special. He was never presented as being Chrisitan’s muscle, Christian’s Batista. Tomko has been Christian’s flunky, his Stevie Richards, his Virgil. You can tease the muscle (Hercules Hernandez, Batista) turning on the “manipulative evil mastermind”, reclaiming his manhood and becoming a threat. You can’t really do that with the flunkie. Virgil had to wear a dress and hang out with Piper as Virgilina to become a face. That may have been a racial thing that sullen black flunkee can’t actually reclaim manhood but rather needs to be emasculated again before he becomes a face. Fuck what the hell was going on with Virgil in drag thing? The point is becoming a face doesn’t make the “flunkee” character into a credible threat character. Just doesn’t work that way. They did nothing to establish why Angle would want Tomko’s services. Nothing to sugest why he feels they’d be useful.So Abyss and Angle wrestle with the winner getting Tomko’s services. Part before the commercial with Angle working the leg while Abyss fought back with power actually was surprisingly watchable for Abyss v. Angle. But that may have been only a minute long. We come back from commercial break and holy shit this may have been worse than their first matchup. For some reason Angle needs to do these complicated ROH finishes with tons of reversals. They look awful and he isn’t capable of doing them. Luckily the giant monster from the insane asylum knows mat counters. That was part of physical therapy program at the asylum. Angle hits a German that looks absolutely ass, they do a ref bump and for some reason Abyss (the heel) is given a visual fall..this whole thing was a fucking abortion. And not one of those good abortions that frees you from having to marry the girl. No. Just a horribly botched abortion where no one leaves the better. Angle wins the match, winning Tomko’s services and of course Tomko turns on him. Why is turning on Angle now a good strategy? Why do the swerve now instead of at the PPV? It might have meant something if he actually waited for the Wargames match to turn, but no. The only logical reason for the swerve is that Russo feels a show has to end with a swerve. Why didn’’t Tomko just sign contract with Christian’s team at the beginning. Is he still a guy with questionable loyalty who just wants a title shot? So they’re continue the angle where the heel team is made up of people with questionable loyalty. Someone’s watched too much HHH written wrestling where heel is booked to be fighting the odds.
-That was the main story of the whole show. Tomko has questionable loyalty, Abyss and Angle fight to win Tomko’s contract and Tomko swerves angle. It was idiotic but I’m not sure if it was the dumbest booking on the show. This is a show where Cornette is booked to set up the Abyss vs. angle match by announcing “This is a wrestling program, not a debate, not a soap opera”. Three segments later Christie Hemme and VKM are booked in a televised debate. Oh yeah and if you thought Hoyt's dancing was bad, wait till you see his eye rolling and signifying. Show starts with Sting and James Mitchell doing a “My Dinner with Andre “ segment. Mitchell explains that Abyss’ mother was the shooter and Mitchell is controlling Abyss by threatening to tell the truth to the police. Sting tries to make the most of this segment. Sting is guy who has been pushing a whole “truth will set you free” argument for last month and here he is faced with the social consequences of the truth. Traditionally a babyface wouldn’t keep a crime secret, as he’d worry that not helping the police makes him complicit. But Sting is forced to grapple with the social structures behind the Stop Snitching ethos. And he seems to understand it better then Anderson Cooper. Still the whole segment was dumb. James Mitchhell is a horrible actor, and the whole premise of “I’m going to tell you a secret about a crime” is ridiculous. They’re on TV. I mean I realize no one watches this show. But still they’re on TV, it’s no longer a secret. Even if we were supposed to pretend that the “My Dinner with Mitchell” segment wasn’t being watched by national audience, Mike Tenay clearly watched it as he explains the premise of it several times. Is Mike Tenay wearing a Stop Snitching shirt under his tux? I mean Tenay knows about an unsolved crime and isn’t calling the cops. How am I going to take Tenay’s moral outrage seriously anymore? Petey Williams needs to sit Tenay down and explain moral courage.
I covered Steph's main event match in my column on the Evolution of Women's Wrestling. That match had the kind of heat behind it that wrestlers dream of. Steph was an awesome women's champ because she WASN'T a wrestler. (Not to say she can't deliver......