OK so last week’s episode was an actively good show. All three matches were laid out smartly and showed in full. Actively good in ways that made you think that there might be some internal changes with the promotion and that might be the start of a string of good shows. But apparently that show was just an anomaly as we are back to the full time SUCK.
-Once in a while Don West gets to demonstrate why he still rules. Here he does a nice job explaining why Sting and Angle would be going for their finishers in the first 30 seconds of the match. “Both of these guys are trying to finish off the match early, get a quick surprise win. This is a good strategy as both are such veteran greats that are used to long matches….”Actually explaining the rushed nature of the work as being “strategy” in a fed where matches don’t go over two minutes anyway was awesome.
-Rare that I like a TNA video package, but the TNA video package recapping the Roode/Eric Young angle was good. Well I don’t know if the package was that good so much as I really really liked the fake James Bond/Elevator Action spy jazz soundtrack that they played behind it. Someone needs to use that as entrance music.
-Eric Young’s really 80s style babyface mic work may have been better than Jeff Jarrett’s babyface mic work from the week before. The “Eric friend” angle went from being mentally slow John Heidenreich looking for “friend” comedy to a real serious discussion of loyalty. I mean I had no reason to believe that Young was capable of that but he really pulled it off. “Sometimes you need to fight your own battles; no matter what the consequences…my word is never broken”. It came off natural and unscripted, and he wasn’t derailed by the audience claiming that they were “His friend”. The beat down on Young for heat was also good and the Jarrett interaction was fun. I’m not the biggest fan of Jarrett hitting a woman with guitar shot for face pops. Felt out of place next to the type of babyface mic work Young was doing. Really I prefer your traditional southern babyface either laying a big kiss on the heel woman or putting her across his lap for a spanking to north east pattern of Hogan stripping and then beating Sherri Martel for pops and Dudleys putting girls through tables. But it may be too late to turn back that clock.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
-So last week all matches were laid out well and shown in full. This week all matches were laid out so poorly that it felt like a shot at last week’s road agent:
-Both Sting matches were booked to feel really throw away and really a misuse of Sting. Last week Kurt Angle claimed “Having less than 8 years in the business, means I’m still in my prime”. Watching Angle vs. Sting really exposed that lie. So I recently watched 66 year old Chvao Guerrero Sr vs. 54 year old Tatsumi Fujinami. Chavo Sr. still looks great when he’s on offense but really struggles to eat anything. He takes all his bumps really awkwardly. Angle took one flat back bump fora lariat and looked like Chavo Sr. taking it. and really doesn't have Chavo Sr.s offense. Meanwhile Sting eats an overhead belly to belly and takes a nasty bump into retaining wall. They end the match after about a minute of wrestling with Christian’s team attacking Angle. Sting comes to Angles aid yelling”we need someone out here”. Fuck where was Sting last week when Abyss needed help? Later in same show Eric Young eats a nasty beating where Tenay and West talk about how bad a beating it was and how it reminded them of last weeks beating on Abyss. Didn’t remind anyone of the beating on Angle. There were some nice punches by Tomko but really an unimpressive Angle beatdown that made the seriousness with which they treated it seem silly. You can’t do two beatdowns of a face like this in same show as there is no way for the audience to figure out an ordinal scale to measure which beating means more. Stupid. Sting got to work a less broken down wrestler in the main event. The Christian Cage vs. Sting match looked like it might have been good live, had some nice bumps, nice big spots looked like it was paced well etc. But really the commercial in the middle really fucked up all that and turned what might have been a good match into a real nothing match. The big SWERVE of Angle who earlier “had to have his neck stabilized” running out in the end didn’t really accomplish much either. Stupid show lay out.
The other matches weren’t much better. Team 3D vs. Tomko/Steiner was really laid out poorly. Tomko’s a guy who eats stuff well and can bump around ring well. Steiner can’t. For some reason this match was built around Steiner eating stuff, missing clotheslines to transition and bumping around ring. He can’t do that at this point and the whole short match looked awkward. People on the net lately have been praising Devon while shitting on Bubba, which is ridiculous as Devon has sold as little if not less than Bubba and looked as shitty on offense. So I should point out that the Tomko/Devon exchanges of forearms is the best Devon stuff I’ve seen in ages. I should also point out that Konnan on commentary called Devon an “eggplant”. "Eggplant"!!! I guess Konan isn't running for Virginia Senate seat, but still. ...Konan never worked UWA so I don’t think he ever shared a locker-room with Allen Coage.
-And well then there was the FOUR CORNERS SUICIDE STAMPEDE!!!! Four Corners Suicide Stampede!!!! Awesome it’s a match with a stupid name and ridiculous rules. Yeah last week was a complete anomaly. This is what TNA is all about. It’s a four way tag match where winning tag team gets to challenge X division title holder in a three way. Think about that for a second. Oh yeah and they’re wrestling with rule that you can’t tag your own partner. This was one of the most transcendently bad and stupid things I’ve seen in TNA. I mean think about the purpose of the match, think about the stipulations. I mean reverse battle royale was awful in execution but the actual idea wasn’t this dumb. Don’t get me wrong this was also awful in execution. Why are Shark Boy and Senshi a team? Kazarian and Alex Shelley? How did they decide how to put teams together? If you’re not allowed to tag own teammate why would you ever want to tag out? Alex Shelley tags self in while his partner is in ring and asks for the finger point finish, exposing the stupidity of the entire concept. First couple tags are done as accidental tags: Shark Boy accidentally tags out by high-fiving Williams. But then pretty much everyone goes “fuck this, this makes no sense anyway" and just come in and out without bothering to tag. At one point it was like they were using lucha rules, except instead of “wrestler can enter ring whenever another wrestler goes to floor” they were using “wrestler can enter ring whenever another wrestler takes a flat back bump”. If someone takes a flat back bump, that’s signal for you to enter and replace him??? God this was a fucking mess.
Originally posted by tomkI’m not the biggest fan of Jarrett hitting a woman with guitar shot for face pops. Felt out of place next to the type of babyface mic work Young was doing. Really I prefer your traditional southern babyface either laying a big kiss on the heel woman or putting her across his lap for a spanking to north east pattern of Hogan stripping and then beating Sherri Martel for pops and Dudleys putting girls through tables.
To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires, and lights, in a box.-Edward R. Murrow