I've now done workrate reports for twenty of the episodes of TNA on Spike and Yowza!!! It's like I’m back at episode one or two where best thing is some ridiculous item of clothing that Jeff Jarrett decided to wear and there are a bunch of guys being wasted in a bad 3 way dance.
Jeff Jarrett’s asshole orange pants reinforced his heel-ishness.
Pleasantly surprised that TNA crowd doesn’t chant “you got ‘IT’!!”, “you got ‘IT’!!” at Christian. TNA crowd not as bad as I expected.
Austin Aries full on goofy theatrical taunting, strutting, stoogeing and comedy selling were amusing. The match itself is below.
Team 3D/Killings vs. Team Canada was fine lil six man. Nice to see Killings back in the main event mix. On the other hand kind of shitty for Killings to be in the Big Daddy tag partner role of guy who sells for heels before ex-WWE star comes in and cleans house. And shittier when post match he is again stuck selling for heels before ex-WWE guy (Rhino) comes in to clean house. I mean Team 3D and even Rhino aren’t exactly Big Daddy and in the match Killings got a good bit of offense in, the legdrop to the groin was essentially a triple team spot (makes him appear even with other guys doing triple team) and scored the pin so better than making it seem…just somehow the post match just reinforced Killings as guy who eats offense for WWE team role. Pre-match the face team gets psyched up by saying WHAAASS UP??!! to each other. It’s 2006, isn’t there someone in the company that knows how dated that is. Then they’re all met by TNA crowd doing WHAAS UP???!!! chants and build the match around WHASS UP???!! spot. I mean I saw the profile on Killings having dreams of making it in the music business. If you’re going to make it in that business you need to keep up with the times. It wouldn’t be hard to come up with a WHAT IT DOO???!!! spot. It’s 2006. What it do??
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
Cool, Christian won the title and he puts over the history of the title and its prestige. And then he goes and does the whole whiny I was held back “shoot” talk that every champion these days now feels they have to do. AWWW poor HHH, he should have gotten the title years ago should have gotten it conception if it wasn’t for people behind the scenes. Aww poor Shane Douglas. Aww poor Christian. You got the title cause you beat your opponent. You’ve been working toward getting the title for your life, you get opportunity and you rise to occasion. How hard is it to say that? Why does one need to talk about promoters not thinking that you’ve got “it”? TNA crowd surprises me by not starting a chant.
Holy shit does Jeremy Borash make Kal Rudman seem hetero. I mean on the one hand I kind of like that TNA has decided to use a backstage interviewer. In WWE all the skits would be done with no one interviewing. Team Canada and Jarrett would talk back stage and the magic fly on the wall camera would catch them, Samoa Joe and Larry Zbysco would talk in the office and their would be no explanation of why the camera was there, whether the wrestlers knew they were being watched or not. So I kind of like that TNA uses the “interviewer” role to explain the presence of backstage camera…But that said Borash may be the worst of the interviewers they’ve had as I just couldn’t stop laughing at him as he licked his chops and rolled his eyes staring at the wrestlers. I mean if choice between using Borash and just going to the goofy WWE "there are hidden cameras everywhere" format…may be better to go the WWE route. It’s a real shame Russo had to ruin Goldylocks by turning her into a “character”as she was so much more effective as an interviewer than either Douglas or Borash. But GAWD, Borash makes Douglas seem like Lance Russel. Borash makes Kal Rudman look like Gordon Solie. How much has Bonny Blackstone aged? Is she available? Is Prentice available, he comes accross as less of a mincing queen than Borash. I like Joe on the mic and thought his stuff was good with Zbysco but Borash negated its effectiveness completely. Was excited to see Bullet Bob back in his Marine veteran jacket. Bullet Bob is good enough that you almost didn’t notice Borash. “I don’t care about my knee if I gotta CRAWL in the ring” I mean HOLY SHIT! They’ve absolutely ruined this storyline but maybe Georgia Jawjacker can save it. Then of course BG does his sitcom sell “Mama’s gonna kill me”and Borash does his sitcom double take and the angle is killed once again. The Jackie Gayda storyline at this point is so convoluted that I really don’t care about Borash’s mugging but he was even a distraction when surrounded by the “acting”of DÁmore, Gayda, and Kim. And damnit you watched those three and kept thinking "acting this bad would get laughed off a porn set". Also whats up with them waving around a VHS tape? It’s 20006. Shelley wasn’t taping with a VHS camera? Why are they waving around a VHS tape? At least two weeks ago Gayda was waving around a cassette tape and I mean I guess it would have been amusing to see Gayda waving around a reel to reel but still.
The “heel”stable LAX comes in with Homicide wearing a T-shirt advertising the Puerto Rican wrestling magazine, and Machete waving a Puerto Rican flag. They’re wrestling Immigration Officers? LAX is a Puerto Rican stable. Is La Migra supposed to be a face gimmick in FLA?? Keeping the Cubans safe from the dirty Haitians?? I mean LAX are Puerto Rican's not Mexicans. PUERTO RICANS!!! Puerto Ricans allied with the evil INS to keep the rest of la RAZA down would make sense. In a match opposite them is confusing. The crowd is chanting “Where’s your green card?”!!!! So La Migra are faces? They’re chanting “where’s your green card”at Puerto Ricans?? On commentary “someone needs to send these guys across the border”. Yeah you send Puerto Ricans to Mexico and the Mexicans will fuck them up!!! Is Don West suggesting that the James Boys need to bring in Mexicans to help them war with the Puerto Ricans? Cause that could be cool. Or does Don West think Puerto Rico is not part of US? This match stank Machete worked majority of it and came across as poor man’s Apollo. I mean there are a ton of Puerto Rican wrestlers out there, how did they choose this schlub. Where is Suba? Suba wouldn’t return TNA’s calls? La Migra looked pretty bad as well. And match made the fans, the bookers and the announcers come off as being ignorant of basic Junior High level geography.
Remember the first couple episodes of TNA on Spike when every show would have a shitty three way dance. Moore, Strong and Lethal are a better set of three then some of those early ones. But this match was bad. Lethal doesn’t even get to lock his arms on his finisher and Strong over-rotates and really poor use of all three guys.
Austin Aries full on goofy theatrical taunting, strutting, stooging and comedy selling were amusing. The match itself was mediocre and the finish just killed it making top. If you thought these three had good three way matches, wait till you see them work a ropes course!!!! I’ve worked with at risk teens, the whole point of ropes course is trust exercise but Joe has broken the trust of the X code, and now AJ and Daniels may no longer cooperate. Ooh fans should want to see non cooperative zip line match????
I have mixed feelings about the Ron Killings video package. On the one hand I enjoyed a lot of it. I like kind of personal video packages and thought it was somewhat well put together although the driving dramatic music occasionally got too loud and the story arch of guy into music, guy offered athletic scholarships, to guy into drug dealing, guy escaping drug dealing was rushed in parts. Killings came across as driven but self deprecating. I really liked his willingness to say that his goofy high top fade was key to opening door. The pictures of him with Eric Sermon, heavy D, Tupac, Easy E, MC Ren etc. were cool. The fact that of all the people that he met the ones that inspired him musically were Tupac and Treach made the whole thing feel very real. I mean Treach??? If this was put together by advertising agency they would have mentioned Tupac and Eric Sermon. Mentioning Treach as inspiration made the whole thing feel really legit. All that said, the whole promo about his life never mentioned wrestling. Not once. A life in pursuit of music but nothing about wrestling. Nothing about what drew him to wrestling, nothing about hard training, nothing about the hard road before TNA, nothing about going on the road with Homicide and Manny Fernandez, nothing about winning the NWA title, nothing about loosing the NWA title, nothing about wrestling. And as result you have a fun little profile piece about a guy dedicated to his music with no mention of wrestling. Doesn’t make me want to see him wrestle. The goal of this promotion is to make me want to see these guys wrestle??? Isn’t it? Isn't it?
I liked the Killings video segment as a new way of selling him, but yeah, where was the mention of his NWA reign? The 'wassup' skit included Killings "rapping," which more specifically should be called "a list of rhyming words." His finisher (the Booker T axe kick) is dated. I like the guy, but his dancing in the ring doesn't look like he's keeping it real or feeling the beat. It just looks bad.
Christian's rant against the WWE did two things: a)It sells TNA as a place where anyone can be a title contender if they have the goods; and b)It sells him as the avatar of all those held down by The Man. I agree that it doesn't suit his current character to complain so much, but he delivered it so well that I overlook it.
Holy Lord, the Jackie angle might be the death of the upper card. I liked how the big skit incorprated so many angles -- Jackie/Jarrett, Sting/Jarrett, Jackie/Gail, etc -- but, again, that's a whole buncha Jackie, and She. Is. Horrible. Not a looker, not a talker, not a wrestler. Why is she in this role?
The Daniels/Joe/Style segment was awesome. Daniels purposefully avoids the Angel's Wings to apply the Samoan Submission to Ares, bringing out Joe. Daniels gives him what for and tries the BME, but Joe hits him with the belt. Daniels is getting KILLED by Joe until Styles runs in and He and Daniels exchange words. Everyone looks tough, everyone looks pissed. No one looks weak. That's how an angle should build. I also liked how Joe threatened Zybysko (after Jeff complained about Larry), showing again that everyone hates him.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
My biggest problem with the show was Jarrett. He just lost the title. The title these guys have been building up and building up. The title that has DEFINED Jarrett and his character. But he doesn't really seem to care. Instead, he is more concerned with Sting, and whether he is coming back. Who the f cares about Sting? Sting is an old guy who came back for a week and quit. He has nothing to do with Jarrett, really.
I just don't buy that Jarrett mentions that he got screwed by the TNA Championship Committee, almost in passing, and then changes the subject to how he wants a midcarder to stalk a retired wrestler and his family. It just didn't ring true; Jeff Jarrett's character wouldn't logically just let Monty Brown have the title shot while he fades off into the distance of starting fights with old guys.
Very interesting reading. I was surprised to see Jericho's material all scripted --- I thought he was one of the guys who was trusted to have carte blanche over his promos. Maybe this one needed to be scripted due to the presence of a guest, perhaps.