Yowza this was a rough week for Monday night wrestling. Highlight of Impact was Jeff Jarrett interview and highlight of Raw was the Rudy Boy Gonzalez appearance. I’ve seen Rudy Boy vs. Frey Tormenta. Good match.. I imagine him vs. a limited Christian wrestler in a street fight would be really good. Unfortunately, he’s not the chubby heel they’ve booked for SNME. But hey I’m supposed to be writing about TNA…so:
--uh, uh, uh what worked? I guess it was nice to see the return of the shilling griot advertising for the next PPV. ”In the depths of being…returned to the pantheon of legends..” shit works better for the Sting leaves a legend returns a man angle than it did for their first post Spike TV PPV.
-Jarrett’s pre taped interview was pretty well done. I’ve been saying they need more pre-taped stuff from the start and this worked. Neat to see how well Jarrett can transition back and forth from the broad comedy that he’s been doing in the backstage segments to this kind of dead serious interview. He actually got me semi-interested about who the guy from Sting’s era who “held world titles” was going to be. And fuck "world titles around the world" kind of killed the possibility of it being anyone interesting...as well, Abby was a special attraction who never really was given a belt and Ole only really held titles in the Carolina’s. I mean it could’ve still been Rikishi, he’s held belts wherever he’s gone. Did the Samoan Swat team ever feud with a Sting Army? That might have been cool. Even knowing that the angle led to something disappointing, Jarrett still came across well and was able to project conviction.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
-Ok so I haven’t had a lot of nice things to say about the Impact studio audience. But they are a vocal audience and good to show that there is an audience that cares about the product. For some reason for entire show they muted the audience and there was looped crowd noise played. Shitty wrestling in front of a hot live crowd plays on TV better than shitty wrestling in front of a heat machine.
-Wow, Jeremy Borash has started to do full on In Living Color’s “Men on Film” style head swinging. Larry Zbysco, Scott Dámore, and Jeremy Borash do back stage “acting”. Scott D’Amore” this is brutal”. Ain’t that the truth?
-Weak Ultimate X three way dance video package where narrator describes this as the “feud that refuses to die”. Ain’t that the truth?
-Ok I’ve mocked Mike Tenay’s tuxedo in the past but damnit damnit damnit I take it all back. Mike Tenay should never be allowed to appear in anything but a tux. Tenay in sweats and cap really shouldn’t be shown on TV ever again.
-Main event was weird. Slightly distracting as I can’t think of the last time I’ve seen a wrestling match with that many dark skinned blacks in the ring together. I used to watch Urban Wrestling Association, where they only had three white guys on the roster and the commissioner was played by Mr. Hyde from 80s rap group Dr. Jeckyl and Mr Hyde (it may have been Dr. Jeckyl which one was Andre Harrell? This was the one who wasn’t Harrell). Still don’t remember a match with this many dark skinned guys in it. Really watching the match you got the feeling that TNA should do a reverse paper bag test and fire anyone lighter than Killings, cause the blue black guys were the only wrestlers who looked semi trained in this. Really I imagine management watching that match and releasing Lethal. Elix and Devon were the only people who were able to work a smooth section against each other. I mean this was a weird match. I mean there is no reason for Skipper, David Young, Bentley and Moore vs. 3D, Rhino and Ron Killings match to be as awful as it was. I mean admittedly you have Matt Bentley in the ring and his Irish whip into legdrop was embarrassing. And yeah Rhino is mediocre but David Young and Killings have worked a ton together in NCW/Wildside. Diamonds in The Rough are a decent team who know how to work their stuff well, Moore can work smart and bump big when needed, Bubba is pretty good and 3D work well as a team and Killings despite the goofyness of his need to dance between every move is a guy who can hit his stuff well. Should be enough guys in this who know how to put together an eight man tag that doesn’t fall apart. For some reason the Bubba vs. Shannon Moore sections were built on Bubba bumping for Shannon’s strikes. David Young vs. DVon sections were a complete mess. Just fucking odd odd match.
-See the thing is with Bubba, Moore, Killings, Young and Skipper in an eight man I expect something better than that. I have much lower expectations for an X Division three way. But even with lowered expectations this still sucked. Sonjay Dutt ,Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin have a three way dance for spot on Us X Division team. Dutt is introduced as being from Bombay…why is working for a spot on the US team? This stunk. Amusing as I thought they had figured out how to better showcase these guys with tags…but they’re back where they started. Shelley does some nice schtick here and there but still. Surprisingly messy stuff between Shelly and Sabin who trained together. Dutt was off and for some reason Shelley ate the pin. Do they have new camera crew? This match and every match on the show was filmed with way too many quick cuts. I mean this is match where stuff was pretty meaningless to begin with so not that distracting that at times the edits made it impossible to follow the “story”.
-This may have been the worst in-ring wrestling show in Impact history. The thing is I expect three way X division dances to suck. That should come as no surprise. I am excited when they exceed expectations but I come in with low expectations. On the other hand there is no reason for the wrestling on the rest of show to be this bad. No reason for the main to be as dog shit ugly as it was. There is no reason for the Naturals vs. AMW to be this bad. I mean DAMn this was bad. These guys have been working each other since forever and have been continuing to work each other regularly on house show yet almost nothing they did looked good. I mean there was maybe about thirty seconds of nice stuff between Stevens and Storm at the beginning and was amused by the “you guys are gay”spot by one team of guys who jerked off in front of Bob Ryder aimed at another team of guys who jerked off in front of Bob Ryder. But everything else stank. Andy Douglas’s neckbreaker and high knee were awful, everyone’s moves looked bad, match was paced as though they were just doing stuff to fill time not actually building a match and the actual Death Sentence double team finisher looked absolutely ass. There was a message baord thread I read recently about whether wrestlers could unionize under todays conditions. And damn watching this show it really felt like I was watching an organized work slow down. Dear TNA, meet their demands!!! get better catering, do whatever it takes!!...as I don't think I can watch another week of guys working to rule.
I just want to say thanks for doing these recaps. I wish I had more to say but I had to watch that episode while doing work at home so I missed some of the details like the crowd noise loop. That is silly.
The company has 3 world title belts, and all 3 have been vacated since Wrestlemania. There was a time where you could go a decade without seeing a world title vacated. I guess Shawn Michaels was a visionary back in 1997 afterall.