Jittery Eric Young. I’m not sure why he was jittery but really dug jittery Eric Young.
So when AMW started out, they early early in the promotion were already teasing a break up dissention angle. It was Russo booking and every tag team was experiencing dissention. Wildcat Chris Harris didn’t like that James Storm wasn’t “cool”. “Why don’t you dump that dumb Stan Hansen shit”? My favorite part of angle was that they had “cool cat” Chris Harris smoking to show his sophistication next to “bumpkin” Storm….only Chris Harris didn’t inhale his cigs. It ruled as would have been so easy to work those two guys as tag partners embarrassed by each other. Harris as pretentious wannabe scenester who listens to a lot of Franz Ferdinand and doesn’t inhale his cigarettes. While Storm is self professed country guy who buys the Walmart Garth Brooks boxed set. For Christmas Harris contemptuously buys Storm the Jack White produced Emmy Lou Harris Cd, while Storm buys Harris the Chris Gaines Cd. Storm is constantly embarrassed by Harris’ “affectation”, while Harris is constantly embarrassed by Storm’s “un-sophistication”. It’s a wedge between the two. Eventually the two would finally trust each other after getting some Jewish Vanderbilt coed really drunk and double teaming her while the Steve Miller Band’s 30 minute Macho City plays in the background. The New York No Wave style disco funk of the Steve Miller Band finally brings the two together. It’s a great little story of how the Space Cowboy forces guys who work together as colleagues to learn to trust in each other as friends. It’s a story we can all on some level identify with. They never went full out and ran that angle instead Russo tried to book one breakup after another to try to set up a face Chris Harris push where he had Chris Harris complain about the southern bumpkin holding him back in Nashville. HUH? Who gets that? Well anyways they really have never been able to figure out how to get the AMW personalities across well. Here they finally did three and a half years after they teamed up finally worked out the rapport between Storms drunken country and Harris’ southern hipster affectation. It’s a shame that Cade and Murdoch got that rapport over right out of the block. But still really enjoyed the AMW stuff in the funeral home.
Weird. Weird. One of the strategies I have for writing about this kind of show is to just write a ton and edit away what I think is unnecessary. So in my critique of the first episode I wrote a long thing about how bad the video packages are for this promotion. Talked a bunch about how shitty the fake Clash of the Titans stuff was. The point I was trying to make is that portraying wrestlers as mythic archetypes instead of as human beings is shitty Battledome, Kinghts and Warriors, American Gladiators stuff. Who identifies with Cyclone, gets an emotional connection with Gemini, is upset when Laser stops appearing and titanium takes his place? I originally wrote this long thing about how they need to fire the ex WWF guy and bring in some Swedish Lars Von Trier follower…and how Dogma could save wrestling as their would be no more blown up cars, casket riding, no more magical moving sets (van Gogh that moves from Bischoffs office in each town they work)…TNA is wrestled in one studio in one area, give me some local color to help me care about these guys instead of making me feel like I am anywhere in the world I want to know that I am in Orlando…I proposed that a Dogma director would say fuck this to the THESE ARE THE WARRIORS OF THE FUTURE stuff and instead do a single camera shot in a local Orlando church maybe of Aj Styles seething at Gail Kim for being inappropriately dressed in a house of worship. I had written that it would be far more compelling than these shitty “THIS IS THEIR DESTINY”” stuff. Than I cut that whole thing out as felt it was unnecessary. Figured the Bill and Ted’s reference would get the idea across without the long tangent into Swedish Olympian Frank Anderson fantasy booking… So in episode three they do a video package from a local funeral home filmed single camera style and it does more to get every character across than any of the Sadhai video packages. It was appropriately tasteless and heelish…never felt a sense of cool heels as much as tasteless heels and neat how Jarrett really allows himself to play a secondary character here letting everyone else get their characters across. I would have liked a Frank Anderson appearance, perhaps playing the Hammond organ as I was unsure of where the music originated from…but minor complaint. None of the matches make the what worked column this week but this does...Dogme will save wrestling I tell ya.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK:
Kevin Nash is tall. Yep he’s tall but he isn’t threatening. He can play Big Daddy Cool fun loving tall guy who everyone wants to hang with. But him trying to work tough guy trying to threaten someone is just laughable. I’m having a hard time thinking of a tall guy as unthreatening as Kevin Nash. The brother from Everyone Loves Raymond? Nah he has some menace going. Shawn Kemp? Nah even Shawn Kemp is more menacing than Kevin Nash. You shouldn’t have Nash threaten anyone…let alone threaten Tito Ortiz. “Ortiz you touch me and you die” had me laughing uncontrollably for about ten minutes. I had to pause the show. I had to get water. It was ridiculous. Whoever let that segment air is an idiot.
This is a fed that has been internet based for its support for a long time. I like the Naturals a lot, think they’re really good…one of the better things TNA has going for it. But I also know that they are a team that went from a Prentice run promotion straight to a Jeremy Borash run promotion. Having Borash grinning while describing the Naturals "When you have passion you have success" just crept me out.
60 MINUTE ADRENALINE RUSH!!!!!! When TNA XPlosion first hit the air it was completely unwatchable. It was like the first two weeks of the Spike show “60 minute adrenaline rush” just meaningless spot spot spot. Dusty Rhodes took over and suddenly the matches had stories. Naturals were given more time to work in openers on Xplosion. You had the long mains where stories could be told in ring. The amazingly great long Scott Hall vs. Hector Garza main which was infinitely better than their match together in WCW. For the first time you had TNA matches that stood up to the WWE syndie matches for match quality. The first two weeks of the Spike TNA show were as bad as the original Xplosions. But for some reason this week they had matches that made more sense. But while not the shitty spotfests of first two weeks they still weren’t good matches:
David Young does a nice job doing a work the back storyline but Michael Shane doesn’t sell that well, has an awful awful elbow drop and may have even shittier chops than his uncle. Sabin comes in for a run in and has even shittier chops than that. Petey Williams lifts Tracy’s dress for Canadian Destroyer? Is he supposed to be a face? I mean you felt sorry for David Young here as he tried but too much working against him.
The main event made no sense. They’re setting up a iron man match so I guess it might make sense to book Daniels in a gauntlet match where he beats each contender with a different secondary finisher to get over all the secondary finishers he has…and I kind of think that that’s what they were doing but it meant that Daniels was being controlled essentially by jobbers with him hitting his stuff out of nowhere. Sharkboy controls Daniels until Daniels hits his Angels wings out of nowhere (Sharkboy really doesn’t eat the Angel’s wings well). Than there was this long long Dutt vs. Daniels section where Dutt controls early section and Daniels hits a secondary finisher but then Dutt kicks out and we just get a Gawd awful long Dutt v Daniels match that made me want to never see either guy ever again.
Sabu had nice punches but rest of match was just ugly ugly mess. That dueling chair fight was embarrassing. Don West says Sabu is highly favored in the monster’s ball match but that doesn’t make any sense. I mean the premise of the Monster’s Ball is "all four competitors will be locked away in separate areas for 24 hours prior to the bout – no food, no water, no light. When the doors are finally unlocked and the combatants let loose, they will be extremely angry, irritable and out for blood" Hasn’t West seen a Sabu match? He constantly needs water. He’s at the worst disadvantage.
When even Mr. Try-To-Focus-On-The-Positives me can look at an angle and say "screw positivity, that sucked"... What in the blue hell was that Kane angle? I don't blame JR for not giving it any mention for the rest of the show...