-There was some nice mic work setting up the PPV main event. Joe and Jarrett especially. Samoa Joe did a real nice job laying out his relationship and how he stands vis a vis the rest of the competitors. Jarrett also did nice job laying out the overarching storylines. I liked his “washing his hands” and polygraph line. Sting came across serious and not playful for the first time, Steiner makes no sense the way he should and Christian got his stuff in. On a show filled with mic work it goes 46 minutes before we see Borash’s mugging face. Forty six minutes of mostly mic work with no Borash.
-I also really liked Zbysco’s mic work. Zbysco has been horrible doing Mr Roper comedy authority figure mic work but he was absolutely great as old school guy who doesn’t like Raven’s “crying and whining”. Raven “lost his his dignity, that will never happen to me”. I watched Akiyama vs. Inoue last week and listening to Larry's mic work, I know Zbysco’s scheduled this match because he was going in for hair transplants, but I would have liked to see them have Zbysco go over Raven in under a minute and force his way into the main… just to start a Zbysco v. Joe feud.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
-And then there was the wrestling. Four matches for a total of twelve minutes of wrestling. Either shave some time off the mic work or have fewer matches. Abyss gets a one minute squash against Norman Smiley who really is neither that much smaller than Abyss nor a big bumper which exposes Abyss. Jarrelle Clark and Low-Ki work a two minute match where they pretty much go toe-to-toe with Clark going at Ki with forearms while Ki responds with kicks. I have no problem with two guys going toe-to-toe for two minutes until someone drops but they were working like this was a feeling out section and not a Frye v Takayama throwing for the fences type deal. Clark’s eat of the enziguri was fun and Ki and Clark are both guys who I like who I imagine have a good match in them…this wasn’t the way to work each other. Devine and Shelley vs. Styles and Daniels goes four minutes and has some form to it. Devine throws some nice punches and everything is clean more or less until the fake Asya interference spot. And then you have a main event with under a minute of wrestling shown before the commercial and three minutes after. Roode was in ring for most of those four minutes and I think somewhere in that Devon hit a surprisingly nice lariat. No match went over four minutes.
-Oh yeah and now that I got the wrestling out of the way more mic work: I thought Abyss was a long lost relative? I guess they dropped that angle and instead are doing this “deal with the devil”, “Are you sure you can control him? " angle…Abyss was disappointing enough as choice as mystery partner but then to add this whole bit of stupidity to it??? Couldn’t have they given more time to a match? And I’m not gonna even bother talking about the Borash/Dámore segment. I have mixed feelings on the Rhino mic work. I mean the thing was pointless and shit but they executed some stuff nicely. On the one hand Paul Heyman/Angle made the open challenge and if TNA had to have someone respond it should be a meaningless undercard guy like Rhino. It’s a shame TNA doesn’t have Don E Allen under contract as him doing same speech accepting Angle/Heyman challenge would have really buried ECW/WWE even more than having Rhino do it. The other nice thing was that they did the promo without Mike Tenay doing running commentary.. At no point did he say “Ooh that’s stiff”. Part of me thinks that was simply because TNA is working with some sort of two track audio system and since they were piping in heat machine they couldn’t also plug Tenay’s mic in at same time. But whether for esthetic or merely technical reasons, Rhino doing the promo without running commentary from announcers made it stronger. On the other hand, why is Rhino allowed to say ECW and Vince Mcmahon when the Dudleys did their speeches without being able to say it? How cheaply made were the ECW belts that they’ll melt in that type of half assed trash can fire? And don’t they have a PPV they need to sell, why are they wasting their time on this kind of shooty nonsense that won’t sell their PPV? I mean this is the show before the PPV. Later on in the show they announce a Brown vs. Rhino match for PPV, with neither of the guys doing mic work to build it. If you’re going to set that match up you need some mic work or something. I know how you work a lariat vs. lariat match and I’ve watched Watts and have seen a lot of different types of Football themed matches. But I have no idea how you work a face v face wrapping tackle vs. shoulder tackle match. I guess someone could turn heel by clipping the knee? Maybe they have the Naturals attack both guys. Set up a tag built around Naturals now being able to outrun the tackles? Anyway its one thing to fill a show up with mic work to build to the ppv but long mic work that sets up nothing on your pre-PPV show is a giant waste of time.
But you know, there's also nothing wrong with liking the product if you like the product. Many people are enjoying the product. Speaking for myself, I'm constantly looking for the things I like in the three hour slog called RAW.