I kind of liked the AMW vs. Siaki/Apollo match. Some awkward parts in the beginning as Team Mulato wasn’t on the same page as to whether they were delivering double arm drags or double flap jacks. But it’s the AMW as heel deal where faces control early parts as AMW has to back down and then eventually regain control by hitting a face from behind. Liked the Apollo tope into beer bottle…but Apollo is an ex-IWA Puerto Rico guy. There are two things he does well in ring: superkick and blade. And really felt like this should have led to giant blade job and face in peril section. Instead it lead straight to finish. I’ve been watching the 80s WWF DVD’s and there is a really shitty WWF finish style where heel cheating doesn’t lead to change in momentum…just leads straight to finish. Hogan (face) controls for entire match then Fuji throws powder in his eye and one of two things will happen. Fuji’s guy gets DQ’ed and looses right there or Fuji’s guy immediately gets the pin. Any other 80s fed and the powder would lead to a heel control section…WWF powder straight to finish. This was better than that as it led to Apollo being eliminated and Siaki being stuck isolated leading to finish. But still felt like it was missing a section and this should have really been given more time and put in the main instead of the unwatchably bad Abyss match.
I’ve heavily heavily criticized the TNA video packages before but….the video package recapping the Billy Gunn/3LK angle actually kind of made the angle seem intriguing. This divided loyalty angle where you have this madcap Island of Misfit Toys band of brothers you’ve developed and then in comes a guy from your past who claims such loyalty to you that he takes your last name and the way that new element destroys trust among former friends…really the video package kind of got that all across. It’s an angle involving Konan and Billy Gunn so I don’t give a rat’s ass and the matches aren’t going to be good and the TNA “creative” aren’t cool enough to do something truly inspired like have Konan join the Fuller family…and the backstage segment after the video package was absolutely awful (lot of the blame for that can be put on emoting Shane Douglas stepping all over Killings and BG James stuff). Still the actual video package recapping the angle made the angle seem like a good angle.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK:
Speaking of angles…I normally am nonplussed by the “you broke the code” angle. It’s a mediocre angle when it’s used as a “worked shoot” angle (you broke the backstage code of wrestling that you are not trying to hurt your opponent shit). It’s a mediocre angle when it’s a “you have no honor” ROH angle (where it kind of was the negative corollary of the Paul Heyman “earn my respect” angles). In TNA though if I understand it properly its an angle where the X division has a code of conduct where the goal is to out flip your opponent never beat him and Joe broke the code by working heel. So at least here the angle amuses me as it’s based on the Dundee vs. Tommy Rich match. Joe did a good job miming King Kong in thought during Styles mic piece. That said Joe is one of the better mic workers out there today. And I think he has the mic skills to actually get this angle over. Using him as a silent monster is STUPID. Do they realize Samoa Joe is not Meng? Samoa Joe vs. Meng might rule but Samoa Joe is not Meng. Joe on the mic might be able to get this angle over. While the angle amuses me, it’s still silly and Joe without the mic and I don’t see this angle turning him heel.
GAWD is Gail Kim useless. I could understand using Kim if it was an attempt to leverage Doug Basham into leaving WWE…but couldn’t you leverage him with, you know, money. Her interference is normally blown. Her acting is terrible “I don’t trust Larry”. I mean she’s just awful on the mic. Her line reading in the scenes with her threatening Tenay or Zbysco would be unacceptable in an elementary school production. I once saw an all Down Syndrom production of a play that the kids and adults in the group had written themselves developed out of improvisational exercises. Kim caused more wincing and embarrassment. Actually made Tenay and Douglas look like master thespians in comparison. I mean they got rid of Athena for her? How much are they paying Kim? TNA is located in Orlando. Fucking Orlando. It’s not like it’s hard to find Korean girls with implants in Orlando. You should be able to find one who can act.
Speaking of bad actors Abyss’ miming I’m crazy may be the worst balling up of fists and miming crazy in wrestling today. I mean shit how many Indy guys are there with Insane Asylum gimmicks? How many in Jersey alone? Jacquelyn Hyde wasn’t as laughable as Abyss. This match may be the best singles match either Rhino or Abyss has had on Impact but still was pretty god-awful. Abyss’ rapid fire Mick Foley style forearms that looked like he was sanding an imaginary piece of wood two feet above Rhino’s head had me cracking up. The long Jim Mitchell comes in falls down and struggles to get back up allowing Abyss to crotch Rhino section was painful. I did like Rhino’s body scissors but this SUCKED. I mean I watch IWA Japan and I can’t think of a single Jason the Terrible vs. Leatherface match this bad. That these two can’t have a match as good as Don Harris vs. the Wall is just sad.
Monte Brown: “Quantity of speech is not always indicative of the quality of the thought being processed in the vernacular.” WHA??? Monte Brown is now working a needlessly erudite gimmick?? Ok I’ve been out with a couple of Fisk girls who talk like that so Monte Brown as Fisk coed is a heel gimmick that kind of works for me. Fisk coed gimmick also explains the silk shirt/small gold hoops look and the inability to best a pasty faced Canadian at the dozens…still…Brown’s a little dark to be a girl from Fisk….maybe Hampton. Doesn’t Viacom own Spike? Cause Brown in drag pontificating and then cross checking someone at a party on College Hill would be fun cross-promotion. Still, man that was a shitty game of dozens.
Earlier this year, The Score bumped up the start of Smackdown by an hour or so one night when they had a basketball game set. Because it's a pre-taped show, they have that luxury, rather than having to delay it until the game is done.