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The W - Pro Wrestling - TNA iMPACT wORKRATE rEPORT 1/18/07
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Since: 30.7.02

Since last post: 5494 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.92


--Tomko’s multicolored beard is a neat look for him

--I’ve always liked AJ Styles as dickish heel. And his dickish heel mic work was real fun “I won a blue ribbon in triple jump.” I don’t know if I’ve ever said anything positive about Jeremy Borash before but I have to say that Borash’s reactions to AJ really helped this skit work. Scott Steiner told Borash not to “eye me”and Borash couldn’t fight it, couldn’t keep his eyes off Steiner. But with heel AJ, Borash is absolutely cowed..Can’t make eye contact, keeps on looking at his feet. I used to read the Wildside message boards back in 99-01 and remember Lazz (a shoot gay worker who was doing a Britney Spears impersonator face gimmick) decided to change his gimmick and wrote about how helpful AJ had been to him, trying to show him the error of his ways and the alternative path that the Bible offered. I imagine a young confused gay wrestler is a little more appreciative of proselytizing Evangelical than some of the adults in TNA might be. I figure Abyss, Ryder, and Borash are tired of the harassment. “Leave me alone AJ, Stop telling me about the power of Christ and how I need to give up my sinful ways”. According to latest WON, Nash is reason we don’t see Leticia anymore. “Nash and Borash have been friends dating back to WCW”. That’s a longer relationship than most couples in wrestling. Contented Borash, knowing his job is safe decided to show up at this taping wearing a butterfly collar brown pleather jacket…screaming “70s gay hustler”, perfectly comfortable with himself. But AJ won’t let well enough alone, and Borash spends the entire interview looking at floor “Just leave me alone AJ, I’m happy damnit, I don’t want to hear it”…AJ finally forces Borash to make eye contact “Don’t you think I’m good looking [you sinful piece of waste]” Borash “heh, heh yeah I think you’re good looking [DAMN YOU LET ME LIVE IN PEACE]”. AJ laughs. God AJ is a great evil prick.


--While I liked the tension in the Styles/Borash interactions, I don’t think you can run a show with both a judgmental Born Again heel and a judgmental Born Again face. Just doesn’t work. Who the fuck is this Steve Borden guy? He’s an asshole. Over the last three months or so I’ve really grown to like Born Again Sting. Born again Sting was all about the importance of being humble before God, that the only real truth was God’s Truth. Sins of the past will be forgotten when you embrace the GOOD NEWS. While everyone else was threatening that they would expose Abyss past sins, Sting told Abyss “Stop worrying about the past…the “Good News” is that you can change the future [through the power of Redeemer]”. He told Abyss that Abyss past was not the road he had to continue on, that Abyss like Sting could walk “down a new road”. , even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Sting approached Abyss in a spirit of gentleness. Who the fuck is this Steve Borden guy who will do anything to find out the truth of Abyss past? What does that truth matter next to the TRUTH of GOD? Steve Borden is judgmental lacking in humbleness. It is not his role to be the final judge. Borden yells at Abyss that it is “Time to start talking” Why is it any of Steve Borden’s business? Let the guys past lay in the past, let him live his life, stop busting his balls. Steve Borden is an asshole whose actions contradict everything that Sting has been preaching.

I guess the idea of a judgmental Born Again Christian lacking in humbleness before God who needs to mask himself to become a true Christian humble before the TRUTH is an interesting one. That the motivation of maskless Borden's failure to recognize himself as a humble human is desire to recognize the humanity in Abyss might be an interesting theme. This inversion of the ritual theatre where one puts on mask to go from man to archetype might make for good Christian fiction. Without the power of the mask the man fall’s into the trap of seeing himself as God, only when he wears the mask does he recognize that he is only a man before God. But I’m not sure if even a good Christian fiction writer like Tyler Perry could pull off that story. A hack like Russo sure as hell can’t.

And so instead you just get Sting without face paint being an ass who contradicted everything the Sting character has said for last couple months. This isn’t Russo being clever and showing internal contradictions that tear at a man trying to lead a Christian life. This is Russo the shitty writer who can’t tell a story without keeping characterization or the storyline consistent from week to week.

Christian, Tomko and Mitchell have spent the last couple months threatening that they will reveal Abyss past. Sting promised Abyss that the past didn’t matter. Today Sting changed his mind and demands to know the mystery.
Meanwhile Tenay and West discuss the mystery.
Tenay: The pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together
West: Mystery more and more intriguing every week.

Really? Is anyone more intrigued? When Sting demands that Abyss tell, the crowd puts fingers on mouth and instructs Abyss “SHH don’t tell. Keep it to yourself” Apparently before his change of heart, Sting had convinced the audience that the mystery of Abyss’ past shouldn’t matter. They are less then intrigued. Hey Borden let the guy live his life, already.

--Normally when TNA is this shitty I can write about the shitty booking and the shitty wrestling separately. This week, the two things were so woven together you really can’t separate them.

-I'll start with the matches:

-3D vs. LAX. So 3D lost the match on the PPV because drunk Spike ran in. I kind of liked the long Bubba mad at Spike promo a couple weeks ago, with older brother Bubba threatening youngest brother Spike, and middle brother Devon refusing to let the oldest brother abuse the runt. It reminded me of the Brazos interactions. I’ve seen Konan and Devine Storm vs. the SATS work a fine match built around a basic lucha trios format: everyone matches up for matwork, match up again for power offense, match up again for dives and brawling. It’s a really basic formula that if you follow works no matter who is in it, no matter how shitty and primitive their mat work or their fast exchanges, etc are… (again Divine Storm, an immobile 2003 Konan and the SATS). So I thought the combination of the Dudley family squabbling horseshit and a trios format and the LAX vs. 3D thing might have some potential. Moody Jack can probably do enough moves to replace Konan. So I was optimistic about the Dudleys vs. LAX program. BUT FUCK~!!! 3D sell nothing. And this was really the epitome of veterans burying your hot young act. I have seen Road Warriors vs. the Hit Squad in Jersey indies, where the Road Warriors did more to make the match look competitive. THE Road Warriors!!! Hawk and Animal!! Guys who spent their entire career no selling, did more to make their opponents look credible. Homicide does a nice eat of a backdrop on his tail bone bump, and Hernandez takes a cool ring post bump. But this was ass. After no selling everything, the Dudleys loose in a total Kevin Nash slips on a banana peel and gets accidentally pinned fashion. Even if the work in the match hadn't buried LAX, the booked finish still did.

-I like James Storm’s belligerent drunk cowboy act. I like Miss Texas. James Storm and Miss Tennessee is a poor man’s Eric Embry and Miss Texas but still feels like an act with potential. This match though was a nothing as Storm and Hoyt were there just to kill time before the clusterfuck run ins. Dale Torborg interferes, then AJ Pierzynski interferes then Gail Kim interferes to even the score, then Miss Tennessee goes after Kim, then in comes Petey Williams. I kept waiting for Eric Young to run out and hit someone with a diaphragm. The match was just backdrop for the run ins. And running three separate run in stories at same time just means none of them have potential to mean anything. Does Pierzynski have anything to do with Petey Williams? What the fuck!?? Pierzynski’s autographing Hoyt’s forehead is a really clever celebrity heel spot. But it almost goes unnoticed. If they would only focus on one thing.Pierzynski taking out a pen in center of ring, Don West going “Whats he going to do with that pen?”, Pierzynski autographing Hoyt’s head and then calling for a home run and miming like he’s at bat would be a great “holy shit that guys a heel spot”. Instead it’s kind of an afterthought done in the corner where half of the audience can’t see it, and while 16 other things are going on simultaneous. Idiotic.

-The booking of AJ vs. Angle as a three minute TV main event is dumb enough but the actual work and layout of the match was just embarrassing. The Dudleys did more to put over LAX, Kurt Angle did more to put over Michael Shane. Michael Shane who is a jobber gets a 4 minute match where Shane controls 70%. AJ Styles is one of your pushed guys and he is treated like a jobber for the first two minutes. Just absolutely manhandled and given nothing but one eye poke and a low blow. They run a 4 minute commercial break and come back with Angle stuck in a headlock. I don’t know how long AJ had him in that headlock..the Olympian throws some blows to escape a headlock. AJ gets in a enziguri and a forearm and Angle beats him. Angle worked a 4 minute competitive match with a jobber last week and worked an Angle invitational match that made one of the pushed guys look like a jobber this week. Its dumb enough to run this match up as a throw away TV match up, but really this made me go “Nothing here would make me want to see these two working in a bigger match context”. Well I guess it might be good if Angle concusses himself a minute in. But barring a concussion…I have no interest in any Angle match unless they can promise me a fixed time for the match and a concussion in opening exchange.

And then there is the Angle/Christian mystery angle…aaww fuck??? Another mystery? Angle asks” Who is the mystery man? Is it Goldberg? Is it Brock Lesnar?” If it is Goldberg or Brock Lesnar its really stupid to name drop them instead of allowing them as the surprise reveal. If it isn’t Goldberg or Lesnar its going to be someone who isn’t as big a star as either of those two; name dropping them will just make it even more disappointing. For a guy who loves mystery angles, Russo sure doesn’t understand how to lay out a mystery. Christian says that he will be laying out clues. Historically Russo is a guy who builds mystery angles with no plans for what the end payoff will be. They ran the whole “Who is the Higher Power? “ mystery in WWE for months and didn’t have a plan for what the solution would be until a week before the reveal. So Christian promising clues to a mystery where I doubt they’ve figured out the solution is going to be amusingly bad. Speaking of no pay off…

-So the payoff to last two months of Voodoo Kin Mafia declaring war on Vincent Kennedy McMahon is that they just declare victory? Announcing mission accomplished is meaningless. Two months ago Voodoo Kin Mafia announced that “They were bringing war to your front door”. There has been no war. There have been no battles. Nothing. Two months of grandstanding, with no payoff. Grandstanding. Not even any attacks. They promised “WAR on the front door”. I keep on harping on this but TNA has done nothing tasteless, nothing that feels like an actual “attack” on the enemy. A shoot angle where the shoot has been “Hey you know that fat guy on the writing staff? He isn’t entertaining to watch…and that’s a shoot”. That’s a ridiculously feeble attack.

So the blow off to “Bringing war to your front door” and a “million dollar challenge” is Christy Hemme coming out and complaining about how history has overlooked the importance of women in wrestling? Kip James treats her rudely and BG tells him to lay off? The pay off to the Voodoo Kin Mafia angle is Christy Hemme as shrill feminist who Kip James throws Chinese food at? That’s the pay off? That’s retarded.

I mean I guess they could get Reggie Bennett to dye her hair blond, put a roll of dimes in her draws and attack Kip James from behind with a sledgehammer. A Christie Hemme managed Hermaphrodite Hearst Helmsley might be a really great payoff.

Hemme: I told you women were good for putting men back in line where they belong.

BG: Now I remember why Kip hates women in wrestling. Damn Hermaphrodite Hurst Helmsley!!

I am the crying game, you don't wanna play me. I am control; no way can you change me.

Helmsley is down with an injury and I don’t know if a trannie Shawna Michaels works. Bambi is too athletic looking to pull off Michaels. Cassandro and Pimpi also look too tough to make it work. Zach Gowen with a pony tale, bra and cut off chaps might actually make a great Lingerie Muto version of Michaels. Can you gimmick a prosthetic leg? Prosthesis flying off every time Shawna Michaels goes for a superkick followed by him bouncing around trying to retrieve it---is a great comedy spot. You’d want to run Reggie Bennet attacks Kip James from behind first. Reggie then falls leading to Zach running in. Keep Reggie (with muttonchops and sock in panties) around on crutches with Zach constantly massaging her leg, kissing her and begging her to "get well soon". Ehh… Reggie and Zach seems like overdoing it, just do Reggie. Who cares that HHH is currently out?

But anyway this is all meaningless digression, cause point is they won’t be doing that. Russo has seen the light and thus his shoots won’t be tasteless, instead they will just be dumb. While his Christianity may get in the way of him running the kind of tasteless shoot angles that used to be his bread and butter, it doesn’t stop him from his women hating. There is no room for hatefull crass sexual humor in the Evangelical movement, but there is plenty of room for mysogyny. Christianity seems to see nothing wrong with that old Russo cliché. Didn’t he already run the female announcer becomes shrill feminist heel with Goldilocks? It’s sad and pathetic when Russo tried to repackage Booker T or Sonny Siaki as fake Rocky Maivias. But Maivia was huge success. It’s one thing to try to recreate successes. Trying to recycle things that were failures makes you look like an idiot. “You know that money angle we ran with Madussa v Mike Tenay? That was huge. Why don’t we redo it with Christie Hemme and Kip James? ”
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Eddie Famous

Since: 11.12.01
From: Catlin IL

Since last post: 1989 days
Last activity: 1530 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.90

    Originally posted by tomk
    I mean I guess they could get Reggie Bennett to dye her hair blond, put a roll of dimes in her draws and attack Kip James from behind with a sledgehammer. A Christie Hemme managed Hermaphrodite Hearst Helmsley might be a really great payoff.

    Hemme: I told you women were good for putting men back in line where they belong.

    BG: Now I remember why Kip hates women in wrestling. Damn Hermaphrodite Hurst Helmsley!!

    I am the crying game, you don't wanna play me. I am control; no way can you change me.

    Helmsley is down with an injury and I don’t know if a trannie Shawna Michaels works. Bambi is too athletic looking to pull off Michaels. Cassandro and Pimpi also look too tough to make it work.

This made me ill and laugh at the same time. Well done. And the US and the TNA people are not ready for Pimpi-mania running wild.

Tell me though: what did Scott Bakula do that he needs to be groped by that man in white?

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