I've been sitting here trying to get other bits of work done (NaNoWriMo), stewing the whole time. Yes, I read that one huge spoiler, but I also saw last week's Impact rating. I spent much of this past week confused until I realized that coming off BFG many fans (IWC and not) wanted to see what was going to happen with Hogan's return to the red and yellow. I can completely understand it even though I read about so many people boycotting the show. Guess it was too much temptation.
Now, the problem I do have with this whole thing is how Bisch and Hogan treated the fans and the wrestlers in all of this. Roode was built, then trashed in one fell swoop, made to look as if he wasn't worthy. The next day his partner was able to take Angle out with one super-kick and become Champ. That further made Roode look like a nobody. Through all of this Bisch and Hogan are continuing to alienate fans who care and are in the know.
And then today's spoiler? I thought I had been obnoxious enough in last week's BZ, even though a number of people I trust and respect told me that I wasn't harsh enough, but I'm baffled at this next move and have not fully assimilated the whole thing, so I'm stepping aside for this moment and letting a friend explain his feelings about all this. Myself, I will wait until I have witnessed this debacle before commenting on it.
Let me start off this little rant with, if you listened to the Premium Mailbag I completely agree with Richard. If TNA's ratings continue to climb or stay the same I will shut my mouth. Until then I will complain. The switching the titles makes no sense. Okay BFG is what it is, but if Angle really hurt himself, then why put a title on someone else? Just book the screwy ending, Angle demand a rematch and put it on Roode, not Storm. I can sort of see where TNA is going, but don't believe in the behind the scenes with Twitter and Facebook execution. Don't mock the "marks" they are what gives you those high ratings. I know Bisch's book is called Controversy Creates Cash but honestly where is the cash when we all stop tuning in buying merch and going to shows?
B- > I will say I love the much older clips of Storm and saying if he's woken up he's punching the person in the face who does it. I love Storm and this was a decent video, but I know too much (why I normally avoid spoilers). That's why live shows are so much better. Bisch almost ended the WWF by pushing a live wrestling show that started five minutes before taped RAW and spoiling it all for us. Now he's mocking us on Twitter while showing us overly spoiled taped episodes? Where did Bisch's heart go?
In Ring Segment
C+ > Wow! Looking at Storm as he was talking, mostly in profile, with that cowboy hat, the sunglasses and the beard, I was seeing flashes of Macho Man. I hope no one thinks I'm crossing a line, but it really saw that and was a little shocked by it. I loved Storm talking about losing his father, showing his father above the strap and the emotion in all of this.
Joe sounded like he was out of breath just from coming down the ramp. Well, Joe really hit the heel with a 2X4! If anyone questioned Joe being heel, not after that promo!
C- > Daniels said AJ doctored audio? That's what was done with Foley and Rocky, which I mentioned when I predicted the I Quit Match. Bob Van Dam? Hopefully they tighten up Daniels' character before he starts looking like a real dolt.
Daniels vs RVD
B- > RVD and Daniels looked great starting this Match off. AJ on announce was great, especially the early banter between him and Taz. I thought it was bad enough when the WWE put up a banner across the bottom of the screen during RAW to follow them on Twitter. TNA/IW can't be outdone, so they brought up their @IMPACTWRESTLING and asked for our favorite Jeff Hardy Match or moment. My first thought was when Hogan dropped the 'Hardy belt' out of the ring like a piece of garbage. Yes, it's more than a little bitter, but after Jeff showed up to work in the ring that screwed up on drugs, he's lost my adoration for a very long time.
Now, to the actual Match! A back kick off a corner from RVD made him look ten years younger than he is. Both of them saw each other moves coming and avoided them beautifully, but it was Daniels set over the barrier and RVD flying that was lovely! Even nicer was AJ running out to rescue RVD from the big scary screwdriver being wielded by Daniels. But more than that, this math was technically solid, but I found it quite boring. To be honest, I just wasn't intent on it, easily distracted by thinking about Jeff Hardy. I should be thrilled that we were lucky enough to have a Match last over five minutes, but it wasn't exciting. Add in the Russo-esque ending and I'm not verry happy.
Winner – RVD via DQ
In Ring Segment
C+ > Well, at least Kim's worth looking at. Actually, Kim looks really great! Now if we could only get muzzles for Karen and Madison. At least Kim doesn't sound screechy and whiny! I don't like Kim being so happy about a concussion, it just feels crappy after all the research of late. Actually, other than the concussion comment, I really like this heel Kim. Now if they will have Kim on mic instead of Karen and Madison, I'll be thrilled.
Tara vs Gail Kim
C > I went looking at the background between Tara and Kim, just as a refresher. Victoria and Kim feuded off and on during 2003 and 2004, much of that time Kim was the heel. Kim was hanging around with Molly and Jazz, both I remember were heels back then. So much for Kim's little rant about her always being the good girl!
Taz and Tenay talk about how in shape and what little ring rust Kim has, but Tara was also selling well. Kim did hit a solid clothesline on Tara, then bringing Tara in over the top by her hair! Much of the move was Tara doing the work, but it looked good. Well, it looked good until the camera zoomed in and Tara's gaping open mouth and blank eyes made her appear vaguely like a blow up doll. I also find it interesting that Tara came to the ring in bright pink rather than her usual red and black. Guess Kim (along with the rest of her posse, somehow including Traci) all have to wear black to show just how bad they really are, therefor Tara absolutely could not wear black to the ring. Kim's submission hold on Tara reminded me of just what a creative wrestler Kim truly is. It is interesting to note that Kim's still using the finisher she had been using – on the rare occasion she was actually allowed to work the ring – in the WWE. While this wasn't their best Match – either of them – it was worlds better than most of what we've seen from the Knockouts of late. Hopefully things will get better with Kim around to set the bar higher.
Winner - Kim
F > Why is Jeff Hardy back in TNA/IW? This just isn't cool. Jeff pulled what he did and he's getting decent matches on Impact when EY only wants to be there and wrestle, but instead his pay is cut in half and he's treated like the biggest joke in the company. Just more proof that Dixie Carter is not a businesswoman!
F > Lucky us, more Bisch and Flair!
TV Title Match – Robbie w/ Rob Terry vs EY ( c)
D- > Well, I just put my foot in my mouth, I hope! Never mind, after the way the Robs came to the ring, this will be a joke! Then again, maybe someone will listen to the fans love of EY, then he's a joke again! Just about 1 minute and EY retained, but the whole thing was a joke. Then Terry's abuse? Just not cool I hate to give anything EY does, especially after the chants for him, a bad grade, but that blew chunks. And Ronnie for JS? Hasn't Dixie learned anything?
Winner - EY
D+ > Daniels with a Title show? Daniels defeated AJ at BFG? He just doesn't play crazy that well, or isn't yet.
F! > Rehab is for quitters? He's playing a character, but is that something TNA/IW really wants one of their boys saying? Bold move, but I see it biting them in the ass.
D > As if we didn't know 'Jackson James' was Bisch's kid. Question is what will happen with him from here?
In Ring Segment
F > Lucky us, more Bisch! I will say he got some serious heat! The fans really seemed to like Garrett, but I'm not sure yet. Then there was Bisch's semen comment, that was just a mental image that I didn't need. Actually, most of that wasn't needed. Just felt like more of Bisch needing to be in the limelight. Bisch is falling really flat on mic lately. Even yelling at his kid it's obvious that he's no VKM and we've seen a lot of VKM yelling at his kids in the ring!
F > Ugh! Now Flair thinking the fans really want to see him flushing his reputation further down the drain with each segment he makes an ass of himself on TV; all because he just can't hang them up.
F- > This is not 1953! Yes, respect is important, but railing at a grown man as if he was a child just makes you look out of touch. Wait, we are talking Flair here, synonymous with out of touch. I really wanted to see Garrett hit Flair back.
F > Jeff had to get back to his roots? No, he was sent home for showing up so screwed up that he could barely stand. He went to the ring in that condition disrespecting everyone involved including the fans and specifically one legendary wrestler.
In Ring Segment
D > I have to give JJ huge props for commenting on VR and how Jeff Hardy won't remember it. Then JJ brought up TP 2006 where Jeff Hardy no showed. I can understand the fans wanting to see Hardy healthy and his great ring work, but I think he's screwed up one too many times and I'm done. I might be jaded by my personal family experiences, but I'm done when it comes to the Hardy Boyz. I'm not sure they'll ever win me back over. I wish them all the best and hope they get and stay healthy and clean, but I don't want to see them wrestling on my TV these days, especially when so many great wrestlers are being pushed aside for them (only Jeff right now) to get the spotlight.
Jeff Hardy vs Bully Ray
C > Creative way to start a Match, but not what I'd call terribly legal. I will give creative a nod for putting Jeff in a Match against the one person on the roster who has the most history with him. Not just the TLC Matches, but all the tag matches they've had together. And Jeff Hardy went over Bully Ray? I'm shocked that Ray jobbed to Jeff.
Winner – Jeff Hardy
In Ring Segment
D+ > Jeff seemed open and honest on mic with Hemme, but I've been burnt too many times by Hardy. Anderson's save of Hardy was interesting, especially since it was Hardy who gave Anderson that horrid concussion. I know, it's all scripted.
C+ > Roode was again really solid on mic, but he mentioned the four month build toward BFG and how he lost. Just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, even though it was said by one of TNA/IW's best.
#1 Contender Match – Samoa Joe vs Bobby Roode
B > Is it me or has Joe gained some weight again? He looked a bit jigglier. I can understand why Bisch and Hogan wanted him to lose weight and he did look good, but it's his talent in the ring, not the extra ten pounds that we love about him. Joe seemed to over sell for Roode a bit, just the tiniest bit too much, but it did make them look fairly even in the ring. It was a very solid Match, but it didn't feel like they were really in it, as if they were really giving themselves up in the ring, wrestling with heart. I'm sorry for those who don't agree, it just felt like something huge was missing. It was great to see Storm come out to the stage after it was over and the show should have ended there.
Winner – Roode
F > Back to the Bisch. Lucky us.
In Ring Segment
F > Bisch over sold Garrett being a good kid and getting a hand from the fans. Bisch forgives him, but if he doesn't apologize then Bisch will kick his ass? Of course the prodigal son won't apologize to one of the biggest, then two biggest bullies in the industry. Great, Flair disrobing in the ring again. Lucky us, more Flair working the ring. One of the times Flair stomped Garrett's face looked rather stiff. Yeah, Impact should have ended with Storm on the stage looking down at Roode in the ring because this last segment was just old guys going for just another moment of glory.
While I was typing away Stacy and I were discussing Bisch and his short sightedness. This is what we came up with -
I can see where Bischoff is going with the whole Roode vs Storm feud. He's not that interested in highly knowledgeable fans that read everything on WNW or any other sites that don't stick to kayfabe. Certainly his on-air persona doesn't want anything to do with what he'd call geeks. Bisch is looking to hook the casual fans, ones who though they might think some part of wrestling isn't real will still get very upset when a long time tag team is broken up. It's controversy, so I think Bisch believes it will create interest in the company, and interested fans spend money. It really doesn't matter if they're happy or angry about the storyline.
Bisch is sufficiently confident in his abilities that I think it may blind him to the long term impacts some of these choices may have. Though this week's choices may paint the storyline into a corner in a month, it's today's show that matters. He'll work through next weeks show when he has to, and do what seems necessary to keep things controversial. The show after that, the next PPV? Those can be settled when the time comes, and he feels that the fans he wants will be there regardless.