There's two things I want to address before we get to this week's show. First off, I was called on ripping up TNA/IW for their formulaic openings and tedious opening videos. Rick, otherwise known as 'The Professor' sent me an email with a rant, partially about my abuse of TNA/IW's opening segments.
I wanted to share my thoughts with you on a couple of subjects. The first is TNA (BTW...I REFUSE to call them TNA/IW anymore...they need to make up their damn minds already) airing videos of previous week's segments. Though I do agree that it does get monotonous for those that do follow them, you need to keep something in mind.
TNA has such pathetic TV/PPV ratings, how many of the people tuning in actually DID see these videos when they DID happen? My fear is that so many tune in so sporadically that TNA feels compelled to air these videos so that new viewers won't get lost as to what has been going on. The last thing TNA wants is to lose someone who IS tuning in because they aren't able to follow. Personally, I think it's a necessity on their part.
WWE does it, as well, but I don't see you bashing them for it. Yeah, it's done with a lot more subtlety but, hey, let's face facts. WWE does most things better than TNA does. WWE is top dog in the food chain...TNA is...well....lol.
Honestly, I almost completely agree with Professor there, but it won't stop me from being completely annoyed by TNA/IW's crappy opening videos as I do tune in every week to see the show!
I want to move onto social media here. I read CM Punk's interview and this jumped out at me -
Q: You are really active on social media. Do you enjoy it? A: Twitter is hilarious. It’s like the whole world having your phone number. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. You get to chat with people that you normally don’t get to chat with, maybe touch some of the fans who interact with you.
While that's great, there's so many (and I'm learning there's MANY) out there who don't hold the fans in such high regard. Actually, in my personal experience, it seems as though a number of wrestlers, or those involved in the wrestling industry who are on Twitter have done more to alienate fans than endear the fans to their true personalities. I'm talking about this in a TNA/IW as it seems as though people I know personally have had more issues with TNA/IW wrestlers than WWE Superstars. It might be that WWE Superstars are more afraid of VKM than anything, so they hold tight to what they say online. Then there's people like Bisch who find it more important to be a jackass to Hogan's former wife than be at a PPV. He's higher up in TNA/IW, so he must be setting a good example. Either way, both Hogan and Bisch blocked me on Twitter very early on for questioning some things they said on Twitter. With Bisch I questioned his political reasoning and he started cussing me out rather than answer my question. He continued to send nasty and vulgar Tweets to me for a couple days, which I didn't respond to, then he blocked me. I asked Hogan a question about a wrestler and was blocked without a word. As many know, Helms and I had an all out feud where he got nasty and cussed me out for calling him out for being nasty during almost every wrestling show and PPV over a couple of weeks. I always feel like I end up getting cussed out when simply asking why on Twitter. I'm not the only person either. A good friend of mine asked someone why they didn't promote TNA/IW in their bio and was immediately called bad names, then blocked. It just seems to me that if you're putting yourself out there in social media as someone who has a prominent name, then they should treat the fans (who aren't being jerks) the way they'd treat them face to face at any event.
On the other hand, I have spoken to a number of wrestlers on Twitter who have been nothing but wonderful! First off, William Regal was very cool. Mick Foley was sweet and wonderful when we had a back and forth conversation. But the nicest one, in my opinion, has been Doug Williams. Yes, I had been pushing for him to be back on Impact, and have to get back on that since he seems to have disappeared again, but l have spoken back and forth with him a couple times and he's been wonderfully polite as well as kind, humorous and intelligent.
So it's not only TNA/IW wrestlers who are all jerks, but I wonder why some of them get on social media if they can't deal with fans who are going to be both positive and negative. It goes back to my feeling that people are more willing to be jerks online, saying things they wouldn't normally say when they're eye to eye, because there's no real consequences for it. Sadly that holds true for everyone, including those in the wrestling industry, no matter how much we might idolize them.
Video > C
Recap of Roode's dogging Hardy, why aren't I shocked?
In Ring Segment > D+
Yay, it's Storm out there and happy, not Roode complaining. He's really made some great strides and his promos are fun. Then Hardy had to come out to the ring. Sorry, I don't see as Hardy has any reason to be in the Title run, he's had too many chances! I will give Storm great props for his child support comment, but he shouldn't even have to be dealing with Hardy.
Roode's reasoning for why no one deserves a Title shot was actually quite brilliant. Makes me flash back to Benoit winning the Royal Rumble, but HBK wasn't done with Triple H, what was the GM to do? Triple Threat at WM. But the way Sting asked the fans who should be in the #1 Contender Match was horrid! I love Sting, but he failed there! Not saying we needed a Triple Threat, but putting two screwed wrestlers in a match (even though I believe Hardy should be home playing in his trampoline) to fight it out isn't what a good face GM does. Makes no sense to me. This segment started so well and then swirled down the flush in a big way.
Backstage Segment > C-
So, EY is turning into Andy Kaufman
Gunner w/ Flair vs AJ Styles > B+
If nothing else, I have to say that Gunner is intense. Some might say Gunner is too green to be facing AJ, but he's been showing more and more recently. Won't say his ring work is the best, but he sure makes up for it with his energy and entertainment value. Between having the dirtiest player in the game and some of those moves, especially that high knee and the finishing DDT, Gunner held his own with AJ. On the other had AJ's moves had grace and style that Gunner has yet to achieve.
Of course Flair and Daniels, through Kaz, had to get involved and cost AJ the match, it's the way it had to go down, but it was nice to see AJ over the barrier and out so he didn't eat cement.
Winner – Gunner
Backstage Segment > C+
Not sure how I feel about Magnus talking instead of Joe, but Crimson getting in his face was funny. Crimson all bluster and push, Magnus all smooth and chill, an interesting dichotomy.
Backstage Segment > C-
Ray staring off in the direction of the camera when he started to pontificate made this whole segment laughable. Even worse, Sting's been getting a bit silly in his taunting, but he pulled it out in the end with his attitude and punch to Ray that backed him off.
Magnus vs Crimson > C
Interesting that each of them came out without their partners. Right out of the bell Magnus looked great! I've never been a fan of his, leaning toward Williams who should be on Impact, but he has impressed me of late. Hard hitting, tagging with Joe, being a solid force. Or he was until one powerbomb and Magnus is done? No, sorry, that's beyond my realm of disbelief.
Yes, Joe should be the one to end Crimson's streak (or Angle), but his partner shouldn't be made to look so weak, much weaker than he is. Goldberg was an imposing figure, Crimson is no Goldberg. Yes, he has more than Goldberg's five moves of doom (or was it three?), but he's not intimidating enough to have this streak!
Winner – Crimson
Backstage Segment > C+
EY is such a mess. This same lady has been dealing with EY and Kendrick and others through so much. She's a riot, or a cyborg. ODB and EY are great! She's going to eat him for lunch and there will be nothing left of the poor boy. I know people won't agree with my grade, but I find EY very funny and he deserves better, but he's making the best of what he's given and he's so much fun!
Video > D-
I would love to see Garett go somewhere, but he has so far to go on mic. If he only had his father's charisma and mic skills, he could go far as he has a great look. He didn't look too bad working out and throwing moves with the guys, but still doesn't look great. Of course it has to be Hogan training him! Who else could it be?
Video > C
Sting is great, but the last thing I want to see is screeching Madison in a cage. With anyone!
Backstage Segment > D-
Gail told Madison to do what she does best. I thought that was screech, whine and show off her naked girly parts. Oh, wait, I meant nude panties.
Steel Cage Match - Mickie James vs Madison Rayne w/ Gail Kim > D+
Wow, Madison's actually wearing shorts to the ring. Wait, those shorts have an American flag on the right hip. I don't know why, but that hits me as incredibly odd. I will say it was interesting how easily Gail left. No fight at all. Mickie looks to be in a little better shape in this match, or maybe it's just that her shorts aren't so skin tight that she's busting out from every angle. And what's up with those tacky silver boots? Trying to take our eyes away from other areas? That all I wrote about before the commercial was their clothes should show how boring the match was.
This is a Cage Match, but the announcers said the only way to win was pin or submission. Other than to keep Gail out, why have them in a cage if they can't win by escape? Make no sense to me. Then Mickie's over selling, the flopping around she did. I'm going to sound really mean here, and I'm sorry, but she looked more drunk than beaten up. I'm not saying that Mickie looked unable to wrestle because she was intoxicated, I'm saying the way she was selling looked more like drunken stumbling and wobbling. It wasn't impressive in my book.
Okay, I will say that this match, after the commercial was better than most Knockouts matches we've seen lately, I'm just so annoyed with Mickie and disgusted with Madison that no matter what they did, I wouldn't have been thrilled. They would have had to pull a flying off the top of the cage or something equally spectacular to make this a great match for me. This isn't only on Madison and Mickie, creative and the bookers are also on my poo list for this. If they're going to have a cage match, make it spectacular! Let them go out and leave it all out there! Let them climb and try to escape, have them hit some sick moves and bumps. I'm not even adverse to a little color. If they're going to give us a cage match on Impact, make it worth having a cage match! Not a Knockouts Match that's only glorified for having a cage around it.
Winner – Mickie
Backstage Segment > A-
I will say that AA has some lovely arrogance and handled this beautifully!
Backstage Segment >
It was very sweet to see the Velvet Sky was fixing Mickie's hair as Mickie spoke. It's what a true friend does, so it was endearing. Mickie, on the other hand, came off as rather arrogant. Sure, they're in character, but it grated on my nerves a bit. At moments like this I flash back to that horrible segment Mickie did on the Jenny Jones Show and I can't do anything but laugh. If you haven't seen it, make sure you're sitting down and not drinking anything, don't want soda all over your computers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKxISmuJc-o
Backstage Segment > F
Hardy talking about his life not being fair? I don't even know if I can write this without laughing! There he is on his 10th second chance in TNA/IW, never mind the chances he received over and over in the WWE. He's still employed, getting paid, doing what he loves. I'd love to sit him down and really try to make him understand what unfair really is.
Video > B
I will say that I love the way A Double dresses for the ring. Creative and interesting, as he is in the ring and on mic. He's very entertaining.
In Ring Segment > A
Three A Double segments almost in a row. Does this mean they're stepping up the X Division? He is just so good on mic! Loving the heat, ripping up the guys who do chant for him. The fans had been chanting for the Guns, but I hadn't really expected to see either of them. I want Sabin back! I will say it's great to see Shelley back! He deserves to be on Impact and on PPVs. Nice to see Shelley being serious on mic. Shelley looks rather thin, but his "beat the shit out of a urine soaked sponge" comment was fabby! Getting close up on A Double shows just how premature gray he's going. On the other hand, I forgot how young Shelley is. He's still in his 20's and has so much to give the industry. Hopefully with his return we'll see some resurgence in the X Division. AA has helped some, but I want more X Division and that was a beautiful step in the right direction!
Backstage Segment > A
ODB talked about Love's weave and her sparkly nails as ODB's wore fake nails painted gold. Dang did Winter look HOT!that outfit, then the whip around her waist, wow! You guys go have your little moment thinking about her. I'll be here waiting when you return. You okay now? Can I continue? After that segment, hearing the metal pipe hit the floor to show it wasn't painted plastic, the whip, knowing that both Winter and ODB can throw down hard, I wish it had been them in that Steel Cage Match! Mickie's best match lately was her no DQ street fight type match with ODB, so put ODB in a cage with Winter. Heck, add some weapons and let's see what these Knockouts can really do!
EY vs Angelina Love w/ Winter> D
After Winter and ODB, now the match actually in the ring is this. Lucky us. Sad when watching the match my eyes are following someone in the stands walking back and forth a couple rows back wearing a red t-shirt and black sunglasses with longish black hair. On a piece of cardboard it has a cutout of Tara next to her name with @reallisamarievaron below it. The person flips the board to show @brookeimpact. It was very strange.
I have to admit I'm glad that match lead to nothing. EY was a bit late to grabbing Winter, but the fans kept chanting for him through it all. The way old kissed EY and the way she sold her 'feelings' for him with the look on her face, in her eyes. They're adorable and have chemistry. The fans are finally chanting for EY again, maybe something good will come of all this. That's the only reason this wasn't a complete epic fail.
Backstage Segment > A
Storm was calm and passionate. Made for a wonderful little segment in my book.
#1 Contender Match – James Storm vs Jeff Hardy > B+
I always thought Hardy's double leg drop was closer to a low blow than anything. The way Storm was holding his little squall after that move, looks like it was a bit of a low blow. Beyond that, they both seemed rather frenzied in this match , as if the Title Match was really on the line. What I found very interesting was how Taz mentioned Tully Blanchard when talking about Storm's slingshot suplex. I haven't heard Tully's name mentioned in a long time, but now that the Four Horsemen are being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, he's brought up. Just more of TNA/IW mentioning the WWE while the WWE completely ignores TNA/IW. But I will say the move looked real nice when Storm hit it.
After they both got their first bit of energy out and settled back to wrestling, Storm just kept going and Hardy kept flailing around. Storm had to step into Hardy as he flew though the air as he was way over to the left, closer to the ropes than the middle of the ring. Then Hardy grounding Storm makes no sense and looked silly. I was rather bummed that Cowboy James Storm didn't hit Cowboy Bob Orton's famous superplex the first time, but that kick to Hardy's head was sick! I wish that the editing team didn't choose to show that enziguri from above as I think it took a lot away from the height Storm had to get to achieve the move. But I'm willing to admit that it might not have looked as impressive from other angles. I will also admit that the time it took me to ponder and write about wanting that suplex made it so much sweeter when it happened.
Ray hitting people with that wallet chain looked horrid. No welts seemed to form, no red marks at all. I will give Sting huge props for coming out with his bat and taking care of Ray, but then Roode in with his belt and I think post production dropped the ball again! The angle that I saw Roode hit Storm with the Title belt showed that Storm's hands took the full blow and the belt didn't come within five inches of Storm's face. It just seems to me that that's the type of thing they'd want to hide since they have so much time to change things after the show is taped and before it's aired. Hardy taking the Title belt was more to his arm, but it did look better.
In Ring Segment > A
While I'm continued to be annoyed by major matches not having any solid endings in TNA/IW, Roode sure does paint a dominant picture as TNA/IW WHC, and that's something every wrestling company should want. The way he ended the show impressed me more than most other segments through the show. I think this was the first time Roode really took center stage without whining, without complaining or blaming, and he looked the part. Roode really looked the Champion here. I'm impressed.
In talking to Stacy and reading back certain segment of last week's BZ I discovered that I hadn't graded a few segments. To try to avoid that I changed things around a tiny bit. He thought that putting the segment's grade in bold with the Title of the segment would show it clearer for people who were checking grades to decide if they cared to read that segment. As I write this for you, please tell me what you think. Like it? Hate it? Think I should go jump in a snow bank? Let me know, but let me tell you, we only have a couple inches of snow up here right now.