Even though I got negative comments the last time I did this, I'm doing it again because an amusing idea came up today. Yes, I am doing another interview! Basically I was shooting the bull about wrestling, the HOF, Edge and Flair with Chris Storm (WNW resident bad-boy commenter, yet interesting and creative wrestling fan) and he came up with an intriguing theory that I thought might influence others to talk about their thoughts on wrestling as a whole and TNA/IW in particular. So please reserve judgment until you have completely grokked Chris' ideas.
While we were talking you brought up an interesting idea that maybe the bad booking that we're all accusing Hogan and Bisch of might be perpetuated by someone else. That Hogan and Bisch booking all of this is a work. Please explain.
The booking just doesn't make sense to me. While this is not my 100% concrete belief, it is a theory, and one that is worth considering. Hogan and Eric B have made tons of money in, and outside of professional wrestling. It is hard for me to believe that neither of them learned anything from the failure of WCW, even if it wasn't directly either of their fault and it was more of a corporate decision than anything else. To me, "their" booking still smells like someone else.
Why do you think that TNA/IW is using Hogan and Bisch as a front for the booking and why do you think Hogan and Bisch are agreeing to this?
Why would you agree to do it? That's right, it would keep your name up in lights and keep bringing in major, I repeat, MAJOR income. I believe that both of them initially signed on for short contracts, and behind the scenes, knew how to make those contracts massive. How? By stinking up the joint for a year or so, then signing even bigger contracts at the end when the numbers showed a small increase.
Who do you think is actually doing the booking?
I truly believe that if Eric or Hulk were booking that they would actually show up to the pay per views. The only people who stay home from pay per views are on-air talent that isn't booked. With that being said, lets look at who always IS in attendance. Dixie, Angle, Sting, Russo, and Jeff Jarrett. The same group that has been present for the longest. This is also the same group that has ran the exact same buyrates and television ratings since all of them found themselves involved in the same company. Who still gets tons of television time? Angle, Sting, and Jeff Jarrett. Who get that same television time with or without main event programs or titles? Again, Angle, Sting, and Jarrett.
What do you think TNA/IW should/has to do to change things for the better as a whole for the company?
The problem here, is the same problem there has always been, TNA doesn't think there is a problem. While they talk big, they know that their goal is not beating Vince. Nobody beats Vince. Not for long anyway. Their goal is to turn a profit, while building a massive library that will one day be sold to Vince and everybody involved receives a payday that you wouldn't believe. This scenario is hypothetical, and will garner me some heat here on WNW but think about it. Everything I've said makes perfect sense, in one way or another.
C > Of course they had to start with a video about Roode and all that's been happening with and around Roode, but every little thing he's done since winning the strap? It just feels like TNA/IW doesn't believe their fans can remember what happens from week to week. Honestly, it was a solid video – if a bit long – but we don't need to be shown everything over and over every week! We're not idiots!
In Ring Segment
D+ > And then into a segment with Roode and Ray rambling on? Again, he used 'Christmas gift' the way Laurinaitis did. Yes, I know the demographic, but it still annoys me. I will admit that if we are stuck seeing Hardy on Impact, at least there's Ray beating him up. Makes sense to have someone who has worked with Hardy for so many years to be the one abusing him.
Suspend Roode? Is that so he doesn't have to face Hardy? Typical wormy heel who can't face that one person who is coming after them. I always find it interesting when the Champ – whichever Champ it is – can't face the one person who is after their Title, no matter who that person might be. It could be a heel who would rather face someone like Morgan than face Kendrick if he's the one after the strap. Makes so little sense.
Hardy sounded a little wooden to me here. Wait, what? Sting is tagging with Hardy? The man Hardy pissed off and screwed over the most is tagging with him? I understand storyline and booking, but I also remember just how pissed Sting was that night. I will admit I'm shocked. People on Impact keep saying that Hardy has changed, I'm still waiting for the other show to drop.
Wild Card Tag Tourny Match – Daniels & RVD vs Kaz & AJ
B- > The arguing between Daniels and RVD before the Match was fun to watch. Okay, Daniels made me giggle over and over when his off-the-cuff comments were caught by the audio team. Actually RVD looked better here than he has in months! This was the first time I really saw RVD's heart in the ring. I thought his heart had gone the way of the dodo, the way Booker's did while in TNA/IW. RVD didn't help AJ with a suplex as much as he should have, but that's just one little thing out of a lot of RVD's work.
Daniels tagged in and Stacy said, "Daniels wrestled like a psychotic green newbie!" It was interesting to see such a fabulous wrestler act so clueless in the ring. For me that's bad booking and creative. Yet again a TNA/IW original getting screwed over after so many years of loyalty. Actually, Daniels seems regularly get the short end of the stick from TNA/IW, no matter how good he can be. I wasn't at all shocked to see RVD and Daniels lose this one due to the bad booking both have been saddled with. Who's out to get these two and why?
Winners – AJ & Kaz
C+ > Neese reminds me of Lance Storm, even though he looks more like Steve Blackman. I like his quiet calm. Then there's Ion and his... Ugh! I just don't like this guy! I don't like him on mic – not just his character – and I don't trust him in the ring.
Best of Three - Anthony Neese vs Zema Ion
A- > Wait, what? What happened to Ion's hair? What's with that spray? He looks like he's been sucking on a car battery! I will give him points for creativity and his crazy sick moves, but he's just absurd without having any character being built. I can't like him or hate him if I don't know anything about him other than he's annoying with silly hair, ugly ring gear and that stupid Z he makes with his hands. I feel that Neese hasn't created a character either, not saying he has. TNA/IW just keeps dropping the ball.
I will say that these two did all they could to leave it all out there. The high spots in this Match were sick and a big part of what the X Division is all about, but not all of what the Division is about. Yes, the high spots were sensational, but there was little actual wrestling between those spots. AJ, Kaz, Daniels, Kendrick, Sabin, Shelley and many others I could name, know how to give us high spots as well as really awe-inspiring wrestling moves. I hate to keep going back to Williams (actually, I don't as he's fabby), but he threw something totally different into the X Division because he isn't a high flier, but he works so well with them! All I'm saying is that while these two guys were really strong with the amazing, sick high spots, they need some more ground work put into their matches. Yes, I know that's how they were booked, but it seems as though creative (Russo?) and the agents (D-Lo, Snow and Kenney) need to go back and re-realize what made the X Division so great, why the X Division brings the fans in in droves! These two guys are a good and fresh start, but I hope these aren't the only two and the only style we see for the next month.
TNA/IW has done well to keep the redhead and her friends in the front row recently. Actually, there was a beautiful darker skinned girl (Indian?) also in the front row this week, but it wasn't those girls who got the best of Neese after he won his Match. There was a short, plump woman who looks amazingly like Disney's Red Queen from Alice In Wonderland, who got the best parts of Neese as he landed against the barrier and had his arm raised. I have to say that the look on her face was of pure delight as she leaned in and ran her hand up and down Neese's arm and shoulder. Her expressions made my night! I honestly have to admit that I would completely ignore Stacy if I had a moment like that to feel up a hot and sweaty wrestler the way she did right there! Actually, TNA/IW has a lot of young women in the front row! I think that's very smart, but it might just be because I really wish I was there.
Winner – Neese
D- > Madison is VP of the Knockouts? Lucky us! I just wish she could just speak without sounding terribly forced. It's the same trouble I always had with Lita. She sounds like she's trying to talk under water. Not that I'm one to complain as I have a high and squeaky voice, but I'm also not on TV trying to prove myself. I guess you could say I have a voice for writing.
B > Pope is a father to the father-less? I will give him credit for finally bringing his character around to being interesting again. He's spinning a yarn and turning a phrase like he'd seemed unable to do lately. Finally this feud could get good. Still don't like the boys being involved (sorry Guy) before their 18 and can legally take a bump. I just worry that something will happen and someone will screw up. At least their father is involved with the whole thing and they've been trained by him.
B+ > Yay! I'm loving EY and ODB! ODBEY? I know I will catch heck for the grade I gave this, but it was funny! Even better, it was funny and short! ODB telling EY that she'd want flowers, chocolates, an expensive gift? I like seeing that vapid girly side of her. I will admit that I didn't get ODB early on. I even asked Richard what her appeal was. This was before I started working for WNW and he thought I absolutely couldn't be an American because I didn't see it. In truth, I didn't see it because I'm very much like her. I don't abuse my boobs the way she does, but I also don't wear a couple padded bras at the same time. I've always been one of the guys, loud, full of it, won't take any crap, not the girliest and will both tell off-color jokes as well as let bodily functions happen when I'm with my closer friends. I've mellowed some as I've gotten older and had kids, but I'm still that girl under it all. And everyone knows how I love EY. I just hope this doesn't turn into a steaming pile of poo before it's all over.
In Ring Segment
D- >I don't think I've seen a ref in such a short dress. Even Steph wore black pants with her ref's corset top! Though I have to say that the dress was darted and looked well made, but it did nothing for Madison's figure! Karen was fired but was able to appoint Madison the Executive VP of the Knockouts? That's new. I don't know any other place that type of thing would be allowed. Then again, it's all scripted – badly scripted! How long until Sting appoints Traci as the Executive President of the Knockouts?
Tara vs Tessmacher w/ Special Guest Ref – Madison
C- > Well, the start of this Match was funny, but the rolling pins that were sloppy annoyed me a bit. Not that they did it, just how sloppy they were. I will say that I was impressed with how Tara and Tessmacher worked together. Tara's talked up Tessmacher on Twitter a lot, talked about how she's young and green, but how they'd been working together and how Tessmacher had grown so much. I have to say Tessmacher has come so far from her days dancing with Layla and Kelly in WWECW!
Would somebody hit somebody!?!? Loved that, not sure about the Tebow-ing. (Sorry about the way I previously spelled Tebow [Thibault], but I grew up in an area of Maine that's very French Canadian and that's how it is spelled around here.) As I previously said, I'm not sure where religion fits into wrestling. I think that storyline VKM and Shane did on religion just disgusted me so badly that I think the two never shall meet again.
Winners – Not Madison!
Backstage Segment (earlier)
B- > Sting's been wanting to tag with Hardy? Hardy got into wrestling because of Sting? Sting gives his full endorsement to Hardy? Sting's been given so many second chances? I'm sorry but Sting doth protest too much. I will give Sting huge props for his sphincter muscle comment. Hardy didn't seem to be expecting that one. I just don't believe it all yet. Yes, maybe I am too jaded, but I don't want to see Hardy in TNA/IW for at least another year, then two more before he'd even be thinking about a Title shot. I've been hurt and burned many times by an addict, it shades my thoughts and feelings, but so does that look Sting had in his eyes during that whole PPV Match. The way Sting purposefully pinned Hardy to the mat, then talked smack with the fans as he backed up the ramp. Either Sting and Hardy have truly buried the hatchet, or Sting is a better actor than I ever thought possible.
D- > Stealing things from the kitchen? Not as good as the previous segment. It's the chemistry between the two that make it work so well, so this didn't work!
In Ring Segment
A- > Storm has really taken hold of that beer bottle and is showing off that he's actually better than his former partner. Okay, right now he's better than Roode. He's so much better on mic than Roode right now and Roode is a natural heel. I never thought I'd see the day. No, I'm not just saying that because I think Storm's a hottie, I'm saying that because he keeps proving himself over and over again on mic. It's like I didn't know how great Devon can be on mic until he finally got the chance and I really have grown to enjoy his soft spoken strength. Roode might be the one with the gold, but Storm's winning the hearts of the fans in a huge way.
Angle looked like a Canadian Mountie! Talk about someone who's a strong heel! Actually with him in that outfit I flashed back to him in the WWE. Even though Angle had hair back then, something about the way Angle was dressed in the bar reminds me of Angle in his big boy cowboy hat. Then again my daughter Ellie and I laugh about Angle's cowboy hat on a fairly regular basis. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG5Pv5zHiF4
C+ > We went from Angle wearing bullets to Moore wearing bullets. Moore has gone from being punk to looking like he's trying too hard. I know this is who he is and how he always looks, but it's to a point of looking fake and almost silly. I don't want to put down Moore as I know it takes a lot of guts to look different from everyone around you (been there, done that, still do it), but something about his look is somehow off and I can't put my finger on what is really wrong there. I will say he came across as well spoken and having some serious heart, something I haven't seen from him very much.
D+ > Well, at least Ray thinks highly of himself and Roode. Then again, we've always known Ray has a huge ego and a bad attitude. As little as I like Ray, I think he's a solid Match for Roode. Ray is a loose cannon and the most loudly vocal heel in the company, so it works pretty well having him cover where Roode has been strangely lacking lately.
Wild Card Tourny Match – Anarquia 7 Moore w/ Rosita & Sarita vs ODBEY
B > EY might be silly and strange, but he plays it so well! Trying to lock up with everyone he's faced with, giving his shorts to Rosita and Sarita. I know I keep saying it, but Rosita is so tiny! Stacy said she looks like a middle schooler who's afraid she'll get sent home from school to change out of her too revealing clothes (I wouldn't know anything about that)! I was shocked to see Anarquia slam ODB, but it got him some serious heat! ODB's full on 'crying jag' on the mat had Stacy and I laughing and pointing. Her actual slap to Anarquia didn't even touch his face as he was selling it before she even swung. Then he was jumping into her arms before she was even trying to lift him for the slam. ODBEY had to win this Match so they could continue with their 'relationship' and so they can go to Denny's to celebrate, as Taz said. EY proved his strength picking up his new girlfriend and Earl. Then when ODB picked up Earl... Actually, Earl really seemed to be having fun out there with them. Please realize that I graded this Match on its entertainment value. It's how I grade most of Santino's matches as well. Please don't beat me up for it!
Winners - ODBEY
D > Crimson and Morgan need a manager. Morgan is better on mic than Crimson, but he's still not very good. Find them a Knockout, preferably someone tall, and let her be their voice.
F > I've said it more times than I can count, but wrestlers should not be attacking non-wrestlers. So, while Angle is great, this wasn't.
Tag Team Street Fight – Jeff Hardy & Sting vs Bully Ray & Bobby Roode
B > Sting actually looked really good in this Match. I loved seeing him fly with Hardy. He really impressed me with that. I'd have preferred an actual straight Match, but a street fight does cover a multitude of sins. Well, I thought it did until Ray took a time-out to spit in the air and catch it a couple times. I almost threw up.
Wow, Sting superplex on Ray was great! It takes guts to hit that move on a bigger man like Ray – even though he's lighter than he was most of his career – but it's another thing for a man like Sting who doesn't wrestle as much and is a bit older to hit a move like that. I have to say Ray 'hitting' Hardy's knee with a chain on the stairs looked and sounded great even if the chain didn't at all touch Hardy.
Ray and Roode had some really great timing in this Match. They mostly looked like they were on the money, except Ray and Sting readjusting before Sting was suplexed through the trash can. Ray's clothesline on Roode was another good moment.
I was really impressed with the heat Ray got for nailing Hardy with a big boot. I can't get over how much those fans love Hardy. Personally I just don't get it. Is it the bad boy they all want to see turned around and can now succeed? Or is it that so many of the women find Hardy hot? I just don't see it and never have. Will someone explain this to me?
TNA/IW can't afford to break two tables in one show? Stacy and I had a good laugh at how hard Sting and Hardy tried to make that first table work. It had been broken too badly by Hardy's legs. I have to say that under the ring looked very clean. I know that the WWE stores a lot under there because they put it all together and break it all down in one day where as TNA/IW doesn't have to use under the ring as storage other than for what they will need for any given show. I was really wondering if they had allotted only one table for this Match!
I find this very hard to say, but that swan-dive splash Hardy hit on Roode was just beautiful. I did notice that Hardy was limping after the Match was over. Was it from hitting the first table with his legs or a more pressing injury?
Winners – Hardy & Sting
There was some really solid parts to this show. I enjoyed Storm in the ring and the X Division Match. I also enjoyed ODBEY as they have such interesting chemistry. The show wasn't a waste, as it has been much of the time lately. Honestly, I really want to see TNA/IW do well and always feel like I'm getting kicked in the head every time I have hope that TNA/IW is going in a positive direction. I feel like such a glutton for punishment!
I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season, no matter what you might or might not celebrate or have celebrated recently.