I have to start this by apologizing for this being so late and explaining why. While at a Big Time Wrestling show a couple months ago I met a wonderful young man who was putting on an Indy show. I posted information about that show on WNW, then on Thursday night I went to see the show in Waterville, Maine. It was a great night where I got in early and was able to interview a couple local wrestlers (specifically Cousin Larry of the Scufflin' Hillbillies) as well as a former ECW star (surprise for later), and I spent some time with Tony Atlas. Tony lives locally here, so he's quite easy to hunt down and talk to.
Normally I would have sat down on Friday and written this Blog, but that night I went to a BTW show in Saco, Maine (where I grew up). Again I spent some time with Tony Atlas, Cousin Larry and met Ron Simmons. Basically I've been reeling with so much information, much of it recorded for interviews to come, then I had to get the Extreme Rules Predicts out! But I'm back and buckling down to watch TNA with you and tell you my warped views on the matter.
Video > B
Explaining Open Fight Night, right down to Hogan going all 'brother' on the wrestlers. Why they're possibly giving unknown wrestlers shots at the roster when we rarely see more than half of them for months on end, I don't know, but that's TNA and their screwiness for you! They don't need to make sense, they have Hogan and Bisch running the ship! Other than all that, this was a pretty good video and it made absolute sense for them to start the show this way.
Backstage Segment > C-
Does this mean that once a month Impact will actually have some serious wrestling? Wait, Hogan called Joe and Magnus the greatest tag team of all time? They're carrying their straps, so they're pulling their load. Wait, ODBEY weren't there! Joe and Magnus? They're great, but they've not been whining or complaining like Kim or Roode. Personally, this was too much of Hogan stumbling over his words and saying the same things over and over without really saying anything new. Not at all impressed Hogan, you should be able to throw a backstage promo without batting an eye at this point in your career!
Video > A-
I gave the opening video to Open Fight Night it's own segment because it's the first time we've seen it and I'm very impressed with how they put together the video package and the music. I think the production crew did a professional job making a strong opening video. This proves to me that they can do it, and I'll be expecting more from them. They're still not up to par with the WWE, but they've taken some nice steps in that direction.
TV Title Match – Devon vs Bully > B
I met Robbie E at the event on Thursday night, but I couldn't get an interview as his TNA contract wouldn't allow it. I really wanted to ask him how it felt to losing the strap, then having Devon be the one to defend the Title every week. We barely saw Robbie over the past couple months, other than PPVs, but now we'll be seeing Devon each week. I'd think that would have to burn his britches, but I wasn't able to ask him any questions on the record as I work for an online site.
What I will say is that I loved Bully's face when his brother called him out. While he tried to look all mad and blustery, but that look of fear in his eyes told the truth. Then getting up in Velvet Sky's face and she wouldn't back down. I have to say that Bully did a great job of acting one way, but selling the fear in his eyes. Even out on the ramp Bully was just great! I keep hating to admit this, but Bully is doing a better job than I'd thought possible at this point in his career. Heck, Devon is in great shape and doing a great job on his own as well. And this match is just what so many fans wanted to see. The brothers in the ring after running as singles for so long, and Devon pulling Bully into that short clothesline after Bully begged for them to be brothers again was wonderful!
I don't understand why TNA keeps trying to perpetuate the idea that Impact is live by not showing us a chunk of a match because it was during commercial. It's one of those things TNA does that's just silly! I will say that the fans were quite into this match and really pushed for Devon to win the match. While there were a couple of hard hitting moves, these two really aren't in their prime. So while they can't hit some of the moves they used to hit cleanly, it doesn't mean they shouldn't been in the ring. That match had the fans completely drawn in by the storyline, brother against brother, an ultimate struggle with Devon the victor. I think it was a great way to start the wrestling on Impact, and possibly a feud for Bully with someone closer to his size?
Winner – Devon
Backstage Segment > B+
I was hoping that the Aries feud with Bully would be over, but with this little segment, I guess not. I just feel that Aries should be working X Division matches as he's the X Division Champ. That doesn't seem too far fetched for me!
Backstage Segment > C-
Flair is really looking old! I know he's the Nature Boy, one of the greatest wrestling legends of all time, but when is enough enough? I know he needs the paycheck, but from all I've been reading about him no-showing events, but no one says a word about it. That he's allowed to do what he wants without repercussions makes me wonder if he's doing okay. I've gone from being disgusted by him being with TNA to being worried about him as a person. I know he needs the dough, but is there also an unending need for the admiration from the fans? The need of that reaction? Add in the way he parties and the head injures over the years, I'm just wondering if Flair is actually okay. This isn't coming from any insider information, just me wondering as I watch him on TV.
Backstage Segment > B-
I really like how Daniels covered with the cell phone after calling Angle names. That was really funny. I wonder how Angle will fit into this thing between Kaz with Daniels against AJ. Could be fun!
Borash vs Bisch > D-
Borash calling someone out? Wait, Borash said Bischoff without being bleeped out. I wonder if this comes off from that incident recently where someone (bartender?) was talking to Bisch about how Borash basically owns TNA. I know it turned into a joke backstage, but I find it interesting how they brought it back to the forefront even though it seemed to have gone away a couple months ago.
I love it when the fans sing someone from an arena. Wow, breathalizer before tweeting? That's great! I have to say Borash is the luckiest man alive being able to say what so many of us feel about Bisch and his idiocy and use of social media to degrade people who can't fight back. Just a bummer that Bisch again got the upper hand. Borash did a great job of playing dead when getting pinned, but I loath Bisch getting the upper hand after all the BLEEP he's pulled in TNA.
Winner – Bisch
Backstage Segment > B
Anderson said it wonderfully about Bisch's political views and how he's exactly what he hates. Bisch might like to think it's his character who's like the politics he loudly complains about, but in reality he's been proving he's not as different from his character as he'd like us to think. Yes, some of his use of social media is in character, but much isn't. It's very easy to see where that line is drawn if you read what he writes. Anderson might be an asshole, but Bisch is a freaken douche bag. Wait, that's what Anderson said, but I agree.
MexA vs Angle > B+
Bait and switch? Now that doesn't sound very legal. I'd actually like to see Hernandez face Angle, but Anarquia isn't worth Angle's time! I would have liked to see Angle in a real match, but I admit seeing Anarquia squashed made me smile.
Winner – Angle
Gut Check Video > B
Alex Silva talked about who he was and where he came from. Interesting to see Al Snow talking him up. Well spoken guy with great credentials. This could be interesting.
Gut Check Match – Alex Silva vs Robbie E w/ Robbie T > C-
Robbie E is much better in the ring than we get to see on TNA. This past week I saw Robbie face Mike Bennett (ROH) and they had quite a match. I know I have been cranky about Robbie not being very good in the ring, well, now I blame it all on the booking because I've seen Robbie go and he can work the ring quite well when given the chance to do so. Here we go, another reason to get annoyed with how things are run in TNA!
I can't get over how Silva started this match. As Snow said on announce, he was nervous and went way too fast, but I was worried that someone was going to get hurt before he slowed down! As I just said about the booking of Robbie, I'm sure it was booked this way, but it looked really off to me. But after Silva slowed down, he looked really solid. I would have liked to see more to this match, but I understand why they did it the way they did.
Al Snow was heavily involved with Tough Enough in its early days. I kind of thought this had a bit of that feel, but then when Snow brought up that the fans could vote for Silva online, then the reality show feel came in. While I know it's not a reality show, the voting thing after the try out match just has that flavor to it. Is this TNA's answer to Tough Enough? I will say it's an interesting way of doing things, and it would be a good idea if the roster wasn't such a mess and there weren't so many guys riding the bench every week so that Hogan, Bisch and Flair can get their TV time in.
Winner – Robbie
Backstage Segment > F
Yay, we get shorter matches so we can sit and watch Hogan sit at his desk and play with his phone for fifteen seconds. I know fifteen seconds isn't much, but add all of the time we've been stuck watching Bisch, Hogan and Flair so far on this episode and it really adds up. I'm a very disgruntled wrestling fan.
Backstage Segment > D-
I thought Dixie didn't want to be on TV, yet here she is again. Through all this talk, she's still backing him in her company. To me this shows how deluded she really is, and how she should not be involved in business, especially the wrestling business.
Backstage Segment >
Hey, ODBEY was there for this segment, but where were they earlier? And why are we stuck listening to talking and not watching wrestling! I will admit that Daniels was funny, but their gear doesn't match comment was odd. The Guns were great and deserve to be fighting, but Anderson kissing Hardy was a bit much. Then ODBEY! Hogan saying he couldn't afford ODB was great! Eliminating the Guns was very odd, but hopefully it's just for this episode because the Guns should be fighting Joe and Magnus every chance they get!
Tessmacher vs Gail Kim > C+
Tessmacher took those bumps like a trooper. While Tessmacher got the pinfall on Kim last week, it wasn't just the two of them in the ring. Tessmacher has improved, but we haven't seen enough to know how much she's improved. While I can't say that they got the fan reaction of other matches, they did have some of the men behind them. I don't think Tessmacher hitting two moves on Kim for the win made Kim look very strong, but it seems as though few titles have meant much lately. I will say that most of the moves thrown did look solid, and I'm impressed by that and that's why this match earned the grade it did.
Winner – Tessmacher
Backstage Segment > C+
Kaz really has turned heel to join Daniels. I can't wait to see what they have on AJ, but it's been drawn out for way too long and it has become quite boring. It better be good to bring the fans back, add some interest.
Video > C+
It was a decent video for RVD, but I don't understand why RVD is back in TNA. He's had more troubles than anything with this company, so I don't get RVD's logic.
Backstage Segment > B-
Snow over explaining everything to Silva was a bit pathetic. When Roode came in it was obvious that he was going to do something to Silva. Roode brought up how long it took him to get to TNA, how he didn't have a chance like this. The thing is that TNA had only been going for two years before Roode came in. In the wrestling industry, from what I've been seeing, that isn't too terribly long. It might feel that way to the person trying to break in, but in the grand scheme of things, that wasn't that long.
Backstage Segment > F
Wait, what did EY do to Hogan? I'm very confused. Must have missed an innuendo of some sort, but I think it's one I'm glad I missed. Honestly, ODBEY was the last team I wanted to see in the ring facing Joe and Magnus, but we didn't need even more time spent with Hogan pontificating.
Backstage Segment > D
Garett looks so much like his father at certain angles. I will say the boy is right about TNA being better without Bisch, but sadly TNA won't be without Bisch any time soon! I'd even put up with Garett's crappy ring work if it meant Bisch, Hogan and Flair were out of TNA and Dixie got someone in to run the company correctly!
Backstage Segment > B
I've been wondering when Joseph would be getting to Bully. I can't wait to see what Joseph is going to be doing to Bully next!
Tag Team Championship Match – Joe & Magnus vs Anderson & Hardy > B+
Why would Hogan say it's even wilder in the back? That just makes the fans feel like they aren't getting the best show they could be getting. Hogan just keeps putting his foot in his mouth. I will admit that I would have liked to see Daniels and Kaz face Joe and Magnus, but for the fans, this does make more sense.
I didn't think Anderson and Hardy were on this bad of terms, but they sold their issues while tagging in and out, as well as arguing about called moves. I will say that Hardy looked really solid in the ring, better than I've seen him in a while. His moves were crisp and on the mark. As much as I don't want to be enjoying Hardy or his ring work, he's been doing quite well. I don't think they needed to show Hardy's whisper in the wind from every camera angle! And then there's Joe who was also on with every move. That shockingly fast scoop slam on Hardy was sick! Magnus did a great job in the little work we saw from him. Screw it, they were all really great and the ending was as it should be with the Champs retaining.
Of course Anderson and Hardy will be arguing more, and I wasn't at all shocked at Daniels and Kaz attacking on the ramp after it was over. Be interesting to see where they go with Daniels and Kaz after that attack.
Winners – Joe & Magnus
Bisch's Farewell Party > D+
Flair could barely get his words out, Bisch wasn't even out there, and the fans were singing Bisch out of the arena. Then Flair said he doesn't like wrestling fans? That's just hysterical! Then Bully clinging to him like an overgrown child made me snort. Then Bisch welling up with tears? I know wrestling is about suspending disbelief, but that was too much.
The wind beneath Bully's wings?
I found it interesting how Borash and Garett got free of the fight so quickly, I figured they had to be going after Bisch. And I'm sorry, it's not that easy to flip a port-a-castle, and they're normally full of blue chemicals, not only excrement. I've been to many a medieval event, and I know it's not that easy for a couple of people to push over a port-a-castle without rocking it back and forth a couple times first. Though I have to say that he left WWE in a trash truck, so TNA had to try to one up them. Not sure a cheap poop gag did it, but I will give them props for the attempt.
While Open Fight Night doesn't seem to have the storylines we love, but it was sure full of too much talking. While it was fun to see interesting and unexpected matches, we should be seeing good and interesting matches every week. In all honesty, the wrestling really wasn't better and there wasn't more of it. It would be nice if they actually put on a wrestling show about wrestling!
I pulled out my stopwatch this week as I want to see how much wrestling there is actually on these wrestling shows. Well, I didn't time the wrestling on this episode of Impact, but I did time how much of this episode was lost to Hogan, Bisch, Flair and Dixie. Out of a two hour show, let's say we get forty minutes of actual show out of every hour after commercials. So that's eighty minutes of show time, approximately, just to give it a ballpark number. Now, remember that I'm not perfect on the stopwatch, but I gave each segment a bit of leeway and came up with twenty-eight and a half minutes that was allocated to Hogan, Bisch, Flair and Dixie. 28:30! Now, remember, that was just those four, not all of the talking segments on the show, and honestly Dixie was only thirty seconds, but the ending segment was over twelve minutes long! So while the amount of time to be removed by commercials is a guesstimation, and I'm not perfect on the stopwatch, but the fact that TNA gave these four a half hour of time from Impact really bothers me.
Thanks for not fileting me for being so late, and I will make it worth your while with the series of articles I have coming up.