September 27, 2009

iMPACT 9/24/09

QCWradio episode 47

Episode 47 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-No Surrender review.
-Lacey Von Erich and possibly Colt Cabana signing with TNA.
-Scott Steiner possibly leaving TNA.
-Foolkiller's fantasy Bound for Glory card.
-roundtable discussion: what was the worst moment in pro wrestling history?

-also, the week in wrestling, promo of the week and much, much more.

September 25, 2009

the Month In Review 8/20/09-No Surrender

-Well, it’s a new month. And after that God-awful crapfest surrounding the Knockouts title at Hard Justice I’m not in a particularly good mood. The TNA writers took a championship that actually meant something, had the champion lose it because her tag team partner got pinned by the challenger’s boyfriend and then decided to piss all over it by making it a comedy prop for ODB & Cody Deaner.

-And how do they plan to make up for that on iMPACT tonight? Are they going to choose not to recognize the title change because of the asinine stipulations of the intergender tag team Knockouts title match and return the belt to the rightful champion, Angelina Love? No. Are they going to issue a formal apology for insulting the intelligence of their fans with pathetic, misogynistic attempts at humor where a title match should’ve been? No. Instead, they’re going to put Christy Hemme in the ring. This is going to be a long month.

-Kong & Sarita could make that match tonight awesome, Christy could make it suck and Traci’s somewhere in the middle. Damn, I’m conflicted.


8/20/09 iMPACT

BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

-Great interview as always from 2 of the best talkers in the company. It looks like Madison Rayne is gone from My Pi Sexy unless this is some kind of swerve. Seems like a shame since that gimmick did get her over. Still, she was never really portrayed as an equal to V & A. Even if she starts to feud with them now, I kind of doubt that will change.


ODB & CODY DEANER INTERRUPT MICK FOLEY BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-I heart JB for saying that NASCAR is not a sport. I only wish TNA management knew that.

-I’m relieved that Foley pointed out the impossibility of a man holding a women’s title, but this ruling he’s talking about for next week makes me nervous. Please tell me ODB & Deaner are not going to be dual champions. It was a stupid idea when Chris Jericho & Chyna did it back in the day and it’s even more stupid now.

-Thankfully, this was the only screen time ODB & Deaner got this week.


MADISON RAYNE vs. ANGELINA LOVE (w/ VELVET SKY)
-This is not where I thought this was going at all. It looked to me like Velvet was on her way out of TBP, not Madison. And why kick her out when she just joined the group a few months ago? Was that the plan all along or did they just not have a direction in mind for her character? Beats me, but whatever. If she goes back to her Ashley Lane persona Madison stands a decent chance of getting over as an energetic babyface as long as she’s got TBP to get heat off of. Sure, she’ll be completely overshadowed by the likes of Sarita and Taylor, but she was already being overshadowed by Angelina and Velvet, so what has she really got to lose? I don’t know if I see it working and she’ll probably be joining Sojo in the benchwarming jobbers club before too long, but hey, give the girl a shot and maybe she’ll surprise us.

-Strange that Velvet said Madison was out of TBP but she still came out to their music.

-Solid beatdown. Angelina looked badass. I’d like to see more of this woman and less of the girl in the beekeeper suit.

-Judging from the crowd at Hard Justice, it looks like the fans were more eager to see Velvet turn face than Madison and I have to agree. If the writers are just going back to the well with the Velvet/Angelina tandem, that shows a real lack of creativity. It’s old, it’s tired and there’s nothing new about it. At least an Angelina/Madison tandem would’ve been something different.




CHRISTY HEMME, TARA, TAYLOR WILDE & SARITA BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Knockout tag team titles. So TNA is creating a new championship. And THIS is how they announce it? THIS is how they announce the creation of Knockout tag team titles – in a completely random backstage interview with zero build up? Are you kidding me? Way to make your title belts look absolutely meaningless, TNA writers! Even someone who has never watched pro wrestling before in their life could’ve told you that the institution of a new championship should’ve had a more momentous announcement than this. The announcement should’ve been made at Hard Justice and it should’ve been made to look like a huge deal. They should’ve taken Abyss vs. Jethro Holliday off the card and given that time to the announcement of the new title belts since no one gave a rat’s ass about that match anyway.

-It’s an interesting concept in theory, and it makes sense since TNA is a company where tag team wrestling thrives as they have been so fond of pointing out for the last year. Even so, I’m opposed to this. I don’t think it’s a good idea for a number of reasons that I won’t get into here. But the nice thing about this is that I finally have a reason to post that Knockout tag team titles column that I wrote six months ago. I’ll have to update it a bit, but most of it is no less relevant now than it was then. Quite the impressive futurist, ain’t I?

-They say there’s going to be eight teams in this tournament. I’m looking over the roster right now and I have no idea how they’re going to come up with eight teams. Not eight good ones anyway. The way I see it, they have three really solid teams, but the rest are just going to look ridiculous. And if they’re going to have eight teams vying for tag titles then who’s going to be left to feud for the singles title?

-If they’re just going to throw a bunch of random singles wrestlers together and call them a tag team then this is going to come off like crap. Case in point: Hemme & Tara – nothing against them, but aside from them both being WWE Divas at one point, those two have absolutely nothing in common. There’s no chemistry, no reason for them to team together except for the writers just needing them to fill a spot. And the completely asinine pairing of Traci Brooks and non-wrestler Sharmell of all people in this tournament just proves that the TNA writers have not put nearly enough thought into this. Sharmell being entered in this thing just makes the whole tournament look like a joke. I really don’t see this working out.

-Why on earth would Traci even want to be partners with Sharmell in the first place when Sharmell has publicly admitted that she is NOT a wrestler? Does Traci think her odds of winning are better with a partner who is the definition of useless? What sense does that make? NONE! Either have Traci look outside the MEM for a tag team partner or just keep her as a singles competitor. The MEM are already devaluing the tag team and legends titles simply by Booker T, Steiner and Nash being the champions -- they don’t need to crap on the Knockout tag team titles on top of that.

-Not to sound like a broken record, but why is Tara partnering with Christy Hemme in a tag team tournament when she was supposedly focused on Awesome Kong and getting the singles title back? It just seems like her character has no direction whatsoever right now.

-On the other side of that coin, I love that Taylor & Sarita are going to be partners. Those two are money as a team or as opponents. They should win this tournament and be the inaugural champions. You won’t see a better team than them come out of this situation.

-This was a much improved interview for Sarita. She was a little shaky on her first night, but this time she was much more relaxed.


AWESOME KONG (w/ RAISHA SAEED) vs. SARITA (w/ TAYLOR WILDE) vs. TRACI BROOKS (w/ SHARMELL) vs. CHRISTY HEMME (w/ TARA)
-So the referees sent the World Elite and Jay Lethal to the back, but the women get to keep their new tag partners at ringside? I’m just saying…

-Fun match, if a bit chaotic at the end. All the women worked hard. I wish we could’ve seen the stuff that happened during the commercials. It looked like there was a blown spot at one point where Sarita went for a tilt-a-whirl armdrag and either she or Traci botched it, but they covered it up very well.

-I’ll give credit where credit’s due – I wasn’t expecting much out of Christy here, and while she didn’t do anything to impress me, she didn’t drag the match down either. I was pleasantly surprised. Christy was showing some improvement in the ring before her neck injury and seems to be more or less picking up where she left off without showing a lot of ring rust.

-The iMPACT Zone fans are really digging Sarita. Her crowd pops are getting bigger every week.

-I wish Sarita had gone over here, but Traci stealing the pin from Kong works for setting up their tag match next week. The match would’ve been better if Kong and Sarita had carried the whole thing and not just the first half, but the right person got pinned and I’m not going to complain about that.

-For the record, Sarita is still undefeated in TNA.

-Interesting reaction from Kong post-match. They even teased trouble between her and Saeed. I’m crossing my fingers that that means what I hope it means.

-Why exactly is Sharmell cool with Traci being in the MEM? She got so pissed off when Morasca joined the group, supposedly stealing her thunder, but she has no problem with Traci? Yeah, that makes sense. Oh wait. It doesn’t. Here’s a thought -- why not just leave Sharmell in the back so the fans don’t have to suffer through her presence? It’s not like she does anything that warrants her getting TV time anyway.


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8/27/09 iMPACT

TRACI BROOKS & SHARMELL BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

-Elite females? Seriously? Calling Sharmell an "elite female in the wrestling industry" is like calling Uwe Boll an elite male in the film industry.

-I'm not sure why they’re so confident about their chances against Awesome Kong considering Sharmell is not even a wrestler.

-Good promo though. I don’t want to see Sharmell anywhere near the inside of a wrestling ring, but she is very good on the mic.

-For what it’s worth, at least it looks like Sharmell won't be wrestling in a dress tonight.


AWESOME KONG & RAISHA SAEED vs. TRACI BROOKS & SHARMELL
-[sarcasm] Oh yeah… because Sharmell’s match with Jenna Morasca was such a HUGE success, by all means, let’s put her back in the ring because that sure won’t piss anyone off at all. [/sarcasm]

-For all Traci & Sharmell’s supposed confidence, they sure crapped themselves in a hurry when Kong got in the ring.

-Not much of a match, but we all knew that going in. Traci is kind of limited with what she can do and Sharmell does practically nothing. This was just about planting the seeds of dissent between Kong & Saeed.

-The right team lost, but the wrong person got pinned. Why have wrestler Traci get pinned when non-wrestler Sharmell is there? Traci getting pinned hurts Traci; Sharmell getting pinned hurts no one.

-Interesting that Tenay & Taz spent a lot of time talking about Raisha Saeed, her past, what her role with Kong is, the fact that no one really knows anything about her, etc. Then she stole the pin from Kong and Kong looked pissed off. That’s two weeks in a row that problems have been teased between these women. I'm trying not to get too excited here, but I really do smell an unmasking angle. Cannot wait to see Kong vs. Alissa Flash on PPV. Can. Not. Wait.

-Sharmell even being in this tournament in the first place makes my soul hurt and my eyes bleed. At least her and Traci lost in the first round, so apparently the TNA writers haven’t completely taken leave of their senses yet.


MICK FOLEY, ODB & CODY DEANER BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-ODB vs. Deaner at No Surrender for the title? Oh, lord... it just gets worse and worse. We're going to have another month of this crap? This is just embarrassing. Why is it even an issue in the first place? It's a freaking WOMEN'S title. That belt means less and less every moment it's associated with farce.

-Right now I would liken the Knockout roster to WCW in the late 1990s – the undercard is stacked and awesome, but the main event scene is a complete joke.

-I suppose there's some kind of audience for this type of comedy, but I just don't like it. It's stupid, it's juvenile, it's cartoonish, ergo, it belongs on Monday Night Raw, not TNA iMPACT.


DAFFNEY BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Daffney can cut some of the most entertaining promos in the business. It's just a shame she doesn't get the chance to cut promos more often.

-Strange that Lauren is so calm interviewing Daffney after being terrorized by her a few months ago.


DAFFENY vs. HAMADA
-Wow! Great match. Daffney got more offense than I expected. She still lost, but she looked strong in defeat. That’s a step up for her.

-Hamada could've used some hype videos before she showed up like the ones Sarita got.

-Did they really have to go to commercials less than two minutes into a debuting new talent's first match? That’s almost as counter productive as going to commercials at 10:00 pm so all the casual viewers who are channel surfing, looking for something to watch hit SpikeTV and find a bunch of ads instead of iMPACT. I just don’t get it.

-Hamada got a big "This is awesome!" chant despite most people in the crowd probably having no idea who she was. She should have no trouble getting over.

-Big ‘holy $h!t’ moment with the moonsault through the table. You won't see that from the WWE Divas, folks. Really cool spot, but it's a little disappointing that Daffney seems to be getting typecast as the girl who sacrifices her body by taking big bumps and then gets no push to show for it. Daffney is the new Roxxi apparently.

-This was easily Daffney’s best match in TNA so far. Rematch? Please?

-I have to credit Taz for the "zombie hot" moniker. That's a great way to describe Daffney. Well, just "hot" in general is a great way to describe Daffney, but "zombie hot" makes me laugh.

-Note to TNA merchandising department: Zombie Hot is a hot-selling T-shirt waiting to happen.


BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE & MADISON RAYNE BACKSTAGE SEGMENT
-Nice to see Madison finally stand up to V & A. She needed to grow some guts if she's going to have any chance of getting over as a babyface.

-So she has a mystery partner when she faces TBP in the tournament, eh? I guess that's the "familiar face" that Jeremy Borash tweeted about earlier today. The people at www.diva-dirt.com say the familiar face in question is Roxxi. That would make perfect sense, given Roxxi's history with TBP. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but if it is Roxxi I will mark out like a maniac next week.

-They showed a graphic with the Knockout tag title tournament brackets and thankfully, the rumored inclusion of the ODB/Deaner tandem was just a rumor. Coming up we've got Taylor/Sarita vs. Alissa/Daffney. Yes! That should be awesome! I want Taylor/Sarita to win this tournament, but it would be very interesting to see what happens if Alissa/Daffney go over in that match, seeing as how the winners will face Kong/Saeed.

-Hamada's in the tournament as well, which I have no problem with. Unfortunately for her, she's been paired up with Sojourner Bolt of all people. Good grief... did Hamada piss in Dixie Carter's cereal to get stuck with a partner like that? I've got news for you, TNA writers -- pairing Hamada with Bolt will NOT help Hamada's chances of getting over.
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9/03/09 iMPACT


-Jeremy Borash broke the news earlier in the week that Roxxi was returning for the tag tournament, which I couldn’t be more thrilled about. Even if it’s only for this set of TV tapings, seeing my favorite Knockout again is going to be a huge feel good moment.

-The timing of her return is awfully suspicious. Rhaka Khan has one foot out the door because of the Kurt Angle situation and then they suddenly bring Roxxi back. That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? No matter what anyone says about why Roxxi was released back in April, it had to have something to do with the Rhaka Khan altercation. I don’t buy that excuse they gave her for a second. They told Roxxi they no longer had anything for her creatively despite the fact that she was being used regularly, currently involved in a storyline and was one of the most over women they had. They released her while keeping a woman like Sojourner Bolt who they haven’t done squat with for six months and has never been over whatsoever. Then all of a sudden, Rhaka Khan has a falling out with Kurt Angle and Roxxi gets brought back almost immediately. Coincidence? I think not.

-Unfortunately, word came out today that no one has approached Roxxi about returning to the company full time, which is complete BS. But she’s supposed to start competing in AAA pretty soon, so she landed on her feet, which is the most important thing.


THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-"We no speaky ugly." Funny. Entertaining interview as always.

-For the record, Lauren is better looking than either of these women, IMO.


SOJOURNER BOLT & HAMADA vs TARA & CHRISTY HEMME
-Bolt's entrance was cut out, pretty much telegraphing who was going to get pinned in this match, not that it wasn't kind of obvious already.

-Hamada came out through the heel shoot this week and acted heelish during the match. So either she's going to be a heel or she's borrowing Bolt's gimmick of changing sides every five minutes.

-Did Christy just come from a tie dye party or a Daizee Haze garage sale? Seriously, what was with her ring gear this week?

-Not a great match. It was good when Tara and Hamada were in the ring, minus a sloppy spot or two, but that's pretty much all I can say since about 60% of it took place during commercials. Seeing as how Christy & Bolt were in the ring when the commercial break ended, maybe that was for the best.

-There is clearly not a single drop of chemistry between either of these teams, and to be perfectly honest, I could've told you that last week.

-Is it just me, or did Tara look really surprised that her and Christy won?

-Tara/Christy came out to the ring together while Hamada/Bolt came out separately. When tag team partners come out to separate entrances it’s sort of a given that the team isn’t going to last very long. Unsurprisingly, this one lasted for exactly one match.

-Was Hamada turning on Bolt after the match supposed to make her a face or a heel? With Bolt it’s never quite clear.

-I'm shedding no tears over the immediate dissolution of the Hamada/Bolt tandem. That was a go-nowhere team and a complete waste of Hamada's time. If she's going to be in a tag team then she deserves a partner that's in the same league as her, like Awesome Kong.


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9/10/09 Webmatch

“FUTURE LEGEND” ALISSA FLASH vs. ODB (w/ CODY DEANER)

-Decent match. Alissa is being wasted. ODB bores me; her shtick is beyond old at this point.

-Despite winning the championship at the last PPV ODB is back to working webmatches this week. I thought it was likely that the writers only gave ODB the title so Traci could take it from her at No Surrender and have the MEM holding all the belts, but then Traci’s Playboy spread got deep-sixed, so that will probably be the end of her push. I don’t know what kind of challengers they’ve got lined up for ODB now -- assuming Deaner doesn’t become the women’s champion at No Surrender, that is.

-Poor Melissa… they won’t let her get a singles win as Raisha Saeed OR as Alissa Flash. The TNA writers need to get their heads out of their asses and realize what they have with this woman. She got “Future legend!” chants against ODB for crying out loud! She’s gotten over despite the fact that she’s been booked like enhancement talent and has yet to win a single match. Doesn’t that tell you anything, TNA?

-Looks like they’re still tweaking Alissa’s look. I think they’re going for some kind of quasi-biker chick gimmick. I’m not sure what the red stripe over the eyes is for, but it’s starting to work for me. She looks pretty badass right now with her hair down and a little messy.


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9/10/09 iMPACT


-Jenna Morasca was released from TNA earlier this week, thus ending the most pointless pro wrestling career in history. That deafening silence you hear right now is the sound of no one giving a flying crap. Good riddance.

-News came out last Friday that Angelina Love has also been released from TNA because of some kind of problem with her work visa. Yikes!

-This is bad timing at its absolute worst. TBP are in the finals of the tag team title tournament and all the TV leading up to the PPV has already been filmed. This is going to put TNA in a pretty tough situation. At any rate, I guess we know who’s NOT going to be the first Knockout tag team champs in two weeks, don’t we?

-I can just hear Velvet Sky’s promo at No Surrender now: “Since SpikeTV deemed my partner, Angelina Love, too beautiful for American audiences, she has been deported back to Canada!”

-Since this was a visa issue and not because of any backstage heat that she had then if/when she gets her paperwork sorted out I imagine TNA will bring her back unless WWE makes her an offer and I don’t see why they wouldn’t. But if it’s true that Angelina was working without a visa for the last two years then she could be in some pretty serious legal trouble. Good luck to her with all that.

-Anyway, in the event that TNA doesn’t or can’t bring back Angelina then this is bad news for several reasons:

1) she was pretty much the top female heel in the company.

2) this would be the end of TBP as we know them, who are super over and one of the biggest rating grabbing acts TNA has.

3) this would probably be the beginning of the end for Velvet Sky who, on her best day, was really just a back up dancer on the Angelina show.

4) this would be a huge body blow to this Knockout tag team division before it’s even officially started. TBP were one of only two established female tag teams TNA had, and the other one – Kong/Saeed – looks like it’s about to break up. So basically, it’s going to be up to Taylor Wilde/Sarita to carry this entire tag team division by themselves until the writers can do some damage control.

-But the silver lining here, if you want to see it, is that Angelina being gone creates an opportunity for someone new to be elevated and pick up the slack as a top heel. And in case anyone out there is wondering who that should be, all I have to say is Alissa Flash, Alissa Flash, good God almighty, Alissa Flash.


SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE vs. “FUTURE LEGEND” ALISSA FLASH & DAFFNEY
-I have a little hope for this budding tag team division after watching this match. Taylor & Sarita are already gelling as a team. There was some hesitancy at certain points and they don’t have that MCMGlike fluidity just yet, but I think they’ll get there before too long. Plus, they've already got the tandem offense issue taken care of. Alissa & Daffney (who I call the Zombie Hotties) look like they're working on that as well. There were some encouraging steps taken by both teams in this match.

-Both teams came out together, unlike Hamada & Bolt last week, which hopefully is a sign that the writers plan to keep them together. These are the two easiest makeshift tag teams to establish on the women’s roster and with the impending break up of Kong/Saeed and the departure of Angelina possibly meaning the end of TBP, it's pretty much up to these four women to carry the tag team division until they can get some new teams on the map.

-For the record, Alissa looks much better in the red tights than the yellow ones. Yellow really doesn’t work for her. And just when I was warming up to that colored stripe over her eyes, the makeup people got rid of it. What gives?




THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE VS. MADISON RAYNE & ROXXI
-Yay, Roxxi!

-Nice ovation for Roxxi's entrance, but not a ton of heat for the match for some reason. This was the first time we've ever heard "Let's go, Madison!" chants though. That's a good sign for her.

-She’s been the Voodoo Queen, she’s been the Hardcore Knockout, but I think Roxxi’s real gimmick is that she’s the woman who’s never allowed to wear nice-looking ring gear. I love her to death, but this lady has some really bizarre taste in clothes. The red trunks with the stars on them almost had me longing for the days of the red plaid pants and leopard skin top. Almost…

-I didn’t expect Madison & Roxxi to win this match, but it was really nice that they didn’t make Roxxi do the job. That would’ve seriously killed my good mood.

-Tenay was really strange on commentary here. He acted like Roxxi has been there the whole time and never acknowledged that she was gone for months. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised that her return was downplayed so much. Roxxi getting shafted by this company is nothing new.

-If management were really serious about this new tag team division getting over, you'd think they would give these qualifying matches more time.

-TNA, seriously… just give Roxxi her job back. After all the times you’ve screwed this lady over, she deserves a little something.




MMA RULES MATCH(???): TARA VS. CODY DEANER
-Right... because the infamous worked MMA fight between AJ Styles & Frank Trigg at No Surrender last year was such a colossal failure, what harm could it possibly do to give this gimmick another shot? Sigh...

-Before the match they showed a Tara vs. Awesome Kong video package. I guess their Bound for Glory match is more or less confirmed at this point. I don't know where that's going to leave the three title holders though. At the very least the tag titles should be defended at BFG. It would be downright idiotic to create new championships and then not bother having them defended on your biggest show of the year one month later – to do that would make your new titles look meaningless before they have a chance to establish any credibility.

-As we all know, SpikeTV will not allow TNA to show any man-on-woman violence, ergo, this "match" could only end with Deaner getting zero offense.

-Have I mentioned in the last five minutes how much I hate this whole storyline of Deaner trying to become "king of the Knockouts"? No? Well let me mention it again. I hate this whole storyline of Deaner trying to become "king of the Knockouts".

-I see what TNA was trying to do here, but stuff like this is why people in the MMA community treat pro wrestling like a joke. You wouldn't see wrestlers having a worked baseball game in the ring, would you? No. For the same reason, worked MMA fights shouldn't happen either.

-TNA, speaking as an MMA fan as well as a pro wrestling fan, MMA fans tend to take it as an insult when "fake wrestlers" make light of the sport of mixed martial arts like this. It doesn't matter if that wasn't your intention -- that's how the MMA community perceives it.


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9/17/09 iMPACT


-For the record, Sarita/Taylor vs. Alissa/Daffney was the highest rated segment of the show last week.


TARA & CHRISTY HEMME vs. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
-As the match started Taz said the Hamada/Bolt tandem looked good on paper but had no chemistry. He's right about everything except the looking good on paper thing.

-I wonder if Madison Rayne returning to My Pi Sexy was planned all along or if this was the writers anticipating Angelina's release and trying to cover their butts; probably the former. If it were the latter I can't see why they would let TBP advance to the finals unless they thought there was a chance that Angelina's visa issues could be worked out in time.

-Madison's hairspray shot didn't come within a foot of Christy's face. I'm just saying. Christy needed to be a lot closer.

-TNA writers, for future reference, please keep Velvet Sky and Christy Hemme away from each other in wrestling matches from this point forward.

-It's interesting that Angelina accepted Madison's apology while Velvet seemed a little reluctant to. I really think that they might have been doing an angle where Madison eventually usurped Velvet as Angelina's new BFF, leading to Velvet's expulsion from the group. Of course, that plan is out the window now. I imagine Velvet will be a lot more accepting of Madison now that Angelina’s gone and Velvet finds herself without a partner this Sunday.

-Apparently, they're still doing the crooked referee thing with Madison Rayne and Slick Johnson. I was really hoping they had scraped that angle because it's absolutely ridiculous. When Madison blatantly interferes in a match right in front of a referee's face and the referee lets it happen are we supposed to believe for one second that company management would NOT do something about this, that they would just continue to allow a referee who is obviously not impartial to continue to officiate the Beautiful People's matches? It's just idiotic.




ODB BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Good interview. ODB was more serious for a change, which was how she should be acting under the circumstances. She and Lauren explained in no uncertain terms that the Deaner situation is basically an insult to the entire Knockout division and makes the title all the women take pride in look like a joke. ODB telling everyone that she wasn’t going to let Deaner disgrace the Knockouts championship was exactly what needed to be said. Thank you, TNA writers.


LUMBERJACK MATCH: "FUTURE LEGEND" ALISSA FLASH vs. CODY DEANER
-Alissa finally wins a match! Yay!

-I liked this. The faces and heels put their differences aside and band together for one match because of their mutual hatred of Cody Deaner and the joke he's trying to make of all of them. Just like ODB's promo was what needed to be said, this is what needed to happen. It seems like the writers know the Deaner thing is an insult to the women, but that does beg the question of why they're even doing it in the first place. Anyway, after this I don't think we have to worry about Deaner going over this Sunday.

-Nice touch with the animosities between the women resuming to second the match was over.

-I hope your Tivos were running during this segment because this could be the last we see of Roxxi and Angelina in TNA unfortunately.


SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE vs. AWESOME KONG & RAISHA SAEED
-They recapped Saeed stealing the pin from Kong three weeks ago before the match and then focused on Kong being pissed off at her for getting pinned after this match. The spoilers said that Kong also stormed off, leaving Saeed alone in the ring afterward, but that wasn't shown. I'm getting excited about this. I can't wait for the Saeed character to end. A friends-turned-enemies feud with Kong would be the perfect way to elevate Alissa Flash into a top spot. I repeat my position from last week: with Angelina gone, Alissa should be the one to replace her as top heel.

-If Melissa Anderson wrestles twice on the same show as two different characters, does she get two paychecks? Just wondering.

-Lauren interviews Sarita & Taylor post-match, but Angelina & Velvet didn't get a post-match interview when they advanced to the finals earlier in the show. That's pretty telling if you ask me.

-This was probably my favorite match of the tournament. Sarita/Taylor vs. Alissa/Daffney last week was more action packed, but it was chaotic at times. The flow was better in this match. In retrospect, this really should’ve been the final match of the tournament, but hindsight is 20/20.

-The final match to crown the inaugural tag team champions is announced for this Sunday. I could go on a pretty lengthy rant about the utter stupidity of instituting new championships on a 'B' PPV like No Surrender when their biggest show of the year, Bound for Glory, is next month, but I don't think I need to as it’s pretty obvious IMHO. Why not hold off on this match, spend the next month hyping it up, then crown the first champions at BFG when it would mean a lot more? I don't get it...

-The main complaint I have about this tag title tournament is that it hasn't been made to look nearly important enough. None of the qualifying matches were given much time and a lot of them weren't even that good. We haven't seen any video packages or interviews from any of the women (until just now) about what Knockout tag team titles mean to them or women's wrestling in general, the whole tournament felt rushed and hastily thrown together and the finals are taking place on a secondary PPV that no one is even talking about that much because BFG is right around the corner. All due respect to TNA, but the decision to create women's tag team championships really doesn't seem to have been planned out very well at all.


-----


9/20/09 No Surrender

INAUGURAL TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE vs. VELVET SKY & MADISON RAYNE

-Why did they give Sarita new music? Her music was awesome! Why on earth would they want to change it? Her new music sounds great too, but still, this upsets me... unless it's not Sarita's new music, but actually SariTaylor's new music, in which case I'm fine with it. Giving them separate music for when they work as a tag team is a great way to make them look like a legit team.

-SariTaylor have a new entrance to go along with their new music. They ditched the sorority sister handshake and now it kind of looks like they're dancing the tango or something at the top of the ramp. It's pretty damn sexy, I have to admit.

-Velvet & Madison have a new entrance as well. This one’s going to take a little getting used to.

-I don't know if it's a conscious choice by whoever is dressing SariTaylor, but in their last few matches they’ve started wearing matching colors. They're making an effort to look like a team as well as wrestle like one. Velvet & Madison also dressed alike tonight. Very good.

-THANK YOU, TNA writers, for sending Slick Johnson to the back for this match. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach when I saw him in the ring, but thankfully the issues I had were addressed. If a referee is clearly not impartial when Madison Rayne is in the ring then in any logical, realistic universe the people in management would not allow him to officiate matches she's involved in, especially not such an (supposedly) important match like this.

-Making this the opening match of the show was pretty much the worst thing they could've done. If an inaugural championship match is booked as the curtain jerker match then what does that say about the new titles? It says they must not be that important. This should've been one of the marquee matches of the PPV, it should've been a lot longer and it should've been MUCH higher on the card. But instead, it was the first match of the night, it got less than five minutes and I'm pretty sure it was the only match on the card that did NOT have a video package promoting it during the pre-show. Their plans may have changed because of Angelina being gone, but still, it's almost as if the writers went out of their way to make this match and the new titles look as UNimportant as possible.

-Can someone please explain to me why they had Velvet Sky carry most of the action for the heels? No offense to Velvet, but there is a reason why Angelina was always the one to do that when she was there. Madison Rayne is a better wrestler than Velvet and she should've done the lion's share of the work for the heel team.

-I think this was SariTaylor's best outing as a team so far. In their first tournament match it felt like they were trying a little too hard to show their chemistry, which made some of the spots a little contrived, but here, while still adding some new moves to their repertoire, they didn't go overboard with the tandem offense and everything just came naturally.

-During the match, Tenay mentioned that Scott D'Amore called SariTaylor a female version of the Rock-N-Roll Express. I totally heart D'Amore for saying that.

-I was actually a little surprised that they didn't make more of the Angelina situation. They just mentioned that she was released from the company for business reasons and that was the end of it. I'm not saying they should've made a huge deal out of it, but they should've at least let Velvet cut a promo before the match explaining that Angelina was out and introducing Madison as her new partner. To just bring out Madison like that with nothing but a passing explanation from the announcers felt lazy to me.

-The right team went over. SariTaylor are the best tag team this division has, established or otherwise. They're versatile enough to have great matches with pretty much anyone, which I'm not sure the other teams could pull off, and just as importantly, they bring credibility with them. Former singles champ, Taylor + undefeated Sarita = credible champions; no other team would have those credentials.

-And on top of being the inaugural Knockout tag team champions, which is a big deal itself, SariTaylor also just made history in a few other areas:

1) Taylor is the first woman in history to hold the Knockout singles and tag team titles, making her the first ever Home Run Knockouts champion.

2) Sarita is the first Knockout to win a championship with an undefeated record and the first to win one in her PPV debut.

3) SariTaylor are the first team to win the tag titles with an undefeated record.

-The new title belts look really nice. Red wouldn't have been my first choice, but thankfully they didn't go with white straps like the singles title has. White is not a flattering color for a belt.


SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Good short interview. Both women look thrilled, as well they should be. They put over their partnership and chemistry, which was important to get across. SariTaylor are now an established tag team and TNA has a great tandem to build this division around. Now let the elevation of Alissa/Daffney begin.

-Little things such as showing the new champions celebrating afterward like this make the win seem more eventful, which really needed to happen after the writers seemed to go out of their way to make it seem UNeventful.


KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: ODB vs. CODY DEANER
-I can't even begin to speculate what the writers were thinking when they decided to not only make this match longer than thirty seconds, but make it several minutes longer than the inaugural championship match as well. What in the world could have possibly made them think that was a good idea? I can't even imagine...

-I thought the writers had realized this whole thing was a big joke, but then they turn around and make it an actual match with real time when there were about a hundred more important things on this PPV that should've gotten that time.

-BUT, the good news is Cody Deaner is NOT the women's champion and this horrid storyline is finally over (I hope) -- let us never speak of it again. Hopefully the women's division can get back to women competing against other women now.


LEGENDS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: KEVIN NASH (c) vs. ABYSS. DAFFNEY INTERFERES
-Well, at least Daffney got to do something on the PPV. That's better then her being left off the show entirely, I guess. Still, it's really disappointing that Daffney has basically been turned into the Knockout bump machine. She bumps around for other people and that's all she ever gets to do. That's a damn shame. She could be doing so much more if she were just booked properly.

September 22, 2009

Ratings Follow-Up

The following is ratings info for the 9/17/09 edition of iMPACT from pwtorch. Once again, commentary is in italics.

"The September 17 episode of TNA Impact averaged a 1.21 rating, which was up 30.2 percent from the lowest rating in 13 months the previous week. Impact averaged a 0.96 on Sept. 3 and 0.93 on Sept. 10, but shot back up to Impact's normal level with the PPV lead-in show.

The show built nicely from start to finish, although the show peaked in the seventh quarter-hour with a 1.33 rating for the Knockouts tag match before dropping to a 1.24 rating in the final quarter-hour for Matt Morgan vs. Samoa Joe.

The first hour averaged a 1.15 rating and the second hour averaged a 1.27 rating. The first hour was dragged down by a weak 1.02 rating in the second quarter-hour of the show. The segment featured the first of three match-ups in seven days for D'Angelo Dinero and Suicide.

Looking at the key demographic ratings, the show shot up across the board. The rating with males 18-49 was the highest since July 23. The rating among males 18-34 was the highest since July 16.

Looking at the long-term comparisons of where this show fit in during the year, Impact was up 3.1 percent compared to the 2009 average. Removing the year-low ratings from the previous two episodes of Impact, the show was up 1.9 percent compared to the 2009 average.

Caldwell's Analysis: The show was right in line with the yearly average, but very strong compared to recent shows this summer. Obviously, the college football and NFL competition on Sept. 3 and 10 greatly impacted TNA's ratings. They're still at a 1.2 for the year without showing much upward mobility, but they're back to where they need to be in order to start growing that number."

A 30% increase from when they were competing with football the previous few weeks. This was actually a better scenario than I predicted. In a previous post I theorized that the recent ratings drop was a combination of football and the focus of the show being switched to the young talents who had been made to look inferior compared to the ex-WCWWECW stars. If this rating is any indication, it looks like it was all due to football. Take football out of the equation and the ratings shot back up to a level slightly higher than their 2009 average.

Let this be a lesson to the doom-and-gloomers as well as a certain white jeans wearing, guitar wielding former head of creative -- the young guys can draw just fine without the constant, overbearing presence of the stars of yesteryear and this just proves it.

iMPACT 9/17/09

September 21, 2009

QCWradio episode 46

Episode 46 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-Breaking Point review.
-No Surrender preview.
-Chessarmy discusses his first week of pro wrestling school.
-which Smackdown era was better, '02-'03 or '08-'09?

-also, promo of the week and much, much more.

September 19, 2009

Previewing No Surrender

New feature time! This is where I take a look at and disect the feuds/matches on the upcoming TNA PPV events. I can't promise I'll be able to do this every month, but I'm going to try. Anyway, since it's the first edition of this feature, as a special treat I am joined by the host of QCWradio and the man who recuited me for the show, Chessarmy.

Let's do this thing...


KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH
Cody Deaner vs. ODB


FK9: This match is a farce and it makes the title look like a joke. I hope they're only doing this to add a little comedy so they can keep the focus in the women's division on the inaugural tag team titles for the time being. Once the first tag champions are crowned, hopefully the singles title will stop being used as a comedy prop.

Who should win: ODB

Chessarmy: What the hell is this doing on PPV? Does TNA actually believe people are going to pay 30 bucks to see this? Ugh. The match should last all of 30 seconds, ODB and Deaner come out, ODB kicks him in the nuts and gets the 1...2...3. Then Kong comes out and ####s up ODB, Tara runs in for the save, and there you have it, a useless storyline turned into something that can actually progress Kong/Tara for BFG.

Who should win: ODB (then take the title off her on the next iMPACT! tapings...)
-----



LETHAL LOCKDOWN
Beer Money & Team 3D vs. Booker T/Scott Steiner & British Invasion


FK9: Every moment that Booker/Steiner walk around with the TNA tag team titles gives me a queasy feeling in my stomach. Steiner at least works hard to the extent that his injury-laden body will allow him to, but that's not saying very much at this point, and Booker T could still work great matches if he wanted to, but he's become extremely lazy in the ring over the last year. I'd love for the faces to go over here, but since there are no titles on the line (I think), it's probably a better idea to have the heels (i.e. the British Invasion) go over to put heat on them going into Bound for Glory next month. The last thing I want to see is Booker/Steiner defending at BFG, but it's probably unavoidable at this point. Beer Money need to win the belts back, but it will mean more if it happens on TNA's biggest stage.

Who should win: British Invasion & Steiner/Booker T

Chessarmy: Interesting concept here, I'd make this the match where Booker/Steiner lose their tag belts. They've had them for long enough, it's time for someone else to reign supreme in TNA's tag division. I'd go with The British Invasion getting the win, then losing the belts to Beer Money at BFG.

Who should win: The British Invasion
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$50,000 BOUNTY VS. THE LEGENDS CHAMPIONSHIP
Abyss vs. Kevin Nash (c)


FK9: I like Kevin Nash being the Legends champion about as much as I like Booker/Steiner as the tag team champions. If Abyss goes over here then we can have Abyss vs. Mick Foley for the Legends title at BFG and Nash will have no reason to even be at the show, much less wrestle on it. Everybody wins, except Nash, and he doesn't really count.

Who should win: Abyss

Chessarmy: Mick Foley will probably end up costing Abyss the Legends belt to get revenge for what happened on iMPACT! Bad idea, I think these two could put on a half decent match given the right amount of time. Just...please, TNA, AJ already jobbed to Grandpa Nash...don't put Abyss on that list as well. These two should wrestle a decent match, Abyss should pin Nash, win the Legends belt, then move on to defend it against Mick Foley at Bound For Glory

Who should win: Abyss
-----



TNA X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Daniels vs. Samoa Joe (c)


FK9: This is the most intriguing match for me as it's kind of a must-win situation for both guys. Joe needs to keep the title after his loss to Hernandez and his character being somewhat deemphasized as of late and Daniels needs to win because, damn it, he's Christopher Daniels and he deserves a huge push. But seeing as how neither of these guys have any other feuds going on right now, I think they should probably do some kind of DQ finish that keeps Daniels looking strong -- maybe have Joe get frustrated that he can't seem to pin Daniels, so Joe just goes off on him until the referee throws the match out, which leads to a rematch at BFG.

Who should win: DQ

Chessarmy: The X-Division is BACK and this is why, solid build up to what will be an awesome match at No Surrender. I love seeing Samoa Joe dominate the X-Division again. HOWEVER, if I was booking this PPV, I'd have Daniels win. Not because I want to ruin Joe's momentum, unfortunately it might have to suffer some slight damage. Daniels would get the victory under my control because...it makes sense, if Daniels wins the X Title at No Surrender his next feud for BFG could be against the one...the only...D'Angelo Dinero! I want to see that, I'd pay to see that, make it happen TNA.

Who should win: Daniels
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Eric Young vs. Hernandez

FK9: Eric Young hasn't exactly been made to look very strong in the ring lately. Neither have his World Elite cohorts, Bashir & Kiyoshi, for that matter. Frankly, EY needs this win to keep his faction from looking like the NWO Black & White B-team to the M.E.M.'s Wolfpack. Hernandez is in the middle of a quasi-main event push, but the Homicide situation gives Supermex the perfect excuse to lose this match without losing his heat.

Who should win: Eric Young via interference from Homicide

Chessarmy: I like how this feud has been booked so far, it's personal now that Homicide joined up with Young's World Elite group. However, the promo Eric cut on iMPACT! this past Thursday leads me to believe he won't actually wrestle at the PPV this Sunday and instead find someone else who will, until eventually Hernandez destroys them all and the only one left is Eric Young. As for what I think should happen? I say, let the guys go out there and put on a good match for 10 minutes.

Who should win: Hernandez
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INAUGURAL KNOCKOUT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Sarita/Taylor Wilde vs. Velvet Sky/Madison Rayne(????)


FK9: There would be a case for the Beautiful People if Angelina hadn't been released, but even if she was still with the company the babyfaces would be the best choice to win regardless. This tag team division could live or die based on who the first champions are. The Knockout division might not have taken off the way it did if Gail Kim hadn't been such a great inaugural champion two years ago and this is the same situation. SariTaylor together can have great matches with pretty much anyone on the women's roster, which is crucial. Plus, they're both very credible singles wrestlers with Taylor being a former singles champ and Sarita still being undefeated; making them the first tag team champs establishes them as a credible team. This tag division needs more credible teams if it's going to be a success.

Who should win: Sarita/Taylor Wilde

Chessarmy: Since Angelina Love won't be at the PPV (I'm wondering how TNA will explain this), I think the victory should be given to Saritaylor, they have great chemistry and could be the main part of the Knockouts Tag Division if they win the belts this Sunday. Who they can feud with next? Thats anyone's guess, but for now, I say Taylor/Sarita over Velvet/whoever they find to take Love's place.

Who should win: Taylorita :p
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Bobby Lashley vs. Rhino

FK9: Poor Rhino. TNA has been promoting Bobby Lashley more than No Surrender itself lately. They're clearly investing a lot in him and they're going to need to get their money's worth. Rhino still has his fans, but the guy hasn't been relevant in a while now.

Who should win: Bobby Lashley

Chessarmy: It'll be interesting to see how Lashley does in his first match in years, he might have to deal with ring rust. However, I still think this match will be enjoyable. Obviously, Lashley should get the victory. This is his first match with TNA, he needs to look as strong as possible.

Who should win: Lashley
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TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Sting vs. AJ Styles vs. Matt Morgan vs. Kurt Angle (c)


FK9: I'm torn on this one. I want AJ Styles to main event BFG against Kurt Angle, but I also want AJ to be the one to retire Sting in his last match. On top of that, I do NOT want Sting to headline BFG yet again this year. But the show is in Sting's home state, it's being promoted as Sting's last match, Sting wants to pass the torch and I can't have everything I want. The best thing here is for AJ to pin Kurt Angle due to Matt Morgan costing him the match, which would set up Angle vs. Morgan at BFG and also AJ defending the championship against Sting in a title vs. career match. The only other option would be Sting winning the title and then defending it against AJ at BFG, but if that were the case then Sting would have no reason to put his career on the line. This way Sting can say that if he doesn't win the TNA world title at BFG he can retire knowing that the company is in good hands with his chosen successor, AJ Styles, at the helm.

Who should win: AJ Styles

Chessarmy: This is the match I'm looking forward to the most, this will determine the main event for BFG pretty much. If Angle wins, we're seeing Angle/Lashley, if Sting or AJ wins, we're getting AJ vs. Sting in the awesome career vs. title match we've all dreamed of, and if Matt Morgan wins...he continues his feud with Angle which culminates in the main event of Bound For Glory. If I was head booker, I'd give Sting one last World Title run, even if its just for a month. I think the "passing of the torch" angle works better when the young guy beats the legend for the belt, instead of just retaining. So Sting should get the victory, move on to BFG where he passes the torch to AJ Styles and hangs up the boots

Who should win: Sting

September 17, 2009

the Chemicals Between Us

[Please note: This column was written several weeks ago, before Angelina Love’s release from TNA and the creation of the Sarita/Taylor Wilde tag team. Certain parts may seem dated not, but the information is still relevant.]

We have great, great chemistry. It doesn’t matter if you’re trained with the same person or worked with them before, it’s all about chemistry. We have that which is super exciting for me.
-Taylor Wilde, on her and Sarita.
We’ve seen on multiple occasions that the Beautiful People just don’t mesh well with any of these women. Madison Rayne & Tara work together fairly well, but that’s about it. Is it really so hard to match up the women who actually have in-ring chemistry and keep the ones who don’t away from each other? The writers aren’t doing the Knockouts any favors when they book matches like this.
-KNOCKED OUT: the Month in Review 7/23/09-Hard Justice.

Just like the presentation issue that I’ve discussed before (KNOCKED OUT: Presentation is Key) the amount of in-ring chemistry shared between two competitors can make or break a wrestling match. You can have two great performers, but if, for some reason they have no chemistry together, they can deliver a match that stinks up the place.

The biggest recent example of this is Triple H & Randy Orton. Both very talented wrestlers, but I’ve lost count of how many times these men have faced each other and I don’t think they’ve ever had a single match that really excited me. And don’t even get me started on their Wrestlemania 25 debacle, which I literally fell asleep during.

Another good example would be Mickie James & Katie Lea Burchill. Two good wrestlers capable of having good matches, but they just couldn’t seem to have good matches together.

Both disappointing match ups that can be chalked up to a lack of in-ring chemistry.

We’ve seen this countless times in wrestling history. Some people just happen to work really well together and some people don’t. I still remember a match I saw back in the day in the original ECW between Kid Kash & EZ Money where Money attempted a top rope powerbomb and Kash astonishingly turned it into a hurracanrana in mid air. Later, I read an interview with Money in which he said that because of the chemistry they had, he could do things with Kash that he couldn’t do with anyone else and Kash could do things with Money that he couldn’t do with anyone else.

Now what does this have to do with the Knockouts, you ask?

As everyone knows, the feud that put the Knockout division on the map was Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong. The wars they had together were like nothing I had ever seen before in mainstream women’s wrestling. The reason their matches were so great was because they had an in-ring chemistry the likes of which you rarely see these days. Yes, Gail was an amazingly talented wrestler in her own right, but Kong turned out to be the perfect yin to her yang and when they faced each other in the ring they made magic happen every time. They were a female version of Kash/Money basically. The only problem was that Kong really didn’t have that same chemistry with any of the other girls (the ones not stuck with Muslim gimmicks anyway).

Not only has the Knockout division been lacking a feud of that caliber since Gail left last year, but a number of their matches in recent months have been subpar. Everyone will have their own explanations for that, but IMHO, this has been mostly due to bad match-making.

[Yes, TNA’s ridiculously short TV matches and notoriously awful booking played a part in this too, but we’ve all been over that a thousand times.]

Simply put, for most of 2009 thus far I have seen a noticeable increase in the number of Knockout matches being booked involving women who, despite being very talented, just don’t work well together because of a lack of in-ring chemistry. The frustrating part is that in many cases said lack of chemistry was obvious BEFORE those matches were made.

I could’ve told you before their Lockdown match that Angelina Love & Awesome Kong had very little chemistry together. They’d never even had a one-on-one match, but they’d had enough encounters in multi-person matches to tell me everything I needed to know. But this didn’t stop the TNA writers from booking a feud for them that – surprise, surprise – didn’t produce any noteworthy matches.

I could’ve told you after their match at Slammiversary that Angelina & Tara didn’t have much chemistry. I believe it’s the general consensus that none of their matches ever got out of first gear. Unfortunately, this didn’t stop that feud from happening either.

Then Angelina faced ODB in a brief feud that I think we’d all like to erase from our memories forever.

Those were the three feuds that Angelina had during her run with the belt, and that poor match-making made her title reign somewhat lackluster in a lot of people’s eyes. I’ve gone on record here saying that Angelina was a great champion and outside the ring that was true. She’s a good character and always delivers on the mic, cutting consistently solid and entertaining promos. However, inside the ring is where she ran into problems because the writers were not letting her work with women that she could have strong matches with.

Angelina has no chemistry with Kong and Tara (don’t even get me started on ODB); her matches with them were very forgettable. Angelina benefits from having a fast opponent -- put her in the ring with Taylor Wilde and she’ll deliver a much better match, and they haven’t even gone near each other yet, but I’m sure you’d get similar results by matching her up with Sarita.

And there have been many other such examples this year. ODB & Daffney showed in a mixed tag match on iMPACT that they didn’t work particularly well together, but that didn’t stop the writers from pitting them against each other in the Queen of the Cage match at Lockdown (albeit with two other women).

Sojourner Bolt doesn’t seem to have chemistry with ANYONE on the TNA roster, but the writers put her in a match with Awesome Kong at Destination-X that I’ve been trying like hell to forget about ever since.

Kong vs. Angelina at Sacrifice was the same type of thing -- decent enough, but pretty unremarkable.

Tara vs. Angelina at Slammiversary – disappointing any way you look at it.

The mixed tag Monster’s Ball at Slammiversary was a different story though. Taylor & Daffney had shown previously that they worked well together. They had enough chemistry that they could deliver solid matches given the opportunity. They got the opportunity at Slammiversary and they had a strong match. Yes, their feud ultimately fell victim to bad booking and gimmick match overload, but Taylor & Daffney proved that if you just put them in the ring and let them wrestle each other they will give you something good.

Concurrently, the same can be said to a greater extent for Sarita & Alissa Flash. After seeing them face each other in just a handful of matches (and knowing about their tremendous battles in SHIMMER) I think we may finally have a new ‘Kim/Kong’ type of rivalry in the Knockout division with these two. And by that I mean their chemistry is such that they don’t need any elaborate storyline or tons of overbooking to have a great match that gets really over. Just put them in the ring, let them wrestle and they will deliver the goods every time.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure the same can be said about the women at the top of the card.

At the time of this writing, Tara & Awesome Kong have come to blows on a couple of occasions on the iMPACT show and the way the writers are building this it’s probably leading up to a Bound for Glory match. I was excited about that prospect at first, but the more I see of them together, the more I’m starting to think that this could be a bad idea. And why? Because of their obvious lack of chemistry. In the brief moments when these women have locked horns their exchanges have not looked very good. See for yourself:



Is it my imagination or did that look kind of crappy? It was definitely a far cry from Awesome Kong/Gail Kim, not to mention the fact that the audience really didn’t react to it that much. From the way those punches were timed they were clearly trying to provoke the classic dueling “BOO!” “YEAH!” chants when a face and heel start wailing on each other, except it didn’t really happen. Tara also had a lot of trouble climbing onto Kong’s back.

Is this a prelude to what we’re going to get at BFG? I hope not. I really hope Kong & Tara prove me wrong, but I don’t have high hopes for that match right now. They’re both great wrestlers, but what if a lack of chemistry prevents them from having great matches together? That means TNA will have spent several months building up to a BFG match that doesn’t deliver, and we’re already going to have to suffer through too many matches on that PPV that won’t deliver anything if Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner & Booker T are going to be on the card.

At the very least put Kong & Tara on the house show circuit immediately to see if they work well together. If they do then we don’t have to worry. If they don’t then TNA management will still have time to figure out how to book their eventual PPV match to disguise that fact or simply change their plans before the match happens.

There are several replacement matches they could go with if Kong vs. Tara doesn’t work out. Kong vs. Alissa Flash, Kong vs. Ayako Hamada, Sarita vs. Alissa Flash, Sarita vs. Taylor Wilde. Any one of those matches would be amazing. Hell, I’ve only seen Sarita & Taylor wrestling against each other for about 5 seconds in the youtube video that introduced Sarita and I can already tell that that’s a money match waiting to happen.

Having said all that, I really doubt it will happen. One thing we know about TNA by now is that when this company makes up its’ mind about something they’re going to do it whether it’s a good idea or not (ex. reverse battle royal, Sharmell vs. Jenna Morasca, etc). I’m sure we’re going to have Tara vs. Awesome Kong in the near future, if not at BFG, and that match could very well be great, but it could also be a disappointment if it turns out that they have no in-ring chemistry together.

So in the interest of putting together strong, interesting match ups in the future, as well as avoiding bad or just plain boring ones, I have put together a list of women on the current roster that each of the Knockouts can and can’t have strong matches with because of in-ring chemistry or lack thereof.

Although, a lot of this comes from simply paying attention and observing their matches very closely, some of it is educated guess work. Bear in mind, there are a lot of other factors to consider: proper booking, how versatile certain women are, how well one person can carry or be carried by another, etc. I wouldn’t bet my life on how well I’ve nailed this, but I think it will turn out to be pretty accurate when it’s all said and done.


ALISSA FLASH/RAISHA SAEED
GOOD MATCH UPS: Angelina Love, Awesome Kong, Ayako Hamada, Christy Hemme, Daffney, Madison Rayne, ODB, Sarita, Sojourner Bolt, Tara, Taylor Wilde, Traci Brooks, Velvet Sky.
BAD MATCH UPS: Rhaka Khan.
UNDETERMINED: None.
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ANGELINA LOVE
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Ayako Hamada, Daffney, Sarita, Taylor Wilde.
BAD MATCH UPS: Awesome Kong, Christy Hemme, Rhaka Khan, ODB, Sojourner Bolt, Tara.
UNDETERMINED: Madison Rayne, Traci Brooks, Velvet Sky.
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AWESOME KONG
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Ayako Hamada, Christy Hemme, ODB, Sarita, Taylor Wilde.
BAD MATCH UPS: Angelina Love, Daffney, Madison Rayne, Rhaka Khan, Sojourner Bolt, Traci Brooks, Velvet Sky.
UNDTERMINED: Tara.
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AYAKO HAMADA
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Angelina Love, Awesome Kong, Daffney, Madison Rayne, ODB, Sarita, Tara, Taylor Wilde.
BAD MATCH UPS: Rhaka Khan, Sojourner Bolt.
UNDETERMINED: Christy Hemme, Traci Brooks, Velvet Sky.
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CHRISTY HEMME
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Awesome Kong, Sarita, Tara, Taylor Wilde.
BAD MATCH UPS: ODB, Rhaka Khan, Sojourner Bolt, Traci Brooks.
UNDTERMINED: Angelina Love, Ayako Hamada, Daffney, Madison Rayne, Velvet Sky.
-----
DAFFNEY
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Angelina Love, Ayako Hamada, Madison Rayne, Sarita, Tara, Taylor Wilde, Velvet Sky.
BAD MATCH UPS: Awesome Kong, ODB, Rhaka Khan, Sojourner Bolt.
UNDTERMINED: Christy Hemme, Traci Brooks.
-----
MADISON RAYNE
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Ayako Hamada, Daffney, Sarita, Tara, Taylor Wilde.
BAD MATCH UPS: Awesome Kong, Rhaka Khan, Sojourner Bolt.
UNDETERMINED: Angelina Love, Christy Hemme, ODB, Traci, Velvet Sky.
-----
ODB
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Awesome Kong, Ayako Hamada, Sarita, Taylor Wilde.
BAD MATCH UPS: Angelina Love, Christy Hemme, Daffney, Rhaka Khan, Sojourner Bolt.
UNDTERMINED: Madison Rayne, Tara, Traci Brooks, Velvet Sky.
-----
RHAKA KHAN
GOOD MATCH UPS: No one.
BAD MATCH UPS: Everyone.
UNDTERMINED: Why on earth hasn’t she been released yet?
-----
SARITA
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Angelina Love, Awesome Kong, Ayako Hamada, Christy Hemme, Daffney, Madison Rayne, ODB, Sojourner Bolt, Tara, Taylor Wilde, Traci Brooks, Velvet Sky.
BAD MATCHUPS: Rhaka Khan.
UNDETERMINED: None.
-----
SOJOURNER BOLT
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Ayako Hamada, Sarita, Taylor Wilde.
BAD MATCH UPS: Angelina Love, Awesome Kong, Christy Hemme, Daffney, ODB, Rhaka Khan, Tara, Traci Brooks, Velvet Sky.
UNDETERMINED: Madison Rayne.
-----
TARA
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Ayako Hamada, Christy Hemme, Daffney, Madison Rayne, Sarita, Taylor Wilde, Traci Brooks.
BAD MATCH UPS: Angelina Love, Sojourner Bolt, Rhaka Khan.
UNDETERMINED: Awesome Kong, ODB, Velvet Sky.
-----
TAYLOR WILDE
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Angelina Love, Awesome Kong, Ayako Hamada, Christy Hemme, Daffney, Madison Rayne, ODB, Sarita, Sojourner Bolt, Tara, Traci Brooks, Velvet Sky.
BAD MATCH UPS: Rhaka Khan.
UNDETERMINED: None.
-----
TRACI BROOKS
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Sarita, Tara, Taylor Wilde.
BAD MATCH UPS: Awesome Kong, Christy Hemme, Rhaka Khan, Sojourner Bolt, Velvet Sky.
UNDETERMINED: Angelina Love, Ayako Hamada, Daffney, Madison Rayne, ODB.
-----
VELVET SKY
GOOD MATCH UPS: Alissa Flash, Daffney, Sarita, Taylor Wilde.
BAD MATCH UPS: Awesome Kong, Rhaka Khan, Sojourner Bolt, Traci Brooks.
UNDETERMINED: Angelina Love, Ayako Hamada, Christy Hemme, Madison Rayne, ODB, Tara.

September 13, 2009

QCWradio episode 45

Episode 45 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-Jeff Hardy's shocking arrest for drug trafficking.
-the recent low ratings for iMPACT.
-Shawn Michaels vs. Hulk Hogan -- who is the better pro wrestler.

-also, the week in wrestling, promo of the week and much, much more.

September 12, 2009

What does the low rating for iMPACT really mean?

"Last night's episode of TNA Impact averaged a 0.93 rating, which was down from last week's basement-level 0.96 rating and the lowest rating since the August 14, 2008 episode averaged a 0.87 rating.

The TV ratings trend for the Sept. 3 episode at least showed a nice pattern of building toward the peak quarter-hour rating at the end of the show.

This week's show, up against the NFL's opening game, peaked in the third quarter-hour with a 0.97 rating and finished with 0.87 and 0.92 quarter-hour ratings in the final 30 minutes."

Source: www.TNAinsider.com

Let's try to keep a lid on the knee jerk predictions of doom and gloom, okay? This was to be expected. TNA recently took the focus off of most of the "name talent" and put it on the younger wrestlers in an effort to start building new stars. The problem with that is most of the young guys that are now in the spotlight have been buried and made to look like complete jobbers by the ex-WCWWECW veterans for the last year. So now the audience has been conditioned to think that the home-grown TNA stars are not important. It's going to take a while to reeducate the fans about that.

Right now TNA is in damage control mode. They're trying to repair the harm that was done to the credibility of the young roster by the one-two punch of the Jarret/Mantel creative regime and the Main Event Mafia. Making a concentrated effort to develop the younger talent is going to be an investment in the future, but realistically, they're probably not going to pop a huge rating with these guys any time soon, and certainly not when football is drawing 20 million viewers on the other channel when iMPACT is on.

Frankly, this damage was self-inflicted by the short-sightedness of the previous head of creative. If the veterans in the locker room hadn't been destroying the credibility of everyone who wasn't them for the last year TNA might not be in this position now, but they were and they are.

TNA needs to stay the course and be patient. They're not going to draw big ratings over night, but if they continue to build their future, then at least their company will HAVE a future.

September 09, 2009

the Month in Review 7/23/09-Hard Justice

the Month in Review
7/23/09-Hard Justice

by FK9
-----


7/23/09 iMPACT

-you know what the great thing about hitting rock bottom is? There’s nowhere to go but up. And thanks to Sharmell & Jenna Morasca the knockout division definitely hit rock bottom at Victory Road. Call me crazy, but I’m feeling strangely optimistic about what happens next. Part of that is because, after the way the Sharmell/Morasca segment was panned mercilessly by fans and critics alike, not to mention how the live crowd pissed all over it at the PPV, there is absolutely no way on earth that TNA management would even consider doing something like that again. On iMPACT this week the Sharmell/Morasca debacle wasn’t even mentioned. Believe me, TNA knows they screwed up big time with that thing. It’s all uphill from here, folks.

-for the record, I will not be covering anything to do with Sharmell & Morasca in the future unless (God help us all) they get back in the ring or have interaction with those who do. They are not official members of the knockout division. The knockouts are the ones who wrestle and Sharmell & Morasca are not wrestlers. End of story.

TRACI BROOKS BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-nice to see Traci back; she’s been gone a long time. She mentions something big coming up in Hollywood. I wonder if she could be the knockout that will be posing for Playboy in the near future. I, like many people, was hoping for Taylor Wilde, but we play the hand we’re dealt.

TARA BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-okay, at least they had Tara address the issue of why a babyface would want to compete for a spot in the MEM. She wants to be the best and apparently she’s willing to sell her soul to the biggest heel faction in the company to do it. It probably wasn’t the intended purpose, but I think a little bit less of Tara’s character after this promo. For what it’s worth, she did at least mention giving the $50,000 to charity.

BATTLE ROYAL. WINNER RECEIVES $50,000 & A SPOT IN THE MAIN EVENT MAFIA. [REFEREE: TRACI BROOKS]
-why was Frontline member, ODB, trying to win a spot in the MEM? I’m just saying. For that matter, is every female babyface in the company willing to sell out all of a sudden? Are there no admirable characters left on this entire roster? What would’ve been really cool is if all the babyfaces just got out of the ring and walked away after the bell rang.

-speaking of ODB, I can’t even remember the last time she had a match on iMPACT. You might as well call this her return as well as Traci’s.

-I believe this was the 1st time Awesome Kong has ever come out through the face shoot. That could be significant.

-I don’t like the timing of this. It’s one week after Sarita & Alissa blew the roof off the place in their debut and they’re already being lumped together with all the other girls in a battle royal match. Not a good way to showcase your new talents IMO.

-nice attention to continuity with Taylor/Daffney trying to eliminate each other right off the bat, as well as Sarita/Alissa.

-Daffney is the first to be eliminated. She doesn’t even outlast Bolt? Are you kidding me? Daffney is so talented. Do the TNA writers have any idea how over she would be with the right push? Sigh…

-and to add insult to injury, Alissa is eliminated during the commercial break. WTF?! Was this match booked by a committee of paint sniffing chimps? She should’ve been in the final 4 at least! The replay shows that she was eliminated by Sarita -- further evidence that they’re building a feud between those 2? Damn, I hope so.

-on the plus side, Sarita lasted until the final 3 and got to shine with a few flashy moves once the other women were eliminated. Thank God for small favors.

-looks like the Madison Rayne/Slick Johnson thing is going to continue unfortunately. For the record, I still don’t like the crooked referee angle at all. Here’s hoping it doesn’t last long.

-not a huge crowd reaction for the Kong/Tara exchange. It didn’t look particularly good either. That doesn’t bode well for their likely match at Bound for Glory.

-cool swerve at the end. Traci declaring herself the winner makes sense even though Alissa really should’ve won IMO. If Traci is still Knockout Law and still has booking power over all the women then I guess the MEM would want her in their group. Lord knows how she’ll fit in with the Sharmell/Morasca crapfest though. At least there’s the possibility that Traci might book Sharmell in a match against Awesome Kong at some point. It would definitely put a smile on my face to see Sharmell get obliterated by Kong since they didn’t give that to us at Victory Road.

-having said that, I hope this doesn’t mean that Traci will be winning the knockouts title in the future. I’ve always liked Traci. I met her in person last year and she couldn’t be a nicer lady. So believe me, I don’t like saying this, but the ship has sailed with Traci Brooks as a wrestler. I’m a firm believer that in the wrestling business you need to move forward, not backward. Pushing Traci as a wrestler is not moving forward, it’s going back to what’s tired and familiar. The Knockout Law role for her is great; I just don’t care to see her in the ring anymore.

-plus, last I heard, Traci wasn’t able to have strong matches for medical reasons, so putting the title on her would be a mistake on that basis alone. Of course, every wrestling fan on earth knows that Kevin Nash & Scott Steiner aren’t able to have strong matches due to age and countless injures and that hasn’t stopped the writers from giving them titles, completely burying more deserving and more marketable young talent in the process. I’m suddenly feeling a little concerned…

-for the record, Kevin Nash came off like a dirty old man on commentary during the match and then looked down Traci’s shirt the first chance he got. I wonder how Nash’s real life wife and on-screen girlfriend, Jenna, feel about that.



CODY DEANER INTERRUPTS BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW. ODB RUNS OFF TBP
-My Pi Sexy can always be counted on to deliver an entertaining interview. Interesting, that Madison Rayne gets defensive when Slick Johnson is brought up.

-I fail to see what Cody Deaner getting punked out by 3 women is going to do for him other than make him look like a total doofus. It certainly isn’t going to help him get over. At least it sets up the 6 woman tag for next week.
-----


7/30/09 iMPACT

-the knockout battle royal match was the highest rated segment of the show last week. For the record, the lowest rated segment of the show was the ludicrous Keys to Mick Foley’s Office on a Pole match, thus proving the existence of God.

TAYLOR WILDE INTERRUPTS TRACI BROOKS BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-good interview. I’m not thrilled with this push, but at least they came up with a plausible excuse for Traci’s heel turn.

-Taylor’s part here was fine for setting up their tag team match next week, and with Taylor, Sarita and Alissa in the same ring at the same time, that match could be off the charts.

TARA SITDOWN INTERVIEW
-what is Tara wearing? That is not the attire of a babyface; all the bling is really excessive. And good lord, woman, you don’t need THAT much makeup. Ever hear of less is more?

-not a great interview. It felt rushed and Don West’s heelishness needed to be toned down. Again they teased Tara vs. Kong at Bound for Glory. I wish they weren’t so dead set on doing that match. Shouldn’t they face off at a few house shows first to see how they match up with each other? Nothing against Tara, but she hasn’t been particularly impressive yet and BFG is TNA’s most important show of the year.



TARA, AWESOME KONG (w/ RAISHA SAEED) & ODB (w/ CODY DEANER) vs. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
-not a good match. There was just way too much going on here. You had the actual match, the tension between Tara & Kong suddenly boiling over from out of nowhere when it really hadn’t been teased that much yet, the hostility between ODB/Deaner & TBP from last week and the Motor City Machine Guns in the crowd. The writers were trying to do 4 things simultaneously and as a result NONE of it worked (none of the knockouts’ stuff anyway) because there was just way too much going on all at once. Terrible segment.

-we’ve seen on multiple occasions that the Beautiful People just don’t mesh well with any of these women. Madison Rayne & Tara work together fairly well, but that’s about it. Is it really so hard to match up the women who actually have in-ring chemistry and keep the ones who don’t away from each other? The writers aren’t doing the knockouts any favors when they book matches like this.

-strange that ODB got the pin here, especially when it was basically 3 on 1. I wonder if they’re setting her up as Angelina’s next challenger at Hard Justice in order to keep Tara away from the title for the time being to build anticipation for her eventually winning it back. If that is the case then I wish the writers would pick someone other than ODB. She can be an entertaining character in small doses, but ODB vs. Angelina is not a strong match at all, and frankly, it’s not interesting at this point either. If that’s the match they go with it’s just going to feel like the writers are killing time for a month instead of trying to put together a match that’s actually intriguing.

-probably the biggest brain fart here was putting Sabin & Shelley in the crowd during the match. The audience was more interested in the Machine Guns than what was going on in the ring and weren’t paying attention when Tara & Kong started going at it. Why on earth the writers would book that when the fans would obviously be distracted by a tag team that has nothing to do with the knockouts I have absolutely no idea. What a train wreck.

-on the plus side, the Machine Guns were extremely over in the crowd. As a huge MCMG fan, I’m certainly not going to crap on them for that. This was just the wrong segment to put them there. It should not have been done when there was a match going on.
-----


8/06/09 Webmatch

DR. STEVIE (w/ DAFFNEY) vs. CODY DEANER (w/ ODB)
-judging by those crowd chants before the match, I’d say Deaner is officially over now. Strange that his character is catching on and yet he still can’t win a match, even against Dr. Stevie who doesn’t seem to be over at all.

-it’s weird to see ODB still in the webmatch segments when she’s back in the title picture, if only for a month or so. That’s pretty telling if you ask me. I don’t think anyone really expects her to go over at Hard Justice.

-outside of that battle royal this was the first time we’ve seen Daffney in several weeks and she did basically nothing. So much for her push. Man, that’s disappointing. Daffney is over; Dr. Stevie is not. There’s more money in Daffney at this point and yet Dr. Stevie is the one who gets used. What a waste of a talented lady.

-is it weird that I find Daffney ridiculously hot?


-----


8/06/09 iMPACT

-news came out a few days ago since Jeff Jarret has taken his “leave of absence” that Dixie Carter has begun cleaning house on Double J’s backstage cronies, removing people who are close to him. If this is being done in an effort to take the show in a new direction then may I say thank you, Ms. Carter, thank you; the TNA product needs a creative overhaul in the worst way. This news is relevant to the KNOCKED OUT column because one of the people released was Savio Vega. Aside from having close ties with Jarret, Vega had been working as an agent for the knockout division. Seeing as how many of the knockout matches have been subpar in recent months, this is a good thing as far as I’m concerned as Vega was clearly not doing his job very well. I have no idea who they’ll replace him with, but I’m going to cross my fingers and hope that TNA management will do what they should’ve done a year ago – break down Scott D’Amore’s door and BEG him to come back and book the women’s matches again.

-for a few days I thought I was nuts because I kept getting a Carlos Santana vibe when Sarita came out. Now I’ve learned that her music is actually a remixed version of Santana’s ‘Smooth’. Have you sat down and really listened to this thing yet? I don’t care if it’s not totally original; this is some of the best music TNA has ever come up with for a wrestler. Sarita seriously lucked out with her entrance theme. What a great track.



-Jeremy Borash tweeted today that Ayako Hamada will debut after Hard Justice. Yay! I’ve been watching some of her matches online and that lady is INCREDIBLE. Check this out:



-Don West said early in the show that people looking forward to seeing Sarita & Alissa Flash back in the ring were going to get their wish later tonight. Oh yeah, they’re writing a feud for those 2. It’s great to know that TNA realize what an awesome potential rivalry they have with Sarita/Alissa.

TAYLOR WILDE & SARITA vs. TRACI BROOKS & “FUTURE LEGEND” ALISSA FLASH
-action like this takes me right back to that great first year of the knockout division. Damn good tag match. This was better than any WWE divas match this year. It’s a shame it couldn’t have gotten more than 5 minutes. Tenay & West were really singing the praises of Sarita & Alissa, as well they should. Both women are fantastic and Sarita especially is just a joy to watch. Her matches never fail to excite and this was no exception. I can’t even imagine how over that lady is going to get if they showcase her the right way (a big IF, I know).

-can we please see more of Taylor & Sarita tagging together? Please? What a team those 2 make.

-a group of fans in the front row were chanting “Future legend!” at the start of the match. Smart marks are awesome.

-I felt kind of bad for Traci after watching this match. She held her own and didn’t get embarrassed or anything, but that’s about it. She was clearly not in the same league as the other 3 girls and she’s going to look even more out of place when Hamada debuts in a few weeks.

-it looks like Traci is no longer Knockout Law. Too bad. There was a ton of storyline potential in that role if they had ever bothered to do anything with it. Seems like a real waste of a good idea.

-Mike Tenay said that the MEM most likely had plans for Traci to become the knockout champion. Again, I don’t like saying this, but apparently it needs to be said: Traci is just not championship material. As if that wasn’t obvious enough after we just saw her get outclassed by Sarita, Alissa & Taylor, just think of how obvious it will be when Hamada shows up. The writers are already having trouble making Angelina look like a credible champion, but if they put the belt on Traci just to make her more visible when her Playboy issue comes out when they have several of the best female competitors in the entire world on their roster, not only would it damage the credibility of the title, but it would make Traci look like the biggest paper champion in the business. Granted, Booker T & Scott Steiner (and probably Kevin Nash after Hard Justice) are huge paper champions, so she’d fit right in, but still, this is a bad idea. TNA, if you do this you’ll just be doing the exact same thing you’ve always criticized the WWE for. Please, think long and hard about what that would mean.

-I’m not sure what kind of look they’re going for with Alissa’s eye makeup, but I don’t think it works. It just looks really strange.

-they’re definitely playing it up that Alissa has an aura of mystery with no one really knowing anything about her. That would work perfectly if they eventually plan to reveal that she’s been Raisha Saeed this whole time and I hope they do. That’s a hot angle waiting to happen.



BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-yup. Angelina vs. ODB at Hard Justice for the title. I am Jack’s complete lack of interest. Nothing against either of them, but there is zero intrigue in that match at this point. There’s nothing new about it and we all know exactly what it’s going to deliver. I guarantee you that match won’t even come close to the knockout tag match that we just saw.

-I really don’t like that this match is happening. It’s unfortunate that Angelina’s title reign is falling victim to bad booking. Her & ODB don’t work very well together and they will prove that at Hard Justice. I’m sure ODB & Deaner will keep the live crowd entertained, but the match itself will be boring, most likely with tons of stuff happening outside the ring distracting from the in-ring action and almost surely have a finish involving hair spray in ODB’s face.

-Angelina says she’ll be bringing her BFF, Velvet, but Madison doesn’t get a mention. I wonder if we might get another tease in the Angelina/Velvet breakup angle at the PPV. That’s really the only thing that interests me about this match.

-bring on Hamada!
-----


8/13/09 iMPACT

-news came out Tuesday morning that Scott D’Amore is coming back to TNA starting at Hard Justice and will return to his old position as lead agent for the knockouts. YES! There’s hope for this company yet! Eat it, Savio! The knockout division hasn’t been the same without that guy. IMO, the loss of D’Amore has been felt more than the loss of Gail Kim for the last year. Savio Vega was clearly half-assing it, but if there’s anyone that can bring the general quality of the women’s matches back up to where it used to be, it’s D’Amore. Thank you, Ms. Carter, for making this happen.

-the only potential downside of D’Amore returning is that he might push for TNA to sign Sirelda, which is something I think we can all live without.

-the knockout tag match scored the highest rated segment last week. It even beat that kick-ass riot in the middle of the show. Wow.

-according to the spoilers, Christy Hemme returns tonight in a match against Sojourner Bolt. A mediocre wrestler vs. another mediocre wrestler who’s coming back from a neck injury with 8 months of ring rust. Hmm… this is going to suck, isn’t it?

-last week we were treated to Sarita, Alissa and Taylor all in the same match and this week they force Hemme vs. Bolt on us. This must be what detox feels like.

CHRISTY HEMME vs. SOJOURNER BOLT
-hey, look, they had a crappy, sloppy match. Golly, gee wiz, how could anyone have seen that coming? Oh, right. I did. And so did a lot of other people, I’m guessing; too bad none of those people work for TNA. Seriously, when Bolt is expected to be the one to carry a wrestling match, that’s a sign that what you’re about to see won’t be pretty.

-this match had nothing to do with Hard Justice and had absolutely no place on a go-home show. Instead of this, they really should’ve given the time to Homicide (you know, the X-division champion?) to hype his match with Samoa Joe this Sunday.

-inexplicably, the crowd was hot for Christy throughout the whole match. We’ll see how long that lasts. My guess is the bloom will come off the rose pretty quickly once the novelty of having Christy back wears off.

-Don West tried to hype up Bolt as a very physical and tough opponent. I don’t know who he was trying to fool, but he shouldn’t have bothered. I tried not to laugh as he said this and I just couldn’t do it. This match was a great reminder of why I never miss Bolt when she’s not on the show. She got back dropped and landed right on her head, then she tried to hoist up Christy after a cross body and she couldn’t do it. Ugh… As lousy as she was already, I think Bolt may actually be getting worse. Can someone please explain to me why this woman is still on the roster?

-all criticism aside, congratulations to Christy for returning from a pretty serious neck injury -- plenty of people never manage that. That said, I hope she’s not under any illusions about what’s going to happen now that she’s back. She was getting a title push against Awesome Kong when she got injured, but that was back when TNA was still stuck in the Gail Kim vacuum. Christy got a shot because management didn’t have any solid candidates that they felt they could plug into the top babyface role at the time (although they really missed to boat with Roxxi). Now they have several people. Tara, Sarita, Hamada – all 3 of those women were on TNA’s list of potential candidates as I understand it. When you’ve got talent like that, suddenly Christy Hemme doesn’t seem so great anymore, does she? No offense to her, but if Christy thinks her push is going to resume now, she can forget it. TNA didn’t even bother to announce her return in the iMPACT preview on the website. But hey, at least she’s still higher than Bolt on the totem pole, so she’s got that to be thankful for.



DR. STEVIE & DAFFNEY BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Daffney said nothing, but she makes herself stand out with her facials even when she has no lines. Still, it’s a damn shame that the writers don’t seem to have anything else for her to do besides standing next to Stevie Richards.

-why is this Abyss/Dr. Stevie feud still not finished yet? This thing ran out of gas weeks ago. Victory Road was the perfect time to end it and yet, here it is, still going on.

-does anyone really care about Abyss vs. Jethro Holliday at Hard Justice? What on earth are they thinking, putting that on PPV? No one is going to give a rat’s ass about that match and all it will do is take time away from the matches that people actually care about. Frankly, I didn’t even know Holliday was still on the roster. Waste. Of. Time.

TARA BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-according to Tara, Awesome Kong is who distracted her from the title hunt. They keep teasing this and I keep waiting for Tara to show me something to justify this push and make me think that she deserves that big match with Kong.

-I hate that revolting spider. It makes my skin crawl. I hate it so much.


TARA vs. AWESOME KONG (w/ RAISHA SAEED) vs. ODB (w/ CODY DEANER) vs. ANGELINA LOVE © (w/ MADISON RAYNE & VELVET SKY)
-too damn many people at ringside. It’s very, very distracting.

-nice to see Madison incorporated into TBP’s entrance finally.

-the Deaner/Kong interaction was pointless. It might have made sense if Kong were feuding with ODB, but she’s not and it didn’t. All it did was take away from the match. It was a solid match despite this though.

-nice effort with the flying cross bodies from the top turnbuckle to the floor from ODB & Tara. The problem is it seemed to take them forever to set that spot up. Kong, Saeed and TBP were just waiting around on the floor for them to jump and it didn’t look good, especially after Sarita just ran up those ropes like a cat last week. Sarita makes that spot look effortless while Tara & ODB unfortunately do not.

-Kong is so huge that it’s easy to forget how spry & agile she really is. Then she has a match like this and reminds us.

-Tara wins with an iffy-looking roll-up on Kong. The more I see of these 2 interacting, the more I think the in-ring chemistry between them is just not there. But if anyone will know how to deal with that, it’s Scott D’Amore.


-----


8/16/09 Hard Justice

ODB & CODY DEANER BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-ODB calling it the “Knocked Up” title really makes me want to see her NOT win it. This character has become so stale and one-note. It’s been the same thing every single week from her since the day she walked into this company. Would it kill her to try something different for a change? She’s a one-dimensional cardboard cutout right now.

ODB & CODY DEANER vs. ANGELINA LOVE © & VELVET SKY (w/ MADISON RAYNE)
-what the hell? Did I miss something? When did this become a tag team match? For that matter, WHY is this a tag team match? What manner of horse crap is this? Are they seriously having the knockouts title contested in an intergender tag team match? Ugh… this has Vince Russo’s DNA all over it.

-let me get this straight… TNA have some of the best female competitors in the entire world on their roster (Kong, Sarita, Alissa, Hamada, etc) and THIS is what they put on PPV? These writers have lost their minds!

-this entire segment was asinine. The match was nothing but a bunch of misogynistic attempts at lowbrow comedy and the finish was literally the worst thing they could’ve possibly done. I don’t even know who the champion is now. Either ODB is the champion because her boyfriend pinned the champion’s partner, which would make ODB the biggest paper champion in the history of the knockout division, or Deaner is the champion because he pinned the champion’s partner and the women’s title is now held by a man, which shouldn’t even be allowed in the first place because it’s a freaking WOMEN’S title! It’s bad news all the way around and there’s no way out of this situation that’s going to make me happy.

-even if, by some ludicrous twist of booking logic, Deaner is now the knockout champion, how is he supposed to defend the title with SpikeTV’s no man-on-woman violence policy? He’d have to wait until No Surrender to defend it, which would mean we’d be stuck with this trash for an entire month at least.

-why on earth did Dixie Carter sign off on this? She’s stated many times that she’s very proud of the knockout division and then she allows this to happen which not only makes the championship that actually meant something until tonight look like a meaningless comedy prop but also makes the entire division look like a sideshow attraction. What’s next? Are they going to sign a midget wrestler, dress him up like a leprechaun and make him the X-division champion? I literally want to vomit right now.

-I officially hate Cody Deaner. And quite frankly, with the way I feel right now I wouldn’t complain if TNA let ODB’s contract expire in November and got rid of her. After tonight the knockout division needs to be sandblasted and everyone responsible for this farce has to go.

-this is exactly what happens when Vince Russo is given too much creative freedom and is left to his own devices. Without an editor who understands wrestling to weed out his bad ideas from his good ideas we get crap like this.

-poor Angelina. To have her title reign end like this was just a huge slap in the face. This is the 2nd biggest black mark in the short history of this women’s division. The only reason it isn't the biggest is because, as bad as it was, it didn't quite trump Sharmell vs. Morasca.

-here’s what needs to happen now. This Thursday on iMPACT, Mick Foley or Jim Cornette or someone representing company management needs to cut a promo saying that the TNA organization does not recognize the title change because it was, after all, a man pinning a woman, and therefore, Angelina Love is still the knockout champion. I’m not holding my breath on that one though. At this rate we’ll probably have to suffer through Cody Deaner defending the title against ODB at Bound for Glory in a 4 corners pole match where the title belt hangs from one pole and man-eating alligators hang from the other 3 or some garbage like that.

-Sharmell vs. Morasca at Victory Road and now this. Thank you, TNA, for making me embarrassed to be a wrestling fan 2 months in a row. I can only imagine what you have in store for us at No Surrender. My only consolation is that I have Sara Del Rey vs. Nikki Roxx to look forward to thanks to Ring of Honor on HDnet.

LEGENDS TITLE MATCH: KEVIN NASH vs. MICK FOLEY ©. TRACI BROOKS INTERFERES
-Traci just helped a 50-year-old Kevin Nash of all people win yet another championship he doesn’t deserve, which means we’re now going to be subjected to a Nash match at No Surrender and probably Bound for Glory. Why don’t you just shoot me in the head? At least that would end my suffering quickly.

-the only saving grace here is that no talented young guys were squashed by Nash in this match.

-welcome back, Coach D’Amore. You’ve got your work cut out for you.

Peace. Out.