October 24, 2009

QCWradio episode 51

Episode 51 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-Nigel McGuinness signing with TNA.
-Chris Sabin's injury at the iMPACT TV tapings.
-WWE Bragging Rights predictions.
-TNA Bound for Glory review.

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

iMPACT 10/22/09

October 20, 2009

Death Rey In TNA?

The following is an excerpt from an interview that my qcwradio cohorts and I conducted a few months ago with independent wrestler, Woman of Honor and Shimmer Women’s Athlete, Sara Del Rey. Since then, I’ve been sitting on this juicy little tidbit, just waiting for it to become relevant to the KNOCKED OUT column so I could post it here and share it with you all.

No time like the present...

Foolkiller99: News came out just yesterday actually that Bryan Danielson has signed with the WWE. Now you’ve spent most of your career on the independent scene in places like Ring of Honor, Chikara, JAPW, places like that. I believe you’ve said before that you really like the indies, but I was just wondering, at some point in the future, if the opportunity ever came up do you think you’d ever consider joining one of the quote unquote “big two” companies in WWE or possibly TNA?

Sara Del Rey: Yeah, I would love to be a part of WWE ‘cause that’s what I grew up watching and that’s where I saw Alundra Blayze and the Jumping Bomb Angels and all these amazing women, so I would love to be a part of that legacy in women’s wrestling ‘cause that’s what I watched growing up. And, I mean, TNA have a great talent pool of women too so being there would be wonderful as well. Yeah, I hope to one day be at either of the two.

If you want to hear the interview in its entirety go to www.blogtalkradio.com/qcwradio and download episode 43.

Recently, Jersey All Pro Wrestling made it known that Sara Del Rey will be defending her JAPW women’s championship against one of the Knockouts at a TNA live event in Wayne, NJ on Friday, November 13th. Even if this is not technically a tryout match, it’s certainly an opportunity for her to impress a lot of people in management, considering they may or may not be looking to sign new talent to fill the void left by Angelina since her replacement (Lacey V.E.) really hasn’t worked out at all.

To this day, Sara has never been signed by either of the big companies and it now might be harder for her to get that chance with Dixie Carter’s reported new mandate of only hiring ‘model types’ for the Knockout division, which is a damn shame because Del Rey is regarded by many as the best women’s wrestler in the industry today and would have much more to offer TNA than the woefully inexperienced and apparently untalented Lacey Von Erich.

Anyone wishing to show support for Sara, please email TNA at info@TNAwrestling.com. And if you’re in the New Jersey area, head to TNA’s live event at the Wayne PAL on November 13th and let them know that the fans want to see Death Rey in TNA.

Bound for Glory 2009

October 18, 2009

QCWradio episode 50

Episode 50 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-exclusive interview with ROH star, Eddie Kingston.
-Shane McMahon's departure from WWE.
-WWE's "no blood" policy -- does it help or hurt the product?
-ODB's possible departure from TNA.

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

October 12, 2009

A Knockout Spin-Off Show

There’s been a lot of noise lately about TNA starting up a second weekly show for the Knockout division in the near future. I remember rumors about this first popping up around a year and a half ago and lately there have been a lot more. Many people have been saying that with TNA signing so many new female talents as well as creating a women’s tag team division on top of that that it’s only a matter of time before a weekly Knockout exclusive show becomes a reality.

The question is: could an all Knockouts wrestling show really work? That all depends…

Historically, women’s wrestling has been mainly a niche product with not a lot of mainstream attention devoted to it unless men were involved as well. Remember G.L.O.W.? Remember W.O.W.? Don’t worry. Not many people do.

Things seem to have changed somewhat in the last few years however. SHIMMER is still in business after several years and over twenty volumes produced so far. Granted, they’re still a small independent company without a TV deal, but if they weren’t making money from their DVDs they wouldn’t still be around.

And for the last two years, the Knockout division has been one of, if not the most consistent ratings draw that TNA has.

But could the Knockouts draw on their own? Could they carry their own show? Possibly.

Could TNA pull it off successfully right now? Honestly, I doubt it.

Let me clarify. I think the Knockout division is in a good place right now. With the addition of women like Tara, Sarita, Alissa Flash & Hamada the roster is as stacked as it’s ever been and the matches they deliver are generally very good. But it’s easy to keep the quality high when you only have one or two segments/matches on any given show. You can just focus on the most talented women and use the others sparingly. TNA wouldn’t be able to do that if they had an entire hour to fill every week. A half hour? Sure. Sixty minutes? Not a chance.

If TNA were intent on delivering sixty minutes of Knockouts action every week that means they would have to use everyone. Yes, the women’s locker room is pretty crowded right now, but that’s only because the TV time allotted to them on iMPACT and PPV is relatively limited compared to the men. Give them their own one hour show and the roster is immediately spread way too thin and each woman’s weaknesses as a performer suddenly become much harder to disguise.

Currently, TNA has sixteen women on the Knockout roster, and that’s only if you count Melissa Anderson twice (since she plays both Raisha Saeed & Alissa Flash) as well as Rhaka Khan, who will probably be gone by the time this column is posted. When you look at it like that they really don’t have that many women. Would they have enough to fill all the spots they would need to fill? I think so. But that would mean we’d be seeing a lot more of the women that we don’t see much of right now for obvious reasons.

The Knockout division is tremendous as long as you focus only on Alissa Flash, Awesome Kong, Daffney, Hamada, Sarita, Tara & Taylor Wilde. But a one hour weekly series would mean a lot more screen time for the other women, the ones who are not as talented, which means the overall quality would start to dip pretty quickly.

Be honest. Would you still be so inclined to tune in for an all Knockouts show if you knew Sojourner Bolt would be wrestling every week?

But for the sake of argument let’s say that fans would give this Knockouts show a chance. Let’s say that people would tune in at first and the overall quality of the show would determine whether or not they kept tuning in after that. What would TNA need to do to keep them tuning in?

1) I know I’ve said this before (KNOCKED OUT: Knockout Tag Team Titles), but roster cuts would absolutely need to happen. If you’ve got sixty minutes to fill then you’re going to have to get mileage out of everyone you have, which means the dead weight. Has. Got. To. Go.

If you want to make this work then you have to keep the quality as high as possible. You can’t have a bunch of idiots stinking up the ring every week if you want fans to keep tuning in. Rhaka Khan, Sojourner Bolt, Lacey Von Erich – drop these women like a bad habit.

2) After you’ve trimmed the fat you’re left with twelve or thirteen women at most. That’s not enough for a weekly one hour show. So take the space you’ve freed up and fill it with new talent. Sara Del Rey, Daizee Haze, Mercedes Martinez, Jennifer Blake, Jetta, Portia Perez, Nicole Matthews, Madison Eagles, Wesna, etc. Send out feelers to the SHIMMER locker room, start evaluating people and get signing. Remember, you’ve got singles title, tag team title and non title feuds to think about, and with sixty minutes a week you could have 4 or 5 of these going on at any given time, so you’ve got plenty of spots available.

3) It is imperative that you find the proper role for everyone so you can maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Take Sharmell for example. For the record, I can’t stand Sharmell – she annoys the crap out of me and not in an I-love-to-hate-her-because-she’s-such-a-great-heel kind of way either. But if you’re doing a show exclusively for the women then Sharmell suddenly becomes quite valuable.

Angelina Love had arguably the best mic skills out of all the women in TNA and she was just released. And even with Angelina there was still a lack of Knockouts who could cut great promos; with Angelina gone there is now a serious lack. They’d need to latch onto women who can work a mic and one of those women is Sharmell.

As I’ve said before, I don’t consider Sharmell a Knockout because she’s not a wrestler. But what she is, is a great talker and a Knockout spin-off would need as many people like that as they could get their hands on. So here’s how you would need to use someone like this: keep her out of the ring, leave the wrestling to the wrestlers and make Sharmell a manager. She would be an ideal mouthpiece for someone like Sara Del Rey who is a fantastic wrestler, but has trouble with promos. Pair them up and Del Rey could focus on what she does best while Sharmell could focus on what she does best.

By that same token, Traci Brooks has good mic skills but is nothing special in the ring. So phase out, or at least deemphasize Traci as a wrestler and return her to the Knockout Law position. Forget about her being a referee and instead give her character the power to book the matches. This would give the Knockouts their own general manager type of authority figure and put Traci in a roll she can excel at. So she gets an important spot on the show that highlights the stuff she does well (cutting promos) and takes the focus off of the area she gets outshined in (wrestling).

4) Cross-promote between shows. Still have the women appear on iMPACT, but instead of having them wrestle let their involvement be in more of a storyline capacity. Let them cut promos and shoot angles that set up the matches that will take place on the Knockout show, get the fans watching iMPACT excited to see the women go at it and then let them know that if they want to see that match then they have to tune in on whatever night the show airs. Really give the iMPACT audience a reason to watch the show beyond it just being a bunch of women beating the hell out of each other.

If TNA could manage all these things, if they were smart about it, then I think a Knockout exclusive show might work. But if they decide that they don’t need to hype or promote it that much and then kick off the debut episode with a random, fifteen minute Sojourner Bolt vs. Lacey Von Erich match then I really don’t see this still hypothetical spin-off lasting very long.

October 11, 2009

iMPACT 10/08/09

QCWradio episode 49

Episode 49 is now available for download.

All TNA special edition! This week's topics include:

-Bound for Glory predictions.
-Booker T possibly leaving TNA.
-Mick Foley trying to avoid jobbing to Matt Morgan at the iMPACT tapings.

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

October 10, 2009

Previewing Bound for Glory

The Beautiful People vs. Taylor Wilde/Sarita (c)

TNA can push them all they want, but this new version of TBP just doesn't have the same spark that the original group had, due in no small part to the fact that Lacey Von Erich pretty much sucks. Plus, through no real fault of their own, Velvet & Madison just don't have the same chemistry that Velvet & Angelina had. But even if My Pi Sexy 2.0 was firing on all cylinders, it would still be way too soon to take the belts off the champs. As the inaugural KO tag team champions, it's up to Sarita & Taylor to establish credibility for those belts and to do that they need a good, long title reign. They need to stay the champions until Genesis at least, and all due respect to the heels, but they need opponents that are actually in their league.

Who should win: Team Hotter Than a Pistol On a Grill In a Texas Summer Greenhouse a.k.a. Sarita & Taylor Wilde

Chessarmy: I like the team of Taylor/Sarita but I don't think TBP can afford to lose two title matches in a row. I expect Lacey to get involved in some capacity which will lead to a TBP Title win. I wouldn't mind seeing Vel Vel with a title belt. :p

Who should win: The Beautiful People

Awesome Kong vs. Tara vs. ODB (c)

Given the way this storyline has been playing out, it's hard not to think that ODB is really just a pawn in the Kong/Tara feud, but since she just won the title at No Surrender I don't know if it would be a good idea to take it off her so soon since there have been too many frequent title changes in TNA lately. The writers probably should've kept the title on Tara when she won it the first time and built up to Tara vs. Kong, one-on-one, but that's not the case. It feels like they teased that match a little too long without pulling the trigger and now I find myself not caring quite as much. Frankly, at this point I'm more interested in seeing Tara fight Kim Couture and Kong feud with an unmasked Raisha Saeed.

Who should win: ODB. She pins Kong after Saeed's interference backfires. Kong finally turns on Saeed post-match, tears off the Muslim garb and embarks on a friends-turned-enemies feud with Alissa Flash.

Chessarmy: Kong has been very quiet in 2009 so far. They even tried to turn her babyface for a while (it failed imo). It's time for Kong to rule the Knockout division again and this could lead to Kong/Tara at Turning Point.

Who should win: Awesome Kong

Suicide vs. D'Angelo Dinero vs. Daniels vs. Homicide

I'm a firm believer that in the wrestling business you need to strike while the iron is hot. TNA seems to have captured lightning in a bottle with D'Angelo Dinero, and if this were another time and another PPV I would say he should go over here but, damn it, Christopher Daniels deserves this win! He's been after the X-Division title since he was "rehired", he's one of the guys who can bring attention back to the X-Division, and the more TNA originals that go over on TNA's biggest show of the year, the happier I'll be. Dinero's time will come soon enough, but as they say, the money's in the chase.

Who should win: Daniels

Chessarmy: D'Angelo Dinero is over with the crowd, he has an awesome gimmick, and I think it's time he gets a shot at the X Title. I'm surprised there won't be an actual X-Division championship match on the PPV, but I guess there's simply no room for it.

Who should win: D'Angelo Dinero

Hernandez vs. Eric Young vs. Kevin Nash (c)

To be honest, it really doesn't matter to me that much who wins this match as long as Nash loses. Eric Young and Hernandez would both be fine champions. It's past time that Supermex got some gold around his waste and it would definitely help with his main event push. On the other hand, Eric Young has been on the rise as a heel in the last few months and TNA may find themselves lacking solid heels pretty soon. Plus, a win for him here would not only advance the budding World Elite vs. Main Event Mafia feud, but also help the World Elite's credibility a lot seeing as how the British Invasion will probably lose the IWGP titles back to Team 3D at the PPV. It would also play right into the storyline of how Eric keeps costing Hernandez titles. It makes the most sense for EY to win the belt as long as Hernandez is the one who eventually takes it from him.

Who should win: Eric Young

Chessarmy: It's time TNA put the Hernandez push into second gear. The legends title win could help make Hernandez a credible main event star in the near future. Plus, Eric Young has had the advantage in this feud for weeks, Hernandez needs to get revenge for being screwed out of championship after championship.

Who should win: Hernandez

"The Boss" Bobby Lashley vs. Samoa Joe

Joe has been booked strongly lately and this needs to continue, if for no other reason than there could be several veterans possibly leaving the company soon and someone will need to fill that void. Plus, word has come out that Dixie Carter is starting to realize that she can't realistically build the company around Bobby Lashley if he's dividing his time between wrestling and MMA, especially since he's reportedly negotiating with Strikeforce. But just like I said last month, TNA has clearly put so much into marketing "the Boss" as the greatest thing since man discovered fire, that they need to get their money's worth out of him. As much as I hate to admit it, it's just too soon for Lashley to start losing matches, even against Samoa Joe.

Who should win: Bobby Lashley

Chessarmy: I know Lashley will go over, but I want Joe to win. Joe > Lashley. And TNA, for the love of God, please don't make this an MMA style match...

Who should win: Samoa Joe

Mick Foley vs. "The Monster" Abyss

Here's where things start getting really interesting. More often than not, Abyss tends to end up on the losing side of these types of matches, usually after taking some horrifying bump, scarring his body for life in the process. But thanks to Dixie Carter, TNA is in the midst of a youth movement, which is surely why a lot of this card has an 'old vs. new' feel to it. During their in-ring confrontation a few weeks ago, Abyss more than held his own on the mic against Foley (who is one of the best talkers in the history of the business) and actually got the crowd behind him, which tells me that it's time for Abyss to take step up the ladder. Randy Orton wouldn't be the star he is today if Mick Foley hadn't put him over like a million bucks in a hardcore match a few years ago, and if ever there was a time for a repeat performance, it's now.

Who should win: Abyss

Chessarmy: With a win over Mick Foley "the Monster" could jump right back into main event status.

Who should win: Abyss

Team 3D vs. Beer Money vs. British Invasion (c) vs. Scott Steiner/Booker T (c)

These four teams have been feuding in various combinations for the better part of a year. This has got to be the blow-off match because there's really nothing else left for them to do together. Booker is heavily rumored to be leaving the company after BFG, Steiner might soon follow, and the scuttlebutt is that New Japan wasn't crazy about their tag team titles changing hands in America. But even if circumstances were different, the fact that this is most likely the last match in the feud makes this one easy.

Who should win: Team 3D (IWGP) & Beer Money (TNA), who, by process of elimination if nothing else, will now HAVE to feud with the Motor City Machine Guns so Sabin & Shelley can FINALLY get the tag title reign they deserve, for the love of God.

Chessarmy: I think Beer Money deserve at least one more run with the tag straps before they break up, and yeah, I just typed "break up". It seems like after another tag title run Beer Money will have pretty much nothing else to do in the tag division. Both Storm and Roode can be great singles wrestlers, so after one last tag title run I believe it's time for Beer Money to come to an end.

Will Japan ever get the IWGP titles back? 3D should win, go to Japan and give them back their belts, TNA doesn't need them.

Who should win: Team 3D (IWGP) & Beer Money (TNA)

Kurt Angle vs. "The Blueprint" Matt Morgan

TNA has been pushing Morgan hard since Slammiversay and he's really started to catch on in the last two months or so. He's getting over the way a main eventer needs to be, he's been gaining momentum. The only thing he needs now is that all-important big win to finally solidify himself as a top star. Luckily, he's facing Kurt Angle, who (unlike a certain other veteran I could name) has no problem with doing jobs and elevating younger stars when the situation calls for it. Morgan is one of Dixie Carter's favorites, he just signed a new five year contract, and now it's time for "the Blueprint" to get what he's got coming to him.

Who should win: Matt Morgan

Chessarmy: Morgan has looked very strong over the last month and I think he deserves a big win over Kurt Angle that could help make him a credible main event star. I expect an awesome match out of these two and I'm sure Angle (unlike Booker T) will help put a young guy over and make him look great.

Who should win: Matt Morgan

"The Icon" Sting vs. "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles (c)

Yes, the PPV is in Sting's home state, and yes, he always seems to win the title at BFG, but this year is different. Sting has said that he wants his last match to be against a young star who would benefit from the rub and he seems really serious about calling it quits this time. Even if this doesn't turn out to be his last match, it's almost certainly his last match for the world championship. They basically came out and said that Sting's actions at No Surrender were a "passing of the torch" to AJ Styles; the only thing left now to finally put closure on this storyline that's been building since Hard Justice 2008 is for "the Phenomenal One" to pin "the Icon" and be officially annointed as his successor.

Who should win: AJ Styles

Chessarmy: I marked out like a little school girl when AJ won the belt at No Surrender, then I started hearing rumors that Sting could be going over at Bound for Glory, regaining the TNA title. I obviously hope to GOD those rumors aren't true, but there's something in my head that just refuses to believe AJ has a 100% chance of winning. Obviously, he should retain, his world title run just started and it would be a shame for him to drop it to a 50-year-old on the biggest PPV of the year, when it could be AJ's biggest win of his career and it could really make AJ a superstar if he retains. So "the Phenomenal One" should win, but unfortunately, my gut feeling is that Sting will walk out with the world title...

Who should win: AJ Styles

October 09, 2009

Lacey Von Erich: what were they thinking?

"It’s been a whirlwind month for Lacey Von Erich since she joined TNA last month. In fact, it’s only been one week since her debut aired and well, what’s come with it has been well documented.

You may wonder though, how did someone so green as Lacey VE land such a huge spot in TNA? Perhaps because her biggest supporter in the company is none other than TNA President, Dixie Carter.

As we reported, Dixie has set out to hire, for the most part, more ‘beautiful women’ going forward. Despite being extremely green in the ring, we’re told that Von Erich was hired based on looks alone because Carter thought she was ‘gorgeous’.

No word on whether Carter is at all regretting that decision given some of the stuff that’s gone down in the past week. But even if she did, our source tells us that Dixie is notorious for ‘playing her cards closely’ and wouldn’t outright express her frustration.

Translation: it doesn’t look like Lacey is going anywhere, anytime soon."

Source: www.Diva-dirt.com

OFFENSE #1: Lacey debuts on iMPACT with horrible offense, a clothesline that Taylor literally had to run into and a pathetic-looking Von Erich Claw that only worked in the slightest because Sarita sold it so well.

OFFENSE #2: Lacey gets in hot water with management by publically bashing the recently released 2-time Knockouts champ, Angelina Love, who she is then ordered to call and apologize to.

OFFENSE #3: In her second appearance on iMPACT, Lacey is booked to do a run-in and trips on her way to the ring, injuring herself. According to Diva-dirt, a backstage source has since labeled her a "train wreck".

All that in just her first two weeks...

TNA originally branded the Knockouts as serious competitors for whom looks were secondary to in-ring ability. The signing of Lacey pretty much destroys all that, which is really upsetting to me. This is what the WWE always does: hire women based on their looks, with little emphasis put on their wrestling prowess, which is why we've been made to suffer through no-talent, idiot Divas like Maria, Rosa Mendes and the Bella Twins in recent years. TNA only going after women who could really wrestle was one of the things I greatly appreciated about that company and I don't think I'm alone in that regard.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: being really hot doesn't mean much if you can't wrestle, and at her current skill level Lacey Von Erich just can't wrestle. It's possible that she could become a good worker some day, but she's nowhere near ready for TV right now. To be honest, it didn't surprise me at all when reports started coming out that TNA management soured on her very quickly and now plans to have the Beautiful People focus more on vignettes and backstage skits than wrestling.

Dixie Carter's got egg on her face with this one. Hopefully, she won't let her pride get in the way of making smart business decisions and send Lacey back to wrestling school.

October 04, 2009

QCWradio episode 48

Episode 48 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-Hell in a Cell preview.
-Lacey Von Erich's TNA debut.
-Sara Del Rey's upcoming TNA live event appearance.
-roundtable discussion: is it time for the WWE to end the brand split?

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