January 31, 2010

the Month in Review 12/31/09-Genesis

12/31/09 New Year’s Knockout Eve

MADISON RAYNE vs. HAMADA
-Hamada seems to be getting more over by the week. It really makes you wonder why it took them so long to push her.

-Hamada uncharacteristically botched that flip off the ropes, but aside from that, this was a good match; probably Madison’s best in TNA so far. She acquitted herself well and didn’t get embarrassed even though the winner was never in doubt.

-It’s worth noting that Hamada is coming out through the face shoot tonight, but she came out through the heel shoot when she teamed with Kong last week.

-It seems the Knockout matches may be getting more time than usual tonight. Good. I’ve been waiting a long damn time for that even if it’s only for one night.


TARA BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-A nice thing about Tara being the singles champ now is that we no longer have to put up with ODB calling it the “Knocked Up” title. Tara brings some class back to the belt after what ODB did with it. I know ODB’s character isn’t supposed to be classy, but this is a change I appreciate.


TRACI BROOKS vs. ODB
-During the match, Taz said that he agreed with ODB going after Traci’s handicapped arm because it’s an obvious weak spot. Excuse me? So when Alissa Flash does that she’s going too far, but when ODB does it it’s all right? Geez, TNA, double standard much?

-The fans still seem to be on the fence with ODB’s heel turn. It has killed her face heat, but they remain pretty reluctant to boo her. It doesn’t help that she’s still doing a lot of the same mannerisms she did when she was a face. She needs to do more to change her demeanor if this is going to work.


BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Entertaining interview as usual, but interviews have never been their problem. They always show a lot of personality in these segments and women like WWE Diva, Michelle ‘monotone’ McCool, should watch this and take it as an example of what to do when trying to cut a promo that doesn’t put the viewers to sleep.


ROXXI vs. VELVET SKY
-This match wasn’t bad, but keeping Velvet’s matches on the short side is definitely the right way to go. She had a brief flurry of offense and then Roxxi took control, which was good, but it probably would’ve been better if Roxxi had dictated the action the entire time considering the crowd didn't wake up until the momentum shifted in her favor. No offense to Velvet, but her offense just isn’t convincing and it never has been, especially against a larger, more athletic opponent like Roxxi.

-Poor Roxxi… Having to sell for Velvet Sky and Lacey Von Erich in the same segment must be no picnic.

-I like that Velvet was making those head-shaving gestures during the match and Roxxi acknowledged her history with TBP afterward. It was good that they touched on that even though the announcers didn’t mention it.

-I really, REALLY hope that Lacey attacking Roxxi post-match was about protecting Roxxi by having her sell an injury when she faces Hamada tonight and NOT about having her resume her feud with TBP. We’ve seen Roxxi vs. TBP many times and Roxxi doesn’t deserve to be saddled with the impossible task of carrying Lacey Von Erich to a watchable match. As talented as Roxxi is, she can’t work miracles, and that’s just about what it would take for Lacey to have a good match given her current skill level.


DAFFNEY vs. AWESOME KONG
-How does Daffney get entered in a #1 contendership tournament when she hasn’t won a match in months? I’m just saying.

-Impressive squash for Kong. It’s too bad it came at Daffney’s expense. She was allowed just enough offense to piss Kong off, but that’s it. It’s about what we’ve come to expect at this point.


SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Sweet Jesus… If you haven’t gone out of your way to see those photos of Sarita at the CMLL body building competition, then you don’t have a pulse. WOW! I’m glad they showed that; I was afraid her winning that championship would go unmentioned, which would've been stupid.

-They said that they’ll be facing Kong & Hamada on the January 4th show. Sweet! That should be an awesome match. Hopefully, management will let those women really cut loose on Monday. But if it’s just going to be the typical two minute TV match then they’re better off waiting until Genesis to do that one.

-It might be my imagination, but it seems like Sarita is more comfortable cutting promos in Spanish than English.


APRIL HUNTER & LORELEI vs. SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE ©
-Decent tag match. It’s nice to see Sarita & Taylor facing some different people -- getting wins over new opponents just adds to their credibility. However, it would’ve been nice if TNA had gotten an actual tag team with experience working together for this instead of two random singles wrestlers. April & Lorelei was an awkward pairing and it was clear that they weren’t too familiar with each other prior to the match.

-April & Lorelei didn’t do too badly here, but they really didn’t show anything that made me think they deserve to be signed. Lorelei in particular looked kind of shaky. If TNA is looking for new female talent, hopefully they’ll keep looking because they can do better than these two.

-It’s really disappointing that TNA didn’t use Sara Del Rey for this. I really thought she had a shot after her match at the TNA house show in November went well. I heard from one source that she was at least on their list of women that they wanted to use, but for one reason or another it didn’t happen and that’s a damn shame. She would’ve done much better against the champs than April & Lorelei did.


ODB BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Good angry promo, but I still don’t think ODB should be getting pushed toward another match with Tara. It’s time for a new challenger for the belt.


ROXXI vs. HAMADA
-As expected, it looks like the attack earlier was meant to protect Roxxi. She was actually put over really well here. She’s selling the injury to her ribs, clearly not 100%, but she still puts up a great fight and gives Hamada a hard time. Hamada wins the match, but Roxxi looks like one tough bitch in defeat.

-Even though this was more about the story of Roxxi trying to fight through the injury, this was a really good match and the best one of the tournament so far.

-Unlike their matches earlier tonight where they were both the crowd favorites respectively, the audience couldn’t seem to decide which woman to root for here.

-Unfortunately, this is the match where Roxxi broke her ankle. She said on her twitter page that she’ll be out for six weeks. Hopefully, she can heal up fast because it looks like she was on the verge of a nice push.


ODB vs. AWESOME KONG
-These two have had some good matches in the past and some not-so-good matches. This was one of the good ones. It could’ve used more time though, considering the history they have.

-This is the stuff that ODB needs to be doing more of if her heel turn is going to work. Pulling the referee in front of Kong, knocking out Kong with the tequila bottle -- these are things that heels do.

-For the record, if you haven’t figured out yet that ODB is going to win this tournament then you haven’t been watching pro wrestling very long.


HAMADA vs. ODB. AWESOME KONG BRINGS OUT A TABLE
-Very good match to end the tournament and it got more time than any women’s match in TNA or WWE in ages. I’d say this was one of ODB’s best singles matches since joining the company and Hamada deserves a lot of credit for bringing that out of her.

-Having said that, I really don’t agree with ODB getting the title shot against Tara. Their match at Final Resolution wasn’t very good, so why are they doing another one? Wouldn’t it be a better idea to use this tournament to build up a new opponent and put Tara in the ring with someone she could have a better match with? It’s important that the January 4th show delivers in a big way and I just don’t know if Tara vs. ODB is going to deliver.

-Hamada, Alissa Flash or Roxxi would’ve been a better choice to win the title shot. Unfortunately, Hamada already has a tag title shot on that show, Roxxi broke her ankle in her match with Hamada and Alissa wasn’t even in the tournament, due to -- I’m assuming -- a foot injury she mentioned on her twitter page that she got when she stepped on some Christmas ornaments that her cat broke. Under the circumstances, I suppose management felt ODB was the best option, but from the way this whole thing was booked, her going over was most likely the plan all along anyway.

-I like that Kong brought the table out as it reinforces her partnership with Hamada. However, a problem we now have is that Kong & Hamada come out of this tournament looking like babyfaces, which is going to make the crowd reaction interesting when they face Sarita & Taylor on Monday.


ODB & TARA INTERVIEW
-Good interview from both women. They made it look like they wanted to kill each other and got you excited for the match, which is what you want. I don’t know how good the match is going to be, but they did a good job selling it. If TNA did this good a job at hyping up their PPV matches, their buyrates would be a lot higher.

-ODB’s comments about the Knockouts being wrestlers and the women where Tara came from being about showing a lot of skin would’ve carried more weight if TNA hadn’t done that Velvet/Lacey mud wrestling match a few weeks ago.

-I liked this show in general. I may not like the fact that ODB went over, but the tournament itself was well done. Some of the matches were better than others, but none of them were bad. As a whole, the show came off fairly well despite a lot of padding. It being New Year’s Eve, I don’t expect this show to do a huge rating, but I think TNA can consider it a success regardless. If only they put this kind of focus on the X-division…
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1/04/10 iMPACT

-As it turns out, New Year’s Knockout Eve drew a 0.6 for 7-9pm and a 0.8 for TNA’s normal timeslot of 9-11pm, which is pretty close to what iMPACT has been drawing lately. All things considered, that’s a great number and a good indicator that a potential Knockout spin-off show could draw on its own.


KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH:
ODB vs. TARA ©

-Let me get this straight. So the whole point of New Year’s Knockout Eve was to set up ODB winning the title back from Tara in a TV match that went under three minutes? Um… why? They spent a four hour special building this match up as a big deal and then it was over in two minutes and change. TNA just killed the relevance of the New Year’s Knockout Eve show retroactively and probably killed a lot of people’s interest in the singles title at the same time.

-ODB’s title reign went absolutely nowhere. What exactly is the point of giving her the belt back when Tara just won it a few weeks ago, and in such anticlimactic fashion on top of that? Do the writers not understand how damaging this is to Tara -- that it makes her look like a fluke champion? Apparently not, seeing as how this is the SECOND time they’ve booked her to lose the title almost immediately after winning it. Even if she wins it back at Genesis, all these rapid fire title changes do the wrestlers no favors and they ruin the prestige of the championship. This booking is absolutely atrocious.




BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE SEGMENT
-Oh, yeah, by all means, let’s waste time on multiple segments of TBP playing strip poker. It’s not like we only have five hours of TV time to put together the entire card for Genesis. Oh, wait… it is.




KNOCKOUTS TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
AWESOME KONG & HAMADA vs. SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE ©

-In one match these women showed why THIS was the feud that the tag team division should’ve started with. Seriously, this was so far above what TBP delivered against Sarita & Taylor, it’s not even funny. This was easily the best Knockout tag team match in the short history of this division. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think they were capable of even more, but it was an excellent contest between four terrific workers and light years better than anything we saw from the women on Raw tonight.

-The crowd loved this and the following chants were audible during the match: “You’re all awesome!” “This is awesome!” And my personal favorite: the dueling chants of, “We love Knockouts! -- Divas suck!” And the best part was that at the same time as this was happening, over on the USA network, Maryse & Brie Bella were falling all over themselves in the ring while the audience they were performing in front of took a nap. Score one for the good guys.

-This was a bit longer than usual, but still not long enough. Breaking the match up with commercials definitely hurt it. It really bothers me when matches where titles change hands aren’t given proper time. They did at least put over the title change as a big deal, but I wanted more time for this segment. Hopefully, they’ll get more time at Genesis, if a rematch even happens at Genesis.

-I do agree with Kong & Hamada being the ones to take the titles from Sarita & Taylor, but I think the babyfaces needed to get a win over them before that happened. Now the story of their title reign is that they easily defeated a bunch of mediocre opponents and then came up short the first time they faced a real challenge. Granted, this does give them a big mountain to climb now, but it paints their title reign in a bad light.

-There are a lot of positives here though. This development puts Sarita & Taylor in a new position. They had been having trouble getting the fans to rally behind them and making them underdog challengers rather than dominant champions could help with that. What’s important now is that the writers make Kong & Hamada the most detestable, vicious, blood thirsty heels possible because babyfaces are only as effective as the heels that oppose them and those two are still technically tweeners at this point.

-Kong & Hamada will make fine champions and this development will make the tag team division more interesting, which is something that needed to happen. I’m not sure I like the timing the title change, but it could turn out to be a good thing depending on what happens next.

-The announcers didn’t point this out, but Kong is now the second woman in TNA history to hold both the Knockout singles title and tag team titles; Taylor being the first.




BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE SEGMENT. VAL VENIS DEBUTS
-I really don’t like where this is going at all. Out of all the free agents in the industry that TNA could’ve picked up, they bring in a relic of the Attitude Era like Val freaking Venis? And I thought TBP had reached new levels of pointlessness before…




RAVEN & DR. STEVIE (w/ DAFFNEY) vs. MATT MORGAN & HERNANDEZ
-Holy crap… Daffney looks so hot tonight, I think I can feel the heat through the TV screen. That’s all I can really say since, once again, she was given absolutely nothing to do.


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1/14/10 iMPACT

THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (w/ LACEY VON ERICH) vs. AWESOME KONG & HAMADA (c). ANGELINA LOVE RETURNS POST-MATCH

-Short squash match. I know I constantly complain about the short matches on iMPACT, but this was a time when it made sense. This match should have been short. Kong beat Velvet & Madison in a handicap match in under two minutes last spring. After that, anything less than total squash domination of TBP would make Kong & Hamada look like chumps.

-Nice to see Angelina back. This was a good return for her. I was worried that her coming back would mean a renewed push for TBP. And unlike other people, I didn't think that her returning to the group would at least have the benefit of eliminating any reason for Lacey Von Erich to remain in TNA, because apparently, Hogan likes Lacey for some ungodly reason, so she's not going anywhere. Basically, Angelina being put back into TBP would've meant we'd be in for more of the same old thing, but the writers decided to do something different instead. Thank you.

-I'm not sure if this was a face turn for Angelina or if it's a case of heel vs. heel -- with Vince Russo writing, either one is possible. Personally, I'd much rather she turn face. I know she turned heel two years ago because her initial babyface run was as boring as the WWE product, but the landscape was a lot different back then. If there was any storyline that could make Angelina an effective babyface, this is it. She got a good babyface reaction from the crowd when she attacked her former partners, but she still had her heelish attitude, so it's not really clear yet what side of the fence she's going to fall on.

-It occurs to me that, with the way Roxxi was written off TV (the injury to her ribs at the hands of Lacey), one way they could go with this angle is Angelina & Roxxi teaming up to take out TBP once and for all after Roxxi heals up from her broken ankle in a few weeks. If Angelina doesn't find herself a partner this feud is going to be three on one, and as much as I want Roxxi to be inserted into the singles title picture, it would be pretty cool to see her & Angelina, two former arch rivals, joining forces. They could tell a really interesting story with that, not to mention create a new Knockout tag team that would make perfect sense under the circumstances.




TARA/ODB VIDEO PACKAGE
-Wait, wait... So now Tara vs. ODB at Genesis is 2 out of 3 falls? When did that happen? Why book this gimmick when we just had a 2 out of 3 falls match at the last PPV? Why book it if you're barely even going to mention it in the match hype? What is the reason for this gimmick to exist? What about this feud said, "We need a 2 out of 3 falls stipulation"? These women haven't even had a solid match under normal conditions yet; what makes the writers think giving them two more falls than usual is going make any difference?

-They pretty much said that this match would be the end of their feud. If that's the case, then I expect Tara to win the title back on Sunday. Hopefully, she'll have a good, lengthy run with it this time because they've been playing hot potato with that belt lately and its credibility is pretty much shot.
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1/17/10 Genesis

KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH: 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS
TARA vs. ODB (c)

-I already miss the 6-sided ring. It just doesn't feel like TNA without it. And may I say that I felt personally offended when Hogan & Bischoff crapped on the 6-sided ring and said they were getting rid of it "whether the fans liked it or not" while the fans were booing the hell out of them and chanting, "We want 6 sides!" This is just the latest in an increasingly long line of examples which prove that Hogan & Bischoff don't give a rat's ass about what TNA was before they got there. Can someone please explain to me why we're supposed to cheer for these guys when they're obviously egomaniacal pricks?

-This was the longest Knockouts match we've had on PPV in a while, but of all the women they could have given that time too, they had to give it to Tara & ODB? Why? Get it through your heads, TNA management -- these women have no chemistry! None! Zero! That time should be given to Sarita & Taylor vs. Kong & Hamada; a match that, for the record, was not even on this PPV.

-After several matches where Tara & ODB didn't produce anything worth talking about together, this was more of the same. It was pretty much exactly what we've come to expect from them, which is not a good thing. I really hope this feud is over now because, frankly, I'm sick of this match up and I don't think I'm the only one. Their wrestling styles just do not mesh and they never have. It's time for Tara to feud with someone she can actually have a great match with.

-The funny thing about this is that while I was watching this match, I was wondering why we never see a 2 out of 3 falls match end with one person getting two straight pinfalls, and then it happens. I think that's the first time I've ever seen that finish.

-After losing two pinfalls in a row, ODB has absolutely zero grounds for a rematch against Tara. Unfortunately, that didn't stop TBP from getting title shot after title shot a few months ago even though Sarita & Taylor pretty much embarrassed them every time. The only thing I can do is cross my fingers and hope that this lousy feud has finally been put to rest.

-Let this be the end of this ridiculous game of hot potato that the writers have been playing with the singles title. The fact that Tara is now the first three time Knockouts champion in TNA history means virtually nothing because her first two title reigns lasted for less than a month combined. The best thing that can happen now is for Tara to have a long run with the belt, defending it against opponents that she has chemistry with and can have good matches with. And by that I mean she needs to feud with someone other than ODB, Kong & Angelina.

-Originally, I had written a lengthy argument here, outlining all the reasons why Tara's next opponent and first challenger for the title should be Alissa Flash, but since Alissa has been released from the company (a news item I've been crying bitter tears over), that has now been deleted. Needless to say, I'm incredibly pissed off about this. Alissa is one of the best and most marketable female talents in the industry and was easily the most underutilized woman in the history of this company. I'm not going to go on a huge rant about this because I'm too upset right now. All I'll say is that the fact that a tremendous talent like Alissa gets released while a no-talent piece of crap like Lacey Von Erich still has a job in TNA makes me sick to my stomach.

QCWradio episode 65

Episode 65 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-previewing WWE Royal Rumble.
-WWE's Satino Marella sitcom.
-how does TNA fix the Knockout division if Awesome Kong leaves the company?
-SpikeTV moving iMPACT to Mondays.
-roundtable discussion: who will be the next breakout stars in WWE & TNA?

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

Special guest: Big_D

January 24, 2010

QCWradio episode 64

Episode 64 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-reviewing TNA Genesis.
-the Awesome Kong/Bubba the Love Sponge altercation.
-caller, Tony, talks his experience attending the January 4th iMPACT show.
-NEW SEGMENT: Wrestle Break -- Chessarmy reviews Tekken 6.
-roundtable discussion: with the demise of ECW imminent, we draft the entire ECW roster to different brands.

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

January 22, 2010

iMPACT 1/21/10

Please Don't Go, Kong!

Earlier today, I learned, to my horror, that Awesome Kong had requested her release from TNA. At the time of this writing, she has not yet been given her release, so there's still time for her to change her mind.

So, yeah, I'm writing this pretty hastily.

Ordinarily, when a wrestler asks for his or her release from their respective company, the fans are left to wonder what their reasons were. In this case, any wrestling fan who follows the happenings of the business online knows exactly what Kong's reasons are.

Earlier this month, the nation of Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake, reportedly leaving hundreds of thousands of people dead. In response, many TNA representatives have since been making an effort to raise money to aid the victims of this disaster. Dixie Carter said on her twitter account that TNA had to help and has been asking fans who attend the iMPACT TV tapings to donate money to the relief effort.

Meanwhile, Awesome Kong has set up a fund raiser of her own -- Wrestlers 4 Haiti -- which raised over $5,000 within two days.

For the record, anyone wishing to give money to aid the victims of the Haitian earthquake, please send your donations via PayPal to Wrestlers4Haiti@gmail.com.

Unfortunately, there is one TNA employee that has not been on board with this. I am speaking of TNA's newest backstage interviewer, Hulk Hogan's close personal friend, radio shock jock and all around sack of human fecal matter, Bubba the Love Sponge.

Shortly following the earthquake, this man (and I use that word loosely) made the statement on his own twitter account: "F### Haiti."

He continued on, saying that the United States should NOT be bothering to help the people of Haiti despite TNA's stance to the contrary. He then went on his radio show and took things even further by saying that this horrific disaster was a good thing and actually advocated the countless deaths it caused as a form of cleansing and population control.

No, I'm not kidding.

Obviously livid at these shameful, classless remarks (hell, who wouldn't be?), Awesome Kong did what just about any of us would have done if we saw this lowlife in person...

She beat the crap out of him.

Unfortunately, they were backstage at the iMPACT Zone at the time.

This prompted Mr. Sponge to return to his mind-numbing crapfest that passes for a radio program and aim a number of disrespectful and derogatory comments at Awesome Kong, as well as belittle her concerns for the victims of the Haitian disaster. He was joined by Hulk Hogan, who proceeded to laugh at Bubba for being "beaten up by a girl" and then dismissed Kong's actions as her being menstrual.

A few days later, in a move that surprised absolutely no one, Awesome Kong requested her release from TNA.

Let's get a few things straight:

Was Kong wrong to take a swing at a coworker? Yes.

Should she be reprimanded for it in some way? Yes.

But did she have every reason to be pissed off beyond belief? Yes.

Did the dirtbag deserve to get his ass kicked? Yes.

And should Mr. Sponge be released from TNA before his asinine behavior gets the company more bad publicity than they can shake the Beautiful People's Ugly Stick at? Hell yes.

But from what I hear, despite all his despicable comments on twitter and in the media, despite numerous reports that most people backstage can't stand him, despite an online fan campaign encouraging TNA to publicly fire him (http://tinyurl.com/firebubba), and despite a flood of angry tweets directed at Dixie Carter, urging her to sever all professional ties with this SOB (twitter.com/TNADixie), there has apparently been NO talk within the company of firing him, from what I hear.

And why? Because he's Hulk Hogan's buddy. And as we've seen from the TNA product over the last few weeks, Hogan takes care of his buddies, even if it's at the cost of other people.

Instead, Awesome Kong may be leaving TNA over this situation. How is that in any way right or fair? It isn't.

I need to make one thing perfectly clear: as a fan and admirer of Kong, I support her 100% in whatever she decides to do. If she doesn't want to be disrespected in the media by her coworkers and wants to leave the company over this, then so be it.

But I'm writing this column to ask her not to.

When the Knockout division was first formed, everyone was calling Gail Kim the linchpin of the whole thing. But the truth is there were two linchpins. Gail was one. Awesome Kong was the other.

Gail's inaugural title reign, and by extension, the Knockout division itself, would not have been nearly as successful in those early days if Kong hadn't been the perfect yin to Gail's yang, the insurmountable obstacle for her to overcome. Then, after Gail left the company, Kong essentially carried the entire Knockout division on her back for months until Tara showed up.

In fact, one could say that Awesome Kong turned out to be even more important than Gail in a way. Gail was the figurehead of the Knockouts, yes, but Kong was the woman who made the Knockouts unique.

Look at the Knockout roster. Is there any woman on this roster, past or present, that individualizes it more than Awesome Kong? No. No one else even comes close. If Kong leaves, then there will suddenly not be a whole lot that truly differentiates the Knockouts from the WWE Divas.

The fact is, even if they're not willing to admit it out of fear of upsetting Hulk Hogan, TNA needs Awesome Kong. They need her a hell of a lot more than they need or will EVER need that talentless hack, Bubba the Love Sponge.

That's why I'm sending this message out to Kia Stevens a.k.a. Awesome Kong:

Please don't go.

Do you have good reason to want to leave? Yes.

But please don't let the words and actions of one infantile jackass sour you on a company that needs you whether they know it or not.

Have you been disrespected? Absolutely. But anything a scumbag like Bubba (and Hogan, for that matter) says about you -- in the media or otherwise -- shouldn't matter. When he says these things, they reflect badly on him, not you.

It doesn't matter what that walking crap stain thinks. It only matters what you think and what your fans think.

Your fans want you to stay.

Don't give this idiot the satisfaction of seeing you leave because of a situation that he instigated.

I'm sure you got a great deal of satisfaction from beating this guy up, but this is different.

Prove that you're a better person than he is.

Beat him that way.

Wrestlers Tweet 4 Haiti

First of all, I need to get something off of my chest.

Recently, TNA hired Hulk Hogan's close personal friend, radio personality, Bubba the Love Sponge, as a backstage interviewer despite the fact that they already had two perfectly good backstage interviewers in Jeremy Borash and Christy Hemme.

A few days ago, this man posted a very controversial tweet on his twitter account which pertained to the terrible natural disaster that recently befell the nation of Haiti.

I am absolutely NOT going to repeat what he tweeted here because I will not have any part of glorifying that self-serving lowlife. What I will say is that in light of his thoughtless, classless comments regarding the Haitian disaster and the victims of this horrific tragedy, it is the opinion of the KNOCKED OUT column that Bubba the Love Sponge is a horse's ass and should be fired from TNA effective immediately.

Quite frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach that this dirtbag, in any way, shape or form, represents TNA Wrestling or the professional wrestling business in general. Contrary to what some believe, not all publicity is good publicity (just ask Tiger Woods), and TNA does not want or need the kind of publicity this repugnant jackass creates.

If any of my readers agree with me on this, please support the Fire Bubba Campaign. Go to the following URL to find out how you can help rid TNA of this disgusting, pathetic excuse for a human being:

http://tinyurl.com/firebubba

Thankfully, there are many TNA representatives that do not share Mr. Sponge's opinion on this matter. In fact, many of these people -- Mick Foley and TNA president, Dixie Carter, among them -- have taken it upon themselves to help raise money to aid the victims of this tragedy.

One of these people is Awesome Kong.

And that leads me to the real purpose of this particular column. Awesome Kong and diva-dirt.com have partnered for 'Wrestlers Tweet 4 Haiti,' a competition among professional wrestlers and their fans on twitter to raise money for the victims of the Haitian earthquake, urging people to send donations via PayPal to Wrestlers4Haiti@gmail.com, with all proceeds being donated to the American Red Cross.

For more information on how you can donate money, go to the following URL:

http://www.diva-dirt.com/wrestlerstweet4haiti/

As I understand it, several of the other Knockouts have donated merchandise to be auctioned off, and at the time of this writing, Wrestlers 4 Haiti has raised over $5000 in just over two days.

Bubba the Love Sponge is a despicable role model, an even worse ambassador for the professional wrestling industry, and he makes me ashamed to be a TNA fan.

Thankfully, TNA still has people like Awesome Kong.

January 17, 2010

QCWradio episode 63

Episode 63 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-Killa_Kev launches the 'Fire Bubba!' campaign.
-Foolkiller talks about his TNA house show experience.
-previewing TNA Genesis.
-QCW-X Cup.

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

Special guests: Killa_Kev & Dennin

Fire Bubba!

I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to all the victims of the horrific earthquake that befell Haiti on January 12th.

The following is a blog written by Killa_Kev, one of the founders of the Angry Marks podcast network, which QCWradio calls home. In light of Bubba the LoveSponge's recent shameful, classless comments regarding the victims of this disaster, the TNAthreshold blog fully endorses and supports Killa_Kev's "Fire Bubba" Campaign.

"Normally I save my classic "AngryMarks Rant" for Tuesday night's Ring the Bell show, but I'm getting this one out early. I'm not going to take long in issuing it, either. Rather, I'm going to use my voice and my influence to do what is right. Tonight's rant is aimed squarely at one of the most annoying personalities in radio and, sadly, professional wrestling today -- Bubba the Love Sponge (yes, that is actually his legal name).

IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE, then just point people to this URL: http://tinyurl.com/firebubba - send tweets to @TNADixie and let her know you want Bubba the Love Sponge off the TNA airwaves!

Before I go any further, I will make this plain: the following statement is not necessiarly endorsed or supported by AngryMarks.com or any member of our staff or the owner of AngryMarks.com. These statements are mine, however you may feel free to agree with them.

That said, it's time to get down to business. In the early hours of Friday, January 14th one Mr. Sponge made the following statement via his Twitter account: "I say fuck hati. Why do we have to take care of everybody our country is in shambles. Bubba"

As a patriotic American who supports the First Amendment and freedom of the press as well as the common man, I support Mr. Sponge's right to make such statements. However, I do not have to support them, nor will I. Not only are Mr. Sponge's statements completely insensitive towards the people of Haiti in light of the natural disaster that has struck their country, they are completely false.

Mr. Sponge states that our country "is in shambles". I'm pretty certain that when Mr. sponge woke up on Friday morning, he woke up inside a nice, cozy home, in his nice, cozy bed. It isn't unreasonable to assume that his wake up call came from an alarm clock that was plugged into an electrical outlet, powered by a steady stream of safe and reliable electricity from his local utility company. One would hope that he made an effort to take a shower in his private bathroom, with all the clean, hot water and soap that is necessary to scrub the stench of arrogance from his body each morning. After drying off with a clean, dry towel (or, maybe he chose to "air dry" in the buff), I'm sure he enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of whatever food and beverage he chose to enjoy, and I'm sure he had a wide selection of foodstuffs to chose from. At some point during his morning, Mr. Sponge powered on his computer, connected to the Internet, and had time to post his offensive statements to his Twitter account. He then swaggered off to the studio in his home to start another day of broadcasting his unenlightened, unentertaining diatrab via the Sirius network and associated terrestrial stations.

I don't think I need to go any further in giving you a description of the "shambles" that Bubba the Love Sponge lives in as a citizen of this great country. I'm quite certain, though, that the "shambles" that Mr. Sponge claims to live in is quite a step up from the grand splendors that the overwhelming majority of people in Haiti live in every day. And for a man who has such a command of the radio and satellite airwaves, and who at one point was receiving a college education, I am astounded at the constant stream of stupidity that comes out of his mouth and flies from his fingertips.

Mr. Sponge is a recently-hired employee of TNA Entertainment, LLC, producers of the very popular TNA Wrestling. In light of the earthquakes that have hit the island nation of Haiti, Bubba the Love Sponge has chosen to express scorn and disdain for the idea that the United States of America, both as a government and a society, offer any comfort or aide to our neighboring citizens. This appears to be in direct conflict of many of TNA Wrestling's other employees, including Awesome Kong, and Mr. Sponge's boss Dixie Carter, who have pleged their support for the victims of the Haitian disaster and are asking for their fans to show compassion and support as well.

As a fan of TNA Wrestling, and a person who has financially supported this company through my generous purchases of pay-per-views, DVDs and other merchandise, I am offended by Bubba the Love Sponge's statement, and his reaction to fans who are also upset. Bubba and his staff are using the show's Twitter account to tell fans to "fuck off", and follow up with, "The Bubba Army doesn't give a fuck what you think."

Is this the type of employee that TNA Wrestling wishes to have on their roster and their payroll? Is this the face and the personality that the company wants to represent them every Thursday, Sunday, or possibly Monday night? Does TNA Wrestling want to put Bubba the Love Sponge head-to-head against World Wrestling Entertainment and Mr. Vincent McMahon, both a company and a personality who has publicly pledged their resources to assisting great causes both in the United States and abroad, and who will, without doubt, also provided financial relief for Haiti as well?

I would hope not.

Based on Mr. Sponge's actions this weekend, I serously doubt that we will be hearing a retraction of these statements and an apology to the fans that he has offended. With those words, I am officially calling for Dixie Carter and TNA Wrestling to PUBLICLY FIRE BUBBA THE LOVE SPONGE.

Bubba the Love Spong may not want to hear my opinion, but I am just as entitled to speak my mind as he is. Mr. Sponge, I seriously doubt you have any clue just what the people of Haiti are going through right now. You say that you've visited parts of New Orleans and have seen that we are far from restoring it to its former glory. For that, you may be right, but even the residents of New Orleans know that we live in a blessed country that is rich in financial resources and creature comforts, and is full of compassion, that that our lot in life as citizens of the United States of America even at its lowest will far exceed the quality of life that most people in Haiti must endure.


[snip]

Does Bubba the Love Sponge lack for food, clean water, or shelter? I don't think so. What selfish, insufferable prick makes such statements that America is "in shambles" when our neighbors - and for some of us, our mothers, children and family - in Haiti are suffering, and wishes to deny them the aide and comfort that he, himself, takes for granted?

On last week's TNA Impact, Hulk Hogan made a statement to the fans, the TNA locker room, and the wrestling world in general. To paraphrase, Mr. Hogan said that it was now time for us all to start doing what is right for the business. Sometimes the right thing for the business is to give of itself, even when it doesn't have to. TNA Wrestling doesn't have to provide any aide or comfort to the nation of Haiti and its citizens, but the company has recognized that it is the right thing to do. Rather than be a mark who is in business for himself, Bubba the Love Sponge, you should get in line and learn how to follow when the leaders in your business speak."


Source: www.tinyurl.com/firebubba


Many TNA representatives, including Awesome Kong, Mick Foley & TNA president, Dixie Carter herself have been raising money to help the victims of the Haitian disaster. Apparently, TNA's newest backstage interviewer, Bubba the LoveSponge, feels that they shouldn't bother. This classless jackass has no place representing TNA Wrestling or professional wrestling in general.

I urge all my readers to tweet Ms. Carter at www.twitter.com/TNADixie and call for the immediate release of Mr. Sponge from his TNA contract. This is not a person TNA should be associating themselves with. Not ALL publicity is good publicity and this is publicity that TNA Wrestling does not want or need.

For information on how you can donate money to the victims of the Haitian disaster, please visit http://www.sos-usa.org.

Also, TNA Knockout, Awesome Kong & Diva-dirt.com have partnered in the Wrestlers Tweet 4 Haiti competition. They are asking all professional wrestlers to tweet to their followers to send a donation via PayPal to Wrestlers4Haiti@gmail.com.

For more information on Wrestlers Tweet 4 Haiti, please visit www.diva-dirt.com.

January 15, 2010

Previewing Genesis 2010

Sean Morley vs. Daniels

FK9:
I'm really not that excited to see this one. It will probably be a good match, but Daniels was in the main event for the last two months and now he's wrestling the former Val Venis? How does that happen? Not that Morley isn't talented, but frankly, the ship has sailed on that guy, IMO, and their segment on iMPACT this past Thursday was proof of that. Their promos were good, but the audience sat on their hands when Morley came out (as evidenced by the many closeups the production team gave us of all the bored, apathetic fans in the crowd) and didn't wake up until Daniels attacked him. Hopefully, this will just be something to tide Daniels over while Kurt Angle gets his title shot and he'll be put back in the top mix where he belongs afterward.

Who should win: Daniels
-----



Beer Money, Inc. vs. Kevin Nash & Scott Hall

FK9:
Gee, let me think about this... On one hand you have TNA's biggest young, homegrown, most over marquee tag team, and on the other hand you have two broken down guys in their 50s who were passed their prime 10 years ago. It will be an absolute joke if Beer Money DON'T win this match on general principles. Unfortunately, with Hogan & Bischoff running creative, I'm not optimistic about their chances.

Who should win: Beer Money
-----



“the Monster” Abyss vs. “the Boss” Bobby Lashley

FK9:
Huh? I must have missed something. Why does this match exist? When was it made? Why should we care about it? Beats me on all counts. At any rate, Lashley just signed with Strikeforce and most people seem to think his days in TNA are numbered, whereas Abyss is an established homegrown talent and could be elevated with a win over Lashley. It seems simple enough, but the fact is the writers are at least doing something with Lashley right now and his recent heel turn seems to be getting over. Abyss would benefit more in the long run from getting this win, but he just doesn't have anything else going on at the moment to follow it up, so he wouldn't be in a position to capitalize on it. If it's confirmed that Lashley's leaving TNA, then Abyss should go over. If not, they should keep the Boss's momentum going.

Who should win: Lashley
-----



KNOCKOUTS TITLE: 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS (????)
ODB (c) vs. Tara

FK9:
Sigh... Have the TNA writers seriously not figured out yet that Tara & ODB have no in-ring chemistry? These women DO NOT have good matches together and this feud should've ended at the aptly-named Final Resolution last month. What is the point of making it 2 out of 3 falls when their 1 fall matches have been boring and when TNA just had a 2 out of 3 falls match at the last PPV? Why is this feud still going on while an infinitely better opponent for Tara in Alissa Flash is just sitting on the bench, gathering dust? I have no idea...

Thankfully, they're selling it like this will be the end of this feud, and with any luck, the writers will get these two away from each other afterward. Being the supposed last match, I expect Tara will win the belt back, hopefully ending this game of hot potato they've been playing with the Knockouts singles title, and that's what needs to happen.

Who should win: Tara. Now let's get Alissa Flash in the title picture already!
-----



X-DIVISION TITLE
Amazing Red (c) vs. (to be announced that night)

FK9:
Amazing Red was a great X champ and was building up good momentum... then he got beat up by Scott Steiner of all people and disappeared from TV for a month and a half. Now Red is in a position where he needs to be REbuilt as the champion. There's a lack of viable contenders for the title right now, so unless this mystery opponent turns out to be someone who would take the X-division by storm like Jeff Hardy or Rob Van Dam, the belt needs to stay where it is.

Who should win: Amazing Red

Who is the mystery opponent: My guess? Brian Kendrick.
-----



'the Pope' D'Angelo Dinero vs. Desmond Wolfe

This is the match I'm most excited for thanks to the awesome promos these guys cut on each other on the Spin Cycle show. The tricky part is that you're going to have a winner and a loser. Wolfe and the Pope are both primed to be huge breakout stars in 2010 and neither man should be losing matches right now, so it comes down to who needs the win more vs. who would be hurt less by a loss.

Who should win: Pope won the first match on iMPACT, so Wolfe should go over here. But these guys play off each other amazingly well on the stick and I really hope the writers will keep this feud going for a while.
-----



TAG TEAM TITLE
the British Invasion (c) vs. “the Blueprint” Matt Morgan & Hernandez

FK9:
The Brits seem to have been depushed since Final Resolution while Morgan & Hernandez look to be gearing up for a big push. It SHOULD have been the MCMG who took the tag titles from Magnus & Williams, but sadly, the bulging/herniated disks in Alex Shelley's neck have apparently killed that dream (I'm crying bitter tears as I type this).

The British Invasion have been tag team champions for a long time now and they've been established as a strong team to be reckoned with. It's time to go in a new direction and begin the elevation of the Blueprint & Supermex.

Who should win: Morgan & Hernandez. I question the booking of having two singles wrestlers as the tag champs when TNA has about 50 tag teams on their roster, but I can't think of a good reason why the babyfaces shouldn't win this.
-----





WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
KURT ANGLE'S LAST SHOT AT AJ STYLES'S WORLD TITLE IN 2010
AJ Styles (c) vs. Kurt Angle

FK9:
I expect Kurt Angle to win this match -- probably due to Tomko's interference -- but he really shouldn't, IMO. If Hogan is really serious about it being time for the young guys to take their place and pushing the young talent to the next level (I'll believe it when I see it, Hulk), then what better way to prove that by having AJ go over Kurt Angle, thus eliminating Angle from the title picture as long as AJ remains champion?

Unfortunately, I don't see that happening. Since AJ already beat Angle on the January 4th show, I think the writing is on the wall here. On the plus side, if Angle does win the title, it will probably mean that we'll have more Kurt Angle/AJ Styles matches to look forward to in the months to come, which is certainly not a bad thing.

Who should win: AJ Styles
-----



The debut of the newest TNA Wrestling Major Superstar Acquisition -- who will it be?!

I hate to disappoint the hundreds of people who were chanting "RVD!" at the house show I attended last Sunday, but all signs point to Ken 'don't call me Kennedy' Anderson. And frankly, I'd much rather have Misteeeeeeeeeeeer An-der-son than Rob 'I want big money and a light schedule' Van Dam.

January 10, 2010

QCWradio episode 62

Episode 62 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-roundtable discussion: iMPACT vs. Raw on January 4th -- which show was better?
-Foolkiller talks about meeting Jeff Jarret at an autograph signing.
-roundtable discussion: is WWE's PG rating the reason for their product being so bad?

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

Special guest: Dennin

January 03, 2010

New Year's Knockout Eve video review

New Year's Knockout Eve text review

When I first heard about the New Year’s Knockout Eve show, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I thought it was a cool idea, sure, but the timing of it seemed curious to me. Why do a show like this when they only had a few weeks to put the card together for Genesis? The logical explanation is that TNA management just didn’t think there would be a lot of eyeballs on the screen because of the holiday, so they figured they’d just throw all the Knockouts out there since the Knockouts are the biggest ratings draw they have, and hope for the best. But if that was all this was about then the show wouldn’t have been four hours long. The fact that they chose to do a four hour special tells me that there was a little more to this than just trying to squeak by in the ratings for the week.

I know Dixie Carter recently said that they weren’t looking to add a second weekly show right now, but we’d be fooling ourselves if we thought for one second that TNA and SpikeTV representatives weren’t watching this thing very closely and considering it a trial run for that still-hypothetical Knockout spin-off show that has been rumored for ages. And even if it wasn’t, it was certainly the biggest step in that direction that they’ve taken so far.

The first reports I read about this show said that it was going to involve a Knockout tag team tournament. I thought this was great since the new tag team division needed and still needs a lot of work. And with news that several women from the indies were going to be booked for this show, I was really excited by the possibility of TNA trying out some of the great female teams out there to make this tag division a little more interesting.

Apparently, plans changed at some point and the tag tournament became a singles tournament. While this was disappointing to me, I didn’t object as long as something productive came out of it. I figured they could use this to build up a new challenger for the belt -- preferably one that hadn’t been in the title picture before (I had my fingers crossed for Alissa Flash). Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. And with ODB of all people winning the tournament and earning another shot at the title, I couldn’t help thinking that the whole thing had been kind of pointless.

Let’s be honest. After their underwhelming match at Final Resolution, was anyone really clamoring to see Tara vs. ODB again? For that matter, shouldn’t ODB, the former champion, have grounds for a rematch on general principles anyway? I mean, really, what was the point of going through all this if the end result was something that was probably going to happen regardless?

By that same token, what was the point of bringing in two random women from the independent circuit for Sarita & Taylor to face when they could’ve brought in an actual tag team instead? Did TNA officials not learn their lesson when every single one of the randomly paired teams in the inaugural tag team championship tournament a few months ago tanked?

April Hunter & Lorelei had nothing in common and it was obvious. They were clearly not familiar with each other and had no chemistry. This is the reason why those randomly paired teams I just mentioned didn’t work out. The Canadian Ninjas are a tag team. The International Home Wrecking Crew are a tag team. April Hunter & Lorelei Lee are not a tag team and they wrestled like they were not a tag team.

I imagine the point of this was to scout new talent. In that sense, this was a bust. I wasn’t terribly impressed with either woman. They weren’t bad necessarily, but they didn’t show anything out of the ordinary either. And at this point, signing women who aren’t anything out of the ordinary is going to diminish the Knockout roster, not add to it.

Taking all that into account, I think New Year’s Knockout Eve was kind of a missed opportunity. TNA could’ve brought in an actual tag team for Sarita & Taylor to face, but they chose not to. They could’ve used the tournament to build up a new challenger for the title that would match up better with Tara, but they chose to go with ODB again even though her singles matches with Tara haven’t been very good.

However, taken on its own merits, I thought the show itself was very enjoyable. Most of the matches were good and some of them were very good, they were a lot longer than usual, there were no bizarre, counterproductive gimmick matches and there wasn’t anything you could point to as being a waste of time. In other words, it was booked a lot better than the Knockout division usually is these days.

And probably the best part about the show was that Hamada made it to the finals, and even though she didn’t win, she was established as being a credible contender for the singles titles if and when the writers decide to take her in that direction in the future.

So in the end, the unfortunate part about New Year’s Knockout Eve was that it didn’t really break any new ground when it had several opportunities to do so. The independent talents they tried out failed to impress and the whole point of the tournament was apparently to set up Tara vs. ODB for the January 4th show which, if I’m being frank, is a match that I really don’t care to see again.

But the upside is that it was a good show in and of itself. TNA gave the Knockouts the spotlight for one night and the result could’ve been a hell of a lot worse, all things considered. We should keep that in perspective and give TNA credit because even though they didn’t get everything out of the show that they could have, they did make an honest effort to highlight their women’s division and do something special with it. God knows the WWE isn’t doing that right now; remember that Divas-themed episode of ECW that never happened?

So basically, what I’m saying is that, while I may not have agreed with the outcome, I did like the show quite a lot. Given the current state of iMPACT, this was actually one of the better shows TNA has put on in a while from a writing and booking standpoint. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but the Knockouts proved that they could deliver an enjoyable show on their own. So whether this was a trial run for a spin-off show or not, and regardless of what the ratings are, I think TNA can consider New Year’s Knockout Eve a success.

QCWradio episode 61

Episode 61 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-we give out the "Best of 2009" awards.
-roundtable discussion: our thoughts on pro wrestling in 2009.

-also, the week in wrestling, mail bag and much, much more.

Special guest: Matt Mayhem