April 27, 2010

QCWradio episode 77

Episode 77 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-Raw & iMPACT discussion.
-wrestlebreak: Dennin tear's apart Roger Ebert's review of Kick-Ass.
-WWE Extreme Rules review.
-roundtable discussion: we make 3 tag teams w/ one man from WWE and one man from TNA.

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

April 21, 2010

the Month in Review 3/22/10-Lockdown

3/22/10 iMPACT

THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE & DAFFNEY vs. TARA (c), ANGELINA LOVE, SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE

-SariTaylor getting back on TV = WIN!

-This match might as well have taken place on Raw. By that I mean it was booked just like a lot of these multi-Diva matches we've seen from the other company in recent times -- there's a whole lot of bodies in the ring, and rather than give the women the amount of time they would need to tell a proper story with that many people in one match, they just cram it all into a typically too-short amount of time and the result is one huge cluster, with all the women hitting their finishers, one after the other, after the other. No one stands out and the match just isn't very good. This did actually get more time than the Knockout matches have had on TV lately, but for a 8-woman tag match it just wasn't long enough.

-Something else that really hurt this match was that TBP, by far the worst workers in the ring, carried the offense almost the entire time. Whoever booked that needs to be fired. I don't care how badly you want to make Velvet Sky look like a badass and I don't care how badly you want Lacey Von Erich to be a competent worker; it's just not going to happen. Their offense against women like Tara, Sarita and Taylor (and to a lesser extent, Angelina) doesn't even look real; you can't believe in it. And it doesn't help their case when they can't even get their timing right. Madison was late breaking up Taylor's pin attempt on Velvet and Lacey was late breaking up Sarita's pin attempt on Madison and it really didn't look good at all.

-Why is God's name was Lacey in this match? I know she did very little and astonishingly managed to not botch anything too badly, but they should've subbed Hamada in there on general principles. If you need me to explain why, then stop reading this column right now and go get yourself a CAT scan.

-Holy Gods, Daffney actually gets a pin! Daffney, meet credibility. Credibility, meet Daffney. You two don't know each other, but I think you just might hit it off. A few more wins like that and I might actually start to buy into Daffney as a legit threat to the title. If they don't mess it up, that is...

-Tara vs. Daffney has been announced for next week. Apparently, it's going to be a First Blood match. Um... why? Anyone?


-----


3/29/10 iMPACT

TARA BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW. DAFFNEY ATTACKS

-This is good. I like that Daffney is getting more aggressive against Tara like this. TNA needs to keep doing stuff like this with her.


FIRST BLOOD MATCH:
DAFFNEY vs. TARA (c)

-This match was way too short and I didn't see any real reason for the First Blood gimmick. Aside from that, I liked this segment a lot.

-I don't know if a completely different writing team has taken over the booking of Daffney in the last few weeks, but what a change for the better this has been for her. She attacks Tara, has a competitive match with her (however briefly), loses the match, but still gets put over afterward.

-Tara wins the match, as she should because it still isn't really believable for Daffney to beat her in a singles match, but Daffney looks creepy as hell after the match with the drinking of her own blood. Tara retains the physical advantage, but Daffney's mind games are becoming increasingly unnerving for her as the weeks pass. That's smart booking as it plays right to Daffney's strengths; she's not the most physically imposing woman out there, but no one can touch her in terms of straight up creepiness. If Tara sells Daffney's lunacy well enough, it will eventually become believable that Daffney can get the better of her in the ring by outwitting her rather than overpowering her.

-My one real complaint here was with the ending. The match was ended on account of a few little drops of blood on Daffney's forehead. You could barely even see the blood and the match was stopped based on that? I know it was technically within the rules, but it still felt like such a cheap finish. People expect to see blood in a First Blood match and Daffney looked like she got sprinkled with one of those little ketchup packets from Burger King. This is Daffney we're talking about here -- this woman has taken the sickest bumps in the history of the Knockout division and we couldn't get more than a few measly little drops of blood? I certainly won't criticize any wrestler for not opening a vein to appease the crowd's bloodlust, but this just felt like we were getting gypped.

-The funny thing tonight was that at the same time as this First Blood match was going on, over on Raw, the Divas were having a rematch from their H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E botchfest match at Wrestlemania last night, and it lasted all of five freaking seconds. The only other Diva action on the show was a "hot tub" match where the winner was the one who could stay in the hot tub the longest.

-Let me repeat that. Tonight the WWE Divas had a Hot Tub match and the TNA Knockouts had a First Blood match.

-For those of you who haven't figured it out yet, this means that Knockouts > Divas.


-----


3/31/10 Webmatch

MADISON RAYNE (c) vs. ANGELINA LOVE

-Mike Tenay says that Angelina has wanted to get one of TBP in the ring one-on-one for weeks. Apparently, he forgot that Angelina had a one-on-one match with Madison Rayne right after she returned to the company a few months ago. That botch notwithstanding, if Angelina has been waiting for this match for so long, one has to wonder why this isn't airing on iMPACT. Oh, right, I forgot... because Hogan & Bischoff don't care about the Knockouts.

-They didn't blow the roof off the arena or anything, but this was pretty decent for a webmatch. Post-match, Tenay & Taz point out that Angelina still has Lacey & Velvet on her hit list. The sad part is that Madison is easily the strongest worker of TBP now and there's simply no way that Angelina vs. Lacey or Velvet will be anywhere near as good as this match was, and I believe I made that very point in a previous column after Angelina had that iMPACT match with Madison when she first came back. It's just further proof that this feud is being booked all wrong. The whole thing is clearly building up to match between Angelina & Velvet, a match that is most likely going to be pretty bad. I just hope that rumor I heard was just a rumor and that Angelina vs. Velvet will not be taking place at Lockdown. All due respect to her, but Velvet Sky in a steel cage singles match on one of TNA's most important PPVs of the year is NOT something any of us need to see.

-It's weird how much more enjoyable Angelina's matches are now that she's working a babyface style. I never realized how much all her old heel tactics (hair spray to the eyes, etc) detracted from her wrestling. I'm really liking this change to her character.

-With this recent trend of people referring to the Beautiful People as "TBP" on the show, I would just like to point out that I was doing that in this column for MONTHS before it was ever said on iMPACT. This is not the first time something like this has happened either. Once again, TNA, I don't mind if you steal my ideas, but a little credit would be nice.


-----


4/05/10 iMPACT

BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

-Christy Hemme started the show by explaining the rules of the 8-woman tag match tonight. To be honest, the rules were so damn confusing, I couldn't even follow them. Something about eliminations and four different lockboxes or something... I don't know. I'd probably need to rewatch that interview about five times to be clear on everything.

-The one stipulation I DID get was that one unlucky woman is going to have to strip down to her bra & panties. After hearing that, I couldn't help but think back to a fan question Vince Russo answered on his facebook page a few months ago where he said he respected the Knockouts far too much to ever book them in Bra & Panties matches, and now here they are in a bra & panties match. Nice to know that TNA's head writer can be trusted to keep his word, isn't it? *caugh*

-Match prediction: Lacey Von Erich is going to be the one who takes her clothes off tonight, and anyone who doesn't think that simply hasn't been paying attention. I mean, that's really all she's good for. Let's be honest -- TNA signed this woman to stick her chest out. She sure as hell wasn't hired for her wrestling ability and we all know it. Hell, she was already shown to be wearing nothing but a towel in this segment. Gosh, TNA, what could you possibly be trying to do here? Something ratings-related perhaps? *eye roll*


ANGELINA LOVE, TARA, ODB & HAMADA BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-Apparently the singles title is on the line in this match. I must have missed that stipulation earlier. That's not a good sign...

-So... ODB's a face again? No explanation or anything? Whatever.

-I have to thank Tara for saying what we were all thinking. "Cheap ratings ploy" indeed. Seriously, the Knockouts are already a ratings draw; why is this tits & ass crap necessary? What does it accomplish aside from completely degrading the female talent? If I want to watch women who are just there to be eye candy and nothing else, I can switch over to Raw and see that. The Knockouts used to be better than this. A LOT better. For God's sake, TNA marketed them as being women who were AGAINST this kind of trash. Thanks a @#$%ing lot, Hogan & Bischoff.


LOCKBOX SHOWDOWN (ugh...):
TARA (c), ODB, ANGELINA LOVE & HAMADA vs. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE & DAFFNEY


-In between commercial breaks, Lacey was shown trying to decide what kind of provocative underwear to display to everyone when she strips tonight. And if you aren't 100% sure by now that she'll be the one doing the striptease, then you know nothing about pro wrestling... I can't believe I just typed that.

-Before the match starts, the announcers say that Lacey wants to be the one to strip down. I'm not sure how that's going to work, seeing as how she's already wearing practically nothing.

-Sixty seconds into the match and they go to a commercial break even though they just came back from a freaking commercial break right before the damn match started. Sigh...

-Apparently, the women who get the pinfall victories are eliminated along with the women who got pinned for some reason. Who came up with these rules? This is so freaking bizarre.

-ODB gets pinned by Velvet Sky? Damn, her stock sure has fallen, hasn't it?

-I'm sorry, but why in the blue hell does Tara have to get a particular lockbox key to win Poison back when Poison was STOLEN from her. Poison is right there, sitting on the lockbox. Why on earth doesn't she just go over there and take him back? This isn't about determining rightful ownership; Poison is Tara's property that was S-T-O-L-E-N from her! She is Poison's rightful owner; it makes no damn sense for her to have to jump through all these hoops to get him back. This is asinine!

-Hamada's first appearance on iMPACT in months and it's in a Bra & Panties match where they went to a commercial break before she could even tag in and she was eliminated before the commercials were over. You might think that's the worst it's going to get tonight. You'd be wrong.


LOCKBOXES ARE OPENED
-The first time in months that the Knockouts actually get some real screen time and it's one of the stupidest, most gimmicky segments on ANY wrestling show in recent memory. Why me, God?

-Seriously? The singles title changes hands like this? SERIOUSLY?! Tara gets the first pin, winning the match, but loses the title due to nothing more than the luck of the draw? What a load of horse crap! What an idiotic way to win a title! I thought Hogan & Bischoff were supposed to put a stop to these horrible gimmicks and bullshit title changes!

-So much for Tara finally getting that long, satisfying run with the belt that the fans were asking for, eh? I feel sick. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with Angelina getting the belt back (although her last run with it was awful), but this title change was just executed so inanely. The writers made a complete farce out of this whole situation. And I've got a big damn news flash for you, TNA: putting the Knockouts title on the line is NOT going to make Angelina Love vs. Velvet Sky a good match.

-The most entertaining thing about this was the ad for Kick-Ass that aired during the commercial break before this segment started. That movie looks awesome. This unfortunately was absolute garbage.

-Aaaaaaaaaaaaand Lacey strips. Gee, there's a shock.

-So after the writers put all this work into rebuilding Daffney as a credible heel, they have her get punked out by Lacey Von Botch. Bunch of freaking rocket scientists. I guess it's back to the drawing board then.

-And the icing on the cake, ladies and gentlemen... Velvet Sky, yes, VELVET SKY is getting a shot at the singles title next week. And with the way things are going right now, I wouldn't be at all surprised if she wins it. Shoot me.

-What the hell is a Leather & Lace match?

-I need to go dig out my DVDs and rewatch the Gail/Kong series of matches just to get the taste of bile out of my mouth after this horror show. I felt embarrassed for all the women who had to participate in this fiasco tonight.

-Remember when the Knockout division was actually good? Man, that seems like a long time ago...


-----


4/08/10 Webmatch

MADISON RAYNE (c) (w/ LACEY VON ERICH) vs. TARA

-Is anyone else getting sick of seeing the exact same women EVERY WEEK? The other Knockouts can't even get some screen time in a freaking webmatch anymore. Whatever happened to "cycling talent in and cycling talent out" like Bischoff said he was going to do? It seems to me like the entire Knockout division (what's left of it) now totally revolves around Tara, Angelina, TBP and Daffney, and the all the other women have been thrown out with the trash.

-The announcers make a note to mention how Tara finally regained possession of Poison recently, and then Tara brings Poison out with her and just leaves him unattended at ringside where Daffney could easily come right out and steal him again at any time. Yeah, that makes sense. Oh, wait... it doesn't.

-This is getting ridiculous now. What the hell is this creative team thinking, having the vastly inferior female workers constantly carry the action during these matches? Do they not understand that this really hurts the quality of the wrestling or do they just not give a rat's ass? At this point, I'd say it's probably both.

-Madison's incredible body aside, can we PLEASE get Sarita, Taylor and Hamada back in the ring, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD?!


-----


4/12/10 iMPACT


-Here's some interesting ratings data from last week. Not only did their match score a .98, the highest rated segment of the night, but the closing segment involving the Knockouts opening the lockboxes, as atrocious as it was, raised the rating to a 0.97, up from a .70 in the previous segment. That's right, despite having Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Ric Flair, Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam and Ken Anderson on the roster, the Knockouts are making more of a difference in the ratings than anything or anyone else on this show. Apparently, TNA management only remembers that when their TV ratings are in the toilet. Unfortunately, I'm not holding out much hope that Hogan & Bischoff will figure this out and stop screwing the Knockouts over on screen time.


VELVET SKY BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW
-So apparently, the Knockouts match at Lockdown is going to be TBP vs. Angelina & Tara, with BOTH championships on the line, which is why Velvet has decided that she doesn't need a title shot tonight. You figure that one out. I guess it's being done just to cram two title defenses into one match, regardless of how little sense it makes.

-If you think for one second that putting TBP in a cage match is going to produce anything good, then you haven't been watching this show very long. I suppose I should count my blessings that they spared us the rumored Velvet/Angelina singles match, which probably would've been even worse.

-By the way, the stipulation of this Leather & Lace match is that you win by stripping your opponent down her bra & panties. Hey, remember when Vince Russo wrote on his facebook page that he respected the Knockouts far too much to ever book them in a Bra & Panties match? Well, this will be the second one he's booked in the last two weeks. Changing the name of the match doesn't give you a pass on that, Russo.


ANGELINA LOVE BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW. TARA INTERRUPTS
-Good interview. Thank you, Angelina, for pointing out the ridiculousness of this Leather & Lace match. If Velvet's character is going to be a glorified stripper, then let's just call a spade a spade.

-Thankfully, Tara comments on how damn stupid it was for the title to change hands the way it did last week. It seems like the writers were well aware of how idiotic the whole thing was. Okay, so... why do it in the first place then?


VELVET SKY PRE-MATCH PROMO
-Velvet suddenly decides that this will NOT be a Leather & Lace match. Well, thank God for small favors. But if they weren't going to do the match in the first place, why bother with the tease? TNA does this way too much -- they'll advertise something and then change it for no reason. They really need to stop that. If fans start thinking that TNA doesn't deliver what they advertise, that could hurt the company when it comes to selling PPVs.


I QUIT MATCH (w/ ANGELINA HANDCUFFED):
ANGELINA LOVE (c) vs. VELVET SKY (c). MADISON RAYNE & LACEY VON ERICH INTERFERE. TARA MAKES THE SAVE

-This really wasn't a match, just an angle for Velvet to screw with Angelina. All things considered, that was probably the smartest way to do it. Velvet is great on the mic, but not great in the ring by any means. As long as she's booked with that in mind, her shortcomings as a worker can be disguised to a degree.

-How does an I Quit match end in a no contest? How does that happen? They already established that it was no DQ rules. And couldn't Velvet just make it a handicap match to include Madison & Lacey after it all broke down? Whatever. I'm probably wasting my time trying to apply simple logic and reason to this stuff.

-Nice hook at the end with the tension between Angelina & Tara to lead into the match at Lockdown. I'm still not looking forward to it, but this angle adds a little intrigue to a match that really needs it.

-To be honest, this angle made me want to see Tara turn heel and they definitely teased that here. She'd have the perfect reason, considering how many times she's been screwed out of the title, and it makes sense that she'd be really pissed off about it. Besides, the Knockouts have been really lacking a monster, killer heel since Kong left and that's a role Tara could fill.

-BUT... I suddenly have this horrible feeling that Tara might cost Angelina the match at Lockdown, leading to one of TBP winning the singles title, which would be the worst thing that could possibly happen. I want to think that TNA wouldn't be that stupid, but I just don't know at this point...

-Where the hell was Daffney? Was she still selling that shot from Lacey's Ugly Stick last week? Is her push finished? We don't get any resolution to her feud with Tara or anything? Sloppy. Very sloppy.


-----


4/18/10 Lockdown


-This is interesting. After seeing the Knockouts segment from iMPACT last Monday, ODB posted the following on her facebook page: "Just watched from my DVR the Knockouts match. Wow, WTF is happening to our division?"

-The answer is pretty simple, ODB. Hogan & Bischoff are happening to your division. And I imagine, much like myself, you're probably not too thrilled about it.


ALL TITLES ON THE LINE:
THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (c) (w/ LACEY VON ERICH) vs. TARA & ANGELINA LOVE (c)

-As the match begins, Mike Tenay says that Velvet became leader of TBP after Angelina left the company for a few months. That's been implied at times, but I don't think it's ever been stated outright like this. That's right, people -- Velvet Sky, yes, VELVET SKY is now the top heel in the Knockout division. Dear God... could it get any worse?

-Yes it could get worse! It just did! Madison Rayne is new the new singles champion. The match went under five minutes and Madison won the title without pinning the champion. She was already a tag team champion with no credibility and now she's a tag AND singles champion with no credibility -- the second champion in a row to win the belt without pinning the former champion! What kind of horse crap is this? The fact that Madison is the first Knockout in TNA history to hold both titles at once means nothing!

-Good Lord... the only worse outcome would have been if Velvet had won the singles title. This was a slightly better option, but not by much. Madison almost never wins matches and now all of a sudden, she's a double champion, credibility be damned. Will this push of TBP NEVER end?

-Doesn't Lacey easily entering the cage to interfere in the match defeat the whole purpose of the steel cage gimmick?

-And the cherry on the cake... it looks like the writers are going with ANOTHER Tara/Angelina feud when they just did that less than a year ago and it wasn't even any good the first time. Why? Wouldn't it make sense to use this match as a way to cap off these storylines so the writers could start some new ones and get some different women on the screen? This looks like they're just going to be using these same five women in different ways. What the hell is the point? They need to at least get Sarita, Taylor or Hamada as a challenger for Madison or this is going to get stale really fast, not that anyone in TNA seems to give a crap about the Knockout division getting stale at this point.

-This whole thing was weird. The announcers kept telling us that all the real issues in this situation were between Angelina & Velvet, and then the finish of the match has nothing to do with either of them, leaving that feud STILL unresolved, while Angelina moves into her second feud with Tara.

-All those months of build up for a lame duck match that went under 5 minutes. Why even do the feud at all if you're not going to give us a decent payoff? I know TBP were never going to be able to deliver a good cage match, but TNA could've at least tried to do something to make this watchable. But they didn't. And why? Beats the hell out of me.

April 20, 2010

QCWradio episode 76

Episode 76 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-Raw & iMPACT discussion.
-Smackdown moving to Syfy.
-TNA Lockdown review.
-QCW draft: we each pick 5 guys to move to Raw and 5 to Smackdown.

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

April 18, 2010

Previewing Lockdown 2010 1.5

Sigh...

Leave it to TNA to announce an addition to the Lockdown card after I finished my whole write up on it, another addition to the card later in the week, and THEN have it be reported that there might need to be changes made to the already existing matches. This company seems awfully unorganized, but that's another blog for another day.


LETHAL LOCKDOWN ADVANTAGE
Rob Van Dam vs. James Storm


Storm would get a great rub from beating Van Dam here and Van Dam really wouldn't get anything out of beating Storm. But since I'm sticking by what I said in part 1 of this blog -- that Team Flair should go over in Lethal Lockdown -- it makes sense for RVD to go over and establish some momentum for Team Hogan so it will look all the more impressive when the heels pick up the victory.

Who should win: Rob Van Dam
-----


BONUS MATCH
Motor City Machine Guns vs. Brian Kendrick & Homicide


How about that. The Guns get a Lockdown spot after all. I suppose this is better than nothing, although I still think they got completely screwed over when their tag title shot got pissed away on iMPACT instead of on this show. Anyway, this one is academic. Sabin & Shelley are an established team and Kendrick & Homicide are 2 randomly paired singles wrestlers. Since the Guns already lost a match to 2 randomly paired singles wrestlers last Monday, they really need to get their heat back.

Who should win: MCMG
-----



"PWR has learned that Sean Waltman and Doug Williams will not be at TNA Lockdown Tonight.

Waltman wrestled for GLCW in Milwaukee last night and was overheard telling people that he was not going to St. Louis and would not be at TNA Lockdown Tonight. We can confirm that Waltman was not immediatly en route to St. Louis after leaving Milwaukee today. We do not know why he is not being brough in for his scheduled match. Waltman has been advertised to team with Scott Hall to take on Team 3D.

Doug Williams is currently overseas and due to the travel problems caused by the well publicized Volcanic Ash, he may not be able to make the show either. Williams is scheduled to defend his X Division Title against Shannon Moore and Kazarian at tonight's show."


-Source: www.pwrshow.com

Bad news about Doug Williams, but if Waltman will indeed NOT be wrestling at Lockdown, that will only be a good thing. Hopefully, this will lead to TNA scrapping the Band vs. Team 3D match altogether, because that match was one of the major boat anchors dragging this PPV down.

As for what TNA could put on as a replacement, that's tricky. I think it would be a mistake to not have one, seeing as how they did in fact advertise 9 matches for Lockdown. Granted, a lot of those matches were announced at the last minute, but still...

My first instinct is to scream at them to give us our damn X-division Xcape match like we should've had in the first place instead of this crap with the Band. But it remains to be seen if they have enough X-division guys on hand to pull that off. I know from their twitter account that Generation Me were not flown in for the show. Amazing Red et al. are a question mark, but with TNA's recent cost-cutting measures, we should assume they aren't there either. TNA will most likely have to make do with who they already have booked.

The simplest explanation, IMO, is to add a stipulation to the bonus match. Book it so that whoever gets the pin in the MCMG vs. Kendrick/Homicide match gets Doug Williams' spot in the X-division triple threat, which will now be for the #1 contendership or the interim championship, with the rightful champion being determined on iMPACT when Williams is able to get there.

Without Williams, either Kazarian or Shannon Moore will surely be winning said triple threat unless the writers want to throw in a swerve. Whoever gets the spot will just be in there to help make the match better, so it should go to the best worker. I say they should have Chris Sabin do it. The Guns need to win the bonus match anyway, so it all works out perfectly.

April 16, 2010

Market Wrestling, Not Sex

"We don't settle grudges with pillow fights. Bikinis and lingerie? Screw that!"

-SpikeTV promo advertising the TNA Knockouts.

"Just watched from my DVR the Knockouts match. Wow, WTF is happening to our division?"

-ODB, facebook, 4/13/10.

Oh, how I love this new comments feature and the instant feedback it allows. I can't tell you how gratifying it is to work hard to provide intelligent, thought-provoking commentary for our readers, week after week, only to have my diligence rewarded by some 12-year-old on his daddy's iPad, who has yet to master the art of spelling and punctuation, accusing me of giving Vince McMahon a rimjob. Is it any wonder why I do this for free?

[SIDENOTE: This is in reference to the comments section of TNAwrestlingnews.com, for which this editorial was written.]

Anyway, I suppose I should be nicer to my small, yet vocal contingent of haters out there on the interweb. After all, this follow-up to the Shame On Dixie column was partially inspired by them and their undeniably charming brand of uninformed stupidity.

Last Sunday, I saw a movie called the Runaways (good movie if you're interested), a biopic about the 1970's all-girl rock band of the same name. The most interesting scene in the film to me, and the one that made me want to write this column, was one that took place after the Runaways played their infamous gig in Japan where the group's lead singer, Cherie Currie, performed their hit song, Cherry Bomb, in skimpy lingerie. After the show, she was confronted by the other members of the band who had just seen an alarming sexually provocative photo shoot the underage Currie had done for a Japanese magazine without their knowledge.

Lead guitarist, Joan Jett, informed Currie that, while such publicity would make their manager and record label happy, this would cause the fans to view them as sex objects when they have always faced an uphill battle to be taken seriously as musicians. Jett then vehemently stated that Currie should publicize their music, not her crotch.

Does this remind you of anything?

Replace music with wrestling and Cherie Currie's crotch with Lacey Von Erich's chest and you'll see the point I was trying to make before.

Previously, some oh-so-eloquent people in the comments section informed me that my criticism of the atrocious lockbox/striptease angle was taking things too seriously, and since the ratings went up for the segment, TNA likely didn't care that it was in poor taste, robbed the Knockout singles championship of any prestige it still had, and made absolutely no damn sense. After all, ratings are what's most important, right?

Maybe... if TNA wasn't shooting themselves in the foot to get them.

Once upon a time, TNA marketed the Knockouts as a group of women who were athletes, serious competitors, women who were completely opposed to the WWE's philosophy of ignoring whatever wrestling ability their female talents might have, and instead using them simply for titillation.

As luck would have it, this strategy payed off. Only a few months after its creation, the Knockout division segments were routinely drawing the highest ratings on iMPACT nearly every week. Shockingly, they didn't have to take their clothes off to do it either. They didn't have to be exhibitionists to get viewers to pay attention to them. All they had to be was what TNA advertised them as: wrestlers.

I think TNA still tries to market the Knockouts like this to some extant, but it's a different ballgame now. Ever since Hogan & Bischoff joined TNA, the treatment of the Knockouts has gone through a very unfortunate and disturbing transformation.

Not only has their screen time been reduced to a mear fraction of what they were getting before -- a stupid move, since they draw ratings better than virtually anything else TNA has going for them right now -- but the very thought process with the way they're booked has changed, and if the lockbox/striptease angle wasn't proof enough of that, then I don't know what is.

Their matches are much shorter and of much lower quality now, since the best workers on the Knockout roster are being ignored in favor of far less talented model-types like the Beautiful People. And more often than not, these model-types are used in ways obviously meant to do nothing but attract the most fickle of audiences (casual fans and horny teenagers) to the show, and are pushed in ways completely disproportionate to their talent.

Remember the Beautiful People mud wrestling match from a few months ago? My point exactly.

And all this begs an important question: if the Knockouts had already proven that they could consistently draw ratings as wrestlers instead of eye candy, then why have them be eye candy?

First of all, it goes completely against the way TNA marketed the Knockouts by having them indulge in behavior which they claim to be above.

Second, the WWE already does this. The WWE Divas are a joke. Very few of them can actually work a good match, and the ones that can almost never get a chance to show it. Many of them can't wrestle their way out of a paper bag, but get pushed anyway because of their looks (ex. Maryse).

And yet, all indications are that this is the direction that Hogan & Bischoff want to take the Knockout division in -- emphasizing the women's sex appeal and to hell with their wrestling. They want to turn the Knockouts into the WWE Divas.

Why? Why needlessly change it when TNA had something that was a true and effective alternative to a key weakness in the WWE's product that was already a proven success, just the way it was? If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

I ask you, if fans have a choice between watching glorified models who can't wrestle on Raw and glorified models who can't wrestle on iMPACT, which show do you think they're going to watch? Wouldn't presenting something different be a better idea? Don't you think fans would rather watch women who can wrestle than women who get in the ring and fall all over themselves?

Memo to TNA: you can't out-WWE the WWE, so stop trying.

If you market the Knockouts as one thing, you can't have them be something completely different on the show. You can't call them serious athletes and then book a Beautiful People mud wrestling match. You can't write promos for them where they take potshots at the WWE Divas for being all about looks and then have Lacey Von Erich perform a striptease in a desperate attempt to pop the rating.

It makes your female talents, not to mention your entire company look like a bunch of hypocrites. It engenders a great deal of frustration from fans like myself and others who tune in to see a certain type of product and don't get what you promised. And it probably discourages potential advertisers as well, when you market one thing and then present something else entirely.

And perhaps most importantly, doing that completely destroys the way TNA branded the Knockouts in the first place. Things like this are why people in the business are always saying that TNA has no brand identity, which could hurt the long term prospects of this company more than anything else.

By the way, following that infamous photoshoot, Cherie Curry left the Runaways and eventually faded away into obscurity while Joan Jett went on to have a successful music career with her new band.

Take a lesson from Joan Jett, TNA. Market the wrestling, not the sex. It was working perfectly well before, and it still can.

And now, in one final act of PWNage, I present to you, the aforementioned frontwoman for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts as she delivers an important message...



Just close your eyes, listen to the song and imagine this is me singing about TNA.

Peace.

Kick-Ass -- the review

April 13, 2010

iMPACT 4/12/10

QCWradio episode 75

Episode 75 is now available for download.

Shawn Michaels tribute show!

This week's topics include:

-Raw vs. iMPACT: which show was better?
-we give speeches about the career of Shawn Michaels.
-roundtable discussion: Shawn Michaels' best feuds, matches and moments.

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

Previewing Lockdown 2010

You may notice that Chessarmy is not contributing his thoughts this month. This has nothing to do with him; I simply didn't bother him about it this time. The build up to Lockdown has been pretty atrocious. And frankly, given the current state of the product, I can barely muster up the enthusiasm to discuss my own thoughts on this PPV, much less edit in someone else's.

But, frustrations aside, I still have a blog to write. So let's do this thing...


-----

Kevin Nash vs. Eric Young


Shoot me. The X-division Xcape match gets left off the PPV and Kevin Nash has a singles match. Nash is lucky not to be in a wheelchair as it is, and TNA puts him in a singles cage match in one of their most important PPVs of the year. TNA have officially lost their @#$%ing minds. I imagine the clouds are going to start spitting fire and brimstone soon because the end is certainly nigh if this match is any indication.

This feud shouldn't even exist in the first place because it's so pointless. If Eric Young wins, so what? He beat a 50-year-old man with no knees, who can barely walk. If Eric Young loses, his credibility plunges down to septic levels because he lost to a 50-year-old man with no knees, who can barely walk. EY has everything to lose and nothing to gain here, so someone please explain to me what the potential gain in this feud is.

Anyone...?

Who should win: Anything other than Eric Young completely PWNing Nash will probably have anyone who ordered this PPV calling their cable providers and demanding their money back because, in case you haven't noticed, KEVIN NASH IS A 50-YEAR-OLD MAN WITH NO KNEES, WHO CAN BARELY WALK!!
-----


Team 3D vs Scott Hall & Syxx-Pac


WHY?! Dear God, why does this match exist?! Did all 3 members of the Band really need a PPV spot so badly that we're being subjected to these 2 has beens vs. Team 3D with 2 weeks of build up instead of the MCMG's tag team title shot? I suppose we should be thankful that we're getting Hall & Waltman instead of the Nasty Boys, but Jesus Christ, that's not much of an upgrade!

Screw it. I'm just going to hold out hope that Hall no-shows again and Waltman gets arrested for possession or something, forcing TNA to come to their senses, scrap this farce and give us our damn X-division Xcape match, like we should have had in the first place.

Who should win: Team 3D
-----


ALL TITLES ON THE LINE
The Beautiful People (c) vs Angelina Love (c) & Tara


And the hits just keep on coming. Good Lord, it's almost as if TNA WANT the buyrate for this PPV to suck. Since the day they arrived in TNA, when have TBP ever displayed even the slightest hint that they could deliver a watchable cage match, much less a cage match worthy of Lockdown? Never. And that's a big damn problem.

Sarita & Taylor Wilde could only carry TBP so far and SariTaylor are better workers than Tara & Angelina. So what kind of match is this going to be? Not a very good one. Until now, TBP have been coasting by in this feud on their mic skills and charisma, but mic skills and charisma aren't going to mean squat here because IT'S A DAMN CAGE MATCH!

Is Velvet going to do a moonsault off the top of the cage? Is Madison going to blade? Is Lacey going to do... ANYTHING? I seriously doubt it. And the fact that one of these women might actually become the singles champion here is an outcome too horrible for me to contemplate.

Who should win: Either Tara & Angelina win or we all lose.
-----


X-DIVISION TITLE MATCH
Kazarian vs. Shannon Moore vs. Douglas Williams (c)


FINALLY something I'm actually looking forward to! Am I the only one getting annoyed at Shannon Moore's forced inclusion in the title picture? Kazarian earns a title shot, only to have said shot turned into a triple threat on iMPACT so Moore can get the shot at Williams on PPV. Then Kazarian earns ANOTHER title shot in a great ladder match at Destination-X, only for it to be turned into a triple threat AGAIN so Moore can be in the match too, even though he came up short against Williams the first time, and THEN virtually all the build up to this triple threat match is focused on Moore, with Kazarian not even seen on TV for several weeks. I know it's to be expected that people in Hogan's camp (i.e. Moore) will get preferential treatment, but it seems like Kaz is really getting screwed over here.

Then there's the fact that the writers really haven't done much with Williams as the champion. He's been more strongly booked recently and I do like this angle of the technical wrestling bully vs. the high fliers of the X-division, but it just doesn't seem like they want to devote as much time to him as they should.

Who should win: Kazarian. The X-division needs a champion that the writers actually want to devote TV time to, and it seemed like that person was Kaz until Shannon Moore showed up. Moore is a good performer, but he hasn't proven himself or gotten over yet. IMO, that makes Kaz the best choice. Besides, the Prince of Punk gimmick is just dumb. I'm with CM Punk on this one; Moore looks like a poseur.
-----


Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson


Anderson won the ladder match on iMPACT, giving him the key to the cage and thus, the advantage in this match. And since they're saying this will be the end of the feud, it makes sense for Angle to beat the odds and go over. On the other hand, Anderson would benefit more from getting the win and Angle is reportedly taking some time off after this PPV, so a good case could be made for Anderson as well. However, I'm going with Angle on this one. By this point, these men will have had several regular matches, a ladder match and a cage match, and I'd really like this feud to end before the writers make another trip to Gimmick Matches 'R Us.

Who should win: Kurt Angle
-----


LETHAL LOCKDOWN
Team Hogan: Captain -- Abyss, Jeff Jarret, Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy
vs.
Team Flair: Captain -- Sting, Desmond Wolfe, Beer Money Inc.


The babyfaces have had the upper hand at almost every turn in the build up for this, despite what TNA would have us believe. The heels gained the edge in post-match beatdowns and such, but in the ring, Wolfe and Beer Money have been jobbing all over the place to Abyssamania (ugh...) and co. TNA are trying to present it as if the faces are at a disadvantage, but that's not what it seems like to me.

Booking 101 tells us that the faces will go over to balance the scales, but frankly, the heels need this win a lot more than the faces do right now, if for no other reason than to show that they can actually beat Hogan's boys in a match.

Who should win: Team Flair. Hopefully with Wolfe, Storm or Roode getting the pin. Sting certainly doesn't need it and would gain nothing from it, while any of the other 3 would gain valuable credibility.
-----


WORLD TITLE MATCH
D'Angelo Dinero vs. AJ Styles (c)


You wouldn't know this was the main event from the hype, or lack thereof. AJ did not come out of his match with Abyss at Destination-X smelling like a rose and he hasn't gotten much screen time since then. Meanwhile, the Pope has been more focused on Desmond Wolfe than anyone else in recent weeks and hasn't gotten nearly enough build up to be a credible headliner against AJ, which is puzzling, since you'd think the writers would be doing everything they can to build him up as he'll be going into this match as an untested main eventer and needs all the momentum he can get. I'm sure it will be a fine match, but it doesn't feel like the main event of Lockdown should because of the lack of solid hype.

Who should win: AJ Styles. I can definitely see Pope winning the belt, but not right now. He just hasn't had enough build up. Plus, given how AJ has been deemphasized as of late, Pope winning the belt from him now wouldn't mean as much as it should. AJ needs to be made to look like a strong champion so it will be an impressive feat for whoever finally dethrones him. And lastly, I just really want AJ to retain here, surpass Sting's record and be the longest reigning TNA world champion in history. If anyone deserves that, it's AJ Styles.
-----


Overall thoughts:
I'd have to go back and look at all the past cards to be sure, but if this isn't the weakest Lockdown card in TNA history, I'd be surprised. The build up was pretty lousy, there's no X-division Xcape match, not 1 but 2 matches with the Band and a Beautiful People match that doesn't promise to deliver much more than enough time for a piss break.

I'd just like to say, for the record, that I am NOT ordering this PPV. I absolutely refuse to pay money for any PPV that has Kevin Nash in a singles match and Hall & Waltman in a match that was thrown together at the last minute just to give them a spot, thus excluding a whole lot of talented young stars that actually deserved it.

I'll probably download it on Monday so I can do the review, but I don't have high hopes for this show. All I can do is hope for the best at this point.

April 09, 2010

Shame On You, Dixie

"The Beautiful People’s drawing power is nothing but a crutch – a crutch used by the TNA creative team to buoy the iMPACT ratings whenever they need, and it could not be more obvious... They know they can pimp Velvet & Angelina all over the iMPACT show, put them in any stupid skit, any ridiculous segment, no matter how utterly pointless it is, and it’s going to draw ratings.

As far as the TNA writers are concerned, Velvet Sky & Angelina Love are nothing but a ploy to gain viewership in the cheapest way possible.

Not Beautiful People, but ratings whores."


-KNOCKED OUT: Beautiful People or Ratings Whores? 2/20/09

I remember a time when the Knockout division was one of the best things about TNA. I also remember when Dixie Carter said that she was very proud of it and that it was important to her that the Knockouts were represented properly.

The former is no longer true. I can virtually guarantee that the latter isn't either.

Last Monday, at 8pm I sat down to watch iMPACT, and for the next two hours, I was subjected to easily the most idiotic, illogical and flat-out horrid edition of this show that TNA has produced since the Kevin Nash-booked episode from late last year.

The ironic part about this is that there were actually some good things about this show. But a nice ladder match and a pretty decent X-division segment were not nearly enough to prevent the floodgates from opening, thus causing me to nearly drown in the tidal wave of horse crap that burst forth.

The Motor City Machine Guns getting buried by three broken down senior citizens and their fat, racist white trash mouth piece, otherwise known as the Band & Bubba the Love Sponge. The tease of a feud between two of the biggest ratings-killers in the entire company, 'the Walking Insomnia Cure,' Orlando Jordan and 'the Human Piss Break,' Rob Terry. Not to mention the fact that the Lockdown build up was so atrocious that they are now heading into their go-home show next week with only three, that's right, THREE matches announced. This show was so bad that it had me entertaining thoughts of hanging myself by my shower rod, just to escape it.

And as much as it pains me to say this, the biggest crime against pro wrestling fans everywhere was committed by the Knockout division, or rather, by whatever group of paint-sniffing chimps is booking the Knockouts these days.

I don't know how the Knockout division has fallen so far as to allow their singles championship to change hands based on who opens a certain lockbox, to have the title holder be determined by the luck of the draw, thus completely destroying the credibility of not only the new champion, but the former champion AND the title itself.

What I do know is that this never happened before Hogan & Bischoff showed up. Take from that what you will.

Unfortunately, something that DID happen (quite often, in fact) before the men in question arrived in TNA was the endless pimping of the Beautiful People in an increasingly shameless attempt to bolster the ratings.

I'm not going to bother listing off the innumerable examples of the TNA creative team using this tactic; I already did that once before (KNOCKED OUT: Beautiful People or Ratings Whores?).

Instead, I'm just going to give you some undeniable facts and let you draw your own conclusions:

-On the 4/05/10 edition of iMPACT, the Knockout singles title was put on the line in a match which the champion, Tara, won. However, she lost the title because the random lockbox she won the key to was not the correct one (dear God, it sounds stupider every time I say it).

-The championship was then awarded to Angelina Love, even though she was the fourth and LAST person to score a pinfall victory in this elimination match.

-Tara was shown to be more concerned about winning back her pet tarantula (which she shouldn't have even had to win back in the first place since it was STOLEN from her) than she was about losing her championship, thus making the title look like crap, not only for changing hands under such ludicrous circumstances, but because the champion didn't seem to care that much about it.

-Hamada, the best worker in this match by a country mile, who was very over and riding a big push before Hogan & Bischoff arrived -- a push which ended after their first day on the job -- was never even seen in the match. She didn't tag in until the show went to a commercial break and she was eliminated before the commercial break was over.

-The TNA creative team (now reportedly headed by Eric Bischoff) decided to sacrifice the already-lackluster Lockdown hype, not to mention all manner of common sense and logical storytelling, so they could have the entire show build up to the "climactic" final segment where Lacey Von Erich would take her clothes off in an obviously desperate attempt to pop the plummeting ratings.

-Daffney, the apparent top heel in the Knockout division right now, was punked out by Lacey, a woman that Hogan & Bischoff openly acknowledge as being so unskilled that she doesn't even know how to lock up properly, just so Lacey could do her aforementioned striptease.

-The penultimate iMPACT before Lockdown ended with Velvet Sky challenging Angelina Love to a "Leather & Lace" match (no, I don't know what that is either) next Monday, with nary a mention of Lockdown, one of TNA biggest and most important PPVs of the year, which was less than two weeks away.

-By the end of this show, TNA had still announced only three matches for Lockdown, which as I just mentioned, was LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY!

-A few months ago, TNA head writer Vince Russo stated on his facebook page that he respected the Knockouts far too much to ever book them in a Bra & Panties match, and on this show he booked a match where one of the Knockouts would have to perform a striptease or be fired immediately, thus proving that as far as the TNA writers are concerned, respect means nothing.

On 4/05/10, the Knockout division lost whatever shred of dignity and credibility it had left after just four months of being booked by Eric Bischoff, a man who has openly admitted to believing that nobody cares about women's wrestling, and Hulk Hogan, a man who thinks a woman's place in pro wrestling is acting as arm candy for the men and competing in bikini contests (re: Hogan's Australia tour).

And the worst part about this, the most maddening part, is that Dixie Carter inexplicably allowed it to happen. Where was Ms. Carter to put a stop to this embarrassing, and frankly, insulting segment? Where was she to remind Hogan & Bischoff that she wanted the Knockout division treated with respect?

I honestly don't know. But for someone who has always seemed to take a great deal of pride in being a woman in a position of authority in what is predominantly thought of as a male-dominated business, for a woman who has stated on many occasions that she is very proud of the Knockout division her company has built, this is very unfortunate, and to be honest, kind of sad.

Ms. Carter, the Knockout division was reduced to little more than a tits-and-ass ratings ploy on this show. I have to ask... are you still proud of it now?

Because I wouldn't be...