April 21, 2010

the Month in Review 3/22/10-Lockdown

3/22/10 iMPACT


-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


-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.


-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


-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


-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*

-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.


-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.

-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


-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.

-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.

-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 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.


-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.


-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.

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