June 29, 2010

Inside Out -- the review. The latest atrocity from WWE Films. God help us...

QCWradio episode 86

Episode 86 is now available for download.

Dennin's Birthday Bash!

This week's topics include:

-the best movies we've seen this year.
-the worst entrance themes in pro wrestling today.

-and much, much more.

June 23, 2010

QCWradio episode 85

Episode 85 is now available for download.

Fan's Choice special!

This week's topics include:

-exclusive interview with indy wrestling star, Mikey Callahan.
-Raw discussion.
-Foolkiller & Dennin talk about their favorite characters from thatguywiththelasses.com.
-Chessarmy talks about ROH Death Before Dishonor VIII.
-roundtable discussion: gimmick matches we'd like to get brought back.

-and much, much more.

June 17, 2010

the Month in Review 5/20/10-Slammiversary

5/20/10 iMPACT

-Though I admit I've become more than a little skeptical about TNA's booking of the Knockouts in the last six months, I have to say, I'm curious about what they're going to do now with departures and injuries taking out every female babyface the writers seemed to have any desire to push. I expect the new signee, Betsy Ruth, will debut sooner than later, though it would probably be unwise to plug her into the top spot immediately. I think it would be a good idea if they avoided doing that with her because there's bound to be Awesome Kong comparisons and it might help her chances of catching on with the fans if she came in under the radar rather than as an unstoppable monster like Kong did.

-But that leaves the question, who do they use as top babyface now? They need someone who is credible and can connect with the audience, but thanks to TNA's shortsighted booking and their stubborn refusal to build up anyone to take Tara's place in the event that she ever left, none of the remaining girls fit that bill. Angelina & Daffney -- out with injuries. Sarita & Taylor -- buried. Hamada -- last seen getting pinned by Velvet Sky during a commercial break. ODB -- currently in the doghouse for daring to tell the truth about the sorry state of the division on her facebook page. That's pretty much everyone. Beats me what they're going to do now. Either way, this should be interesting...


ROXXI vs. MADISON RAYNE (c)
-Wha... ROXXI! HOLY CRAP!

-Nice to see Madison come out without Velvet & Lacey for once. It's also nice to see that Roxxi is no less over despite another prolonged absence; she's like ODB that way.

-Surprisingly, the announcers explained Roxxi's absence with exactly what caused it in the first place; she broke her ankle in a match with Hamada on the New Year's Eve show. Unsurprisingly, they neglected to mention that she was released from the company while rehabbing said injury, which is why she didn't return to TV when she was cleared to return to the ring months ago. Gotta love that selective memory.

-I noticed they dropped the "hardcore Knockout" gimmick. I'm glad about that. It always sounded awkward and it didn't really fit her anyway. When we interviewed her on QCWradio last summer, Roxxi said it wasn't something she wanted to be labeled as. Besides, she's proven that she doesn't need a gimmick to get over.

-Damn... pretty short match. So much for Madison milking the, "I ended Tara's career," angle to get heel heat. What a wasted opportunity that was. They had a great way to really get some legitimate heat on Madison in her own right, not just as one third of TBP, and instead they have her lose her very next match in short order, with no fanfare, sweeping that whole angle under the rug immediately. After a brief bout with sanity and logic with the Knockouts last Sunday, I guess it's back to the writers booking the women with the, "Everything is counter productive and we don't care!" philosophy. Sigh...

-On the other side of the coin, this does immediately reestablish Roxxi as a strong competitor and a threat to the title, so it accomplished that much. It did come at the expense of neutering the champion, but we have to take what we can get these days.

-These two had a webmatch last year that was better than this. And the reason this match wasn't as good was... you guessed it! Once again, the inferior wrestler (Madison) carried most of the action. For the life of me, I don't understand why the bookers keep making the same mistake over and over again. When the better worker carries the action, you get a better match; what about this is so damn hard to figure out?

-After looking into this, I have two theories on why TNA brought Roxxi back again. The first is that this is a situation similar to the one with Shane Douglas last year, where management wanted to bring back someone who helped the company get to where it is today for a match at Slammiversary. The second is that they're doing damage control, since Tara is now gone and the only other babyface they bothered to devote any time to whatsoever in the last six months is on the shelf with a torn bicep. The former seems unlikely since they're currently trying to cut costs wherever they can, so I'm guessing the latter is what's going on here.

-If they wanted to bring back a former Knockout (one that didn't leave over pay grievances) who could get over quickly and be believable in a top spot, they couldn't have made a better choice, IMO. Roxxi was always very popular with the fans and, in terms of character, she was the best opponent TBP ever had. TBP's whole shtick is that they think they're more beautiful than everyone else, so they work best when they're played against the more unconventional looking women. It was turning on Roxxi originally that got them so over as heels in the first place, but put them in the ring with women that are just as hot or hotter than they are and their gimmick isn't as effective, which I think is one of the reasons why their feud with Sarita & Taylor didn't get over as well.

-For the record, I am by no means implying that Roxxi isn't hot herself. I wouldn't kick her out of bed in a million years. I'm just trying to make a distinction between women who have their spot in one of the big companies because of their looks and women who have their spot because of their wrestling ability.

-Roxxi works so well against TBP because she's one of those women who is there to be an athlete, not a model. She has that girl next door, everywoman vibe about her, which TBP can just dig at endlessly -- the Betty Cooper to TBP's Veronica Lodge, to use a comic reference. Plus, she's also a skilled enough wrestler to carry Madison and Velvet to watchable matches. Not Lacey though unfortunately; Roxxi's good, but she's not a miracle worker.

-Yeah, I was hoping that Sarita would get this spot, but that's because I never considered that they might bring Roxxi back after the way they cut her when she was injured the last time she was there. I'm not unhappy about this move at all. Hell, I think it's great! Roxxi was always my favorite Knockout and TNA really dropped the ball with her more than once. Congratulations to her -- she certainly deserves to have some good things happen to her after getting constantly jerked around by this company over the last few years.

-The Knockout roster is still pretty thin right now, but it just got a little better. Yay!


-----


5/27/10 iMPACT

ROXXI BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

-It makes me role my eyes every time they make reference to Roxxi's broken ankle putting her out of action and yet don't mention the fact that she was released from the company while she was rehabbing the injury.

-Roxxi's getting a title shot against Madison Rayne at Slammiversary? Awesome. Although it does call into question why in the world they gave the match away for free last week if they wanted us to pay money to see it on PPV. I don't know why TNA does this so much; it can't possibly help their PPV buyrates.

-Some people might criticize this interview, but this is one of the reasons why I like Roxxi. So many wrestlers these days are trying (and failing) to play some kind of character. Yes, having a character is important, and if they can sell it, that's great. But if the wrestler can't play it convincingly, it just seems like they're trying way too hard and it ends up feeling really fake. Roxxi isn't a character; she just comes off like a normal person. I see an interview like this and I see her having a natural reaction, not some scripted promo. She's very likable and relatable in that aspect.

-Having said that, I think Roxxi is one of those people who would probably benefit from that worked shoot documentary style the production team has been using to film backstage promos lately. The wrestlers generally seem to feel more comfortable on the mic in that environment.

-I'm glad they're announcing this match so early; it gives them some time to hype it up. A lot of the time, the writers tend to take the baffling route of waiting until the last minute to announce PPV matches, which really doesn't make any sense. The earlier you announce the match, the more time you have to promote it.


SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE vs. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (w/ MADISON RAYNE)
-Saritaylor don't get their entrance. Booo!

-Tenay reminds us that TBP hold all the gold. That's right, Tenay, twist the knife.

-Sarita & Taylor did their best with what little time they had, but there's only so much you can do with Lacey & Velvet.

-Lacey holding a clean pinfall over Taylor makes me want to spew bile all over my TV screen.

-Why didn't Sarita try to break up the pin? She was just standing right there on the ring apron watching it happen and didn't try to stop it. They needed a better camera angle there.

-The writers need to get off their asses and make some new Knockout tag teams already because TBP only have one team to feud with right now, who they just beat in two minutes.

-I do NOT need or want to see midgets in a TNA ring. There's already enough people saying that TNA tries to be WWE-light. They don't need fans watching iMPACT and thinking of Hornswoggle. At least they had TBP kick the midget's ass. God, I wish someone would kick Hornswoggle's ass.

-Another tease of a possible Lacey face turn when she makes out with the midget... I can't believe I just typed that.


-----


6/03/10 iMPACT


-Once again, the Knockouts match scored the highest rated segment on iMPACT last week. This is just hilarious to me. They put the world title on Rob Van Dam as an obvious ratings ploy, one week later the show scores the lowest rating in its entire history, prompting SpikeTV to move it back to Thursdays, and now the Knockouts, who have been treated as more or less an afterthought for months, are outdrawing Van Dam despite getting only a fraction of the screen time he gets. How's your self esteem these days, RVD? lol

-Late last week, Roxxi's profile and some new pictures of her were added to the TNA website. It's worth noting that this was never done when the company brought her back last year. At the time, she was working on a pay per appearance deal. But if they're putting her profile back on the roster page, hopefully that's a sign that she'll be sticking around this time.


ROSIE LOTTALOVE vs. ROXXI
-Rosie Lottalove? Seriously? Holy crap, that name is made of EPIC FAIL! And then there's her burlesque dancer ring attire to consider. This is just embarrassing. What is it with these writers giving so many of the Knockouts these laughably ridiculous names? How is anyone supposed to take this woman seriously with a name that stupid? Hell, if that name isn't a rib on her, then it must be some kind of private joke that no one outside of the writers room is going to find funny or even understand. With a handle like that, she should be on Wrestlicious or the set of a porn movie. Probably the only good thing you can say about it is that it doesn't sound quite as asinine as 'Sojourner Bolt' did. Sigh... only in TNA, folks.

-This was not a good match, but it wasn't the fault of either woman. As usual, the booking was crap. A debuting new talent's first match and they have it end in a screwy finish after less than two minutes. I don't know what management was expecting out of this segment, but they couldn't possibly have thought it was going to be anything even remotely good. What a train wreck.

-The only thing this segment accomplished was making me really miss Awesome Kong.


-----


6/10/10 WEBMATCH

TAYLOR WILDE vs. MADISON RAYNE (c)

-At least Taylor actually got her entrance this time. Unfortunately, Sarita didn't come out with her. Boooo! Nevertheless, half the entrance is still pretty damn hot.

-Mike Tenay says that Madison Rayne has been very impressive since winning the singles title at Lockdown. I'm really not sure what he's basing this on. Just saying that doesn't make it true, Tenay. The only reason why her title reign hasn't been a disappointment is because there were no expectations for it to begin with.

-If this crowd is any indication, Madison Rayne is not over whatsoever unless the other two thirds of TBP are standing next to her. That shows just how badly the writers have dropped the ball with this woman. After retiring Tara, she really should be getting more heat than this. Maybe she would be if the writers had played up the "ending Tara's career" angle instead of sweeping it under the rug and jobbing out Madison in her very next match, thus making her win over Tara look like a fluke. I'm just saying...

-Why are the webmatches just as short as the TV matches, if not shorter? They don't have to conform to the TV format or be crammed in with a bunch of other segments, and yet they hardly ever get more than 2-4 minutes. Hell, this match barely lasted longer than the women's entrances!

-Taylor wrestles circles around Madison for 2 minutes, Madison hits a weak-looking finisher and Taylor gets pinned after one move. It's so stupid for Taylor to be beaten that easily by someone like Madison Rayne. If she were taking a powerbomb from Awesome Kong, then it would make sense; that's a devastating move. But Madison's offense, much like Velvet & Lacey's, is extremely weak -- it doesn't even look like it hurts, so the audience is left wondering why Taylor didn't just pop right back up.

-Oh well. Nice to see Taylor in the ring again at least. Why we don't see her more often these days is just baffling to me.

-Inexplicably, the fact that Madison is defending the singles title at Slammiversary this Sunday was never even mentioned in this segment. You figure that out. Sigh...


-----


6/10/10 iMPACT


-Here's an interesting news item. Apparently, Sara Del Rey will be working another TNA house show in Jersey next month. They used her once before when they ran a show in that area late last year as part of some kind of cross promotion venture with JAPW, of which I believe she's still the women's champion. While I'm skeptical that this will be about anything more than what it is, it's certainly encouraging that Del Rey is on the company's radar. Plus, TNAsylum.com has reported that the company will be taking a "long, hard look" at her... so who knows. Del Rey is a tremendous worker and the Knockout division would benefit enormously from having her there, especially if the rumors of Hamada being cut from the roster are true. Who better to fill the 'monster heel' void left by Awesome Kong than Death Rey?


ROXXI & ROSIE LOTTALOVE vs. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (w/ MADISON RAYNE) HEELS BEAT DOWN THE BABYFACES POST-MATCH
-This match took place at the TV tapings, but it never aired on the show. My guess is that after the interminable Jeff Jarret video packages that never seemed to end, they were short on time and had to cut something. So apparently, the Knockouts title match at Slammiversary is less important than a guy who isn't even advertised for the show. Thanks a lot, Double J.

-For the record, Roxxi vs. Madison for the Knockouts title was not even announced when they were running down the card for Slammiversary. So I guess it's back to business with Roxxi getting pissed on. Damn, that happened even faster than I thought.
-----


6/13/10 Slammiversary

MADISON RAYNE PRE-MATCH PROMO

-Madison somehow convinces Roxxi to put her career on the line in this match for no reason at all, even though Roxxi would have everything to lose and nothing to gain by doing so. God, I hate it when these types of angles are done. Writing like this doesn't make the heel look like a despicable person, it just makes the babyface look like a complete dumbass.

-Why would any babyface in their right mind ever agree to such a thing when they don't have to? Why would the writers add a stipulation like this to a match without announcing it ahead of time? Do they not understand that announcing things ahead of time adds intrigue to a match and might entice fans to watch it? Why add the stip right before the match starts when the whole point is to get more buys for the show and anyone who's watching the PPV has either already bought it or is one of the growing number of fans so frustrated with TNA's ass-backwards booking that they're watching the show online so they don't have to pay for it?

-I'm sure you can all guess what happened next...


KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH:
ROXXI vs. MADISON RAYNE (c)

-TNA really need to stop booking nine matches on their PPV cards because every time they do this, several matches end up being too short to really be PPV quality, and unfortunately that's what happened here. Madison's promo got the crowd fired up and the match was solid while it lasted, but it wasn't nearly long enough to mean what it should have meant considering there was someone's career at stake. When a wrestler's career is ended following a four minute match, it makes the whole thing seem really anticlimactic.

-So Madison Rayne has now ended TWO women's careers. Anyone else think this will help her get over about as much as retiring Tara did? Yeah, I thought so.

-I know I've said this a lot, especially lately, but I'm going to say it again: the writers are wasting their time trying to make Madison Rayne (or any of TBP for that matter) look like a badass because 1) they're obviously not smart enough to do it right, and 2) Madison simply doesn't have the tools to pull it off. They had a chance to turn her into something and they blew it. She retired Tara, and instead of playing that up, they barely mentioned it and then had her lose her very next match, all of which came after over a year of being booked like a jobber prior to winning the title. No one is ever going to take Madison seriously as a force because, as much the writers probably wish it didn't, the first year and a half of her TNA run still exists.

-And if you think for one second that I'm wrong about the writers not being smart enough to do a "career killer" gimmick right, just think about this: Roxxi was really emotional after the match, but instead of actually showing that, instead of focusing on her reaction to milk the drama of the situation and get heat on Madison, instead of having the announcers shut up and letting the moment happen, Tenay & Taz talked over the whole thing like was just another every day occurrence and then the production team cut away from it way too quickly so they could show a video package for the next match. Still think I'm wrong?

-This is such garbage. Diva-dirt is reporting that there was major heat backstage from a lot of people when Roxxi arrived at the building and found out that a late breaking decision had been made to cut her AGAIN and I'm not surprised one bit. The way TNA have treated Roxxi has been disgusting and classless.

-So Roxxi's gone. AGAIN. My God, that poor woman is making a career out of getting screwed over and jerked around by this company. It's absolute bullshit. Roxxi deserves better and so do the fans. Did the idiots in management not hear the pops she was getting? Why the hell would you want to get rid of a woman who gets that kind of reaction?

-The way I feel right now, I'm suddenly hoping that Sara Del Rey does NOT wind up in TNA. She's too good for them. They don't deserve her and they certainly don't deserve Roxxi.

June 15, 2010

QCWradio episode 84

Episode 84 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-Raw discussion.
-was Bryan Danielson's release from WWE a work or a shoot?
-Wrestlebreak: the Star Wars edition. Reviewing Episode 1: the Phantom Menace.
-Dixie Carter's big news that will "change TNA forever."
-reviewing TNA Slammiversary.

-also, mail bag and much, much more.

June 11, 2010

Previewing Slammiversary 2010

Recently, I was invited by Talon Thorne to be a contributor on his new site, tnasylum.com. This is the first of what could be more entries into the asylum for me if it works out. If you like what I do here, let me know in the comments section. If this is the only time you ever see me on this site, you can check out my blog at www.TNAthreshold.blogspot.com.

Anyhoo, after my terrifying sojourn in the 4th dimension last week (long story), I had to kind of scramble to get my monthly PPV preview blog done. If you're a first time reader, this is where I analyze the entire card before the PPV and determine who should go over in each match based on the nature of the feud, who would benefit more from the win, etc.

So let's do this thing...


-----


Brother Ray vs. Jesse Neal


Let me see a show of hands -- how many of you think "Slammiversary-worthy" when you think of this match? Hmm? None of you? Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Neal as a worker hasn't impressed me and Brother Ray as a singles wrestler doesn't interest me. Plus, this whole angle has been pretty clumsily executed with Ray turning on Neal at the drop of a hat. It just feels forced and the writers were obviously rushing it so they could set it up in time for Slammiversary, a card it doesn't even belong on in the first place. I would seriously question even putting this match on a B-PPV and I have no clue what brain trust in management thought it belonged on one of the company's biggest shows of the year. The one good thing about this feud is that it's keeping both teams out of the tag title picture, but that's not saying much.

Who should win: Jesse Neal. I really don't understand what TNA management see in Neal. He's not Rob Terry-bad or anything, but he's not great either, and that's the problem. Skill-wise, he's not at the level he should be at if he's going to be getting regular TV time. Personally, I find him really bland as a wrestler. Maybe that will change as he gains more experience, but for now I just don't think he deserves this spot.

That being said, since he's a former student of theirs, Team 3D have been bending over backwards to get this guy over and jobbing for him here would certainly help with that. Are there other young talents on the roster that would benefit a lot more from this rub? Definitely. But despite my feelings about Neal, I can't bring myself to say that he should job here. It's probably too soon and I doubt it will help him much in the long run, but TNA is at a point where they need to push the future, not the past.
-----


KNOCKOUTS TITLE
Roxxi vs. Madison Rayne (c)


For once, the writers' shortsightedness and tunnel vision in the booking of the Knockouts has lead to something positive. They refused to build up any credible babyfaces other than Tara and Angelina, then Angelina got injured and Tara left the company, leaving them with no faces that hadn't been buried, which lead to the return of Roxxi. They needed someone who would be credible and get over quickly, and Roxxi certainly fits that bill. She also has loads of history with the Beautiful People, so her being quickly inserted into a feud with them made sense. She's looked very strong against them since she returned, which leads me to think Madison Rayne will retain in this match but, IMO, that would be a mistake.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Madison is a lame duck champion. She was booked as glorified enhancement talent for a year prior to winning the title, and aside from her win over Tara last month (which the writers never even bothered to milk for heel heat afterward), she has done virtually nothing to gain the credibility a viable champion needs. It was partly due to bad booking and partly due to her just not having the tools, but the bottom line is, Madison Rayne as the Knockouts champ is just not cutting it. She's a beta, not an alpha, and they need to get the title off her.

Roxxi is the only Knockout babyface on the roster right now that is both over and a credible title contender. I could see her getting passed over for the recently cleared Angelina or possible new signee, Mickie James, but both seem unlikely to me. Mickie is focused on her music career right now and it's anyone's guess whether she's even interested in getting back into wrestling at the moment, and with Lacey Von Erich teasing a face turn lately, I have a suspicion that Angelina may return as a heel and rejoin TBP, which would be for the best at this point because the current version of that faction as the top Knockout heels is a joke, plain and simple.

Who should win: Roxxi. The Knockout division needs a solid top babyface. Roxxi is over, a strong worker and she deserves a title run, even if she'd only end up keeping the belt warm for Mickie. If they're ever going to put the title on her, it should be now.
-----


TAG TEAM TITLES
Matt Morgan and ??? vs. the Band (c)


Oh, ye Gods, what a mystery for the ages! Who will Matt Morgan's partner be? Will it be Hernandez? Will it be Joe? Is his partner on the island? Is he in limbo? Does he moonlight as a black smoke monster? The answer on all counts is a big, fat steaming pile of, "WHO GIVES A RAT'S ASS?!"

Good grief... Has this or has this not been the most flat out bizarre and ineffective hype for any PPV match in TNA's 8 year history? For the last month, Morgan has been feuding with Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle and now Hernandez. Meanwhile, the Band have been feuding with Team 3D and Ink Inc. And that would all be well and good if the tag team title match at the PPV wasn't Matt Morgan and a partner vs. the Band. For Christ's sake, these people have been feuding with everyone in the damn company EXCEPT for each other! How does that make sense? How does that hype their match? How does it get fans excited to see it in any way, shape or form?

ANYTHING would be better than this -- Morgan vs. Hernandez, Morgan vs. Joe, Scott Hall vs. sobriety, the Band vs. the lady behind the counter at the unemployment office. With all the choices available to them, why is THIS the match we're getting?

Who should win: God help us all... the Band. Morgan shouldn't be wrestling in tag teams; he should be getting a singles push. Hell, that's basically what he's been getting since he took out Hernandez. The problem was that this push involved Morgan systematically burying the tag division one team at a time. For that reason alone, he should not win those belts back.

It is surely a sign of the coming apocalypse when the Band retaining championships is the lesser of 2 evils in a match, but if anyone should beat them for those titles, it's the MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS, GOD DAMN IT! Sabin & Shelley are the rightful #1 contenders, and yet, for reasons I cannot even begin to understand, they seem to have fallen off the map almost entirely since they won the #1 contendership at Sacrifice. Sure, they've been winning webmatches, but so what? Webmatches have no bearing on what happens on the TV show, so the whole exorcize is pointless.

The Guns should be getting this title shot, Morgan should be in a singles match, and Hall & Nash should be as far away from championship gold AND my TV screen as humanly possible. Unfortunately, none of these things are happening. Therefore, my response to this match is 2 extended middle fingers directed straight at whichever paint-sniffing chimp in TNA management is responsible for this complete and utter desecration of booking logic.

Okay. So...

Now that I've said all that, you're probably thinking that I wrote this after reading the spoilers and didn't bother to actually watch the go-home show before Slammiversary. Well, I did watch it. Which means that I know about the tag title match being scrapped (thank God!) in favor of Morgan vs. Hernandez. But the reason I went on that whole diatribe just now is because Morgan vs. the Band for the tag team titles is the match that TNA HAS BEEN ADVERTISING FOR THIS PPV FOR THE LAST MONTH! Yes, there was no build up, yes, they were feuding with completely different people, but the graphic was on the website. When you put the graphic on the website, you are advertising the match.
-----


Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez


Let me make this perfectly clear. I am happy about this change. The Band are horrible and absolutely never should have been on this card in the first place. But the issue I have is how idiotically this whole thing came about. The angle where Morgan injured Hernandez was months ago and it hasn't even been mentioned in almost as long. In the mean time, Morgan buried a couple tag teams, took out a couple new partners, eventually got PWNED by Samoa Joe, causing him to lose the tag team titles when the Band cashed in Nash's Feast or Fired title shot immediately afterward, he fought with Joe some more, he fought with Kurt Angle... and now he has a match with Hernandez.

Is anyone else confused?

If they'd had Morgan continually mention how he took out Hernandez while he was gone to keep Supermex fresh in people's minds, then had Hernandez return on the show right after Sacrifice, giving them a month to build up to this, it would have been a lot more effective.

Instead, they advertised Morgan and a mystery partner facing the Band in a Slammiversary match that apparently was never going to happen and then had Morgan kill time fighting with Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle, getting his ass kicked more often than not. Why should I be excited to see Hernandez get his revenge on Morgan when Samoa Joe already steamrolled the guy? This should be a hot grudge match months in the making, and instead, Hernandez is just getting Joe's leftovers.

Whatever... At least it will be a good match, which is a hell of a lot more than it would have been if the Band had gotten this spot.

Who should win: Hernandez
-----


X-DIVISION TITLE
Brian Kendrick vs. Douglas Williams (c)


What can you really say about this feud? Um... how about the fact that there IS no feud? Seriously, why is this match on the card? Where did it come from? Williams has barely been glimpsed since Sacrifice and, aside from the go home show, the only actual build up to this match occurred prior to that. These guys are there simply for the sake of having an X-division title defense on the card. That's it. No more, no less. It's a throwaway match with no storyline between 2 heels, one of whom has won exactly 3 matches in the last 6 months. I expect it will be a fine match, but no one is going to care about it because the writers have given us no reason to care about it.

Who should win: Douglas Williams
-----


Desmond Wolfe vs. Abyss (w/ Chelsea)

How bad do I feel for Desmond Wolfe right now? He debuted having match of the year candidates with Kurt Angle and now he's being made the bitch of Abyssamania (ugh). You can't even call this a feud. A feud is a rivalry where the upper hand is traded back and forth and both parties get their share of victories over the other. But when one guy wins every single time, that's not a feud, that's a burial. I'd even be okay with that if it were Abyss getting buried and Wolfe being made to look like an unstoppable force of nature, but that has not been the case.

Wolfe came in first place in the fan polls while Abyss came in dead last. Wolfe is over, Abyss is not. During their match at Sacrifice, the audience crapped all over Abyss and gave Wolfe face pops. And yet Wolfe has constantly looked like a chump in this feud, while Hogan & Bischoff still refuse to accept the fact that not only is the Abyssamania gimmick not working, frankly, it's just plain stupid.

Who should win: Desmond Wolfe
-----


Beer Money Inc. vs. Mr. Anderson & Jeff Hardy


There isn't really much to say about the build up for this match because there barely was any. It was set up so hastily because of Anderson's sudden face turn, which is one of the reasons why I thought it was a bad idea to turn him face when they did. Add that to the fact that there really isn't any reason for why these guys are fighting and this match has very little intrigue. Action-wise, it should be fun, but it really doesn't feel like it belongs on Slammiversary. It's just a way to get these guys PPV spots.

Who should win: Beer Money are TNA's biggest homegrown tag team, they're aligned with Ric Flair, and yet they've been booked like glorified jobbers for months. They should not be losing matches to the random pairing of 2 singles wrestlers, even if they are Ken Anderson & Jeff Hardy. Anderson has also lost a lot of matches lately and could really use a win, but Hardy is on trial for drug trafficking and could be going to prison in the near future. Everyone but Hardy has a reason why they should be protected. Therefore, Beer Money should go over by pinning Hardy.
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Jay Lethal vs. AJ Styles


This match doesn't have an enormous amount of build up either, but it does have interesting implications. Jay Lethal has been really getting under Ric Flair's skin of late, AJ tried to take him out, but has failed to do so thus far. Said failure has fueled the growing friction between Flair & AJ, as well as played into Flair's growing interest in Kaz, who AJ sees as someone trying to usurp his position. It's actually one of the more well-crafted storylines TNA has going on right now. I know that's not saying too much, but it's true.

Who should win: Jay Lethal. Lethal would benefit greatly from a big win like this, provided the writers capitalize on it afterward (which they have a horrible track record of doing). Also, given the storyline, it makes perfect sense for him to go over. AJ looks like he's on his way out of Flair's stable and losing to Lethal here could be what finally triggers that, leading to Kaz taking his place in the group. Besides, it looks like they're going for a modern day 4 Horsemen like stable and you can't do that with 5 guys.
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Kurt Angle vs. Kazarian


Even with almost no build up, I'm more excited for this match than I am for the main event. The storyline is simple, yet effective, and it's one of the few in TNA that isn't overbooked, overgimmicked or just flat out stupid. These 2 had some tremendous matches a few years ago and this should be no different.

The problem is it's easily the hardest match on the card to book. Kaz just aligned with Ric Flair's faction and he really shouldn't be losing matches right now because him looking strong plays right into Flair being impressed with him while growing dissatisfied with AJ. On the other hand, with this storyline of him working his way through the top 10 ranked heavyweights to earn a world title shot, Angle would be completely derailed if he didn't go over here. BUT... if Angle does go over, he would then move on to the man currently ranked at #9, which is Samoa Joe, and under no circumstances should Joe be losing matches too ANYONE right now, even if they are Kurt Angle.

There's just no good way out of this situation because no matter what happens, someone's credibility is going to be damaged at the worst possible time. It should be a great match, but I don't envy the person who has to book it.

Who should win: Desmond Wolfe distracts the referee and AJ Styles attempts to take out Angle, but hits Kaz by mistake, which leads to Angle getting the win. Afterward, Angle decides that he isn't done with Kaz yet because by not winning clean, he doesn't feel like he earned the victory, and thus demands a future rematch.

Yeah, yeah, I know it's another cheap, overbooked finish that would probably piss people off, especially at one of the 'Big 4' PPVs where you expect finality rather than continuation. But honestly, TNA booked themselves into a corner on this one, and this is the only way I can think of that doesn't hurt someone who needs to be kept looking strong right now.

This way Kaz's loss can be blamed on AJ, which keeps Flair happy with him and angry with Styles, Angle gets the win, but not in such a way that derails Kaz or leaves Kurt satisfied enough to move on to the next opponent on his list yet, we delay Angle vs. Joe by giving Angle a reason to go after AJ & Wolfe next instead, and we prolong the Angle/Kaz program, setting up a rematch, which would be awesome if their past matches were any indication. And all it would take is another cheap-as-hell finish that would probably result in most of the fans at home spitting obscenities as they chuck their TV sets out a second story window...

Like I said, it's a hard freaking match to book.
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WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
Sting vs. Rob Van Dam (c)


If I could write "I don't care" in every written language in recorded human history just to make it abundantly clear exactly how much I DO-NOT-CARE about this match, I would. It's a guy who is way too old and has declined as a worker far too much to be in the main events, who already passed the torch to the next generation last year AND received very few votes in the online fan poll vs. a man who was given the world title as a ratings ploy and then failed to deliver ratings, becoming the least watched world champion in the history of iMPACT. We haven't even gotten an explanation yet for why Sting turned heel, for God's sake! But for some reason, THIS is what the writers decided to give us instead of the King of the Mountain match.

Does anyone else hear crickets?

The fans made their voices heard in the online poll -- Sting is just not a draw anymore, despite what TNA management think. Rob Van Dam has failed to deliver the ratings his title reign was meant to draw and he's only been in the company a few months. Neither one of these guys should be in this spot, IMO.

It's probably not going to be a very good match due to Sting being pretty limited physically at this point. The build up has felt half-assed, due in large part to Van Dam's poor mic skills and the writers' stubborn refusal to establish any clear motivations for Sting. So the feud has been subpar and it's more than likely that the match will be of similar quality. This is one of TNA's biggest PPVs of the entire year; we shouldn't be wondering whether or not the main event will even be any good!

Who should win: Rob Van Dam. Van Dam can't talk, but he can still work a good match. Sting can't. You can at least make an argument for why RVD belongs in this spot. With Sting, you can't even do that much; he doesn't belong there. Period. And like I said earlier, it's way passed time for TNA to start pushing their future, and that includes accepting the fact that the time of Sting and guys like him (Hogan, Nash, Hall, Waltman, Jarret, etc) is over.
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FINAL THOUGHTS:
Damn, this is a weird card. Some of the matches I'm excited to see, some of them I'm not. The tag title match being replaced by Morgan vs. Hernandez is a massive upgrade, but even that match is hurt by the utterly incomprehensible and ridiculously ineffective way the writers chose to build up to it.

Once again, the hype for this PPV has been pretty lackluster and, in some cases, just plain embarrassing. It could very well turn out to be a good show, but I'm looking at this card on paper right now and it just doesn't feel like Slammiversary to me. It's like an omen foretelling imminent doom when your main event looks like one of the weakest matches on the entire card.

As always, I will hope for the best, but TNA has been making that pretty hard lately. There just isn't enough motivation for me to shell out my hard-earned money for this PPV. Yeah, I'll watch it, but unless I have a last minute change of heart, I'll be watching it off my computer screen on Monday.

Peace.

QCWradio episode 83

Episode 83 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-Raw & iMPACT discussion.
-the crazy ending of Raw with the NXT rookies destroying John Cena.
-was NXT season one a success or failure?
-roundtable discussion: do TNA & WWE focus too much or too little on the IWC?

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

June 04, 2010

Frustrated with TNA? Watch this.

These men speak for me.



Thanks to Doug from rvdtito4life for letting me embed this video.

June 03, 2010

TNAsylum Spin Cycle 6/02/10

Recently I was invited by Talon Thorne to participate in the first ever TNA Asylum Spin Cycle for his new website. Below is my contribution to the column.


1) Slammiversary will represent the 8 year Anniversary of TNA. In your opinion, where does TNA sit when talking about success and quality?

Something TNA loves to mention over and over again is that most people said they wouldn't last 6 months. Now they're a profitable company 8 years later. That in itself is a huge success they should be proud of. However, when talking about quality, you only need to take one look at the TV show to know that TNA needs to shut their pie hole. The product has been getting progressively worse for several years now. The Main Event Mafia burying all the young talent for an entire year was bad enough, but just when that had been done away with, Hogan & Bischoff showed up, and ever since then, they've been systematically destroying everything that made TNA what it is.

There is no excuse for the show they're putting on right now. Pushing no-talent idiots like Orlando Jordan and Rob Terry, bringing in worthless has beens like Scott Hall and the Nasty Boys, putting Sting back in the world title picture when no one voted for him in the polls, giving themselves hugely excessive amounts of screen time that should be going to the young talent, the complete burial of the Knockouts and X-division, idiotic creative decisions that no one in their right mind would make. Do I have to go on?

Is TNA a successful company? Yeah. But as we can see, clear as day, success is not necessarily determined by quality.
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2) What was TNA's best year and why?

Probably '05-'06. Back then, TNA still had an identity and they were proud of it. They weren't trying to beat the WWE at their own game (which is impossible), they were just trying to be as good as they could be, and it showed. To look at what TNA was delivering back then as compared to what they're delivering now is, quite frankly, pretty depressing.
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3) What were your favorite TNA moments from its 8 year history?

When the X-division was at its peak and those guys were delivering fantastic matches that really meant something every single night. When the Knockout division actually felt important and they were delivering matches the WWE Divas couldn't touch. This was when TNA had a clear alternative to many key weaknesses in the WWE product and they reveled in it. The Unbreakable 3-way, Gail vs. Kong, when the Ultimate-X actually had feuds that built up to it rather than just being a randomly thrown together, meaningless spotfest to pop the crowd. It didn't get better than that.
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4) TNA seems to have scrapped the King of the Mountain concept for Slammiversary. What are your feelings on this?

This is a stupid idea, and one that I really don't understand. Bischoff has been so adamant about giving each PPV a distinct identity and now he's taken away the match that made Slammiversary stand out from all the other PPVs TNA puts on all year. And to make matters worse, the match they're giving us instead is Rob Van Dam vs. Sting, a guy who (judging by his continued low placement in the polls) no one even wants to see in this spot.

Plus, Sting can't go anymore. It's obvious. It was obvious a year and a half ago when he phoned in his performance at Genesis. All due respect to the man, but the bottom line is he just doesn't have it in the ring. And now we're going into one of the biggest PPVs of the year and instead of being excited for the main event, we're wondering if the world champion will even be able to carry his challenger to a good match. Someone please explain to me how this is better than King of the Mountain.
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5) Knowing what you know about this year's Slammiversary lineup, how does it hold up to years past?

This is quite possibly the most underwhelming card in Slammiversary history. Brother Ray vs. Jesse Neal, Sting vs. RVD, the Band vs. Matt Morgan and a mystery partner, etc, etc... I'm not excited for any of these matches because TNA hasn't given me a reason to be excited about them. The build up has been lackluster at best, I don't expect these matches to be very good and in most cases, the payoff is something I'm not even interested in. I don't want Sting to be the world champion, the Band as tag team champions are an absolute joke, but I don't want Morgan to win the tag titles back either. Instead, I'm just wondering why the MCMG aren't getting their tag title shot here, why AJ Styles isn't in the main event instead of a 50-year-old Sting, and so on. This is not only a weak-looking card on paper, it's probably one of the weaker cards put together by the Hogan/Bischoff regime so far, and that's saying something.
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6) Pretending TNA created a Hall of Fame tomorrow, who would be your number one nomination?

Come on, that's easy. Who else but AJ Styles?
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Thanks for reading. To read what the other panelists had to say, check out the TNA Asylum Spin Cycle at TNAsylum.com.

June 01, 2010

QCWradio episode 82

Episode 82 is now available for download.

This week's topics include:

-Raw & iMPACT discussion.
-Wrestlebreak: will Megan Fox's departure hurt the Transformers movies?
-if WWE bought TNA, what would happen to the TNA roster?

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