September 28, 2010

QCWradio episode 99: FK9 Appreciation Night

Episode 99 is now available for download.

-Raw & iMPACT discussion.
-Cena vs. Barret predictions.
-what is TNA's big surprise on 10/07/10.
-what would YOU do with Lacey Von Erich?

-and much, much more.

-Special guest: Big D

September 24, 2010

iMPACT 9/23/10

Defenders of Madison Rayne are WRONG!

In the most recent edition of the Ask the Professor column (on TNAwrestlingnews.com), Professor Newton Gimmick was asked what his thoughts were on Madison Rayne. The following was his answer to the question:

"I think Madison is the best part of the TNA Knockouts division at the moment. She's the most entertaining character, one of the best wrestlers in the division and the single most effective heel they've had in the entire division, not named Kong. Madison has worked her character to perfection and if you can't see how oozing with charisma her persona is, you must be blind.

The problem that TNA faces is that they don't have much of a face opposition in Angelina Love. Angelina isn't very comfortable as a face and some of the chemistry is disjointed between Rayne and Love. Rayne is over like rover and Love is only over when she acts as a counterpart to Rayne. TNA needs to get some effective face characters into the Knockouts division and soon.
"

-Prof. Newton Gimmick.

I respect Newton Gimmick a great deal, but this response was so inexplicable to me that I simply had to chime in with my 2 cents. I suppose it's a character flaw of mine that I just can't seem to let things like this go. At any rate, I will proceed to respectfully disagree with the Professor's opinion of Madison Rayne and explain exactly why I believe him to be in the wrong on this particular issue.

Let's just go over this point-by-point, shall we?


"I think Madison is the best part of the TNA Knockouts division at the moment."

Ooooooooh boy...

I would argue that Madison Rayne is actually one of the worst things about the Knockout division right now, and that is 100% the fault of the writers. The woman was booked as a complete jobber for the first 18 months of her TNA run. Then, from out of nowhere, she wins the title despite the fact that she had never earned even ONE singles victory prior to this and had zero credibility.

This was done in an ill-conceived and completely transparent move by the writers to make the Beautiful People the top heels in the wake of Awesome Kong's departure, even though this particular incarnation of the group was comprised of the 3 worst female workers on the roster. Granted, Madison Rayne was and is a better worker than Velvet Sky and Lacey Von Erich, but being the lesser of 3 evils doesn't mean you deserve a championship. They gave her the title when she was nothing more than enhancement talent and then went so overboard trying to make her credible afterward that they forgot to think first.

All of a sudden, Madison Rayne, a woman who until then couldn't win a match if her life depended on it, was going over EVERYONE. And this was a big problem because, as a wrestler, she's really not that good. She doesn't even have the look of someone who can beat other women. Madison can't be much more than 5 ft tall and looks like she weighs about 100 lbs. And yet, she was constantly beating women who were not only much larger and more powerfully built, but clearly much more athletic and better workers than she is. This simply did not work because she couldn't make any of these wins look convincing.

Had her character been some kind of chicken shit heel who talked a big game, but then had to weasel her way out of losing matches in order to keep the title or outsmart her opponents because she obviously couldn't overpower them, her title reign might have been much more effective than it was, but that's not what happened. The writers tried to turn her into a dominant badass, not understanding that this type of character was completely wrong for her. Do you really think "badass" when you look at a woman who is dwarfed by Velvet Sky? Hell no! This was the push they should have given Alissa Flash. Madison Rayne just does not have the physical tools to pull off that type of character and she never did. This is why her title reign didn't work; it just wasn't convincing in any way.


"She's the most entertaining character,"

That's a matter of opinion. There might be people out there who find her entertaining. I don't. She's improved on the mic, but her acting could use a little work. When Angelina cuts an angry promo, she actually sounds angry. When Madison tries to act angry, she ends up screeching all her lines. Maybe this works for some people, but I just don't care for it.


"one of the best wrestlers in the division"

No.

No. No. No. No. No. Just... no. Hell no.

With all due respect, Professor, I absolutely refuse to believe that this is what you really think. It is simply not true.

Anyone who thinks Madison Rayne is one of the best workers on the Knockout roster, I ask you this question: How many standout matches has she had in TNA?

Answer: NONE!

She's had some good matches, she's had some solid matches, but that's it. And pretty much every time, she was 100% carried by her opponent. If the best thing you can say about her as a wrestler is that she can be carried to a good match if she has a good opponent, that does not make her a great wrestler herself.

Did she have a single match during her title reign that was even worth talking about? Her defenses against Tara at Sacrifice and Roxxi at Slammiversary were probably the best performances he had, but in both cases the other woman carried the action of the match, so you really can't say either match was good because of Madison. And once she started feuding with Velvet & Angelina the quality of her matches went down the toilet. Did you not see her embarrassing bout with Velvet at No Surrender? That's exactly what you get when it's up to her to carry a match.

And just in case anyone is wondering, if we're rating the Knockouts from best to worst in terms of wrestling ability based on the quality of their matches, it would look something like this:

1. Hamada
2. Sarita
3. Taylor Wilde
4. Tara
5. Daffney
6. Angelina Love
7. Madison Rayne
8. Velvet Sky
9. Lacey Von Erich

That's right, people. 3rd from the bottom is where Madison rates. If anyone out there disagrees with me on this, by all means, show me a match, ANY match which proves that she belongs higher on this list.


"and the single most effective heel they've had in the entire division, not named Kong."

Professor, the woman hasn't even gotten over. Have you been watching her since she won the title at Lockdown? It seems pretty obvious to me that how over Madison Rayne is at any given time depends entirely on 2 things:

1. Who her opponent is.
2. Who her allies are.

She got heel heat at Sacrifice because she was facing Tara, who was over as a face. She got heel heat at Slammiversary because she was facing Roxxi, who was over as a face. She got heel heat when she was standing next to the other members of the Beautiful People because the Beautiful People were over as a heel faction. But what happens when she's out there by herself with no one to get heat off of and has to do it on her own? Usually, she gets very little, if any.

Seriously, what are you basing this on? She's had a lot of time devoted to her this year, but that doesn't mean it's been time well spent. I would actually say that Madison has been one of the most INeffective heels the Knockout division has had and point to her subpar matches and the lack of crowd response she gets when not standing next to someone more over than she is as 2 of the main reasons why.

I'm not the biggest fan of Angelina Love these days, but I will say that Angelina as a heel was FAR more effective than Madison Rayne has been up to this point.


"The problem that TNA faces is that they don't have much of a face opposition in Angelina Love. Angelina isn't very comfortable as a face and some of the chemistry is disjointed between Rayne and Love."

Here's something we agree on. One need only listen to Angelina's recent 'babyface' promos on ReACTION to know that Angelina obviously and desperately wants to be a heel. Her face promos come off as more heelish than Madison's heel promos, which, I might add, is just further evidence of not only Madison's ineffectiveness as the top heel, but both Angelina's effectiveness as a heel and INeffectiveness as a face as well.


"Rayne is over like rover and Love is only over when she acts as a counterpart to Rayne."

Stop. Stop. Stop. Now you're just flat out making stuff up.

Angelina has been over since the day she turned heel in early 2008. Just listen to the audience when she comes out. She was over as a heel. She's over as a face (though I'm not really sure why since she's so naturally heelish). I may not be a huge fan of hers personally, but I won't deny that the woman gets mad crowd response.

I've already explained why Madison Rayne is not over, but I'll give 2 examples to illustrate this.

1. In her and Tara's match with Velvet & Angelina on the 9/02/10 iMPACT, there was a moment when Tara had been thrown out of the ring and Madison was surrounded by the babyfaces. If she were as over as you say she is, this would have been a really hot moment with the crowd going nuts in anticipation that Madison was finally going to get the beating she had deserved for months, but that's not what happened. The crowd was dead for this. They didn't care. Just like they didn't care at...

2. No Surrender when Madison faced Velvet Sky in a match the crowd slept through. And let's be honest, that's really hard to pull off. The iMPACT Zone fans will pop and cheer for just about anything, even if they're only doing it to entertain themselves. For a match in the iMPACT Zone to get NO reaction like this one did is really telling. You'd think a match featuring the supposed top female heel in the company would illicit SOME kind of crowd response, wouldn't it? But it didn't. The crowd popped for the Beautiful People's entrance, but once that was over and the bell rang, they just didn't care.

In fact, I would offer this match as the final proof that not only is Madison Rayne not a very good wrestler (that match sucked), but she's not over as a heel either.


"TNA needs to get some effective face characters into the Knockouts division and soon."

Well, here's the thing about that -- they already have effective face characters, but they never bother to use them. Hamada is over as a face. Daffney is over a face. Taylor Wilde used to be over as a face, but doesn't seem to be anymore, which I'm sure is due in no small part to her being depushed into the toilet for months. Even her and Hamada capturing the Knockout tag titles recently doesn't mean much because they once again disappeared from TV immediately afterward so all the spotlight could continue to be on Madison Rayne and the Beautiful People.

The writers have several good options for babyface Knockouts. The problem is nobody really notices this anymore because the entire division has revolved around the Beautiful People (past and present members) and Tara for the last year.

Creative is constantly running into this problem because they've never learned the lesson they should have learned a long time ago. As I've often said, they have tunnel vision with the Knockouts. They build up a top heel and a top face to focus on, and every other Knockout is treated like a non-entity. And then when something inevitably happens to said top face or heel, they're left with nothing. It happened when Gail left, it happened when Kong left, it happened when Tara left (before she came back).

The writers could very easily fix this problem by simply making use of the whole roster and building the other Knockouts into strong characters so they would have women who could step into these roles when they need to be filled by someone new. Unfortunately, that would require a certain amount of thought and effort that I just don't think they feel like putting into the Knockout division these days.

And if they're not smart enough to do this, then they'll have to bring in new talent to work as a face. I hear they just signed some chick named Mickie. Would she ever work as a top babyface? Only time will tell. lol


"Madison has worked her character to perfection and if you can't see how oozing with charisma her persona is, you must be blind."

Well, then I must be blind because I don't see it. In fact, Professor, I accuse you of seeing things that simply are not there. The last several months have done little more than expose Madison Rayne as not being suited for the spot she was in. She's not a particularly great wrestler and she's not particularly over. Her title push was a failure and she doesn't have what it takes to be a top star.

The end.

I say good day to you, sir.

September 21, 2010

QCWradio episode 98

Episode 98 is now available for download.

-Raw & iMPACT discussion.
-reviewing WWE Night Of Champions.
-does WWE possibly unifying their championships mean the end of the brand extension?
-rumors of John Cena turning heel.

-and much, much more.

-Special guest: Big D

September 18, 2010

Comment Responses

"I write comments on the internet. That means I'm right."

-Nostalgia Critic, thatguywiththeglasses.com.

In the comments section of the last edition of the Month In Review column I received some surprisingly negative feedback. To be honest, I really didn't expect this since I always try to be fair and even-handed when I write one of these columns. Also, I thought it was pretty much the general consensus in the fan community that the Knockout division is a shell of its former self right now, and IMHO, I didn't say a single thing in that particular column that wasn't true. So, me being the opinionated person that I am and loving a good debate, I thought I would take some time today to respond to my haters in the comments section.

And yes, smartasses, some of these responses are going to be copies of stuff I myself wrote there. Unfortunately, I find that the comments section often doesn't work for me. I'm doing this as a courtesy to others who may have the same problem.


"what a negative son of a b*tch! I really hate these posts, this person is a f*cking idiot!"

-bkgmsu73p.

I bow to the master wordsmith.

Seriously, man, feel free to email me and point out anything I wrote in the column you were referring to that you felt was even remotely untrue and I will be more than happy to explain why you're wrong.



"That is not exactly objective commenting on Becky Bayless.

Beside the facts that it is old footage and not recorded by a financially supported camera crew. If the douche paid attention he would have noted that it was the blonde who didn't sell the suplex right or get a good jump on the neckbreaker.
"

-jobesukulele83p.

This comment was in response to my criticism of the signing of independent female talent, Becky Bayless, and my decision to embed an old match between Bayless & Velvet Sky from several years ago to illustrate to my readers Bayless's lack of wrestling skill.

Was it Velvet's fault that match wasn't any good? Of course, but she wasn't alone in that ring. Velvet Sky is not a good wrestler. We all know this. It's not new information. That wasn't the point of showing the match -- the point was Bayless. It's not like Bayless elevated the match at all with her performance. They were both awful. Don't believe it? Here, watch the match again.




"The idiot said it himself that she was tried out as a valet, and she has been doing valet work and interviews in RoH since 07, so who is to say that she won't simply be a valet."

-jobesukulele83p.

Evidently, sir, you have not read the reports from the TV tapings that mentioned a tryout match Christina Von Eerie worked against Bayless which was described as being hilariously bad due to Bayless constantly botching spots. If Bayless is only going to be a valet/manager, then why are prospective new talents working against her in dark matches instead of someone, you know, good?

Bear in mind, people, this is the company that allows LACEY VON ERICH to wrestle. They once let JENNA MORASCA wrestle, for God's sake. If you think that they're not going to have Bayless get in the ring at some point and let her make a complete fool of herself then you need to think a little harder.


"It is all good to have an opinion. But when you're a reporter you can't be dead set on an opinion without weighing in on both sides of the argument. That's what our comments are for, not the staff's."

-jobesukulele83p.

And you would be right except for the fact that I am NOT a reporter and this column IS about me giving my opinions, and it has been since I was brought in to write it well over a year ago. I've said many glowing things about the Knockout division since then, but I'm not going to sugarcoat something if I don't like it. I may only be stating my opinions here, but I assure you, they are always HONEST opinions. If Velvet Sky has a stinker of a match, am I supposed to say it was great just to be nice? Sorry, but if that's the kind of kid gloves crap you're looking for, you're not going to find it here.


"While I'm not a Rosie Lottalove fan, I had no problem with the gimmick. She was just a women representing for plus size women which is not a bad demographic to target but TNA didn't follow up with the character. He sits there and calls her a a cartoon character but what is so cartoonish about being a plus size pin up lady? I saw nothing cartoonish about it."

-TROOF.

Let me be clear -- I see NOTHING wrong with being a plus size woman (FTR, I LOVED Awesome Kong). Regular readers of this column should know by now that I really don't care that much what the Knockouts look like as long as they know how to wrestle. However, from what I saw, Lottalove didn't seem to be very good in the ring.

Also, I really did not care at all for the name and character they gave her. Her being a 'big' girl doesn't bother me as long as her weight doesn't affect her in-ring performance, but when you dress her up like a burlesque dancer and have her play this completely over the top personality, that's a big turn off for me. I like gimmicks to be more down to earth and realistic as that's the way the wrestling business has been heading IMO.

I find silly, campy gimmicks really hard to take seriously and I said that gimmick belonged in Wrestlicious because Wrestlicious doesn't even try to take itself seriously. Characters like this just feel awkward and out of place in a mainstream company in 2010 and I just don't think they belong in TNA.


"He even goes on to say she injured Daffney but Daffney herself on her twitter said it was actually her fault while the injury happened. I'm just saying, if you're going to write an article, have all of your facts down."

-TROOF.

From what I heard, there was a miscommunication in the ring and they were both at fault. If that's not what happened, then I apologize. But the bottom line is that someone wound up in the hospital with a concussion, stinger and bruised sternum. When a wrestler's tryout match results in injuries like that for ANY reason, regardless of whose fault it was, that's someone you should think twice about signing. And lo and behold, it didn't take long for TNA to release her, citing the reason that they didn't think she was good enough in the ring. What does that tell you?


"Sara Del Ray is a good wrestler but give me a break. She's no monster. She looks to be about the same size as Tara."

-TROOF.

That's completely a matter of opinion. My point was that if TNA were looking for a woman who could fill the role Awesome Kong once had, they were ignoring the best and most obvious choice. Del Rey is a powerhouse and a total ass-kicker. Same size as Tara? Maybe, but she has about twice the muscle mass. Like Kong, Del Rey is also a tremendous wrestler, which Lottalove is not at this point in time.

IMHO, when Awesome Kong left the company, TNA management's first order of business should have been to get Del Rey on the phone as she is the woman best qualified to fill Kong's shoes. I think Alissa Flash could have done it just as well, but the TNA writers never bothered to give her a chance to do so. If you disagree, go right ahead.


"Also what does this guy have against Madison Rayne so much? Yes, I agree the KO division needs new wrestlers and maybe stop focusing on TBP so much but I didn't have much of a problem with Rayne as champ."

-TROOF.

The issue I had is that the writers spent months trying to push Madison Rayne to a level I simply don't think she can perform at. I've said this before many times -- Rayne is a beta; a top star needs to an alpha. She can be an acceptable midcarder, but she just doesn't have the tools to be a top star. When they have her constantly going over women that are clearly much more talented, more athletic and better workers than she is and she can't even make it look convincing, that's a big problem.

She never did a single thing to justify the push she got. Her matches didn't deliver, she never distinguished herself as a character, she didn't even get over unless the other members of TBP were standing next to her. And yet, inexplicably, her push just kept on going and going and going. They should have killed the push when it became obvious that it wasn't working, but they stubbornly refused for reasons I still can't figure out.

Didn't you find it odd that the entire crowd was dead when Velvet & Angelina had Madison surrounded in the ring on iMPACT recently and were teasing that she was finally going to get what she had coming to her? How about when the audience fell asleep during her match with Velvet at No Surrender? If Madison's push had been even remotely effective, she would be getting more of a reaction than this by now, but it wasn't and she's not. Ergo, her push was a failure.


"The KO division has taken a fall but I do not mind the story rivalry between Velvet, Tara, Angelina, and Madison. I think it's one of the consistent and better followed up angles in TNA or in the Knockouts division period."

-TROOF.

I didn't mind this storyline in the beginning either, and if you'll recall, I said in a previous column that I actually did think it was interesting at first. But it has gone on FOREVER. How can you possibly justify spending this much time focusing on the same group of women when there are several infinitely more talented women sitting on the bench doing nothing?

The Knockout division has been the Beautiful People Show for almost TEN MONTHS now and none of them have delivered a single match worth talking about in all that time except for the ones that were memorably and horrifically bad due to the human botch machine that is Lacey Von Erich. I mean, good God, how long is this freaking push going to last?

The writers have been shoving TBP down our throats for so long now that they've become ridiculously overexposed to the point that I just don't care about anything they do anymore. I'm absolutely sick of them. I don't care if they're heels, I don't care if they turn face. I just want them to go away so some of the other Knockouts can get some damn screen time and actually have a chance to put on a good match for once. Because in case you haven't noticed, we haven't been getting any good matches from TBP.


"Hamada can wrestle, Taylor can wrestle, Sarita can wrestle, evan Daffney & Tara can kinda wrestle, but I don't think thats what Hogan & Bischoff want. They seem to want eye candy rather than good wrestlers. That's what makes the WWE Diva's so bad, but it seems that creative have their heads up their asses on this one."

-Hangers.

Exactly my point. That's why I've been so critical of this division lately. The day it was announced that Bischoff & Hogan were coming to TNA, I said to myself, "Terrific... Dixie just killed the Knockout division." And that's what happened!

Bischoff has openly said in interviews that he doesn't care about women's wrestling and thinks it's stupid. Granted, he's been more tactful about that since he joined TNA, but it's clear his opinion hasn't changed. And Hogan? Hogan stated on live radio that Lacey Von Erich didn't even know how to lock up properly, and yet, since Hogan joined TNA, Lacey has received more match time and more screen time than ever when all reports said that she was on thin ice and the company was about to drop her before Hogan came in.

Add that to the fact that TBP have been the recipients of a never-ending push this year despite their matches being subpar at the best of times and completely wretched at the worst, and that tells you all you need to know about the state of the Knockouts these days. The current regime doesn't care about the women being wrestlers anymore; they just want eye candy. In other words, they want the Knockouts to be carbon copies of the WWE Divas and that's why this division sucks right now.


"I dont think this person is being negative. I think this person is truly passionate about the KO division, and has seen it go to hell. When i first started wathcing TNA about a year ago, i was SO excited to watch the KO division. Matter of fact, it was something that truly drug me into TNA! As months passed and the Hogan Bishoff era has started, it doesnt take a genious with a degree in mechanical engeneering who has worked for NASA for 10 years to see that the KO division has really tanked. For me now, its HARD to watch their matches.....I mean litteraly HARD. Most of the time i take a bathroom break or get some food when the KOs come out because its just so stale......"

-RealFiregod.

You just summed up my feelings perfectly. A lot of people think I'm being negative just for the sake of being negative or because I'm secretly a WWE fanboy or something. This could not be further from the truth. What I am is pissed off that something I loved about TNA, something I used to have such a high regard for, has turned to crap. There is a big difference.


"to FK9, good work. it's not easy to tell the truth, especially when your constantly ridiculed for it."

-godoftna.

No, it's not. I thank you, sir.

I love all my readers. Yes, even the haters. Keep right on hating, people, because I'm always going to be out there telling it like it is and I'm not going anywhere.

Peace.

iMPACT 9/16/10

September 14, 2010

QCWradio episode 97

Episode 97 is now available for download.

-Raw discussion.
-the premiere of the NXT Divas show.
-roundtable discussion: create your own gimmick match.

-and much, much more.

-Special guest: Big D

September 08, 2010

the Month In Review 8/19/10-No Surrender

8/19/10 iMPACT

-Apparently, TNA has signed independent women's wrestler, Becky Bayless. Some of you may remember her as one of the women who showed up for the $25,000 Awesome Kong fan challenge the night Daffney was selected to face Kong. I'm really not happy about this news. TNA are barely using many of the girls they already have, most of whom are relegated to job fodder for TBP as it is, not to mention that they just passed on a pretty solid talent in Mia Yim, and suddenly Bayless of all people gets a contract?

-From what I know about Bayless, she's nice to look at, a good interview, has a lot of personality, but her wrestling skills are about Velvet Sky-level, and I mean that in a bad way. Also, her tryout involved her working as a manager rather than a wrestler. So her being signed had nothing to do with any athletic ability she may or may not have. Sadly, I find this to be pretty indicative of the direction the Knockout division has been going in 2010. This has Eric Bischoff's fingerprints all over it.

-To give you an idea of Bayless's skill level (cough) in the ring, here's a match she had with a pre-Velvet Talia Madison:

Doesn't paint a pretty picture, does it? Well, better get used to it, people, because that's what we're in for.

-The most depressing part about this is that I'd been watching videos of (new SHIMMER champion) Madison Eagles for a few days before this news broke and I was very impressed with what I saw. That lady is damn good in the ring and I was starting to really wish TNA would sign her. Instead, we get Becky Bayless in a Jersey Shore parody gimmick. Sigh...

-In other news, TNA has updated the roster page on their website and it appears that Rosie Lottalove is gone. Can't say I disagree with that one. The Lottalove gimmick was a cartoon character and had no place in a company that wants to be taken seriously. A character like that belongs in Wrestlicious, not TNA.

-Lottalove confirmed her release on her twitter account, so it looks like this is official. The word is TNA didn't think she was good enough in the ring. I'll agree with that, but bear in mind, this is the same company that employs Lacey Von Erich, so hell if I know what's going on here.

-If they were so down on Lottalove's wrestling ability, one has to wonder why they signed her in the first place, especially since she injured Daffney in her tryout match. As I understand it, she initially got hired because they were looking for someone who could replace Awesome Kong as the big killer, monster Knockout. Good grief, did these people lose Sara Del Rey's phone number or something? Idiots...


ANGELINA LOVE BACKSTAGE PROMO
-How is Angelina a 5-time champion? Are we really counting her last run where she had to relinquish the title back to Madison Rayne after 2 weeks? That's really pushing it IMO. Also, it's not nearly as impressive as it sounds when you consider how short several of those title reigns were, not to mention the little fact that one of them came from her pulling the title belt out of a random lockbox.


KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH:
MADISON RAYNE (w/ TARA BIKER CHICK) vs. ANGELINA LOVE (c) (w/ VELVET SKY). HEELS BEAT DOWN THE FACES POST-MATCH

-Really? That's it? That match couldn't have been much longer than 90 seconds. I know I've been criticizing the push of Madison Rayne as the top heel, but it's pretty shocking to see her booked this weakly after they tried so hard for months to make her look like a badass. Sure, her push didn't work, but I didn't expect them to just throw it all away by having Angelina bury her like this. Like it or not, Madison is a former champion, and a match between her and Angelina should have been given a little respect and had more time than this.

-With Madison getting disposed of so quickly and easily by Angelina, the only explanation I can think of is that the writers are basically acknowledging that Madison's entire title push tanked (which it did). I really hope this doesn't give way to another push for Tara; I have no desire to see that again. If that's the only alternative, then I'd honestly rather they continue to role with Madison until Sarita comes back from her arm injury. At least Madison's a young homegrown talent; can't say the same about Tara. However, both of them need to step aside once Sarita's healthy.

-In other news, the new Knockout tag team champions, Taylor Wilde & Hamada, once again sat this show out.

-Heal up fast, Sarita. You're badly needed right now.


-----


8/26/10 iMPACT

(ORIGINAL) BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, MADISON RAYNE & TARA BIKER CHICK IN-RING PROMO SEGMENT

-Tenay excitedly points out that the original TBP are back. I fail to see why I or any other fan should get excited about that since the entire Knockout division has pretty much revolved around these women for the last year.

-Angelina & Velvet were good on the mic as usual, but they really outshined Madison, who was screeching all her lines. I get that she was trying to sound angry, but she was trying too hard and it just didn't feel real.

-Decent segment, but not at all interesting. The fact is that TBP, in any incarnation you want to put them in, are stale as hell. I just don't care about this faction anymore. What can you possibly do with them that is new or different at this point? These four women (as well as Lacey) have been pushed to the moon and beyond for ages, every other woman in the company has become an afterthought and it is way past time that this changed.

-Remember Taylor Wilde & Hamada, the Knockout tag team champions? I hope so, because I don't think the writers do.


-----


9/02/10 iMPACT


-Well, love it or hate it, TBP were the highest rated segment of the show last week by a pretty big margin. Suck it, LayCool.


THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE vs. MADISON RAYNE & BIKER CHICK TARA. HEELS BEAT DOWN THE FACES POST-MATCH AND TARA UNMASKS
-Wow, that was anticlimactic.

-First of all, this match was lousy. Yes, I know Velvet & Madison have a match at the PPV, so they shouldn't have given too much away for free, but even the stuff that did give us sucked. There's never been anything impressive about Velvet as a worker and if Madison's title push accomplished anything, it was exposing her as really not being terribly good either. And they were the ones who carried most of this match! Tara, arguably the strongest worker of the four, did almost nothing, and she didn't even look good doing that. This was a nothing of a match and certainly a prelude to what we're going to get (or not get) from these women at (I'm assuming) Bound For Glory. I repeat my earlier position -- these four particular women are never going to deliver anything memorable in the ring together and the writers really need to stop trying to make that happen.

-As for the supposed payoffs for the angles involved here, there were two big ones and neither one of them worked. The first involved Madison Rayne getting some comeuppance. The problem was that when Velvet & Angelina had her surrounded in the ring with Tara taken out on the outside and they were teasing that Madison was finally going to get what she deserved, the crowd was dead for it; they didn't care. Not surprising, since Madison's title reign really didn't get over for all the reasons I've stated many times now.

-The second "payoff" was the reveal that Tara was Biker Chick. Problem #1: every fan watching already knew it was Tara and had for a long time. Problem #2: the writers dragged out this "mystery" for so long that people stopped caring about it weeks before they even reached this point. Problem #3: there was never a single logical reason to conceal her identity in the first place. Or if there was, the writers never told us about it. And just as you'd expect with all that stuff working against it, the fans in attendance really didn't react to her unmasking that much. Sure, they popped, but it was a half-assed, lukewarm pop, much like the reaction to this entire segment.

-This was lame. Lame and really uninteresting. I'm not looking forward to their match at No Surrender as this entire feud has been beaten to death over and over. They NEED to scale back TBP, they need to get the other Knockouts back on the show, and they need to sign some new female talent because this division really couldn't get more stale and boring than it is right now.

-And for the record, when I say they need new talent, I'm NOT talking about Becky Bayless a.k.a. Cookie. She doesn't count. And why? I expect you'll find out pretty soon.

-Tara just tweeted that the explanation for the whole Biker Chick "mystery" is coming up on the ReACTION show. They're going to need a really good explanation for this to make sense.




REACTION

-Okay, that could have been worse. They covered most of their bases fairly well. They explained why Madison brought Tara back. However, they never explained HOW she could bring Tara back after Tara lost a match where the stipulation was 'if you lose, you must retire from wrestling,' and I expect they won't even bother. That will probably just get swept under the rug. I think, "It was just a stipulation," is the most we're going to get.

-It's definitely a credit to quality of the ReACTION show that this situation was explained as well as it was. It wasn't perfect, there are still some holes in this story, but it was better than I expected it to be.

-I have serious doubts that a babyface version of TBP is going to work for long. Velvet & Angelina were acting FAR more heelish than Madison or Tara during these interviews. That's a problem with them getting a face push because TBP's natural inclination is to be stuck up, catty bitches. You can't cleanse the world one ugly person at a time when you're a good guy. It will work fine against Madison & Tara, but after that, then what?
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9/05/10 No Surrender

MADISON RAYNE (w/ TARA) vs. VELVET SKY (w/ ANGELINA LOVE)

-Pretty short match. For once, that was a good thing.

-Booooooooooooooriiiiiing! Did ANYONE think this was going to be any good? It's an uphill battle for Velvet and Madison to have good matches even when they have a talented worker as their opponent. When they're facing each other? Phhhh. Not a chance.

-As soon as the bell rang, the audience started chanting "Mas-tur-ba-tion!" This was pretty much the only heat the match got. How freaking sad is that? Nine months ago, the iMPACT Zone crowd was chanting "This-is-awe-some!" at a Knockouts match. Christ almighty, how did things get so bad, so fast?

-There was an unintentionally hilarious spot where Velvet tried to hit Madison with a clothesline, completely missed her and said an audible, "Sorry!" Wait, did I say hilarious? I meant depressing. While you're apologizing to Madison, you might want to apologize to the audience for making them suffer through your crappy match, Velvet. For God's sake... TNA, this is why Velvet has never had a singles match on PPV before! BECAUSE SHE SUCKS!!!

-I don't think Madison is over at all anymore (was she ever?). The crowd was giving her absolutely nothing here. Gosh... it's almost as if her massive, interminable heel push didn't work due to her not having the tools to pull it off. Who could have ever seen that coming? Besides me, I mean.

-To be fair, the crowd wasn't giving Velvet much of a reaction either. Once TBP's crowd-pleasing entrance was finished, the audience fell asleep. Not surprising, as the action in the ring didn't give them anything to stay awake for.

-This match sucked. Madison has now jobbed to V & A several times in a row. I hope and pray that this means her push is mercifully coming to an end at last. If the writers want her and Tara to go for the tag titles, that's fine, but no more singles pushes for Madison, please. And while we're at it, no more pushes for Velvet either.

No Surrender 2010

September 07, 2010

QCWradio episode 96: Youtube Shooters Roundtable

Episode 96 is now available for download.

-worst moments in TNA history.
-ROH can't keep their stars. Does that make them just another indie?
-Adam Pearce leaving ROH: good or bad?
-reviewing TNA So Surrender.
-Raw & the iMPACT discussion.

-and much, much more.

Special guests: rvdtito4life & InstantClassic8

September 03, 2010

iMPACT 9/02/10

Previewing No Surrender 2010

Okay, I'm back with the PPV Preview blog after I took the month off for Hardcore Justice. And after seeing that PPV, I think I definitely made the right call in choosing not to waste my time and energy writing about it. No Surrender, while not perfect on paper by any stretch, does look more promising than that half-baked ECW nostalgia trip.

So let's do this...


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Velvet Sky vs. Madison Rayne

Dear God... it just goes on and on and on. TBP getting pushed to the moon at the expense of every other woman on the roster was painful enough, but now the writers have split them into 2 factions so they can feud with each other, completely eliminating the need to feature any of the other girls at all. Meanwhile, the current Knockout tag team champs, Taylor Wilde & Hamada, haven't been seen or even mentioned on TV since they won the titles weeks ago.

I really fail to see why the writers dragged out the "mystery" of the biker chick's identity for forever and a day when there was never any reason to conceal it in the first place and anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together knew it was Tara 5 minutes after she showed up. Couple that with the fact that they're still pushing Madison Rayne as the top heel despite the fact that her title reign tanked, and then throw in this never-ending reunion angle with Angelina & Velvet, and you have the most redundant, boring and, quite frankly, pointless storyline in TNA right now.

I have no clue why the writers are STILL devoting so much time to these women. Sure, they get ratings, but how long do you think that's going to last if you overexpose their characters until they're so stale that people get sick of them?

And let's face facts; we all know this match is going to be lousy, just like we all know that the inevitable tag match between all four of them is going to be lousy. If you put Angelina, Velvet and Madison in the same match, the result is not going to be very good, and throwing Tara in there isn't going to change that. Tara & Angelina never had good matches together, Angelina & Madison never had good matches together, and there's still Velvet to worry about too. I suppose we should be thankful that at least Lacey isn't involved anymore, but frankly, I'm still too pissed off that Lacey hasn't been fired yet for that to matter much.

Who should win: I honestly don't care. It's 'same old shit, different day' with TBP stuff. No matter who wins, it's not going to change anything. TBP and Tara will still be on top while every other Knockout in the company sits on the bench collecting dust, only appearing on TV when Angelina, Tara, Velvet, Madison, or Lacey need someone to job for them, and the division will continue to grow more stale and uninteresting every week, if such a thing is even possible at this point.

If I have to pick someone, I'll go with Madison. Sure, I've been bitching about her for months, but she's still a better worker than Velvet who, by now, has really done everything she's ever going to do in this company, wrestling-wise. Besides, Bound For Glory is next month, so it makes no sense to have the babyface get her payback at No Surrender.
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FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE
Abyss vs. Rhino


So Abyss goes from taking out the world champion to feuding with a guy who's been off TV for 8 months? No offense to the War Machine, but there's no way that's anything but a huge step down for Abyss, who really should have gone after the world title after he put Van Dam on the shelf. He had so much momentum just a few weeks ago, and now he's... fighting Stevie Richards and Rhino. Just one of numerous examples (some of which you'll read about in this blog) of how this EV2.0 angle probably isn't even worth doing. I'm sure this will be a fun brawl, but I can't help scratching my head and wondering why Abyss has suddenly been scaled back so much.

Who should win: Abyss
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Sting & Kevin Nash vs. Jeff Jarret & Samoa Joe


Poor Joe... What did he do in that production truck that was so bad that he had to get stuck in this interminable angle with Sting and Nash? I don't know, but needless to say, this is the last place Joe should be. He belongs in a top feud with a top star, not wasting his time with the old men.

I suppose there's a silver lining here, though. Now that there's a young guy involved, at least I care about seeing one side of this feud get over on the other instead of not really giving a crap either way. That's something... I guess.

Who should win: One team has Samoa Joe on it. The other team has two broken veterans in their late 40s with not a single good knee between them. So... yeah, Joe and that other guy need win this.
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X-DIVISION TITLE
Sabu vs. Douglas Williams (c)


One of the nice things about faction warfare is that you don't always need a reason or a storyline for 2 guys to fight. Sometimes "they're in opposing factions" is all the justification you need. And in this case, the match up is actually interesting. Unlike some of his EV2.0 buddies, Sabu can still go in the ring. We know Williams can wrestle, and with his gimmick of hating high flying wrestling and Sabu's knack for taking crazy risks, they've got an interesting dynamic here.

This could actually be the sleeper of the night. I'm irritated that Williams' teased feud with Jay Lethal seems to be off (damn, they killed that feud faster than Jay Lethal's push), but I'm excited to see what these guys can do together.

Who should win: Williams
-----


TV TITLE: I QUIT MATCH
Tommy Dreamer vs. AJ Styles (c)


WHY?! Do the writers seriously think anyone is going to want to pay money to see this? These 2 already wrestled on iMPACT a few weeks ago and we all saw the results. It wasn't the worst match ever or anything, but by AJ Styles standards it was well below average. There was no hiding the fact that AJ had to slow down to accommodate Tommy, and that doesn't make for an exciting contest. I respect Tommy a lot, but AJ needs to be in there with someone who can keep up with him. God love him, but Tommy just isn't that guy.

I predict this match will have some drama and tell a good story, but I doubt it will have a clean finish, and as a wrestling match, it won't be anything you'll be talking about on Monday.

Who should win: AJ Styles (duh!)
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TAG TEAM TITLES
London Brawling vs. Motor City Machine Guns (c)


Call me crazy, but I'm really liking Desmond Wolfe & Magnus as a team. Yes, Wolfe should be getting a singles push -- but guess what, that's not happening right now. This is a way for Wolfe to be featured and utilized in a meaningful way again. It's also a good way to get Magnus back in the mix, and I've been on the Magnus bandwagon since day one. Sure, he's really green still, but if you've seen him on Xplosion lately, he's improved a lot, and he'll only get better teaming with Wolfe. Best of all, if you've seen their promos together or that video package of them and Chelsea at the mall, you've seen that they can be damn entertaining in addition to working well together in the ring.

That doesn't mean they should win this match however. They only recently joined forces on Xplosion and haven't even had their first iMPACT match yet. This team is a solid investment, but the writers haven't built them up enough, so it's a little too soon for them to be getting this shot IMO.

On the other side of the equation, you have Sabin & Shelley, who right now are the hottest they've been since they became a team 4 years ago. They finally captured the tag titles, blew the roof off the iMPACT Zone in their best-of-5 series with Beer Money, the last of which was TNA's match of the year, hands down, and they just had another outstanding match with Generation Me on iMPACT last week. At the risk of sounding cheesy, the Guns are blazing right now. With Beer Money feuding with EV2.0 and Team 3D's contracts expired, Sabin & Shelley are the leaders of the tag team division, which is exactly why it's one of the most exciting things about this company at the moment.

London Brawling can certainly be tag team champions in the future, but not yet. The Machine Guns have a ton of momentum and have never been more over. To end their title reign anytime soon would be idiotic.

Who should win: MCMG
-----


WORLD TITLE TOURNY
Ken Anderson vs. Pope D'Angelo Dinero


We all know Kurt Angle isn't losing his match with Jeff Hardy, so this really boils down to which one of these guys would make a better opponent and more compelling feud for Angle at Bound For Glory in October. There shouldn't be much debate on this one. I love the Pope, but Anderson had a great feud with Angle earlier this year that climaxed in a match of the year candidate at Lockdown.

The problem is that Anderson has turned face since then, and he's so over as a face that it would be really hard to turn him right now. In fact, the writers have been teasing a Pope heel turn these last 2 weeks instead, so hell if I know what their plan is.

To be honest, the creative team really wrote themselves into a bad position, doing this tournament so late in the game instead of just staying the course with the Angle-works-his-way-through-the-top-10 storyline. No matter how they book this, it's not going to mean as much as that would have, so they're just going to have to do the best they can with the cards they've dealt here.

IMO, Anderson in the best choice. Though, how they can build up Angle/Anderson so it's worthy of the BFG main event in just one month is anyone's guess.

Who should win: Mr. Anderson... Anderson
-----


WORLD TITLE TOURNY
Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy


They basically spoiled this when they had Angle say that he would retire if he lost a match. Now everyone just assumes he's going to win every time. The writers haven't even bothered to milk the tease that he might lose for the sake of dramatic tension, but it would still be kind of obvious even if they did. Though, he did actually get pinned on the go-home show, so maybe we're just forgetting about that now.

Angle going over here is a foregone conclusion. And all due respect to him, but the Charismatic Enigma has gotten a little chunky and his work lately has been uninspired. This one is academic -- that doesn't mean it won't be a great, entertaining match though. If Kurt Angle can't bring Hardy's A-game out of him, no one can.

Who should win: Kurt Angle
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FINAL THOUGHTS:
I predict this PPV will be better than Hardcore Justice. Will it be good enough to entice people to order it on Labor Day weekend? Probably not. There are some genuinely intriguing matches here, but the possibility of certain people going over in said matches when they have no business doing so definitely concerns me. I like to think TNA management have learned from their past mistakes in that regard, but this company doesn't have a good track record of doing that, so it's anyone's guess how this will turn out.

As always, I'll be watching with a critical eye. And if TNA doesn't do the right thing here, I assure you, they will be promptly eviscerated via a youtube video that they'll probably never see or care about. Oh yes, my vengeance will be as swift as it is terrifying. Muahahahaha!

Until next month, peeps...

Peace.