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...

-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.


-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


-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.

-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.


-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?

9/05/10 No Surrender


-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.

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