Well, it's that time of the month again (no, not that time, you perverts). And this time, it's Bound For Glory, TNA's biggest show of the year. I wasn't really looking forward to doing the ppv preview blog this month. Truth be told, I was almost kind of dreading it.
And why? Read on and find out...
Ink Inc vs. Eric Young & Orlando Jordan (SHOOT ME!)
Sorry, guys. I've got nothing.
Who should win: Either Ink Inc wins or we all lose. Fuck this match.
Douglas Williams vs. Jay Lethal (c)
No, you're not seeing things. Do not adjust your computer screen. This match DOES actually exist. Despite Jay Lethal already winning the X-division title from Williams in a random match on iMPACT weeks ago, despite him not being seen or even mentioned on the show for weeks afterward, despite him playing hot potato for the title with Amazing Red at house shows for some baffling reason, this match IS actually booked for Bound For Glory. I guess TNA just forgot to announce it...
You know how I found out about this? I had to look for the final card on the TNA website because they never bothered to run down the card on the go-home show.
Good Lord, TNA... and you wonder why no one buys your PPVs.
Who should win: Jay Lethal. But honestly, I can't bring myself to care one way or the other because TNA has given us ZERO reason to care. The booking has made it abundantly clear that not only does the X-division champion mean nothing, but the X-division itself means nothing. So please tell me, TNA, why should I, or anyone for that matter, give a crap about this match?
D'Angelo Dinero, Sting & Kevin Nash vs. Samoa Joe & Jeff Jarrett
Let me get this straight... for months, Sting, Nash and now Pope have been stirring shit up, attacking people, pissing off Eric Bischoff with cryptic conspiracy theories about shadow politics from WCW... and their punishment for all this is a handicap match where THEY have the advantage? Only in TNA, folks.
I don't care. I do. Not. Care. About. This. Match. Does ANYONE? Sting and Nash are in it, which means it's going to be a really bad match (not as bad as if Hogan were in it, but still), so the only real intrigue is in the storyline, which stopped being interesting months ago because it never progressed beyond Sting's unintelligible ramblings of, "Dixie Carter has been conned, but I'm not going to tell you how, why or by who because of reasons I don't feel like explaining."
Note to all TNA writers: Storylines have to PROGRESS. If they don't, they grow stagnant, which makes them boring, which causes fans to lose interest.
I don't expect this match to be any good and I've long since ceased to care about the storyline. What else is there to say about this?
Who should win: The team with Samoa Joe on it. Just about everyone and their brother expects Eric Bischoff to turn heel at this PPV and for Sting and co. to be revealed as babyfaces, but that doesn't mean they should go over here. Hell no.
To quote Eric Bischoff, Sting & Nash were passed their primes 15 years ago. Nash is barely mobile these days and it's obvious from Sting's work in the last year that he just doesn't give a rat's ass anymore. I feel bad for the Pope, but there's no way this team should go over under ANY circumstances.
Madison Rayne vs. Velvet Sky vs. Tara vs. Angelina Love (c). Special referee: Mickie James
Sweet merciful crap... just when I think this division can't possibly get worse, it does. What the hell happened to that planned triple threat for the Knockout tag team titles? At least with Taylor & Hamada in the match, you would have a chance for something halfway decent. But this? Who the hell is going to carry this?
Let me put this in simple terms for the TNA writers, since they were apparently downing roofies by the barrel when they decided that booking this would be a good idea. These 4 women have been feuding with each other in varying ways for the last year and a half now. Tara & Angelina never had good matches together. Angelina & Madison never had good matches together. Madison & Velvet had a match at No Surrender last month that made me seriously consider inserting the business end of a blowtorch into my ear in an attempt to burn away whatever brain tissue contained the memory of said match, hopefully erasing it for all eternity.
So, TNA writers, let me ask you a question: What kind of match do you get when you put 4 (mostly mediocre) female workers who don't have a single drop of in-ring chemistry between them in the same ring, at the same time?
ANSWER: The same kind of match we've been seeing from the Knockouts for the last 10 months, you twits. The exact same sleep-inducing, piss break of a match we've seen every single damn week since the Knockout division devolved into the Beautiful People show after January 4th. The only chance this match has of being decent is if the number of bodies in the ring can create enough movement to compensate for the lack of chemistry, but that's a total crapshoot.
Is this what you've been reduced to, TNA? Has your women's division fallen so far that Velvet Sky is now considered a legitimate title contender? Once upon a time, you had to be the best in the division to get a shot at that belt. Do you even care anymore? On second thought... don't answer that.
Anyway, the signing of Mickie James forces us to look at this match differently, since she'll clearly be in the title picture sooner than later. There are now 2 questions we need to ask ourselves:
1) Which woman out of these 4 would be the best champion?
2) Which woman out of these 4 would provide the most compelling feud for Mickie?
For both, the answer is Angelina, who I must unfortunately dub 'the lesser of 4 evils' in this case.
There's no way Mickie is going to be a heel. It's not going to happen and the writers would have to be complete idiots (cough) to try it. She's going to be a babyface, so she needs a strong heel to work against. The problem is TNA doesn't have any strong female heels right now. The only heel they built up at all in the last year was Madison Rayne, and her push flopped like Legendary at the box office, which is why she's now being buried.
Tara is actually subservient to Madison at this point, so she wouldn't work, nor would that feud be even remotely interesting. None of the other Knockouts are viable options right now as they were all casualties of TBP's never-ending megapush. So as much as I hate to say this, there's really only one way they can go, and that's to turn TBP heel again and push Angelina against Mickie.
Mickie vs. TBP would be snooze-worthy in terms of match quality, not to mention completely redundant when you think about who Mickie's last feud in WWE was with, but really, what other options do they have? They've totally written themselves into a corner on this. And when the entire Knockout roster only exists so TBP have someone to job for them, the fans can't expect much else.
Who should win: Angelina Love
ULTIMATE-X (I'm assuming): TAG TEAM TITLES
Generation Me vs. Motor City Machine Guns (c)
At the time of this writing I still have no idea if this is going to be an Ultimate-X match or not. It's heavily rumored to be, but TNA have not announced anything. However, in this company, no prior announcement does not mean it won't be happening. It's entirely possible that, in true Russo fashion, the Ultimate-X gimmick will be added at the last minute and TNA will simply not bother to tell anyone, opting instead for surprise. It certainly wouldn't be the first time they've done something that stupid.
Since there is not currently an Ultimate-X match booked for this PPV and I don't see them having Bound For Glory without one, I'm going to assume that this match will become an Ultimate-X at some point between now and 10/10/10.
We all know to expect fireworks when these 2 teams face each other, but seriously, isn't there another type of match we could put them in? This is going to be TNA's FOURTH Ultimate-X match this year, 2 of which the Guns competed in, and one of which GenMe competed in against the Guns! So not only is this a gimmick match the fans have seen much too often lately and will thus be less likely to pay money to see it, but it's not even a fresh match up!
I have no doubt this will be a tremendous match -- these teams never deliver anything less -- but the fact remains that we already saw this match at Destination-X. Can someone please ask TNA why they think fans should shell out more money to see this match a second time when they can just log on to youtube and watch the first one for free? I have all the faith in the world in these 4 men, but honestly, the chances of them topping their Destination-X bout are pretty low.
Unnecessary gimmicks aside, I like this feud a lot. It's one of the few storylines on the show right now that is logical, easy to follow and makes sense. Sabin & Shelley have the tag titles, the Bucks want the tag titles and have been trying to injure the Guns so badly that they can't defend the tag titles and have to relinquish them. It's simple, and yet it works. If only the creative team applied the same amount of common sense when booking the rest of this show...
I'll credit the writers for finally doing something with Max & Jeremy Buck. They were spinning their wheels for 10 months straight as Generic High Flyer #1 & #2, and the only bone creative ever threw them was their first feud with the Guns that lasted for a grand total of 2 matches. Now that they're heels, they have something that resembles a character for the fans to connect with and this feud can actually be about something.
I will continue saying this until all the nay-sayers shut their pie holes: the tag team division is the best thing TNA has going for it right now and the MCMG are the reason why. Yes, Beer Money and GenMe have certainly held up their end, but Sabin & Shelley are why the tag division is so exciting. TNA management inexplicably dragged their feet for 4 years before finally pulling the trigger on this team and putting the titles on them, and when they finally did, the fans were foaming at the mouth to see it.
After it took them so long to win the tag titles and with the way the Guns have delivered since then, it would be an act of lunacy to take the belts off them anytime soon. They need a long title reign to legitimize them as THE team to beat in this company so that when they eventually do lose the titles, it will really mean something. Retaining them at TNA's biggest show of the year is part of that.
This match will be their second real test as the champions. They came out on top against Beer Money when the playing field was even and now they have to survive a war of attrition against 2 guys looking to hurt them when they're already less than 100%. This is a war they need to survive in order to take that next step up the ladder because if they lose the belts this early, their title win would look like a fluke.
GenMe will have their day, but for now, Sabin & Shelley need and deserve this win a lot more.
Who should win: MCMG
MONSTER'S BALL (I'm assuming)
Rob Van Dam vs. Abyss
As with the tag title match, I'm assuming there's going to be a gimmick added to this bout even though TNA never bothered to announce one. I don't see Abyss being in a match that ISN'T a Monster's Ball on this PPV.
For some reason, TNA seems hesitant to go all the way with Abyss. He's unquestionably the biggest heel in the company at this point, and yet every time he's faced a real test against a top guy, he's come up short. Remember when he lost to Jeff Hardy in an iMPACT match that went 3 minutes and change? And let's just chalk up his loss to Stevie Richards as something the writers must have booked on a day when their office was freshly painted and the fumes were really strong.
And yeah, he lost to Van Dam a few months ago too. And considering everything that's happened since then, that was definitely a mistake. TNA could have saved themselves a lot of problems if Van Dam had just dropped the world title to Abyss before he left TV to renegotiate his contract.
Frankly, I have no idea why TNA feels the need to protect Van Dam so much. His title run never really went anywhere and they only gave him the belt to begin with as an obvious ratings ploy which failed miserably. On top of that, this self-proclaimed rock star had to go online and make a complete ass of himself by trashing all the home-grown talent, without whom TNA wouldn't even exist, and declaring people like RVD and Jeff Hardy the best thing that ever happened to this company despite the fact that any idiot can see they haven't done much of anything except drive the expenses up.
For months, Abyss has been talking about 'THEY' -- this mysterious group of people that are going to emerge on 10.10.10 and change TNA forever. It's possible that this has to do with Hogan & Bischoff, Sting & Nash, a returning group of TNA originals, the big change that Dixie Carter tweeted about, or something else entirely, but all signs point to Abyss having a key role in it.
Abyss said that THEY instructed him to remove Rob Van Dam. If THEY are going to be as big a deal as they're supposed to be, this storyline can't start out with the man who's been heralding their arrival jobbing for the second time to a guy he put in the hospital for weeks.
Abyss needs this win much more than Van Dam does. If you ask me, 'Mr. 0.5' needs to be humbled because he is no rock star, despite what he believes. And who better to show him that than one of the very TNA originals that he pissed all over in his crappy blog?
Who should win: Abyss
Fortune vs. EV2.0
Fortune are a group of young rising stars who will be called upon to carry the company if/when the day comes that the veterans finally leave and the well of WWE castoffs dries up. EV2.0 are a group of broken, passed-their-primes, injury laden men from a long-dead upstart company an increasingly small number of fans still care about that Dixie Carter brought in for a nostalgia pop.
I've said this before and I'll say it again: Fortune gains nothing by beating EV2.0 and if they lose to EV2.0, they'll look like chumps. Yes, they've won nearly every single match in the feud, but so what? They SHOULD win every single match! Give me one reason why EV2.0 should go over at any point in this feud up to and including Bound For Glory!
Frankly, I can't believe we're even still talking about EV2.0. This feud lost all momentum weeks ago. It shouldn't have been dragged out this long and I think most people are just waiting for it to end so Fortune can move on to feuding with the top stars because that's who they should have been feuding with this whole time.
I've had all the nostalgia I can take. It's time for TNA to grow a pair and join the 21st century. ECW is dead; let it stay dead this time.
Who should win: Even though I'm currently biased against that petty little tool, Frankie Kazarian, for blocking me from following him on twitter because he had sour grapes due to jobbing to me in our online feud which forced him to change his name (long story), that doesn't change my feelings on this match. Fortune should win, and even the most hardcore ECW loyalist would probably agree with me at this point.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy
Will this match mean as much as Angle vs. Van Dam or Angle vs. Abyss would have? No. Still, I have no doubt it will be a great match as Angle has had MOTY candidates with both of these guys in the last year. I just wish the ending wasn't so predictable.
Let's be honest, Kurt Angle is winning this match. He's the man who's been on a quest to regain the world title for months in a storyline that was unfortunately aborted because of Van Dam running out of dates on his contract. He's the man who swore to retire if he lost a match on his road to the championship while Anderson and Hardy were doing other things.
Not only is Kurt Angle going to win this match, he's the only one who should. For months, Angle has been written as the man who wants the world title more than anyone else does, therefore him winning it would mean the most. Plus, it would help restore some prestige to the championship after Van Dam's go-nowhere title reign.
Nothing against Hardy and Anderson, but you might as well just put Angle's name on that belt right now. Predictable? Yeah. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't do it.
Who should win: Kurt Angle
Team 3D make an announcement that they claim that will "change tag team wrestling forever."
At first, I was pretty pretty ambivalent about 3D resigning. Either way I would have been fine with. Then they left TV for a while to renegotiate their contracts and I realized that, not only did the tag team division flourish without them, but I really didn't miss them that much. This is not a criticism of Team 3D at all, but at this point in their careers, I just don't see much left for them to do.
I'm not interested in seeing them go for their 24th tag title reign when there are new teams on the roster still working toward their first, and them pursuing singles careers has already been tried and it didn't work then either. They could give a rub to some young teams like Generation Me and London Brawling, but aside from that, they'd be better utilized in a backstage role at this point.
Personally, I hope their announcement is that after a great career, they are passing the torch and retiring from in-ring competition. Or if the announcement is that they swiped Janice & Bob out of Abyss's car and plan on using them to turn Orlando Jordan into a lifeless pile of meat so they can carry his worthless carcass out of the arena in a garbage bag before he can stink up the Bound For Glory card by wrestling on it, that would be cool too.
Who are 'THEY?'
Honestly, I have no clue. And sadly, I don't really care anymore. I did at first, but that was months ago. Now I just want this whole storyline to be dropped. The fact is that the writers have been teasing this THEY angle for so long now that no matter how it plays out, it's going to be anticlimactic. The only way this will be satisfying is if the ramifications are truly earth-shattering. But if it's going to be something as uninspired as Bischoff, Hogan and/or Jarrett turning heel, TNA will have wasted an enormous amount of time on setting up something that 99.9% of the fans were already predicting when this angle first began.
Bottom line, if TNA doesn't have something really damn good up their sleeves, this thing is going to flop and flop big time.
FINAL THOUGHTS: An X-division title match with no build up that was never officially announced. A random
I haven't spoken to a single person who is interested in the 10.10.10 thing anymore or cares whether Bischoff turns heel or whether Sting and co. will be revealed as babyfaces. The intrigue just isn't there.
The go-home show was an utter train wreck. Several of the PPV matches were completely ignored because the debut of the unbelievably annoying Shore characters was given priority over hyping them, and they never even bothered to run down the full card even though they had 3 hours of television to do it. Frankly, the final hype for Bound For Glory was nothing short of embarrassing.
I am as loyal a TNA supporter and you're going to find and I will NOT be ordering Bound For Glory. If I was on the fence before 10/07/10, the go-home show convinced me to save my money and download the thing online. At least that way I can fast forward through the Orlando Jordan garbage.
TNA, this is your biggest show of the whole year and I'm not excited for it. At all. In a way, it's like lying down on the table at a proctologist's office in that I know what's about to happen is going to be really unpleasant and I just want to get it over and done with as soon as possible.
You dropped the ball, TNA. Plain and simple.
See you next month, guys.