Sorry for the lack of posts; moving out and been doing job interviews (I got one) anyhow I will get back to it soon. However during my short hiatus here is Kevin Steen’s excellent promo from Best in the World 2012.
Sorry for the lack of posts; moving out and been doing job interviews (I got one) anyhow I will get back to it soon. However during my short hiatus here is Kevin Steen’s excellent promo from Best in the World 2012.
Out of the many matches that have infuriated me over the years; this one has to be up there. This match just reeked of egotism on the part of the game. Mainly because of the lazy booking. At this point ECW had defiantly become the feeder shows to Raw and Smackdown and instead of well thought out booking to slowly introduce each wrestler they bunged them in a 15 man tag team match. What made it worse is that Triple H battered the majority anyway making the exercise pointless. At least he got RKO’d for his troubles.
Honestly Johnny I thought you should have been on TV longer; but the WWE clearly feel otherwise. Here is CM Punk’s video promo on Big Johnny from the 2011 Slammy Awards and proof why John Laurinaitis is comedy gold.
I swear that I’m never going to think that the WWE will ever surprise me with their booking ever again. I thought No Way Out might provide us with a spanner in the works and throw the audience a few curveballs. Unfortunately it didn’t and we didn’t get any major shocks. This is to not say No Way Out was bad per say; just that like Over The Limit this pay per view was very predictable. I cannot fault WWE for progressing storylines and making sure that everything makes sense; It’s just I want the odd surprise here and there. Despite this I have to say the event was fairly entertaining and I enjoyed watching it. I’ll follow the procedure that I did with Slammiversary but if you are unfamiliar with the format, I will basically go through each match and give it a score out of ten to individually rank each match. So with that in mind let’s delve into No Way Out.
Sheamus © vs Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship
I honestly thought Ziggler was going to win. Despite all the signs pointing otherwise I thought that this might be one of the curveballs that they might offer us. Monday night on Raw we saw the Ziggler character progress further with the defeat of Jack Swagger and the WWE have decided to build Ziggler up this way rather than the shock title win that I thought they would/should have gone with. Ziggler is over right now, and it was defiantly proved Sunday night in the Izod Centre. The crowd were electric for him with every punch he landed getting a cheer. I’m worried for Ziggler, this may be the peak of Ziggler’s popularity and that the E will have to capitalise on it soon to keep it going. They obviously will do this in an upcoming pay per view and are going for a slow build up rather than an instant one; I’m just glad that Ziggler didn’t lose any steam from the loss. As for the match itself it was an extremely entertaining one; which saw a few Ziggler near finishes. Sheamus won cleanly with White Noise into a Brouge kick and he is certainly looking strong at the moment. To be fair to the E both men looked strong. Obviously this match made complete sense and will lead into an angle at Money in the Bank. A good solid opener (that I predicted horribly wrong.) 8/10
Santino Morella vs Ricardo Rodriguez in a non-title tuxedo match
It was horrible. I hated it. It went on too long and I made a cup of tea during it. I do like Ricardo though. 1/10
Christian © vs Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship
This match was exactly how I predicted it and finally put this feud to bed. Cody Rhodes got some spots in but importantly didn’t pull off a disater kick (despite two attempts) or Crossroads so that he cannot dispute his loss on further televised program. The counter balance to this was that Cody kicked out of the kill switch and countered the frog splash so Cody still looked strong in some respects and can now kick on into the upper card. A solid well though out match that I’m pleased to say was excellently executed. 8/10
Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match (one fall to a finish) for the number one contendership for the tag team titles: The Usos vs The Prime Time Players vs Primo and Epico vs Gabriel and Kidd
This was an unannounced match and a pleasant surprise. It seems like the tag team division is once again getting a bit of a reboot and it was nice to see that the E had four dedicated teams competing; of which three of the teams were permanent for the foreseeable future. The match was solid and wrestled at a good pace. The Usos looked very strong and in the early going of this one were my pick to win. I particularly like their Samoan war dance entrance (that even had pyro!) Obviously though the purpose of this match was to get across the character of AW so unfortunately the Usos couldn’t pick up the victory. It was also good that Kidd got a spot in with a hurricanrana from the outside to all the competitors; it gave No Way Out a good spot highlight and even had the crowd chanting holy shit! I think it also booked Kidd a role in the MITB ladder match taking on the Shelton Benjamin/Kofi role of pulling off some amazing move and then being forced to leave the match. This can only help Kidd who I believe deserves a mid card position within the company. Anyway as I said previously the purpose of this match was to get across the angle of AW screwing Epico and Primo. The role of AW with the Latino Epico and Primo always seemed like a weird one to me and he didn’t really seem to fit; mainly because he looks like a stereotypical rap record label boss. Certainly it seemed the case that he was harming the team because before No Way Out the duo disappeared from television. I hate to play on stereotypes but the hip hop based primetime players certainly seemed like a better fit for the manager; so overall it was a good move to place him with them and freshened up the division. It’s nice that the division is getting screen time despite the champions being out of action. 8/10
Triple H Addresses Brock Lesnar
Was pretty much how I figured it would be in the predictions; bar the thumping of Paul Heyman (which happened Monday night.) Look forward to Brock Lesnar vs Triple H at Summerslam guys. 7/10
Lalya © vs Beth Phoenix for the WWE Divas Championship
Ok so Kharma didn’t show up; she has too at some point soon though surely! Apart from that it went the way I predicted. I have no idea who Layla will face next though. Perhaps Wendy Richter should come out of retirement. 5/10
CM Punk © vs Bryan Danielson vs Kane for the WWE Championship
I feel as if I owe Kane an apology; despite me feeling like you would just completely get in the way in this one you actually didn’t. In fact you added something to this match. The almost abrupt interruptions of the technical wrestling on show were a welcome frustration for me and actually added to the flow of the match (in the sense that I didn’t want Kane to win, so he got me emotionally involved and him breaking moves up got a reaction out of me.) Despite all three men having quite slow styles of wrestling (technical and power moves respectively) the match still maintained a nice pace and was a well executed and thought out encounter. I was also happy that the AJ involvement in the match was kept to a minimum and that it allowed me the chance to see a diva in a Kane outfit on Raw. If AJ takes on a Harleyquinn (the Joker’s henchwoman in Batman) esque role in her character I think it will provide us with plenty of entertainment (and probably jokes.) I didn’t like that Bryan Danielson was out of the finishing picture for so long; and I don’t know where he will go from here (to the money in the bank match I’m guessing) but it was yet another solid match offered up by the E here. I’m happy that they have decided to keep the belt on Punk, I think that it is vital to his popularity. 8/10
Big Show vs John Cena in a Steel Cage (if Cena loses he gets fired, if Laurinitus loses he gets fired)
I honestly thought Big Johnny should have been on television longer. A heel general manager is far more entertaining than a generic face one (I’m staring at you Teddy Long.) I’m not sure what the general manager future holds. The match itself was pretty standard and went along with my predictions. The fact the men that the Show had injured showed up and prevented him from winning was a nice touch and still kept Show strong (as he said on Raw; it took six men to beat him) I enjoyed the match more than I thought I would. As they are going in this direction with Johnny leaving it was ultimately well executed. I’m just not sure who can take his place now. (Fingers and toes crossed for William Regal!) 6/10
The one theme I got from this pay per view that every match bar one was well executed and ultimately it was a solid offering. There was however nothing to write home about and no real surprises. Hopefully they are saving these surprises till Summerslam and that show will be worth all the build up that it is getting.
Around this time two years the “Generic Luchador” was one of ROH’s hottest stars. This was down to a colossal feud with “Mr Wrestling” Kevin Steen. Steen and Steve Corino declared all out war on El Genrico and the battle that ensued was vicious and at times barbaric. What made the fued go over so much with fans is the fact that Generico couldn’t come to terms with Steen’s betrayal and it actually took him six months to even fight back. This allowed Generico to come across as the perfect underdog; and it also allowed Steen to come across as the goliath heel. I’d certainly say that it was the feud of 2009. Fast-forward to now and both men seem to have gone in opposite directions. Steen is ROH World Champion (despite not appearing much in 2011) and can seem to no wrong; El Genrico on the other hand has suffered a completely different fate and is seen to languishing somewhat.
At the beginning of 2011 Generico didn’t seem to be doing much within the company and was not really given a decent programme. This changed in the summer when Generico feuded with the House of Truth and managed to capture the TV Title from Christopher Daniels. However his reign didn’t last long and he dropped the title to the returning Jay Lethal a mere month and a bit later. Generico then drifted back into obscurity on the ROH shows despite being one of the most over stars within the company. A decent title run would have helped Generico and surely made him even more popular. The ROH booking team seem to see otherwise and he has hardly featured since that period. Notably he was left off ROH’s recent Internet pay per view Border Wars in Canada. One of the worst kept secrets in ROH is that Generico is actually from Quebec and an appearance from him would have proved popular. The future is not all bleak for El Generico though, with Steen being champion I’m sure Genrico’s and Steen’s paths will cross. With their history it would be easy enough to get a match between the two set up and it could easily headline a pay per view. Whilst Generico’s appearances in the company have diminished somewhat his popularity with the fans certainly hasn’t. A match with Steen would go over with the fans tremendously; but it wouldn’t hurt to give Generico another program beforehand, just to add to the buzz and make him a credible contender. ROH don’t rush things so I hope this is the plan that they have in mind.
No Way Out is just an overall peculiar pay per view and its peculiar nature has made it extremely difficult to predict. The event from the Izod Centre in New Jersey is strange for several reasons. The first being that No Way Out was originally the pay per view before Wrestlemania and has not been held as an event in the WWE since 2008. Why it has made its return now is beyond me; rumours were that the event would be the E’s version of Lockdown (with the “no way out theme” fitting in well with an all cage event) but that is obviously not the case. To me using this event is just a lazy way of filling the void. This sense of a void is the second reason that this is a strange pay per view. The E has five wrestlers missing from this event that certainly would have featured. Chris Jericho and Orton (who were set to face each other) are both suspended; The Miz is off filming the new Marine film and Alberto Del Rio and R Truth who have both picked up injuries. These absentees have the left the card looking bare and the E have managed to fill it; how they’ve filled it though is once again very peculiar. With all this strangeness I imagine a few surprises in this one, which will be a complete change from the WWE’s last event Over the Limit.
Layla © vs Beth Phoenix for the WWE Divas Championship
Has anyone else noticed how the WWE announces Layla as being from Miami, Florida despite her blatant British accent? It’s not a big deal particularly, it just bugs me; much like how they say Wade Barrett is from Manchester despite being from Preston and that Kofi Kingston is from Kenya despite having a Jamacian gimmick. Anyway I’m fully expecting the return of Awesome Kong in this one. I think enough time has passed now and I just have the feeling it will be at this event. Not the best reasoning I realise, but I just have that gut feeling. If I were booking it, I’d book Kharma to have a fued with Layla initially and then go on to clash with Beth Phoenix at Summerslam. So I’m booking Layla to win this one by a schoolboy roll up to then get pulverised by the female Awesome one.
Triple H addresses Brock Lesnar
Not a match I realise but it is being billed like one by the WWE so I thought I’d better cover it. Obviously what will be said will ultimately lead into a match between the two at Summer Slam. I’m fully expecting Heyman to interrupt and get under Hunter’s skin using all kinds of legal jargon; emphasising that Triple H cannot touch him. This will lead into Triple H pedigreeing the former ECW owner to get a pop from the crowd and plant the seed for some sort of stipulation at the summer event.
Santino Morella vs Ricardo Rodriguez in a Non-Title Tuxedo Match
I’m guessing the stipulation of this one is like an attitude era bra and panties match where to win you have to strip your opponent tuxedo off. Santino will win, hopefully quickly. Did you know that Rodriguez can actually wrestle? Go figure.
Christian © vs Cody Rhodes for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Two of the WWE’s most solid workers will clash here in a match that has surprisingly not been given a lot of screen time. Christian is very over at the moment and I actually thought that he was going to win Monday night on Raw. Both men clearly deserve to be in the world title picture but for the moment I think that it is going to be Cody that gets the push into the upper card whilst Christian helps establish some of the younger talent in the lower cards like how he did on Monday night in that excellent four-way match. So I’m going for a Christian win here and for it to be done in a very clean manner to put this feud to bed.
Sheamus © vs Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship
Dolph Ziggler is the last minute replacement for this one as ADR picked up a concussion and leaves myself at a bit of a crossroads. I realise that Sheamus is receiving a massive push at the moment but despite Ziggler languishing in the mid card he has actually received quite a few title matches. I think that it is put up or shut up time for Ziggler and this fits in with storylines in recent weeks. Ziggler was on quite a losing streak but on Raw a couple of weeks ago Ziggler said that he was better than that. From then on he has gone on to win (including the four way for this opportunity on Monday.) I think that Sheamus would have won the original match with ADR but I’m actually going to go with Ziggler. Sheamus is a monster baby face at the moment and perhaps having him chase at Summerslam is the right way to go. You probably think that I’m mad because the match has literally been cobbled together and if I picked Sheamus originally I should pick him now. However I think that it is this element surprise that will work in Ziggler’s favour and that he will walk out the new World Heavyweight champion.
CM Punk © vs Bryan Danielson vs Kane for the WWE Championship
This is the strangest match that the WWE have put on in recent memory. A re-match from Over the Limit would have been a more than entertaining WWE Championship match; especially as a lot of the audience declared it as being the match of the year last month. Kane just sticks out like a sore thumb. His style varies that much from the other two competitors that it just seems like he will get in the way. Perhaps the E felt that they needed to add Kane to give the match a bit more variety, but I personally think it will be a bad move. Obviously AJ will have some sort of involvement in the match; it just depends which man she chooses. I’m guessing that she will side with Danielson and eliminate Kane from contention only to have it backfire on Danielson; giving the straight edge superstar the win. I believe the best way to sustain Punk as one of the companies top baby faces is to have keep the championship for as long as possible, possibly even reaching the year landmark.
John Cena vs Big Show in a Steel Cage Match: If Big Shows wins Cena is fired, if John Laurinaitis is fired
I keep saying it Cena needs time off; I also keep saying this will be the perfect opportunity to give him some. I also keep saying that John Laurinaitis has to stay in his role as general manager; yet the subject of his firing keeps coming up. If I were booking it I would have Show win and have Cena return at the 1000 edition of Raw. Whether the E sees themselves being without John Cena for that amount of time is another matter. Of course Cena has been ‘fired’ before where he happened to show up at Raw every week but I don’t think the E would dare try that shit again. If they did go with Cena being fired they could bring him back when they wanted, but they would have to be careful how they went about it. There is also the matter of having to make Show look strong as they are attempting to project that man as their monster heel. A Cena loss would help put across all the angles I have mentioned above. As for the match itself it won’t be an enjoyable. The two have met many times before and they have not been entertaining affairs. I expect the usual spots with Cena managing the get Big Show up for an FU to impress all the women and children in attendance and managing to get Show in an STFU. I also expect Show to dominate the majority of the match. I think Mr McMahon will be the deal clincher in this one. You would expect him to screw Cena; as lets face it McMahon does not stay baby face for very long and the knockout punch he received Monday night did come as a result of Cena ducking. All the signs point to a Cena loss. So I’m going for a Cena win. Strangeness in the air with this pay per view and after the predictable nature of Over the Limit I think that the WWE will throw us a few curveballs on Sunday night.
WWE regularly puts out lists of its top competitors and normally I cannot comment in extensive detail as a lot of the list contains wrestlers from before my era. Recently however the WWE compiled a top ten world champions list from the 21st century. Unlike the top 50 tag team list and top 25 Intercontinental list I can actually have a fair stab at assessing this one as I actually know all of the wrestlers discussed in great detail and not just 85% like the other lists. So in this post I will show my list with my reasons and then show the actual list at the bottom to see how it compares. I have a couple of controversial ones in here so feel free to comment on what you think I have got right or wrong.
My Top Ten World Champions of the 21st Century List
10. Rob Van Dam
This is one of my controversial picks, especially as Van Dam only held the WWE title for just over a month. I chose Van Dam though because in the 90s and in the middle of his WWE career one of Van Dam’s nicknames was the “best wrestler never to be world champion.” When Van Dam lost this nickname it was a special moment as it was truly deserved for him. His win also took place at at one of my favourite pay per views of all time ECW One Night Stand in the Hammersmith Ballroom in New York City. Although the ECW brand would ultimately go on to fail Van Dam’s win gave me a real sense of optimism. Perhaps technically Van Dam should not be on this list for his actual title reign but for all the hard graft that Van Dam put in for ECW and the WWE I believe that he belongs here.
I’m not a fan of Dave Batista, but that still does not mean that he was not an important world champion. His first world title win came at Wrestlemania 21 defeating former Evolution teammate Triple H. This win had an air of inevitability about it after Batista’s dominance at the Royal Rumble earlier that year. After that Batista became an ever present in the world title picture and becoming an overall six time champion securing him a definite place on this list.
Much like Batista I’m not a fan of JBL. I’m sure he is a nice enough bloke but he always struck me as a redneck Ted Dibiase. The reason for his inclusion on this list is the fact that he held the WWE Title for 9 months. In this day and age of short title reigns that is quite an achievement. It also made John Cena’s victory for that title at Wrestlemania 21 (the same as Batista’s first win, and coincidently Cena’s first victory) come across as more special.
7. Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle was such a great performer for the WWE and was a great champion in the 21st century. He won his first world title right at the beginning of the 21st century at No Mercy 2000 and cemented himself in the upper card from then on. He went on to have great fueds with both Eddie Guerrero and Brock Lesnar in 2003 and 2004 culminating in an excellent match with Brock at Wrestlemania 19 that will unfortunately be remembered for Lesnar’s botched shooting star press. Angle left the company in 2006 which unfortunaltly left us wondering how Angle would fair against the E’s current crop of talent. He may opt to wrestle TNA’s young (and often old) talent these days but the WWE in the 2000’s were still largely shaped by Kurt Angle and his three Is. Oh it’s true, it’s damn true.
6. CM Punk
The current word champion has reshaped the current WWE and I would dare to say has made Raw cool again. Ever since dropping his pipe bomb last summer and giving us one of the most memorable WWE moments ever by winning the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank; Punk has been unstoppable and is currently in the middle of an 8 month championship reign. For those thinking that Punk’s place so high in the list is solely based on his most recent reigns you are sorely mistaken as I have also taken into account his World Heavyweight Championship reigns and his excellent fued with Jeff Hardy. As an old school ROH guy I would like to put Punk at the top of this list but unfortunately I’ve got to be diplomatic and I can’t do that. I’ll have to drop that pipe bomb some other time.
5. Randy Orton
Randy Orton is a nine time world champion and all his championship reigns occurred in the 2000s. His first title win came against he who must not be named at Summer Slam 2005. He is the youngest ever World Heavyweight Champion having captured the title at the age of 24. Since that title win Orton has reinvented himself with several groups such as Legacy and Rated RKO and has become a regular in the upper card (when not suspended.) It is not just his ability at holding the title that has earnt him his plaudits. He one of the best wrestlers at putting people over also, his loss to Mark Henry arguably made the Mark Henry Hall of Pain character. His championship reigns have given us some excellent encounters and Orton has slithered his way into my top 5.
4. Brock Lesnar
Here comes the Pain was the theme of Wrestling in the 2000′s. Since coming debuting on Raw in 2002 Lesnar was nothing short of dominant. With the maniacal Paul Heyman the WWE found somebody who could literally destroy all the competition. Lesnar quickly reached main event status and at Summerslam 2002 he shocked the wrestling world by beating the Rock for the WWE Championship. From then he went on to main event many pay per views and Wrestlemanias and whether you loved him or hated him you couldn’t deny his presence. In 2004 Lesnar left to pursue other ventures including mixed martial arts where he won the UFC Heavyweight Championship. He returned this year too bring legitimacy to the WWE and will compete for the WWE, but sparingly having only signed a 24 date deal. I personally think this is disgusting and I don’t particularly like having to include this man on this list.
3. Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho’s most notable championship reign was the capturing of both the WWF and WCW world titles crowning himself as the first ever undisputed champion. This was a monumental win for Jericho as he did it by defeating the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the same night and it would go on to define the man. However I believe it was Jericho’s World Title wins after his 2007 return which should receive the most praise. This new more refined Jericho took the World Heavyweight Championship to a new level with a character with a lot more depth to the obnoxious undisputed winner (it was still a good character, the later Jericho in my opinion was miles better.) Many will comment that since his return Jericho has not won a title and may mark this as a failure; however in the post that I keep threatening I will put forward an argument that will say the complete opposite.
Edge is the first ever Money in the Bank winner and the first to cash it in. I remember when he did it at New Years Revolution 2005 it was a genuine shock as it was a concept we had never seen before. From then on Edge became the “Ultimate Opportunist” stealing as many victories as he won clean (this will be a theme in a upcoming blog regarding Bobby Roode.) Before his retirement last year Edge captured 11 World Titles to add to his overall 31 championships in the WWE. His fueds with John Cena, Chris Jericho and Randy Orton (amongst many) gave us captivating television. We even nearly saw a live sex show with Lita on Raw! No wonder Edge earnt the nickname the “Rated R Superstar” (earning that nickname with a Christian rock theme song is impressive.) Most importantly Edge taught us that in the case of wrestling it is survival of the smartest; Not the fittest.
1. John Cena
I can feel the rolling of your eyes as I type this but as painful as it is John Cena does deserve to top this list. The WWE took this kid and moulded him into the biggest wrestling superstar (amongst women and children) there is. In the 80s and early 90s Hulk Hogan was the biggest star in wrestling and the WWE have very much moulded their own 21st century Hulk Hogan. Having done it backwards from the real Hulk Hogan (Hogan went from massive babyface to heel whilst Cena has done the opposite) John Cena has become the companies’ number one guy and has amassed 12 World Titles. He is become that big of a superstar within the company that he has surpassed the World Championship and it is considered uncessary for him to have the title as he doesn’t need it. When a champion reaches a level where he no longer needs to be champion, then one has to admit that he has made it (no matter how undeserving on wrestling talent that position is.)
So that is my list, here is the actual list compiled by WWE.com
1. John Cena
2. Triple H
4. The Undertaker
5. Cm Punk
6. Randy Orton
8. Chris Jericho
9. Kurt Angle
10. Booker T
As you can see there is not much difference between the lists apart from slight alterations in positions. The exclusions from my list that WWE.com have included in theirs are Booker T, Undertaker and Triple H. The reasons I excluded Booker T was that he only won the title once with the extremely irritating King Booker gimmick and that was towards the end of his competitive career with the E’. The main reason that I have excluded the Undertaker and Triple H is that I believe their best successes came in the 20th Century. The Undertaker has only held the belt in the 21st Century with the American Badass Gimmick and the ageing Taker gimmick and I believe that these gimmick pale in comparison to the Attitude Taker. Triple H on the other hand had the majority of his title reigns in the 21st century but this was when the company showed him extreme favoritism and nobody else seemed to get a chance. Triple H was consistently in main events with the title and rarely seemed to lose; and if he did lose he would regain the championship shortly after he lost it. Sure they were going with an equaling Flair’s record type angle but frankly I just found wrestling extremely teidious during that time. Any wrestler who has that affect on me is the complete opposite to the wrestler that I want to put into this list.
An interview from E3 that I found quite amusing regarding the new WWE 13 game. The game has a revolutionary theme but the only “revolutionary” info that “Great White” can give us is that erm..well…everything is updated. Earth shattering fella.
I’ll be first to admit that I’m not a fan of TNA’s product, however I figured that since I’ve started doing this now I should review what should be TNA’s biggest show of the year Slammiversary. This is the first thing that bothers me about this show. It is not the biggest show of the year for TNA, despite the fact that it is numbered and the fact it has the strongest theme of any Pay Per View. TNA is a relatively young company, so having an annual yearly pay per view that has been there from the beginning be the company’s “Wrestlemania” makes total sense. However TNA pins its hopes on Bound For Glory, mainly because it is shrouded in gimmicks, but I will deal with this issue in a separate post. I’ve never reviewed a pay per view on this blog before so the format I’ve chosen is to review each match/section and give it a mark out of ten to clearly identify the good and bad bits of the show. So now I will proceed to review TNA’s second biggest pay per view of the year.. If you are a fan of the TNA product I’d suggest averting your eyes about halfway through.
The version of the event I watched was German so I missed the opening video package of the show. But first impressions of the show were good. I have been very critical of TNA’s visual presentation regarding the arenas but this was really good. They had a full arena that were clearly into the show; and they had an actual tron! Recent TNA events I’ve watched (Lockdown and the UK tour) there wasn’t even a tron and it offered an awkward backwards angle whenever a wrestler entered the ring. Well in all his forwards glory, Hulk Hogan came to the ring. I’m not a fan of Hogan but hey these fans are and he does receive a huge pop. He came to the ring and claimed that tonight is a celebration and that tonight he was going old school. I cringed and expected the Nasty Boys to hobble down to the ring but refreshingly the announcement was that tonight’s opening bout was an X division title match. What made this old school was that Austin Aries opponent Somoa Joe exceeded the enforced weight limit in the X-Division, although I had to gleen this from Mike Tenay’s commentary, as Hogan unhelpfully didn’t mention it. I thought this was a standard opening and not bad necessarily, I think Jarrett should have perhaps made an appearance considering he is the TNA founder, but overall it was ok. 6/10
Somoa Joe vs Austin Aries © for the X Division Championship
I am a massive fan of both these men and I think Somoa Joe especially could have a heavy influence in the E. However I have to say that I loved this match and it was a thoroughly entertaining bout. The atmosphere was red hot and it was nice to see Joe get as much fan fare as A Double. The heavy kicks were well executed and there were some fantastic spots, including Aries’ 450 splash and Joe switching into a variety of submission moves from a powerbomb. The ending was solid and Aries got the win with an impressive brain buster. I would have liked a Joe win but they are obviously giving Aries a monumental push. From his declaration later in the night that he wants a main event match Aries is only heading up the TNA pecking order. The man in the cape is certainly the best thing that TNA have at the moment and he certainly deserves all his success. This was a fantastic opener to the night and it actually raised my hopes for the show. 9 ½ /10
Hernandez vs Kid Kash
Apparently this match was a return for both men, and it was nice to see both men back in the ring. I really liked Kid Kash back in the day and although he has probably come back to play a bit part role it was still nice to see him back. The same goes for Hernandez despite him utilising horrible Mexican stereotypes. At least there was not a “border toss” in this one. Solid enough match which was enjoyable enough that got all of Hernandez’s high flying spots in. A solid follow up to the breath taking opener. 7/10
Devon and Garrett Bischoff vs Robbie E and Robbie T
They all suck. Especially Garrett Bischoff. This match was forgettable. To the point where this is all I can write. Sorry. 2/10
Triple Threat for the Number One Contendership for the Heavyweight Title on this week’s impact Jeff Hardy vs Mr Anderson vs RVD
Mr Anderson came down and got the crowd ready for the match well. Despite his dangerous in ring style I still think that the E miss this guy. Jeff Hardy came down with some insane face paint, with eyes painted on his eyelids. I’m sure that this gimmick has been around a while for Jeff but I’ve never actually seen it and I thought it looked quite cool. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for the match. Despite the fact that these guys are reasonably talented this match had a strange jolted pace and spots just weren’t coming off properly. The competitors weren’t exactly botching but at the same time the moves just didn’t seem to flow. The ending of the match was quite pedestrian. Anderson got the win, but literally anyone could have won here as they all established stars. Not up to scratch. 6/10
Crimson’s Open Challenge
Amazing Red’s younger brother has some crappy tattoos. As well as his crappy tattoos he is an extremely average wrestler. Apparently the other day Crimson called Goldberg out and the live crowd were chanting for him. Instead of Bill they got James Storm which I think was meant to be a surprise (he has been out apparently) and the reception matched my feeling and was pretty flat. He quickly disposed of Crimson and ended his undefeated streak and arguably his career. Storm had a spot after the match with his beers and I think the audience enjoyed it. Perhaps it was a good segment for TNA fans but I personally found it quite boring. 5/10
Dixie Carter’s segment
This is where I get pissed off. Shit like this is what infuriates me about TNA. Dixie Carter came to the ring all happy families. Isn’t Carter meant to be involved in an angle where she is meant to be bringing the company into disrepute? This is not a small angle either, it is one of the biggest being put forward on Impact at the moment. Don’t get me wrong; I understand that this was a momentous occasion for the company and herself and she would want to make this presentation. But surely the commentator should have maybe mentioned it slightly, even if it was something about her being brave. It would have given her character depth and built up the tag team match later in the night. This was not even the tip of what was wrong with this though. This segment was to promote the TNA Hall of Fame. TNA has the nerve and audacity to have a hall of fame. The WWE has a hall of Fame because it has been going since 1952 so literally has thousands of wrestlers to induct. The WWE also has amassed a massive amount of stock footage of not only its own action but also all of its rivals giving them the opportunity to be more of a wrestling hall of fame. TNA has been going for ten years and the amount of guys that can be inducted can be counted on my fingers. It also doesn’t help that most of these guys are still active wrestlers. Hall of Fame appearances are supposed to occur at the end of someone’s career and be an opportunity for them to look back on their work. The fact that Sting is the first inductee, a man who is IN THE MAIN EVENT FOR THIS VERY PAY-PER-VIEW is ridiculous. The video package they showed was limp, which was ended by Devon saying how good Sting IS, not how good Sting was, but how good he is. More to the point why is D’Von Dudley the end note of Sting’s career! The whole thing beggars belief. The whole idea of TNA having a hall of fame is an example of TNA running before they can walk which I highlighted in an earlier post and the whole thing just made me angry. Sting’s acceptance speech acted more like a promo for his match later in the night and less of a hall of fame acceptance speech at the end of somebodies career. At least Bobby Roode was not on the stage clapping with the sparse TNA locker room in attendance, it wouldn’t have surprised me if they even fucked that bit up. -2/10
Miss Tessmacher vs Gail Kim © for the Knockouts Championship
Not much to say about this one, Tessmacher wins the title simply because of the home state pop. It ended with a simple underdog roll up pin and overall was a really quick bout. I don’t expect her to have the title for long, It was probably the right thing to do to add to the live atmosphere. I’m sorry to be misogynistic but it gets two extra points simply because Miss Tessmacher is extremely attractive. 6/10
Bully Ray vs Joseph Parks in an Anything Goes Match
I’m not a fan of these type of matches, the man with no “experience” vs the established man. The plus side for this one is that unlike WWE’s offerings of these types of matches which go on far too long this one was kept fairly short. The big problem is that only an idiot could know that Joseph is not Abyss. The angle of having Abyss under the ring being played by someone else was unexpected, but I still found myself rolling my eyes. The whole angle is just insulting to the fans, but then again it is aimed at TNA fans. They will swallow any old shit. 4/10
In the Ric Flair blog I posted I extensively slagged off TNA for not getting anything out of letting Flair appear at Wrestlemania. However I have to take that back as this allowed Christian to appear here in a smart move by TNA and was a coup for Dixie Carter and co. He introduced the number one moment in TNA history which to be honest was fairly weak and was yet another non-descript Sting moment. They really, really love Sting, its quite sickening really but that will be brought up later in this post. The downside for TNA was that the two chants generated were from the WWE side of things, the ever present “YES” and the “one more match” chant from the Christian Smackdown world title angle. However I have to tip my hat to TNA on this one. 8/10
AJ Styles and Kurt Angle vs Kaz and Daniels © for the TNA World Tag Team Titles
Despite his trailer trash fashion sense I do really like AJ Styles. My memories of him are mainly concerned with ROH but he really is Mr TNA (more so than Sting I would say.) Kurt Angle even in the twilight of his career can still pull off quality matches. This was a solid tag match with a few good spots. By this time I was really tempted to turn the pay per view off and this match kept me tuned in. I especially enjoyed the double german suplex and the double DDT spots and I believe the Angle/Styles win was the right call due to the celebratory theme of the PPV. It does make me wonder why Joe/Magnus combination was derailed though, as Kaz/Daniels did nothing with their title run. 8/10
Sting vs Roode © for the World Heavyweight Title
This match infuriated me. The Roode title run infuriates me. Roode is the longest running TNA champion however in this space of time he has done it without applying his finishing move once. I get the cowardly champion route, and it does make sense for Roode to do i every now and again, but not every time. Sting literally dominated this one from start to finish. Roode and Sting are roughly the same size and this match should have played out the other way, Mainly due to the fact that Sting is 53 years old. Roode’s natural advantage of youth and stamina would have gained sympathy from the crowd and would have made him look like a more credible champion. Roode is not getting a fair push and I believe that this title run is actually harming him as the do anything to win scenarios he is being put in makes him look like he is not capable of winning clean. They need to get their head out of Sting’s arse and realise that Roode is the right man to lead TNA, but he needs to do it by actually looking like he can beat somebody and not fluke it. The end segment of Sting putting Roode through the table was ridiculous and merely acted as fan service. Fan service does not get you anywhere in the long run. 1/10
Overall this pay per view was mixed, mixing from brilliant matches to the absolute opposite. This pay per view seemed to mainly revolve around Sting and this is the downfall of TNA. If the show ended with a clean Roode win it would have been better for TNA in the long term. Something that TNA never takes into consideration. I probably will watch Bound for Glory but only for the purposes of this blog and not for actual entertainment, the overly complicated Bound for Glory series tournament will probably bring up all kinds of non sensical-rubbish.
If you want an example of Goldberg’s dominance, there is no better than the NWO Black and White vs NWO Wolfpack vs Goldberg battle royal from Road Wild 98. Goldberg defeated the majority of the NWO in just one match, when his undefeated streak was at about 129. I don’t know if any wrestler has ever been put over as dominant as well as Goldberg. I also find the concept of a pay per view attended by mostly bikers a fascinating and scary concept. Part two is below and is the actual match itself, the video above is the entrances.