I was going to simply do this column on TNA alone, but now, as I check the sources that I look at regularly, it seems like I have to talk some WWE, as there has been some major league releases. I’ll do that before picking the Genesis PPV. First, let’s talk TNA.
I guess the lines have officially been drawn. It’s kind of funny. Here I am, watching Smackdown with my 10 and 9 year old last night, and watching the replay of Impact with my 10 year old today, and there were stark differences in the programming, yet still there are a lot of similiarities. What I want to know is simple, and I know one particular young lady friend of mine will email me a reason and an answer to this question.
I believe the majority of the overall wrestling fan is under the age of 20. With that being said, what is WWE and TNA doing bringing too much reality in to a world that should be deemed more fantasy than anything else?
I’m sounding like a contradictory fool, I know, but this is how conflicted I have become. While I don’t have a problem with seeing Kane rip a man’s flesh through the Hell in A Cell, or Kaz jumping off the Elevation X structure and nailing a leg drop from about 20 feet in the air, I have problems when they discuss hit and run car accidents, and legitimate friends and family are brought in to fantasy wrestling storylines.
As I write this column discussing my thoughts on Impact from this past week, and the forthcoming Genesis PPV, I invite you to go to Palace.Podbean.com to check out a podcast I did friday night after watching Smackdown, when I was really kind of upset about the entire stupid and ridiculous angle involving the re-introduction of Christian Cage back in to the WWE.
But, that’s a shameless plug, let’s get back to Impact from this past week.
The opening segment involving the match between Eric Young & Alex Shelley to determine the finalist for the X Title tournament. It was a hell of a match, and it continues what appears to be a nice little side angle involving Sabin, Shelley, and Foley, as the promo Foley did during the Guns interview was very fun and right on point, which I enjoyed considerably. What I am wondering here is, is this tournament final match a punishment for Sabin and Shelley for stinking up the joint, literally and figuratively in TNA over the past few months, or is this the beginning of full heel turns for Sabin & Shelley and perhaps different avenues for these two outside of the main storyline. What I am also curious about is, will Sabin and Shelley show off their other new gold, the IWGP Jr. Tag titles tomorrow night in Charlotte. Questions that will be intriguing to have answered come tomorrow night. What bothers me though is supposed Front Line members are fighting each other for a prize outside of the main angle, and it appears to not be a factor in anything that is being done involving the main angle, like it doesn’t even exist. It’s kind of sad because EY was a major part in the beginning of the MEM/Front Line story, and he has seemingly dropped off the face of the creative geniuses since.
The segments involving the Beautiful People plainly just make me want to puke. End of story.
Awesome Kong’s match leading in to Sunday was just that, awesome. Madison Rayne was a good looking woman, but I mean, was. Damn, she got blistered during that tune up.
The Mafia’s promos were, troubling. Not Booker’s, Steiner’s, or Sting’s. But Angle’s. Angle needs literal mental help, and he needs it now. You cannot tell me that the aura that Angle is portraying in the ring is not filtering out to real life. He has got to be mentally unbalanced now more than ever. I don’t like where this is going with Angle. I think there’s a significant element of realism in the feud with Jarrett, and, while it is compelling to watch to see what the train wreck known as the Olympic Gold Medalist is going to do next, its also kind of disturbing. I’m going to pick up Bound For Glory IV as soon as I can, and I am interested to see how this began, but this has gotten to the point that it’s almost dangerous. I hope both men are able to put whatever is boiling underneath aside to put on a good show, and not have anyone seriously injured when this bout is completed come Sunday night in Charlotte.
I liked the scenario that brought Lethal & Creed the World Tag Team Titles. I don’t remember if Roode’s injury is legitimate or not, but the deal was done very, very well, in my humble opinion. It was also well overdue, as someone in the Front Line needed to wear some gold, to keep the angle alive. I liked Devon’s quick line to allow the champs to enjoy the moment, and not turn the focus to them. I also wonder what the deal will be with the now triple threat tag match involving the champs, the former champs Beer Money, and Morgan and Abyss. I hope, and I pray, if the Good Lord above can see this, I pray that the OLD Abyss returns to TNA in some form. This Abyss right now is absolutely disgusting. I don’t dispute Matt Morgan’s frustration with the idiocy that creative has done with Abyss. Abyss was a monster. He is now, a weakling. “Don’t msitake kindness for weakness?” Come on, Chris Parks, ever since the white shirt and pants were put on, you’ ve been a shell of your former self, the same self that brought you the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Since then, what’s happened? Outside of going through a flaming table in Chicago, what’s happened? Not too much, thank you, good night.
Bashir vs. Sewell. The star of this show was Jim Cornette. Did you all notice how red his face was by the time that segment was done? I thought he was going to pop a blood vessel. Cornette is still gold on the microphone, even if his role has been majorly reduced.
The Mafia’s promise of taking out Foley and Jarrett, and the subsequent protection declaration by Devon & AJ was also fun to watch and emotional. I liked the presentatiion of Ray’s vest to Mick to help bring out the Cactus Jack persona in time for sunday night. Jarrett and Foley’s promos at the end of the night really made me almost want to pick up this PPV, even with the aspects that I have not been happy with. Yes, I am contradicting myself in a major way, but that’s how its been with TNA and me lately. Up and down, left and right, never straight down the middle loving it. I don’t think that’s happened for me and TNA since Las Vegas.
I think that’s all I have to say for the time being. I know it sounds like a mess. But, truth be told, that what appears to be the case with regard to pro wrestling lately. A mess.
WWE has released the following individuals, apparently within the last 48 hours or so:
* Mike Kruel
* Gavin Spears
* Kevin Thorn
* Val Venis
* Bam Neely
* D-Lo Brown
* Referee Jimmy Korderas
* Referee Kevin Keenan
* Referee Mike Posey
* Producer Tim White
Out of all of these men, I feel the worst for the referees and Val Venis. It is sad that Val, an employee of WWE for some time, is let go and not given some form of a backstage role. I know that he has no real spot on the creative aspect of the WWE product, but doesn’t loyalty to the company mean something? I can say the same thing for Tim White, who obviously had his career cut short during Hell in a Cell.
As for Kruel, Spears, and Neely, I’m sad they’re gone from the company, especially Kruel, because I thought Kruel, if ever given a chance, could succeed. (I had a soft spot for him, I saw him live back a few years ago here on Long Island), and the others, well, Neely apparently has heat for the Evan Bourne injury, which would be enough to send McMahon over the edge, and if Spears can’t find his way on to ECW while guys like DJ Gabriel and Jack Swagger do, you can see the writing on the wall.
It’s kind of sad to see how WWE has been hit by the current state of the world, and the country as we know it, but it does bring in to full light the current condition of the economy, and it’s just another reminder to hold on to what you have, because tomorrow, it may not be there anymore.
While all of this cost cutting is going on, it apparently is official that Low Ki has signed with WWE. All I can say is, if WWE lets Low Ki be Low Ki, that will be a significant addition to the roster. If they put the braces and brackets and restrictions on Low Ki that they have done to others, I don’t see Ki making it well in WWE. I think they’ve been laxing on the restrictions as apparent by Punk and Bourne’s styles lately, but I can’t confirm that yet. I’m very interested to see how this transpires in the future.
Let’s go through the Genesis card.
Shane Sewell vs. Sheik Abdul Bashir
I don’t know anything about Sewell’s past prior to coming to TNA. I do know about Bashir’s. It appears from the brief encounters that both of these men have had leading up to this match that its going to be competitive. I don’t suspect that it’s going to be something that will end cleanly, as I suspect Bashir to dos omething nasty to get the victory. I think Bashir needs this match more than Sewell does. I also think that there’s going to be some sort of trial period with Sewell to make sure he’s ready to go with this new direction in his TNA career.
Winner: Sheik Abdul Bashir
TNA World Tag Team Championship
Jay Lethal & Consequences Creed vs. Beer Money, Inc. vs. Matt Morgan & Abyss
I don’t think that Lethal & Creed are going to lose this match just “three days” after winning the tag team titles from cashing in their briefcase. It would totally devalue the legitimacy of the Feast or Fired briefcases. I think the obvious part of this match is the work of Morgan and Abyss. Will they coexist and make a good showing, or will this be the re-birth of the true Monster, and the eventual obvious feud between the Blueprint and the true American Monster? As for the rest of the contest, Storm and Roode were excellent champions, but it was time for a change.
Winners: Jay Lethal & Consequences Creed
TNA X Division Championship
Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley
If they put on a wrestling match, it should be amazing to watch. If they try to screw Mick Foley, it’ll be interesting to see what Foley does, if he does anything at the PPV itself. It wouldn’t surprise me if there is some sort of screwy finish to this match that Homicide turns around and cashes in his X title shot here, and makes it a more difficult night for the Motor City Machine Guns. Whatever the case, it is a guarantee that this match could possibly be the most intruging out of all of the matches on the card. I’ll pick Sabin to win, because Sabin is a former X title holder. I think Foley will make sure Shelley doesn’t have the belt when the night is over.
Winner: Chris Sabin
Lumberjack Match for the TNA Knockouts Championship
Awesome Kong vs. Christy Hemme
As much as TNA is promoting Christy Hemme as a talented wrestler, and as much as I would like to see Hemme wear gold, I can’t see the TNA Knockouts being able to stop the Kong-tourage. Khan and Kong themselves can take out pretty much any two Knockouts that there are out there. Roxxi, Taylor, and ODB can hold their own, but the odds are not in Hemme’s favor. I think Hemme may win the belt eventually, but not in a singles match.
Winner: Awesome Kong
Mick Foley, Brother Devon & AJ Styles vs. Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner & TNA Legends Champion Booker T.
It’s really weird to see Devon wrestling without Ray. I just read a report that Ray is considering retirement. I wonder how true that is since 3D wrestled in Japan just last week when they won the IWGP Tag Team Championship. I read the review that the match was God awful, but the fact is, Ray wrestled. So, I am wondering if the retirement speculation is truly legit. Anyway, Devon running solo is still weird to see. I don’t mind it, but it’s weird. Teaming with Styles is never a bad thing, as Styles continues to evolve in to one of the best in the world. Foley for one night can kill anyone in his path if he so chooses. However, the opposition is definitely top notch. Booker is still on top of his game, even at the advanced age he is, Steiner looks like he can still run a marathon. Nash definitely looks older than the other 5 participants in the match, but nobody can degrade his power, and I sure as hell won’t do that either. Winners here?? I doubt there’s a clean finish here either, but I gotta believe that the TNA Executive Shareholder will not lose. I think the Front Line begins to switch the balance of power toward them with this win here.
Winners: Mick Foley, Brother Devon & AJ Styles
Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett
This match scares me. It’s too damn real. It really scares me. It may be one of the best fights on the planet, or it may be downright disturbing. I don’t think there’s anything close to a middle ground here. I hope that this match doesn’t injure anyone, and I hope that somewhere after this match, Angle finds the help he so desperately needs. I don’t see Angle winning, as I can’t see the founder falling in battle. But, I can see the founder taking a gang style hit after the 3 count, to take him out of television, and return him to where he wants to be, obviously.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Sting vs. Rhino
I don’t see Rhino taking the title here. I see Sting keeping the belt, and maybe causing some dissension among the ranks of the Mafia, as he has been in the background way too long. His ego cannot take the lack of exposure that he’s been getting lately. I have to believe that Sting retains here, and we may see the return of Samoa Joe to begin a return match feud for the title. Joe deserves another run, and if the company isn’t smart enough to give AJ a run with the title, then give another run to Joe when Sting drops the belt, but I don’t see the deal happening here. It’d be nice, and I’d give all the props in the world to Rhino, as a 2nd world title reign would add significant legitimacy to his resume in TNA, especially when his reign as NWA title holder lasted three days. I just don’t see Sting allowing this to happen twice.
Thanks for reading.