-The First Shot-
Hello and welcome to the 27th edition of The Shoot. Another PPV has come and gone and this time it was TNA Hard Justice. As customary in my columns, I will review my picks in the One Extra Round segment. I have a follow up to the E-Mail I received last week about my Hulk Hogan heel turn information as well as Quick Shots, another rant for the main portion, and a little something more. So lots of stuff to pack this column with this week, but before we dig in, as customary, let’s start out with Quick Shots.
Kurt Angle arrested? HGH Found in the car!? STALKING HIS GIRLFRIEND!? And yet? your winner and still TNA World Champion? I don?t think I really need to comment on this? this story kind of speaks for itself and you can pretty much tell what I?m thinking right about now.
It seems a case of the stingers is making its way around the ROH locker room. A couple of weeks ago, former ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness suffered a stinger in a match, but was said to be fine afterward and at the ROH TV Tapings last night, former ROH World Champion Jerry Lynn also suffered a stinger and is doing fine as well. I think the moral of the story here is if you?re a former ROH World Champion, pull some weight and refuse to take a piledriver. It might just be good for you.
Wrestlemania in 2012 (which will be Wrestlemania 28 for those keeping score) looks to make a return to our neighbors to the north. ?. It will mark a 10 year absence from Toronto as the last time the WWE was there, it was back in 2002 at Wrestlemania 18 headlined by The Rock vs Hulk Hogan. Of course, it’s Canada and with a Canadian Wrestlemania, there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing 70,000 people chant ?You Screwed Bret. Speaking of Bret Hart? let the ?WWE is in talks with Bret Hart? or ?Bret Hart will be at Wrestlemania? rumors begin!
-The Big Shot: The Usage of Nostalgia-
Ah yes, the good ol days. The days when we were all just little bumpkins sitting in front of our televisions sets in our underoos watching our favorite wrestlers and worshiping them as heroes. Whether they were Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Doink the Clown, Tugboat, or any of the other ?out there? characters, we all watched in amazement and cheered them on like the superheroes we all believed them to be.
Then something happened.
We grew up.
Yes, we grew up and became more intelligent about wrestling. Instead of sitting in front of the television and enjoying a wrestling product for what it is, we have grown into wrestling analysts. We watch Monday Night Raw or Friday Night Smackdown and then hop on our computers and post about what we like, don?t think, what worked, didn?t worked, and all the like. We tune into TNA iMPACT! And then come back online and shake our heads and pray that something happens to turn them around each and every week.
While that is all fine and dandy, nostalgia rears its ugly head once in a while to take us away from all the analytical and observing and serves us up some fond memories of the day we sat in front of our television sets in our Ninja Turtle underwear and just enjoyed wrestling for what it is, but sometimes that doesn?t always work because sometimes nostalgia is overused and the cute little five year olds we once were are transformed back into the 20-somethings that sit here and pick shows apart.
This is one of those transformations.
This column was already written in my head last week when I sent in Shoot 26 and saw that the headlines read that D-Generation X was coming back for WWE Summerfest (Yes, I know it is Summerslam, but I just love the name). I mean, DX is cool and everything, but it was cool in 1998 when it was the WWE’s answer to WCW’s nWo. Back then, the hijinks of Triple H and Shawn Michaels pushed the envelope. Chyna, X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn all helped make it into a sensation. The memories are all there from WCW invasion to the parody of the Nation of Domination. DX was much edgier than the New World Order and it catered to the WWE fans and helped brand the Attitude Era alongside Steve Austin.
This was the same effect that the New World Order had on WCW. It breathed new life into the Hulk Hogan character and with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall fresh off of coming over from the then WWF, it made for a realistic sense that people were actually trying to take over the company. These respective formulas worked, but the problem with formulas that work, especially ones that work as well as the nWo and DX, are that they are bound to be brought back for that cheap pop, for that extra ticket sale, or for that higher PPV buyrate.
I mean, let’s face it. D-X was brought back in 2002, but ended quickly when HHH Pedigreed Shawn Michaels and that lead to their 3 Stages of Hell match at Armageddon (which I saw live and loved it). They brought DX back to terrorize Vince McMahon and spray Photoshopped logos over the WWE headquarters and even spraypainted the WWE corporate jet, but that faded away. DX came back for one night one on an edition on Monday Night Raw, and now they are coming back again for Summerfest 2009. I?m sorry, but I am sick of D-Generation X. It will never be what it once was and this is just something that Vince and company are doing to sell more tickets to their Wrestlemania of the summer. It’s a marketing ploy, but beyond that, it’s just Triple H and Shawn Michaels teaming together. We?ll get the usual poop jokes and sexual references, albeit toned down due to the PG-13 rating, but outside of that, it’s just two top guys that are teaming together who will run over Rhodes and Dibiase and that?ll be the end of that. I?d rather watch Ozzy Osbourne perform at Blizzcon than see DX come back again.
As aforementioned, DX isn?t the only group that was brought back over and over again. The nWo had its fair share of reincarnations. From the split into the Wolfpac, to the reuniting of the nWo on two separate occasions, not to mention that they were one year apart, to going as far as to bring Hall, Hogan, and Nash back into the WWE for its final hurrah. WCW tried to reform the Four Horsemen at one point as well, and I will admit, that one worked well for one simple reason: it wasn?t constantly dug up from the grave and shoved in our face over and over and over again.
It doesn?t even have to be a faction. Hulk Hogan returned to the WWE many times after his initial return with the new nWo and we had Hulkamania shoved into our faces over and over again.
I?m kind of breaking down into some rambling, but the ultimate point that I am trying to get across is that nostalgia is nice, it’s fun, and it’s all good up until the point where it becomes a constant reminder of the past. Once in a great while is great. If Hulk Hogan showed up in 2002, never was seen again, and then came back now in 2009, it would hold a little more special meaning (well maybe to some.. to me, I would hope Hogan never came back.) The same thing could be said with DX. If this was the first time DX was reunited since 1999, then it would have made a much more special moment. When you take nostalgia and book it so it has meaning, you win, but if you take nostalgia and book it as a marketing tool because you are desperate to put some extra butts in the seats and use that as your fail safe, then you are doing it all wrong because it loses its magic and loses its appeal.
Nostalgia is best with time. Like a fine wine, you need to let it age to capture the true potency of it and to experience it at its best otherwise you might as go buy yourself a Capri Sun and go nuts. So hopefully, this is the last time we ever see D-Generation X in the WWE. If it comes back within the next two years, anyone who cheers for the memories should be smacked with a 2×4 repeatedly until they can?t sense the world because they obviously will pop and mark out for the littlest thing instead of appreciating the finer things in the wrestling world.
And that’s my soapbox rant for the week. Now let’s load the gun and fire one extra round.
-One Extra Round: TNA Hard Justice Picks-
TNA Hard Justice came and went and I want to cry over the main event? those thoughts and a little bit of an explanation on my part about a certain nickname for a certain TNA tag team are coming your way!
Abyss vs. Jethro Holiday
Thoughts ? Oh Dr. Stevie, what can I say? Nothing you can throw our way will cause Abyss to sway. This one you could see, from more than a mile away! I could carry on rhyming all day, but moving on will keep the haters at bay! Oy Vey.
For the “Feast or Fired” Case
Rob Terry vs. Hernandez
Thoughts ? After all that promo time and building up you think they would just throw the win to Rob Terry? Well, you?re right, this is TNA, but I figured they would have SOME common sense, and they did. Yay!
For the rights to be the #1 Contender for the X Division Title
**Steel Asylum Cage Match**
Suicide vs. Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley vs. Consequences Creed vs. Jay Lethal vs. Daniels vs. Amazing Red vs. D’Angelo Dinero (aka Elijah Burke)
PICK: D?Angelo Dinero
Thoughts ? When there are more than 3 guys in an X-Division match, it’s kind of like throwing a dart into a bucket of fish and you hope it hits the one you want. I figured with him debuting, Dinero would take the spotlight, but it went to the much deserved Christopher Daniels.
FOR THE IWGP TAG TEAM TITLES
The British Invasion (Champions) vs. Beer Money, Inc.
WINNER: The British Invasion
PICK: The British Invasion
Thoughts ? As much as I would have loved Beer Money to pick up the win here, I think it was in TNA’s vested interest to keep their relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling alive. Because of that little skirmish between the two offices, this one became easily predictable.
FOR THE TNA KNOCKOUT’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Angelina Love (Champion) vs. ODB
PICK: Angelina Love
Thoughts ? I thought that Angelina Love would have held onto the championship sooner, but that Old Dirty? picked up the win and the title. Maybe ODB and Cody Deaner can pull a Jamie Noble and buy themselves a double wide now!
FOR THE TNA TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Booker T and Scott Steiner (Champions) vs. Team 3D
WINNER: Half and Half
PICK: Half and Half
Thoughts ? This one was an easy prediction due to the fact that they were looking to continue on with the Main Event Mafia holding all of the power, plus I think it was too soon for Team 3D to capture another tag team championship. Now as for my Half and Half nickname? no? to answer the E-Mails, it’s not because Booker T is black and Scott Steiner is white. They united as one half of the two greatest tag teams in wrestling history, Harlem Heat and The Steiner Brothers. Half of one tag team plus half of another tag team equals Half and Half. You can stop the hate mail now!
FOR THE TNA LEGEND’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Mick Foley (Champion) vs. Kevin Nash
WINNER: Kevin Nash
PICK: Kevin Nash
Thoughts ? Just like the tag title match, it became predictable based on last month’s PPV results. They clearly wanted the main event mafia in charge of all the titles, so this was a necessary title change to make that storyline continue.
FOR THE TNA X DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Homicide (Champion) vs. Samoa Joe
WINNER: Samoa Joe
PICK: Samoa Joe
Thoughts ? Anyone who has followed my column since the beginning knows that Samoa Joe is my favorite wrestler. I was hoping he would win the title and he has. I was hoping for a nice feud with Homicide, but he now has Daniels in his future, which given their matches in TNA and ROH in the past, will be one hell of a contest either way. I?m sure I might enjoy this X Division title reign a lot more! Now go Joe? Joe and do what you do best? DESTROY!
FOR THE TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Kurt Angle (Champion) vs. Sting vs. Matt Morgan
WINNER: Kurt Angle
PICK: Originally Kurt Angle, but switched to Sting
Thoughts ? I had Kurt as my choice, but then he was arrested. Thinking TNA was smart enough to avoid a black eye by keeping a title on someone who was caught with HGH and stalking his girlfriend, I sent in my new vote to Anthony Valvo and switched it to Sting. But it seems that TNA doesn?t care that their world champion, the man carrying the company by being the face of TNA, was just arrested for some things that don?t exactly send a positive message to their ?young people? demographic. Ugh.. I feel Shoot 28 boiling inside me already?
But anyway? 52-36 is my overall total. Last PPV I moved up to 8th place among the faculty and I still remain there. Maybe I can rectify that with Summerfest.
-The Final Shot-
A couple columns ago, I told you all to check out Umineko no Naku Koro ni for not only the story, but it’s great opening theme. Today, the full version of that theme has been released and I urge you to YouTube it and check it out! Akiko Shitaka is the artist and the song is called Katayoku no Tori (One-Winged Bird). It’s worth your time!
If you want an American recommendation, check out Within Temptation. If you liked Evanescence, you?ll love them. I recently dug through my MP3 folder and found them sitting there begging to be played and I fell in love with them all over again. Once you listen to their unique and dynamic music, you?ll never listen to Evanescence again because it?ll be like ordering a Filet Mignon and then switching back to a McDonald’s 29 cent hamburger.
Also Psych is back on USA with a new season.. woot! I am a happy man.
Also, one final note? last week, I had an E-mail correcting me about my statement that Hulk Hogan turned heel for the first time in his career when he joined the New World Order. I was corrected with the following statement:
John Giammarino wrote:
“I just wanted to correct you on something mentioned in your column: “Hogan turned heel for the first time in his career “, this in incorrect, actually Hulk Hogan started wrestling as a heel in Florida and with the WWF and had his first big match with Andre The Giant in 1980, where Andre was the face and Hogan was the heel.”
I received another E-Mail, this time from a guy named Phil, who had this to say about it.
I’d just like to pick up on this from your coloumn if I may? Now, if Hogan started his career as a heel then technically he never “turned” heel until the NWO – so you were right after all!”
So what do you guys think? Do you think John is right in saying that since Hogan started as a heel that it was considered him turning heel or do you think Phil is right by stating that if he started as a heel, he never officially ?turned? until the New World Order? I?d be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject matter. If you wish to express your thoughts? use the conventional means below.
Until next week?