World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Nonstop Action Present…
Raw vs. Impact
The Monday Night War: Take Two.
Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the sexiest wrestling reviews this side of the Rio Grande, Cewsh Reviews. Tonight we ACTUALLY have a special treat for you as we analyze and break down perhaps one of the most important (and certainly one of the most hyped) nights in wrestling history, as TNA steps up to the plate and formally challenges WWE for the first time ever. On that Monday night, on January 4th, the wrestling industry changed. But did it change for the better? Did TNA establish themselves as credible contenders to the throne? Did WWE stave off their hungrier counterparts? Well questions like that are why you have such clever and amazing people to watch this stuff for you. Even if they aren’t here, and you’re stuck with us.
The basic idea here is that we’ll review the shows chronologically, starting with TNA (which went 3 hours instead of 2 and started an hour before WWE), and compare the two shows side by side as they happen, comparing segments and determining which show was superior in head to head segments. Bear in mind as we go through that our copies of these shows have no commercials, so the times may not line up with what you watched on television. We’ll also rate the matches, and at the end form our definitive conclusions as to who won the first battle of this wrestling war. Make sense? Excellent.
So tonight we shrug off our usual format and our usual trappings and embrace a (one time only) change, just as the wrestling industry has. Tonight we break down a night for the ages minute by minute to cover every last detail of this historic evening. Tonight we review and muse upon the acts of immortals locked in the battle of a generation.
Tonight, we do a motherfucking review.
00:00 – 01:43 – Opening Video Fever.
Cewsh: As a fan of TNA more or less since the beginning, watching this opening video montage of TNA’s history leading to this moment brings back a ton of mixed feelings. On one hand there have been a great number of truly wonderful memories and moments that TNA has given me over the years. On the other hand, I’m not convinced TNA knows what its good moments WERE, and just kind of throws random images on the screen intermixed with images of Hulk Hogan.
Ms.Cewsh: TNA starts the night with a video package about their past and their future. The future is Hogan. The past is a bunch of old guys I don’t recognize with a bunch of dates that aren’t really explained. You guys know you’re trying to draw in new viewers, yes? Yes? OK. Still, the package is pretty well done, and the Hogan parts are at least exciting.
Cewsh: I’m wayyyy more excited for this show than Ms. Cewsh is, even though TNA temporarily has her interested and not yelling and throwing things. I am goddamn motherfucking excited and I cannot wait to see what TNA has in store for us.
04:19 – 05:46 – Bubba the Love Sponge Is A Stupid Name.
Ms.Cewsh: The announcers run down a card that will be thrown out in like ten minutes. Then they cut to one of the most attractive men I’ve ever seen with a little placard reading: Bubba the Love Sponge. Of course, Bubba is the fat Bono look alike on the left, not the gorgeous fan on the right. Damn. The fans have been coached. They may very well be reading off a teleprompter. It’s very obvious and very bad.
Cewsh: Bubba the Love Sponge looks like a douchebag. I could probably be somewhat more tactful than that, but it’s a fact. He looks like a douche, appears to add nothing to the show, and has for some reason replaced Jeremy Borash despite Borash being the only thing that holds the shows together thematically almost every week. That’s the first serious mistake of this show. I’m hoping it’s the last.
He interviews some chicks with major hard ons for wrestlers, a dude that Ms. Cewsh almost licked the screen upon seeing, and then some guy that actually got TNA’s logo tattooed on him. That is some serious devotion right there. I wouldn’t even get my OWN logo tattooed on me. Much less the logo of the people who employ Rhino.
These People Let Nascar Drivers Wrestle!
05:47 – 17:02 – Steel Asylum Match – Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Homicide, Kiyoshi, Suicide, The Amazing Red, Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed.
Ms.Cewsh: Our first match of the night is The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Homicide and Kiyoshi vs. Lethal Consequences vs. Suicide vs. Amazing Red. Wait, this isn’t a tag match?
Cewsh: If you squint, you can’t tell the difference.
Ms. Cewsh: It’s some sort of cage clusterfuck. The cage is a shockingly bright, electric red. The bars are much thicker than the usual cage bars. The ropes are also red and the camera is at such an angle that it’s hard to tell if someone is climbing the cage, or jumping off the ropes.
It’s impossible to follow any of the action. The camera work is jerky. The cage is swaying terribly. This is not good.
Finally, the match is brought to a stop after Homicide’s second baton shot. See Cewsh for ragey details. Cide tries to scale the cage, get’s his foot stuck, can’t get out, flails about. Suicide visibly calls for the other participants to get up and distract the crowd. Jeff Hardy, TNA’s worst decision in recent memory, runs out through the crowd. Whee, let’s debut a wrestler on the very day courts decided to pursue federal charges! And, because this is the Impact Zone, the pop isn’t nearly big enough to justify the risk. Way to get your money’s worth.
41 out of 100
Cewsh: Let me make this very, very, very clear. This match is one of the single worst things that TNA has ever produced and it opened their biggest show of all time. If you want to crack your own jokes about “TNA being TNA” I won’t argue with you at all, but at the moment I’m just too busy wondering why. Why did the feel the need to open their huge show in front of a new audience by hiding their most exciting matches inside of a cage where you can’t see anything? Why put them all in a huge clusterfuck that is impossible to follow, therefore completely burying their individuality and ability to be exciting? And why the shitfucking shitfuck does it end like that? Was everyone involved just completely stoned out of their minds?
Allow me to relate the events. These guys have the best match they can have in 5 minutes with everyone flying around and nobody really standing out or even really attempting to escape the cage like you’re supposed to. Finally Homicide pulls out a goddamn blackjack and nails the Amazing Red with it. He and Kiyoshi pose for a bit afterwards with the fans booing, but nothing else really happening. Then Homicide hits Kiyoshi with it, following which THE REFEREES CALL FOR THE BELL. The called the match on account of Homicide using a weapon. Inside of a steel cell. Not only did they end this match under that dubious decision, but they apparently have something against the Amazing Red because he got the shit knocked out of him with absolutely no repercussions. It is at this point that the fans begin to heartily chant “This is bullshit” marking possibly the first time I’ve ever agreed with the Impact Zone.
Then Homicide, apparently deaf to hearing the ringing of bells (my uncle had that tragic condition), climbs the cage anyway, in a misguided attempt to escape through the top instead of, say, walking through the fucking door. Unfortunately for him (and us) he gets his foot stuck at the top and can’t quite make his way threw the hole, causing every single person in this match to break character by standing up and staring at him. Finally Suicide remembers they’re having a match and starts a little brawl to cover this. Homicide jumps down and runs out of the cage only for Jeff Hardy to emerge from the crowd for no known reason. For even LESS known reason, Homicide and Jeff Hardy start to brawl, resulting in Jeff kicking his ass, climbing the cage and sitting there, assumedly just to rub Homicide’s futility in his face.
Not The Highest Jeff Hardy Will Be Tonight.
Holy god what a terrible match this was, but even worse than the match is the significance towards the show. The first things thousands of new fans saw upon tuning in for the first time, was this enormous travesty masquerading as a wrestling match. Fucking Christ, TNA. This was not a good start.
30 out of 100.
17:42 – 17:50 – Shannon Is A Girl’s Name.
Ms.Cewsh: Commercial break, recap, and we cut to Jeff in the back with some dude. The first time I watched the show, I completely missed this segment. This time, I just missed who the dude was. (Shannon Moore? I’m sorry, who?)
Cewsh: You know, Shannon Moore! The member of Three Count! The Mattitude follower! The Prince of Punk!
Actually, come to think of it, who the shit is Shannon Moore?
18:42 – 20:33 – Kevin Nash and Christy Hemme Talk For Awhile.
20:49 – 25:24 – TNA Knockout’s Championship – Tara(fyingly Talented) © vs. O(Obtuse)D(Destructive)B(Booking).
Cewsh: I’m not going to blow anyone away by saying that I’m not very interested in any matches with ODB in them. However I figured I’d give this one a shot since Tara is the champion now, and she’s had some very respectable matches of late, even winning my Diva of the Year for 2009.
What I got, instead of Tara carrying ODB to a watchable match, was a very lackluster 3 minute match, followed by yet another oddly haphazard ending. In the middle of the three count the shot randomly changes to an image before the show started, possibly to conceal Tara’s completely exposed ass crack.
This only briefly clouds the fact that ODB has pinned Tara, winning back the Knockout’s championship. A fact that made me so angry that I might well bruise my fingers complaining about it on the internet. Poor me. Seriously though, Tara just won that shit like 2 weeks ago, and you’re taking it off of her to put it on the single least credible women’s wrestler in the entire company? That’s where your vision for the new TNA is headed? Because I simply can’t be on board with an ODB title reign. Not now, and not ever. Period.
28 out of 100.
Ms.Cewsh: This match isn’t very good, so it’s nice that it’s short. I don’t have anything specifically against either woman, except that they bother me, so I’ll readily admit my dislike could cloud my objectivity.
Did you know Dixie Carter Twitters? Twitter is ruining the world.
The match is pretty forgettable, really. The end has some shenanigans, of course. At the three, the screen suddenly flashes to a shot above the ring with the steel asylum still set up in it, so clearly not a live feed. OK, technical difficulties. That’s OK. Then Tara, the face, attacks ODB after the bell, puts a spider that the announcers cannot decide if it’s poisonous or not on her, and steals her belt. At least it looks like she steals it. Before we can see if she keeps it or not…
43 out of 100
25:24 – 26:10 – The Mysterious Case of the Old Man and the Haunted House.
Ms.Cewsh: Flash to a shot of a limo pulling up. You are meant to believe it is Hulk Hogan. It is Ric Flair. After the sendoff he got from WWE, he really should have passed on this bullshit. He’s wearing a very prominent gold watch. I wonder if it was his retirement present.
Ric gets out of the car, shakes hands with Beer Money, some backstage guys, and EY, before walking down one of those spacey rotating corridors from fun houses. (Please tell me those aren’t just a mid-west thing and that reference isn’t going to go right over my entire audience’s head.) He disappears into a mysterious door with a mysterious “AJ Styles” placard on it.
Cewsh: How very mysterious.
26:34 – 28:09 – No Ponullets Allowed.
Ms.Cewsh: Some red head that vaguely resembles Christy Hemme gets a bunch of fans to chant “TNA”, except for the fan with the mic, who insists on chanting “Hogan” off the beat. Christy runs off as the fans switch to chanting “Foley”, and then Mick is on screen along with his suitcase and his mullet. Ponytail. Ponullet. He cuts a promo about why he should get to go inside. The security guards are not moved. The end.
Cewsh: The interesting thing about this whole Mick Foley/Hulk Hogan situation is that we’re supposed to, I think, be behind Mick Foley here. But Mick Foley is a dude trying to spread dissent for a move that everyone else in the company is very happy about, and is selfishly trying to ruin what is essentially a corporate merger that will benefit every employee of his company. So he’s a good guy for this?
I guess it’s better than him still wrestling, but if there’s another wrestler that I would less think of as a corporate stockholder type, I’ve never seen him, so this whole thing is kind of oddly implausible.
And for fuck’s sake, can someone else please start dressing the man? He looks like a fat 6 year old who ate Billy Ray Cyrus.
28:13 – 31:41 – NOOOOOOO!
Ms.Cewsh: Bobby and Kristal Lashley come down to the ring. It’s sad, actually. Bobby just stands there and smiles while the fans try to cheer and chant for him. Kristal tries to turn him heel by demanding he be released so he can focus on MMA. She really only succeeds in turning herself heel, because Bobby doesn’t acknowledge her at all. His expression never changes, he doesn’t nod, I’m not sure he even heard her. Terrible.
Cewsh: DON’T LEAVE ME BOBBY!
31:42 – 34:01 – It’s Getting Hot In Here, So Consider Removing Clothes At Your Discretion.
Cewsh: Velvet Sky is backstage, looking skankily magnificent as always, and she wants to let us know that she intends to make an impact on the show by playing strip poker with Madison Rayne and Lacey Von Erich. Lacey plays dumb, as usual, and the other two essentially talk about how much they want to have sex with each other. They pretty much promise that they’ll be naked by the end of the night. I’m skeptical by nature, but for once I truly want to believe in the dream. Yay nudity!
Ms.Cewsh: I really feel Velvet Sky has stepped up since Angelina left. She’s improved a lot on the mic, and I’m really starting to buy her as the leader of the group. I wish Madison would step it up a bit more, as well, but with the addition of Lacey…
Oh fuck it, I can’t do it. WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?! A quick google search shows that poker ratings have been down pretty drastically. Poker was so 2006, when WWE DID THIS EXACT SAME SEGMENT! BETTER! AND SEXIER! AND MORE MISOGINISTICLY!
Plus the terrible soft core atmosphere with the bad overacting, terrible entendres, dim lighting to cover up the fact that they’re in a BOILER ROOM! It’s just terrible. Terrible. Just like this whole fucking show so far.
34:02 – 34:35 – Hey Look, It’s The Diamond Studd and the Lightning Kid!
Ms.Cewsh: Scott Hall and X-Waltman sure would like to go inside.
Cewsh: They are, however, unable to. Life is sorrow.
35:10 – 35:57 – Limo Shenanigans.
Cewsh: Hulk Hogan’s limo, which has been drawing closer to the Impact Zone all night suddenly stops in the middle of the street to allow someone to get out of another limo and into Hulk’s. WHO COULD IT BE?
My money is on Repo Man.
Ms.Cewsh: The announcers would like you to know there is a mysterious mystery about a mysterious figure getting out of a mystery limo and into Hogan’s. It’s very mysterious.
36:10 – 36:30 – Rebels Without A Walker.
Ms.Cewsh: Hall and Waltman come to the ring through the crowd. They act like 18 year old rebels. They are 51 and 37, respectively.
00:20 – 02:11 – Opening Video Fever Part Deux.
Cewsh: This is the kind of video that made me such a huge fan of WWE in the first place. They can compress so much history into such an emotional video package, that at the end of it, they can make you care about someone more than you ever thought you would, even if you knew nothing about them beforehand. If you’ve never heard of Bret Hart before in your life, this video package is all you need to get caught up and to not only be abreast of the situation, but to actually give a rat’s ass. Amazing.
Ms.Cewsh: WWE does the best recaps anywhere. I’ve never seen the Montreal Screwjob, but that doesn’t matter after seeing this video. Old fans are nostalgic, new fans aren’t confused as fuck. Plus, Bret Hart looks like a huge fucking deal.
WWE wins opening videos.
36:53 – 40:16 – A New Era Begins.
Ms.Cewsh: With the first hour up, Hogan’s new music hits. It’s bad. I’ve been informed it’s the Japanese version of the NWO theme, which doesn’t make any sense since Hogan is now going to spend the rest of the night telling my why this isn’t the NWO. It also has weird Disney-esque undertones.
However, the man does get the biggest pop the Impact Zone will allow. And he does look damn fine for his age.
Cewsh: I hardly even noticed the music, to be honest, as out of TNA’s tunnel walks Hulk Hogan. I know we’ve seen the man come out of retirement so many times that he’s practically a walking insurance scam, but seeing him actually walk out and get into a TNA ring is still so surreal that I have trouble wrapping my mind around it. This all came together so fast and here the man is, standing in front of a completely riotous Impact Zone crowd, preparing to tell us all about the future of TNA. Breathtaking.
02:12 -04:46 – An Old Era Reborn.
Cewsh: The show begins, and wasting absolutely no time out comes Bret Hart from the back to a new, badassier version of his old music and Surreal Moment of the Night Number 2 hits me dead between the eyes. Bret Hart on a WWE stage walking to a WWE ring. This night doesn’t even seem real, like it’s some incredible dream I’m afraid I’m going to wake from.
How do you say which one of these entrances is better? They’re both staggering in their historical significance and sheer insanity. This one’s a draw so far, as both are giving me goosebumps.
Ms.Cewsh: Bret comes out looking like a drugged out love child of Ozzy and Mickey Rourke.
Was There A Sale On Leather Jackets Somewhere?
Eek, that’s not very good. He walks to the ring to a good pop, but not great. I guess I was expecting more from the crowd, since Bret was never supposed to come back. This show does have the better music, though. Luckily for Bret, myself, and the fans, it’s all the glasses fault. He looks really good for his age as soon as they’re off.
Still, entrances are going to have to go to TNA. Their guy looks like the bigger star.
40:16 – 54:24 – The Future Of TNA.
Ms.Cewsh: Hogan begins to promo. It’s about the same as always, but that’s not a bad thing. I did notice that he only dyed the facial hair on his right cheek. Someone’s supposed to catch that, right? Or is it a statement on the duality of the man and the conflict inside between being Hollywood and the Real American?
Or his mustache has gotten so large, you can only see one cheek at a time and he didn’t figure anyone would notice.
Haltman get in a tussle with security again. Hogan calls off the bouncers and offers them a mic. OMG NWO?!?!?
Hall gets on the mic and tells us he had to come down here to see Hogan and Big Sexy and EZ E, who I asked, is Eric Bischoff. We’re not supposed to know Bisch is here yet, Scott. Nice job!
They have a nice back and forth, establishing that Hogan doesn’t want to bring back WCW or the NWO. Nash comes out in the middle, *swoon*, to sort of back the NWO. It’s a nice dynamic with Haltman on one side, Hogan on the other, and Nash going where he thinks the power is.
It devolves to Haltman getting ready to swing at Hogan when Bischoff’s music hits. He’s had too much botox, but god can the man talk. Everyone but Hogan scampers off. Hogan and Bisch talk about change for a bit, going so far as to call for a copy of the format. They promptly rip it up and toss it into the crowd. Just before the commercial break, they pan to Sting hanging out in the rafters. I guess this is significant, harkening back to Hogan/Sting?
Hey, TNA, not all of us watched WCW. Just a heads up.
Cewsh: When it comes time for Hulk Hogan to actually start talking and to specify his plan for the future of TNA, things get a little odd. Hogan uses the words “TNA” “Change” and “New” more times than Barack Obama at a strip club, but what he gets across more than anything is a genuine enthusiasm for TNA that has the crowd going absolutely ballistic. They are absolutely losing their shit, right up until Hall and Waltman hop the rail and jump into the ring.
Now Waltman looks exactly like he’s looked since he was 16 years old, but Hall is looking a little bit bloated and, while he looks tons better than he did when we last saw him, he’s not impervious to his age. Even so, when he says “Hey yo” and “Say hello to the bad guy” I marked out so hard that Ms. Cewsh was giving me funny looks for days afterwards. They basically say that since Hogan and Bischoff are back, so is the partying and the NWO and the whole WCW dynamic. Hogan makes it clear, in return, that while he loves those guys, that’s not what he wants for this company. Then out comes Nash basically playing peacemaker and smoothing everything out, before BISCHOFF comes out, says he’s going to change everything and takes over.
I’ve Always Wanted To Do That To A TNA Booking Sheet.
Now as Ms. Cewsh said up there, Bischoff essentially saves this segment with his incredible presence and mic skills. These guys get their message across, and I get what they’re going for, but most of the parts where Hall and Waltman had to talk came off as incredible awkward and forced, and even Nash’s usual brilliance seemed off tonight. Still though, there’s nothing not to be excited about here, as these guys have essentially lined up the new dynamic for TNA, and it’s a helluva lot better than the old one. Then, as the segment is ending, we see Sting sitting up in the rafters watching events. Will this be a repeat of the greatest wrestling storyline of all time?
Christ I hope so.
04:47 – 16:06 – The Past of WWE.
Cewsh: I know I said before that this whole thing was surreal, but this situation rapidly pushed into the realm of complete disbelief, as Bret Hart cuts a promo about how he wants to address the past, and calls out Shawn Michaels. For the first time in a blue moon, the mark side of me and the smark side of me both say “HOLY SHIT!” at the same time, as these two legends come face to face for the first time in over a decade, separated by nothing but their detailed history.
Bret Hart tells Shawn Michaels that he wants to put the Montreal Screwjob behind them and forgive and forget, and Michaels tells him absolutely bluntly that even though he wants that too, he still feels that doing what he did to Bret was the right thing to do, and he truly hated him then. Hart responds in kind, and both men say that even though they had their troubles, they would rather be friends than live another moment with that night on their backs. They shake hands, and Michaels walks away, before stopping. Exactly in position for some Sweet Chin Music. For several spine tingling seconds they bait us with the possibility, before both men embrace, putting Montreal to bed for good between them in one of the greatest moments I have ever had the pleasure to view.
I was worried that Bret wouldn’t be able to put together a good promo here. I was wrong. He and Shawn have exactly the chemistry they always did, and the passion and conviction from both men pushed this past simply being a great segment. This was an unforgettable one. Should I ever have children, and they become little wrestling fans, I’ll tell them about the night that daddy saw two of the greatest wrestlers of all time settle their decade long beef and embrace as honorable men. And I’ll be proud to tell it.
WWE won this segment. Nothing TNA could have done could possibly have prevented it.
Ms.Cewsh: I know a lot of people worried that Bret would stutter or lisp or cry after his stroke. He does not. His promo is good, direct, and not rambley. He also puts McMahon over as the biggest heel in the history of EVER.
He wastes no time calling out Shawn. Their stare down is intense, even if you’re not really up on the history. It’s a better back and forth because both guys get to say their piece before the other goes. It lets both of them build to a great promo, rather than expecting magic on the first word.
Shawn’s, in particular, is amazing, even if it is a little confusing. I know that’s the idea, is he a heel or is he a face? But it’s almost anticlimactic when nothing bad comes of it. But, he’s so sincere and so committed and so damn GOOD. I can’t hate on it.
The handshake, the tease of Sweet Chin Music, and then the hug. There’s nothing wrong here.
Having made peace, Shawn leaves and Bret calls out Vince. Vince no shows, and the segment ends with Bret looking disappointed.
This segment has to go to WWE, if only for Shawn’s commitment. Plus Scott Hall can’t talk.
16:49 – 17:38 – Vinny Mac Is Kind Of A Jerk.
Ms.Cewsh: Little announcer guy asks Vince why he didn’t go when Bret called him out. Vince says he’s Vince and no one calls him out. He will call Bret out later. He disappears into a door labeled Vince McMahon. Maybe Ric Flair is in there.
Cewsh: Or the Repo Man.
55:04 – 64:31 – TNA Knockout’s Tag Team Championships – The Canadian Cockteases (Sarita and Taylor Wilde) © vs. The Double Hard Bitches (Hamada and Awesome Kong).
Ms.Cewsh: Look, a match! We show those! It even includes two people I like and find talented! I truly love Hamada’s look. Practical, athletic, cute.
Cewsh: She’ll always be the cute half of a team with Awesome Kong on it. This match, for my least favorite titles in all the ocean of time and space, starts off with The Cockteases pretty much making out during their entrances, making me wonder exactly when it was that they made the decision to make all of their women’s wrestlers pseudo lesbians. ODB, the Cockteases, and the Beautiful People never seem to talk about anything else. Did I miss a transition here? Anyway, this match gets underway, and right off the bat it is clear that this match is loads better than anything we’ve seen so far. Hamada is amazing and effortless in the ring, and both Wilde and Sarita are more than capable of keeping up with superior wrestlers, even if they aren’t spectacular themselves.
58:38 – 58:48.
Ms. Cewsh: There’s a split screen to show the Guns were attacked backstage. Mysteriously. I wish there weren’t. This couldn’t have waited until after the match? I can’t see the math with the split screen in the way. Back in the match, both of the Wilde Saritas are in the ring. They will remain there for a good minute. That’s more than a five-count, ladies! Still, it’s a good match. Maybe even great, if I remember what came before. Kong looks great, the Wilde Saritas are OK, and my poor Hamada hurt herself and that’s sad. It’s really, really good to see Kong with gold around her waist again. She should never be without.
62 out of 100
Cewsh: This was a really good match, there’s no doubt about it. These ladies really put on a better match than I had any right to expect, in a limited amount of time. Despite myself I find myself excited to see where this tag division might be going with Kong and Hamada defeating the Cockteases here to take the titles from them. Kong and Hamada with gold is a very, very, very good thing indeed, and this is the best women’s tag match I have ever seen that didn’t take place in Japan. Not that that’s a prestigious title.
77 out of 100.
18:14 – 24:10 – Maryse(d You And Your Fine Ass) vs. Brie (She’s The Pretty One) Bella.
Ms.Cewsh: Melina has hurt herself again, so we’ll be getting a Diva tournament. Joy. And we’re starting with Maryse vs. Brie Bella, or my worst Diva vs. one half of my favorites, tonight. I want to be kind to this match, but unfortunately I can’t. The moves themselves don’t look bad, but the transitions look terrible and everything is stiff. You can see glimmers of athleticism, but then Brie makes ducking look hard and I get all confused.
39 out of 100
As an opener, it’s terrible. As a women’s match, it’s slightly less good than TNAs. Either way you slice it, TNA takes this round. Segueing directly into the next match, where he is the guest commentator, the Miz passes Maryse on the ramp. He tells her that he’s better than her, but if she wins the tourney, he might call her again. It’s a nice bit of continuity from their thing late last year.
Cewsh: ZzzzZzzzzzzZzzzZzzZzzzzzzZzzzzzzzzzz…snort…huh…wha? The Miz?
Oh shit, the Miz is out and he has some fucking rad new music. I love it to death and it really suits him. He taunts Maryse for being the one without the title this time (nice continuity) says something in French that 90% of the internet thought was “I’m feeling gay” and strolled on to the ring in all of his badass glory. What a pimp.
If I am to compare these two matches to determine a winner between the two companies, it’s absolutely no contest. TNA completely ravaged WWE’s offering, and showed no mercy in slapping it around and burying it. This is the most lopsided win so far, so maybe TNA is doing something right with their knockouts after all.
24:10 – 30:24 – M(More)V(Vehemently)P(Pretty) vs. Jack S(ch)wager vs. Mark (Up and Comer) Henry vs. Carlito (Wait, He’s Still Employed?).
Cewsh: This match is for the number one contendership to the United States Championship, and the Miz is on commentary throughout the whole thing putting himself over and just being generally entertaining. Which is good because the action in the ring is, well, let me put it this way. Some matches you remember for your whole life. Some matches you’re talking about weeks later. And some matches you forget about while they’re still actively happening. I’ll let you guess where this one fits in.
I have to say, though, when compared to TNA’s multiman effort to open their show, this looked like fucking Austin/Hart. So WWE is going to take this one, but it was more due to TNA’s futility, than anything they actually managed to do.
Ms.Cewsh: MVP, Swagger, Carlito, and Henry? God damn it, not one of these people should have the US Title. Of the options, I can live with MVP winning with a Playmaker. At least it wasn’t Ballin’. 48 out of 100 The match is pretty short and pretty average. It’s not bad filler, but it’s not quality. As a multi-man match, however, it’s clearly above TNA’s offering. No one really wins here, but I guess it goes to WWE.
01:04:32 – 1:06:23 – The Debut Of Mr. Towel Man.
Ms.Cewsh: Oh back to Strip Poker. A bald guy wearing nothing but a towel appears. He’s skeevy, but the girls let him join. Balls Mahoney > Val Venis, even if I think the handling of Val’s previous persona was the most delicate, tactful, and funny thing TNA’s done…ever.
Cewsh: Why was Val Venis showering at the Impact Zone when he had no match? That’s kind of creepy when you think about it.
01:06:24 – 01:07:36 – No Ponullets Allowed: Episode 2.
Ms.Cewsh: Mick would still like to go inside. Maybe he should find the door Haltman used.
Mick leaves. The Nasty Boys arrive. They too would like to go inside. They too leave dejected. Really? Only an alcoholic and a guy who fucked CHYNA are smart enough to find another door?
Cewsh: Hey! In their defense getting high and just sort of wandering around is a kind of super power. You could probably infiltrate Fort Knox after smoking a joint and deciding to try to walk to Taco Bell. I hear. From, you know, people who do drugs.
30:25 – 31:11 – How Can I Liiiiive Without You?
Ms.Cewsh: Jerishow is backstage. They are talking about their rematch clause. This seems very familiar.
Then, there is a very unfamiliar sentiment as Show says, with all sincerity, “I don’t want you to go.”
Cewsh: I actually feel bad for the both of them now. Poor Show. His heart has been broken by so many tag team partners. When will he find the man who will complete him and make him feel special?
31:25 – 34:02 – PWNED.
Ms.Cewsh: Jericho finds Bret in a fantastic pink temple to himself. Jericho gets too buddy buddy. WAY too buddy buddy. I’m feeling second hand embarrassment from the Dungeon story.
Cewsh: Jericho tries to convince Bret that he should be the special referee of the tag match later and help Jericho win the titles by screwing Shawn Michaels just like he was screwed in Montreal, because, you know, they were both Dungeon guys. Bret informs him that this isn’t going to happen, and reminds Jericho that he used to cry like a little girl every time he got stretched, and scared the cats away. Jericho isn’t pleased at this turn of events, and he leaves, leaving Hart to bask in the glow of his awesome pinkness.
01:07:36 – 01:09:40 – Matt (Hugely Pushed Up and Comer) Morgan and (Hugely Pushed Up and Comer) Hernandez vs. Raven (Jobber) and Dr. Stevie (Jobber) w/ Daffney (Jobette).
Cewsh: I was interested to see where this match was going to go, since Stevie and Raven don’t seem to have much to do now that their business with Abyss is done. I was also interested to see what they would do to put over Morgan and Hernandez as a big deal. I, uh, got my answer, as Morgan and Hernandez relentlessly squash Raven and Stevie in about a minute.
Match of the year, obviously.
50 out of 100.
Ms.Cewsh: Ah! It’s Halloween in January! There are monsters and mummies and zombies, oh my! Oh wait, it’s just a Raven, Dr. Stevie match. My mistake.
The Job Squad. Sponsored By Hot Topic.
The match lasted two minutes. How do you think it was?
13 out of 100
01:09:41 – 01:12:09 – ORLANDO JORDAN! HOLY SHIT YES YESYEYSYEYSYESY!
Ms.Cewsh: The Pope gets interview time. Instead of the terrible interview, I’ll be over here, remembering his sweet black ass.
Another guy I don’t recognize walks up and starts promoing on the Pope. He says he’s friends with Hulk, but he’s about 30 years too young for that.
Crowd: “Rabble, rabble, rabble, who’s that? We’re confused and angry! Boo! Boo!”
Cewsh: You speak blasphemy, woman, that man was the great Orlando Jordan. He rocks socks so hard that when he’s done they aren’t even fuzzy anymore. Orlando Jordan is here in TNA, seemingly directly in answer to the prayers of Vice and I. Thank you for reading our blog TNA. We knew we could count on you.
ORLANDO FUCKING JORDAN MOTHERFUCKERS.
34:03 – 37:07 – DX’s Attack Dwarf.
Cewsh: While I often defend Hornswaggle as an attraction for children and a harmless comedic character, I don’t often genuinely enjoy his segments, whether because they’re just too childish, or because they’re actively built around making a talented performer look like a total shithead.
That said, the comedic timing of Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Santino Marella and even Hornswaggle himself made this possibly my favorite segment of the entire night, as they ratchet the silliness meter up to eleven without ever stopping to insult anyone’s intelligence. And the idea of Hornswaggle as an attack dog programmed to beat up Chris Jericho for cookies was simply too amusingly portrayed to resist.
Shawn Knows That Only Jazz Hands Ward Off Attack Dwarves.
Ms.Cewsh: Trips and Hornswaggle are playing with toys. I’m amused AND annoyed! Santino does a shitty Jericho imitation. This all got old a long time ago, and Hornswaggle is a person, not a dog. But I can’t help but chuckle at, “Attack!” I am conflicted.
01:12:27 – 01:17:32 – Desmond (Hungry Like The) Wolfe vs. D’Angelo (The Closest Thing We Have To The Rock) Dinero.
Cewsh: In the first match of the night by either company that I actually wanted to see, the charismatic Dinero against the technically excellent McGuiness. Clashing in the ring for the first to I’ve ever seen.
…and then they get 5 minutes, including entrances (and since Dinero’s actually involves raining money with his face on it from the ceiling, you can assume those took awhile). The whole match felt extraordinarily rushed and incomplete, and that’s seriously a shame since this is a PPV quality match pretty much tossed aside as filler here. Then, to have Dinero win pretty much clean over McGuiness, I’m left wondering why this match needed to happen like this. That said, I can’t fault anything that happened in the ring, as these guys are both beyond fun to watch wrestle, and Dinero in particular is quite possibly my favorite wrestler in the world right now. The man is absolute gold.
I’d just like to see them get more time than it takes for me to eat a taco.
66 out of 100.
Ms.Cewsh: I wasn’t expecting to, but I kind of liked this match. I want to like Dinero. Without all the Pope trappings, he’s attractive, athletic, and charismatic. It just gets bogged down with the whole third person, street preacher, better than you, rich, poor, yelling nonsense. Plus, he curtsied.
Wolfe, on the other hand, could use some trappings. He has the most generic name wrapped in the most generic ring wear with a completely generic character. I liked the feud with Kurt, but he seems directionless now. Still, it’s plain the man is a talented wrestler.
Together they have a downright watchable match. A feat not oft duplicated on this show.
60 out of 100
37:08 – 54:54 – WWE Unified Tag Team Championships – D(ruid)-Generation X © vs. (The) Jerishow (Must Go On).
Cewsh: This match is billed as being set up so that if Jerishow lose, then Chris Jericho is banished from Raw forever. Of course, their last match was billed as that too, and frankly his next 26 matches will probably be billed that way as well. However, that’s besides the point, as these four square off and bring their A game.
These four men (and the attack dwarf) set about having a decent match, and that’s exactly what they accomplished. It’s awkward at points, and it’s basically just Jericho against DX with Show interfering at times, but all the same it’s a perfectly serviceable match with a hot ending that the crowd ate up with a spoon. Jericho boots Hornswaggle in the face for trying to hit Sweet Shin Music and grabs Triple H in the Walls of Jericho before promptly being kicked directly out of his boots, and that’s all she wrote for Chris Jericho on Raw (for tonight anyway).
70 out of 100.
If Dinero/Wolfe had gotten more than a taco for time, then they probably would have blown this out of the water. But they didn’t, so they didn’t. WWE wins this round.
Ms.Cewsh: It seems unfair to compare these two matches. TNA gave us a nice midcard match. WWE is giving us the first main event. DX’s entrance could score higher than most TNA matches.
The match was good, but I couldn’t get into it because WE ALREADY SAW IT! I know, we’re bringing in new viewers and la di da, but Jerishow had their rematch. They lost, the end. Same with Orton/Kofi. These are good, PPV quality matches that we already saw!
Plus, too long and too much midget.
67 out of 100
In a head to head comparison, WWE was the better match, but I appreciate TNA for giving me something new.
01:17:33 – 01:17:41 – Jeff Jarrett Walks Down A Hallway.
Cewsh: Jeff Jarrett walks down a hallway. Nobody bothers to mention that this will be his first time in front of the fans in months, and nobody mentions anything about his storyline with Kurt Angle. I think Tenay and Tazz were actually playing Pokemon Gold on their Game Boys during this whole bit.
Ms.Cewsh: This should really be a bigger deal.
01:17:41 – 01:18:04 – AHAHAHAHAHA! YES! YES! YEEEEEEES!
Ms.Cewsh: JB finds Rhino attacked in the back. Bubba the Love Sponge (‘s name sounds like a contraceptive device) jumps in. He’s going to solve the mysterious mystery.
Cewsh: It was me. In the locker room. With the lead pipe.
01:20:10 – 01:22:14 – Eric Bischoff Books His First Match. By Stealing Somebody Else’s Booked Match.
Ms.Cewsh: JB interviews AJ. He’s not even sweaty from what must’ve been a sprint from Rhino’s body to here. Bischoff interrupts, throws a temper tantrum, and books the main event for Genesis for tonight instead. Giving away PPV matches on free tv. That’s always been a solid plan.
54:55 – 58:01 – Continuity Abounds In WWE Town.
Cewsh: Randy Orton is backstage at Mr. McMahon’s office, and he makes a proposal to Vince that he’ll punt Bret Hart in the head if Vince will give him the number 30 spot in the Royal Rumble match. Vince, in a rare example of a wrestling character possessing a memory of some kind, tells Orton to go fuck himself, and that what he did to Vince’s family is way worse than what Bret did. Which is, of course, true. Bret Hart just left his company and punched him in the face. Randy Orton beat up him, his son and molested and beat up his daughter while his son in law was chained up and forced to watch.
That’s not exactly something you SHOULD forgive. It’s just awesome that for once a wrestler realized that too.
The segment then moves with Orton as he runs into Legacy, who are pissed about how Randy threatened to kick them out of Legacy last week if they lost their matches, so this week they tell him that if he loses HIS match, they’re kicking HIM out of Legacy and kicking the shit out of him too.
Ms.Cewsh: I can’t even find the strength to swoon over Randy. Tired of segments now.
01:22:52 – 01:30:10 – The Oddest Segment Ever.
Ms.Cewsh: Jarrett comes down to the ring with a mic. He cuts a very heartfelt promo about how he founded TNA and he loves it and he loves the fans and Dixie and the young guys and Hogan and cheesecake and money. Love flows very freely. Then Hogan shows up on the monitor, apparently responding to a totally different promo, and completely heels it up. The fans can’t figure out who to boo and who to cheer, so they settle on another “this is bullshit” chant. Hogan ends by telling Jarrett he has to earn his spot. The crowd half boos, half cheers.
Cewsh: Allegedly this whole thing came about because they pre taped Hogan’s bit and then a lot of reshuffling completely changed Jarrett’s bit. So in other words there were two separate promos going on at the same time here, and not only were the fans confused, but so, seemingly, was Jeff Jarrett as he stood in the ring and looked like he had no idea what the shit Hogan was talking about.
Just As Surprised As We Are.
All in all it was a mess, and unfortunately it wasn’t the first mess on this show, which makes it one mess too many. Between this and the opening match and the production gaffe during the Knockout’s Title match, this whole show is kind of coming off as amateur hour. It’s kind of incredibly disappointing.
01:30:01 – 01:31:01 – Daniels Looks Like A Middle School Art Teacher.
Ms.Cewsh: We cut immediately to an interview with Daniels. JB breaks in and says “he’s” on the phone. Daniels huffs off, it turns out to be Mick on the phone and he’s right outside the doo…
Cewsh: Borash totally pie faces Daniels by hijacking the segment on Foley’s behalf, and Foley thanks him by pie facing Borash and basically shoving him around like a husband on Lifetime. I guess that Foley and Borash’s relationship is being exploited here to show Foley’s true motivation and that he has no true friends…
Ms. Cewsh: Oh just stop it. It’s too much. Call me when we have a match.
Cewsh: I can’t blame you at all.
59:15 – 01:06:20 – (Carrot Top) Sheamus vs. Evan (Jason) Bourne.
Cewsh: Sheamus is out from the back and is bragging about what he did to John Cena (which was lose to him, but in a dominant fashion, I guess). He says that Cena isn’t getting a title shot at the Royal Rumble, and that it’s time for someone new to step up and take their turn. Quite unexpectedly that man turns out to be none other than Evan Bourne, who grabs Sheamus’ microphone, slides out of the ring, and proceeds to demand a shot at the main event. Sheamus tells Bourne that if he can beat him, he’ll give Bourne a title shot at the Royal Rumble, and Evan wastes absolutely no time. He leaps into the ring; kicks Sheamus a bunch of times, climbs to the top rope and hits a picture perfect Air Bourne on the pale bastard.
Of course, Sheamus kicks out with authority, and then mercilessly decimates the poor guy, including a Razor’s Edge so vicious that it folds Bourne over onto his neck and hangs him there like that until Sheamus has the decency to pin the poor guy.
Even Sheamus Didn’t Know People Bent That Way.
As a match this was short, but very fun, and very fresh. As a segment it was even better, as it really felt cool and fresh and different. Sheamus gets a solid, dominant win over someone, Bourne gets some time in the spotlight, and I get to watch a segment not featuring people from the 90s. Everyone’s a winner.
71 out of 100.
Ms.Cewsh: Sheamus seems to be toning down his hair. That’s good. Evan Bourne should not be within a 100 yards of the title yet, even if Sheamus is just a placeholder.
Their impromptu match is good. Evan is great. Air Borne is hot. He sells the Razors’ Edge like death. Sheamus finally gets a clean victory over SOMEONE. It’s a more then enjoyable interlude, although I can’t give it a great score because it is only 5 minutes long.
65 out of 100
01:31:40 – 01:38:53 – Samoa (Too Good For This) Joe vs. (The Jobster) Abyss.
Ms.Cewsh: So this was supposed to be some sort of barbed wire brawl, but Rhino got attacked so now Joe’s in it and…the stips/lack thereof are never mentioned. Joe tries for a wicked chairshot at Abyss’ head, directly in front of the ref. 5 minutes later; Tazz finally says “Oh, this is regular rules! Chairs are an auto DQ!” Well then by golly it’s lucky that shot missed!
Cewsh: You can thank me for taking Rhino out of this match. I didn’t do those other attacks. I just thought it would be a convenient time to hit Rhino with a lead pipe.
01:35:29 – 01:35:39
Ms.Cewsh: Split screen so Sting can stare at the camera for ten seconds. No, seriously, that’s it.
Joe’s round kicks look good. That is all. What a waste of a talent who should be in the main event.
37 out of 100
WWE’s filler match wiped the floor with this one, absolutely have to give it to Vince and co.
Cewsh: This match wasn’t TERRIBLE, but it didn’t suit either of these guys, and ultimately, it made Abyss look like kind of a bitch, and it kept Joe from looking like the kind of killer people might actually pay money to see.
I love both guys to death, and when given the chance to wrestle matches that suit them, they can put on a show as good as anybody in the industry. But this isn’t the way for either guy. Not even close.
49 out of 100.
This segment goes to WWE. Neither match was mind blowing, really, but where one match was fresh and showcased both men well, the other match felt tired and made both men look worse than when they started. No contest, really.
01:28:54 – 01:40:21 – Eric Bischoff Is Smarmy.
Cewsh: Backstage, Bischoff and some production guy are discussing the rest of the show, when Krystal Lashley shows up and demands to talk to Hulk Hogan to find out if he’s upset that Bobby is leaving. Bischoff adopts his usual attitude that he uses around women (used car salesman with a hint of frat boy) and tells her that nobody cares. Krystal tells him that he’ll be sorry, and he scoffs rather mightily at that.
Bischoff is amazing at little stuff like this. He’s probably the best I’ve ever seen about taking a short transition segment and injecting it with a ton of personality and importance. It really helps any show he’s on keep a sort of thematic continuity so everything makes sense and flows together, rather than just feeling like chaos. When Eric Bischoff runs the show, you damn well know it.
01:40:22 – 01:40:37 – Beer Money Fell Down. Reports Indicate That They May Have Gone Boom, Additionally.
Cewsh: Backstage, Bubba the Love Sponge once again comes across some dudes who have been beaten up, and this time it’s Beer Money. Of course he stands over them to tell Tenay and Tazz about the situation, and doesn’t even have the consideration to help pull the goddamn ladder off of James Storm’s face.
Which is okay, because it all likelihood, they’re just drunk and stumbled into a supply closet. That’s why you shouldn’t drink on the job, boys and girls. It’s hazardous to your health.
01:40:38 – 01:41:32 – Bubba The Love Sponge Breaks The Law.
Cewsh: Bubba the Love Sponge has been working for TNA for less than one goddamn night, and yet here he is, aiding and abetting the Nasty Boys in their trespassing. That’s bad form, man. Jeremy Borash would never help a friend of his enter the building.
What’s that? He did that earlier in this same show?
Well fuck. If that weren’t eleventy billion segments ago, I’d likely remember it better.
01:41:34 – 01:42:50 – Kurt Angle Gives A Serious Promo. Is Out Of Place.
Cewsh: Kurt Angle is backstage with Borash, and he gives a serious promo about his match with AJ Styles (remember that?) that’s about to happen, and he’s psyched up about it, wanting to prove definitively that he’s the best wrestler in the world against Styles.
Obviously he didn’t get the memo that you aren’t supposed to talk about matches on this show. Only about Hulk Hogan or, barring that, yourself in the third person.
I mean geez Kurt. Have some professionalism.
01:43:22 – 01:43:59 – Jeff Hardy Is a Pedophile. Yes/No?
Cewsh: No, of course he isn’t (unless it would get us more views to suggest that he is, in which case, I am 6 years old, and he touched me in my no no place). However this is still an exceedingly odd segment, where he and Shannon Moore are walking through the parking lot (in broad daylight, so this isn’t exactly taking place live here), holding envelopes as Shannon talks excitedly about how they got what they came for. Then 3 preteen girls run up squealing about the opportunity to meet Jeff Hardy and ask for his autograph. He gives one of the girls a painting instead, completely stiffing the other two, and gives that girl a kiss on the cheek, before hopping into his ABURDLY AMAZINGLY AWESOME CAR and driving away.
Now I’m not saying that Jeff wrote his number on that painting for the girl to have. I’m not saying that it’s terribly sad that Shannon Moore could even get asked for an autograph on a segment the night he debuts. I’m not saying this felt so weirdly forced that it’s like somebody forced these girls into it. I’m not saying any of those things. I’m just saying he has a fucking awesome car. Yes. Just the car.
01:44:02 – 01:45:09 – The Nasty Boys Are Slovenly.
Cewsh: The Nasty Boys storm into Team 3D’s locker room, using their trademark subtlety to indicate that they will be entering into a feud with them. Then some guys bring them some donuts, which they return into that poor guy’s face at high speeds, informing him that that isn’t good enough. They wreck everything, spray paint on the walls, bully everyone in sight and honestly? It was kind of awesome.
I Wonder What Donuts Taste Like At 400 Miles Per Hour.
I know everybody is down on the idea of Hulk Hogan brining his friends like Brian Knobbs in, but these guys are obvious old hands at these kinds of segments, and they knew exactly what they were there to do, and executed it better than almost anyone else on this show. They were believable, entertaining, and heelish to a fault. I actually want to see them wrestle Team 3D, which is a thought so scary, I might use a hacksaw to get it out.
01:08:30 – 1:10:55 – Opening Video Fever: Episode Trois.
Ms.Cewsh: I like that WWE recaps their intro video right before the main event. I didn’t come in late, but I still appreciate a refresher after an hour and a half of other stuff. It’s smart.
01:10:56 – 01:22:11 – Randy (Was A Main Eventer Once) Orton vs. Kofi (Was An Opener Around That Same Time) Kingston.
Ms.Cewsh: Nope, bad for my blood pressure. This feud was the worst thing in ever and it ended and I didn’t have to review it anymore. That was the agreement.
50 out of 100
Cewsh: Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston have interacted a lot of times now. Not that they’ve had a ton of matches or anything, but it’s been a lot of weeks in a row now where they did essentially the same thing, and for both men it’s gotten more than a little bit stale. This one is buoyed up slightly by the idea that if Orton loses, he’s out of Legacy, so it actually feels like there’s really a reason for the match to be taking place.
Like their other matches, it’s entirely suitable, without being really good or spectacular in any definable way. They have a good match for awhile, until Kofi goes for the Trouble In Paradise, and Orton puts up his arms and blocks it, taking the moment of off balance from Kofi as an ideal time to ice him with the RKO and pick up the victory.
As I said, the match was fine. But fine is all it was, and it’s a disappointment that it even happened here at all when a fresher match, ANY fresher match, would have made such an impact.
69 out of 100.
01:45:10 – 02:05:33 – TNA World Heavyweight Championship – AJ (Air Jets) Styles © vs. Kurt (Best Rapper Alive) Angle.
Cewsh: Now this is what I’m talking about.
After all of the endless segments that have comprised the show so far, they cleared out room at the very end to give us a 20 minute match that anybody who enjoys watching wrestling could enjoy watching. These guys go all out for their full period of time, and I mean ALL OUT. These bastards start whipping out finishers at about the 5 minute mark, and just don’t bother to stop until the bell rings and Styles gets his hand raised in victory at long last, to settle the matter of who is the best wrestle once and for all, or at least until Genesis.
On paper it looks like such an idyllic thing. A long match between top wrestlers in the main event of TNA’s biggest show, with AJ Styles put over clean? It’s an absolute dream. But to put it like that is to completely ignore the interruptions from the masked man, who was summarily dealt with so completely that it hardly makes sense that he came down at all, and then by Ric Flair who did absolutely nothing but distract the viewers. Then, no sooner are Angle and Styles embracing in a showing of mutual respect, when Hulk Hogan comes down to hijack the whole thing and bury it under another segment.
I liked this match. It was spotty, and regrettably TNA felt the need to throw everything but the kitchen sink at it, but it was still a really fun, enjoyable match between two of the best in the world at this artform. That’s good enough for me.
79 out of 100.
TNA won the main event match competition, and by more than the 10 points may seem to indicate. But I can’t shake the feeling that they could have blown the doors off of WWE with this one if they had just loosened up on the overbooking for 5 straight minutes. Still, a victory is a victory, and this one belongs to them.
Ms.Cewsh: The match starts off pretty well, and is quickly derailed by a masked run-in. Kurt dispatches him and he and AJ start trying to build their momentum back. It works, and the match picks up. They have completely different styles, but they mesh well. AJ looks like a god: flying, bumping, and just generally being amazing.
Then Flair walks out. The camera, which has been awful all night, zooms over to look at him and completely misses how AJ breaks the Ankle Lock. The announcing is even worse than the camera work. I have a feeling, “We’re gonna stay with this match until we have a winner,” *immediately cut to commercial,* is going to be oft quoted.
Flair wanders off without ever having said a word, or even doing anything. Really, he got a paycheck for this? He told WWE, and their lovely send off, to screw themselves for that? The announcers, again failing at life, don’t even acknowledge that he’s gone.
AJ wins, which is great, but the match was too long and really didn’t need two interruptions. Damn it, TNA, let me give you a win tonight without dragging it out of me grudgingly!
73 out of 100
01:22:55 – 01:30:00 – The Nut Shot Heard Round The World.
Ms.Cewsh: It’s odd that the show is ending with an extended segment instead of a match, but it works with the format of the show. Vince is always a great promo, and the end was a little more satisfying than the Shawn segment, but when it was done, it felt unfinished. It’s building to something more, but this felt like more than a regular night and there should have been a greater resolution.
Cewsh: This segment was amazing. The way that it mirrored the opening segment, with Shawn Michaels’ passion and genuine honestly replaced by Vince McMahon’s two faced bullshitting, and smarmy attitude was fantastic, and they really had me convinced before the end that the show was going to end with these two celebrating in the ring, before Vince kicked Bret square in his bag of Skittles to launch a feud that I don’t think anybody DOESN’T want to see.
Taste The Rainbow, BITCH.
This was great stuff, done greatly. It doesn’t get much better.
02:05:33 – 02:08:23 – Shenanigans.
Ms.Cewsh: Instead of just ending with their champion victorious, which would have showed they really do value talent they’ve inherited and that this isn’t just the NWO show, of course we have Hogan come out. He tells everyone that Kurt and AJ are awesome and they wrestle good and junk and whee, I’m Hulk Hogan and I’m super cool! TNA is…oh wait *runs off to the back for more shenanigans*.
Cut to Foley breaking into the game of strip poker. The first time we saw it, Cewsh wanted to know why the girls hadn’t lost a single article of clothing in the past hour. Looking again, it appears they were supposed to like they’d lost their bras and Lacey botched. looking. topless. Let that sink in. A woman they hired to be nothing more than T and A, in a pre-taped segment they could have reshot, failed at wrapping herself in a towel so that she appeared to have no bra on.
Foley and Val Venus argue. Val, who has apparently not left this room in two hours, tells Foley where Hogan is. Except it’s Foley’s old office and Bisch is in it. Not Hogan. They too argue. Bisch calls in the NWO who beat the everloving fuckshit out of Mick so badly it’s hard to watch. Hogan bursts in, looking angry and then pensive. Also needs to exfoliate. End scene.
I hate TNA. WWE wins by default.
Cewsh: So Bischoff, Hall, and Waltman are dastardly, Foley is the face that gets beaten up, Nash is in it for the money and to hang out with his buddies, and Hogan is torn between his responsibility to TNA, and his responsibility to his friends?
Now can somebody get naked? Because I feel betrayed.
WWE wins here. They delivered a segment that will launch a million Wrestlemania buys. TNA delivered a segment that delivered a dozen headaches, lot of head scratching, and more shrugs than applause.
Impact: I wanted so, so,so,so,so badly to love this show. All I could talk about for the week before the show was how excited I was about all of the rumors surrounding this show, and I didn’t even really care about Bret Hart compared to what they had going. The ultimate indicator is that when it came to that Monday Night, this was the show that I watched live, and Raw I DVRed and watched afterwards.
With that said, this show was a let down of monumental proportions. The first match was upsettingly absurd, and the last segment was unnecessary and confusing. Not to mention the 7,000 segments and filler matches in between.
TNA had a chance to do something unforgettably special here. What they did was put forth a less organized than usual episode of Impact, featuring a bunch of new faces introduced (with the exception of Hogan) with absolutely zero fanfare and hype. I’m not exciting to watch Impact this week, and I’m not excited to review Genesis. They had a chance here. And they fucking blew it.
Raw: On the other side of the coin, WWE just had to have a decent show and let TNA self destruct around them, and that’s exactly what happened. If you take away Impact, this is just another episode of Raw with a big time guest host, and if this is them panicking, they do a damn good job of hiding it.
The whole Bret Hart thing, which I wasn’t excited for, and even dreaded a little, surpassed my wildest expectations, inspiring me to find it in my dark little smarky heart to really care about Bret Hart again for the first time in years, and this show makes me so excited for Wrestlemania that I can hardly contain it.
Ultimately that’s what it comes down to. In their shows, WWE managed to sell me a PPV 3 months from now. TNA couldn’t sell me a free television program one week later. WWE wins this new Monday Night War. And they made it look easy.
Cewsh’s Winner of the Monday Night War: WWE.
Impact: TNA showed glimmers of promise with this show. Unfortunately, they fell into a trap I think a lot of us feared. Too many segments, too many controversial endings, and in three hours, there were only 57 minutes of matches, including entrances and post match celebrating. Try to imagine that, will you? One third of this show was commercials, one third was matches, and one entire third, one HOUR, was segments and interviews.
TNA, please listen to these words and actually think about them. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Raw: On the other hand, WWE gave me an episode of Raw. It was a pretty good episode with two PPV-quality matches. It was still Raw. In a segment by segment comparison, doing what they do every week, they blew TNA out of the water. And that’s the difference. WWE doesn’t have to compete with TNA. TNA has to compete with WWE.
Ms.Cewsh’s Winner of the Monday Night War: WWE.
Alright, that’ll do it for us this week boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed our lengthy and unorthodox breakdown of one of the most important night in recent memory for fans of professional wrestling. We’re back to (mostly) normal next week as we review TNA’s Genesis PPV, not one single match of which has been announced yet to my knowledge. Can TNA keep up the momentum from their huge Monday Night Show and the previous two amazing PPVs? Or will it all collapse into a big unfocused mess, just like WCW so often was? As always, there’s only one way to find out. In the meantime, keep reading, and now more than ever, take care of one another.