Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the only bunch of manly men (and women) classy enough to wear gowns to the Monster’s Ball, Cewsh Reviews! Tonight we have a special treat for you, as we review the pay per view that is all about Sacrifice. The sacrifices you need to make in order to make it in the wrestling business. The sacrifices you need to make to be the best at your chosen craft. The sacrifices you and your family endure as you strive towards perfection every day of your life. Ultimately, all you can hope for is that once you realize your goals and pass the finish line, all that will matter is the satisfaction of knowing that your sacrifices were worthwhile.
Of course, whether or not sacrificing our brain cells on the alter of TNA’s booking will prove worthwhile remains to be seen. But, as always, there’s only one way to find out.
So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!
Cewsh: After a few months of substandard videos and production, TNA comes out with its guns blazing tonight, as they give us a video here talking about sacrifice and the things that the TNA wrestlers are willing to sacrifice in order to get what they want. It’s pretty powerful, and it definitely puts the majority of the focus on the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and its steward, Rob Van Dam, making him look like the huge deeal that he needs to be for the company’s sake right now.
After a few dreary months, the TNA video crew show me that they have what it takes to truly hype me up all over again. Kudos to those guys, and here’s hoping they keep it up.
Vice: The only thing missing from this match was Hall and Nash. That way you’d have the complete evolution of pretty much everything that encompasses tag team wrestling. You’d have two plucky youngsters in Sabin and Shelley fighting their way to being a credible team, both in real life and storylines, and could very well be the future of tag wrestling if they manage to stick together. Then you’d have the team of Roode and Storm, two guys in what is most likely their prime. They’re older and seasoned, and are currently a very credible team. Then you’d have Team 3D, two guys who have been there and done that. And by “done that”, I mean they have won a bazillion titles and have wrestled everywhere together, and should be winding down their careers soon, putting over the future teams. Finally, you’d have Hall and Nash who are dinosaurs at this point, and really should have hung up the boots a decade ago. And yet, Hall and Nash are not in this match because they are the champions.
But anyway, there’s three solid teams in here, and they all have different styles. With different styles, sometimes you can have absolute magic. In other cases, you just have a mess. This was somewhere in between, but much closer to the latter unfortunately. It wasn’t a bad match by any means, but it could have been much more I feel.
I really like how the Guns are handled. Any of you guys ever play River City Ransom on Nintendo? Yeah. They’re the Dragon Twins. If you can find a way to take them on individually, they’ll put up a fight but can be taken down fairly easily. Now if you walk a bit too far to the right side of the screen and both attack you at once, you will find yourself dead. Six times over. Before you can even ask “what the fuck?”. That’s what I love about them and how it plays into their matches. The word “opportunist(s)” is generally really only thrown around in the wrestling world these days when it comes to stuff like Money in the Bank/Feast or Fired, but the Guns live and die by opportunity. If you don’t give them an opportunity, or take it away from them, you’ve won. If you make one mistake, it’s game over. That’s why they’re good at picking on lesser guys like Generation Me, but can’t knock off the veterans consistently. They know how to play the game.
The Guns pick up the win here because they took advantage of a situation. They might not be super deserving of going over both of these other teams at once, but an opportunity presented itself and they were all over it like Cewsh on Ms. Ce— ok, you get the idea. I’m actually really looking forward to the Guns going up against Nash and Hall. It’s youth, speed and heart against intelligence, size and power. If the Guns can take one out of the equation, they will absolutely blitz the other for a potential huge upset win. But if they can’t, they’re going to be overpowered and likely obliterated, possibly with a healthy side of embarrassment. If done right, it could be fantastic. If not done perfectly, it could be shockingly bad. Time will tell.
Cewsh: I’ll be honest with you, I have a really hard time taking the Motor City Machine Guns as serious threats to anyone.
For months and months and months now, Sabin and Shelley have either been in meaningless X Division clusterfucks or have been jobbing to whichever other tag teams in TNA needed a rub that week. The last real success either man has had is when Shelley won the X Division title what seems like decades ago now, and now here they are trying to become the number one contenders for the tag titles…even though they already beat Generation Me for that distinction last month.
As a result, they’ve got Tommy Dreamer syndrome. Where no matter how much you tell me about history, or skill, or passion, or whatever, once someone has jobbed for long enough, you simply can’t just put them in title matches and expect people to accept it. Here, the Guns earn that very distinction (again) and it seems WEIRD to have them beating Team 3D and Beer Money, who have both been pushed steadily for ages. It just creates an atmosphere where wins and losses don’t matter and, while in the broader picture they aren’t really, that basically tells people to ignore all non title matches, because they’re meaningless. Not a good precedent.
Anyhoo, this wasn’t a bad match by any stretch, and everyone played their usual roles, with Team 3D brawling, the Guns flying, and Beer Money holding the match together. It was a fine match in general, though by the time the next bell rings, I’ll have forgotten about it, and that may be for the best.
70 out of 100.
Cewsh: Alright, so I imagine it comes as no surprise to any of you that we love Orlando Jordan. Occasionally one of us will be saying something and subconsciously replace a word with the words “Orlando Jordan”, which causes no little difficulty in the bedroom, let me tell you. But what you may not be fully aware of is how much we’ve come to enjoy and appreciate Rob Terry.
When Terry started out as Dolph Ziggler’s bodyguard in WWE, he looked like the single most hapless and talentless wrestler that I had ever seen. Not only did he not understand wrestling, he didn’t seem to understand ANYTHING, except for how to lift lots of weights and find the nearest hair stylist. Then he came to TNA and joined the British Invasion, and not much changed. He still looked tentative and lost just standing outside the ring, much less on the rare occasions he actually stepped inside of it. It all seemed pretty hopeless for him.
And then somebody decided to turn him face.
Now, out of the bowels of obscurity and failitude, there has emerged this gargantuan badass, with presence to burn, and an uncanny ability to sell his ass off. Make no mistake, we’re talking about a physical specimen who can not only draw your interest, but sell to earn your sympathy, and it all came from what seemed like the most inept rookie in wrestling history.
Here in this match, Orlando Jordan and Rob Terry really bring the best out of each other. Terry still doesn’t know how to string together a full match himself, so instead Jordan walks him through a match and Terry dedicates his attention to selling like Jordan is taking a chainsaw to his leg, and doing great looking power moves whenever he sees a bit of daylight. The result is a great little match to really get this feud going, and it speaks positively to both men that they’re able to have such a convincingly quality match when nobody would have ever expected it of them.
TNA, I know we aren’t on the best of terms. I’ve said some things, you’ve done some things. Stuff has happened. But if you keep giving me these two guys on a regular basis, all will be forgiven. Seriously.
76 out of 100.
Vice: Orlando Jordan’s music is some of the best in the business. It’s badass. It’s catchy. It’s just awesome. It really gets me in the mood to see him. His entrance is fucking great too. It’s elegant and eye catching. Then a minute later, Big Rob’s music hits and he rushes to the ring with a song that reminds me of The Terminator, which is very fitting. It’s great. Nothing catchy, just intense. Reminds me a lot of Brock Lesnar’s theme based on the feeling I get when it hits, and that was one of my favorite themes. Rob Terry is business.
This was his best match to date, and showed that he can be fairly versatile. He’s still utterly clues in the ring when he’s on offense, not knowing what to do, but who cares? He’s a brick shithouse. He doesn’t need to be smart. If anything, it’s excellent character work, right up there with.. NECRO BUTCHER. Expect him to be near the top of my list for wrestler of the decade in, well, a decade. What really impressed me, and I seriously mean this, is how well he took the beating to the leg that OJ gave him. Rob is a legitimately good seller. He sold the leg the entire match. Even after he WON! Even after he got beat down after the match! Wait. If one of the “best” sellers in the world literally shakes off 4 minutes of leg work and does victory laps after a long grueling match, then I guess Big Rob is actually a very poor seller. Yeah. FUCK YOU ROB TERRY LEARN HOW TO SELL, YOU DUMB FUCK. But seriously, big props to the man for showing that he has a ton of potential in the ring if he can figure out what to do and gets a bit more comfortable in the ring.
Hmm. I didn’t talk much about OJ. Uhh..
ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN ORLANDO JORDAN
There we go.
Cewsh: Backstage, Team 3D are nursing their wounds from the opening match and complaining about how things didn’t go their way, when Shannon Moore and Jesse Neal show up and talk about how they’re going to win the tag belts tonight. Bubba tells Neal not to take The Band lightly and that he’ll come down to help take care of them, since they have unfinished business with the Band, but Neal says no. He doesn’t want any help, and he claims that when they win the tag titles, NEAL will take care of TEAM 3D. Bubba, naturally, doesn’t take this well and starts yelling a ton and cursing out Neal and generally freaking out while Devon tries to calm him down.
Jeepers Bubba, if you react this poorly to some simple cockiness, I can imagine you giving powerbombs to waiters who don’t bring you your appetizer in a timely manner. He just wanted to make sure the order was correct and he has four other tables and a family! Have a heart, Bubba. Have a heart.
Vice: I really like the storyline of this match. Doug Williams got stripped of the title last month because he couldn’t make it to the show. He had a good excuse though. The volcano in Iceland decided to send ash over to England, which shut down the airports. But I’m sure you know all about that fiasco. If not, read the fucking news once in a while. Anyway, Kazarian took that opportunity to win the vacant “championship”, but not the actual title because it was still in possession of Williams. Williams came back to TNA pissed off about losing his title and basically said he was still the champion until Kaz actually beat him. This is something I love. Actual shit happened and TNA was able to make a good storyline out of it.
The match wasn’t bad, and in fact it was actually wrestled quite well, but it was long and not a ton actually happened in it. It’s like the whole less is more concept, but the crowd honestly didn’t give a shit about anything going on here until the very end, when they started to wake up and rub their eyes. For shame, Impact Zone. For shame.
Doug Williams wrecks Kazarian with a hell of a Chaos Theory, which has been one of my favorite moves ever since the first time I saw it.
It’s relatively simple. It’s effective. It looks horrifically brutal when done right. I love it so, so much. Williams picks up the win and more or less tells Kazarian that he has zero business whatsoever going anywhere near his title through his excellent mannerisms that he magically found in the past few months. See, they could have had Kazarian win, but that’d just be too simple. This makes the storyline awesome. And it’s really fucking odd how much I love Williams as champion right now. I say that every time I see him, but hey, TNA is opposite land.
Cewsh: zzzzzZZZZzzzzzzzZZzzzzzzZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzZZzz…hmph wha? Oh, there was a match. Right.
It was pretty good I guess?
74 out of 100.
Cewsh: Backstage, we get a sort of secret hallway camera shot of Desmond Wolfe and Chelsea talking about how terribly their plot to frame Abyss for sexual assault went.
“What sexual assault plot, Cewsh?” you may be asking incredulously. Oh, we’ll get there, boys and girls, but for now, let’s just point out the Chelsea is very concerned that if Wolfe loses tonight then Abyss gets to own her as his property. Yes. Like a slave. They’re having a match to see if a former insane asylum patient who believes he has a magic ring and plays with fire and thumbtacks for fun, free reign with a woman who he will officially possess.
Good call, TNA.
Cewsh: You may have noticed that this match is, in fact, a title vs. career match, meaning that Tara, should she lose, will have to retire from the wrestling business and TNA in particular. You may also be wondering how this could have happened so abruptly, seeing as we mentioned nothing of the sort on the horizon for Tara when we reviewed her last month. Well let’s say that quite a lot has changed since then.
Firstly, as the rumor goes, Tara’s contract came up and she wanted more money from TNA. TNA, being entirely unwilling to pay a female wrestler any sort of money (ask Gail Kim) denied her request. So now here she is with virtually no build up, wrestling for her career against a woman who has literally never won a singles match in TNA before. On thee list of ways to end your career, this is probably somewhere further down than being stripped naked and forced to pleasure Big Dick Johnson in front of 20 people in a high school gym. Oh, and we mention that she’s a heel. A heel who JUST turned heel last month? Prepare for some confusion.
The match itself is okay, but it’s hardly the story here, and Tara seems to be fully aware of it, as she completely half asses every single thing she does in the ring, and leaves Madison Rayne to try to make some kind of match out of this. Madison does her best, but even though she’s improving quickly, she’s not the kind of performer yet who can drag a good match out of someone who seems to give less than a shit. She picks up the surprise win, and a clean one too, leaving Tara stunned in the ring until security finally comes to haul her off. The crowd says goodbye to her forever with some mixed chants and some support, but mostly they just watch as security prods Tara towards the back, and the end of her career.
As far as final matches go, this one was pretty embarrassing. With Madison trying as hard as she was, a good match was more than possible, but Tara didn’t step up to the plate in any way, and played the defacto face here, even though she’s been a heel all month leading up to this. In the end, what we get is a disappointing end to a mildly disappointing career.,
Good luck in your future endeavors, Tara. Hang ’em up and enjoy what you accomplished. Other than this, of course. Other than this.
63 out of 100.
Vice: I love Tara, but she hasn’t exactly lived up to all her theorized potential. See, in WWE she had a few glimpses of being amazing when given time, but then was pushed into the background for ages, not being able to wrestle matches that lasted longer than like two minutes, and wrestled sloppy in those situations with what appeared to be very little passion, so we all thought if she was given a really good run, she’d solidify herself as the incredible talent that we thought she was. She’s not awful at all, but her matches in general have basically been those sloppy matches of hers in WWE, only 2-3 times as long and still without that fire she once had years and years ago. So many people come into TNA fresh of a “held back/down” run in WWE, so it’s very interesting to see how they fare with ample time, potentially more character, and less scripting. In some cases, like Mr. Anderson and Christian, they absolutely thrive and become better than they’ve ever been up until then. In some cases, you eat your hat and want to send an email to Vince saying “thank you sir for limiting this person”.
Tara lost, so she lost her career here as well. I’ll miss her a bit still, but not as much as I would have normally. I liked her send-off though. She’s been a bit of a tweener lately, so she got one of the only tweener send-offs I’ve seen. She wasn’t treated like a legend, nor did she get the na na na na hey hey hey goodbye treatment. She had her moment in the ring and then security basically came out and told her to wrap it up, ‘cause the show has to go on. It was quirky, but I liked how it was handled. I really do not like it when people get embarrassed on their way out, so this was good.
The match wasn’t bad. Just kind of there. The other girl came out of this looking good. I’m starting to come around and like her. She’s really not a bad wrestler and her looks are growing on me since I saw her as a very cute face in Shimmer. My goal for next month is to learn her name.
Cewsh: Seriously, what the fuck is Eric Young doing here?
Christy is interviewing The Band (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) about their upcoming match, and rather than let two of the greatest talkers in the history of professional wrestling do the talking, they instead give the mic to Eric Young amidst his trying to audition to be the newest member of Deuce and Domino.
It’s not that Young is BAD, persay. But next to two of the biggest names the industry has ever known, he is such a nobody, and watching him try to fit in with two guys who are so effortlessly cool that you could bottle it and sell it as cologne is just entirely jarring. Ugh.
Cewsh: This match was seriously exciting.
I remain entirely mystified that Scott Hall looks as good as he does, and is performing as well as he is, but there it is. On the other end of the ring are Ink Inc, a tag team comprised of people who i’ve said are miserable before, but who seem to have flourished as a team more than they ever have separately. Moore brings his solid abilities to piece the match together, and then Neal brings his crazy, over the top enthusiasm and excitement, and the combination result in some seriously fun matches, and some SERIOUSLY exciting finishes.
The finish here starts when Neal gets tagged in and he destroys everybody still standing. Then in comes Eric Young to help out his buddies, and he throws Nash a kendo stick. Nash totally whiffs at Neal (he’s a baseball player from Detroit after all) and Neal spears his ass. However, before he can pin Nash and win the titles, Bubba shows up and prepares to hit Nash with the kendo stick right in front of the ref. Neal protests, so Bubba destroys his face with a kendo stick shot, and before you know it, the Band has stolen the pin and the match, while Bubba rants more about nothing in particular.
Like I said, this was a fun match. It wasn’t amazing, and it wasn’t groundbreaking, but Ink Inc., really have something here, and this is a another good example of a tag team that could really be important to the future or TNA. I know, I wouldn’t have believed it either, but here the are. And they have my full endorsement from this point forward.
Now if we could just talk about that Book of Dilligaf nonsense…
72 out of 100.
Vice: I actually really like the tag team of Neal and Moore. They look like they should be tagging together, their tag team had a natural (and enjoyably simply) beginning, and they cover each others’ weaknesses quite well. Plus I have always been a fan of big man/little man teams. It makes matches very fun.
Well, this match wasn’t exactly a barrel of fun, but it did its job. The end was a bit quirky, but I loved it all the same. Bubba knocks Neal absolutely silly and costs him the match. This was great. Neal got cocky and disrespected the people that trained him, and while D’Von was able to shrug it off while rolling his eyes, Bubba took it to heart. I love seeing Team 3D argue like a married couple, by the way. This all felt so natural though, which I really liked. Plus I’m assuming it’s going to lead to Ink Inc taking on Team 3D, and Team 3D putting over their student a lot, which will be lovely. People might be screaming “WHY DID TEAM 3D TURN HEEL??”, but they really didn’t. It’s just an issue of respect, and I’m sure their match will end in a handshake. Or at least a nice nod.
I must also say that Eric Young is the most out of place person in history standing next to The Band and even doing the talking and shit for them. It’s ridiculous.
Cewsh: A little while ago on Impact, a huge hullabaloo broke out when Chelsea, her dress in tatters and her eyes full of tears, informed us all that she had been sexually assaulted. For the rest of the episode, we were left to wonder who exactly this mysterious assailant was. Finally it was revealed that Abyss was the one who had assaulted her, and he was led away in handcuffs as he steadfastly denied any such foul play. It looked grim for the masked man, at least until Lacey Von Erich came forward and presented Eric Bichoff with camera phone evidence that Wolfe and Chelsea had staged the whole thing simply to get Abyss removed from the building to keep him from interfering in the plans of Ric Flair and AJ Styles. Naturally Abyss came back super pissed and that set up this match where if Abyss wins, he gets to keep Chelsea. And if he loses, he loses a magic ring that isn’t really very magical at all. Because apparently Englishmen are awful at bartering.
Now I wont insult your intelligence by pretending for one second that any of this made any sense or that this wasn’t a booking nightmare with no gain for anyone. But the deeper issue here is just exactly what in the fuck made them think that faking a sexual assault was a good idea for a WRESTLING STORYLINE? Yes, I understand the desire for and the pursuit of an edgy product, but in doing so here you have weakened a performer (Wolfe) who is still trying to find his place as a character, you have seriously affected the value of the female performer who has to act like a pawn in this game (Chelsea) and you have continued a downward spiral of sucktastic ridiculousness that has ruined beyond repair the career of a man who once had the potential to be something great in professional wrestling (Abyss).
This storyline helps nobody, makes you care about nobody and draws in nobody. It is a black hole of rational thought, and about as offensive an act of idiocy and ignorance as I can recall at the moment (though god knows, TNA has covered that ground before). For every positive step TNA makes towards progress, quality, and change, they always seem to turn around and make a blunder like this that is so bad it makes me fucking sick.
The match itself wasn’t bad, thanks to Wolfe. But by thhe time the bell rung they had already lost me.
68 out of 100.
Vice: This feud basically takes a dump on everything that is wrestling, so it is remarkably fitting that I am typing this while on the toilet. Cewsh has the rant of the feud covered (or at least I would imagine), so I’m not going to cover it myself.
You’ve really gotta wonder what’s going on in Wolfe’s head in regards to this feud. Not in kayfabe land, but in the real world. He ends up in TNA and is immediately head to head with Kurt Angle, given a stunning amount of time to do what he does best: wrestle. He puts on a number of good matches with Angle, Dinero and looks like he made the right choice by not going to WWE and not staying in the indies. Now his character is up against a monster whose most valuable possession is a ring given to him by Hulk Hogan, and he is plotting devious acts like framing Abyss for raping Chelsea. And Chelsea’s “services” are up for grabs in this match against Abyss’ ring. In a way I guess this is a step up for Desmond as Abyss has basically been the “golden boy” of TNA since Hulk walked into the building, buuuut you’ve really gotta wonder if this is the exact thing he was trying to avoid as a professional wrestler.
The match, like pretty much every other match on the card, was not bad, but it was not really good in any way. Wolfe’s strengths are wrestling, applying awesome submissions and lariating the shit out of people. Abyss’ strengths are.. uh.. well, he has only one real strength, and that’s wrestling AJ Styles, because Abyss is PHENOMENAL at throwing that little shithead around. So you could really call this a.. STYLES CLASH? I mean, Desmond Wolfe would had to have the talent of PELE to get a great match out of Abyss. These guys might have a fantastic match one time out of every… 450? So with those MONSTER odds, and the fact that ABYSS is a BLACK HOLE [slam] of talent, it’s easy to call this match a bit of a… [Fosbury] FLOP.
Though speaking of black hole slams, holy god did Abyss ever kill Wolfe with it. Crikey. Yeah, so, Abyss gets Chelsea. I don’t understand why he’d necessarily want Chelsea at ringside, because she really could just fuck him over all the time, but whatever. I’d keep her around because she is ridiculously hot. Hotter than Scarlett Johansson, that’s for sure. She’s no Daffers though. That is also for sure. I hope you’re getting better, oh dark poison of my heart. And yes, I can say that with a straight face. I also hope someone gets that reference.
Vice: This had me almost bite through my lip trying not to burst out laughing at 2am and waking everybody up. Anderson has been absolutely glorious lately, and this was probably his most entertaining promo ever. He’s making TNA his house, and holy shit. He is so goddamn ridiculously over that it’s unbelievable. He calls his fans assholes, and for basically the ENTIRE match following the promo, the crowd is chanting “I’m an asshole”/”we are assholes”.
Seriously, the dude wasn’t kidding when he said the assholes would drown out Hardy’s…… creatures of the night.
Vice: The crowd practically ruins this match in a way, but at the same time they make it a fucking spectacle. I’m serious, the fans are chanting shit the entire match and go absolutely nuts. Like only 5 people gave a shit about Hardy. Anderson is that amazing.
What’s very reassuring is that Anderson and Hardy put on a very good match here. See, Kennedy came into TNA and sucked donkey dick at first and I hated him. Then he got into a feud with Angle and became the best heel in the world. I was terrified that when not working with someone magnificent like Angle, that he’d go back to his old ways and, well, suck. But, all my fears went out the window like 5 minutes into this match, because Kennedy was great here, and is more over than God. Hardy certainly did his part here as well. I’m generally very critical of Hardy’s work since I think he’s one of the most overrated, uncharismatic mess of a wrestler that I’ve ever seen (plus a literal mess when you factor in his awful facepaint), but he did quite well here. Good wrestling, good action, good story.. this was a very good, solid match. Obviously nothing close to Kennedy’s latest PPV outing, but still an impressive performance. If nothing else, it proves that Kennedy’s definitely got IT, and he doesn’t need the best people in the business or gimmick matches.
Like Jeff Hardy. Ha ha ha ha ha.
The ending is great with Jeff swantoning the crap out of Kennedy’s back as he was on one knee. I love spots like that. The person isn’t in perfect position, but they hit it anyway. Takes me back to the 2/3 falls match between London and Danielson, I think it was. Post-match, Anderson goes for the handshake but is denied. With Anderson more over than God and the fans more than willing to accept him as their lord and savior, it is no surprise that TNA might go with a face Anderson, but something tells me that is just too easy. So I’m very curious to see where this goes. Right now they absolutely MUST NOT fuck up Anderson. I’m not going to say that he’s going to be the guy that finally puts TNA on the map as a legitimate wrestling company, but he’s one of the closest things they’ve got.
Cewsh: Ken Anderson is so good that it pisses me off.
I’ve mentioned before how I buried him for years for his time in WWE, and now he’s totally proven me wrong with his TNA work. But now he’s SO good, and I was SO wrong, that every time I see him it’s like getting slapped in the face with a wet cod. It feels slimy, it stinks, and it’s embarrassing beyond measure.
This match is no different. Anderson’s heel work allows for Hardy to pull out his classic babyface side, which is the best thing that Hardy has to offer. When Hardy faces a top notch heel with tons of heat, his matches instantly become amazing, because once he has the crowd, he knows how to sell to keep them in the palm of his hand. He can’t generate it from nothing, he isn’t the Rock or anything, but once it’s there, he knows what to do with it. And lucky for him, Mr. Anderson is so incredibly, deliriously over that any movement that ANYONE makes inside of the ring is met with a huge reaction. Vice is right when he says that the match essentially gets taken over with people chanting for Anderson, which makes me very, very nervous that they’re going the face route with him. Especially when, after the match, he extends his hand to Jeff Hardy in a show of respect. Jeff doesn’t accept, because why the hell would you trust Mr. Anderson?
But if this is the tip of the face iceberg, they need to pull hard to port, because that is something that I really don’t believe that it is time for.
Then again, i’ve been wrong before.
80 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Cewsh: AJ Styles and Ric Flair are in the back, talking about investment banking, and the half life of the every radioactive isotope found in a nuclear reactor. Oh, what’s that? Oh, we’re getting word that those are, in fact, things that neither of them have ever talked about in their entire lives, and that here they cut a promo entirely about how AJ is going to beat up RVD because RVD is lame. Then AJ adjusts his pretty blue sequined robe, ruffled with highlighted hair, and nearly blinds me with the glint from his diamond earrings as he walks out.
Man, it still seems crazy to me how far AJ has come over the years. I remember the days when he would wear spandex on his head and tell Ricky Steamboat to ZIP IT!
Those were the days.
Cewsh: There is something that feels integrally wrong about awarding “Match of the Night” status to a 15 brawl with roughly 8 second of actual in ring time. I generally don’t award matches for being violent, bloody brawls with very little in the way of flow to them, and this match literally involved one man not laying a single blow on the other.
But man, it was fantastic.
We see Jeff Jarrett backstage, on his way to the ring when he is suddenly blindsided by Sting. Sting then proceeds to spend the next 15 minutes beating ten kinds of hell out of Jarrett as the crowd boos him like crazy. He beats Jarrett like a dog, until Jeff’s face is literally just a mask of blood, and then he stands over Jeff, yelling at him about how if he wants an answer as to why Sting has gone bad he can’t have one.
And then the beating continues. At some point Sting throws Jeff in the ring just long enough to hit the Scorpion Death Drop and get the three count, but it’s entirely an afterthought as Jarrett writhes in pain trying to get away. But there is no escape from Sting. Every time Jeff tries to stand up, he gets knocked down. Every time he tries to draw breath, Sting kicks him in the ribs, and when the EMTs finally load Jarrett onto a stretcher, Sting pushes that shit over, just for fun.
I know i’ve been critical of Sting turning heel, because I just couldn’t see him ever being able to pull it off. I have been proven wrong here, as Sting shows himself to be ten times the vicious heel that I ever would have expected he could be. And I can’t shortchange Jeff Jarrett here, because he sold the whole thing. His selling here, realistic but not boring, and very, very emotional, continues to show that he is one of the best pure babyfaces in wrestling today. His every move demands sympathy, and he and Sting combine here to form a truly emotional moment of ass beatery.
I can’t say enough about this. Sting is a great heel and Jeff Jarrett is a great face.
TNA is bizarro world.
83 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: This is the heel Sting I’ve always wanted to see. He’s been a bit of a dick here and there, but he’s never been a true heel. He’s always stood by his own moral code and even when aligned with the bad guys, he was always a bit of a good guy. After pummeling Rob Van Dam and sending a message to him, to TNA, and to every fan out there, and after putting his hand around Dixie’s neck.. this is the first time Sting has really been a legitimate bad guy. And fuck is he a badass.
It’s hard to really call this match a match, because it’s basically just one of the most savage one sided ass kickings in TNA history. The match starts backstage with Jarrett already busted open, with Sting throwing amazingly stiff punches right at Jeff’s face. He beats the shit out of him some more. And then more. Then he throws him towards the ring and beats his ass some more. And more. And more. Jarrett basically dies here, and even though he did not get one single offensive strike in, this was a phenomenal performance from him. He played the face role so well, and Sting was incredible on offense. Outside of a man in his underwear getting beat down by an angry clown in a trench coat, this almost didn’t look like wrestling. Sting didn’t even remove his coat, which was really badass of him. This was him sending a message to everyone that he is now officially the most unfuckwithable person I the company and if you cross him, prepare for a.. SACRIFICE? Teehee.
The match portion of all this lasts about 10 seconds bell to bell, which basically was Sting rolling a dead Jarrett into the ring, hitting his finisher for good measure and getting the pin. I loved all of it. It was very effective at putting Sting over as a guy that has finally snapped, and it’s good to see that he’s completely heel right now. I’m very curious to see where this goes, as Jarrett seems to be dead. Why, Sting, why? Who’s next on your list? Who did you talk about in your little promo? WHO ARE THEY?
Vice: The match between AJ and RVD on Impact was super fun, despite being kind of on the short side. And a TV match. So knowing they were going to go at it on PPV, I was super excited. Especially so when I noticed that there was like 30 minutes left in the show when the bell rang.
Cewsh: Oh snap. AJ Styles vs. Rob Van Dam. The king of TNA vs. the king of ECW. Two of the most beloved and heralded high fliers in the history of professional wrestling meeting for the first time on Pay Per View with the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on the line. They get almost half an hour, and minimal interference and are allowed to just go full out and have the best match they can possibly have. All of the ingredients of an unforgettable match for the ages are here.
So how come this match is so damn boring?
Vice: It was a really, really weird match. For starters, they spent the first couple minutes just eyeing each other down and making us salivate for when they finally went at it. It went on a bit too long though, as I found myself actually tapping my fingers on my desk at one point. The whole thing felt like they just completely ignored the previous match and went into ROH DREAM MATCH mode.
Like, when they finally locked it up, I was expecting it to go 100 miles an hour for a few minutes until one of them landed something big enough to slow the pace of the match down. But that didn’t really happen at all. They locked it up, did a move or two. Back to a stare down. Move or two. Back to a stare down. Move or two. Pandering to the crowd. Rinse. Repeat. It really did remind me of a big ROH match in a sense, but I am using that as an insult here, because it was not what I wanted to see and I don’t think the fans really wanted to see it either. It just didn’t make a lot of sense to me why they were wrestling the way they were.
Cewsh: The Ring of Honor metaphor could not be more apt. The entire match is built upon this sort of dream match vibe, and they spend SO LONG setting that up in the beginning, that when they get started, their feet are already stuck in the mud. Then it is just a sequence of BIG MOVE. Wait. BIG MOVE. Wait. BIG MOVE. Wait. Just the same routine over and over and over again until the match just sinks into the doldrums.
And just when i’m questioning exactly what the hell it is that’s wrong with me for not liking the match, Ric Flair decides to get involved, prompting Jay Lethal of all people to come from the back to fight him.
Vice: The whole underwhelming thing was not helped by Ric Flair going to the ring to interfere, only to be cut off by Jay Lethal. It really took me out of the match as it felt completely unnecessary.
Have Lethal do that shit on the next Impact or something. It was just not needed and took away from the match. Stuff like this is one of TNA’s really bad habits. I don’t know what goes through their minds when they think that a simple wrestling match taking place in the main event is not good enough, so they need to overbook it and have random shenanigans take place to add to it.
Cewsh: Luckily their interference only lasted about eight seconds, but by then even the crowd had died out and stopped participating in the match, and the two continued to wrestle to a much more placid reaction than I ever would have expected for a match between these two. Finally they get towards the finish, and it’s over before I even knew what was going on. RVD hits Styles, Five Star Frog Splash. Match over. It was so unexpected and out of nowhere that it actually made me turn on this match even more, just because this is supposed to be such a big match, between two legendary guys, and the ending has no suspense to it at all? Really?
Vice: I’m not sure if the finish was actually flat or if I was just completely taken out of the mood, but when it was over, I just kind of shrugged my shoulders and that was that. It wasn’t a bad match, and at times it was really fun, but it was hard staying into it when there was so much stalling and pandering that it just felt so incredibly disjointed. TNA is really good at showing off all the highlights from big matches right after they take place, and I was completely blown away by what I saw. Like, if you just watched the highlights from the match, you’d go “holy shit, that match looks fucking EPIC and AMAZING” and IMMEDIATELY go download it. But as the match was going on, I never really got that feeling, which is why I’m so disappointed with the structure and how everything played out. If me from the present traveled back in time and told my past self that I was about to watch a 25 minute PPV match pitting RVD against AJ Styles and be incredibly meh about it, I would have laughed my ass off and called future me a dickhead.
When I look back at this match, I think that I have to label it as symptomatic of having Rob Van Dam as a main event performer. RVD is a guy you think can deliver great, fun, and entertaining matches, and he’s over as fuck. And while all of those things are true most of the time, his career has been plagued by moments where he needed to step up on the big stage, and what he delivered was an underwhelming spotfest just like this one.
I don’t know who to blame here, I really don’t, but since AJ hasn’t had a bad match in months, and RVD has a history of under performing on the big stage, I think the spotlight shines brightest on the current champion, and he’s going to have to go a long way with his next title defenses to proving that stigma wrong.
This wasn’t a terrible match, and you might even have some fun watching it. But to give RVD vs. AJ Styles merely the score it’s getting is a disappointment greater than anything I can reflect in mere numbers.
75 out of 100.
Vice: It’s possible that something had to be cut short or axed, or time wasn’t planned well or something, and they ended up needing to spend a lot of time lollygagging to stretch the PPV out to the 3 hour mark, but I dunno. If they didn’t stall and had packed all the action into a 15 minute match, I think I’d have watched it three times by now. As it stands, I am disappointed. Very disappointed. Not a terrible match though.
Cewsh: TNA has hit an interesting point in their evolution. Always before with them, PPV cards would be full of the most random wackiness, with a great match here, an absolutely awful match there, and no telling what may be in between. Now they’ve sort of brought the bad stuff up to a certain level, so that even the lows aren’t really that low (in the ring anyway). That’s a good thing, certainly, but it’s very telling that when the main event fails, as this one did, the entire show as a whole shifts from feeling above average, to seeming below average, even if the score may make it seem otherwise.
TNA has a lot of really good things going right now. But they aren’t out of the woods yet, and won’t be until they learn how to put on main event caliber matches IN the main event.
Vice: Overall this was a very odd show. Very few things were great, but at the same time very few things were bad. It was just a weirdly consistent show that wasn’t painful to watch, but is certainly not up to par with TNA’s previous PPVs. Well, maybe Lockdown, but that has my match of the year on it. With a card that was full of potential on paper, I’m very let down. This kind of reminds me of when TNA first started doing monthly PPVs. You’d have a stacked card and a shit show, and an awful card and a ridiculously fun show.
TNA is odd. Like people who feel the need to put 19 pillows on a sofa, making sitting there absolutely impossible unless you spend 3 minutes throwing a mountain of pillows onto the floor. What the fuck.
Well that’ll do it for us this week, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed making the sacrifice of your free time to join us on an adventure to TNA’s shores once again. Next week we’ll be taking a look at WWE’s Over The Limit show, as we continue to let TNA and WWE duke it out head to head. The real excitement comes after that, though, as we press on into June and tackle our most exciting project yet, The Super Duper Mega Ultra Fan Contributed Dream Card review. So keep an eye out for that, and some little surprises here and there on the way, don’t forget to keep an eye on that blog for the Supplements that will make you grow up big and strong like us, and until next time be sure to keep reading and be good to one another!