Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the only review blog that turns pink when you enter the Konami Code, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you all tonight, as we put on our fancy penguin suits and prepare to herald the eight anniversary of Total Nonstop Action. The red carpet has been rolled out, the lights are on bright, and I’m typing this on a golden keyboard with diamond keys. That shit’s fancy. Now over the past eight years, TNA has given us many things. Great matches, memorable rivalries, terrific memories, and all the unintentional humor that we can stuff in a sack. So here, tonight, we’ll take the time to look back on the old days as we march through this years offering. It’s a chance to treasure those memories that we’ll never forget. Like the time that Monty Brown called Samoa Joe a “Hippophant” (half hippo, half elephant) and that time where Rhino had a good match.
But that’s the past, and this year TNA is moving into the future, so we will not neglect the current goings on in the fast paced world of TNA. Will Rob Van Dam be able to withstand Sting’s wrath? Is Mr. Anderson’s loyalty to Jeff Hardy a ploy by the world’s biggest asshole? And what the hell is Dixie Carter’s big announcement all about? All this and partial nudity are right ahead of you. And there’s only one way to find out.
So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!
Cewsh: TNA, while occasionally inconsistent at these sort of things, never disappoint at the big shows. This was a fantastic opening hype video for this show, showing the history of TNA and really making things here feel like a big ol’ deal. The interesting thing is, though, the people who were, and were not, included in the story of TNA. We got about 800 images of Kurt Angle, and about negative 800 images of Kurt Angle. We got a long bit of Samoa Joe, but practically no AJ Styles. And for fuck’s sake, where was Shark Boy?! It’s almost like they don’t even want to acknowledge their greatest ever talent!
For shame TNA. Sharks never forget.
Cewsh: Now there are some things in professional wrestling that will always be true, no matter what happens or how much time passes. Hulk Hogan will say “brother”. John Cena will win the feud, and The Iron Sheik will desire to enforce your humility via sodomy. As pertains to this match the two eternal truths are that Kazarian will be agonizingly bland, and Kurt Angle will have a good match. Neither of those things gets disproven here.
Recently Kurt Angle came back from his month vacation and declared that before he gets another title shot he wants to work his way up through the ranks and earn it. He was therefore propelled to the bottom of TNA’s top ten rankings, and is set to face the tenth ranked competitor (Kazarian, obviously) here, to begin his journey to the title. This all seems to be part of a push to have Kurt Angle put over non main eventers by having fan fucking tastic matches with them, and there’s nobody better equipped for the job. Here he leads Kazarian through a match entirely too epic and evenly matches for someone of Kazarian’s stature, but in doing so he makes Kazarian looks like a trillion dollars. They go back and forth trading signature moves for a good long time, and this match would be fun to watch simply to see the crazy and fun things they come up with and do to one another before Angle finally reverses into the Ankle Lock and calls it a night.
This was exactly what it was intended to be. It was a fun, competitive match that put over both Kazarian and Angle, and got this show off to a fantastic start. So as much as it kills me to do, I have to give the stamp of approval to a match involving Kazarian.
It was easier to give it to Rhino.
83 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: When Kazarian is just Kazarian and doing things that Kazarian does because he is Kazarian, he’s pretty damn boring, even by Kazarian standards. I really don’t know what his deal is. Like, the dude can be an absolute blast to watch when he’s getting a push. I’m not sure if he sandbags because he is unhappy and TNA tussles his hair and cheers him up with a push, or if he goes fucking nuts in the ring and TNA immediately jerks off and gives him the push because of that.. but there are two very, very different Kazarians. And no, I’m not talking about him and Suicide. Fnarr.
Here is happy Kazarian working with Kurt fucking Angle, and the results are actually shockingly good. That’s not me saying this is a five star match or anything, but Kazarian has a bonfire under his ass and a fantastic wrestler to work off of in Kurt Angle, so it’s a very good opening match. If I was TNA management and in charge of firing people, there are a lot of times I’d love to cut Kazarian, but every time I see a performance like this, I remember all the times he’s been on fire and realize that firing him would be a terrible mistake.
There is a reason why this guy will pretty much stay in TNA as long as he wants to. I’m curious to see where he goes in the coming weeks. Angle picks up the victory, which was expected, and begins his rise into the top rankings. Fuck he is good at what he does. I still can’t believe people have the balls to call him a shit wrestler because he had like two years when he was unmotivated and hopped up on drugs, and wasn’t putting on great matches night in and night out. The dude is a legend.
Cewsh: Take a deep breath here, because this X Division match actually has some backstory to it. The idea here is that Douglas Williams is the champion, and represents sort of the anti-X Division. He’s a technical wrestling expert, and doesn’t believe in high flying of any sort, turning his nose up at the whole thing. Kendrick is here to serve as the newest “X Division guy” to try to get the belt off of Williams so that the flippies can continue. Also, Kendrick is going to utilize his “third eye” to win, according to him, which is a solid plan. Of course this was countered by Taz on commentary saying “Just so long as he doesn’t use his third leg!”
Because Taz is awful.
They get down to business, and this match immediately opens into something special. The exchange holds, work each other all around the ring, and continually stymie one another with reversals and counter reversals (if that’s a real thing). They both do a great job of staging a really fast paced, but fundamentally sound match, and they seem completely evenly matched until Dougie goes for the Chaos Theory and Kendrick reverses it into the very technical “Biting Of The Arm”. Then Kendrick, with the upper hand goes for a superplex, but Dougie viciously uppercuts him off the ropes and as Kendrick rises, Doug meets him with a sick Jumping Tornado DDT. Douglas gives a wink to the camera, and picks up the three count, having retained his status as the unbeatable anti-Champion.
This was a really fun match, much like the one that preceded it. People tend to forget that Kendrick is very comfortable doing mat wrestling, and they always seem to classify him as just another flippy guy. Here, he proves what he can do when he’s given the chance to wrestle someone who can bring that side out of him. Douglas, for his part, continues his transformation into one of the most well rounded heels in the entire country here. Having the ending be him using a flashy X-Division move, and him winking at the camera is pure brilliance, making him a hypocrite and a mocking jerk all at the same time. This is the best X-Division match in a long, long, long time, and with Doug as champion, it may well continue on that way.
Two great matches in a row to start a pay per view?
Who are you and what have you done with my TNA?
82 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: I love Kendrick in TNA. Doug Williams can, somehow, be found in my top 5 in TNA, which shows just how great he has become.
There’s not a ton to say about this match aside from the fact that it is extremely fundamentally sound and is a legitimately good match. The end is great with him defeating the X Division at their own game by hitting a nasty tornado DDT off the ropes. See, he’s crapped on the X style so this was a giant slap in the face to Kendrick and the rest of the division. And the second he gets the three count, you can tell just how happy he is with himself.
Cewsh: Eric Bischoff is backstage with his secretary (the former Brooke from WWE), and he likes Rob Van Dam and doesn’t like Sting.
The real question is why Christy would interrupt such an important brainstorming session between Eric and his clearly unqualified secretary. In the words of Stephanie Tanner, “How rude”. I mean look at this picture.
No wonder TNA is so crazy, Bischoff spends all of his time teaching his secretary to read blank folders, and, to be honest, she looks really confused by it. God only knows what Hulk Hogan is doing in the meantime, but if you guessed “Doing commercials for companies that rent toasters”, you’d probably be right.
Shark Boy For Booker!
Cewsh: Okay, before I begin here, there are two distinct parts to this match. There is the part that was actually shown on the PPV, which is what I’m here to review, and there’s the part that happened before and after the PPV itself, which is what I’m here to rant about. So, in fairness to the performers, let’s do the match first.
Ever since the entire Knockouts Division, seemingly, just up and walked out the door over the course of this year, TNA has been seriously hard up for face women to combat the Beautiful People. Rather than using who they already have, this month they reached out to someone they had released previously, and brought back Roxxi. Roxxi debuted with a great new look, and an improved in ring style and presence, and did her best to endure being paired with Roxie Lottalove for the duration of her month long push. Tonight she is set to get the Knockout’s title match she earned by pinning Madison clean in a match on Impact. Simple right?
Well something funny happened on the way to Oz, as Madison prances out to the ring, and informs everyone that it is, like, totally unfair that she has to put her title on the line and Roxxi has nothing to lose. So she demands that Roxxi agree to retire completely if she loses this match. This is a godawful idea, but since she’s a babyface and babfaces are all naturally insane, she agrees to this stipulation. At which point Madison smashes her in the face with a microphone and busts her wide open. They then launch into a match with Madison as the bitchy, bullying heel and Roxxi as the firey face set to overcome the odds, and it’s really great. Roxxi shows great fire, and Madison takes that one final step into cementing herself as a true talent to be reckoned with, as she combines great ability, with some wonderful heel work to set the tone for the match.
In the end Madison cheats and picks up the victory, and Roxxi looks on in shock as she is escorted to the locker room, a bloody mess. Her career is over, and she’s given very little fanfare as the escort her to the locker room for the last time.
WHY did they give her so little fanfare, you be asking? And why did she look like a sad puppy during her entrance?
Well that would be because when she arrived at the building on the night of the show to prepare for her big time title match at one of the biggest shows of the year, they told her that she was fired, and that this match would now be a title vs. career match that she would be losing. That’s right. They told her she was fired and then asked her to GO MAKE THEIR CHAMPION LOOK GOOD ON A LIVE PPV. After the match, in which she was stellar, she was escorted out of the building and was formally released from TNA for the second time. The blowback was intense and immediate, with TNA being buried by women’s wrestlers everywhere, and with April Hunter refusing a TNA tryout due to it, and ODB quitting almost immediately afterwards. It was a disaster from a PR point of view, and is one they’ll have trouble recovering from in the near future.
And since they never bothered to share this stipulation with the television watching masses, none of this earned them a single extra cent on this PPV.
How about a slow clap for good ol’ TNA? WWE might make us crazy, but only the good folks in Orlando have the power to make us headbuttingly mad as always.
Now I don’t want the fact that this was a very, very high quality match to get lost in all of this. It isn’t my job to review what happens behind the scenes and off camera, my job is to let you know what you’ll get to see if you get this show. What you’ll see is Madison Rayne earning her spot as Queen Bee of the rapidly disintegrating Knockouts Division, and you’ll see Roxxi putting on a firey performance that should net her indy booking for years to come.
Let’s not punish the performers for the company they work for. This match was great all on its own.
78 out of 100.
Vice: I’m starting to really fall in love with MADISON RAYNE. And you know I mean that, because I know her name now. MADISON RAYNE. Man, she is such an obnoxious little piece of shit whore of a bitch heel. And I love it. She handled the crowd well and completely ruined Roxxi. Madison tells Roxxi to put her career on the line and Roxxi says yes. Roxxi really could have just said “nah” in SuperHero! fashion, ’cause heels can’t just book matches. But Roxxi, also in SuperHero! fashion, makes it a point to show the world how idiotic a person can be. Though if you want to get technical, she couldn’t have said nah, because TNA legitimately fired her before this match. LOL.
The match starts off with MADISON RAYNE absolutely clocking Roxxi square in the noggin with the microphone, legitimately splitting her head open the hard way. Blood spills out and she’s got a crimson mask and I’ve got a heck of a boner. Coincidence! Honest! This is actually a pretty damn fantastic match with a bloody Roxxi trying to keep her career alive, and failing. I wish that people would remember this for a beloved female putting in one last great match before hanging her boots up and putting someone over huge in the process. But no. This is Roxxi being brought back like a week ago and being fired because TNA already has nothing to do with her, and will be remembered as TNA doing something incredibly awful to a very nice person.
The fact that Roxxi went out there and fought her heart out was a testament to how professional of a person she is, when she could have easily just said fuck you and not even come out for the match.
Goodbye Roxxi. You look really hot with hair and covered in blood.
Cewsh: In less depressing news, here we have a Brother Ray singles match. Yes that IS less depressing news in these circumstances, and not only by default. This is part of a fairly compelling storyline.
The gist of the feud here is the resentful teacher who is upset at his student’s success. With Jesse Neal’s recent success as a member of Ink Inc. with Shannon Moore, Brother Ray has pretty much been fuming, since his student is getting more title shots than he is these days. Add to that the fact that Jesse told Brother Ray that he’d “take care of” the Band for him, and you have a big angry Italian who wants to teach his student some respect. Neal, for his part, just wants to be respected as a man who has achieved things on his own, and it all comes to a head here at Slammiversary.
As both men come to the ring, it is immediately evident that something is different. Brother Ray is very humble and apologetic, and while Jesse just wants to get to fighting, Ray takes the time to formally apologize to him as D’Von and Shannon come down to the ring to keep the peace. When everything appears to be in order again,
D’Von and Shannon go to leave. Which, of course, prompts Brother Ray to jump Jesse from behind and spend 15 minutes beating him so bad that it must be illegal in all the states that begin with A. He pounds on Jesse over and over and over and over, and when Jesse starts to fight back, Brother Ray just starts open hand slapping him all over his body, raising welts and sympathetic groans from the crowd.
But then, when all seems lost for the plucky young rookie, a hero emerges from the crowd. A legend with the power to inspire the underdog within us all. Like a specter from the past, out from the crowd comes Tommy Fucking Dreamer.
Brother Ray seems completely shaken to see his old friend from ECW in attendance, and it shifts his attention away from his young apprentice for just a second. One second too long. SPEAR. One…Two…Three. Upset city baby. The Neal Train rolls on.
As a match unto itself, this is just one big fucking beatdown with a hot finish. However, for the second month in a row, TNA turns a beatdown into a match and does a great job of presenting it, and getting a huge amount of sympathy for the face and hatred for the heel. Coming out of this, everyone looks great, and Neal especially looks like a star the Impact Zone is really starting to get behind. I’m interested as to where Team 3D goes from here after all of the infighting over Jesse Neal here, and the Tommy Dreamer thing makes me terrified that they’re going to launch a hugely ill conceived ECW angle, but I’m excited to see what happens next, that’s for sure.
75 out of 100.
Vice: Bubba is so good on the mic. The dude is great and knows how to work the crowd so well. Whoever didn’t see Bubba “swerving” us and beating the shit out of Neal has clearly never watched wrestling before. That said, this was almost hard to watch. Bubba just goes nuts and absolutely murders Neal. Everyone remembers Bob Holly abusing rookies and how much of a “legend” he became for it. Well, compared to Bubba, Holly’s beatdowns look about as vicious as this:
Seriously, a lot of stories/feuds build to matches about respect, and then they are just, well, normal matches. This felt real to an extent. Like, I don’t know how the normal casual fan would take this, but I’ve heard a bajillion stories about trainers beating the shit out of their students, and I’ve seen a ton of it. This looked like an actual pissed off Bubba with a real student who did something stupid. So while I don’t want to see this type of beating all the time, it’s pretty goddamn amazing when it happens. Gotta hand it to Jesse Neal for taking such a beating and doing it so well.
And towards the end of this match, we are treated to a huge surprise. And boy do I mean huge. It’s none other than..
Though actually, there was some weird anomaly here. See, the file that Cewsh and I are working with was encoded fairly poorly. As a video editor, I want to slap this guy for the shitty job he did. Basically it looks like a 4:3 picture stretched to 16:9, and because of the ridiculous horizontal stretching, everyone looks quite fat. Kendrick looks like Matt Hardy, Bubba looks like an actual whale, and so imagine what Tommy Dreamer looks like
…he looks like he’s in the absolute best shape he’s ever been in. So now I’m really curious to see what he looks like when the aspect ratio isn’t butchered. Because really, he looked fantastic, even stretched out. I’m curious to see where this goes, even if Dreamer isn’t an acquisition along the lines of a Hogan or an Anderson. Also gotta give props to Bubba for selling Dreamer showing up so well. Very intriguing how it played out.
Cewsh: Hernandez is backstage with Christy Hemme and he’s mad at Matt Mor…
No, I’m sorry, I can’t do this. LOOK AT HIM.
While Hernandez was gone for surgery, he apparently became possessed by the One fucking Ring from Lord of the Rings. I guess he’s fighting Matt Morgan because that’s the closest thing to an Ent that he could find (lol!), and he seems super mean and dickish now, so maybe the One Ring TOOK HIM OVER dude.
Will Matt Morgan be able to chuck him into a volcano before it’s too late? Find out…well now actually.
Cewsh: Short Answer: No.
Long answer: So if you recall from several months ago, Matt Morgan and Hernandez had teamed up to win the tag team championships. Morgan was a good guy then, but as the weeks wore on he started display more and more selfish behavior, until he finally snapped and destroyed Hernandez, putting him out for several months until Hernie’s big return last week on Impact.
Now the story here is mostly that Hernandez wants a piece of Morgan, but it’s also the fact that Morgan is such an awesome heel right now that it’s completely ridiculous. His mannerisms are perfect, his manipulation of the crowd is awesome, and his heel work in the ring both uses his size well AND makes him a chickenshit. He brought a goddamn doctor’s note to the ring to get out of having to wrestle. He’s the best of every conceivable world. If I were WWE right now, I would be kicking my own ass for having had this guy and given him a goddamn stuttering gimmick instead of actually developing him into the dynamic and full of potential star he is today. Bad call, Vinny. Bad call.
Anyway, this match isn’t much of a match, because it’s really just Hernandez chasing Morgan around, and Morgan not wanting to be caught. Morgan continually grabs the ropes and escapes to the outside, which flusters Hernandez so much that he picks the referee up and literally one armed tosses him all the way across the ring.
This, as you might imagine, is frowned upon, and he loses via DQ. Which doesn’t exactly seem to bother him much. He keeps chasing Morgan, and places his head against the steel post, preparing the splatter his head open, but before he can do it, Morgan pulls the ref in the way, and he eats it for a second time, and this time he is OUT. Morgan takes the opportunity to take off to the back, and Hernie sets off in hot pursuit, leaving the ref to consider a career in accounting.
Like I said, this wasn’t much of a match, but what was here wasn’t awful. It wasn’t anything special either though, and with the brilliance of the show to this point, this has to be considered a bit of a downer.
65 out of 100.
Vice: I’m not sure if there was an actual match located somewhere in this long segment, but Matt Morgan tried getting out of this match with a fucking doctor’s note. That’s really all that matters here.
Yeah, a doctor’s note.
A doctor’s note.
Cewsh: Hulk Hogan is backstage with the ubiquitous Christy Hemme, and he is very, very upset with Sting. He goes on and on about how there are unspoken rules in wrestling that you JUST DON’T CROSS BROTHER, and apparently Sting has broken all of them by hurting Jeff Jarrett. This being the same Jeff Jarrett who plastered Hulk Hogan in the face with a chair during a press conference in Japan when they didn’t even work for the same company, so I guess Hulk is just a really forgiving guy to everyone who didn’t beat him at Starrcade 97.
Anyway, he leaves heavy undertones afoot to the idea that he may lace up the boots to wrestle Sting sometime soon (Bound For Glory), and I’m sure we all eagerly anticipate that match. Really. Very exciting.
No more of these, please. No more Abyssamania, no more Desmond Wolfe as a psychotic woman abuser, no more Monster’s Ball matches, no more plastic masquerading as glass, no more mindless hardcore matches that can’t be differentiated from one another except for who it happens to be in the ring with Abyss, and no more Abyss period.
This was garbage. Simple as. And even Desmond trying to bring an artsiness to the carnage didn’t make it any better. It just made it more offensive that he is stuck doing this.
47 out of 100.
Vice: I had no idea that this was going to be a Monster’s Ball match. The worst part is that I was completely unphased by it all. Like, I just don’t give a shit about these two right now. Which is sad, because I love Wolfe. And speaking of him, he actually added some attire due to this gimmick. He wore a little jacket thing, and ended up looking like a white MVP. With a collar. Because he’s classy.
I hope this nonsense is over, because I’m just not enjoying this stuff.
However.. and this is a big however..
This is a five star match for me, because these two introduced the greatest weapon I have ever seen in the history of professional wrestling. I’ve seen pretty much everything I can imagine, whether it be amazing, awful or just downright horrific (I’m looking at you, Mr. Weedwacker). This took it all to a new level. A teddy bear wrapped in barbed wire came in to play. A TEDDY BEAR WRAPPED IN BARBED WIRE.
Jesus it was magnificent. Almost as magnificent as Chelsea’s face. When did she become so attractive?
Cewsh: Stay with me here, because this may seem a little confusing.
Ric Flair has recently founded a group (NOT the Four Horsemen. Like for serious. Seriously.), comprised of AJ Styles, Beer Money and Desmond Wolfe. They recently added Kazarian to their ranks, which has created a great deal of tension between the old favorite of Flair’s (Styles) and the new toy to play with (Kazarian). Aside from that tiff, though. they’ve been wrecking havoc for a good long while now on all of the top faces in TNA, but they’ve only really had a good deal of trouble with one person. One man has mocked Flair, pinned Styles, stymied Beer Money, and avoided being harmed by this entire supergroup.
That man is Jay Lethal. Not Black Machismo. Just Jay Lethal.
If you have a confused look on your face at the moment you aren’t alone. A guy who was a comedy act and jobber a few months ago is now being presented to us as a serious and legitimate threat to the top stars in TNA. And while I adored his comedic skits, allow me to present a few examples of times when this exact thing didn’t work out.
However, despite all of this, Lethal is a capable guy in the ring, and Styles is Styles so this had some potential to start with, but it very quickly showed it’s true colors and was not what you might call fabulously entertaining. They try their best to create an epic feel by drawing out holds and interactions, to the point where it almost got weird until I realized that they were waiting for the crowd to heat up for Lethal. They never did. So what resulted was a 15 minute match designed to be some kind of epic main event contest that the fans completely sat on their hands for. You know how a hot crowd can make a decent match seem extraordinary? Well a bad one can apparently make a decent match seem like an accounting seminar. The only thing that makes it tolerable is the inevitability of Styles beating Lethal and moving on to legitimate competition.
Then, naturally, Lethal beats Styles. Amazing.
The correlation between Lethal and Young is strong here. They want me to take a former comedy character seriously, and all they’re succeeding at is shoving him down my throat so hard he could smell last night’s burritos. So the Flair/Lethal feud will continue, and will likely culminate in an awful, awful, awful match between them, and a ho hum one between Styles and Kazarian. Bust out the kazoos boys, it’s going to be a party!
67 out of 100.
Vice: This match didn’t do a heck of a lot for me. Last month, AJ had that ROH-esque “epic” main event match against RVD and it was more of a miss than a hit. This month, AJ wrestled Jay Lethal in another ROH-esque match. Not the epic main event style, but the “hey we have two capable wrestlers so let’s give them 17 minutes for no real reason” typical midcard match. This would have been a much better match if it was a fast and furious 9-12 minute match, but it simply had too much time and the crowd, and the crowd was not into it like they needed to be. Cewsh mentioned it to me while we were chatting, say that this match was wrestled in a way that required Lethal to have the crowd being 110% rabid for him, and if they were, I think this match could have been much better. But the crowd was fairly quiet for the most part, with them not wanting to cheer heel AJ, and Lethal just not being over enough to have the heat he needed to make this match work.
It wasn’t a bad match, because it was actually wrestled quite well and both men put a lot into it, but it just felt so lifeless because the crowd wasn’t doing what they needed to do. It’s like if the story of a match was all about the heel getting his comeuppance for his awful sins against humanity, and the crowd rallying for him while the face gets booed. Kinda like a John Cena match now that I think about it. It doesn’t work. SCREW YOU, IMPACT ZONE.
If everything didn’t feel so flat, and if the finish wasn’t so awkward and lifeless, this could be a fun little match to look back on. But the way things played out, it just reminded me of why I stopped watching ROH. On paper, Lethal gets put over huge. In reality, not as much as he should have.
I really hope AJ turns face again. I’d much rather him be a boring personality that puts on incredible matches night in and night out than what we currently have.
Cewsh: Don’t scare me like that!
Vice: I’m reaaaaaally curious what is going on with Mr. Anderson here, because this whole face mumbo jumbo has to be a ruse.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I really don’t see how people think of Jeff Hardy as a bundle of charisma. And the fact that he’s called the CHARISMATIC Enigma is a giant misnomer.
I’d say he has about as much charisma as Shelton Benjamin. And what exactly is enigmatic about him? Why he’s so fucked in the head? Because that’s an easy answer: drugs. Why does he make horrible music, paint crappy pictures and build extremely weird “sculptures”? Drugs. Why is he a danger to himself and others around him? Drugs. Why is he an idiot? Drugs.
The Humdrum Junkie is far more accurate.
If he proves one thing in this match, it’s that he’s a great tag team wrestler. Some may see that as a fantastic compliment, but keep in mind that Billy Gunn was, throughout his career, a great tag team wrestler. He also had more charisma and a better look. Just sayin’.
So this match features Beer Money Inc., comprised of Robert Roode. Roode was the best of Team Canada, one of TNA’s best tag teams and featured Eric Young in a much better role. This team also features James Storm, the best of America’s Most Wanted, which was also one of TNA’s best tag teams. Therefore, two amazingly fundamentally sound tag wrestlers, going up against a great tag wrestler in Hardy and Mr. Anderson, who has not really been a prominent tag wrestler. But that just means that he’s the X factor here and in really good company.
The result is.. you guessed it.. a really damn good tag team match. See, this is why I like TNA tag teams, because their guys actually, you know, do stuff together. As a team. In WWE, you have an actual tag team that is meant to be a tag team, and they don’t really have much chemistry with one another. It’s basically just four guys tagging each other in and is just a really broken up, crappy match. Then you have teams consisting of two random guys and, of course, they are basically just two random guys tagging each other in and out. Anderson and Hardy are more or less thrown together, and they worked together extremely well. They did moves together, they knew how to work a match together, and went on to put on a great match with Beer Money.
A lot of people hate tag team wrestling, but I’d say a lot of that is because most of the time it’s just shit and not done right. Yeah, I generally prefer singles matches, but when a tag match really comes together, they’re so much fucking fun. They’re exciting, there’s a whole lot of emotion and story they can build, and it’s just a treat to watch. This isn’t a match of the year candidate or anything, but it was tag wrestling done as it should be done. And towards the end, holy crap did it heat up. The crowd was on fire, all the participants were on fire, and it was just magical. The ending was great, too.
Kudos to everyone involved, and now I’m REALLY intrigued to see how long this Enigmatic Assholes pairing lasts. They should start planting some really subtle seeds over the next couple weeks, and then in a month or two go crazy with Anderson. He’s something special right now and TNA is notorious for dropping the ball when someone is crazy hot. That’s not to say that they end up ruining the person, but when the fire is hot, they wait until it burns out until they throw the gasoline on it and then end up scratching their heads when an epic bonfire doesn’t break out. They need to play this very carefully, because yeah, I’d say that Anderson does have potential to help TNA out, and they cannot screw this up.
happy anniversary slammiversy tna is great k thx bai
Cewsh: Here’s what you need to know about this match. Jeff Hardy is still one of the best tag team wrestlers in the world, and is probably better at being the face in peril than anyone in America right now. Ken Anderson is hugely over and is still riding an unstoppable wave of momentum. Beer Money are the best tag team in North America.
This match is a little slow at points, and it suffers from “Beer Money have a random tag match every month and they all start to look the same” Disease, but Hardy’s fantastic selling keep things going until the tag in to Anderson which sets things on a course for a mega hot finale that made everyone look amazing.
This wasn’t groundbreaking in any way, and it wasn’t anybody’s best match by far, but it was a fundamental and well executed tag match between two over teams that wasn’t tainted by any shenanigans or nonsense.
In other words, it is totally out of place in this company, but very welcome.
77 out of 100.
Vice: My favorite part of this match was not actually the match. It was during RVD’s backstage pre-entrance. For those that don’t know, for the main event matches, they show the guys walking through the backstage area before getting their actual entrance. It makes the matches feel bigger and I really like it. Well, last month, RVD was walking in the back and rotating his arms around as a bit of a stretching/warm-up routine and accidentally hit one of the overhead dangling lights. It started swaying around and RVD completely broke character and giggled at what just happened, then got serious again (by RVD standards anyway) right before his actual entrance started. This month he was doing the same exact routine, but managed to not hit the light. So after he clears all the lights, he turns around, jumps up and gives it a little tapping punch as a nod to what happened last time. It was small thing that I’m sure most people wouldn’t have noticed, but it got a good laugh out of me.
RVD’s theme, by musical standards, is quite possible the worst, lowest quality theme ever. But seriously, the fans make it the best theme in wrestling right now. Sure TNA’s crowds are small, but when you have the entire goddamn arena spring to their feet, screaming along with the lyrics, all doing the trademark thumb point in unison, and fucking hell, it may as well be God himself coming to the ring. No no, not Shark Boy. That guy that doesn’t ex–
RVD is rocking an Iron Man singlet. It actually looks really damn slick since it’s still his usual singlet and not a full body costume ala Rey Mysterio.
And Sting continues to wrestle in his shirt, probably because he has saggy man boobs and doesn’t want to work to stay in any sort of visually appealing shape.
The match is nothing great, but it’s not bad. The highlight was Cewsh and I’s conversation during it. The ref gets knocked down, Sting starts beating RVD up with the bat as Cewsh is like “yeeep, saw this coming”, which prompted me to say “I’m just waiting for Jarrett and Hogan to come down”. Not more than 2 seconds after sending that IM, Jarrett comes out. It was one of those beautiful, perfect “called it!” moments.
So with this I gather that Jarrett and Sting are going to go back to feuding, because RVD and Sting never really had any beef with each other. So I’m not sure why they’re even having a match. So why should I care about this?
Sting is much better when he is just savagely taking faces. He should not actually wrestle.
Kind of a poor way to end a show, all things considered, but it could have been a lot worse. I mean, Sting could have won, which would have been pretty damn awful.
Cewsh: What the fuck is going on with Rob Van Dam?
I’ve been a fan of his since I first saw him when he joined WWE during the Invasion angle, and all through the various ups and downs of the man’s career I’ve stuck with him and open enjoyed the vast majority of his matches. I was even a fan of his run as WWE World Champion, despite my belief that he wasn’t really World Champion material. So when he won the TNA title off of AJ Styles, I expected some good things. He seemed to be in as good shape as ever, and had some wonderful matches on the night he won the title with both Styles and Hardy. Yet here we are, two months later, and something is seriously wrong.
Maybe it’s the pressure of being champion, or maybe it’s just his natural inconsistency, but he has now had two of the biggest dud main events in recent TNA memory in the past two months, and both have been dream matches that fans have anticipated for years. Generally speaking, having shitty matches in dream match scenarios is pretty awful business, and it’s so goddamn deflating. Sting came into this match with a full head of steam, having fucked with everyone of any note all month, and after his totally awesome beatdown of Jarrett last month. But on the Impact just before the PPV, he actually beat the shit out of RVD, stole his title, taunted him with it, and GAVE IT BACK. Meaning that we basically already saw this match and Sting won. So yay, exciting.
The match is the very definition of underwhelming. They do some slow paced brawling, and Sting spends a lot of time selling for Van Dam, but it doesn’t go anywhere for a good long time, and then Jeff Jarrett comes out. You may recall Jeff having had his shoulder wrenched out of the socket last month, but that is hardly in evidence as he grabs Sting’s bat and whales on him with it, before leaving. Then, after this climactic interference, the match CONTINUES FOR ANOTHER 5 MINUTES. So Jarrett’s help was basically 100% worthless. But that’s okay, because Van Dam just pins Sting clean with the Five Star Frog Splash anyway, eliminating the need for any help or interest.
I can’t express enough how much a bad main event puts a huge damper on a show. It’s like a lead weight that drags everything else around it down into a pit of meh. And so far, Rob Van Dam is proving to be the King of the Pit.
62 out of 100.
Cewsh: This show was the best example of a slippery slope I’ve seen in a good long while. The show started out fantastic and then just slowly started slipping and slipping and slipping until the main event finished the night with a resounding thump. But ultimately the first half of the show was so good, and so much of the heel work here was so brilliant, that I’m coming away from this show feeling positive about the night. Or at least I would, if not for the Roxxi situation, which is inexcusable beyond belief, and stupid to new levels of incandescence.
You gave us a decent show TNA. But all the same, on the eighth anniversary of your existence I have one simple thing to say to you. Fuck you. Fuck you very, very much.
Vice: Overall, well..
Doctor’s notes, barbed wire teddy bears and Iron Man OH MY!
Alright, that’ll do it for us this time boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed our celebration (condemnation, same difference) of the eighth anniversary of Total Nonstop Action. It also marked the 8th year in a row that i’ll be embarrassed to have to type that name in a serious manner. Next week we’re skipping over to WWE for their Fatal Fourway PPV, a show that has been cursed by injuries, and has the looming specter of the very interesting NXT Invasion angle surrounding it. We’ll see how that goes, and some time in the intravening space, we WILL reveal the drawings for the dream show which is officially on the docket for two weeks from now. So until then, keep reading, and as always, be good to one another.