Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the swelteringly hottest review blog spending half their salary on air conditioning, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight as we Cross The Line (or whatever the kids are calling it these days) and get charged up to review TNA’s Victory Road 2010! This is the first step on the road from Slammiversary to Bound For Glory, and it has mammoth ramifications indeed. For example, who are “They” and will they continue to force me to be grammatically incorrect whenever I refer to them? Who will wind up being the final four members of Ric Flair’s new Fortune stable? And just what will TNA pull out of their hat tonight, after Dixie Carter hyped up a big surprise all week before the show? Well we could sit real quietly, become one with nature, and convince the squirrels who live in our backyard to go ask Dave Meltzer is perfect unaccented English (and give him rabies while they’re at it), but that seems like a lot of work. So just take my word for it when I say that there’s only one way to find out.
Segment 1 – OPENING VIDEO FEVER.
Cewsh: Okay, there are a number of different ways that the opening video for a show can go. They can go for inspirational, action packed, angry, heated, intense, emotional, and all sorts of other ways to trigger a reaction in you from watching it to hype you up for what you’re about to see. However TNA decided to make their own separate category and went for “piss yourself scary” which they achieved by packing as many freaky small children and images of Abyss killing people into 3 minutes as they possibly could. I wasn’t scared though. I’m a MAN. I don’t get all weepy just because some little girls is chanting nursery rhymes at mOH MY GOD SHE’S LOOKING AT THE SCREEN SHE SEES ME KILL IT KILL IT!
Cewsh: Alright now, always a sexy idea to start things off with an X Division title match. Ever since Williams won the title you’re practically guaranteed a good match, and there are a helluva lot worse ways to open a show than with an Ultimate X match. Of course, you may be wondering why this random show received an Ultimate X match, what with that theoretically being TNA’s signature match and all, but the answer is, for once, very simple.
See, Douglas Williams has been a knobhead in every conceivable sense since winning to X Division championship, and his big thing now is that he, a mat wrestler trained in the European style, is vastly superior to these high flying flippy guys in every possible way. So much better, in fact, that he even uses the occasional high flying move against them just to show that he can beat them at THEIR specialty as well. Cur Brian Kendrick, who in an uncharacteristic faceish manner has elected to take the belt off of Dougie on behalf of the X Division, and Brian has a few tricks of his own. Namely a rear naked choke he debuted in the past few weeks and which has been incredibly successful against Williams to date. So now Williams and Kendrick have agreed to meet in a match that will encompass both of their strengths and test each other’s newfound skill. The first ever Submission/Ultimate X match where the only ways to win are via a tap out, or claiming the prize hanging high above the ring.
Shit yeah, homey. Bring it on.
They start out with Williams immediately trying to climb the ropes to grab the title, followed by Kendrick going full on balls out for Williams, looking to officially get revenge for his humiliating loss at Slammiversary. Both guys quickly exchange holds and some vicious elbows and uppercuts, slowing down only for somebody to slap a nasty looking submission move on somebody else. This quickly becomes a technical wrestling exhibition as Williams uses his advanced knowledge of submission wrestling to keep Kendrick on the ground and away from the rope altogether. Brian fights back, holding his own quite nicely, but he makes it clear that his gameplan is to make Williams submit come hell or high water and he’ll settle for nothing less.
Things go back and forth for awhile, with Williams using dickery to stay ahead of the game for the vast majority of the proceedings. However every time Williams gets a breather, instead of going after Kendrick, he heads for the ropes to try to capture the title hanging above the ring. Whether he doesn’t think he can actually put Kendrick out or whether he wants to officially embarrass him by winning at his style of play is anyone’s guess, but he never even gets close to grabbing the title until he finally incapacitates Kendrick on the outside and scurries onto the ropes (as fast as a Dougie Smalls possibly can anyway), Kendrick follows eventually, and while they both hang onto the ropes, Kendrick lets go in an attempt to lock on his rear naked choke in mid fucking air. Then disaster strikes.
Williams, unable to hold the sudden weight, lets go and they both crumple to the mat, with Kendrick clearly and nastily smashing his face into Williams’ knee on the way down.
And now Kendrick is absolutely out of it. He isn’t moving and he isn’t responding, and a look of absolutely panic comes across Doug’s face as he tries to figure out what to do.
Finally he just slaps a rear naked choke of his own on Kendrick and picks up the victory after Kendrick can’t answer the arm test. As Dougie celebrates on the ramp, the refs literally have to use smelling salts to bring Kendrick around to consciousness, with a look of utter confusion on his face.
This started off as a really fun and heated matchup that really could have had some potential if it could have gone down the way that I’m sure they planned it. But that wasn’t in the cards today, and the best that can be said is that Williams did a wonderful job improvising on the spot and at least they got out of there without any serious injury to Kendrick. I’m sure we all hope he’s doing alright after that nasty crack on the head, and hopefully we’ll get another chance in the future to see this business settled. In the meantime, though, this match suffered and the crowd deflated at seeing something go wrong so early in the show.
Good god, please don’t let the rest of this thing be a huge disaster.
72 out of 100.
Vice: Aah, when you have an Ultimate X match on the card, naturally it’s a good choice to open up the show. This is an intriguing match because there’s also the added stipulation that submissions are fair game too. The story behind this is that Doug Williams is a real man’s wrestler and has incredible technical prowess and submission skills that will make you tap the hell out, and he’s dominating the X division, which is full of flippy motherfuckers. Lately, Doug has been beating the X division at their own game by utilizing a really slick tornado DDT off the second rope for a finisher. So to counteract that, Kendrick has been choking Doug out. Because of this, you’ve got submissions and high flying built into one match.
Doug is afraid of heights because he’s English and apparently they all share that fear, just like how Canadians are afraid of the dark, so he’s at a bit of a disadvantage. The most intriguing thing here though is that there are options. Doug can overcome his fears and beat Kendrick at his own game and cement his status as the skullfucker of the X division, or he can just do what he does best and choke a bitch. Same goes for Kendrick here, being able to beat Doug at his game or just play it safe. This creates multiple possibilities, bragging rights, ego boosting, etc., so I like the concept.
The match is really fun.
Until Kendrick DIES, that is. At first I thought “oh Kendrick is just really good at selling” as they initially smacked into the mat, but then Doug Williams looks up at the ref and you can see a curious look on his face. Then he stares at Kendrick, who is doing an all too real impression of a corpse. Doug kinda pokes him a bit and looks back towards the ref. So, he does a great job of improvisation and decides to just choke the fucker out. Well, you know what I mean. The whole thing screamed legit knockout, especially how Doug was extremely careful moving Kendrick, and how the choke wasn’t really locked in at all (think Cena’s STFU), because locking an actual submission in on someone who is unconscious is not only kind of mean, but it could be very bad in terms of legitimately hurting/KILLING the other person. Then again, killing someone in the middle of the ring might get them some publicity.
I’m really hoping that Williams absolutely shits on the X-division over this, pointing out how ironic it is that the X-division stipulation cost Kendrick the match via KNOCKING HIMSELF OUT.
Hopefully Kendrick isn’t too beat up. They did have to use smelling salt on him to wake him up, after all.
Cewsh: Backstage we see a very angry Brother Ray sporting a bald head and mutton chops (?) yelling at the top of his lungs about how both Brother Devon and Jesse Neal are dirty traitors who could never make it without him, etc. etc. He then turns his ire to Christy Hemme and begins screaming at her about how useless she is about 3 millimeters away from her face. Christy responds briefly before being cut off by Ray again and dismissed entirely.
Apparently this was far too much talking for a woman to be allowed to do in Sphere’s view. As a rebuttal, when asked whether or not they’d like to see Vice tap the “ban” key (as a moderator of that forum) and ban Sphere, Kurt Angle and Christy Hemme had this to say:
Cewsh: This feud is really starting to get cooking.
Originally, Jesse Neal was a Navy boy who served on an aircraft carrier with his best friend in the Gulf, before terrorists bombed the place, killed his friend, and left Jesse with a burning desire to realize the dream his friend now never would; become a professional wrestler. After hearing his story and seeing his determination, Team 3D brought him in for the first class at their new training school and he flourished, learning the ropes way quicker than he had any right to. Now he’s a success on his own and has great respect for his teachers. Unfortunately due to a misunderstanding several weeks ago, Brother Ray has totally snapped, having decided that Jesse is a disrespectful little punk who needed to be taught respect, and the two have bickered and fought while Brother Devon has tried his best to keep the peace. Now Ray has laid down an ultimatum to Devon. You’re either with me, or against me. Neutral is no longer an option.
They finally all meet tonight in a triple threat match, with a great deal of pride on the line. Anything can happen, but one thing is certain. Somebody is in for an ass kicking.
Unfortunately that somebody turns out to be Jesse Neal, because as Devon’s music plays, we find out that he’s been locked into his dressing room with a two by four and has no way out (because apparently cameramen aren’t allowed to open doors, lest they lose their invisible ninja powers).
DAMN YOU HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN!
So Ray proceeds to beat Jesse Neal the fuck up for about 10 minutes before Devon finally gets free and runs to the ring. He teases and heel turn by staring meaningfully at Neal, before punching Ray straight upside his neck and beating him around. In all the confusion that follows, Ray somehow manages to grab Neal into the Bubba Bomb and score the quick victory before running off with a grin on his face, much to the chagrin of Devon and Jesse.
Oh, and some ECW guys showed up too. That may be important later.
As a match, this didn’t really work, because it was blatantly set out to be more of an angle than anything. Not to mention that Jesse and Ray did virtually the same thing last month, and did a much, much better job with the beatdown than they did here, and there just wasn’t much to see here. This is one of those matches where the result tells you everything you need to know. And what you need to know is that this feud has a long, long way to go.
65 out of 100.
Vice: I really like this feud. The mic work has been incredible, and Devon’s really come out of his shell and has been cutting the best promos he’s ever cut. If he’s always been this good, why is Bubba the main talker while Devon has been limited to “OOOOHHHH MAH BROVVA TESTIFYYYY!” for all these years? And gah, it’s just like TNA to do an angle like this. Whenever I really start disliking a wrestler or a team, they make them better than they’ve been in ages all of a sudden, and I fall in love with them all over again. It’s ridiculous. In the past few weeks I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed Team 3D as much as I have. So great on the mic and can certainly dish out a good ass whooping. Plus all of this is very interesting, and Jesse Neal is getting over like a motherfucker.
Ok, here’s something I need to point out. You know how Tony Shiavonne of WCW commentating fame, has been shit on for years and years for his “dumb” remarks? Especially the infamous “Those are the letters of the NWO!” as Hogan spray painted NWO onto the WCW belt (I think? The quote is right). Taz, with one line, completely cemented himself as worse than Tony Shiavonne ever was (even though Tony was actually pretty good, all things considered).
To set the stage, D’von’s music hits but he does not come out. A minute or two later it cuts to the backstage area where you see a door being blocked off by a very cleverly placed 2×4/string combo that even MacGyver would be proud of. The door has a sign on it. The sign says “Team 3D”, so one could logically come to the conclusion that it is the dressing room of Team 3D. There is a man on the other side of the door pounding on it and shouting “BUBBA! Open the damn door! Hey! SOMEBODY OPEN THE DAMN DOOR! BUBBA!!! OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!!!!!”
With all of that said.. take it away, Taz!
“That sounded like Devon’s voice!”
Huh. Now that you mention it, that could very well have been Devon. Thanks, Taz!
Decent match. Good storyline.
Segment 4 – TNA Knockouts Championship – Madison (Avenue) Rayne © vs. Angelina Love (Boat).
Cewsh: Ah, here we are with our lovely ladies for the evening. Madison and Angelina recently began this feud after Angelina’s recent return from injury, and it’s basically a case of Madison being the dominant champion, and she and Angelina essentially burying every single other Knockout in the company in one month, so the title match is natural. You may also note that these two were ones partners in the Beautiful People before Angelina kicked Madison out for being super lame. They didn’t see fit to ever mention this during the hype for this match, but you and I can pretend to care for now. Anyway, Madison is currently going with a gimmick where she forces all of her title challengers to put their careers on the line to face her. In the span of this she has retied both Tara (keep that in mind for later) and Roxxi, and is looking to do the same to Angelina here. Angelina’s insurance policy, however, is that she got the people in charge to add a stipulation where if either member of the Beautiful People (meaning Velvet or Lacey) interfere, then Angelina wins the belt automatically. Keep that in mind also.
The ladies start off going head to head, and the action is fast and furious from the get go. They fight really evenly, with both of them looking really great, and strong and in general having a really entertaining match. I wish I could dwell on this more, but I can’t because after a few minutes of good wrestling somebody comes driving down on a motorcycle and walks to ringside. Everyone looks really confused at this except for Madison who looks on approvingly. Then Madison dumps Angelina to the outside and the mysterious biker individual immediately assaults her blatantly in front of the referee. The referee exists the ring and tries to find out who she is, since if she is Velvet or Lacey then Angelina wins the title. However the motorcycle individual pushes him away and refuses to unveil, while Madison nods sympathetically. At this point the ref calls for a DQ and awards the Knockouts Championship to Angelina Love.
Yes. You see, his reasoning is that since the individual didn’t want him to know who she was, she must have been Velvet or Lacey. Which is great and all, except that he NEVER BOTHERS TO ACTUALLY FIND OUT. He simply awards a new champion based on his women’s intuition. Even more preposterous is Madison, who instead of being pissed at her accomplice for costing her the title by being camera shy, shy scowls at Angelina, and then hops on the back of the biker’s motorcycle to ride off into the night. Why the fuck is she going with that individual. THEY JUST COST YOU THE TITLE. Somehow the two of you have hatched the single worst thought out plan in wrestling history, and it may just have worked if the ref hadn’t been in a hurry to get home so he could watch Zoey 101. God damn it. Oh, and if you’re wondering how the crowd is at this huge title change, the answer is dead silent. The crowd that was super into the match, and wildly pro Angelina sat on their hands as she won the title in the most meaningless and anticlimactic way imaginable. Wheee.
Am I the only one who is starting to develop a feeling of dread every time I start to watch a TNA Knockout’s match? Every fucking time the ladies get time to wrestle on the big shows, the fucking writers bury them under so much gelatinous bullshit that they can’t claw their way out fast enough to save thing. Madison won the belt in a tag match, which happened after the title changed hands via random box drawing, and now she has lost it via DQ because her ally refused to take off a fucking goddamn motorcycle helmet. For. Fuck’s Sake. And the worst part is that all of this nonsense has completely clouded over miles of character development from Madison as she matures into someone who could actually carry this division on her own. And now she has been utterly defeated by Angelina with no build up and no anticipation, via fucking biker disqualification.
You know, I may need to put the TNA Knockout’s Division in 2010 in a time capsule, so that I can use it as the years go by to document exactly what overbooking is for future generations to learn and enjoy. Because when it comes to ruining good wrestling with bad writing, it doesn’t get much better than this.
50 out of 100.
Vice: Look, women’s wrestling is shit. No one cares about it, including the writers. But Madison Rayne has become amazingly hot to me over the past month or two, and here she is wearing tiny shorts and a sports bra. And both are flesh colored.
So really, WHO GIVES A FUCK WHAT HAPPENS. That’s all there is to it.
Did I mention Madison Rayne’s attire?
Cewsh: Asshole ASSHOLE asshole ASSHOLE are you an ASSHOLE? We’re all ASSHOLES. Assholly Mc Asshole, do the asshole with the asshole to the asshole for asshole’s sake.
Possibly, Mr. Anderson is trying to explode my television. He is succeeding.
Cewsh: OHMIGOD OHMIGOD OHMIGOD BIG ROBTERRY AND SAMOA JOE BIG ROB TERRY AND SAMOA JOE BIG ROB TERRY AND SAMOA JOE.
Vice: Holy fuck. Everything about this 12 minute and 56 second portion of the show was just great. Absolutely great. Right from the beginning you can tell that Kazarian and Styles simply do not want to be on the same page with one another, with both of them naturally wanting to outshine the other to impress Flair. So, who are the mystery opponents?
BIG ROB TERRY comes out to his fucking amazing Terminator music and it is so great to see him on PPV again. He looks even better than before. With a shit eating grin on his face, he stands halfway down the entrance ramp staring down AJ and Kazarian. Immediately you can see that they’re not happy with their opponent. Kazarian pulls out a fucking brilliant “Who’s your partner ROB? Huh? WHO YA GOT!?” a split second before SAMOA JOE comes out. Oh man. AJ and Kazarian both fall down to their knees knowing they’re going to die. Seriously, the reactions of these two, especially AJ are fantastic. They make the fact that they are about to die so utterly convincing.
Why Yes, You Are Fucked Mr. Styles.
Also, I really gotta say that I fucking LOVE the team of Joe and BIG ROB TERRY on paper. They are the two toughest bastards on the roster and they have opposite physiques. BIG ROB TERRY is tall, lean, mean and more shredded than.. cheese? I dunno. Something really shredded. And Joe is a fat little bulldog that will ruin you. I dunno, you’d think that it’d be better if they looked similar, but something about them being so opposite just makes them look badass together. They should be an actual tag team at some point. I’d love to see them take on the Machine Guns.
Not only is this a REALLY fun match with the crowd going nuts the entire time, there’s a lot of great story and character work going on throughout. AJ and Kazarian have been like squabbling brothers for the past few weeks, and here they are in full brotherly glory. AJ looks like he’s ready to take on BIG ROB TERRY as the match starts, while Kazarian is just slumping in the corner with his head in his hand. AJ tags him in and tells him to get the hell into the ring and they bicker a bit. Kazarian’s facial expression here is amazing. A few minutes into the match and after lots of hilarious bickering between the two, they realize that they actually have a chance if they work together. With that in mind, they actually fare quite well against the FREAK and the MACHINE. They can’t match their power by any means, but they have the speed and agility to hit them multiple times in quick succession to hurt them.
Desmond interferes towards the end, which is very interesting. Normally I might bitch about how it’s completely unnecessary, but in this case it adds a lot of intrigue. He wants to get back in Flair’s good graces and become a member of Fortune, so he’s helping out Flair’s golden boys. Will he get his “spot” back? Will Flair tell him to fuck off for not having faith in his boys? It could go a number of ways.
It’s kind of sad seeing BIG ROB TERRY get pinned here, but the finish made him look like a beast. It showed amazing teamwork from AJ and Kazarian, too, and also showed off how agile they are as they hit a number of springboard moves to get enough power to knock him down and keep him down. It was an amazing sight seeing AJ hit the springboard forearm to the back of BIG ROB TERRY’s skull, followed up by Kazarian hitting a springboard shotgun kick, again followed up by his running springboard leg drop, which allowed AJ to hit his springboard 450 for the win. It was one of the most perfect examples of agility breaking down power that I can think of. So good.
AJ and Kazarian celebrate in such a ridiculous way, too.
Err…Ahem…Yes. Manly Things. Right.
They immediately hug each other and jump up and down before realizing how out of character it is for them, so they awkwardly let go and give each other handshakes. Desmond comes back into the ring to shake AJ’s hand as Kazarian notices that Joe is getting back to his feet. With a quick wave, AJ slinks out of there and they casually walk off as Desmond gets killed. Not long ago I was hating Kazarian, but his pairing with AJ and recent matches against Angle, AJ and this match.. well.. he’s becoming one of my favorite people on the roster.
It’s amazing how much this match accomplished and how much greatness it contained in such a short amount of time. It was far from the best match ever, but in terms of sheer enjoyment watching it, it’s a top notch match. Absolutely loved it.
Cewsh: This was truly one of the funnest matches of the year.
There wasn’t a ton to it even, it was just two small heels who don’t get along, against two badass destroyers and a live action game of pong that only ended when the two small guys finally put aside their differences long enough to take one of the guys out just long enough for the three count. All four guys played their roles to absolute perfection, and if there’s one thing I can impart to you about this match for you to absolutely take to heart, it is that Samoa Joe is a fucking star. A fucking STAR.
Rob Terry, AJ Styles, and even Kazarian all had their moments here, but the story was 100% the story here, and his surprise entrance electrified the crowd beyond any level I have heard in recent years, and results in 10 straight minutes of “Joe’s Gonna Kill You” chants.
“ROB WILL DISMEMBER YOU AND HIDE YOU IN THE DOG HOUSE IN THE BACKYARD” Isn’t As Catchy.
Because he was the Joe we’ve all always wanted back. The badass, silent ass kicker who looms and intimidates like nobody else I’ve ever seen. This man needs to be in your main events TNA, because he has the skill, the talent, and the star quality that nobody else in your promotion can match.
Oh, and please keep teaming him up with BIG ROB TERRY. They are the shit kickingest team of all time. MON THE BIG SAMOA.
85 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Cewsh: Abyss is backstage and he cuts an interview about how fond he is of his huge stick with nails in it. He says “They” gave him the wood and the nails and the advice and idea on how to use them properly. So we can finally put an end to speculation on who “They” are. It’s obvious at this point.
Cewsh: This feud may seem mildly familiar to you. Don’t be alarmed, it is simply a feud that was started months ago that they are jumpstarting out of nowhere and are blowing off here will a few weeks of build up. No worries. Originally, this feud began because Hernandez was a squeaky clean nice guy and Matt Morgan thought that was super lame and injured him. He then walked around pretending to be two different people for awhile, lost their tag titles and moved on entirely, but now Hernandez is back to settle the score, and into a cage we go.
Now that I’ve told you the history behind this match, I’m going to go ahead and hang up my reviewing boots for this one, because this match was dull. Like a knife run over by a bulldozer or Hernandez’s wits, it is incredibly dull. They brawl, they bleed, they brawl, Hernie jumps off of the cage to the smallest reaction to such a spot that I have ever seen. The brawl some more, and Hernandez escapes the cage. Then, as he’s bleeding and beaten the fuck up, the announcers tell us that he has finally gotten his revenge, despite there being no stakes in this match and Morgan being almost entirely unscathed at the end of it. But hey, he won a wrestling match after months of recovering from injury, so I’m sure that’ll help him get to sleep at night.
Did I mention this was dull?
65 out of 100.
Vice: This match was boring. Whatever happened to the days of two big fuckers just going balls to the wall and absolutely killing each other in a hard hitting, intense match? What’s with all these slow, methodical beatdowns?
FUCK CAGE DOORS. FUCK THEM ALL. THEY ARE WORTHLESS. Jesus christ. They ruin cage matches. IF YOU CAN JUST WALK RIGHT OUT THE DOOR, WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU EVER TRY TO CLIMB OVER IT!?!?!?!?!
Cewsh: Ric Flair is back stage looking like some freeze dried beef jerky and telling Christy all about how every woman wants to be with him and Jay lethal had better watch out. For the flying semen, conceivably. At some point during his rant, Christy has to visibly retrain herself from bursting out laughing, possibly from the absurdity of an old man in Elton John’s world talking about how he’s going to rock your world all night long, but more probably because part of Flair’s grandiose and amazing idea of a threat here is to threaten to beat Lethal so bad that he’ll go back to his mother and beg to breast feed with her. At once a disturbing visual and a threat of questionable credibility.
That’s our Ric Flair. The best promo of all time.
Vice: Flair’s last match on PPV was when he was defeated by Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania, and, well, this match does not compare to it at all. But the promos leading up to this match were incredible. Lethal imitating Flair was absolutely spot on, and their woo-off on Impact was hilarious. Emotionally it’s a good feud, and a testament to Flair’s abilities.
I wouldn’t say this was a very good match, but I actually enjoyed it a lot for some reason. It did a good job of putting Lethal over, which was nice. That’s one of the great things about Ric, too. He could be 80 years old, blind, and only have one leg, and a young guy beating him would still mean something.
If you’re not a fan of Lethal, you’d probably hate everything about this match. If you watched this match in high definition, well, you’d probably be disgusted by the majority of this match. Me, I like Lethal. I find him interesting, and in the right segments and matches he can be really fun. I’m hoping that with this win and this storyline, that they actually keep the momentum going. Remember when Kurt Angle put Lethal over MASSIVELY by losing to him clean for the X title? And then Jay basically just did nothing after that? Yeah. Hoping the same thing isn’t going to happen this time.
YAY LETH…Wait, What Is On That Guy’s Head?
Cewsh: Look, I am not the guy to ask about this match or this feud.
While seemingly everyone else in the wrestling world is having a ball watching Ric Flair interact with and put over Jay Lethal, I have rejected it entirely quite against my own will. Maybe it’s my displeasure at seeing Flair wrestle at all after the retirement WWE gave him. Maybe it is my dislike of Lethal, a comedy wrestler and jobber at the beginning of the year, being pushed down my throat and to the moon with his “Gee, aren’t I a swell guy” gimmick. And maybe it’s just because I was never the world’s biggest Ric Flair fan to begin with, so a feud featuring TWO Ric Flair’s isn’t exactly my cup of tea. Whatever the reason, I’m a sad Cewsh, and this match isn’t helping.
Flair busts his ass to get Lethal over here, that is first and foremost.
Literally. Enjoy ladies.
He bumps, sells, bleeds and goes totally bareass in an all encompassing attempt to turn Jay Lethal into someone we think of as a big name. It works, in as much as it possibly can, but it doesn’t result in a good match, because Jay Lethal gets completely lost in the ring with Flair. I can’t remember a move he did, a mannerism he had, or anything, in fact, about his half of these proceedings. That doesn’t mean he was awful, just invisible next to the vibrancy that Flair brings to any match anytime. If you can’t keep up with Flair, he leaves you in the dust. And Jay Lethal should dress up in polka dots with how true that was tonight.
It was a fine match. That’s all it was. It was fine.
Oh, and our own Ace Rockola was there.
68 out of 100.
Cewsh: No seriously, he did.
At The Very Least He Gave Gargamel A Handjob.
Hardy talks for a minute about how hyped he is for the match before ending it with the words “Sincerely Yours, the Charismatic Enigma. Sincerely Ours, THIS LIFE!” proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is some kind of pool going backstage to see who can say the most outrageously ridiculous thing with a straight face and get away with it. I have no idea who the frontrunner is, but somebody is taking home some serious money tonight.
Segment 12 – TNA World Tag Team Championships – Beer Money (What Are Two Things Badly Needed In Detroit, Alek?) Inc. vs. The Motor City Machine Guns (What Are Two Things Very Much NOT Needed In Detroit?).
This was super fun, because both teams are really good at what they do. I’m really torn here, because I’m not sure which tag match stole the show here. This was the “better” match, but the other one was just so much damn fun that I can’t help but love it. Both teams were on fire and it was just a treat to watch. The Guns are such a fun, exciting team to watch and Beer Money is just so fundamentally great at what they do.
I can see the last few minutes of this match being shat on by some people, but I think it was great. To sum things up, Young Hebner gets beer spat in his eyes, which prompts Old Hebner to come out, which leads to a wonderful false finish. Then shortly after, one member of Beer Money pins a Gun just as the other Gun pins a member of Beer Money. Simultaneous counts lead to a moment where the refs are arguing over who actually won as both teams demand the victory in their favor. A couple replays later, Borash gets on the mic and declares that since there is no winner, that the match is going to be restarted. Not long after, the Guns pick up the win and get the tag titles (finally) for the first time.
TNA is fairly notorious for doing crap like this just for what appears to be the sake of doing it, and it can be fairly annoying and taint really good contests up until the unnecessary insanity. But in this case, I think it worked extremely well. With the initial double pin, it makes both teams fairly even which makes the division look strong and competitive. It shows that they’re even and that the Guns just happened to come out on top this night. A perfectly clean finish would work nice for the match itself, but it wouldn’t be as good for the division as a whole. This leaves things open for the two teams to go at it strong again. Plus I thought it added a lot to the drama and the win itself. See, I was terrified that TNA was just pulling the “sorry, not sure what’s going to happen… GUESS WE’LL HAVE TO FIND OUT ON IMPACT WHEN WE MAKE THE DECISION”, and then on Impact they say “lol we don’t know yet, but maybe we’ll know.. NEXT WEEK?”, which would then prompt them announcing it for the next PPV. Seriously, they do this. So when they restarted it right then and there, it was like “YES! WOO!”, but also led me to believe that our plucky babyfaces, the Guns, would get screwed over and lose the match like they tend to do. So when the match was restarted and they finally got the tag titles, it was a great moment. This was probably the only case of TNA “adding drama” that actually worked wonders. I mean, fuck, sometimes you just have to let the good guys win.
I look forward to these guys going at it again.
Well fuck Vice, way to say everything I was going to say.
To reiterate his points, tag teams are great, this match was great, and while I don’t feel nearly so passionately about the stopping and starting as he does, it really doesn’t detract from what is otherwise a surprisingly wonderful tag team title match. The Machine Guns finally win that first title, and god knows where we go from here. But fuck, it doesn’t get any better than that.
81 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Cewsh: Have you ever watched a wrestling match and thought to yourself that something was missing? Like maybe part of the comeback was cut out, so the finish felt rushed. Or maybe the heel never gets any heat, so the whole thing comes off flat and boring. Whatever it is, there’s a lot of little ways that a wrestling match can feel incomplete, but this match represents a first in my time watching wrestling.
This is only half a match.
Kurt Angle, still on the warpath for his charge through the entire TNA top 10 rankings, faces D’Angelo Dinero here in Dinero’s comeback match from injury (lot of that on this show). In my mind’s eye, I can already start to form the brilliant epic match that these two will have, and indeed, they begin to have it. They have the feeling out process, the initial chain wrestling, the early attempts for finishers. All the hallmarks of an epic, world endingly terrific match. They move on to the rest of the match, and then all of a sudden, it’s over. Kurt beats Dinero, everybody goes home, and I’m left sitting here with a dumb expression on my face waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s truly like they decided to start having a 45 minute epic showdown, and then to stop when they ran out of their assigned time, and I’ve never seen anything like it.
With that said, what they gave us WAS an epic showdown that was very technical, very crisp, and a showcase of talent for both men. I recommend it regardless of the lack of THE SECOND HALF OF THE MATCH, but man. This is one of those times that will make me wonder what could have been for months after the fact.
80 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal Of Approval.
Vice: ANGLE. POPE. YES.
I was sad when Pope went down with an injury, especially because he was on such a hot streak. It’s great to have him back. From the get go, it was fairly obvious that he only had like a 5% of winning this match, but seriously, just being in the ring with Kurt Angle elevates your status. Sure it’s nice for someone to come back and start immediately winning, but there is nothing quite like coming back and going toe to toe with Kurt Angle in terms of making a return. Yes, Pope lost, but he looked much better in defeat than he’d look in victory over some random person.
This wasn’t an amazing match either, but it accomplished everything it needed to. Pope came back and looked great, Angle made him look great while looking great himself, it was an entertaining match and Kurt continues to climb the ladder like he has set out to do. I don’t see any faults in this. It was just a good PPV match that I enjoyed.
Segment 14 – TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Rob Van Dam © vs. Ken Anderson vs. Abyss. vs. Jeff Hardy.
Vice: On paper I didn’t really like how this match looked leading up to the PPV, but they’ve actually done a really fantastic job building it up on Impact, especially the latest Impact. Man. There’s a lot of good stuff here with the four guys. You have RVD being good friends with Hardy, with the natural respect between the two of them. Then you have the alliance between Hardy and Anderson which still seems like it’s way too good to be true, and you KNOW one is going to fuck the other over at some point. Anderson knows RVD is competitive, and because of both of their bonds with Hardy, they’re going to be professionals about things even though they don’t necessarily respect one another directly. So the triangle between those men is very interesting and has played out well.
You know, I get accused of getting racked in the head a few times, and have a little touch of Alzheimer’s. My god, I almost forgot the fourth man here.[/Arn] THE GIANT CRAZY MONSTER THAT IS RUNNING AROUND TRYING TO KILL PEOPLE WITH A 2×4 WITH A HUNDRED NAILS STUCK IN IT. Jesus. It is actually a very insane weapon and is legitimately sharp and dangerous. Even though I really dislike Abyss these days, his character adds a lot of depth to this match. Instead of 3 guys just being able to go out and have a competitive match with each other, they have to worry about a homicidal bastard trying to kill them.
It creates a nice situation where our heroes, even though it’s a free for all, have to combine forces throughout the match to take down the biggest threat. They played it off fairly well too, much better than I thought they would. There was a really awesome spot where Abyss is on the outside, so Anderson runs in front of the ropes and gets down on all fours as RVD whips Hardy off the ropes for extra momentum, allowing him to catapult off Anderson’s back and over the top rope, right into Abyss’ face. It was a pretty simple spot, but it went very well with the story of the match.
This match wasn’t exactly super exciting or good, but I was very interested in it. I had no idea if RVD was going to be walking away with the title or not. Abyss could have easily won it. Anderson winning could have been absolutely great. Hardy winning would be a bit silly, but it’d still freshen things up. Then I was wondering if Anderson would kill Hardy or not. Or whether Hardy would actually turn on Anderson since this is TNA. Or if they’d at least tease it with one man accidentally killing one another. Or maybe have Jeff hit the swanton on RVD, only for Anderson to shove him out of the ring and get the victory himself, and play the “we’re still buddies, and you know you’d have done the same” card. Basically there was a lot of cool dynamics here.
Unfortunately, aside from the aforementioned triple teaming of Abyss on occasion, nothing super interesting actually happened. Everyone just kind of played it straight and it was just a match, and not a great one at that. In terms of entertainment, the one thing TNA really needs to work on is having a fantastic main event every show. They so very rarely have a completely good show, with either the main event being great or the undercard shitting the place up, or the opposite. Then again, who DOES put on great shows from top to bottom?
So who does RVD drop the title to now?
Cewsh: AJNYBODY. EVERYBODY. HURRY UP.
I can’t express how disappointed I have been with Rob Van Dam’s title reign thus far. I get the whole deal of extenuating circumstances, and not exactly being given serious and heated feuds for the belt, but RVD never really had much of those. What you could always depend on Rob Van Dam for, against nearly any opponent anywhere, was a fun and entertaining match.
So when will those start coming, exactly?
This match is just here. These guys roll around, and do some spots, and the entire story is crafted around Abyss, who you may recall was recently alleged by yours truly to have the worst gimmick in professional wrestling. Now he’s become a crazy shitkicker again, but he still uses Hulk Hogan’s mannerisms. Something that may make logical sense, but in practice, it just comes off as goofy. Anyway, here we’re supposed to buy him as a homicidal threat being controlled by the mysterious “They” or “Them” or whatever Taz thinks they’re called today. He succeeds at being threatening, but the trouble is that he’s been buried in awfulness for so long now, that when they want the fans to care about what he’s doing, they just…don’t. They couldn’t care less. At the end of the match, as he stares down Rob Van Dam with the nail bat in his hands, the crowd isn’t booing. They’re not even cheering. They’re just silent.
In fact, you could have done your goddamn taxes at ringside, the fans were so placid for this match. Maybe that just goes to show you. Just because it walks like a main eventer, and gets presenter like a main eventer, that does not make it a main eventer. Better look next time, Abyss. Better luck next time.
68 out of 100.
Cewsh: Another month, another TNA PPV with a few great matches, a women’s match that is absolutely infuriating, and a horrifically disappointing main event to cap it off. It may seem like I’m just being critical, but literally, this has become a blueprint for TNA shows that you can set your watch by, and there’s no sign of anything changing notably anytime soon. As usual, I’ll ignore the bad parts (Rayne/Love, Main Event) to get to the very good (Angle/Dinero, BIG SAMOA/Phenomenal K, Machine Guns/Beer Money), and come away from this show content with what I watched. But we all know the deal. These shows aren’t perfect. Not even close. And all the problems seem so easy to fix. So, so easy…
Vice: Overall this was a fairly good show. There were some low lows, but the high highs balance things out. With Impact being strong lately, it’s a slight shame that this show wasn’t as good as it could have been, but it certainly wasn’t a waste of time.
Well that’ll do it for us this week boys and girls. We hope you enjoy the thrill of victory and the agony of bad booking with us tonight, and as we march towards Bound For Glory, your guess is as good as ours as to which TNA will show up on the night of nights. The great one, the good one, or the abyss(lol)mal one. But from here on things are only going to heat up, one way or another. Join us next week when we cover WWE’s Money In The Bank PPV, a show we’re looking forward to reviewing for a number of reasons, none of them related to money (unless you’d like to pay us. We do bat mitzvahs and bachelorette parties). In the meantime, though, make sure as always to keep reading and be good to one another!