Monthly Archives: January 2012

TNA Genesis 2012

Total Nonstop Action Proudly Presents… 

TNA Genesis 2012

Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the elastic, bombastic and fantastic Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight, as we join Total Nonstop Action Impact National Wrestling Alliance in smashing a bottle of champagne on the year 2012 and setting sail with TNA Genesis 2012. Tonight we will see the very best that TNA has to offer (and also Jeff Hardy) and will get a chance to assess where the company stands going into its tenth year of existence. This will also serve as a sort of milestone in Cewsh Review history, as it will serve as the final time that we review a TNA show simply because it has occurred. If you didn’t see the messages earlier, we are pursuing a download free environment for Cewsh Reviews, and as such, will not pay to be stabbed in the eye by Dixie Carter’s massive dong of mediocrity on a monthly basis (we’ll still review important shows and significant happenings). So the pressure is on for TNA to produce one heullva show and provide answers to some of the most burning questions that nobody is actually asking. Like will Bobby Roode continue to take strides towards main event credibility? Will Samoa Joe and Magnus make some semblance of sense as a team? Will Devon somehow find a way to reach his sons before its too late? As has been and as yet may be, there is only one way to find out.

So with no further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!

Segment 1 – OPENING VIDEO FEVER!

Cewsh: I always feel like TNA misses the boat on the video for the Genesis pay per view. I mean it literally has a biblical reference right there in the title, and we know how much the production guys salivate at the idea of a ridiculously epic and overblown video idea. But here? No devil snakes, no Garden of Eden references, and hardly a fig leaf to be seen. In fact, well, there wasn’t any sort of video whatsoever. In a move possibly unprecedented in TNA history, we just go right into Mike Tenay and Taz talking to start the show (which is sure to make you regret your purchase of this event almost immediately). Then Tenay appears to throw to the video and…no video. Just an awkward segue way into discussing the show and then OH HEY A MATCH.

Cewsh is not pleased, gentlemen. That’s strike one.

Segment 2 – TNA X Division Championship – Austin Aries © vs. Kid Kash vs. Jesse Sorenson vs. Zema Ion.

Cewsh: Shima Xion is back on pay per view.

Actually, I’m sorry that was not a proper expression of my feelings on this. Let’s try again.

SHIMA XION IS BACK ON PAY PER VIEW FUCKERS WOO!

See, if you haven’t been a long time reader, you may not be aware of the Cewsh Reviews team’s enthusiasm for the young man they now call Zema Ion. Way back through the mists of time (3 years worth of mist to be precise) we reviewed a show called IWA:EC A Need To Bleed. It was miserably awful to an almost unheard of extent (so naturally you’ll want to read the review here). But the one bright spot on the entire show was a kid we had never seen before named Shima Xion, who we said these things about:

Vice: One guy looks like he actually can wrestle to a degree (can I get a HOLY SHIT! chant?) and seriously wants to become a name one day. His entrance music does not play, and he makes sure to yell out that it did not play last month either. Poor guy. In the land of the broke, this guy has a nickel. In a pile of ash, he is but a single ember. He is a drop of water in a desert. He is a… yeah, I’ll shut up…but if anyone makes it out of this company as a “name”, there’s a good chance it’s him. He has a lot of tools and somewhat knows how to use them. Xion, I think his name is.”

Cewsh: ..and only Shima Xion seemed to have any idea of how to actually execute an offensive maneuver. In fact, Shima Xion is pretty much the name to talk about here…

…Xion, on the other hand, seems to actually be a professional wrestler, trying and succeeding at a number of diverse and unique moves that really got me interested in him. So yeah, Xion looked like a star in the land of misfit toys here.”

So okay, we like a guy, good for us, right? Well we at Cewsh Reviews have only actively advocated 3 independent wrestlers and one tag team in our tenure. Those people turned out to be Zema Ion, KUSHIDA, Brittany Knight and Generation Me, all of whom made the big time soon after receiving our endorsement. So I’m not saying that indy wrestlers should send us their matches to get our endorsement, but, you know, it couldn’t hurt.

Our boy doesn’t disappoint here, either, as within 5 minutes of this pay per view starting, he manages to already have stolen it by going up to noted hip hop officiando Rick Ross and trying to give him a high five. Ross totally airs him because he’s just bad like that, much to Ion’s incredible dismay. This has nothing to do with the show, but might very well turn out to be the greatest thing I see tonight. Amazing.

This Rick Ross Character Just Might Become Famous One Day.

Ion proves that its no accident as he somehow manages to wrench the attention in this match away from the show stealing epidemic that is Austin Aries. See, the idea here is that its an elimination match for the title. Ion won his way into this by beating Tony Nese is a best of 3 series, whereas Kash, Aries and Sorenson have been variously feuding with each other since Bound For Glory. They start things off nicely, with everyone flitting about and doing their wacky X-Division moves all over the place and having a good time. Flips are had, as are the slightly more elusive good times. Eventually Ion goes up top and hits his beautiful 450 splash to remove the dead weight from the match and leave it to the people who may actually have a chance of winning. Which is nice of him.


Kid Kash Has Been Eliminated By Zema Ion.


Now we get down to meat of the match, as Austin Aries removes himself from the ring to play possum and what the developments as Ion tries his best to put out the captain of the strip club football team. They go back and forth for awhile until finally Sorenson catches Ion in a lightning quick roll up out of nowhere, much to Ion’s shock.

Zema Ion Has Been Eliminated By Jesse Sorenson.


At this point, Ion throws what a less manly man might call a temper tantrum about having been eliminated, and instead of going to the locker room, he just sneakily hangs out at ringside by the apron.

No Way, He Doesn’t Look Like He’s Up To No Good At All.

As you might expect, this will come into play later. Aries then condescends to actually participate in these fisticuffs and gets back in the ring, trying to outpace Sorenson without much success. The young Sorenson seems to surprise Aries at every turn, fighting back and finding unexpected counters to everything under the sun, including sticking his foot up just in time to catch Aries in the face with it while he’s traveling light speed. This does not go well for Starship Aries.

Sorenson goes to the top rope to take advantage, but that sneaky, sneaky Ion jumps up and grabs his foot, allowing Aries to recover and blast Sorenson with a flying light speed dropkick. And as if Sorenson’s day had not just suddenly gotten bad enough, Aries decides to see what his finisher looks like when done off the top rope.

Painful. It Looks Painful.

Jesse Sorenson Has Been Eliminated By Austin Aries.

Ion scurries off to gloat on the ramp as Aries takes a bow for his successful title defense. And that’s the moral we should take from this, kids. You should never touch a Filipino man’s hair.

NEVER EVER YOU SON OF BITCH

He will ruin your day and look good doing it. The more you know, the more you grow.

This match was the epitome of a solid opener. Everyone in it did their job very well, and the duel goals of getting over Sorenson and Ion were achieved flawlessly, and would appear to be leading clearly into a feud between the two to determine the top of the new class of X Division recruits. And as long as that means more Ion on my screen, I’m very, very much for that.

78 out of 100.

Austin Aries Over Everyone Else Following An Avalanche Brainbuster.

 Segment 3 – Brother Devon vs. D’Angelo Dinero.

Cewsh: So remember how for like a year now, Devon has been bringing his game up to a totally unheard of level with matches that ranged from solid to incredible and showing more emotion than you could wring out of Kazarian at 3 weddings and a funeral? No? Well then shame on you, because over the past year and a bit since he and Bully Ray lost to the Motor City Machine Guns and were forced to disband forever as a team, Devon has quietly become one of the most indispensable wrestlers in the world. Naturally TNA promptly took him off of television for 4 months, but hey, what are you gonna do? Its TNA.

The story here is that for months now, Devon’s two teenaged sons, Terrence and Terell, have been experiencing something akin to hero worship for D’Angelo Dinero and his street wise thuggish ways. This concerned Devon quite a bit, afraid that his sons would go down the wrong path with their life in a storyline that touches on reality in the world today better than 1,000 Perez Hilton cameos. Finally, though, at his son’s behest, he buried the hatchet with Dinero and agreed to be his tag team partner so that together they could make good role models for the boys. But right away, Dinero began showing himself to be less than concerned with the concept, and began slowly brainwashing Devon’s sons against him behind his back. This came to a head when Devon tried to smack some sense into Dinero for his nonsense, only to be walloped by a chair held by one of his beloved sons. Now fully under Dinero’s control, the very souls and futures of the two boys are at stake, as Devon finally gets a chance to get his hands on the man who wrenched his legacy away from him.

Not That I Can Blame The Kids For Following A Man That Shiny.

This is some heavy shit, people. Anyone looking for flips or tits should probably keep looking.

Devon wastes no time after seeing Dinero come down with his sons, and charges to the ring and starts laying absolute waste to the Pope. Devon spends a solid few minutes just beating Dinero all over the ring and ringside area before Dinero can finally take advantage of a mistake and go on the offensive. And by “the offensive” I mean that he just starts toying with Devon and being a huge dick, grinning all the while. From this point on, Devon takes one fuckuva beating from his much younger and much faster opponent. No matter how hard he tries to break out and get something going, Dinero is right there, buzzing around him like the very most dickheaded of bees. As the beating goes on, Terrence and Terrell start to look on with growing concern at the limp form of their father in the ring. As Pope beats on him again and again, they start shooting each other uncertain glances, torn as to what to do here. Finally Dinero himself sees this, and calls both of them into the ring to help him but an end to their father once and for all.

But they can’t.

Dinero, infuriated that his influence isn’t enough to make them fully turn on their father in the end, promptly knocks the both of them right the fuck out. But this is exactly the time Devon needed to get to his feet and, after seeing his sons laid out, the man fires up like never before and lays waste to the smug bastard as the crowd goes nuts. Pope fights back, still much fresher and ultimately more talented, but Devon doesn’t give a shit about all of that nonsense and dusts the younger man off with a huge Saving Grace. 1…2…3. The war for his sons is over, and the righteous father came out on top. As if sensing that themselves, Terrence and Terrell climb into the ring, and after a moment of hesitation, runs to hug their dad and apologize. With a big goofy grin on his face, Devon forgives them and if you’re not feeling anything at this point then you must be some kind of goddamn robot.

Even The T-1000 Would Be Shedding A Lone Tear At This Point.

Now this was very much a story heavy match. It was basically a prolonged beatdown followed by the hero firing up and hitting his finisher for the win (referred to hereafter as the Hogan Formula). But just like I was saying before, there’s an almost tangible amount of emotion in the air for matches like this, and Devon’s sons have proven to be an almost unbeatable narrative device. They did their jobs incredible well too, acting conflicted very effectively. And hell, there’s even a little love in the tank for Dinero, who played a piece of absolute scum with more conviction than people with much more fun gimmicks to work with. This is good stuff, and more of this is what the wrestling industry needs badly. Take note, promoters. You don’t need fire and thumbtacks and crazy flips. You just need some emotion. And Devon’s got it to burn.

79 out of 100

Brother Devon Over D’Angelo Dinero Following A Saving Grace.
Segment 4 – Vanilla Sky 2: The Seduction of the Stinger

Cewsh: She knew with each moment that passed, her breathing was becoming more labored, standing in front of this mountain of a man. She had violated his interview time to make just the simplest request of the man they called the Icon, and who more specifically was in charge of the show these days. But now that she was here, she couldn’t help but notice how seductively the man wore his sunglasses indoors at night and how his button down shirt had clearly been bought off of the Wallmart sales rack on the way to the show. Even one glimpse at his weirdly botoxed face was enough to set her heart aflame with desire for him.

Target Acquired.

With one last glance at what she hoped to one day affectionately call “the Stinger” she whispered her request into his ear. He seemed surprised, but pleased, as a tiger might be at a cheeseburger in a bird’s nest. Then he said those magical words to her, “It’s a phenomenal idea” he purred “But the crew could never pull it off in that short a time.” This confused her, as either he was inviting the camera men to join in, or he referred to parts of his body as “the crew”, but she decided to roll with it. “All you’ve got to do is pull the trigger and its ready to go, Sting. What do you say?” she said, standing back smugly, sure that he would get the hint this time. Sting looked into her eyes (probably, the sunglasses made it hard to tell) and whispered “Trigger pulled.”

This has been an excerpt from the controversial upcoming novel “TNA: Finally Exactly What It Sounds Like.”

Segment 5 – Gunner w/ Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam

Cewsh: Okay, now back to serious business.

Sort of.

So this is a match between two people who could easily have value to TNA, but are, at present, slightly less important than Don West is, and I’m not even totally sure he’s still alive. From what I can tell, there’s no real reason for them to be having a match aside from the almighty “because”, but on the plus side, both guys are capable of having a fun match, so we might have another unexpected gem here in the midcard.

Gunner and Van Dam start the match with some of Van Dam’s usual mat chain wrestling antics that frustrate Gunner at every turn, and force him to consult Flair on a battle plan going forward. Whatever Flair tells him is apparently ineffective, as Gunner rolls in only to take virtually every move in Van Dam’s arsenal that doesn’t have his own name in it before he rolls out again, beaten to hell and looking for answers. He finds his answers in the form of Ric Flair pulling up the ring mats outside the ring, and pulling Gunner out of the way, causing Van Dam to fly headfirst into the concrete. Then Flair gets involved again, distracting the ref so that Gunner can plant Van Dam with a NASTY DDT right onto the concrete, knocking Van Dam the fuck out and leading to an easy pin for Gunner.

The EMTs (and D’Lo Brown, licensed funk doctor) hurry down to the ring to load Van Dam on a stretcher and wheel him out. Hmm. I wonder if Gunner feels any remorse about his actions here.

Um, Right.

As a match, this hardly even really got started. Van Dam did his signature spots, Gunner sold and was opportunistic, and Flair played the meddling manager like nobody else in wrestling right now can. Everything was good and on point, but this was more designed to put over Gunner’s new character of injuring people via head drops on concrete (he also took out Jesse Neal and others) than anything else, and it didn’t add anything to the show in and of itself. So ultimately, this was a bit of a bummer after the first two matches.

Don’t start slipping now, TNA. You were doing so well…

74 out of 100.

Gunner Over Rob Van Dam Following A Concrete DDT.
Segment 6 – Jeremy Borash Attempts To Resist The Urge To Play Simon Says On Jeff Hardy’s Face.

The Hitting Part Would Be Really Satisfying.

Cewsh: Oh Jeff.

Hardy comes out to cut a promo about how he’s leaving all of that stuff where he was openly high during a PPV main event behind him, and wants to move forward and when the TNA World Title to help him on his road to redemption. I don’t know why a guy who ruined a TNA World Championship match on PPV would earn his redemption by having more TNA World Championship matches on PPV, but the point is that he’s really, really sorry. Unfortunately, he tries to express this sentiment by speaking entirely in lines from his own theme songs, spoken directly into the camera as if it is delivering a field sobriety test.

At least some things never change.

Segment 7 – TNA Knockouts Championship – Gail Kim © w/ Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James

Cewsh: Ever since Mickie James first debuted in TNA, she’s been looking for a friend. From the start she was met by a steady stream of beauty queens, washed up sidekicks, witches and people possessed by witches, and opportunities to bond with the new girls haven’t really been plentiful, since Mickie has pretty much been the champion the whole time, and champions have many admirers and absolutely no friends. But when she heard that Gail Kim had left WWE and was coming back to her old TNA stomping grounds to rejoin the division she built with her own hands, Mickie had hope that someone she could relate to and bond with had finally arrived. Maybe Gail could be the friend to help her fight the endless waves of nogoodniks sent after her by Karen Jarrett. She dared to hope.

She was mistaken.

Since arriving, Gail Kim has become ten times the problem anyone before her was. She immediately joined with Madison Rayne to form team that wasted no time winning the Knockouts Tag Team titles, and little less earning Gail the Knockouts Championship, making her the first double winner in TNA history. With Karen Jarrett backing them, they thought they were unstoppable, until Karen Jarrett was abruptly removed from power, leaving them to fend for themselves against Mickie. Which leads us to the climactic title match tonight which, by request of Velvet Sky, will involve Madison Rayne suspended above the ringside area in a cage so that she can’t interfere. Can Mickie finally have a fair match to reclaim her title?

Nah. Don’t get me wrong, it starts off that way, with Gail bumping around for Mickie and generally looking like a wrestler that TNA hasn’t seen the caliber of in a good long while, while Mickie trips over her own feet and tries not to injure anyone. This continues on for a good while to a background chorus of screams from the imprisoned Madison.

I Realize That This Is Probably Working For A Number Of You Sketchier Types In The Back.

Finally, though, when all seems lost for the bad guys, Madison produces a pair of brass knuckles from SOMEWHERE (I think asking would count as sexual harassment) and throws them down to Gail. Before Gail can capitalize, though, Mickie dodges, grabs the brass knuckles, and after openly checking to make sure the ref was watching, promptly belted Kim in the face with them. She seems nonplussed about her immediate disqualification, and anything that happened after that was drowned out by my incredulous laughter.

Look, I don’t ask for much. For Samoa Joe to stop threatening people with a big knife, for Cody Deaner to fuck off, that sort of thing. Very small indeed. But for fuck’s sake TNA, I’m begging you. If you’re going to have overbooked finishes, MAKE SURE YOUR WRESTLERS WORK THEM WELL. If Mickie James all but sends the ref a singing telegram before doing something that is supposed to be a momentary burst of anger, and then doesn’t seem to care about losing, it RUINS EVERYTHING WHY DO YOU RUIN THINGS WHAT DID I DO TO YOU?

“I Can’t See Him, So He Probably Can’t See Me. FOOLPROOF.”

This is why we can’t be friends TNA.


63 out of 100.

Gail Kim Over Mickie James Following Disqualification.

Segment 8 – The Bully Ray Fun Time Happy Hour.

Cewsh: Bully Ray is backstage and, well, he’s being Bully Ray. The person who has drawn his ire at the moment is Abyss, who has been rebelling against Immortal and Bully Ray specifically of late. As such they are going to have a Monster’s Ball match, and if Ray wins then Abyss has to rejoin Immortal with no complaints ever again. If Abyss wins, he’s free, but this option doesn’t appear to occur to Ray as he yells about how he’s the real monster and that he’ll gladly beat Abyss in his own signature match. Meanwhile Borash looks like he’s trying to pretend he’s a support beam so Ray doesn’t throttle him yet again. It really makes you wonder just how easy it would be for Borash to sue TNA for harassment. He gets abused 3 segments a week every week right there on television. What would TNA’s defense be? “Your honor, we left that poor defenseless man in there alone with crazy, jacked up musclemen who wished him harm because we thought it was hilarious” doesn’t seem like much of an argument.

At any rate, Ray says his piece and storms off. Which leads us directly into…

Segment 9 – Monster’s Ball Match – Bully Ray vs. Abyss

Cewsh: Now there are two ways that a match like this can go. It can be well orchestrated mayhem, with memorable spots all throughout and excellent pacing which creates an incredibly enjoyable match or it can be dog shit. Rarely is there anything between these two incredibly different results, but this match somehow managed to wedge itself right there in the middle. If you were to look at a collection of gifs of this match, it might appear to be quite the cool match, with Ray and Abyss doing crazy things to one another in bunches right from the start. But, on the other hand, if you actually had to sit down to watch the match straight through, you will quickly find that it has no value beyond the giffable moments.

But, On The Other Hand, Gifs!

The pacing is completely bizarre and there really isn’t any sort of transitioning here from spot to spot. One guy does a crazy move to the other guy, who immediately no sells it and does something to the other guy, creating a showcase of no selling that John Cena and Kurt Angle could take notes from.

I feel guilty in way for being harsh to this match, because they were trying to cram a lot of spots into a short time frame clearly, and what was good was very good. But on the whole, this is probably Ray’s single worst performance since his heel turn and pretty much par for the course for Abyss. Sad, but there it is. An opportunity lost.

64 out of 100.

Abyss Over Bully Ray Following A Black Hole Slam Onto Barbed Wire.

Segment 10 – Matt Morgan Doesn’t Know Any Better.

Cewsh: We head backstage again to Jeremy Borash (who is seriously working some overtime tonight) as he interviews out tag team champions, Crimson and Matt Morgan. Crimson barely gets to say a word before we get treated to a Matt Morgan promo. I’m not going to tell you what it was about, because that isn’t relevant information. All you need to know is that every single Matt Morgan promo contains the following things:

1. Shouting.
2. Morgan calling his opponent something ridiculous like “Son” or “Boy”.
3. Nonsensical attempts to work “Blueprint” into sentences where it doesn’t belong.
4. More shouting.

With that blueprint (HA!) in hand, you can construct your very own Matt Morgan promo. Mine went like this:

“SAMOA JOE AND MAGNUS, YOU BOYS ARE IN FOR THE FIGHT OF YOUR LIFE. CRIMSON AND I ARE READY TO BRING IT TO YOU AND LIKE I WAS TELLING CRIMSON THE OTHER DAY WHILE WE WERE AT BED BATH AND BEYOND LOOKING AT SHOWER CURTAINS, YOU GOTTA TAKE THE BULL BY THE HORNS, SON. AND THAT’S WHY WE’RE GOING TO BEAT YOU. BECAUSE WE’RE THE BLUEPRINTS FOR WINNING AND WE’RE GOING TO WIN.”

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Segment 11 – TNA World Tag Team Championships – The Crimson Footprint © vs. Dream Team 2009

Cewsh: If you haven’t been paying close attention to TNA in recent months, you may be surprised to see that Crimson and Morgan are the tag team champions, since last months they were actively in the middle of a feud that seemed to just be getting going. You would not be alone. But after they beat Mexican America for the tag titles, TNA instituted a tag tournament to determine the number one contenders and filled it with slapped together teams of unlikely singles guys. The winners of this prestigious tournament turned out to be Samoa Joe and Magnus, who until this random team had both been on the “do they still work here?’ list. Surprisingly, these two completely at odds wrestlers wound up having some decent chemistry and so they’re taking on the champs here who have no chemistry at all.

The match proceeds about how you’d expect. Samoa Joe is a wrecking ball and Magnus is a cerebral opportunist and they lay waste to the champs for all of the 3 minutes they’re allowed before being completely squashed and beaten like an afterthought by Morgan and Crimson. Then Morgan and Crimson quickly turn on one another and get in each other’s faces because HO HO they may be partners but they’re no friends! Meanwhile Samoa Joe and Magnus get pretty much nothing for their hard work in trying to make this strange situation work but a pat on the back and a gesture towards the door, leading me to speculate on what it says about TNA that talents like Joe and Magnus can barely get on the shows, when Crimson and Morgan are allowed to have a 6 month sissy slap fight. I’d tell you what it says, but this is a family blog.

As a match, it really was quite good when Magnus and Joe were in control. They complement each other surprisingly well and could have a future as a team. When Crimson was in control, it was competitive and interesting, giving due credit to the man as he comes along as a performer. And whenever it looked like Morgan was going to be tagged in for his turn, the crowd broke out into dueling chants of “WE WANT MORGAN.” And the much louder “NO, WE DON’T!”. As you might expect that hurt things a bit, but there are positive things to find here, especially is Crimson continues to grow, and Joe and Magnus find a groove together. Let’s all try to hold on to those things.

68 out of 100.

Crimson Footprint Over Awesome Inc. Following Unfortunateness.

Segment 12 – Cowboy Jeremy Borash.

Totally Working It.

Cewsh: Oh come on, now we’re just bring cruel to Borash.

Segment 13 – Kurt Angle vs. James Storm.

Cewsh: This match has been simmering ever since Kurt Angle first lost the TNA World title to James Storm in shocking fashion on Impact. After an extended break for both, they both came back to climb the ladder to the title, but just can’t stop running into one another. But much to the surprise of wrestling legend Kurt Angle, this drunk redneck from Tennessee appears to have his number in a big way. No matter what Angle tries, he just keeps falling prey to that Last Call superkick, to the point where Angle even dressed up like a cowboy and went to a country bar to try to get into Storm’s head. Didn’t work. So now and Angle has a plan to ground and pound this silly bastard into dust. But appearances aren’t everything with James Storm, and this is going to be a whole lot harder than that.

As they get started here, they immediately set about setting the tone for the match as Storm almost immediately goes for the Last Call as Angle stops short and bails from the ring. The idea here is that Angle has thoroughly scouted Storm’s finisher, but Storm is still such a wild card that Angle can’t figure him out. To illustrate this, Storm pulls just about every rabbit that has ever spent time inside of his hat, using dives and tricks and hard hitting moves in a combination that Angle was clearly unprepared for even in their 3rd match together. But Angle is Angle and he keeps things even with his impeccable instincts and incredible mat prowess, as Gail Kim’s husband and Foot Network chef Robert Irvine looks on with interest.

As the match goes on, Angle decides to start going for a superkick of his own to really rub the stink in, and Storm starts responding by hitting every WWE finisher that he can think of.

“I Have The Whole Set!”

But after a ref distraction and a nut shot, Angle finally winds up and delivers a nasty Chono style Yakuza kick to the face of Storm to decidedly, and somewhat anticlimactically, end this match and break his losing streak for good.

These guys have some very real chemistry. In Storm, Angle has found an opponent who can provide several different styles to challenge Angle to keep up with, and in Angle, Storm has found an opponent that he can go full out and truly look good against. These guys are going to wrestle more down the road, and then one or both is on the path to Roode, and no combination of those three matchups is displeasing to me.

79 out of 100.

Kurt Angle Over James Storm Following A Yakuza Kick.

Segment 14 – Um, I Think Bully Ray Murdered Abyss.

Cewsh: Backstage we find Bully Ray with blood on his hands, calmly cleaning himself up. An off screen interviewer asks where Abyss is since nobody can fine him. Ray scoffs and asks why he should know where the man is MID BLOOD WIPE OFF. Then, as he grins and launches into an explanation of what may have happened, TNA’s directing department earns themselves a frowny face on their report card by committing at least the 5th technically error of the night and just totally cutting off the rest of Ray’s promo to go right into a Robert Roode video.

BUT WHAT HAPPENED TO ABYSS?! Ray seemed to be cleaning a whole hell of a lot of blood off of his hands, so did he kill Abyss? Did he and Abyss make up and decide to paint Ray’s house blood red in the middle of the show? Who knows? We sure don’t, because even though the feed cut off and anyone watching the broadcast (which includes the announcers) could easily tell that, not one single word is dedicated to this ever again. That’s cold guys. I know nobody likes Abyss, but come on. Cold.

Segment 15 – TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Bobby Roode © vs. Jeff Hardy

Cewsh: Blah blah blah blah Jeff Hardy blah blah blah blah needs redemption blah blah blah has left Victory Road behind him blah blah blah looks like Andy Warhol took a dump on his face blah blah blah regular Jeff Hardy nonsense blah blah blah.

Okay, that’s enough Jeff Hardy coverage. Let’s move on to Robert Roode. I have honestly never seen a wrestler try harder to succeed than Mr. Roode is right now. He has completely overhauled his gimmick, his style and his manner of promo cutting and is busting his ass about 150% in order to make this fleeting opportunity at main event greatness into something lasting and special. He is not natural in this role, let’s be clear. Say what you will, but Jeff Hardy fits seamlessly into matches of this stature and into the main event, but Roode is having to claw and scratch every step of the way. I could be harsh on him for things, but honestly with the effort he’s putting in, I don’t want to. I want to give him a chance to convince me. And from the second he enters the arena to what may be the best entrance any World Champion has had in a decade, he’s not failing, let’s put it that way.

Now, I’m not going to get into the details of this match because a) part of me just feels wrong reviewing a Jeff Hardy PPV main event title match and b) because there really isn’t much to say until the finish. Robert and Hardy have a fine match, which really puts neither of them over, but which isn’t unpleasant to watch either.

As Shown By Food Network Host And Noted Sexer Of Gail Kim, Mr. Robert Irvine.

But as the match gets to the end, Roode starts trying to bail. He tries to walk to the back before Hardy stops him, only to then try it again almost right after that. Then Roode grabs the title belt and goes to use it but that doesn’t work either. So finally, backed into a corner and out of options, Roode looks at the referee, has a light bulb moment, and kicks the ref square in the nuts.

“SCIENCE!

Hardy gives him the Twist of Fate and goes for the cover, but its too late, the decision has been made and Roode has been disqualified and will leave with his title. There will be no redemption today for Jeff Hardy, as he walks to the back looking absolutely dejected. This isn’t over by a long shot, but for today and today only, Bobby Roode is a champion still.

The Best Pillow Money Can Buy.

I’m not going to get all in a tizzy about Bobby Roode not going over clean here, as this is just another chapter in a story about these two. Roode is still champion, Hardy is a screwed over babyface and wheels keep right on turning. The way things are doesn’t make for the most interesting of scenarios, but as long as things keep rolling endlessly forward, I doubt anyone in TNA cares.

75 out of 100.

Jeff Hardy Over Robert Roode Following A Disqualification.
————————————-
Cewsh’s Conclusion:

Cewsh: I went into this show knowing that it would be the last time I reviewed a monthly TNA show for no reason for awhile, and I came out the other end feeling so completely validated in my decision that I wish I could go back in time and make it again just to savor the sweet flavor of it. TNA did here what they’ve always done. They placed a fast paced Z Division match and a midcard feud heavy match at the top of the show that gets me sucked in and excited, and then from the Knockouts match on they just keep piling on weird booking decision on another until the entire house of cards falls down and kills the main event. Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme. Instead of giving me reasons to stop from getting breaking up with them, TNA all but introduced me to another woman and slipped me cab fare on the way out. So this is it. The end of an era that saw the Main Event Mafia, the Nation of Violence, Immortal and the World Elite. That saw AJ Styles as a robe wearing fancy boy, an assistant sleeping with the boss’ wife, a Frontline operative and a trueborn hero. And the end of an era that saw a company once of the verge of national relevancy lose so much momentum and faith that they have rendered themselves irrelevant in a two horse race.

Its been real, TNA. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

Cewsh’s Final Score: 72.5 out of 100


Well that’ll do it for us this time, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed our bon voyage to the land of TNA. We’ll be back from time to time to see if we have any mail or packages. But now its time to look forward to one of our favorite weeks of the year as MichaelC comes on board to do not one but TWO Rumble reviews AND a Rumble related Supplement. The man is to the Royal Rumble what that guy with the crazy hair is to being crazy about aliens. So you have that to look forward to as we veer onto the Road to Wrestlemania, and it all gets started with our review of the reader voted Rumble choice for this year, WWE Royal Rumble 2001, coming up later this week. So until then, and as always, remember to keep reading and be good to one another.

The Top 5 Joshi Wrestlers of All Time

Welcome welcome, boys and girls.  I’ve gathered you all here today for a very special history lesson very near and dear to my heart.  That subject is Joshi (of Japanese Women’s) Wrestling, and the list is of the greatest stars of that particular wrestling genre.  Now I know that Japanese wrestling isn’t everyone’s cup of sake, and women’s wrestling is much the same, so when you read the title of this list you might have thought to yourself “Ugh, another Puro review and now its about chicks?” or perhaps even sadly “Joshwhatnow?”  Its a fair point that in North America, women’s wrestling still struggles on for credibility, especially among casual fans of WWE, but these are no Barbie dolls or models, my friends.  These women represent some of the greatest wrestlers that the industry has ever beheld.  These women showed that you could be beautiful (or not) and still not only be as good as the men, but could completely make them look silly by comparison.  These women built a national sensation from scratch and made it so beloved that its stars are still revered in Japanese culture to this day.  These women are absolute fucking badasses.

And They Aint Hard To Look At, Either.

Don’t believe me?  See how you feel after you’ve met the five best.  So clear some time in your busy day of Angry Birds and masturbation, and pay some attention and some damn respect to the five greatest Joshi wrestlers of all time.

Number 5 – Dump Matsumoto

Its the eternal question.  Would a hero be a hero without a villain?  For every great hero in all forms of media, there always exists an ultimate foil for them, to challenge them in ways nobody else can.  Batman has the Joker, GI Joe had Cobra Commander, Rocky had Apollo, Hulk Hogan had Roddy Piper and the Crush Gals had Dump Matsumoto.

Emerging from obscurity in the early 80s like a bat out hell, Matsumoto wasted absolutely no time in placing the entire AJW roster on notice, as she left a path of wanton destruction in her wake on her way to the top.  By 1983 she had already become World Champion, but the feud that would truly define her wouldn’t roll around until the mid 80s when she became formally acquainted with Chigusa Nagayo and her partner Lioness Asuka and the sensation that was the Crush Gals.  Throughout the rest of the decade Matsumoto would wage war against these incredible babyfaces with a number of partners (including a wet behind the ears Bull Nakano).  To say that she was the perfect foil to them is to almost misunderstand the point entirely.  She didn’t earn boos, she started RIOTS.  Matsumoto utilized hardcore tactics and sadistic bullying techniques that were quite simply ahead of her time, including shaving the head of the most popular member of the most popular tag team in wrestling history; a move which nearly caused fans to rush the ring.  At the peak of her fame, she even found herself in the WWE for a short while, completely turning the stereotypes that company demands of their women on their head and introducing Bull Nakano to American audiences for the first time.

Like many others, Matsumoto retired in the late 80s as the Joshi phenomenon began to wear itself out, and left behind a career filled with terror and pain for any who dared cross her or her rogue’s gallery of friends.  And like all great heels everywhere, to this day she is remembered fondly by Japanese audiences for her skill and brass balls the size of a pickup truck.  Its no surprise that when Sega wanted to release a wrestling game in Japan in the 90s, hers is the number they called.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

Suck On That, Trish Stratus.

Promotions Worked For:  AJW, WWE

Championships Held:  AJW Championship (1 time), WWWA Tag Team Championship (2 time)

Biggest Rival:  Crush Gals
Finisher: The Lariat and Splash

Greatest Match:  vs. Chigusa Nagayo Hair vs. Hair Match (11/7/86)

Number 4 – Aja Kong

“God made the devil just for fun. When he wanted the real thing, he made Aja Kong.”

To be perfectly honest with you, it would be irresponsible for me to even tell you about Aja Kong, as mere descriptions of her titanic badassery appearing on your computer may be enough to void its warranty.  But Irresponsible is my middle name (possibly), so let’s get to it.

Now when looking at Aja Kong’s career, its important to realize exactly how earmarked for success she was right from the beginning.  She was trained by Jaguar Yokota and the AJW wrestling school, and when she graduated she immediately began learning how to be a monster by joining Dump Matsumoto’s stable (the Atrocious Alliance) and staying by her side until Matsumoto’s retirement in 1988.  Indeed, you could see Dump’s influence on Kong through the career that followed as Kong grew more and more into the role of an anti authoritative, punked out killer in the ring as times rolled on into the 90s, the decade that would prove to be hers as much as any other wrestler’s.  After losing a tag match with her partner in 91 and having her head shaved, there was no looking back for Kong, and she began merking people with a fire never before seen among Joshi wrestlers. 

Through the years she kept up her reputation for badassery, producing perhaps the most accolade filled career of any of her peers, and even being brought in by WWE to wrestle a match at Survivor Series 1995 (where she was the sole survivor and pinned every member of the other team, naturally).

Warning: Objects Crushing You May Be Meaner Than They Appear.

She was even destined to face the Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze at the Royal Rumble, but unfortunately Blayze got fired before Kong could backfist her into the 8th dimension.  So instead Kong came back to Japan, and just opened up her own promotion ARISON, which she presided over with an iron backfist until 2001 when one day on live television she just announced that she quit and wandered off in the middle of a match for her own company.  Like a boss.

Since then she hasn’t done much.  Except, you know, serving as the inspiration and head trainer for Awesome Kong and Ayako Hamada, who I hear turned out okay.

But even that wasn’t enough to sate the bloodlust, so just this year she made her return to the United States for CHIKARA’s Joshimania event, showing a whole new generation of women just what it means to tangle with the Rial Queen.

Aja Kong was a great wrestler, of that there’s no doubt.  But more than that, she may be the best monster that wrestling has ever seen and might ever see.  For many wrestlers, its hard to earn respect from their peers and fear from their fans.  For Kong, it was Tuesday.

Like a boss.

Promotions Worked For:  AJW, ARISON, GAEA Japan, HUSTLE, Japan Wrestling Pure, Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling, OZ Academy, WWE, Chikara

Notable Championships Held:  AJW Championship (1 time), AJW Tag Team Championship (1 time), All Pacific Championship (1 time), WWWA World Heavyweight Championship (2 times), WWWA World Tag Tam Championship (4 times), Queen of ARISON (1 time), AAAW Singles Championship (3 times), AAAW Tag Team Championship (3 times), HUSTLE Super Tag Team Championship (1 time),Japan Grand Prix (2 times)
Biggest Rival:  Manami Toyota
Finisher: Uraken

Greatest Match: with Sakie Hasegawa, Kyoko Inoue and Takako Inoue vs. Dynamite Kansai, Cutie Suzuki, Mayumi Ozaki and Hikari Fukuoka JWP Thunder Queen Battle (7/31/93)

Note: This match begins as a series of 5 singles matches between wrestlers from AJW (Kong’s team) and wrestlers from JWP to determine which company is superior, and then becomes a massive tag team match further into it.

Number 3 – Jaguar Yokota

Far back into the earliest days of Joshi, there was a tag team called the Beauty Pair (Jackie Sado and Maki Ueda) who really put the concept on the map on a national scale.  There were beautiful and bad mamajamas and watching them inspired a young girl named Rimi Yokota to train to become a wrestler just like them.  She was a such a natural talent that this took even less time than she expected, and by the time she was 19 she had already beaten her idol Jackie Sado for the WWWA World Heavyweight Championship and had become the top Joshi star in the world.  For the next two years she broke faces and hearts as World Champion before losing the title ultimately to La Galactica who was actually just noted Marvel villain Galactus in a rhinestone wig.  But this was only the beginning for Yokota who is the next few years made a name for herself as an unbelievably talented and charismatic wrestler in feuds with greats like Devil Masami and Lioness Asuka and was instrumental in putting over the Crush Gals.

Unfortunately in 1985 she retired due to injury at the ripe old age of 24, and for many people their story would stop there as another white hot career cut sadly short by injury, but the Jaguar doesn’t play like that.  She tried to figure out what she could do to help Joshi and AJW and settled on opening a wrestling school for them which only turned out the majority of the greatest Joshi wrestlers of all time, including 2 other women on this list (Manami Toyota and Aja Kong).  When that got too boring in the 90s, she decided to lace up the boots, doctors be damned, and kick people in the face for a living again in her own damn company named Yoshimoto Pro (or Jd’).  Then she married a rock star, because honestly, why not?

Motherfuckers, I’m Flossy.

Ultimately, she will be remembered as the first truly great wrestler that the Joshi movement ever had, and served as the bridge between the era of the Beauty Pair and the era of the Crush Gals, influencing everyone who saw her along the way.  Other women did more, other women had more, but no other woman perhaps in wrestling history, has been as influential as Jaguar Yokota.

Promotions Worked For:  AJW, Jd’, HUSTLE

Championships Held:  AJW Championship (1 time), WWWA World Championship (2 times), WWWA Tag Team Championship (1 time), AWF Championship (1 time), TWF Championship (1 time)
Biggest Rival:  Devil Masumi
Finisher: Fisherman Buster

Greatest Match: vs. Lioness Asuka AJW In Budokon (08/05/85)

Number 2 – Crush Gals

Quick!  Name all of the wrestlers who became crossover pop culture superstars.  Hulk Hogan?  Yes, good.  The Rock?  Absolutely.  Ludvig Borga? Where did that come from?  Anyway, if you were making a list of such people who have achieved success on that level within the wrestling industry, it would not be a long list.  But it certainly would feature the Crush Gals.

In 1983 two young up and comers named Lioness Asuka and Chigusa Nagayo joined forces together as the Crush Gals, and from that point forward the Joshi world would never be the same.  Almost overnight the two become a national sensation, not just among wrestling fans, but among little girls all over Japan.  They made Joshi wrestling into the coolest thing on the block and the fans responded, with record attendance and television ratings seemingly every week.  Not only that, but they were also both incredible in ring performers and had a very rare natural chemistry together that led to some of the most exciting tag team matches in wrestling history against the Jumping Bomb Angels and more especially their arch rival Dump Matsumoto and her slew of monster partners.  They tore things up across the country for nearly 7 years before finally imploding, leading to a classic feud between them that sent them both off of the road to singles wrestling superstardom.

Their relevance to pop culture can’t be stated enough here.  There has never been a tag team anywhere in the world, male or female, that rivaled these two in terms of actual popularity on a mainstream level.  They were goddamned everywhere in the 80s, from tv shows, to magazines, to actually releasing albums that, no shit, were actually enormous hits on their own.

Really Really.

These weren’t just wrestlers, they were superstars, and unbeknownst to much of the Western world, they were a Hulk Hogan phenomenon all on their own at the same time in history.

Promotions Worked For:  AJW

Championships Held:  
Biggest Rival:  Dump Matsumoto
Finisher: Various
Greatest Match: vs. The Jumping Bomb Angels  2/3 Falls Match (3/8/86)

Number 1 – Manami Toyota

When speaking of many of the women on this list, it has frequently been a challenge just to condense their accomplishments and accolades in some kind of worthwhile summary.  There have been others where it was a struggle to encapsulate exactly what it is about them that made them leap off of the screen and mark themselves as special.  There have been still others for who are widely unknown, even among current fans of women’s wrestling, so it was difficult to get across exactly how significant they are in the context of history.  

Manami Toyota applies to none of that.
Madam Toyota is nothing less than the greatest female babyface that has ever occupied a wrestling ring.  With a fire that seemed almost otherworldly and a body that took more abuse than Sylvester Stallone’s face in all 6 Rocky movies, Toyota was the torch that would never go out and the hero would would never say die.  When you combine this with the knowledge that Aja Kong was her greatest rival, you might begin to get an idea of the kinds of unprecedented showdowns that resulted, as the two obliterated the idea of what women’s wrestling could ever be expected to be with a series of matches on par with any that have ever been wrestled by anyone anywhere at any time.  To call her one of the greatest women’s wrestlers ever would be to make an understatement so vast it would be like calling the Titanic “leaky”.  She was the leader of the Big Egg Universe generation, an inspiration to the current generation of up and coming Joshi girls (just as the Crush Girls inspired her to become a wrestler herself) and after years out of the spotlight, she came out of retirement in 2010 kicking ass like nobody’s business just to show she still could.

Fierce.
But how do you get to become a figure of such renown?  Simple.  First, be trained by one of the greatest wrestlers who ever lived and become her protege (Jaguar Yokota).  Then form a tag team beloved nationwide and steal every show you’re on as part of it (Tokyo Sweethearts with Mimi Shimoda).  Then form a tag team even MORE beloved with your arch rival (Toshiyo Yamada) that tears the house down so intensely night after night that even noted misogynist Dave Meltzer feels moved to regularly give your matches 5 stars.  Then go on to force him to give you that honor six more times and become recognized as the equal or superior of any male wrestler alive at a time when women in America were getting naked on pay per view just to get on the show.
Toyota carried the torch of Joshi from the dying days of the 80s heyday all the way through the huge rebirth in the 90s and through the dark days of the 00s.  Her lists of great matches, great feuds, titles won and wrestlers influenced are so staggeringly long and profoundly thorough that its incredible that she found enough time in the day to do it all.  But in the twilight of her career (never tell her I said that), she stands head and shoulders above her peers as the enduring icon of her genre.
Bow before the Queen of Queens, peasants.  It doesn’t get any better than this.
Promotions Worked For:  AJW, GAEA, NEO, OZ Academy, UWA, JWP Project, CHIKARA

Championships Held:  AJW Championship (1 time), All Pacific Championship (2 times), WWWA World Championship (4 times), WWWA World Tag Team Championships (3 times), IWA World Women’s Championship (1 time), and Japan Grand Prix (4 times).
Biggest Rival:  Aja Kong
Finisher: Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex
Greatest Match:  vs. Aja Kong  Big Egg Universe (11/20/94)

I hope you guys enjoyed the history lesson as much as I enjoyed watching back through the matches in order to bring it to you.  Just remember these matches and these women the next time you watch TNA give their Knockouts about 8 seconds worth of screen time or the next time WWE signs a model to wrestle and contemplate on how just different things could be.  Til next time, friends.