I am a victim of bad timing. On Monday, I was scratching and pleading for any kind of wrestling news. After I submitted, the cuts started. On Wednesday, there was nothing in the world news that was turning me on enough to write about. Then came Thursday morning. It seems that someone, somewhere, is trying to tell me something, but I’m not exactly sure what. At least it’s not as clear as the message sent to the workers this week, or the message sent to Corny that it’s not really right to slap around a rookie when you’re supposed to be training him (hey, the guy’s old school; I can understand why he thought he could do it, and it’ll be great to see him in TNA within a few weeks, won’t it?). Sometimes ambiguity is the better option.
And what do I have to work with now? Michelle double-bogeyed her sixteenth hole on Friday and missed the cut. I don’t give a shit about Hurricane Dennis. And I’ll get into London later. So this intro ends here, abruptly.
Let’s just get on with the shows…
THE SMACKDOWN SHORT FORM
Chris Benoit over Booker T, Number One Contender’s Match (for the US strap) (Submission, crossface): Our Lord and Savior and Chocolate Christ facing off for the right to go against Orlando Jordan? That’s like me and Hyatte facing off in a writing contest to face McNeill or Guttman next. Sledgehammer, meet fly. Oh, yeah, the match was technically perfect and the flow was impeccable, just as we’d expect from them, but what it was in service of makes a mockery of it.
They can even make an arm-bar look intense
The delicate ballet of the high knee
The Blue Meanie over High-Quality Speaker Boy, No Disqualification Match (Pinfall, DAVE-erference): This match was sure booked like a compromise solution to the real-life issues between Meanie and High-Quality Speaker Boy: Meanie gets the victory but no offense. It was supposed to be a fun match, but there was very little fun to be had. Besides, there’s better fun to be had with other aspects of the bWo if they’d think about it. Now that they’re “established” as being Smackdown, and they’re wearing Smackdown colors, how about “invading” Raw and making life hell for Bisch? That would be a good use for them, better than any Simon Dean promo.
The Blue Meanie. Entering a WWE ring. With music. And chyron. I believe that’s the sixth sign of the Apocalypse.
This is no substitute for a good shoot fight
Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro over Rey-Rey y Eddy, Tag Title Match (Pinfall, Mercury pins Mysterio, Snapshot): Just in case you’re still wondering why we IWC members are declaring both tag divisions dead, this one should convince you. The tag champions and tag titles were placed into service as angle advancement for Eddy and Rey-Rey. The only way they could go lower was to have them face, say, Orlando Jordan and Nova as a team, furthering the Cabinet/bWo angle. Can we all agree to pronounce tag wrestling in WWE dead now, please? Believe it or not, for an angle advancement match, this was one entertaining in a creepy sort of way, and it’s all thanks to Eddy. Good job by him.
Just like old times
The Undertaker over Khosrow Daivari, Controversial Sacrificial Lamb Match (Pinfall, Tombstone piledriver): Okay, the match was nothing, but thanks to the events of Thursday morning in London, the apres was all-important. To benefit those in the audience who had it cut for sensitive purposes (and understandable ones), I’ll concentrate the caps on that section. Besides, the actual match lasted about ten seconds. As for whether they’re going to continue with this particular vein, I doubt it. It was doubtful they’d pull off something this borderline tasteless on a continuing basis prior to London; after it, there’s no chance in hell they will.
Look for “Hassan Does Jolson” at record stores tomorrow, or get it at wwe.com Shop Zone!
It took years, but the Druids finally got a wardrobe change and turned on UT
The Ascot Garotte
Proving that WWE does not discriminate against religion, Daivari is scheduled to be resurrected the third day after the PPV
Dave Batista over Christian (Pinfall, DAVEBomb): A cookie-cutter Batista match. Christian was given enough to look good, and just enough. It could have been anyone in there with DAVE. Not a great way to end the show, but it was less of a train wreck than DAVE/High-Quality Speaker Boy will be at GAB.
The standard “demonstration of power” segment
Oh, this is gonna hurt
How sweet of Batista to pretend to let Christian get some offense in
Events Overtaking: I received a few mails from some of my fans in London on Friday morning. They all complained about this particular line from Jennette’s recap:
There is a message scrolling across the bottom of the screen warning us about graphic content about to occur due to events that have recently happened in London. Whatever.
All of them asked me to take young Bradley to task for this act of insensitivity. You know, guys, considering the still-not-forgotten l’affaire Babs, I’m not really the right person for this job. I mean, I have to confess that the following was my first thought when hearing the news of what happened in London: “So, do I use the Clash reference or the Smiths reference for this one? Hold it, I used a Clash reference last year for the Madrid bombings, so I guess it’s the Smiths.” But I’m old and jaded, and it takes a lot for me to get a reaction. If September 11th didn’t affect me and Madrid didn’t affect me, London wouldn’t. My concerns about the UK right now center on next weekend at St. Andrews; hell, I put that above the G8.
I think I’ll say this: I understand why you would be offended. This one hit close to home, literally. You can’t seem to understand why people would be so insensitive as to treat the loss of what will end up being close to a hundred lives in such a blase fashion. Brad’s just a kid. If nothing affects him personally, he’s not going to bother. That’s the way it is these days, and that’s unfortunate. Maybe Brad should have used a little more discretion. I think it’s ironic that he ended up in the same trap that WWE tried so hard to extricate itself from by using those crawls. The word “Whatever” should not have been put in that column, and a little judicious self-editing by Brad would have been appropriate in this instance. However, I’m not going to censure him or censor him. It’s his column.
Now, as for the assholes out there who bitched at me a few months ago regarding the “Candido, Get Well” signs not being edited out of TNA broadcasts, think about this: WWE and UPN were unable to eliminate the segment due to time restrictions, but WWE was able to get the stick out and do a very quick patch job on the feeds to the UK and Australia. They did this with only a couple hours’ notice. So why couldn’t TNA, who had eight f*cking days’ warning, do that with the Candido signs? Your defenses of TNA were a joke then, and they’re an even bigger joke now given this. This kind of event delineates the difference between a professional and unprofessional organization.
Blue, Blue, My Love Is Blue: What a bad opening promo. It wasn’t as atrocious as Trip’s standard one, the one he feels the need to cut every two weeks, but it was just so damn boring. Not really what you’d expect from the bWo, really. I have this strange feeling that Stevie was given no script and told to go out there and wing it. Unfortunately, with the restrictions imposed by being on an alleged network, he couldn’t really wing it the way he was used to winging it the first time around with these guys. Thus, he ended up being mealy-mouthed, saying nothing and looking very, very uncomfortable out there. Next time, give him a script, at least until he’s got his promo motor going again.
The bWo travels in style
Intentional Comedy: I’m sure that Matt Morgan wasn’t embarassed to be gang-banged by the Mexicools on Tuesday night when Smackdown was being taped. The embarassment only sank in on Wednesday morning after getting the call from Stamford and he realized that this would be the final image people would see of him on television for the time being. I’m sure he’d have preferred something a little more, well, dignified. Seppuku comes to mind.
What an image to go out on, huh?
Regal pondering what’s more humiliating: being beaten up by Mexicans or being cut after being beaten up by Mexicans
THE IMPACT SHORT FORM
I got an actual downloaded converted copy of Impact this week, so it’s screen cap time again for TNA’s flagship show. Good for them.
Chris Sabin over David Young (Pinfall, Cradle Shock): Tenay and West go on and on about David Young’s losing streak. How long has it been since Sabin’s won a televised match? He’s been used as the designated sacrificial victim for so many X Division up-and-comers for so long (and now he’s in the same position in re Samoa Joe) that I can’t remember the last time he actually got a pinfall.
There’s an art to doing a flying elbow, and Chris Sabin definitely knows his art
Zach Gowen versus Mikey Batts (ND, Jarrett-ference): Never have I been as happy to see Jeff Jarrett interfere in a matchup as I was with this one. And I like Mikey Batts.
Zach Gowen and Mikey Batts demonstrate how not to run a three-legged race
One-Legged Man, meet Ass-Kicking Contest
Samoa Joe over Elix Skipper and Shark Boy, Triple Threat Match That Can’t Be Called One Due To A Certain Company’s Trademark Lawyers (Submission, Shark Boy submits to Joe, chokeout): Along with avoiding the name, they also avoided the WWE Triple Threat formula as well. For most of the match, all three guys were in there, and the transitions were nice and crisp. Well-booked and well-wrestled by three talented guys.
Shark Boy tries to get a whiff of Samoa Joe’s crotch
Petey Williams over Amazing Red (Submission, Sharpshooter (!)): Not as good as it could have been had these two guys been allowed to go to town, but it was a PPV Pimp Match for Williams. It’s very unusual to see Williams wrestling as a face in his feud with Daniels. Mildly disconcerting, one might say. However, with the evidence at hand, he’d make a good face if TNA decided to turn him in some Team Canada break-up angle.
Red does that X Division staple, the Sunset Flip Off The Ring Apron
Abyss over Cassidy Riley (Pinfall, Black Hole Slam): How many times has Riley been fed to Abyss for a quick squash? Just an excuse for Raven to come in, nothing more.
Like we haven’t seen this before
Chase Stevens, Andy Douglas, and Lance Hoyt over Eric Young, Bobby Roode, and Alastair Rouse (Pinfall, Hoyt pins Roode, big boot): Entertaining despite (or perhaps because of) its completely cliched structure. I’m not sure if leaving Hoyt out until the last minute and a half of the match was done because of the audience pop factor or because Hoyt tends to blow up really quickly. It was just simply nice as a note to end off on, nothing spectacular or eye-popping. And sometimes that’s a good thing.
Bobby Roode proves he can actually get his ass off the mat
None. Just PPV pimps for matches already established. And I don’t count Jarrett’s promo as anything other than that.
That closes this one out. Yet again, I suffer so you don’t have to. Enjoy your weekend, and I%
27ll be back on Tuesday.