Welcome back to ringside everyone. The good and the bad happened this past week in wrestling and I will get to both. But as always we lead with…
TNA iMPACT! and Genesis Recap
Click here for my report of Impact or check out theThe NeelDown
After you check out Impact, click here for the Genesis recap.
Thank You Eddie
In the late afternoon on Sunday November, 13 2005 I decided to check InsidePulse before I called it a day and got ready for the Carolina Panthers game and the PPV. To my shock I saw “Eddie Guerrero Found Dead” posted by Hevia. I of course thought it was a work of some kind at first. Then when more news started to roll in, I knew it was true. I knew that wrestling had lost not arguably one of the top 5 workers in the business today.
Eddie Guerrero was one of the few guys that you knew you could count on to go out there and give a grade A performance every night. No matter what stupid storyline you put him in, he made it look good. I remember when I did the Smackdown report leading up to SummerSlam, the only reason I continued to watch the show was because of Eddie. I didn’t care about Batista vs. JBL or Jillian Hall and her mole. Even though the storyline with Rey Mysterio was stupid and predictable, Eddie made it look good. In one Smackdown report I remember saying “Eddie is the man, give him an Oscar.” I stick by that statement. Eddie could entertain inside and outside the ring.
Eddie Guerrero was a guy who was in deeper than rock bottom. He was in Hell. But he managed to pick his life up and climb the ladder back to level ground. At No Way Out 04 he was one step away from heaven when he won the World Title. To me, he was in heaven when he and his long time friend Chris Benoit celebrated at the end of WrestleMania 20.
I didn’t know Eddie Guerrero on any levels of personal. I did however get to meet him at a Smackdown show back in 03. After the show I went down to the parking lot area where the wrestlers exit. Most of them of course just drove off and ignored the waiting fans. Eddie Guerrero (and a few others) decided to stick around and sign for the fans. I was lucky enough to shake hands with Eddie and have him sign my program.
Eddie Guerrero was a guy who gave everything to the business.
Eddie Guerrero Was Wrestling
So in the midst of Eddie passing away, I decided to honor him by doing nothing and watching wrestling that night. TNA delivered with another great PPV at Genesis. Almost everything seemed to come off just right.
*Raven vs. TAFKA Justin Credible: The match it self sucked but this was more of storyline advancement. Zbysko is going to make Ravens life hell so he decided to bring in a former ECW talent to fight him. No beef with that. I wouldn’t mind if Zbysko brought in other ECW workers to fight Raven. Bring back Sandman and New Jack for a one night deal. I really liked the spot where Riley tried to defend Raven and Credible just shrugged his shoulders and hit Riley with the Singapore cane.
-Wrestling: * (* for effort)
-Entertainment: **1/2 (Again, the spot with Riley and Credible was cool to me, no matter how basic)
*3 Live Kru vs. Team Canada: Another storyline advancement match. Konnan now trusts Kip James, yay. Nobody wants to see those 4 work together. We want to see BG turn on Killings and Konnan and team up with Kip. Everyone wins that way. Those 4 try something new instead of fighting Team Canada for another 2 months. On the Team Canada side of things, Eric Young rules. He is really good in his new paranoid role. I hope Young continues this roll and gets some wins.
Wrestling: * (* for effort)
Entertainment: *** (Eric Young is da man)
*Christian Cage Debut: Thank God they just gave him the mic and let him talk. He delivered a nice shoot interview and actually made some decent points. I was so pissed that I almost missed this because I went to get a drink during the card run down and if I didn’t hurry back I would have missed the Countdown entrance. The thing that made this interview perfect was the fact that Christian said “That’s How I Roll.” I marked out like a bitch
Entertainment: ***** (That’s how he rolls)
*Monty Brown vs. Jeff Hardy: The match it self was better than expected. Hardy scaling the railing in the crowd and jumping on Brown was pretty good. I’m just glad that Brown won and now can move on to a World Title feud with Jarrett.
Wrestling: ** (Better than expected)
Entertainment: *** (Hardy’s spot was nice and I love the pounce)
*Elimination X: The X stars went all out right here. The order of elimination was pretty much what everyone expected. I with TNA would build Aries and Shelley a bit more as they are great talents in the ring and Shelley is good on the mic. The after the match stuff didn’t work as well as TNA wanted it to I don’t think. Everyone seemed to cheer the fact Joe beat the living hell out of Daniels. I think Joe showing up and distracting Styles in his match turned him more heel than his attack on Daniels.
Wrestling: **** (It’s the f*cking X Division)
Entertainment: ***** (It’s Joe and Daniels)
*Abyss vs. Sabu: This was what everyone expected it to be, a brawl. Sabu hit all his normal spots and Abyss continued to stay afraid of the barbed wire. The Black Hole Slam on the barbed wire was a nice spot and it leads perfectly into their Barbed Wire match at Turning Point. I just hope they actually use the wire unlike JBL and Show at No Way Out.
Wrestling: ** (Spot wrestling that is)
Entertainment: ***1/2 (Could have been a bit better of a brawl)
AJ Styles vs. Petey Williams: These two put on another great show. You know every time AJ is in the ring with anyone with an ounce of talent, it will be a two star match at the very least. Petey Williams has a lot more than an ounce of talent and the best of him comes out against AJ. The into the rail spots were awesome on the part of AJ. Again, when Joe came out to distract AJ, I think that turned him more heel than his attack on Daniels.
Wrestling: ****1/4 (It’s AJ f*cking Styles)
Entertainment: ***** (It’s Petey and AJ)
*6 Man Tag: Nice to see TNA throw all the rules out the window and let these 6 go at it. This was an ECW like brawl and almost everyone bladed. I liked when Rhino said “You want me to piledrive this mother f*cker?” and the camera picked it up. Hell, I just like it when a wrestler curses and it’s not bleeped. The faces getting the win was of course the right move and it sets up Team 3D vs. AMW.
Wrestling: ** (Not much wrestling going on, a lot of brawling though)
Entertainment: ***** (If you like ECW brawls, this one is for you)
So overall TNA put on a very good show and the debut of Christian Cage was just the icing on the cake. I’m foaming at the mouth to see Impact on Saturday and see what Christian’s next move is.
Overall Wrestling: *** (The X Division carries the show again)
Overall Entertainment: ***** (That’s how TNA rolls)
The E-Mail Bag
Like you should know by the address, it is I, Mark Neeley from IP.
Just felt compelled to drop you a line about the latest column.
(Genesis Preview.) It was good, and I agreed with you about the
rundown on the Genesis card, but I have to mention a few things that
were said in the early part of the column. You mentioned that the WWE
was crazy for low-balling Christian and the Dudleys, but I think the
bottom line is that they don’t really give a shit. Seriously, when
you’ve got Bob Holly spening more time on SmackDown than Christian, I
don’t blame Christian for stepping out at all. It is like they did
with Jericho on RAW for so long, put him on the Highlight Reel with
little exposure to main event level matches since he was too busy
playing the humor roll on the Reel and further expanding the guests on
the shows feuds. Christian, on RAW, was already suffering severely
with the WWE creative team, so they move him to SmackDown where he
gets a chance to excel or at least be main event level, and they
reduce him to the level of the Peep Show every week. Don’t get me
wrong either, because I love the Pee Show, but damn, he is a wrestler
too, and one of the best SmackDown has to offer. So really, at this
point, with the Heavyweight Championship spot already played out, WWE
isn’t really losing much. Hell, let him go to TNA than feuding with
Booker. (like we haven’t seen THIS before.) You made good points
about the similarites of Gregory Helms and Chris Daniels. I was
actually thinking this when Rosey was fighting the Hillbillies in a
handicap match on RAW weeks ago when Helms was standing on top of the
ramp with his sunglasses. However, I don’t think WWE is quite that
stupid, but then again there are, and have been room for surprises.
And yes, the NHL shootout does indeed own.
Always nice to hear from Neely. The fact is, they should have given a shit. Instead they let one of the best tag teams and one of the best all around workers leave the company and go to the rival. Something like that just can’t happen. It’s like the Lakers letting Shaq go for nothing at all just because he doesn’t get along with Kobe. You play to win the games, not to get along with each other.
While I basically agree with what you said about Benoit moving to TNA you do have some definite flaws in your argument. You said if Benoit jumped that he wouldn’t be in a story where he drops the U.S. title because a chick interfered. But he could easily be a story where he drops the World title because a chick interferes. You have to admit that a TNA title match generally ends up looking like rush hour at Metro Center due to runs ins, distractions, weapons, and of course unconscious refs. As long as Gail Kim is with Jarrett it’s actually pretty likely that he’d drop the title because a woman interfered.
Despite your other comment there’s also the issue that the World champ is not guaranteed the main event slot in TNA either. Since they’re playing up the X Title as equal Benoit could still end up playing second fiddle at a PPV to another match. Just look at Unbreakable where Raven/Rhino was “the first of two main events” and Styles/Daniels/Joe closed out the show. But I will concede that at least the NWA World Title was 2nd to a title match (which would’ve been impossible to follow) as opposed to being 2nd to another HHH/HBK Just Because Match.
On the other hand your Team Canada vs. 3LK preview will most likely be dead on. I still say that we need another World X Cup to justify the existence of Team Canada.
But I totally disagree with you on the Don’t Call it a Survivor’s Match because I think that they are taking the storyline into account. If this was WWE then yes, Joe and Daniels would probably be on opposite teams right now and ready to kill each other. TNA is going for a slower build. Spike fans especially aren’t aware of Unbreakable so the first dissention we’ve seen between these two was on the prime time special. And even then it was just an issue of Daniels’s cockiness. I think at Genesis we’re going to see and extension of that with the unofficial team captain trying to carry the team which will cause the whole team to lose and/or Joe’s elimination. Or, now that I think about it, Daniels might blind-tag in to snag the decisive pin following a Muscle Buster. Turning Point is the absolute earliest that we should see these two in direct conflict. Daniels declaration of himself as captain of Team Ministry without bother to check with anybody else has set this up really nicely. I can only hope that it’s mentioned on Impact this week instead of just on the website.
As for the Finisher First match on Impact I’d love to see Petey go full on cheap heel and debut his newest finisher the Chop of Doom. Or possibly the Northern Chinlock.
The UNDISPUTED First TNA At Ringside “The Contest” Champion.
I think TNA is a bit smarter than to have Gail Kim screw up such a big match. Sure Jarrett title matches are over booked and we all always complain about them but look who he faces most of the time. Rhino, Nash, Hardy, Page, ect… It’s not like those guys can carry themselves, much less each other. With Chris Benoit, he can carry Jarrett and they don’t need Kim or AMW screwing things up.
If Chris Benoit comes to TNA, he along with Christian would guarantee that the World Title Match goes on last. If TNA always wanted to put the best match last, AJ would be on last every show.
And after thinking it over (and seeing the outcome), I agree with your point about Joe and Daniels being on the same page. That advanced the storyline way more than them facing off and somebody getting the pin. Maybe I’m just so used to WWE booking (cop out excuse, sue me)
You probably don’t know me from the site but I write an NHL column for IP Sports. Either way, just dropping you a line to comment on your column…a good read as always and I’ll be dropping 30 bucks to watch Christian debut as well. Hopefully, they’ll follow your advice and stick to giving him some mic time to shine and let the live crowd mark out instead of blowing his first appearance on a cheesy run in.
Enjoy your weekend!
As a fellow hockey fan, I read every time you post something (including the tape reviews). And TNA did follow my advice, because that’s how I roll. Yes, that has become my favorite thing to say ever since Christian started it.
*Sidney Crosby owns you and owns the NHL
*I would take Owens over McNabb, no questions asked
*Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ is actually a decent movie, much to my surprise
*Ashlee Simpson is an idiot and she should kiss the worlds feet
*Duke Blue Devils all the way in NCAA Basketball this year. Redick and Williams baby.
That’s it for this week. Drop me a line at AMPLine4Life@aol.com and join me next time At Ringside.