The Triple-Threat Short Form, 02.16-18.06

Columns, Shows, TV Shows

In Memoria: Bob Lewis and Roy Chapman, two men who proved you didn’t have to have crowns to be regarded as royalty in the Sport of Kings.

Well, this is a first. I’m actually starting a Short Form on Tuesday. In fact, I’m starting this only a few hours after I submitted my normal Tuesday column. I usually take a nice long break between columns (which is one reason I gave up the Wednesday column), but after force-feeding myself That Phil Collins Song earlier today in order to get the Tuesday column done, I thought I might as well start whacking this out too. Of course, Raw wasn’t on in the US on Monday. However, it was on in certain other places around the world, and you damn well know that it was uploaded ASAP. I downloaded that so that I can at least be consistent and have screen shots for every show. And since it’s on my hard drive, I might as well start watching it.

Oh, yeah, want to mention this while I’m at it, despite the fact that I don’t usually do pimps in the Short Form. BFM has an interview with Matt Cappotelli over at Reality News Online. Very good interview, as usual from BFM. You can read it here.

The presiding theme for the weekend is that the favorites won’t inherent the Earth. Canada’s men’s hockey team, taken down by the Swiss. The US’s women’s hockey team, beaten for the first time in international competition by someone not from Canada (congrats to the Swedes). Johnny Weir pisses his way out of a figure skating medal. Bode DNFed in the Super-G (I’ve got to admit this, though: when Aamond won his third gold medal in that event and still said that Hermann Maier is the greatest Super-G racer of all time, I believed him; he is that modest). Tigger had to face the combination of Riviera and the flu, and did something he never did before: pull out of a tournament due to illness. Rafael Nadal lost in Marseilles in a tournament he should have blitzed. And we won’t even talk about Lindsay Jacobellis. Will Vince notice this trend and change his idiotic booking ideas for No Way Out? Hell, no. He’ll only look and see that Shani Davis won the 1000 as expected, and honor him and Black History Month by transitioning the IC strap to Benjy ASAP. Lashley getting the win over High-Quality Speaker Boy at the PPV is such a given that I shouldn’t even mention it.

As for other news, it’s not often that a seventh grader’s science project makes international news, but CNN and other outlets are reporting on her findings that ice from your average restaurant ice machine has a higher bacterial load than the water in the restaurant’s toilets. This may be news to some of you, but definitely not to me. You know, the guy who’s been in the food safety business for the past eighteen years. Here’s the fact: when I was in the Army doing retail health inspections, and when I was a meat inspector, I had to tell everyone, constantly, to defrost, clean, and sanitize their ice machines, and they’d never do it. I’ve found things growing inside ice machines that are higher forms of life than most wrestling fans. Those machines are f*cking disgusting. They’re almost as bad as the average grill ventilation hood; I was guaranteed to find built-up grease residue on every one of those that I touched. Restaurant owners and managers believe that since ice machines are, by definition, cold, that growth of disease-causing organisms is prevented. Those people are not experts at waterborne illness. Too many types of waterborne pathogens are sporocystic and can resist cold, or simply go into dormancy. When the temperature of your soft drink gets above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, they start growing again. Do you want some shigellosis with your Coke?

Twenty-seven percent of all foodborne illnesses can be directly traced to retail food outlets. And it’s not only meat, poultry, or seafood that you have to worry about. It’s everything. So take precautions, and tell them “No ice” next time.

That was your public service alert for this column. Now for the post-facto public service alerts…


Match Results:

Trip versus The Big Show, Road To Wrestlemania Tournament Semi-Final Match (DCOR; according to a later ruling by Vince, both advance to the finals since neither lost): This match was, for some reason, oddly compelling. Trip letting someone kick out of the Pedigree? TBS blading? TBS getting the best of the apres by plowing Trip through the retaining wall? Is TBS on Vince’s “Don’t Touch” list or something? Both of these guys did a better job with this one than with their recent PPV match; of course, this didn’t have the perpetual distraction of TBS’s cast to focus on. And, for some reason, Trip doing a Flair Flop and Flair Flip in Flair Country didn’t seem like desecration. Just weird. Really weird. I can’t quantify my feelings, for some reason. It’ll be interesting to see what these two do with Van Dam in the finals. That’s a misfit in every way on paper. If they make it work, we may have to reevaluate Trip. Maybe the prospect of becoming a daddy has finally matured him.

Oh, one more thing. As a lot of people know, I tend to watch refs a lot and judge them along with the wrestlers. Mickey Henson (or Mickey Jay if you prefer) did a great job keeping this match under control, knowing that he was going to have to be involved with a dissatisfying ending. He pulled it off nicely. Mickey’s the best ref on Raw right now. On Smackdown, you’ve got Nick Patrick and Lil’ Naitch. On Impact, Slick Johnson is the class act. What do they have all in common? They’re all former WCW refs. I don’t know what it was about WCW that made it breed good refs, but the results show.

For some reason, when TBS does this to Trip, it’s fun to watch

“Well, it’s working for the Boogeyman!”

Shelton Benjamin over the Retard, Number One Contender’s Match (Pinfall, T-bone suplex): Well, that was short and sweet. It was nothing other than that, of course. Just sets up the match we all knew was coming between Benjy and Flair, which should be a nice one. And that’s about the nicest thing I’ll say about any match the retard’s involved in. Death to all retards.

By the way, Saint Price of Pit Road, a good son of Charlotte, brought up to me the possibility of Flair and Benjy gaining respect for each other from this IC title match, enough so that they’d get together in a mentor/student relationship (which would also have the benefit of transitioning Mamma into the GM slot). Since Charlie Haas is headed back, he could be put together with them and…y’all see where this is going. Actually, it’s a good idea. But this time, there should be no equivocation. They have to use the Horsemen name. The audience takes Benjy and Haas seriously that they wouldn’t regard it as too much desecration. The key here is the fourth member. That man would have to cement it in the audience’s mind that this is a Horseman configuration that we can take seriously; in other words, no Paul Romas or Steve McMichaels needs apply. Perhaps a former Horseman would do the trick. Let’s see, who could we…ah, yes, there is a man who’s going to win the US title on Sunday that seems to fit those qualifications. And there will be a Draft coming up after Wrestlemania. So, that’s settled. Now, who fills the J. J. Dillon role? We’ve got two obvious candidates backstage, don’t we? Why not both? Arn cuts the promos and Dean provides the ringside savvy. Now that’s how to appeal to nostalgia.

That’s it, Shelton, you know what to do

Ashley Massaro over The Ten-Buck Tramp (Pinfall, badly-blown rollup…how the hell do you blow a rollup?): Oh, dear God, when the highlight of the match was shoving a dog’s ass into someone’s face, what can you say?

The ex-ECW guys are killing themselves over the fact that they never thought of this one

Rob Van Dam over Gym Bunny, Road To Wrestlemania Tournament Semi-Final Match (Pinfall, Five-Star Frog Splash): Yeah, like I paid attention to this one. Hey, Van Dam, if you thought you were put on a leash having to face this stiff, wait until the Triple Threat. That leash is going to be shorter than one of the guys in the Juniors Division.

Van Dam attempts to find out which sucks more, gravity or Masters

John Cena over Edge, WWE Title Match, Special Guest Referee Mick Foley (Pinfall, F-U): There’s a close relative to the Angle Advancement Match that’s equally repulsive. It’s called the Angle Establishment Match, when an entire match is dedicated to creating a new angle. This one was done to set up the rumored Edge/Foley confrontation at WM, one of Mick’s Contractual Obligation Matches for 2006. And it has other things not to recommend it. I have never seen such a pathetic collection of teasy-weasy contrived near-falls. Equally contrived was the ending. John Cena catching someone in midair, then setting him up for the F-U? Maybe if it was a midget, but not Edge. This match was almost pure padding from start to finish, extended only to get in the necessary running time. Add that to the Foley mess, and you have one helluva disaster.

The ever-popular “threaten the superplex then not follow through” spot

Angle Developments:

Dammit, Vince, just hire her as GM of Raw already, will you?

You know that Colette made him soak himself in industrial-strength bleach before she allowed him back into the house

Someone told Candice that Terry Bradshaw didn’t have the balls to show up at the Super Bowl, so she decided to verify that for herself

Gold Watch: So, what did we get out of the retirement ceremony? Fifteen minutes of Vince proving my thesis about him that I wrote about in the Short Form last week, pretty much. “Inner peace”? Can’t all those professional TV writers think of anything better as a motivation? No, of course not. They’re soap opera writers. This is perfectly logical to them. Those people who don’t know that can only sit and wonder what kind of hallucinogens were passed around backstage before this was written.

The tragic thing about this, of course, is what I said on Tuesday. Vince is going to attempt to find his “inner peace” by having a match with Shawn at Wrestlemania that will involve Bret Hart in some way, shape, or form. For some reason, I think the Buddah would have some reservations about this particular method. God knows I do.

You can get them cheap for bachelorette parties, I hear. As long as you don’t mind the venereal diseases.

“I dunno, Vince. I mean, why do you want to sell your time share in Boca Raton?”

All Women Fake It: Having been falsely accused of sexual harassment, I’m a little sensitive to women making false accusations of a sexual nature against men. Needless to say, I was not happy with the MickieLexis LaJames sketch. I don’t care if she’s a nutjob and this was a characterization point. It just doesn’t sit right with me. She could do something else. I mean, they’ve got the entireity of Fatal Attraction to rip off here.

Look, I don’t care if your father was a Freebird, I still don’t approve


Match Results:

Rey-Rey over Sylvain Grenier (Pinfall, Drop the Dime): I didn’t use this match for anything as mundane as an attempt at entertainment. No, my dear children, I decided to use it on a more scientific basis. Specifically, I used it as proof to disprove one hypothesis and prove another. The disproof came in regard to Chris Kanyon’s in-character assertion that he was fired from WWE for being gay. One look at Grenier is sufficient to categorize that statement as total, unmitigated bullshit. The other? I had the nagging suspicion for some time that something had changed about my audience/performer relationship with Rey-Rey. During this match, I finally realized what that change was. Thanks to the Eddy bullshit and what’s going to happen on Sunday, I have totally ceased to care about anything Rey-Rey does. Too bad, really; I used to enjoy him.

“Hello, my name is Sylvain, and I’ll be your bitch tonight…”

The Boogeyman over Orlando Jordan (Pinfall, pumphandle slam): Do any of you feel some overwhelming need for me to comment about this? I thought not. Poor Orlando. They’re really making an effort to make certain that the bisexual angle is going to be seen as a step up for him, aren’t they? And Tazz saying he’d never get in the ring with someone like Boogeyman…uh, Tazz, maybe you took too many blows to the head, but do you remember a complete freak show that you participated in called ECW?

Rage, rage, against the dying of the light

Novocaine Helms over Scotty Go Potty, Cruiserweight Title Match (Pinfall, Shining Wizard): I don’t think there’s anything more counter-productive than telling cruiserweights to go out there and do a pure mat wrestling exhibition, complete with restholds. It just shows you how much WWE doesn’t get it. And when the two men involved are Helms and Scotty, the situation just gets thrown into the realm of pure torture. And, to put the rancid cherry on top, yes, I got the Aussie feed again, and this was Cole’s Butcher of “Brisbane” match. I think I’ll just go and slash my wrists now. No, not even Kendrick hitting the Acid Drop during the apres can make me change my mind.

No one ever said Scotty had brains

Fit Finlay and High-Quality Speaker Boy over Chris Benoit and Bobby Lashley (Pinfall, High-Quality Speaker Boy pins Benoit, Clothesline From Hell): I’m going to be saying a lot about High-Quality Speaker Boy in the Round Table. One thing I didn’t say was this, because I hadn’t seen this match before doing my Round Table entry: we say a lot of things about High-Quality Speaker Boy lacking talent. Pretty much all of them are true. Lashley’s as green as Finlay’s motif, but he still has more talent than High-Quality Speaker Boy. But the one thing you can’t fault him on is his intensity; ever since he won the title, he’s brought a fire to his in-ring activities. He brings what he has of an A-Game to every match he’s in. Here, he was put up against three of the most intense guys in the locker room and kept up easily with them. He didn’t seem out of place at all. He doesn’t half-ass it, unlike Cena. That’s one reason why it mystifies me about why they’re shoving him down the way they are.

Man, when you start blowing the booking on High-Quality Speaker Boy, that really means something’s wrong.

More, please. And add Regal while you’re at it.

Easier than a noob in the shower

I have to admit to a curiosity factor about seeing this one-on-one

Matt Hardy over Simon Dean (Pinfall, Twist of Fate): You know I’m not going to talk about this one. However, this was Cole’s second pimp for the Aussies…you know what? I think I can get some more mileage out of this after the beginning of March. I’m hereby coining a new term: Butcher of Brisbane Match: a match that’s so boring and stupid that you don’t mind when the announcers start doing house show pimps during it. There, that’s done. So file that one away for future reference.

One of the Shanes to the rescue!

Kurt Angle and The Undertaker over Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro, and Mark Henry, Main Event Handicrap Match (Submission, Mercury submits to Angle, AngleLock): No, this is not an example of a Butcher of Brisbane Match. This one’s worse. This one’s a PPV Hard Sell Match. Normally, these take the form of some kind of tag match, where one or two sets of participants in high-level matches on the PPV face off or, occasionally as in this one, team up, thus giving the announcers loads of opportunities to start blathering about the PPV. The call of the match tends to become more incoherent as the match goes on, making you wonder whether or not the commentators are on drugs and/or not bothering to watch this. Well, I know that I didn’t bother to watch this; hey, it’s a PPV Hard Sell Match that involved Mark Henry. Give me a reason to care.

As Joey Mercury gets appointed tonight’s designated victim

Getting into the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Nitro whispers sweet nothings into Angle’s ear

Angle Developments:

Very light on angles this week, but not surprising considering that most of No Way Out was fully set up last week. So, I only have a few caps…

The cruisers are disappointed when they find out that Vince and Steph won’t allow them to vote Helms off the island

If I can hazard a guess, I don’t think that Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley are feeling very afraid of this

And you can add Orlando Bloom to that list


Match Results:

Jay Lethal over Roderick Strong and Shannon Moore, Team TNA Qualifying Match (Pinfall, Lethal pins Strong, full-nelson suplex): First of all, it’s good to have the World X Cup back. It’s shown in the past that it can make stars out of guys (Hector Garza being the example that everyone holds up). It’ll also give something for those guys caught in the X Division No Man’s Land like Bentley, Sabin, and Dutt something to do (don’t be surprised if those are the other three members of the team). But the disease is still present. There’s too many guys in the X Division that are either getting a push or are deserving of a push (and it’s fortunate for us that the guys getting a push also deserve one). That’s why the logjam at the top makes no sense.

It looks like we might be doing TNA rankings after Destination X to go along with our soon-to-return WWE rankings (which will be done after No Way Out). I’ll be part of the TNA committee. I just know that the biggest bitchfest we’re going to have is in the X Division rankings. After Champ, #1, and #2, how do you put these guys in order? It’s going to be a skullf*ck of the largest proportions.

Two ROH guys getting one over on a WWE guy in a TNA match. Makes perfect sense to me.

Payback’s as much of a bitch as Moore is

Konnan, Homicide, and Machete over Donovan Morgan, Michael Modest, and Brian Drago (Pinfall, Homicide pins Drago, top-rope bulldog): Okay, a few issues here that have nothing to do with this match:

1) I’m not satisfied with Pain-In-The-Ass Airport as a nickname. It’s not pithy enough. The question is, do I settle for one, or start rotating through all the major airports in the world? I like the latter idea, but the concept of calling them “Sheremetyevo” is very, very attractive.

2) I’ll admit this: I loved Michael Modest when he was getting a midcard push in WCW. Good wrestler, nice look, I thought. His problem was that his main proponent was Mike Lano, the San Francisco wrestling columnist who a) was one of the worst wrestling writers in history and b) was so damn biased that he made Milord and Ryder look non-partisan (somehow, everything with Lano had to link back to the San Francisco wrestling scene, preferably in the territory days). I was reading through some of my old material from 2000-2001 in preparation for our March Feature in the Wrestling section, and I rediscovered some stuff I said about Lano back then. The main bone of contention was that this was the period where Lawler did his walk-out because of his then-wife not being pushed, and Heyman had replaced him on color. Lano insisted that Raw’s ratings were going down because of a lack of Lawler (which they weren’t) and that this was an abomination to wrestling commentary (which it certainly wasn’t). One of the other things Lano said was that Mike Modest was going to be the next Ray Stevens. I asked whether he meant the wrestler or the comedy country singer. God, Lano was horrible. Luke Johnston made a cottage industry out of insulting him. Thank God that when he faded, Tommy Fierro came along so we could continue the abuse.

3) Thanks to Modest’s WCW connections, this La Migra gimmick immediately caused flashbacks to two other WCW mainstays: the State Patrol and the Patriots. I think that a lot of people will admit to the Patriots being a guilty pleasure back then. How could you not love a team that hailed from WCW Special Forces? Man, whatever happened to Todd Champion and Firebreaker Chip? TNA should bring them back to get squashed by Sheremetyevo. Hell, bring back the State Patrol while you’re at it. If you’re going to have Bullet Bob wrestle a match, why not?

Machete really gets a kick out of beating up anglos

Christopher Daniels over Austin Aries (DQ, Samoa-ference): People have asked me what’s my take on Aries and Strong getting depushed because of their actions on the weekend of That Phil Collins Song. I’m on TNA’s side on this one, actually. They’re contracted employees of TNA. They have a scheduled match on a PPV. TNA’s been burned by no-shows before (if Jeffykins wasn’t enough, they got burned by Apolo twice, including at this PPV). Bad weather’s rolling in, and there’s a chance the boys might not be able to make it to Orlando (a fear that was justified considering that the entire East Coast Bias was socked in after that snowstorm hit). TNA wanted to take no chances, so they asked that all their performers be in Orlando early. It is simply a sensible precaution, and completely understandable on their part. Aries and Strong were the irresponsible parties in this case. They jeopardized showing up for a reasonably high-profile match on PPV in favor of doing a house show. Laud them all you want for their “loyalty” to ROH, but you have to figure out what pays the bills, and TNA definitely pays more for a PPV than ROH does for a house show. TNA put them in a one-or-the-other situation, and they tried to have their cake and eat it too. The ROH audience would have understood. They’re the smarkiest of the smarks, and if it became known that TNA was just trying to make sure they show up because of the bad weather, it would have been accepted as being reasonable. Aries and Strong weren’t putting their standing with ROH fans at risk if they skipped the house show. They were putting their standing with TNA at risk. That’s stupid.

That being said, let’s hope that the punishment is over. They’ve learned their lesson by having to job to the Naturals, and by seeing their push get transferred to Lethal, who was responsible in his actions. Anything other than this can easily be classified as vindictivity on TNA’s part. They deserve their pushes, and it should be resumed.

Aries gets his spots in before his punishment is inflicted

Ron Killings, the ex-Buh Buh Ray Dudley, and the ex-D-Von Dudley over Petey Williams, Bobby Roode, and Savory Steak Sauce Boy (Pinfall, Killings pins Savory Steak Sauce Boy, axe kick): I have a distinct problem with the Impact main event and this column. You see, it’s the last match on the list. I want to plow through it as fast as possible in order to get this column done. This problem, however, has a solution, and that’s time. I not only have Saturday Night’s Main Event coming up next month in the next scheduled Triple Threat Short Form, but Impact moves to Thursdays in April. That means the onus comes on either SNME’s main event or Smackdown’s. Now these, I don’t feel guilty about wanting to get through fast. Yes, surprisingly, I did feel that guilt about this match, despite the presence of the ex-Dudleys and Savory Steak Sauce Boy. That’s because they turned the match into the Ron Killings Showcase, and I’ll follow Killings to the end of the Earth and beyond. Having Savory Steak Sauce Boy do the job was the perfect touch. Now, can you somehow get him back in the mix for the world title? That’ll probably have to wait until Slammiversary and the King of the Mountain Match, though.

Now that’s giving a brutha a hand

Angle Developments:

A Piece Of “It”: Since everyone’s still in a twitter about Christian winning the belt, even though it’s been a week, allow me to take a nice, long, hot, yellow piss over your parade. Frankly, it’s looking more and more that Mistah Reso is holding the strap not because he deserves it, but because TNA had to give it to him. Yes, I know, this is wrestling, where the former becomes the latter far too often because of the vagaries of the audience and we end up with shit like Cena. But let’s keep them exclusive for the sake of argument. I’m talking here about all the extracurriculars that go into deciding who holds the belt. You know, not only things like popularity with the audience, but part-ownership stakes in the company and such.

When Christian signed, I wondered exactly what was the quid pro quo that allowed them to get Christian in despite the salary. This is something that I’m familiar with from my frequent job hunts. I not only look at the salary, I look at the whole package: the benefits, the opportunity for advancement, the work conditions, etc. The “work conditions” part was something that definitely attracted Christian (something he’s admitted to), and ditto with the opportunity for advancement, but there had to be more. TNA wasn’t going to pay him that much. I posited at the time that an NWA title reign was either written into the contract or done on a wink-wink basis. So TNA gave him the title because they had to from a legal standpoint, not because he earned it.

Yes, there was the matter of keeping the audience happy. The audience wanted him to win the belt. Yes, I did too. But not this soon. I wanted him to become an organic part of TNA first. That way, there would be no doubt he was chosen to be champion on merit rather than an attempt to pop a rating…

…oh, yeah, speaking of that, everyone’s also a-twittering about the ratings going up for Sting’s appearance and then heading directly back down again. Long-time readers know about a phrase of mine: Two-Week Pop. It’s the proven principle that if you bring someone “special” in, the ratings go up for a week or two, then head back down to their previous level. It’s happened time and time again. The situation with Sting was so obviously a Two-Week Pop that I didn’t bother mentioning it before Sting came in, like I normally would have. Well, that’s exactly what happened, and everyone’s mystified by it. WHY?! It’s because people don’t listen to me. Now, back to the screed…

For the last reason why Christian’s holding the strap right now, I’m going to repeat something that I’ve said before: how much of this is due to the situation with the man who Christian’s been tethered to since their days back in Toronto together, Edge? TNA had a golden opportunity thrust into their lap at the Royal Rumble, when “creative” was stupid enough to actually give Cena the belt back. It’s very, very rare that a wrestling fed has an opportunity to show up the competition’s booking on such a directly comparative basis. “You can’t do anything with Edge as champ? Well, look what we do with Christian, and proceed to weep.” In a sense, it’s a poke in both eyes. They not only get to show off how much better they are than Steph’s Gnomes (oh, yeah, like that’s so hard to do; we at IP do it on a constant basis) in regard to Edge, but they also get to have WWE bemoan the lost opportunities over the years in regard to Christian.

Of course, they have to follow through and do the right thing by Jay, but putting him in a feud with Monty immediately is a great idea. Here’s a competitor who can keep up with Christian on the mic and wouldn’t be too much of a misfit in the ring (Christian’s used to dealing with power wrestlers, and lesser ones). It won’t be a bad match at Destination X. The problem, of course, is still keeping Monty despite this. He’s got the exact same beef with TNA that Christian had with WWE. Unless they can get him the title by early summer, I still think he’s going to walk.

(Okay, I want to bring this up: last week, I used the phrase “throwing a sop to Monty” in the Short Form. Four people, including Fingers, wrote in and asked me, in effect, “Tell me you just didn’t say that.” Uh, I don’t get it. Usually, if I’m doing an obscure little reference or pun, I’m doing it consciously, forcing you readers to actually look up the source. This time, I did something unconsciously that people read meaning into that I didn’t intend, and I have no clue as to what that meaning is. The only thing I can think of is a pun regarding Billy Gunn’s real name. Enlighten me. God knows I’ve done that with you often enough.)

He’s waited twelve years to raise his arm?

Wait a minute…Don West wearing something that would be considered acceptable attire in any office in the country? What’s going on here?

Propositional Calculus: I think I discovered a new law of the universe. It can be summarized as this: if you are in the US military, at some point, your father will ask you to purchase clothing for him appropriate to your branch at your base’s uniform store. I know that my father did that to me. Now we can see that Bullet Bob did the same thing when Road Hogg was in the Marines (ironically at the same time I was in the Army). However, two data points isn’t enough. We need at least three. I’m counting on you to provide me with that element, folks.

Uh, a 66-year-old guy in a Marine jacket isn’t the most intimidating sight in the world

Destination Unknown: People have been laying into me for saying that I wanted the X Division strap taken off Joe at That Phil Collins Song. Most of those people were complaining for two reasons: 1) Joe should still have the strap regardless and 2) They didn’t want A. J. to have another X Division title reign. The reasoning behind my booking was fragmented between multiple columns, including one that never got published (namely the Round Table). So, let me go through this again just to clarify where my chaotic thought process was heading:

1) There is a logjam at the top of the X Division. It’s the same three guys fighting for the title, and has been for a number of months, ever since Joe won the belt. In the meantime, there are over a half-dozen guys just below them that either deserve pushes or are getting pushes. They’ve hit the glass ceiling because TNA seems to be in love with the Joe/Daniels/Styles roundelay. It’s been going on so long that the audience is starting to get a little bored with it, despite the fact that these three pull out MOTYCs every time they hit the ring together.

2) The obvious solution on how to open things up a little would be for Joe to lose the belt, and lose it now, while the pushes for the guys on the second and third tiers are working and they’re getting over. Of course, Joe’s winning streak can’t be compromised. So, the easy way to accomplish both is to have done a run-in at That Phil Collins Song. The person I had doing the run-in was Shannon Moore. Joe would be occupied on the outside with the person doing the run-in while Styles pinned Daniels for the title. Mission accomplished.

3) This would set up the situation for Destination X. Of course, everyone and his brother knew that they’d do an Ultimate X Match at Destination X. I had it so that the Generation Next push would culminate by putting them into Ultimate X (this was, of course, before Aries and Strong got their punishment depush). This was the reason why I had A. J. win the belt. I thought he’d work better with Shelley, Aries, and Strong in that environment than Daniels would (although Daniels being in there would have produced a very good match as well). In the meantime, Joe, in his Joe fashion, TCBs. First, punish the guy who ran in and took his title (his Destination X match). Then, get the title back in the cage at Lockdown. So, we get our Joe squash of Moore at Destination X, and we have an Ultimate X match featuring four guys who would flourish in it. Two good matches are better than one, right? Three if you count the match that Daniels would be in, which now I’d book as a qualifying match for Team TNA.

4) Between Destination X and Lockdown, A. J. could be a fighting champion, giving the guys on the second tier like Sabin, Bentley, and Dutt title matches on Impact, and doing some mass fooferaw at the Detroit house show. This elevates those guys a bit as well. We now have a bit of uncertainty as to who the X Division champion should be, thus helping the X Division tremendously. It’s a lot better than the stasis we have now. We’ve already seen the basic match at That Phil Collins Song. Now we get Ultimate X at Destination X, followed by the cage match at Lockdown. Despite the greatness of the matches (and it’ll almost certainly end up that those three matches will be the top three candidates for MOTY), do we really want to see this three months in a row?

5) I do not want Joe to be in an Ultimate X Match. Period. He’s a ground-game guy who, as TNA constantly says, specializes in submissions. Does that seem like the type of wrestler who would be great in Ultimate X? No. There’s too great a chance that Joe would end up looking foolish, especially against Daniels and Styles, who are masters at Ultimate X. It gets even worse when you factor in that Joe has to win Ultimate X. It gets even more worse when you consider that their last Ultimate X matches have been disasters, and something needs to be done to revive it. The last thing you do in this situation is put a 280-pound guy in a situation where he has to go aerial. If Joe’s not fully capable of pulling this off, there’s a huge chance that he brings down both Ultimate X and his own rep. If I’m TNA, I don’t take that chance.

So now you know where I’m coming from on that. There’s no hatred for Joe going on here, and for that matter no hatred for Styles or Daniels. It’s just that the X Division shouldn’t be like the Royal Rumble, where there’s only a few guys with the chance of winning. There are ten guys right now who the audience would accept as X Division Champion. So how about setting up a situation wherein all ten of them would have a reasonable chance to become champion?

Hello, getting bored with this…

Well, that’s it. Good training for when Saturday Night’s Main Event comes back next month, actually. It’ll be a little more compressed time-wise, of course, but that’s fine by me. The Round Table for No Way Out’s already up, and there seems to be a unanimity of opinion among us here at IP on what’s going to happen. That, folks, is scary, and it just goes to show you what a situation WWE’s put itself in. Prepare to be disgusted, and I’ll see you back on Tuesday in the ruins of what they wrought.