TNA: In The Zone for 6/29/01
Greetings, and welcome again to what has become less of a wrestling column, and more of a personal rant about the state of wrestling. I know that there are lots of people out there in TNA land that agree with me, and want to hear these opinions aired, so I plow onward, hoping that we can all get what we want. Last week Jim Cornette promised us that we would. Was he being straight with us? We’ll see.
First, though, I would like to address something. Last week I unintentionally insulted someone. Now, if I insult someone, I like it to be on purpose (Don West). This man’s name is Chasyn Rance. I even spelled his name wrong last time. I said that to build up Monte as a monster, he needed to squash guys that were viable threats. Well, one of my fellow IPers reminded me that all of these guys were just doing their jobs, and that Mr. Rance was, in actuality, a really nice guy who was doing what he had to do in order to get a paycheck. So, being the student of the game that I am, I decided to do a little more research before shooting my mouth off again.
It turns out that Mr. Rance has been around for a while. He holds a win over Larry Zbysco! He seems to be a hard worker who didn’t deserve my dismissal last week. Hell, he apparently even studies a version of the same martial art as do, since he once called himself the Kempo Kid. (I study Kenpo, the only difference is how we spell it. Other than that there is no difference). I’d suggest everyone check him out: www.myspace.com/chasyn
Okay. On with the show. Starting out, Captain Charisma, Christian Cage is in the ring. It seems that Quad C has a beef with Sting, who of course joins us. Sting verbally fillets Quad C before telling us that he wants to be “more than friends.” He wants to be… Tag team partners. That might be good, if Steiner and Jarrett weren’t the opponents.
Our first match of the night, however, augers to be a good one. Team Canada is out in support of Petey Williams and Eric Young. The crowd is behind Eric, sporting “Don’t Fire Eric Young” signs. The two canucks are out to face Chris Sabin and Jay Lethal. We still don’t know what is up between those two and Kevin Nash, but Nash isn’t here, so meh…
I could talk about the high-flying, technically sound match that these four put on. I could talk about the holds. I could talk about a lot of things, but that isn’t the story here. The big deal in this match is the “face turn” by Eric Young. Showtime wants to be on the up and up, but not just to be a good guy. No, he has an agenda. Eric Young wants to keep his job. He does everything in his power to keep Team Canada from cheating to win (and of course he fails). He even went so far as to block Petey’s O’ Canada bit. I laughed so hard during this match that I swear I almost puked.
They need to run with this. Now that his job is not on the line, Young should “realize” that he LIKES being the good guy. He could feud with other former Team Canada members, having his good guy ways finally allow him to come out on top. Someone please tell me that this isn’t just a pipe dream.
Oh, as an aside, Team Canada had the assist here from Alex Shelley and Johnny Devine, who is apparently Shelley’s new cameraman. Hmmm, might I smell a Tag Title run for those two?
Probably not before The Naturals get theirs. These guys are working out hard. They are already in phenomenal shape. The video of them and Shane Douglas was intense. Unless they were taking Deep-Fried, Frozen Twinkie breaks between shots, I bet we’ll see The Naturals come back stronger than ever.
Next up is another Monte Brown Squash. I don’t have to research his opponent this time. Poor Norman Smiley. He doesn’t even manage to get off a Big Wiggle. I’m telling you, they need to build up some challenges for Monte, so that we can believe his monster nature. Then they need to pay it off in a “Streak vs. Streak” match with Samoa Joe. Otherwise, this is going nowhere.
AMW w/ Gail versus the full Team 3D was a no DQ clusterf*ck, as we knew it would be. It begins with a blindside, and goes downhill from there. Now let me clarify something here. Ray, Devon, and Runt are in their element here. These guys do stuff with tables that makes me weep like a schoolgirl in the 90s with an autographed Luke Perry picture. The trouble is AMW. Harris and Storm are awesome at what they do, but what they do is CHEAT. You can’t cheat in a no DQ match, thus their offense looks limp in the face of 3D. This is Hardcore. Of course 3D is taking the 1-2-3.
Also, TNA is trying to run 3D in too many feuds, having the James Gang come out at the end of this to introduce the adoption of Abyss.
Up next is the open meeting. Cornette is in the middle of the ring, and nearly the whole roster is out to hear what he has to say. I have to state for the record that Jim Cornette can work the stick like few others. His vocalizations and facial expressions just heighten what he has to say. Awesome job. Now, if you watched the show, just listing out what he said would be pretty boring, so I’m going to ATTEMPT to be insightful. I am going to try to judge the potential of each of these announcements.
LAX: A work stoppage equals a pay stoppage. Good call here. This angle is getting a little stale. I think LAX should refuse, causing Cornette to bring in some hired guns to “Go to Mexico, and bring back their bounties.” A bounty hunter angle here would be awesome, if done right. What is Big Lance Hoyt doing right now?
Team Canada: Disbanded. This is an awesome idea. This will allow a few of the guys who are terribly underutilized to really shine. A1 gets to develop a personality, Eric Young gets to be a face. Petey gets to be Petey. All in all, this is a positive step.
Styles, Daniels, and their Equalizer to defend the titles against AMW and Gail Kim: This is interesting. Having learned to do my homework, I have learned that this chick is a wrestler and bodybuilder named Jaime. What TNA is going to name her is anyone’s guess. Seems that she has been doing this stuff for a little bit. It seems she won the opportunity to be in TNA. Check her out here: www.jaimed.net
Earl Hebner: Fired. I guessed this one. Honestly, I don’t think anyone cared, except for Eric Young. He was exuberant. He keeps his job.
Larry Zbysco: Look up the term “Taste of your own medicine” and you will find this angle. Larry Z’s life just took a turn for the worse. I love Raven, and I love this angle. They should start out with a Hair vs. Hair match, and move on to Raven’s House of Fun!!!
(Also, if you look up the word ClichÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©, you will find the previous paragraph.)
Man, this stuff is going pretty well… WHAT THE FUCK??? Cornette just gave Jarrett back the belt! He says that there will be a four-way match to decide who gets to face Jarrett for it. Sting, Quad C, Steiner and Joe. That SUCKS!!! Now JJ gets to play his smug champ role. I hate this! If they wanted to do this, then the match should have been a five way match, with the same four above (okay, replace Steiner with Ron Killings) and have the only way to win the title id to pin JJ, or to make him submit. If you get pinned or tap out, then you are eliminated, and out of the match. The Last Man Standing is the champ. (Has Last Man Standing ever been used for a match title?) Jarrett wants to be champ? He can pin or submit FIVE top guys to do it.
At least we got to end the show with Joe choking out Steiner. That was really awesome. Joe makes the coolest faces.
All in all, we got a really good show this week. There was one standout, though. For going against his own team in his quest for an honest victory, Eric Young is In The Zone.