The final major of the year for the distaff golfers is taking place this weekend in Blighty. Here’s the sick part so far: I gave a good thought about who to pick (and was stupid enough to forget to throw it into a column beforehand). Well, who’s won majors so far this year? Karrie Webb, Se Ri Pak, and Annika Sorenstam, three Hall of Famers. So I thought to myself, who’s the most appropriate woman to make up the fourth name on this list? How about Juli Inkster making it four HoFers this year? She’s playing pretty well, she’s got a good history, I’ll go with her. Then she goes and slaps the entire field down in the first round, and I kick myself for not putting it in the permanent record. Oh, well.
The Imbecile Bill Simmons made an ass of himself yet again by coming out and giving ten reasons why Randy Savage was his favorite wrestler. Let me translate to you what he was really saying: “Since I grew up in Bahstun, all I knew was WWF, and everyone knows this, so I can’t play it totally safe and say Flair. Like the ‘tard that I am, I marked out for Hogan, but I can’t admit that because I’d look like a ‘tard as well as being one. Who can I say was my favorite that would be a safe choice? Savage, of course! No one criticizes late-80s Savage. So, choosing him is perfectly safe.” He also demonstrates his ignorance of pro wrestling by saying that Savage/Elizabeth was the “first and only” domestic violence angle done in wrestling. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Let’s just pull Chaz out of the hat for one. And Knox/Kelly, a current angle, is verging into that territory as we speak. I wish that Simmons would stop talking about wrestling, because he makes those of us who know about wrestling look bad. Fuck him, and f*ck his Dead Sux. And he doesn’t know how to make his own ringtones either. Asswipe.
Oh, screw it. On with the shows…
THE ECW SHORT FORM
Mike Knox and Test over Sandman and Tommy Dreamer, Extreme Rules Match (Pinfall, Test pins Dreamer, F-Less Than Five): Given the venue, I guess you can describe this as a ritual bloodletting. Tommy does two plops on the barbed-wire board, Heyman advances his own angle, the chick gets some good camera time, Test goes over…all pretty typical for ECW Mark Two, really. However, this might have been the fusion they were looking for between Old-Style ECW and what Vince wants ECW Mark Two to be. It was sold well, the smark Hammerstein crowd reacted perfectly…I don’t know how I can criticize this, really. It just worked. This has Heyman’s fingerprints all over it. Maybe now Vince will stop meddling. Yeah, and I’ll start shitting gold nuggets tomorrow.
Yes, this is Sandman performing a dropkick. This HAS to be immortalized in a screen cap.
Ever since Beulah had the kids, she won’t let Tommy do this anymore
CM Punk over Justin Credible (Submission, keylock): Peej’s streak of DQ wins has been broken. Still no entrance, but he did get in a lot of offense. Things might be improving for him…what do you mean, “Talk about Punk or else, bitch”? Look, the guy’s good. We knew going in that he was good. He’s finally on weekly national TV and able to show off. But, I’m sorry, I’m not going to take him seriously until they bring him on Smackdown and have him beat the piss out of FudgePacker as only a Chicagoan can. That should be Punk’s purpose, ripping off Kennedy’s dick and shoving it down his throat to shut him the f*ck up, not beat up poor Peej, who’s actually drawing some sympathy from me for once.
By the way, Murray’s right when he said that no one in the IWC said anything good about Peej during High ECW, and that includes me. I’m the person who implied that Heyman gave him the world strap because he had photos of Heyman and a donkey engaged in acts of animal husbandry. However, there’s a point where disdain lapses into pity, and that point has clearly been crossed here. Justin Asshole is now a tragic figure. Who would have thought that?
No booze, no drugs, no smokes, but having your ass fondled by another guy is spiffy-neato
Neither Joey nor Tazz mentioned a certain former tag partner of Peej’s or used the words “impact” or “players” during this. Shame on them for missing such an obvious tribute in front of the closest crowd to True ECW you’ll get outside the Bingo Hall. Testicle Ecstacy Forever!
Kurt Angle over Steve Lombardi (Submission, AngleLock): Uh, Steve, you’re pushing fifty. You’re not going to be able to pull this off, even for a cameo appearance. Ric Flair can get away with it because he’s Ric Fuckin’ Flair. Terry Funk can get away with it because he’s from Texas, and, as Lenny Bruce once said, Texas is full of ninety-year-old guys who bite the heads off rattlesnakes to prove they still have balls. But you, no. Just accept your current existence as road agent/power bottom and move on, please.
Run, Steve, run!
DAVE over The Big Show, ECW Title Match (DQ, Fun With Belts): Booing both entrances, “RVD” chants, “Boring” chants, “You both suck” chants, “Change the channel” chants, TBS giving the finger to the audience…sometimes I’m actually proud of wrestling fans. You see, Steve, the Dark Side is far too strong for you to conquer. But there was one thing this match really needed: High-Quality Speaker Boy on commentary. That would have driven it directly past Goldberg/Lesnar into legendary territory. Actually, he’ll probably get his chance in the near future. I can somehow see him being recovered enough by SurSer to take on an ECW guy (or a guy in ECW). They just need to set it up right.
TBS is really getting off on this, isn’t he?
Raven must be really pissed right now
Unexpected Returns: KC Evers (no relation) is not only a Raw Regular. He also sometimes chimes in on ECW, including asking this:
Was that Scott Armstrong reffing one of the matches???. According to all reports, yes, that was indeed Scott Armstrong (not to mention the fact that Joey said it was). Please, folks, don’t use this as a jump of logic: “OMG Scotts liek wurking 4 Vince so that meenz hes goin 2 try 2 get Road Dogg beck and Belly Gunnn to and reuntie DX OMGWTFBBQ!!!111!!1!111!!” No, that’s not happening, imbeciles.
As disconcerting a sight as Smurf porn
THE IMPACT SHORT FORM
Homicide and Hotstuff Hernandez over Jerrelle Clark and Chasyn Rance (Double Pinfall: Hernandez pins Clark, Border Toss, and Homicide pins Rance, Gringo Killer): This thing went so fast I didn’t recognize Clark. Isn’t Clark a little too high up the card to be squashed enhancement talent? Enhancement talent that gets a little bit of offense in, yes, but not this? Shame on you, TNA, for using him like this. However, if you have to sacrifice Jerrelle Clark to get Christopher Daniels to call someone else a bitch during a promo, it’s worth it.
…and there’s the other
Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas over Chris Harris and James Storm (Pinfall, Stevens pins Storm, rollup): “Franchised” or not, we’ve seen this match too many times before to be excited about it. It’s just a reminder that, until recently, TNA rotated the tag straps between the same bunch of guys for two years. You can still make a case that this habit is still going on, only with AJ slotted in for Skipper. Worst of all, this match served no real purpose other than as elevation for the Naturals, since the Number One Contender’s Match at Hard Justice will involve multiple teams. This exact match used to be Impact Main Event. Now it’s virtually jerking the curtain after a squash. That, I think, says it all.
If you start using Gymini’s finisher, you might just have been Franchised
Petey Williams over Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, Frankie Kazarian, and Alex Shelley, X Division Number One Contender’s Match (Pinfall, Williams pins Lethal, Canadian Destroyer): First of all, kudos to TNA’s video production staff for the interstitials during the boys’ entrances (Dave Sahadi is God). Showing the wrestlers’ finishers was a great idea, especially in this case since, other than Williams, their finishers aren’t that distinctive. It also gives a clue to the audience on when a wrestler might be setting up to perform it. Besides, Kazarian’s video package included D-Ray 3000, and anything with D-Ray is automatically cool.
As for the match, I have to admit that I was expecting more from it. If they could have given it the rest of the show…look, that would have been fifteen minutes, not counting commercials. Yes, they could have easily given it the rest of the show instead of having the Sting/Christian/Corny bullshit. So, if they’d have given it the rest of the show, they could have had a spot-fest for the ages. Instead, it was rushed and booked rather strangely. There’s lots of complaints from the IWC about why Lethal or Shelley didn’t go over. I can explain away Shelley on the basis that the match at Hard Justice between Nash and Sabin should lead into a Shelley/Sabin feud. I can even explain away Kazarian; he’s needed for the tag contenders’ match. Lethal, I can’t. He was credible against Jarrett in the world title match, and he’s done nothing wrong. Same thing with Dutt. Let’s face it, Petey won because he needs the build-up after the Team Canada separation. Just move on; Shelley and Lethal will both get their chances soon. Of course, we said the same thing about Monty.
Stop showing off, Sonjay
Shelley helps Dutt win second place in a Bill Simmons impersonation contest
PETA has been alerted
Dazed, Confused, and Other Things: Raw Regular Cabbageboy316 has a good query for me, and since it doubles as a good recap of the situation so far, I have to print it:
Okay, I just got through watching TNA and I have one thing I’d like to have cleared up:
What the f*ck is going on in this promotion?
No, really. I’ve even been watching and I am at a loss to understand half of this shit in the main angle involving Jarrett, Cornette, Larry Z., etc. Let me see if I understand what has happened over the past couple of months:
–Jarrett is paranoid that the new commish is going to fire him because he is a cancer in the TNA locker room, and thus wants to get the title back so he can prevent possibly being fired.
–Zbyzsko is constantly worried about being fired himself, even though I’ve never quite understood what he is so worried about. In fact I’m not sure if he’s a heel or face authority figure, given that he made a bunch of rules that cost Jarrett the title vs. Christian but also is abusing Raven.
Here is what I don’t get about any of this: Why did Larry and Hebner help Jarrett regain the title? I mean this entire thing makes zero sense on any level. Did Zbyzsko not read his own contract stating that he had a no cut deal? Jarrett has denied even being in cahoots with Hebner and Larry Z., which is odd given the usual heel “We fooled you!” schtick after pulling off such a massive screwjob.
I guess what I’m saying is I don’t see what Zbyzsko and Hebner gained by their subterfuge. Hebner has been fired (and yes, I figure he’ll be back) and Larry was punished by having his head shaved. Neither of them really gained anything by helping Jarrett get the title! Larry was in no real danger of being fired, and I fail to see how helping the most hated man on the roster win the title would in any way help secure his own position in the company. Why would he give a shit if Jarrett or Christian or Sting had the title? Why would Hebner do such a blatant bit of ref corruption knowing that everyone was looking at him to slip up?
Let’s face it, where can they really go with this angle that could produce something decent? They could just forget about it with time, which might be the best idea actually. Because the only real logical conclusion here is Cornette turning heel, having been in on a mass conspiracy with Jarrett, Larry Z., and Hebner. It’s the only thing that explains why he gave Jarrett the belt back and didn’t particularly punish him, meanwhile giving Larry some token hair match punishment to give the illusion that he’s cleaning up the promotion (and “firing” Hebner with every intention of bringing him back).
The thing is, that idea is the only logical angle but it still really SUCKS. It still leads to more Jarrett main event push and another tedious heel GM character to boot.
If this is the case, isn’t this whole thing ultra confusing and much ado about nothing? It seems like a very byzantine angle to comprehend and I don’t see any possible payoff that leads to something decent. What do you think?
I’m absolutely certain that TNA has the collective equivalent of monomania. They can only focus on one thing at a time (hello, Joe). Worst of all, they’re completely goal-oriented. They know what they want, and they either don’t know how to get there or don’t care, and they haven’t got the creative thinkers on staff to provide them with a way. Jarrett’s obsessed with Eighties Memphis Booking. It’s what he’s most comfortable with. He’s surrounded himself with people who will provide him his comfort food, guys like Mantell and D’Amoron. Jarrett tells them where he wants to go, and they have to figure out how to get there yet still make that path acceptable to Jarrett.
The problem, of course, is that Jarrett is not Jerry Lawler, who could book this in his sleep. I don’t have anything good to say about Lawler the Color Man. I have nothing but good to say about Lawler the Booker. When you talk about innovative booking, Memphis is no worse than second behind ECW Classic. There was a great deal of magic in that booking, and Jarrett would love to recapture it. The problem is, of course, is that it’s 2006. This kind of booking just won’t fly with the audience today, even a more smarkish audience like TNA has.
This angle is ultra-confusing. The reason that it is that way is that it’s all about the destination and not the trip to it. People have been plugged in to serve specific roles, regardless of how they’ve been booked and characterized. Larry is the worst case of the bunch. His motivation in non-Raven matters is totally unknown, and we, the audience, haven’t been given a hint of what it’s supposed to be. What is Slick Johnson supposed to be doing? Is he Cornette’s suck-up, disobedient ref, or what? As for Corny, you’re right in saying that the only logical way to get out of the trap they’re in is to turn him heel. The problem there is that if that happens, there’s no one in the TNA power structure who the audience could consider a face, and there’s no anti-establishment figure for the audience to identify with (you know the analogy that I’m going to use, and I don’t feel like mentioning that cocksucker’s name, so feel free to insert it yourself). Is that what they have planned for Joe? Talk about a bad fit.
I don’t want to think about this angle, and I usually don’t, because it involves Jarrett. Thinking about a Jarrett angle and its ramifications gives me a headache, and I don’t need another one on top of the one I have at this moment.
THE SMACKDOWN SHORT FORM
Mister Regal over Mister Finlay, US Title Match (DQ, Use of an International Object): “…gasoline on top of TNT on top of dynamite…”? Can someone explain to High-Quality Speaker Boy that TNT, trinitrotolulene, is dynamite? I think he’s now officially banned from receiving the Nobel Prize that he believes he deserves. Shit ending, but necessary to set up the Triple Threat at SummerSlam. Okay, I’ll accept it, but they’d better not mar any match involving these two with this kind of shit again.
Dumb political analogy in 3…2…1…
Elijah Burke over Scott Wright (Submission, double arm-bar): You know what I already like about Burke? The Stroke is a transition move for him. Fuck you, Jarrett. I also like the fact that he’s a man in a manager’s role who’s a totally capable in-ring performer. The thing is, they already have one of those on the Smackdown roster, but they’ve never utilized him that way. So, give us the match, guys: Burke versus Daivari, best manager wins. And as a side effect, we also get Turkay beating the piss out of Khali, who, hopefully, will never return from it.
In Burke’s world, skinny white boys deserve to be bitch-slapped. London and Kendrick be warned.
Kristal Marshall over Ashley Massaro (Pinfall, rollup): So, let me get this straight. We have two women on the Smackdown roster that can actually wrestle: Jillian Hall (definitely) and Michelle McCool (well on her way there). So instead of seeing them in singles action, we got this match between two women that no one care about (and one of them now has a broken hand). Hall/McCool wouldn’t be Stratus/LaJames by any means, but would at least be watchable. Piss Break Match if you were live, pure and simple. One more thing: Lil’ Naitch is back reffing the women’s matches. Guess someone read his contract.
Massaro’s the only one getting a kick out of this
Tatanka over Sylvain Grenier (Pinfall, Red Hole Slam): There are a few examples of wrestlers who turn out repeated good-to-great matches against one person, yet suck against everyone else (viz. Barry Horowitz versus Chris Candido). For the first time, though, we get to see two of these guys find their complements, the one person in the universe they work well against. I’m not saying that Tatanka/Grenier is Misawa/Kawada or Angle/Benoit. I’m saying that when they’re in the ring against each other, there seems to be some kind of bizarre synergism that takes the match from jobber quality to upper-mid-card quality without any warning or apparent reason. We’ve now seen this two weeks in a row. What should have been Piss Break Matches instead turned out to be worthy of the second match of a PPV. And, as I said, there’s no explanation. Can a Native American in his forties and a flamingly gay twentysomething Quebecer find true love in the cruel world of wrestling? Stay tuned to find out.
You’ll believe a frog can fly
DAVE over FudgePacker (Pinfall, DAVEBomb): DAVE didn’t kill FudgePacker enough for my taste. Therefore, this sucked.
Just as long as you go all the way, DAVE
Vito over Steve Lombardi (Submission, under-the-dress keylock): See the ECW section for commentary on Steve Lombardi. It still applies.
Well, he has to get this one out of the way before Labor Day
KC James and Aaron Stevens over Sho Funaki and Scotty Go Potty (Pinfall, Stevens pins Funaki, James missile dropkick): See Tuesday’s column for commentary about James and Stevens being managed by McCool (f*ck a link, find it yourselves). I don’t give a shit about James and Stevens for two reasons: 1) James attempting to ape the look of Curt Hennig is near-sacriligeous and 2) they’re just another variant of London and Kendrick, and anything that Troy Hepple masturbates over, I really don’t need to see.
How dare the rookies disrespect the Worm?
The Undertaker over Booker T, Non-Title Match (DQ, Khali-ference): You know, this would have been a good match had it not been so utterly, completely irrelevant. What more can I say? When you’re actually happy that the match turned into Angle Advancement at the end because something, anything was happening…they hold ten world titles between them. How can a main event between them have absolutely nothing in play?
Booker tries to extend his dominions to the Land of the Dead
Loads of matches and the Diva Search left nothing other than Chavito’s explanation, which we pretty much figured out a long time ago was the way they were going to do it. So, nothing.
Gotta get this submitted and on to other things (specifically viewing our next film for The 50 Club and doing commentary, and trying to find a copy of another movie I’m booked to review for the site). Enjoy yourselves.
Tags: ECW, Smackdown, TNA