Andrew Wheeler: What the hell PPV is this anyway? Seriously, we can’t seem to go two weeks without one of these damn things. Well, after burying Vengeance and oh no being slightly critical of the ROH PPV, I can finally get back into my groove of ripping TNA. I actually gave TNA a shot going into this show. I watched all of the weekly programs hoping that I could come to this Roundtable as an informed viewer. Instead, I just sat with my jaw agape as I watched several incoherent hours of unoriginal programming. And, after suffering through what felt like a watered down version of WCW circa 2000, I was left with one question: Where the f*ck is “Above AverageÃ¢â‚¬Â Mike Sanders? Now that guy had marketability written all over him. Oh yeah the match. Now I got on ROH for having a PPV tag-team main event that didn’t have any gold on the line. Mainstream audiences are programmed to care about a show with a main event featuring a title. Again, I point to the flop that was “No Way OutÃ¢â‚¬Â. That had Cena/HBK versus Batista/Undertaker and no one tuned in. Those are four of the biggest names on planet WWE and the fans saw it and said, “Nah.Ã¢â‚¬Â Here, we’ve got gold on the line, which is sort of a plus. That means that fans WILL see a new champion of some sort. Who will it be? Well, TNA Champion Devon Dudley sounds like it would draw a ton of money. X-Division Champ Bubba Ray Dudley could spike the ratings (get it, “SpikeÃ¢â‚¬Â the ratings? Feel free to use that). This match is a joke headlining a meaningless show. No one cares about the Dudley Boys anymore. That sentence has been true for years. Sure, they used to pop the marks with their, “Get the tablesÃ¢â‚¬Â shit but that doesn’t really get the job done anymore. Don’t believe me? If that phrase still meant money then these two would be working for Vince right now. That’s still the stigma on TNA. If anyone in TNA were worth it, they would be in the WWE. Bubba Ray and Devon were about as stale and worn out as it gets. They got over in the WWE in the first place because they were different, but they went from the exception to the norm. Fans got bored with them. Didn’t matter if they were faces or heels, united or singles, they were duds. That’s why they didn’t get resigned to a WWE contract. That’s why they’re in TNA. They only have the belts because they’re a recognizable name in tag team wrestling. Just like the Rock & Roll Express. Remember when WCW dragged them into the ring in 1996 and let them piss on their legacy? Look, the Dudleys are still a capable team in the ring and can and will be used to elevate the “next great teamÃ¢â‚¬Â, but now they’re back to treading water holding the titles. How valuable are they as tag champs? Look at the match that they’re in. They are supposed to be the gold standard of tag wrestling and they’re going to get beat by two guys that hate each other but must come together, and those two guys are Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels I mean Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. There’s a zero percent chance of the Dudleys winning gold. Hell the extra stipulation of the winner getting to pick his tag partner solidifies the fact. About a year ago, there was a loud roar of anticipation that Samoa Joe was going to finally get the belt. And we waited. And waited. Now, it’s beyond anticlimactic. Sure, they’ll have him get the pin here, be tag champ, and when he faces Angle he has a chance to hold all the gold. Great. It might be a cool visual for him to stand in the ring with all the belts, which I guess is Russo’s idea of showing the fans that Joe’s “the manÃ¢â‚¬Â. The match might be halfway decent, but halfway decent shouldn’t be how you describe a main event. Look TNA, you have the talent to put on matches equal to or better then ROH and you have an audience that would appreciate good wrestling. Leave the Sports Entertainment to Stamford and try giving us a good match.
Winners: Samoa Joe gets the pin, Angle continues to degenerate into leather and the Dudleys realize this might be their last main event ever.
Vinny Truncellito: The time is now or never to give Samoa Joe the uber-push or give up on him, what with Roh now on ppv and Joe’s contract negotiations ongoing. Give Joe the tag straps and have him target Hollywood Angle’s big belt.
Winner – Samoa Joe
Danny Cox: Ok, neither of the Dudleyz are going to be TNA Champ and I wouldn’t necessarily consider them X-Division material even though Joe blows the qualifications for an X-wrestler out the water anyway. To me it’s a shame that Jay Lethal had the belt taken from him in all of 24 hours only because he wouldn’t have been “sexyÃ¢â‚¬Â enough in the main event (thanks to Kevin Nash on Hannity & Colmes for that). I honestly believe they are trying to see how many belts Kurt can carry to the ring. Sad.
Winner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Kurt Angle
Ben Morse: Quirky match to pick a winner from as none of the results make a lot of sense. Joe has no friends to partner with. Angle REALLY has no friends to partner with. Neither member of Team 3D is going to hold the X Division title and certainly not the World title. The two likeliest scenarios I can see are Joe winning and deciding he wants to keep both belts for himself and then Angle somehow screwing him out of all of them or Joe winning and forcing Angle to be his reluctant tag team partner in some bizarre Russo-ian plot. Either way…
Winners – Angle & Joe
David Brashear: I’ve got to say Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I’ve kept an eye on TNA since the beginning and this is possibly the worst PPV main event idea that I’ve ever seen them have. Is this the only way they can get the belts of the Dudleys? All that I can figure out is that Kurt and Joe win the belts, Joe winds up costing them the belts (by letting Angle take a fall) and we’ve got the Angle/Joe feud going again. Hooray for Wacky Tag Team Partners Who Hate Each Other!
Winners Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe
Vinny Truncellito: The Wildcat must come out of this match looking good, but the Instant Classic hasn’t lost via pinfall or submission yet in TNA, and now is not the time. Look for Christian to get by somehow, someway.
Winner – Christian Cage
Danny Cox: Could be a very good match but I still don’t like how many random matches are thrown together for not much reasoning other then Ã¢â‚¬ÂHey, you punched me in that KOTM match!Ã¢â‚¬Â Harris needs the win more then Cage if TNA is going to keep pushing him the way they are.
Winner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Chris Harris
Ben Morse: As the leader of a stable that’s getting their ass kicked everywhere else, Christian needs to be kept strong if for no other reason than to provide a credible fallback group of heels for the good guys to fight on their way up the card.
Winner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Cage
David Brashear: Harris has been doing better than I would have expected as a singles guy. I’d expected him to flounder around and eventually wind up back with James Storm. I still don’t see him as a viable main eventer, but he definitely belongs in the upper midcard. That said, sorry, Chris. Cage is going over here.
Winner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Christian Cage
Andrew Wheeler: Hahahahahahahahaha. Ah, Christian. Poor, poor Christian. Poor, poor, poor Christian. You complained in the WWE that you were being used as nothing more then a prop to help get people over. But that’s over! You’re in TNA! You were world champ! And now now you’re fighting Chris Harris. Wildcat Chris Harris. Yes, the wildcat, the most intimidating of all of the High School football mascots. Harris and Storm are pretty boring guys when they’re not in their overrated tag team, but this is yet another example of Russo trying to prove that he can push anyone. Remember years ago when he tried to make Billy Gunn and Road Dog into singles superstars? Take a popular tag team, break them up, give them random pushes and watch them fail. It’s a time-tested method from the Book of Vince R. This match will demonstrate how high TNA is on either guy. Cage was champ, yeah, but he’s a placeholder champion. He’s also set for a feud with Abyss. Christian getting a clean pin on Harris would essentially kill Harris’s push, whereas Harris losing to another established former world champion wouldn’t have that effect. Harris getting a clean non-fluke pin on Christian would elevate him to the top level, but it would really hurt Cage who needs to look strong for his upcoming Abyss feud. The finish has to either be a shmoz, a DQ or a fluke, and I think doing another lame “oh no, it’s Abyss’s music, Christian’s distracted, Harris gets the roll-upÃ¢â‚¬Â will help no one but will allow Harris to say he got the win and not make Cage look like a bitch.
Winner: Chris “Who are we? The Wildcats! Who are we going to beat? The Wildcats!Ã¢â‚¬Â Harris
Danny Cox: I like how the build-up behind this match is because Rhino’s father was an alcoholic and Storm dumped beer in his face. Stupid? Yes! Funny? You damn right! Considering they have nothing else to really do, I’m thinking this feud will go on a bit longer.
Winner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ James Storm
Ben Morse: Rhino’s emo promos, based in reality or not, are impossible to watch without chuckling. James Storm’s drunken promos are also chuckle-worthy but for all the right reasons.
Winner – Storm
David Brashear: Does Rhino even have a prayer of being near the world title hunt these days? This is why TNA’s really starting to need their own version of the Intercontinental or US title. Still, somebody there seems to like Rhino, so
Winner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Rhino
Andrew Wheeler: Once it hits your lips, it’s so good. Yep, Rhino’s no longer the War Machine, he’s Frank the Tank. That interview segment where he revealed his tragic past is about as manipulative and asinine as well pretty much everything TNA does. How is it that ECW made him a world champion without using his “woe is meÃ¢â‚¬Â past? Seriously, I feel like everything TNA does with Rhino deals with his dark and f*cked up upbringing. Heyman 1; Russo 0. So this is a battle because Storm poured beer into Rhino’s mouth and Rhino’s such a pussy that he can’t take it so now he’s going to roid out and go after James. Yes, we’re doing an enraged wrestler who can’t control himself storyline. F*cking TNA. Who wins? Well, Rhino’s turned into TNA’s Kane more so then Abyss since Kane’s essentially been used as cannon fodder but can always be thrown into a title match, just like Rhino. If Harris is getting the push, why not Storm? Hell, getting beat by an NFL player always works out well for your career. Look at Bam Bam Bigelow. Since Rhino’s supposed to be all enraged and Storm disrespected him by pouring beer in his mouth, Rhino’d look like a bitch if he loses here.
Vinny Truncellito: No sense wasting Storm’s big potential singles push on perennial also-ran Rhino. After a wild and brutal brawl, Storm takes the victory.
Winner – James Storm.
Ben Morse: They seem to want to cement this Young/Kim alliance and Gail Kim also has far more options if pushed than Ms. Brooks. Shame Robert Roode seems to be running the treadmill though.
Winners – Young & Kim
David Brashear: To think that I’d suspected the whole Young/Roode feud would be over when Young got a clean win. No Ã¢â‚¬â€œ we’ve got Gail Kim and Ms. Brooks to add into the mix! You’ve swerved me again, Vinny Ru. Let’s see if they can phase Roode and Young out and let the fight go between Gail and Brooks.
Winners: Eric Young and Gail Kim
Andrew Wheeler: Well TNA, you botched Robert Roode and used him to advance Eric Young. Young’s akin to Eugene when the WWE thought it would be wise to give that guy his initial push. The fans were behind Eugene at the start, but look at him now with his superhero costume and bald head. Poor Nick Dinsmore. Hope those somas were worth it. So here we got a mixed tag match, and you know your company’s in trouble when Gail Kim is your T&A. Where’s SoCal Val? Seriously! She’s not unattractive and based on Ringdivas.com we know she’s more then willing to degrade herself for a buck which are two hallmarks of a Vince Russo diva. You put Brooks and Val in a roshambo match and it would probably get more coverage then this feud. Why are they still going at it? What’s that? TNA didn’t have a long term plan for either guy? I’m shocked. Young should be in the Santino Marella slot, the lovable guy who gets the ever living shit kicked out of him. Roode on the other hand is another example of a failed push that led to another banal midcard heel that can go nowhere. Does it even matter who wins here? Seriously. There’s no woman’s division so neither Kim no Tracy need a push and there’s no secondary title for Young or Roode to compete for since they’re not X-Division guys so this match exists just to waste my damn time.
Winner: Young/Kim, just so Roode keeps getting buried because I enjoy watching things flame out like Austin Starr.
Vinny Truncellito: I think we’d all like to see Showtime get a true measure of revenge on Roode.
Winners – Young/Kim
Danny Cox: Blah get this shit over with already.
Winners Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Eric Young/Gail Kim
David Brashear: Let’s take a look here. If Christian’s looking to feud with Abyss, who’s going to feud with AJ? Sting? AJ can put on good matches, but he’s been so watered down since going heel I don’t think that a feud with Sting would do anything (not to mention the fact that there’s such a mismatch of styles Ã¢â‚¬â€œ no pun intended. Hey, I could have said something about a clash of styles.). That said, no way Sting takes the loss here.
Winners Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Sting/Abyss
Andrew Wheeler: I don’t care about Abyss. He didn’t need character development. Character development never helped Kane. Kane’s big, he’s got loud pyro and he sells about as much as the Undertaker. Abyss doesn’t have Kane’s size or the pyro, but he does take sick bumps and looks impressive in the ring against the smaller guys in the company. He could have just been used as a monster heel and no one would have cared. Giving him a backstory and all this other nonsense with Sting reminds me of the Sting/Vampiro crap from years ago. Didn’t want to see it then, don’t want to see it now. As for AJ and Tomko, they’re playing second fiddle to a guy that might wind up losing to a midcarder. I personally would have loved to see AJ and Daniels fight Joe and Angle. That would have been an amazing match that would have felt like a, “Where are they going to go with this?Ã¢â‚¬Â thing. AJ’s a former world champ, both he and Chris are former X-Division Champs and the four of them in one ring is a MOTY. Instead, we’re getting this match. Ugh.
Vinny Truncellito: No sense putting Abyss in Sting make-up and allowing him to utter his first words, only to have the new tandem lose to the Christian Coalition so soon.
Winners – Sting/Abyss
Danny Cox: I wonder if this is where James Mitchell’s new “monsterÃ¢â‚¬Â is going to appear. I wonder if Sting has really been able to tame the best in Abyss. I wonder if Tomko’s goatee can get any longer. I wonder if it will be Raven who taught Abyss how to talk and soon he’ll be using a voice box but then not have to use it at all and will be able to talk normally and that storyline will be dropped without a word even though Tori is a ninja.
Winners Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Styles/Tomko
Ben Morse: Combine the fact that Abyss needs to be kept strong for James Mitchell’s new guy and the fact that Sting rarely loses on PPV these days while AJ always seems to lose and the winners seem clearcut–UNLESS they debut Mitchell’s guy here and he screws Sting & Abyss, but I think they’ll save him for Impact. I’ll also go ahead and say AJ and Tomko crack me up with their recent mic work even though it feels like a guilty pleasure.
Winners – Sting & Abyss
Kaz vs. Black Machismo vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Elix Skipper vs. Puma vs. Homicide vs. Shark Boy vs. 2 competitors TBA
Vinny Truncellito: Kaz is the only guy who got any sort of build for being in this match, but his new feud with Serotonin will most likely wind up costing him the match. So if not Kaz, then who? The last champ makes sense, since he’d certainly want a rematch with Joe (assuming Joe retains his X strap in the Match of Champions). Guess I’ll go with the New Macho Man.
Winner – Jay Lethal
Danny Cox: This is just going to end up as one big spotfest mess. Since they’ve now gotten their way and Joe is in the main event because he’s “holding a title,Ã¢â‚¬Â they can give it back to someone still in the X-Division. And it should go back to Jay Lethal. He has deserved it for the longest time and then he gets a Kane-like title reign. I call bullshit on that one and hope he takes this to get a title shot and get it back.
Winner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Black Savage
Ben Morse: It would seem to make sense that they’d have the Gauntlet match AND THEN the last two guys go to Ultimate X, but Don West said on Impact we could see all ten guys on the cables simultaneously. Then again, Don West has been wrong before. Whatever, it should be a fun mess. As far as who wins and becomes an early candidate to take the X Division title off Joe via Angle-ference, let’s go with a curveball…
Winner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Homicide
David Brashear: If you’re looking for the definition of a cluster, this is it. I’m glad I don’t have to try and keep up with this mess on commentary. I’m going to have to go with Lethal to win it, because poor Daniels seems to be wandering with nothing to do since his feud with Sting ended, and Senshi’s (if he’s one of the two unnamed competitors) reign didn’t exactly set the wrestling world on fire. Of course, that’s all null and void if a WWE guy like Scott Taylor shows up here.
Winner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Jay Lethal
Jerry Lynn & Mr. Backlund vs. Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley
Danny Cox: Another pointless and senseless match. I am happy though that Sabin and Shelley are not going to get lost in the fracas that is the Ultimate X Match. I still think Lynn is now there to strictly get people over and I honestly wish Backlund would spontaneously combust. Hopefully this will move Sabin and Shelley up as a formidable tag-team although I can’t see them getting much respect against LAX or the Dudleyz.
Winners Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Murder City Machine Guns
Ben Morse: I can’t be unbiased here as I’ve gotta pull for the Machine Guns after they nearly made me spit my drink out on Impact with Shelley’s “If the lead singer of Nickleback would please shut up…”
Winners – Sabin & Shelley
David Brashear: TNA’s got a good opportunity to bring in another strong tag team if they can put Shelley and Sabin over strong here. Heck, give Kip and BG James their releases. I’d rather see Shelley and Sabin out there winning gold any day.
Winners Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin
Vinny Truncellito: It’s time for the Murder City Machine Guns to shine!
Winners – Sabin/Shelley