So WWE 24/7 finally put on an episode of the best wrestling program in the history of time, WCW Thunder, circa late 1998. The reason for it was to show the US title match between Bret Hart and Lex Luger (the rematch from the Monday before, because in 1998 titles tended to change hands every three days), but I found myself caring about this episode for a different reason. Halfway through the show, Kevin Nash walks out and has an insignificant match with Curt Hennig that ends in a beatdown/wolfpac save (you know, the one that happened every week). By 1998, Nash had become pretty damn lazy. Iâ€™m not complaining, because it was this characteristic that made him one of the most interesting on screen characters in wrestling. But watching that match made me realize something about the Nash that currently haunts TNA: heâ€™s actually a better wrestler now than he was then.
There have been many inkpots spilled about how Nash has no business being in a ring. Heâ€™s slow, heâ€™s crippled, he never sells for anyone, etc. But for those of you who have WWE 24/7, watch that episode of Thunder, and then watch the tag team main event from this weekâ€™s impact, and tell me if Nash hasnâ€™t somehow become more agile in the ten years between them.
This might entirely be a trick of the light, as TNA has a generally faster pace than WWE or WCW. But itâ€™s one thing to say that someone like AJ Styles or Christian Cage is faster than HHH or Batista, itâ€™s another thing entirely to suggest that Kevin frickin Nash is faster there, as well. Maybe they speed up the tape slightly. Who knows.
Okay, moving onto the World X cup, which has somehow remained a pure and Olympic-spirited contest of straight wrestling. What the hell guys? Where are the run ins from the other teams? Where are the secret alliances against team TNA? Where is the cheating? This isnâ€™t wrestling. This isâ€¦oh, right. This is what the people want to see, apparently. Fair fights, contested between good wrestlers who just want to be the best. Jesus. Does anybody else want Sonjay Dutt to come in and destroy the World X Cup trophy after the ultimate X match at the PPV?
Also, can we get at least one photo op of this new bad guy alliance all together at once? TNA has finally managed to make the perfect bad guy group. Theyâ€™ve got the megamaniacal and paranoid Kurt Angle, the brawn and tough-guy appeal of Team 3D, the cool badass-type thing with Tomko, and the best female bad guys around in the Beautiful People. Can we please get them all a T-shirt with a three-letter acronym already please?
No, I donâ€™t mean the N.W.O. But wrestling fans donâ€™t understand anything if you donâ€™t break it down into acronyms like that.
Lastly, I want to mention Raisha Saeed, who is now playing sort of a double part on the show (though who knows if theyâ€™ll have Cheerleader Melissa appear again. Maybe itâ€™ll be like Undertaker VS Undertaker in 1994?) Iâ€™m a big fan of the Saeed character, mostly because the announcers and other wrestlers have generally treated it with respect (ODB notwithstanding, though her reaction was typical of the kind of people she represents). I like that she wrestles with the Burqa on, and I like that they actually let her wrestle.
I donâ€™t know how well people here follow stories involving Islamic issues with women and sports. In several cases worldwide (and recently up here in Canada) there have been rulings stating that women are incapable of competing in sporting events while wearing the proper religious attire. The Saeed character, if nothing else, proves this argument to be completely null. I hope they make her womenâ€™s champ at some point.
Anyways, thatâ€™s it for me. Check out my new show Soundloading over at Radio Exile, and subscribe in iTunes