Okay, I’m going to admit, I’ve come into this having read no spoilers, and holding out hopes that it would be a good show even after last week’s debacle.
Come on, TNA – entertain me!
(This is recorded straight after last week’s show in Salt Lake City, so I hope we get more than last week’s 20 minutes of wrestling “goodness”.)
1. AAAND we open with Dixie Carter. Oh… goody. She runs down Styles, says he no longer exists and announces an 8-person tournament starting next week for the apparently vacant title (even though AJ is defending it in AAA). She announces the first 7 of the combatants – James Storm, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode and Chris Sabin.
2. The little videos showing how each combatant won their first title after being introduced was a nice touch. Very nice touch. But Joe’s a one-time champ only? Really? Talk about underusing your assets.
3. Out comes Bully Ray to complain about not being in the tournament while Dixie announces that tonight there will be a “gauntlet match” that will determine the 8th entrant! My money’s on Gail Kim. Dixie cuts Bully down by blaming him for the problem for losing to AJ Styles twice. Lights go down and… oh shit. Anderson comes down. We have a ‘brawl’. And yet again Anderson is gassed after 5 punches.
4. Apparently during the break Anderson was led away by security, Brooke yelled at him and Bully attacked him from behind. They blur Anderson, so my guess is it’s not actually him. The person there is certainly selling better than Anderson.
5. Something happens with Knux and Bischoff Jr.
6. Wow! 20 minutes in and we get a wrestling match! Yay… Shit. It’s Storm & Gunner vs Bromance for the tag team titles. Please make this the shortest title reign in TNA history.
7. Bromance suck. Don’t give me that ‘they look good’, ‘they’re improving’, ‘they’re funny’ – they don’t, they’re not, and they’re not. They’re shit. I thought Gunner had potential. Oops. Looks like he reached it already. And again Storm can’t carry 3 slugs to a good match. Not bad (apart from the members of Bromance still needing to learn how to throw strikes, clotheslines and how to sell properly), but dull. And, dammit, Bromance retain. Double dammit, Storm gets pinned with the Wrestlemania V Rude-Warrior-Heenan finish. (5 minutes)
8. Backstage and Dixie talks to Sting, giving him a spot in the gauntlet. I think he accepts. He channels the Ultimate Warrior in response anyway, and Dixie actually responds well. (“Yes? Does that mean yes?”)
9. Bad Influence dressed as a pair of Sherlock Holmeses to investigate the Case of the Off-again On-again Monster Abyss, with British accents. Fun. (“Elementary.” “Junior high.”)
10. Match 2: Ethan Carter III v Norv Fernum, rematch from Bound For Glory. Let’s see if Fernum can carry Carter like last week’s scrub.
11. He can’t. EC3 in 3 mins. And EC3 is gassed again. That was crap.
12. Roode with the medic backstage talking about Angle’s injuries, and he wants Angle checked medically. I liked this one as well.
13. Hey! Sting is walking!
14. ODB gets a rematch for “her knocked-up title” and the BI Holmeses arrive (“I believe I know what ODB stands for – Overly Developed Bosoms.”) to check her out, but WEric Young turns up and reminds them it’s Hallowe’en, a monster’s favourite holiday. Again – fun.
15. The “Gauntlet” Battle Royal. Uhh, TNA, I don’t think ‘Gauntlet’ means what you think it means. This is just a mini royal rumble. First out Sting, second is Kazarian. Third is Knux (where is Bischoff? They just said he was going to be there!). Fourth is Eric Young. BORING! Fifth is Christopher Daniels, and the audience reminds him he used to be Fallen Angel. Manik is sixth, after a commercial. Magnus is seventh. And that’s it? And no eliminations so far? What the…?
16. And then they must have been reminded it’s eliminations. Manik eliminates Knux, Kazarian eliminates Manik as Taz says Aces & 8s sucks! WTF?! Kazarian eliminates Eric Young. Magnus eliminates Daniels, then Sting and Kazarian at the same time to win. Sting doesn’t look happy at Magnus doing the right thing. That was 20 minutes and it was as dull as dishwater.
17. Angle is cleared by the doctor. Whew! Glad of that. The tension was unbearable as to if he’d be able to come up or not.
18. Impact have a world tour in Michigan and Ohio!
19. Knockouts Title: ODB v Gail Kim (with Lei’D Tapa). Kim only wins because of Tapa’s interference and crap. Look, fine, dandy, but the referee must be not only blind but stupid. And it was another dull match… but match of the night so far. (6 mins) Way to make your women’s champion look like a chump, TNA. One of the best female wrestlers today, and she needs… AUGH!
20. Bad Influence are going to tell the world how they solved the Mystery of the Monster Abyss (which sounds like a Scooby Doo movie).
21. And after the previous entertaining segments, this one is dying a horrible death out there. And it goes on so long. Then Young comes out dressed as Joseph Park, Bad Influence beat him up, Abyss comes out and he beats Bad Influence up, and then helps Eric Young. 10 minutes of crap.
22. And now Dixie is backstage with Hardy and Sabin and she has a… oh for fuck’s sake! A wheel! Spin the wheel, make the deal! The Wheel of Dixie! And they spin up a Full Metal Mayhem Match! Every match in this tournament is going to be a gimmick match!? You have some of the best wrestlers on TV and Jeff Hardy in this tournament and you’re making it all gimmicks all the time?! FOR FUCK SAKE… WHY?!
23. Recount of the Roode/Angle rivalry. Makes it look more intense than it actually was, so it did a great job.
24. Next match – Bobby Roode v Kurt Angle – The BFG Rematchening!
25. Okay, this started off as a really good television match. Better than their Bound For Glory match, and that was MOTN for that PPV. These two have some insane chemistry together. The suplexes, the story being told of what body parts they were going for, all of it – well done. It was a genuine wrestling match, the sort we just don’t see enough of. And then we come to the ending. Angle hits a sort of suplex/Angle slam thing off the top rope, can’t stand up, the 10-count is made, Roode wins in 16 mins. Medics come out and Roode even looks concerned as we fade to black.
Okay, first things first – far better show than last week. But if it was worse I’d’ve put my fist through the screen.
Positives: 50 minutes of wrestling! Yay! The Roode-Angle match was a good one. The Bad Influence stuff before they hit the ring was entertaining.
But it was a dull show. Boring and dull and weak. Anderson is gassed after punching some-one. EC3 is gassed after a pathetic 3 minute squash. Bully Ray has been emasculated. Abyss is back the same as always. Bromance should be in developmental. Storm is looking unmotivated, and who can blame him? We had a dull, misnamed rumble. And to top it all off – we have a freakin’ wheel!
Well, TNA, you’ve won. I hope you’re happy.
WANTED: New TNA recapper for Inside Pulse. Must have a strong stomach or be a complete sycophant.
Tags: aaa, Abyss, AJ Styles, Anderson, Austin Aries, Bad Influence, Bischoff, Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, chris sabin, Christopher Daniels, dixie carter, EC3, Eric Young, Ethan Carter III, Gail Kim, gunner, James Storm, Jeff Hardy, kazarian, Kurt Angle, Lei'd Tapa, magnus, Manik, ODB, Samoa Joe, Sting, TNA, wrestlemania