Worst: Did You Know We Are One Of The Greatest Tag Teams Of All Time? Here’s A Helpful Brochure That Explains Our Position
Good: The Hardys, The Wolves and Team 3D all respect each other and want to be TNA Tag Team Champions, so they’ve agreed to face each other in a series of matches to see who’s the best. It’s simple, effective, will lead to a lot of fun matches and cuts out the omnipresent “I ATTACKED YOU BACKSTAGE AND HAVE AN ISSUE WITH YOUR LOVED ONES” Impact middleman.
Bad: None of this matters. None of it.
I mean, nothing really matters in WWE either, but at least they usually put enough space between their moments to give them significance. Remember when Bully Ray was the Big Bad of the company? Remember when Devon lost his job because he was a key member of a biker gang that was ruining everything for everyone? Remember how much of a personal issue Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy had? No? Because now they’re old WWE chums who love each other and just wanna put on fun wrestling matches for the people. It’s a less obnoxious version of the old Vince Russo “that’s all fake, but this is REAL.”
It’s all built around reputations earned in other companies. Reputations that they will NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT. Remember a few weeks ago when TNA landed in NYC, and the ECW guys spent 20 minutes talking about how important ECW was? Then EC3 showed up, and they went “WE DON’T TALK, WE FIGHT!” And you were like, “shit, have you been FIGHTING for the last 20 minutes?” That’s happening here. These men of total nonstop action cannot stop SAYING they are great. They have a meeting backstage and everyone’s all “we are the greatest tag teams ever.” The Hardys come to the ring and say “we’re one of the best tag teams in history, and we got back together to show that we’re the best tag team in the world.” That brings out Team 3D, who confirm that the Hardys are one of the best teams ever and add that THEY ALSO are one of the best teams ever. The Hardys agree. They bring out the Wolves, and the Wolves explain that they are okay having a match because the Hardys and the Dudleys are the BEST TEAMS EVER. It’s like, f*ck, guys, I get it. And every time they pause at the end of a sentence, Mike Tenay chimes in to explain that WHAT THEY MEAN TAZ IS THAT THEY ARE TWO OF THE BEST TEAMS EVER. WE’RE GONNA FIND OUT WHICH OF THESE TEAMS IS THE BEST TEAM EVER. DID YOU HEAR WHAT THE WOLVES SAID, TAZ? THEY SAID THE HARDYZ AND TEAM 3D ARE TWO OF THE BEST TEAMS EVER.
In my brain, this segment ends with Sam Shaw reenacting the theater scene from Inglourious Basterds on them.
Worst: Mike Tenay
Just to throw this out there, Mike Tenay’s still the worst part of TNA in a walk. Worse than the racism, the kidnapping, the violence against women, the dumb wrestling decisions, all of it. The guy cannot stop brutally explaining everything that is said or done. James Storm could say “I like the color red,” and before he’s done Tenay will already be saying THE COWBOY JAMES STORM SAYING THAT HE LIKES THE COLOR RED. It’s stupid. Anderson and Shaw are trying to have an I Quit Match built almost exclusively around hearing the wrestlers talking to each other and on microphones, and EVERY SINGLE TIME someone’s got a mic to their face being asked to give up, Tenay’s yammering over it about whether or not they’ll say they quit. Shut up, dude, we’re trying to watch the wrestling.
Commentary is just that … commentary. You comment on what happens. It’s not a noise track. You aren’t gonna lose your job if you let us hear the crowd or the sound of what’s happening in the ring.
Best: The Least Satisfying Installment Of MILF Hunter Ever
1. Dixie Carter is great, and I’m happy they gave us a reason why she doesn’t just wheel her fine ass into the Manhattan Center and fire everyone. She’s been humbled, but she’s already starting to plan her revenge. That way they can keep her off TV as long as they’d like and focus on something else without us having to ask “Where’s Dixie?” They can bring her back whenever they want.
Spoiler alert: Dixie’s revenge will involve a faction of wrestlers, including a few you CAN’T BELIEVE HAVE SIDED WITH DIXIE. The inmates are running the asylum, hoo boy!
2. Mike Tenay looks more and more like The Worm from Labyrinth ever day.
Worst: The Kidnapping Of Sanada
As concerning as the whole “white guy kidnaps a minority and stores him in a shack with a bunch of nooses outside” thing is, here’s what bothers me the most: James Storm’s big plan is to make Sanada the new Great Muta. He’s calling him “The Great Sanada” and he’ll be “revealed” next week.
Serious question: Sanada is a young guy from Japan who loves pro wrestling. If you wanted him to dress and act like Muta, couldn’t you just stop him in the hall and say “hey man, you should dress and act like Muta?” He’d probably do it. It’s like asking Edge if he wants to dress up like Hulk Hogan and do the Hogan poses. Why would he need a mean-spirited cowboy to brainwash him? Is the Great Muta’s secret origin that Stan Hansen took him out for drinks and stiffed him on the tab?
Best: The Finish To The Knockouts Match
First things first, calling your division “Knockouts,” putting them in a match where the goal is more or less to knock your opponent out and then calling it “Last Knockout Standing” is really hilariously complicated. To win the match you should have to TKO someone so they’re out on their feet, but not knocked out enough to fall down.
Second things first, I’m giving this match a Best because they went home when they should. That’s a big problem in not only TNA, but in wrestling … if you build to a big moment, that’s your big moment. Don’t feel like you always have to keep escalating. Gail basically Samoan drops Angelina Love off the ropes onto a chair, and it’s SOLID. They give the crowd a minute to let it sink in, then Gail gets up before 10 and wins the match. That’s the way to do it.
Worst: Velvet Sky
The entire match is a 2-on-1 handicap match. Velvet helps Angelina do everything. Then, when it’s time for the finish, Velvet just stands at ringside making upset faces and pawing at Love’s arm while Gail stands up and wins the match. Hey Velvet, shouldn’t you … I don’t know, run in and start stomping Gail so she doesn’t win or something? I don’t think you should be out here at all if you aren’t gonna factor into the finish (or get “taken out” by Gail in some dramatic way to ALLOW the finish), but what’re you doing?
Worst: Let’s Ask The TNA Universe What They Thought About Real Women’s Wrestling