Worst: Jay Bradley
Do not scream at me, young man. Microphones are made to amplify your voice, and I can hear you just fine. Even Bully Ray, Guy Who Yells Stuff Professionally™ is like dude, take it down a notch.
Best: But hey, this match
Jay Bradley might be more Dipstick than Boomstick, but this was a tight little match. Jay Bradley has the size advantage, but Austin Aries, though he’s more douchebag than dipstick, is still a very, very good wrestler. He constantly attacks the knees to bring Bradley down to his level, his roaring elbows are great and make me smile, and getting him up into that Brainbuster position? Yes please. And unlike last week he didn’t spend the entire match pouting and acting like a petulant child who just got scolded. Double yes please. Now if you could both stop being super shitty to women? That’s right. The coveted triple yes please is all yours.
Worst: Bald on Bald violence
Bless you and your Brujah LARP coat, Christopher Daniels, but this was less than fun. Much less than fun. Hernandez is the kind of guy who should be fun to watch, like say, Sheamus. He’s big and strong and both his back and his butt are emblazoned with his own name. But he’s not. One of the most frustrating things to see, and this goes for a lot of wrestlers, are people who make no effort to work the entire match. To wit: Watch as Christopher Daniels runs into the ropes. Hernandez bends over and waits for him to spring back and kick him in the face. Just stands there. It’s like when a wrestler has their opponent in the Pedigree position. Most of the time they’ll just bend over and wait for their cue to do the move, then sell the impact. They don’t struggle, they don’t try to break it. Their head is positioned in between the other’s thigh muscles, and they’re standing around like it’s the only hold in wrestling that can’t be broken. Struggle a little. Waiting to take that kick in the face? Stagger. Give your position some kind of reason. Always be moving, and always make sure that movement has meaning. Watch a William Regal match. Or all of them. Or put another Texas graphic on your shorts. Whatever you think helps, dude.
Worst: That Bad Influence logo
It’s like the Metallica logo and a jagged metal Krusty-O had a baby. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect to see on a knockoff Pog slammer to try to make it look hip and appealing to a young demographic. It makes Magnus look cool, and he’s the wrestling equivalent of weak tea and Melba Toast. It did, however, distract me from that crummy promo you cut Francois. If you’re going to continue this downward spiral to the mediocre comfort zone you’ve nested in for so many years, I’m gonna need at least five more of those on your gear. Or maybe one big one that lights up. Or maybe don’t be crappy. Again, whatever you think helps, dude.
Worst: He’s not even half the girl she…ow!
Had Brandon not already used the “Going Through the Motions” from Once More With Feeling joke I’ve been saving for this dude, it would go here. That’s the kind of best friend hive mind that leaves us with an unintentional matching wardrobe and jokes about Corey Graves cosplaying Christina Von Eerie without the wrestling skills. But to extend the use of food metaphors, Magnus is a piece of undercooked spaghetti. He gets rebranded and regimmicked and thrown up against the wall to see if he sticks. He was great in Ring Ka King as the Jerkwad Imperialist, but unless your audience is full of hundreds of booing Indians, it doesn’t work here. So now he’s the Young Gun Magnus, fresh-faced, hungry, and ignorant of his decade of experience. But it’s not sticking. He executes his moves, but there’s no feeling or gravitas to anything he does. His cloverleaf is terrible and looks like he’s tentatively squatting in the bushes because he’s never been camping before, and taking a dump in the woods is a scary and foreign concept. It’s like being behind someone at the grocery store who hands a cashier $20 for a bill of $14.37, and watching the cashier struggle to figure out what the change should be. All you want to do is pay for your tofu and lentils and go home, but you have to watch the brain cogs of some teenager grind out a number so the customer can just take their purchase and get out of the store and out of your way. It’s uncomfortable and frustrating and no, I haven’t had lunch yet. Why do you ask?
Worst: Brooke Hogan
I’ve Worst-ed her before for this, but goddamnit Brooke stop motioning for your music to be cut off. Act like you’ve been on television before. And maybe take a math class while you’re at it. Now, I’m not the best when it comes to math, but I do remember when you showed up in TNA, and the date the tag belts were won by Eric Young and ODB is easy to look up. There are numerous reasons you could have revoked the championship from those two. Eric Young, as he pointed out, is very much not a lady. They haven’t been defended in just about ever. Instead of giving a clear and concise explanation, Brooke referred to a conversation they had “a year and a half ago.” The belts were won in February 2012, and Brooke has been in TNA for a year. Even if you had a brief aside with EY at a house show expressing your confusion over how a dude could be one half of the Knockouts Tag Champions, you still had zero authority for the first four months he held that belt, and none of this had happened a year and a half ago. Miss Tessmacher and Tara (arguably the one who has been carrying the Knockouts division the longest) are conspicuously absent, and you fail to notice that two ladies in the division you’re so very proud of aren’t there? Did you know that television shows have these crazy things called fact-checkers and producers? I know you occupy your time by getting your hair done (it looks very nice tonight), but come on. Just try. Try a little. Pretty please.
Best: The Video Star, and the rest
Velvet Sky’s presence aside, everything in this segment that wasn’t Brooke Hogan was delightful. Eric Young, his whale tail, and ODB are a wonder. Gail Kim looks good, sounds good, and gets to attempt to destroy Taryn Terell in an upcoming ladder match. Velvet Sky, though laughably referred to as the heart and soul of the division, doesn’t get handed a microphone. And Mickie James, oh Mickie, let me love you. If we’re handing out awards for Character Workrate, you deserve a whole sheet of gold star stickers.