Worst: I see London, I see France, I have a big stupid sign about Magnus’s underpants
Chances this show is going to exhausting: 100%
Best: Let’s enjoy some people being delightful before it all inevitably goes to pot
From a completely stripped down creative viewpoint, it’s really easy to understand why I love Dixie and the Blokemans (new single dropping 1/24/14). You’ve got the out-of-touch mean rich lady who assumedly thinks that people can lead successful lives on a pittance with no health insurance, an obnoxious wee sycophant with weird hair and glorious bowties, the embodiment of nepotism itself in a young newcomer who values the superficiality of a win more than hard work and legitimacy, and a entitled title-holder plucked from the pages of a magazine who turned his nose up at the camaraderie of his previous stablemates at the first whiff of glory. These are good, compelling, intertwined characters who are able to interact with multiple people outside of their immediate realm, form a solid base to keep momentum going forward in their own sub-stories, and are simple enough that the face-heel dynamic isn’t shrouded in shades of gray.
The execution, however, is really something special. It’s said time and again that really, there are no good guys in TNA, and that’s true in a really unfortunate kind of way. The faces are still real garbage humans, and even when sticking up for someone, it’s for their own personal gain, or done in a way that is equally as horrifying, sexist, or homophobic as the rest of the show will demonstrate. The spectrum of good to evil is skewed, with most “faces” either morally despicable douchebags with backwards and outdated ideas of masculinity, or cretins with no memory of their very recent alliances or contemptible actions.
Everything about these four is clear cut: their motivations are simply and easy to understand, and it’s obvious where they lie on the “should I boo this person?” scale. The execution, however, is what makes it really special. Rockstar Spud and his infinitely punchable face and boundless energy. Dixie’s delivery, self-satisfaction, and her sheer exasperation when people interrupt her or don’t do things her way. Ethan Carter III’s everything, basically. Even Magnus gets a best later on, a herculean feat if there ever was one. And most importantly, they look like they’re having fun. Like they want to be there. No one is schlumping out to the ring, muttering a half-hearted death threat then throwing the saddest punches in the history of both sadness and punches. Dixie pausing to playfully kick Spud in the rear as he holds the ropes open for her? How could you not be charmed by that? EC3 may be harbouring resentment towards Magnus, but My Three Blokes are still sticking together, aiding in each other’s defense when needed, and forming a cohesive partnership that, while it may be a façade, sets the sirens blaring on my friendship-based wrestling alert system.
I’ve talked about the constant state of fear Impact Wrestling has cultivated, the fear of the other shoe dropping and everything going belly up. A good promo ruined by someone making limp-wristed gestures at someone. Good storylines losing trajectory and fizzling out with zero explanation. Chavo. But this is good, and it is precious, and want to put that fear out of my mind and enjoy Rockstar Spud’s matching leopard-print lapels and bowtie, Dixie’s sexy mom jeans, and Ethan Carter III’s everything, basically. You’ve done a good thing when you can get Magnus to make me smile, and him presenting Dixie with the title belt fills my heart with rainbows. So this is a Best, and will stay a Best, and I will be the saddest when it’s blown to smithereens.
Best: Rockstar Spud
Spud that belt is so heavy you’re going to get smooshed don’t get smooshed I just started to like you, k?
The good news: Sting found his bat. The bad news: He’s cold and there are wolves after him.
Best: Joseph Park
I would love to type a longer Best for him running down the ramp like that, but I have exploded into bits of heart-shaped confetti, and it’s a little hard to type.
Worst: I’m really disappointed that the segment is chopped up on YouTube like this…
…because Samoa Joe takes the mic to shout something, and I swear I have watched it back seven times, and the best I can decipher is “HOOAHSBEEN HAUL ASS BIGBLOW.” Is…is this an easter egg? If I play the show backwards, will he give me a recipe for lentil soup?
Worst: Lei’D Tapa and ODB are strong so they must actually be men, amirite? They can do wrestling moves, just like dudes!
Best, I guess?: 6-on-6 tag
This match is way more fun if you
a) mute it
b) pretend this is the wrestling equivalent of the Soul Train Line Dance
c) skip it and watch Soul Train Line Dance compilations on YouTube the entire instead