Worst: Tardiness is nowhere near godliness
See what happens when you show up to work late, Sting? Why not try setting your alarm a half hour earlier, or putting your makeup on in the car?
And now here’s Brandon, because…ugh boy, this match:
Worst: At Some Point We’re Gonna Have To Stop Pretending That Kurt Angle Is God
Last week, Danielle wrote an amazing piece about women in wrestling where she mentioned how whenever a woman wrestles a man, no matter how much credibility she’s built up, her stats and momentum reset to zero. It was a great point that I think also applies to how TNA handles ex-WWE stars. If you’re Christopher Daniels, you can win championships and be entertaining and bust your ass for years, but the second a Ken Anderson type shows up, Daniels is the first to lose to him. His stats and momentum reset at zero. Remember when Val Venis joined TNA and the only thing he did before leaving was squash Christopher Daniels? Yeah.
Kurt Angle is the ultimate ex-WWE star, the only one who ever deserved an impassioned high-five upon announcement of his signing, so he more than anyone will resent your f*cking stats to zero. This becomes less and less realistic (and acceptable) as Angle gets older and more deformed, so watching this Tony Atlas-looking muscleman with a hot dog head throw around two stars who are, I don’t know, supposed to be worth SOMETHING is depressing. Watch Daniels stagger to the middle of the ring and have to take a knee for what feels like five minutes waiting for Angle to throw Kazarian off the top rope. Watch how Angle shows no real signs of desperation in a 2-on-1 CAGE MATCH and simply destroys them one at a time until he can win. It’s terrible.
At some point, we’re going to have to stop pretending that Kurt Angle is the “best wrestler in the world.” Kurt Angle defeating two top(ish) level tag team guys by himself with minimal effort wouldn’t have been cool in 2003 when he was ACTUALLY one of the best wrestlers in the world, so 11 years later when he’s burned himself up and whittled himself down into this living, screaming latissimus dorsi is absolutely unacceptable. If Kurt gets a few losses, the knee-jerk reaction shouldn’t be to put him over everybody as strongly as possible to get his momentum back. And if you think you can just feed Bad Influence loss after loss after loss (in HANDICAP matches even) and they’ll be fine because they’re good, why does the TIRTEEN TIME CHAMP© have such a God complex?
Best: It’s a wrestlemergency!
Or, Worst: Al Snow whisking Kurt Angle away to the airport does not lead to Angle trying to prove his citizenship to TSA with only his Olympic gold medal and the eagle on his singlet.
Worst: Old man sadness…IN A STEEL CAGE
Things that make me sad:
- When Beth (spoiler alert) dies in Little Women (book and movie)
- Steel Magnolias
- 2014 Sting’s chops
- 2014’s Sting’s clotheslines
- 2014 Sting’s Scorpion Death Lock, or “You think Magnus looks like he’s taking a dump when he does a cloverleaf? Well I’ll show you!”
While almost all of these things are practically sob inducing, they have their high points. Christian Bale as Laurie asking if Meg has misplaced a glove, a terribly important formative part of pubescent Danielle’s life. Dolly Parton, and the phrase “freezes beautifully.” Spud referring to him as “Mr. Roode” and giving me what the kids these days refer to as “feels.” EC3 climbing up the side of the cage, which is a thing I didn’t know I needed in my life until it happened.
That death lock was still way, way awful, though, and no amount of surrounding the move with delightful things is gonna stop it from looking like sad garbage.
Worst: Mr. Anderson goes to church
Worst. babyshower. ever.
And now, here’s Brandon again, because Magnus:
Best: An Overbooked, Totally-Unnecessary Clusterf*ck Main-Event That Makes Total, Perfect Sense
So, uh, remember the time Undertaker fought Yokozuna in a casket match, and the finish was 25 guys running out to beat up and literally murder Undertaker, causing him to possess the video screen from beyond the grave and rise to Heaven? This is basically TNA’s version of that.
AJ Styles and Magnus had their title vs. title main-event, and before it could even get started a bunch of Dixie Carter’s stooges ran out, Pear Harbor’d Sting and basically hit finishers on AJ until he died. The Bro Mans and Bad Influence did most of it, with AJ repeatedly kicking out of whatever they could hit him with and fighting back, occasionally using Sting as the Interceptor to his Shadow and dispatching the heels with old man chops. Magnus kept trying to sneak in pinfalls and we went through THREE REFS before Bobby Roode came out to handle business, hitting three fireman’s carry neckbreakers to put Styles away for good. Magnus is now the WWE World Heavyweight Champion (of TNA) and AJ Styles goes from being the company’s CM Punk to being their Colt Cabana.
Even that PARAGRAPH was hard to write. But you know what? I liked it. I’m giving it a Best because unlike a lot of stuff I see on Impact, it made sense.
The entire show was built around this match. Dixie sorta figured out how to systematically eliminate anybody who’d possibly run out to help Styles — people like Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle were all “removed” in one way or another — allowing her plan a more direct route to success. It’s a dirty thing to do to somebody, but from Dixie’s point of view, why wouldn’t she do it? She’s trying to run a wrestling promotion and a wrestler without a contract won her world title and took it around the world, defending it against her will, mailing her toy belts and buying advertisements on the show just to mess with her. She’s finally got AJ in a TNA sanctioned match ON HER SHOW where if he loses he has to relinquish the belt … shouldn’t she do everything short of pulling out a gun and shooting him dead herself to make sure he loses?
AJ sorta seems like the dumb one here, which I guess is why Sting, the dumbest, most naive babyface in the history of wrestling, is the only person left to help him. You know you’re walking into a death trap, right? You got one over on Dixie. Keep your belt and dance around the globe with it. Don’t be all, “sure, I’ll defend your belt in a no-DQ match which I bet will go totally by the books and be totally fair, lemme do this knucklelock to start out because this is gonna be catch-as-catch-can and nobody’s gonna Aces and Eights the shit out of me for being here.”
AJ is a good person who has done a bad thing for business and is paying for it. Dixie is a bad person doing the right thing for business and succeeding. Everybody on Impact is a horrible person, right? That’s what they’ve been building for a decade. At least this horrible person had a motivation I can understand, and did what any of us would’ve done.
Worst: AJ Styles Does The Saddest Air Jordan Of All Time
AJ, your dive is the Sting’s chops of dives. I’ll give you a pass because you’ve just eaten 60 finishers, but still.
See you crazy kids next week, when Bully Ray celebrates the engagement of a good friend by pouring lighter fluid on the bride to be, then giving them a toaster oven!