Hey. You. Be on the show more. It needs you.
Best, I think?: EC3 vs. Kurt Angle
I really want to give this a best, I promise I do. It wasn’t even really a bad match. I’m just so…iffy on this whole thing. First EC3 was the target of Willow’s revenge against Dixie and her extended family, not he’s just crazy guy with an umbrella, and Kurt Angle is here because he needs to prove…a thing. What is that thing, exactly?
From EC3’s side of things, he’s the new face of American wrestling, as he probably should be (see above). He represents the new, the young, the American-Made All-American American Dream of what an American Male wrestler should be in today’s America. Kurt Angle is the past – not just wrestling in general, but a pillar of TNA. He’s the epitome of the TNA dream: a WWE legend putting in year after year, going over anything fresh or original that TNA is too scared to stick with.
From Kurt Angle’s point of view, he doesn’t like when things are just handed to people (ha!), he doesn’t like entitlement (hahaha holy sh-t dude you’re killing me), and he’s going to put a stop to it. But…what has EC3 really achieved? What have they given him? The highest honours you can point to as being bestowed on him are feuds with three of the company’s top draws: Sting, who’s gone, Jeff Hardy, who’s gone completely bonkers, and Kurt, a dude just biding his time until he can settle into his inevitable WWE Legend’s Contract. But these are real-world answers, not kayfabe. What can you say he’s been handed in kayfabe? He’s not held a belt. He’s not Director of Booking Stuff and Monitoring Proper Stair Safety. He had a few cheesecake matches (which were grand), but other than that, what are you keeping him from, Hurty Kurty?
Eric Young barely seems to know who he is. MVP has already forgotten about him. Samoa Joe is probably somewhere crying into his old ROH DVD’s while he waits for the call to come back to work. Magnus has his British Gunner friend to contend with. The BroMen are feuding with the Wolves, not really for reasons anymore, just because they have no one else to fight, and they took issue once, so they’re going to stretch it out forever. Nothing in their peripheral seems to link Kurt and EC3 back to any of them in a fully functioning universe wherein the beef Kurt has is a real and valid thing.
I don’t know what the endgame is for this, and I think that’s the most frustrating part. If EC3 really does tear Kurt Angle’s leg off and beat him with it, then he’s a monster, and we can continue on this path of certifiable Bad Dude™ who hurts your favourites and gives no effs but is still charming and funny and probably gives your mom hot flashes. But Willow is still skip-hopping around, so even that is flawed. And if he accomplishes that, what’s next? What do you do with a legend killer when you haven’t built up any legends for him to contend with, only stolen a handful from other people?
It’s time to make a decision. Is he the future, or is he stuck in limbo while you try to find a third guy who looks like Gunner to sign to a multi-year deal? Is Kurt Angle a hero, or a guy just waiting to blow your metaphorical popsicle stand for greener pastures and a real(er) Hall of Fame? I’m confident that no matter what that next step is, Mr. The Third will kill it, because he’s just that good, but it feels like he’s getting lost, and I don’t want to lose yet another one of the very few Bests this show has.
Worst: The Menagerie!
Here we have The Freak (whom I will not name if he hasn’t officially been revealed even though my god who else could it be), Rebel (or Circus Maxine, I guess), and ersatz-Oliver-Grimsly-CRAZZY STEVE, a man SO CRAZY that one Z just isn’t enough!
Welp, Impact has always been carny as f-ck, I guess it’s finally time they went with it.