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The Best and Worst of Impact Wrestling 5/29/14: Table for Six

By / 05.30.14

Brandon, more like WROTE ABOUT BRAMdon…

Best: Tigre Uno

Not because of anything he actually does, but because when I ask Danielle if she needs help writing up any of these segments, she always brings up Tigre Uno and refers to him as “The Kitty.” It’s fun in the column, but it’s even better in real life. In my brain he is shoot The Kitty.

Worst: AAAAAAHHHH

That is Bram’s character. AAAAAHHHH. AHHHHHH. Screaming “aah” and walking around in circles. When the match ends — via Impaler DDT no less, which is one rung on the wrestling finisher ladder above The Overdrive — he turns into a gay Spartan? I don’t know. He’s very stressful. Taz and Mike Tenay spend the entire match justifying his existence by saying he “pops off the screen,” which is basically Jim Ross dismissing someone by saying they’re a “great natural athlete.” Hey guys, if you put as much effort into telling Bram not to wander around in circles and scream like the Grunting Granny as you do putting over his television charisma on commentary, you’d probably have a great wrestler.

A supplemental Worst goes to Bram for not calling his finish the “Skinnamarink.”

Worst: So, Uh, Is This Magnus/Bram Issue A Gunner/Sam Shaw Thing Or What

After the match, Magnus is rightfully all, “wtf dude, you beat up The Kitty, why are you acting like such a psychopath about it?” Bram’s response is a really skeevy, breathy YOU AREN’T LIKE YOU USED TO BE, because I guess Bram misses the old European Aces and Eights they were in together and can’t move on. THE OLD YOU WOULD’VE BEATEN UP THE KITTY AND TAKEN HIS MASK, BECAUSE THE OLD YOU WAS PRETTY BORING AND OPERATED UNDER OBVIOUS WRESTLING TROPES. THE OLD YOU GOT HEAT BY TELLING PEOPLE TO SHUT UP, etc.

He does it like, an inch from Magnus’s face, too. That’s the worst part. When you have a conversation with someone, especially when holding a microphone, why are you nose-to-nose? ESPECIALLY if you’re just having a conversation about old times. GRRR REMEMBER HIGH SCHOOL, REMEMBER MR. WHITE, HE WAS A REAL JERK, HE WOULDN’T LET YOU MAKE UP THAT TEST. THE OLD YOU WOULD’VE HIT MR. WHITE WITH A RUBBER HAMMER, AAAHHHHHH *stomps around in a circle*


Best: The above screencap

I didn’t actually have a purpose for it, but I saved it as “all that sass” and now I can’t stop giggling.

Best: The Board of Directors

Being on the Impact Wrestling Board of Directors must be the easiest job in the world. You don’t have normal working hours, you in no way have to pay attention to anything that’s happening in what you’re in charge of, and you apparently have no base of operations so you can pretty much be in any part of the country you want at any time.

To be fair, everything I learned about being on the Board of something I learned from that one episode of Murder She Wrote in Season 4 where that tycoon got murdered, and Jessica had to figure out who did it while also trying to decide the fate of a company by choosing a successor. And I still feel like that may be more accurate than the Board portrayed on Impact TV.

Worst: Eric Young and Bully Ray

You know, the conversation isn’t great, but it’s at least a stepping stone in whatever direction the Dixie/MVP storyline is taking. EC3 is being delightful and always making sure he’s in the shot because he is smart and good at being on TV (even if he’s a million times sweatier than MVP who *just* wrestled a match), and we’re continuing something that was left unfinished last week in a rare, shining moment of continuity.

But then here comes Eric Young and Bully Ray, again threatening to put people through tables.

I am so unbelievably confused as to what being put through a table will solve. If someone goes through a table it doesn’t incapacitate them completely. It doesn’t fire that person. It doesn’t remove them from television. It’s an outmoded construct that Bully Ray clings to that in the end means a whole lot of nothing.


Best: The Assassination of Bully Ray by the Coward MVP

It takes a special kind of awful to make me say yeah, you know what, I am totally on MVP’s side. Bully Ray and Eric Young are that awful, but to his credit, MVP is making some really good points. When he says that he knows someone is a badass because someone else told him, not because that person told him, I’m iffy on the wording, but it’s a salient point if he’s ever made one. Just saying you’re a big mean tough guy doesn’t mean anything. If the core of your persona is to be a bully, what DO you do when the people you’re trying to bully aren’t afraid of you? Everything Bully Ray has constructed, he’s failed at, essentially. Aces & Eights fell apart due to his own hubris. Mr. Anderson is totally fine, still employed, not paralysed, and his children remain not on fire. MVP is in power because of a decision HE made. Eric Young has an even bigger target on his back because of what HE’s doing. The very essence of his character is rendered moot, leaving him nothing but shouted, hollow threats. This is the perfect time for some real soul-searching on Bully Ray’s part, but it’ll probably just result in the same old thing because people will still cheer for Bully no matter how many layers to his character go ignored, how many babies he threatens to shoot murder, and how many of his actions don’t make any sense. There’s so much potential that lies within Bully Ray that makes everything he does so frustrating. But you have to ask, if he’s such a top guy, and your biggest face at the moment, why can he be reduced to a pile of his own flaws with one simple question?

Worst: The Big Reveal

What on earth is the point of building up to a SUPER NO VACANCY MYSTERY PARTNER if you’re just going to introduce them via backstage statement beforehand?

Best: But they match!

Just as I enjoy the cohesion between EC3 and Dixie last week, Brittany switching out her gear to something similar to that of Gail Kim is a little thing that makes a huge psychological impact. Or…TNA Impact, if you will.

Worst: The angle no one ever saw coming ever no really it’s a surprise I swear

So right now I’m not smoking. It’s a terrible habit, I know, but at this point I’ve been doing it for basically ever (because I am an old), and while I don’t smoke as much as you’d think, it’s still a crutch I tend to rely on when writing or painting or at work or social situations or…okay, kind of anything, that’s how addiction works. Because I’ve had such a severe case of strep, I haven’t been able to smoke, which has resulted in my withdrawal symptoms being lumped in with my general feeling of awfulness due to being sick. Now that I’m (fingers crossed) past those, a lot of my struggle is not falling back onto old habits, or putting myself into situations that immediately make me want to smoke. Not drinking coffee (or a Spice of Life/Black Dragon Pearl Coconut Milk Latte from Teavana because that is my jaaaam), filling my breaks or that extra time before and after my shifts with something else, and just avoiding anything that causes that kneejerk reaction to doing something dangerous and harmful that might ultimately kill me.

The reason I tell you this is a) my goodness TNA is a stressor that makes me want to smoke an entire pack to my face as soon as possible when realistically I didn’t even smoke much to begin with, and b) my avoidance of harmful past habits is exactly the opposite of what TNA is doing.

Right now we’re presented with (translation: metaphorically kicked in the face) with a reenactment of a lot the things bad things TNA used to do. I’ve said that it’s like we’re being forced back in time, a darker place generally referred to as “2009,” or, “that f-cking Vince Russo bullsh-t.” Now that the real-life Impact hierarchy has been shuffled and shifted about, you would expect that a lot of the crummy things that someone like, say, Jeff Jarrett brought to the table would be gone, and it can move forward into the future, learning from the mistakes of the past, and staying on trend to become a compelling wrestling show highlighting the best of what the roster has to offer. Hahahahaha, nope.

Remember like a million columns ago when I half-jokingly predicted that Brittany would be shoved into a pseudo-lesbian stalker angle? Of course this is where that was going, because women cannot have relationships with one another that don’t revolve around a) boys, b) looks/jealousy of said looks, and c) male-gaze Baby Blue Movie-lipstick lesbians because being gay is wrong but maybe what if them there two pretty girls kissed a little? Kneejerk reactions into stupid, harmful situations. Outdated concepts that should be left in the past where they are ridiculed and used as examples of why Impact Wrestling was always and will always be the B-show, regardless of the fact that having a smaller audience and a different network reach isn’t actually a bad thing and being a B-show to the largest and grandest spectacle is totally fair and acceptable.

The half-joking also comes with that non-humorous side; the side that knows full well exactly where this is going because it’s been done again and again, and taking a fresh, creative approach is anathema to whomever (“whomever,” like we can’t figure it out) is behind this lapse into the horrors of wrestling past. It’s that crutch they always fall back on because trying to do anything else and taking a different approach is hard and requires genuine effort. We were on track for something different. Again, there was that blissful time when the Worsts weren’t really super bad (except when they occasionally kinda were), but there were real, honest to goodness Bests that didn’t need to be forced or didn’t come by EC3’s sheer existence. It’s so unbelievably frustrating as a consistent viewer who wants Impact to be successful, and wants to be positive about them again. It’s happened before. We were so close. But old habits die hard, and wrestling shows don’t come with a helpful, concerned Surgeon General. In the end it will just shorten Impact’s life expectancy, and whomever is in charge is a damn fool not to think so.

Worst: Social Media

Usually I’d post some hilarious response dredged up from the depths of despair, aka the YouTube comment section, but going through the responses to this, everyone’s reactions are basically the same. I mean, you have your gross comments about lesbians and makeouts and generic gross sexist stuff that comes along with an angle like this, but the majority of them just express boredome with the whole thing because it’s been done before. Whether it’s people harping on the Crazy Mickie/Trish talking point, or lady kisses in ECW, or Winter/Angelina, it’s the same conversation. That’s it’s been done before, it’s predictable, and it’s not entertaining. Think about that for a second: the commenters on a TNA YouTube video are actually making sense.

TNA that should never ever happen ever.

Twitter is still reliably sh-tty:

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