Sam, I’ve got some great news! The doctors have decided that I am enough of a trained mental health provider that you can come live in my house with me. That total makes sense, seeing as I once had this friend who was traumatized because war but I fixed him and your only problem is that you’re a sexual predator but it’s no big deal right I mean you don’t have to be a sociopath to see that Christy was totally asking for it I mean do you see what she wears in the ring each week yeah man I get you let’s go home and watch Red Dawn and paint stars and bars on each other’s face but you know not in gay way in a manly America-loving way. Sorry the company got you omitted and in no way did your mom try to override their authority or get you out or come visit or anything. Ooh ooh ohhhh we should totally get burgers on the way home.
Worst: James Storm
James Storm starts running his mouth about Sanada and “his people,” and then is surprised when Sanada reacts to him. “Oh, so you DO undertand me?” So either James Storm is super racist because he likes yelling and taunting people he thinks don’t understand English, or…suddenly he’s super racist because out of nowhere he decides to pick on the Japanese guy who in no way is involved in his non-existant-issue-based-issues with Anderson? Like, if Sanada decides to challenge for the World Title in Japan, hey, that’s pretty cool. But what on earth does that have to do with James Storm? What are we taking away from this conversation other than “hey Sanada, sorry you work with such buttholes?”
Worst: Tahmmy Dreamuh
Who the f-ck let Tommy Dreamer in the building? Atlas Security where you at? DOES ANYONE IN THIS COMPANY DO THEIR JOB?
Bonus jokes that didn’t quite make it:
- Hey Tommy, why don’t you innovate some cardio?
- Why is EC3 beating up his dad?
- Tommy Dreamer wrestling on television in 2014.
Hey, here’s Brandon to write about the same thing he always writes about because it won’t stop happening!
Worst: TNA Garbage Brawls
TNA’s hardcore matches have always been one of the most dismissive-wankworthy parts of the show for me.
When they’re asked to go easy on the hardcore elements, they can be fun. TNA’s surprisingly great at backstage brawls, and when they work hardcore instances into otherwise straight-up matches — see Gail Kim vs. Hot Mess, for example, or many of the James Storm vs. Bobby Roode fights — they can be GREAT.
The problem is that when they have a full-on garbage hardcore match, they don’t know how to do it. They either go exceedingly graphic with little reason to do so (most of Abyss’s early matches, especially the one from Lockdown against Matt Morgan where they were stabbing each other with glass, or the Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley bloodbath) or they go SUPER HOKEY PG, like last night’s Monster’s Ball.
It’s nothing. It’s literally nothing. It’s guys standing still while another guy hoists a flimsy trashcan way over his head and brings it lightly crashing down while Taz goes “LOOK AT DISSS!” It’s Jeff Hardy taking the Daffney bump off the top of the fakest bundle of barbed wire this side of Halloween at Party City. It’s Abyss being the only person that ever gets hit with “Janice,” and always in the stomach. It’s Bram blading, and having the blood dry up and be mostly gone by the time the match is over.
Man, just once I want Abyss to get hit in the stomach with Janice and have a bunch of prop zombie guts fall out of his shirt. Imagine the reaction when THAT happened.
Worst: Kurt Angle is the new MVP
Goddamnit, Kurt. See…here’s the thing. That feeling you have right now? That’s what they’re relying on. Remembering Kurt Angle when he was great. Angle vs. Benoit. KotR against Shane McMahon. Angle in a tiny cowboy hat. Happy memories. But that nostalgia is what TNA preys on. Let’s face it: Kurt Angle was in WWE for eight years. He’s been in TNA for eight years. At this pace he’ll easily surpass the first half of his career, yet so many act as if TNA is something that’s been forced on him. That Kurt Angle, he’s so put upon. How dare they do something to the Great Angle. But that works both ways. He IS Kurt Angle. Despite the fact that he’s old and broken and can only walk like a human when there’s a camera on him, he can also walk away at any time. He’s Kurt Freakin’ Angle. It doesn’t take an insider source to know that at this juncture he’s biding his time until he heads back for his Legends Contract, back to his “real home.” But we’ve gotta stop treating Angle like a martyr; the only heroic, untouchable figure in the Impact Zone. He walked into a World Championship, is shoehorned into any and every angle they can, sticks his nose in other people’s storylines for no reason other than “hey, I’m Kurt Angle. You might remember me from such WWE matches as…” and then spits a bunch. But we still pretend this isn’t who he is. That there’s that Kurt Angle we love lurking in this self-righteous asshole who runs over people like Hogan, and will stop being this lumbering dinosaur and immediately, by some magic, start throwing suplexes and angle slams like a man who’s never seen infinite sadness, DUI’s, surgeries, and more Russo swerves than…well…these past couple months of Impact, I guess.
I’m not telling you not to love Kurt Angle. Or Tommy Dreamer, or Rhino, or the Dudley’s, or whomever else TNA is gonna dredge up to make you whitewash everything with nostalgia. But at some point we have to take a step back and look at the reality of what is happening, and how our memories place these men doing gross, despicable, sometimes nonsensical things in an unimpeachable state. Being disappointed in your heroes doesn’t negate the love you once had for them, but denying that disappointment stops them from staying the people you loved, and allows them to become…well…Kurt Angle.