Good morning! Or…good whatever time of day you’re reading this at! I hope you’ve had a lovely week. You look nice today. Let’s do a Best and Worst, shall we? First things first:
– Editor’s Note: This week’s Best and Worst of Impact Wrestling column is brought to you on a Monday, in an effort to get With Leather readers who are ghosts by 4 on Friday to check it out. It’s also a test to see how a Best and Worst of Smackdown report would play, but don’t tell anybody.
– We’ve got some great things happening over at The Mandible Claw. The guest contributors have been turning in some outstanding work, including With Leather favourite (except that one guy) (you know who you are) Casey/THESTINGER, Chikara’s Master of the Snake Style Ophidian, and a few more. Jojo Bravo – intelligent and articulate dude, ridiculously good looking Texan, Godzilla superfan – guested on the podcast and it’s pretty much my new favourite thing. If you’re reading this, you should also be reading that.
– The podcast we recorded for Monday ended up being so long, and also way too much fun, so as a treat we’re putting it up early! In this episode, we review half of the contenders in the With Leather Bad Wrestling Theme Lyrics March Madness Tournament. Secrets are revealed, Buffs are stuffed, and at one point I literally stop breathing because a set of lyrics is so hilariously terrible. If you’re into temporary asphyxiation, this may not be the website you’re looking for. But if you’re super into hearing me sing part of Rob Van Dam’s theme song, that’s kinda specific, but it’s your lucky day! Don’t be a ham-and-egger, click on that podcast link!
– Remember that time you followed me on twitter and it was awesome, or at least moderately amusing, or maybe even just a thing you did? No? Well, let’s fix that! Follow me here, follow With Leather here, and follow UPROXX here.
– My deepest apologies for the lateness. To make up for it, this report is super-sized, with two assists from some cool cats who went to the most recent live shows. Be nice to them!
This week on Impact: Bobby Roode and Austin Aries have matching tank tops, and….actually, is there really anything else you need to know? Follow me, friends!
Best: Hey reader, I heard you like Bests and Worsts so I put a Best and Worst in your Best and Worst
Eamon Paton – blogger, twitterer, Texas dweller – was lucky enough to attend Lockdown this past weekend, and now we are lucky enough to get a live-show recap.
Hey With Leatherers, my name is Eamon Paton and I had the pleasure (Yes you heard me, the pleasure) of attending TNA Lockdown live this past Sunday in sunny San Antonio, TX. Not only was this one of TNA’s top PPV events of the year, but also they achieved the goal of having their largest attendance ever in their over 10-year history. So, here are my thoughts in the Best and Worst of TNA Lockdown 2013.
This was my first time ever attending a TNA PPV, with my only other event I have been at being a house show back in 2008. I have to admit that I was feeling a lot of trepidation going into the event, knowing that while TNA was going to be holding Lockdown in the Alamodome, they were only using a very small portion of said dome. Many other people felt the same and I have to say, they delivered beyond my expectations. They curtained off a good 6th of the building for the event; the stage looked professional and close to all of the seats were packed. There seemed to be no gigantic holes in seating from what I could see. The only minor complaints that I could have was that the sound of the ring was very muted, meaning you couldn’t really hear when someone got slammed. Also, there was no live feed being shown on the titantron. However the PPV feed could be viewed on the televisions in the concession stand. That’s how I watched the Robbie E/Robbie T “Con-Bro-Tation” (That’s a confrontation between bros. Yeah, I know. I should write for TNA.). But other than that, the entire look and feel of the event oozed professionalism, something that TNA isn’t necessarily known for.
Best: Zero Commentary
Oh my god, I can’t even put into words how awesome it felt to watch a match in a TNA ring and not have to listen to Taz say “Yam-bag” every other word. I encourage everyone who finds TNA to be atrocious to take some time and watch a couple of matches with the commentary on mute, or at least try listening to Willie and Hector for a change. Either way, it improves the product by tenfold. The best part is that many of the wrestlers in the ring have the capability of portraying the story using their facial expressions and tiny subtleties, without the viewer needing someone to tell them “This is what they are doing and this is why they are doing it”. This was especially evident in the main event with Bully Ray, who was the king of subtleties, making what could have been an ordinary match amazingly enjoyable. It literally renders Taz, Tenay and “dude in a suit who’s name I will never care to remember” useless, which also leads me to my next point.
Best: Young Fans At Wrestling Shows
I was honestly surprised how many people were in that arena that had followed TNA television for weeks upon weeks, and didn’t just show up because “Hogan, Sting and Hardy are gonna be there. Those are names I know”. People were honestly excited, especially a young girl sitting behind me who couldn’t be any older than 6. She had an absolute ball, oohing and wooing every time anyone did anything. She also was so phenomenal commentating the tag team match, that she would put a certain someone called “The Professor” to shame.
Every time Hernandez would tag in, she would be sure to note, “Here comes the powerhouse!” and was questioning why Hernandez would suplex his partner Chavo onto his opponent, if it also did damage to Chavo. What commentary team does that today? They would normally just go “Great double team offense by Chavo and Hernandez”, but this little girl was looking into it so much deeper and most definitely deserves Taz’s spot, that way he can go to the clubhouse and do whatever middle age men in biker costumes like to do.
Worst: Other Fans At Wrestling Shows
Of course, anytime you go to a wrestling show, especially one this large, you are going to encounter some not so great wrestling fans. Only two really stuck out, the first being a guy not too far from me, who I not so affectionately call the “Blurt out everything that is about to happen” fan. Every ref bump he called, every finish to a match. To me, it doesn’t matter how obvious you think something is going to be. Keep it to yourself, because there is probably a bunch of people around you who may not see what you see, and want to be surprised. If you are walking up your friends driveway with him on his birthday, you don’t just scream “There are a bunch of people in there who are gonna jump up with cake and balloons and presents as a surprise!” Just have some self-control.
The second was the fans that chanted “This Is Awesome” at just about everything. Don’t get me wrong, I think that chant is great and has its place. But, if you are doing it at the end of the Bully Ray/Jeff Hardy video package, before entrances or introductions have even happened, rethink your use of it.
Best: Getting To Yell At Taryn Terrell or Worst: Taryn Terrell
If you follow me on Twitter, you will know I am not a big fan of TNA’s “Lead Knockout Official” Taryn Terrell. Actually, “not a big fan” is putting it pretty mildly. I despise her. But unlike myself, Danielle and most competent people, there are people who enjoy Taryn and how she performs her current job in TNA. From what I can decipher, their reasoning can be sort of summarized as, “Hey, look at her boobies guyz”. However, I stand by my statement that Taryn Terrell is quite possibly the worst referee I have seen in my entire life, and I’ve been to an indie show where the referee was wearing a Dasher Hatfield mask with a coonskin cap. No joke.
So it gave me a great sense of gratification that instead of yelling, “Taryn Terrell you are the worst referee in the history of mankind!” at my screen, I got to do it live. Not only that, but I converted many others around me to jeer her for her subpar performance as well. From the way its looking, Terrell may be transitioning into a wrestler and start her feud with Gail Kim, and if that’s the case I will ease up on her. But, if she continues to not understand how rope breaks work, I will continue to ream her for not taking the time to try to be at least a functioning referee.
Seriously, Dangerous Women Of Wrestling had better officials.
Best/Worst: The “Garbage Throwing” After The Main Event
I am sort of on the fence about this whole situation because I am being pulled in two directions. On the one hand, you had a lot of people in that building who were Jeff Hardy supporters, riled up because of the end result. This led to them throwing trash into the ring, which provided for a very cool effect that raised the intensity of this feud and made the Ace’s and Eights seem more impactful (pardon my pun) and important than they ever have been. Bully Ray has a history of antagonizing crowds, so much so that a fan once decided to jump from a balcony in order to get his hands on him. Also, I have never been a part of something like that before, and while I definitely wasn’t going to risk throwing things, it was one of those things I can check off my wrestling bucket list of sorts. It will definitely look amazing in video packages and was a perfect way in which to end the show, leaving the question of “What happens next?” in everyone’s minds.
On the other hand, if you are a wrestling fan, please try all you can to not throw stuff in the ring during wrestling shows. It makes us look like dumb, blubbering morons who can’t control our emotions. Not only were there cups of water and popcorn being thrown, but also thick, metal beer bottles. I was legit worried that one was going to catch So Cal Val in the back of the head, and she doesn’t deserve that. Also, there didn’t seem to be any reprimanding afterwards, so good on you Alamodome security. Let’s hope that next time TNA comes back you won’t mistake a fan jumping in the ring and wrapping his arm around Jeff Hardy as a member of Aces and Eights.
That’s also theorizing that Aces and Eights will still be a thing the next time they stop in San Antonio. I hope so, and I hope Mike Knox has all the title belts.
Well there you go, that’s my Best and Worst of being at TNA Lockdown. I thank Danielle for allowing me to contribute to this awesome column. If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, you can do so at @TheWrestlefan. Also if you like the words that I put on this page, I do more writing at http://www.wrestlefanwrites.blogspot.com. It’s normally about things other than TNA; so if you want your fill of pictures of Joseph Park with loving words next to them, keep reading Danielle’s great pieces.