The Best And Worst Of Impact Wrestling 4/18/13: Eager Young Lads And Rogues And Cads

Well hello there, lovely readers. I know there are a lot of crazy things happening right now, so I appreciate you stopping by. If you’re reading this it means you’re somewhere, safe and sound, and I’m ever so thankful for that. With everything going on, it’s pretty tough to act like a dumb wrestling show is important, least of all try to be funny about it, but I think we could all do with a bit of levity and I will try my very best. A few things before we dive into another episode:

– There are only 8 days left in the Meet Me There IndieGoGo drive. Trust me, this is something you’ll want to be a part of. If you like horror movies, Brandon, Jill Thompson, and making dreams reality, then pledge some money. It’s been scientifically proven that making a donation will make you a cool cat and a With Leather friend forever, so, you know, do it.

– This week at The Mandible Claw, Chris Sims and Leonard F. Chikarason guested on the podcast. If you like Chikara you will definitely want to listen to this one. It’s been scientifically proven that listening to the Mandible Claw podcast will make you the bee’s knees and a Danielle friend forever, so, you know, do that too.

– Thanks to the internet we can all be friends forever, so go ahead and follow me on Twitter here. Follow With Leather here, and UPROXX here, then we can all be the best of friends. Friendship means caring, and caring means sharing, so spread this around on Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, Reddit, Pinterest, Google+, Vine, Tout, Myspace, Livejournal, Deadjournal, and maybe that forum board you don’t tell people you’re still a part of in 2013. Don’t worry, we’re friends now. We’ll keep it between us.

This week on Impact: We’re still in Corpus Christi and AJ Styles still hasn’t showered, but Christy Hemme changed her dress so it must be a new episode. /creeper slow-pan to Impact report

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Worst: This week

I don’t usually like to touch on non-kayfabe, non-wrestling related things, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the crazy, sad, horrible events of this week. The bombings in Boston, the explosion in West, Texas, and then even more violence in the Boston area last night. Forget about the politics and media frenzy today, and focus on love. Be safe. Be well. Hug your family. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Do things that make you happy. Do something nice for someone else. Most importantly, remember that hope and compassion will always be stronger than malevolence, and no matter what is going on in the world, you’ll find peace in the cultivation of both.

How to help West, Texas

How to help Boston

Worst, but my giggles say it’s secretly a best: Garrett Bischoff, what on earth is that on your face?

Worst: Kurt Angle’s singlet

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Worst: TNA production, what are you even doing

It’s been two weeks, and you’re telling me that you couldn’t find a single camera angle to make that double suplex (duplex?) look better? At first blush, it actually looked pretty cool. We all know that Brischoff, even when their powers combine, are not great wrestlers, but with proper framing and editing you could have made this a passable match. Without that spot this match is completely and utterly forgettable, but rather than emphasizing that hey, that guy who might be some kind of human-robot-hybrid just totally suplexed two dudes at once, the replay emphasizes that hey, that one guy in the front totally jumped while the guy in the middle suplexed him while Kurt Angle just kind of fell backwards. That’s no fun. No fun at all. Remember Breaking the Magician’s Code? That guy who revealed the ~secrets of magic~? That guy was a douche. Don’t be that guy.

Worst: You never go full-Anderson

Did Mr. Anderson have a stroke? Is … is he okay?

Anderson has proven in the past that he can be really good at playing the smarmy heel type, but in all seriousness, he’s gotten weird as f-ck and it’s slightly concerning. Is it all of the stripper handies? The motorcycle exhaust fumes? Whatever it is, this head movie makes my eyes rain.

Best: This baby Sea Otter is SO SNEEZY

Sorry. I know this has nothing to do with TNA, but this is going to be a lot of worsts back to back, and we need something to break it up. Can you think of a better way to do so than by watching a fluffy Sea Otter pup sneeze for 44 seconds? DIDN’T THINK SO.

Worst: Petey Williams and his weird dick flap are back in the X-Division – the X-Division still sucks

I flat-out love the Canadian Destroyer. It’s the most Commonwealth finisher not performed by William Regal. It looks super cool. Do I look forward to it in a match? Absolutely. Do I enjoy watching a slow, boring, ill-spotted, poorly executed match to get to it? Absolutely not.

It’s nice that the X-Division is back up to four people after losing RVD to…parts unknown…but jamming a camera on Bald Ref’s head that simultaneously makes him look like the 17th member of the Pietasters and/or Gloria Swanson in prison stripes is not going to distract me from the fact that this is still so, so bad. Reminding me that Xema Ion was a default X-Division champion for 98 days is not going to distract me from the fact that oh god, Xema Ion was default champion for 98 days. I say we move Kenny King into the tag division with, say, AR Fox or Rich Swann, scrap the X-Division altogether, and then go listen to ska while we figure out how to reanimate it’s rotten, bloated corpse. You bring the Skatellites and the Specials, I’ll bring the Beat and some Save Ferris, and we’ll all have a grand old time, ‘kay?

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BEST AND WORST QUESTION PERIOD: If you could see anyone in the X-Division, who would it be?

For the record, immediately acceptable answers would be Uhaa Nation, Rich Swann, ACH, and AR Fox (or as they would be known in TNA, Hoo-rah Country, Ricky Swing, MSG, and Aaron Fawkes). Hell, throw in Shane Strickland and Bolt Brady for good measure. I’m a bit biased as I would like to see them wrestle each other and everyone all the time always, but either way, we’ve got some smart, saavy readers, and I want to know who YOU think! Leave us a comment. Post some YouTube videos. Give me a shout on the twitters. Worst-case scenario, we get to watch some rad matches and maybe learn about some talented wrestlers we haven’t seen before. Best case scenario, TNA reads this and I can watch these guys wrestle each other and everyone all the time always.

Worst: Real Female Conversations™

TNA didn’t post this segment to their YouTube channel, and it’s probably for the best. Not only does it feature Brooke Hogan, but it features her trying to have real, human conversations with Christy Hemme, Mickie James, and Miss Tessmacher. Strong, strong acting skills in that bunch, eh? Brooke says that Mickie has been showing some real heart out there (despite not being on TV in four weeks, good scouting there Brooke). Miss Tessmacher attempts to sympathize with Brooke by extending an offer of whatever Brooke needs – a cry, a hug, food – because, as Brooke reminds us, Bully Ray “is a jerk.” Yup. The guy who lied to her, tricked her into sleeping with him, tricked her into loving him, tricked her into marrying him, won’t annul the marriage, and continues to emotionally torment her while physically tormenting her father and co-workers? *giggle* That jerk! Those are some Accurate Female Portrayals™ right there.

Best and Worst: Choose your own adventure

Seriously. I cannot keep writing worsts. There will be bests later on, but oh lord is it a rocky road to get there. So hey, let’s make this simple – YOU make the choice.

In the first video we have Magnus getting jumped by 3/8ths, them not understanding how numbers work yet again, and getting scared off by, of all people, Samoa Joe (lol).

In the second video, we have Eddie the Sea Otter playing basketball.

In the third video, we have Velvet Sky attempting to explain where and how badly her knee hurts while a medical professional pokes around through her fishnets.

In the fourth video, a baby Sea Otter swims around with her paws covering her eyes.

In the fifth video, Devon faces Samoa Joe for the Television Title with predictable results.

In the sixth video, a Dachshund puppy chases a crab on the beach with predictably adorable results.

Choose wisely.

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Worst: AJ’s House of Style

If you are cold enough to wear a hoodie and a jacket, then you are cold enough to wear a shirt. And that hoodie-jacket combo alongside your ring gear? No, AJ. You are not Tim Donst. That does not work for you. One could even say those styles….clash.

Best: Bad Influence finally get their own shirts

When they first came into view, I got so excited that I sat up, tossed my phone down on the couch, and opened up my laptop to check the TNA website to make sure these were real. And they are! The former WTTCotW and Bald Best Friends finally have their own company-approved shirt. I mean, they have their own shirts that are way, way better, one of which is autographed and in the next room, but still. It’s nice to see merchandise supporting people I like instead of the egotistical wank job of the Dixie Carter action figure, or the end result of said wank job.

Worst: …and then I really looked at the shirt

I know it’s a little much asking for good graphic design from a company who made a shirt that spells out a wrestler’s first name in ejaculate, but maybe next time let someone other than Rolf the messenger boy design your shirts please?

Even Worster Worst: ….I will still probably end up owning it

Last night a friend (shout out to bad boy Batman expert Chris Sims) was sending me links to ugly wrestling shirts.

Fact: This was one of them.

Fact: That shirt is really ugly.

Fact: I believe in supporting your favourite wrestlers no matter how ugly their merch is.

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Worst: Joseph Park does important business in the bathroom, has his work day interrupted

This legitimately made me uncomfortable. I suppose it’s actually a best for effectiveness, and I love how the colours of his suit call back to his brother Chris, you know, Abyss, but I do not care for this! And you’re ruining his fancy Abyss suit, guys! Man, Brooke was right. You are a jerk!

Worst: #DareToBe

Dare to be fearless. Dare to be glamorous. Dare to be free to jerk it to the Knockouts in plastic wrap bikinis without the disapproving gaze of Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode (or the oddly approving smirk of Austin Aries) staring at you from the website sidebar.

Best: Bad Influence, or, CANADA? THAT’S US!

From singing about being best friends, to making jokes sponsored by xe.com, they were genuinely the very best thing about the show last night. I popped so hard for the exchange rate joke it’s almost unbelievable, unless you know me and also know how darn Canadian I am. A little known fact about Canadians is that we will get excited literally every time someone mentions us in a positive light. My mom called me when Ben Affleck thanked Canada during his Oscar acceptance speech just to tell me that it had happened. You know when Mickey Foley will do his “right here in THIS CITY AND STATE” bit? It’s like that, but nation-wide. The second best part is how they handled the next worst…

Worst: Stop making gay jokes. Please.

Sometimes my habit of tuning out commentators who don’t work for Chikara is detrimental, especially when reviewing a weekly episodic televised wrestling show that involves commentary. Last week Tazz referred to two people as “homos.” That is a thing that was said on television in 2013 that was not preceded by “Don’t call people…” This week we get not one, not two, but multiple inferences that Bad Influence are, instead, BIG GAY HOMOSEXUAL MEN WHO ARE HAVING SEX WITH EACH OTHER Influence. I know Aries and Roode are heels, and I know they get their “comeuppance” of sorts when Chavandez sneaks up behind them, but given the reaction of the crowd, I don’t think any of them sat back and thought “they’re calling them gay so we know they’re bad guys, because there is well and truly nothing wrong whatsoever with preferring the romantic/sexual company of someone who happens to be of the same gender make-up. I should boo them now.” There is a vast, vast difference between “You eschew the use of animal products for health and/or moral reasons. That is different than my diet so I will mock you now (mock you like mock chicken!)” and “You have a sexual preference that is different than mine so you must be shamed because it’s weird and wrong and lol gay blowjobs. Good luck with your rights and freedoms!” It’s unf-cking believable, and yet…here we are. So hey, TNA, you want people to stop looking at you as a second-rate piece of sh-t company? Maybe don’t let everyone run around acting like pieces of sh-t.

You know what? To be quite honest, the rest of whatever I would have to say are either Worsts, or negative things in general. After everything that has happened this week, and how downright awful wrestling on television has been in general since the last Impact, I’m tired. I’m tired of Impact being a bad product. I’m tired of watching people be cruel to each other, real or not. I’m tired of watching the news. I’m tired of victim-blaming and slut-shaming and racism and rhetoric and speculation and the media’s race to be first instead of the most accurate and responsible.

So let’s take a break. It’s the weekend! Do something fun. Make art. Make cookies. Watch those sea otter videos. Post more videos of sea otters. Post videos of things that make you laugh. Post wrestling matches that you like. Whatever makes you smile, and think will make someone else do the same. Be safe, be good to each other, watch this video of cats on treadmills, and know from the bottom of my heart that I care about you.

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