Well hello! Oh look, it’s Friday again. Shall we do another Impact report? Before we get started:
– Are you reading the Best and Worst of NXT? You should. William Regal does stuff. As does Canadian import Renee Young, whom I am ever so proud of, and want to be as famous as can be. So do that!
– You can follow me on Twitter here, With Leather here, and Uproxx here. We like follows as much as we like gifs of people getting hit in the groin with stuff, so, you know, make it happen and make us happy!
This week on Impact: Secrets, lies, and big reveals! The big reveal is that this episode is terrible. Let’s find out why!
By bringing back the Main Event Mafia, one can take the negative road and assume that Impact writers think we’re all stupid goons with short-term memories who don’t actually remember how bad it was, and why it was so awful. In this case, we’ve been forced onto that road with giant blinking detour signs because oh my god Kurt Angle, what are you even talking about. Glorifying the fact that the MEM took all of the power and belts they could, and did what they want when they wanted it is exactly the kind of short-term memory loss that TNA is relying on. Comparing Aces & Eights to the Main Event Mafia demonstrates that Kurt Angle is the perfect person to join up with Sting’s Stable of Sadness and Senility™.
Sure, Aces & Eights are a stable. Sure, they’re heels who took some titles. They may have some members of questionable talent, but they’re not systematically trying to destroy any young talent and hold TNA back from being a successful wrestling company with a future full of up-and-comers, digging folks like Kevin Nash and Booker T out of their wrestling graves to add (lol) legitimacy to things, and forcing Scott Steiner on us. I’m not saying Aces & Eights haven’t been their own special brand of Aces & Garbage, but come on. If my options are “the thing with Mike Knox hilariously sneaking up on people” and “Kurt Angle failing to accurately remember something he was a part of four years ago,” I guess I’m going to start dressing like an extra from Sons of Anarchy and jerking off beer bottles because holy jeepers I want no part of this.
Worst: Canned boos
I guess if you’re going to manipulate crowd reaction, at least make sure that you pan away from the people who clearly give zero f*cks that Sting can no longer wrestle for the World Heavyweight Championship. I guess isn’t your fault really, because, oh right, that’s everyone. Well…except the guy in the mask and white t-shirt opposite hard camera who spends the entire show acting like an extra in a Step Up 2: The Streets dance battle scene.
I know, bro. I thought C-Tates would be in it way more as well.
Worst: “Real family – we stick together.”
Yup. Just like that time you didn’t come out to help Sting against Bully Ray. Or that time you attacked Sting, beat him up, and kicked him out of the original Main Event Mafia. If only they were still at Universal Studios, because the “witless escapees from a senior’s tour of the studio” jokes are right there. RIGHT THERE.
Worst: El Hijo de Kid Kash
When your qualifications are “muscles,” “looks like the product of an unholy union ‘twixt Kid Kash and Wes Briscoe,” and “probably hurts people,” you….well, okay, you’re more than likely exactly what TNA is looking for.
Double Worst: C’est le pire
Bon rétablissement, Lufisto.
Worst: More like the Wretch Division, amirite?
To be fair, the match didn’t start off that bad. The front flip dive to the outside from “Suicide” was real pretty, but everything after the break? Woof. Consummate Best-getter Kenny King isn’t even a blip on the radar screen of “Things Danielle Enjoyed About This Match.” He actually seems to be getting worse as each week goes by. It’s slow and plodding, and pretty much the opposite of anything that should get you excited about the X-Division. Suicide is a whole other issue in and of itself, but more on that later.
The finish of the match is almost as bad as that time RVD forgot to kick out of a pin, so the ref had to run his hands over RVD’s face at the last second so he wouldn’t have to finish the three count. Watch as Kenny King desperately flails his hands around like Velvet Sky pretending she’s in pain so he won’t touch the ropes and jack the finish. Upon further inspection I am wearing loafers, and this match is a mess.
Worst: Revisionist History, Part Deux
Okay. I can get through this.
*more deep breaths*
As someone who desperately clings to kayfabe as much as possible in a so-called “post-kayfabe” era, unmasking someone is a pretty big deal. I mean, I am a girl who is writing this under the watchful gaze of an UltraMantis Black poster. It’s not something to be taken lightly, and really, unless it’s part of an apuesta de mascaras, I get real nervous when someone starts reaching for those mask strings. All week long Impact Wrestling has been hyping the reveal of Suicide’s identity. Obviously that was my first signal to ready all of the table-flipping gifs I can find.
At the end of the X-Division match, Hogan brings out TJ Perkins, well known independent wrestler, and helpfully explains that he is the REAL Suicide, and has always been Suicide. This is where it gets tough. We can accept that at face value, knowing full well that is very much false thanks to any working knowledge of either Perkins’ career or, I dunno, the ability to use Google (or Bing, if you’re that person). As hamfisted as it was, Hogan just did something to establish canon and every part of me wants to go along with it. But why reveal who he is in the first place? If you’ve already worked to establish a character’s backstory through numerous shows and an entire goddamn video game, why suddenly pull the rug out from underneath all of that? Why not just get your graphics fellow to have a big flashing Titantron sign that says WRESTLING IS FAKE through this whole segment?
Clearly this Suicide moves and wrestles differently than the previous shows he’s appeared on. Even without the reveal, it’s pretty easy to figure out who is under there. Had TNA spent longer than five minutes thinking through how this was going to play out, I’m sure they could have come up with a way to do this without basically shitting on the entire concept of masked wrestlers or wrestlers with characters or wrestling in general. The worst part is that this in no way had to happen. The reveal later on ensures that. Were I an actual anime character, instead of just having hair like one and constantly having a piece of toast hanging out of my mouth as I write, this is where I’d be comically slamming my face into my desk shouting “BAKA! BAKA!” over and over again.
Best: The previous Worst, but for the TL;DR crowd
Best: TJ Perkins, Hilariously Injured Dude
What is it, TJ? Are you hurt? Is it appendicitis, brother? It’s appendicitis, isn’t it? *cut to a slow motion dive offstage as TJ Perkins explodes into a shower of checkerboard shorts behind him*
Thanks for reminding us all that this was a thing that happened: