The Best and Worst of Impact Wrestling 8/23/13: The Hardcore Justice Super Special

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Hey Impact folks! I hope you’ve all had a lovely week. A few things:

-Tonight (Friday) at 7:00pm ET, Wrestling is Fun will be streaming free matches, followed by hangout/question times with Jervis Cottonbelly and Chuck Taylor. Robert Newsome (of the Atomic Elbow and Mandible Claw Chikara crazypants stuff) and I will be there in some capacity. Wrestling is Not Always Miserable, so come spend some time with us!

-Don’t forget to share and like and tumbl and comment if you enjoy this column. It keeps me doing it, and hey, sometimes I need that. That sometimes is when Hernandez wrestles, btw.

-Follow me on Twitter here, With Leather here, and UPROXX here. The second two are important, and the first is great if you want to know how I feel about the Estonian Thunderfrog and the terrifying prices of All Bran Buds in Canada or something.

This week on Impact: The Brooke conundrum is finally solved, Joseph Park gets scientific, and the loser of a match has to leave TNA FOR REALZ MAYBE.

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Best: Mr. Anderson and Mean Tito Ortiz

Mr. Anderson is upset with Bully Ray that he’s not answering his phonecalls or text messages, and is spending too much time with shiny new Aces & Eights member Tito Ortiz. You know, this is just like the time Kristy got mad and jealous over Mary Anne’s friendship with California transplant Dawn. Well, if Kristy were more concerned with stripper handies and state helmet laws than Babysitter’s Club dues and gimp bracelets.

Bully explains that Tito is club business, and if Tito is with Bully, then he’s with Mr. Anderson, and he’s with the club. I can see where Mr. Anderson is coming from. I mean jeez, Tito wasn’t even with them all summer at Camp Mohawk. Even Wes and Garrett got to be Junior CiTs. He doesn’t know what it’s like to deal with two weeks of Mike Knox needing calamine baths because of the poison ivy incident. He’s not even in the scrapbook how can he be so important.

Best: James Storm’s Ex-Best Friend

Kazarian, the handsome devil. Chrisopher Daniels, apparently has a nice butt. Bobby Roode, the “It Factor” until they change what “it” is. Yes. This is a thing I want. A Roode in the bush is worth two in the hand, after all.

Normally I’d be a little (incredibly) dismayed by the appearance of James Storm and his mute, shirtless friend, but for once James Storm actually makes a good point. He and Roode were a team for four years, and Roode turned on him. How can Bad Influence trust a guy they’ve teamed with for a week? He and Aries split up, but that was more of a mutual meeting of shared interests rather than friendship despite all of the hug and road trip-themed fanfiction that lives in my heart. The bottom line is: do we really want to live in a world where a drunk cowboy and his weird tattooed friend are making the most sense?

Worst: James and the Impossible Three

I know Hulk Hogan is concerned with lawyers and board meetings that can only occur on the only night your company has a wrestling tv show, but shouldn’t he be a little more concerned with James Storm’s constant self-booking and match starting? Is James Storm the Alternate Officer of Impact? Who gave him this power? And who does Lawyer Kevin Nash have to sue to get it taken away?

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Worst: Gunner Likes Denim!

Everyone not named Bad Influence in this match look like 2000 Royal Rumble British Bulldog. That is not a compliment.

Brandon Guest Worst: Sonjay Dutt Vs. Manik

Danielle was nice enough to let me sub-in for a Guest Worst and talk about the Manik Verse Sonjay Dutt X-Division “not a triple threat, sorry about that” Championship match. No more playpen X-Division title matches! Nyeah!

Anyway, I asked for this spot to address four specific points:

1. Big hatred ups to Manik for lifting the finish of my favorite New Zealand women’s wrestler (and one of my favorite wrestlers, period) Evie. If you’ve never seen it, Evie does a Go To Sleep, except instead of kneeing her opponent on the way down, she falls backwards and kicks up as hard as she can. It’s great, as you can see here at the 13:15 mark. She creams people with it. Manik uses it as a transitional move, because of course he does.

2. How do I describe Manik vs. Sonjay Dutt? It’s like you made two create-a-superstars in WWE ’13, gave them all the create-a-finisher moves you could think to create and wrestled them against each other CPU vs. CPU.

Seriously, there’s no heart involved whatsoever, it’s just guys going through their animations. Manik’s like “oh, cool, I have an opening … I’ll do a move that starts off as a powerbomb, then goes into a fireman’s carry … I’ll hit a Go To Sleep, but it won’t knock the guy down, so I’ll hook him for a tiger suplex, turn that into a Glam Slam, except instead of just dropping down I’ll drop him down ONTO MY KNEES WITH A LUNGBLOWER! And I’ll make sure to add a half-turn somewhere in the middle so we’re facing the hard camera.” Somewhere in the middle you’re just like JESUS CHRIST, HIP TOSS HIM AND PIN HIM, HE’S SONJAY DUTT.

Classic wrestling moves like the piledriver or the brainbuster work because they’re flashy and dangerous things you’d never do in a real fight, but they work within the context of the reality. You pick a guy up and drop him on his head. Shawn Michaels kicked people in the face. Bret Hart twisted a guy’s legs and sat down on them. Goldberg just ran straight into people and knocked them over. Anybody who has ever made ANY MONEY EVER figures out that less is more, and that if you tell people that holding somebody’s head and sitting down hurts, they’ll start calling it the “Stone Cold Stunner” and you’ll pop 80,000 people with it for a decade. No kid who watches wrestling grows up saying “I’m MANIK! My favorite wrestling move is the powerbomb counter into a fireman’s carry GTS kick into a Glam Slam lungblower.”

You are working very hard to make me hate a wrestler in a skeleton costume. I thought that was impossible.

3. Sonjay Dutt is probably the worst wrestler to have a huge following of people who think he could be the next breakout star if he was “used correctly.” How do you want to USE Sonjay Dutt? This is all he can do. His career peaked 15 years ago when he did a cool looking but hilariously pointless quadruple springboard dive in the middle of an MLW match and sold it by standing around and holding his asshole. The-f**king-end.

4. What did Tazz drink before he started talking over this match? Was it gasoline?

Best: Brischoff’s Big Day

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