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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Best: Joseph Park and the Street Fight Phantom

Joseph Park’s first street fight! Oh, they grow up so fast. One day they’re learning front flips in OVW, the next they’re watching Hernandez deliver Mongolian chops in 2013 while everyone ignores the carefully staged trash cans full of street signs on the entrance ramp.

Best: Hello, Austin!

EVERYONE’S GONNA BE FRIENDS

Worst: EGO and the Super Brat

SIGH. I spoke too soon. Aries fakes everyone out, pretending that he’s accepted Bobby Roode’s offer to join up with the BFG BFF, but of course, it is a lie. I am….slightly worried. See, the thing is, Austin Aries is a dick. Kayfabe, shoot, whatever. I love the standing on desks yelling at Hogans Austin Aries. I love move-stealing little sh*t Austin Aries. I love the costume-stealing, making his own way like that Cinderella song told him to Austin Aries. But Aries feuding with two guys who are equally as good as he is when it comes to being a heel, and Kazarian…it worries me. It’s a three-on-one handicap that I’m not sure he can overcome, and I’m not sure they’ll let him. The best part of the entire Chris Sabin schmoz was Aries’ Suicide reveal, and that was thrown out faster those KFC coupons I get in the mail. Well, I recycle them because I’m not a horrible person, but you know what I mean. Aries as a face is almost as bad as a Jay Bradley anything, and shouldn’t be attempted again anytime soon. The only way I can see this working is if Aries really is just a petulant little brat out to foil all of EGO’s attempts to foil things for other wrestlers. Even then, he just becomes the Swiper of Impact – a minor nuisance on EGO’s way to the Gooey Geyser that is Bound For Glory.

“Wait and See” is the worst game you can play with TNA, other than “Who Will Hernandez Injure Next” and “What the F*ck is the Pope Doing With Devon’s Kids.”

YAY

Best: Danielle Matheson, No. 1 Fan

Joseph Park blackhole slams Jay Bradley all the way back to Illinois, thereby pulling himself up out of the BFG standings basement. Yay! I know I don’t have to tell you how much I love Joe Park, but I don’t think you guys get how happy it makes me when I can get genuinely excited by something instead of dreading sitting and analyzing it and explaining why it did or did not work for me. My love for Joe Park is pure, unadulterated markdom and it’s the best thing, every single time.

In a perfect world I’d get a letter from Joe Park, discover that he lives in Burlington, ride my bike to his house and immediately become his intern and also best friend forever instead of writing some dumb play and shaming him for his dead daughter or whatever.

Man, Mallory really sucked.

Worst: Bully and Tito, Friends Forever

The best thing about this entire segment is when Bully refused to acknowledge Chris Sabin’s title win, and claimed that Sabin didn’t beat him, “I beat myself.” Hey, I don’t want to believe he was champ either, and also lol jerk off jokes.

Aside from Tito’s hilarious attempt at public speaking to remind us about a fight he and Hercules had one time and that they’re going to do it again, this is just grating. Yes, Bully…we know you like to swerve people. At this point, the explanation of every single thing you did and how SHOCKING and SURPRISING it is totally diminishes the surprise itself. Setting up the reveal of THE SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT YOUR GIRLFRIEND THAT IS ALSO SURPRISING AND WILL ALSO SHOCK YOU SURPRISE! as such becomes tedious and makes me care not at all.

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Worst: Bully Ray’s Horrible Prank

There are two girls named Brooke and he meant the other one.

This is the worst M. Night Shyamalan movie ever, and that includes the one with the racist dude and the killer plants, the racist live-action retelling of one of the best animated shows ever, and the one about the presumably racist elevator.

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