Well hello again, precious internet darlings! Just a few words before we dive into the column this week.
• I’m going to warn everyone here and now that there is a tl;dr soapbox diatribe buried in the report. I don’t plan on doing something this lengthy on the subject again, but I feel that With Leather has a wonderful community of intelligent readers, and if anyone can have an open and honest dialogue about things we should and should not accept when it comes to professional wrestling, it’s you.
• Last week’s column got an overwhelmingly positive response, and I can’t thank you guys enough for the comments and support. It means more than I can say, and I hope we can keep this going. I’m having a heck of a lot of fun writing about the most un-fun wrestling show on television, and you guys are a big part of that.
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This week on Impact, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels give us the best Christmas present we could ask for, Jeff Hardy makes some memories, and I give Taz the worst I promised myself I would never take the time to write. Round 2, FIGHT! Doodoo doodoo doodoo doodoo doo doo doo!
Best: Austin Aries doesn’t wheel his own luggage around
Because of course he doesn’t.
Best: Aces & Eights have the second best theme music in TNA, and I will shoot fight anyone who disagrees
There’s something really cool and kind of menacing about this theme song that makes me want to see what Aces & Eights are going to do when they come to the ring. I know whatever they do will probably suck, and have the unfortunate involvement of D.O.C. and his Ballpeen Hammer of Doom (it’s got a +4 against aging wrestlers!), but slap an FBI badge on me and call me Mulder, because I want to believe.
And before anyone asks, the best theme song in TNA belongs to RVD, because if every wrestler had a song that shouted their name, nicknames, catch phrases, and a ridiculously comprehensive listing of their signature and finishing moves, the world would be a better place, and we’d never have to listen to Mickie James sing again.
Worst: Kurt Angle has a pack, and it’s sadder than the alternate ending of Brazil
Speaking of things that make me want to get on the Aces & Eights train, ladies and gentleman, Kurt Angle’s back up plan!
Suspension of disbelief is a core concept of wrestling we all embrace. However, I find it really hard to believe that two guys who are better off living in Angle’s erotic friend fiction than getting into a ring alongside Samoa Joe are going to keep four guys who just want to get drunk, watch ladies do their best awkward Jamie Lee Curtis-True Lies striptease to their slowass theme song, and legitimately injure people, from interfering.
Samoa Joe once held greatness in his hands, but let’s face it: he doesn’t care anymore, and neither can I. Here we have a guy who could go toe to toe (or TOE TO JOE, AMIRITE?) with Kenta Kobashi who is so good he makes me want to puke, and pulled off one of the best matches you could ever hope for. He was a top guy at the storied height of Ring of Honor, and will always be lauded as one of the best Samoan wrestlers period, let alone one who isn’t part of the dynastic Anoa’i family.
But just as time makes you bolder, and children get older, Joe is getting older too. If he consistently put on the kind of matches he had against Austin Aries a few months ago instead of schlumping out, spitting at a camera and threatening to murder people, I would have a much better reaction than ‘lol Samoa Joe’ whenever I see him. He’s been phoning it in for a long time, and while I don’t anticipate getting another five-star match out of him anytime soon (or ever again), it would be nice to have more of a reason to like him than “he used to be good.” Kurt Angle and his Frankenstein’s Monster walk generally bums me out pretty hard, but the devolution of Samoa Joe into an angry, slobbering shell of what he once was is the saddest.
Worst: D.O.C. will never let Aries take his Kevin Nash Impression title away again.