The Best And Worst Of Impact Wrestling’s No Surrender 9/17/14: A Blue Manik For Less Green

Hey friends! I’ve been awake for an ungodly amount of hours and also drank two giant cans of Red Bull after no caffeine for months and Impact had a free-per-view let’s do this! First though:

– Did you read Women’s Wrestling Weekly on Friday? If not, you really need to. The erasure of female wrestling innovators is super depressing, but Megumi Kudo vs. Combat Toyoda is one of the best matches you’ll ever see.

– I’ll be at the Impact taping tonight (Thursday) in Bethlehem, and King of Trios the next three days. This weekend is going to be magical. If you’re planning on attending, come find me for hellos and high fives! I’ll be the one with mermaid hair hugging every wrestler ever.

– Like, share, comment, tweet, and do whatever you can to get this out there, and participate in the conversation. Even if that conversation is “Where the hell is Rockstar Spud?” but especially if the conversation is “Where the hell is Rockstar Spud?”

– Follow me on Twitter here, With Spandex here, and UPROXX here.

This week on Impact: Will there be any Surrender? Even a modicum? Maybe just a teensy bit? Just how much Surrender could possibly happen?

Worst: Brittany can’t face good

A lot of the problem with Brittany right now is…well, frankly, everything. But really, the glaring issue is that this girl just does not know what to do with her face. Remember when Manik had to try to sell a brutal backstage beating but just looked like he was going to shit his pants at any moment? Brittany is like the TV-sexy girl version of that. Is she bored? Is she horny? Is she sleepy? Is it gas? It’s gas, isn’t it? I know her character is currently one-dimensional and maybe semi-crazy, but for all of TNA’s faults, I feel like the direction given was not “act like a drunk but sexy baby who needs a burp and a nap.”


She just makes me so happy.

Worst: The Causation for Domination

I think I’ve established by now how much I love J-Hav. It makes me really happy to see her come in and be dominant and seen as an immediate threat to everyone in the Knockouts division. I’m not usually one in favour of bringing people in and immediately putting them into the title picture (Hi Kurt!) (Hi not-EC3!), but she makes sense. I want her to look like an unstoppable monster, and I want her to get pushed to the moon and back, but she is making people look real bad real fast.

I know I shit on Velvet Sky a lot, and I’ve seen her wrestle so I know she deserves it, but I would honestly extend the benefit of the doubt to people like Angelina Love, or Madison Rayne. Everyone – even my precious Hot Mess – looks like it’s their first time in a wrestling ring on television. Rebel has only been training for mere months, but while she may get an A for effort (and also a broken arm), there should be no excuse for anyone else in this match. Watch the 23 second or so mark of the video above. Madison Rayne goes after Havok with all the menace of Shaggy imitating a ghost. It’s great that you want to have this badass lady hoss run amok in your division, but at least make it look like not anyone could do it?

Worst: I’m happy, but why is this happening?

Remember when we established that people in charge could hire or fire at will? Remember when we determined that there was a hierarchy in TNA management who made all of the decisions? Remember when J-hav just kept getting in the ring, and instead of being all like “who is this lady and why does she keep interrupting these matches I made oh my god she doesn’t even go here,” Kurt Angle responded with “LET’S PUT THAT LADY IN A MATCH!”? Who hired her? Why is she here? Did Kurt fall asleep at his keyboard while responding to important scouting emails, and the road agents went ahead and assumed HJRMP meant “sign HAVOK?” Why are we even establishing these dynamic power roles and then ignoring them because ¯_(ツ)_/¯?

Worst: Tazz

Tazz is shocked and offended that Kenny King would say something low-brow.


That Tazz.

Best: Oh my god James Storm what are you even doing

Maybe it’s because my mind was wandering to thoughts like “why doesn’t Samoa Joe have a t-shirt that says THICK THIGHS END LIVES?”, but I wasn’t super present during the Homicide-Joe match. It was super short and played out exactly how you’d think it would, right down to the handshake at the end. But then out comes James Storm with a noose (?), but actually it’s a bullrope (??), but with a cowbell(???). I for real don’t understand what this revolution business is all about, and all I want in the world is James Storm to go back to hitting people’s dad’s and making them eternally sad, but if he’s just going to get pissed off and choke out every person who wants to participate in a show of mutual respect, I’m kind of all about it right now.

Super Best: The Typos of the Superkick of the Cowboy James Storm


If he were still telling Gunner he wished he had died in the war and gave up all of this vague revolution nonsense to just be a super asshole for no reason at all times, James Storm would be my favourite wrestler.

Worst: Portuguese Manik o’ War

Oh my god.

Oh my god.

“I want a mask that shows off my hair, but also makes my head look like a cartoon sperm, but that cartoon is Venom? From Spider-Ma-hello? …hello?”

Best: This is REALLY how Manik joined James Storm, right?

100% accurate.

Worst: Math is hard

Here’s what I wrote back on August 28th about the ways this Best of 3 could pan out:

1) The Dudleys win the first one setting up a tables match, The Hardys win the second one setting up A LAADDDDER MATCH, and nobody cares when the Dudleys win the third because age before anything else is the TNA way
2) The Hardys win because the Dudleys respect them and the Wolves just aren’t good enough
3) The Wolves win, earn respect from the veterans, everyone high-fives each other under one of Bully Ray’s tables
4) They each win one, and we continue to have rematch after rematch until one of them gets the call to go back to WWE, or I give up on Impact entirely and just write burning missives about how much I want to be friends with Tyler Breeze and his puppy

So. Here we are. The Best of 3 series doesn’t work out so well when you put three teams in the mix, but also fail to establish any other tag teams in your company. Everyone respects everyone else so hard that it really doesn’t matter who wins after all. Matt Hardy will go back to wherever CHUDs live in 2014, Bully Ray’s contract expired but he’ll work per appearance while he waits out his inevitable return to WWE, and the Wolves get to stick around and hope that two people can work together long enough to make a run at their belts. They’d really hate to have to go back to fighting to be principal dancers in Le Sacre du Printemps.

Worst: Gunner vs. Bram

Gunner prefers the Palatine Hill, but Bram prefers the Aventine Hill. That’s what they’re fighting over, right? Very slowly and shoddily fighting over?

Worster Worst: Angry Gunner

Gunner, sweetie, darling, are you mad? Is stopping a sexual predator from receiving mental health care because you think all mental illness is the same backfiring on you a little? I feel so bad for you, dude. I mean, if only there were a way to have seen this coming.

Worst: Where’s Magnus?

*narrows eyes* Did…did he die?

Worst: Bobby Roode vs. Bobby Lashley

I guess now is as good of a time as any to remember that this is a whoopdy-doo special free-per-view. They’re not charging for it, but the idea is to have “pay-per-view” quality events, right? But has anything really momentous happened? Outside of how hilarious Manik looks, is any of this really memorable? It’s the end of the show and I’ve already forgotten that the show opened with someone trying to pull a wrestler’s prosthetic leg off. That seems like something that should strike a chord, yeah? This has been pretty bad for just a regular old TNA TV show, and I know because I watch all of them. This doesn’t even really build to anything. The tag matches are mired in confusion, most of the people involved in actual established storylines aren’t even on the show, and here we are getting yet another retread of what I have now decided to call “Bobby Pins.” How many times am I forced to ask “How many times are you going to wrestle Bobby Lashley before you realize you’re not going to beat him?”

Impact can often come across as messy and fractured, but this show specifically is only serving to illustrate just how much TNA is suffering during this “transition” period. Rockstar Spud and EC3 aren’t even here. The X-Division title is virtually meaningless. James Storm is starting a revolution, but against what? To accomplish what? What is his mission statement, “I blue myself?” They’ve unfairly shoehorned a one-legged war hero into the mix because 9/11, and now he doesn’t fit into any narratives other than “uhh, Mr. Anderson…maybe?” Most importantly, nothing on this show makes anyone look good. If this were your first time watching, how enthralled would you be with Gunner-Bram? Is THIS the thing that sells you on the beauty of pro wrestling?:


Sigh. Oh well. There’s always money in the One Night Stands.