Sports

The Best and Worst of Impact Wrestling 10/24/13 and 10/31/13: Dixie Carter’s Double Digest

Hi! Oh, it’s been so long. Too long! My boyfriend was kind enough to have a super not awesome plague waiting for me when I got back from Texas and I missed last week, so today we’re going to double up. Four hours of Impact! That is…too much Impact! But we’re doing it anyways! GET HYPE ABOUT IT. A few things:

– For those regular readers who were wondering, yes, I did get to smush Evan Gelistico’s face while I was gone as promised. It was glorious. 10/10, would smush again. Texas wrestling (and all of the lovely people I got to meet while I was there) was a wonder, and I already wish I were back there.

– It’s Mobsy’s birthday today! She made the gifs, so follow her, love her, and send her the happiest of birthday wishes.

– Like, comment, share, tumbl, tweet, post it to your LiveJournal, try to remember your password for your DeadJournal and get this column out there. I like doing this every week (well…like is a strong word), but I’d like to keep it up, so hey! Let’s make that happen.

– Follow me on Twitter here, With Leather here, and UPROXX here. Twitterness is next to godliness, or…something.

This week (and last week!) on Impact: Dizzying highs! Staggering lows! Even worse lows! And lows low enough to warrant Owen voices! Admit it – you missed this.

Worst: The future is ten years ago

I am not entirely sure that Dixie understands what “future” means. Lacking a full grip on the concept of time would explain why 1) Sting is still wrestling, 2) the ten-year veteran Magnus is still a Young Gun Rookie New Guy Baby Wrestler, 3) “Legend” AJ Styles is the future. AJ Styles was the future of your company when y’all were wrestling in the Asylum, darlin’. The future is now, and you should probably start looking at guys who have a lot more years (and a lot more personality) in them instead of a guy who’s been the “future” for a phenomenally long time.

Best: Everything else, though

Heel Dixie is kicking my ass so hard right now. I love that when she namedrops expensive things, it’s not legitimately expensive, impressive things (like say, the Moon-DNA Romain Jerome watch, or sushi from Masa in New York), it’s everyman expensive things. Stereotypical tokens of wealth that even the 99% can recognize as decadent: filet mignon, lobster, caviar. She doesn’t specify that she’s got Perrier-Jouet waiting for him (though knowing TNA it’s probably Taittinger’s), but just an unspecified “champagne.” Vague trappings of wealth meant to sound more important than they really are to someone who isn’t genuinely affluent (or just new money, because it’s virtually the same thing).

Speaking of champagne, “You don’t drink, but I love the stuff,” is such a great throwaway line, and it’s another one of those things that helps negate any nerves or instances of her misspeaking because it’s so simple, but it’s so brilliant. Like saying that she had someone get Hogan’s watch on Craigslist. Tiffany’s my butt.

Worst: AJ Styles

Ohhhhh, AJ. No no no. No no no no no no no.

No.

AJ as Redneck Willie Loman is fine. If Dixie is going to be condescending about her place in the world and her private jet, AJ Styles saying that he’s a truck guy is fine (even though he could just trade the car in, because I assume his Catwoman bike is only for speeding off in a huff), and saying he wants to be with the boys in the back who built this company is fine…wait, no, not that last one.

One of the most frustrating things about someone trying to stand up for the BOYS is that everytime they claim to be doing something for the “boys in the back,” the intent is to show that whatever figurehead they’re addressing is too far above them to know what it’s really like to be one of the workers, but what actually happens is it places “the back” in a vacuum. AJ Styles sticking up for Aces & Eights? Sticking up for Bad Influence, who have tried to make your life hell for longer than I’ve been writing this column? James Storm, who beat you at Turning Point last November, which meant you couldn’t have a shot at the belt until Bound for Glory 2013? Ethan Carter III? Oh yeah, he’s totally on your side. There’s no massive show of solidarity. There’s no strike. Not everyone is anti-Dixie, and doing it for the “boys” (which also being grossly dismissive of female roster members and further contributing to the boys’ club culture in wrestling that makes it that much harder for the rest of us ladies to have any involvement) makes you sound less heroic and moreso just completely unaware of your surroundings.

But no, please, continue to point out that you’re not under contract. Just because you win a belt doesn’t mean that it suddenly becomes your property. When you quit a job, you don’t just get to keep the company laptop or the keycards to enter the building. They don’t belong to you, and you are stealing, and why anyone isn’t just calling the police or suing you or just…goddamn anything ugh you make me so mad.

Worst: Oh, BTW

There are four members of Aces & Eights, AJ. But you’d know that if you cared about the boys enough to actually watch them wrestle every week on this free, widely available televised wrestling show who until very recently was your sole employer, wouldn’t you?

Best: Me too, Dixie. Me too.

Worst: Oh, that asshole

NO STOP NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME WHY I JUST GOT OUT OF WRITING ABOUT MAGNUS WHY ARE YOU PUNISHING ME

Worst: But no, seriously

When you’re really passionate about something, you have stronger feelings and reactions than that of a casual viewer or fan, and that’s fine. Most of the time, it’s wonderful. I can sit in a bar and watch Davey Vega and ACH wrestle a match so good it legitimately brings me to tears and have zero shame about it.

My reaction to Mr. Anderson coming back…..was not that.

The downside to really caring about something that consistently makes you feel terrible is that when it doesn’t go your way you…may not react in the most appropriate ways. Throwing a full-blown tantrum and yelling “YOU WERE JUST IN IT FOR THE HANDJOBS YOU AWFUL SLINGBLADE MOTHERF-CKER” might not be a good example of how to handle yourself like an adult. The good news is that it was highly entertaining for Matthew to watch. The bad news is that EVERYTHING IS AWFUL AGAIN AND THERE ARE ZERO WAYS YOU CAN MAKE THIS FUN KEN ANDERSON.

Worst: No, really, Ken Anderson is a gaping worst

Best, kind of?: Lady Tapa and Gail Kim

If I can’t have Bad Knuxx Fale carrying Garrett Bischoff on his shoulders to the ring, I GUESS a lady Bullet Club would be kind of awesome. Aside from lol swerve, it doesn’t really make much sense as to why the best technical wrestler in a Knockouts division of three active wrestlers and Velvet Sky would need a big bad nothing-like-Tamina-Snuka-cough-cough protector, but if finding ways to make jokes about Real Rock ‘n’ Rollas distracts me from talking about this Knockouts match, hey, we’re cool.

Worst: Often imitated…

By whom?!

Best: Dewey Barnes

Thank god someone is happy to be there.

Worst: EC3

Naw, I’m just kidding. I might be hugely biased (I am), but I don’t foresee giving him a Worst anytime soon, so I might as well get it out of the way, right?

Thinking about it, I really wish this were a bigger part of the show, so I guess that would be my Worst. Having Dixie’s privileged nephew wrestling, as my boyfriend described them, “you know…guys who look like me…” it should probably be a talking point for someone. Jobber squashes are de rigeur when it comes to introducing someone as a powerhouse figure, but there’s actual storytelling happening that is pertinent to the main event situation. If his opponents are being hand-picked, why isn’t anyone getting mad? Why isn’t anyone like “why do I have to wrestle Gunner? That dude’s lame. Why can’t I have butt pawprint guy? Why does HE get special treatment?”

It’s that aforementioned lack of solidarity. If you’ve got a big bad in charge of the company, one guy showing up and claiming to speak for everyone seems silly if no one else is actually upset. If no one cares that these hand-picked opponents look like they couldn’t even wrestle their way out of a wet paper bag, and he’s just getting a free pass because nepotism, then that free pass means nothing, and you’re just alone, shouting in the dark.

Better Dewey Barnes Best: There’s a 79% chance you will love this clip

Best: It’s a Magnus segment, so let’s take a break and look at this rad picture from my vacation

Tenzan! Liger! Watanabe! Gedo! Unnamed Young Boy!

This picture rules, and is the opposite of Magnus.

Worst: Kurt Angle

I’m not gonna make excuses, except for the excuses that I came out here to make, but I lost. But losing doesn’t make me a loser, and you being better than me and winning doesn’t mean that you beat me by being better than me. And even though I’m not medically cleared to exert myself in a physical manner, that doesn’t mean I’m not cleared to exert myself in this other, realer physical manner because I’m Kurt Angle, and I don’t know where I am right now.

(PS: lol at you making them sit through a Hall of Fame dinner before you declined the Hall of Fame induction at Bound for Glory. Top notch dick move, Kurt.)

Best: Everyone loves a celeBROtion!

And I love you most of all, DJ Salami, fussing with your decks and quietly groovin’ on James Storm’s theme. I’m sorry that drunk guy called you DJ Anus. That was mean, and didn’t even make sense.

Worst: The “You Can’t Wrestle” chant

Yes, these two professional wrestlers with professional wrestling championships sure don’t know how to do that thing they’re paid to do that may or may not be to wrestle professionally.

Even Worster Worst: James Storm

1) You should probably not criticize someone else’s choice in jeans when generally you look like this:

2) You want to make this the shortest reign in TNA history? What, you mean like that time you were TNA Heavyweight Champion for two weeks in 2011?

3) Appletinis don’t taste like beer, but they do still taste like alcohol. You disliking them because drinking one might make you lolgay doesn’t change the taste and composition of a beverage. But then again you mostly just drink beer foam, so you may not know what alcohol actually tastes like.

Look, all I’m saying is don’t throw glass beer bottles when you live in a refrigerator box backstage, probably.

Best: Joseph Park, light of my life, love of my heart

Because of course he is.

Worst: I ALREADY SAID NO, KEN ANDERSON

Picture the saddest face you’ve ever seen. That face is my face right now.

Worst: AJ Styles

If pretending to wipe your ass with a legal document is how you get over with real people, I just…man, why do you even want him here, Dixie? This worst extends to her as well, because it’s the same issue I had with what happened with Hogan. If you’re in charge, really in charge, then these guys are expendable to you. Hogan would show up 45 minutes into a show, not pay attention to anything, and then leave before it was over. Those are terrible management skills. AJ Styles hasn’t been in the main event picture, his wrestling style is the pits, his pele kick makes me mad, and he can’t even remember whether or not he’s wearing gloves. You have multiple people who can main event a show, and none of them seem to give a sh-t about what you’re doing. Move on, lady. Get your belt back, or get a new one. You used to be friends, and now you’re not, and it sucks, but you can just buy new friends (if my concept of wealth is correct).

Oh, and good job on stealing that car, AJ. The belt might be debatable (it shouldn’t be, it’s not your property), but hey, you didn’t sign that contract, so congrats on your felony, bro. Pretty sure skidmarks aren’t legally binding. At least I think they aren’t…

I guess we’ll find out next week – or WAIT A MINUTE, HOW ABOUT RIGHT NOW? Hold onto your butts, coconuts! There’s a whole other Impact report starting on the next page! And it has more gifs! Kids are still into those, right?

Best: Atta girl

Dixie comes out to explain just how done with AJ Styles she is. She’s even gonna let him keep the car. I’m a little disappointed that AJ Styles’ rumoured title defence in AAA isn’t because he heard about the lax Mexican extradition laws, and he doesn’t want to get booked for grand theft auto, but that’s cool. Whatevs. Let’s all move on from this together. Wash that man right out of your hair, Dixie. Now we can get on with…wait…what are we doing?

Worst: Now we’ll have a championship tournament CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT

Holy sh-t this show opener is a mess. I don’t know if they had to rush to edit things, or if someone just genuinely though this was a good idea with a good flow GOOD FLOW, but we are all over the place from the get go GET GO.

Dixie wants to have a multi-week tournament to determine the next TNA World Champion. There are seven spots, all former WHC holders, and then there will be a gauntlet battle royal to determine the eighth participant.

Okay, so it’s not an original idea, but whatever. There are few ideas or tournaments or stipulations that haven’t been done before, so I’m not going to get all wadded up over something that gives me a battle royal. Lining up seven dudes who have already held the belt (blech) is…not great, but the worst part is that it makes clear provision for that eight person to be Magnus. It has to be. There are only two reasons to play up the former champion aspect, and that’s a) so it’s a Very Big Deal™ when Magnus enters the tournament, makes it to the final, and is presumably champion heading into their overseas tour, and b) so Bully Ray can come out in a huff because his title reign was hella long, and way more memorable than the abortive outing by The Superkick of The Cowboy Who Likes to Slowly Pet His Horse During Emotional Montages James Storm. Remember how fast they dumped that angle between Roode and Storm? The one they actually did a good job of building up? The one where James Storm was actually likeable, instead of an out-of-control drunk with John Morrison’s hand me down jeans with a mute partner whose tattoos make him look like he just rolled around in the mud, saying beer every two seconds because WHAT DO WE ALL WANT?

TNA to let us keep the nice things it gives us. That’s what we want.

Worst: Ken Anderson

Is he f-cking Kitty Pryde? Come on. Two run-ins last week, and a run in right off of the bat? Maybe Knuxxy is letting him in. Maybe Atlas Security blows. Maybe someone should stand in gorilla and not let him down the f-cking entrance ramp. Maybe you should fire the guy who keeps playing his music because he’s clearly in on it. And maybe, just maybe, we probably could have waited until after the very first commercial break COMMERCIAL BREAK for this to happen.

Worst: ACK

Oh man, she is not making me feel like I’m having a very foxy Halloween.

Worst: Save a Fake Viking, Tag a Cowboy

This match is….fine. It’s most definitely A Match That Happened On Television. But remind me why we’re supposed to be rooting against the Bro Mans?

For months, James Storm has been wandering around, unchecked, bullying wrestler after wrestler. He joined forces with one Gunner (still not enough to necessitate a gun rack), and continued to provoke and antagonize people who really had no issue with them. Even at the start of this match, they run to the outside and jump the Bro Mans. That’s shady, guys. Real shady. I dunno, maybe heels would be a lot nicer and stop cheating if you stopped being so sh-tty to them. Or just go about their business without you stepping in to ruin their celebrotions and insult their precious DJs.

I guess it comes down to the outdated ideals of masculinity that James Storm (and I guess Gunner, who the hell knows) believes in. The beer drinking, truck driving, taking-the-fight-to-them JOHNNY CASH LISTENEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN’ “real man” BS that he’s trying to get over in a company (nay, THIS BUSINESS) full of manicured, waxed, eyebrow tweaked, HD make up-wearing muscled dudes who roll all over the place (and each other) in as little clothing as possible. Like, come on. If amongst all of that, an appletini and a little hair gel between friends really gets your back up and you feel threatened to your very JOHNNY CASH LISTENEEEEEEEEEEEEEN’ man core, maybe you should seek some help. What’s next, a tag finisher called the Gay Panic?

Best: But oh…

How can you hate that happy Robbie E face?

Worst: Where we’re going, we don’t need previously established stipulations

Dixie Carter calls Sting into some kind of festively decorated broom closet to let him know that tonight, just this once, she’s going to lift the ban on him competing for the World Title, and let him compete in the gauntlet. This is hilarious because a) she says she’s sick of hearing people complain about it, and b) I’m pretty sure she thinks Sting might actually die in this match.

Sting responds by telling her that he’s earned everything he’s ever gotten, and he’s never had a sense of entitlement.

Except that Main Event Mafia stuff.

And that second attempt at the Man Event Mafia stuff.

Other than that, though, never.

BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURN.

Worst: Lord, I’m discouraged

This should be dumb and hilarious and wonderful. I didn’t watch the show live, so here was my first introduction to this:

Yeah…if it doesn’t get better….goddamn I hope it gets better.

Best: Oh hey, Ethan Carter III, Nephew of Dixie Carter, general happiness maker, and guy who gets good distance when tossing a handkerchief

….’sup.

Best: NORV!

This kid’s got moxie, see? Moxie!

Worst: But again, what are you even doing

Look, I’m probably going to love every Rosencrantz and Guilderstern they send out for Mr. The Third to squash because I am a ridiculous person who loves ridiculous things (quick! Ask me my feelings on El Torito!), but this is the perfect opportunity to make the whole nephew deal a bonafide Thing. What is the point of having a representative of the 1% if he makes up 0% of the World Title picture? If people have only seen him DOMINATE NERDS and BE MEAN KINDA, they’re not really going to care because it means nothing to them. It has no effect on who they came to see and what they want to happen. Aside from Mobsy (who may be the biggest Furnham and Barnes fan around besides their respective families), no one in the audience cares about these guys, and saying he’s a Carter after each match isn’t going to register anything if it’s not taking time or opportunity away from an established fan favourite. Why not shoehorn him into the tournament? If he’s so entitled, give him something that he (again, personal feelings aside, calm down guys) doesn’t deserve. Give him a reason to be entitled other than “lol that guy he’s wrestling is a real skinny motherf-cker, ain’t he.” Get him some heat. Take a chance. Goddamnit just do something.

Speaking of…

Hey, here’s something you can do while we’re all talking about doing things and getting things done – bring back this guy as soon as possible:

Worst: This battle royal is unsurprisingly not great, and contains hella Magnus, so
Best: Hey, this battle royal is unsurprisingly not great, and contains hella Magnus, so let’s talk about something else!

I’m just gonna go ahead and pretend this entire battle royal (including the assiest of predictable outcomes) actually went something like this:

Worst: Oh man, this did not get better

I like that we have the same fake pipe, and I like that we do equally terrible British accents, but this is…not good. It’s nice that you feel the need to insult fat people and fans and women and….well, it’s not. And it’s bad. There’s no joy. It’s not fun. I like that Tazz is vocally confused about the hats, but there is nothing, and I mean nothing that could salvage this.

Best: WHOA WAIT HOLD UP

FRIENDSHIP IS THE BEST COSTUME (even if this lovely fellow did it first, and did an amazing job).

Worst: BUT WAIT WHAT WHY WHAT ARE WE SLOW DOWN GUYS

Oh, look. It’s Joseph Park’s brother Chris, you know….Abyss?

….yay….we’re doing this………..yay…….

Best: Spin the wheel, make a deal

SHE HAS A WHEEL OF DIXIE WHO STILL HATES THIS

Worst: Angle vs. Roode

You know how they say “if everyone bleeds, no one bled?” The lesser known cousin of that saying is “if one person pretends to have seizures and almost die in the ring, it really doesn’t matter what happened in the match prior to that because that’s gross and inappropriate?” Oh, you’ve never heard that? Well, apparently neither has Kurt Angle, which is so weird. It’s a very common phrase. Anyways, you can either watch Kurt Angle’s nervous system get hacked while Mike Tenay uses his best Owen voice to describe how hard it is to watch (because you can’t just stop taping at any point), or we can all go about our normal Friday business. Personally, I’m going to go to work and try to watch as much of last weekend’s New Japan show as I can during my break. Feel free to watch the full match on Spike TV’s website so you can actually enjoy it before it gets awful, or just leave me a comment letting me know how much better Okada looks with dark brown hair (spoiler alert: like, a thousand percent). See you next week, friends!

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