Sports

The Best And Worst Of Impact Wrestling 11/14/13: A Real Barnes-Burner

Well hello there, friends. It’s Friday, which means we get to spend some time together via the magic of the modern day internet! Hey, you know who’s really great at using the internet? Spiders. You know. Because they all have websites.

-If that didn’t drive you away, be sure to follow me on Twitter here. Also, for real jokes, be sure to follow With Leather here, and UPROXX here. Note: none of us are actual spiders. …I think.

-Share this report with everyone you know, arachnid or otherwise. Tweet it, like it on Facebook, email your mom pictures of Ethan Carter III’s midsection. You’ll be super cool for doing it, and as a bonus, you’ll get to have that super awkward moment of your mom being uncomfortably into EC3’s abs.

This week on Impact: Dewey Barnes! Norv Fernum! EC3 vs. Friendship! Swoon.

Worst: After the first 18 minutes, I could only think to type one thing

And that one thing was “whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.” No. Really. That’s all I had in my Word document for the entire opening segment and the first contest of the night. Usually a third of my report is dedicated to the first ten or twenty minutes of the show, because good or bad, there’s something to grab onto. This week? *deep breath* Okay. This week. We’re doing this. There’s no turning back. Turning Point is next week anyways. *deep breath*

This week, it’s Aces & Eights who kick off the show, all smug and smarmy and hugging and yelling at poor lizardface. They fooled us again, because we know who they are and what they do. At this point, if TNA fans (Bully Ray is looking at hard camera, so I can only assume he means us) have been fooled so many times, isn’t it a little mean to be boasting? Is it even worth it to boast? Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. Fool us like, seventeen times over the course of the year, one of us is probably a stupid asshole.

(spoiler alert: everyone is a stupid asshole)

Mr. Anderson, ever determined to not be obnoxiously out-smugged by someone heads to the ring, because we’re not allowed to have nice things anymore, I guess. And then….well, here’s the official recap from impactwrestling.com:

These words bring out the former Aces and Eights Vice President and he has a better plan for his match with Bully. Mr. Anderson suggests a new stipulation to “sweeten the pot” at Turning Point. It’s simple. Ken and his wife are expecting twins. With a family on the way, Ken will gladly go home and be a daddy rather than a wrestler. He’ll leave TNA he loses. Done and done. But, if he wins, then Aces and Eights have to call it a day and disband their little gang. What do you say, Bully Ray? Well, he says this:

“Listen Ken. If I had the chance, I would love to piledrive your pregnant wife. And as far as you putting your career on the line against me, you must be crazy.”

We can infer two things here:

1) Selective use of someone’s personal life means we have to suddenly have selective memories and pretend that Anderson is some doting husband and family man who prefers his dogs and his wife to motorcycle exhaust and stripper rimjobs, or

2) we can look forward to New York Time’s bestseller Handjobs to Housewife: How I Went From Impact Zone Scuzzbomb To Stay At Home Mom.

Personally, I would much rather read about Ken Anderson finding true love in the midst of an Eiffel Tower with, I dunno, D-Lo or whoever, than I would like to ignore the entirety of Aces & Eights history for the sake of a match between someone who has apparently stopped caring about the only thing he had left that defined him (his world title) so he could fight with someone who doesn’t even work there (Jesus Christ you don’t even work there), and who doesn’t even want to be there in the first place.

Worst: Knuxxy vs. Anderson

I love you for showing up and smiling and laughing, WWE’s Mike Knox, I really do, but…maybe….maybe you should stick to where you’re a Viking and not wrestle Mr. Anderson? Maybe? Pretty please?

You all know I hate when people just march up to the ring and make matches when there’s a specific hierarchy of decision makers and managers that has been canonically established, but this is fine. I mean, with Hulk gone, there’s no one to generally manage everything in the most general way possible, Dixie is consumed by her business meetings with Daisy and not rigging the Wheel of Dixie so it lands on a tuxedo match every time, so we’ve got anarchy. And we all know anarchy means NO RULES except THESE VERY SPECIFIC RULES THAT WE HAVE SOMETIMES.

But why can’t Aces & Eights just say no? Again, he doesn’t even work there. They can beat him up (and have) whenever they want. He’s not worth their time. Snubbing Mr. Anderson will hurt way more than shuffling around the ring for a while before letting him land maybe one of the worst Mic Checks ever. What is even the point of all of this?

Well, let’s review. During the heady days of broom closets full of beer and empty pizza boxes and wanton, unprotected beer bottle caresses, Aces & Eights wooed Mr. Anderson to their anti-TNA cause with women and libations and the chance to be an asshole (which he was going to be in the first place, really). They didn’t really need him, but they got him, and then they were a family. Bully Ray came out as the leader of Aces & Eights, they went on vacation to England, and sat around in parking lots here at home, waving their hands in the air like they had zero cares. They had zero cares, you see, until Anderson was a jerk to DOC, who didn’t want to voluntarily throw himself out of a Battle Royal. They then fought about being VP a bunch, because I guess Anderson was now committed to the day to day administrative duties of a rogue wrestling motorcycle club, and DOC probably had really crummy penmanship. DOC left, Anderson got the power he wanted, and then…it wasn’t enough. When it was decreed that a member of Aces & Eights would have to face Bully Ray for the title, Mr. Anderson turned on him, his desire for the title of Champion and President finally overtaking anything else.

Seems like a fairly decent story, right? Anderson gets a taste of the Florida good life, then seizes his opportunity for power and glory because he’s always been a selfish asshole, and will roll over anyone who gets in his way. He was never really a part of the brotherhood, just in it for himself. He had a modicum of power in the VP role but Bully Ray did what he wanted, bringing in Tito and making kissy faces at Tessmacher, and Anderson realized that he had a meaningless role with a meaningless assigned title of VP. He had to fall in line and deign to the Greater Asshole, or remain impotent cannon fodder against whoever wanted to fight with them.

But…no. The story switched gears, and suddenly he was mad about the decisions being made without him because it wasn’t best for the club. He missed his friends (like DOC, who actually hated him), and he didn’t like the treatment of his remaining bike pals. Now all he wants to do is shut them down for good so he can go home to his pregnant wife and work in a bank and have weekends off and try his best to achieve real life mediocrity (because being the king of wrestling mediocrity is just not good enough).

Wrestling!

But seriously, to take a moment out of my precious little kayfabe bubble I prefer to live in, HEY. YOU. WRITERS. He joined Aces & Eights in December, you have the tapes of every show at your disposal, and there’s a convenient thing called the Internet that catalogues and critiques your every action as a televised wrestling show. Maybe look up what’s happened thus far? Or…I don’t know…say stuff out loud before you give it the go ahead? Or if someone writes MR. ANDERSON on the white board, erase it and wish them the best in their future endeavours?

Best: Joseph Park

Joseph Park! You’re stuck in an insufferably miserable storyline and people won’t stop being mean to you, but I love you the most and you still make me happy by just being there. Just…be there always, k?

Worst: Speaking of insufferable

Have Kazarian and Christopher Daniels ever actually been worse than this? Do…do they know they’re this bad? They have to know. There’s no way they can’t know they went from the happy highlight of the company to a shade above those times they let Hernandez speak on television.

It was suggested to me that maybe those behind Impact caught on to the fact that people were amused by their antics, and are now making them do the same thing, but the version of what higher ups think is humorous. And I can see that. Remember how CM Punk dropped HIS pap-bomb, and everyone ran around creaming themselves over how good it was (and it was, back away from your keyboard CM Punk fans), but then as time went on and he started reading his obviously scripted lines of rebellion and angst it lost all of the magic of him sitting criss-cross applesauce on the ramp and he was just a guy with a new t-shirt and hollow feelings?

Either Bad Influence have lost the will to live, or Marketing Meeting Daisy thinks this is f-cking hilarious.

Worst: But at least the wrestling is good, right?

Impact Wrestling: Where everybody’s miserable, and nobody gives a sh-t.

Best: I need you now more than ever, EC3

The following are my currently-existing wrestling-related happy places:

Joseph Park smiles
Davey Vega matches (they’re the best thing!)
Okada’s consistently baller ring gear
ACH entering a ring to Lupe Fiasco
Wrestlehugs
Tim Donst with hair
Uhaa Nation and Akira Tozawa vines about being friends and making protein shakes
Dasher Hatfield’s existence
Saying “A belly of cotton” to myself and then giggling. A lot.

EC3 has just joined that list, because oh my god, I need you on this show now more than ever. We’re going full steam ahead into this whole Danielle Will Never Get To Meet Joseph Park And Tell Him How Much She Adores Him Because Impact Wrestling Is Still A Terrible Horrible Place That Never Wants To Just Make It Easy To Love Them Ever/Abyss thing, Bad Influence are sad and maybe the most unendurable thing on the entire show, and we’ve only had one close up of Mike Tenay’s withered face thus far. Now that we’ve acknowledged the relationship between Ethan Carter III and Dixie Carter, and these squash matches are both developing character and being insanely delightful at the same time, it is the last untouched thing of beauty in this bleak wasteland of sadness and Magnus.

It’s also like someone put a really fun, entertaining indy feud into the middle of our Wrestling That Is On Television show, so of course I love this the most. Even Joseph Park is making me sad, so let’s just enjoy his sparkly gear and charmingly douchey smirk and that thing he does (all of it, nevermind, just all of it) before it gets taken away for being too good.

Or before they add Chavo into the mix. Whichever.

Best: I didn’t know you were a contractor, Norv

But I agree, this roof DOES need to be raised.

Best: But no really, this match

Remember the last time I watched TNA with my hands clasped to my heart, thoroughly amused and full of happy wrestling-related feelings?

Oh right, it was the last time E3 wrestled. He’s the 1% that steals the show (and my heart) 100% of the time.

Best: Ms. Carter, if you’re nasty

Thanks for saying all of those things that I said in the report previously, even though you’re ignoring when you said he could keep the car.

I love that she knows Jeff Hardy beat someone, but can’t be bothered to know who. She’s a busy business lady with her own Wheel of Herself, and she has her hands full with all of her own brilliant ideas and can’t be concerned with the rest. She also posted something on “our internet.” Not YouTube channel, not website, “our internet.” Bless your heart, Dixie.

I can’t wait until this entire tournament is over and EC3 stands tall as World Heavyweight Championship because nepotism is greater than anything that ever comes out of James Storm’s mouth.

(Do that, please.)

Worst: Magnus

Oh look, Magnus spoke. Let’s all just ignore that and watch this video of Ethan Carter III chopping Dewey Barnes.

Ahh, that’s better.

Best: Joseph Park

I’m sorry I had to say that you made me sad, Joseph Park. I love you with every fibre of my wrestling-loving being, and I really really mean it when I say oh god oh god never leave please don’t do this please please please slow down and think about what you’re doing.

Tune in next week when the report is nothing but gifs of EC3, and embedded Instagram videos of me sobbing forever.

Meeehhh: Aries vs. Angle

I love submission matches. Well…no, that’s a lie. I love Submission Squad matches, and am generally fairly tepid towards submission matches because they’re usually paced poorly, and make people throw around terms like “workrate” a whole lot.

You know what? No. Let me restart this whole thing by saying that I like submission matches that make sense. Non-submission based offense targeting the specific parts of the body your submission finisher is applied to, not just a bunch of wrestling around trading submission attempts. Suplexing someone probably hurts a whole bunch, but it’s not wearing down Aries’ legs. If he goes after Aries’ legs, the Angle Lock will hurt a lot more and cause him to tap out faster, and he also won’t be able to jump and flip over angle for the Last Chancery.

But hey, Kurt Angle has been doing the same thing for ten years, so what do I know, right?

Best: How Roode

I don’t love how they got there, but I do love that Angle used Bobby Roode’s finisher to beat Aries. It’s a total dick move, and exactly the kind of dick moves I love in my heels. Or…um…oh wait, Kurt Angle’s supposed to be the good guy.

Sigh.

Welp, luckily there aren’t really any good guys in TNA (even Joe Park has been kinda mean on Twitter lately because my life is completely crashing down around my ears), so everyone can just be an asshole to everyone else, and traditional heel-face dynamics that have worked for decades don’t mean anything because THE ACTION NEVER STOPS.

CAN YOU FEEL THE INTENSITY?

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