Hello, mein precious little coconuts. It’s a real doozy this week, so let’s go over a few things before we dive in:
– This week on The Mandible Claw Podcast, Brandon and I talked about my trip to Texas, how ACH and Davey Vega helped create one of the most special wrestling memories I have, why I’m the biggest wrestling asshole, and basically all of the reasons I wish I were still in Texas instead of coldass Submission Squad-less Canada.
– I was also sent a video of Derek Sabato and Mike Quackenbush meeting in a cafe, so if you’re into the Ashes saga and really want the best wrestling to come back and let me love it again and spend more time with Kobald, check that out.
– Like this, tumbl, tweet, share, upvote, trip over, and get this report out there. Make sure people at Impact Wrestling know to be real nice to Ethan Carter III, and that Joseph Park needs a goddamn t-shirt.
This week on Impact: Breaking up is hard to do, unless you’re doing it on this show. And then it’s just real easy, apparently. Oh, and some wrestles.
Worst: A world title for you! And a world title for you! And world title for you!
Ohhhhhh boy, where do I even start with this. The good news (very good news!) is that the Main Event Mafia are no more. As such, we are treated to one last lingering hand job, like two people who have just broken up, but never really liked each other in the first place, but still kinda feel obligated to leave the other with something because they’ve been together for so long.
To remind us that he is a weird and senile old man -because the soul patch isn’t enough- Sting shouts “Job accomplished!” like it’s a real thing people say. He then lets us know that it’s because of them that Aces & Eights are no longer a threat (which they could be at literally any time, and their seeming implosion was only minorly influenced by MEM), Bully Ray is no longer champion (which has nothing to do with MEM), and they’re all setting down divergent paths. Paths that lead to drastically different goals, such as Kurt Angle winning the World Title, and Samoa Joe winning the World…Title…and Magnus winning the X-Division Championship – no, I’m just joshing. He’s going to win the world title too. This is an extremely poor way of letting us know that they all have to fight one another so they shouldn’t be a family (when really, that’s the most realistic family trait I can think of), because family never dies unless you need it to conveniently accelerate a different series of plot points.
I like to think this will end in the dream scenario of one of them winning, then breaking up the title between them and the “boys in the back.” A piece for Kurt Angle, who fractured his brain and had seizures or whatever and still looks like a rockstar. A piece for Garrett Bischoff. That hairdo must have taken hours, and you look really pretty. A piece for you, Partial Spring Fling Queen Pacman Jones.
This is all, of course, after Samoa Joe pushes Magnus in front of a bus.
Worst: But what of Sting?
Well, Sting has some things to take care of backstage. Y’see, he’s sick and tired of all the entitlement backstage. You know, like people wrestling well past their prime and taking spots away from younger talent in need of exposure. Or people who take credit for the demise of others when they didn’t really have any right to hang out on the apron during matches and butt into situations that had nothing to do with them, and then take credit for the internal collapse of a group of disgruntled members under a power-hungry dictator. Or someone who takes a world title shot even though they’ve been banned for life because of course they deserve it and why wouldn’t they. Or Booker T.
Lol just joking he’s not doing any of those things. He’s going to go get into an argument with the seagulls in the parking lot until security finds him and quietly escorts him back to the hotel.
Why should Kurt Angle get to stomp around like a giant while the rest of us try not to get smushed under his big feet? What’s so great about Kurt Angle? Hm? Magnus is just as cute as Kurt Angle. ‘K? Magnus is just as smart as Kurt Angle. People totally like Magnus just as much as they like Kurt Angle. And when did it become okay for one person to be the boss of everybody, huh? Because that’s not what TNA is about. We should totally just stab Kurt Angle! – Magnus, probably
Best: Bobby Roode! You might remember him from such promos as “That Time He Was Right About Kurt Angle”
Or, “that time people booed him even though Kurt Angle was just standing, mumbling all glassy eyed and puffy in the weirdest places and it was sad and he should probably stop soon, and he keeps losing but his NEVER SAY DIE attitude might literally kill him because oh man you should slow down, Kurt Angle, because you are made of veiny silly putty and I have seen you walk in a straight line and you make me sad in the worst way wrestling can without someone actually dying.”
CAN YOU FEEL THE INTENSITY?
Additional best: That cranberry shirt looks hella good, Bobby Roo. It’s a shame you have to spend the next three hours being forcefully separated from Kurt Angle without it, because hey, it’s a good look.
Worst: Wait, whut
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian interrupt a tight shot on Mike Tenay’s face in its full emotive glory (WORST!) by yelling at Pacman “Remember that time I thought making it rain on a stripper meant getting my money back so then I beat the shit out of her and then did a bunch of other incredibly stupid and harmful violent things because I’m basically human garbage” Jones, who is ringside with his Bengals teammate DeQuin “I went through a five minute runthrough on how to bodyslam someone kinda” Evans in order to….have some people cheer? I don’t even know what’s happening, or why this is happening, but I do know that I very much wish this were the Best and Worst of Danielle Hangs Out In Her Pajamas and Plays Windwaker Because Wrestling Makes Her SO MAD.
Kinda Best: Dixie Carter, though…
Jeremy Borash has about the same reaction that I did to the news of Pacman Jones showing up on Impact. The idea that Dixie Carter doesn’t understand what his community service is for is great, and her reaction to Chris Harris as a possible returning tag champ might be the best thing in this entire report, but where is it on the show? If we’re supposed to believe that this is a foolhardy attempt by Dixie to get ratings and publicity, and the driving notion that it worked once so it’ll work again, why isn’t it being treated that way across the board? Why is he bodyslamming people in the ring (besides maybe punishment for that dreadful Sherlock skit) and not continuing the joke? Why does no one react to anything that’s happening on how they’re supposed to on this show ever?
Is anyone on the same page? Anyone at all?
Worst: Mr. Anderson
To his credit, this backstage segment is the least obnoxious and annoying he’s been in a long time. He tells Knuxxy and Bischoff to get out while they can, and this version of Aces & Eights isn’t what they started.
That is correct, sir. You did not start Aces & Eights. You had to be coerced into it by the people who did start it.
Best: Let’s slow down this negativity train for a second…
This is really starting to bum me out. It’s not the usually thrashing and yelling (except once at Mr. Anderson) that watching Impact usually brings. I’m just….really over it? I think? I’m just so tired, guys. Things aren’t making much sense, and that’s not a new thing to Impact, but whether it’s the shaky production, or flagrant lack of continuity, or that athlete who should probably be in jail for assault right now, I’m just…burnt out, and we are only half an hour into the show.
Let’s talk about some good things, because they sure as hell aren’t going to happen in a Velvet Sky match. A halftime break, or a seventh-inning stretch, if the seventh inning happens right in the middle of the game because everyone is upset that all the players are being real sh-tty to one another, and no one remembers who the Yankees are or that they ever won anything in the history of everything.
1) Joseph Park doesn’t have his own t-shirt, but Ethan carter does, and it’s not hideous.
No UFC-style paisley or gold foil print, or stars and bars and pre-cum. It’s simple, it’s effective, and you should probably buy it.
2) This picture of Christopher Daniels:
3) This cat
(h/t to Tim Donst, whom you should all enjoy, but probably not in certain very specific ways that I might)
4) This conversation between Ethan Carter III and Aunt D:
Oh Ethan Carter, like Bruno Mars says, you’re my golden star. Well, you’re not my Kota Ibushi, because Kota Ibushi is my Kota Ibushi, but I am quite fond of you, and while I might not catch a grenade for you, I would bring you flowers so you won’t dance with another man?
Whatever. Look. All I’m saying is I don’t think Bruno Mars knows how to have functional relationships, and Ethan Carter III is a bonafide treasure.
Worst: Demoracy is hard
Garrett and Knuxxy decide that they no longer need to be a part of Aces & Eights, but voting that they no longer need sweaty leather vests. And I guess in Knux’s case, that shirt. Or that hat. Or this lamp.
Bully Ray points out that in this cheerocracy, he is the tie-breaker, and obviously he says they stay together. But lo, what’s this? Tazz decides that he no longer wants to be part of a thing that didn’t really treat him as a fully functioning member in the first place. Is this the end? Are they all going to walk alone?
PSYCHE! Everyone’s friends again, and we all hate Mr. Anderson, just as nature intended. This Worst becomes a Best, Knux can keep his Aces & Eights thermos, and that stable that has been a thing for basically ever in wrestling years doesn’t get unceremoniously dumped like so many Main Event Mafias before them.
Friendship-based wrestling, even if that friendship is based on a weird motorcycle bro-code, is the best wrestling.
Best: Dewey want another EC3 match? Yes. Yes we do.
Bobby Roode comes out all flustered, shouting for Kurt Angle to come out, so of course we get Ethan Carter III’s totally-not-a-Fallout-Boy-rip-off music (which I admittedly love). Bobby Roode disappears, perhaps to make more strategically placed saucy cuts in his undershirt, and out comes poor Dewey Barnes. He’s so HYPE, but no amount of HYPENESS is going to stop him from nearly getting shoot murdered. Yeah, EC3 should be done with squash matches, but taking the easy road and choosing Dewey perfectly in line with what the Carters are supposed to be all about, and I’m okay with it. He’s a Carter. We need him.
Facing a guy like Dewey Barnes also makes me suddenly and incredibly aware of EC3’s abs. It’s not my thing, but credit where credit is due, because sweet crickets good for you.
Worst: Leave Joe Park alone!
This relentless need to fat-shame people and prove that Joseph Park is Abyss (despite that one time they were in the same place at once, kinda) is bad, and it makes me feel bad. I know most people are itching to move this story along and sort out what’s really going on with Abyss, and I can respect that. I want Joseph Park to just be around all the time forever, and I understand that may not be possible (why isn’t it possible why do you hate me), but this? This is not fun. Until proven otherwise, they are two different people, and being as mean and unfunny as possible about disproving that fact is not entertaining in the least.
I will accept wherever this goes with grace and dignity (and a few tears and probably some yelling and a lot of vegan ginger molasses cookies), but let’s at least make this something worth watching instead of making me feel like Jo after Amy burned her manuscript. Bad Influence is Amy in this scenario, but without the added benefit of eventually turning into a good person and getting to have makeouts with Christian Bale in his prime. Quick, someone catch them with some limes in their desk so they can get what they deserve!
At this point I decided to take a shower and kind of clear my head a bit after the show thus far. I was so deep in thought about this whole Abyss mess that I slipped while stepping out, and nearly brained myself off of the side of the tub. It is now confirmed: Impact Wrestling is trying to kill me.
Worst: Austin Aries’ facial hair
Looks like you treated yo’self to some of Magnus’s leftover spray-on stubble.
(ps. Has anyone else ever notices that Aries looks like the ill-gotten love child of John Stamos and Aziz Ansari, but with none of the charm or close proximity to Ron Swanson?)
Best: Spin the wheel!
*come on tuxedo match come on tuxedo match come on tuxedo match*
Oh. Submission match. That’s fine, I GUESS.
I really do love the Wheel of Dixie, though. It’s completely ridiculous, and she’s just so excited about it, bless her heart. But a mighty eff you to every person who didn’t vote for a tuxedo match. Pearls before swine.
Meh: Table, Ladders, Chairs, Stairs, Credenzas, Half Eaten Sandwiches
This was super boring, and the whole show was disjointed and weird and moderately uncomfortable at times, so let’s try to stay positive and look at the very best of Impact 365: Where the Action Never Stops, Except When It Does!
First up, Barnes & Noble Norv:
Next up, Corporate Dixie:
I like to think that Daisy from GLOW is now working for Impact Wrestling, Khali-forearming PAs left and right. I also hope to god that the next video is Christy Hemme dressed as Tiffany Mellon in front of a laptop giving us all of the TNA gossip in the form of bad puns and giggling at f-cking nothing at all because that would be glorious.
And the best of the best, Ethan Carter III showing us his softer side:
A f-cking treasure.