Hello, Impactees! Who’s excited for another week of Dixie Carter pretends to understand human emotion? I know I….am certainly here writing this column about it!
-It’s been a super fun week over at The Mandible Claw. Frank (definitely not Francis) joined Robert Newsome and I to talk Wrestling is Awesome, Wrestling is Art, and threaten to smack the mustache off of Robert’s face. Spoiler alert: Robert does not have one. After this report goes up I’ll be posting the Wrestling is Awesome Minicast with Green Ant (!!!). Next week will see the Worst Podcast Ever™ with Brandon, and my new Favourite Podcast Ever™ with the Estonian Thunder Frog. Needless to say, my heart is so full right now.
-This is usually where I plug a Kickstarter or Issue 6 of the Atomic Elbow (available right now at this place right here!), but instead I just want to say hey, you, person who doesn’t watch independent wrestling: Do it. Try out an mp4. Go to a show. Don’t be intimidated by the sheer scope of it. Jump right it. You’ll love it forever, and it’ll love you right back.
-Speaking of, I’ll be at the Wrestling Is Awesome shows in Maine and New Hampshire on August 3rd and 4th. Come hang out, say hello, see some great wrestling, and watch me swan over Jervis Cottonbelly in person. You know you want to witness that.
-If you do go to a show, buy an mp4 or DVD, or watch any kind of indie wrestling this weekend, tweet me here. I wanna hear about it! You can also follow me for max lulz, more otter videos, and swoony tweets about froggy thundergods. Follow With Leather here, cuz Burnsy and Brandon are awesome, and of course UPROXX, without whom I could not make fun of Magnus on a weekly basis.
This week on Impact: Joseph Park, Eric Young, and an iPad. I don’t know why I would have to say more.
Worst: DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DOOOOOOOOOOO
Sometimes it’s a struggle to calmly and carefully dissect something and explain to the fullest extent possible why it is a flaming pile of Worst. Sometimes I just want to type I HATE THIS PLEASE STOP STOP IT NO REALLY PLEASE over and over and over. Everytime I hear the bonus dungeon level music of the Main Event Mafia I seriously question if this is the week it becomes too much and I have to say no, it is too bad, I cannot make boner jokes about this.
This week we’re told that the Main Event Mafia got to see the fruits of their labour in that a new champion has been crowned. Yes. Really. Taking complete credit for Chris Sabin winning the X-Division title, cashing it in, and “overcoming the odds.”
Sting takes to the mic (always a questionable decision at best these days) to say that seeing Chris Sabin win the title was the best night he’s ever had in pro-wrestling (seriously questionable). Great Muta? Naw. Multiple world titles? Nope. A bitchin’ helicopter ride to Vader’s White Castle of Fear? Not even ranked, apparently. But good for you for putting Sabin over in the same breath you buried his entire efforts, and f*ck you for making me say “over” and “bury” in the same sentence.
Everything about this just rubs me the wrong way, which is never a good way to start the show. From Magnus derpin’ and clappin’ in the background, to Chris Sabin pretending that he totally didn’t cheat to win, and this isn’t a hollow victory. And then “decreeing” that he will face the winner of the Ultimate X match, because no one gives a flying f*ck that there’s a general manager there to manage, generally, and make matches, not just let wrestlers do whatever the hell they want. Which….they do, but still. At least pretend to try. Sabin’s a small dude with a big heart or whatever they said about Martin St. Louis every single game of the 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs, but objectively, this is absolutely not making me get behind the twerpiest-looking dude in the company with a busted knee and even more busted personality.
I hate this. Please. Stop. Stop it. No, really. Please.
Best: And YOU get a lawsuit! And YOU get a lawsuit!
Who would have thought “another lawyer but one who looks like Kevin Nash without the shitty attitude/life decisions” would be the saving grace of this opening segment? It’s a harbinger of stupidity for sure, but he makes perfectly valid points AND he’s not yelling at me. +Park to you, sir.
Worst: No really, this is the worst
I took to shoptna.com to make sure I was correct in the fact that there is already a Rampage Jackson shirt, yet Joe Park still doesn’t have one, when I found this:
I don’t usually directly touch on any of the crummy things that happen off the air, but….jeeeeez.
TNA, you’re The Worst™.
Best: I love you, Greg Last Name I Still Have To Spellcheck
Sweet merciful Zoidberg, I could watch him land on Rock Star Spud’s face all goddamn day. All. Goddamn. Day.
Here’s an idea: Let’s scrap everything else (they’ve basically started to already), and we can just have an entire show of Joe Park and Greg….M. going on fun adventures together. Fishing with EY and ODB, smiling and clapping with Mike Knox, awkward conversations with Gunner…it’ll be brilliant. They could road trip across America in a two-hour long Postcards from Uncle Traveling Matt. In this situation I am Gobo, but if Gobo were overcome with wrestleswoons and spent the entire time lying on the floor in a state of sheer happiness. And also not a Fraggle.
Hogan used an iPhone properly (kind of) in a backstage segment. *sniffle* My little Hulkster is all grown up and effectively fake-using real devices. I’m so proud.
Worst: If you tolerate this…
Official petition to skip every single Suicide retcon/unmasking to just watch Manic Street Preacher videos instead. Because really, you stole the sun from my heart, and every time you unmask someone it makes me want to die in the summertime. So just condemn me to rock & roll, please and thank you, ‘cuz this girl’s got nothing.
Somewhere Wade Barrett just got a phantom boner.
Best, but begrudgingly: Ultimate X
Somehow I ended up watching numerous past Ultimate X matches on Wednesday, and man, this is…not them. But then again, given the dumb real life stuff and lack of an X-Division stacked with dudes like Amazing Red, MMMG, Christopher Daniels, Curry Man, Shark Boy (I miss you 24/7, Shark Boy), Young Bucks, and so on, and so forth. But to be fair, this wasn’t terrible. And not terrible is, as I’ve said before, the most I can ever hope for.
The spots on top of the steel structure always end up seeming awkward, because you think someone’s gonna go for something crazy and insane, but in reality they just slap each other around and try not to fall down before they’re supposed to. Here I don’t really mind the scaffolding bit not being utilized as much, especially when wrestling down below was way better. Marasciulo, darling….oh. Oh how I do love you. Be on my TV every week like you always should have been.
There are little things I love in wrestling – tiny little details that most of the time go unnoticed or no one cares about. The spit-sell is my favourite. Big Boss Man was exceptional when it came to the spit-sell. You know, he’d get punched in the face, it would knock the wind AND the spit right out of him. Gum spit takes? Just as great, though the idea of moving around that much and trying not to choke on my gum freaks me out a little. Then again, I am a super-clumsy super-awkward internet blog lady, and not a highly trained professional athlete who only tries this at work, but not home or school because that would be dangerous and set a terrible precedent. Marasciulo’s sell of the superkick – the crumple, the spit-sell, ugghhhhh….it gives me feelings. Feelings that made me rewind to it three times. Feelings that need to be italicized.
In a perfect world, Mr. Marasciulo will have the belt by BFG, and already be Google-mapping a trip to Darwin, Minnesota so Joe Park can get a picture in front of the largest ball of twine built by a single person. Italicized feelings.
Best: Bully Ray
See what happens when you use your words, Bully? Bully Ray calmly explains how important it is for Mr. Anderson to win the Bound For Glory series, and it’s equal parts encouraging and threatening. This is the Bully Ray that makes me believe in him. I know who you are, Bully Ray, and this is you at your best.
Unintentional Guest Worst: Hernandez vs. Mr. Anderson
Best: Eric Young and Joseph Park
See? THIS is how you introduce the mysterious reaction Joseph Park has when he sees blood. Not senile old Sting taking a giant dump on the very idea of kayfabe. Joseph Park is the best thing you’ve got, and guys, Eric Young is practically a scientist.
Worst: Velvet Sky
If you want to know what the opposite of a Joseph Park segment is, simply give Velvet Sky a microphone.
Worst: Mickie James vs. Gail Kim
On paper, this should be a great match. It really should be. Heel!Mickie is at the top of her game, and while she may not be the most technically sound wrestler, she’s got more than enough moxie to spare. Gail Kim can wrestle circles around most women on television, and has the Smarmy Heel variant down pat. But yet…this just doesn’t work. They’ve always been exceedingly awkward when pit against each other, and this is no exception.
Despite its flaws, I’ll give Mickie a best for counting along with ODB as Gail is on the outside. That’s a dick move and it’s great. I’ll best Gail for making up for the first dumb leverage pin attempt where she was mostly pulling herself away from Mickie, by following up a series of terrible submission attempts with a powerbomb into a leverage pin with her legs positioned onto the ropes. It makes much more physical sense and looks way, way better. Of course, this leads to a tussle with ODB, presumably so ODB can start wrestling, Tessmacher can take over ref duties, Gail Kim can get mad at her, lather, rinse, repeat.
I can’t wait until Final Resolution to see Gail Kim vs. Earl Hebner. Book it, Sabin.
Worst: Dixie Carter
The segment with Hogan was rotten, but at this point, do I really need to explain why Dixie is the worst? Do I really need to say why I question her concern for an injured wrestler? Do I really need to point out how clueless she is when it comes to issues of legality? Yeesh. Sorry, Ms. Carter. I am for real not giving you any sympathy.
This was a match: Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels
Yes, this…certainly was a match that happened. It wasn’t a best, it wasn’t a worst, but boy howdy the commentary during this was just dreadful. I feel like these two are capable of providing the best opportunity for straight commentary that’s happened on this show, but what are we talking about? Upcoming shows. Hulk Hogan. Lawsuits.
If you really want to make Samoa Joe seem like more than a dude who looks like the penguin when he does the MEM hand gesture (after last week’s screencaps it’s impossible to unsee), explain what he’s doing. Explain why his kicks are so fearsome. Explain what those submissions are doing. Not everyone has been conditioned to know that Joe’s gonna kill you. Explain why. Make him fearsome, and not by drawing a dick on his face or having him threaten to murder people. Show your work, TNA. You have to do it in business, you have to do it in second grade math. Tell me what physical effect a Coquina Clutch has on his opponent. You want submissions to be an important factor in the BFG series? This is your opportunity. He is literally a machine composed entirely of submissions. It shouldn’t be too hard.
Best: AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy
Best? I know, right? Me? Besting AJ Styles? Well…kind of. I like how these two match up. It was fun, I wasn’t constantly rolling my eyes at AJ (I was a little, but only sometimes), and I am super digging that calf-killer. It was the best match of the show, and I say that as someone who just splooshed all over the internet about Greg Marasciulo.
And yes, I am intentionally saying his name so I can stop typing Trent Barreta out of habit. If he’s gonna be on my television every week (because he should be on my television every week and I’m gonna keep saying THAT until it happens), I will need the practice.
Worst: AJ Styles must love my Young Bucks shirt…
…’cuz that dude don’t shake hands.
Worst: I hate everything I see, from Bully Ray to Sabin, C.
Sorry, let me expand.
Of all the boneheaded things that have happened, when you start making me pine away for the days when all Jeff Jarrett did was say he was the best and then give himself the belts to prove it, you are doing a bad, bad thing. Chris Sabin shouldn’t technically be champion. Period. Full stop. Out of Bully Ray’s previous title defenses, Bully Ray has used the hammer illegally (or attempted to) once. ONCE. And it was countered. It was countered, stolen, and used by the person you’ve positioned as the top face in the company. Either Bully Ray doesn’t lose the belt because it can’t change hands on a disqualification, or Sabin doesn’t get the belt because he cheated at the first opportunity presented (because that’s what faces do I guess??).
But the ref didn’t see it, Danielle!
Alright. But then why make a big deal of Hogan being the General Manager and having all of this managerial power? All he had to do was say hey, I watched the tapes, and you’re both equally at fault here. You really want the title? I’ll set up the rematch, and I’LL be watching. Boom. Done. Easy peasy. No messing around with lawsuits, no one side over the other, just a manager doing the manager job. Hulk Hogan gets to insert himself into the match, and we all know shoehorning Hogan into things is one of TNA’s faaaavourite things. That opens the door for all kinds of shenanigans during the rematch that can propel the story into multiple directions.
But hey, what do I know. I still watched the whole thing. I guess you continue to make a monkey outta me.
Play us out, kitties.